Orlando Area Property Management Blog

10 Ways Ackley FL Property Management Saves Time & Money

Agi Anderson - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

If you've owned income property for any length of time, you know that owning a rental can be financially rewarding. On the flip side, you've more than likely discovered managing property requires a large commitment of time and effort.

Typically, the do-it-yourself approach to managing property comes with a mindset of saving money. If you're handy with repairs and live close to your property, you may think devoting several hours per month to managing your property will save you money.  Following are 10 ways Ackley FL Property Management can make owning investment properties much more desirable.

  1. Setting the right rental rates: While looking through the classifieds to see what other landlords are charging for similar properties is a fine way to ballpark your rent price. Ackley FL Property Management will conduct a thorough market analysis in order to set a rental price for your property, ensuring you achieve the perfect balance between maximizing monthly income and maintaining a low vacancy rate.

  2. Collecting and depositing monthly rent payments on time: If you've ever worked in a billing department, you know that securing payment from clients can be difficult, not to mention awkward. Ackley FL Property Management  has efficient, tried-and-true systems in place to effectively collect rent and maintain on-time payments. You'll find this particularly important if you have a limited number of properties, and collecting payments on time is crucial to maintaining your cash flow.
  3. Marketing and advertising your property: Through years of experience, an Ackley FL property manager will know exactly where to market your property and how to craft compelling advertising materials---a significant advantage when it comes to filling your properties quickly and avoiding long vacancies.

  4. Finding the right tenants: Our well trained leasing agents are experts at qualifying to secure good tenants. They work closely with our application processing department  to take care of all the important details; including checking a nationwide criminal background and security checks, running credit reports, verifying employment, and collecting previous landlord references.

  5. Managing tenants: In addition to finding good tenants, an Ackley property manager will facilitate all aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship. The Ackley Maintenance Coordinator will handle both routine and emergency maintenance. Our in-house Inspection Coordinator takes care of property inspections, and manage any situations where conflict resolution is required.

  6. Managing vendor relationships: Ackley FL Property Management has long time relationships with maintenance workers, tradesmen, contractors, suppliers, and vendors that it's almost impossible for an independent landlord to duplicate. Not only we get you the best work for the best price, we'll oversee any necessary maintenance projects.

  7. Ensuring that you're in compliance with housing regulations and property laws: There are a multitude of applicable Florida laws and regulations to abide by when renting and maintaining your rental property. These include local, state and federal regulations, as well as fair housing regulations (such as the ADA).  Your Ackley property manager strives to help you avoid lawsuits by keeping your property up-to-date and in compliance with these regulations.

  8. Enabling you to invest in geographically distant properties: If you manage your own properties, you're pretty much limited to investment opportunities within a tight radius of your own home. By hiring Ackley FL Property Management, you can take advantage of investment deals in any desirable location. Lake Nona FL, which is referred to as the “medical city” is one of the best areas to be buying investment properties.

  9. Maximizing the profitability of your time: By having our Ackley property manager take care of the day-to-day aspects of running your income property, you’re free to spend your time identifying further investment opportunities or spending time as you choose.

  10. Maximizing the profitability of your money: Most property management companies charge a standard percentage of your property's monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. Ackley FL Property Management factors the number of properties being managed. We are sure you’ll agree Ackley FL Property Management earns their management fee!

 

If you own property in Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Lake Nona, Dr Phillips, Windermere or any of the surrounding Orlando FL areas, we welcome the opportunity to review how we can save you time and money, as well as expand your investment property portfolio.

Rent vs. Buy – Where Real Estate gets Personal

Web Admin - Friday, November 14, 2014
Home ownership has always been considered as the cornerstone of the American Dream. Lately however, due to the ongoing housing crisis, renting instead of buying has been on the rise. Some pundits are saying that the benefits of home ownership are declining and renting as opposed to owning is the trend of the future. People on the other side of this issue are strongly disagreeing with such statements. Regardless of which way the debate goes, let’s look at the pros and cons of both renting and buying a house.

