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Turbo Tax Simplifies Tax Filing For Those With Rental Properties - 02/28/10 01:18 AM
Owning rental property may push you into the feeling that you must hire a CPA to do your taxes. I personally like to work the numbers myself. I have found that Turbo Tax is a great way to take care of this tax business. I made one change this year. Instead of going to a software store, I signed on to Turbo Tax online at TurboTax.com. Here you can see the various programs and purchase the one that is right for you. An added feature of doing it online is that during the initial "interview" the program will encourage you to (3 comments)
#67 - 02/27/10 12:55 AM
It is Friday, time for a joke. A new prisoner entered the crowded jail cafeteria and sat down along with the other inmates waiting for lunch. Across the room one of the inmates stood up and yelled, #45. Everyone laughed. A moment later a different inmate on the opposite side of the room stood up and yelled, #32. Again, everyone laughed. The new prisoner was confounded. He asked the guy next to him what was going on. The inmate explained that they had all been there so long, that they had numbered the many jokes they all knew. Instead of delivering (8 comments)
How Often Should You Inspect Your Rental House? - 02/26/10 01:11 AM
It is my opinion that you should have a plan and be open to changing it as facts present themselves. Upon move in of a new tenant you should inspect the property and photopraph or video tape the interior, exterior, and yard, front and back. During the tenancy the occupant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the home. In California, there are limited reasons that an owner can enter the property for. These include doing necessary and agreed upon repairs, appraisals and sales acitivity, and emergencies. I do suggest that you get into your property at least annually do see how (4 comments)
HomePointe Propery Management Managing Agent to Out-of-State Owner-Client Important Tax Informatio - 02/24/10 11:19 PM
Beginning January 1, 2010, California law requires, with some exceptions, anyone who lives outside of California and who owns rental property in this state to pay a quarterly withholding credit on any rents collected. As your contracted management company, HomePointe Property Management is mandated by law to withhold 7 percent if you live in the United States but not in California, or 9.55% if you live out of the country of the rents we collect on your behalf and to send those funds to the Franchise Tax Board each quarter. The law may not apply to you, and in that case, (1 comments)
Rekey Your Rental Vacancy Between Tenants - 02/24/10 11:05 PM
At HomePointe Property Management in Sacramento, we suggest every vacancy be rekeyed between every tenant. There are a couple of reasons for this. The number one reason is to provide a secure home for your new tenant. There is no sure way to know if the past tenant kept a key, gave a copy to someone, or lost one. Even if you got back every key you originally gave them, who knows if there is a key out there that the past tenant made. The bad news would be if there is an unforced breakin shortly after the new tenant moves (3 comments)
Owning Rentals Is Best Done With Patience - 02/24/10 12:47 AM
Over the years I have seen many property owners panic over their vacancies. Many owners quickly lose the ability to make good decisions and look for the easiest way to stop the bleeding. They also do not want to lower the rent, that means they made a mistake in pricing the property, or that it will be tougher to pay the bills into the future. No one wants to admit to the first, and owners don't want cash flow problems. The knee jerk response is to drop their guard and take the first application they are lucky enough to get. This (2 comments)
James makes a good point with his blog about saying thank you. Make it a priority to thank those you come in contact with.
Via James Safonov Property Manager Natomas Roseville, Antelope, Sacramento, W. Sac. (Homepointe Property Management): I recently received an unsolicited thank you from a happy client that made me feel very good. In reflecting back on the exchange, I am much more moved by the fact it was completely unexpected. As professionals we are expected to be just that--a professional. The extent of positive feedback we experience is recurring business....a returning client. My thoughts are we can take (2 comments)
Three Percent Independent Contractor Withholding Has Stalled in California Legislature UPDATE - 02/21/10 02:21 PM
As of today, legislators have not moved this proposal, and it appears to be stalled as a result of the overwhelming opposition. The proposal provided that all business owners – including rental property owners and management companies - must hold three-percent of all payments owed to independent contractors and send those dollars to the Franchise Tax Board as an advance payment for the contractor’s taxes. Similar proposals had been vetoed by the Governor in the past who stated, “It punishes Californians by raising revenue without providing permanent and ongoing cuts, does not create jobs or stimulate our economy, (and) does not (3 comments)
Does An Ad in the Newspaper Rent Houses? PART 2 - 02/19/10 12:19 AM
Earlier this month I posed this question since at HomePointe we continue to use some newspaper ads, almost exclusively a full page ad in the Saturday Sacramento Bee Real Estate Section. The past two weekends we surveyed 64 rental prospects during weekend vacancy showings. This is what we came up with: How did you find out about this showing? HomePointe website 9% Craigslist 28% Google Search 6% Rentals.com 11% Returning Customer 6% Sign 2% Sacramento Bee (newspaper) 9% It appears that newspaper ads do have a place in our market. It has been my experience over the years that the (1 comments)
The Lessons of Socialism Are Learned The Hard Way - 02/18/10 11:31 AM
I found this story and thought it was interesting: An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A... After the (13 comments)
