Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada Home Owner Articles

Are you a homeowner in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada? Enjoy home owner tips for renting your property.

The thought of buying your very first home is exciting! Home ownership is in your future! Its hard to believe sometimes. You can’t wait to begin shopping every home improvement store looking for decor and furniture. And with good reason. Not only is it exciting to have your very own home, but your on your way to owning an investment that historically has shown to appreciate consistently and make you money – whether that is equity when you sell or one day as a rental property.
What else should you keep in mind? Here are the top 3 things to prepare for!

1. You are responsible for repairs. Unlike renting, where you perhaps called your landlord or the homeowner to report a repair, you are now responsible for all repairs and the costs that come with them, including all major components of a home. So, it is important to take a good look at a home you are considering purchasing and obtaining a detailed home inspection. And remember, home warranties don’t always cover everything 100%!

2. Utilities are now your responsibility. You may have been used to paying only power, gas and water. But don’t forget the sewer and trash! Flushing the toilet costs money. While that may seem obvious, if you never owned a home you may have never paid for the sewer and simply got used to paying only 2 or 3 utilities. The same is true with HOA dues. That is an additional expense each month / quarter or year, depending on the community.

3. Buying a home comes with additional costs. Beyond the price agreed to between you and the seller of a home, there are expenses related to your future mortgage and escrow that may be few thousand dollars! Many of those costs have to be covered before you close on your home. Additionally, the home inspection will require payment at the time of it being done. These and other expenses are part of the buying process. So, be sure to get with your Realtor for a breakdown of these so you are prepared!

While home buying is exciting, being prepared is key. Disappointment and frustration can overshadow the process if you don’t know what to expect. So, prepare and prosper!

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

While most of us have heard of a loan refinance, many have not heard of a loan recast. What is it? Simply put, if you have a considerable amount of principle to put down on your home after you’ve already purchased it, you can have your mortgage lender recast, or re-adjust, your monthly payment based on the amount you put down. Keep in mind that not every lender offers this, but many do.

What’s the difference between this and a refinance? When your refinancing your home, your taking on new mortgage terms and a new interest rate. It’s as if your purchasing a home all over again and qualifying for a new loan. People tend to refinance because they have a higher interest rate or they have paid down their mortgage to the point that a refinance will save them on a monthly payment. Many times it is a combination of both.

However, if you already have a low interest rate and loan terms that you are happy with, you may hesitate to refinance your home. But say you came into a lump sum of money, perhaps due to an inheritance, business transaction or other reason. And you are looking to lower your mortgage payment. A loan recast will allow you to put additional money down towards the principle and keep your loan terms the same. Your mortgage lender will re-adjust your payment based on your new loan amount yet keep the term, interest rate and other provisions of your loan in tact. Even better, you do not have to qualify for a new loan and the cost to do this is fairly minimal. You will then save considerable interest for the remainder of your loan term and enjoy a lower mortgage payment.

On the contrary, if you make a lump sum payment on your mortgage without doing anything else, even though the principle balance will lower, your payment will remain the same.

Of course, be sure to talk to your mortgage lender about this to get all of the details and the availability of it. Saving money is key when it comes to your home. Perhaps this is one avenue that may work for you.

Stay in the know with Nicklin Property Management.

Colors are endless. Choosing the right one, though, is key and the most challenging decision. Reality shows on TV showcase a variety of different designs, color schemes and decor. Your local home improvement store has samples galore! So, what should you base your decision on?
One thing to remember: Painting is time consuming and costly, even when you do it yourself. You have to buy the paint, tape, tarp and painting materials. Then you have to invest your precious time into it. So, make the color count!

If you are planning on painting a rental property or perhaps a home you will live in with the intention of renting it down the road, we suggest a neutral color scheme with perhaps accent hints. A common color which is used by builders is Swiss coffee, which is an off white color that still adds a touch of warmth to the home. A neutral color scheme, though seemingly bland, is one that will go with most tenants furniture and decorum and as a result, appeal to most tenants. However, if you feel inclined to add a touch of color, accent walls are a good way to do it. You can choose, for example, one wall in the living area and add an earth tone color. This way, the color matches the neutral scheme and can still appeal to most tenants.

Choosing vibrant colors, such as red, purple, yellow or blue, though it may be in good taste, does create a theme on its own. This may not appeal to tenants if their furniture and decor will not match. Always be mindful of what will appeal to the majority of potential tenants so your home can lease quickly to the best qualified tenant.

Other colors to consider are in the family of brown and gray. Gray is a neutral color as well, especially when it is light. It tends to go well with espresso or light maple cabinetry and adds a modern look yet keeps the home open to a variety of decor. Very light brown colors can add warmth to a home, especially when the shade is light. Try to avoid dark colors as this makes an area look smaller and it is more difficult to repaint down the road!

When choosing paint for a rental home, especially when repainting the entire home, consider using paint with an eggshell finish. Eggshell gives you a moderate sheen which makes it easier to clean down the road without being shiny like semi-gloss. Bathrooms, however, are perfect candidates for semi-gloss as it will repel water.

So, be sure to choose your colors wisely and enjoy the benefits of a tastefully painted home!

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

You hear it all the time – location, location, location. Why is location mentioned so often when a buyer is ready to purchase? Wouldn’t a well maintained, even new home be valued the same as any other comparable home?

Location is a unique trait for each and every home. After all, every home is built in a different location, even when comparing homes in your own neighborhood or one street apart! They all sit on their own unique parcel. If you zoom out, now each home is in its own unique subdivision, their own quadrant of the city and their own side of town. So, what makes location so important?

As a buyer, you have to make sure that you are comfortable with that specific parcel – the location of the home you are looking to purchase. Are all the amenities you are looking for within the distance you are comfortable with? Are you satisfied with the subdivision? The location of the home within the subdivision?

