Making You Feel At Home For More Than 40 years!
Lonestar Realty
1020 W JASPER DR
KILLEEN, TX 76542
Telephone: (254) 699-7003
wwww.lonestarrealty.net/

Guide To Renting A Home In Killeen

Renting a home in Killeen, TX can be a challenging task. However, conducting a proper inspection and being aware of your rights can help you make the correct decision. You can even hire a real estate agent to ease your burden and help you choose the most feasible housing option.

Listed below are a few tips which can help you rent a home in Killeen:

Scrutinize your requirements

Before beginning the search, make sure you scrutinize your requirements and chalk out a budget. This can help to narrow down your options and make the right choice. You can choose the type of property and number of bedrooms as per your preferences.

Thoroughly inspect the property:

Make sure you conduct thorough inspection of the home you are planning to rent. This can help you to be aware of the ins and outs of the property and finalize the deal accordingly.

Fire check

When you visit the property, check if it has smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. This can help to ensure your safety.

Check for plumbing issues

Make sure there are no leaky faucets and pipes in the home. In case you find any, report the issue to the landlord so that he can get them repaired before you move in.

Security features

It is very important to check the security features of the rental home. Electrical sockets should be checked to ensure safety of the family members. You can also look for CCTV cameras, nighttime lighting in your rental home. Having security arrangements in the locality can keep you safe.

Windows check

Make sure you check the windows and doors of the house before making the final deal. Open and close each window to ascertain that they are working properly. Also check the locks of the doors and windows for your safety.

Check the appliances

Before moving in, it is necessary to check the functionality of each electronic appliance. Washing machines, refrigerators, microwaves, air conditioners etc. should be in good working condition.

Inspect the exteriors

Inspecting the exteriors of the house is essential. The paint on the outer walls should not be ripping off. The lawns should be mowed and well-maintained. Also check the lighting system in the patio and driveway.

Check for signs of infestation

Before heading towards renting a property, make sure you look for signs of infestation. If the rental home has cabinets installed, you should carefully inspect them and ascertain that there are no vermins as well as bugs.

Look for cleanliness

The home you are looking for should be well-maintained and clean. It should be clutter-free and depersonalized.

Questions about tenancy

Ask the landlord about the maintenance policy for the rental home. You should know who will be responsible for repairs in case of any damage to the property. The landlord should also mention the number of guests that are allowed in the rental home.

Inspect the neighborhood and locality

Location is an important factor which should be considered while choosing a rental home. If you have kids, choose a home near schools. You can also choose the property near to your workplace to avoid inconvenience. You should inspect the neighborhood to ensure a comfortable stay during the tenancy period.

Get everything in writing

You should carefully go through the terms and conditions of the rental agreement to avoid any hassles later. If you have any particular requirements, such as pets, make sure you inform the landlord beforehand and get it in writing.  The lease should clearly mention your rights and duties. Make sure you keep one copy of the agreement with you for safety purpose.

Financial considerations

You should clearly ask the landlord about the rent and security deposit. Make sure you know what other bills are included in the rental agreement. For example the rent should be inclusive of parking charges.

If you are searching for a rental home, these tips can surely help to find the most suitable one according to your requirements.

We, at Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc., provide quality homes for rent in Killeen, TX. The agents provide complete assistance in renting a home. For more information, you can call at (254) 699 – 7003 or visit 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

Cleaning And Maintenance Checklist For Your Killeen Rental Home

Every property demands maintenance and rental homes, particularly, need special care to attract maximum tenants. A tenant will always look for a well maintained house and hence it becomes important for the landlord to add the needed amenities before the tenant moves.

