Stay Cool with these Local Events

It Comes At Night The Hippodrome Theater [06/28/17]
Imagine the end of the world. Now imagine something worse. Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults follows his incredible debut feature KRISHA with “IT COMES AT NIGHT,” a horror film following a man (Joel Edgerton) who learns that the evil stalking his family home may be only a prelude to horrors that come from within. Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous domestic order he has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.
Click here for more information

Vinyasa Yoga The Harn Museum [06/28/17]
Blank Space invites you to create, respond and play in the museum. In this gallery, you will find interactive installations; scheduled opportunities for yoga, storytelling and dance performances; and art by students. Experiment with light, shadow, physics, pattern, color and photography.Vinyasa yoga translates to “Breath synchronized movement.” Be prepared to get in tune with your breath and follow it through standing, flowing, seated and balancing postures. Please bring your own mat and check in all personal items at the security desk. A water station will be provided. UF Students register in advance. This class is also open to the public, no registration required. Late arrivals will not be allowed to participate.
Click here for more information

Artwalk Gainesville Downtown [06/30/17]
Artwalk Gainesville is a free monthly self-guided tour that combine exciting visual art, live performance, and events in downtown Gainesville, Florida. Held the last Friday of each month from 7 to 10 pm, with many local galleries, eateries and businesses participating, Artwalk is an exciting, fun way to experience the amazing wealth of creativity the Gainesville community has to offer.​​
Click here for more information

New Collection ‘Art for Purpose’ The Hippodrome Theater [06/30/17]
Art for a Purpose is a one-of-a-kind gallery and a one-of-a-kind nonprofit — all rolled into one.Unlike traditional, commercial galleries, Art for a Purpose is a nonprofit. And unlike other non- profits, it exists to assist other charitable organizations, rather than serving one specific constituency or group.The process is simple:  The gallery accepts art directly from donors, sells the pieces and distributes the proceeds to charities for their unrestricted use.  Donors receive acknowledgments of their donations at the time of their gifts (useful for individual tax purposes), and they may recommend charities to benefit from the sales of their donated works.  Any person may be a donor and any IRS-approved nonprofit may be a recipient of distributions.
Click here for more information

June 2017 Fun Out of the Sun

With 90 degree temperatures and the rain season in full swing, it’s hard to deny that Gainesville Summer has begun. North Central Florida’s natural beauty can be hard to beat but on the days where you would stay in, she also has you covered. This summer, Gainesville’s art community is rolling out the red carpet for fun indoors with these events.

Make sure to check out our interesting links this month as well, summer in Gainesville also means moving time. We have found some relevant and helpful content to get you through those potentially trying times.

Ready for Summer Vacation?

Although it is already blazing hot in the 80s and 90s here, summer doesn’t officially start for another month. Now is the perfect time to start planning how you will enjoy Florida’s beautiful summers.  You may even want to start now!  Gainesville has great day trips for any age and events for kids that will make staying local fun and exciting.  Florida has the best of so many worlds and now is the perfect time to enjoy them 🙂

Retirement Homes for Horses: 35 minute drive. Also known as Mill Creek Farm, this sanctuary is home to more than 100 rescued horses. Perfect for animal lovers and kids, you can visit the 245 acre farm and wander at leisure with the retired animals.  Price of admission? Carrots to hand feed the local residents.  To learn more, click here.

Micanopy: 15 minute drive.  With a population of 600, Micanopy is known for its downtown shopping district.  Antique stores and boutiques make it a leisurely day trip for adults.  Micanopy also boasts great restaurants to whet your appetite and enjoy the small town vibe.  You can enjoy BBQ at Pearl County Store or pizza and calzones at Blue Highway Pizza. Click here to learn more.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park: 60 minute drive.  As you can see above, this beautiful spot shows off Florida’s beauty with crystal clear water and its natural setting.  You can rent a tube and lazily drift down the river.  Or you can travel by canoe or kayak and enjoy the springs that way.  Either way, this river offers scenery local to the area. For more information. click here.

