Son-Rise Property Management https://www.son-rise.net Property Management with a Difference Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:25:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Before Hiring Residential Property Management Ask How they Handle Tenant and Owner Funds https://www.son-rise.net/before-hiring-residential-property-management-ask-how-they-handle-tenant-and-owner-funds/ https://www.son-rise.net/before-hiring-residential-property-management-ask-how-they-handle-tenant-and-owner-funds/#respond Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:24:08 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23699 When a property owner leaves the management of their property to a residential property management company, they should have a clear understanding of what and how the property manager will handle each important part of the job. Since the purpose of rental property is to generate rental income, one of the most important things to understand is how a residential property manager will handle ...

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When a property owner leaves the management of their property to a residential property management company, they should have a clear understanding of what and how the property manager will handle each important part of the job. Since the purpose of rental property is to generate rental income, one of the most important things to understand is how a residential property manager will handle tenant and owner funds. A clear policy should be provided in writing before a contract is signed.

Property owners should ask these questions about tenant and owner funds before hiring a residential property management company

1. How are payments to a property owner handled?

As a rental property owner, you should know how and when you will receive payments from your rental property manager. On what specific day of every month will you receive their payment and how will the payment be made. By check, direct deposit or other means? This commitment should be made in writing.

2. How will taxes be handled?

Property owners should know how a residential property management company will handle taxes. At a minimum the management company should provide an IRS-1099 as well as a profit and loss statement. If the company will be handling taxes on behalf of the property owner, it should be in the management contract that they are responsible and will be held liable in case of audits finding problems. If the owner is responsible for taxes, this should be written in the contract as well.

3.  How will accounts be handled?

Ideally, a property management company will use accounting software to handle bookkeeping for its clients. Accounting software makes it easier for property owners to access accounts information in real time. They should be able to see as money comes in and goes out with each transaction and which tenants have paid and which ones haven’t. Access to account in real time should be in addition to monthly reports. Ask for a sample report to see how detailed you can expect them to be.

4.  How are security deposits handled?

Security deposits are a sensitive matter with tenants. It is therefore important that a property owner establishes how a residential property management company handles them. It’s important that they are fair for both the property owner and tenant. For example, the funds should be high enough that they are likely to cover damage caused by tenants but not withheld for maintenance that should be covered by the landlord. Security deposit refunds should be handled in a timely manner.

There are laws that govern the handling of rental security deposits and the amount that can be charged for a deposit. It’s important that security deposits are handled in accordance to local laws. Ensuring that you hire a company who is operating lawfully will prevent trips to small claims court.

The management contract should also be specific about where security deposits are held. It could be in the owner’s account where it is deposited along with the rent when a new tenant takes up a unit. In some cases, security deposits are held by the property manager.

A residential property management company is the bridge between a property owner and tenants. The way security deposits are handled should protect a property owner from losses and legal disputes and tenants from exploitation.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Before Hiring Ask Property Management Companies How They Handle Property Maintenance and Repairs https://www.son-rise.net/property-management-companies-handle-property-maintenance-repairs/ https://www.son-rise.net/property-management-companies-handle-property-maintenance-repairs/#respond Tue, 11 Jun 2019 21:05:15 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23665 The purpose of a rental property is to generate rental income brought in by tenants. In order to attract and retain tenants, it is important that periodic maintenance is done and repairs are handled as soon as the need arises. With maintenance and repairs a key factor in keeping long-term tenants and ensuring rental property income, property owners should choose property management companies with ...

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The purpose of a rental property is to generate rental income brought in by tenants. In order to attract and retain tenants, it is important that periodic maintenance is done and repairs are handled as soon as the need arises. With maintenance and repairs a key factor in keeping long-term tenants and ensuring rental property income, property owners should choose property management companies with a sound policy on handling maintenance and repairs.