Here is a list of things that a property owners should check before renting:

  • Kitchen. It is required to remove grease and food residue from the sinks and slabs. The microwave, oven, grill, filter and hood must be thoroughly cleaned. Make sure to remove any burnt food deposits near the burners. Stoves must be installed properly, free of gas leaks or electrical hazards. Dishwashers and garbage disposals must be in proper working condition.
  • Doors and locks. To ensure safety and security, change and/or rekey the locks. Doors should be tightly secured. Look for gaps under the doors that let the cold air in, thus increasing the electricity bill. Check the knobs and repaint the doors if required.
  • Vacuum the carpets. Before inviting prospective tenants for a property visit and/or before you finally rent it out, vacuum all the carpeted floors. Sweep and mop the non-carpeted floors. You may consider hiring professional steam cleaning to make your carpets and rugs look like new again.
  • Closets and wardrobes. The closets should be clean and empty. Make sure you get rid of the junk or leftover clothes, shoes and other knick-knacks from the previous tenants. Make sure there is no mold growth or rusting. Try to keep them clean and odorless.
  • Touch up the paint. In case of scuffs and marks on doors, windows or walls, you can clean them with a damp sponge. You can re-touch the paint to save time and for better results.
  • Check appliances, make sure they work. Thoroughly check the appliances like oven, refrigerator and AC, to make sure they are in a good working condition. In case you are unable to fix something on time, inform your tenant that you will replace, fix or upgrade them at the earliest. Refrigerators should be clean and empty, dryers and washers must be installed and working properly.
  • Maintain the furnace. In case the tenant is moving in during the colder months, it is likely he will need the furnace on the very first day. Thus, keeping the furnace ready should top the list. Fortunately, you can extend the life of the furnace by a routine maintenance. Change the filter, and have a professional take a look in case its efficiency has reduced. 
  • Clean the AC filters. As summer comes to an end, ACs should be winterized. Clean the filters and cover the exteriors to avoid dust and snow to seep in. As the ACs won’t be in use for a long time, it is best to keep them prepared for the summers.
  • Check the bathroom. Remove the mildew and soap residue collected in the corners and on the tiles. Ensure that the toilet and shower areas are clean. Sinks, tubs as well as toilets should drain quickly and make sure they do not leak. Showers and faucets must have adequate flow and pressure. Supply lines and waste lines should be properly connected.
  • Check the smoke detectors. Replace batteries in smoke detectors and remotes to ensure they are working properly.
  • Walkways. The stairs and patio must be properly leveled and should not be loose or broken. The balconies, porches and decks should also not be cracked, rotted or rusted. Wood repairs must be made if necessary. Lawns and garages should also be maintained.
  • Walls and ceilings. They should be clean and structurally sound. Check for holes, dents, loose taping, water damage and holes. Wallpapers should not be loose or torn and must be adhered to the wall.
  • Floors. Flooring of the house should also be structurally sound. Floor coverings should be clean, secure and free of holes, tears, burns as well as stains. Make sure good quality/durable coverings are used.
  • Sanitation. The property should be free from garbage. It should be noted that the area is clean and in sanitary condition. The property should not be infested with insects, pets and rodents. In case it is infested, extermination shall be done before occupying the property.
  • Electricals. Lights, lamps, switches and electrical outlets should be wired properly and safe to operate.
  • Most of the items listed above can be taken care of in a comparatively less time. While renting, it becomes imperative to ensure you present a clean and fully equipped home.

For complete property management services for your rental home in Killeen, TX, consider Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. We are located at 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542. You can also call us at (254) 699 – 7003.

Ft Hood Housing: How To Attract The Right Tenants

Finding the right tenants is one of the biggest worries for homeowners, but a little extra effort can help you get sorted. Your dreams of achieving a low vacancy rate and securing higher rent along with quality tenants can be fulfilled. All you need to do is prioritize the concerns and requirements of your prospective tenants. Remember, you have to give them a house that they can call their ‘home’. Provide them with all amenities and features that they require in a rental home.