St. Augustine: 90 minute drive.  Known as the oldest city in America, there is so much to do beyond the Castillo and historic area. St. Augustine beach is a great way to enjoy Florida’s coast line and get some sun.  The local Alligator farm and Ripley’s Believe it Or Not are great hits for kids.  For adults, you can enjoy the San Sebastian Winery.  Nearby state parks such as Anastasia park also provide more adventurous outdoor options such as kayaking and camping.  To find the best ways to enjoy St. Augustine, click this link.

Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained in town? Check out these sites for a list of local events and options:

May 2017 Words From Our Broker

Hello,

We must’ve missed spring. I think it only lasted a few weeks. We’re already into typical hot summer days with highs in the 90’s. I don’t mean to complain about our hot summer weather but it’d be nice if spring stuck around just a little longer.

The rental and sales season is in full swing with lots of contracts pending and closed. Properties in good condition and priced correctly sell within a few months. I think some appraisers are having a hard time keeping up with the uptick in prices as I’ve seen some appraisals come back for less than what the buyers are willing to pay. I find that interesting because what the buyers are willing to pay is one of the biggest determining factors in market price.

I recently attended a class on pricing properties in a competitive market and the instructor made a very good point when she suggested you can help the appraisers by providing them with a packet of info showing them your comps and how you determined the list price. If you can provide them with copies of comparable properties along with notes on the comps of what adjustments were made for condition and what improvements have been made to the subject property since the last sale, it may help the appraiser be able to provide a more accurate sales value in the appraisal.

Of course being sure the property is in the best possible condition is a must even in a good market. Maybe even more so than in a slower seller’s market. If your property’s condition isn’t good and buyers continue to pass on your property and buy the neighbors’, other buyers will note the amount of days your property has been on the market and assume there’s something wrong with it.

If you have made improvements that require a permit, I recommend you check the public records to make sure the permit was closed and recorded. Don’t assume your repair person filed for it. It’s better to tackle those issues and clean them up before putting the property on the market. Otherwise, it may hamper or even kill the deal.

The rental and sales season is going to continue to be hot thru July so it’s still a good time to make improvements first then put the property on the market. Vendors in Gainesville get swamped with work during the summer and in a market where construction is booming there are fewer repair/renovation type vendors available.  You don’t want to wait too long or you’ll have a hard time finding qualified people to do the job timely.

Because we have a full portfolio of managed properties, we’re able to keep our vendors busy all year which allows and motivates them to be loyal to us and continue to make our properties a priority even in the busy season. Without good vendors that will handle your work with quality and timeliness your success in getting properties rented or sold in good time is in jeopardy. We know the value of a good vendor and are always working to strengthen that relationship as well as cultivate new ones. We’re always looking for good vendors so if you are one or have one you’d like to recommend, we’d always appreciate hearing from you. Likewise if you need help getting your property fixed up and put on the market for rent or sale, we can help you there too. We do offer free evaluations designed to let you know what you can do to position your property to rent or sell timely.

I hope you enjoy your summer! This year on my annual girlfriend trip we took a long weekend and did a Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas. It’s been a while since I’d been on a traditional big cruise line and when I walked out onto the lido deck with the pool and all the people and action I thought to myself….WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING HERE! OMG… way too many people in one place for me. But of course we had a good time. Spending a lot of it on our private balcony just chatting. It’s the reason we get together every year anyway….just to enjoy each other’s company and reconnect. It never matters much where it is. I have included a few videos from the trip in the link below. Bon Voyage!

April 2017 Interesting Articles

These articles and more are shared daily on our Facebook. Follow us on Facebook if you would like to read more!

Florida House pursues property tax cut

Support a Reduction in the Business Rent Tax

10 rental property tax deductions landlords love

The Fed hiked interest rates. What happens to mortgages?
Single Family Rental Returns by County: 2017

Best Marker For Buying Single Family Rentals

Fla. cities using tech to track down short-term landlords

Real estate Q&A: The hassles of an inherited home

 

April 2017 Words From Our Broker

Hola from Spain! I’m writing this month’s Brokers Corner sitting in the back of a coach bus traveling from Barcelona to Bilbao. As usual my life is a constant blend of work and play. I’m so thankful for life’s modern technologies that allows this to be possible. I’m even more thankful to my wonderful teammates Laura and Marjesca who also make this possible.

