Las Vegas and Henderson Home, Condo, and Townhouse Rental Tips

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!

Shot of a Bright Cozy Modern Condo with new wood floors, fresh paint and furniture.

One of the most popular questions we get asked is if improvements made to a house increase its rental value? Perhaps the home you own was purchased many years ago and was recently remodeled – with new floors, counters, fixtures or cabinets. Or you purchased the home recently, maybe even brand new, and upgraded certain aspects of it to make it pop! How does this affect rental value?

Homes in Las Vegas are traditionally built in planned unit developments (aka PUD’s), or as we like to call them, tract homes (some call them cookie cutter homes). Homes are replicated by a builder with minor variations. As a result of this, when a rental analysis is performed on a home in one of these neighborhoods, other comparable, or identical model match homes that have leased are used to establish a value. For example, if your looking to lease a home that is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, single family home with 1500 square feet, we would look to see if there is another model match in the neighborhood that has leased recently. In many neighborhoods, we can usually find a handful of model match homes. And due to this, because we are working with a similar size home, rental values will usually be within a specific range – not spread apart too far.

How, then, are upgraded features handled that may make your home stand out compared to others?

First, upgraded features definitely have advantages. They make your home stand out and make it desirable, allowing, in many cases, for it to rent quicker. How about rent value? Rent value can typically be increased, however, within reason. A home priced significantly above other comparable homes in the neighborhood may appear overpriced, even if it is highly upgraded. Consistent rental rates within a neighborhood play a significant role to tell a prospective tenant about what is competitive in a neighborhood. Of course, certain upgrades add solid value. For example, a pool can add rental value.

There are some additional factors to also consider. If you find yourself in a depreciating rental market, you may find that adding value is more challenging. An over supply of rental properties on the market can also affect this. The general economy plays a role as well – unemployment or decreasing wages for example.

So, whats the point of this article? Upgrades within a house make it more appealing to a prospective tenant to rent, even adding modest rent value. However, in many cases, upgrades do not add significant rent value above the rental range of a neighborhood or area. Depending on the economy along with supply and demand, this can also change. So, before you upgrade your home for the purpose of renting it, calculate to see if what you have in mind will be a good return on your investment.

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management. Opinion article reflects the views of Nicklin Property Management and is based on our years of experience.

It’s no secret that Phase two restrictions due to COVID-19 have been extended – for an unknown period of time. Many Realtors who were planning on showing tenant occupied homes (which is restricted under Phase Two restrictions) that have been listed for sale were eager to start showing them on Saturday, August 1, 2020, when the Governor’s directive would of expired, only to find out that it was extended Friday evening. So, what can you do during this time?

If your property is leased and your tenant is paying rent, consider yourself fortunate! Perhaps keeping the home rented and waiting this time period out may be a possibility until restrictions are lifted.

If you absolutely need to sell a tenant occupied home, forging a good relationship with your tenant may be your best option. Current direction from the Nevada Realtors Association to Realtors states that due to restrictions to mitigate COVID-19, you can work with your tenant to obtain pictures or video of the home – tenant provided that is – so that you can have photos for your listing. You cannot force your tenant to do that, however, it is an option. Three dimensional property scans, virtual tours and virtual staging can also be used (Source: nevadarealtors.org).

If you can generate an offer and go under contract, most transactions can still take place while following directives and safety measures. COVID-19 disclaimers have been made available to Realtors in order to handle transactions during this unique period of time.

Of course, investors are scouring properties these days as well, looking for a rental property to invest in. So, there is still opportunity to sell the home. Granted, it may be more challenging. So, if your rental property is generating monthly income, perhaps consider waiting things out – if it meets your plans and goals. Otherwise, anticipate a sales transaction different than what you perhaps had in mind.

It’s no surprise that emergency measures have been implemented across many industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including real estate. As a rental property owner, what should you know so you can keep yourself compliant? Here are 3 top things!

1. Rent – Some tenants may not be able to make their rent payments. If so, under current emergency mandates, you cannot issue a non payment notice (7 day pay or quit), file an eviction or charge late fees. The goal is to prevent disruption in the rental market and have mounting evictions.

Landlords cannot and should not change the locks or put notices on their tenants’ doors or mailboxes to scare them into moving out.

What can you do? You have two options: Forgive some or all of the rent, depending on your tenant’s circumstances. Forgiveness is not obligatory under the new mandates. Or you can defer some or all of the rent, making it due later on. A payment plan can be initiated to collect the deferred rent.  The key is communication by both tenant and landlord.

2. Home maintenance – Even though rent may be suspended, the home must still be maintained properly. Homeowners are required to address habitability and other maintenance related issues.

3. Non compliance of lease by tenant – If a tenant poses a danger to other tenants or the public, is engaging in criminal activity or is damaging the property, eviction proceedings may move forward.

It is highly important to keep up to date on new directives issued by the State of Nevada Governor’s office or extensions to previously issued ones.

Together, we can make this situation easier by working together. Nicklin is doing its part to minimize the impact for both tenants and homeowners and we will continue to keep our clients well informed of any new changes.  Be sure to visit our up to date COVID-19 response for any changes or updates along with helpful resources for rent payment.