Camellia Walforf School Saves a Bug - 02/18/10 01:18 AM
I have blogged before that I am coaching the 8th grade boys basketall team at Camellia Waldorf Elementary School in the Land Park/Freeport neighborhood. It is located in the Lanai Shopping Center. I use Shopping Center generously as it is a very small old one. Anyway, we had a playoff game tonight at a Waldorf high school. During the game one of my players knocked knees and got the worst of it. My player staggered over to the bench after falling. I talked to him for a minute to make sure he was ok. Clearly he was in pain. No one (2 comments)
What To Do If You Need A Rental House More Than A Month Away Part 1 - 02/17/10 11:58 PM
If you are looking to rent a single family home in Sacramento, Natomas, Elk Grove, or just about anywhere else, you will find an inventory of homes for rent by checking the internet, newspapers, and with local property management companies. What you will find is that there are properties vacant and ready for occupancy and other properties coming vacant within the next 30-60 days. What you will not find is an inventory of homes that are available farther out than about 30-60 days. There is simply no way an owner of a rental property knows for sure that a property will (1 comments)
Rental Market Update For 1st Quarter 2010 - 02/15/10 09:58 PM
In a previous blog I provided the link to our rent survey. The rental market is recovering from a slow winter. At HomePointe we rented 68 properties in January which is 8 over our goal and 18 over our historic average. Inventories of vacant single family home rentals have fallen which is a contributing factor to the stronger demand for what is now on the market. The next phase should witness increasing rents, but it will probably be moderate due to he struggling economy. Vacancy rates have dipped below 5% at HomePointe. The Sacramento Bee has reported that investors are purchasing (2 comments)
Valentines Dinner Finishes With A Prayer - 02/15/10 12:19 AM
My brother in law and I took our wives, both of our mothers, one of my sons, my sister, and a cousin to dinner this evening to celebrate Valentines Day. The Outback Restaurant on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove was crowded, but we had called in the day before for a quasi reservation. The lady had told me on the phone that Outback does not do reservations, but that by calling I would get some consideration if we got there before 6 pm. So we arrived at 5:25 pm and were promptly seated. Bad economy? Not at this location tonight. It (5 comments)
HomePointe Property Management Rent Survey for 1st Quarter 2010 is Available - 02/13/10 11:43 PM
Each quarter HomePointe Property Management publishes it's rent survey covering the entire Sacramento Region. The survey can assist you in determining the rent range for your property. We suggest you consider the average rent in most cases as a starting point for your rental budget. At HomePointe we believe a market rent is defined by the rent rate that will achieve a qualified tenant within 30 days. (1 comments)
California Legislative Proposal Calls for Property Owners to Withhold 3% of Payments to Contractors - 02/12/10 11:24 PM
Legislative Proposal Calls for Property Owners to Withhold 3% of Payments to Contractors - Your Letters Needed The California Apartment Association in conjunction with a coalition of over 700 businesses and interest groups are working together to stop a legislative budget proposal that would require businesses to withhold 3 percent of payments owed to independent contractors. Property owners and management companies would be required to implement the withholding to all independent contractors and self-employed individuals (small and large alike). Examples of operations that will see money withheld from payments to them include: builders, painters, plumbers, gardeners, janitors, real estate agents, insurance (8 comments)
Did You Memorize Your Wedding Vows? - 02/12/10 12:03 AM
My wife and I got married a little over 30 years ago, in 1979. It seems like not so long ago, but we have a lot of good memories from our time together. When we made plans for the wedding, my wife decided that we had to memorize our vows. It was not good enough to repeat the words as spoken from the priest. I was no public speaker at that time and certainly did not want to take on that chore in front of my family, her family, and friends. Too much pressure. But, I also did not want to (4 comments)
Rental Scams Continue in Sacramento - 02/11/10 08:24 PM
Today we received a letter from a local attorney. It was addressed to a management company that as far as I know does not exist. It was mailed to the address of my company, HomePointe. What we have determined is the some scamster copied a Craigslist ad of ours and changed to their name and phone number. They most likely also changed the property address. Lucky for us since our property was not scammed, just some text from one of our ads. It appears someone paid the deposit and first months rent to the scamster. Later, the owner discovered the occupants (4 comments)
Fundraiser for Sacramento Library Foundation March 6, 2010 - 02/10/10 11:14 PM
Sacramento’s Premier Literary Event March 6, 2010 Hyatt Regency Hotel Tickets $200 Tables $1500 Doors Open: 5 p.m. Keynote Speakers: Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones, and Glen David Gold, author of Sunnyside. Make your reser vations now by calling 916.264.2711 or buy your tickets today at www.saclibraryfoundation.org (0 comments)
Sacramento Rental Housing Association Class: How to Comply with Fair Housing Laws Thursday, February 11,, 2010 - 02/10/10 12:07 AM
Learn the key fair housing laws, federal and state protected classes, prohibited activities under the fair housing laws, and the possible consequences of fair housing violations. Presented by attorney Gary Link 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the RHA office (201 Lathrop Way, Suite C, Sacramento) $29 RHA members / $49 non-members Learn the key fair housing laws, federal and state protected classes, prohibited activities under the fair housing laws, and the possible consequences of fair housing violations. Call RHA at (916) 920-1120. (1 comments)
