7 Tips For Buying a Property

Buying a property requires a good deal of research. Even if you are from the same place, you have to take care of a lot things before buying a house or apartment of your choice. Given below are 7 tips that can make the process a bit less stressful for you.

Location

As far as buying a property goes, the most important things is the location. Locations with facilities, such as hospitals, schools and parking lots are a great choice. Properties in these areas cost a bit more, but worth the extra price paid.

Haggling

Just because a property is on sale at a certain price doesn’t mean it’s worth the higher price. Moreover, the seller may not have taken an oath to sell it at the listed price no matter what. So, do your homework, find out the prices of other properties in the same area and then negotiate with the seller.

Go for a less sought after property

For instance, you can go for an apartment built above a popular shop. The apartment may offer more than enough space to meet your needs. Moreover, it may not cost as much as other apartments.

Control your enthusiasm

If the vendor or real estate agents comes to know that are in love a property, they may stick to the price offered, and you may not be able to get the best deal. Therefore, when viewing a property, you may want to control your enthusiasm.

Talk to the locals

To get a good idea of the neighborhood, you may want to talk to the locals. They can tell you how it is to live in the area. They will tell you about the nearby shops, pubs and other places. Aside from this, talking to the locals will give you an idea of what type of people they are. After all, you may not want to live with not-so-good people.

Auctions

Auctions are a good option too. Make sure you have gone through the paperwork before choosing a property. Also, don’t forget to view the property before signing the documents.

Team up

You should team up with your friends if you need help. What you need to do is be creative. While you may not want to share a flat or house with someone, your family member or friend may be on the lookout of a good investment opportunity. This can help you get the required capital to buy your desired house. Of course, you can pay become a full owner of the house after paying them their share of the property.

So, these are some simple but useful tips to help you new buyers like you. Buying a property is not a rocket science but it does require some research on your part. Therefore, you should not do it alone if you are a beginner. Instead, you should get help from someone in the light of the tips given in this article. Hopefully, you can get your hands on the right apartment now.

Tips to Buy Overseas Property Safely

Buying a property is a process that requires patience and perseverance. It takes time to do the research on the status of the real estate market and its norms in your choice of destination. The crucial part is to find a proper, reliable and experienced service provider who can help you through the whole process, right from the start through to the final stage of owning your property. We have enlisted a few key points with a goal to help you initiate the process of buying your dream property abroad.

Hire an independent lawyer

Many people seek the help of real estate agents, which is not a very good start. No matter how smart, experienced, informative and well-mannered an agent tends to be, never fall for it. Always get an independent lawyer, who will represent you throughout the whole buying process. If you are represented by the lawyer, it means you are well-protected from making any expensive mistakes down the road.

Get help from a financial specialist

Sort out your financial preferences that would help you allot a suitable budget to purchase the property. Get a provisional mortgage if you have plans to borrow money apart from what you plan to pay from your pocket. Ask your financial specialist to suggest a long term repayment plan that would be feasible for you as the lending criteria and the borrowing costs may change during those years.

Hire a foreign exchange specialist

If you borrow money overseas, but earn at home, you have to make sure that the rate fluctuations would not affect the value of your property. The difference in the value of currencies could take the property out of your hands as it goes beyond your budget. Discuss with a foreign exchange specialist and understand your risks and have a proper contingency plan to handle unpleasant situations.

Double-check the agent credentials

Apart from hiring an independent lawyer, choose a professional overseas real estate agent to assist you through the process. Place your focus on the agency rather than the property you want to buy. Question them in all possible ways to make sure the company or the agent is potentially the right person to do business. No matter what they claim, make sure everything is true, to the last bit. Don’t trust reel reviews, read real client testimonials. Ask them to offer their “Terms of business” on paper prior to signing a formal contract with them.

Learn to get the most out of your investment

When you purchase a property overseas as an investment, you must understand that you can have big returns only with risks. Make a thorough inventory of the risk to reward ratio to help you cope up with the risks and to reap better rewards out of your investment when everything goes well.

