Quality Rental Homes Command Top Dollar

As we move into the peak home rental season in Ventura County, it is apparent to me there is a lack of quality rental property available. I took some clients who were relocating out this past week. We looked at 12 units  around the Newbury Park -Thousand Oaks area. I came to the following conclusion, most of the units priced below $2500.00 were in poor shape, dirty, old and dated. Above $2500 it was a mixed bag. There were some very nice homes at or around $3000 per month. A few owners apparently sensing the scarity of supply priced their homes well above $3000. While they were nice properties they are not worth $3200-3500 per month. Many of these units leased last year for $2800 per month.  Is scarcity driving up prices or is inflation showing up in the rental housing market as well.

For any owners reading this post I can’t stress enough how important is is to provide tenant’s a unit that is clean and move-in ready. I saw properties with dirty carpets, sinks, ovens etc. Why do people think they can stick up a for rent sign and command top dollar.  Fifty percent of the properties we saw were in need of repairs and or upgrades. Do yourself a favor, clean it, fix it, then list it.  By listing a property before it is ready you will only scare away potential renters. Think of it this way, when you go on vacation and stay in a hotel, they provide you a clean fresh room. If they didn’t, you would promptly complain and leave to find a clean room somewhere else. In all likelihood this would be the lasting impression you have of this hotel, DIRTY!!! Never to return again.

One property we saw in a very nice neighborhood was listed for $2800. It has been on the market for 80+ days. The carpets were filthy, the oven and kitchen were disgusting. The master bath had cigarette butts in the sink and the toilets were very dirty. This home should easily lease for $2700 to $2800 per month. This owner has lost $7,000 in revenue. If he put that same money into the home he could have had it leased in less than a week.  Leasing a home is a business, treat it like one and you will be rewarded.

What to do if your house foreclosures

1)      Wait for the bank to get in touch with you. If you have not been contacted within two weeks you should contact the bank. They will probably have a Realtor contact you if the house went back to the bank. Otherwise the new owner may contact you.

2)      Generally when the property goes back to the bank they will have a Realtor contact you. They may offer you money (cash for keys) to get out of the property by a certain date.

3)      If you agree to the cash for keys they will make you sign an agreement stating that you will vacate the property by a certain date and that you will not take any fixtures (stove, dishwasher etc) with you. They will also have you sign a W9. Remember you will be taxed on the money you get from the bank. They will send you a 1099 at the end of the tax year.

4)      The bank starts the eviction procedure as soon as they file the unlawful detainer. Even if you agree to the cash for keys they will continue to go ahead with the eviction process. When you leave the property and they give you the cash for keys the eviction process is stopped. You can be evicted as soon as 30 days after the unlawful detainer is filed.  Remember it will make it more difficult to find a rental in the future if you have an eviction on your credit

The bank has filed a notice of default on your property, What next?

Once a Notice of Default has been filed, the foreclosure process officially begins. Which means you have 90 days before the bank will foreclose on your property. Within this 90 day period, you may pay the amount in default and stop the foreclosure.

You must decide quickly what plan of action to take and understand the effect of the decisions you make. You might consider obtaining a loan modification under President Obama’s Making Homes Affordable Program. Under this program, there are opportunities to modify or refinance your mortgage to make your monthly payments more affordable. Unfortunately, this measure is not always enough to save your property. [Read more...]