Month: June 2013

Birmingham Investors: Is Now the Time to Sell?


Matthew Whitaker - Sunday, June 23, 2013

If you are like most investors that have purchased distressed properties, such as foreclosures, over the last few years while these homes could be obtained below market value, then you are more than likely wondering if now is a good time to sell a home.

Although home prices are rising throughout the country, including in the Birmingham area, it may be best to hold on to your investment property just a little while longer if you are looking to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Investor Confidence is Rising

Redfin conducted a survey that found that 54% of real estate agents said that now is a good time to sell a home in 2012. In comparison, the number increased to 82% this year. On the other hand, a Fannie Mae survey revealed that only 40% of those surveyed think that now is a good time to sell a property.

Although investment confidence is increasing and the real estate market is progressing toward recovery, it is essential to note that most real estate market experts expect home prices to continue to rise throughout the remainder of 2013 and throughout the foreseeable future. Therefore, if you have an investment property, then it may be better if you rent the property for a little while longer before trying to flip the home for a profit.

Choose Between Being a Landlord or Hiring a Property Manager

If you decide to rent the property, then you then have to choose whether you would like to be a landlord or if you would rather hire property managers in Birmingham, AL to manage your property for you.

Being a landlord is time consuming and is ideal for those who are sincerely interested and enjoy the tasks associated with everything from tenant selection and rent collection to addressing maintenance requests. On the other hand, if you are not interested in being a landlord then hire a property manager to take care of the day-to-day matters while you focus on doing what you love.

If you choose to hire a Birmingham, AL property manager, then make sure you ask the right questions to ensure that you are selecting a company with a solid reputation and experience with the local real estate market.

In conclusion, now is a much better time to sell a home than over the last few years; however, with home prices continuing to rise investors may wish to turn their properties into Birmingham rental homes and wait a little longer before putting the property on the market.

Real Estate Investing: Do You Want to Be a Landlord?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When it comes to real estate investing, especially in the current real estate market, house flipping is not always your best option. In fact, many investors are choosing to buy now and hold onto the property until home prices appreciate – which is expected over the coming years.

What are the most sophisticated investors doing in this market? They have determined that a “buy and hold” strategy is their best option. The question you have to answer is, is it your best option to start seeing an immediate return on your investment?

Here are some thoughts to consider when you are deciding your best strategy:

Property Managers – The Property Owner’s Best Friend

Being a landlord involves everything from screening and selecting tenants to managing the property on a daily basis. What if you have an investment property but you simply are not interested in being a landlord? Fortunately, you can simply hire a property manager to do the work for you while you focus your time, energy, and efforts elsewhere – allowing the property managers to handle the day-to-day aspects of being a landlord.

The Math of Real Estate Investing

On the other hand, if you are looking to purchase real estate for the purpose of turning these properties into rentals, then you should first make sure your finances are in order.

First, it is pertinent that you secure funding before making the investment. How will you purchase the investment property? If not by cash, then obtain a pre-approval before even searching for investment properties.

Second, use an income calculation spreadsheet to determine if you are financially ready to be a property owner. Include the cost of hiring property managers into this equation if you are not interested in being a landlord.

Finally, if you have determined that you are financially ready to be a property owner then start searching for the perfect investment property.

At the end of the day, property ownership can be a very rewarding industry. Even if you do not want to be a landlord, you can still be a property owner and allow property managers to do the managing for you.

Do you have a Birmingham investment property and are looking for Birmingham, AL property managers? If so, then contact gkhouses.com today at 205.940.6363 and allow us to manage your properties.

Hiring a Property Manager? Ask the Right Questions


Matthew Whitaker - Friday, June 14, 2013

When hiring a property manager or property management company to manage your rental properties, it is essential that you find a property manager that you trust. Look at the property manager search process as an interview – asking the right questions can help you select a property management company that you can trust.

Below are some essential questions to ask when hiring a property manager.

What is your property management experience in my area?

One of the first questions you should ask when doing your research revolves around the company’s experience in your specific area. It is important to understand that not every rental market is the same; therefore, you should find a property management company that specializes in your area – a company that knows the local rental market.

