Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?

1

If you have lived in the house for a while, there may be broken or worn out items that you have overlooked. Safety issues and even legal issues should be resolved before you put your house on the market. It is in your best interest to do some preparation before you post the “for rent” sign.

Repairing structural or system defects should be at the top of the list. Tighten handrails, repair steps, and remove hazards inside and outside the home. Make sure all heating, plumbing and electrical elements are up to code. Elevated decks, railing, flooring and framing should be inspected by a Class A contractor for structural safety. Your goal is to have all systems running smoothly and efficiently.

Pay special attention to regularly used appliances such as refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer, dryer, etc.. These appliances receive heavy use daily and should be in good working order. Bathrooms, toilets, showers and tubs should have a clean appearance and be free of mildew. Replace missing tile grout and re-caulk tub and shower with a fresh bead of caulk. Is your carpet stained or worn? Cleaning the carpet, or if necessary replacing it, will freshen up your home. Make sure there is at least one working smoke detector on each level of the home and replace old batteries with fresh ones.

Make sure the property has a clean and tidy appearance inside and out. Remove all personal items from the interior and exterior of the home and yard. Take cans of old used paint to the dump along with yard waste and other items that are not needed. Clean out the garage and sweep away dirt and cobwebs to make the space fully usable. Improve curb appeal by trimming shrubs and bushes and touching up peeling paint on the house or porch.

When thinking about whether to make an improvement or an upgrade to your potential rental property, consider the competition and the price range of other rental homes in your neighborhood. Think about who your target tenant will be. Your location along with the price will be the deciding factor in who will be interested in your house. Will you attract university students, a family with younger children, or singles? You don’t want to over-improve your home and price yourself out of the rental market in your area.

Lastly who will service and manage your home? Do you plan to manage the property yourself or employ a management company? If you are managing the property yourself, you will be the sole contact for the tenant – collecting rent, performing regular property inspections, routine maintenance, and emergency repairs. Hiring a property management company will relieve you of these responsibilities and partner with you to make your investment profitable.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9709725


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 12 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

 

Advertisements

What to Ask When Looking for a Good Property Manager

What-to-Ask-When-Looking-for-a-Good-Property-Manager

If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager before, then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one for your rental property. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to bring your property into the market.

With so many choices available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your unit. But don’t worry – if you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you’ll get a better idea of who would make the best fit for your property. Ask them these questions when discussing your property to see if they’re the right property manager for you:

1. What type of properties have you managed?

Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed. Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.

2. How do you screen potential tenants?

Screening potential tenants is one of the most important steps to property management, so the way they do this often reflects their level of service to your property. Ask them how they’ll match tenants to your property and what their process is like for finding tenants. This will give you a better idea of how they operate and what lengths they’ll go to find the right match for your property.

3. How do you handle late payments by tenants?

Finding tenants is just one phase of property management; the longer phase involves managing the tenancy itself. Asking them this question will show you what their management style is like and how they’ll deal with critical rental issues like these. See if their process aligns with what you expect them to do and how you want your property to be managed.

4. How do you respond to complaints?

Similar to the previous question, this question allows you to gauge how well a potential property manager will handle the landlord-tenant relationship. Remember that a property manager will act as the mediator between you and your tenant, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with their process for dealing with any complaints or issues.

5. How often do you do inspections?

Routine inspections are important to any tenancy agreement, and the number of times it’s done per year will help give you better peace of mind as the landlord or owner. This question will also show you how well the property manager will look after your property even after the start of the tenancy.

6. What’s the right rental price for my property?

If you’ve done your research beforehand, this question will let you assess how well a potential property manager knows the market and what they can offer you. It also allows you to get a better idea of what your property is worth in the current market. Compare their answer with different property managers to see what they offer and to better understand where your property stands in the market.

7. What are the things I can do to improve my listing?

Asking them this question won’t just reveal their expertise in property management, but it’ll also help you put your property in the best position in the market. Note their suggestions, assess how relevant they are, and decide whether or not they can get your property where you want it to be.

8. What are the full costs and fees for managing my property?

Some have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property. Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.

9. What can you do that others can’t?

This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition. It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards. Listen well, take notes, and assess if they provide what you’re looking for.

With so many choices available today, finding the right property management company can be difficult. But by asking the right questions and doing your research beforehand, you’ll find that all the hard work you put into finding the right manager will be worth it. Once you find the right one, your property (and wallet) will surely thank you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9685653

Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Buying a Real Estate Property That Will Generate Positive Cash Flow

Buying-a-Real-Estate-Property-That-Will-Generate-Positive-Cash-Flow

When looking at real estate properties as financial investments, you will have to decide whether an appreciated value or positive cash flow is your main goal for getting properties. There are some things you need to consider before you make that decision.

