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Becoming a Landlord - Do You Have What It Takes?

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Now that you have been warned about the hardships of being a landlord, let us take a detailed look at what it takes to run a rental property. You will need certain resources, qualities, contacts and preparations in order to succeed at making money on your property without running yourself into the ground. One basic rule to keep in mind is that every task or aspect of landlording will either cost you time and effort or money out of pocket.

The Pros and Cons of Landlording

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Reality Check

You may believe that being a landlord is nothing more than a means to extra income. But being a landlord is much more; entailing work, time and worry. Even if your rental property is in tiptop shape and all your tenants pay promptly and take care of your property, you will still face expenses and time-consuming duties each month. You should know that up front. Simply put, landlording can be lucrative and rewarding,but it will always require effort and time.

Learn How To Manage Property

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Those who have some real property must know that managing property is no easy job. Most of the people who have such property often depend on the professional managers to take care of them. The real professionals do not fail and you can gain from appointing them. But you might not be so lucky as to get a good manager. Thus you need to know at least the basics of managing your property. It will not only help you to know what you should expect from your manager but also make his task easy when he explains his actions to you.

Why hire Property Management Company to manage your Property?

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Everyday, people turn to experts with training in certain areas, whether its doctors, lawyers, accountants or financial planners. Not every investor requires the hiring of a property manager, but many of the most successful ones will tell you that their success is directly related to their hiring of a an excellent property management company.

Owning rental property can be very profitable. However, it can also be an extremely risky investment for those without professional management assistance. On-call maintenance can be inconvenient and time-consuming. It can be a full-time job just staying on top of the latest Landlord-Ten

Guidelines To Residential Management

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Every investment needs good property management. An important key to any residential management is good service and quality maintenance. There should be a high level of service to the tenants, teamwork between everyone, quick responses to the needs of the client and tenants and they should anticipate any potential problems in advance. The manager creates a good relationship with the tenant and the property owner based on mutual respect and courtesy. They communicate clearly and openly with all involved to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.

A good manager focuses on the needs of each individual owner. Each property will have a unique set of challenges that are met in a quick and responsible manner. The quality of the property and its value depend on top quality management to maintain quality living standards for the resident. The manager acts as the go between f


Landlord Knowledge Base

If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.


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