The #1 Way To Keep Your Renters Happy

You have one or more investment properties that you rent out. You’ve been lucky enough to find great tenants. They take good care of your property, pay their rent on time and aren’t a problem. The last thing you want to do is lose any of them as a tenant. So how do you keep your renters happy and staying?

Be responsive

The #1 Way To Keep Your Renters HappyThe best way to keep your renters happy is to be responsive to their needs. How do you do that?

Well, there are quite a few things you can do, starting with don’t let them go to voicemail. Pick up the phone and if you can’t, be sure to return their call soon thereafter. It’s called being professional. Being prompt in answering their questions, respectful of them and responsive to them.

Next, take care of any repairs promptly

That doesn’t mean dropping everything if they need some non-emergency repairs. It does mean that if they call you on a cold January night and say the heat is out, you do drop everything and get a repair person there to help them.

If they do request any non-emergency repairs or updates, do them in a timely manner. Don’t make them wait weeks or months. And be in touch with them to keep them in the loop. Even if there is a delay, knowing you care enough to let them know will go a long way.

Related Post: 3 Ways To Reduce Your Vacancy Rate 

If you do have a trouble or disruptive tenant, deal with them now

Letting a problem tenant get away with disrupting everyone else will lose you those good tenants in a heartbeat. Pay attention to complaints. Deal with it at that time. If the police have to be involved, get them out and fast.

Always be sure to respect the privacy of your tenant. They have a legal right to quiet use and enjoyment to their home. You may need to come in and inspect or repair something, but you should give them plenty of notice in the form called for in the lease.

If you appreciate your great tenants, let them know. Be responsive to them. Show them courtesy and respect and you’ll have them for a long time.

If you are looking for a great property management company in the Denver Metro area, give Tena D a call today! 303-452-5853

Is It Better To Buy “Cheap” Investment Properties

All those “flip it” shows on TV make it look so easy. Buy a Is It Better To Buy "Cheap" Investment Propertieshouse on the cheap, fix it up and then lease it or sell it for a huge net gain, no problem… except for normal people who aren’t on TV it can be a problem, a hugely expensive one. So is it better to buy cheap investment properties?

Probably not

You know you’ve heard the commercials and infomercials about buying cheap and flipping properties. It’s the old if you buy cheap you have room to fix it up and if you rent it for more than your mortgage payment, you make more money. That may be true, but as a new investment property owner or one that doesn’t regularly fix up houses, what do you know about how much it will take to fix the problems in a cheap house?

Here’s the downside

If you buy a house to fix up and rent you start out at a disadvantage. You are paying on a mortgage, paying a contractor and hoping that the refurbishments don’t tank your budget. On a cheap house it’s more likely than not that it will. Foundation issues, termites, bad former fixes, you name it. Rip out a wall and find out there is bad plumbing, electrical or structural issues. All of these can severely impact your budget.

The solution?

Pay more up front for a solid house that needs minimal or no work (such as replacing an appliance over tearing out the whole kitchen) and you can rent it out immediately. Now you have income at or before you have to start making mortgage payments. Even if you can only get most of your mortgage payment covered by the rent, you’ll still come out ahead come tax time.

The more important thing is to maintain that solid property and build equity through value as well as through paying down the mortgage.

Don’t buy cheap or you’ll get cheap… and all the headaches it brings with it.

Are You Selling A “Special” House… How To Find Comps

You’re getting ready to sell your home but aren’t so sure how to price it. Not because you can’t find homes similar to yours to compare, but because your home has the most amazing mountain views or sits on an open space or has a really unique garage that will make a huge difference to your buyer.

How do you quantify that? How do you find comps for your special home?

So what makes your home special?

Are You Selling A “Special” House… How To Find CompsThose views, or maybe proximity to protected lands or even that a famous person lived there.

The list of special could be endless, but how do you find out how much it adds to your home’s value?

Typically finding comparable real estate sales involves finding homes that have similar square footage, bedrooms, baths and so on. Of course things like condition of the home versus condition of the comps is also taken into consideration.

Some things make it hard to find comps. Distance from one home to another in rural areas, special things like views and so on.

So how do you find a value for that?

You can stop and think about what it was worth to you when you purchased the home. Did it make you want to offer more for it than another similar home? Still not sure? Contact a Realtor in your area. A Realtor is more than aware of what makes your home special. They will also have an idea of what it adds to the value of your home.

Better yet, just list it without worrying about the special thing and then see what happens when homebuyers come calling. Your special thing will become what makes homebuyers offer more for your home than any another.

If you are in the Denver area and want help with pricing your “special” home, give Tena D a call today! (303) 452-5853

3 Ways To Reduce Your Vacancy Rate

You have a great rental property. You made sure to do all the best updates and the property is in a great location. You’re worried, though, about keeping the property rented so you can pay the mortgage and taxes on it. So what are some things you can do to reduce the chance that you have a vacant property.

