You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
One of the main reasons why most landlords get in trouble is because they are reactive and not proactive. Very often for months, sometimes even years, they tend to ignore all of their rental issues. And when things tend to escalate, their panic mode sets in. All of a sudden, the property needs a new water heater, the gutters are all clogged, the furnace needs to be replaced, and so on. The list can be quite long. The only way to avoid such a trap is regular maintenance.
There are some basic maintenance tasks we at R&R do regularly. That’s the best way to make sure that small problems don’t turn into huge expenses. Plus, regular maintenance keeps the real estate valuation from going under. Here are the most basic maintenance tasks that any responsible Property Manager should do.
Rental Property Maintenance Tasks for Every Season
At R&R Properties we take care of all the maintenance and needed repairs for you before they escalate into replacements and not just repairs. Beyond maintaining open communication with the tenants about needed repairs and/or concerns we also we also inspect every property every 3 or 4 months, to ensure there are not further maintenance needs that tenants haven’t told us about. During the inspection period we look for needed repairs and maintenance.
We Check All Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
These devices need to be tested regularly to make sure they are in good working condition. In case there is a carbon monoxide leak or a fire in one of your buildings, and one of these devices fails to respond, then you are looking at a potential lawsuit on your hands. The cost of that significantly outweighs the cost of a check-up or changing a few AA batteries.
We Have the Roof and Gutters Cleaned Every Fall
The roof and gutters of our clients valued property should be thoroughly cleaned of all debris annually. This important because they might cause leaks if leaves or other debris clog them. We will also have trees and bushed cut back to lessen the amount of leaves as well as prevent damage and moisture to siding and roofing materials.
We Replace the Filters in the Forced Air Systems
Dirty filters not only can increase the utility bill, but they can also lead to a malfunction in the systems. Even if tenants are the ones that pay the utility bill. High bills can cause you to lose tenants. By changing the filters regularly, we keep everyone happy and the air system running smoothly.
How to Budget for Maintenance on a Rental Property
There are several different ways to calculate expenses but in most cases they all end up with approximately the same amount of money spent on maintenance annually.
At R&R we use the 1% Rule
This is pretty easy and straightforward. All of your maintenance costs should be around 1% of the value of your property. For example, if your rental property is valued at $180,000, the landlord should project about $1,800 just for maintenance. That comes roughly to $150 per month. However, there are some exceptions, and this formula doesn’t apply to all types of properties.
For example, you’ve bought an old piece of real estate property that hasn’t been maintained for years. For the first year, you might need to invest way more than just 1% of its total cost.
Why Hire a Property Manager vs Be a Landlord?
The Greatest Benefit to employing our Property Management Team at R&R is that we take all the guess work out of the equation for you. We not only have a strict schedule we stick to concerning inspections and maintenance but we also are available to our tenants 24 hour a day in case of emergency. No more late-night calls or emergencies when on vacation for our clients. We have our independent, licensed contractors investigate and resolve the issue within 24 hours if possible.
With the New Year in full swing, many resolutions made have already been accomplished or are still going strong! If you are like many and still working from home you may have found the home and work life being combined a drain on your mental and physical health. In hopes to keep your work/home stress down we have a few tips on how to keep your home "tidy" without constantly feeling like you are cleaning. Happy 2021!
Thrive in a constant state of low-grade tidying, you soon wont even realize it.
The number one thing Tidy People understand is how valuable it is to develop some simple, non-drastic, tiny habits that when added together will change the level of tidiness in your home. Cleaning up all at once is hard, overwhelming and not fun.
Never let the sun go down on your mess.
Tidy People practice the quick reset, that might mean different things to you than the Tidy McTidersons down the street, and that’s okay. Maybe for you that means getting the entire family involved right after dinner and clean up for five timed minutes of tidying.
Don’t store things on the floor nor keep unused/unwanted items.
Stacks of books, the box that should have been dropped off at the thrift store two weeks ago to the laundry basket can all clutter up the floor and make your home seem messier than it really is.
