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Things To Consider Before You Move Into Your New Home

Moving into a new home is a very exciting and memorable experience however a few things should be kept n mind to make the transition as smooth as possible. Although winding up and packing your belongings from your old place of residence will take up all of your attention, you must pay emphasis on things that need to be done at your new house before you move in. Here are some of the most important things that you must consider doing before moving into your new house.

  • Change the locks: This should be the first thing to do before moving into your new home. Security is of utmost importance and you should make sure you change all the locks and install new deadbolts so only you have access to the house.
  • Look for plumbing leaks: Although this falls under the task of the home inspector, there is no harm to cross check and ensure there is no leaking. Examine the water heater, running toilets or dripping faucets for any signs of leaks.
  • Paint the house: You can paint the house if there is any sign of damage or cracks in the walls or ceilings or if you simply do not like the previous color.
  • Check for pests: Look for any signs of pest infestations such as rodents, termites, bed bugs etc in the house. You should inspect the house for pest droppings, decayed wood and chew marks to be sure.
  • Install new switch boards: Most of the old houses have switch plates that are discolored, dirty and mismatched. Replacing all of them will bring uniformity and enhance the beauty of the house.
  • Steam clean carpets: Carpets contain oodles of dust and germs that sometimes cannot be seen by the naked eye. Therefore, before moving your furniture into the house it is advised that you get your carpets steam cleaned to make sure they are clean and shiny. You can clean the carpets yourself or hire a professional to do the same.
  • Wipe out cabinets: Make sure you wipe and clean all your cabinets and shelves before placing in your dishes and other kitchen supplies. You should use a non-toxic cleaning agent to make the cabinets absolutely germ free.
  • Install window treatments: If you have a house that has too many windows you should get window treatments installed as soon as possible. You can either go for solid colored or textured coverings depending upon your choice.

We, at Lone Star Realty and Property Management, Inc, offer complete real estate services in Texas. For more information, you can call at (254) 699 - 7003 or visit our office at 1020 W, Jasper Dr, Killeen, TX 76542.

Things To Consider While Renting An Apartment

The most difficult aspect of renting an apartment is to find the best among the ones available. However, if some important things are kept in mind, the whole search process can be made a lot easier. Here are some of the important considerations that should be made while renting an apartment.

  • Size: First and foremost you should determine the size of the apartment that you require. Two bedrooms might be needed for a couple with children however college students may share a room to save money. Also, take into account the size of the bathroom, dining room, living room etc.
  • Price: Price is another important consideration and you can take the help of professional real estate agents to know about the current price trends in the areas where you want to rent an apartment. You should also keep in mind that you will also have to pay an advance one month rent and the security deposit before or immediately after moving in.
  • Location: You should make sure that you inspect the location properly before renting the apartment. Accessibility to school, workplace, grocery store and other amenities is a big plus point. The locality and the neighbors determine how comfortable you will feel in your new home.
  • Pets: If you have a pet or plan to have one in the near future you should discuss it with the landlord and know what are his rules regarding it. Some landlords do not allow pets in their property while others have guidelines regarding the number, type and size of the pets allowed.
  • Parking: Find out how far you will have to go to park your car. Also inquire about the number of cars allowed per apartment and if there is an extra charge for additional cars.
  • Amenities: Clear with your landlord about the amenities he will be responsible to provide you such as washer, dryer, pool or a dish washer.
  • Pest problem: Thoroughly inspect the apartment for any signs of pest infestations and examine the areas under the sink and wooden closets to find signs of mice or termites.
  • Length of lease: Determine the time period for which the lease is valid as most leases run for a year. You should try not to break the lease before the said time as this can be either impossible or highly expensive.

We, at Lone Star Realty and Property Management Inc., are an accomplished real estate company that can help you find the perfect rental apartment in Killeen, TX. For more information, you can call us at (254) 699 – 7003.

How To Find The Perfect Rental Apartment In Killeen TX

If you are looking for a rental apartment where you can stay with your family there are many important points that you need to consider. Finding the perfect rental unit is quite an overwhelming and time consuming task and it is possible that you will have to check out dozens of rental apartments before finalizing one. Here are some tips that will surely help you find the best apartment suitable to your needs.

