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Playground Equipment and Your Liability as a Landlord

If you have playground equipment on your rental property, you may be wondering whether the risk of a child (or adult) getting hurt outweighs the benefits. Whether you’re renting a single-family home with a backyard play structure or managing a multi-unit rental with a community park, you’ll want to know what your responsibilities are as a landlord. It is possible you could be held liable for any injuries that may occur.

Let’s face it: children are accident prone – especially on playgrounds. It should always be assumed that there’s a chance for injury. If a child is injured on your property, you may be held liable, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Inspect & Repair Playground Equipment
Inspecting and repairing the play structures and equipment on a regular basis is necessary. You’ll want to check for things such as rusting metal, rotting wood, and the overall strength of the equipment. Repair any defects immediately and complete routine maintenance. If there is any evidence of neglect – you may liable for injuries if someone is injured.
Post Notice of Risk
Posting a sign that tenants play at their own risk is necessary. While this is more common in an apartment setting, you can still post in a single-family unit. Protect yourself even further by including it in your lease agreement. This does not relieve you from your duty of keeping the playground equipment in tip-top shape.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Verify that you’re covered for any injuries that may happen on your property. You’ll need this anyway, but make sure you cover your bases. Even if you take the best care of your play equipment – accidents can happen.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan to Buy […]

More on Landlords and Accepting Section 8

If you read our last post about accepting Section 8 vouchers, here’s even more information that you’ll need to know before you buy a rental property. These are some common issues landlords run into.
What Happens When You Accept Section 8?
Here are a few more things you need to know about working with Section 8 properties.

Section 8 doesn’t cover security deposits. Security deposits are not paid by the Housing Choice Voucher Program. In addition, the laws are different for Section 8 tenants and how much you’re able to charge for a security deposit. You’ll want to check into your local housing authority for verification. Some landlords waive the deposit completely, but the result is usually not favorable.
You’ll be required to comply with frequent inspections. Annual health and safety inspections by the Public Housing Authority are required for you to maintain your Section 8 status. As needed inspections are also conducted when there is a complaint by a tenant. An extensive 13-point checklist must be passed for the government to continue your payments. If you’re not in compliance, your tenant can find other suitable housing.
You might be in for a lot of paperwork. The application and re-certification process for landlords can be tedious. You’ll also find that you must be highly detailed and accurate with all your accounting and documentation. One mistake could be costly.

Do You Need Hard Money to Buy an Investment Property in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that you meet our loan criteria. Our loan amounts can […]

If You’re a Landlord, Should You Accept Section 8?

As a landlord, you may be wondering if you are required to accept Section 8 vouchers. Housing laws vary from state to state, so if you’re not from Georgia, here’s where you need to go to check out our requirements: http://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/RentalAssistance/programs/downloads/LandlordGuide.pdf.
What is Section 8?
Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is government assistance for qualifying low-income individuals or families. The voucher subsidizes a portion of the tenant’s monthly rent; allowing them affordable housing.

So what can you expect if you participate in the Section 8 program?

Timely payments. The government will pay their portion of the rent on time. You can count on a consistent monthly income coming in, and you won’t have to worry about the entire amount being late.
High demand. The likelihood that your property will sit vacant is decreased, as you are increasing your options for potential tenants. Housing voucher tenants are also more inclined to rent for longer terms, mostly due to their financial situations.
Marketing incentives. You’ll be able to target your marketing to local housing authorities by using old-school marketing methods such as flyers, as well as online at GoSection8.com. You won’t have to pay expensive advertising fees.
Prescreened tenants. Housing authorities prescreen applicants with a criminal background check, as well as verify their income levels. You’ll want to do your own screenings, too, but this pre-check gets you off to a good start.

Do You Need a Hard Money Loan to Buy an Investment Property in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that […]

5 Kitchen Design Trends REIs Need to Know About in 2017

As a real estate investor, you already know that a great kitchen can sell a house—so what makes a great kitchen?

Check out 2017’s five hottest kitchen design trends to find out.
2017 Kitchen Design Trend #1: Grays, Not Whites
Gray is “in” right now, especially with millennials hitting the market as first-time buyers. Combined with rich, stained wood, it’s warm and inviting—exactly what new buyers want.

