The Haven Homes Blog

6 Tips to Avoid Homeowners Association (HOA) Horror Stories

Posted by Eric Gutshall on May 15, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Homeowners Association (HOA) horror stories. We’ve all heard them, from mailbox color conflicts to HOA zealots measuring fence and shrub heights. The purpose of an HOA is to police a neighborhood and put in place rules and guidelines that keep the neighborhood clean, safe and welcoming. However, when you have a group of people in charge of making rules and another group required by law to follow them, you can expect that there might be some conflict.

Not convinced? Read this Reddit thread of HOA covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) nightmares, which at times seem arbitrary, illogical and excessive. Granted, those are the worst of the worst, but HOA fines are no laughing matter. With a little time (okay, a lot of time in some cases) you can effectively manage your HOA relationship. Why waste money on unnecessary fines when you can keep that money in your pocket with these 6 tips:

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Topics: Property Management, Real Estate Investments, HOA

Top 3 Surprises for DIY Property Managers

Posted by Eric Gutshall on May 10, 2018 2:00:00 PM

We’ve all heard the stories. All a property owner wanted was some steady income on the side to tap into to send their kid to college or fund their retirement, and then it took two months to evict a delinquent resident who trashed the place in revenge.

Luckily, stories like those are usually outliers. Most of the time, being a DIY property manager is fairly smooth, especially if you know how to prepare so that you are proactive about fending off potential problems.

If you have a full-time job and manage properties on the side, you want everything to be smooth and easy. You spend enough free time and energy just doing the everyday things you need to do such as collecting rents, maintaining properties, screening residents, dealing with difficult people, and handling evictions, among many other things. You don’t need any surprises added to the mix. That’s why we’d like to help by sharing the three hidden issues we’ve found most DIY property managers don’t anticipate.

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Topics: Property Management

How to Manage Vendors and Contractors

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Apr 17, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Not all vendors and contractors are created equal and requirements vary by property and company. Regardless of size and property type, always do your due diligence when selecting a vendor or contractor. In order to manage vendors and contractors effectively, efficiently and to get fair market value for work, you need to familiarize yourself with the process of vendor management.

Here’s what you need to know:

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Topics: Property Management, Profit, Vendor Management

How to Determine What Rent to Charge for Your Rental Property

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Apr 10, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Whether you are renting a home for the first time or are in the process of negotiating a rental renewal for an existing property, pricing your rental for quick occupancy is vital to your success as a property manager. You don’t want to price it too low and miss out on putting more money in the bank and you don’t want to price it too high so that it sits unrented.

To get to that “Goldilocks” number (not too high, not too low, but just right), here are 8 questions to ask yourself before writing up your lease. Keeping your rental property filled with great tenants who pay a fair market value (or a little better) doesn’t need to be a fairytale.

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Topics: Property Management, Profit

Everything You Want to Know About Security Deposits but Are Afraid to Ask

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Apr 3, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Security deposits are designed to protect landlords from tenant damage to the property and nonpayment of rent. Seasoned landlords understand that collecting a security deposit from a tenant is nearly as important as collecting the monthly rent. This one-time, refundable fee (as long as the tenant leaves the property in good condition) is in addition to their first month’s rent.

Here are three things to consider about attaining security deposits for your rental property in order to protect yourself and your property.

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Topics: Profit, Security Deposits

Lease Renewals: 5 Important Questions to Consider

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Mar 27, 2018 3:00:00 PM

According to the U.S. Census Bureau report, roughly 11 percent of American renters moved in 2016. That means 89% of renters didn’t move. If you’re like most landlords, you’re probably wondering why it seems like you’re constantly trying to find new tenants, given these statistics. When you consider that the average landlord spends over 40 hours and thousands of dollars to onboard a new tenant, it makes sense to focus on keeping the ones you have.

Here are the five most important questions to consider when it comes to improving your lease renewal rates.

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Topics: Real Estate Investments, Lease Renewals

13 Common Mistakes Landlords Make With Evictions

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Mar 6, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Handling evictions is no fun, but mishandling them can be a nightmare. Evictions are an emotionally draining, complex process that is riddled with unique requirements that vary by state and even, in some cases, local laws. When you know what you’re doing, you can make the process smoother.  Here are 13 common mistakes to avoid when evicting a tenant.

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Topics: Property Management, Evictions

How to Choose a Professional Property Manager

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Jan 26, 2018 2:00:00 PM

professional-property-manager.jpgWhile many single family rental owners start with DIY property management, eventually they realize that hiring a professional property manager will not only free up their time and attention, but can also maximize the return on their investment through their expertise.

Selecting a professional property manager can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Everyone you talk to will have their own slant, you’ll be exposed to a lot of information and doing an accurate comparison is difficult because providers all have their own way of doing things and presenting their approach.

Remember when you’re selecting a manager, you’re looking for an organization that will not only manage your property and address any tenant issues, but also they’ll be instrumental in maximizing the total return you gain from your investment property. When interviewing managers, be sure you’re focused on who will best support your overall goals for owning investment properties.

Here are five points to focus on when finding the right manager for your properties:

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Topics: Property Management

3 Things Institutional Managers do Differently that Create Superior Investment Returns

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Jan 19, 2018 2:00:00 PM

One of the most important decisions an owner of a single family rental home makes is how they are going to have their property(ies) managed. Traditionally there have only been two options available to owners:

  • Manage it themselves
  • Hire a third-party fee manager

Today, with Haven Homes' Institutional Property Management Program, a third option is available: the ability to have your investment property managed in the same way institutional investors have.

Institutional managers have better people, processes, buying power (and increasingly, technology), that allow them to efficiently market and manage a portfolio of properties. What are they doing that makes them successful?

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Topics: Real Estate Investments, Profit

Stop Thinking Rent and Start Thinking Profit & Return

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Nov 28, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Many owners of single-family rental properties make the mistake of focusing on rent as the barometer of performance and success. They wonder, what is the most I can charge per month, yet still remain competitive? Or, how can I increase my rent and put more money in my pocket without losing my tenant?

Getting the highest rent for your income property is not the best way to build a profitable rental property portfolio. Instead, concentrating on profit and return is a sounder way to shape your rental portfolio’s profit.

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Topics: Profit