Pages Navigation Menu

own your own island

Own Your Own Island

Four Ways Property A Management Team Can Help With Common Rental And Building Inspection Needs

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways Property A Management Team Can Help With Common Rental And Building Inspection Needs

If you own rental properties, there will always be the common run-of-the-mill needs and issues with tenants and buildings. Sometimes little issues can turn into major problems if landlords aren’t careful. Here are four rental and building issues that property management teams can resolve for you.  1. Initial Vetting of Tenants The best way to avoid ongoing issues with less-than-perfect tenants is to avoid these individuals all together. If you don’t have the time to hold open houses, run credit checks, and follow up on building inspections, leave this to a property management team to handle. They can make sure to personally screen potential renters, check references, and even hold interviews if your property is in a competitive rental market 2. Walkthroughs and Deposits If you own a rental property, you might not be great about initial and final walkthroughs with tenants. Without this step in place, you might not have to proof you need to keep portions of deposits when renters move out. It is important that new renters have a checklist of existing issues or damages that they can keep for their protection and also yours. Walkthroughs, building inspections, and corresponding documentation needed can be handled by a property management team. If a property’s condition upon move in is agreed upon by your tenants and property management firm, this will protect you from disputes down the line. 3. Easier Communication Lines for Tenants There are various day-to-day things that a tenant might need to contact you about, such as building issues or payment questions. If you aren’t reachable or are in another state during an emergency, you could be held liable for further damages or could put your tenants in harm’s way.  If you can have a property management firm handle this, you won’t get behind on your communication with renters or building inspections. This might even save you money over time. If rental disputes are handled correctly right away, this will keep you out of legal trouble. 4. Keeping Documentation Safe Leases, proof of payments, and documentation of any major work done and building inspections can all be kept up by your property management team. This will help with any questions or miscommunications that might pop up down the line with renters. If you aren’t the greatest at keeping paperwork in line, let a property management team do this for you. If you are a property owner, don’t make your life harder by trying to manage all rental-related issues as well. Hiring a property management firm (such as Home Inspection Associate) will keep you, your properties, and your renters...

read more

4 Tips For Planning The Right Time For Office Relocation

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Planning The Right Time For Office Relocation

Office relocation is definitely exciting if you are doing so in order to expand your business or to make many necessary changes to the way that your business operates. However, the task can be quite challenging and stressful because you want to be sure that it works for you and your employees. This means you need to plan the relocation for the right time. Here are four tips for doing that: Move During the Week: Moving during a weekday instead of during the weekend is a great way to get your employees on board. Since more employees will be available to help the move during this time, they will be more willing to be there to move the process along quickly. The more you get employees involved, the more excited they will be about the relocation as well.  Move in the Middle of the Month: Relocating in the middle of the month is often the best option for businesses because businesses are usually less busy during this time. This will take off some of the stress for yourself and your employees because projects will be able to be put on hold without worrying about it getting done by the end of the month. You also want to ensure that employees are focused on new tasks in the beginning of the month instead of stressing about a relocation. Try to Move Within Normal Business Hours: There are some office buildings that don’t allow businesses to move within normal business hours. The problem with this is that you have to plan to begin the moving outside of your normal working hours, which can also be a problem when trying to have employees there to help with the move as well. Check with the building manager for specific rules and try to move during business hours if possible.  Don’t Move in the Summer: Most likely, many of your employees have children and moving during the summer can be a problem when getting your employees involved in the moving process. This is because many of your employees are going to want to go on vacation with the kids during this time. On top of this, moving in the summer is popular, which can make it difficult to find moving trucks and movers for a reasonable price.  When you consider these four tips for planning your time to relocate your business, you can be sure that you do it in a way that works for you and your employees. This way, the relocation process can be exciting instead of overwhelming. For relocation services, contact a company such as Bekins Van Lines...

