Prospective owners we talk to want to know what will get top dollar for a rental property. That’s an important question, and if you want to earn as much as you can, your property has to be rent ready. This is different than what you would do to get the property ready for the sales market. With a rental, someone will be moving in and living there. A renter needs to have an idea of what living there will feel like.
Give the Property Fresh Paint
A fresh coat of paint looks clean and nice, and the color should be neutral. It’s hard for tenants to picture themselves living there if taste-specific colors are on the walls. So, neutrals like soft whites go a long way. If one room is purple and another one is orange, prospective tenants will have to visualize their children and their guests in those rooms. It can be hard to determine whether their own furniture and décor will match. Neutrals are always better.
Eliminate Personal Clutter from the Home
Take away any personal items. You don’t want to have mail on the counter or a ton of pictures on the walls and picture frames all over the surfaces. Remove personal items in the bathroom, and make sure that beds are made. When someone is coming through the property or you’re doing showings, less is more. Many times, owners will stay in the property until a tenant moves in. Edit out what you can, because it’s hard for people to picture how they will live there if all of your stuff is there.
Pay Attention to Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are the biggest items that prospective tenants look at, especially when you have people who love to cook. You want good appliances and rooms that are clean, updated, nice, and in neutral colors. Cabinetry and cupboards should look good. This doesn’t mean you have to do a whole kitchen remodel. But, if the varnish on the cabinets is off and they don’t look clean, you’ll want to paint or replace them. The $200 you’ll spend to paint cabinets will make a huge difference.
We also have vendors who do wonderful things with linseed oil. Your cabinets will look brand new. You can also update hardware and replace faucets. A new microwave, fresh paint in the bathroom, and a new toilet seat cover are all inexpensive updates that tenants will notice.
Manageable Yards and Landscaping
You might think you’ll be able to charge more rent because you have a huge yard and some lovely fruit trees. This might be great if someone is buying your house, but renters are not interested in taking care of fruit trees. Your large yard will only mean higher costs for you because you may need to hire a gardener. These things need to be maintained during a tenancy. So, something that you might see as a plus – a big yard – might be narrowing your tenant pool to large families only.
Market for the Season
In the summer, when it’s 100 degrees, having a pool is a plus. It can generate more money. Tenants find it’s a lot more fun to rent a house with a pool than it is to own a house with a pool. It’s attractive to renters because they don’t have to worry about the maintenance. In the winters, we’ll shift to promoting your fireplaces and your garages.
Another good way to make your home attractive to potential renters is by advertising your energy efficient appliances. If you have solar, that’s great too. Like you, renters don’t want to pay huge electric bills.
This is a good reason to have a property manager. We know what people are looking for, and we know how to market your property according to the season.
Properties Must Sparkle and Shine
Finally, cleanliness is the most important thing to consider when you’re getting your house ready for the rental market. Think of it as a hotel room. When you walk into a hotel room, you notice if it’s clean. You don’t want to feel like you’re staying in a place that someone else just stayed in. It should be airy, open, and neutral. It has to sparkle and shine.
We offer complimentary tours of your property that can help you prepare it for the rental market. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to schedule a tour or contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
At some point, you may realize that one or both of your parents cannot stay in their property. We get a lot of calls from people who need help, and at Sacramento Delta, we have been personally involved in our own parents’ decisions to downsize. Maybe your parent is moving into a nursing home or moving in with one of their children. It’s better to make these decisions when your parents feel involved and supported.
Renting Out a Parent’s Home
Maybe you and your siblings cannot decide what to do with your parent’s home. It’s overwhelming enough to come up with a plan to take care of a person – your parent. They might feel like moving out of the home is very final. That can be scary, and saying goodbye to a house is hard. When you choose to hold onto the property and rent it out, the situation can seem more hopeful for your parent. We have dealt with this in the past, and it gives parents and their adult children more peace of mind.
Professional Property Management for Your Parent’s Home
Sometimes, the adult children live in New York or across the country, and they are already stressed because they know it will be hard to take care of their parent. Moving mom or dad out of a place they have lived in for 40 or 50 years is difficult. You’ll need someone who can effectively manage the property, and keep it in good shape. A good property manager can even generate some income that can help pay for your parent’s care. Sometimes, you’ll need to use the rental income to pay for assisted living and nursing home care.
Put Off Difficult Decisions
There are many benefits to renting the property out, and one of the major benefits is that it puts off some big decisions. You don’t want to squabble with family members or leave your parents feeling like they don’t have a say. Renting the house out allows you to revisit decisions later and focus on caring for your mom or your dad.
