Real Estate is a pretty good investment, especially here in Utah. There are a lot of properties up for sale, and it could be a really good idea to snag one for renting purposes. There’s a huge market in Utah for renting; a lot of families are opting to rent out houses instead of buying them. This means the opportunity for a property management opportunity in Utah is ideal right now.
There are a lot of different things to consider when you’ve decided to rent out your property. Whether you’re wanting to rent out a part of your current home(like a separate basement apartment, for example), or you’re upgrading to a larger house and so you want to rent out the house you’re leaving behind, or if you’re just looking to purchase a new property with the sole intent of renting it out. It can be hard to keep track of all of the legal and technical parts of being a landlord, and property management can be a daunting task if you don’t have any experience.
Getting a property manager
Especially if this is your first time renting out property, it can be helpful to hire a separate property manager to handle the business with your tenant. You’re less likely to make a legal fumble, which could potentially leave you liable and responsible for costly repairs even if your tenants are at fault.
What a property manager does
A property manager will take care of the day-to-day tasks, leaving you to handle the big picture, rather than the day-to-day tasks. They will generally be responsible for the following:
-Collecting rent from the tenant
-Arrange repairs and see that they’re done correctly
-Serve as the main line of communication for the tenant
-Take care of notices for overdue rent, lease violations, and evictions, if necessary.
-Manage property inspections
In addition to these tasks, a property manager will also take care of any other tasks you need them to, as you discuss. Having a property manager can be especially helpful if you’re moving out of state. It will give you peace of mind if you have a property manager in Utah to make sure everything runs smoothly, since you’re not there to directly oversee the property.
When selecting a property manager, you’ll want to clearly outline what tasks you expect from them, and what decisions are important for them to bring to you to approve before moving forward. Communication is key, to make sure you don’t run into issues down the road.
Whether you’re transitioning from living in your home to renting it out to new tenants, or you’re looking to upgrade a property you already rent out between tenants, making upgrades to your property is never a bad idea. Repairs can be pretty costly, but there are some projects out there that are relatively inexpensive, that will still really improve the look of your rental property.
Paint in general isn’t that expensive, and you don’t need a lot of it to make an impact. Try choosing a cool, neutral tone for an accent wall in a main living area or bedroom. This can add a lot of depth and interest to a room with minimal effort. For example, if all your walls are a light color, such as white or beige, pick a dark grey or mint on one wall in the room.
In the kitchen, consider painting your cupboards. Although this can be slightly time consuming depending on the amount of cabinetry you have, this will really elevate your kitchen. Try either a dark stain or a white paint. Either of these colors will look great with stainless steel or black appliances, and your kitchen will look more modern than the light yellow/brown most cabinets are when you purchase a home.
Add a backsplash
This is a really great way to add some interest in either a kitchen or bathroom. You can get easy peel and stick backsplash tiles at any home improvement store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can also choose from a variety of different colors and patterns. A backsplash doesn’t cost very much to do yourself, but it will give your room a whole new look, and will make it feel more expensive.
Update the lighting
Changing the light fixtures in your home seems like it will be a time intensive and expensive project, but it doesn’t have to be. If any of your lights are dim or dingy, swap them out with a new light fixture. Try a simple chandelier for a living area, or a few pendant lights in the kitchen. If you’re relatively happy with the light fixtures in a room, try installing a light dimmer instead of replacing anything.
Swap out small hardware
Add new knobs to all your cabinets! This will give an entire new look to the room. Also consider switching your faucet out with something new. These are small do-it-yourself projects that will only take you a few hours, but will give your kitchen or bathroom an elevated feel.
Upgrading your rental doesn’t have to be expensive, but small changes like these will increase the value of the property and will attract potential tenants.
Many of us made New Year’s resolutions last month to put more money in the bank every month, and if you’re still not saving as much as you’d like, it’s a good idea to take a look at your utility usage. Winter, after all, can be your most expensive season when it comes to utilities. Do you live in a rental where the cost of utilities varies from month to month? Here is a look at some simple ways you can save on utilities in your rental. (more…)
One major decision you have to make as a property manager is whether or not you are going to allow your renters to have pets. And even when you do decide you want to allow pets, there are a variety of concerns and accommodations you’ll want to consider. Here is a look at what to consider and how to accommodate when you allow your tenants to have pets. (more…)
Now that daylight savings time has kicked in, we’re all looking out our windows in astonishment when 6pm brings total darkness. The long, dark nights and freezing temperatures drive us all indoors. We’re left fretting in our houses, getting blue, missing the sun. (more…)
Sometimes, watching others live in your property is a hard thing. You can’t help wincing at each stain, bang, dent, and chip. Every renter has the right to make a home out of the place they’re renting, and this includes “normal wear and tear.” However, “normal” can mean something different to everyone! The truth is, when something doesn’t belong to us, we’re just not as careful of it, and the odds are good that you’ll have some tenants now and then that don’t care for your property as well as you would. (more…)
Low-income housing has been a hot topic in the state of Utah for about a decade now. This is due in large part to a “housing first” initiative that was implemented in the state of Utah a little over 10 years ago, back in 2005. The initiative was part of a larger 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, with the reasoning that the state spends more money incarcerating and hospitalizing the homeless rather than actually housing them. According to the 2015 statewide point-in-time homeless count, the 10-year plan has been largely successful. As of 2015, there were 178 chronically homeless people living in the state―down from almost 2,000 in 2005. This means that chronic homelessness in Utah has been reduced by just over 91 percent over the last decade. (more…)
When searching for a new home, some of us have a hard time even knowing where to get started. Most listing sites will make you start with choosing what kind of property you’re looking for, whether that’s an apartment in a high rise, a unit in a multi-family home, a single family home, a condo, or townhouse.
Remember that each kind of property can come in a wide variety of styles. For example, a unit in a multi-family house could be anything from your own detached guest house to a couple rooms in the basement. Take a good look at each property’s listing, and don’t assume that just because it’s a single-family house, it will have all of the advantages that you’re expecting. However, this rough guide could give you a starting point, and some ideas for considerations you’ll need to think about with each kind of property. (more…)
Deciding what to charge for your rental unit is a tricky decision. There are many factors that affect price, from the current state of the economy to what amenities your unit offers. Read below to learn what you need to consider when deciding the price for your rental unit. (more…)
With one quick visit, it can be hard to tell how a new place will work out. However, there are some creative solutions that can give you a better idea of what you’re looking for. Try out these tips while you’re hunting for a new rental property.
1. Go to the Bathroom
When you do your apartment visit, take some time to be a little nosy and explore the bathroom by yourself. For one thing, this gives you a moment away from the pressure of the realtor, manager, or landlord. Alone, you can get a real feel for the place, and gather yourself. For another, the bathroom is one place where the real workings of a home are exposed.
Take time to check the function of the toilet, the sounds of the pipes, and even the water pressure. That’s right, go ahead and turn on the shower and see how it feels. There’s nothing worse than locking yourself into a lease for a year of terrible showers. (more…)