Top Tips To Becoming A Successful Landlord

Being a landlord can be both rewarding and a pain. On one hand, you get to enjoy a good stream of income that is further enhanced by the fact you are paying away a mortgage on a property that is gradually increasing in value. On the other hand, you have to deal with tenants who feel the need to contact whenever a problem crops up with the housing and may at times pay late. To be successful in this business, there are certain practices you need to adopt so as to ensure that you enjoy more of the positives of being a rental property owner than the negatives.

  1. Offer good product

Before you advertise a vacancy in one of your units, ensure that what you are offering will attract good tenants. It is not just the solidity of the structure, but also all the furnishings and fittings. When you invest in good quality finishing of the property, there are less likely to be breakdowns or other damage that will cause your tenants to keep calling you to fix.

  1. Pick good tenants

The best way to enjoy a hassle free, or minimally stressful tenure as a landlord is to pick good tenants. Ideally, you should seek those with a reliable source of income and a good track record as tenants. A well drafted tenancy agreement should take care of the rest. Property management firms tend to be better equipped to look into the background of prospective tenants so consider hiring them to take care of this selection.

  1. Know when to outsource

Depending on such factors as your DIY plumbing skills and the number of tenants you have, you may want to consider outsourcing your property management. Many first time property owners can do well without this service if they have few good tenants in a relatively new property. if the situation is however more complex, having a professional step in and take care of the handling your tenant needs is a good idea.

  1. Keep it professional

If you decide not to use a property management firm, then that means you will have to have direct contact with tenants. Keeping relations cordial is all well and good, but remain professional. Too much friendliness may lead to problems like tenants thinking they can explain away lateness in making payments. Keeping things professional means that when you talk business with tenants, they know to take you seriously.

  1. Track everything

Proper record keeping is very important to the success of any business. In order to know where costs are increasing or if there are delays in payments, you need to be very organized and keep consistent record of invoices and receipts. Being able to reliably put together your accounts can help you strategize on how improve the business as you move forward.

All these tactics are designed to help landlords retain their tenants’ long term, while making the work of being a landlord stress free. With long term tenants, you can look forward to a continued remittance that will help to deal with any expenses that crop up. Being a good landlord to good tenants will make for a rewarding investment.

6 bathroom renovation ideas for your home

From time to time, everyone needs changes, but certainly the best kind of changes are those creative and useful ones. Bathroom renovations are serious work, and if you do not have an idea of how you want your bathroom to look in the future, you need some inspiration. In this section, you will read about six great renovation ideas.

6 Renovation ideas from a Bathroom renovator in Sydney

– Convenience and comfort are the most important to most people when it comes to living space. If you do not have enough space in which you will put everything you have in mind, an excellent solution can be wall shelves on which you can put all cleaning products, toiletries, and towels. You can also use the hanging elements similar to those in the kitchen. Of course, you will need to adapt them to the new environment.
– White, bright and spacious, this bathroom will be loved by the people who enjoy the simple designs. Ceramic tiles in white color will perfectly combine with glass parts. Oval bathtubs with the windows that overlook the courtyard gives the bathroom a special charm. It can be both modern and spacious at the same time.
– Modern bathrooms, which can still have the old-fashioned, vintage look are characterized by warm colors, natural materials, and good lighting. Many materials are used for this look: wood, marble, ceramics, and glass, which look excellent together thanks to dominant vintage style. An inspiring contrast, brown colors for sanitary and light blue walls is a must. Details such as mirrors, paintings on the walls, and flowers complete this kind of space.
– Pleasant bathroom with solid wood: The interior dominated by the woodwork and marble will make your bathroom look like a warm and comfortable place. Massive wooden shelves adjacent to the marble slab is an excellent storage space. Mirrors with frames in chestnut color go perfectly with the shelves, but also with a large number of functional drawers.
– We suggest bathroom furniture that is made of quality materials that will be resistant to moisture. Chipboard panels usually after some time exposed to moisture start to swell. MDF is a material that can withstand the increased humidity of the room. Look for some ideas of modern and classic bathroom cabinets on the internet and in magazines
– Sea-bath is for those with deeper pockets. Choose tiles that are similar to those that line the pools. Turquoise color tiles are reminiscent of scenes from films about the distant Caribbean Sea. Prefer blue, turquoise and white, with additions of the woodwork. You will be relaxed just by the thought of a bathroom like that.
When you decide to renovate it would be best not to mix styles and stick to one by the end of the works. If you take a little bit of each style, there is a possibility that your bathroom is going to look like the public one. It will look cheap, and you will want to renovate it again. Thus, explore and find what suits you the best.