Many rental property owners and those contemplating entering the rental market are now anxious about what will happen to the rental market – rent values, rent collection, etc. The truth is, the current COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory for most real estate professionals. We are constantly hearing about fluctuations in the stock market, unemployment reports and stimulus benefits. We are also learning that evictions are on hold and late fees can’t be charged (at least here in Nevada).

But what will this ultimately mean for the real estate market? Specifically the rental market?

The measures being taken by government officials to put evictions on hold and not charge late fees clearly indicates that the goal is to maintain relative stability for folks. To be able to get through this pandemic with as as little interruption as possible. On the flip side, many mortgage companies are offering relief to homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments rather than charging them late fees and initiating foreclosure proceedings. Stimulus benefits and supplemental funding of unemployment benefits are intended to carry folks through this period of time as well. It appears that the plan and hope is that once the pandemic passes and things begin to resume to the way they were previously the economy can rebound without having the added stress of an untold number of evictions and foreclosures, which would be detrimental to the real estate and rental market.

In the end, it really depends on how long the shut down will go on for. That will indicate what we can expect with rental and sale values and demand; whether or not folks will be able to maintain relative stability during this time and once things pick back up again resume their lives without too much loss and have jobs to get back to. In that case, we hope that the market will prove overall stable. However, if we have long term closures, lack of benefits or other unforeseeable repercussions, we may have a different market to prepare for.

It does appear, though, that the ultimate and overall goal right now is to keep people status quo to prevent major shifts in the real estate market so that once an economic rebound occurs, the market can continue to grow and thrive.

How does this affect tenants?

There are provisions for tenants who land on hard times and only able to pay partial rent, such as waived late fees and postponement of evictions, which were authorized by government officials.  Additionally, many homeowners are willing to assist tenants during this time.  However, rent forgiveness is not obligatory.  Assistance may come in the form of rent postponement.  This means that eventually the postponed rent will still be due.  Thus, if a tenant can afford rent because their job has not been affected or has the means to pay rent, it would be in the tenants best interest to continue making their rent payment.  Many homeowners have mortgages on their rental properties and so, a lack of rent means that they may have to resort to other means for payment or qualify for assistance from their mortgage company.  Additionally, many homeowners may have also lost their jobs.

Ultimately, predicting what exactly will happen is dependent on many factors. Unfortunately, at this time, it is hard to say with any certainty what will happen.  We hope that this situation will be temporary and everyone can find financial stability sooner than later and we can get back to having a thriving real estate market.

2019 ended on a high note for real estate and the local economy in general. Here are some quick facts:

– Las Vegas unemployment rate last reported at 3.7% (bls.gov)

– Overwhelmingly positive economic growth through 2019

– Interest rates remained low throughout the year, with minor fluctuations

– Average home prices hovered around $300,000 throughout the year, reaching just under $315,000 toward the end of 2019.

– Inventory for resale and rental homes remains tight

With the economy moving in a positive direction and rental inventory remaining slim, we can expect the rental market to remain strong with moderate growth. The year 2020 is a year filled with exciting developments in Las Vegas but is not the end of the multi billion dollar investments that are planned and progressing. These investments and developments span beyond 2020. Thus, we can expect more growth in various economic sectors which will add strength to the already strong real estate market.

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.

Did you know that the Strip is different than downtown? Many mistaken the two as one and the same. However, there is a considerable difference. Downtown Las Vegas, which is north of the famous Las Vegas strip, is where what is known as Las Vegas began! The original hotels, such as The Plaza, Binion’s Horseshoe and California still make up the skyline. Our local government and court system is downtown. And of course, Fremont Street. Further south, from the Stratosphere to the Mandalay Bay is what is known as the Strip – the entertainment mecca that draws millions every year. While tourists may be familiar with the hotel, dining and entertainment options in both downtown and the Strip, what about living in those areas? Are there properties available?

To answer this simply – yes! Properties will vary considerably though. In the downtown area, older, vintage type housing will be available. Depending on the upkeep, those homes will need make over’s and updates. However, in more recent years, mid and high rise residential buildings have taken shape. For example, the Ogden and Soho lofts offer beautiful amenities, contemporary units and luxury features, such as rooftop pools and exercise facilities. Of course, these properties come at a premium and monthly expenses in the form of HOA dues are considerably higher than a single family home. However, for those interested in downtown living, options do exist.

The Strip has gained considerable attention as well within the last 20 years. While residential communities of homes exist within a relatively short drive to the strip, those wanting to live directly on it or within short walking distance have options. For example, Turnberry Towers, Panorama Towers, Skytower and others offer this experience.

The amenities are luxurious – for the right price. Views can be extraordinary, encompassing the Las Vegas skyline and mountain ranges surrounding the Las Vegas valley. The features of each individual unit offer a unique lifestyle. Of course, as go the features so goes the price. However, for those desiring that lifestyle, the strip delivers.

For those interested in investing in either downtown or the Strip, especially with the goal of generating a return on their money via renting their units, it is important to talk to a qualified property manager since rental income will vary. Nicklin can help. We have experience in both leasing and management of high rise units.

Downtown Las Vegas along with the Strip are continuing to attract many. New developments and multi billion dollar projects are underway, adding to the excitement of living in this prestigious area. This, along with the amenities that high rise buildings offer, continue to attract new homeowners and investors.

Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.