read more

2 Home Buying Myths Debunked

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Home Buying Myths Debunked

After binge-watching reality shows where homes are bought and sold in a day, you might feel like you understand the process. Unfortunately, if you are buying your first home, you might come across a few surprises along the way. Here are two home buying myths debunked so that you don’t have to worry: 1: “You get your keys the day you close.” Ah, closing day. After you finally sign that stack of papers, you might be ready to grab the keys to your new place and start moving in your furniture. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Although most buyers assume that their real estate agent will pass over the keys in the title office on closing day, you actually receive keys when the loan funds and records. Unfortunately, this process can take a few days. If you have a wet closing, which is where the title company essentially trusts the lender to transfer the funds into escrow, you might be able to get the keys the same day. However, if you have a dry closing, the lender might have to carefully examine your paperwork and fund escrow before you gain possession—which could take a few days. To ward off disappointment, take the time to talk with your real estate agent about what to expect. Try to avoid booking rental trucks, moving help, or carpet cleaners before you know when you will have possession of the house. It might be hard to wait, but it could save you from a frustrating hassle.    2: “Your loan will stay with your lender.” If you are like most first-time homebuyers, you probably thought long and hard about which lender to use. After you buy your home, it might feel like a slap in the face when you receive a letter stating that your loan was sold to a different lender. However, banks sell home loans all the time. Lenders typically sell mortgages to free up working capital to invest in other properties. In fact, around half of all mortgages are sold during their origination, which means that chances aren’t high that you will be able to keep your favorite lender. If your loan is sold, don’t worry. Federal regulations state that all terms have to be identical to your original loan, including the interest rate, private mortgage insurance price, and even your repayment terms. You might be making payments on a different website or calling a different lender to ask questions, but your actual loan will be exactly the same.    By understanding the realities of real estate transactions, you might be able to keep calm and enjoy the process. Contact a company like Chris Calhoon Real Estate to learn...

read more

Do You Need To Sell, Rent And Buy? Get A Full Service Realtor

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Need To Sell, Rent And Buy? Get A Full Service Realtor

If you think your house is getting too small and you are interested in purchasing or building a new home, you need a full service Realtor. If you know that you can’t buy a new house until your old house is sold, and you may need a temporary living situation, the Realtor will help with that as well. Finding the right Realtor is going to be the most important part when making this all happen. Here are a few things you want to talk with the Realtor about when you consider making this transition. Listing Price You need to know what the listing price on the home you live in now is, to see what profit you will have after the sale to use towards your new purchase. This can vary between Realtors, so you’ll want to have more than one Realtor tell you what they think they can get for your property. They should come equipped with comparable sales in the area to show you, along with marketing trends and more. Once you know what profit you should get, it can help you budget more for the new house. Rental Budget Do you have to move into a rental property while you are looking for a new house, because you needed the sale of your original house to close before you could get into a new home? This is common, solet your Realtor know what your rental budget is. They should be able to find you suitable options in the area, even if you just need somewhere to stay for a few months. You may find it’s best to stay in a rental for 6 months until the market gets more houses that suit your needs, or while you build. New House Cost Talk with your mortgage company to see what type of house you can afford, so you know what to tell your Realtor. Your Realtor will then bring you houses that are in your budget in the area. To make sure you get the most for your money, have them bring you houses in nearby areas, or in all neighborhoods in the city where you live. A full service real estate agent should be able to sell your home, find you a rental property while you are selling the house, and also can find you a dream home. Interview more than one and get a Realtor you feel will work for...

read more

Canceling Private Mortgage Insurance On A Conventional Home Loan

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Canceling Private Mortgage Insurance On A Conventional Home Loan

