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/

Residential Property Management: What All It Includes

Investing in residential property is being viewed as a lucrative business by most willing entrepreneurs, mainly for the fact that it offers a regular source of income with minimum time investment. However, the effective management of residential property requires a lot of skill and acumen, which is why most investors decide to hire a property manager for the purpose. Whether you wish to learn more about how to manage your residential property, or are willing to hire a property manager, the guidelines below will give you an idea of what exactly falls under residential property management-

  • Deciding expectations- When it comes to residential property, it is important to know where to draw the line. You need to be sure about the rent that you shall be charging from your tenants, and how often and how much each hike will be. This is also valid for making new investments, as the pace of these investments needs to be strategically decided.
  • Understanding regulations- As an owner of residential property, there are several rules and regulations specific to the state you own the property in,  that you shall need to be well-versed with. If something goes wrong, you cannot come up with the excuse of not having known the law. This is also important while drafting the lease, since a lease that does not comply to legal terms can pose problems in case of the litigation.
  • Property inspection- A key component of investing in residential property is having a proper plan in place for property inspection. You can decide to call in a professional or undertake a detailed inspection on your own before investing in any property. This is important to prevent unexpected costs in the long run.
  • Background checks- One of the most important decisions as an owner of residential property is that of choosing tenants. Instead of rushing to fill in a vacant spot, it is important to take the time to carry out a background check and run a credit check on prospective tenants to have a clear idea of what you are signing up for.
  • Having the right contacts- Right from lawyers and bankers to tax professionals and fellow landlords, it is important to maintain contacts with these professionals as a property owner.
  • Insurance- Having the right insurance coverage for your needs is an essential component of managing residential property. It is also a good idea to set aside an emergency fund in case of any unexpected expenses on your property that insurance might not cover.

For efficient and affordable residential property management services in Texas, visit 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 or (254) 290-4153.

Property Management: Protecting Your Home In Your Absence

A home is a place where one feels at ease. Hence the security of the house is very important.  But, what if you are not at your home to protect it from unwanted visitors such as burglars? How many times have you put off a vacation, kept a trip short or avoided a professional outdoor event simply because you were concerned about safety of your house? Your property, however, can remain protected while you are away. It is possible for you to enjoy a holiday without having to worry about your home. Read further to know how to make it happen.

Take the obvious precautions. Make sure your house is not completely dark while you are away. Let low-energy lamps remain on inside the doorways and the stairways of the house to give the impression that somebody is at home. You may put the lights on timer so that they can go off during day. Draw the curtains of the windows and lock all the doors of the house before you leave. Request a neighbor to collect your mails, parcels and newspapers. A laying pile of deliveries in front of the door is an obvious invite to thieves.

If you have asked for a pet sitter to take care of your pet in your absence then you must confine them only to a certain area like the garage or the pet shelter in the porch or the backyard. You may also have assigned the gardener to take care of the plants while you area away but make sure that the keys he is carrying is not misused, use separate locking system (like the ones that requires code confirmation) for the house than the one used for the gate or the garage. If you have gone for a longer while then you must hire a property manager from a legitimate property management firm to take care of the house.

You may want to rent out your house or a part of it if you are on a long holiday. A property manager will take care of everything while you are away. From leasing it out to keeping it in the groomed condition, a property management firm can arrange it all. If you have another house and you find it difficult to keep a check on how tenants are treating the house, your worries can be taken care of by a property management firm. They will make sure that all structural damages and amenities for which the tenant is responsible are taken care of.

Move Out Procedures

Rental property agencies have standard moving out protocols. These procedures are followed for the convenience of the tenant and the owner. This is necessary in order to account for any possible damages to the rented property. To make sure that all protocols are met by the tenant, an inspection is performed by the agency representatives. Following is an overview of the procedures that the rental agencies ask the tenants to follow while moving out.

Before moving out you must fill in the form of moving out to inform the agency about the same who then inform the owner. Different rental agencies have different time-periods for filling the form, but most of them would ask you to submit it minimum 30 days before moving out. This will allow them to prepare documentation related to lease and moving out. It allows them to prevent loss of a month`s rental and find a new tenant. 

