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/

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.

Home Selling Checklist

Selling a home is a daunting task; however, if you pay attention to certain things, you cannot only sell your home fast, but also at a remarkable price. Homeowners do various things to push the sale of their property and ensure that they get maximum return. If you have a home that you want to sell, then here is the checklist that can help you sell your home for the best price.

  • Thorough cleaning: The homeowners clean and organize their homes in routine; however, it becomes crucial to thoroughly clean house when you plan to put it on sale. Make your house sparkling clean and for that, you need to clean carpets, curtains, rugs, upholstery, cupboards, and literally every nook and corner of your house. Make sure the walls, floor, doors, and windows are clean. You can use the services of a professional cleaning company if you need. Considering your needs, they will handle everything from cleaning your bathrooms to kitchen. Ensure that everything is dusted properly and looks great before the buyers visit your home.
  • Depersonalize the home: Homebuyers are ready to pay more for a property that looks unused in spite of being used for long, so to remove all the signs of living, depersonalize the place. Though depersonalizing own home is emotionally challenging; however, it helps you sell your property for a high price. Make it look untouched by removing your personal belongings. This will make the buyers visualize a life with his/her family in your home.
  • De-clutter your home: Before putting your home on the market, remove all the clutter. When you have made up your mind, that you will sell the house, start packing your stuff. Keep your packed things in garage or any storage facility. Clear the refrigerator, cupboards, and kitchen cabinets. A cluttered and full house repels the buyers, so make sure your house is free of all clutter.
  • Consider improvements: Though you would not like to make any major investments in a home that you want to sell; however, consider certain improvements and repairs that will surely boost the selling price of your house. By remodeling your kitchen, painting your walls, repairing any leakages and fixtures, you can get more than the expected price.

To get the best value for your home, you can hire a real estate agent who would inspect your property and guide you on everything that you can do to get a profitable deal. You can also consider using the services of a home stager to prepare your house for staging.

Preparing Your House For Sale In Killeen TX

To shorten the sales time and maximize the potential of your house in the real estate market, you need to do the groundwork well. Selling a house where your family and you have spent a considerable time is not an easy decision; however, if you have decided to sell your house, then you must make every effort to get the best price for it. The buyers in Killeen TX often want ready to move in homes and they want the property to be perfect. Any visible flaws can not only take the focus of a buyer away but also affect the value of your house. Consider preparing your house for sale before you put that ‘For Sale’ sign outside your house.

  • Hire a home inspector: Living in the same property for years, homeowners often tend to ignore the flaws, which can affect the sale of the house. Therefore, hiring a home inspector is a good idea as professional home inspection will reveal what needs to be repaired and replaced in your home. Home inspectors know what appeals to the homebuyers and how they perceive the property which is for sale.
  • Increase the curb appeal: It is rightly said that the first impression is the last impression. Often people ignore a property that has poor curb appeal. To make every passerby stop and look at your home, you should improve the curb appeal of your house. To get the right affect you should spruce up your lawn, trim the plants and mulch the garden beds. You can give a clean look to your entrance and if needed get a fresh coat of paint to enhance the look of the walls, roof, windows and doors. Check the roof shingles for any damages and repair them if required and repaint loose siding and caulking. Check the walls, walkways and patio for cracks and repair them if required. The gutters should be cleaned and realigned.
  • Enhance the interiors: To make the interiors impressive you must clean the house thoroughly. The professional cleaners make your property sparkling clean and smell fresh. They clean carpets, upholstery, curtains, and furniture.  Spending on cleaning is worth it, as the potential buyer will appreciate the clean house and feel comfortable purchasing a well-cared house. You can hire the services of the real estate experts at Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc to manage your property and take care of everything. 

By simply focusing on these details, you can get good value for your property. Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your house before staging it to potential buyers.

Things To Avoid When Renting An Apartment In Killeen TX

People often rent out their additional apartment to earn some extra income; however renting out a property is a complex process. Often without proper guidance and knowledge, the landlords end up making mistakes which prove to be expensive in the end. To make the right decision and avoid any legal hassles later on, you must follow these tips and avoid certain things.

First, avoid taking care of the rental process on your own. Rather hire a property management firm to handle the renting needs. A rental agent will not only advertise your property on their website but also on other popular media and contacts. The agency ensures that you get a good tenant that has reliable rental history. The agents will check the credit history and thoroughly screen the tenant so that you may not have to indulge in eviction or other legal hassles. Even if you find a tenant on your own, avoid renting out your apartment to someone with bad credit or renting history.

As a landlord, you must avoid renting out your apartment to someone who does not have regular employment or a source of income. You should never rent out your apartment to a tenant who has a criminal record. Avoid using a generic rental agreement, as each state has its own rent laws and special legal language should be included in the lease agreement. Include relevant terms in the agreement so that you do not have to face a problem later on. You can use the services of a real estate agent or an attorney to draft a rental agreement. You should also avoid renting out your apartment for a longer duration as this will make it difficult to evict a tenant if he/she turns out to be a problem.

You should carefully determine the rental prices by reviewing the real estate market and asking your neighbors. If you are not sure about the rental prices you can consider hiring a property manager who will take care of everything, from finding the right rental price to collecting rent and maintaining your apartment. Property managers regularly visit the apartment for inspection and required maintenance. This will not only help you prevent any damages to the property by timely maintaining it, but also avoid any lawsuits. These tips will definitely help you avoid the potential mistakes that usually landlords make while renting out their apartments.