How To Make Your Rental Property Portfolio More Profitable

The main reason to want to get into the rental property game is so as to enjoy a steady stream of income without the stresses suffered by those involved in other business niches. Not only do you have rent to look forward to, but also the gradual appreciation in value of your property. Just as with any other concern however, there is always the desire to want to see your incomes steadily increase. This should ideally happen, even when you have not added new properties to your portfolio. Here are some of the best ways you can go about ensuring you are getting the maximum possible profit from your investment.

  • Do the math

Before you buy a rental property, be sure to do the math and ensure you are guaranteed a positive cash flow.

Remember to factor in all the expenses involved in such an investment, including the mortgage payments, property management and security, if any. If the property is already profitable when you buy, then chances are you can make it even more so with improvements over time.

  • Keep it occupied

The biggest cost suffered by landlords is the loss of income created by vacancies. Not only is there the loss of income, but also the cost involved in sprucing up the place and advertising it to new prospective tenants. This means you have to work hard at keeping your units fully occupied. To do this you need to look into what may be causing a high turnover for your property. Check on whether you are pricing your rent above market rates, the character of your property manager, and whatever other issues that may be influencing your tenants decisions to move out. Querying your tenants as they leave is a good idea to know what the problem is if not obvious.

  • Increase rents strategically

Low rents will typically help encourage your tenants to stay put, but you cannot sustain this for long and expect a fair return on your investment. Most neighborhoods with time gradually appreciate in value, and so too will the rents in the area. In order to keep your tenants long term, but continue to enjoy an increase in your income, increase your rents slightly each year. Industry figures indicate that a 1-3% increase each year is just enough to keep your profits going up, while not upsetting your tenants. Remember that moving costs money. As long as the increment is below this cost spread over the typical lease period, then you should be fine. Also, keep in mind what other similar properties in the area are charging.

  • Have expertly drafted tenancy agreements

These days, tenants have become increasingly aware of their rights, especially when they are able to band together and have access to legal help. Do not allow yourself to be on the short end of the stick when it comes to protecting your rights as a property owner. Ensure that you get help form a property lawyer on drafting a tenancy agreement. This way you can ensure the clauses included will allow you to legally raise rents when needed and allows you to penalize the tenant for late payments and breaking the agreements. There is much money to be made from collecting late fees and other penalties if you have the will to enforce the agreement. This is not meant to be a punishment for tenants, but rather a way to instill discipline. You can enjoy timely made rent payments and ensure better care of the property.

Tips To Getting Financing For A Rental Property

Although it seems like the housing market is on the mend with prices in most areas rising steadily, there are now tighter controls on lending. This means that it is not as easy as it was a few years ago to get a mortgage nowadays, more so if it is for a rental property. even with interest rates decidedly low at the moment, it is clear that lenders wish to guard against a repeat of the circumstances that lead to the recent housing market crash. For those considering getting on the rental property market ladder, here are a few tips to help make your case in securing the necessary financing.

  • Put down a large deposit – one of the best ways to secure any form of asset financing from a lender is to contribute a larger deposit.
    Given that there is no mortgage insurance available for investment properties, adding a substantial amount to the deposit required will help sweeten the pot.
    If it would take 20% to get financing, try to raise at least 25%. It helps demonstrate a stronger financial commitment on your part and may entitle you to a lower interest rate.
    Having additional savings in the bank that can help cover installments whenever the property is unoccupied can also work in your favor.
  • Boost your credit score – just as with any other type of financing being sought, it is advisable to clean up your credit score. The higher the number the better borrower you will seem, and the lower the interest rate you may be offered. You are entitled to a free credit report annually so take advantage of this to see if there are any discrepancies you can clean up to help boost your score.
  • Buy a tenant occupied property – this is a good idea as you can prove to the lender the earning potential involved, and generate accurate debt to income ratios. There is also the benefit of being able to earn income right off the bat. You may even end up collecting the first month’s rent weeks before your first mortgage payment is due. For many this is a better option than securing a mortgage as an owner occupant and waiting a year before you can move out to rent it out. although the interest rates are higher, you can start making money off your investment immediately.
  • Shop around – no two lenders are exactly alike. As much as more of them have become conservative in their lending, they still need this business to survive. The terms may vary from lender to lender so shop around to find out who is able to offer you the best mortgage terms. It may also be a good idea to consider several properties to potentially buy into. Depending on how good a credit score you have and your proposal, you may find yourself eligible for the financing of several properties.

