Unlocking Success: A Guide to Acquiring Your First Rental Property in the Austin Area

Embarking on the journey of purchasing your first rental property is an exciting venture, and with careful planning and strategic decision-making, it can become a lucrative investment. As a brokerage that specializes in real estate investments and property management throughout Austin, TX, we’ve witnessed the triumphs of those who navigate this path wisely. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the best ways to buy your first rental property, ensuring a solid foundation for long-term success.

Define Your Investment Goals

Before diving into the market, it’s crucial to define your investment goals. Are you seeking steady monthly income, long-term appreciation, or a combination of both? Understanding your objectives will help shape your investment strategy and guide your property search.

Conduct Thorough Market Research

Knowledge is power in real estate. Conduct comprehensive market research to identify places in the greater Austin area with strong rental demand, potential for property appreciation, and favorable economic conditions. Analyze market trends, vacancy rates, and rental yields to make informed decisions.

Establish a Realistic Budget

Determine your budget for the investment, considering not only the purchase price but also additional costs such as closing fees, renovations, and potential holding costs. This will help you narrow down your options and prevent overextending financially.

Secure Financing

Explore financing options and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Knowing your budget and having financing in place will make your offers more attractive to sellers and streamline the buying process.

Work with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

Collaborate with a real estate agent experienced in investment properties (hint, hint!). We can provide valuable insights, access to off-market deals, and negotiation skills that will maximize your investment potential. Leverage our expertise of the Austin area and its rental property market to make informed decisions throughout the buying process.

Consider the Property’s Potential for Growth

Look beyond the present condition of the property and assess its potential for growth. Properties in up-and-coming neighborhoods or areas undergoing revitalization often offer excellent investment opportunities. Consider the future development plans for the region and how they may impact property values.

Evaluate Cash Flow

Calculate the potential cash flow of the property by estimating rental income and subtracting operating expenses, mortgage payments, and property management fees. A positive cash flow is essential for the financial success of your investment.

Inspect the Property Thoroughly

Before making an offer, conduct a thorough inspection of the property to identify any potential issues. Addressing these concerns early on will save you from unexpected expenses and ensure the property meets your standards.

Build a Reliable Support Team

Assemble a team of professionals, including a property manager (TALK Property Management is our favorite), accountant, and real estate attorney, to support you in managing and protecting your investment. Their expertise will prove invaluable as you navigate the complexities of property ownership.

Plan for the Long Term

Finally, approach your first rental property purchase with a long-term perspective. Real estate is an appreciating asset, and success often comes to those who patiently hold onto their investments through market fluctuations.

Acquiring your first rental property in the Austin area is a significant milestone that can pave the way for financial success. By setting clear goals, conducting thorough research, and working with experienced professionals, you can confidently navigate the real estate market and build a profitable investment portfolio. Remember, patience and strategic decision-making are key to unlocking the full potential of your rental property investments.

Ready to start your first rental property search in Austin, TX? Contact us today–we’d love to guide you through the process: (512) 947-1828 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

Millennials and Gen Z in the Rental Market: Top 5 Features They Crave in a Home

The rental market is an ever-evolving landscape, and today, we delve into the specific preferences of Millennial and Gen Z renters, who represent the largest market share of today’s tenants. Because of the sheer size of this demographic, it’s crucial to understand their key motivations and what they’re looking for when it comes to a rental property. Let’s dive in!

Tech-Savvy Living Spaces

Millennials and Gen Z are tech enthusiasts, and they seek rental properties that embrace smart home technologies. It’s crucial to highlight features such as smart thermostats, keyless entry systems, integrated security systems, and electric vehicle chargers. Be sure to emphasize the convenience and energy efficiency that accompany a technologically advanced living space.

Flexible and Remote-Friendly Spaces

With the rise of remote work, flexibility is a top priority for younger renters. If your rental has a designated home office space or an area(s) that can easily be adapted for remote work, be sure to call attention to these features. It’s also wise to emphasize proximity to amenities like coworking spaces and coffee shops.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Features

Millennials and Gen Z are environmentally conscious, and they actively seek properties with sustainable features. Showcase energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly materials and capitalize on green certifications. But don’t stop there–be sure to emphasize the cost savings and positive environmental impact associated with these features.

