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Your Guide to Tenant Screening – How to Find Quality Tenants for your Burlington Rental

Your Guide to Tenant Screening – How to Find Quality Tenants for your Burlington Rental

Placing a well-qualified tenant is an important part of having a positive rental experience and a profitable investment experience. Many landlords don’t take the time and invest the resources that are required to screen thoroughly. That’s a big mistake. The wrong tenant can cost you money, cost you time, and deliver a lot of stress that you don’t need.

Follow these tenant screening tips to ensure you place a tenant who will pay rent on time, take care of the property, and follow the terms of your lease agreement.

Check Employment and Verify Income

Your application should collect all the information you need about a tenant’s employment and income. You want to be sure he or she earns enough to cover the cost of rent. Contact the employer to verify that the applicant is employed in the position listed, and that the dates of employment match up. Then, ask for salary information. Not every company will be willing to provide that, so you may need to ask your applicant to provide pay stubs.

If your applicant is self-employed or retired, ask to see tax returns or bank statements. Industry best practices say that you want to see income that’s at least three times the monthly rent. So, if your property rents for $1,000 per month, you want income that’s at least $3,000 per month.

Look at Credit and Criminal Histories

When you’re checking for criminal history and eviction records, it’s important to go beyond the county and look at nationwide records. This can be done with a few services online, or you can work with a property management company to check for criminal backgrounds and credit issues. Perfect credit will be hard to find, but set some standards for what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Medical debt hits a lot of people, and you might be okay with that. However, a long list of debts owed to utility companies and former landlords should cause you some concern about renting to that applicant.

Talk to Current and Former Landlords

Landlord references are critical and can give you a good idea of how your applicant has performed in the past with rental properties. Make sure you get accurate landlord information. Tenants with a bad rental history will likely not want to share the names and phone numbers of their actual landlords and property managers; you may find yourself talking to friends and family members. You can check property records to make sure you’re talking to the right person, or do an internet search for the apartment community the tenant once lived in.

Ask former and current landlords if rent was paid on time, or how many times it was late. Find out if there were any lease violations or incidents of property damage. Did the tenant have pets? Did the tenant receive the full security deposit back? Always ask if they would be willing to rent to that tenant again.

Working on a ComputerRemember to comply with all fair housing laws while you’re screening tenants. If you need help with this, contact us at Real Estate Experts. We’d be happy to be part of your leasing process.

Real Estate Experts provides comprehensive property management services in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Durham, N. Chatham County, Cary, Morrisville and now Mebane and Burlington, North Carolina.

Visit our new web site at www.realestateexperts.net or give us a call at 919-928-5131 x 1 to discuss our property management services.

 

Is it Time to Change Property Management Companies in Chapel Hill?

Is it Time to Change Property Management Companies in Chapel Hill?

Change can be scary, especially when it involves one of the largest and most valuable assets in your investment portfolio. There are a lot of good reasons to stick with your current property management company. However, if they’re not meeting your needs and they’re not delivering the results that you expect, you should consider looking around for better management.

When clients come to us from other Chapel Hill property management companies, it’s usually for one of these reasons.

Accounting and Money Matters

The finances associated with your rental property are obviously very important, and you need to be sure your management company is handling them properly. If you’re not receiving regular accounting statements and reports that detail your income and expenses, you should definitely look for new management. Good property managers provide online portals that allow you instant access to the accounting records associated with your investment. You should be able to see how your property is performing 24 hours a day, and the information should be accurate and transparent.

When you do receive reports but there are charges and expenses that don’t make sense, it’s also a problem, and something you should address with your property manager. If you’re not aware of the maintenance that you’re being charged for or there are extra fees for services you thought were included with your management fee, you can probably find a property manager who is more forthcoming with your financials.

Communication or Lack Thereof

Communication is important and with all of the technology available today, there is no excuse for poor communication from your property manager. A responsive management company will be available by phone, text, email, and even on social media. There should be no delay in returning calls and messages. If you cannot get a hold of your property manager, there’s a good chance that your tenants aren’t getting timely responses either. This does not bode well for the condition of your home or the expectation that you’ll retain tenants for the long term. Discuss your communication expectations before you sign a management agreement. If the property management company doesn’t deliver, you can and should look elsewhere.

