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Lonestar Realty
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Terminology First Time Home Buyers Should Know

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.

Ways To Retain Your Existing Tenants

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.

What Do Singles Look For In Rental Property?

There is a growing trend of singles looking for rental properties as opposed to buying homes. Rentals are cheaper, easy to maintain and offer the flexibility of easy relocation due to job demands or study requirements. Property owners interested in renting out their homes to single tenants need to understand the unique requirements of this segment.

For owners who are navigating this category of tenants, following is a list of some must haves that single renters prefer in a rental property:

  • Safety: Safety and security are high priority considerations for singles living in rental homes. They appreciate features such as attached garages, secure locks on windows & doors, well-lit streets, emergency assistance and so on.
  • Fun: Location plays an important role for single tenants as they prefer living in areas that offer nightlife, a cultural scene, fitness centers and entertainment hubs like restaurants, malls, museums and the like.
  • High Speed Internet: A high speed internet connection is almost non-negotiable for singles. For most of them an internet connection is essential for their work, studies and even for fun and entertainment.
  • Open Floor Plan: Open floor plans are a convenient option for singles as they require less upkeep and maintenance and are great for entertaining. Singles prefer such spaces as they can be customized as per their liking and require less furnishing.
  • Convenience: In most of the cases, single renters are either students or working. The last things they want to come back to at the end of a long day are home maintenance tasks. They prefer rentals that are easy to maintain and are minimalistic in terms of the number of rooms, landscaping, etc. Single renters want minimum responsibility when it comes to the rental. They appreciate properties with new appliances and amenities such as in-unit washer and dryers.
  • Accessibility: Singles prefer rentals with accessibility to transport links such as tram stops, bus stops, tube stops or train stations. The ease of accessing their places of work and recreational centers is a prime consideration for singles.
  • Appearance: Singles perceive well-maintained and good-looking property as property with minimum requirements for repair and maintenance. Working on the appearance of rental property can be beneficial for attracting single renters. A few tweaks such as new plumbing, updating the electrical and HVAC systems, hardwood flooring, kitchen and bathroom renovations, etc. can prove instrumental in attracting singles.
  • Affordability: The amount of rent is a huge consideration for singles. When looking for rentals, singles want a home that is financially viable. They are not interested in a great-looking home with the latest interiors, furniture or top-notch amenities. All they want is a clean, well-maintained and affordable place to live.
For more information, feel free to contact Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. at (254) 699 – 7003.

Condo V/s Townhome: The Difference

While buying or renting a house, one of the important considerations is the type of house. If you are considering a condo or a townhouse but are yet to decide between the two then do some research on how they differ and take a decision accordingly.

Following is a comprehensive list of differences between the two which will help you take an informed decision:

  • Definition: A condo refers to a housing structure in a building comprising of other housing structures similar to it. A townhome on the other end refers to housing units sharing walls but standing independently in rows.
  • Architecture and Amenities: Condos are like apartments within a single complex. However, within this structure, they can come in various styles such as a cul-de-sac of cottages or a part of a high-rise building. Often they provide community amenities like clubs, a golf course, pools, gyms, roof access and so on. Townhouses are like single-family homes. They usually consist of two floors with a back or front yard. Also, community amenities are very rare in townhouses.
  • Ownership: The person living in a condo owns the interiors as well as the exclusive area he lives in. However, the building and grounds are owned by an association. Also, condos are governed by legal statutes. However, in a townhouse, you own the land, interiors and a yard or deck if any.
  • Resale Value: As far as the resale value of a condo is concerned, there is less to worry about when it comes to the upkeep and appearance of the building. Regarding townhouses, you will have to go an extra mile in ensuring your property looks appealing to prospective buyers.
  • Home Insurance Rates: Home Insurance rates of condos are lower as the insurance is limited to interiors of the condo only. In case of townhouses, owners will have to insure both the exterior and interior which results in higher insurance rates.
  • Fees: Condo owners are liable to pay homeowners association fees and maintenance fees every month. Their maintenance fee tends to be higher due to shared spaces and amenities.  Owners of townhouses are also expected to pay HOA fees but the maintenance fees is negligible.
  • Privacy and Safety: Townhouses offer more privacy as compared to condos. However, as far as safety is concerned, condos are considered to be safer.

For more information on properties, call Lone Star Realty & Property Management, Inc. at (254) 699-7003, Inc. or visit 1020 W Jasper Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

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