What Does A Home Seller Pay for in Closing Costs in Texas?

Last month, we covered what a homebuyer pays in closing costs in Texas, and now we’ll cover the other side! The buyer and seller will pay different amounts when it comes to closing costs. The good news is that some of the costs are negotiable. Here is a breakdown of what a seller pays for in closing costs and if it’s negotiable. 

Title Company Fees for Homesellers in Closing Costs

These fees are specific to the title company that the seller usually pays. 

Title Insurance Premium

This is the most common seller paid expense in Texas, but it is negotiable depending on the situation. On a $450,000 home, the title insurance will cost $2,677. The state sets this fee and calculates it as a percentage of the sales price on a sliding scale. The sliding scale means it will change as the price increases. For a more in-depth understanding, visit the Texas Department of Insurance website here

Escrow Fee 

The buyer and seller each pay their own escrow fee. An escrow fee is the title company’s administrative fee for working on the file through closing. This fee is set by the title company and can range from $350 to $700, depending on the title company you choose. 

Document Preparation

The documents you sign at closing, like the deed, are put together by a third-party attorney. This expense is a non-negotiable seller expense. It usually ranges from $100 to $150. 

Tax Certificate

This is another non-negotiable seller expense. A tax certificate will verify the correct amount of taxes to collect in order to balance the taxes at the time of closing. The pricing varies by company or county but typically ranges from $40 to $70. 

Delivery/Courier Fees

Depending on what the title company charges, the buyer and seller can share these delivery fees. Not all title companies charge this fee, so ask the company or your REALTOR®. This fee covers any documents that need to be collected and mailed. Price will vary depending on the postage cost and how much a courier service may charge but typically ranges from $25 to $250.

Mobile Notary

Especially during the pandemic, this was a more common fee as a mobile notary allows for someone to come to you to sign instead of signing in person. This fee will range from $100 to $250 for each signing, meaning the buyer and seller sign separately and each pay this cost.  

Contractual Expenses for Home Sellers in Closing Costs

These expenses don’t go to the lender or the title company. They are expenses that go to third parties or directly to the buyer. 

Home Warranty

A one-year home warranty will cover items insurance won’t cover, like HVAC and the water heater. Typically, a buyer will ask for a credit to cover the cost of this. This expense is entirely negotiable and ranges from $500 to $700.

Home Survey

Usually, the seller furnishes the buyer with an existing survey. If one doesn’t already exist, the survey can be negotiated for who pays for it. The average cost is $400 to $550 but can easily cost thousands of dollars for larger properties. 

HOA Documents

The buyer will typically ask the seller to cover the cost of furnishing the HOA bylaws, rules, regulations, and other documents. Price will range depending on the HOA but cost around $200 to $250. 

Resale Certificate

Sometimes included in the HOA documents is the resale certificate. The HOA documents and the resale certificate together are called a resale package and can cost $400 to $500. 

If it’s not included in the HOA documents, the accounting information the title company needs in order to close will cost $200 to $250 to receive. 

Transfer Fee

The buyer usually pays for this fee. A transfer fee is an administrative fee paid to the HOA to transfer ownership to their system. It costs from $150 to $250.

Commissions

The most considerable fees the seller will pay will be the commission for the seller’s and buyer’s agent. A seller will usually pay 5% or 6% of the sales price in total commissions between the agents.

 

If you’re ready to sell this month, contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

When Can You Back Out of a Real Estate Contract?

Before buying a home or investment property this fall, here is what you need to know about your real estate contract and how to get out of it if necessary. Each real estate contract is unique and may apply to certain circumstances, so always ask your REALTOR® beforehand. 

During Due Diligence

The due diligence phase in the home buying process is the negotiation period when the buyer can review the house and ensure everything is good before deciding to move forward. We’re in a seller’s market now, so buyers are competing against each other. As a way to close quickly and appeal to sellers, some buyers are skipping this phase and the inspections tied with it. But this is the easiest time to back out of a real estate contract. 

Contingency

After the due diligence phase, the only way to get all your money back is if a contingency is not met. A contingency is a condition that must be met before the closing date. They’re called contingencies because the closing is contingent on these specific requirements. 

Contingencies are a form of protection as they will protect you if something is found during the home inspection, title process, or if the appraisal goes too high. Again, since we’re in a seller’s market, there might not be time to include these contingencies. 

Another common contingency is a financing clause. The clause will indicate that the buyer will use all good faith to obtain a loan, but if they are not able to qualify for a mortgage, then they can get out of the deal with no consequence. This is why getting pre-approved is so important in today’s market! Sellers fear this financing contingency, which is why they prefer cash offers, even if it’s lower than their original price. 

