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It’s Not You, It’s Not Your Home, It’s Your Real Estate Agent

pile of cash

See this pile of cash? It doesn’t belong to you and you know why? Your realtor is being unrealistic and greedy about your property.

We have a client who is interested in a townhome in a particular area. We have one in this neighborhood and know without a doubt the competition is over-priced. Rentals sit 6-months, 8-months, 1-year or longer vacant. Why? Your rental is over-priced. Period.

I called a realtor to ask about a rental that has been listed and vacant for 6 months to see if the owner was flexible in the price. I told her that I had a great client interested in the home, but wanted to pay a more reasonable rent for the unit. With disgust, I was told that the building covered all utilities which was included in the rent. I told her I knew that was not true because we have the exact same property in the neighborhood. Well not the same. Our is updated and upgraded. She then back-peddled and said well the owner wants to rent it furnished only. On the MLS listing, it states “furnished, but will consider unfurnished.” So the ad was misleading or the realtor was a liar.

I asked again about the price. I stated about the home being listed for 6 months and sitting vacant. Is the owner flexible? Again, I was given the run-around. Never once did she say she would present an offer to the owner.

Can this realtor read minds? I can’t. As property managers, we present all offers to owners. Ultimately the decision lies with you, the owner. You should decide whether to reject or accept an offer. Not a realtor.

I believe putting the owner in the driver-seat is what gives us so many happy clients and great reviews.

I never asked what the commission would be on the property. I never wanted a commission. I wanted to find a home that met my client’s needs.

Did this realtor ever stop and think, “my client has been losing thousands of dollars because his home is sitting vacant?” No. She heard reduced price, saw her commission drop and never consulted the owner. Would the owner accept a lower offer? We will never know because he will never be asked.

My client never saw the property or put an offer in. Why? A realtor discouraged an amazing tenant from a property that needed a renter.

So, this pile of cash continues to sit untouched.

For honest, reliable property management in Pasco, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties, Florida, We Manage Your Investment.

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Tampa Investment Property Returns

Tampa Investment Property Returns

Tampa Investment Property Returns

During the peak of the housing boom in 2004-2006, many investors were diving into properties that they knew would not generate a positive cash flow.  Taking a monthly loss on a property was no big deal when they could sell the property three months later and make $30K. The few flippers’ who timed the market right, made a killing, and the rest got killed.

When you buy a property today, it is important to calculate your Tampa Investment Property Returns. You are not building equity only through appreciation, and the property values are going down faster than you can pay the mortgage principal balance. The tough lesson learned from the housing bust is that the cash flow analysis should be the determining factor in purchasing real estate.  The analysis tells you if the property will generate income for you (asset) or cost you money (liability).

If you want to be a real estate investor, you must focus on acquiring assets that generate a passive income.   If you are making money each month, then it does not really matter if the market goes up or down.

In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki tells the story of when he wanted to buy his first rental property. His ‘rich’ dad refused to invest with him because the property did not generate at least $100 per month of income.  Kiyosaki thought that the property was a good buy because he could eventually raise the rent, the property would appreciate, or other factors would work in his favor, but his ‘rich’ dad knew better.  He knew that things do not always work out the way you plan them and that you make your money when you buy a property, not when you sell.

As a beginning real estate investor, I told my real estate agent that I would not buy anything that did not generate at least $100 in monthly cash flow, but would buy anything that would.  We were able to find 3 properties where the numbers worked out, and I was soon generating a passive income.  When the properties doubled in value two years later, it was a good bonus, now that they have gone back to the value that I originally bought them for, they are still a good investment and continue to generate income.

It is essential that you do a cash flow analysis of any property you are going to buy.  Make sure you talk to a rental manager to determine what the rental rate is for the property and what they think it will be in the future. Factor in EVERY COST of owning the property: mortgage, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, flood insurance, homeowners association dues, maintenance, vacancy, for rent advertising, property management fees, and unexpected emergencies. If you are still generating, at least, $100 per month, then go for it.

Wounds in real estate are usually deep and take a long time to heal.  But if you learn from your mistakes, it can become the valuable experience that will make you a savvy investor.

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Florida leads House Flipping

Florida leads House Flipping

Recent Data from RealtyTrac shows an increase in year over year house flipping.  This is when an investor buys a property and then sells it less than one year later.  The investor usually has to do at least some cosmetic improvements and is likely to make a profit from the sale.