The Benefits of Using a Quality Property Management Company

Property ownership can be a rewarding experience, solid investment and provide a sound revenue stream. However, it doesn’t come without certain trials and tribulations that are part of being a landlord. From maintenance expenses and upkeep to acquiring and managing tenants, owning property can be a drain on time and resources if not run correctly- that’s what a property management company does. These companies are paid by the property owner to take care of the nuts and bolts that are associated with ownership. A good property management company will take care of marketing the property, finding and screening applicants, and maintenance and repairs to the property as well as managing tenants, collecting payments, and issuing deposits and notices. Essentially, these companies do the grunt work for property owners so they can focus their energy elsewhere.

In addition to granting owners more time, property management companies provide a host of other solid benefits. They supply:

Higher Quality Tenants
One of the many jobs of a property manager is to find quality tenants to fill vacant properties. They thoroughly screen applicants by examining factors such as their rental history and credit score, calling their references, and even interviewing them to determine if they would be a good tenant. This process ensures that properties are filled with desirable tenants who will take care of the space, make their payments on time, and produce a steady income for the property owner. Management companies have vast experience sorting through applicants, and can spot warning signs and red flags easily.

Shorter Vacancy Cycles
The owner isn’t making a profit if their property isn’t occupied. In fact, unless they own the property outright, during times of vacancies owners typically have to make the mortgage payment out of their own pocket. When a property is occupied tenants’ rent can be put toward the mortgage payment or used as income. Property management companies take care of marketing and advertise properties to the appropriate audience and see that the vacancy is filled.

Better Tenant Retention
Tenant turnover requires additional time and money to clean, market and fill the space, all of which is costly for owners. To avoid turnovers and vacancies retaining quality tenants is imperative. Property management companies serve as a point of contact for tenants and are immediately responsive to their needs. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed it’s their job to handle it, and they work hard to keep quality renters satisfied. Property managers also handle lease renewals and are familiar with the market, so they know how to entice tenants to stay.

On Time Payments
Landlords don’t make a profit if their tenants don’t make their rent payments on time. It may seem innocent to overlook one late payment, but once a pattern of truancy is established it can be a difficult hole to dig out of. Inconsistent payments can put a heavy financial strain on a landlord who has to cover the mortgage costs out of their own pocket-punctual rent collection is a must for consistent cash flow. Instead of owners dealing with awkward confrontation and repeated excuses, it’s a property manager’s job to collect rent on time and enforce the lease agreement if payment terms are not met.

Instead of bearing the on the hassle, headache, and heartache that comes along with being a landlord, it makes sense to hire a property management company to deal with the unpleasant aspects of property ownership for you. No, their services do not come for free and yes, you do have to pay a fee, but the benefits reaped in money and time saved are well worth it.

Portia Dempsey is the Property Manager at Camroad Properties in Phoenix, Arizona. Camroad is a privately owned and managed commercial real estate leasing company with properties in Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe. Since the company’s start in 1991, Camroad has been committed to providing renters with high-quality amenities at affordable rates. Camroad is proud to have some of the highest occupancy rates and longest tenant relationships in the Phoenix Valley. If you’re interested in learning more about Camroad Properties or the latest trends in commercial real estate, please visit our blog. Be sure to contact us to learn more about commercial real estate opportunities in Arizona.

Pros and Cons of Owning Various Commercial Property Types

Looking to invest in commercial real estate, but don’t know which property type to consider? Here’s a comprehensive guide on the five most common types of commercial properties.

1) Multifamily (Apartment Buildings) – Multifamily refers to apartment buildings of all sizes. It is categorized into garden apartments, walk-up apartments, mid-rise apartments, high-rise apartments, and special-purpose housing.

Garden apartments are low-rise apartments with typically less than 3 stories, built in a garden-like setting. Walk-up apartments are 4-6 story apartments without an elevator. Mid-rise apartments are 4-8 story apartments with an elevator. High-rise are 9+ stories with at least one elevator. Special-purpose housing is a multifamily property that targets a population segment, which includes student housing, senior housing, subsidized housing, etc.