Ask property management companies how they handle property maintenance and repairs

  1. How do tenants make repair requests and how are their requests handled?

In today’s digital world, look for a property management company that offers automated repair requests through property management software. It should be fast and easy for tenants to access the platform, make a request, receive feedback that it has been received and a date/time for repair. Another option is for the property manager to create a tenant group on a social media platform and have tenants make requests there. Ask their commitment to responding to repair requests within a certain timeframe.

Tenants should be informed of what appliances and other items they can place a request for repair or maintenance for and how the process works when they sign the lease.

  1. How are after-hour, weekend and holiday requests handled?

It would be unfair and annoying to make a tenant wait several days to have an emergency situation fixed because it’s the weekend or after-hours. Some examples of repairs that shouldn’t wait are leaking faucet or toilet, heater or air conditioning unit during cold or hot seasons. Good property management companies will have a service provider lined up for emergencies.

  1. How is preventative maintenance scheduled?

Preventative maintenance ensures that minor problems are caught before they become large ones that cost a lot to repair. It also ensures that a unit is soon ready for occupation once vacated. The best property management companies do maintenance checks on a schedule. For instance, checking pipes, gutters and HVAC should be done every six months. Power washing, roof cleaning and other projects should be handled annually. Some maintenance jobs should be handled every time a tenant vacates such as carpet cleaning.

  1. Does the property management company have an in-house maintenance crew?

Many large property management companies have their own crew. One advantage of this is that they can hold the workers to a high standard. Also, emergencies can be dealt with immediately. The question a property owner should ask here is whether legal requirements like worker’s compensation have been taken care of to avoid potential claims and lawsuits. It is also the responsibility of property management companies to vet vendors and contractors. This ensures their products and services are up to the expected standard and are code compliant.

A property owner would do well to do some homework on selected vendors and contractors. Property managers should be able to qualify their choices with a good history and competitive pricing. There should be no hidden or unscrupulous motives like kickbacks.

  1. Repair and maintenance updates to property owner

Property management companies should follow due process in presenting reports to their clients. The company should have invoices, receipts, delivery notes and job reports for every job done. These documents should be compiled into an expenses report. If software is used, all reports can be accessed in real time.

Effective property maintenance and repairs maximizes returns

Run down rental properties will not attract or retain the best tenants. To maximize returns, periodic maintenance and quick repairs are a must.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Top Ways Property Management Companies Can Attract Senior Renters https://www.son-rise.net/top-ways-property-management-companies-can-attract-senior-renters/ https://www.son-rise.net/top-ways-property-management-companies-can-attract-senior-renters/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 07:00:14 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23546 With our aging population, the demand for rental houses for seniors is growing and property management companies are taking notice. Statistics on seniors from the Census Bureau indicate that Americans aged 65 years and above will grow from 40 million to over 88.5 million in the next four decades. The majority of seniors prefer independent living to assisted living or a care facility which will ...

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With our aging population, the demand for rental houses for seniors is growing and property management companies are taking notice. Statistics on seniors from the Census Bureau indicate that Americans aged 65 years and above will grow from 40 million to over 88.5 million in the next four decades. The majority of seniors prefer independent living to assisted living or a care facility which will mean an explosion in senior demand for rental properties in upcoming years.

According to a Harvard University report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies, American housing trends are shaping up to resemble those of Europe where more and more people are opting to rent rather than buy homes. The report also indicates that one effect of this trend is an increase in senior citizen’s opting to rent as the average population age goes up.

How property management companies can maximize returns with senior renters

As the demand for senior housing grows, it is important for property management companies to be strategic in order to make the most of the growing demand. This can be done in the following ways:

Emphasizing the green factor

Seniors care about environmental conservation, preserving their health and keeping utility costs low. For these reasons, property management companies should advertise green building rental properties or properties with green features to seniors. For example, use of solar energy rather than electricity and use of recycled water should be emphasized.