I’ve written many times about how wonderful our Laura Garcia is and now we’ve added another completely awesome and equally beautiful Marjesca Brown to our team. I first met Marjesca a few years ago through friends and was very impressed with her back then. I found her to be not only stunningly beautiful but also very intelligent and kind. Recently when our mutual friend Stephanie reconnected us, I knew right away that I would love to have her on my team. The fact that she has commercial property management experience and a real estate license was simply icing on the cake. What was even more appealing is that she really does love property management. I found that like me, she feels joy in being able to take a layer of stress off owners and tenants by efficiently taking care of the property’s maintenance needs. This combination of experience and talent makes her a perfect match for our company. I don’t think I could’ve imagined a better fit. Just more proof that the big guy always has my back.

As we discussed in Marjesca’s introduction video, we are entering our busy season. This year I feel the busy season has started early for us. This is partly because of Laura’s early jump on renewing leases – finding out which tenants will be vacating and marketing those properties. The  early spring weather also is enticing buyers and renters to get out sooner to look for their new home. Our next few months will consist of screening a bunch of new tenants, signing leases, evaluating each property’s maintenance needs and lining up our vendors to handle the work that will be needed.

It is also a busy time for sales. With interest rates and inventory still low, it continues to be a good seller’s market. We find that our homeowners tend to be ready to sell their properties after 4 to 5 years of renting. With this being our 4th year in business, we have a lot of owners contemplating selling.  We’ve also been very busy providing detailed market analyses and then listing, marketing and selling properties that have been in our management inventory for several years. For the homeowner, it makes it very convenient to have us handle the sell of their properties as we know the property very well and can coordinate a smooth transition onto the sales market. Because our owners and tenants already know and trust us, it makes it easier on everyone. It is very fulfilling to be able to handle all aspects of our homeowners’ real estate needs.

For kicks about 20 years ago I used the “Complete Guide to Astrology” to chart my astrological forecast and it said that I would do well in real estate and travel a lot. Well now, that sure did come true. Little did I know, I’d be able to do both at the same time. A true multitasker! Feeling very fortunate right now as we travel through the Rioja Vineyards. Gotta go…time for another wine tour and tasting adventure. Hasta luego, Que pasa un buen dia!

Click to see more pictures from Tanya’s Spanish Adventure

March 2017 Secure Investments Newsletter

Ready to sell your property? Make sure it is priced correctly before listing.  Check out this month’s newsletter to find out how!

Check out Secure Investments March 2017 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • How to Price your Property for Sale

  • Words From Our Broker

  • March 2017 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties
  • List of our properties for sale

March 2017 Words From Our Broker

And so it begins……. barely into spring and the market is blooming!!! We are knee-deep in the middle of renewing leases and putting properties on the sales and rental market.

This year we started renewing leases several months early because…. ya know what they say about the early bird….. But in this case the early bird gets the responsible tenants and the renewal lease paperwork work out-of-the-way so you can focus on sales and getting properties ready for new occupants.

If you followed the advice of previous newsletters that suggested getting started with whatever makeovers you need to make your property ready, it should be ripe for taking advantage of this spring’s buyers and renters. We currently have about a 3 1/2 months supply of inventory on the market making this a very strong sellers’ market. Interest rates are still down, and even though there is always the looming threat of the Fed raising the rate soon, I don’t see a little rate increase affecting what’s shaping up to be a beautiful bloom of spring activity. (Ok, I’ll stop with the corny spring references but I can’t help it, this absolutely gorgeous weather has my mind consumed). If you’re not quite ready to sell or rent and need some advice, give us a call and we can go over your home’s rental and sales value and also make recommendations on upgrades and their cost so you can make a fully informed decision.

Spring on the river is especially beautiful. This is our first spring here on the Suwannee. The crisp cool mornings gently warm into a bright sunny day that leaves my face sunburnt while I lose all track of time working on my laptop from the deck. Often I start with my morning coffee and it’s 3 o’clock before I look up again wondering why I’m so hungry. I put together a little video below of this past Saturday. There were 50 racing boats using our front yard/waterfront as a dragstrip and meeting up at Sandy Point just around the bend where the Santa Fe enters the Suwanee. Later, up the Santa Fe River, we had a friendly family of manatees swimming around us at the mouth of the Ichetucknee.

Living on the river makes every day feel like a vacation day. Hoping your spring is as wonderful.