Earnest Money

If everything goes right and you’re on track to buy the property, you can still back out of the real estate contract, but it will cost you money when it’s this late in the game. Part of what’s included in a real estate contract is how much each side would be compensated if the other party backed out. This is called earnest money. It’s usually 1% to 3% of the agreed-upon sale price but can be as high as 10%, depending on the real estate market. 

Homebuyers will put this earnest money into an escrow account at the contract signing. This deposit will apply to the down payment or closing costs once the sale goes through. If the deal doesn’t go through, though, the seller keeps the earnest deposit as compensation. 

Today’s Market

There might not be time for these contingencies in today’s hot real estate market, which is why you have to be careful. Many buyers are waiving contingencies as a strategy to close on a house faster. With this route, it’s common for buyers to make up the difference if there’s a difference between the offer price and home appraisal. 

As your real estate agent, I’ll help you navigate through this hot market. Contact me! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com

How Texas Is a Landlord-Friendly State

Texas consistently ranks high as a landlord-friendly state, and there’s a reason for that! The main reason is the state laws that favor the property owner/landlord, and Texas has a robust system that preserves owner rights. We’ll cover what those laws are and what it means to be a landlord-friendly state. 

What Does It Means to Be a Landlord-Friendly State?

Several factors running from laws to taxes are considered when evaluating whether a state is landlord-friendly. Texas is landlord-friendly because these factors make owning property and being a landlord easier compared to other states. 

There could be an endless discussion about what the factors should be when assessing a landlord-friendly state, but here are five universal factors found in today’s most landlord-friendly states: 

  1. Eviction Process
  2. Landlord & Tenant Rights
  3. Rent Control & Deposit
  4. Registration & Licenses
  5. Competition

Eviction Process

Evictions are the worst and most feared situation of owning property and renting it out. Luckily, Texas is one of the few states that makes the process easier. Texas takes lease violations very seriously. As long as the landlord can show that tenants are not complying with lease conditions, the eviction process is easy. Landlords seeking to evict non-paying tenants only need to issue a 3-day notice. As a landlord, they’ll receive more effortless relief, compensation, or repossession of the unit, which is reassuring to landlords.

Landlord & Tenant Rights

As mentioned above, Texas takes lease violations very seriously. Our state emphasizes the preservation of landlords’ rights in the event lease conditions are broken. This is a significant factor investors consider and what makes Texas a popular investing market for property owners. Texas is also unique because the state laws allow tenants and landlords to enter into their own agreement for repairs. This is not an option in other states. 

Rent Control & Deposit

Another unique perk to investing in Texas is the state’s no cap on rent or applicable fees like pet fees or application fees. There is also no limit on how much landlords can charge as a deposit. The last benefit is no Texas laws require landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. 

Registration and Licenses

Depending on your property, you might have to register your property with the city. Multifamily rental units need to be registered to the city, and it only costs a small annual fee of $10 to $25 per unit. Once the tenant submits a simple form identifying basic information about the property, the city will inspect it. The city does inspections once every three to five years to check for significant code violations and life-threatening conditions. If a tenant is renting a single-family property, they can usually skip this step. 

Competition

Population growth will determine how competitive the market will be for your property. Austin and the Austin area are multiplying as more businesses and companies are relocating, creating new jobs, and requiring their current employees to transfer. Texas has a high-demand rental market, so it’s wise to tap into this market as an investor. 

Are you thinking of investing in or buying an investment property? Contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

What Does A Homebuyer Pay for in Closing Costs in Texas?

Home prices have begun to stabilize in Austin! According to the Austin Board of REALTORS® July stats, the median home sales price is $480,000. This is $2,364 less than the previous month. If you’re ready to buy as a homeowner or an investor, read what you’re paying for in your closing costs. 

Title Company Fees for Homebuyers in Closing Costs

These are the following fees your title company will charge you and what you are responsible for paying as the homebuyer. 

Escrow Fee

The buyer and seller will pay their own escrow fee to the title company to process the sale’s closing. 

Endorsements

Endorsements are expanded coverage with a title company’s insurance policy to help cover the specific needs of the transaction. Depending on your title company and unique situation, this price can be as low as $30 or as high as hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

Recording Fees

Once the sale is finalized, documents need to be sent to the county. This can range from $120 to $160, but it will depend on the county. 

Appraisal Fee

The buyer typically pays for the appraisal, and it can range from $500 to $700. The lender you choose will most likely want an unbiased third party to appraise the property to ensure the property’s value matches the contract price. 