Pros of Buying
  • You have the pride of home ownership
  • You have achieved a part of the American Dream
  • You may benefit from tax deductions that come with home ownership
  • In the long run and under normal circumstances, you may benefit financially
  • You have full freedom to paint, remodel, drill, nail, and decorate your home as per your wishes
  • You won’t feel guilty about helping your landlord payoff his/her mortgage and enjoy the benefits at your expense
  • You can have pets
  • You’ll eventually be able to pay off your mortgage and become debt free
  • It gives you satisfaction that your kids can inherit your property.
Cons of Buying
  • You will be shelling out a lot of your savings for the down payment
  • When you add property taxes, escrow and PMI (if you haven’t put 10 percent down) to your monthly mortgage payment, you’ll end up spending more than renting
  • You will be responsible for landscaping costs, home owners’ association fees and general upkeep expenses
  • Homeowner insurance is significantly higher than Renter’s insurance
  • Your appliances will eventually breakdown, requiring you to pay for repairs or replacements
  • In recessionary periods, you have the risk of significantly losing the value of your home
  • You may not be able to move easily or quickly to pursue better employment opportunities
  • You may incur additional expenses of managing and maintaining your property if you rent your house due to a forced relocation
  • The money you have spent on remodeling cannot be recouped if your house is in a down market.
Pros of Renting
  • Renting offers quick mobility and liquidity, but you lose quite a bit of freedom and you may have to make some compromises with your preferred quality of life
  • You really like the area but it is very difficult or expensive to buy a house there
  • If your rent is lower than the prevailing mortgage payments in the area, you’ll have more money for other things
  • If you have newly relocated to a town, renting for six months to a year may be a better option for you till you figure out where you want to live
  • Perhaps your personal financial situation is not healthy enough to buy a house at this time
  • May be your job requires you to stay in a city for a relatively short period of time and relocate to a different part of the country or world at a short notice
  • You may be in an area that has taken a severe beating during the recent real estate crisis, and the prices are still unstable
  • Your job situation may be shaky and even though you can afford to buy a home now, you have the freedom and peace of mind of being able to relocate quickly if need be
  • You are unsure how long you will live in the area, and it may also be very difficult to sell in that area
  • You don’t have to worry about your home losing its value drastically, leaving you with an upside down mortgage – where you owe more than the value of the house.
Cons of Renting
  • You are not building equity or assets when you rent
  • Your rent may sharply increase after your lease period ends if you are living in a high demand area
  • You like the house you are renting. But it has carpet, whereas you prefer hardwood
  • You desire to own a pet. But the landlord of the home you are renting has a no-pet policy
  • You prefer gas-based cooking, but the house you are renting has an electric stove
  • You like hanging lots of family pictures and paintings, but the home owner may restrict nailing walls
  • You have a problem with an appliance, but your landlord is not very responsive
  • You will not be able to cut a hole in a wall to conceal your home theater speakers
  • You emotionally resent the idea of helping your landlord become debt free instead of yourself
  • The owner of the home you are renting may become delinquent on the payments and the house may be foreclosed, causing you to lose your security deposit and your roof.

What Homeowners Can Do To Save On Energy Costs

Web Admin - Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Due to climbing energy costs, reducing energy consumption has become an immediate priority for many homeowners. There are a number of things homeowners can do to make significant reductions in their energy consumption without sacrificing comforts. While there is always the option to implement energy saving strategies during a remodeling job, it is possible to make immediate changes without spending a whole lot of money. Here are some tips and strategies to help cut your energy consumption and costs.

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs. This single and simple change alone could reduce the energy consumed to light your home by about 70%.

Check your home for air leaks. Areas near doors and windows are notorious for air leaks. A simple weekend job of caulking can seal most leaks. A storm door for the main entrance door and any other door that opens directly to the outside can also have a huge impact. Similarly, installing door sweeps prevents cold air from coming in and warm air from escaping.

Give your heaters and air conditioners a break on pleasant spring and fall days by opening windows. You will not only save energy costs, but this will allow you to air-out your house with some fresh air. Also consider using window films.

Get your heating and cooling equipment serviced annually. Replacing filters regularly is not only good for indoor air quality, but it also contributes to reducing energy costs.

Check for holes and tears in your ducts and if you find any, seal them with mastic or metal foil tape.

Program your thermostats to reduce the heating and cooling requirements of floors that are not used much during days or nights. Set your thermostats to 78 degrees in summer (80 – 83 if you are away) and 68 degrees in winter (65 at night).

Using drapes in extremely sunny rooms in summer will help you keep the house cooler by retaining cold air longer, which means the air conditioner doesn't have to burn more energy to maintain the desired temperature.

