Month: January 2019

What do property managers in Chattanooga do?


Alex Smith - Friday, January 18, 2019

What do property managers in Chattanooga do?

Alex Smith here from gkhouses, Chattanooga with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “What do property managers in Chattanooga do?”

The short answer? We do all the stuff that you don’t want to do or that you might be tired of doing if you are self-managing your home right now.

To break this answer down, we handle the entire life cycle a house goes through.

Marketing

While the house is vacant, a property manager should shine at marketing. We put the house on websites that will maximize leads. We manage those leads, drive prospects to view the house, and push them to fill out applications.

Our job is then to find a good tenant, to vet them properly, and to make sure they will pay rent on time.

When an owner self-manages, many tend to fall victim to stories the tenant fabricates. A property manager will have more resistance to such traps.

Managing a Tenant

Once we lease a house, the next step is managing the tenant.

If for some reason a tenant is late on a payment, which is sometimes inevitable, we handle all the communication involved in collecting the rent due from the tenant every month.

Accounting

Another thing your property manager does is accounting.

We keep precise exact accounting record of what money comes in and what it is spent on, such as maintenance.

We make this available to our owners in twice monthly owner statements.

Maintenance

The last piece is managing maintenance. If you have ever managed a rehab or worked with vendors of any kind, you probably know how much of a pain this can sometimes be.

We are here for peace of mind. We have in-house vendors (gk employees that do maintenance for us), and we handle third-party maintenance. We handle all of it for you!

 

Sometimes this process can get messy, but that’s what we’re here for! Our job is to make your life easier. For more information, you can check out the benefits of property management!

When do you send owner statements in Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How often do you send out owner statements in Chattanooga?

Alex Smith here from gkhouses in Chattanooga with another edition of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is “When do you send owner statements in Chattanooga?”

The answer is pretty simple and straight forward. At gk, we send them out twice a month.

The first round goes out on the second Friday of every month.

The second round is the month end statement and goes out on the last day of the month. These will show any and all transactions that occurred through the course of the month.

How much should I budget for maintenance in Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How much should I budget for maintenance in Chattanooga?

Alex Smith here from gkhouses, Chattanooga, with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is “How much should I budget for maintenance in Chattanooga?”

Owners often overlook this aspect of owning a rental house, but it is vital for any due diligence process.

Two Types of Maintenance to Budget For

The first type to budget for is the smaller ticket repairs. These are repairs like replacing a fuse or a doorknob that doesn’t lock.

For small repairs like these, the rule of thumb is saving 1% of the value of the house per year.

For example, if your house is worth $150,000, you will set aside $1,500 per year to cover those smaller repairs.

Next, you should budget for the bigger items that occur in much less frequency but that are necessary to prepare for.

These items are the more capital expenditures like replacing the roof, repaving the driveway, or anything that will add value to the house.

We recommend saving 5-8% of your gross rent every month for this type of repair.

The point behind monthly budgeting is so that when any repair is needed you will not as shocked by the cost.

Repairs are inevitable, and it will give you more of a piece of mind if you already have money set aside for them.

Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule for budgeting for maintenance expenses. These are simply suggestions.

Maintenance needs vary wildly depending on the house’s location. A California house will need very different repairs than one in Florida.

Other factors to keep in mind is the house’s age and history. What kind of significant repairs were needed in the past?

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out. I would love to talk to you and answer any questions you might have.

Can I rent my Chattanooga house without allowing pets?


Alex Smith - Monday, January 7, 2019

 

Can I rent my Chattanooga house without allowing pets?

Alex Smith here, from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “Can I rent my Chattanooga house without allowing pets?””

The answer is absolutely! Ultimately, it is your house. You can decide to a certain extent what restrictions you want to place on the house.

However, about 70% of potential renters we encounter are looking to rent with an animal. By not allowing pets, you are considerably shrinking your potential renter base.

The hesitation for allowing animals is definitely understandable. Allowing someone else’s pet in your house involves a lot of risk.

One thing we do to mitigate this risk is charge a $300 nonrefundable pet fee per animal. We also place a breed restriction on dogs allowed in the house. For example, we don’t allow German shepherds, pitbulls, or any other breed that is widely considered aggressive on gk properties.

Even with a pet fee in place, you are still not 100% out of the woods if an animal causes damage to the house. Keep in mind that the tenants are held liable for any damages beyond normal wear and tear, even if they don’t have a pet.

You are also not necessarily going to recover any damages that result from a pet being in the home.

Some of our owners place other restrictions on pets. We’ve seen policies for no cats, maybe one dog, one cat, no dogs, weight limits, etc.

So there are some options there that you can do to mitigate some of your risk with having pets in the house too.

But that’s pretty much it. This is another edition of, “Questions Owners ask.” Thanks, everybody.

Can I Rent My House Furnished In Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Can I rent my house furnished in Chattanooga?

Alex Smith here from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga with another installment of “Questions Owners Ask.”  Today’s question is: Can I rent my house furnished in Chattanooga?

At first glance, offering this option is appealing. It is convenient for the tenant or potential tenants because they don’t have to move with any stuff! Everything is provided for them.

It is also convenient for you in that maybe you’re moving to a new house and you don’t want to move any of your stuff.

Moving is universally regarded as awful. As an army brat, I moved six or seven times, not including the times I’ve moved as an adult. Not wanting to move any of your stuff, is perfectly normal.

However, renting out a furnished house is much more difficult than it appears. You have to have the right kind of situation for this option to work out.

Typically, the most successful scenario for a furnished rental is when an executive individual moves into a trendy downtown condo.

The more people moving, the more increasingly difficult furnished options become. A family with children would not likely work out, but one person would find it a convenient option.

Another reason it doesn’t always work is when prospects are going in to view a house on the market. Prospects have a difficult time visualizing how to make the house their own with your furniture in place.

Tenants don’t typically want to take on the additional responsibility of somebody else’s belongings.

Again speaking from personal experience, when I move I know some things end up damaged while I live there. But when it’s my stuff, I can live with it.

Tenants might not want to take on the responsibility of somebody else’s items, and you might not want that either.

This decision is ultimately up to you. You can always try it out and see how it works. However based on my experience, I would advise against offering a furnished home in Chattanooga.