Since you would more than likely be looking at single family homes and multifamily homes, there is a difference between the two.

With the former, the value of the property usually increases in value quicker. However, since more expenses are attached, you may not be looking at the kind of positive cash flow that you want.

On the other hand, multifamily units (i.e., duplexes) can generate more positive cash flow. However, they may not appreciate quickly like single-family homes do. Also, not as many expenses are attached to the latter.

Since most real estate investors look to create wealth, they will choose having a positive cash flow. In this case, you will need a reliable real estate agent that is willing to help you find real estate properties that will produce the positive cash flow you want.

Look at the balance sheets and see what you will look forward to as far as repairs, maintenance, fees and other miscellaneous expenses.

In order to maintain a steady stream of positive cash flow, you need to have the right tenants, so take your time. There are some people who will spend lots of money on real estate courses that don’t teach much of anything.

They end up being back at square one. Find a good real estate agent that is willing to genuinely help you. Sometimes, you may be fortunate enough to find one that is also an investor on the side.

Calculating Your Cash Flow

As a real estate investor, you need to be able to calculate all of the cash flow that comes from your properties. You want to make sure that you are making a profit. You will also be able to make decisions on real estate investments that you may purchase in the future.

In order to calculate your cash flow, you will need to add up how much rent you will get from your tenants. If you have more than one unit, take into consideration any vacancies you may have. Depending on how your property looks, include a small percentage of the vacancy rate into the equation.

With the total rental amount, get a figure for your losses. You will have to include property expenses, mortgage loan interest and property depreciation.

Deduct the expenses from your total rental income in order to get your losses or savings for taxes. With that, you will either add or deduct that from your expected amount from your tenants. Take your operating expenses and monthly mortgage payment(s) and deduct them for a second time. The result will be your cash flow.

When you come up with a cash flow amount, you will be able to figure out how much you will charge for rent if you decide to purchase future real estate properties. It’s important that whatever money you make, that you don’t squander it. Put it away because eventually you will need it for other things relating to your investment properties.

Changing Negative Cash Flow To Positive Cash Flow

When you have negative cash flow, you are not making a profit. You are paying out more in expenses than you are taking in as profit. That’s not how you want to operate when you’re investing in real estate properties.

Here are some ways that you can chance the negative cash flow to a positive one:

  • Implement a rent increase. Only increase it to the amount of the current market. Don’t overdo it, other wise you may not have any tenants.
  • Make the tenants pay the utilities. This would relieve a burden from you. Besides, since they are living in your property, they will be using utilities every day.
  • Go over your property taxes to see if you can find anything that may have been missed before. Who knows-you may find out that you were charged more in taxes than you should have been charged.
  • Contact your insurance company and see about paying more for your deductible. Then make inquiries about getting a better deal for coverage on the property.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1984942

Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Finding the Best Locations for Buying Rental Property That Nets the Highest Returns

Turnkey-Rental-Property

You have heard it before. T, the first three rules of real estate are Location, Location, Location, and this is no different when buying rental property. If you are in the market to purchase rental property real estate, you need to know your market. Below is a series of steps you can take to fundamentally understand your real estate market and determine the best areas in which to purchase your buy and hold properties.

Establish Where the Rental Markets Are

Here is a systematic way to figure out which rental markets in your area will have the highest potential returns.

  1. Have a realtor put together a list of properties that have sold in your area. You are going to want to find sales data on “bread and butter” rental properties – properties with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 800sq ft – 1200sq ft with a basement and a garage.
  2. Take the list of properties and sort them by sales price.
  3. Once you have the properties sorted by price, break them up into 3 groups – the lower third by price, the middle third by price, and the upper third by price.
  4. Next, take a map and start to plot out the three groups of properties. For each group use a different color marker on the map.

Once you have the map populated with, you should start to see trends on the map. The properties priced in the lower third will likely have the potential to generate the highest return. These are the areas you are going to want to investigate further. If you have lived in the area, you probably have a general idea about these areas, but you need to set that aside for now because to truly know the market you need to complete the next steps.

Drive the Targeted Market

Once you have established a few areas, you are going to want to get in your car and drive through the neighborhoods. When you do this, you need to take note of the things listed below. Please keep in mind that you should be looking for trends in the area. You may see one house that is particularly good or bad, but you are really trying to look at the neighborhood in general, so look for trends.

What is the condition of the homes in the area?

Do you see solid homes, with good roofs and freshly painted trim, or do you see you see old dilapidated homes with broken windows?

Are the properties kept up?

An easy way to tell this is by looking at the condition of the landscaping. Do you see mowed lawns with flowers planted all around, or do you see long grass and overgrown weeds? The condition of the landscaping can provide a great deal of insight about the people living in that neighborhood.

