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.

There are a dime and a dozen window coverings available for your home. All you need to do is walk into your local home improvement store. From stock blinds to custom fitting shutters, the selection is endless. So, what should you choose for your rental home? A lot will depend on the type of rental home. A higher priced rental property may warrant more than basic mini blinds to complement any luxury features. But that is really up to you as a rental property owner!

MINI BLINDS
Mini blinds come in various styles and material choices. Some are plastic, vinyl or aluminum. Pricing is very reasonable, starting at just a few dollars. Its the most popular choice among homeowners as a result. However, keep the following in mind when choosing this option. Plastic and vinyl mini blinds, once damaged, typically have to be replaced all together. The gears inside are tedious to work on and hiring someone can be cost prohibitive. If a slat is cracked or broken, it will be nearly impossible to replace it. Aluminum blinds are higher priced and while slats tend not to crack or break, they can bend, which is a more common issue since they can have that tendency and is usually difficult to repair it properly. Installing mini blinds is most cost effective if you do it yourself. Once a blind company or handyman is hired, your cost goes up. At that point, you may want to consider upgrading. Mini blinds can last 2-5 years on average.

FAUX WOOD BLINDS
Faux wood blinds have gained popularity in recent years. Slats are typically 2″ in width and made to resemble wood blinds, with many being textured. They come with a decent sized rail at the top and can be operated using strings or a wand. They are fairly durable and the slats, though made of a PVC / vinyl material, are thicker and more resistant to breaking. They cost more as a result, averaging about 20-40% over mini blinds. However, they can last an average of 5-10 years.

SHUTTERS
Shutters are a beautiful addition to any home. Of course, they can be costly. Even entry level shutters can cost a pretty penny. However, shutters are durable, though they can have a flaw – the staples that hold the shutters together to the rod that allows you to open and close them can, in time, fall out. However, shutters can have many good years of use. Shutters are available in wood or PVC material and in a variety of colors.

DRAPES
Drapes are also an option that is affordable. Of course, drapes require the purchase of a rod that is hung over a window. Depending on the size and style, the rod can surpass the cost of the drapes themselves! However, many times an average rod is affordable and decent drapes can equal the cost of mini blinds. Drapes can be durable. However, they also get dusty and require cleaning, adding to the maintenance factor over blinds. Additionally, because many drapes have specific designs, it can create a theme that may or may not go well for all renters. The best theme is neutral for a rental property.

Yes, window coverings add privacy but also create style. Depending on your budget, there is a choice out there for you!

The Las Vegas real estate market continues to be on fire amidst a pandemic. Buyers are willing to pay more for a home as inventory remains tight and interest rates low. The average sold price of a single family home during August 2020 was $335,000 while condo’s averaged $185,000, another new record for the Las Vegas area (source: Las Vegas Realtors)

Though unemployment remains high and the economy slow in recovering, with many directives in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus but restricting economic growth, demand from individuals with savings and stable employment is keeping the real estate market alive and thriving. This scenario also goes to show market stability. How long will this trend continue? That is difficult to predict, as many factors go into keeping real estate alive and healthy. However, economic recovery from pandemic restrictions will be key.

We hope to see the pandemic get under control soon and as a result, positive developments in the economic sector.

Its no secret – the complaints are out there! Both homeowners and tenants agree – HOA violations can be a hassle, especially when they seem to arrive consistently for an endless amount of reasons; trash cans left out, a weed in a yard, paint that is faded, items left outside and more! It can be exhausting and even nerve wrecking to see a letter in the mail from your homeowner’s association. You can sense it’s another violation. So, what should you know and what can you do?

Here’s what to know: When a neighborhood is first planned and developed, with the intention of having rules and regulations, documents are created to establish the community rules through the builder / developer. The builder will eventually relinquish control to the community itself. Elected board of directors are established (through a vote of homeowners) and a HOA management company is typically hired to enforce the rules and regulations. That’s how it all starts at the beginning.

So, the rules for the community are established well in advance. As a result, when you get an HOA violation for, as an example, weeds in your yard, this rule was most likely established by the builder! Now it is enforced by the HOA management company, who is hired for…rule and regulation enforcement. Of course, the diligence to enforce the rules by one HOA management company compared to another will vary some. While the board of directors can alter the rules or add new ones, most stay fairly intact.

As a homeowner, prior to purchasing a home, you are presented with the community rules and regulations during your due diligence period in order to review them to see if they are acceptable to you. If they are accepted, then the rules will pertain to you and your property.

If you begin to receive violations, there are a few things you can do – depending on the situation.

  • First, if the violation is for a basic infraction, it would be in your best interest to resolve it quickly. Unresolved HOA violations can lead to a second notice and fines! Respond back to the HOA that it was resolved and even present photo proof.
  • If the violation seems to be mistaken, be sure to respond to the HOA as well. Indicate your position to the HOA violation and even present a photo to show you are in compliance.
  • If the violation is for a costly improvement, such as faded exterior paint and repainting the home is the cure, communicate with the HOA if you need extra time or experiencing a financial difficulty. Communication is key to having a good working relationship.
  • Finally, if a matter is serious, you have the option of discussing it with the board of directors during one of their meetings. Be sure to communicate with the HOA management company in that regard.

While HOA violations can be perceived as a nuisance, they are designed to protect property values and maintain the appearance of a neighborhood. In the end, they were established beforehand and are now simply being enforced. Compliance as well as communication is key to developing and maintaining a positive working relationship.

