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5 Ways to Invest Your Inheritance Money

If you’ve recently come into an inheritance, you may be looking for smart ways to invest that money so that it “grows” instead of “goes.” We’ve come up with some of the best ways you can spend your inheritance money.

1. Put it towards your house.

Depending on the size of your inheritance, you may be able to put a sizeable chunk towards paying down your home mortgage. Another similar alternative is to consider refinancing your home and using the inheritance money to help with your down payment. This could lower your interest rate and your monthly payment considerably, making it a very smart choice in the long run.

2. Purchase a property to “flip.”

That money could also be put to good use by purchasing an investment property to “flip.” This essentially involves buying a property that isn’t in great shape, working to fix it up, and then selling it for a profit. If you’re smart about the property you purchase, this could bring in a good return on your investment. And if you enjoy the process, you could use your additional funds to repeat the process, continually growing your money.

3. Purchase a property to rent out.

Another way to invest your money in real estate is to purchase a property with the intent to rent it out. Do some research on rental homes in your area. What are renters looking for? What locations might potential renters be interested in? How would you manage a rental property? What would you charge? Know the answers to these questions beforehand will help you make a smart investment.

4. Put it towards retirement.

If you have any sort of savings for retirement, you can use your inheritance money to add to those savings. If your retirement plan comes from your work (like an employee-sponsored 401k), you could increase your contributions from your paycheck, using your inheritance money to make up the difference in your take-home pay. Or you could invest directly into an IRA; depending on the amount you receive, you may be able to max out your contributions for the year.

5. Pay off debt.

This may not be a typical “investment,” but it’s really a way to invest in your future. By paying off any debts you have, you can stop making those monthly payments—and the interest payments that go along with them. It’s a very smart way to get ahead financially in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem like the most exciting option.

Receiving an inheritance can be exciting, and you might be tempted to go on a spending spree with your newfound cash. Instead, take this advice to invest your inheritance, and put that money to work for you.

Want more help deciding how to best invest in real estate? Contact Real Property Management. We help property investors manage their properties for maximum profit, so your investment can really pay off. Call Real Property Management at 480-719-1243 to find out how real estate investment can put your inheritance money to good use.

Are You Spending Too Much Time Managing Your Rental Property?

You want your rental property to be a fairly hassle-free venture, and sometimes, it probably feels like it is. Sure, you have to answer the occasional phone call, stay on top of your bills and rent collection, and make sure emergency repairs are dealt with quickly, but for the most part, it’s pretty hands-off…right?

The truth is, you might be spending more time on your rental property than you think. Even small amounts of time can add up, until you’re spending quite a lot of time managing your property and your tenants.

If you’re not sure how much time your rental property is taking up, it’s important to figure it out. If property management is taking up too much of your time, it might be worth hiring a property management company to take some of that work off your hands. There are handy online calculators that may help you see how much time you’re really spending. We’ve come up with a quick list of some of the things you do to manage your property that may be taking up more time than you think.

Figuring out how much to charge.

It seems like it should be simple enough: you charge enough to cover your expenses, with a little profit left over, right? Well, to get to that magic number, you’ll have to do some research. What kinds of repairs does your property need now? What repairs will it need in the coming years? What is a competitive rental rate for a property with a similar size and location? How much are its upgrades worth to renters? How quickly do rental properties get filled in the area? These questions may require some digging to figure out, and that digging could take up a good amount of your time.

Preparing and reviewing rental applications.

You want your applications to cover all the bases, because you know how important it is that your potential tenant check all the boxes of your ideal renter. That means that you’ll have to spend time not only coming up with a rental application that covers all necessary questions, but also reviewing all the applications you receive. That time adds up—fast.

Managing move-in.

If you think all you have to do is meet your renter one time to hand over the keys, think again. Before you meet the renter at all, you’ll have to make sure the property is ready to be occupied, with maintenance and repairs already performed. You’ll want to get new locks and keys for the house, and make sure you document the condition of the property before the new tenants move in. Then there’s coordinating with your tenant to sign paperwork, collect deposits, and deliver the keys.

Dealing with finances.