Pros of Multifamily Properties:

• Easy to get into with smaller properties and slowly transition to larger properties

• Tax benefits

• Use rents in place for financing

Cons of Multifamily Properties:

• 24/7 tenant management

• Pro-tenant legislation

• Rent control

2) Industrial – Industrial is typically used for producing, manufacturing, or storing products. It includes warehouses, garages, distribution centers, etc. It is oftentimes separated into heavy manufacturing, light assembly, flex warehouse, and bulk warehouse, depending on the size and use of the property.

Heavy manufacturing oftentimes heavily utilizes machinery and usually requires a substantial amount of renovation before renting to another tenant. Light assembly includes storage, product assembly, and office space, which is easier to reconfigure than heavy manufacturing. Flex warehouse normally includes both industrial and office space, making it an easily convertible space. Bulk warehouse are massive properties, typically 50,000-1,000,000 sq ft space, usually used for regional distribution of products.

Pros of Industrial Properties:

• Deal with single tenant

• Long term and stable leases

• Relatively small initial investments

Cons of Industrial Properties:

• Area specialization, making it harder to find new occupier

• Hefty and extensive reconfiguration expenses

3) Office Buildings – This category includes single-tenant properties, small professional office buildings, downtown skyscrapers, and everything in between.

Office buildings are either Central Business District (CBD), which is in the middle of a city, or suburban office buildings. There are three categories: Class A, Class B, or Class C, which is determined by the quality of construction and desirability of the location of the office.

Pros of Office Buildings:

• Less turnover

• Longer lease terms

Cons of Office Buildings:

• Less frequency to raise rents

• Emphasis on parking

• Expensive financing options

4) Retail/Restaurant – Retail includes strip centers, community retail centers, power centers, regional malls, and out parcels.

Strip centers are small retail properties that may have an anchor tenant, which is a larger, more well-known tenant that will attract small retail tenants. Community retail centers are between 150,000-350,000 square feet with multiple anchors, usually grocery stores and drug stores. Power centers have several smaller retail stores with a few box retailers such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, Staples, Best Buy, etc. occupying between 30,000-200,000 square feet, containing several out parcels. Regional malls are between 400,000-2,000,000 square feet with a lot of anchor tenants. Out parcel is land set aside for individual tenants such as fast-food restaurants or banks.

Pros of Retail/Restaurant Properties:

• Security and profitability of an Absolute Triple Net (NNN) lease

• Less turnover

• Less tenant management

Cons of Retail/Restaurant Properties:

• Less frequency to raise rents

• Dependent on tenant performance

• Location and foot traffic is extremely important

• Emphasis on parking

• Visual upkeep

5) Land – Land is fairly self-explanatory. It is often categorized as Greenfield land, Infill land, and Brownfield land.

Greenfield lands are underdeveloped land such as farms and pastures. Infill land is vacant land located in cities that have already been developed. Brownfield lands are usually environmentally impaired land that was previously used for other industrial or commercial use. The land is available for re-use.

Pros of Land:

• Tax benefits

• Less expensive

• More rental possibilities (depend on location)

Cons of Land:

• No immediate income from tenants

• Few financing options

• Requires ground-up development

The above are the most common types of commercial property types. There are several others that have not been discussed above such as hotels, funeral homes, nursing homes, theaters, etc, which are special-purpose type properties.

Choosing a Commercial Property

When leasing or buying commercial property, there is a great deal of things that you need to consider. This may determine how well your investment will be able to perform in future and so it should be done with the greatest care.

You need to consider the property and this should include all improvements as well as land. You also need to consider the business component or lease. You should investigate and also analyze all the pros and cons of every component and how it will measure against the entire strategy of the investment.

Commercial property

When you are investing for the purposes of capital growth, there are certain kinds of retail, commercial or industrial properties that can be a very superior option. It is important to know that not all kinds of properties will perform the same. There will always be differences.

When you start to analyze the great potential of a physical property, location and position need to be considered and should actually be the key elements in the process of making a decision. In property, the capital growth of an asset comes from the increase of the land value and the location influences the demand and supply for the land and this then determines the value. A good example is a central business district where the value of land is very high and this actually drives the capital growth.