Carefully screen tenants

3 Ways To Reduce Your Vacancy RateFirst, be careful about the tenants to whom you rent. Screen potential tenants. Do full background and credit checks. These will give you a good indication about their reliability. Interview them carefully. Be sure to ask for past rental references. Be careful, however, not to ask questions that could be construed as discriminatory. Check their references, and match them to the background reports. Find out what kind of tenant they were: did they pay rent timely; did they cause problems; why did they leave.

Well maintained property

Next, be sure to keep the property well maintained and charge a fair rent. Take care of the landscaping. Provide snow removal for driveways and sidewalks. Make sure that preventative maintenance is done on schedule so systems like the HVAC, plumbing and electrical are in tip top shape. Do your homework about fair rents in your area and keep to that range. A Realtor or property management company can help you with that.

Be responsive to tenant needs

Lastly, once you have a good, reliable tenant, be responsive. If they call about a problem or issue respond immediately. Get someone there to fix the problem. If you’re out of the area, hire a property manager or management company to take care of this. A good company will respond 24/7 365 days a year.

Remember that a happy tenant will stay and become a long term tenant. Take care of your tenants and they will help take care of your property. After all, isn’t that what you got into investment real estate for in the first place?

3 Key Things To Focus On When You Are Buying Your First Investment Property

You made the decision to buy an investment property. There are a few things you should be focusing on as a buyer and investment property owner. Here are a few of them.

Look for a property with good systems such as a/c and heating,etc.

First, unless you are planning on putting a lot of money into 3 Key Things To Focus On When You Are Buying Your First Investment Propertyrehabbing a property then renting it, look for a property that is in good shape. You may pay more for it, but you will pay less in the long run.

Don’t worry about paint colors and such. That can be easily and cheaply remedied. Look more for a property with solid systems: heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing.

Location

Next, look at the area where the property is located. Is it city? Suburban? Industrial? Commercial? Is it high crime?

Where it’s located will make a difference in the desirability of the property and amount of rent charged. Just like location makes a difference in selling a property, it makes a difference in renting it as well. Proximity to shopping, entertainment, good schools, it all makes a difference.

Look at properties as if you were the renter you want.

Property management

Lastly, make sure you hire a great property management company. This will simplify your life. A property management company will collect monthly rents for you, maintain the property, respond to emergencies that tenants may have and, if necessary, handle any evictions that may be necessary. This is just as important as the items above.

Your tenants deserve a responsive landlord, or in this case, landlord’s agent, and a well maintained property. You deserve timely rent collection and a property in a condition that will improve it’s value.

Looking for a great property management company, give Denver Realty and Rentals a call! 303-452-5853

Are All Real Estate Investors Millionaires?

When you think of a real estate investor what do you picture? A millionaire tycoon with huge buildings?

Probably, but the truth of the matter is that most real estate investors are not millionaires, but people like you and me who either are just thinking about getting into it or who have a property or a few. Certainly not millionaires, but people who want to make a good living.

Real estate investing

Are All Real Estate Investors Millionaires?Real estate investing seems like something that is hard to get into, but will make you rich. Depending on your financial situation, credit score, etc., it may be challenging, but it is definitely a good way to make a decent income once you are up and running. So here’s how you get there.

You start with one property

It could be one that you actually go out to find for that purpose, or maybe it’s the home you started out with and kept when you moved up. Either way, with one property you are officially a real estate investor.

How you make an income depends on finding and keeping a good tenant, collecting a fair rent and keeping the property in good condition so it continues to gain value. Oh, and good records for taxes! Part of the way that real estate investors make money is with the tax savings.

Next, do it again

Once you have money banked, buy property number 2. It will take time and effort, but you can make a good life for you.

Hiring a great property manager

On of the things that scares people the most about real estate investing is the thought of having to fix toilets in the middle of the night or getting in a huge shouting match with a tenant who will just not leave.

But never fear! You can hire a great property management company like Denver Realty and Rentals to take care of all that for you. Most investors are surprised by how affordable this kind of service is and love the fact that all the pesky details become someone else’s problem!

Give us a call today if you would like to find out more about hiring a local property management company! 303-452-5853

Is It Worth Making Your Home A Smart Home Before You Sell

Smart homes seem to be all the rage. Thermostats and lights controlled by your smart phone. Refrigerators that send you a grocery list to your phone.

There is so much more that you can have to make your home automated and running from an app or apps on your phone. So is it worth it to make your home a smart home before you sell? Probably not.

Unexpected

With the exception of “techy towns” like Niwot and Boulder, or some types of executive homes, most buyers, even high end buyers, won’t expect to find smart homes. They may not even have a need or desire for a smart homes or they may not want the level of it you have installed.

As with other improvements to your home, you need to weigh the cost against the expected return

Having your home wired to be a smart home, buying the equipment, updating to smart appliances and all that entails, including fixing walls that will need to be cut into for wiring and new plugs and such, will run you thousands of dollars. The return on that isn’t going to be thousands of dollars.

Ask your Realtor

If you aren’t sure whether to do it or how far to go, ask your Realtor. They know the market, who will be looking at your home and how much they will be willing to pay to have those kinds of updates. Remember, a million dollar home may benefit from it, but a hundred thousand dollar home probably won’t.

A trap

Don’t fall into a trap of spending money for a return you won’t see. Talk to your Realtor and see what will help sell your home and spend it there.