This is something we want you to think about because we are emotionally connected to this topic, and we understand your desperation and your concerns.
If you have any questions about what to do or how to move forward, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management. We know what it’s like to be overwhelmed, and we can help you start this conversation.
When investors are making decisions, they will ask about rental value. They need to know how much rent their property will earn. There’s a benefit to having a professional property manager look at your property. That’s far more reliable than just running the numbers.
Start by Checking Rental Websites
Agents at Sacramento Delta specialize in specific neighborhoods and territories. So, right off the bat, we know the local market. Then, we look at websites to get an idea of what properties are renting for. We have a lot of information on our database too, because we manage over 2,000 properties. That’s a lot of resources to help us provide a rental value.
Visiting a Property to Assess Value
Sacramento Delta offers complimentary appointments, where our agents go out and look at your property. This is something you should take advantage of as a property owner. Those websites don’t tell the whole story, and being in the field helps us to more accurately price your property. A three bedroom, two bathroom house in the same neighborhood won’t always have the same rental value. One may be a 1950s home and one might be a brand new home. It’s hard to compare one to the other. The property’s condition has a huge impact on the rental price, and so do amenities like pools and fireplaces and new paint.
All these factors play a role. Having an agent specific to that territory working on your rental comp will ensure you get an organized, accurate, and detailed estimate. Often, our agents live in the neighborhoods they serve. So when something pops up, we know what’s trending. We can easily see the competition.
It’s really important to make that complimentary appointment so we can give you a good rental analysis. We want the full picture, and it benefits your bottom line.
Take advantage of our expertise!
If you have any questions or you’d like to schedule a complimentary analysis, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Today, we’re sharing a few of the reasons that Sacramento Delta Property Management is the right company to manage your rental home. We are rated Number One in the residential single-family property management category by the Sacramento Business Journal, and here’s why:
We have been in business since 1983, and some of our first customers are still with us today.
Property Management Sacramento: Leasing
One of the most important services we provided is placing a qualified resident in your property. Our website connects to hundreds of online rental marketing companies. We are one of the strictest property management companies around today, providing firm qualifying standards and guidelines for potential renters.
We guarantee our placements with an eviction protection program. Our team is sure to place qualified residents who can pay rent on time and take good care of your property.
Property Management Companies near Me: Sacramento Offices
We have seen it all, and we are well-staffed to handle any situation. We have two offices in specific Sacramento neighborhoods and the contiguous counties. Each of our property managers has an office-based assistant, so there is always someone to take your call, even when your property manager is out marketing properties, doing showings, or meeting with inspectors and conducting property surveys.
Property Management Sacramento: Communication and Education
Communication is our top priority. We are available by phone, text, and email. Property owners change management companies most often because of poor communication. We are aware of that, and we make it easy to reach us.
Another reason to choose us is our continuing education. Ted White, our owner and broker, focuses on making his staff the most knowledgeable in the area and the industry. There are many property management companies statewide. But, we are one of only 20 companies in California that hold the designation of Certified Residential Management Company by the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). We have successfully completed a rigorous audit of policies, procedures, and business methodology.
We continue to be involved in the new laws and legislation affecting you each year. We maintain positions on the local Sacramento board of NARPM.
What Your Sacramento Property Management Company Should Do for You
When you’re looking for a property management company to take care of your single family residence in Sacramento, you should pay attention to three particular things; price, communication and education.
There is no standard cost for the management of single family homes in Sacramento. Some companies will work by charging you a percentage of the rent and others will have a flat fee. What you need to know is what you’re getting for the cost. Find out what kinds of services are included in what you’re paying. For example, does your property management fee include the payment of utility bills and property taxes? Find out if maintenance bills are paid, and if there is a surcharge. Some property management companies offer eviction protection and that’s important, because you want to know if the company stands behind the tenants they select for your property. Find out if they are willing to pay for evictions, or if you’ll be left to pay it yourself.
The way your property manager communicates should be very important to you. The most difficult thing in our field is that many property managers are out of the office half the time. They are inspecting properties and showing properties and meeting with owners and residents and vendors. You still need to get your questions answered, however. Make sure you work with a property manager who has a staff of people who can help you while the property manager is unavailable. There should be a written policy in place for responding to your emails and phone calls. You want to know your property manager is going to get back to you within a particular amount of time.
