How to Find Good Deals on Investment Properties in the Hot DFW Market

Are you ready to invest in your first rental property? Or maybe you are looking to invest in your next one! Are you getting discouraged in this competitive market? You are not alone! The booming DFW market has made it challenging for investors to find deals on homes, especially if that investor does not intend to pay cash. So you may be asking “how can I successfully purchase an investment property in this booming market?” Follow along below to find out!

1. Use technology to find distressed sellers

Finding distressed sellers is a real estate investor’s dream. Some of these sellers can include pre-foreclosures, vacant properties, and even divorces. Some websites and tools that can be used to find these properties include Propstream, DealMachine, and Mashvisor. Keep in mind if you’re not using the latest real estate investing tools, watch out because your competition is.

2. Check Craigslist and marketplace

You can find hidden gems on Craigslist/ marketplace – properties that aren’t listed on the MLS, and that most investors aren’t seeing. Listings include both properties that need renovations and turnkey rental properties. You’ll find a lot of these people listing on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace listing these as for sale by owner.

3. Move Fast on deals

Good deals come along all the time, in every market. But they don’t last longer than 24 hours in most cases. Whether you’re hunting for properties on-market through the MLS and a Realtor or off-market through wholesalers, be ready to put a contract on it instantly. Set up email alerts, Sign up for wholesaler mailing lists, and scout local Facebook groups.

4. Network

In your market, you should get to know every serious investor. Go to real estate investing club groups to meet people in person. Network with investors online through Facebook groups for real estate investors. Don’t stop at investors, either. Collect contacts through lenders, insurance providers, Realtors, home inspectors, appraisers, etc.

5. Find what’s working

If you’re investing in duplexes in Dallas, asking another Dallas real estate investor who loves duplexes exactly how they’re finding their deals they probably won’t share their secrets. But if you ask a duplex investor in Austin, You’re not their competition, not a threat to their business, so they’re far more likely to open up. You can also easily look up what local trends are for the DFW area to see what property types are selling for currently.

Need more guidance or are interested in having help with your investment property? All County Property Management is here to help! For more information about our services please visit our services page here.

Tips for Prepping Your Investment Property For Winter

If you haven’t noticed, we have had some winter like weather enter DFW these past few days. So it may have you as a property owner wondering if its time to start prepping your place for winter. Not sure where to start? Start with these tips below!

1. Prep Your Yard

Snow and ice have a tendency to weigh down trees and large shrubs causing them to break quite easily. Luckily we don’t have much snow here in Texas but the ice can be brutal. If you have invested time and money into your investment properties landscaping, it may not be a bad idea to take extra steps in covering those plants and shrubs.


2. Seal the Cracks

Snow and ice can easily pool in your property’s walkways or driveways as it thaws from the afternoon sun. Then, when temperatures drop again in the middle of the night, that water will freeze and expand, causing even more damage to the already-existing cracks. It’s a good idea to fix these cracks before they become a bigger issue. Plus, excess frozen water will make your tenants more susceptible to slip and fall, which is a safety hazard that you could potentially be liable for.


3. Winterize the Sprinkler System

It is important that you winterize your property’s sprinkler system to prevent water build-up in the pipes that leads to freezing and possible bursting. This may require the help of a professional.


4. Wrap the Outside Pipes

On top of winterizing your sprinkler system, it is recommended that you or your tenants wrap any non-insulated pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold. Frozen pipes easily burst and can create a major water damage crisis.


5. Care for the A/C and Heating Systems

Ice or snow can potentially cover an outdoor A/C system which could be dangerous to your pocketbook. Safeguard your A/C unit by clearing away any debris and properly covering it. This way, when the warmer months come, you can start the unit easily.
Also, prepping your property’s heating system before the middle of winter is a good idea since maintenance calls regarding heating systems not working properly increase significantly during the winter. Getting a professional to service them before that happens, may be beneficial.


6. Clear out the Ducts

It is suggested that all property owners have their investment property’s ductwork cleared out every few years. Since debris can build up over time and strain both the heating and A/C systems, you will want to vacuum that mess out so air can flow smoothly.


7. Inspect the Chimney

If your property has a chimney, it is likely that it hasn’t been used since last winter. Have a professional inspect and clean your property’s chimney before your tenants use it for the first time. This will prevent potential fire hazards.