In order to attract trustworthy and long term tenants, you need to work on the following guidelines:

  1. Highlight to appeal. It is important to remember that your soon-to-be tenant wants to know the place as much as he can. Make sure you highlight the best features of your property. If you have a well-maintained lawn, you can give details about it. You can mention about the new dishwasher or fences installed in your home. You can even talk about the safety features such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, advanced locking system etc.
  2. Add photos: With the advancement of technologies, tenants have found new ways of searching their rental home.  Rental portals and MLS listing services are becoming quite popular. You can add high quality pictures and descriptions of your rental homes in various portals. This will help you attract more tenants towards your property. You can also post virtual tours to give them a better idea of your home.
  3. Promote cleanliness, clean before you brag. Cleanliness is an important factor which can attract potential tenants towards your property. Make sure the rugs are clean, kitchen is tidy and the curtains are dirt-free. Thoroughly vacuum your home before the tenants visit your property.
  4. Depersonalize your home. By personalizing your home, it becomes difficult for the tenant to envisage himself in it. That is why, it is important to depersonalize your home and remove knick-knacks, framed photographs etc. The reason being, every person has a different taste. Over the years you will have to rent out your property to many different tenants Thus, it is advised to not personalize it.
  5. Keep up with the repairs and maintenance. Make sure everything in the house is working properly. All the electrical appliances should be functional. In case of any signs of damage in the rooftop, doors, windows or any other structure, get it repaired by qualified vendors. If there are plumbing issues, get them fixed as soon as possible. This will help to cast a good impression on the potential tenants.
  6. Keep realistic demands. As a landlord, you should be updated with the real estate market. You should be aware about the ongoing rent prices. Demanding an appropriate rent can help to attract more tenants towards your property and rent it faster. Higher rent can reduce the chances of getting a good tenant for your rental home. A moderate rent can minimize your profit.
  7. Be responsive to queries: Make sure you maintain good communication with your tenant. You should be reachable to him whenever needed. If the prospective tenant has any doubts, be quick to answer them. This can increase the chances of renting your home faster.
  8. Hire a property manager. Hiring a property manager can help to reduce the vacancy rates and find quality tenants for your renal home in Ft Hood. There is a wide spectrum of jobs he can do for you:
  • Conduct thorough background checks of your prospective tenants
  • Side line the late rent payers
  • Find the right kind of tenants for your property
  • Advertise the property
  • Conduct frequent visits to the rental property
  • Handle tenant complaints

By keeping the above points in mind, you can increase the value the property and attract suitable tenants towards it. Hiring a property manager can help to keep up with maintenance and deal with all other tasks related to the rental home.

We, at Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc., offer a wide range of rental homes in Ft Hood. For more information about the rental services offered, you can call us at (254) 699 – 7003 or visit our office at 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

Why Duplex Is A Better Housing Option In Ft. Hood?

If you are looking to rent or buy a home in Ft. Hood, you need to consider many aspects such as your budget, style of living and space requirements. You have an option to choose between living in an apartment or a duplex. A duplex is simply a home divided into two apartments, each having a separate entrance. Living in a duplex is a better and convenient option because of the following reasons:

  • Outdoor space: A duplex has a common outdoor space at the back as well as the front side, which may be equally partitioned between you and the other tenant. This space can be used to spend leisure time or host outdoor parties. You also have an option to maintain this space as your personal vegetable garden.
  • Affordability: Renting a duplex is cheaper as you can share the rent with other tenant living in the property. Also, you will have to pay only for electricity and gas consumed in your portion of duplex. You also don't have to pay any monthly maintenance charges that need to be paid in case you reside in an apartment.
  • Additional income option: In case you are buying a duplex, you have an option to let out one portion of your house while residing in the other one. This is possible because a duplex can be partitioned into two apartments with different entrances. In this way, you will be able to earn some money in the form of rent while residing in the same house. In case you have taken a loan for purchasing the duplex, you can easily pay off the installments with the rent received.
  • Less sharing: When residing in a duplex, you have to share less as compared to living in an apartment where you have to share all the amenities like kitchen, garage, garden and barbeque pits. In case of a duplex, you can have your own driveway, garage and many other basic amenities.
  • Personalization: In a duplex, you can personalize your portion as per your requirements and living style. A duplex is more spacious than an apartment where little can be altered or modified as per your preferences. Since a duplex also offers more privacy, it is considered as one of the best housing options in Ft. Hood.