Poor or Lacking Management Services

If your management company promises fast tenant placement but two months have gone by and your property is still vacant, you need a new property manager. If your management company isn’t paying you rent consistently every month or inspecting your property when they say they will, you have every right to leave your management agreement. You need a manager who will collect rent, enforce the lease, and maintain your home. When your management company is unable to deliver on what they have promised, you cannot allow your investment to be left at risk. Find a property management company that does what they say they will do and impresses you with more income and lower expenses.

If you’re unhappy with your current Chapel Hill management company, we’d be happy to talk through your problems. We’d also love to tell you about our own services and the reputation we have for delivering outstanding property management and customer service. Contact us at Real Estate Experts for more information.

House WindowsReal Estate Experts provides comprehensive property management services in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Durham, N. Chatham County, Cary, Morrisville and now Mebane and Burlington, North Carolina.

Visit our new web site at www.realestateexperts.net or give us a call at 919-928-5131 x 1 to discuss our property management services.

 

Important Information Regarding Durham Tax Revaluation in 2019

Important Information Regarding Durham Tax Revaluation in 2019

North Carolina Law requires that all counties revalue properties for tax purposes, at most, every eight years. Traditionally in our market, counties have done this either on a four-year cycle or an eight-year cycle.

With Durham revaluing properties in 2019, it’s on a three-year cycle, which is really short. They’re doing this because 2018 was incredibly active; there were a lot of areas that saw significant jumps in property values, some that stayed roughly the same, and others that saw decreases.

So what will happen with your property value is, at this point, still a guess. Revaluing properties on a three-year cycle is very fast, so with that in mind, I’d like to discuss the schedule.

Properties were technically revalued as of January 1, 2019. Homeowners will begin receiving their property values in the mail by the end of January. From mid-February to around March 1, homeowners can go to learn about the process and how to appeal it if they disagree with the property value.

In the case of an appeal, Durham wants you to do your research and then submit that information to them when you submit the appeal. The appeal itself must be in no later than May 3, 2019. This is a very important date—if they receive your submission on May 4, they will not acknowledge it. To submit, go online to www.dconc.gov/taxhelp. There, you can go through the process of finding your property, look at the current or revalued tax rate, and see how to find comparable sales.

The most important thing to do, though, is reach out to a Realtor you know and trust; they can help you pull the comparables, review the ones the county is using, and give you their professional opinion of your home’s value. You won’t know your actual tax bill until the middle of 2019 when the county defines its tax rates. They’ll first figure out how much money they need, then they’ll set the rate to figure out their budgets, so even if your tax value goes way up, your actual tax bill may not.

At Real Estate Experts, we are more than happy to help you. Just reach out to us and we can pull the relevant information for you. Hope to hear from you soon!

Click here for a walk through of how to appeal your new tax revaluation!

 

Nearly Half of U.S. Renters Are Burdened by Housing Costs

Nearly Half of U.S. Renters Are Burdened by Housing Costs

Over the past ten years, the American economy has been on a rapid rise, yet more and more people are struggling to afford rent. According to the new report published by Apartment List, almost half of American renter households can be classified as cost-burdened, spending more than the recommended 30% of their incomes on rent.

Share of cost burdened renters

Essentially half of renter households are still spending more than the recommended amount on their housing costs, while nearly one in four spends at least half of their household income on rent. The number of cost-burdened households reached an all-time high in 2014, even though the cost burden rate was improving. Luckily, the number of rent-burdened households has started to fall and is currently lower than the 2014 peak by 774,000 households. Importantly, 2017 was the first year since 2010 that the number of unburdened renter households decreased, indicating that this year’s improvement in the cost burden rate reflects genuine improvement rather than compositional change. That said, the total number of rent-burdened households remains higher than the 2007 level by 3.1 million households.

