Listing Courtesy of LONG AND FOSTER-BETHANY
At first blush, deciding to hire a Ocean View professional property manager may seem counter-productive. Whether you bought the property you will be renting out specifically for that purpose, or else are simply holding onto your former home rather than selling it, the expense of employing a Ocean View property manager will materially reduce the cash benefit your rental promises to throw your way.
In fact, many new landlords don’t seriously consider hiring a property manager. It’s an offshoot of their own long-time home owning experience. They’ve learned to handle the residential maintenance issues that crop up from time to time, so it seems unnecessary to hire a professional manager for the occasional problems they know how to solve themselves. They may acknowledge that there will be twice as much to handle, it still may seem to be a needless extravagance. After all, the two great benefits of becoming a landlord are to build equity and generate income, so why give away part of the latter?
One cogent reason is the principal difference between managing a rental and your own household. In your own home, you aren’t answerable to any outside entity. When a faucet starts leaking or a circuit breaker blows, you are free to ignore it until the weekend or whenever it’s most convenient. That’s simply not true for a conscientious landlord. Even with a cooperative, understanding tenant, in a way, you almost become your tenant’s employee (or at least it can seem that way when the phone rings at an inconvenient moment). A good tenant rightfully expects his residence to be maintained promptly and diligently; it’s your part of the rental bargain.
Another factor that argues for opting for a reputable Ocean View property manager goes to another difference between managing your own residence and a rental. The professional has so much experience in all aspects of property care that he or she is considerably more likely to have dealt with any given situation. Likewise for handling the technicalities of attracting and interviewing tenants, and seeing that contractual issues are completed correctly—tasks that need to be handled with legal exactitude.
There are plenty of reasons that can make hiring a property manager a sensible move, starting with those quality of life issues—your life! For retirees or others with abundant spare time, they may not be as significant; but for fully-employed persons, the time factor and necessity to “be on call” can be crucial. I always recommend giving the professional management option full consideration. Of course it’s always possible for a first-time landlord to test the waters for a while before making the decision—though it’s important to realize that one false step can escalate into costly legal troubles when it comes to national and state civil codes, fair housing laws, and tenant rights. Ignorance of the law will be no excuse for do-it-yourself landlords who are unlucky enough to find themselves on the wrong side of a tenant dispute—so be sure to educate yourself and have access to a reputable Ocean View landlord-tenant attorney
If a Ocean View income-producing real estate investment opportunity is something you would like to explore, this summer has produced some properties with terrific potential. Give me a call anytime to discuss how best to explore what’s out there! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
When you first go shopping for an Ocean View home, loan budgeting—figuring out how much a comfortable monthly mortgage payment would be—pretty much dictates the price range you will be considering. Some listings do the lion’s share of the home loan budgeting work for you through a ‘payment options’ box that provides a thumbnail mortgage payment calculation. You enter a percentage for the down payment, amount, and the type of loan—and at the speed of light it calculates an estimate for the monthly payment. Those that also include the latest property tax bill and an insurance estimate come up with a pretty definite picture of how affordable a given property will be.
An associated cost that home loan budgeting alone doesn’t address is the additional operating cost every homeowner runs into—the maintenance figure. Since those costs are dependent on the type and condition of the property, most experts just advise future homeowners to anticipate 1% of the purchase price per year…a transparently made up number. There are a couple of approaches that can improve on it.
The first way is to invest in a home warranty, which has a set cost. Home warranties are the forms of insurance that cover the repair or replacement of covered items. This can be a relatively economical way new Ocean View homeowners can buy some budgetary peace of mind while familiarizing themselves with the ins and outs of their new Ocean View home. But it’s also an occasion where it’s particularly important to read the fine print—the only way to be clear on what is covered, what is not, and what the deductibles are. It’s also important to get an idea of who the subcontractors will be.
The other way to get a bead on likely future maintenance outlays is to anticipate likely major replacement costs. Wood shake roofs, for instance, should last about 30 years, while fiber cement shingles last five years less (and rough weather conditions can lop years off those life expectancies). Wood floors last a century, as can marble and slate—while carpet usually needs to be replaced every eight to 10 years.
When it comes to included appliances, most Ocean View homeowners will agree that today’s models just don’t seem to last as long as they used to. It may be because electronics have added improved functionality…or it may be a result of flimsier manufacturing. At any rate, the National Association of Homebuilders’ research tells us that dryers (both gas and electric) have average life expectancies of 13 years—as do cooktops, electric ranges, and fridges. Washing machines last an average of 10 years; while microwave ovens last 9 years—as do dishwashers and compact refrigerators. Freezers last 11 years, garbage disposals, 12…but (uh-oh!) trash compactors average only 6. If the previous owner can furnish original warranties or purchase slips, it should be able to come up with a ballpark idea of when to expect replacement outlays.
Home loan budgeting will deliver the all-important mortgage payment amount, but it’s prudent to leave ample some budget for the other inevitable expenses. But first things first—and calling me is a good way to start. Finding a Ocean View home to fit all your requirements (including the budgetary ones) is, after all, job One! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.