Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why Home Owners Should Consider A Property Management Company

Choosing the wrong tenant can cause you extreme stress, not to mention legal issues. Not paying attention to your budget might leave you owing money instead of making it, and forgetting to keep copies of important documents or failing to pay attention to the legalities of renting out properties can lead to legal trouble. If you are looking to rent out your home or if you are already an established landlord, you can help stay away from serious problems by using a managment company.

Using a Property Management Company will assist with keeping you compliant with the ever changing laws and regulations.  They have the experience to help find approved tenants, from knowing what questions to ask in the initial meeting, to full national background and credit checks, to calling references and verifying incomes.  They will take care of the tax forms that need to be sent to the tenants each year and should also handle all of your accounting, providing monthly and annual statements, making it easy for you to file your taxes.  They also help coordinate maintenance items that may arise, many times allowing you to save money by using their preferred vendors.

Here are 6 issues management companies help you avoid :

1. Not paying attention to legal requirements

Your city may require a renter’s permit or license.  Call or check out their website to check on their requirements.  You may need to notify the city that the property has now become a rental property. Most cities will require a rental / safety inspection.  You will need to prove that the rental unit is safe and meets fire codes. You also may need to prove that your rental has structural stability, safe wiring, proper lighting, appropriate ventilation, adequate heating and cooling, and a sanitary living area.

A good management company will assist you with the application process and the inspections to help make sure your property is licensed correctly.

2. Choosing a tenant in desperation

You definitely need to screen your tenants.  If you find yourself in the situation of only having one interested tenant, but you don’t feel comfortable with him or her. Understandably, if you rely on rental income to pay your own bills, then the idea of waiting around for the right tenant can be scary.  But if you bring in a tenant who lacks the financial means to afford the rent you are asking,  or one who doesn’t pay on time, or who doesn’t respect the space, this may end up costing you a lot more money than you would have by waiting for an approved tenant.

You can find out a lot about a potential tenant through credit and reference checks, but some potential issues won’t show up on a credit report. You may want to go as far as checking out their Facebook profile page.

Management companies will help market the property to as many available sources as possible to avoid the situation of only having a small pool of potential tenants.

3. Staying on top of lease renewal

While it is every landlord’s dream to have the perfect long-term tenant who pays his or her rent on time every month, requests maintenance respectfully and patiently, and maintains the property well, many rentals see high turnover rates. The ideal long-term renter isn’t always available. In some cases you may not necessarily want a renter to renew a lease.  Many lease are written to automatically extend into a month to month lease after the expiration date.  You want to start the conversation prior to the lease notification period to give you the chance to make any changes you see fit, rent increases, a different lease period or the opportunity to move in a different direction with the home.  

A management company will have systems in place to send out reminders to keep on top of any of these upcoming dates / notification periods.  

4. Forgetting to maintain a paper trail

In addition to always creating a contract, you should keep a paper trail of any issues that come up with a renter or rental space. If a tenant denies that you provided an updated lease, notice of rate increase, or another important document, you can protect yourself by keeping copies of all notices that you send to tenants. It is also important to keep a copy of payments as well as all important correspondence, including when you respond to a complaint or fix an issue.

Eviction notices can’t be served unless the tenant has been notified prior to the eviction being served, so be sure that you provide notification. If you ever face a lawsuit, keeping paper copies of all important material will help your case, and you can protect yourself further by providing written notices and updates rather than speaking to a tenant over the phone or in person.

A good management company will also have systems in place to track communications and keep records of notices that have been given to the tenants.  Management companies are good at avoiding evictions by first finding qualified tenants and keeping good communication with the tenants throughout their stay, but in the event an eviction is necessary, they will also make sure that you are compliant with the laws to make sure that the process is as smooth as it can be.  

5. Not budgeting properly

While the idea of extra monthly income is exciting, being a landlord doesn’t always pay off, and you may face good and bad months. You should not expect that all of your rental income will go straight to the bank. In addition to paying for the space you own (if you have a mortgage), you will have to pay whenever anything needs to be fixed. In addition, you may not always have renters in place.
It is a good idea create small buffer to help cover any loss of income or when you have an issue to fix. All of these issues should go into your budgeting, as should taxes on rental income. Be sure to charge enough for your properties and to raise rent regularly (but fairly) so that you are covered during hard times.