In North Carolina, the overall cost burden rate fell from 46.9% to 46.4%. This is well below the national average than the national average of 49.5%.

Rental Housing Cost burden rate is decreasing in the Durham metro area.

According to Apartment List’s report, Durham has the nation’s #41 highest cost burden rate. The cost burden rate decreased from 51.2% in 2016 to 49.4% in 2017. This in turn makes Durham the #41 highest cost burden rate of the nation’s 100 largest metros. 25.0% of renter households in Durham are severely cost-burdened, while 24.4% are moderately burdened. The of cost-burdened renter households in Durham has increased by 9,573 since 2007.

In contrast, the rental Housing cost burden rate is increasing in the Raleigh metro area.

Raleigh has the nation’s #8 lowest cost burden rate.  Yet, the cost burden rate in Raleigh increased from 42.1% in 2016 to 42.5% in 2017. Raleigh has the #8 lowest cost burden rate of that nation’s 100 largest metros. 17.7% of renter households in Raleigh are severely cost-burdened, while 24.8% are moderately burdened. The number of cost-burdened renter households in Raleigh has increased by 13,787 since 2007.

Cost burden rates tend to be highest in coastal areas with high housing costs.

Miami has a cost burden rate of 62.7 percent, the highest of the nation’s 100 largest metros. Nearly one in three cost-burdened renters (30.8 percent) lives in California, New York or Florida. In 20 of the 25 largest metros, a household earning the median renter income would be cost-burdened by the median rent.

Rental Trends: Raleigh vs National Comparisons

Luckily, the number of rent-burdened households has started to fall and is currently lower than the 2014 peak by 774,000 households. That said, the total number of rent-burdened households remains higher than the 2007 level by 3.1 million households.

Signs of improvement can also be seen when we compare growth in the median renter income to growth in the median rent. The chart below shows that the median renter income grew faster than the median rent for the sixth straight year.

rental income gap closing with rent growth

At last, Apartment List explored the relationship between income growth and cost-burden increase. Below is a chart that demonstrates that when income growth outpaces rent growth, cost burden rates will tend to fall. In the Triangle, income has been growing faster than rents, due to the booming job market in the area, which in turn affects the cost burden rate in the Triangle. Large technology companies and vast job opportunities in science and academia make the Research Triangle surrounding Raleigh appealing to new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grads. Combined with relatively low housing prices, the Triangle is the next go-to destination for tech workers around the nation. Despite rapidly increasing rent prices, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are still more affordable than most tech centers.

Cost burden increases when rent grows faster than income

A lack of affordable housing in areas of economic opportunity remains one of the most pressing issues. Households that struggle to pay rent oftentimes have to cut back other basic necessities, which can result in adverse and long-lasting consequences. While the data do show some improvement, there is still much left to accomplish to ensure that everyone can comfortably afford a place to rest their head.

Real Estate Experts Property Management Company

It’s important to understand what is involved in renting your home, especially if you haven’t done it before. Don’t let that deter you, or intimidate you!  A great property management company is an important part of

the equation, and Real Estate Experts has the knowledge and expertise to help you handle all of the details.

Related Posts: Property Managers Can Make You Money…;Rental Property ManagementAre you thinking of renting out your property?

Real Estate Market Update – Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill – January 2018

Real Estate Market Update – Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill – January 2018

Real Estate Market Update: Median Sales Prices Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary North CarolinaReal Estate Market Update:  Sales prices in Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary are on the rise. The three-year trend is excellent with median prices in  Chapel Hill and Cary around the $400,000 mark. Houses in much of the rest of the Triangle, including Durham, are more affordable. Median prices in Durham, NC are about $250,000.  Nationally, housing affordability remained flat for 2017.

To view homes for sale in Chapel Hill NC, visit Real Estate Experts web site.

Real Estate Market Update: Median Days on Market Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary North CarolinaReal Estate Market Update:  Days on Market (DOM) have been are still are amazingly low.  This means that overall houses are selling fast.  In January, however, DOM have increased a bit.  I think this is primarily due to a slightly slower start to the season and the weather.  To be specific; in July 2017 Average DOM were 13 in Chapel Hill, 5 in Durham and 6 in Cary.  In November 2017 this increased a bit to 33 in Chapel Hill, 8 in Durham and 10 in Cary.