An effective property manager is a risk manager for your most valuable investment

What is a property manager? Is it:

1. Someone who collects rent?

2. Someone who leases your home?

3. Someone who manages your rental property?

Anyone of the above answers is correct, however, all three combined really describe what the job description of a property manager involve. Even more so, a property manager can be described as your risk manager for a rental property. How so?

Property managers are usually hired because a property owner either doesn’t have time, know how or resources to effectively manage their property. So, they hire a property manager. But, not all property managers are created equal. Not all are effective risk managers – minimizing the risk that exists in the property management world. For example, not all property managers screen tenants thoroughly. What can this mean? An unqualified tenant can lead to unpaid rent, property damage and evictions. Proper risk management will mean evaluating a tenants qualifications and looking after the owners interests, advising the owner of the risks and looking for a qualified tenant.

Even after a qualified tenant is found, risk management continues. For example, move in and move out walk through inspections allow you to hold a tenant responsible for damages that may have occurred. Periodic property inspections help gauge how a property is being maintained during a tenancy and action can be taken for issues or problems, even if it is normal wear and tear since small problems can become costly ones without proper oversight. And effective bookkeeping and accounting can keep rent payments flowing on time without any issues.

It is clear to see that a property manager is more than a rent collector or a leasing agent. They are an integral part of your most costly investment. So, it is best to choose wisely and to look for more than the least expensive one. It is best to have a property manager that has the skills and expertise to keep your investment occupied, maintained and preserved.

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management

Las Vegas, Henderson Property Management

Simplifying your life can give you more time for what you enjoy

Many people dream about the day they get out of debt. The day they pay off their credit cards. The day they pay off their car. The day they pay off their house. Financial self help books abound in advice on how to get rid of debt. Yet, the truth is, Americans are consistently in debt. Why the desire to be debt free?

Most realize that having no to little debt means they can semi or completely retire, reduce their work load and spend more time with their loved ones. However, it seems with each passing year, more and more Americans acquire more debt. They trade out their nearly paid off cars for new ones. They up-size to a newer and bigger home. They make large purchases on impulse, charging them to credit cards. Even when some have cash available, they end up spending it on comforts and luxuries. While each person can make their own decisions, if your goal is to simplify your life, work less and even retire early, getting out of debt is a key piece to the puzzle. How can you do that?

First, be reasonable with your purchases. Evaluate if you actually need something. Is it a necessity or a luxury? Don’t buy on impulse. Wait a few days after thinking about a purchase to see if you still feel the same way. You might be surprised.

Second, see if you can keep that car that you have nearly paid off. If your car is still running well and you’ve been maintaining it, be weary of clever marketing tactics! Remember, a new car loan is typically for 60 months or more – yes, that’s 5 years! Some even allow for 72 or 84 months – 6 or 7 years! These are significant debts to think about carefully!

Finally, a house payment is the biggest expense that someone can take on. If you have a house payment, you can do a few things. First, see if refinancing can save you money due to lower interest rates. Can you refinance with a 15 year loan? Can you make additional principle payments to help pay your house off faster?

Remember, the more debt you have, the more you are subject to economic changes. Loss or reduction of income can seriously affect if you can meet your obligations. Additionally, if you plan on working less, retiring or simply having more time, getting out of debt is something to consider.

As we sit home, knowing that going out in public is not encouraged or that our favorite shops are simply closed, there is work we can do around our houses! Many repairs and updates that we may have procrastinated on can now be taken care off. So, pass the boredom with some useful projects that require minimal expense and mostly labor! Here are our top 5!

1. PAINTING PROJECT: Have you been looking at that dirty or scuffed wall for many months? Now is the time to re-paint it! A gallon of interior paint ranges between $16 – $25 and a basic paint kit with roller, tray and brush can be $5. You may be able to buy it online and have it shipped to you to avoid leaving your home if you don’t have the materials. If your looking to add an accent wall or repaint all together, you can tackle the project!

2. LANDSCAPING UPDATES: Now is the perfect time to clean your yard of weeds, cut grass and trim plants. You might even want to start planning for a future landscaping project and do some yard prep work while your at home, such as moving plants,  digging holes or simply outlining your design. You can even make repairs to your sprinkler clock and irrigation lines.

3. HOUSE CLEANING: We all talk about spring cleaning, and now our opportunity has arrived. We can sort through our drawers, clothes and closets. We can dust those areas that don’t get dusted often. We can clean our baseboards of dust, remove everything from under our bathroom cabinets and give it a thorough cleaning, clean out our refrigerator and freezer, wash our windows and organize the shoe closet. There is no lack of cleaning!

4. GARAGE ORGANIZING: If the garage bothers you, now is the time to organize it. Getting rid of things that we don’t use and organizing what we have. If we have a lack of shelving, why not order some online and have them shipped? You might even paint your garage and epoxy the floors if you want! Before you know it, you will be able to comfortably fit your cars in the garage!

5. DECORATING: If you feel your house needs some style, why not brainstorm some basic, inexpensive decorating ideas. Perhaps a wall fixture or painting will do the trick. Make your house a home, especially since we are all spending more time inside anyway!

Rather than letting each day go by without too much happening, stay busy at home! Before you know it, life will return to normal and our long overdue projects will be completed.

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.