Education and Experience
A property manager will guide you through the local, state and federal laws involved in rental properties. Therefore, you want a property manager with a lot of experience and a lot of ongoing education. Find out how long a property manager has been in business. Always choose someone who is affiliated with the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Your best bet is to get a property manager who is designated and certified by that organization. This is a group of professionals who spend hundreds of hours staying current in every issue pertaining to property management. They are dedicated and committed managers.
If you have any questions about what your property manager should be doing for you, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Sacramento Tenant Stops Paying Rent?
How to Handle Eviction
Today, we are going over the basic steps that may lead up to an eviction when a tenant stops paying rent. There are a couple of things you need to do right away to minimize any expense that comes along with the eviction process.
First, contact the tenant. If you don’t receive rent and you have no explanation, make a phone call to find out what’s going on. Sometimes, it’s a simple error that can be easily fixed. Maybe the rent was mailed in, and it got lost. Or, perhaps the resident simply forgot to pay. When the issue is an easy one to fix, you should go ahead and take the time to do that so you don’t have to go through with the eviction.
If your phone calls go unanswered and you still have no explanation for why rent has not been paid, you serve a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. As we have discussed in a previous blog, it’s never a good idea to include late fees or other charges in your Three Day Notice. That will only confuse the issue. Your Notice should require rent only, and it should give the resident three days to catch up.
If the Three Day Notice doesn’t work and time is up, you will need to move forward with the eviction. At this point, we recommend you refer the problem to an attorney who is experienced in evictions and knows the procedure well. Evictions can be complicated and even the slightest error can have consequences for you, so get an attorney.
Some property management companies will cover attorney fees when you have to file for eviction. When you begin working with a property manager, find out what kind of protection is included against the costs of an eviction process.
If you have any questions about eviction, or you’d like more information on how a property manager can help you handle it, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Landlord Tenant Laws and Regulations Explained by a Sacramento Property Manager
When you are renting a property out to tenants, you need to be aware of the laws and regulations involved in rental properties. A specific area we’re talking about today is serving notices. There are a few common situations in which you would serve a notice on a resident living in your property.
When you aren’t receiving rent, a common notice to serve is the Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This gives your resident three days to come up with the overdue rent, or leave the property. Something to remember on this notice is that you should only demand the amount of rent. Don’t include the late fees or any other charges. If the resident only has to come up with the rental amount, you have a better chance of collecting that money. Keep it simple and easy so there are not any hang ups if the situation does escalate to an eviction and you find yourself in court.
Another notice you might service is the Three Day Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit. In this situation, you might have a resident who is causing damage to the house or not abiding by the lease that you both signed at the beginning of the tenancy. The idea here is to give your residents notice that they are violating the contract. You are allowing them some time to fix whatever issue needs attention, and you’ll prevent further problems.
Finally, there is the common 30 Day Notice or 60 Day Notice to Quit the Lease. This is pretty standard and you will serve that at the end of the lease when you don’t plan to offer a renewal to your tenants. The length of time with this notice depends on how long the resident has been living in your property. If the resident has been there for over a year, you have to give 60 days’ notice. If the resident has been there less than a year, or the lease will terminate after one year, you can provide 30 days.
Always serve a notice correctly. Check with your attorney or a professional property manager on the correct way to get a notice served so it works and you don’t find yourself repeating the process. If you have any questions about notices and how to serve them, please contact us at Sacramento Delta, and we’d be happy to help you.
Handling Security Deposits and Normal Wear and Tear for Your Sacramento Home
As rental property owners, all of us want our homes to come back to us in the same great condition that they were in when we rented them out. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. There will always be something that needs attention; maybe the cleaning wasn’t done properly, or light bulbs weren’t changed. You may have miscellaneous items that need to be deducted from the security deposit.
When you handle the security deposit, you have to be aware of the law. In California, you have 21 days to return a security deposit to a resident. If you don’t, that resident can sue you for up to two times the amount of the deposit that was given. That’s not a situation you want to be in.
After a resident moves out, you’ll need to walk through the property to assess the condition. A check in sheet is a great tool that can help you determine what you should and should not charge the security deposit for. You can complete this on your own or with the tenant at the time of move in. It will tell you the state of the home when the resident moves in, and you’ll be able to compare it to the state of the home when that same resident moves out.