8. Conduct a Window and Door Inspection

In order for your rental property to stay warm for your tenants, you must check to see that heat is staying in the home and not seeping through any loose caulking, torn weather stripping, or gaps in both windows and doors.


As you can see there is a lot that goes into preparing your investment property for winter. With a little time and guidance you can prevent from stressful and costly damages caused by the cold. And as always All County Property Management is here to help!

When to Consider a Rent Increase for Your Investment Property

DFW’s rent index has increased 2.44% in just 1 year. So you as a property owner may be asking “is it time for me to increase my rent rate?” Ask yourself why you are in this business. Are you in it only because you enjoy the industry or are you in it to make money?


Either way, maintaining your investment property’s annual profits (or increasing them), without experiencing any significant tenant loss is a delicate thing to balance. There is a process to changing your rent rate and you cannot just give your tenants notice and increase it right away. So what is the process you ask? Read below to find out!

Assess The Current Rental Market
It is still important to check out your local area. There may have been more or less of an increase than the national average which is about equivalent to DFWs rent index. The last thing you want to do is lose money by not charging enough or not being able to find tenants at all because you are charging too much.


Consider the following:

• How do current rates compare to similar properties?
• Do your amenities justify an already high rent amount?
• What is the demand for rentals in your area?
• What are current vacancy rates?

Check Out Your Current Tenants
Increasing your rental rates will bring in more profit than anything else with your rental. However, sometimes the assurance of having a quality tenant that pays on time, causes zero trouble, and cares for your property as though it was their own, is enough of a reason not to raise the rent every chance you get.

Consider things such as:

• The last time you raised the rent on each property and which tenants felt the increase?
• How valuable your tenant is to your rental property business?
• Whether you would be willing to lose such a tenant in the case they refuse to renew due to a rent increase?
• Whether you would be willing to negotiate if your tenant contacts you about the increase?
• What the legitimate reasons are for raising the rent that you can explain to the tenant?

Check Out The Law
If the lease agreement expiration for a rental is approaching, and you are planning on raising the rent upon lease renewal, make sure to follow these important steps.

• Ensure the rent increase complies with Texas laws and you provide your current tenant with proper notice.
• Make the notice official and in writing so that both you and your tenant understand that a rent increase will be in effect come lease renewal.
• Consider a courtesy reminder via email, letter, or phone to remind your tenant the lease renewal deadline is approaching.

Surrounding Area Growth
Is your rental property in a location that is experiencing growth? Are there new shopping markets, entertainment venues, schools, and parks popping up? Are employment opportunities booming?

If so, this is a good sign that you will be successful in raising your rental rates. Though you may lose your current tenant in the process, with such growth in the surrounding area, someone else is sure to want in on your investment property.

What is Your Overall Rate of Return?
Higher rent means more money and more positive cash flow. However, sometimes increasing your rent rates brings unforeseen problems that you may not be prepared to deal with.

For example, there is always the risk that you raise the rent on a tenant that has been loyal to you for some time and decides that the increase is too much. While this opens your property up to new tenants that may be willing to pay the increased rent amount, there is no guarantee this will happen right away, even if the market, location, and economy state differently.

In the end, the decision can be difficult. Finding the balance between having a profitable rental property business and increasing your cash flow can be hard, especially if you do not think things through all the way.

If you are unsure as to whether you should increase your rental rates, talk to the most knowledgeable property management company in town – All County Property Management Group. With expertise in all things property-related, including the current market trends, the legalities behind rent increases, and the likelihood of a successful rent increase.

So, contact All County Property Management Group today and see how we can help you with your rental property needs!

Short Term Vs Long Term Rentals

While most property owners choose to offer tenants yearlong lease agreements there are those owners that prefer month-to-month lease agreements instead. But why?

If you are curious about the pros and cons of month-to-month lease agreements vs a yearlong, and questioning what the better option is for you and your property then continue reading below.

Typically, when you are discussing lease options your most common option would be a 12-month lease with the option to renew close to the end of your lease term. However, a month-to-month lease is a 30 day or 1-month contract that typically renews automatically each month until the resident decides to move or the owner decides to not continue offering the lease the following month. This is generally a popular option for a tenant that may be moving to the area and just needs temporary housing until their property is available or finished.