Provide extra services

As people age, many have health needs that require rehabilitation. It is an attractive feature for seniors to have health services available to them in the form of temporary rehabilitation when needed. The units with these extra services can be in one section or the units can be mixed with standard units. Healthcare specialists project a demand for temporary rehabilitation as penalties for hospitals that readmit patients for similar or related conditions are assessed by the Affordable Care Act.

Inclusiveness

While they appreciate independent living, many seniors struggle with loneliness. Property management companies should encourage seniors to rent in communities with a nice mix of families, singles and seniors to help them feel part of a community. Units should be walking distance to social activities in community facilities such as churches, community centers, shops, gyms, restaurants and other social amenities.

Letting seniors stay on

Seniors tend to be long-term renters. Property management companies will attract more seniors if they offer a long-term lease and provide features that help seniors retain their independence through Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) in independent units. Builders should consider larger bathrooms with wall-mounted supports, wide doors that wheelchairs can easily get through and in-walls buzzers or alarms to call for help. Smart houses with automated functions can also be great for seniors.

Offering practical and unique services

It would be a mistake to assume that seniors should or like to spend their time sitting around. It is healthy and enjoyable for them to participate in mentally and physically stimulating activities. Property management companies can attract seniors with recreation rooms, in-house gyms and swimming pools and by forming partnerships with a nearby gym or yoga center. An indoor/outdoor communal lounge area would also be a plus.

There is no doubt that senior living units are in demand and that the demand will keep growing. Property managers should be aware of the trend and what they can do to attract seniors to their units in the years to come.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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How Property Rental Companies Can Attract Families and Why They Should https://www.son-rise.net/how-property-rental-companies-can-attract-families-and-why-they-should/ https://www.son-rise.net/how-property-rental-companies-can-attract-families-and-why-they-should/#respond Mon, 13 May 2019 02:21:40 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23542 Property rental companies are always looking for great long-term renters because low turnover increases rental returns. If you own single-family rental homes and your property rental company hasn’t been working to attract families then they may be missing out on one of the most long-term rental groups in the market. The fact is that parent-aged adults have much lower turnover rates than renters in ...

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Property rental companies are always looking for great long-term renters because low turnover increases rental returns. If you own single-family rental homes and your property rental company hasn’t been working to attract families then they may be missing out on one of the most long-term rental groups in the market. The fact is that parent-aged adults have much lower turnover rates than renters in their twenties*. In addition, millennials who are America’s largest generation, are in their prime child-bearing years and with the cost of buying a house so high many are in the rental market. These factors mean high demand for family friendly rental properties; making it a very profitable rental income niche.

*According to the latest Census Bureau data, 35.2% of adults aged 40 to 44 years moved between 2010-2015 and 29.7% of those aged between 45 and 49 years moved in this time frame. These numbers are in stark contrast to a whopping 61.2% of those between the ages of 25 and 29 moving during this time frame.

How property rental companies can attract families

To attract families, property rental companies need to promote features that are desirable to families. Here is a list of features to promote:

Fencing

Safety is a primary concern to parents which makes fencing a must-have. A fenced in backyard is especially important where the goal is to ensure young ones and pets can play safely outside and intruders cannot access the house. A well-fenced backyard also makes it easy to make the most of outdoor space such as with a garden or deck with a hot tub or Jacuzzi.

Patio with a fire pit

Families tend to stay in more than singles and many like to have other families and friends over for visits. A combination of a patio and a fire pit is a big attraction. While fire pits may be desirable to families, they do pose a potential hazard. To protect themselves from liability, rental property owners should include a detailed user’s guide and have renter’s insurance that would cover any damage that a fire pit mishap would cause. It is also important to check with local authorities and housing associations for their guidelines about fire pits.

Highquality appliances

It is important that a family house has a washer, dryer, and dishwasher that can take the large and frequent loads common for families without breaking down and causing inconveniences. Even better, property rental companies can go further and invest in smart appliances that can be remotely controlled and that deliver optimized performance.

