Most people would say “no” but in reality we all die. Unless you are super rich and maybe a little goofy, you could look into a good cryogenic vendor to freeze your brain in the hopes of a future cure for whatever ultimately pushed you out of this life and into the next.
For the rest of us, death is inevitable. If you own income producing real estate, it’s vital to do some estate planning now while you are still counted among the living.
Don’t think death can’t come knocking at an early age. I know of two local men in 2018 who recently unexpectedly passed. One was in his late thirties, healthy, fit and heading out for a morning run when his running partner found him deceased on his front porch. Another man was 44 years old, in the process of getting healthy with diet and exercise. He left his Orangetheory Spin class early not feeling well. He went home and had a massive, fatal heart attack.
Neither one of these men had done any estate planning because they were "too young" to think about it. Both left their families with not only the emotional grief of losing a loved one but also a very complicated, expensive and time consuming task of unwinding their assets through the dreaded process known as probate. Letting a judge decide what’s best instead of the owner is not a good idea, which is why its best to make these decisions in advance.
When a lease nears the end, many property owners wonder if they should raise the rent, keep it the same, or end the agreement altogether and look to rent to a different tenant.
Assuming you signed a 1-year lease agreement and you would like the tenant to continue renting your property, decide if you want to have the tenant sign another 1- year lease or simply let the lease expire and go to a month-to-month term. Your original lease should specify if the the lease will convert to a month-to-month tenancy. Legally, as long as the tenant continues paying you rent and you continue to accept the rent, you have a month-to-month tenancy.
If the tenant has been a good tenant, paying the rent on time, in full every month and taking care of the property, you should evaluate the local rental market and decide if you want to give the tenant a rent increase. Be sure you abide by any rent control laws in your area as you look at increasing the rent.
You may even think you've made a mistake! A real estate investment was supposed to be pretty straight forward, and now you have a tenant calling you constantly with some new problem.
Don't worry, this won't last forever.
The lease is signed and its almost time for your new tenant to move in! You get to stop spending money advertising and screening applicants and now you get to start making money as your property generates a monthly income for you in the form of rent.
The process doesn't end once that lease is signed though. There are still a few things to take care of before moving in a tenant.
There is one thing that can always be said about any property inspection: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the age of the smartphone, there is no reason not to have pictures and even video of every major area of your rental property.
A well written lease can truly help you sleep better at night.
How do you write that perfect lease though?
If you are using a property manager or even a Realtor to lease your property, they should have access to good, well written leases. You can also get a good lease from various landlord associations that specialize in your property type. You should avoid buying a very basic, generic lease, especially if it doesn’t include all the specifics that your State may require.
A good lease is necessary to protect yourself and your tenant from any legal issues that may arise, but remember, it all starts with placing a good tenant.
Here are 20+ details that you should include in ANY residential lease agreement:
Screening and selecting a tenant for your rental property is the MOST important step in renting out your home.
Think about it. What do you worry about most when it comes to your rental property?
Here are some common concerns that we hear all the time:
- Is the tenant cleaning the home and preventing mildew and mold?
- Are they doing anything illegal in the house?
- Are they subletting to other people that I wouldn't have approved?
- Are they upsetting the neighbors or being disruptive?
- Are they damaging the walls, cabinets or appliances?
These days, it is common knowledge that the best way to market your rental property is online. Gone are the days of having to call your local newspaper to list your property for rent. The Internet has once again disrupted another industry and changed the way we do business. Various listing sites and Craigslist have become the go to destinations for prospective tenants looking for a place to rent.
However, with new technology comes new challenges and threats that landlords need to be aware of and guard against. The most common threat often comes from people sitting in some internet cafe on another continent, trying to make a quick buck at your expense. The scam usually goes like this:
Knowing where to start when it comes to managing your own rental property is the hardest part. Breaking the process down into a series of steps is the easiest way to stay organized and stress free while managing your investment. In case you missed it, check out our 9 Steps to Help You Manage Your Rental Property Without a Property Manager. Once your property is “rent ready,” you need to determine how much to charge for your rental property. With online sites like Zillow providing their “Rent Zestimate,” it’s a fairly straightforward process to determine the market value of your rental property.
Managing your own rental property can be a rich and rewarding experience. It can also be a stressful and intimidating venture! Knowing where to get started can help you manage your rental property like a pro.
Residential rental property can range from a single family residence on a nice quiet cul-de-sac to a multi-unit complex with on-site management and maintenance in a downtown urban setting. Regardless of the type of property you own, your most important variable (after location) is the condition and quality of your rental property.
Yes, curb appeal does matter, even if the property is occupied by a renter. It matters to both the prospective tenant and the local community in the immediate area. A real estate investor who understands this will be willing to invest the money needed to maximize the potential rent and attract the best possible long term tenant. A good tenant is defined as one who takes care of the property and pays the rent in full, on time, every month.
So you have rental property managed by a professional property management company and in comparing your 1099-MISC to your 12-Month Cash Flow report, you notice the total income on the Cash Flow Report does not match the 1099-Misc. Has your property manager made a mistake?
One of the most common questions that a homeowner will ask a property manager is: what are the fees? We’re talking about the cost of property management when you hire a professional company.