If you are looking for a housing option in Ft. Hood, TX, contact Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. We can be reached at (254) 699 – 7003.

Features Every Fort Hood Rental Home Should Have

As a landlord, you should understand that tenants look for various features while viewing your property in Fort Hood, TX. A rental home with all the necessary amenities will definitely stand out from the crowd. It will not only help you find quality occupants but also augment the value of your rental home.

Listed below are a few features that tenants look for in a rental home:

  • Good location and neighborhood: A home with an easy access to transportation, schools, parks, shopping malls etc. is in great demand. Having a property in good location can help to reduce vacancy cycles and increase your ROI manifold.
  • Outdoor space: Having a backyard, balcony or a patio in your rental home can help your quote a premium rent. It will also attract more potential tenants towards your property. A home with a garage or dedicated parking space is also preferred by most tenants. 
  • Low crime rate: Tenants prefer to stay in a location that is safe and crime free. Your rental property should have all the security arrangements such as proper outdoor lighting, smoke detectors, fire alarms, emergency exits etc.  to ensure safety of the residents.  
  • Well maintained rental home: If your property is well-maintained and equipped with the basic electronic appliances, it is likely to be occupied quickly. You can even renovate your home to improve its visual appeal. 
  • Appropriate rent: You should thoroughly research the real estate market to set an appropriate rent. Make sure the price is neither too high nor too low as it can affect the rentability of your property. 
  • Pet friendly: Most of the tenants have pets these days. So, having a pet friendly property can be beneficial as it can help to find occupants quickly.  For this, you may consider adding features like scratch-resistant flooring, easy to clean upholstery, higher fences in yard etc.
  • Other amenities: You can improve the chances of renting your property by providing a wide range of amenities for the convenience of the tenants. Modular kitchen, electrical fixtures, fireplace, extensive storage space etc. are some of the features that can improve the value of your rental home.  

We, at Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc., provide a wide range of rental homes in Ft Hood. For more information about the services offered, feel free to call us at (254) 699 – 7003.

Virtual Tour Benefits For Killeen Home Owners

As a landlord, you need to promote your property effectively in order to attract maximum tenants. You have to utilize the most effective advertizing channels and determine the correct rent for your property. One of the most useful marketing tools for landlords is virtual tour. Since videos easily catch attention and generally have a higher retention rate, they can help to speed up the renting process.

In order to make a good virtual tour video, you need to use a professional camera and shoot the video in sufficient natural light. Highlight the important areas of your home along with the amenities that you intend to provide. You can also give the potential tenants a fair idea about the locality and surroundings by taking a few shots of the street and nearby houses.

Discussed below are some of the benefits of virtual tour for landlords:

  • Offers a wide exposure: A video tour offers a good amount of exposure for your rental property and can help to grab the attention of prospective tenants. When you post a virtual tour of your property in the online listings, users are able to view the home more closely and decide if they want to schedule a visit. Interested tenants can take a prompt action after watching the details of a property in the virtual tour.
  • Highlights the positive features: Making a video of your property can help you in presenting your property in a positive manner. However, you need to ensure that you show only those amenities or features which you are actually offering to the tenants. You can highlight the furnished bedroom, a well landscaped garden, contemporary kitchen etc. Video tour will also give tenants an idea about the floor plan and approximate size of each room.
  • Saving your precious time: Virtual tours help in sifting out uninterested tenants and bringing in only those who genuinely want to rent your property. This can save your time by avoiding unnecessary showings. Since a lot of information can be provided through virtual tours, the tenants who visit your property may actually be knowing what to expect inside the property when they come for actual showing or open house.

