Hurricane Harvey Property Management Challenge
With the recent impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we as a property management community need to open our hearts and wallets to help in this tragedy. As we all know, Texas will be in need of help for many months to come and we need to make sure they have what they need to get back on their feet.
Quartermaster Properties challenges all South Carolina property management companies to contribute a minimum of $250 to Samaritan’s Purse. Please go to www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-harvey/
or a charity of your choice today and make your contribution. Then send proof of your company’s pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish a list of contributors to our Facebook and Google pages. Let’s give to these people in need and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
Please join us and add your name to the list.
We get asked all of the time by first time investors and experienced investors about what makes up a profitable rental home. Here is a list of things to consider when buying a rental home or turning your current home into a investment property.
Key Points to Consider When Purchasing an Investment Home
Condition: One of the most important parts of the home is the condition it is in. Rental homes in great condition demand more rent and also bring much better tenants than homes that are in need of repairs. Even minor repairs to a property can turn away great tenants and lead to bigger maintenance issues in the future. Make sure you have had a through home inspection to maximize your investment.
Neighborhood: The quality of the neighborhood in which you buy will influence both the types of tenants you attract and how often you face vacancies. For example, if you buy in a neighborhood near a university, the chances are that your pool of potential tenants will be mainly made up of students and that you will face vacancies on a fairly regular basis (during summer, when students tend to return back home).
Property Taxes: Property taxes are not standard across the board and, as an investor planning to make money from rent, you want to be aware of how much you will be losing to taxes. High property taxes may not always be a bad thing if the neighborhood is an excellent place for long-term tenants, but the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. The town’s assessment office will have all the tax information on file or you can talk to homeowners within the community.
Schools: Your tenants may have or be planning to have children, so they will need a place near a decent school. When you have found a good property near a school, you will want to check the quality of the school as this can affect the value of your investment. If the school has a poor reputation, prices will reflect your property’s value poorly. Although you will be mostly concerned about the monthly cash flow, the overall value of your rental property comes in to play when you eventually sell it.
Crime: No one wants to live next door to a hot spot for criminal activity. Go to the police or the public library for accurate crime statistics for various neighborhoods, rather than asking the homeowner who is hoping to sell the house to you. Items to look for are vandalism rates, serious crimes, petty crimes and recent activity (growth or slow down). You might also want to ask about the frequency of police presence in your neighborhood.
Job Market: Locations with growing employment opportunities tend to attract more people – meaning more tenants. To find out how a particular area rates, go directly to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or to your local library. If you notice an announcement for a new major company moving to the area, you can rest assured that workers will flock to the area. However, this may cause house prices to react (either negatively or positively) depending on the corporation moving in. The fallback point here is that if you would like the new corporation in your backyard, your renters probably will too.
Amenities: Check the potential neighborhood for current or projected parks, malls, gyms, movie theaters, public transport hubs and all the other perks that attract renters. Cities, and sometimes even particular areas of a city, have loads of promotional literature that will give you an idea of where the best blend of public amenities and private property can be found.
Building Permits and Future Development: The municipal planning department will have information on all the new development that is coming or has been zoned into the area. If there are many new condos, business parks or malls going up in your area, it is probably a good growth area. However, watch out for new developments that could hurt the price of surrounding properties by, for example, causing the loss of an activity-friendly green space. The additional condos and/or new housing could also provide competition for your renters, so be aware of that possibility.
Number of Listings and Vacancies: If there is an unusually high number of listings for one particular neighborhood, this can either signal a seasonal cycle or a neighborhood that has “gone bad.” Make sure you figure out which it is before you buy in. You should also determine whether you can cover for any seasonal fluctuations in vacancies. Similar to listings, the vacancy rates will give you an idea of how successful you will be at attracting tenants. High vacancy rates force landlords to lower rents in order to snap up tenants. Low vacancy rates allow landlords to raise rental rates.
Rents: Rental income will be the bread and butter of your rental property, so you need to know what the average rent in the area is. If charging the average rent is not going to be enough to cover your mortgage payment, taxes and other expenses, then you have to keep looking. Be sure to research the area well enough to gauge where the area will be headed in the next five years. If you can afford the area now, but major improvements are in store and property taxes are expected to increase, then what could be affordable now may mean bankruptcy later.