It wouldn’t be too bad if your renter was never late, and the rent money showed up in your account automatically every month. But what happens if the renter is late? Then you have to deal with contacting them and tracking them down for payments and late fees. If, when they move out, the property isn’t in good enough condition for them to get their deposit returned, what then? You have to spend time fighting that battle as well. Making sure you get paid the right amount, on-time, every time, takes up more of your time than you might think.

Handling maintenance and repairs.

Maintenance and repairs are ongoing problems with any property. By the time you find someone to handle the repair, communicate between repairman and tenant to figure out scheduling, and follow-up to make sure everything was done well, you’ll have spent way more time than you would like on the project. Add in the time you spend figuring out the finances behind repairs and maintenance, and you’ll really be wishing you could save some time.

Each individual aspect of property ownership may not be too time consuming, but the things we’ve mentioned here are just a drop in the bucket of all the time consuming things a property owner has to deal with. Combined, all of these tasks add up to take up a lot of your time. If you’re realizing that you spend more time than you thought on your rental property, it may be time to call in backup!

Real Property Management helps property owners like you free up their time for more important things. RPM takes all the hassle off your plate, dealing with things like marketing, showing, and maintaining your property, along with staying on top of your tenants for payments. They’ll even help with evictions (because nobody’s got time for that!). If you’re ready to save some time and still enjoy all the best benefits of property ownership, call Real Property Management at 480-719-1243 for a free management quote.

Top 3 Options for Investing in Real Estate

If you’ve ever thought about investing in real estate, you probably already know that it can be a pretty lucrative venture. With the right market and a little know-how, real estate investment can give your income a great boost—or even become your primary source of income!

But what exactly does it mean to invest in real estate? What are your options when it comes to buying and selling your properties? We have outlined the three most popular options below (at least when it comes to private residences), to help you know where to get started.

“Flipping” homes.

Ever heard the term “flipping” when it comes to real estate investment? It’s a pretty popular option for property investors, especially in recent years. What flipping entails, at it’s most basic level, is buying a house at a low price (perhaps because it’s in poor condition), fixing it up, and then selling it at a higher price for a profit. Think of those popular HGTV shows: they’re basically house flippers.

This method of real estate investment has pros and cons. If you do it right, you can make a good amount of money on a flip. Flipping could also be a way to take advantage of a poor market. However, flipping can also go wrong. You need to watch your numbers (and your cash) carefully, since repairs to a property can add up fast. It will also require quite a bit of time and attention, since you’ll want to keep a close eye on the contractors you hire to complete the repairs and improvements.

Buy and rent.

Another real estate investment option is buying a property that you then rent out to others. Essentially, you become a landlord.

There are a few positive sides to this. One big one is that you are collecting rent (it should be enough to cover your mortgage and expenses) while also letting the home’s value appreciate. Basically, you’re making money in two places at once. Also, there are almost always people looking to rent homes, so as long as you have an attractive property in a good location, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding renters.

That said, there are some downsides to this option, too. As with any real estate investment, it’s very important to stay on top of your financials. Repairs and maintenance can add up fast, and any time your property spends unoccupied ends up costing you money. This can make owning a rental property a stressful endeavor, so make sure you’re willing to put in the time and work before pursuing this route.

Sell your primary residence.

This may seem like straightforward home ownership, but if you do it right, it can actually be an investment method. This involves purchasing a property, using that property as your primary residence, and then selling it later, hopefully making a profit on the appreciation of the property.

This is probably the least risky way to invest in property; using the property as your primary residences allows you to avoid certain costs, and living in the property yourself means that you can care for the property without worrying about how another tenant will treat it. However, depending on the market and your specific strategy, it may be less profitable than other ventures, since you won’t be collecting rent. It could also be tricky for you to sell the property for much more than you paid for it, unless you upgrade the property while you live in it.

No matter what method you choose, a property management company can help you make smart decisions about real estate investment. Real Property Management has years of experience helping property owners figure out the best way to make good decisions when it comes to their investment properties. Give us a call today at 480-719-1243 to learn about how we can help you!

What Services Do Property Management Companies Offer?