  • Set a budget: Before you set out to find the ideal rental apartment it is crucial that you decide how much you can take out as rent every month. Consider your expenses, income and regular bills to decide your budget. Your realtor will also find it easy to locate properties for you if you have a pre decided budget in mind. You must ensure that you stick to this budget as exceeding the budget can lead to financial issues in the future.
  • Identify your priorities: Be specific on the things you definitely want in your rental apartment like the number of bedrooms, essential amenities you require, storage space you seek, built-in shelves, parking space, updated and well-equipped kitchen, modern bathrooms and size of the apartment etc.
  • Evaluate your needs: Consider other facilities that you may require such as laundry and gym etc as they should be close to your place. You should also consider the location of the rental apartment as it should be close to your work place. Narrowing your search to a particular area can help you streamline and speed up the process. If you have a pet then you need to check out the rental apartments that are pet friendly.
  • Be prepared: Once you find the perfect rental apartment you will be required to pay a deposit and sign lease documents. You should have all the information before hand so that you can timely fill the rental application and provide necessary papers.
  • Keep track of MLS listing: When you are looking at multiple numbers of apartments you can subscribe to MLS listing and get required information about the features of the selected apartment. A multiple listing service is a collection of databases that are referred by the realtors who agree to share their listing agreements with each other. The MLS listing will inform you about the money that you need to pay in real estate taxes, utilities and mortgage payments etc.

These tips will surely help you find the perfect rental apartment without any stress. You should rely on your intuitions and take into account the environment, noises and smells in the apartment to avoid any future issues.

Tips To Prep An Apartment For Renting

Renting your house is one of the best ways to generate steady income; however, it is not easy to get good tenants and retain them. For appealing your potential tenants, you need to prepare your apartment and for this, you can take help of a professional or do it on your own. Here are some tips to prep an apartment for renting.

  • Improve the first impression: As one can judge a book from its cover, so the exteriors of your house plays a big role in helping renters decide whether they want to look inside or not. Make sure the entrance to your apartment is appealing and inviting. By just adding an attractive light and a potted plant, you can refresh the look of your front door. If needed, give a fresh coat of paint to the door and make it look.
  • Clean the apartment: Tenants like to rent a clean apartment; therefore, it is crucial that you thoroughly clean it and de-clutter it. Moreover, cleaning is a fundamental component of an apartment. Cleaning may require a lot of time and effort. If you do not have time to clean every nook and corner of your apartment, then you can consider hiring a professional cleaning company. While cleaning your apartment, you need to clean the kitchen, bathrooms, and every room. Ensure that the kitchen countertop is clean, tiles and grouts are sparking clean, and there is no mold and dust build up in bathrooms. Arrange everything including the furniture and make sure there is no clutter. Keep the clothes and things arranged in the closets, so that the apartment looks spic and span.
  • Repairs: Make sure every fixture and appliance is in working order. Get electrical appliances and any broken floor tiles, roof shingles, etc., repaired.
  • Maximize the lighting: Make sure your apartment is well lit, for that open all the blinds, curtains, and doors to let the natural light come in. Whether its day or night, turn on all the lights while staging your apartment. For preparing your apartment for staging, check all the lights and replace any broken lights that are not working.
  • Decorate your apartment: Decorate your apartment in your style and if you do not have that skill, take help from a friend or professional stager. Set the table, use some good wall hangings, have fresh flowers, and place some accessories aesthetically to enhance the appeal of your rooms. It is always good to have some bathroom accessories that will add a new element to your apartment.

By concentrating on these few things, you can easily prepare your apartment for renting.

What Do Potential Tenants Look For In A Rental Property

When looking for a rental property tenants have various personal preferences and choices. Everybody wants their new home to be the best and different from other rental properties available in all aspects. While searching for a new rental property, the potential tenants have certain important criteria and points that they consider. Some of the common important factors for tenants are:

  • Location: Location has always been and will continue to be the most important criteria for selecting a rental property. Potential tenants are sometimes ready to compromise on other amenities if the property is in the perfect location be it close to schools, hospitals, major companies, shopping centers or easier access to transport.
  • Neighborhood: After the location aspect, neighborhood is the second important point that people consider while renting a property. Renters mostly prefer properties that are in quiet localities and provide them with the privacy they desire. This is particularly important if the potential tenants include children or elderly people.
  • Attractive Appearance: Every tenant wants their house to look fresh and renovated. Thus, it is very important for the landlords to properly maintain and renovate the house, particularly the kitchen and bathroom, before putting it up for rent. Simple and low cost improvements can turn out to be very lucrative when renting your house which can include new door handles, repainting and trimming the grass.
  • Needs should be met: Potential tenants have certain needs that must be fulfilled so that they can decide whether they can rent out the property or not. This could include things like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, open kitchen, parking trail, outdoor area, storage space etc. The tenant must be satisfied enough of all the facilities that the rental property has to offer before signing a deal.
  • Fair Pricing: While searching for a rental home, potential tenants are very much likely to compare the prices of similar properties. Highly priced properties are usually the last ones to be taken up. Thus the price of a property should be decided only after taking into account the actual market trends as well as the amenities offered.

We, at Lone Star Realty and Property Management Inc., are a professional real estate company that can help you with all your property related needs. We will guide you throughout the process of renting a property. For more information about the services that we offer, you can contact us at (254) 699-7003.