Beyond that, every subdivision and location has their own price point, appreciation rate, HOA fees (if applicable), rental rates and more. Are you going to be comfortable with that aspect? With the rate of return on a rental property? The fees associated with owning that specific home? Some homeowners purchase a home and realize later that rents are not as high as they anticipated. Or that appreciation isn’t as high as they were expecting. This is where location is an important part of a home search!

Doing your research with a qualified Realtor who can research market trends, rental rates and resale values is important. Combining this with your personal preferences for a home and location amenities along with other criteria that are important to you will help you make the best decision possible – to find the right location for your future home or investment!

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

Are you tired of looking at stains and tire marks on your garage floor? There is a solution! You can epoxy your garage floor – for a very reasonable price! While some homeowners hire a contractor to do this for them, spending on average $800 – $2000, if you are on a budget, you can do this for less than $200 (for a typical 2 car garage). All you need is some time and, well, $200 (or less!).

Many home improvement stores sell some type of garage paint or epoxy. However, epoxy is stronger than paint, as it is typically a two part mix of epoxy resin and hardener, allowing for more durability. Home improvement stores typically sell kits that include the epoxy mixture and concrete cleaning product, such as the “Rustoleum Epoxy Shield*.” Usually, a few colors are available. The average cost is between $115 – $140.  Don’t forget to add in paint rollers, rags, paint trays and a paint brush.

The most important step is prep work. Once your garage is emptied out, leaving the entire floor exposed, be sure to do a good sweeping and vacuum out any dust/debris/grass clippings from between the concrete grooves, otherwise known as contraction joints.

The next step is crucial and a few hours should be allowed to complete this. The concrete prep work. The garage concrete floor has to be cleaned and etched. Etching involves creating a “rough” surface for the epoxy to adhere to. Though most kits include a cleaning and etching product, typically citric acid, having an additional cleaning and etching citric acid product will go a long way. You will find that right next to the epoxy kits in your home improvement store. If you have oil stains, be sure to buy a de-greaser and apply that first to remove as much of it as possible. Once you use the epoxy kit provided cleaner / etching product, you may choose to use the second cleaning / etching product, depending on how your concrete looks. The goal is to have clean concrete that has a slightly coarse feel to it.

Effectively rinse the garage floor to remove the product once done. Allow the concrete to dry thoroughly. Then you can begin taping walls and giving the garage one final sweep and applying the epoxy product. Of course, follow the products user guide and safety instructions as to ideal weather conditions, humidity and length of time until fully cured.

You will be surprised how much of a difference a new floor coating can make and you will be proud of doing it yourself and adding value to your home!

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

**Nicklin Property Management does not promote any one brand of epoxy product. It is up to each homeowner to determine which product will fit their needs.  Always be safety conscious and follow directions as listed in product manual.**

With summer behind us and fall in full swing, many trees are at their full growth for the season. With each year, you may have observed that small sapling become a mature tree – a tree that may now be offering considerable shade but also getting very close to structures on your property. What should you do? Here are a few basic tips!

1. If you observe limbs of a tree starting to hang over the roof, it may be time to trim them back. Smaller trees may be easily maintained by you. Larger trees, on the other hand, with large limbs, may need a professional arborist. Limbs hanging over your roof line or other structures, such as shed, can invite unwanted guests such as rats, who can use these to climb onto your property. They can also pose a human and property hazard. During strong winds, these limbs can give way, break and cause significant damage or injury. So, be sure to take note and address these issues in a timely fashion.

2. Trees planted close to dividing walls or structures, such as your home, can cause foundation issues. As these trees grow, so does the root. After some time, you may notice a block wall begin to lift, a side walk beginning to buckle or even the foundation of your home beginning to heave. These are signs that the root system is encroaching on those areas. It would be time to contact a professional to determine your options, including removal of the tree.

3. Along with point 2, tree roots can encroach on your plumbing, entering your drains and even exit or sewer lines. Homeowners who have reported difficulty flushing toilets or water draining have been surprised to learn that roots were the cause! This too would be an indicator to contact a professional to learn your options.

When planting trees, be sure leave plenty of room between structures. Also, be sure to choose the right tree as well, before planting. That small tree can one day be huge! Talk with an expert at a nursery and do your research. The more you do ahead of time the more headaches you will avoid in the future.

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

Most of us enjoy the look and feel of grass. After all, it stays cooler in the summer than perhaps rock and adds a nice green space in the neighborhood and your yard. Before you install this commodity, here’s a few things to keep in mind to make sure this is the best decision for you and for our precious resources:

1. GRASS TAKES TIME AND MONEY TO MAINTAIN
Grass needs to be mowed regularly, preferably weekly. If left to over grow, it will block the path of sprinklers and cause dry brown spots to appear, making it unsightly. To restore it will take additional time and money for seed or sod. If you hire a landscaper, keep in mind the costs that go along with it. Additionally, grass needs fertilizer periodically to ensure it stays healthy and green and free of weeds.

2. GRASS NEEDS WATER
Many know all to well that it takes lots of water, especially in the spring to fall season. This adds considerably to your water bill and taxes this resource, which is already in high demand.

If your willing to undertake the maintenance and costs of installing and maintaining grass, here are a few reminders from the Southern Nevada Water Authority about preserving water:

If your grass is:

A. Only touched by a mower
B. Bordering a street
C. Difficult to access
D. Never used

Then your grass is wasting water.

By converting useless grass, you can save our community 12 Billion of gallons of water per year.

Be grass and water smart! Only install grass that you will use and will benefit you.

Source: Southern Nevada Water Authority: snwa.com

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.