A management company will do a good job keeping your property rented at all times.  Making sure they are on top of lease expiration dates and starting the marketing at the right times, keeping in communication with current tenants to allow for any showings that are needed to find the next tenants to give you a smooth transition with no loss of rental income.  They will also provide monthly and annual statements to help keep on top of your rental.  

6. Choosing the wrong support team

If you hire a property management company, make sure that they have the experience to succeed. You can look for a company that has a specific rental specialty that matches your needs, on that shows properties in a manner that you like, properly screens all potential tenants, and appropriately deals with all issues, including problems after-hours.

Management companies will usually meet with you for a free rental consultation, giving you the chance to learn about their services, coverages and their company.  

A management company can allow for peace of mind knowing that someone is on top of things.  Many tenants find working with a company can be preferable over working directly with a home owner who may not be as responsive as a management company.  

http://www.realtyconnectmn.com/blog/2014/02/23/why-home-owners-should-consider-a-property-management-company/   

+Erik Laine +chrissy fallon +Jesse Halverson +RealtyConnect +David Timmons

Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs.

Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team

RealtyConnect
3169 Fernbrook Ln N
Plymouth, MN 55447
(763) 447-3151

#realestate, #realtyconnect, #rental, #sold, #listing, #propertymanagement


Saturday, February 22, 2014

$1,145 - MLS # 4449352 6954 NE 91st Street Monticello, MN 55362

Rental Real Estate in Monticello MN at 6954 NE 91st Street







This Monticello townhome offers 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. An open floor plan with a large family room. The kitchen has a walk-in pantry. Close to neighborhood parks. Easy access to 94 & outlet malls. Laundry in unit.

Erik Laine
Broker

(612) 234-1439 Cell
(763) 447-3151 Office
http://www.realtyconnectmn.com
Realty Connect
3169 Fernbrook Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55447
763-447-3151
612-605-3305 Fax

Each office independently owned and operated


Scan with your Smartphone for mobile listing

http://www.realtyconnectmn.com/real-estate/Greater-Minnesota/Rental/property/4449352-6954-NE-91st-Street-Monticello-MN-55362/
+Erik Laine +chrissy fallon +Jesse Halverson +RealtyConnect +Reba Stumpf

Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. 

Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs. 

Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team

RealtyConnect

3169 Fernbrook Ln N

Plymouth, MN 55447

(763) 447-3151

#realestate, #realtyconnect, #rental, #sold, #listing

Friday, February 21, 2014

Families Step in as Lenders to Help Kids Buy a Home

Employment troubles, large student loan debt, and tight underwriting standards have been major hurdles holding back potential first-time home buyers in their 20s and 30s, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In 2012, Americans who were 30 to 34 had the lowest home ownership rate of any similarly aged group in recent decades at 47.9 percent, according to demographer Chris Porter of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. As comparison, Americans born between 1948 and 1957 had a 57.1 percent ownership rate by the time they were in the 30 to 34 age group.

Studies have shown a strong desire among 20- and 30-somethings to buy a home, but their finances are holding them back from making such a move. As such, more relatives are stepping in to provide assistance with downpayment and closing costs. Twenty-seven percent of first-time buyers received a money gift from relatives last year.

In some cases, instead of just handing over the money, some family members also are serving as “mini-lenders” themselves to help their adult children purchase a home, The Los Angeles Times reports. The family members may provide a second mortgage or first mortgage that are designed to deal with the young relative’s financial hurdles too, like paying off student loans to reduce debt-to-income ratios (which has been a hurdle for many in qualifying for a conventional loan). What’s more, the loans can provide annual returns to family members that have been known to perform better than money-market funds or bank deposits.

Companies are stepping in to help structure and service these intra-family transactions. For example, National Family Mortgage says it’s business has been booming in this area. It has serviced more than $155 million of intra-family transactions in the last two years and expects to service $150 million in volume in 2014 alone.

Source: http://www.realtyconnectmn.com/blog/2014/02/21/families-step-in-as-lenders-to-help-kids-buy-a-home/   


Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.
Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs.
Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team
RealtyConnect
3169 Fernbrook Ln N
Plymouth, MN 55447
(763) 447-3151

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sellers Getting Ahead of Spring Rush

The spring selling rush may already be under way, as some home owners are already throwing their properties on the market to take advantage of rebounding home prices and improved equity. Many sellers are listing properties earlier than usual in anticipation of the spring season.

