Landlord’s Guide To Renting A House

To be a successful property owner, you need to have a good property manager. If you don’t want to hire a property manager or management company and pay the associated fees and commissions, then you need to perform these jobs yourself. Here is a step by step chart of the things to do when you want to lease your house.

1. Be certain that the property is clean and in good repair.

A house that is in good repair will draw the best good tenants. Arguably, if it is free of needed repairs, there will be one less item to be considered during negotiation. Be sure the house is secured with re-keyed locks.Ameri-tech locksmiths Arlington, TX

2. Determine the deposit and rental payment.

Analyze what the going rate for your property’s area, and set the amount you are comfortable with. Always charge a security deposit that is more than one month’s rent. Take steps to ensure that you understand your state’s tenant and landlord laws to keep in compliance.

3. Let the neighbors know.

Being cordial to the neighbors will help keep the best renters. If a prospective renter assumes the house is being observed by neighbors who are friendly with the landlord, they are not as likely to misuse the property. Additionally, neighbors may have a friend or family member looking for a nice place to rent.

4. Take out ads in the local newspaper.

Understanding that classified ads are costly, be sure to use these main items: price, size, and contact information. Naturally, you can use the internet to place ads, but many tenants who may be looking, may not have internet access.

5. For Rent sign on the property.

A professional looking sign with For Rent and your phone number should be used. An information sheet can be included, and it may lessen a lot of tire-kickers.

6. Keep the lawn maintained.

During the vacancy, make sure the property is well maintained, the lawn mowed, no over flowing mail box or stacks of advertising flyers.

7. Answer your phone.

Today it is quite easy to get a ‘dedicated’ cell phone just for your rentals. When you have a property or properties vacant, be sure to answer the phone or have a complete message about the property when you can’t answer.

8. Showing the property.

When a prospective tenant calls to see the property, provide them the address and have them visit the house. Tell them to look in the windows just to make sure the previous tenants have gone. If they still want the house, have them meet with you to fill out the application and take a holding deposit of $100 that is fully refundable if the property is not rented to them.

9. Do the background check.

Verify employment and income, call previous landlords. Validate the data in the application.

10. Do a tenant interview.

Use your common sense in talking with the prospective renter. Ask the children questions too. You are about to let a family take over one of your very valuable possessions. You will have to make sure they can take care of it. Don’t wait until you get the perfect tenant, but don’t be in such a rush to rent that you let your standards go to the wayside.

11. Get cash for the deposit or a cashier’s check made payable to you.

This is where a lot of tenants will begin to negotiate. You can’t evict for a late deposit, so always collect the full amount of deposit up front. Also, make confident that you know your local regulations regarding how the deposit is to be in escrow.

12. Present the lease contract, inspection sheet and new keys to the tenant after the full deposit and rent has been paid.

Don’t allow them to move in unless all payments are settled. Require the inspection sheet to be returned within 3 days or the property will be considered by them to be in good condition, no maintenance required. If repairs are reported by the tenant in writing, be sure they are quickly repaired.

Now that you have your good tenant established, use a system to remind you of the lease amount and due dates. Also, use the system to inform you of the lease agreement’s expiration date. Observing these 12 steps will assist you in your property management performance.


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10 Steps For Protecting Your Home

10 Steps For Protecting Your Home

The FBI confirms that a home intrusion occurs every 16 seconds — and more than 90 percent of the time, the homes are empty. So, who are these burglars? There are two types: amateur crooks who might toss a brick through a window, and skilled pros who .

Employing the right security measures can discourage expert thieves and beat opportunists. But criminals aren’t your only problem when it comes to safeguarding your home. You, your friends and your family can get injured by hazardous areas around your property. Check out these 10 simple things you can do to make your home safer for years to come.

1: Arm Your Home with an Alarm System

If you’re contemplating getting a burglar alarm, join the ranks! About 1.8 million electronic security systems are installed in residences across the United States every year. The obvious reason: — a home without a security system is three times more likely to be broken into than a residence with one, according to Simon Hakim, a professor of economics at Temple University in Philadelphia.