Community and Social Spaces

Social interaction and a sense of community are important to Millennial and Gen Z tenants. If your property has common areas shared with neighbors, such as lounges, rooftop terraces, or community gardens, call attention to those features. Go a step further and promote nearby lifestyle enhancers like social hotspots, parks, and entertainment options to showcase the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

Convenient Location and Accessibility

Convenience and accessibility are vital, and if your rental is located near public transportation, popular shopping districts, and entertainment hubs, these amenities will be vital to tenants. Additionally, highlight walkability, bike-friendly features, and proximity to public amenities like gyms and grocery stores.

Catering to the unique preferences of Millennials and Gen Z is crucial for reducing vacancy rates and fostering long-lasting tenant satisfaction. Need help when it comes to marketing your rental property? Contact us today to learn more about how we help our property owners and real estate investors: (512) 947-1828 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

Power Up Your Rental Property: The Benefits of Adding an EV (Electric Vehicle) Charger

In today’s rapidly evolving real estate landscape, property owners are constantly seeking innovative ways to attract quality tenants. One such solution gaining popularity is the installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers. As the world transitions towards a greener future, the demand for EVs is on the rise. By incorporating EV chargers into your rental property, you not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also position your property as a desirable choice for forward-thinking and eco-conscious tenants.

  1. Catering to the Growing EV Market: The automotive industry is undergoing a significant shift towards electric vehicles. As more individuals choose environmentally friendly transportation options, having an EV charger on your property becomes a valuable asset. Prospective tenants who own or plan to own electric vehicles will be drawn to a rental property that meets their needs for charging infrastructure.
  2. Attracting Tech-Savvy and Environmentally Conscious Tenants: Millennials and the younger generation are increasingly making housing decisions based on sustainability and technology. By offering an EV charging station, you signal to potential tenants that your property aligns with modern values. This can be a key factor for tech-savvy and environmentally conscious individuals seeking a residence that complements their lifestyle.
  3. Enhancing Property Value and Appeal: Installing an EV charger adds a layer of convenience and modernity to your property, potentially increasing its overall value. As more property buyers and renters prioritize sustainability, having charging infrastructure in place can set your property apart from others in the market, making it more attractive and competitive.
  4. Potential for Higher Rental Yields: Properties with EV chargers may command higher rental yields due to their added amenities. Tenants are often willing to pay a premium for the convenience and benefits associated with having an EV charging station readily available. This investment in sustainability can result in a positive return for property owners.
  5. Staying Ahead of Regulatory Trends: Some regions are already implementing regulations that encourage or require the installation of EV chargers in new constructions or rental properties. By proactively incorporating this feature, property owners not only comply with potential future regulations but also position themselves as responsible stakeholders in the community.
  6. Reducing Vacancy Rates: Offering an EV charging station can be a unique selling point that sets your property apart from others. Reduced vacancy rates can be attributed to the increased demand for rental properties with EV charging capabilities, as tenants recognize the long-term benefits of such infrastructure.

Incorporating an EV charger into your rental property is a forward-thinking decision that not only aligns with environmental consciousness but also attracts quality tenants. As the demand for sustainable living options grows, providing EV charging infrastructure can enhance your property’s appeal, increase its value, and position it as a frontrunner in the competitive real estate market. So, power up your rental property and watch as quality tenants flock to embrace the convenience of a greener lifestyle.

Need more helpful recommendations when it comes to attracting high-quality tenants? Contact us today to learn more about how we help property owners and real estate investors: (512) 947-1828 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

Crafting the Perfect Tenant Welcome Package

Crafting the Perfect Tenant Welcome Package

Moving into a new rental property can be both exciting and overwhelming for tenants. As a landlord, creating a thoughtful and comprehensive Welcome Package can go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition and fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship for the long term. Let’s explore what elements should be included in a tenant’s Welcome Package.

