Common Mistakes New Landlords Make & How To Avoid Them

New landlords of rental properties need to be aware of the size of the commitment they’re taking on, in particular when it comes to financial and legal matters. Inexperience is nothing to be ashamed of, but it should be used not as an excuse but as an opportunity to seek out knowledge and experience from seasoned experts in the property management field and get their advice, so they are better prepared if they have to deal with safety issues or a troublesome tenant.

Here are six common mistakes for new rental property owners to avoid.

1. Failing to Screen Tenants Properly

Many inexperienced landlords will think they’re saving money and hassle by not undertaking a full tenant screening process. They may be easily convinced by pleasant people with everything appearing right about their application. But it’s vital to protect your investment with due diligence, doing a credit report, enquiring about the tenant with past landlords, and assuring yourself there’s no history of late payment or aggravation or prior evictions.

Any landlord will want to avoid the eviction process if they possibly can. It’s costly, time-consuming and unpleasant. A little extra time spent researching a tenant can save a lot of stress, and any honest tenant won’t mind you doing it.

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2. Lack of Legal Knowledge

Any departure from local and federal housing regulations from the moment you begin accepting applications from renters can put you at risk of litigation as a landlord. You must have an understanding of local habitability laws and the Fair Housing Act on a federal level, and ensure your property is compliant and legally safe and habitable.

It may seem a daunting amount of legal material to learn, but expert help is readily available, and this should be a priority.

3. Not Following Through On Late Payment Fees

Don’t let any tenant get away with exploiting you by not paying rent responsibly and on time. An exceptional hardship as a one-off may be permissible if it’s verifiable, but if you allow repeated late payments out of a desire to appear kind, you will be losing out on any return on your investment.

Hold tenants to late fees and ensure they adhere to the terms set out in their lease agreement.

4. Not Having Regular Inspections

Inexperienced landlords of rental properties may be tempted to save themselves the nuisance of arranging a regular property inspection. It’s easy to believe the tenant will raise any maintenance issues promptly – but what if they haven’t noticed them, or caused the problem themselves, or are trying to conceal something else?

Beginning each tenancy properly by making safety and inventory checklists, and checking all areas are well maintained, can save you costly and unexpected repair bills in future. You can enlist professional help from property managers to make sure the inspections are full and thorough. Seasonal inspections can protect against any faults or negligence escalating into critical problems in hot or freezing weather.

5. Not Having Full Insurance Cover

The worst possible situation for a landlord is to be liable without a sufficient insurance cover. Be sure to include specific landlord’s coverage in your homeowner’s insurance to cover situations such as somebody suing because they sustained injuries while on your property.

You should also insist on tenants having renter’s insurance to cover damage on and off the property, as well as their possessions. If your tenant accidentally causes water damage to the apartment below, you won’t be faced with damages that the tenant is unable to cover. Experienced landlords often require this protection to be in place for a term of the tenancy agreement.

6. Not Using A Property Manager

It’s a significant investment to hire property management for landlords to represent you in matters dealing directly with the tenant, but it’s one that can save time and stress mainly as an alternative to managing a property for the first time.

If you are not prepared to go into detail with all the required knowledge of landlord and tenancy laws, or you find minor day-to-day rental issues are occupying more time than they should, then it’s well worth considering investing in the services of a property manager. There is a trade-off between the management fees and the amount of time, and stress property management will save you. If you have multiple rental properties to manage, getting professional help with the day-to-day running can pay off more.

These six common mistakes are part of the array of knowledge you should arm yourself with before investing in a rental property, and are a good starting point towards avoiding legal tangles and enjoying the returns that your investment brings you.

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Foreign Buyers Increasingly Attracted To Arizona Real Estate

Foreign buyers like to purchase property in the United States because they see the real estate market in areas like Phoenix, Arizona are stable. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, the international sales of US homes is at the second highest it’s ever been in recent years. Owning property in the US is a significant investment. Foreigners are purchasing homes not only to live in them but to rent out as well.

In the past five years, 70 percent of Realtors have stated that international clients have contacted them looking to potentially purchase a property. From April 2014 to March 2015, international buyers purchased $104 billion in American real estate.

Arizona is the third largest state for international sales. Florida and California are the top two. Texas and New York also sell a lot of homes to foreigners. These states make up 61 percent of international sales.

Arizona real estate is popular with foreigners because of the warm weather. There are some other factors as well. This includes the distance to their home country, if they have relatives already living there, and if there are opportunities for both jobs and education. Out of the 68 foreign countries that purchased homes in the USA, there are five the make the majority of purchased real estate. They are Canada, China, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom. These countries make over half of all purchased real estate, with Canada and China leading the way.

Not all people from different countries like to make purchases in Arizona. Chinese buyers do not rank very high in the purchase of Arizona homes. Chinese buyers make the bulk of their purchases in California. They also like to make purchases in Washington State, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New Jersey.

In the state of Arizona, Canadians make up 46 percent of the foreign home buying market. They are likely to purchase a home for a vacation use or as a rental property. They also are buying condos and apartments instead of single family home. Many Canadians are also purchasing homes in the state of Florida. They prefer the Sarasota and Venice areas as well as Palm Beach as opposed to Miami.

Foreign buyers are important in the real estate market. They spend on average just under $500,000 on a home. Other buyers average a purchase price of $255,000. In addition to paying more for a home, they also spend more money on furniture, eat out more often at restaurants, and attend more sporting events. This is good for the economy. They are not only spending more on the home but spending more in general. Businesses are seeing an increase in their profits due to international buyers.