We, at Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc., can help you create a virtual tour to rent out your home in Killeen, TX. For more information, you can call us at (254) 699 – 7003 or visit our office at 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

Tips To Successfully Manage Your Killeen Rental Home

Renting out your home in Killeen, TX is only a part of a successful real estate business. You need to keep the property well-maintained to ensure a consistent flow of income and make your renting experience hassle-free as well as profitable. Knowing how to effectively advertize your rental property and avoid tenant turnover is the key to be a successful landlord. Apart from these, you should also follow certain tips to successfully management your rental home in Killeen. Some of these have been discussed below:

Keep Up With Property Maintenance

As a landlord, your responsibility does not end simply by renting your home. You need to make sure that the tenants are not facing any sort of problems and are able to live comfortably throughout the duration of the lease. For this, you should regularly inspect the rental home to identify anything that needs to be repaired. Also, if a tenant submits a maintenance request, you should be proactive in attending to the same.

Be Cautious While Screening Tenants

Finding the right people to rent your home is also a crucial aspect of managing your property. Make sure the tenants you select are responsible and trustworthy. Conduct a thorough background check, income and credit rating verification on each applicant. Get in touch with the tenant’s employer and previous landlord to know about his general conduct as well as any history of eviction. Make sure you follow the fair housing laws while screening tenants and do not discriminate them on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, disability etc.

Get Landlord Insurance

Getting landlord insurance is important to protect your investment property from unforeseen damages. It covers the repair costs in case your rental home’s structure is damaged due to fire, water pipe burst, hailstorm, vandalism, riots etc. Discuss your requirements with the insurance agent to select the right type of policy for your rental home in Killeen.

Outsource Property Management

If you live outside Killeen or have other full time accountabilities, it is best to hire a property manager. He will perform all tasks on your behalf, such as marketing the rental property, screening tenants, performing repair work, collecting rents etc. The property manager will also keep you updated about all the financial transactions related to your rental home.

For complete property management services for your rental home in Killeen, TX, get in touch with Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. We can be contacted at (254) 699 – 7003.

Step By Step Guide To Selling Your Killeen Home

If you are planning to sell your home in Killeen, TX, you may face a lot of challenges. It is important that you make your property stand out in the real estate market. It will not only help to attract potential buyers but also augment the value of your property. However, you should also be careful about certain aspects that are crucial for a quick sale of the house.

Listed below is a step by step guide to sell your home in Killeen:

  • Prepare your home for sale: Your home should be well maintained and clutter free to make a good first impression on the potential buyers. Repainting the house can also enhance its visual appearance. The lawn should be mowed and fresh flowers should be planted to improve the curb appeal. Pressure wash the driveway and sidewalks to remove any stains.
  • Fix the price: After preparing the house for sale, it is essential to decide an appropriate selling price in line with the current market conditions. Make sure the price is not too high as this can reduce the probability of selling your property. On the other hand, setting a lower price can lead to financial losses. So, research the market carefully and fix an apt resale value.
  • Advertize the property: In order to reach out to maximum buyers, it is important to advertize your property effectively. Post high quality pictures and detailed descriptions of your home in online MLS listings. This can boost the chances of selling the property faster. Your real estate agent can help you advertize the property in an efficient way.
  • Prepare the legal agreement: Another important step is to prepare the legal agreement. Make sure you include all the important clauses regarding the actual sale price, initial deposit and any repair work to be done before closing the deal. If you have queries regarding any point in the agreement, you should clear it out with the real estate agent.
  • Be flexible in showings: The more accessible you make your property, higher will be the chances of selling it faster. You should be flexible in scheduling visits by the potential buyers so that your home gets maximum exposure. If possible, leave the home at the time of showings and let the buyers inspect everything freely.

Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. offers complete guidance in selling your home in Killeen. For more information, you can call at (254) 699 – 7003 or visit 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

Dos And Don’ts For Pet-friendly Rental Homes In Killeen

Adopting a pet comes with a major set of responsibilities, particularly if you are living in a rental home. Since pets can be a source of unwanted mess and trouble, you need to ensure they do not cause any harm to the property or your neighbors. Below are some do’s and don’ts that should be followed by tenants living in a pet-friendly rental home in Killeen, TX.