If you own rental properties, you have probably crossed paths with property management companies in the past. They may have even tried to see you on their services. But do you really know what those services are?

The fact is, many property owners aren’t quite sure what a property management company would actually do for them. If you want to know more, you’ve come to the right place. Here are just some of the services that property management companies can provide you.

Marketing.

Property management companies are a great solution for owners who want or need help getting their properties in front of the right people. Keeping your property full is key when it comes to staying profitable, so this isn’t something you want to take a risk on. Property management companies can help you:

  • Craft the perfect listing
  • Create an advertising strategy
  • Advertise to appropriate audiences
  • Give people a professional contact point if they’re interested in your ad

Showing.

Letting people see your property can get overwhelming really fast, especially if you have a decent response to your marketing efforts. A good property management company can help you show your property efficiently and effectively. They can:

  • Get the home “show-ready,” with cleaning and staging
  • Take care of landscaping
  • Field phone calls and other queries about the property
  • Meet interested renters to show them the property

Finding the “perfect” tenant.

It can be hard to know if a tenant is going to be a good fit or not. Property management companies can help you screen tenants in appropriate ways that will help you find someone who is the best fit for your property. This usually entails:

  • Explaining the application process to prospective tenants
  • Collecting application fees
  • Background checks and screenings
  • Verifying income and rental history of tenant
  • Drawing up rental agreements with the new tenant
  • Reviewing the lease with the tenant

Managing tenants.

Tenants often have questions or concerns for their landlords, but landlords don’t always have the time to deal with them. Likewise, landlords may have difficulty staying on top of payments and collection. Property management companies step in to:

  • Field questions about property condition, maintenance, or repairs
  • Handle rent collection
  • Collect late payments
  • Help the owner with legal representation in case of a dispute
  • Help the owner manage an eviction, if necessary

Maintenance and repairs.

Property management companies can help keep your property in tip-top shape. With connections to licensed local vendors and businesses, they can help with:

  • Landscaping
  • Interior renovations, including paint and flooring
  • Plumbing or HVAC issues
  • Pool maintenance, if applicable
  • Overseeing and inspecting before, during, and after maintenance or repair projects
  •  
    In short, property management companies can help with any and all aspects of property ownership. By maintaining constant communication with the homeowner, they can make owning a rental property, or even several rental properties, a far less painful process.

    Real Property Management has been helping homeowners manage their properties for years, making property ownership less of a hassle, and more of a profitable venture! We’d love to help you rediscover all the good parts of property management, while handling all the downsides for you. Visit our website for a free management quote, or call us at 480-719-1243. We look forward to working with you!

    SEVRAR’s 2017 40 Under 40 Award

    Real Property Management East Valley is excited to announce that owner, Clint Rowley, has been chosen as one of the winners of SEVRAR Top 40 Under 40 award!

    This award honors 40 of the top real estate business owners and entrepreneurs in Phoenix. The winners will be honored with an evening of fine dining and networking. For more information on the other individuals and teams to receive the award please click here.

    Short-Term Rental or Full-Time Lease?

    You bought a rental property to be a good investment, right? But how can you make sure that you’re renting that property out in the right way? These days, there are many options when it comes to leasing out your property, but the biggest choice you need to make is whether to rent your property out using short-term agreements (through places like Airbnb or VRBO), or full-time leases.

    There are many things to consider when you’re trying to make this decision. We’re here to walk you through it. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when trying to decide how to rent out your property.

    What is better for the location?

    The location of your property makes all the difference when you’re trying to make this decision. If your property is in a popular vacation destination, it probably makes more sense to rent it out on a short-term basis. If it’s located in an area that has a high demand for rental properties, on the other hand, you won’t have too much trouble finding a good renter, and a long-term solution might be your best bet. Do some research into what’s in demand in the area, and use that information to make your decision.

    How available can I be?

    A short-term rental requires a lot more “hands on” work: someone has to be there to check guests in and out, manage maintenance and repairs, handle cleanings, and other management tasks. For many short-term rental property owners, the only person they really trust with this job is themselves. If you’re able to make frequent visits to your property, a short-term or vacation rental may work for you. If not, stick to something more permanent, and let a Chandler property management company handle everything for you.