Natural Disasters: Insurance is another expense that you will have to subtract from your returns, so it is good to know just how much you will need to carry. If an area is prone to earthquakes or flooding, paying for the extra insurance can eat away at your rental income
There is a lot of confusion about when is the best time to hand over your investment and hire a property management company. So when should I hire a property manager? You could argue back and forth about doing it yourself (DIY) or hiring a credible management company to take your headaches away. After all it could avoid costly mistakes depending on your level of expertise and the type of project it is. With any DIY project there is always a learning curve that you don’t expect to run into. We all think that things are easier in the beginning of a project since after all “It can’t be that hard”. After the project is finished sometimes we look back and think maybe if I had hired a professional to do this I could have saved money in the long run.
Once you decide to use a professional take Dave Ramsey’s advice and seek out the true professionals. Not all management companies are created equal and each of them have their own business model they follow. Most of them have the same level of software, advertising products and features to make them and their properties stand out. The question is how do they handle the details of your property and what exactly do you and your tenants get for the price you pay? Put yourself in a tenants shoes and look at the different companies through the eyes of the consumer. Would you want to use this company for your housing needs? How can I be sure I am renting a home from a company that will take care of it while I am living there? There are a lot of window dressing out there for companies to mask what they can really do for you. Make sure you take the time to look behind the curtains and see what makes each of them tick! Here is some great info from Dave Ramsey about property management! Just because you are a big name in property management doesn’t mean you are the best. Like Dave Ramsey says, “There are great management companies out there you just have to search them out.” Make sure you search a great company out, and make sure you stop and search Quartermaster Properties because “We Are Exactly What You Need!”
School is just around the corner and for some we are excited and for others it’s the end of the summer fun. We often get many questions about schools and which will fit each families needs the best. We at Quartermaster Properties have families and children of our own and know the importance of navigating South Carolina schools for the best fit for us. South Carolina is different than many other states as there are more options for schools depending on the area you live in. There are Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, Academy’s, Creative Art Schools and Montessori Schools which can be mind boggling to think about. With all of these options this can be very hard for some who haven’t experienced this in the previous area they lived. This is one website that we use to research the schools our children go to and thought we should share it with our Quartermaster Properties family. Also we that it would be helpful to add a link to Charleston County School website to answer in other questions you may have. Enjoy the links and we hope you all have a great start to your school year!
Check out what our additional technology will do for you and your investment property! We are always looking to make sure we are staying cutting edge in the property management industry. Quartermaster Properties offers face to face showings to make sure you are getting the very best tenant in your property each and every time. Once you are a part of the Quartermaster Properties family you will understand just how different we are and what makes us different than any other management company.
There are many property management companies in South Carolina and Quartermaster Properties realizes that. In South Carolina there are more than two thousand management companies in business to serve the homeowners and tenants living in this great state. With that many companies doing business it is crucial to take your time and make sure you chose the best company possible.
Looking for a great management company can be tough if you are new to being a landlord. Quartermaster properties has posted before about researching courthouse records to make sure the company is putting great tenants in your home. Putting great tenants in your home is just the basic requirement that a management company MUST do. What is just as important is thinking about how your property can produce maximum return on investment. This is where great management companies separate themselves from good management companies.
The best way to get the maximum return on investment is to think outside the box. Maybe you can do some minor upgrades that would be cost effective and produce more monthly rent. It is also important to make sure your property manager has some mechanical aptitude. This means that your property manager has some knowledge on the basics of HVAC, electrical, plumbing and some building codes. This doesn’t mean they are a expert on the subject but could save you money in certain circumstances dealing with different contractors
Quartermaster Properties strives to improve each of our clients investments staying current on all of the latest housing trends. When you research different management companies be sure to take your time and hire the best. If you hire a great management company having an investment property will be a wonderful experience.
Mount Pleasant is one of Quartermaster Properties favorite places in the Charleston area. Take a minute and watch this video about some of the history and sites it has to offer. If you are thinking about moving to Mount Pleasant this will give you a wonderful overview of this amazing town. #WeAreExactlyWhatYouNeed
How do you measure the success of a management company? One of many considerations might be a company’s eviction history. If you are looking for a property management company check this link out before you hire them. Make sure you search the courthouse records to ensure they are doing their due diligence finding qualified tenants for your home. If you don’t check up on them it could cost you a lot of money and just as many headaches.
Secure, fast, and convenient.
Here at Quartermaster Properties we stay on the cutting edge of technology for the benefit of our tenants and owners. One of the features provided is online rent payment via our secure Online Portal. Rent is paid via eCheck, which is 100% free. Tenants simply enter their bank routing and account number in the secure Online Portal to pay rent or any other charge directly from their checking or savings account. This payment feature is available 24×7 from anywhere. No more hassle writing and mailing checks, etc. The whole process is secure, fast, and convenient.
You are going to love the online rent payment feature and doing business with Quartermaster Properties–we are exactly what you need!