2017 Kitchen Design Trend #2: Hydraulic Cabinet Doors

Hydraulic kitchen cabinet doors are space-age space-savers, and it turns out they’re just what homebuyers want in 2017. With the push of a button, the door opens in an upward direction and leaves plenty of room in the rest of the kitchen.
2017 Kitchen Design Trend #3: Funky Sinks
Forget stainless steel and think colored enamel. A splash (pun intended) of color in a neutral kitchen makes a huge difference to buyers.
2017 Kitchen Design Trend #4: Big, Bold Fixtures
Oversized light fixtures can be pretty amazing in a kitchen, as long as they’re not clunky or obtrusive.
2017 Kitchen Design Trend #5: Ample Kitchen Storage
Don’t leave any wasted space in the kitchen; you can even turn a false drawer into a great place to stash oddly shaped kitchen utensils.
Do You Need a Commercial or Residential Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that you meet our loan criteria. Our loan amounts can be up to 65 percent of the after-repaired value of the collateral—and if you use the loan for renovation or construction, the loan amount can be based on the collateral’s improved […]

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    Should You Hire a Property Manager for Your Investment Property?

Should You Hire a Property Manager for Your Investment Property?

There’s no denying that real estate investing can be profitable (if you’re good at it), but there’s usually a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved. If renting homes is your thing, but you find that you’re just not into unclogging toilets, or don’t have the knack for finding the perfect tenants, should you throw in the towel? If so, you may want to consider hiring a property management company.

If you’ve invested in multiple properties or are just simply making enough money (that’s the goal, right?), hiring a company to take some tasks off your plate may give you some time to look into future investments. So, how do you find the perfect property manager? Here are some questions you can ask them:
Question 1: What are your fees? Do you charge a monthly rate and are there additional fees for things like finding tenants?
Some companies charge a flat monthly fee even if your property is left vacant. Others get paid a percentage of the rent collected.
Question 2: Are you licensed and insured?
You’ll want to make sure the company is licensed and insured in case of legal or liability issues.
Question 3: How do you vet prospective tenants?
Make sure their requirements include background and credit checks, as well as payment histories, so you don’t end up with tenants who don’t pay.
Question 4: What is the best way a tenant can reach you?
Having an accessible property management company is necessary for a healthy relationship with tenants. They’ll need to know they can reach out when issues arise.
Question 5: How can I end our contract?
If you find that your management company is not working out properly, you should be able to move on. Read the contract thoroughly before […]

Commercial vs. Residential Loans

 

The differences between commercial hard money loans and residential hard money loans may seem cut-and-dry, but there are some big differences you need to understand because they’ll impact which type of loan is right for you.
Differences Between Residential and Commercial Hard Money Loans
Residential mortgage loans are intended for properties that have one to four family units. Anything above that, or a property intended solely for business (not a dwelling), falls under a commercial loan.

When you require a residential loan, your personal income, debt and ability to repay a loan are reviewed before you’re approved for a mortgage. If you need a commercial loan, the property itself is evaluated for past income and expenses. This usually requires a few years of historical figures. Your lender will want to see the income that can be generated from the building, compared to what will be owed.

It is important to note that if you’re interested in obtaining a residential loan, and wish to put it under the name of a limited liability company (LLC), you may not be able to. Lenders are under strict guidelines as to which type of loan they’re able to offer an LLC. There may be an opportunity to transfer at a later time, but you would need to consult your attorney or lender.
Do You Need a Commercial or Residential Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that you meet our loan criteria. Our loan amounts can be up to 65 percent of the after-repaired value of the collateral—and […]

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    5 DIY Upgrades That Could Help You Sell Your Investment Property

5 DIY Upgrades That Could Help You Sell Your Investment Property

You should always work with a team of professionals for major upgrades to any investment property, like plumbing and electrical work… but there are dozens of things you can do yourself to add style to the house you’re selling and appeal to a wide range of buyers.
4 DIY Upgrades to Help You Sell Your Investment Property
Easy Upgrade #1: Carved Corbels Beneath Bars
If the home you’re selling has a breakfast bar, make it a little fancier by adding carved corbels beneath it. It’s something so subtle that people won’t notice them directly—but they will notice the added panache the whole bar has.
Easy Upgrade #2: Chandeliers in Unexpected Places
Hang a chandelier—a simple one—in the laundry room. Put one in the master bedroom. People love seeing surprise sophistication in unexpected places.
Easy Upgrade #3: Wall Hooks in Convenient Places
It’s simple but surprisingly attractive: add wall hooks above the kitchen counter that add convenience and style that buyers will love. They can use them for towels, mugs, or anything else—and you can find them and install them yourself.
Easy Upgrade #4: Fit the Sink With a Built-In (Kind-Of) Cutting Board
Give buyers extra food prep space by fitting an under-mount sink with a cutting board. Trim a piece of butcher block to the right size, and then create a lip around the bottom of it so it rests on the edges of the counter around the sink.
Easy Upgrade #5: Put Up Natural Fiber Window Coverings
Rather than everyday blinds or worse, no window coverings at all, hang natural fiber window shades. Added bonus: they help insulate windows.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you need funds for an investment property, we may be able to help you. Call us at […]