Credit Report

A buyer will pay the $50 to $75 fee for their credit report to be pulled.

Lender’s Document Preparation 

This $100 to $120 fee is paid to the lender for creating and organizing all the closing documents. 

Escrow Accounts for Homebuyers

If you’re putting down less than 20% for a down payment, the lender will require you to place your taxes and insurance into an escrow account at closing. As a homeowner, you will pay your taxes and monthly insurance to your lender directly using the escrow account. When the taxes and insurance are due, the lender will use the money from the escrow to pay them on your behalf.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Depending on the property and the coverage you choose, the price can range from $900 to $2000 per year. 

Property Taxes

At closing, the seller will pay the buyer a year-to-date prorated amount for taxes. For example, if the closing happens on October 1st, the seller will give the buyer credit for ten months since the seller owned the property for ten months of the year. The buyer is then responsible for paying the difference between the credit and the total tax bill at the end of the year. Your lender will require several months of taxes in the escrow account. 

If you’re ready to buy or invest in Austin area real estate, contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com

Summer 2021’s Hottest Decor Trends for Austin Homes

Summer is here, and it’s time for your home to reflect the temperature change! These decor trends are timeless and regret-proof, as they’ll go with anything already in your home. 

1. Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are the quickest and cheapest way to upgrade your seating area. Enhance a neutral couch or chair with a bright color or bold design. You can layer complementary hues and textured fabrics to add depth. The beauty of pillows is all the fun shapes and colors they come in! 

2. Duvet Covers and Sheets

New bedding will transform a bedroom, plus it’s a fun way to keep you and your bedding clean. Options include a botanical print, graphic designs for a contemporary look, or patterned sheets and sham for a more subtle approach. 

3. Bath Mats and Towels

Another easy and hygienic change is a new towel and mat set. Earth-inspired hues and unique textures like terra-cotta or clay-colored bath towels will give you a spa-like feel in your own bathroom. For maximum comfort, make sure they’re absorbent and soft on the skin! 

4. Bowls and Vases

These small decor items will enhance a room when they’re strategically placed. It’s essential to find the balance between clutter and decor when choosing bowls and vases. That’s why stylish and functional pieces are recommended. Examples could be a painted bowl or plate, an antique mirror, a sculptural vase for flowers, etc.. Sculptural vases and planters are the trends this summer. 

5. Rugs

A new rug will add comfort, protection, and style to any area and flooring type. Area rugs are great for families with children because it helps soften the room, while also offering a chance to add in a new color, pattern, or trend into the room. The summer trend is neutral color palettes with an over-the-top texture like a plush pattern. 

6. Accent Lighting

Lighting can easily be changed, even on light fixtures you own. Options are buying a new light fixture to follow the trend or adding a new shade to your existing fixture. It can be as inexpensive and creative as you’d like. 

If you need help decorating your property for renters this summer, contact us today! As part of our services, we make your property ready; whether that’s decorating or remodeling, we do it all! We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

What Investors Should Know About the Austin Real Estate Market

Austin has become one of the most desirable real estate markets this year, thanks to its ongoing growth. Many companies are relocating and expanding to Austin, which is causing people to relocate as well. More residents mean more people who need housing. This is the perfect time to become an investor in the Austin real estate market! Before you take advantage of the market, here’s what you should know about the local real estate market. 

Renters Can Afford More 

Since many people are relocating for Austin’s incredible job market growth, that means there are people with higher education and higher incomes coming to Austin. These individuals need a place to live, which means you can increase your monthly rent. According to Apartmentdata.com, the rental price for July 2021 was $1,422/month. But don’t go above the market average, then your property will sit vacant for longer. If you need help pricing your property, reach out to us! 

Occupancy Rates Are High

Occupancy rates have always been stable in Austin, but now they’re increasing. As stated in the Apartmentdata.com July 2021 stats, over the past 12 months, the rental rate growth increased by 9.4%, and occupancy is at 91.4%. This hot seller’s market makes homes unavailable for some due to low inventory or high price tags. This means they’ll continue to rent and renew their lease. This creates a unique opportunity for you. 

From that same data, areas all around Austin are popular for renters, which gives you several locations and price ranges to choose from. The most growth came from a combination of downtown Austin, South Congress, and Barton Springs. The other hot submarkets are University of Texas/Mueller, “outlying metro”, Round Rock/Georgetown, and Cedar Park, Leander, and Four Points. 

The Job Market Is Strong

The pandemic has made Austin an attractive home base for many big companies like Tesla, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle, and more. Data from the Austin Chamber of Commerce show that in just June alone, over 20 businesses have relocated to Austin or opened their new business in Austin. More jobs = more people, and more people = more housing. 