When the land value goes up, then the value of all the improvements or even the building itself will depreciate with time. This means that the land appreciation should be sufficient enough to counter the building depreciation and also to grow the asset value with time.

Position means how easy it is to access the property. You should ensure that the location matches with the kind of business that you are planning to operate in the area or premises. A good example is a distribution center that needs to receive shipping on a regular basis and needs to dispatch as well. It should have a great space and road access that isn’t hindered. This may be a good match for a city fringe or a place that is near to the port. Arterial roads make it even easier to access.

Lease

It doesn’t really matter if you are looking for a capital growth or for rent return. The leasing strategy is very important to the performance of the assets in the long run. A leasing strategy should allow regular reviews on rent so as to be competitive and viable at all times. This should include things like the provision for maintenance of the property as well as fit outs that will make sure that improvements are kept at a standard that is suitable.

The layout and size of the premises

This is a very important consideration. You should find premises that can actually handle your kind of business in a very efficient manner. You need to consider the structure and its appearance both externally and internally. Consider the height of ceilings depending on what activities you plan to carry out and all the facilities that visitors and employees will be able to enjoy.

How Do You Select The Best Property Management Software?

Property management can be a challenge, especially without the right tools. Getting the right software program is very essential in helping you streamline the process of handling your growing business and to keep it organized. More and more companies are eliminating paperwork by choosing software solutions that can handle all important functions including management of documents. But then how do you go about selecting the best property management software for your business?

Step 1 – Start by focusing on what you need

Avoid choosing software that is an overkill or under-kill for your business. It is important that you evaluate exactly what you need the software program for; you can separate office accounting needs from property management needs to cut costs of the software program. Consider whether it is important for the system to help you with tenant background checks, liability and asset accounting and budgeting so you do not waste your time on a solution you really do not need. Whereas you do not want to go overboard when choosing the system, you also do not want to end up with a program that cannot handle the most basic things for your business. It helps to at least ensure that the management software you settle for can automatically post management fees, rent and late fees, maintain separate ledgers for tenants and owners, easily update information via a friendly interface, handle different property types without additional module buying and deal with bank deposits and checks.

Step 2 – Check all important features

There are so many features that may not be that critical to the management process of the property, but they will prove to be valuable on your software. Some of the features that can make a difference in your system include reminder features to help track appointments, pop-up lists of owners and tenants owing you money, features that help check tenant info for log back payments and credit references, automated rent amount updates, automated account updates and other. The more you are able to do with the program the better the convenience you stand to enjoy running your property business.

Step 3 – Confirm support, reliability and reasonable pricing

Most property management software companies fail in offering the needed support. Some may even compel you to pay for software updates to enjoy technical support, whereas others may offer free support for a limited time frame and start charging for any support beyond that. Choose a support plan you can fully trust in and rely on. On the same line, you should take the mandate to check for any hidden costs when buying the software. Ask as many relevant questions as possible and read as much as you can about what you stand to gain using the solution before making the final purchase. It helps to choose a software program that is easy to install and use and one that comes with a comprehensive inbuilt help file. Keep off programs that require you pay for updates and research.

What to Ask When Looking for a Good Property Manager

If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager before, then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one for your rental property. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to bring your property into the market.

With so many choices available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your unit. But don’t worry – if you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you’ll get a better idea of who would make the best fit for your property. Ask them these questions when discussing your property to see if they’re the right property manager for you:

1. What type of properties have you managed?

Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed. Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.

2. How do you screen potential tenants?

Screening potential tenants is one of the most important steps to property management, so the way they do this often reflects their level of service to your property. Ask them how they’ll match tenants to your property and what their process is like for finding tenants. This will give you a better idea of how they operate and what lengths they’ll go to find the right match for your property.

3. How do you handle late payments by tenants?

Finding tenants is just one phase of property management; the longer phase involves managing the tenancy itself. Asking them this question will show you what their management style is like and how they’ll deal with critical rental issues like these. See if their process aligns with what you expect them to do and how you want your property to be managed.