Property Management For Rental Properties In Killeen TX

Owning a property is a huge investment of one’s hard earned money and it is extremely important to have it maintained regularly especially if you consider it as a rental property. A well-kept property helps the owner make profit down the line by ensuring less repairs and breakages in the house. Though a property owner can manage his own property but it is advisable that you hire a professional property management company that manages and adds significant value to your property.

Here are a few benefits of hiring a property management company for your rental properties.

  • High Quality Tenants: An efficient property management firm has years of experience in dealing with thousands of tenants. They know how to analyze real facts about the applicants and screen them accordingly. They help owners in dodging bad tenants, lawsuits and scams, and ensure that they approve tenants after screening their background and confirming with previous landlords.
  • Lesser Vacancy Phases: A property manager will let you know about the important improvements that must be made in the house before putting it up for rent. He will also help you determine the ideal rent based upon the market trends and they have a fair idea regarding how and where to market a property. All these points will help you find tenants in a much lesser time as compared to when you do it on yourself.
  • Better Holding of Tenants: Apart from the lost rent, high tenant turnover can also cause various hassles like painting walls, changing locks, electrical repairs, screening of prospective tenants, showing the property and settling the tenants. Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc helps you find tenants that are genuine and stay for long.
  • Timely Collection of Rent: With an efficient property manager you don’t have to worry about the hassles of collecting rent from the tenants. The manger handles the timely collection of rent from the tenants.
  • Low Cost of Maintenance and Repairs: Hiring a property management company gives you access to a competent maintenance staff as well as many other skilled contractors who have previously been scrutinized for their economical and quality work.

Thus, it is advisable that you hire an accomplished property management company for the upkeep of your rental property. For more information, please contact Lone Star Realty and Property Management Inc. at (254) 699-7003.

Tips To Help You Retain Your Tenants

Finding a good and responsible tenant who takes care of your property and pays his rent on time is a challenging task. However, in today’s real estate scenario it is very important to retain good tenants provided that you are lucky enough to find one. Retaining a tenant saves you a lot of time and money and prevents vacancy periods.  Here are some tips for landlords that help them retain good tenants for long term.

  • Be approachable and responsive: Whenever your tenant wants to talk to you or discuss something important, you should be approachable and available. Tenants do not like the fact that the landlord is never there to listen to their woes and it is essential that you communicate with them. A little effort on your part will be surely appreciated by the tenants and you should aim to build up a healthy relation with them.
  • Pay attention to their requests: Listen to the requests of tenants and try to resolve the issues if possible. Even if you disagree to their suggestions, you should talk to them and explain why you disagree. You should promptly attend to their calls, emails or texts and if possible revert to their calls immediately. These steps will strengthen the relationship and help in building credibility.
  • Address their problems: If any tenant has some problem in the rental unit then make sure you resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Avoid delaying the requests for any repairs as this will create problems for the tenants. You should have the phone numbers of contractors so that you can timely resolve all issues that require immediate attention.
  • Buy quality fixtures and appliances: Make sure that your property is equipped with quality material and appliances. This will please the tenants and make their life easy and smooth. Tenants do not mind paying more for a property that is well maintained and has the latest gadgets.
  • Make your rental property available for pet owners: Properties that are pet friendly are in demand and tenants occupy such properties for long as these are not easy to find. By setting some rules regarding the type of pet allowed and requirement of pet insurance or a pet deposit can work in your favor.
  • Stay in touch and respect the tenant's privacy: To retain a tenant for long, it is essential that you keep in touch with them but without interfering in their lives. You should remain approachable, friendly and communicate with them regularly along with paying due respect to their privacy.

Following these simple steps will surely help you have a wonderful relation with your tenants who would also want to stay in your property for a longer time.

Tips For First Time Home Renters In Killeen TX

The process of renting out a property is a consuming task and finding the right tenant is an even bigger one. A landlord has to ensure that he is prepared to address all the challenges of renting business before he lets a tenant in. Finding a tenant that is reliable and doesn't damage your property in any way can be very difficult. A number of things like advertising and determining the right rent for your property are the initial steps towards renting out your property. So if you are a landlord and need tips how to lease your property to the right tenants, then read below.