Buyers who are unable to make a down payment of at least 20 percent on a conventional home loan are required to have mortgage insurance on the principal balance. Homeowners may request the cancellation of private mortgage insurance, or PMI, after they have increased their equity level to 20 percent. A federal law also provides automatic cancellation in two other situations. Unlike home loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, conventional mortgages are insured by private insurance companies. The level of risk the lender undertakes decreases as the owner’s equity level in a home increases. By paying for insurance on the mortgage, buyers are able to borrow a larger amount than would otherwise be available without PMI. An equity level of 20 percent is equivalent to a loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent. The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 provides options to help you plan ahead for the cancellation of your PMI. There are three methods to obtain cancellation of your private mortgage insurance. Written request As soon as your remaining loan balance drops to 80 percent of the value of the property, you may submit a written request to the insurer to cancel PMI. If there is a question as to current value, an updated appraisal may be necessary. The equity in the property must not be subject to any other lien, such as a second mortgage. Late mortgage payments within the last two years might delay insurance termination. Your payments must be up-to-date as of the day of cancellation. There must have been no payments more than 29 days late in the preceding 12 months. Also, there must have been no payments over 59 days late in the 12 months prior to the preceding 12 months. Automatic cancellation The Homeowners Protection Act provides for a mandatory termination of PMI, in most cases, when the loan-to-value ratio drops to 78 percent. If payments are not current, automatic cancellation occurs on the first day of the month immediately following the month in which payments are brought up-to-date. Final termination Regardless of loan-to-value ratio, the insurer must cancel PMI by the time the loan reaches its midpoint. That middle point is the halfway mark between loan origination and when the mortgage is scheduled to be fully paid. As with the other cancellation methods, payments must be up-to-date. Removing PMI from a conventional mortgage produces a noticeable reduction in your monthly payment. Contact a real estate specialist like CU Mortgage Service for more information on home mortgage...

read more

Apartments- Tips For Finding The Perfect Rental Property

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Apartments- Tips For Finding The Perfect Rental Property

Looking for the perfect apartment can be nerve wracking. You want to find an apartment where you can feel safe and at a price you can afford. In order to find the perfect apartment, you are going to have to put on your detective hat and scour the area for the perfect place to call home. The following tips can help you find the best apartments for rent in your area. Your Budget Before beginning to look for apartment, you need to make sure that you can afford to pay the rent. Take a look at your current income and expenses and determine how much you can afford each month and still have money for things you enjoy as well as putting money in a savings account. Set a monthly budget and stick to it! To do a budget, you will need to list your take home pay, credit card bills, car payments, savings plans, insurance premiums, loans, utility bills, groceries, clothing expenses and any other bills you pay every month. Subtract these bills from your take home pay. This will show you the amount of money you have left to use toward your rent.  The Utilities The utilities may or may not be included in the monthly rental. Ask the landlord which utilities are included in the rent. Some apartments include all utilities in the rent, while others do not include any utilities. If the utilities are not included, ask the rental company if they can provide you with utility bill estimates. If not, go by the utility company and ask for the average utility prices for the apartment.  The Area When looking at an apartment, look at the neighborhood. Does it appear safe and well-maintained? Are the grounds kept in good shape? This information can help you determine if the landlord will address your concerns quickly. The Commute The commute to work or school should also be considered. Are you willing to drive an extra 15 minutes to save on rent? Or, would you rather pay a little bit more to have conveniences such as a gas station, a grocery store or a restaurant nearby?  Searching for rental properties can be a time consuming and frustrating chore if you don’t know what to look for. When looking for an apartment, you will want to consider the time it will take to commute to school or work, the monthly rent and whether or not utilities are included in the price.  Using the advice from this article, you should be able to quickly find the perfect property at a price that fits within your budget. Talk to a realty office, such as Sterling Realty, for help finding an...

read more

To Buy Or Not To Buy: Benefits Of Commercial Real Estate For Business Owners And Landlords

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on To Buy Or Not To Buy: Benefits Of Commercial Real Estate For Business Owners And Landlords