Contact Information:

Include your contact details, emergency contact information, and contact information for any property management or maintenance personnel. Encourage tenants to reach out for any concerns or emergencies.

Lease Agreement:

Provide a copy of the signed lease agreement. This helps tenants have easy access to the terms and conditions of their tenancy, ensuring a clear understanding of their responsibilities and rights.

Property Guidelines:

Outline specific guidelines for maintaining the property. This could include information on garbage disposal, recycling procedures, and any landscaping responsibilities. Clarity on these matters helps tenants settle in quickly.

Utility Information:

Clearly list the utilities the tenant is responsible for, along with contact information for utility providers. This ensures that tenants can set up or transfer utility services promptly.

Garbage and Recycling Day:

Don’t make your new tenant spy on neighbors to figure out when to wheel trash cans and recycling bins to the curb. Provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing this on day one in your rental property.

Cluster Mailbox Location:

Many new subdivisions leverage cluster mailboxes for simplicity and improved security. Be sure to help ease your tenant’s mind when it comes to the mailbox number and location by including it in your Welcome Package.

Appliance Manuals:

Include manuals for major appliances in the property, along with the filter size for the HVAC system. This not only helps tenants understand how to use the appliances and systems effectively but also aids in troubleshooting common issues.

Local Amenities and Services:

Provide a list of nearby amenities such as grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, schools, public transportation options, and any other services that may be relevant to the tenant’s daily life. If your rental property is located in a master-planned community or homeowner’s association (HOA) that offers neighborhood amenities, provide that information as well, including any access keys or relevant details that help with enjoying those benefits, along with specific rules or restrictions that pertain to the community as a whole. Be sure to also include a copy of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) so the tenants are aware of and comply with any community regulations.

Welcome Letter:

Craft a warm and personalized welcome letter expressing your gratitude for choosing your property. Include any specific details about the neighborhood or community that might make the tenant feel more connected.

Emergency Procedures:

Clearly outline emergency procedures, including evacuation routes, the location of fire extinguishers, and other safety measures. This information is crucial for the tenant’s well-being and helps them feel secure in their new home.

Parking Information:

If applicable, provide details about parking arrangements, including assigned spaces, permits, or any restrictions. This information helps tenants navigate parking logistics smoothly.

Maintenance Request Process:

Explain the process for submitting maintenance requests. Include contact details and emphasize the importance of reporting issues promptly to ensure timely resolution.

Improving the Landlord–Tenant Relationship:

Creating a well-thought-out Welcome Package demonstrates your commitment to a positive landlord-tenant relationship for the long term. By providing essential information and resources, you can help tenants settle into their new home comfortably while fostering open communication and a sense of security. Remember, a happy and informed tenant is more likely to be a responsible and satisfied tenant.

Want help in implementing your very own Tenant Welcome Package? Contact us today to get started: (512) 947-1828 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

Building Strong Foundations: A Guide for Landlords on Maintaining Positive Tenant Relationships to Improve Vacancy Rates

In today’s unique, post-COVID real estate market, landlords face an ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining quality tenants to minimize vacancy rates. Beyond providing a safe and well-maintained property, establishing and maintaining positive relationships with tenants is crucial. In this blog, we will explore practical tips for landlords to foster strong tenant relationships, ultimately leading to improved vacancy rates.

Clear and Transparent Communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful, long-term relationship. It’s important to establish clear channels of communication–right from the beginning. Provide tenants with comprehensive information about lease terms, policies, and procedures (we recommend a Welcome Package for your tenant–more about that in our next post).

Encourage an open dialogue where tenants feel comfortable expressing concerns or seeking clarification. Regularly update tenants on any property-related matters, maintenance schedules, and upcoming changes to ensure they feel informed and valued.

Responsive Maintenance and Repairs

One of the key factors that influence tenant satisfaction is the prompt resolution of maintenance issues. Establish a system for tenants to report problems easily and respond promptly to their requests. Proactive maintenance not only ensures a comfortable living environment but also demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of your tenants. We recommend scheduling annual property inspections to help identify potential issues before they escalate, showing tenants that their concerns are being actively addressed.