On average, you’ll pay between $125 and $1,500 for a burglar alarm, plus a monthly monitoring fee of about $39. There are several options. Try to find a system with a separate control panel and key pad. Those that have both of these in the same unit can be easier for an intruder to defeat before the system notifies a monitoring center.

Did you know?
    Burglars are usually after articles they can sell quickly for cash, like jewelry or handguns. Keep these things out of view!

2: Bone up on Security with a Dog

A hound can certainly add another level of protection to your home, whether you want one in addition to or in lieu of a security system.

But not all dogs are equal when it comes to keeping your property and family safe. Guard dogs protect and defend property. They’re not pets. Protection dogs, on the other hand, are family dogs that watch over people rather than a physical area. German shepherds, rottweilers and Doberman pinschers are considered the best breeds for home protection, thanks to generations of breeding. Kids are safe around them.

If you want a security-trained dog, make sure to buy one from a notable trainer. And if you want a dog and security system, look into pet-immune motion detectors that will announce intruders rather than your furry friend!

3: Install Motion-detecting Lighting, Indoors and Out

Make it harder for intruders to break into your residence at night undiscovered with strategic lighting. Outdoor motion detectors, flood lights and security lighting near possible points of entry, like windows and doors, can be a practical deterrent for unwanted visitors.

For an additional layer of protection, consider installing a security camera. Put up signs that illustrate that your home is armed with a security camera to keep potential intruders at bay. Because your home is likelier to be broken into when you’re away, set indoor lights on a timer to make it look like you’re home.

4: Minimize Access to Your Keys

More than one lock on a door always makes it tougher for thieves to get in. Whether you have a lock set, dead bolt or security chain, it’s even more important to be mindful of who has access to your keys and residence.

Instead of giving your babysitter and dog walker all of your house keys, give them one key to the front door or the garage door opener. That way, if the babysitter’s key is lost or falls into the wrong hands, a burglar won’t have access to the other locks on the front door or any other doors.

The same goes for loaning out keys to the valet attendant and car mechanic. With a little foresight, it can be easy to minimize risk. Installing modern secure door locks is another deterrent to break-ins.

5: Be Acquainted With Your Neighbors

Knowing your neighbors is an inexpensive form of home security. Well-acquainted neighbors are more likely to call you or the police when they see something fishy.

If they know you’re out of town, for example, and they see a furniture delivery truck parked in your driveway, hopefully they’ll call in the suspicious behavior. Piled up newspapers on your driveway, promotional fliers left on your front door or even packages sitting on your stoop are all signs you’re away from home. Ask a neighbor to pick up these things so that anyone staking out the neighborhood doesn’t get tipped off that you’re out of town.

6: Intensify Your Doors’ Kick-in Resistance

Almost two-thirds of burglaries involve forced entry, which is partly due to weak door locks and mounting hardware, according to Consumer Reports.

To bolster locks, replace the strike, a metal plate mounted on the door jamb that the lock bolt slides into. For about $10, you can significantly strengthen the weakest of locks.

Another way to boost your door’s kick-in resistance is to replace short mounting screws with 3-inch ones that reach the door’s studs.

But burglars don’t always break their way in. Sometimes, homeowners let them in through the front door! Installing — and persistantly using — a peephole is an prudent way to avoid this perilous mistake.

7: Reinforce Windows

Windows pose a seperate security challenge. All a burglar has to do is break a window, reach inside, and unlock it to gain access.

There are some practical things you can do to fortify your windows, starting with the glass itself. Regular glass is really easy to break. Laminated windows are ideal, or a special kind of glass that’s similar to car windshields. Installing a second layer of glass helps, as well as ensuring that panes are securely attached to the window frame.

Also, make sure that secure door locks are located farther than an arm’s reach away from windows.

8: Don’t Publicize What’s Inside Your House

You wouldn’t put candy in front of a child and say “Don’t eat this!” So, don’t keep your blinds open and lights on at night and tempt thieves who might be scouting out your neighborhood.