Customization options

Families that plan to stay for a while will want to make a house theirs by customizing it in different ways. It will mean a lot to potential renters to see in the rental agreement that they are allowed to do some customizing such as with painting or planting a garden. However, property rental companies need to protect themselves from renters that would take this concession too far. This can be done by asking for higher security deposits or indicating in the rental agreement that a renter is responsible for restoring the house to its original state or the cost to do so will be deducted from their security deposit.

Security

Families want their kids to be sure that they and their pets are safe at home. A wise investment for property rental companies would, therefore, be a solid security system. Other factors to consider are the safety of structures like staircase banisters, fireplaces and storm doors which can be potential hazards for kids and pets.

Enough bedrooms and bathrooms

To attract families, houses should have three to four bedrooms and two to three bathrooms. Ideally, the master bedroom should have its own bathroom. A half bathroom in houses with two stories is also ideal for guests and use while on this level.

Good schools

You can be sure that being in the vicinity of good schools is important for parents. A great online resource to look up schools and their ranking is greatschools.com.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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What Does a Commercial Property Manager Do? https://www.son-rise.net/what-does-a-commercial-property-manager-do/ https://www.son-rise.net/what-does-a-commercial-property-manager-do/#respond Sun, 21 Apr 2019 16:47:28 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23329 A commercial property is a real estate building or land that is used for business activities. Larger residential rental properties can also be considered commercial property. In most cases, commercial property owners hire in-house staff or a commercial property management company to manage their properties. Commercial property management companies handle the day to day operations of one or more commercial properties including maintenance, renting ...

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A commercial property is a real estate building or land that is used for business activities. Larger residential rental properties can also be considered commercial property. In most cases, commercial property owners hire in-house staff or a commercial property management company to manage their properties. Commercial property management companies handle the day to day operations of one or more commercial properties including maintenance, renting out office spaces, financial transactions, and leasing agreements. Commercial property managers often manage more than one property on behalf of a business that owns multiple commercial properties.

What tasks does a commercial property manager handle?

Leasing agreements:

One of the aspects that a commercial property manager handles is finding appropriate tenants and signing leases. Leases are legally binding agreements and it is important that they are drawn up in accordance with local, state and Federal laws. They should include all of the important details that outline the roles and responsibilities of the leaser and lessee and the actions that each party can take if the terms of the agreement are breached.

A professional property manager or management company will be well-versed with relevant laws related to commercial property. They will therefore know the correct and expected format of a lease and the legal actions to take if a tenant fails to pay on time, causes willful or accidental damage or fails to adhere to the terms of the lease in other ways. The property manager would also know the right steps to take if they or their company is accused of breach of contract.

Property maintenance:

Property that is in use is always getting worn in one way or another. This is particularly true for commercial property that has staff and customer traffic. A commercial property manager will ensure that necessary repairs are done as the need arises. They will also ensure that periodic maintenance is done so that a store or other kind of commercial property looks attractive to customers who are walking in or passing by. This also saves on potentially costly repairs that may accrue when minor issues are ignored and turn into big problems.

Financial management:

A property manager handles property finances. The commercial property manager or management company will collect and deposit rent and monthly maintenance fees, handle tax filing, and pay any utility bills for the building that individual businesses are not responsible for. Common utilities in this category are electric and water bills for common areas like washrooms, corridors and parking bays. The property manager also keeps records of all financial transactions in order to provide the commercial property owner with regular financial reports. Today, many commercial property managers use software that makes it possible for property owners to access real-time financial records and reports.

