Buying a home for the first time is easier when you know the meaning of commonly used real-estate terms. Having a basic understanding of the words used when buying a house helps buyers in understanding the details of the process better and enjoy a smoother & faster transaction.
Following are some terms that first time home buyers should know:
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage: This is a type of mortgage in which the initial rate is usually lower for a certain number of years after which it may fluctuate depending on the index rate used.
- Buyer’s Agent: A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who is licensed to help buyers in finding a home of their choice. They charge a percentage of the contract price as commission and represent the buyer in the process.
- Closing Costs: The closing process begins after the finalization of the home sale. It consists of execution of the final paperwork, underwriting and appraisal by the lender, etc. At the time of closing; costs referred to as closing costs such as taxes, loan fees, processing fees, title search, etc. are paid by the buyer.
- Appraisal: This refers to the process of gathering an estimated value of property. An appraiser is appointed by a mortgage lender to get a fair idea of the property’s value.
- Contract: A purchase contract is a binding document that states the terms and conditions of the sale of property.
- Earnest Money: On acceptance of a buyer’s offer by a seller, the buyer pays an amount of money to the seller known as earnest money. The purpose of this payment (a small percentage of the contract price) is to secure the seller’s position. This amount is applied towards down payment at the time of purchase.
- Equity: Equity refers to the amount of investment a home owner has in his home. The amount of equity is the left over amount after subtracting mortgages and liens against the home from its market value.
- Inspection: This refers to the process in which an inspector (a licensed professional inspector appointed by a buyer) visits the home to be bought, inspects it thoroughly and drafts a report of its condition along with the need for repairs.
- Principal: This refers to the amount of money a home buyer owes to a lender; minus interest.
- Escrow: An escrow is an unbiased third party agent who is appointed to observe and manage transactions.
Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. assists its clients in buying a home that suits their requirements by providing an online listing of available properties, searching for property based on buyer’s requirements and providing assistance with paperwork. To know more about buying a home, call at (254) 699 - 7003 or visit the team at 1020 W Jasper Dr. Killeen, TX - 76542.
Retaining existing tenants is a prime consideration for home owners who are interested in maintaining consistent cash flow. Tenants are likely to stay in a rental if they get desired services, facilities and amenities. It is important for the property owner to make some thoughtful effort towards achieving this goal.
Listed below are ways in which a property owner can retain existing tenants for a longer period of time:
- Effective Communication: Tenants love property owners who are easily available for communication as and when needed. To retain existing tenants, you may have to go an extra mile and contact a tenant yourself in case you missed a call or are late to respond. Such gestures show that you care and are aware of your responsibilities towards your tenants.
- Quick Response To Requests: If a tenant has a request of any nature e.g. a request for repairs or maintenance, be sure to respond to it as fast as you can. The rule of thumb is to be credible and trust-worthy; mean every word you say and make promises only when you can keep them.
- Property Maintenance: If the lease agreement states that you have certain duties towards the maintenance of property, be sure to follow up with it. Consider hiring professionals to do the maintenance jobs to perfection and keep your tenants happy. You can also seek help from a property management company like Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. to ensure quality services.
- Property Updates: To retain tenants, show them you care by updating your property from time to time. Note that by investing in an upgrade, you are securing a constant flow of rental income from satisfied tenants. Examples of upgrades that make a difference are kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, modern light fixtures, changing the flooring, etc.
- Tenant Surveys: If you want to know and understand your tenants better in order to provide them with better accommodation, you can initiate a survey amongst them. This strategy is particularly effective in multi-unit and apartment complexes. Surveys help in knowing whether you are up to mark with your tenant’s expectations and what you should do for improvement.
- Rewards And Incentives: Reward tenants who are worth keeping with gestures such as gift cards, thank you notes, restaurant coupons, property upgrades, movie tickets and even renewal incentives when the date for renewal of the lease is approaching.
Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. helps its clients in renting out their property and maintain a high ROI from their rentals in Killeen. To know more about retaining your tenants, call at (254)699-7003 or visit the team at 1020 W Jasper Dr. Killeen, TX-76542.
Filling out a rental application is the first step towards starting your journey in a new rental home. A rental application provides information that helps the homeowner in determining if you are fit to be considered as a tenant.
Here is a quick guide on important points to be included in a rental application to make you stand out from other tenants:
- Basic Information: Your rental application should consist of basic information about you such as your full name, phone number, current address, email address, etc.
- Employment Information: Some property owners may require proof of employment to verify that the applicant is financially secure and will be able to pay rent. For this you may have to show recent pay stubs, an offer letter, a W-2 form, mention the monthly wage amount, and more.
- Rental History: This is an important constituent of rental applications as it enables property owners to know their prospective tenants. Letters of reference from previous property owners, an esteemed colleague, a previous property manager, a credible professor, etc. may also be very helpful to prove your credibility as a tenant.
- A Personal Touch: To make your rental application stand out from the rest, add a personal touch to it by writing a cover letter. The cover letter should mention reasons for which you feel you should be considered as a suitable tenant. Not only will the home owner get to know you better, but also you get to provide additional details that have not been covered in the application. However, remember to keep the cover letter short and professional.
- Renters Insurance: Letting the property owner know that you are interested in purchasing renters insurance in the application letter is beneficial in many ways. First, it will protect your possessions from home-related emergencies and accidents. Secondly it shows the home owner that you are interested in taking care of the property.
- Credit And Background Check: Even though these are not compulsory, some homeowners may ask you to provide information about your past credit history and any loans that you have accumulated for gauging how financially responsible you are. The application may also contain a section about criminal history as a background check.
Create a template that you can use each time you want to apply for a rental house. It will save you a lot of time and help you in replying to potential ads quickly.
Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. provides numerous services to their clients in Killeen, TX. For further queries about rental properties, visit 1020 W Jasper Dr. Killeen, TX-76542. You can also call at (254) 699-7003.
A good property manager can provide immense support to real estate investors in managing their properties effectively. He can reduce expenses incurred on the property while boosting the return on investment.
Following are a few tips for selecting the right property manager:
- Check The Property Manager’s License And Certification: The property manager should have an active real estate broker’s license or a property management license. Additionally, if a property manager is associated with reputed real estate associations, it adds to the credibility of the agent.
- Get Referrals: Referrals from trusted sources are one of the best ways of finding a good property manager. Real estate investors and property owners in your neighborhood can help you find a suitable property manager. Ask them about the services they liked the most, whether they have encountered any problems with the property manager and how their problems were addressed.
- Check The Current Work: Observe the current work that the property managers are handling, study the statements used in their current rental advertizement, visit the properties they manage, speak to current clients and so on. Also, you can check the online reviews and client testimonials to gain an insight into the property manager’s quality of work.
- Conduct An Interview: Interview prospective property managers or management companies to compare them before choosing a property manager that suits you. Ask them about their credentials and experience, observe how they communicate, inquire whether they know about the property laws, how they screen tenants and other points of relevance to you.
- Examine The Management Agreement: Always go through the management agreement of the property manager as it states the responsibilities of both the property manager and owner. Look out for details such as services provided, extra fees, owner’s responsibilities and more.
- Ask About The Fees And Accounting Services: Before hiring a property manager, be sure to ask how much they will charge, how they plan to handle advertizing costs, whether they will provide monthly income & expenditure reports, etc.
- People Skills And Communication: While evaluating potential candidates for the job, observe their communication skills, professionalism and knowledge about the field. The best property managers are those who treat their clients respectfully, are good listeners and are approachable when needed.
For more information on property management services in Killeen, TX feel free to contact Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. at (254) 699-7003 or visit 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.