In January, this has stretched out a bit more to 36 in Chapel Hill, 10 in Durham and 14 in Cary.  I expect to see these numbers come down as the season heats up.

If you are looking for homes for sale in Durham NC, visit Real Estate Experts web site.

 

Real Estate Market Update: Months Supply of homes for sale in Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary North CarolinaReal Estate Market Update:  The supply of inventory is incredibly low.  I don’t remember a time when inventory was this low.  In Chapel Hill there is less than 3 months of inventory and in Durham and Cary there is less than 2 months of inventory.  This is truly an excellent time to sell.  If you have been sitting on the fence, with inventory low, it is a sellers market.  Prices are rising.  With interest rates still low, buyers are moving on the opportunity before prices rise further.

If you are looking for homes for sale in Cary NC, visit Real Estate Experts web site.

Real Estate ExpertsReal Estate Experts is a full service real estate firm.  We represent buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of residential homes.  We pride ourselves in our honesty and integrity, our knowledge of the home purchase and sale processes and our level of communication and responsiveness. We also have a residential property management company where we work with homeowners that want to rent their homes and we work with investors to get them the best Return on Investment (ROI) when purchasing investment property.  If you would like our help with any of these services, please contact us at 919-928-5131 or [email protected]

Related Posts:

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Does Your Property Management Company Inspect Your Investment Monthly?

Does Your Property Management Company Inspect Your Investment Monthly?

We have two key foundations of our business model.  Real Estate Experts’ property managers inspect the outside of the properties we manage monthly and we inspect the inside quarterly.  The driver behind our business is that no properties under our management will get beat up on our watch.

Do you own a rental or investment property?  Do you use a property management company? How many property management companies did you interview before deciding who to hire to protect your investment?

I was with clients the other day looking at their rental property that they are going to put on the market to sell.  This property is managed by a local property management company.  It is not managed by us, Real Estate Experts.

We found this crack in the foundation while doing a visual inspection of the property.  What would you do if you saw something like this and you were paying a property management company to take care of your investment?

Property Management

 

These home owners had a tree go down over a year ago.  The tree was removed but no one told the owners about this crack nor suggested that it be repaired.  If Real Estate Experts was the property management company for this home, this never would have happened.

Why?

Under our business model, we would have caught this problem immediately.  Real Estate Experts’ property managers inspect the outside of the properties we manage monthly and we inspect the inside quarterly.  We also respond immediately to things like trees going down.  We would not just have a tree company remove the tree, we would go to the house and inspect it to make absolutely sure there was no damage done to the home or other trees.

What other property management company inspect the inside and outside of the properties under their management on a regular basis.  None that I know of.  This is just one thing that sets Real Estate Experts apart from the pack.  At Real Estate Experts, we go the distance to protect your investment.  The #1 requirement is that no property under our management will get beat up on our watch and certainly if there is storm damage we are going to find it and have it repaired.  This is why we visit the properties we manage on a monthly and quarterly basis.

We would have seen a crack like this when it happened.  We would have gone to the house to inspect the property.  If by chance it happened later, we still would have caught it at one of our monthly inspections.  We would notify the property owner and the repair would have happened next.

I am glad that we found it now so it will be repaired properly before putting the  house on the market for sale.

ADDENDUM TO THIS POST –  A few days later I returned to the property with a general contractor to evaluate the needed repair.  This is what we saw this time.

property management

Like I said, this problem would NEVER get this far on our watch!

 

Real Estate Experts Property Management Company

It’s important to understand what is involved in renting your home, especially if you haven’t done it before. Don’t let that deter you, or intimidate you!  A great property management company is an important part of the equation, and Real Estate Experts has the knowledge and expertise to help you handle all of the details.

Related Posts: Property Managers Can Make You Money…;Rental Property ManagementAre you thinking of renting out your property?

 

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