Hiring a property manager or management company 

If you’re a commercial property owner you may be wondering how to choose the right property management company for your needs. Asking other local commercial property owners who they would recommend is one way to gather a list of options. Another option is to look through the local realtor associations for a list of potential property managers and management companies. It is advisable to take the time to talk to at least two or three before making a final choice. With the decision handled, a commercial property manager frees up time to handle other projects, enjoy more free time and/or make plans to sell or acquire other property for additional income.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Top 5 Ways to Make Your Rental Property More Appealing https://www.son-rise.net/top-5-ways-to-make-rental-property-more-appealing/ https://www.son-rise.net/top-5-ways-to-make-rental-property-more-appealing/#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2019 07:35:51 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23140 Every month that a rental unit sits empty, property owners lose hundreds of dollars in potential income. Strategies to make a rental property more appealing can mean reducing rental property vacancies and decreasing lost revenue.   Top 5 ways to make your rental property more appealing Fix small things It doesn’t cost much to make small improvements to your rental property but they can ...

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Every month that a rental unit sits empty, property owners lose hundreds of dollars in potential income. Strategies to make a rental property more appealing can mean reducing rental property vacancies and decreasing lost revenue.

 

Top 5 ways to make your rental property more appealing

  1. Fix small things

It doesn’t cost much to make small improvements to your rental property but they can have a big impact in attracting new tenants.

Exterior fixes: clean away all the weeds, trash, and debris, install a new mailbox if the old one is dingy and dented, add a few classy flower pots on the porch, replace torn windows screens, and power wash the siding and driveway.

Interior fixes: Fresh, clean curtains and blinds, more efficient light bulbs, an appealing new throw rug in the dining area, clean walls, carpets and living spaces.

  1. A fresh coat of paint

New paint is the number one thing that will make your rental apartment look new again. Old, faded, peeling and chipping, or tobacco-stained walls and ceilings are a BIG turn-off.

It only costs $25 for a can of quality paint, and it may cost less than $100 to repaint at least all the most important parts of your unit. If you do it yourself, you don’t even spend money on labor – and it shouldn’t take more than one day’s work if you clear a full day in your schedule for the task.

As to color, stick with neutrals like white, beige, grey, or cream. You can let new tenants know they are free to repaint if they wish, but to attract more prospects to begin with, you need a color everyone can live with.

  1. Bathrooms and kitchens sell!

Not only are bathrooms and kitchens the most commonly renovated rooms of the house, but they are also the top two rooms that sell either a house or an apartment lease to lookers.

You don’t necessarily have to do a full makeover for either room – though that would certainly be appealing. Even just doing a super-thorough job of cleaning these rooms will make your empty apartments fill up faster. Take care of details like scrubbing clean dirty grout lines, making the mirrors immaculate, and perfecting scratched counters with matching touch-up paint.

If kitchen appliances don’t match, you can install stainless steel appliance covers to make them match (on a budget.) Re-painting old wood cabinets is an inexpensive way to make an impression. And a quick DIY epoxy job can make bathroom sinks and tubs look like they “belong” together.

  1. New carpeting

If you want to make your property more appealing with a minimal investment – one upgrade never to overlook is installing new carpeting or quality laminate flooring.

If the existing carpeting is too good to get rid of, still take the time to go over it with a deep-cleaning carpet machine to remove stains. But anything halfway or more through its “lifespan” should go – and you can always donate still usable carpeting you remove for a tax write off!

  1. Move-in specials

Finally, be ready to offer move-in specials to qualified applicants. A good tenant is doubly valuable because they prevent your unit from remaining empty and from being filled with a bad tenant!

Offering a free month’s rent after 11 on-time payments is a good approach. It sells apartments to good renters who know they will get the discount and you can factor in the cost over the first 11 months.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Rental Property: 2019 Bellingham Rental Rates https://www.son-rise.net/rental-property-2019-bellingham-rental-rates/ https://www.son-rise.net/rental-property-2019-bellingham-rental-rates/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 18:26:05 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23135 One of the main factors that renters consider when choosing a rental property is the monthly rental rate. Bellingham, WA has seen considerable growth in the last 20 years; adding more than 20,000 residents between 2000 and 2016 and growing from a population of 67,171 to 87,574. This growth has caused very low rental vacancy rates, a competitive rental market and rising rent. In ...