Realtors need to improve their skill sets when they work with foreign buyers. They need to have a global perspective of things and have experience working with those from a different culture. They need to learn different real estate practices to get along with others as well. The NAR will help realtors expanding their skills and work with those on an international level. A realtor can train to be a Certified International Property Specialist. Be sure to visit this association online to find out more information.

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Boeing To Relocate Jobs To Mesa, Arizona

Boeing executives have announced plans to relocate hundreds of workers and jobs in their Shared Services Group from Seattle, Washington to Mesa, Arizona within the next two to three years. The division comprises 8,000 workers and provides support services to the other Boeing

Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport is the relocation zone for many of the Boeing empoloyees.

units. Boeing (NYSE: BA) already manufactures Apache helicopters and has cyber security and drone operations at Mesa’s Falcon Field.

In a statement to defend the move, a Boeing official had these to say:
“This move will ensure that we are properly structured and positioned to provide the right services most effectively to help Boeing grow its business. The steps include efficiencies gained from automation, adjustments of the management structures, and the consolidation and the relocation of some of the work that supports enterprise-wide services over the next few years to Mesa, Arizona, and other Boeing sites.”

Boeing management had these more to say:

“We have just started engaging our employees in talks to help them understand the process and obtain their feedback as regards the issue. We know that such changes impact our employees and have thus chosen to speak to them directly this early to grant them the opportunity to consider their most appropriate path as we work through this. We are still at the beginning of the process that is expected to take around two to three years, and as such, we are still unaware of the number of persons who will be directly impacted and in what way(s).”

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The Metro Phoenix Apartment Market’s Promising Outlook

The Phoenix metro rental market continues a two-year ascent, showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. What really could be the reason behind the increasing demand for rental property in Phoenix?

An aerial of recently developed areas in the Phoenix valley. Photo courtesy of the International Space Station.

According to Stephanie McCleskey who is the vice president of Research for Axiometricks, outstanding job growth is the most important factor. McCleskey asserts that with over 3% annual Phoenix job growth rate, the huge demand for accommodation is consuming a huge portion of new property supply.

According to his organization, Phoenix businesses created 56,800 in 2015. The data provide evidence that real estate companies are in a rush to add another 4612 housing units in 2017, after supplying 7093 units in 2016. Looking at 18 submarkets with over 1000 units, the 2016 data ranked the valley cities with the most growth as follows;

  1. South Glendale—11.0%
  2. South Mesa—9.1%
  3. Sunny Slope—8.2%
  4. East Mesa—7.9%
  5. North Glendale/Peoria—7.3%

Despite mortgage rates currently being at their historic lows, Phoenix remains one of the most promising property markets across the nation. The cost of rent has gone higher for the 23 of the past 24 months so is the apartment occupancy.

Nathan Pierce—principal at Strong Tower Realty in Scottsdale advises tenants to consider low or no down payment programs and acquire homes rather than rent. He believes that renters are spending more than they would on a mortgage payment. “In our market, you could save 25% by buying a house outright instead of renting,” says Nathan. He goes ahead to point out that people are spending more when they sign a lease and they are missing out on tax breaks like interests, property tax as well as mortgage insurance by not choosing property acquisition over rental.

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Arizona Real Estate Will Be An Excellent Investment In Coming Years

If you are looking to purchase a home in the Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Prescott areas in Arizona do it now. In the next couple of years, the prices are expected to increase. A single family home is a significant investment in the Phoenix area. Apartments also have a real potential in this area. Homes are also being split into different rental units. Mortgage, as well as construction loans, have a lower risk to lenders than before. Rentals are great investments in Phoenix as well as Tuscon and Prescott.

Investing in Arizona provides many great opportunities. This is like the Florida of the west where people go to retire only without the swamps. There are so many opportunities for investors. In addition to the proximity to the major cities, Prescott has a lot of offer retirees. Flagstaff has a younger population, and Yuma is a location where immigrants tend to start off. Each of these cities has different housing needs.

The need of homes will increase as the economy increases in a city. Phoenix sees the development of new jobs at twice the national rate. These jobs are in the healthcare industry, retail, and finances. Prescott also sees job growth and development. They need people to work in healthcare and retail to serve the elderly population. Tuscon sees a decrease in growth. Flagstaff relies on the tourists for most of their industry.

Home prices in the state of Arizona rose and then drastically fell. The prices in Phoenix and Prescott went up again when people purchased properties that have been foreclosed. There has been a spike in sales again in the cities of Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Prescott. The sales have been weaker in Yuma and Tucson. Over the next three years, home prices in Phoenix are expected to increase by 25 percent. Now is the time to buy. Pries in Phoenix are very strong but not as strong in the surrounding areas.

Almost 40 percent of the population in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Phoenix are renters. The price of home ownership is very high. Investing a single family home is more reasonable in Phoenix. The homes can be split into several rental units. The healthcare sector, as well as the retail sector, may not pay that well but people will be looking for rental units for years to come.

Mortgages are a sound investment in this area. The prices for homes will continue to rise, the equity will continue to grow, and the risk of default will stay around the national average. Construction loans have an average risk. It is expected that over 60,000 new homes will be built in Phoenix over the next three years as well as an additional 60,000 apartments. In Prescott, it is estimated 5,000 homes will be built and in Tucson 5,000 apartments. Flagstaff and Yuma may have less than 1,000 new construction projects, and many of them will be apartments.

Due to the growth in population, it may be wise to invest in retail stores and eating establishments in Phoenix. Pinal County does not have enough of either. Flagstaff has more competition and pay will go with the cycle of tourism. There is no growth in retail in Prescott, and the retail market has declined in Tuscon. Office space is a good investment in Phoenix due to the increase in the financial and the healthcare sectors.

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