Why Invest in the Austin Real Estate Market?

Some other reasons to invest in the Austin real estate market are: 

  1. Quality Education
  2. High Demand for Skilled Labor 
  3. Austin Has Plenty of Amenities
  4. Austin is an Active Community

 

If this all sounds good to you and you’re ready to invest, contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com

Hot Summer Color Trends for Austin Investors

If you’re looking to spruce up your home for summer or need some summer inspiration for decorating your investment property, check out these hot summer color trends from HGTV.

1. A Touch of Spring Green

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Spring Green is a vibrant mix between turquoise and sea green. This color works best as an accent when surrounded by primarily neutral colors. It can be just a pop of color like pillows or larger by choosing a furniture piece with this color. 

2. Regal Purple

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Regal purple can easily be used all year round for decor, but it especially pops during summer. You can even incorporate outside when you use fresh lilacs or liatris to accentuate the purple in the room. 

3. Blue

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Blue is a great accent color as well since it can have a masculine and feminine appeal. If you don’t want to commit to painting with this color, let accessories do the job for you. A blue rug with matching pillows and accented table settings is a great option. 

4. Sunny Yellow

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Mimic the sun’s bright hues with a shade of daffodil to brighten up any all-white room. This color pairs great with white, black, or navy and can quickly transform a space into a cheerful room.

5. Turquoise

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We already mentioned blue, but we need to mention this particular shade of blue: turquoise! This color complements mid-century modern furnishing to help give the room a retro, urban feeling. The beauty of this color is its versatility in using it by itself or toning it down with muted hues. 

6. Slate-Blue

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The opposite of turquoise is slate blue, and it’s also a great color for summer too! While not as bright and cheerful as its blue cousin, slate blue can represent coastal inspiration and ocean waves, making it a hot summer color style. This color works best when paired with neutral furniture and accessories. 

7. Yellow Green

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If you’re looking for another color to make your home pop, yellow green is the color for you! This bright color pairs well with browns and creams and can be combined with darker shades of greens as accents. Yellow green will add a whimsy, graceful touch to your room. 

 

If you need help with your rental property, contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

 

7 Moving and Packing Tips for An Easy Move

Everyone dreads moving, whether it’s down the street or across the state, but it’s something we all have to face one some point. But, it doesn’t have to be dreadful! Here are some tips and tricks to make your move easy.

1. Get rid of clutter before the move.

Make your job easier by donating or throwing away items that no longer give you joy, as Marie Kondo would say. This will make moving easier and quicker! So, before packing anything, do an inventory check and purge unused and unnecessary items. Now you have less to pack, move, and unpack!

2. Make a moving folder

Keep all your documents together in a folder to help ease any anxiety and stop stress. Have a hard copy of new addresses, rental or purchase papers, moving contracts, etc in case something happens where you can’t access them digitally. 

3. Pack in advance

Ideally, you’ll know when you need to move so you can work backward from the end date and start backing early. We’re going into summer, so you could pack winter clothes now. You can also pack items like books and other once-in-a-while items. This way, there’s less stress and packing to do as the move date gets closer. 

4. Book early

If you’re using moving services, renting supplies, or hiring professionals, it’s always better to book early. If you wait, you could pay a higher price or not book the service at all. This is crucial during the peak moving season. 

5. Schedule services for new place before the move

Once dates are confirmed, contact your utility providers to schedule services like electricity, water, and heat for your new place. Schedule ahead of time so you can come home to a new functioning home after a long day of moving. Don’t forget to request a service stop at your old place! 

6. Keep essentials close right before the move

The night before the move, place essentials like a change of clothes, toiletries, medicine, paperwork, etc., into a suitcase or bag that you’ll have access to in the car, cab, or plane. This way, you’ll always have essentials with you in case of a worst-case scenario.

7. Get a moving truck with a loading ramp

If you’re opting out of a moving service, then do yourself a favor and rent a truck with a ramp. It might be more expensive, but this luxury is worth every penny, especially if you’re moving furniture. It will help save time and prevent sore muscles later!

If you’re ready to move to Austin, contact me today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

10 Popular Decorating Styles for Austin Investors

If you need help decorating or furnishing your property for future tenants, try one of these popular decorating styles!

 

Transitional

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Transitional can be defined as an elegant combination of traditional and contemporary looks. Because of its simple style, it can appeal to people with different design styles. This style featured sophisticated furniture, serene hues, updated classics, and materials like marble and quartz. It works well with coastal or farmhouse styles too.