Sellers are “nervous about what the spring is going to bring,” says Reid. “They don’t know if everybody will list this spring — then you’ll have a big counterbalance toward too much inventory — or if there’ll be a crunch again. They figure they’ll get out ahead of the market, list, sell, and be done with it.”

Inventory shortages persisted last year, when supply was at a 12-year low leading into the spring. The shortages helped boost home prices, but gave home buyers limited choices and sparked bidding wars in many markets. New-home construction is now at a third of its 2006 peak, which likely will keep inventories tight this spring. But, economists say, improved home prices will likely convince more sellers to sell this year, and that should relieve the inventory crunch in many markets. 

In the last four months of 2013, year-over-year inventory levels of homes for sale began to climb after 30 straight months of declines, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Inventories increased in some of the states with the tightest markets, such as Arizona, California, Georgia, and Florida. In Sacramento, Calif., asking prices rose 11 percent last year, and listings soared 58 percent in December, according to realtor.com®’s housing report. Inventories also rose by 20 percent or more in Minneapolis; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Dayton, Ohio; Oakland, Calif.; and Phoenix.

“Rising inventory is the primary reason that we expect the pace of price gains to drop back,” says Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics Ltd. Prices are expected to rise only 4 percent nationally this year, compared to an 11 percent gain in 2013.
Now may be a great time to list your property, beat the rush to the market while the inventory is still low.  Mortgage applications are up, meaning buyers are out looking now.  

Source : http://www.realtyconnectmn.com/blog/2014/02/13/sellers-getting-a-jump-of-spring-rush/ 

Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. 

Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs. 

Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team

RealtyConnect

3169 Fernbrook Ln N

Plymouth, MN 55447

(763) 447-3151

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prior Lake Open House Sunday February 16th, from 1-3pm

Open house Sunday February 16th, from 1-3pm. Come check out this beautiful 3 BD / 2 BA Prior Lake home. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Kindle Fire HD will be given away as door prize, all who come may enter to win!

Residential Real Estate for Sale in Prior Lake MN at 4589 SE Colorado Street







Very well cared for home in heart of Prior Lake. Potential of 3 bedrooms on main level and 2 more down! Large master with walking closet & master bath. Vaulted ceilings in living room, open updated kitchen with cabinet lighting, ceramic tile.

Erik Laine
Broker

(612) 234-1439 Cell
(763) 447-3151 Office
http://www.realtyconnectmn.com
Realty Connect
3169 Fernbrook Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55447
763-447-3151
612-605-3305 Fax

Each office independently owned and operated


Scan with your Smartphone for mobile listing

http://www.realtyconnectmn.com/real-estate/Greater-Minnesota/Residential/property/4405621-4589-SE-Colorado-Street-Prior-Lake-MN-55372/
+Erik Laine +Jesse Halverson +RealtyConnect
Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs.

Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team

RealtyConnect

3169 Fernbrook Ln N

Plymouth, MN 55447

(763) 447-3151

Sunday, February 9, 2014

MnDOT I-494 Maintenance / Upgrade in Plymouth MN

The city of Plymouth is known as home to the only remaining 2 lane stretch of I-494 in the entire metro area.  This creates a 5 mile bottle-neck that runs from Hwy 55 to Fish Lake Rd.  The Plymouth City Council has been fighting to add a third lane for years.  With a lack of state funding and the state continually over-looking this project, it has made it difficult to make this happen.  MnDOT and the Metropolitan Council have also shifted their focus in recent years from general purpose lanes to managing traffic long-term through the use or MnPASS lanes that are open to car pools, buses and toll payers.  
While planning the maintenance of the I-494 corridor, MnDOT engineers decided on the idea of a dynamic shoulder, a wider shoulder that would be open to traffic during peak periods.  Overhead signs will show green arrows when the shoulder is available for use and red arrows when it is closed.  The times discussed have been souothbound being open from 6-9am and northbound will be open from 2:30-6:30 with MnDOT having the ability to open it when traffic dictates.  
The project will run from July 2014 through November 2016 with a total cost of $68.6 million.  Below is a summary of the scheduled work : 

Summary of work

  • Repair and reconstruct the concrete pavement on I-494 between I-394 and the I-94/494/694 interchange (Fish Lake Interchange).
  • Maintenance repairs on bridges and ramps spanning I-494
    • Bridges to and from I-94 and I-694
    • East Fish Lake Road
      Bass Lake Road
    • County Road 47
    • Canadian Pacific Railway
    • Schmidt lake Road
    • Rockford Road
    • Highway 55
    • County Road 6
    • Carlson Parkway
    • Cheshire lane
  • Widen the right shoulders between Hwy 55 and East Fish Lake Road to facilitate a right-side dynamic shoulder.
  • Construct storm water ponds and noise barriers.