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One of the main factors that renters consider when choosing a rental property is the monthly rental rate. Bellingham, WA has seen considerable growth in the last 20 years; adding more than 20,000 residents between 2000 and 2016 and growing from a population of 67,171 to 87,574. This growth has caused very low rental vacancy rates, a competitive rental market and rising rent. In fact, when compared to nearby cities Bellingham’s rental rates have been rising faster even faster than Seattle’s in 2018 and 2019. While Seattle has been the fasted growing city in the last decade, it is now experiencing a flatlining or possible decline in population as the cost of housing prices many out of the market. This is likely to result in decreasing rental rates.

Factors affecting rental property rental rates

Vacancy rates:

A key driver in increasing rental rates is a very low overall vacancy in the Bellingham area. With very few properties available to rent and a surplus of interested renters, this creates a housing market where property owners have the advantage. Bellingham is an attractive location because of its beauty and size but also its relative closeness to Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. The area also continues to have a low overall unemployment rate and there are Seattle workers willing to make the commute from Bellingham.

Property types compared to previous years:

When looking at rental rates it’s important to consider the type of property so you’re comparing apples to apples. When comparing 2019 rental rates to the same time period in 2018 the variation in rental rate is different based on the type of rental:

  • One-bedroom apartments have seen an increase in monthly rent of roughly 14.13%.
  • Two-bedroom apartments have seen prices go in the opposite direction; decreasing in price by 44.51% in the same time period.

One-bedroom apartments tend to be more popular with younger renters. Two-bedroom apartments tend to carry a higher base rental price and are favored by young families or those who are caring for an elderly relative.

Bellingham rental rate trends 

Overall, 2019 rental prices in Bellingham have decreased when compared to this time last year (a notable high point in the local market) but, they seem to be steadily increasing. Over the last six months, single bedroom apartments have gone up in price by roughly 10.5% while two-bedroom apartments have increased in price by 3.3%. Overall, this results in an average rent increase of 9.7% for the city. It remains to be seen if Bellingham will hit the high point again this year or if the boom is softening.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Condo Property Management Winterization Tips https://www.son-rise.net/condo-property-management-winterization-tips/ https://www.son-rise.net/condo-property-management-winterization-tips/#respond Mon, 25 Feb 2019 10:29:53 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23025 In the Pacific Northwest, winter can bring harsh weather conditions including wind, freezing rain, snow, ice and freezing temperatures.  Condo property management teams need to be prepared to prevent common winter issues such slip and fall accidents on icy walkways, excessive heating costs from poorly functioning furnaces, and exterior damage from falling trees and branches. The following winterization tips will help keep the property in ...

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In the Pacific Northwest, winter can bring harsh weather conditions including wind, freezing rain, snow, ice and freezing temperatures.  Condo property management teams need to be prepared to prevent common winter issues such slip and fall accidents on icy walkways, excessive heating costs from poorly functioning furnaces, and exterior damage from falling trees and branches. The following winterization tips will help keep the property in good condition and prevent avoidable expenses and crises through the coldest months of the year.

Condo Property Management Winterization Tips

  • Sidewalk upkeep: Damaged sidewalks should be repaired by the end of October – before winter weather sets in. While not impossible to do in the winter, the cold can affect the way the cement sets and lower the overall quality of the work. Lay salt down on sidewalks and walkways to prevent ice from building up.
  • Window upkeep: do a thorough window inspection each fall to check for drafts coming from damaged window seals, framework or the steel lintel. In addition to windows, seals on doors should also be checked and repaired as needed. Ideally, single-paned windows would be replaced with double-paned windows. By fixing these issues early, drafts that drive up energy costs and fuel usage can be prevented.
  • Keeping the heat working: in the winter heat is one of the most important aspects of building management. System check and maintenance should be performed on the HVAC or broiler systems each fall. Regular cleaning, upkeep, and repairs can keep heating systems running efficiently and reduce usage costs.
  • Water and ice hazards: the buildup of moisture, snow, and ice can be a hazard for roofing in the winter. If a property has a flat roof an ultraviolet reflective coating should be applied no later than October to help resist snow and ice build-up. Drainage systems should also be examined to make sure that ice and water have somewhere to run off the roof. Snow and ice trapped on the roof can lead to leaks and other damage.
  • Don’t wait: one of the most important parts of winterization is making needed repairs well in advance. Mid-fall is the best time to handle winterization tasks. By having repairs finished early, property owners avoid the cold they are trying to protect against. Also, many of these repairs are difficult to do in colder weather making for a longer and more difficult process.