4. How do you respond to complaints?

Similar to the previous question, this question allows you to gauge how well a potential property manager will handle the landlord-tenant relationship. Remember that a property manager will act as the mediator between you and your tenant, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with their process for dealing with any complaints or issues.

5. How often do you do inspections?

Routine inspections are important to any tenancy agreement, and the number of times it’s done per year will help give you better peace of mind as the landlord or owner. This question will also show you how well the property manager will look after your property even after the start of the tenancy.

6. What’s the right rental price for my property?

If you’ve done your research beforehand, this question will let you assess how well a potential property manager knows the market and what they can offer you. It also allows you to get a better idea of what your property is worth in the current market. Compare their answer with different property managers to see what they offer and to better understand where your property stands in the market.

7. What are the things I can do to improve my listing?

Asking them this question won’t just reveal their expertise in property management, but it’ll also help you put your property in the best position in the market. Note their suggestions, assess how relevant they are, and decide whether or not they can get your property where you want it to be.

8. What are the full costs and fees for managing my property?

Some have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property. Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.

9. What can you do that others can’t?

This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition. It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards. Listen well, take notes, and assess if they provide what you’re looking for.

The Importance of Hiring a Property Management Company

In this age of independence and mindset that one can manage on his own, it is inevitable that a property owner would think he will do fine on his own. Sure, you got tenants who at first, pay on time until gradually they won’t, some will breach the contract and lease terms, then they cause problems with the neighbors and other tenants, then slowly you will notice you are losing money and when you decide to evict the tenant, next thing you know, you have a lawsuit at your doorstep.

The reality is if you use the services of a professional property management company, not only do you have peace of mind, your investment is protected and the consistent cash flow you receive through rent can assist you to buy additional investment properties.

This is why you need the assistance of a property management company, but before that, we will determine the pointers on why it is important to hire one.

Determining the Worth of Your Property

The problem with inexperienced owners is that sometimes they get overwhelmed on how they price their property to the market: oversell and you have to deal with the high vacancy rate with no profit, undersell and you will realize you are slowly losing profit. This is where a property management company comes in, they will help you determine a balanced meal where you gain tenants and continue to rake in profit.

A property management company is also well-versed in marketing your property and placing ads where it will attract tenants. They will answer any inquiry and they know what entices a prospective tenant, therefore will help you point out some cosmetic improvements so that the tenants will feel that renting your property is worthy of their money.

Avoiding Major Problems with Tenants

Screening tenants would not be one of your problems anymore because the property management company will take care of it. They know too well how to check the background of the interested tenants, their criminal records, their relationship with previous property owners and if they have ever caused problems before. Think of it as helping you weed out the bad ones for a healthy and bountiful crop.

Collecting rents is the most common problem in renting out your property. When left to your own devices, having your tenants pay you on time will become a child’s play of hiding and seek between them and you as the property owner, certainly some tenants will tug at your heartstrings and gain your sympathy with the hope that you will let them get away with it. A property management company, however, will become the middleman who will ensure that the tenants abide by the lease terms and should understand that they are just doing their job for you, keeping your cash flow consistent.

Maintenance

When a tenant has reached the end of the contract, the grueling process of turnover will usually keep you busy as a property owner, but with a property management company by your side, that is another pile of stress that will be taken care of. Any deductions from the security deposit will be made and returned to the tenant, and the restoration process of repairing any damages, repainting, changing locks and cleaning the property would be done without getting your own hands dirty.

As a property management company, expect that they know the right people to contact should there be any problems with leaks, wiring, and plumbing experienced by the tenants and their dilemmas will be addressed promptly.

Saving Time and Money

A successful businessman knows that delegating tasks is key for a successful business so that one can have more time to deal with other business ventures. With almost everything being taken care of, it seems like the only thing left to do is to visit your property at a certain time interval and continue to rake in profit while having more time to spend it with your family, social life, other priorities, and investments.