 Project schedule

  • August 2013: Geometric layout
  • January 2014: Environmental documentation
  • February 2014: Final plans and specifications
  • June 2014: Project letting
  • July 2014 - November 2016: Project construction

Cost

  • $68.3 million

Average daily traffic

  • 95,000 vehicles (2005)
  • 132,800 vehicles (2030 estimate if project occurs)
Source : http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494plymouth/

+Erik Laine +Jesse Halverson +chrissy fallon +RealtyConnect +David Timmons 

Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. 

Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs. 

Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team

RealtyConnect

3169 Fernbrook Ln N

Plymouth, MN 55447

(763) 447-3151

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

House 'flipping', now is the time

http://www.realtyconnectmn.com/blog/2014/02/05/house-flipping-now-is-the-time/ 

For a home to qualify as a 'flip', it was purchased and re-sold within a 6 month period. 
 Keep in mind that the profits mentioned below are gross profits, which does not take into effect the cost of re-hab, real estate commissions and the cost of borrowing money.  Minneapolis actually saw a larger downturn in 'flipped' homes in 2013, a decrease of 9%.  

RealtyTrac, released its year-end and fourth quarter 2013 Home Flipping Report, which shows 156,862 single family home flips — where a home is purchased and subsequently sold again within six months — in 2013, up 16% from 2012 and up 114% from 2011.
Profits are strong in flipping right now. The average gross profit for a home flip — the difference between the flipped price and the price the flipper purchased the property for — was $58,081 for all U.S. homes flipped in 2013, up from an average gross profit of $45,759 in 2012. The average gross profit for homes flipped in the fourth quarter was $62,761, up from $52,746 in the fourth quarter of 2012.

It looks like the market for flips is slowing, which could portend ill for housing in general. Flips accounted for 3.8% of all sales in the fourth quarter, down slightly from 3.9% of all sales in the third quarter and down from 7.1% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Strong home price appreciation in many markets boosted profits for flippers in 2013 despite a shrinking inventory of lower-priced foreclosure homes to purchase," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "For the year 21% of all properties flipped were purchased out of foreclosure, but that is down from 27% in 2012 and 32% in 2011. Meanwhile flipped homes were still purchased at an average discount of 13% below market value in 2013, the same average discount as 2012, indicating that investors are finding discounted buying opportunities outside of the public foreclosure process — particularly in those markets with the biggest increases in flipping for the year."

RealtyTrac, one of the nation’s leading sources for comprehensive housing data, reported that homes flipped in 2013 accounted for 4.6% of all U.S. single-family home sales during the year, up from 4.2% in 2012 and up from 2.6% in 2011.
Who is flipping? People with lots of extra cash. The report shows the biggest increases in flipping nationwide occurred on homes with a flipped price of $400,000 or more. Although flipping increased across all price ranges, flips on homes with a flipped sale price above $400,000 increased 36% from 2012, while flips on homes with a flipped sale price at or below $400,000 increased 17% from 2012.

Major metro areas with big increases in home flipping in 2013 compared to 2012 included Virginia Beach (up 141%), Jacksonville, Fla., (up 92%), Baltimore, Md. (up 88%), Atlanta (up 79%), Richmond, Va., (up 57%), Washington, D.C. (up 52%) and Detroit (up 51%).
Major markets with big decreases in home flipping in 2013 compared to 2012 included Philadelphia (down 43%), Phoenix (down 32%), Tampa (down 17%), Houston (down 17%), Denver (down 15%), Minneapolis (down 9%), and Sacramento (down 5%).

Source : http://www.housingwire.com/articles/28789-flip-now-if-you-plan-to-flip-that-house-at-all


Search homes for sale or rent with our new Premier Real Estate Search website, www.realtyconnectmn.com. Our site is updated daily with the latest available Real Estate inventory in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. 

Contact us today about any of your Real Estate needs. 

Buy, Sell, Lease, Manage, Full Service Real Estate Team

RealtyConnect

3169 Fernbrook Ln N

Plymouth, MN 55447

(763) 447-3151