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.

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.

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.