Remember that you must allow for normal wear and tear. It’s not always easy to determine the difference between damage and wear and tear. This is one reason why hiring a professional property manager can be useful. Generally speaking, paint has an expected life of three years and carpet has a six year life span. If your resident moves into a freshly painted home and then moves out after a year, you might notice some areas on the wall that need touch up paint, or maybe nail holes need to be filled in. It’s natural to want to charge the tenant for the entire amount because they got a freshly painted home when they moved in. However, you are required to give them their one year wear and tear credit.
Deciphering what portion of the paint bill should be charged to the tenant can be complicated, and this is what we do on a daily basis as property managers. In the end, most security deposits will have some deductions on them, and you have to do it right. For example, if you keep more than $125 of the deposit, you must provide the residents with receipts for the work that was done. We think it’s a great idea to include those receipts no matter what the amount. It eliminates confusion and enhances communication.
If you have any questions on how to return a security deposit or distinguish between damage and wear and tear, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Sacramento Maintenance 101 – Preventative, Emergency and How to Budget
Managing the maintenance on your rental home requires you to be prepared for both preventative repairs and emergency issues. You also need to have a budget in place so you can pay for the necessary repairs and replacements.
Your regular preventative maintenance routine should include things like caulking. Caulk around the toilet and the tub to avoid leaks. Pay attention to your gutters. You should only have to clean out the gutters once every year, and it will save you a lot of money on larger repairs that can become necessary if your gutters aren’t regularly cleaned. Another thing you should do annually is to have your heating and air conditioning systems serviced. To ensure those systems continue to work well, leave your tenants with a supply of filters and instruct them to change those filters every 30 days. You will save on repairs and it will be a longer time before you have to replace that system completely.
It is crucial to have someone available 24 hours a day for emergencies. Your tenants cannot wait until the next business day to call someone about a plumbing crisis, a break-in, falling trees or collapsed fences. When you have someone available 24 hours a day, it means someone is always looking out for your house. Your emergency availability will save you from having to make more expensive repairs that can happen when additional damage is caused to the home.
When you take preventative measures and you provide 24 hour emergency service, you are protecting your home and yourself against expensive repairs. However, we all know that things still happen. Appliances break, water heaters leak and fences fall down during storms. Heaters and air conditioning systems get old. You have to be prepared for these things, so have a budget in place. It helps to keep track of when you purchase these items and how much maintenance has been done on them. You’ll know what to expect and when to prepare to buy new things.
If you have any questions on managing the maintenance on your rental home, please contact us at Sacramento Delta. We deal with these issues every day, and we’d be happy to help you.
Talk to a Property Manager Before Buying a Sacramento Rental Property
When you’re searching for the best investment property in the Sacramento area, there are a few specific things to consider. We always recommend that you talk to a property manager before you buy so you know you’re buying a property that people are going to want to rent.
Knowing the rental value of a home is really important. A property manager can give you sound advice about what a particular property will rent for in the existing market. You’ll need to get comparables of actual rentals in the area. This requires a lot more detail than what you’ll find on Craigslist or other sites online. Property managers have firsthand knowledge of actual rents, and that information is far more accurate than what you’ll find online or from a sales agent.
Price is really important to potential renters. They are looking for a fair price, and they’re willing to pay it. They will not even consider looking at your home if it’s priced above the market. Therefore, you really need to consider the rental rate before you buy an investment home. Be willing to take advice from your property manager and negotiate.
Remember that there’s a rental loss associated with your property when it sits on the market. You don’t want to buy it and then leave it vacant for months and months because you’re not going to be able to get the rental price you had hoped for. The market does not care about your mortgage. This can be a hard thing for an owner to accept.
It’s important to understand what is important to a potential renter who is well qualified. You want to buy an investment property that will appeal to a great tenant. They want a property that is safe, clean and well maintained. It should smell good and be inviting. They want to be proud to call that property their home. This is the kind of renter you want.
Finally, you have to consider a home’s features before you buy it. Important features are square footage, number of bedrooms, the size of those bedrooms and whether there is central heat and air. In Sacramento, we have summers that see temperatures over 100 degrees. Location is important as well. Some families will pay a premium if the property is located in a preferred school district.
If you have any questions about how to find an ideal investment property in Sacramento, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management. We have specialists in all areas of the city and we can help you set and reach your property investment goals.
- How to Get Your Sacramento House Ready to Rent
- Benefits of Renting Out Your Elderly Parents’ Home When They Move
- How Much Can I Rent my Sacramento House for? Professional Management Advice
- Why Choose Sacramento Delta to Manage Your Rental Property
- Someone To Count On
- Sacramento Delta