Owner's Guide

Welcome to the Better Homes of America Inc. owners guide. We hope that you will find this page to be a useful tool for managing your investment decisions. We welcome your feedback and input. Please contact us if you any suggestions that would improve the appearance or enhance the effectiveness of this site.

Rental Market Comparisons

There are many methods utilized when setting a market rate for a rental unit. Some landlordís science might boil down to licking their finger and sticking it up into the wind while others may choose a complex model with statistical analysis. Of course it doesnít really matter how you get there as long as you arrive. Itís important to understand the market trends when determining your rent amount. One thing to consider is how long you can wait to find a tenant willing to pay what youíre asking. In a strong market, renters line up at the doors and you have a pretty good chance of renting the unit in a short amount of time. In a soft market you can throw all the rules out the window. Market value fluctuates so often that it might be wise to set your rent aggressively. You should weigh the loss for a twelve-month period. For example, if you have been receiving $1500.00 a month in rent and the unit is vacant for 3 months because you want to rent at that amount, you are losing a total of $4500.00 in rent along with any expenses accrued through out the three month period. Over a 1-year period you stand to loose $600.00 if you reduce the rent to $1,450.00.

Along with our market analysis, we think the newspaper offers the strongest pulse on market value. We like to start at the high end of the spectrum, but we encourage flexibility from our owners as to the lowering of the rent amount. If you want your property to rent quickly, price it at the bottom of the rent range and you will at least get response to your ad. Rarely is a property rented without a potential tenant viewing the home first. If they look at the rental property, you have accomplished half of the battle.

Landlord and Tenant Laws

Owning an investment property can be exciting and frustrating. It can also leave your personal assets exposed. It is important to know your rights and the rights of your tenant when dealing with issues concerning tenancy, notices and ownership. Of course, our legal guru can answer most questions that may come up and we often make those decisions with our clients, but if you like to be an informed owner, feel free to click on the links below for an overview of landlord / tenant law and the HUD library.

Landlord Tenant Information

HUD Library

Curb Appeal and More

Historically, owners were able to get a substantial return on their investment with little money going into the property. Today, the way your home shows to the tenant is crucial to quickly renting the home. Updating appliances, flooring, painting, and in some cases remodeling areas of the home can improve your chances of finding a quality tenant at a reasonable rent. Call it karma if you like. It is the condition of the property that determines the type of tenant youíll find. A property kept poorly, will attract a tenant that is comfortable in that environment and donít expect them to have a sudden change of heart when they move in. Over time, letting go of your property becomes a trend for the tenants. They see how little you care about your property and so they in turn treat it with the same level of respect or lack thereof. A property in ill repair can only lead to lower rents and more problems with tenants down the road.

That is where we come in. We work with vendors who offer special pricing for remodeling and general repair items. Our contractors get special pricing for the materials we use. It can improve the curb appeal of your home and help it attract the right renters for the community and for you.

In our long history in the industry, we have come to understand that sometimes less is more. When the market is strong, many owners tend to think that it is okay to let certain things go. Because the demand is high, tenants demands are low causing fewer expenses for the home. However, when an owner is receiving a high rent on a consistent basis, it is the right time to invest some of that income back into the property. It is a good idea to replace little things here and there as they break down or as a means of maintaining the look and feel of the property. It will reassure your tenant that you take pride in the property and value them as tenants. Owners who do these things tend to hang on to their tenants longer and have fewer issues over the term of the tenancy. When the tenant does decide to leave, you have left yourself in a good position. You will have to spend less money to bring the property up to expectations and youíll re-rent the property faster and collect a higher rent in some cases. Talk with a loan agent about leveraging the equity in your property if necessary to help finance your project. The choice is yours.

Real Estate Sales

Did you know that we sell real estate? When you take your business to a real estate agent or broker they will charge up to 6% of the sale for their services, which can be a significant amount adding up to thousands of dollars in lost income. An still, that same agent will need all of our rent roll information and will require us to continue to deal with the tenant(s). Because we have the tools at our disposal, we can list the property for you at a discounted cost. Ask us about our real estate sales expertise when the time comes for you to sell your investment property or send us an email at property@betterhomesofamerica.com.

Landlord's Residential Rental Tax Information

Generally, cash or the fair market value of property you receive for the use of real estate or personal property is taxable to you as rental income. You can generally deduct expenses of renting property from your rental income. Income and expenses related to real estate rentals are usually reported on Form 1040 Schedule E. If you provide substantial services that are primarily for your tenant's convenience, you report your income and expenses on Form 1040 Schedule C, Income and expenses related to personal property rentals are reported on Form 1040. NOTE: **Please consult a tax professional for advice**.

Residential Rental Property Tax (IRS Publication 517)Information

Rental Property Income & Expenses

Residential Rental Property - Including Rental of Vacation Homes
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Better Homes of America Inc.
P.O. Box 880488
Port Saint Lucie, Florida 34988

Phone: 772-873-0228
Fax: 772-206-3154
Email: Contact Us