Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Investment Property in Spokane

The real estate market in Spokane is extremely competitive right now. Yet, even though home prices are rising, Spokane is still very affordable when compared to Seattle. And homes in the area rent quickly, which is good news for investors. However, the challenge is that the properties that are for sale also go fast. So, you need to be able to make a swift decision if you want to purchase an investment property. Quick decisions can often lead to mistakes if you are not careful. To help you in this process, here the mistakes you’ll want to avoid when buying investment property in Spokane.

Basing Your Decision on Appreciation

Because property values in Spokane are on the rise, it is tempting to buy one with the expectation that it will continue to appreciate. While this may happen, it is a mistake to base your decision on this. The value of properties fluctuate and there is always the chance that you may need to sell in a down market. Instead, consider the cash flow that you will get from the property and know what you need to make out of it each month. Even in a competitive market, you should do a little investigative work first. If you are buying the property from another investor, find out its current rental rate to help you determine if it is a good fit for your portfolio.

Not Having a Thorough Inspection Done First

home inspection

If you found a “deal” that seems too good to be true, there is always a chance that it is. No matter how anxious you are to pick up a bargain home, it may end up costing you more than you expected in the long run – if you rush through the inspection process. So, have a professional inspector thoroughly examine the home for potential issues before you commit to buying it. By knowing the property’s problems, you can choose to walk away or bargain for an even better price if you are willing to take them on. But either way, with an inspection you will know what you are working with and can make an informed decision.

Failing to Get Pre-Approved for the Loan

In a hot market like Spokane, where properties go fast, you need to be ready to make an offer when you find the property that you want. If you haven’t secured a loan, the seller may not take you seriously and move on to the next buyer. Plus, you need to know how much you can borrow. If you don’t  know your limits, it is much more difficult to narrow down the field of prospective properties. So, get with a mortgage expert and do your due diligence before you look for a property to invest in.

Downplaying Your Expenses

pre-approved loanA mistake that some investors make, especially those that are new to property investment, is not factoring in all the expenses involved in owning a rental property. In addition to the cost of buying the property, there are also taxes, neighborhood or association fees, and other ongoing expenses.  Additionally, you can expect to spend money on repairs and maintenance. You may have upfront costs in order to prepare the property to rent. Things may happen while you have tenants such as the garbage disposal going out or plumbing issues that need addressing. You may need to replace flooring or paint the walls in between tenants. And while properties currently rent fast, there is no guarantee that yours will. You may have a month or two with no tenants. These can all add up and so you must be prepared for them.

Getting Attached to a Property

Always look at your investment properties as a business and approach your decisions that way.  Just because a property feels right, reminds you of your childhood, or you connect with it in some other way, these are not reasons to buy. When you get emotionally involved with the property you can make rash decisions. And in an already fast-moving market like Spokane, this is a big mistake. So, take a step back, and remember to make sure that the property fits your budget and other requirements. If there is another prospective buyer, avoid getting into a bidding war just because your heart is set on the property (or you are too prideful to lose). Always think of it as business and walk away when you must. Something else will come along.

What To Do When a Tenant Stops Paying Rent

The city of Spokane boasts of many fine attractions. Notable lures include a thriving economy, stunning architecture, and numerous outdoor recreation options. It explains why rental property investors are attracted to the area. While finding tenants in Spokane is very achievable, ensuring that the occupants pay the rent promptly may not be as easy.

At times, a tenant might even stop paying the rent altogether. If you are the landlord in such a situation, how do you handle it? The following are a few pointers on what to do when a Spokane tenant stops paying rent.

Assess the tenant’s rental history

The minute you discover that your tenant has stopped paying the rent, you need to ascertain his or her rent payment history. Have they behaved similarly before, or is it the first time? If this is the first time you’re having issues with the tenant perhaps there is a very good reason why they missed the rent payment.

Talk with the tenant

If your tenant stops paying rent, yet he or she used to pay promptly without any problem, you need to find out why. Take the time and engage the person. You can do so through a face to face interaction, over a phone call, or via email. Whatever outlet you use, make sure to document the meeting.

During the conversation, ask the tenant why their rent wasn’t paid. While at it, clarify that the only way the person can continue staying in the premises, is if they pay the rent promptly. You should also ask the person to give you a plan of how he or she intends to pay back the due rent.

If the tenants are unable to pay, notify them that you are prepared to terminate the lease without any penalties.

Speaking with a tenant (more…)

How To Screen Tenants For Your Rental Property

Thanks to its stunning architecture, flourishing economy, and numerous exciting recreational activities, Spokane has become an attractive haven for most people. While this may sound like a windfall to rental property owners, it is not devoid of challenges. A primary one being landlords have to be extra vigilant when screening prospective renters to avoid ending up with a problematic tenant.

So, just how can a Spokane property owner successfully screen prospective tenants?