5 MORE Hot Home Design Trends for 2017

You thought we covered it all in our last post, 5 Hot Home Design Trends to Help You Sell Your Investment Property… but we’re back with five more great tips your buyers will love.
2017’s Hottest Home Design Trends (Part Two)
2017 Home Design Trend 1: Vanities
Vanities are back in, but there’s a twist: only different vanities (read: not the kind your grandmother had) will do. Vintage pieces make great vanities and lend a spa-style ambience to bathrooms with claw-footed tubs.
2017 Home Design Trend 2: Steel and Glass in the Shower
Steel and glass are the “it” thing for those spa-style bathrooms. A walk-in shower with floor-to-ceiling steel-and-glass walls are the right way to go to appeal to modern, trendy buyers.
2017 Home Design Trend 3: Accent Walls With Decorative Painting
Rather than choosing a color that’s a few shades darker for an accent wall, like most people do, try a marbleized wall. Maybe a wall that looks like brushed aluminum… or maybe even something more bold.
2017 Home Design Trend 4: A Real Docking Station
The need for home offices is dwindling, although they’re still in wide use. The thing now, though, is a recessed space in a wall with shelves, drawers, and USB ports built right into the wall so anyone can grab a spot and start working
2017 Home Design Trend 5: Finished Garages
You don’t have to completely finish a garage, but it does help if the walls aren’t showing studs or unpainted drywall. Add brick near the foundation and some molding above it to appeal to buyers who like a more upscale look.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you need funds for an investment property, we may be able to help you. Call us at […]

5 Hot Home Design Trends for 2017

The hottest trends in home design just may be what makes your investment property sell faster—and for more money—this year.
5 Hot Home Design Trends for 2017
Design Trend  #1: Built-In Bars
Last year it was the bar cart; this year it’s actual, built-in bars. Shelving for cocktail accessories, glasses, and even bottles is becoming increasingly popular.
Design Trend #2: Colored Refrigerators
If you’re selling your investment property with a fridge included, spring for a 1950s-style refrigerator in a bright, bold color.
Design Trend #3: Creative Tile Backsplashes
While square backsplashes have been a “thing” for quite a while now, this year other geometric shapes are in. You can choose a few harmonious colors or—if you’re extra bold—colors that match the colored refrigerator you’re adding.
Design Trend #4: Wall Tile in the Kitchen
Think bigger than a backsplash and tile at least one wall of the kitchen. It’s easy on the eyes… and easy to clean, which makes it a big bonus for hip homebuyers this year.
Design Trend #5: Marble, but in White or Gray
Forget the dark marble countertops of yesteryear and modernize with white or gray marble. People are even choosing it for serving platters, tabletops, and other home accessories, which is a testament to its popularity.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you need funds for an investment property, we may be able to help you. Call us at 404-814-1644 or send us a note. You can also apply for a hard money loan online.

In the meantime, read our FAQ, learn about the hard money loan process and see if you meet our criteria. We’ll be happy to help you if you qualify.

 

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    Increase Your Investment Property’s Value With These 3 Great Upgrades

Increase Your Investment Property’s Value With These 3 Great Upgrades

Our last two posts on improving the resale value of your investment property were both really popular, so we’re adding a final installment in the series. (You can read the first two here and here.)
3 Amazing Upgrades You Can Make to Your Investment Property
Upgrade Tip #1: Put Drawers Between Wall Studs
You don’t have to take up any space inside a room when you install drawers (quality drawers with good tracks!) between wall studs. The key, though, is making sure that the drawers are built to last.
Upgrade Tip #2: Add Pull-Out Stools to Kitchen Islands
Everyone wants to sit at a kitchen island, but really, who has the room in the kitchen for chairs (or the desire to lug chairs back and forth from another room)? Installing stools on hinges solves that issue and provides a really cool feature that buyers will find practical, too.
Upgrade Tip #3: Do Something About False Drawers
Add an outlet behind a false drawer, or turn it into a shortened, angled drawer. This works in bathrooms and kitchens, which makes it a brilliant idea to make use of otherwise wasted space.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you need funds for an investment property, we may be able to help you. Call us at 404-814-1644 or send us a note. You can also apply for a hard money loan online.

In the meantime, read our FAQ, learn about the hard money loan process and see if you meet our criteria! We’ll be happy to help you if you qualify.