Many business owners need to have a physical location for a store front or a warehouse. Because of various real estate and business laws, these places need to be designated as commercial property: places where from which you can run a business. Business owners will typically rent a commercial space, but it is also an option to buy a whole building and run your business from there. If your building has multiple offices, you may find yourself wearing two hats, one of a business owner and one of a landlord. There are many benefits to owning your own store front and renting out commercial space to others, so if you are a business owner or just a simple investor, listen up. Commercial Property as a Business Owner and Landlord A large majority of small business owners lease their storefront or warehouse property because they lack the down payment necessary to buy their own property. Additionally, there are some risks associated with buying a commercial property versus renting it that a small business owner may not be prepared to take on. But there are a lot of benefits to owning your commercial property for sale in your area, and there are a number of benefits to being the landlord of a business property as well. Benefits as a business operator: More power to make changes to layout or design of building power to fix problems (broken windows, plumbing, etc.) without going through the property owner first opportunity to grow an investment Benefits as a property owner (lease your property to others): Low-work way to build capital, especially if you hire a property manager to deal with your business tenants for you Tenants should pay your entire loan payment with their rent so you reap the benefits of equity and make a higher cash flow than with renting a residential property Buying a Commercial Property The process of finding a commercial property involves a few more steps than for a residential property. The search should begin with an evaluation of commercial properties for sale in your area, and each should be evaluated not only for its size and price, but also for its location–an extremely critical part of successful retail space–and its potential rent if you are going to rent out the property to someone else. A loan for a commercial property will be evaluated under a different set of criteria by the bank than it would be if you were purchasing a residential property. A few of the major areas in which a commercial loan is different from a residential loan include: In normal financial markets, a down payment of between 20-25% is required for a commercial property. Banks consider commercial properties to be far more risky, so they are less willing to give out loans with very small down payments.  The potential rental income is taken into account when applying for the loan. This income is compared to the monthly loan payments to arrive at a value known as the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR). In residential loans, if you decide to rent out the property the bank will not consider how much rent you could potentially charge as income. This difference is a huge benefit when buying commercial real estate versus residential. As with any investment, there is some...

read more

Deciding Which Type Of Quit Notice To Send To A Tenant

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Deciding Which Type Of Quit Notice To Send To A Tenant

If you have a tenant, say you have converted your basement into a living space and rented it out, and he or she “misbehaves,” then you have the option of evicting him or her. You do this by first sending an eviction notice, but did you know that there are different types of eviction notices? Deciding on which one to use depends on the reason for the eviction. Here are four common reasons for evicting tenants, and which notice to send in each case: Violation of Agreement Tenants have to abide by the terms of the lease agreement, and the laws allow you to evict a tenant who fails to do so. For example, if a tenant isn’t allowed to keep a pet on the premises, then a tenant who suddenly takes an interest in puppies and brings one home is violating the agreement. In this case, you issue him or her with the “Cure or Quit Notice.” This notice means the tenant has to stop the violation (get rid of the pet) and stay or move out with his or her animal. Indicate in your eviction order the number of days the tenant has to stop his or her violation. Failure to Pay Rent Some tenants, for different reasons, just do not seem to pay their rent on time. Perhaps you have been patient with him or her for a long time, but he or she has not settled the debt. If you have finally run out of patience, then you can issue the tenant with a “Pay Rent or Quit Notice.” Just like the name suggests, it gives the tenant two choices – paying the rent and staying or not paying the rent and moving out. Your state’s tenancy laws determine how long the tenant has to act. No Cause What if the tenant hasn’t done anything wrong, but you just want him or her out? For example, it might be that you sell your property so he or she can’t continue renting it. Well, there is also an eviction notice you can use for this scenario – a “Notice to Vacate.” A notice to vacate gives your tenant a substantial time for moving out; it’s typically longer than those given by the two notices discussed above. In some cases, you may be required to prove a valid reason for evicting the tenant. As you can see, most of the eviction notices give tenants time halt their violations or move out. What about if your tenant has been so troublesome that you don’t want him or her around anymore? Perhaps he has been violating most of the agreement terms and only acts up when you threaten him or her with an eviction. Well, in such a case, your state’s laws may permit you to evict the tenant without giving him or her any option for staying. To learn more, speak with a business like Taylor...

read more

Starting Your Homesteading Lifestyle While Renting An Apartment

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Starting Your Homesteading Lifestyle While Renting An Apartment