Winter can be harsh on the exterior of condos and other properties. By being aware of any needed upkeep, repairs, or maintenance property owners can protect their investment from the winter by being prepared for the temperatures and weather patterns it brings. Getting needed repairs done early is not only easier it can also be more cost effective and results in happier residents.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Property Manager Winter Checklist https://www.son-rise.net/property-manager-winter-checklist/ https://www.son-rise.net/property-manager-winter-checklist/#respond Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:00:32 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=23022 Regular property upkeep is part of a property manager’s job description. A proper manager should also know how to prepare their rental properties for each season. Winter brings extreme conditions in many parts of the country including low temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards. Maintenance and upkeep on the following areas of a house or building will help ensure that renters live in a ...

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Regular property upkeep is part of a property manager’s job description. A proper manager should also know how to prepare their rental properties for each season. Winter brings extreme conditions in many parts of the country including low temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards. Maintenance and upkeep on the following areas of a house or building will help ensure that renters live in a warm, safe home during the winter months and expensive, emergency repairs are avoided:

Property manager winter checklist

  • Gutters: melting snow and ice needs to be cleared from the roof to prevent water collection and ice build-up in gutters when the temperature drops below freezing. To prepare for winter weather, gutters should be cleared at the end of fall to make sure that debris and leaves accumulated in the fall are gone.
  • Roofing upkeep: roofs are vulnerable to the harsher elements of the winter season. Before the winter, a property’s roof should be carefully inspected for holes, tearing, leaks, or any other issues that make it vulnerable to the elements. A harsh snowstorm can greatly damage a weak roof and in extreme cases can cause partial collapse, leaking or ice dams.
  • Furnaces: in the cold tenants will be using the property’s furnace to keep warm. Before winter, a property’s furnace should be carefully inspected for any needed repairs and general upkeep. The area around the furnace should also be cleaned and venting systems checked for any blockages, leaks, or repair needs. A well-maintained furnace not only works more efficiently, it also keeps tenants safe.
  • Alarms: before winter arrives, check the property’s carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. In colder weather tenants stay indoors longer and more often and this leads to increased use of residential heating, candles, space heaters, electric blankets, and other heat sources. These activities bring a bigger risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, making alarms all the more important.
  • Pipes and plumbing: frozen pipes are a common issue in colder weather, particularly in older houses or buildings. Frozen pipes are one of the most common repairs property managers face during colder months. A proper inspection before winter can identify any needed repairs or additional insulation that a property’s plumbing system may need to be properly protected from the cold.
  • Walkways and sidewalks: walkways can be very hazardous in the winter due to snow and ice. Proper cleanup, snow removal, and salting to prevent ice can keep walkways usable even in harsh conditions. Failure to keep walkways safe can result in tenant injury from a slip and fall accident.
  • Trees: in the winter trees can collect snow that can cause them to fall or branches to break off. Falling branches and trees are dangerous; they can block pathways, knock over power lines, damage roofs and cause an expensive cleanup. Proper trimming and tree inspections before winter weather can remove weak branches and fell dead trees to prevent tree-related property damage and injuries.
  • Keeping tenants informed: tenants should be informed of any actions they should take to keep themselves safe and receive a list of proper phone numbers in case of emergency. Remind tenants not to use ovens to warm their home.