With the increase in flipping, Florida cities dominate the list of the top areas for home flipping.  Florida had record numbers of foreclosures and houses are still not keeping up with demand, so the statistics make sense that there would be an increase.  However, house flipping also reached a peak right before housing crashed in 2008-2009.  Many investors took substantial losses on speculative home flips.

However, house flipping also reached a peak right before housing crashed in 2008-2009.  Many investors took substantial losses on speculative home flips. The current list is showing 25- 50% year over year increases in home flipping in these cities.   To be successful in house flipping, you need to do an effective analysis on what the costs will be for you to purchase, renovate and hold the property and then know what the market will support for a sales price.  Generally a real estate investor is expecting to make at least 25% profit before they take on a house flipping venture.

Before investing you should talk to a local, Lutz, FL real estate and property management company to advise you on purchasing, managing and selling your investment property.

Here are the Florida cities mentioned in the list.

17. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida

 15. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida

14. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Florida

11. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Florida

9. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida

8. Ocala, Florida

4. Homosassa Springs, Florida

3. Jacksonville, Florida

1. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida

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5 Reasons to Hire a Property Manager

Hire a Property Manager.  The top 5 reasons on why a professional property management company will benefit you.

Hire a Property Manager

1. Rent Collection and Depositing – not getting the rent check just one month can kill your return on investment. Having to constantly remind tenants that their rent is due or late can be a real pain. A good property manager will have systems in place to effectively collect rent online, charge late fees and maintain on-time payments, notices and evictions.

2. Rates for Rent – A good property management company knows the area they are managing. They know how much your property can be rented for and can keep the vacancy rates and advertising costs as low as possible.

3. Securing Tenants– finding good tenants can be very time-consuming. A property manager can take care of securing all background checks, credit reports, employment verification, and verifications of rent and showing the property. By hiring a property manager, you will not have to deal with tenant disputes, conflict resolution and emergency maintenance.

4. Professional Network. Property managers develop relationships with professionals in related fields, such as maintenance workers, tradesmen, vendors, suppliers and contractors that you do not have. Because of the bulk of business that a property manager gives these professionals, they can provide quality work at a discount.

5. Time – Enjoying your life while just having the rents deposited into your bank account is probably why you got into real estate investing. Real estate income is not passive if you are spending all your time maintaining the property, handling tenants and keeping the books. A Property Manager is an investment, not an expense, you want to own your own time.

Contact Relevé Real Estate for full-service property management in Lutz, Land O’ Lakes and Odessa, Florida.

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Tampa Bay Living

tampa bay living

Tampa Bay Living, these are neighborhoods laid out in the more traditional sense. I will speak about some of them. South

South Tampa has historic homes, townhouses, condos, and luxury lofts. Everything from festivals to live music and an active night life.

Ybor City. Ybor has “modern and renovated condos, townhouses, and lofts.” Ybor also has restaurants’ and shopping. Looking for the business district? Downtown Tampa is your place. It offers lofts and high rises for places to live in, and with places of interest to see, like the children’s museum. If you want suburban/residential, then you like these areas, New Tampa has lots of ranch style houses and “family friendly neighborhoods” Brandon is a “Typical suburban community” and it has “everything from apartments to homes.”

If you want suburban/residential, then you like these areas, New Tampa has lots of ranch style houses and “family friendly neighborhoods” Brandon is a “Typical suburban community” and it has “everything from apartments to homes.”

Brandon is a “Typical suburban community” and it has “everything from apartments to homes.” It’s like any place, depending where you live will depend on how quiet the community is, or if you are near restaurants, shopping, and bars.” Lithia/Fishhawk Ranch “offers condos, townhouses, ranch-style, and new-bungalow style housing in basically all price ranges, and is a very family oriented community.” It along “

Lithia/Fishhawk Ranch “offers condos, townhouses, ranch-style, and new bungalow style housing in basically all price ranges, and is a very family oriented community.” It a long drive to the hot spots like South Tampa, Ybor, and Channelside.” Finally there is Plant city.

Plant city is known for peace and quiet because the houses are further apart. Which place or neighborhood would you choose from each city?