Window coverings should distract onlookers from seeing inside your home. If you have sheer or transparent curtains, just make sure they’re paired with another kind of window treatment that keeps your privacy.

Remember, you’re shrouding the things in your house as well as the people. This way, it’s harder for potential intruders to learn your routine and to know exactly when your family is at home. Of course, keep high-target items like flat screen TVs and jewelry out of sight. Simple solutions like tall fencing or bushes encircling your property can help hide views of your home’s interior.

9: Shield Hazardous Areas

Sure, there are things you can do to keep out prowlers, but it’s also necessary to safeguard your home from accident-prone family and friends.

One of the most unsafe spots on a property is the swimming pool. After all, drowning is the third leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, and half of these deaths occur in swimming pools, according to the Anesthesiology Medical Journal. Putting a fence around the perimeter will keep out curious young neighbors. Boost safety by setting pool rules like no swimming alone. Also, make sure everyone in your family knows how to swim.

The garage is a potentially dangerous area, too. Sharp tools, toxic cleaners and fertilizers should be secured. It’s a good idea to just keep the garage shut and off-limits when possible. Explain to your kids that it’s not a play area, and suggest another place to hang out.

10: Protect Your Home Against Fires

If you’ve ever severely burned something you’ve cooked, then you perhaps know the annoying sound of a smoke alarm. And if you’re like me, you deactivated the device and forgot to turn it back on.

Don’t make that oversight again! Approximately 3,000 people die in residential fires every year, but there are simple things you can do to save your home and family from runaway fires. Keep all of your smoke detectors in good working order. Test them once a month, and replace batteries semi-annually. There should be at least one smoke detector on every level of your home. Maintain a fire extinguisher handy in high-risk areas, like the kitchen and the garage. And above all, practice a fire escape plan as a family so everyone knows what to do in an emergency.


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Some Real Estate Issues

real estate for sale signWhen we speak of the real estate economy, we use national statistics but speak locally. On the other hand the stock market is based on the national or even the world economy. The real estate markets are based on local or even micro-local economy. What is happening in LA may not directly affect what is happening in Toledo.

What affects all real estate markets together are the interest rates. There is no single barometer to measure the entire housing industry in US.

So, while statistics calculations and economic factors are relevant, equally important is using one’s common sense. We must keep our eyes wide open and take a look around and see what is happening. Talking to real estate agents, investors and lenders in a particular area can be a big help to access a market.

These are certain issues one must consider while dealing in real estate.

One major issue facing corporate real estate managers is how to effectively manage the real estate assets in the current market environment.

Secondly, real estate agents provide information about utilities, zoning, schools etc. But two common issues a buyer faces while buying are

  1. Will the property provide the right environment we want for a home?
  2. Will the property have a good resale value when we are ready to sell?

Another important issue that any buyer/investor faces is the legal issue. Real estate laws vary from state to state. One must consult an attorney licensed to practice law in the state in which the property is located.

At times, the property a buyer is seeking is available but not properly advertised. It may take you some time and effort to search for and locate the right property. There is no magic to make this happen by chance.

Then there is the important issue of finance. We must know our financial reserves plus our borrowing capacity. If we know about our current savings, income and debt, then we can take help from lenders; banks and mortgage companies, which offer some choices according to your financial capability.

In America, some real estate association and commissions have sponsored regulation that require all real estate brokers to provide a minimum level of services which forces sellers to buy services they do not want or need.

There is the issue of rebates on transaction fees. Some states in America allow rebates of commissions or fees on real estate transactions but some states have legislated regulations which prohibit rebates.

Next is the issue of consumer participation. The consumer federation of America released a study that real estate boards and commissions are dominated by real estate practitioners and they recommended greater participation by consumers; which is opposed by practitioners – this works against the interest of ordinary buyers and sellers.

Last but not the least, a lot of hoopla has been floating around in the news media about the ‘bubble’ theory of real estate and that the real estate market is going to burst – this may have a psychological impact on the potential buyer or seller. Some real estate issues to consider are that many small businesses like party magicians in Dallas are not ready for commercial expansion.

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