What Do You “Have” To Leave When You Sell Your Home

You are selling your home and are wondering what you can and can’t take with you. Should you be able to take all the things you added to your home? The answer is no. There are certain things that you need to leave behind, or replace, when selling your home and they are referred to as fixtures.

Fixtures

What Do You "Have" To Leave When You Sell Your HomeIn real estate law fixtures are pieces of personal property that have been attached to the property so that they become thought of as part of the property.

Typical examples of this are heating and air conditioning systems, built-ins, flooring, tubs, sinks, etc. The basic rule of thumb is will taking this out of the home damage it.

Sounds straightforward, right?

What about wall hung tvs?

Well, not so fast. Some buyers expect that short of furniture, everything is a fixture and conveys with the property. That means all appliances, curtains, lighting, ceiling fans, and even televisions that are attached to the wall. Now you know that some of these things aren’t for sale with the home, but does the rule of “removal causes damage” mean you have to leave your 55-inch flat screen behind? Or that family heirloom bookcase that you have screwed to the wall in the study?

The answer is yes and no

You should plan to leave curtains, ceiling fans and light fixtures behind. As for that heirloom bookcase, remove it and replace it with something you can leave behind before you put the home on the market.

Specify in your listing what appliances are staying or not, and if possible replace them with others that you will leave behind. Typically, kitchen appliances are expected to stay, others can be negotiated.

Fix any damage

As for your flat screen, be unequivocal that it is going, remove it and fix any wall damage prior to the final walk through. Be completely up front with the buyer about items that are staying or not, be willing to fix any damage and you will be set to settle without any drama!

5 Smelly House Problems and How To Fix Them

Have you ever seen the TV commercial about an air freshener that goes like this “you think your car [room, etc.] smells like this, but your friends smell this” and change it to a smelly mess?

5 Smelly House Problems and How To Fix ThemWell, you may be inured to the smells in your home, but people coming to look at it to possibly buy it aren’t. Smoke, cooking smells, pet smells and others are all very obvious to others. You’ll need to fix them if you expect to sell your home. Here are some ideas for the smelliest of the bunch.

Smoke

If you smoke, or have a smoker in your home, you know how it gets on everything. Even if you or they don’t smoke in the house, just the transfer from their hair and clothing sticks. Air fresheners aren’t going to get rid of it. Depending on how heavy the smoke smell is in the home, you will at the very least need to wash all fabrics, steam clean carpets and furniture and repaint. If you or someone else is a heavy smoker, you may need professional help in getting the smell out.

Pets

If you have pets, they too can be smelly. Small pets like mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters or guinea pigs can be smelly if their cages aren’t kept clean. Best bet is to find someone who can take them for you while the house is on the market (same with lizards, snakes, etc.) If you have dogs, make sure your carpets don’t have old accident stains which can also be smelly. They also shed, so bathe the dog, vacuum, mop and dust often. Find someone to take them when showings are scheduled or at the very least crate them. If you have cats, keep the litter box clean and scooped and remove it during showings. If your cat is shy and will hide when people come over, you can leave them in the home, if not, take them with you.

Food and cooking smells can be bad too

Try to avoid cooking. Keep kitchen linens clean and fresh. Don’t cook fish until the house is sold! Also nothing too onion or garlicky.

If your bath has a moldy or mildewy smell clean and get rid of the mold and mildew.

Not sure if your home smells? Ask a friend to come over and give you an honest assessment.

What Does A “Good” Property Management Company Do?

You are a landlord in need of a property manager, but there are so many out there. So how do you decide? What does a good property management company do so you know who to choose?

What Does A Good Property Manager Do?

A property manager’s main job is to manage, repair and

Isolated abstract 3D character on white background

maintain an owner’s property all while keeping the hassle to the tenant and landlord and expense to the landlord to a minimum.

Property owners are renting a property in order to fulfill a goal: pay the mortgage on it and make a profit, keep it from being empty which costs money in ongoing expenses and lost revenue and keep the property in good shape so when it’s time to sell it’s ready.

A well maintained property keeps its value, and also keeps the tenant happy and paying rent.

The property manager is who your tenants can call in an emergency. A proactive property manager has the skills to keep the emergencies from happening, or have the skills to fix most things keeping those exorbitant repair bills from happening.

The property manager also deals face to face with the tenants on rent issues, and, if necessary, has a “back up” list of tenants to fill in an unexpected vacancy. For the non-paying tenant, the property manager deals with the eviction process for you.

What Do Property Managers Charge?

The management company will charge a fee to do these things, so you will need to be sure you find one that is reliable for the money you pay them. But the fee is worth the peace of mind you will have knowing that your property or properties are well cared for and you won’t be having those nightmare situations quite as often!

Property management fees can range from 10%-15% of the rental price and may have a “signup cost” when you sign on.

Bottom line, the maintained value of the property and continued rental due to the efforts of the management company to collect the rent, and to keep the property from being vacant, is worth the cost of the of the service.

If you would like to work with a good property management company in the Denver area, give Denver Realty and Rentals a call today! 303-452-5853