  1. Screen tenants:  A property shouldn't be rented out to tenants whom you know nothing about. A tenant's credit history, references and background must be thoroughly checked. In addition, it should be ascertained they do not hold any criminal background. Tenants who do not pay their rents on time, damage the property and trash your place can easily be filtered out this way.
  2. Written Contract: A written rental agreement stating the terms and conditions of the lease must be given to the tenant. It documents your relation with tenant and how you will handle their complaints and repair problems.
  3. Handling security deposits properly: Landlords should adopt a fair means of collecting and returning security deposits. Before moving the tenant in the property, its condition should be inspected so that when the tenant moves out there are no disputes over security deposit.
  4. Provide adequate security:  A landlord should provide security of his property against criminals. Rented properties often are targeted by criminals and therefore security of the tenant also falls in your hands.
  5. Making repairs: A property should be well maintained and repairs must be immediately performed on the damaged areas of the property.
  6. Choose the right property manager:  Managers who oversee your property should be competent enough to protect and keep your property in shape. Property managers should be well notified of the areas they have to watch to prevent problems in future.
  7. Provide notice before entering: Tenants should be informed well in advance about the time when the landlord is going to enter the property.
  8. Buying Insurance: Property Damage Liability Insurance can protect you from lawsuits filed against you by the tenants and covers all the damages done to your property because of them.
  9. Resolve disputes: To keep your reputation as a successful landlord, try to resolve all the disputes with your tenants without any lawsuits. Issues like non-payment of rent, damages to property, noise, costly evictions etc should be solved informally and if not possible then with the help of a mediator.

If the right steps are taken, the landlord can expect success in his business.  Maintaining good relations with tenants and addressing their problems on time can go a long way in ensuring good landlord tenant relationship.

For more tips, contact us at Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc. We are located at 1020 W Jasper Dr, Killeen, TX 76542. You can also call us at (254) 699 – 7003.

Buying Old Homes Vs. New Construction

Everybody likes to live in the comfort and security of his or her own house. But the major dilemma that comes up in such situations is whether to go in for buying an old house or go in for a completely new construction. Both have their pros and cons and it is best to weigh in both before taking the final decision. As a prospective home owner one has plenty of options when it comes to homes in Killeen TX. Following are the major benefits of both the old homes as well as newly constructed houses, which will help you to decide what works best for you.

Benefits of buying an old house include:

  • The primary benefit of buying an existing house is that it will cost less as compared to a completely new construction. As a matter of fact, an old house calls for many routine upgrade and maintenance repairs. These can force landlords to lower their sale price so as to entice buyers. So if you go in for an existing construction, you could end up saving a lot of money.
  • Looking among old homes to choose one for yourself also gives you the luxury of having a multitude of styles to choose from. What adds to the appeal of an existing construction, when it comes to Killeen housing, is that it will be a part of an established community and neighborhood which augurs well from the security and safety point of view.
  • A used house will also give you the freedom to know that since it has already been inhabited by people, many of the major issues and problems would have surfaced by now; and subsequently taken care of as well.

Benefits of a new construction include:

  • The layout can be customized as per individual family needs. Many families today have a nuclear set-up and if you construct a new house, you can always adapt the layout to suit your requirements, which is not the case with an existing house.
  • Since you are making a new house, you can easily incorporate facilities such as a gym or a swimming pool too. This saves the trouble of driving down to your nearest fitness facility daily.
  • As the construction is entirely new, you do not have the headache of carrying out major repairs such as the ones for roofs and ceilings, or chimneys and furnaces.
  • A new home brings with it new appliances and machinery, which is any day more energy efficient than the ones in an old house.

Depending upon your budget and other needs, you can go for either an old house or construct a new one. But make sure you do your homework well so that you make the best decision.

How To Search Online For The Right Rental Property

A search for the right rental property is an arduous task, involving a lot of work, important decision-making and considering a lot of different facets and nuances. When you are looking for the right rental property of your requirements, you have absolutely no margin for error as you need to take the right decision. To guarantee better results and to make the searching process much simpler and more intuitive, you can take your search online. Online searches for rental property make things easier, as you have all the important details you need at your fingertips and a wide variety of listings to look through and choose from.

  • Know what you want – The first step to successfully finding the right rental property online is to have a clear idea about what your requirements are. Decide on essential factors like the number of bedrooms, the floor area, the amenities and features that are essential for you. While making the list you should write down your requirements with their respective priorities, mentioning clearly which is an absolute necessity that you cannot compromise on, and which is an optional item.
  • Find the Right Website – Next, take a look at online rental listing sites and choose the one you would use. Normally, just taking a look at a website is enough to tell you the amount of control you will have over the information you see. Ideally, you need a website which has a large variety in listings and also lets you sort and filter the data based on criteria that you set.
  • Learn How to Search – You need to decide the criteria on the basis of which you would carry out searches. Search filters may include factors like locality and area, the type of property you are looking for, the number of bedroom or bathrooms or the price range for your rental. This will help you eliminate places that do not fit your requirements and help you narrow things down at the very outset.
  • Features – When you have shortlisted the properties that you like from the initial search, take a thorough look at each one to know in detail about the features and amenities they provide. Keep your list close and check for balconies, household appliances, heating and air conditioning, dishwashers, closets and storage spaces and similar features to pinpoint the property that ticks all the right boxes for you.

We, at Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc. can help you find the right rental property based on your needs and budget. You can visit us at 1020 W Jasper Dr, Killeen, TX 76542 or call at (254) 699 – 7003.

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