Archive for September, 2013

Americans are on the Move!

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Is it Time to Look for a New Home?

Now that the economy has begun to stabilize, people are ready to move into new homes.  5.4% more households have moved this year than last year and an estimated 36.5 million people moved in 2012, up from 25.1 million in 2011. Enjoy the flash video below – just click to play and learn why Americans are on the Move!

During the recession, American mobility — the rate at which we move between states, counties, and even neighborhoods — had fallen to record lows, which was both a reflection of economic troubles and a hindrance to recovery. But new data released by the Census Bureau shows that trend beginning to reverse, at least in the short term.

How frequently people move may not seem particularly significant, but it has major implications: Geographic stagnation is closely linked to economic stagnation. During tough times, Americans have historically set off for geographic areas with more jobs and other economic opportunities. In recent years, however, the real estate market hasn’t cooperated: Folks were not only struggling to sell homes, but with so many homes underwater, many can’t even think of selling.

Time will tell where the economy is heading longer term but one thing for sure is that the Real Estate market has stabilized and people are ready to move!  Inventory remains low, mortgage rates are still at historical lows, and home prices have increased steadily in recent months.

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Is it Time to Move-up and Buy a Larger Home?

Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Move-up buying, is it time to sell and buy a larger home?

Move-up buying, is it time to sell and buy a larger home?

Move-up Buying

Virtually dead during the recession, move-up buying has resurfaced again in San Diego County. Property owners have been emboldened by rising home prices to list their homes and re-enter the market themselves.  Rising home values have meant more borrowers have emerged from negative equity, giving them the chance to break even or make a profit when selling.

San Diego County sales in the $300,000 to $800,000 range, generally the move-up category, rose nearly 50 percent in July 2013 compared with a year ago, figures from real estate tracker DataQuick show. Sales in the entry-level market, below $300,000, fell 25 percent in July, compared with a year ago.

Remaining home inventory also provides clues of a more-vibrant move-up market. The number of homes on the market between $500,000 and $800,000 is at a four months’ supply, which is “very, very healthy” compared with a year ago, when it was six to eight months. Movement in the trade-up market because those sellers tend to pay more visits to home-improvement stores to get furnishings and appliances. (more…)

10 Reasons to Hire a Property Manager

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

September 12, 2013

You probably already know that property management requires a large commitment of time and effort, especially if you have been doing it yourself. While it may make sense to take the do-it-yourself approach if you’re a handy person, live close to your property, and don’t mind devoting numerous hours per month to the task, in many cases this just isn’t practical—especially if your priorities are with other business and personal obligations. With this in mind, here are some critical tasks a property manager can help you with:

  1. Setting and obtaining the best right rental rate: While looking through the classifieds to see what other landlords are charging for similar properties is a fine way to ballpark your rent price, a good property management company will conduct a thorough market study and comparable market analysis (CMA) in order to set a rental price for your property, ensuring that you achieve the perfect balance between maximizing monthly income and maintaining a low vacancy rate.
  2. Collecting and depositing monthly rent payments on time: If you’ve ever worked in a billing department, you know that securing payment from clients can be difficult, not to mention awkward. Property management companies have efficient, tried-and-true systems in place to effectively collect rent and maintain on-time payments. You’ll find this particularly important if you have a limited number of properties, and collecting payments on time is crucial to maintaining your cash flow.
  3. Marketing and advertising your property: Through long experience, a property manager will know exactly where to market your property and how to craft compelling advertising materials—a significant advantage when it comes to filling your properties quickly and avoiding long vacancies.
  4. Finding the right tenants: Experienced property managers are experts at finding good tenants, and will take care of all the details, including the securing all criminal background and security checks, running credit reports, verifying employment, and collecting previous landlord references.
  5. Managing tenants: In addition to finding good tenants, a property management company will manage all aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship. The property manager will handle both routine and emergency maintenance, take care of routine inspections, and manage any situations where conflict resolution is required.
  6. Managing vendor relationships: Property management companies have relationships with maintenance workers, tradesmen, contractors, suppliers, and vendors that it’s almost impossible for an independent landlord to duplicate. Not only will your property manager get you the best work for the best price, they’ll oversee any necessary maintenance projects.
  7. Ensuring that you’re in compliance with housing regulations and property laws: There is a multitude of applicable laws and regulations to abide by when renting and maintaining your rental property. These include local, state and federal regulations, as well as fair housing regulations (such as the ADA). A property manager can help you avoid lawsuits by keeping your property up-to-date and in compliance with these regulations.
  8. Enabling you to invest in geographically distant properties: If you manage your own properties, you’re pretty much limited to investment opportunities within a tight radius of your own home. By hiring a property manager, you can take advantage of investment deals in any location you wish.
  9. Maximizing the profitability of your time: By having a property manager take care of the day-to-day aspects of running your income property, your free to spend your time identifying further investment opportunities or otherwise furthering your career.
  10. Maximizing the profitability of your money: Most property managers charge a percentage of your property’s monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. The rate typically runs anywhere from 6-10%, which is generally less than the money you save by hiring a professional to take care of your property.

Reprinted from All Property Management™, Copyright © 2004-2013

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Tenant Move In and Move Out (MIMO)

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Move In and Move Out Procedures are Key to Hiring a Great Property ManagerAssuring the Move In and Move Out Process Goes Smoothly!

One of the most important times in establishing a great tenant relations process is during the move into a rental unit and then again when the tenant decides it is time to move on to a new property.  Establishing guidelines and a clear process up front can avoid communication problems at the time for security deposit disposition.  North County Property Group utilizes the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) standard MIMO (Move In/Move Out) form as a straight forward way of documenting property condition at the time of occupancy as one point in time and then again when the tenant vacates.

Unit Condition Checklist
Upon leasing a property and on the day (or before) of tenant move-in, North County Property Group ALWAYS creates a  Move-In Condition checklist, as standard procedure, utilizing the MIMO form. This is a detailed checklist with notes describing the condition of every room in the unit with one column headed Move In Condition and another Move Out Condition. (more…)