What are your fees?

Another important part of learning about property managers is finding out their fee structure for managing your property. Part of learning about the fee structure also involves determining which types of services you are getting for the price. For example, two companies may cost the same with one company providing more and/or better services than the other.

What is your educational and training background?

The last thing you want to do is hire a property management company that does not have the training and background needed to effectively manage your property. You should even inquire if the company has experience managing the type of property you are looking to have managed. Ask as many questions as you need to ensure that you are comfortable with the background of the company you are considering hiring.

What is your reference list and can I contact them?

When it comes to hiring others, we tend to make a hiring decision without contacting those who have experience working with the company – this is a fatal mistake. Make sure you request a reference list and contact at least one or two people who have worked with this company to obtain vital information that can help you make the hiring decision.

At the end of the day, when hiring a property manager make sure you research the company and ask essential questions to ensure you are making a smart hiring decision.

If you are looking for property managers in Birmingham, AL then contact gkhouses.com to learn more about how we can help you by managing your Birmingham rental houses.

Birmingham: A Thriving City with Exceptional Taste


Matthew Whitaker - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Back in the 1960s, when Birmingham was at the center of the Civil Rights movement (and not in a good way), nobody would have projected that the city would be where it is today – thriving.

The city has moved from its not-so-great past to an incredible city with an active nightlife, beautiful city views, and urban appeal. In fact, one of the best things about living in or visiting Birmingham is the amazing food and nationally-known chefs that have decided to call Birmingham “home.”

Furthermore, the city is growing with its new baseball stadium for its minor league team – the Birmingham Barons – and the planned housing developments nearby.

In short, Birmingham is a relatively progressive city that is flourishing and is therefore becoming an interest to investors and families alike.

The Birmingham, AL Real Estate Market

In addition to the variety of things that continues to draw people to the city, Birmingham’s real estate market is picking up with rising home sales and increasing home prices – as the city recovers from the real estate market crash that affected the entire country.

However, there are still great Birmingham investment properties that are ideal for those looking to purchase income properties and turn them into Birmingham, AL rental homes. With the University of Alabama at Birmingham and several other colleges nearby, there is always a demand for rental properties.

With the still-low home prices and appealing mortgage rates, now is a great time to find affordable investment properties, especially since home prices are expected to continue to rise throughout the future.

If you have a Birmingham rental property but you are not interested in being a landlord, then turn to gkhouses.com. Allow us to manage your property so you can focus your efforts on doing what you love. Call 205.940.6363 today to learn more about how Birmingham, AL property managers can help you.

The Investors Dream: Rising Home Prices with Record Low Mortgage Rates


Matthew Whitaker - Friday, June 7, 2013

The current real estate market is an investor’s dream – home prices are rising and are expected to continue to increase for the near term and mortgage rates remain low. Specifically, the S&P / Case-Shiller index recently reported that home prices are up 10.9% from March 2012 to March 2013 – a significant increase that has not been seen since 2006, before the real estate market crash.

There are many reasons for these rising home prices, including the decline of foreclosures and other distressed properties from the market (which drive down home prices) and a strengthening national housing market and economy.

Locally, the Birmingham, AL real estate market is seeing positive signs of recovery as well. Specifically, Birmingham, AL is experiencing an increase in home sales and home prices.

What does all of this mean for Alabama investors? Now is the time to invest in real estate.

Birmingham, AL Investment Properties

Many real estate investors are taking advantage of still-low home prices and record-low mortgage rates by purchasing investment properties. However, many of these investors are wishing to hang onto these properties until the market picks back up so that they can flip these properties for a higher return on their investment.

As a result, many investors are turning these investment properties into Birmingham, AL rental houses – allowing them to receive a nice monthly return on their investment. In order to avoid being a landlord, these same investors are turning to property managers to manage these properties so they can focus their efforts on doing what they love – finding and buying investment properties.

If you are a real estate investor who is looking for property managers in Birmingham, AL, then turn to gkhouses.com. Learn more about how a property manager can help you with your rental property.