Energy Saving Tips For Renters

Growing environmental concerns and the need to keep expenses down makes it important for every home to be energy efficient and rental homes are no different. You can make a big difference to your power consumption bill and save significantly on energy usage in your rental home by implementing a few good practices to ensure that energy is effectively conserved. There are a number of things you can do in your rental home to ensure proper saving of energy and efficient use of it in the house and some o the tips are as follows:

Lighting

One of the easiest places to save energy is to overhaul your lighting system. Lights are used on a daily basis and can have a large impact on your overall energy consumption. Standard incandescent lights use energy inefficiently and replacing your most frequently used lights with Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFLs can have a significant impact on overall energy use. LED based lighting solutions can also be of great help as these lights will not only bring power bills down but also ensure efficient use of the consumed energy and last much longer.  This combined with the good practice of always turning off the lights when not in use can help you save considerably.

Air-conditioning

If you want to install an air-conditioning unit for your rental home you should consider getting one with a high energy star rating. Higher rated air-conditioning units tend to use less power and significantly reduce energy bills. You can ensure efficient functioning of your air-conditioning unit by making sure that there is no in-flow of outside air which can be achieved by properly insulating the area that you want to cool. All the doors and windows of your rental home should lock and fit tightly.

Heating

Purchasing an automatic thermostat is a great way to save energy. Newer models available in the market have advanced features which allow them to turn themselves off when you are no longer in the room. Also, getting a programmable thermostat allows you to get exactly the amount of heating you need which affects your overall energy consumption in a positive way.

Electronics

Consumer electronic products account for a sizable percentage of energy usage in your rental home. Make sure that you switch off all appliances when they are not in use and unplug power adapters and battery charger from wall sockets when not in use.

Tips To Prepare Your Home For The Warmer Months

With the onset of warmer months all homeowners need to prepare their houses for the season. Property management companies in Killeen often recommend homeowners to take care of their houses and protect them from the seasonal changes. This not only extends the life of the house but also increases its potential value. Winters are usually harsh and stormy, so the weather takes a toll on your house.  So before the warmer months begin it is advisable to inspect your home and make sure that everything is intact and in a good shape. Here are some tips that can help you gear up your home for summers.

  1. Once winter is over you must inspect your home for any damages. Make sure that all the shingles of your roof are intact and any loose shingles should be tightened or replaced.
  2. The outer walls become dull and dirty so it pays to give a fresh coat of paint to your house. Painting the exterior walls definitely keeps your home look shining and new.
  3. Due to storms and rains in the winters the drains and gutters often get clogged with debris such as leaves and twigs. This can lead to corrosion and thus the drains and gutters should be cleaned. Blocked or loose gutters can cause leakage and seepage which can cause damage to the house.
  4. It is crucial to check any leakages as they may cause much damage to the walls. Also check your attics, water hoses, sink pipes and other water fittings for any leakages. Make sure that there is no damage due to frozen pipes and you must look out for any signs of corrosion. Hiring a property management firm in Killeen will ensure all tasks are done professionally and the life of your house in extended.
  5. Besides plumbing, you must also inspect your siding, caulking and window seals. Patch any cracks that may cause any damage and it is of utmost importance to check the grading from time to time.
  6. Before the summers become harsher you should get your HVAC system inspected and repaired. This system should be serviced at regular intervals and the filters be replaced if required. Make sure your home is properly ventilated and check the insulation so that no cold air is lost. 

For more guidance, you can consult a Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc, who can help you maintain your house in the best form.

Tips For Selling Your Home

Selling your home can be a long drawn-out and a complicated affair as there are a lot of things which must be kept in mind before and while getting your home ready for sale. With the fluctuations in the real estate market and the general trend of supply being usually more than the demand at any given time, selling your home can take some expert handling, the kind that you can get from a real estate company. Even when you find a real estate company you can trust to make the best decisions on your behalf the fortunes of your property rest primarily on your own shoulders. Following a few simple tips can be decisive in this matter and enable you to successfully sell your property with minimum hassle. Here are some important tips for your consideration:-

Pricing
Getting your pricing right can be the most decisive factor in selling your home. The pricing of your home should be set right from the beginning as any fluctuations in it due to a lack of interest can have damaging results for your prospects and spark a negative opinion about your house. Make sure that the price you set is close to the appraised value of your property and sometimes it even pays to list your house at a less than appraised value as this sparks interest, and may end up bringing you a lot more for your house in way of competing bids.

Renovation and Remodeling
This is a facet of selling a house that people often tend to overlook or overdo. You need to make sure that you spend exactly the right amount on renovating your house before making it available for sale. This makes sure that the house gets all the renovation that it needs to be pleasant to prospective buyers, but not too much so that it becomes a major turn-off. You should take into account your renovation costs when setting the price for your house. Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc helps you in selling your house with all the points taken care of.

Using the Internet
The internet has now become the prime location for people who are looking to buy property. People looking to make a purchase nowadays use online property listings to compare different properties available.  Acquiring the services of an experiences realtor can be a great way to ensure that your house looks compelling in online listings and to arouse positive interest.

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