Tidy People know this secret, you’ll never see stuff stored on their floors.
Don’t over decorate.
Tidy People value a cleared off surface more than a highly decorated surface. A bunch of pretty small things all over every surface only makes it harder to clean and to have your home look clean. Aim for 1-3 decorative pieces per surface depending on the surface size. This allows our house to still look pretty but at the same time, it seems clean, even if there’s a layer of filth!
Be Happy with “Clean Enough”.
You may want your house to be relatively clean and tidy but that doesn’t mean that every little thing has to be perfect. Try to follow the 80/20 rule – meaning that you are happy with 80% of the cleaning being done. Not getting caught up in all of the little details that make up the last 20%
2020 was great year for real estate in the greater Lane County area. The average sales price of a home increased an amazing 12.2% to $365,500 while the median sales price was up 13.3% to 336,500. The lack of inventory and low interest rates are fueling this appreciation. There is approximately 0.6 months of inventory available, meaning theoretically that if nothing else is listed it would take less than a month to sell through everything on the market.
Interest rates remain in the high 2%’s for qualified buyers, which are around all-time lows. Multiple offers are being seen on many houses for sale. With all of these factors continuing to be in play, prices may continue to rise throughout 2021, but at what rate is yet to be seen.
Fall is here and winter is right around the corner. Now is a great time to care for some of those last minute outdoor preparations before winter hits. As always it's important to enjoy the beauties of each changing season. With fall there are a lot of attractive décor and tasty harvest recipes you don’t want to “fall” behind on. If you are a gardener, there are some new growing options that will improve your yards beauty and your appetite to boot!
Weather in November is far from predictable, especially here in the greater Eugene-Springfield area. It may say Autumn on the calendar, but the weather gets increasingly chilly as the days go by. The date of the first frost is almost upon us, and there will be more and more nights below freezing and possible snow forecasts as winter approaches.
Days are getting shorter, so try to plan for free time earlier in the day in case you need to do some maintenance or repair work. It’s a good time of year to clean out the gutters, and bring in outdoor furniture that isn’t rain-resistant. Daylight savings (November 1, 2020), is a great reminder to remember to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon detectors. Don't forget to set your clocks back!
Don’t be afraid to plant some flowers too. Spring-flowering bulbs, like tulips, alliums, and lilies can be planted now to start growing throughout the winter. And flowers like nasturtiums, marigold, lavender, chamomile, and calendula are currently blooming. Check out the seed packets and flower pots available at the store and choose something that will lighten the mood and add some color for these darker months.
Some vegetables can be planted right now, like kale, broccoli, beets, garlic, onions, and cabbage. Just make sure to be aware of soil and pH needs in case you need to change out the substrate for best results. The Pacific North West is generally mild enough in weather to keep a garden all your long. One only has to keep the ground free of standing water and garden covered so the elements do not freeze the harvest.
Once all the leaves drop, trees and shrubbery can be pruned and cut back to promote healthy growth and vitality. That way the tree is dormant and won’t be poorly affected. Late fall is an excellent time to prune most fruit trees. Roses are best if pruned pruned between November and March to increase flower budding. As always if you are unsure on how to properly prune your trees or bushes it's best to consult a professional.
Summer is now over, so temperatures are going to start dropping. Here are some pointers on how to keep your house safe from upcoming winter hazards.
R&R Properties of Eugene has been helping owners to manage their rental properties for many years and we have learned many helpful practices that have kept our homes well maintained and continuing to bring in top market rent prices. One of those is to do some Winter weatherization in advance to avoid any unnecessary and costly repairs, while keeping everything running smoothly during the months, we most need reliable heating and hot water.
COVER ALL FOUNDATION VENTS
These are the holes around the perimeter of the house. They should be blocked off to stop vermin and other creatures from getting under your house and doing damage to insulation, wiring, piping, etc. Snug-fitting screen works very well for this.