Check the insulation in the attic. A properly insulated attic will keep the house warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The attic must also have proper ventilation to allow natural airflow, which keeps the roof deck cool and dry. An attic vent fan can be used for this purpose. According to the U.S. Depart of Energy (DOE), homeowners can save up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs by ensuring their homes are properly insulated.

Many appliances and electronics consume electricity even they are not being used.  Such phantom loads can be avoided by unplugging toasters, coffee makers, computer monitors, TVs and other home electronics. To avoid the nuisance of unplugging and plugging daily, consider hooking these devices into power strips. You’ll be able to cut off power to several devices at once by flipping the off switch on the power strip.

If you plan to replace your old appliances, buy ones with high Energy Star ratings. These use less electricity and water. For example, front-loading washers use 50-70 percent less energy and 30-60 percent less water than traditional top-loading washers. The savings from these efficient appliances will quickly become noticeable.

Adopting newer technologies can also contribute to energy savings. Solar thermal water heating is gaining momentum. Similarly, if you have a huge backyard you may look into wind generated electricity by installing small windmills. The early adopters are helping in driving down the costs of many of these alternate energy sources.

Many federal and state tax credits and rebates are available for replacing your old appliances with newer, more efficient ones. One such incentive is the Get Energy Smart Retrofit Program, which is a result of collaboration between the U.S. DOE and Florida’s Sarasota County. It is important to know that many of these initiatives have limited funds and they are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visit these links for more energy saving tips and strategies:
http://www.energy.gov/yourhome.htm
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.es_at_home_tips
http://www.scgov.net/retrofit/Default.asp

To Buy or Rent - Now's the Time to Follow the American Dream

Web Admin - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

When the U.S. housing market crashed in 2006 it was considerably cheaper to rent a house than buy it. Today, the reverse is true in a lot of states, particularly seven of them which were impacted the most when the housing bubble burst. These include Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Illinois, New York and New Jersey.

So what does this mean? Is the pendulum swinging back to where buying a house is now a cheaper option than renting it? Does this also mean that many Americans who had deleted home ownership from their "American Dream list" can now put it back on the list? Let's take a closer look and try to answer these questions.

Let's start by highlighting some facts. Home prices are dropping, interest rates are at their lowest levels and the cost of renting is rising. Rental costs have steeply increased in many metro regions of various states, especially the group of seven hardest hit states mentioned above. In many communities where home values have dropped by 30% or more, renters with good credit find it more beneficial financially to own the home they currently rent, for which they are shelling out a lot of dough each month.

A recent study by Deutsche Bank further solidifies the case for buying instead of renting. On an average, Americans are now paying 9.8% of their incomes to own their homes after paying mortgage, property taxes and insurance payments. This, according to the study is down from 17.2% at the peak of the housing bubble. The study also highlights the fact that in 28 of the nation's 54 major housing markets, paying mortgage on a house, along with most other costs of owning it is now cheaper than renting the same house.

So if you are currently renting a house or an apartment and if your credit is really good, now may be your best opportunity to consider home ownership.

It may be a good idea for you to talk to a Realtor from Ackley Florida Property Management or Coldwell Banker Ackley Realty to determine how much you would be paying to buy a home that's comparable to the one you are renting at present. You can also visit a few open houses that are within your price range in areas you would like to live. A Coldwell Banker Ackley Realty Realtor can give you the approximate monthly payments you can expect to make, including mortgage, real estate taxes, utilities and homeowner's insurance.

The next step is to figure out the total monthly renting costs you are incurring. This includes the monthly rent plus maintenance fees, renter's insurance, and any mandatory charges. You can use this as a basic benchmark to help your decision making process.

You can also talk to your local credit union, bank or a mortgage lender to find out interest rates, application fees, loan origination fees, closing costs, and other costs that you may be paying to acquire a mortgage.

In conclusion, if you are sitting on the fence and trying to decide if this is the right time to buy, you may want to consider pulling the trigger, given the prevailing trends and patterns of increasing rental costs, deflated home values and the availability of historically low interest rates. But be sure to consider your local housing market conditions. You may be in a depressed macro market, but there may be pockets of micro markets within that region where homes may not have lost a lot of value. It is important to remember that all real estate is local and with some homework and help from a local real estate agent, you can bring your American Dream to fruition.

