A/C Maintenance Can Save You Money

Sources: Canady’s/ Reality Times/ Atlantic Refrigeration

It’s easy to assume your HVAC system is in good condition until, until your unit unexpectedly breaks down. By performing seasonal services to your HVAC system not only will that increase the efficiently, but also saves you money on utility bills. From having seasonal maintenance done you can reduce the number of repairs, reduced energy & utility bills, an increased lifespan of the unit, and lowers the chances of a future breakdown.

While it’s best to have maintenance done twice a year in Spring and Fall or every six months. If you can only afford to have it done once a year, or decide one is enough, Spring is the best time. You can expect the professional to start at reviewing the thermostat and ensuring its good, then move to the air conditioner system itself. They will clean all parts needed and check refrigerant and coolant levels. They will also check all areas to ensure no buildup or problems that may hinder performance.

By performing seasonal maintenance on you’re A/C system you’ll be able to detect small problems before they’re a real issue. While most companies charge $75-100 for a check up on your unit having to hire someone to come out when there’s an immediate issue could be upwards of $140-250 an hour. An emergency call could cost the same as a two-time seasonal maintenance.

Having the proper maintenance done before Spring and Winter to your HVAC system can decrease your utility bills. Over time your system accumulates dirt and dust, which can negatively affect its efficiency. With excess build up of dirt and dust your unit may under perform, but with seasonal maintenance this can be avoided and increase the air quality within the home.

In the long run regular maintenance has been proven to extend the life of your unit up to five years longer. Having a broken system will not only malfunction or not be efficient but will cause unplanned costs and services.

Every homeowner hopes for their system to work for around 10 years or more. A neglected system will be less effective and more likely to malfunction sooner. By keeping your system maintained you can have peace of mind knowing it’ll be running efficiently.

How To Decide Where To Invest

Source: Forbes

Real Estate and Rental trends are always changing making it challenging to determine where to invest. Not only has the real estate market been almost too hot to touch the past year but there has been more people moving out of larger cities into smaller towns or suburbs. Like New York City saw 56% of residents move away from the city in 2021.

College towns and single-family homes both have their pros and cons. Understanding the type of tenant you want to rent too is another consideration. College towns have an influx of renters constantly, stable rent prices but property appreciation at the same time, usually parents co-sign giving a constant cash flow. The downside to investing in a college town is the tenant turnover rate is a lot higher due to off-season during school.

As for single-family homes you’ll most likely be left with longer term tenants. Homes that are well maintained tend to hold their resale value better. Compared to apartment buildings or multi-family homes a detached single-family home can have lower property taxes. These can cost less to manage since there aren’t as many tenants moving in and out there will be less repairs.

When looking for new investments you may run across urban and suburban property locations. When investing in an urban area you have a constant influx of renters, attractive amenities, shorter vacancies, potential tax breaks for historic properties (The Rehabilitation Tax Credit). The downside can be a higher crime rate, and hard to find parking.

Investing in the suburb or single-family home areas usually gives lower tenant turnover, a more affordable market, less wear and tear, lower crime rates, and more family friendly locations. There is less risk involved and higher quality tenants in these areas. Many are located near good schools which is what tenants look for.

Locations with good job growth opportunities attract new tenants as well. Areas with large companies moving to the area give signs workers will flock there. Although that doesn’t tell if the home value will increase or decrease the number of tenants looking for a place to rent will increase. Ocala Fl is a great example of this due to large companies like Amazon, FedEx, AutoZone, Chewy moving in and creating thousands of jobs.

A good combination of goals and the understanding of the positives and negatives of investing in certain areas will help produce a higher ROI wherever you buy. Thanks to property management companies we make it possible to invest in real estate anywhere.

How To Avoid Major Foundation Issues

Source: Realtor Magazine

Water is not always good. Water can enter a home from the exterior and interior, both buyers and homeowners should keep their eyes open to some of these signs or issues. The first step in keeping your home water resistant is to protect the outside. Here’s a few things to look for:

  • Keep large trees or plants further away from the house. Large trees can ruin water lines and the foundation of the home from the roots. If this problem occurs the tree or plant will likely need to be removed by a specialist. Keep in mind the best time to remove these plants are during the winter months when they are dormant.
  • Installing Gutters is another water to move water away or off the house. Having gutters and downspouts installed will ensure that rainwater is disbursed far away from the house to cause no roof or foundation problems. Keep in mind for gutters and downspouts to continue working efficiently they need to be cleaned time to time.
  • Understand why patio floors or interior floors may start to slant. This could be two things, an older house settling, or water being trapped underneath the flooring. If the floor or patio was once level and now slants this could be due to water damage. Inside flooring like carpet, tiles, wood, can be removed and replaces. Outside patios would need to be removed and have a drainage system installed, or a membrane to insure a long-lasting patio.

The good news is there’s plenty of experts that can help if these issues occur. Even with no issues homeowners should start by doing everything possible on the outside of a home to correct these problems or divert water away.

What You Need To Know About Mortgages

Source: Forbes

Whether you’re a buyer or investor you’ll want to know the up to date and different types of mortgages, the qualifications, and the benefits. Here’s the three most common mortgages:

Fixed-Rate mortgages offer the same interest over the loans entire life. This means the monthly payments are always going to be the same. These mortgages come in 10,15,20,30 years. Fixed-rate mortgages do come with the highest interest rates with the most common loan products.

Adjustable-Rate are mortgages that have a fluctuating interest rate. These usually are listed for 5, 7, or 10 years. These usually offer a fixed rate period upfront before the interest rate resets, usually including a cap on how much your interest can adjust and how often. Adjustable rates can be 0.5 to 1% lower than a fixed rate loan.

Interest-Only loans are where the borrower only pays the interest on the loan, not the principal, for a set amount of time, usually 5-7 years. At any time, the borrower can make a large payment towards the principal with no payment penalty. As long as your real estate property has appreciated by 12%, you’ll be ahead with the minimum interest-only payment.

Qualifications vary depending on each mortgage loans. Usually, the riskier the loan the tougher the qualifications are. An interest-only loan will usually require higher credit scores, higher income levels, and more cash compared to a traditional loan. The most important thing to do up to a year in advance is to pay off credit card balances, make on time payments, avoid any other major purchases before the loan.

Rental Market Update

Every one of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas has seen month-over-month rent growth. This has been occurring the past 5 months. Zillow data shows the national increase as well, up an average of 11.5% or $200, compared to last year. Some single-family suburbs and neighborhoods have been seeing price spikes from 15-21%.

Home prices first spiked after the pandemic due to everyone entering back in the market at once. While the renter market is slower paced and took longer for the surge of renters to come back in the market. The increase of people moving is causing increased demand in both rent and homes since there is a limited supply helping inflate these prices.

Many view renting as a steppingstone to home ownership. This past year many people are moving from cities into suburbs and smaller towns. The main reason for this is due to the price’s cities are charging for rent and homes prices many can’t afford so are forced to relocate. This causes an increase in demand for rentals and homes when’s there’s not enough supply to keep up. Vacancy rates are at historical lows and have shrunk 36% this year. Currently only 3.8% of rentals are still vacant.

All of this is accompanied by seasonal trends, summer is known for a hotter market and higher growth for rentals. Entering fall and winter this tends to slow down and rentals aren’t in such of a hurry. The resumption of evictions could cause a reduction of price pressure by opening up new vacancies. Prices of course will be higher going into 2022 then they were entering 2021.