IN CONCLUSION

Hiring a property management company takes care of the burden for you, especially if you are well aware that marketing, confronting tenants with late payments and handling maintenance are not your strongest points especially if managing your property is not the only priority you have in your busy life. Therefore delegating this task to a reliable property management company may just be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?

If you have lived in the house for a while, there may be broken or worn out items that you have overlooked. Safety issues and even legal issues should be resolved before you put your house on the market. It is in your best interest to do some preparation before you post the “for rent” sign.

Repairing structural or system defects should be at the top of the list. Tighten handrails, repair steps, and remove hazards inside and outside the home. Make sure all heating, plumbing and electrical elements are up to code. Elevated decks, railing, flooring and framing should be inspected by a Class A contractor for structural safety. Your goal is to have all systems running smoothly and efficiently.

Pay special attention to regularly used appliances such as refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer, dryer, etc.. These appliances receive heavy use daily and should be in good working order. Bathrooms, toilets, showers and tubs should have a clean appearance and be free of mildew. Replace missing tile grout and re-caulk tub and shower with a fresh bead of caulk. Is your carpet stained or worn? Cleaning the carpet, or if necessary replacing it, will freshen up your home. Make sure there is at least one working smoke detector on each level of the home and replace old batteries with fresh ones.

Make sure the property has a clean and tidy appearance inside and out. Remove all personal items from the interior and exterior of the home and yard. Take cans of old used paint to the dump along with yard waste and other items that are not needed. Clean out the garage and sweep away dirt and cobwebs to make the space fully usable. Improve curb appeal by trimming shrubs and bushes and touching up peeling paint on the house or porch.

When thinking about whether to make an improvement or an upgrade to your potential rental property, consider the competition and the price range of other rental homes in your neighborhood. Think about who your target tenant will be. Your location along with the price will be the deciding factor in who will be interested in your house. Will you attract university students, a family with younger children, or singles? You don’t want to over-improve your home and price yourself out of the rental market in your area.

Lastly who will service and manage your home? Do you plan to manage the property yourself or employ a management company? If you are managing the property yourself, you will be the sole contact for the tenant – collecting rent, performing regular property inspections, routine maintenance, and emergency repairs. Hiring a property management company will relieve you of these responsibilities and partner with you to make your investment profitable.

Commercial Property Management – Some Simple Points

In this job profession it is a business service that is designed to help assist owners in supervising their commercial properties. A commercial property manager may have several jobs but essentially they are the ones that will take care of details that are related to the following:

• Upkeep of the buildings on the property such as making sure that the lawns are mowed, any repairs needed are done promptly
• Checks out and qualifies potential new tenants who want to rent one of the commercial buildings or stores
• Oversees the leasing of sections of the property such as retail space in a mall
• Collects the rent from tenants on behalf of the owner

A commercial property manage involves overseeing any type of commercial property from multi-storied office buildings to retail space. Many times property owners will use a commercial property management firm to hand all the day-to-day details of operating the property so it frees up the property owners time for other aspects of business. The firm that is managing the commercial properties is generally granted the authority to make any decisions that will impact the amount of income the owner receives from their property. Hiring the right management firm can often lead to securing the best rental rates for the space and having a lower turnover of tenants.

One thing that is the responsibility of a commercial property manager is to screen potential tenants by accepting their application and then doing a background check. If the tenant is approved to rent a space then the manager will prepare the lease. For the duration of the lease the manager will make sure that the tenant is provided with all the responsibilities and benefits that are listed in the lease agreement, including the rental amount, when it is due, etc.

The commercial property manager will also serve as the liaison between the tenants and owner. If the tenant has any problems or needs repairs to their space they will see the manager who will take the necessary steps to resolve the issue or have what is wrong repaired. It is the manager’s responsibility to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the owner and the tenant. If the tenant is not paying the rent as outlined in the lease or doing anything that is not in the lease the commercial property manager will be the one that is responsible for delivering the eviction notice. Each jurisdiction or state has their specific regulations in regards to eviction. When serving an eviction notice the manager must be sure that they are following every step in the process to the letter. This makes sure that everything is done legally and the tenant cannot complain they were evicted illegally.