DISCONNECT ALL OUTSIDE HOSES, HOSE SPLINTERS, AND WATER FEATURES
All should be disconnected and drained before winter/freezing temperatures begin. This allows proper draining of the pipes and prevents freeze damage. It is also a good idea to purchase a cold weather faucet cover or wrap the faucet.
LOCATE YOUR WATER METER
It is a good idea to know the specific locations well in advance of severe weather. The water meter is generally in the front of your home close to the sidewalk or road. If you cannot locate it, contact your utility company. Flag meters during a snow period for easy location.
KEEP ALL WATER INSIDE THE BUILDING RUNNING
It is important to keep water moving in all of the water pipes to prevent freezing. It requires more than just a drop – keep the stream approximately the width of a pencil lead (both hot and cold water) from every faucet when outside temperatures are 25 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
LEAVE THE HEAT ON
Heat should be kept at a minimum of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Open cupboard doors under sinks and leave them open as long as the temperature is below freezing. This allows some heat near the pipes. If you pipes do freeze, get heat on them to speed up the thawing process.
The real estate market in Lane County continues to be very active as interest rates are at all time lows. The average sales price comparing the first seven months of 2020 vs 2019 has increased an average of 9% from $320,900 to $349,700 and many properties are getting multiple offers. During this same period, listings (-7.9%), pendings (-5.0%), and sales (-8.8%) are all down. This most likely can be attributed to COVID-19 and our current economic environment. Inventory levels, the amount of time it would theoretically take to sell all homes on the market, are down approximately 40% year to date, from 1.5 months to 0.9 months.
For a seller, it’s the perfect time to sell if you are considering it as many homes are selling for above their listed price. Although this may seem not advantageous to buyers, the low interest rates are allowing them to purchase homes in higher price points than previously, still making it affordable. If you considering either selling or purchasing now may be the time and a great opportunity.
Currently there is approximately 2 months of inventory on the market. All sale categories have decreased in year to date 2019 vs 2020 with listings down 6.2%, pending sales down 10.1%, & sales down 13.1%. If you are just comparing the month of May in each year those stats are then 30.2%, 15.3%, & 34.9%.
However, listings and pending sales in May 2020 compared to April 2020 have increased quite a bit, which demonstrates more activity in the market as we get to the summer selling season. Prices also continue to increase with the average sales price up 8.9% from last year with an average of $340,700.
Interest rates remain at all time levels, with many buyers getting rates in the low 3%’s so although prices have gone up the lower interest rates still make it viable for many borrows to purchase a home.
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy! But don't let the days just drift by. Now that the sun is shining, home improvement projects beckon. How many of these tasks and upgrades will you check off your list this summer?
Cleaning the Grill
The grill gets a real workout in the warmer months, with quick weekday meals, holiday cookouts, and all the outdoor entertaining that summertime brings. Take the opportunity to thoroughly clean the grill from top to bottom at the beginning of the season, and be vigilant about burning off old grease and removing food residue.
Sealing the Driveway and Deck
Constant exposure to sun and rain takes a toll on your deck’s and driveways appearance and life. By making any necessary repairs, giving it a good cleaning, and sealing it, your deck and driveway will not only look new but also last longer.
When you factor in curing time, this project takes three to four days, so check the forecast before you begin to make sure you'll have a few consecutive days of good weather.
Greasing the Garage Door & Hinges
You may not give much thought to your automatic garage door—until it stops working, that is. To keep it running properly, make sure everything is tight and lubricate the hinges, rollers, and other moving parts at least once a year.
Check the Chimney
Regular chimney inspections and cleanings help prevent fires and keep your home safe. Schedule some time each summer to have your chimney inspected so you can complete any required repairs before cool weather arrives in the fall.
Block Air Leaks
Cooled air just as easily escapes through air leaks found around windows and doors as warm air. One way to slow down these drafts as well as save energy is to install or replace weatherstripping. It’s a good idea to inspect the caulk around the outdoor trim of your house every year and do repairs as needed.