Hiring A Professional Cleaning Service

One of the most important ways to help secure a good tenant is to ensure you have properly prepared the property for viewing, and eventual moving in. As many landlords know, chances are the tenant will leave your house looking much worse than they found it, unless there are strict terms in the tenancy agreement forcing them to restore the property.

During the moving process, there is often a lot of dirt that is left behind as movers troop in and out. In the process of sorting out items for packing there is also some waste generated. Long use of carpets, where installed, can also call for a thorough cleaning.

If the house is furnished, spring cleaning of the entire unit may be required to restore it to its previous glory and suitably impress potential tenants. This means hiring professionals to come in and sort out the mess left behind. Here is a simple guide provided by the top home cleaning service in San Francisco, to help you narrow down to a suitable choice of professional cleaner you can call upon whenever you have a tenant move out.

  • Ask around – just as when seeking a recommendation for a doctor, or even the best restaurant in town, you simply need to ask around. Many homeowners these days take advantage of home cleaning services to make domestic work easier. most providers are flexible enough to work both regular jobs and one off deals. Talk to your family and friends, and any other property owners you know. Chances are they will be willing to share the contact info as many providers offer discounts to clients for referrals.
  • Assess your need – carry out a walk-through the property and list down the cleaning work you will require to be done. Ideally, cleaning should be carried out after any repairs and repainting have been done. It should be the final step just before you start advertising the vacancy. Once you have the list of cleaning services you need performed, you can check with the list of prospective cleaners to find out who can provide all, and request for quotes.
  • Check their license, bonding and insurance – a licensed and bonded firm will protect you from the consequences of theft or damage to your property during the process of cleaning. Insurance is to ensure that should any of their staff be injured on your property, their insurance will take care of any compensation or medical cost.
  • Ask for a guarantee – especially where the costs involved are steep, you should find out if the provider offers a guarantee for work performed. In this way if you are not satisfied by the results, they can come back to redo it, or give you a refund. This should be included in the terms and services of the contract or quote to avoid any dispute.

4 Things First Time Rental Property Owners Should Know

Over the years, property investors have risen to the spotlight as being some of the most financially successful entrepreneurs in the world. however, much as with many other businesses, there have been far more failures than successes experienced by investors. Many of those that have failed in property investment experienced losses right from the start of their trial. Here are some of the lessons that the most successful rental property investors have shared with novices on how they too can make the most of their investment.

It is a tough business

If some of the biographies of top real estate gurus like Donald Trump are anything to go by, being a landlord can be tough business, in spite of the potential for rich rewards. Many that go down this road were at one time or another tenants themselves. From this point of view, it must seem that being a landlord is a pretty easy job.

After all, it does not require a 9 to 5 commitment. In reality, there are many stresses associated with rental property ownership, including being called upon at odd hours to deal with plumbing problems, trying to evict a defaulting tenant, and realizing property taxes have just been hiked.

You need to have a plan

When buying rental property you are entering into business and the best way to make it a success is to have a plan. Doing the necessary research and running the numbers is absolutely important. You cannot expect to naturally have a sixth sense as to what makes the best rental property investment. You need to study the area, prevailing rates, market trends, value of the property, demand and so on. Proper financial analysis will tell you if a property will make you a good return, not the quaint nature of the landscape around it.

Buy local

There are many property investment opportunities to be found around the world. Unfortunately, many are the proverbial pie in the sky. When you are not familiar with an area, you risk investing in a flop. Buying a local property affords you the opportunity to do better research into the area, and ascertain what kind of reasonable return you can expect. No matter how good pitch, avoid foreign, or even out of state, investments, especially when you can ill afford a loss. Buying local also offers the benefit of being able to more easily check up on the activities of your tenants, the condition of your property and if your property manager is doing his job.

Stash away some reserve money

The cost of renting out a property does not end with you finalizing on the mortgage with your bank and giving a property management firm a cut. There are many sudden and expensive costs that can pop up out of nowhere, even with a relatively new property. The air conditioning system could break down, a mold infestation discovered, or even a malicious tenant causing deliberate structural damage before moving out. All this could run into thousands of dollars to fix before you can get another tenant in. As you enjoy the financial rewards of being a landlord, you need to set aside a good amount of reserve money just in case the unexpected happens. This can also come in handy should you have a vacancy. Simply because you lack a tenant does not mean the mortgage lender will suspend your loan in animation. You can use your reserve money to keep up with mortgage payments as you work on finding a new tenant.