Here are a few useful tips that you can employ. (more…)

Best Strategies for Collecting Rent on Time

rentA common challenge among landlords is how to get the tenants to pay their rent on time. It can be annoying considering that rental income is the primary reason why you invested in the rental property in the first place. Besides, difficulty in collecting the payments might hinder you from meeting other obligations like paying off the mortgage, carrying out property maintenance, reinvesting, or settling bills. So, how can you ensure that your residents pay promptly and in a consistent, smooth manner? Here are pointers to help you out. (more…)

Best Outdoor Activities in Spokane

As a Spokane business we often get asked by new tenants about activities they can take part in. With spring in the air we thought this would be a great time to issue a light post about some of the top outdoor activities our city has to offer. Combined with its wonderful climate is the spectacular scenery and a plethora of outdoor activities you can enjoy. Here are some of those.

Spokane’s Best Outdoor Activities

1. Have a Picnic at Manito Park

Link: http://www.manitopark.org/

Location: Manito Park

In Manito Park you can see a lot of people having a picnic, playing basketball, watching birds, and other recreational activities you normally see in the park. This 90-acre park is also a wonderful place to visit as the smell of roses lingers all over the park. You can also stroll around the park or watch the kids running around the park. (more…)

How to Improve a Property’s Curb Appeal

A compelling way to convince prospective renters that your Spokane property is worth renting is by revamping its curb appeal. After all, the curb is one of the most prominent features of your asset. If it is dull, shabby or run-down, quality prospects will bypass it and move on to view others. So, how do you ensure your curb appeal remains beautiful, inviting and tenant-ready? Here are some practical solutions.

7 Curb Appeal Tips:

Keep the property clear

Rear View Of Home

Nothing rebuffs potential renters or buyers faster than a dirty, littered property. In fact, most of these prospects will not even bother getting your phone number, let alone talking to you. Many homeowners mistakenly fail to keep the property clean believing that the shoppers will understand the place is uninhabited. Help your property get a new occupant quickly by removing litter, fallen leaves, twigs, worn out furniture pieces, old appliances and any other unsightly items from the lawn, patio, porch, drive, and pathways.

Wash the exterior surfaces

It is not just enough to keep your property junk-free. You further need to clean it and give it that striking allure. In most cases, the only reason your Spokane rental property might seem old and deserted is the accumulation of dust and stains. Luckily, with the help of a pressure washer you can restore your property’s fascinating look in no time. If you plan well, a weekend should be sufficient for you to give your property the makeover. Use the pressure washer to remove the chalky flakey dust coating from the exterior walls, as well as, oils spills and stains from the path and driveways. (more…)

Essential Maintenance Tips for Landlords

For a landlord, it’s very important to perform regular maintenance of your property in order to prevent a small problem from getting worse– leading to a large expense. By routinely inspecting your property you can keep your property in great shape, which will keep your tenants happy. That being said, here are a few maintenance tips that we suggest every landlord follow: (more…)

How To Deal With Difficult Tenants

Every Spokane property investor wishes to have quality renters. At times, however, despite thorough tenant screening, it is possible to still end up with a troublesome tenant. One who does not pay rent promptly, doesn’t get along with neighbors, trashes the property, or who contravenes the lease agreement terms. When faced with such a situation, many Spokane landlords get overwhelmed and are unsure of what to do. The following are useful suggestions of how to deal with troublesome tenants.

Stay confident, calm, firm and objective

Bullies smell and feed on fear, and so do difficult tenants. Hence, being the property owner, you need to be confident and in control when interacting with the resident. Inexperienced owners, however, suffer from tenant-phobia, and they get nervous and intimidated whenever they are dealing with renters. As a result, the problematic resident continues to have his or her way. Fortunately, by being confident, calm and objective, a landlord can turn the tables around and even make an otherwise problematic tenant cede ground. (more…)

Top 10 Things You Should Consider When Hiring a Moving Company

Here’s a quick post for our Spokane tenants who are planning a move.

This article is a guest post from Allied Van Lines, a local Spokane moving company. 

Hopefully these tips can help you prepare for a successful move!

 

Top 10 Moving Tips

1) Verify the Identity Of the Mover
2) Get an In-home estimate
3) Check the BBB
4) Know Your Rights
5) Ask about Extra Care Protection
6) Avoid Large Down Payment
7) Get Your Document in Writing
8) Take Your Valuables with You
9) Ask Questions
10) Be Reachable By Phone

If you follow these tips you’ll be sure to hire a reputable moving company, which will allow you to have a successful move

7 Tips for Being a Better Landlord in Spokane

Tips for being a better landlord in Spokane

Over the recent years, the Western United States city of Spokane Wa. has seen tremendous growth. Thanks to its many outdoor recreation options, stunning downtown architecture, acclaimed education system, as well as a thriving economy. As a result, many people find Spokane to be the perfect place to live, work and visit. (more…)