DO’S

  • Adopt the correct pet: If you are still looking to adopt a pet, it is best to pay some attention to this aspect before making the final decision. For instance, do not get a dog that is large in size or aggressive in nature. Your landlord may also not approve of such a pet in his home. Therefore, buy a pet according to the guidelines laid down by your landlord.
  • Get a renter’s insurance: Getting a renter’s insurance policy helps in protecting you from any sort of damage or injuries caused by your pet. Include pet liability coverage in your insurance policy to validate that you are willingly taking up the responsibility for your pet’s behavior. This, way, your landlord will know that you are a responsible tenant who will keep the rental home properly maintained.
  • Make your home safe for the pet: Make sure the rental home is completely safe and comfortable for your pet. For example, there should be no visible wires or toxic plants that can harm the pet. The material of the floor is another consideration to be kept in mind as certain types of flooring may not be comfortable for the pet.

DONTS

  • Hide anything from your landlord: Never keep a pet in your rental home if your lease agreement does not allow you to do so. Also, do not bring in prohibited pets inside the home as this is a breach of your rental contract. If you hide anything from your landlord, he has the authority to keep your security deposit or even evict you.
  • Choose a rental home not perfect for your pet: When looking for a pet-friendly rental home in Killeen, you need to find the one that suits your pet the best. Use various search tools and visit different neighborhoods to decide on your preferences.
  • Fail to clean up after your pet: Do not let your dog be a nuisance for your landlord or neighbors in any way. Make sure you clean up every time after your pet to maintain sanitation in as well as around the home.

Contact Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. if you are looking for a pet friendly rental home in Killeen, TX. For details about the rental services provided, you can call at (254) 699 – 7003 or visit our office at 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

Tenant Screening FAQs: Ft Hood Housing

The importance of tenant screening cannot be negated while renting a house in Ft. Hood. As a landlord, you need to conduct a thorough background check of your potential tenant to ensure he is suitable for your property. Tenant screening is also imperative to verify the financial record of the tenant. Below are some commonly asked questions regarding tenant screening:

Q: Why is it crucial to screen tenants?
A: Thorough screening is important so that you are able to find a tenant who is responsible, pays the rent on time and does not cause any trouble for the neighbors. However, to ensure that your tenant screening results are fair and reliable, you need to follow a pre-planned approach. You should also strictly follow the laws and make sure you do not discriminate between the applicants based on their color, religion or sex.

Q: What are the best ways to screen a tenant?
A: One of the simplest ways to get details of a prospective tenant is to make him fill out a rental application form consisting of essential information such as employment history, social security number, license number, history of evictions or bankruptcy etc. It is also imperative to contact his past employer and landlord to verify the information provided in the form.

Q: Is it mandatory to have a rental application in writing?
A: Although it is not essential to have a written application, going by just an oral agreement can be a risky proposition. You need to have a written proof of the information provided by the tenant. This can also be used as evidence in case you reject the tenant at a later stage.

Q: What types of discriminations are against the law while choosing a tenant?
A: According to Fair Housing Laws, you cannot reject an applicant based on his race, culture, ethnic background, disability or sex. You are free to choose a tenant but it should always be in compliance with the laws. For instance, you can reject a tenant if he does not comply with your occupancy policy and has more family members than you would allow in your rental unit. This is a health and safety concern as well as a fair reason to reject the application.

Q: What is the procedure to obtain a credit report?
A: Credit report is one of the most important means of conducting a background check on any tenant. In order to get a credit report, you will need information such as the tenant’s name, address and Social Security Number. The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (IITN) can be used in the absence of Social Security Number. You can visit the website of a prominent credit bureau to get the report.

For more tips assistance on screening tenants for your rental house in Ft. Hood, TX, contact Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. We can be reached at (254) 699 – 7003.

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