How To Find Good Tenants

The happiest landlords are those that have managed to secure good tenants for their properties. A good tenant is one who not only pays their rent on time, every time, he is also one that takes excellent care of the property as if it was his own. This kind of tenant leaves the landlord content in the knowledge that their asset is being well looked after and that unless something totally unexpected happens, they can expect to get it back in as good, if not better, condition as it was given out. At the same time, they are the kind of tenant that most landlords would be desolate to hear want to move out. A good long-term tenant provides a reliable source of income for his landlord, and should be valued. Here is a guideline to help in identifying good tenants and avoiding the pitfalls of landing a nightmare tenant.

  • Clean up the property – before you can list a property and begin showing it to potential renters, you need to clean it up. depending on the amount of damage left behind by the previous tenant, this could involve as little as applying a fresh coat of paint, or as much as repairing structural damage. Have the property professionally cleaned to give the best impression. Good tenants know their worth, and tend to seek out properties and landlords that are of a similar caliber.
  • Put the word out – when trying to find a good tenant you have to let it be widely known that there is a property available. in most instances, you will need to evaluate a lot of potential tenants in order to find the best. You can list with local realtors and property management firms, put a notice in the classifieds and put up a ‘To Let’ sign on your front lawn.
  • Ask for references – you can use a simple application form to request the names and contact info of potential tenants’ references. Be sure to specify that the references be previous landlords, current employer and a personal reference. This can help you find out what kind of tenants they have been, if they have a steady income and their personal character.
  • One on one – make use of the walkthrough to get a feel for the kind of person you will be dealing with. Even within a few minutes of discussion you can work out if you are dealing with someone who in inclined to be clean, respects’ others property and can be respectful.
  • Do a background check – this is always a good idea. You can request for a small application fee from potential tenants to cover the cost of running background checks. Find a reputable service and let them provide you a simple report on whether a candidate makes for good tenant.
  • Consider a large deposit – if the property you are offering is particularly desirable, you should have no problem finding potential candidates. To help weed out those of lesser financial strength you can opt to assign a large deposit amount. Ideally, the amount should be higher than a months’ rent. A large deposit can encourage a tenant to take good care of the property or risk losing the amount to repairs. Ensure that this is included as a clause in the tenancy agreement to avoid legal disputes

Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Property Management Firm

There are many good reasons for landlords to decide to retain the services of property management firms. When you make the right choice of firm, they can help reduce your turnover by identifying and helping to retain good tenants. They also take away the headache of having to take care of emergencies like burst water pipes. Unfortunately, not all property management firms are made equal. Some can handle clients and other related service providers badly, and have this reflect negatively on the landlord. Because they are the representative of the landlord on the ground, it is vital that they are carefully chosen to avoid a negative reputation arising in relation to the properties they manage.

  • Seek references – it is a good idea to seek out fellow rental property investors and find out what companies they use. you can even talk to friends and family who are renting homes and offices  via property management firms and learn which ones have a good reputation. Usually, those that handle the tenant clients well will also deal fairly with their landlord clients. When you have identified potential firms, ask them for references. Visit those properties in person, and where possible, chat with a few tenants to learn how satisfactory a service they provide.
  • Check up on them – many who hire these managers for the first time suddenly feel free to focus on other pursuits. The only time they feel compelled to get in touch is when the firm is late in depositing their check. This is a big mistake as the negligence of the landlord can encourage mismanagement on the part of the manager. Cultivate a relationship with the manager and have them communicate with you every time they perform a service, even if it is replacing broken tiles. From time to time, visit your tenants in the presence of your manager and find out if the work you are being billed for has actually taken place. Random visits and calls can help keep the property manager on his or her toes. If personal visits are difficult because of distance, ask the manager to send you before and after photos of the work done.
  • Visit vacant units – this is another way to check up on the manager. Many landlords make the mistake of easily believing that they are getting less income because there are empty units on the property. A quick visit should tell you if this is true. For this, you do not need to see the property manager. There have been many stories of landlords discovering their units being given out to friends, or used for illegal activity by criminal property managers. There is much money to e made in illegally giving out rental properties to criminals. Where you find that, a property that always had demand suddenly has several vacant units, but are too far a distance to check up on, contact a friend in the area to drive by and see if anything untoward is going on.