    What will be the difference in my earnings?

    Answering this questions is going to require some research on your part. Look at how much vacation or short-term rentals are being rented for in your area. If possible, talk to someone who already owns one of these properties, to get some idea of how often the property is booked, how much it costs to clean, what sorts of damages guests might incur on the property, etc. On the flip side, check out how much comparable rental homes with long-terms leases are going for in the area. Your decision may end up being nothing more than a numbers game.

    What are the laws in the area?

    Make sure you know the city’s laws about short-term or vacation rentals. If you decide to go that route and end up violating those laws, you would have a whole new set of problems on your hands. If you can’t find a straight answer yourself, it may be worth talking to a lawyer to get a firm grasp on the situation.

    Do I need predictable income?

    Both strategies have proven effective for different people when it comes to earnings, but a long-term lease agreement is going to be far more predictable than relying on short-term rentals for a steady income. For example, a long-term lease is going to have a fixed payment amount for the life of the lease. Multiple short-term agreements, on the other hand, could vary in price, based on demand. You may be able to charge a premium for busy times, but you might have to offer a discounted rate during any slow seasons.

    What business do I want to be in?

    Consider the fact that short-term versus long-term renting offer you the chance to be in very different businesses. Short-term rental services, like Airbnb, give you the chance to explore the hospitality industry: you act as a host, you get to meet people visiting your area, and you’re expected to offer certain things to your guests to make sure your stay in pleasant. With a long-term rental, you’re much closer to the real estate or landlord business, putting your effort into keeping your property occupied as it appreciates in value, while being less occupied in the day-to-day goings on.

    Whether you choose a short-term rental or a full-time lease for your property, know that you’ll be putting a lot of time and effort into making your investment profitable. Good luck as you search for the strategy that is right for you!

    Want help managing your rental property? Real Property Management is here for you. We can help market your rental property, keep it occupied, collect payments from renters, and so much more. We take the guesswork out of property ownership, so all you have to do is enjoy the rewards. Give us a call at 480-719-1243 or visit our website to get your free management quote.

    How to Make Your Rental Property “Tenant-Proof”

    You want your tenants to love living in your rental property, but you also need your rental property (and everything in it) to last a while. If you’re constantly having to make repairs or purchase replacements, that’s going to eat into your profits—the last thing a landlord wants.

    Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure your tenants can’t do too much damage to your property. Here are some of the best ways to “tenant-proof” your rental.

    Choose paint wisely.

    If you use flat paint, it doesn’t really matter who’s living there: the walls are going to end up scuffed and scraped. Even glossier finishes may still have this problem, but it’s much less likely to be an issue. Paint the main areas of the home in a satin or eggshell finish, and use a semi-gloss in bathrooms and laundry rooms. This might save you from having to repaint every single time you get a new tenant.

    Find the perfect flooring.

    Flooring is something you definitely don’t want to replace often; the cost would be unbelievable. Instead, take some time to find flooring that is extremely durable and will be able to stand whatever your tenants throw at it. Use a hard (non-carpet) flooring in as many areas as you can; it will hold up much better. Choose a tile or super durable laminate to keep things cost-effective. In areas that you really want carpet, choose a low pile that will be able to handle high-traffic well. You should plan on cleaning the carpet between tenants no matter what, but choosing the right carpet may prevent you from having to replace it regularly.

    Hang with care.

    When hanging fixtures in the home, like towel bars or toilet paper holders, take the time to find a stud to drill into. This will make sure the fixture is securely anchored to the wall.

    Make sure things are professionally installed.

    Don’t leave it up to your tenants to install blinds, ceiling fans, light fixtures, or appliances. If any of these things need to be installed, do it yourself (if you’re handy with that sort of thing) or hire a professional. Allowing your tenants to do this kind of work may do more harm than good, causing major damage to your property.

    Keep landscaping simple.

    This is especially important if the tenant will be responsible for maintaining the landscaping. Asking them to do too much work will probably backfire bigtime. Instead, keep the yards simple, with little (or no) grass, and bushes and plants that are easy to keep alive. This is the best way to ensure that your lawn survives your tenant’s stay.