 

Traditional

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Tradition is a blend of history, heirloom antique, rich woods, plush carpets. A traditionally designed room should feel warm and welcoming. A traditional design style will have antiques, a refined color palette, intricate architectural details, and materials like marble and wood. This style works best with these styles: rustic, coastal, or Mediterranean. 

 

Contemporary 

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This style is whatever is current and new. This style is the complete opposite of traditional style because it embraces negative spaces, strong shapes, and clean lines. Contemporary style is defined by current trends and designs, open space, and minimalism. This style works best with rustic or coastal styles too. 

 

Modern

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A modern design style focuses on form and structure like smooth surfaces, glass, chrome, and black leather accents. This style has an emphasis on ample negative space, a clean color palette, and minimalism. This one works best with industrial, midcentury, and farmhouse styles. 

 

Midcentury

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This style emphasizes strong shapes and clean lines and combines the past with the present. Decorate with a midcentury style by having clean, uncluttered spaces, natural wood, graphic patterns, and organic shapes. Modern and industrial styles work best with this one. 

 

Farmhouse

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Farmhouse combines rural architecture with modern comforts by utilizing hardworking furnishings and natural materials. This style features wall paneling, sliding barn doors, natural and historic colors, and simple, functional furniture. It works best with modern, rustic, industrial, and transitional styles too. 

Rustic

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Rustic is inspired by Mother Nature’s woods, plains, rivers, and lakes. Popular features of this style are exposed wood beams, brick and stone, natural hues, and rugged furnishing. This style works well when combined with farmhouse, traditional, contemporary, or industrial styles. 

 

Industrial

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Industrial is usually seen in urban lofts and converted industrial spaces but can be used in a home when you use industrial finishes and decor. Typically defined as gritty, industrial is also characterized by salvaged and found elements for decor, wide-open space, exposed raw materials, and a neutral color palette. It combines well with modern, rustic, farmhouse, and midcentury styles. 

 

Mediterranean

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Just the word itself makes people think of sandy beaches and vivid oceans, and the goal is to recreate those cool and breezy or rich and warm locations in a property. Key elements of this style are a rich, earthy color palette, natural materials like wood, brick, and stone, and colorful tile. It works well with traditional and coastal styles. 

 

Coastal

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Don’t get Mediterranean confused with coastal! Coastal style is inspired by the beach and utilizes natural light, natural materials, and a casual tone. You don’t have to live by a beach to make coastal work for your property. If you decorate with coastal colors, whitewashed surfaces, bare wood floors, natural materials like linen, cotton, and wicker, you’ll get the theme across. Coastal style works well with traditional, transitional, contemporary, and Mediterranean. 

 

If you need help with your rental property, contact me today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

Austin Rental Scams on the Rise

Scammers are in Austin, and they’re pretty convincing. One woman who spent weeks looking for a place to rent fell prey to a scam. The home for rent was listed on Zillow, and she emailed who she thought was the owner. They sent the deposit, dog deposit, and first month’s rent, which added up to $5,200. But when she went to meet the owner at the property, he never showed or responded. 

The Better Business Bureau says this is a growing trend and happening more frequently, especially in Austin, where many people are moving. Most scams require you to wire funds, so do not wire funds to anyone you haven’t personally met. 

How To Identify A Rental Scam

1. They don’t want to meet you in person.

People are busy, and schedules may not coordinate for a meet-up, and that’s okay. If that’s the case, at least do a video call with the owner/landlord to know the property exists. A good landlord would want to meet you, in person or digitally, as they should know who is renting out their place. 

2. They want you to move in without seeing the property.

Visit and tour the property before signing a lease or sending money to someone. It’s easy for scammers to take old listing photos from past posts and pretend they have the property. Scammers won’t have access to the inside, so if you can’t see the place or tell you to just walk around outside of it, be wary. 

3. They ask for rent or a security deposit before signing a lease.

An apartment can be a scam if the property manager, landlord, or realtor asks for rent or a security deposit before signing a lease. You should never be asked to give a large sum of money before seeing or signing a lease. Application fees are normal and acceptable, but the first month’s rent or security deposit is not. 

4. There’s no screening process.

A good landlord will want to know who’s renting from them and take the proper precautions to screen a tenant. Most landlords will have a screening process to make sure they screen quality tenants. So, if a tenant does not require a rental application and credit check, this is a red flag. This means the landlord doesn’t care about having a good tenant, or they’re inexperienced; both are causes to be suspicious. 

 

If you’re a renter looking for places to rent in Austin or an investor who needs help renting out their property, contact me! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.