Winter preparation is a matter of planning and being prepared. By being proactive, property owners can reduce the risk of unhappy tenants and expensive pipe bursts or fallen trees. A full-service property management company will assign a property manager who can handle winter checklists to prepare your property for the cold weather.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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Top Reasons to Buy a Condo: Condo Property Management https://www.son-rise.net/top-reasons-buy-condo-condo-property-management/ https://www.son-rise.net/top-reasons-buy-condo-condo-property-management/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 23:26:07 +0000 https://www.son-rise.net/?p=22933 Condominiums or condos are a type of residential structure similar to an apartment except that the units may be bought and sold separately and are more often lived in by owners instead of renters. In some cases, a private owner purchases one or more condo units for the purpose of renting them. There are several advantages to owning a condo over other types of ...

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Condominiums or condos are a type of residential structure similar to an apartment except that the units may be bought and sold separately and are more often lived in by owners instead of renters. In some cases, a private owner purchases one or more condo units for the purpose of renting them. There are several advantages to owning a condo over other types of property including access to condo property management to handle day to day operations of rental properties.

Top reasons to buy a condo: condo property management

Price

Condos are typically more affordable than single-family houses. Comparing the costs of single-family homes and condos in the same location will clearly illustrate this cost difference. However, it is important to note that the costs of condos and other types of houses vary widely by location. In addition, it would cost much more to buy a single-family home with the same amenities that are included in a condo community.

Amenities

Condos tend to be smaller in square footage, and are less likely to have a yard or personal garage but they often make up for this with the amenities found in common areas and the maintenance provided to exterior areas. Condos often come with amenities including fitness centers, Jacuzzis, swimming pools, private parks, etc. that would be very expensive to build or buy along with a single-family house. Some condo units even have tennis courts, golf courses and club houses and others are close to or right on a beach. The best part is that common area amenities, walkways, roads and exterior walls are usually professionally managed by condo property management companies which means that they are well taken care of and ensure higher property value.

Community living

Another advantage of condo living is that living in the same building as others creates a strong sense of community and safety. Sharing the different amenities and participating in the condo association inspires and strengthens this feeling. These feelings are typically not present for those renting in an apartment building or single-home families. Factors like security of the building and management of the amenities are also handled by condo property management companies which makes condo living safe, attractive and enjoyable.

Convenient locations

Condos are often located in convenient locations near grocery stores, shopping centers and public transportation; making them desirable to those who do not wish to own a vehicle or who cannot drive anymore. In some cases, condo buildings provide low-income housing and in other cases they provide luxury housing for those who do not wish to own a single-family house.

Tax and equity benefits

A decision between renting and buying a condo should be made with tax and equity benefits in mind. Buying has two advantages over renting; building equity and making the most of tax deductions given for property taxes and mortgage interest. Therefore, if the monthly mortgage payment one would make would be almost the same as rent, it would make good financial sense to buy rather than rent. The Trulia Rent vs. Buy Calculator is a helpful guide.

Viable investment

For some, buying a condo is a rental property investment. The return on investment comes from renting out the condo or selling it at a later date when its value has appreciated. In some cases, it makes sense to hold onto a condo for many years; renting it out along the way before selling. This is especially true for condos located in vacation or beach areas where they can bring in large amounts of rental income during peak tourist seasons.

Flexibility

Condos are very flexible in terms of maintenance and occupation. An owner can occupy their condo or let it out as a holiday or short-let home some or all of the time. This is in contrast to co-ops where in New York, for instance, subletting is limited or forbidden.

Condo property management

The services provided by a condo property management company is one of the greatest advantages of condo ownership. When a condo owner decides to rent out their condominium and hire a condo property manager they no longer have to worry about finding good tenants, signing leases, rent collection, bill payment, repairs and maintenance. Owners who do not live nearby to their condo units especially benefit from the hands-on management provided by full service condo property management.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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