Las Vegas and Henderson Real Estate Market Articles

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.

When owning a rental property, one of the more costly improvements is the flooring. Logically, then, you want to make the best decision possible – finding a quality floor that can last a considerable amount of time without breaking the bank. What choices do you have? What should you stay from?

CARPET
Carpet may seem a strange option initially. However, if you are on a budget, this may be your best choice. An average quality carpet should last between 5 – 8 years with proper shampooing and average wear and tear. The cost compared to the life expectancy is a good choice. Choose a carpet that has a minimum of a 25 – 30 oz density.

VINYL
Vinyl has come a long way over the years. Today, there is sheet vinyl, vinyl planks and vinyl square’s. Vinyl planks are gaining popularity since they are installed piece by piece, similar to laminate or engineered wood flooring. However, they do not absorb water, tend to be fairly durable and are reasonable in cost. Kitchens, living and dining areas are prime candidates for this type of floor. This floor, with average wear and tear, can last a long time. Of course, be sure to choose a finish that will flow well with your home.

TILES
Tiles can be a long lasting floor as well. Materials and labor are reasonable compared to the life span of the floor. With average wear and tear, tile floors can last for many years – 15 years or more. Be sure to choose the right material that will last a long time and be resistant to cracking or chipping.

FLOORING THAT MAY NOT BE THE BEST CHOICE FOR A RENTAL PROPERTY

LAMINATE WOOD

Laminate wood has an appeal to many. Primarily because it resembles a wood product and the cost is hard to beat. However, laminate wood is made out of recycled wood with a thin veneer over the top. It is subject to scratches that cannot be repaired and swells when exposed to moisture. It requires specific care in order to last. If damaged, the floor has to be replaced in order to remedy the issue. As a result, it is not a good product for a rental property.

EXPENSIVE / UNIQUE FLOORING
On the opposite spectrum, expensive and unique flooring may be beautiful and even rated highly for durability. Perhaps it is flooring that you wish to enjoy in the future when making the house your primary home. However, even the most durable floor is subject to damage and wear. Trying to repair it correctly may incur considerable cost. As a result, it may not be the best choice for a rental home and may cause more expense and worry than the monetary benefits of rent.

Choose the right floor that will make your home look clean, presentable and give you the best return and life span for your money!

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.

Fall is in the air! Now is the time to prepare for colder temperatures!

With cooler temperatures setting in, it is now the perfect time to get a little bit of fall time maintenance taken care off! Here are our top 5:

1. Tune up your heating system: While turning on your heater may be a distant thought, cooler temperatures are really, not so distant. Now is the time to test your heating system out and make sure it starts and runs after being off for many months. Keep in mind that the first time you turn on your heater you will have a burning smell as the dust that has settled burns off. It is also advisable to hire a qualified HVAC technician to check all components so your not stuck in the cold when you need the heater most!

2. Protect your anti siphon valve: Your anti siphon valve, located on the side of your home with a pressure regulator at the top, connects with your landscaping and keeps water from siphoning back into your clean water supply. Now is the time to visit your home improvement store to insulate the valve and pressure regulator. Valves that have no insulation can crack and create a substantial leak when temperatures drop down to freezing during winter.

3. Protect your water spigots: As with the anti siphon valve, it is good to insulate the water spigot valve. Home improvement stores carry special covers to keep freezing air from damaging the spigot. Save yourself from an unexpected water leak!

4. Change out door seals: Door seals wear out over time. Check to see if you see any gaps or light between the door and the outside. If so, pick up a roll of door seal to replace. This way, you can keep bugs out and save on your power and gas bill by keeping warm air in!

5. Gutters and yard maintenance: Though most homes in the desert don’t have gutters, some do. If you have gutters and large trees surrounding your homes, such as pine or a leaf dropping tree, be sure to check your gutters and get them cleaned to keep water moving during a storm. Even if you don’t have gutters, be sure to clean leaves from your landscaping regularly as they fall to prevent an unsightly yard and a potential HOA violation.

Enjoy fall and all that comes with it (such as pumpkin latte’s and pumpkin pie) and stay ahead with these fall maintenance tips!

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

Crime seems to be everywhere, no matter where you live. Even guarded and gated neighborhoods are subject to it. As a result, a whole industry exists that manufacture and promote burglar deterrents. Of course, it would be ideal if we could all purchase a complete home alarm system, camera’s to record every angle of our home and possibly even metal shutters to cover our doors and windows. The reality is, though, that many burglar deterrents are costly, beyond the budget of many. So, what are some cost effective measures to deter burglars from your home? Here are 5:

1. LIGHTS AROUND YOUR HOUSE: Many homes have their lights completely turned off at night. This allows the cover of night to conceal those with less than desirable intentions. What can you do? Try to keep your home lit during the night. Do you have porch lights next to your garage? A light next to your front door? Or a light in your backyard or on a balcony? How can you make sure to keep those lights on during the night efficiently? You might want to consider leaving certain lights on during the night, such as the ones by your garage. Look into dusk to dawn sensors that can plug right into your light socket. You can keep the switch for the lights on all the time and the lights will turn on automatically when darkness falls. Or you can look into light bulbs that have built in dusk to dawn and motion sensors. You might even decide to replace a light fixture with one of these features. The idea is to keep the area around your house lit or have measures in place to light it up when needed.  Of course, don’t forget energy efficient light bulbs for these!

2. SECURITY DOOR: Your local hardware store will have a variety of security doors on display. These add an additional layer of protection to your front door and even a sliding glass door. They come in many designs and varying price ranges, though many are cost effective. You can also make sure that your existing door does not have a loose dead bolt or handle, tightening those as needed. Additionally, consider replacing the screws for the latches in the door frame with longer screws that can grab well into the wood framing, adding more security to your front door.

3. SMART DOORBELLS: Many are starting to install smart doorbells, which have a built in camera and connect to your phone or other electronic device. These devices are within a reasonable price range. They can activate and begin recording even before the button is pressed and notify you that someone is at the front door.  They record the activity that is within the area of your front door as well, just in case you need to access it later.

4. DUMMY CAMERAS: If you are looking for a very low cost deterrent, look into dummy cameras. These don’t do anything but look very comparable to a real, recording camera. It may be just enough to deter someone.

5. SIGNS AND STICKERS: This is yet another very cost effective deterrent. Signs and stickers for an alarm at the home can be very useful, as it notifies everyone of the potential for an active alarm system, even when no alarm is present!

Being proactive and vigilant is the best way to protect your home. While no way is completely proof, putting in place certain measures, depending on your budget, can reduce your risk of dealing with a burglary. Be safe!

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.