What does the neighborhood look like?

Look at the streets, are they clean, or is there trash strewn around. Look for sidewalks. If you are driving around outside of school hours are kids playing in the streets? Or in contrast does the neighborhood give you the creeps. You are really looking to answer the question “Do my tenants want to live here?”

Talk to People in the Neighborhood

It is really a good idea to speak with people in the neighborhood. If you see someone walking down the street, stop and let them know you are looking to buy real estate in the area and ask them about the neighborhood. Or, you can stop in a local business like a market or a gas station and talk to the guy behind the counter about the area.

Once you have established your target markets, and driven the areas, you should be able to quickly see which markets you want to invest in, and which markets you do not. To document this you can easily take a map and highlight the streets where you will consider investing.

Determine the Returns

The next step is to look at the potential returns you will generate. This is a very simple thing to do, and you can follow these steps.

  1. Speak with a local property management company about the rental rates for a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with a garage and a basement in the area you have selected. The property management company should be able to give you a very good idea of the rental rates and also give you some more feedback about the area in general. You should also inquire with them about their rates for property management.
  2. Look up the taxes on a few properties to establish what you can expect to pay in taxes for properties in the area you have selected.
  3. Speak to an insurance agent about the cost of insurance for a property in your target market.
  4. Calculate your net income. To do this, simply take your rental income expected for the year and subtract the taxes, insurance, and property management expense.
  5. Calculate your return. To do this simply divide the net income you calculated in step 4 by the price you will be paying for the property.

With this information you should be able to see what kinds of returns you can generate for your targeted area. An interesting exercise to perform is to also calculate your return on areas where homes are selling at a higher price. What you will find is that the neighborhoods may be a bit nicer, but your returns are going to drop quickly.

 


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Reasons Why You Might Need a Property Management Company

Reasons-Why-You-Might-Need-a-Property-Management-Company

Having a rental property can be overwhelming for any landlords or owners. And one of the biggest decisions that you can come up with is whether you should hire a property manager to look after your properties. There are many factors that may influence a property owner’s decision it may be his or her accessibility to the property they own, their availability to manage and check their tenants and if they can afford the cost of employing a professional property management firm.

If you live near your property you will be able to keep a close eye on things. Also, you will be able to visit your rental property on regular basis which is required for maintenance, inspections, and collections. On the other hand, if you live further from your rental house or apartment it would cost you so much time and money to visit it regularly. Scheduling a monthly visit to check the condition of your properties and tenants and responding to their calls in the middle of the night can be burdensome for landlords. A property manager can make these things easy for you and ensure you that your property is taken care of even if you are in the comfort of your home.

Not every one of us has the special gift of negotiating with people under pressure. At the end of the day it takes a professional person to handle the ups and downs of your business. Aside from collecting the monthly rent and making a regular inspection and maintenance there are more other problems that may encounter everyday that can push people to their limits.

As the number of rental properties you own increase the more problems you will face as you manage your own properties. Many investors with large portfolios take advantage the service of property managers. It would be more efficient to hire the skilled people to take care of your investments. Moreover, if you do not have the experience in home maintenance and repairs they are the one who can help you get things done. And with the help of a professional property management company you can ensure that the work is done well in timely manner.

Another advantage of hiring a property management firms is they can help you in advertising, fielding calls, help you find a good tenant to decrease your vacancy rate. They can also help you handle the accounting and keeping records for your property.

Customer service is very important in rental property business. We know that each tenant requires attention even to their smallest concerns. The management team you respond to your tenants when an emergency happens in your property. They can quickly fix your property and handle problems immediately. Furthermore, they can help you instantly resolve problems with tenants like late payments. They could also help you ensure that your property is run legitimately to prevent lawsuits.

Finally, your decision whether to hire or not a management firm to handle your business will depend if you are financially capable of employing one to manage your rental property dealings. Assess first the opportunity cost that you will be taking once you finally employ a property manager.

Before you decide if you will hire an expert in managing properties think first if you really need them and if it will be beneficial for you to seek for their help.


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

How To Profit From Your Rental Properties

how-to-profit-from-your-rental-properties

There are lots of people who believe that harvesting huge profits from rental properties is one of the easiest businesses they can do for enjoying a luxurious life. The reason which at first instance, seems to be responsible for this myth be no tension of establishing a personal office or factory, no tension of appointing huge staff for getting different tasks accomplished on time, no concern about the sinking of funds on etc. In simple words it can be said that lots of people think that earning rent from the property given on rent doesn’t require any huge investment.