People interested in homesteading often dream of having some acreage and a house they built themselves or one they bought and can modify any way they see fit. Living in an apartment rental may not seem to fit well in that dream of self-sufficiency. Nevertheless, if you want to become a homesteader and can’t yet buy property of your own, follow some strategies to get started while you’re still renting.  Grow Food & Herbs Even if you don’t have a patio, deck, balcony or yard space, you can still grow some vegetables–or at least some herbs–indoors. On a sunny countertop or a table by a window, you can grow little green onions, chives and even strawberries in pots.  Of course, if you do have some outdoor space for containers, so much the better. Root vegetables such as carrots and radishes do well as potted plants. Peas and beans thrive with trellises they can climb.  Rely More on Fresh & Bulk Food Move away from processed and takeout food if you haven’t done so yet. Shop farmer’s markets. Join a community-supported agriculture program and get fresh local fruit and vegetables every month during the growing season. Buy brown rice and pasta in bulk and store them in glass containers. Prepare a certain number of meals from scratch, even if you only have time for this on the weekend. Preserve Food During the growing season, you can get an abundance of fresh food and stock it for later by canning, freezing or dehydrating it. Even in your apartment, there is some pantry or cabinet space for jars, and most likely you have a freezer with your refrigerator. You might even add a small chest freezer to your abode.  Ditch Energy-Hogging Devices Instead of using a clothes dryer, hang damp laundry outdoors if you can. Otherwise, use a drying rack or two inside. Heat your food without a microwave oven; these appliances are big energy hogs, even when used just for a few minutes.  These are important choices if you ever plan to live off the grid and rely on solar power. Your power is essentially unlimited when the sun is shining, but you don’t want to drain the batteries on cloudy days.  Learn From Others Make connections with the wider homesteading community in your area if you haven’t already done so. Some of these individuals may welcome volunteer help with caring for livestock, gardening, and wood splitting. You can learn and practice skills you’ll need when you do buy a place of your own.  Take classes in self-sufficiency topics. You might expand your horizons in regard to soap making, home improvements and other areas of interest. Homesteading as an Attitude Being self-sufficient begins with attitude. Even without chickens, a big garden and a wood-fired boiler, you can stoke that homesteading attitude and be fully ready when you make the leap to property...

read more

Does Your Home Owners Association Need A Professional Management Team?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Your Home Owners Association Need A Professional Management Team?

The words Home Owners Association (HOA) can strike terror into the hearts of home buyers, which is largely due to mismanagement by volunteers with no property management experience. Hiring a professional HOA management company can alleviate myriad problems and actually save your community money. Property Management is a Complicated Job A property manager must not only possess excellent financial and management skills, but also possess people skills as well. A volunteer management team may not understand that their bylaws do not trump the law in many cases, and unfamiliarity with state and local laws may cause problems. Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em HOA managers also need to know how to establish limits to their actions in difficult cases. Horror stories abound of how HOA managers with overly controlling personalities have gone so far as to seize and sell a resident’s property over a $200 bill or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to get rid of a pickup truck. An experienced HOA management team could have avoided both of those situations with skillful negotiation, saving the HOA both time and money. Better Bookkeeping and Accounting HOAs, especially in large communities, have to draw up and stick to an annual budget. Determining the proper amounts to spend on operating expenses while maintaining a viable reserve fund is not a simple as it may seem to the uninitiated eye. Mismanagement of these funds can cause major breakdowns in trust between the HOA and the residents and give the community a bad reputation. Establishing Workable Systems The first thing a professional HOA management team will do is to evaluate existing policies and procedures. They can then rework problem areas, such as overly strict or lax covenants, to benefit both the association and the residents. Saving Money A HOA management team does several things that can lower costs and save the community money such as the following: review insurance policies regularly manage security and facilities upkeep costs manage outside contractors and their projects establishing and managing websites resolving resident disputes properly representing the association in court, if necessary While the cost of hiring a professional management team may seem like an unnecessary expense when you have volunteers ready to take charge, experience shows that it may actually be a money-saving measure in the long run.  Besides being economically effective, it also avoids bad feelings toward the volunteer management when disputes go sideways. You will be free to live and socialize in your community without having to possibly lose respect of your friends and neighbors. Call a local real estate management company such as The Noble Company of South Carolina, LLC to find out if your HOA can benefit from a professional management...

read more