You will be asked to meet all the cleaning requirements. The house should be free of litter. The refrigerator should be cleared, switched-off and left open. The dishwasher should be absolutely clean. Water must be run freely to remove any stains or residues. Likewise, sinks must be scrubbed and ashes from the fireplace should be cleared. The bathrooms and toilets should be free of any products or containers. The windows should be clean and mirrors must be wiped. Any item found left in the house after moving out is disposed as waste by the agency and they cannot be held accountable for that.  If there has been any sort of damage or there is a pending repair work, make sure to get it done before the inspection to save money and time. The outdoor area must be tended to. The grass should be trimmed. Pool should be emptied or filled with clean water (as per cleaning guidelines). The inspector is going to be very thorough with the checking procedure, so try to leave the house spick-and-span. The inspection is done on the decided day and if missed or if the tenant is not ready then the tenant is charged for the next appointment of inspection.

All utilities should be in the working condition. Gas, water and electricity, cable, etc must be supplied well. Regardless of whether you are using these or not, remember to pay for these utilities for the month. The process of re-connecting to these utilities is often tedious. If the property owner has to re-apply for these connections, then he will charge it from your balance. Lastly, make sure to surrender keys of the property to the owner or the rental agency (as asked). You should also let them know about your current address to send you cheque of the balance.

For more information on move out procedures, visit 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 or (254) 290-4153.

The Benefits Of Using A Property Management Company

Effective property management services are required if a landlord wants to benefit from a real estate property. One needs to have thorough information of utility consumption, building maintenance, undertaking evictions and marketing, in order to gain profits from a certain property. A proficient property manager can add a lot of value to any investment. This is the reason why a good property management company is a must to deal with real estate properties.

Property management companies directly deal with the prospective customers and tenants, thereby saving your precious time.  Moreover, hiring such a company will also give you peace of mind because you know you have experienced people looking after your property. Read on to know the various benefits of using a property management company.

  • Property management companies will help you find good tenants. They look out for the best tenants who pay the rent when it is due and stick for a longer period of time.
  • Secondly, every state and local government has its own rules and regulations regarding the legal formalities associated with the registration of properties. Therefore, it becomes all the more imperative to hire a good property manager who will make sure that all the legalities are easily sorted out. They have the requisite data that contains the details about the latest landlord-tenant laws that can prove to be very helpful.
  • An experienced property manager will effectively market your property. These management companies have a lot of experience in creating ads and can also help in bringing down the advertising costs both online as well as offline.
  • The rent should always be given on time to the landlord in order to maintain a regular inflow of cash. By hiring a property manager, you don’t have to directly deal with the tenant. He will ensure that you get the rent on time without any delays or excuses.
  • A property management company also comes in handy when you need to get a clear picture of the deductions you can claim. The company can also help to organize the required documents needed to make those claims.
  • A good management firm will free you from the responsibility of house maintenance and repair. They help to get huge discounts on such work and also have a good communication rapport with the contractors. Therefore, these firms can effectively supervise all the work.
  • Last but not the least, property management firms can provide valuable feedback regarding the modifications required in the property. Timely maintenance helps in increasing the value of the investment.

We at Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc. provide you with exceptional, reliable and affordable property management services for your rental property in Killeen and Fort Hood areas of Central Texas. For more details, visit us at 1020 W Jasper Dr, Killeen, TX 76542. You can also call us at (254) 699 – 7003 or (254) 290-4153.

How To Make A Quick Sale Of Your House?

The entire procedure of selling your home is not easy. Sometimes, it takes a good amount of time and patience of the homeowner to get the best deal and to make sure that everything is done correctly. But, if you want to sell your property quickly for whatever reason, you must consider some specific factors. Given below are few suggestions that can help you with selling your home fast. 

  • Think like a buyer: If you want that your property should be quickly sold, then you must start to think like a buyer and then work accordingly. A buyer would initially check for the properties online and look for their features and prices. Therefore, you should also make a detailed study of all the properties that are equivalent to yours and are located in your neighborhood. You generally get detailed information of all the properties online on property management websites.
  • Set an appropriate selling price: A buyer would be definitely interested to purchase your property if you have right fixed selling price for it.  To tag your property with an accurate price, you firstly must take into account the market value of your property. Then you should also take the help of brokers to determine the exact value of your home. You can also compare your property price with other equivalent houses of your neighborhood. This will help you to fix the appropriate selling price.
  • De-personalize your home: Potential buyers would be curious to buy your property, if they are able to imagine their stuff in the home. This would not be possible if they see any of your personal belongings and family photos on walls and desks. It is therefore important to depersonalize the home before you put it up for viewing.
  • De-clutter your home and get it in shape: Remove any clutter from your home and make sure that the place appears nice and clean and also smells good. Your property will be sold faster if it appears neat and tidy. Clean the curtains, carpets and rugs. Put a fresh coat of paint on walls to make them look fresh and new.  Place your furniture in an organized manner to make the room look spacious. Along with the interiors, curb appeal is also necessary in order to entice the potential buyers. Paint the trim and the doors and also spruce up the plants. Check around the house and make all necessary repairs.
  • Take the help of a professional: It is always better to hire a professional real estate agent or a realtor, if you want to sell off your property quickly. He will assist you through the entire procedure of home selling and will get the best deal in quite a less time.

