MOVING TO OR FROM HOUSTON?
TIPS FOR RENTING OUT YOUR HOME WHEN YOU MOVE,
BY TED JAMES
Houston is one of the most livable cities in the nation. Even though housing costs have steadily appreciated in recent years, the Houston area still offers some of the best housing values and quality of living than any major metropolitan area.
Our real estate market is in constant change, and your Fratelli Properties International agent is your guide through the Houston market. We'll focus on understanding what you need in your new home, and make sure you see only the properties that meet your needs, so you don't spend your valuable time during the stressful relocation period on listings that aren't of interest. As you compare your choices, we'll provide you with important information about the home and the neighborhood, as well as supplemental data regarding financing, inspection, appraisal, zoning, local schools and more.
Our brokers are accustomed to working through the details of a relocation, and as your buyer's agent, your Fratelli Properties expert agent will promote your best interests. We'll also guide you through the property inspection process, make sure any and all agreed-on repair work is carried out, and handle all the contracts and complex paperwork related to the transaction. We'll counsel you on obtaining financing for your new investment, and work directly with your relocation company and mortgage lender to provide you with a seamless service package.
Working with us on your move to Houston will save you time, and add professional consult to every step of the process. Chat with one of our experienced brokers today to start the process.
When you buy a new home, selling the old one isn’t your only option. Whether due to a real estate slump or a global pandemic, sometimes it’s just not the right time to sell. Renting out your home or apartment can be a great alternative! Transforming your home into a long-term rental can increase your income and help pay off the mortgage on your new property. But first, you will have to get your home ready for the rental market. Here are some tips to keep in mind!
Is Renting Your Home the Right Decision?
Before you decide to move forward with your plans to rent out your home, make sure this is the right choice. You will have to consider several things, including your financial situation, your future plans, the local rental market, and your willingness to be a landlord. Current home prices are another important factor to consider. Keep yourself up-to-date with the average sale price for homes in your area as well as how long homes tend to sit on the market. For example, Redfin reports that home prices in Houston have averaged $255K in the last month.
Keep in mind that COVID-19 has caused some uncertainty in the real estate market which may also impact your decision. Forbes reports that 80 percent of home buyers have postponed or canceled their housing search because of the pandemic. While many people still want to buy homes right now, you might have a harder time getting the sale price you want. In this case, renting may be the way to go!
Setting Competitive Rates
Pricing a rental property is one of the trickier parts of renting out a home or apartment. Of course, you need to charge enough rent to cover your expenses, but you also need to set a competitive price. Setting your rental rates too high can leave you with high vacancy rates. To determine the best rates for your rental, start by calculating your monthly expenses. This should include your mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utility bills, maintenance costs, and property management fees if you decide to hire help.
Next, do some research into the average rental rates in your area. Certain home features and neighborhood amenities may help you charge a bit more than other local properties. For example, if your target rental demographic is young families, nearby playgrounds and parks could be desirable features that allow you to set slightly higher rates.
Finding the Right Tenants
Tenants can make or break your rental property experience. The perfect tenants will respect and care for your property, pay rent on time, and be upfront and honest about damage and needed repairs. Unfortunately, great tenants can be hard to come by! Attracting the best tenants starts with a desirable rental property, so make sure your home is in good shape and consider making a few improvements to bring it up to the fair market standard.
When you start getting responses for your rental, following a good screening process will help you weed out problem tenants and find the right renters for your property. BiggerPockets recommends contacting the past landlords of prospective tenants and asking questions about their rental payment reliability and any damage done to their units. You can even run a credit check to make sure the renters typically pay their bills on time. Even if your tenants’ application looks great, take the time to run these background checks to ensure they’re not hiding anything from you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry—especially when your rental income is on the line!
Ready to rent out your home or apartment? If you’ve done your research and determined that selling your home isn’t the best choice right now, start taking steps to convert it into a profitable rental. Becoming a landlord is no small task, but it can be very rewarding when done right!
Fratelli Properties International is known for offering their clients exclusive, white glove, VIP treatment, which explains why their business has grown mostly from referrals and repeat clients. Fratelli properties International prides themselves on being a one-stop-shop and invites you to experience the difference.
5 TIPS FOR ADJUSTING TO LIFE IN A NEW CITY, BY NATALIE JONES
If you’re currently planning a move to Houston, you may feel overwhelmed by the entire process. From packing up all of your belongings to outlining your moving budget to saying goodbye to your loved ones, you have a lot on your plate. Although moving somewhere new can be stressful, it also opens up lots of new opportunities. We at Fratelli Properties International hope these tips will help you tackle everything from changing your address to getting to know your new neighborhood!
Connect Your Utilities
You don’t want to arrive at your new home only to realize that you forgot to set up electricity, water, or another essential utility! Therefore, you should start setting up your utilities before moving day. From water and sewage to trash pickup and recycling, you should include everything you’ll need on a checklist, and then begin calling providers to register your home.
You should also research and compare several internet service options to find the best deal for a high-speed connection. For instance, Houston now has access to Verizon’s 5G Home Internet Connection, which will allow you to access exceptionally fast connections and enjoy the benefits of significant bandwidth.
Switch Your Address
You don’t want to miss out on any mail after you move! According to MoveBuddha, you can officially change your mailing address with the USPS as early as two weeks before your move. In addition, you’ll want to contact your bank and credit card companies to ensure that they have your new address on file. Don’t forget to update your car insurance policy if necessary, too!
When you walk through the door of your new home, you’ll undoubtedly be exhausted, and it’s tempting to simply order take-out and spend the rest of the day relaxing. But you should make an effort to start unpacking immediately and set up essential items and large furniture. The Order Expert recommends going room-by-room to keep everything organized and unpacking small, decorative items last. Once you’ve fully unpacked, you can think about interior decorating projects and renovations that will make your house feel unique to your family, like designing an outdoor dining space, painting your interior walls, or creating an art gallery wall.
Now that you’ve unpacked and updated your address, it’s time to find your new doctor’s office, dentist, bank, post office, and more. If you live in a walkable neighborhood, you can take a stroll to see where you can find these services. Alternatively, you can do some research online and check out reviews to see which providers you want to use.
Explore Your Neighborhood
Finally, you’re ready to meet your neighbors, start looking into community organizations and social groups, and start exploring your new city! Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite restaurant, check out a fun volunteer group, or go on a road trip to do some local sightseeing. After working with an attentive agent from the team at Fratelli Properties International, you can even reach out and ask for suggestions on what to check out. After a few weeks, you’ll truly start feeling your new house is a home, and you’ll be enjoying all of the perks of life in Houston.
As you get ready for your big move, you may be feeling both excited and nervous about embracing this major life change. Taking a leap of faith to move to a new city can be extremely rewarding. With these helpful guidelines, you’ll find yourself adjusting to your new Houston home in no time!