Now, we will examine both the pros and cons of offering month-to-month lease agreements.

Pros

  • Flexibility: One of the biggest reasons property owners like to offer month-to-month lease agreements is because of the flexibility this type of lease offers both themselves and their tenants. This will give the owner and the tenants the ability to “break” the lease at any time they need.

  • No More stress about bad tenants: There is nothing worse than placing a bad tenant in your rental property. Without being tied to your typical 12-month lease, you are not required to keep them any longer than you want to. You can easily get rid of them by providing them with a 30 or 60-day non-renewal notice.

 

  • Premium Rent: Many renters are aware that choosing to go with month-to-month leases means that the rental rate will be higher each month compared to what it would be in a 12 month leased property. The premium rental rate will typically offset any cost that is occurred from changing the unit from one tenant to the next.


Cons

  • Higher turnover rate: When you have month-to-month renters you potentially could have a new renter each month. This means between each tenant you will need to get the unit ready. As we discussed above, the higher rent rate should cover these costs, however, there is always the chance that a ternate could completely destroy the property in the short time they are there. This could potentially mean paying for carpet replacement and full paint jobs versus touch-ups.

 

  • Difficulty placing new tenants: Because previous tenants only require a 30-day notice before leaving this could become a challenge when finding a new tenant to move in right away, which may mean you go a month or two without that income coming in.

 

  • More wear and tear: If you are constantly moving tenants in and out of the property, there will likely be more dings on the walls and floor from constantly moving things in and out.

 

Ultimately, owning rental property is a lot of work and full of tough decisions. Plus, Drafting, and enforcing a lease agreement can be challenging for even the most experienced property owner, regardless of whether you opt for a month-to-month or yearlong lease agreement.


There are pros and cons to both a month-to-month and a 12-month long lease agreement for your rental property, and what will work best truly depends on your needs as a property owner. However, self-managing your property does not have to be an added stress to leasing your rental.


If you are looking for guidance or need help drafting the perfect lease agreements for your month-to-month tenants or yearlong ones, contact All County Property Management Group today!

Why Landlords Shouldn’t Try to Manage Their Own Properties

Choosing to get started in the rental property industry can be an exciting time! There is so much that goes into this decision and a considerable amount of time dedicated to getting the property and business up and running.


You may be thinking that you can handle it all on your own. You may be saying you will have complete control over everything that takes place at the rental property. You probably think you will have constant contact with your tenants and have a little more cash flow by not hiring a property management company, right? 

Wrong! Managing your property on your own is NOT the best option!

We are going to discuss the reasons why you should NOT attempt to manage your own investment properties, and how handing over the reins to experts will ultimately save you time and money!


All County has the expertise.

The ins and outs of property management can be tricky. And without knowing the laws and how the whole process works you could run the risk of:

  • Hiring fly by night vendors to make repairs
  • Using ineffective advertising techniques
  • Violate fair housing laws
  • Improperly screen potential tenants
  • Implement poor rent collection policies

 

Property management is a business.

As your number of properties increases so do your responsibilities. Some aspects of your life may need to be placed on the back burner such as your job, family, social life, free time, etc… Are you willing to adjust your priorities?

 

Customer service makes a difference.

Customer service is a vital component in gaining and retaining residents.  If you are not the type of person who wants to deal with the headaches that come with evictions, complaints, and maintenance requests, you should not manage your own rental properties.

 

More Convincing 

For those of you that are still hesitant about handing over the work to a property management company:

  • The location of your properties span far and wide, requiring extensive travel commitments
  • The condition of your property is not pristine, which means repair requests may be regular and often-occurring
  • You are unsure how to add extra curb appeal to your properties to attract high-quality tenants
  • You don’t know how to draft legally compliant lease agreements

 

Altogether, hiring a property management company such as All County Property Management Group to manage your DFW rental properties far outweighs the benefits that come with managing properties on your own.

In addition, services such as tenant screening, vacancy advertisement, lease drafting, and round-the-clock emergency maintenance line, plus in-depth knowledge of the DFW market. This and much more is what All County Property Management Group provides their property owners.