For more tips on selling or renting your house, visit 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 or (254) 290-4153.

Tips For Renting Your Home

The decision of renting a property may be difficult one for owners but all said and done it’s a profitable proposition. Owners not only make money with their property but also add to its value. Renting out a property is not an easy job to begin with. Before renting a house and being dubbed a landlord, there are a lot of factors one must consider. Some important tips for successfully renting out your house are given below:

  • The local state rules and regulations should be reviewed carefully, since every state has its own set of laws for landlords and tenants. Some basics clauses to understand include the number of people you can rent to, who is responsible for taking care of the damages of the house, limitations on rental increase if any and so on.
  • Before renting your house prepare a rental budget for getting maximum profit. The rental charges must cover up the recurring expenses of the property like the mortgage payment and property taxes as well as unusual expenses like furnace replacement, flood damage etc. Make an estimate of the expenses that will be spent on maintenance of the house. Compare these expenses with the estimated rentals and then fix the appropriate rent. Also compare the rental charge of other similar properties and make sure that the rent is equivalent to the market rate.
  • Using the services of a property management company would be advantageous. They will help the landlords by providing emergency repair services, collecting rent and cleaning vacant units. Hiring a property management company will keep you from any worries regarding your rented property. The expenses of a property management company can be added to the rental budget.
  • Advertise the property in the "Houses for Rent" sections of the local newspapers. This will help the homeowners to find people who are looking for a property on rent. An advertisement on the local online sales website would also be beneficial. This must include the house features and rental rate. Also reveal that from when the property will be available for rent. Along with that also give a deadline for the rental applications in order to get an appropriate tenant after reviewing the applications thoroughly.
  • Once the tenant is selected prepare a rental contract, which has its basis on the state rental laws. The contract will include the tenants’ rights, the notice amount that they will have to pay the landlord when they want to leave the house and what are they required to do in case of any repairs of the property.
For more information, visit us at Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc. We are located at 1020 W Jasper Dr, Killeen, TX 76542.

Multiple Listing Service Benefits For Home Buyers

In the real estate market today, buying or selling a home on your own is a tedious task. You may lack time and enough market knowledge and in the end if you are able to find a deal, you may not be probably satisfied with that. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional with an expertise in the real estate market. The real estate professional called realtor will firstly list your property on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is important whenever dealing in any property.

A Multiple Listing Service or MLS is a comprehensive collection of private databases that is organized for a convenient access by several real estate agents. They agree to share their listings with each other to track willing and able buyers for properties, easily and quickly. This system is very advantageous for both the home buyers and sellers as it consists of entire information about the property on sale. The numerous features are determined by the realtors who have a complete know-how about that local marketplace.

Prior to the Multiple Listing Services, the property buyers had no other choice than to work with various companies for getting acknowledged with the available properties. With the MLS systems the buyers need not to work with different companies. The real estate agent who is subscribed within MLS has an access to the various properties in the list. On hiring such an agent, the buyer will be provided with full information about every listed property.

With the advent of internet, complete scenario of the working of the MLS system has changed. Earlier, only the agents had access to the system and it was only them who could see and control the listings. But now, through Internet it has changed to more of a consumer marketplace. The potential buyers and the agents have almost the same level of knowledge of the available properties.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) allows only limited listings that can be seen by the property buyers on the MLS consumer website and other websites related to multiple listing services. A lot of potential buyers make use of these websites to view the available properties in the desired area. In spite of that, the buyers have to contact the real estate agents before actually getting involved into the deal with the seller because NAR deliberately withholds some information from the public, that includes the seller contacts and whether a home is vacant.

Before Selling Your Home

Are you getting your home ready to sell? If yes, then it would be wise to think of it as a product that is about to enter the market to compete with a range of newly constructed houses. Thus, to make it look better than the rest, the house’s exterior should be worked upon. It should be clutter-free and well kept. Since people lead a very busy life, they would be least interested in handling the major repairs after moving in.