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Rental Value Tampa

rental value tampa

Determining how much someone is going to be willing to pay for to rent your investment property has become increasingly more accurate.  Rental Value in Tampa Bay can be hard to determine if you are just looking on the web.

Our current software compares actual rental rates of comparable properties in the local area.  The software company has many clients and can run generic reports for actual market value and rental rates.  This is superior to an estimate on Zillow, Craigslist or other listing services, because you find out what people are actually paying, rather than what a property is listed for.

There are many factors involved, but no one really knows how much someone is willing to pay, until they actually pay it.  Then that is how much it is worth.

For example a property may be listed for $1500 per month, but then the owner may cut a deal and end up renting it for $1300 per month.  All listing sites have to go on is the $1500, not the $1300, so you may find your expectations are higher than they should be and you may end up sitting with a property vacant for longer than necessary.  This can work in the other direction with finding that some properties may be underpriced. Reports should be run on your existing portfolio to determine if your rental rates are keeping pace with the current market.  There are many factors involved, but no one really knows how much someone is willing to pay, until they actually pay it.  Then that is how much it is worth.

Many properties are advertising top rents and have been on the market for over six months by their tampa property management company.  From a simple investment standpoint, 6 months of vacancy is going to cost a lot more than renting the unit for $200 less.

Example:  asking rent $1500 per month.  Vacant six months.   $1300 vacant one month.  Over the five months the unit was rented, the owner collected $6500.  Would you rather your property manager make you feel good, tell you your property is great and that they are ‘connected’ and can get top rental value.  Or would you like the $6K in your account?

In the current market, there are record numbers of bank owned properties, that means record numbers of displaced people.  Since supply is low, demand increases and rates are expected to increase.  rent hikes

Vacancy will kill your portfolio.

This way the market determines the maximum amount that your property will rent for.

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Investment Property Vacancy

 

investment property vacancy

The current rental market remains strong with rental rates at their highest levels.  Your exposure to investment property vacancy should be very small. The record number of foreclosures in the late 2000s have left many families still unable to purchase a home, bank owned properties sit empty and mortgages are more difficult to qualify for.  Finding an affordable rental property has been a difficult thing to do with a high demand and low supply of available homes.

In these type of market conditions, properties shouldn’t be sitting vacant long in this market.  Most of our clients have new leases started the day after their old tenant’s lease ends.  With 60 days notice and a strong rental market, your vacancy rate should remain very limited.  Any good property manager should, on average be able to rent your property in 2 to 3 weeks, if not, something is wrong.

When I look at properties online I see some that have been vacant for 200 to 300 days??   Seems quite odd and I believe it is mainly from real estate agents telling people what they want to hear and not being responsive to prospective tenants.

This rental market will remain strong for the foreseeable future, but won’t last forever.  Investors should be maximizing  their opportunities while they are there.

For Expert Property Management in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties contact Relevé Real Estate and Property Management.  Elevate your expectations.

Tampa Bay Rental Home
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Tampa Bay Rental Home Demand

Tampa Bay Rental Home

 

The Tampa Bay Rental Home Demand continues to accelerate.  Contact the local agents at Relevé Real Estate now for expert property management.

The current tenant called and gave their 30-day notice they would be moving out.  Immediately the ad went up and 24 hours later we had an application in on the property for $200 more than what the current tenants were paying.

Although this is a fast example, the Tampa Bay Rental Home demand for rentals has been soaring, where homes in good areas are only staying on the market 2 – 4 weeks.   Many prospective tenants are aware of how quickly properties can go, especially in Lutz and Land O’ Lakes, where they know they have to immediately jump on something they like before it is gone.  Owners are reaping the rewards of their investments like never before.  No vacancy and increasing rental rates are keys to investors success.

From Wikipedia, Tampa is a city in and the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is located on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is part of the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area. The city had a population of 346,037 in 2011.

Census data showed an average annual growth of 2.47 percent or a gain of approximately 97,000 residents per year. Between 2000 and 2006, the Greater Tampa Bay Market experienced a combined growth rate of 14.8 percent, growing from 3.4 million to 3.9 million and hitting the 4 million population mark on April 1, 2007.A 2012 estimate shows the Tampa Bay area population to have 4,310,524 people and a 2017 projection of 4,536,854 people.