Fair and Consistent Policies

Consistency is crucial to maintain positive landlord-tenant relationships. Implement fair and consistent policies across all tenants and properties you own and manage. This includes rent collection procedures, lease enforcement, and property rules. Clearly communicate these policies in the lease agreement and address any questions or concerns proactively. Consistency fosters a sense of security and predictability, and it contributes directly to tenant satisfaction and retention.

Personalized Tenant Services

Take the time to understand your tenants’ needs and preferences– this can go a long way in building a positive relationship. While respecting privacy, consider personalizing some aspects of your tenant services. For example, acknowledging birthdays or major life events can show tenants that you view them as individuals, not just occupants. Small gestures can have a big impact on tenant satisfaction and loyalty.

Flexible Lease Terms

Flexible lease terms can attract a wider range of tenants and contribute to longer tenancies. Consider options such as month-to-month leases or shorter-term leases for tenants with specific needs, like students or professionals on temporary assignments. Providing flexibility can make your property more appealing to a diverse tenant base.

In the competitive rental market, landlords who prioritize positive relationships with tenants will stand out among the competition. When you foster open communication, address maintenance concerns promptly, implement fair and concise lease policies, and personalize tenant services, you will create an environment where tenants feel valued and are more likely to renew their leases. Building strong tenant relationships not only enhances tenant satisfaction but also plays a pivotal role in improving vacancy rates and overall property success in the long run.

Want help in implementing some or all of these policies in your rental property portfolio? Contact us today to get started: (512) 947-1828 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

How To Become A Successful Landlord: Mastering The Basics

Being a landlord can be hard work, but it’s also rewarding when done correctly. And, as long as you have the skill and time to complete all of the tasks associated with managing your rental property, you can be successful as a landlord and save a little money in the process.

At TALK Management, we have mastered the many responsibilities of property management, and we handle all of the duties of our landlord clients so they can focus on what they do best (not having to be a landlord). If you get started as a landlord and realize it’s too much, we’re here for you, and we would love to earn your business. 

Now, let’s dive into some of the key factors of becoming a successful landlord. 

Set Up Your Business

Prior to purchasing your first property or signing your first lease, make sure your business is fully prepared on the backend. You want to set up things like asset protection, insurance, and your bank account to ensure your investment is protected and everything is set up as much as possible. 

Consider keeping a folder of your important documents for each property to keep everything organized and ensure you have everything you need to prepare for tenants.

Make The Commitment

Landlording is no small feat. It takes a lot of time, energy, and responsibility to be done correctly. Before you decide to become a landlord, make sure you have thought about what this will mean for you. When purchasing properties and selecting tenants, take the time to make sure your decisions are the right ones. Nothing should be done on a whim; you need to take the appropriate amount of time to make decisions that will make you money and help your business in the long run. 

Understand Your Tenants

Not only is it important to properly screen your tenants to make sure they’re the right fit, but you should also take time to connect with them and understand their wants and needs. Establish trust with them by always being transparent and having an open line of communication so they feel they can come to you with questions and concerns. It’s also important to understand what they expect from you and what you expect from them, including following the lease agreement terms and paying their rent on time. 

Handle Issues Appropriately

Regardless of how excellent your tenants are, there will be times when issues will arise. As much as we don’t want to deal with problems, it’s part of the business. When issues arise, it’s important to have the appropriate systems in place to ensure they’re handled efficiently and correctly. Taking issues personally doesn’t help anyone, so try to keep your emotions out of it and navigate problems appropriately. 

Reach Out To The Professionals

If you get overwhelmed by everything you need to do to be a successful landlord, contact the professionals at TALK Property Management. Here are a few of the value-added services we provide that can save you work, stress, and, often, money:

  • Rigorous tenant screening process to select quality tenants
  • Attend court proceedings on your behalf
  • Handle HOA correspondence and violations
  • 24/7 maintenance for tenants for emergencies
  • Utilize licensed professional vendors and handymen for maintenance issues

Being a landlord can be a gratifying job when done correctly. If you have any questions about becoming a landlord or need someone to handle property management services on your behalf, reach out to us! We would love to offer our expertise and services!

