How to Choose a Utah Property Manager

How to Choose a Utah Property Manager

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With more and more individuals choosing to rent instead of buy a home, smart Utah owners are deciding to rent their properties instead of sell them. This can be an excellent way to continue to pay down the principal amount owed on the mortgage while waiting for market conditions to improve.

If you decide to rent your home, but don’t feel like you have the time necessary to handle being a landlord, you may consider hiring a property management company. Below are some thoughts you should consider before making your decision to ensure you find the right fit:

 

  • Does the company specialize in a certain type of property? Some property management companies will focus their business on managing a particular type of rental property, which may include apartment buildings, single family homes, or condo associations. It may be in your best interest to employ a management company that is an expert at managing your specific type of property.
  • How many properties does the company currently manage? Whether the company manages 600 units or 60 units, there are benefits to both. While the company that has more units in their portfolio shows that they are established, the smaller company may have a more personal approach to managing your property. You will need to decide which you prefer before making your decision.
  • How will the company fill the vacancy for my property? You may find the best management company in the world, but if they cannot find a tenant, you will lose money. Does the company employ an hourly or commissioned leasing manager? While the hourly employee will have little motivation to fill your unit, the commissioned manager will probably cost you a little more money. You will need to ask yourself what is more important to you.

 

There are several property management companies in Utah that could do an excellent job managing your property, but you will want to find the best fit for your situation. If you have any questions about how to choose a management company or think we may work best for you, please contact us at FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of.

Download our free owner information packet today!

I Can’t Sell My Home, Should I Rent it Out?

I Can’t Sell My Home, Should I Rent it Out?

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Unfortunately with the continued downward pressure being applied to the Utah housing market, it is becoming more and more common that homeowners can’t afford to sell their current property. This can be especially frustrating if they have outgrown their home and would like to buy a bigger house, or if a job transfer has forced them to move out of the state.

If this sounds familiar, you might be asking yourself: what are my options? If you owe more than what the home is currently worth, you will either need to negotiate a short sale with the lender or come out of pocket for the difference between the sales price and what is owed on your mortgage in order to facilitate the sale. Many home owners may think that a short sale sounds like a good idea because you can just “give the property back to the bank”, but it has a negative impact to your credit and will prevent you from purchasing another home in the future.

If neither of these are options are for you, you may want to consider the possibility of renting your home. I know that the first thing that you may be thinking is “I don’t want to be a landlord and have to deal with the problems that renters bring”. While being a landlord can be a lot of work, it can also provide many benefits. By renting your home, it will allow you to not only continue to reduce the principal amount owed on your mortgage each month, but it will also provide you with time for the Utah housing market to turn around.

If renting out your home sounds like an option that may work, you must then decide if you will be managing the property yourself or if you will be hiring a property management company. While both options have benefits and drawbacks, you should decide based on your unique needs. If you have the time available to show the property to prospective tenants, complete the lease agreement, and handle all of the maintenance requests associated with the home, then managing the property yourself may be an excellent option.

On the other hand, if you do not think you will have the time required or just do not feel comfortable with all the responsibilities that being a landlord entails, then you may want to consider hiring a property management company. A good property management company will market your home for rent, screen all potential tenants, complete a lease agreement, collect rent payments each month, resolve all maintenance issues with the home, and evict the tenant if he/she does not honor the terms of the lease.

Renting your property can be an excellent alternative to selling in a down real estate market. If you have any questions about renting out your current home or if you are considering hiring a property management company, please contact us at FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of.

Questions? Download our free owner information packet today!

5 steps to Winterizing your Utah Rental Property

5 steps to Winterizing your Utah Rental Property

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As the weather begins to get colder and we head into winter, it is important to remember that your rental property will need to be winterized in order to ensure maximum efficiency. You may be asking, “What does winterizing a property entail?” There are many different measures that can be taken to winterize a property, but essentially it’s any protective steps taken to minimize potential problems with the property throughout the winter. Below are some of the most common tips to winterizing your investment property:

  1. Insulate your windows – Throughout the winter, as much as 25-50% of heat can be lost through the windows. This can be prevented by temporarily installing a thick piece of plastic over each window. This is a very inexpensive way to help keep the heat in the unit and lower the gas bill throughout the winter months.
  2. Service your furnace regularly – Before winter arrives, it is a good idea to have a HVAC specialist service the furnace at your rental property and replace the furnace filter. Dirt and dust can clog this filter throughout the course of the year, making the furnace work even harder. This can have a drastic effect on the efficiency of the unit and may even cause severe damage, which can be very costly. By focusing on servicing the furnace and replacing the filter, you can save energy and lower the utility bill throughout the winter months.
  3. Caulk the gaps – On a windy winter day I am sure that you can find a draft coming into your rental property from various locations, including windows, doors, and electrical outlets. This is another example of heat lost throughout the winter months, increasing your utility bills. By caulking or applying weather-stripping to these areas, you can very inexpensively prevent heat from escaping and lower your heating bill.
  4. Shutoff/remove A/C units – If your investment property has window air conditioning units, it’s wise to have your tenants remove these before the winter months (as heat will escape through the windows if these are not removed). If your property utilizes a swamp cooler, it is essential that all water is drained and the unit is properly covered in order to prevent pipes freezing in the winter. This will also significantly extend the life of the air conditioning system.
  5. Reverse the fan – A little known fact about ceiling fans is the blades should be turning counter-clockwise in the summer months and clockwise during the winter months. The reasoning for this is to assist warm air being pushed downward in addition to increasing circulation. This tip will also assist in keeping the utility bill lower throughout the winter months.

These five tips are very easy, inexpensive ways to increase the energy efficiency of your investment property and help lower the monthly utility bill during the winter months. If you would like assistance in winterizing your rental property, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of.

Download our free owner information packet to get started today!