But, is it really so as it seems to be or earning profits from rental properties is complex and requires the proper involvement of the person investing his funds in the property for giving on rent. This in-fact is the matter of debate which is mainly because of the discussions which they have from their known ones who have given their property on rent. Although, this can be true, but that is possible in the case if you have rented the portion of your house to only one or two tenants. But, in case if you have two to three properties which you want to give on rent then looking after those properties could be quite messy for you, especially at the time when your tenant calls you at some odd timings.

Moreover, if you some properties for rent located in another corner of your city or is some other city then looking after those properties could be quite daunting for you. Because looking after all the properties at the same time won’t be possible for you, anyhow, even if you succeed in managing it, you might have to struggle with your tenants for rent and other issues. Anyhow, even if someone assumes that investing in property is one of the easiest methods of earning, then they do not know that it is like hitting the bullseye. So, how a novice can get rid of various issues arising from Rental Properties Adelaide for earning expected profits from his property.

An answer to this question in simple words can be hiring the services of the rental property management group which is constituted by the group of mavens having vast experience in looking after the various aspects associated with rental properties.

Why you should hire the services of rental property experts:

As referred above that most of the people consider earning money from rental properties as an easy task, agreed that it is. But, do you know how to search for the prospective tenants, how to interview the tenants and get their documents verified, what are the legal documents required to be prepared before giving any property on rent or what to do in case if your tenant refuses to pay rent on time or tries to exhibit his ownership on your property? All these questions are just illustrations of the problems which as a newbie, you might face while investing your funds in property, there might be various other issues about which you might have even not imagined could disturb you once you have given your property on the rent.

Anyhow, if you are aware about all these problems and know how to get through them, then undoubtedly nobody can stop you from becoming rich in a few years. But in case if you do not wish to face all these issues, then it would be better to at-least will think of hiring the services of the property management experts to avoid any type of critical situation in the future.

These experts will work for you and take care of your property as their own property on your behalf and will look after all issues arising from the property, starting from the hunting of the tenants to sorting out different issues which might face because of your tenants. Let us, for instance, say that, you have not allowed your tenants to park their vehicle inside your garage during your absence, but still if they do so and argue with you that as they are paying rent for your house, they are liable to use the garage also. At that time if they did not stop parking their vehicle inside the garage at that time the only option left with you will be getting your house vacated from the tenants quite early before the expiry of their agreement.

Simply, it can said that if you have available properties for rent purpose, it would be better to go for the services offered by property management groups to avoid useless issues that might create a burden on your shoulders.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9638865

Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Is This Tax Deductible? Tax Tips for Landlords and Vacation Rental Hosts

Owning a rental property is a fantastic way to boost your income and secure your financial landscape. You’ll also have a golden opportunity for some serious tax breaks.

Rental properties – both full time, part time, and vacation homes – can be a wealth of tax savings.

is-this-tax-deductible

Is This Tax Deductible?

The key to saving money on your tax return is to take advantage of the many deductions offered to full-time rental property owners. Your property is considered a full-time rental if you allocate fewer than 15 days for personal use.

Some of the most basic deductions that landlords could easily overlook are costs related to cleaning and maintenance, property taxes, management fees, mortgage interest, advertising, and even property insurance.

Want to save even more money? You can also deduct expenses related to traveling to manage your property, depreciation of your property, HOA fees, insurance claim deductibles, operating expenses, and even your utilities. Basically, any cost you incur to keep your rental property up and running can be filed as a tax deductible expense.

If your rental property expenses exceeded your rental earnings, you can even deduct your losses. If your annual income (adjusted gross income) is below $100,000, you are eligible to deduct up to $25,000 of your rental losses. As your annual income increases, the rental loss deduction is reduced.

One of the best tips any landlord could get is to keep meticulous records. Treat your rental property like a business. The more expenses that you document, the better chance you have to get those tax deductions and keep more of your money.

Personal Use of  Your Rental Property

The deductions available for rental property owners are subject to the amount of time during the given tax year that a rental property is used for personal reasons. In short, if your property is a hybrid combination of personal use and rental, your tax advantages will change.

If you rent your home fewer than 15 days out of the year (like for a special event in your town), you get to keep all of the money you earned – tax free!  You can still also deduct your expenses related to your rental efforts as itemized deductions.

On the flip side, if personal use of your rental property exceeds 14 days, you can deduct your rental expenses based on the percentage of time it was used as a rental.  Your rental expense deduction will also be limited to the amount of rental income you receive.

New to the Rental Game

With the popularity of travel websites such as Airbnb, many people are interested in the opportunity to turn their primary and/or secondary home into a money making property.

If you decide to start an on demand rental business you will receive a Form 1099-Misc or Form 1099-K reporting your rental income, which will be reported as rental property on your taxes.


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com