    Choose low-maintenance appliances.

    While it may be tempting to choose the nicest, fanciest options when it comes to appliances, many of the models that have “all the bells and whistles” tend to break down more easily. Instead of choosing flashy appliances, choose workhorse appliances that will last a while. Do some research on the best brands and choose simple models that won’t require much maintenance.

    Taking the time to tenant-proof your property will pay off in the long run. Don’t let a bad tenant (or two) destroy your profits!

    Real Property Management can help you as you work to maximize profits on your rental property. With years of experience, we can help you market and fill your property, and help manage your tenants. Fill out our online form for a free management quote, or call us at 480-719-1243. We look forward to working with you.

    Finding Tenants for Your Property in Gilbert, AZ

    Gilbert is a fast-growing suburb of Phoenix that attracts families and singles alike. With great schools, plenty of housing, and up and coming shopping and dining areas, Gilbert is becoming the place to be in the East Valley.

    So what’s the best way to find tenants for your rental property in Gilbert? We’ve got some ideas.

    Know Your Market.

    You need to know what kind of renter you are looking for before you can start effectively marketing to them. Is your property a single-family home? A condo in a complex? Are you looking for families with children, an elderly couple, or a college student? Knowing the answer to this question will guide your marketing decisions.

    Join Facebook Groups.

    Like many towns, Gilbert has its fair share of community Facebook groups. Many people use these groups to buy and sell goods, discuss important matters in the community, or simply connect with their neighbors. Depending on the rules of the group, you may be able to post a listing for your rental home in one (or several) of these groups to increase exposure.

    Get to Know Realtors.

    Meeting some realtors in the area will only help you as you try to keep your Gilbert rental consistently full. The more you know, the more connections you’ll have when it comes time to find a new tenant.

    Use a Gilbert Property Management Company.

    Looking for a more “hands-off” solution? Hiring a property management company can make marketing your property much easier. If you’re concerned about the cost, compare it to the cost of having your property empty for months; a full property is worth a little investment.

    Create a Killer Listing.

    All your marketing efforts will go to waste if you don’t have a great listing for your Gilbert property. To get your listing up to par, make sure your property is ready for showing. Make any necessary repairs or replacements. Paint or replace carpet if necessary. Once the property is show-worthy, pay a professional to take pictures of the property for the listing (trust us, don’t skip this!). After you have great photos, take some time to list out the best features of the property, and make sure to highlight those in the copy of your listing. If you make sure your listing is great, it’s going to appeal to more prospective tenants.

    Hold an Open House.

    An open house is a great way to get a lot of eyes on your property. Advertise it well (social media, signs in the neighborhood), and be there to personally welcome people to the property and show them around. This gives you a great opportunity to show off your property and make a personal connection with your new renters.

    If you’re trying to rent out your property in Gilbert, Arizona, there are plenty of great marketing strategies to put to use. Hopefully these tips will help you keep that property full (and profitable)!

    Looking for a great property management company in Gilbert? Look no further than Real Property Management. We can help you keep your Gilbert property occupied and well-maintained, and we can help manage your tenants’ payments and questions. It’s the most convenient way to manage your property in Gilbert. Give us a call at 480-719-1243 for your free management quote.

    Common Problems Landlords Have with Tenants

    Searching for the perfect tenant? Hopefully, you’ll be able to find someone great. But chances are, something, at some point, will go wrong.

    There are some tenant problems that are more common than others. Here are some of the ones landlords see more often. Hopefully being aware of these problems will help you avoid them before you get stuck in a bad situation.

    Not Paying Rent on Time

    This is probably the most common complaint landlords have with bad tenants. Renters who don’t pay on time can throw off your cash flow and make your once-profitable venture not worth your time. Make sure you have late payment fees expressly outlined in your lease, and be ready to enforce them if needed.

    Unauthorized “roommates”

    Bringing in an unauthorized roommate can be a huge problem for a landlord. It can also create an awkward situation that can be difficult to manage. In these cases, use your lease to make your case. Make sure you document everything so that if the case goes to court for some reason, you’ll have evidence to support your claims.