Owning versus Renting in Central Florida

Web Admin - Friday, August 15, 2014
Owning a home, a goal sought by most people, makes up the biggest slice of the “American Dream” pie.  Buying a home has lots of advantages, both emotional and financial. Owners get a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment when they move into their own home, regardless of whether it is their first home or not. Under normal economic conditions, owning a home also makes financial sense. The annual interest paid on the mortgage is tax deductible, and the owners build equity over a period of time. Renting, on the other hand, does not provide any tax breaks or the opportunity to build equity.

However, during economic downturns such as the current recession, jobs are shaky, money is tight, and consumer confidence is low. In such bleak times, home ownership typically goes south and the number of people renting versus owning goes up. Since owning a home is considered the biggest investment an individual makes in their lifetime, renting a house becomes a popular option during tough because of the flexibility it offers to people as they may be required to relocate quickly in search of a new or better paying job.

Last month, Trulia, a website for homebuyers, sellers and renters, released its latest Rent vs. Buy (RVB) Index which found that it is now more affordable to buy than to rent a two-bedroom home in 72 percent of America’s 50 largest cities. Ironically, despite being a buyers’ market, more Americans are choosing to rent either by choice or because of financial troubles. Buyer hesitation continues, even as foreclosures continue to rise. Industry analysts expect renting to become more common for the foreseeable future because in addition to potential buyers, former homeowners are also flooding the rental market.

Realtors may consider it a sliver of good news to learn that according to the RVB Index, renting is only less expensive than buying in four of the cities included in the study – namely New York, Seattle, Kansas City and San Francisco. The remaining 10 cities are locations where buying may still be a financially sound long-term decision despite the relative affordability of renting. Other than investors, lifelong renters are the only ones cashing in on the opportunity to become homeowners.

Many cities in Florida and parts of Central Florida that are overwhelmed by foreclosure filings and unemployment continue to favor prospective buyers not only in terms of affordability, but also in terms of availability.

Understanding the Second-Home Market

Web Admin - Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Second and vacation homes have been one of the silver linings in the otherwise bleak, current housing market. This part of the housing industry was devastated by the housing crash. It is slowly beginning to show signs of improvements, particularly in places like Miami and Las Vegas, where bargain hunters are cherry picking some of the best deals in the country.

In order to clearly understand the drivers behind the second home sales, we have to go back to the mid 2000’s. This segment peaked in 2005 when approximately one million second/vacation homes were sold nationwide. The sales continued to decline for the next few years due to the chain of crisis and events that continued to plague the housing market. Also, most people who wanted a second home had bought one prior to 2005. Since then, there has been a glut of properties on the market. However, this sector started making a comeback in early 2009, and by the end of that year, about half a million second/vacation homes were sold.

So what’s behind the recent surge of second home sales?

Ironically, many of the sellers are second homeowners themselves. Most of these sellers bought their second homes at the peak of the real estate boom.  High mortgage payments and depreciated home values are some of the motives to sell their second homes.

Baby boomers, who have been dominating the U.S. real estate market for many years are the ones primarily fueling this new buying trend. Between 2005 and now, there have been five more years of baby boomers entering the market who under normal market conditions would have already purchased a second home.

Almost 4 out of 5 boomers own primary homes. Many are now regarding investment in a second home as a long-term strategy to diversify their portfolios. Conversely, the new generation of second home buyers now has multiple advantages such as low interest rates, abundant supply and choices, and home prices that are well below the normal market prices.

In 2009, vacation and second home sales outpaced the sales of primary residences and investment homes. There are several reasons for this. While the sales of primary homes have been declining over the past few years, the expiration of tax credits has slowed it further to a crawl. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are three factors benefiting the second and vacation home sales: increased interest from foreign buyers, improvement in the stock market and easier availability of jumbo mortgages.

Investors from Europe and Canada have been taking advantage of the current buying opportunities in droves. Analysts expect investors and institutional buyers of second homes from the emerging economies of China, India and Brazil to also stake a claim to the tremendous buying opportunities in the U.S.

Experts caution that it is too early to rejoice. While the market for second and vacation homes has certainly improved, any new wrinkles in the U.S. and European financial markets could derail this train.








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Ackley Florida Property Management, Inc.
22 W Monument Ave
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407.846.8846

Ackley Florida Property Management, Inc.
22 W Monument Ave • Kissimmee, FL 34741 • Phone: 407.846.8846

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