In order to make your house score a “10 on 10”, you need to ensure your house looks fresh, clean and well maintained! The following tips can help you in this regard:

  1. Fix it first: If any improvement is to be made in the house, do it before you declare your house on sale in the market. After all, no potential buyer would be interested in knowing about your good intentions if he is able to see the defects in the house before the deal is finalized.
  2. Check your house’s curb appeal:

Let’s begin from outside: How does your house look from the street? This is what the potential buyers will consider when they first see your property. It will form the first impression about your house in their minds.

  • Remove any clutter from your yard.
  • Repair cracked or uneven driveway or walkway surfaces.
  • If it is the right time of year, you can buy some flower-filled planters to enhance the appeal of your property.
  • Make sure your lawn is mowed regularly to make it look neat and tidy.
  • Make sure all your windows and walls are clean.
  • Paint your front door if required.
  • Check out the lights. Replace any missing or burned out bulbs.
  • Clean fixtures of dirt and cobwebs.

Now, let’s go indoors:

  • Get the clutter out of sight and make your buyer see a neat and tidy interior.
  • Ensure that carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed and polished.
  • The walls must show fresh paint (preferably neutral colors).
  • Take a sniff around and make sure there are no unpleasant odors in your home. If so, track them down and eliminate them.
  • Ensure all your lights work and are free of cobwebs.
  • Make your home look spacious, bright and fresh.

For more tips on selling or renting your house, visit 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 or (254) 290-4153.

Maintenance & Repairs Can Affect Your Property’s Value!

Truly said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular maintenance and repairs of a house not only ensures its safety, also enhances its curb appeal and value. It’s important to realize that without proper maintenance, your home could lose up to 10% of its value!

When a property needs maintenance or repair, it must be done in the right manner. That’s the reason why you must choose a property management firm to take care of the maintenance and repair tasks. In addition to other management services such as tenant placement and rent collection, these companies employ in-house maintenance professionals to take care of all your maintenance tasks. They provide consistency and accountability throughout the maintenance tasks. These professionals also get acquainted with your tenants so that they feel more comfortable with their visits in the house, and so do you!

Plus, employing property maintenance people reduces costs that you would have spent by opting for an outside contractor, especially in the case of weekend visits. The home maintenance services provided by property management companies include but are not limited to:

  • General repairs
  • Makeovers
  • Painting and decorating
  • Plastering
  • Joinery
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Tiling
  • Flooring 
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning
  • Jammed garbage disposal
  • Monthly filter changing (of air conditioners)
  • Assembling furniture

We at Lone Star Realty & Property Management Inc. provide A to Z home maintenance and repair services of residential properties in Fort Hood and Killeen areas of Texas. All you need to do is submit a maintenance request in writing at our office. The form ‘online work order’ has been provided at our website. Once you have submitted the written request, we will assign the work to a local company in your area.

For more information on our property maintenance and repair services, visit our maintenance department 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 or (254) 290-4153.

Getting Your Tenants To Pay Rent Online

A timely rent payment by tenants is something all landlords look forward to when renting out their properties but it is a rare spectacle to enjoy. Most of the tenants delay their payment, which becomes quite an inconvenience for landlords who are dependent on that money for the payment of mortgages or some other fixed monthly expense. To avoid such situations, smart landlords in areas like Killeen and Fort Hood are encouraging tenants to pay their rent online for the benefit of both parties. This way, the landlords get their rent in time and as far as tenants are concerned, the whole process of paying rent becomes less burdensome and a lot easier.

Property management companies in Killeen and Fort Hood are making tenants aware of the benefits of the easy-to-use and reliable method of paying rent online. The fundamental principal behind the working of this method is that the rent to be paid is debited from the tenant’s bank account and directly deposited to the account of the landlord. Paying rent online benefits the tenant in the following ways:

  • It improves their credibility in the eyes of the landlord as the payment is always made on time.
  • They do not have to incur extra expenses such as late fees as the rent will be paid in time automatically on a fixed date of every month.
  • They can submit maintenance requests to the landlord through the rent payment site and instantly get notified on any development in this regard.
  • It is much easier to get in touch with the management over any issues related to the tenancy.
  • In case the tenant needs any information about the payments made, all the records can be submitted to him or her instantly.

Tenants cannot be forced to pay rent online, but you can at least inform them about what they have to gain in the long run. You can also reward tenants who pay online with gift cards or some other interesting offer. Tenants who are not technology savvy will require more hard work on your part and you will have to win their confidence about the working of this system and ensure them it is a safe and reliable one. Make the idea of paying rent online visible to your tenants by putting reminder messages of the same in the e-mails you send to them or on your website if any.

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