Got a Foreclosure? We Will Rent You A House! - 02/08/10 07:33 PM
The reality is that many people got caught in the crossfire here in Sacramento and California of an overheated appreciating market. With the downturn, many have lost their original down payments and are underwater in their homes. The only way out of a huge loan payment is to short sell the home or walk away. It is my opinion that a homeowner should try to stick it out. They bought the place and if they can afford it, make the payments and continue to live in the house. Maybe a loan modification will work if the bank will listen. It is (4 comments)
What To Do When A Prospective Renter Tells You They Have Bad Credit - 02/07/10 09:56 PM
Remind yourself who you are working for. There are plenty of social services for people that truly need it. Let those agencies help them, not you. You are paid to be the gatekeeper. My approach is to tell them that we will run a credit report and that report will give us the answer. We cannot change our policies for any one person. Our client has hired us to find people that meet the criteria we have established. We do have some rentals that will take a lesser credit report or you should seek to rent from someone that has lower (6 comments)
Does An Ad in the Newspaper Rent Houses? - 02/07/10 12:01 AM
Over the years we have cut back quite a bit on our print advertising for rentals. In fact, at HomePointe Property Management in the greater Sacramento Area we take out a full page ad in the Sacramento Bee on Saturdays only. We are currently doing a market study to determine what the return is. Our preliminary results show that people are reading our ads in the Sacramento Bee Real Estate Rental Section. I will report the final results of our study in later this month. You can access the next blog here. (15 comments)
HomePointe is Showing Vacancies on Super Bowl Weekend. - 02/06/10 12:51 AM
As you can see below, we are showing property this weekend. We do stop just before kickoff time on Sunday. Come see one of our rentals this weekend. You can always see our showing schedule at our website and click on Residential Rentals. Or just go direct to our showing schedule. Saturday 2/6/2010 10:00 AM 5118 thurman way Duplex 1 sacramento $600.00 10:20 AM 5041 alcott drive House 3 sacramento $1,095.00 10:20 AM 6167 stoffer way House 2 orangevale $795.00 10:40 AM 6841 klingon court Duplex 2 sacramento $795.00 10:45 AM 7450 hamlin dr. House 3 north highlands $1,025.00 11:00 AM (0 comments)
Revenge is Sweet - 02/06/10 12:34 AM
This idea is so good. We should all do our part to stop telemarketing and junk mail. At least we can slow them up. Via Jane Peters Los Angeles Living, Los Angeles Homes (BRC Realty Group):
Three Little Words That Work!!(1)The three little words are: 'Hold On, Please...' Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the phone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your (3 comments)
Property Managers and Small Claims Court - 02/05/10 12:00 AM
Here in Sacramento, CA not all of our ex-tenants agree with our deposit refund determinations. When this occurs we ask the tenant to put their side of the story in writing. We will review that and make a final decision. If the ex-tenant still does not agree, their only avenue to solve the issues once and for all is to take the owner to small claims court. At HomePointe Property Management, we attend and testify on behalf of our client. One problem that comes up is that the tenant will often times sue not only the owner, but HomePointe. The problem (6 comments)
Pacific Gas and Electric Company Socks it To Me - 02/04/10 12:04 AM
The wonderful gas and electric utility in Sacramento has really changed course from friendly to costly. I am remodeling my home and due to a backyard redo, we have to move our gas line. Due to the move, the hook up from our line to PG&E's line has to be moved. Now understand, my people are doing all the digging and laying in a sleeve for PG&E to place their pipe into. PG&E just has to disconnect the current pipe and add a new connection to the main. They also have to disconnect the current line and move the meter. But (4 comments)
What is Your Policy In Handling Incoming Resident Maintenance Requests? - 02/02/10 11:34 PM
Our policy is to do the following: 1. Hear the complaint and review the history of maintenance we have performed on the property to see if there is a call back situation. 2. Talk the resident through any possible solution they can handle. 3. If verbal instructions won't work, call a trusted vendor to do the job (or employee with skills to do the job). I do not have those skills. 4. Once the bill is received, pay the bill and sub bill the tenant if they are responsible for causing the repair. 5. On a random basis, call tenants after (4 comments)
It's a Scam - BEWARE! - 02/02/10 12:17 AM
Here is a scam that everyone should know about. Be sure to read it and share it. Via Toni Jones (Keller Williams Realty, Pensacola): This bit of information was passed on by our in office loan rep According to Snope.com it is true and is happening, it hasn't happened to me, but better to know than not. This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it... This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & Master Card Telephone (5 comments)
A man and his wife walked into a dentist's office - 02/01/10 11:23 PM
The man said to the dentist, 'Doc, I'm in one hell of a hurry. I have two buddies sitting out in my car waiting for us to go play golf, so forget about the anesthetic and just pull the tooth and be done with it. We have a 10:00 AM tee time at the best golf course in town and it's 9:30 already. I don't have time to wait for the anesthetic to work! The dentist thought to himself, 'My goodness, this is surely a very brave man asking to have his tooth pulled without using anything to kill the pain.' (6 comments)
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