    Loud Tenants

    Getting complaints from the neighbors? Your tenants might be too noisy. Make sure you communicate about city and neighborhood noise ordinances when they move in. If complaints occur, document them and notify your tenants. Give your tenant the opportunity to fix the problem before taking more serious action.

    Suspected Illegal Activity

    If you suspect that your tenant may be participating in illegal activity on your property, that’s a situation that should be taken care of right away. Make sure you document whatever evidence you have, including witness accounts from neighbors. If you feel your case is solid, you probably want to contact the police.

    Tenants Destroying the Property

    If your tenants are destroying your property in some way, whether inside or out, you may be able to take action against them. Again, make sure you document any evidence you have, including pictures if you can get them. Give your tenants a chance to rectify the situation, whether by repairing the problem themselves or by paying a vendor of your choice. Whatever you do, make sure you take care of the problem quickly. Keeping your property in good condition should be your top priority.

    Tenant problems are almost a given when it comes to renting out a property. With any luck, your problems will not be as severe as any of the ones we’ve listed here. As long as you stick to the terms of your lease, even bad tenants shouldn’t be able to derail your financial goals for your rental property.

    A property management company can help you find great tenants—or deal with bad ones. Real Property Management has years of experience helping landlords deal with common tenant problems, including late payments, lease violations, or even evictions. Get a free management quote for your property by visiting our website, or calling us at 480-719-1243.

    Is Buying a Foreclosure a Smart Investment?

    As you search for available properties to add to your portfolio, chances are, you’ll be tempted by a foreclosure or two at some point. There are usually a steady flow of foreclosed homes, no matter what the market is like, so if the idea of a foreclosed home appeals to you, you should be able to find one. The question, though, is if you want to.

    Foreclosed homes often come with a bad reputation. In some ways, that reputation has been justly earned. We’ve all heard horror stories of the terrible state of a foreclosed home. If the risk is so big, why would you ever consider taking the chance?

    We’re here to help you make this decision. We’ll give you some tips about purchasing a foreclosure as an investment property, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this might be a good option for you.

    You Can Get a Great Deal

    This is, almost universally, the most appealing thing about buying a foreclosed home—they are usually dirt cheap. Even if the price is a little above what you’d be willing to pay for the property, if the house has been on the market for a while, you may have some room to negotiate. When all is said and done, you may be getting a steal on a great home.

    Beware the Condition

    As mentioned before, this is the main thing that might scare people away from buying a foreclosure. In certain situations, you may not even be able to see the inside of the home before purchasing, meaning the buy is a total gamble.

    Opportunity for Upgrades

    If you do buy a property in poor condition, you may still be able to come out ahead. When a home is in bad shape, it gives you a good opportunity to make significant changes to the home, adding upgrades or new features that will make the property easy to rent out.

    You’ll Have Competition

    One tricky thing about buying foreclosures is that they seem to go quickly in a healthy market. Many real estate entrepreneurs (such as yourself) are probably jumping at the opportunity to invest in low-cost homes. This might mean that it is more difficult for you to actually purchase the home you are interested in.

    Use a Realtor with Specialized Experience

    Some realtors have specialized experience in foreclosures. If you decide that a foreclosed property is what you’re looking for, using one of these realtors could help ensure you get a great deal on a great house.

    Location, Location, Location

    Even a property in sub-standard shape is a worthwhile investment, as long as it is in a good location. A home in a good location will be much easier to find a tenant for. If you find a foreclosed home in a prime neighborhood, it is probably worth looking into.

    Related: What Changes Should You Allow Your Tenants to Make to Your Property?

    Foreclosures can be great investments, if you know what you’re doing. Take some time to think about whether or not investing in a foreclosure is a good move for you, and then do everything you can to make your investment a success.

    Need more help managing your rental properties? Call Real Property Management. We have years of experience helping investment property owners make the most of their rental properties, whether it’s your first property, or your twentieth. We’ll handle the tough stuff, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the profits. Give us a call today at 480-719-1243.