The Benefits of Staging Your Investment Property

While most investors might think staging their investment property isn’t worth the money, the benefits of staging can outweigh the cost. Deciding whether or not to stage your investment property is entirely up to you and your situation, but there are many pros to staging that could work in your favor in the competitive Austin real estate market.

Let’s dive into a few of the top pros to staging your investment property. 

Pro #1: Helps The Property Stand Out

Many investors aren’t utilizing staging for their investment properties, so staging yours will help you stand out among the competition. Potential tenants are more likely to look at your listing with staged photos over listings that aren’t staged because they’re more attractive and inviting, which helps them picture themselves living there. 

Pro #2: Increases The Value

Staged properties offer a more move-in-ready vibe that many potential tenants are more willing to pay for. In addition, they tend to have higher rental rates, meaning you can potentially charge tenants more money to live there. This means you could be marketing to tenants with higher incomes and higher quality tenants. 

Pro #3: Less Turnover & Vacancy Rates

Investment properties that are staged tend to attract more involved tenants who are looking for long-term rentals. Attracting this type of tenant can reduce your turnover and vacancy rates, meaning less stress on you and more money in your pocket over time. 

Pro #4: Shows You Care

Starting on a good note with tenants is huge. Taking the time to stage your investment property shows you’re willing to put in the effort to show the home in its best light. This sets you up to be viewed positively by potential tenants and shows you care about your tenants, their comfort, and the property.

If you have any questions or need ideas on how to stage your investment property, reach out to us! We would love to offer our expertise! 

4 Real Estate Investment Mistakes To Avoid

If you’re just getting started investing in the real estate world, you’ll quickly learn it takes a lot of hard work and is not something that happens overnight. You have to make sure you have the knowledge, expertise, and determination to succeed. In addition to knowing what will help you succeed, it’s helpful to know what mistakes will not.

Let’s dive into a few common real estate investment mistakes and how to avoid them.

Failing To Do Your Research & Make A Plan

It’s easy to want to dive head first into investing. You may think you know enough to start, but you’ll quickly learn you might be in over your head. Doing extensive research and making a plan are two of the most important things to do when you’re first getting started. Whether you want to flip homes or become a landlord, there are many ways to invest in real estate, and you need to look at all options before creating a plan and a strategy.

Overpaying For A Property

Going along with doing your research, if you don’t properly research your local market, you could find yourself in a situation where you overpay for a property. If you find a home that fits your exact criteria, it can be easy to write an offer immediately without thinking. It’s important to take a step back, look at what similar homes have sold for in the area, and make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Thinking You Can Do It All Alone

Building a skilled team to help you along the way is essential. Make sure you have connections with a real estate agent, lender, title company, home inspector, appraiser, and more. If you’re not going to handle landlord responsibilities yourself, you will need a landlord. Also, if you’re looking to flip a property, having the right contractors on standby (electrician, roofer, painter, lawn maintenance company, etc.) is important. Not having these people on hand will create more unnecessary stress and work you don’t need.

Focusing On One Specific Area

Many first-time investors tend to stick to one particular area or city because they’ve heard it’s a profitable area or it’s an easy commute to their home. However, sticking to one area can limit the number of possible homes that could meet your criteria in other areas. Expanding your search to include multiple cities will be better for you in the long run and make it easier to find the perfect property.

It can be easy to make mistakes if you don’t do your research, but with the right tools and people in your corner, you will be successful. If you have any questions or need recommendations, reach out to us! We are always here to help.

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.

Part Two: Should I Rent Out My Home Instead of Selling?

Continuing our previous blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of renting or selling your home. I’ll cover the cost of renting vs selling and what costs are included in each option.