If you had a tenant turnover and had your property sitting vacant for a month, then you would have to cough up the money for the mortgage, putting a $1000 –$1500 loss on the books, then it takes you a month to make it up and can kill your cash flow for the year and losing out on Tampa Bay Rental Home demand.

For property managers who manage your property as if it were their own, contact Relevé Real Estate and Property Management.

property management tampa
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Basic Qualifications to Look for in a Property Management Tampa Company

Property Management Tampa, Florida

property management tampa

1. Experience

Availing the services of a young property management Tampa might give you some savings due to lower fees. However, that doesn’t secure wide connections and outstanding management. Remember that at the end of the day, the occupancy and rate will still determine your earnings, and you cannot do that with a company that is still starting to build a network. And because the service also includes operation and maintenance of your property, it is not wise to gamble with a company in a trial-and-error period.

Choose a property management Tampa company that has, at least, three years of operation and a sufficient client portfolio.

2. Coverage

A property management Tampa company with wide area coverage also gives a longer list of possible tenants, including people who want to move from surrounding towns. It is better if you can pick a company with existing coverage in Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pinellas County and Pasco County as well.

3. Management Rates

A property owner wants to have his/her investment property managed for one thing – to earn from it. If a large part of that sum will just go straight to the realty company, you might need some time to think again.

There are three basic charges applied by many Tampa Florida property management companies which you need to understand.

First is the leasing fee. Many national and multimillion realty companies commonly charge a full 100% of the monthly rental fee on top of other fees. That is more than 8% of the total earnings you should receive for the whole year.

Second is the management fee. This pertains to the overall management cost the company gains for taking care of your property. The typical charge is anywhere from 15% to 20% of the monthly rental rate for all months that they will include your property in their management.

If your monthly rental fee is $1500, the management fee for the whole year is a whopping $2700 to $3600.

Last is the junk fee. This can include anything from whatever services the company is doing for your property. It can be an overhead charge, a processing and set-up fee, a marketing fee for all advertising and marketing efforts, and a renewal fee whenever there is a new tenant. These are unnecessary charges that you do not really have to pay should you choose the right company.

The good news is, there are local yet stable and trustworthy property management Tampa FL companies that have lower leasing fee, lower monthly fee and no junk fees at all.

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What You Should Know About Basic Property Management Services

property management

Marketing

Tampa Bay property management companies do more than advertising. They screen tenants and check backgrounds as necessary to avoid any problems in the future, such as incurred damages on your property, unpaid rental fees and other legal concerns; thus, giving you only quality tenants. It is important to check if the property management company you want to deal with has a strict screening process so you can sleep peacefully without having to worry if the tenants are taking good care of your property.

Screening includes checking for criminal records, assessing for financial capability, etc.

When inquiring, it is a must to ask if the property manager collects additional marketing fees for online and newspaper ads because this might double your expenses. Choosing a company with many years in operation is practical for this matter because no more extensive advertising is needed, thanks to their wide network.

Likewise, some Tampa FL property management companies collect renewal fees every time there is a new tenant. This is not advisable for real estate owners because it unnecessarily adds up on your bills.

Maintenance

A huge portion of your payments to a property manager goes to the maintenance fee. This, in general, includes necessary repairs and beautification to make the property marketable, before, while (as necessary or requested) and after a tenant occupies it. Not all companies include an all-out maintenance service, and it can work for or against you.

By letting you choose the contractor of your choice, you have more inputs in the process; pick the specific maintenance services you want; and scout for cheaper contractors in the area. However, this is not advisable.

First, it is more tedious and time-consuming. It defeats the purpose of convenience in hiring a Tampa property management company. Second, the truth is, you will just end up paying more instead of saving more. Company-to-company contracts are cheaper and are often discounted compared to when individual clients avail of a contractor’s services. This is because a company-to-company contract is quantity dependent, collectively or not.

Operation

Monitoring, financial management, utilization and even acquisition all fall under operation. Some property management Tampa FL has a la carte services that contribute to the efficiency of the overall management.

Basically, these companies stay updated with Federal Fair Housing laws and practices from the municipal to the state level. Should any legal matters arise (with the tenant), they will offer assistance or even handle it themselves (some have affiliate legal counsels). Depending on the extent of the service, the fee they collect will greatly vary.