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Property Management Blog

Published on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Easy Property Maintenance For You

If you want to earn better money from your rented property, then you should go for regular property maintenance work. The tenant will always look forward to stay in a safe, secured, clean and decent looking building. Depending on these factors, your renting rate will be calculated. So, you must maintain a regular inspection schedule for your property. You can prepare your own tool box for fixing up minor emergency problems. To start with you can have some basic tools like a range of screwdrivers, spanners, pliers and a hammer. You can even keep some basic tools for electrical work, a wrench for plumbing purpose and insulation tapes. It is advisable, that you maintain a stock of fuses and light bulbs, so that in case of an emergency property maintenance situation, you can fix the problem. You should keep a pack of drain cleaner for clogged sink or wash basin pipes, grout filler for leaks, and a variety of screws in your tool box. Finally, you will need a decent ladder, so that you can reach the ceiling. Make sure the ladder is strong enough to carry your weight. With these tools you can easily manage the minor repairing works, if you have a flair for this type of mechanical works.

Normally, the floors of the building are susceptible to more damage, especially if there are young kids. It is a great challenge to your property maintenance program, to keep the floor and the carpets totally dirt and stain free. If you can clean the carpets daily, then you can be rest assured about the cleanliness of the carpet. But, that it is not always possible. As prevention, you can use door mats at each entrance, and vacuum at least once a week. Hard wooden floors should be swiped regularly to keep the polish intact. Take care of the stains on your carpet as early as possible, using a carpet stain remover. If the stain stays for long time, then it will be difficult to clean. Arrange a professional carpet cleaning procedure once in a year.

Most of the times walls do not get proper attention for property maintenance work. The walls must be kept in good condition as these are another important part of a building. Simple surface cracks are not a major issue. You can hide those cracks using wallpaper or paint. But, do not ignore a real intrusive damage, as it demands an immediate expert opinion. Also, check for any damp in the wall, especially for bathroom walls. The earlier you find the problem, the easier will be to fix it. Windows also require regular cleaning up service. Wooden windows should be painted once in three years.

Plumbing is another important side for your property maintenance project. Do not compromise with any of your dripping taps. Clogging of sink and bathroom pipes is a major concern in most of the household. But, this can be treated easily using drain cleaner overnight, and then flushing with water. In case of electrical problem, you can work on simple jobs like replacing plugs, or changing fuse or bulbs. For any type of electrical work, always switch off the supply first. However, it is better to fix any electrical problem by professional trained electricians, as they have better knowledge about this stream than you.

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Author: Web Master

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Landlord Knowledge Base

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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