Costs

Both selling and renting have their unique costs. A key consideration is whether your rental income is enough to cover the mortgage and upkeep. To determine how much rental income you can expect to earn, compare what other similar properties are charging and subtract the cost of mortgage payments, maintenance, repairs, taxes, hiring a property manager, and additional related expenses. The answer should help you answer whether there will be a positive cash flow or not. Rental income is an opportunity for long-term cash flow, but only when it’s positive. If it’s a loss, it’s worth considering selling.

 

The costs to rent a home should include mortgage, home maintenance and repairs, property taxes, advertising, background and credit checks, property management fees, tax filing and accounting fees, HOA fees, landlord insurance, and vacancies. Now let’s break down each of those. 

 

Mortgage: While someone else is living in your property, it is still your responsibility to pay the mortgage. To find average rent prices, you can research what other properties are advertising. This can be done through online research or by your real estate agent. 

Home maintenance and repairs: You have to keep up with routine maintenance, so it’s liveable for tenants. The rule of thumb is to save at least 1 percent of the home’s value every year to pay for maintenance. You’ll also need to budget for extra repairs and replacements of essential home parts like appliances, doors, windows, and the roof. 

Property taxes: Taxes will vary on the property’s location, but expect the rate to increase as your home value increases too. Any income you make from your rental property is subject to rental income taxes. You’ll be taxed at your ordinary tax rate but can write off certain expenses. If you rent your property for three years or more, it is no longer your primary residence. This means any profit made before selling is subject to a capital gains tax. Consult your tax advisor for recommendations regarding your specific situation.

Advertising: You need to get the word out about your property to find tenants. Advertising costs vary depending on what source you use. Advertising can range from social media ads and websites to working with a real estate agent to market the property. 

 

Background and credit checks: To ensure you have a reliable future tenant, you’ll need to screen them. This means running a credit and rental history report. Sometimes you can pass this expense onto the tenant, but if not, the cost ranges from $15 to $40. 

Property management fees: If you choose to hire a property manager, they usually charge a percentage of the rent price. Read my investor resources, “Why Should You Hire a Property Manager for Your Austin Investments”, “When is it Time to Hire an Austin Property Manager?”, and “Property Management During COVID-19”.

Tax filing and accounting fees: Taxes become more complicated when you own property (or several), so it’s best to hire someone to file your taxes for you.

HOA fees: If your home has a homeowner’s association, you’ll be responsible for the HOA fees too. Depending on what type of property you have, the costs can range from $25 to $1,000 or even more a month.

Landlord insurance: Landlord insurance will cover specific costs like damage to the home or if someone is injured on the property. This will usually cost about 25% more than your typical homeowner’s insurance policy. 

Vacancies: You’ll have to plan for the times when your home isn’t occupied. This will be income you’re losing. 

 

Now let’s discuss the cost of selling a home. The costs to factor in should be home improvement, real estate commission, home staging, utilities, home loan payoff, and closing fees. 

Home improvement: Home improvements should be made if it will increase the home’s value and fix any repairs needed. This can range from enhancing the curb appeal or removing a whole wall. It’s helpful to get a home inspection before listing to find out what you’ll need to fix beforehand. 

Real estate commission: Up to 6% of your home sales price could go to your agent. This is typically split 50/50 between the listing real estate brokerage (your agent’s brokerage) and the buyer’s agent’s real estate brokerage. The commission could be your most significant expense when selling your home. 

Home staging: Home staging isn’t always necessary, but it increases your home’s desirability and helps your house sell faster and potentially for more money. Staging costs range depending on the size and your specific needs, and it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 or more. 

Utilities: Remember that you’ll be paying for your utility bills until the closing date. 

Home loan payoff: Once sold, you’ll need to pay off the rest of your mortgage.

Closing fees: Depending on your agreement with the buyer, you may take on some of the closing costs. Expect closing costs to be a loss of 10% of the selling price. 

 

Choosing an option comes down to finances, your long-term investment goals, and the real estate market. If you’re ready to sell, rent, or need professional advice regarding property management or real estate, TALK Property Management is here to help (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com