 

How To Price Your Property For Sale

At the Gainesville’s Bo Diddley Plaza, we share the factors to consider when pricing your property for sale by answering the following:
– What factors determine price?
– Why is Pricing so Important?
– How does the Market Affect Pricing?

Watch to find out the answers! If you would like more information, please email us at info@secureinvestmentsrealty.com. Enjoy!

 

February 2017 Interesting Articles

These articles and more are shared daily on our Facebook. Follow us on Facebook if you would like to read more!

Sellers’ market for homes continues in Alachua County

Rental affordability in 20 Top US cities

Seven of 10 Most Unequal Priced Housing Markets Are in Florida

Trump Begins to Chip Away at Banking Regulations

Only 26% of Consumers Want Smart Homes

How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

Fannie Mae takes step that may fuel single-family rental growth

House flipping is on the rebound — and that’s not good for everyone

Single Family Starts

U.S. home prices surpass bubble-era peak, and Florida housing isn’t far behind

5 indispensable technology tips in 5 minutes: Jeff Lobb

How Trump’s tax plan could affect your bottom line as a real estate agent

Remodel or replace? Top 10 ROI opportunities in popular home improvement projects

Population: Fla. is growing but eight states shrink

Foreign buyers’ passion fades in Florida

Job Opening for Enterprising Individual

Thanks to our clients’ continued trust, it is time to grow our staff to handle the influx of new business.  In order to better serve our customers, we would like to expand our management of maintenance and renovation coordination.  We are currently looking to hire a maintenance coordinator.

The ideal candidate would be the following:
– Organized and self- disciplined
– Good with processes and procedures
– Strong multi-tasker
–  Possess knowledge in real estate and construction
–  Have experience in property management

If you are qualified, please email us at info@secureinvestmentsrealty.com with your resume and why you would be a good fit.

Click to read the job description and to see if the job is right for you

February 2017 Newsletter

How does Trump’s executive orders effect you – a property owner and investor? Check out this month’s newsletter to find out!

Check out Secure Investments February 2017 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • The Disappearing (Dodd- Frank) Act

  • Job Opening for Enterprising Individual

  • Words From Our Broker

  • February 2017 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

The Disappearing (Dodd-Frank) Act

There is a new president in town.  Although everyone has different thoughts on his style and views, one thing can be agreed… he has been busy.  His executive orders have been creating quite a storm causing some to cheer and others to protest.  For real estate professionals and property owners, there are two executive orders that will directly effect you.

In 2008, we all witnessed (and most homeowners experienced) the effects of the housing bubble and the subsequent recession.  The risky investment in mortgage backed securities and the government’s subsequent bailout of banks led to the creation of the Dodd-Frank Act.  This act was created to provide oversight and regulation to the industry that was blamed for causing the crisis. Its main goal was to protect the consumer and keep banks solvent.  Because of its many rules, its effectiveness has been in question since its creation with most detractors arguing it impedes qualified people from getting loans.

In February, Trump signed two orders relating to the Act.  The first one asking the Secretary of the Treasury to review regulations on banks specifically in regards to their ability to make speculative investments.  The second asked the Secretary of Labor to delay a rule requiring financial advisers to act in a client’s best interests.

Below are links to articles explaining the views of both sides but you are probably asking “how does it effect me a homeowner and investor?”.

Possible effects on the real estate market include:

– It may loosen mortgage requirements making it easier for consumers to take out a loan.
– It may shorter closing times when buying property due to less required documentation.
– It may decrease the closing costs for banks (and consumers) due to less regulation.
– It may increase mortgage delinquencies due to consumers being approved who cannot afford it.
– It may allow big banks to get involved in risky mortgage-backed securities again that would give Wall Street more power to impact the housing market – positively or negatively.

No matter your viewpoint on the orders, the regulations will impact the housing market.  We will have to see whether it will be for better or for worse.

February 2017 Words From Our Broker

Wow! Is it really spring again so soon? Well it is for us here in the Gainesville and Alachua county area. Trees and flowers are not just budding, they are blooming! Is it just me or did winter seem to go by very quickly? It’s supposed to reach 80 degrees today and close to it for the rest of the week. I’m so grateful to be living and working in this beautiful part of Florida. Maybe it has to do with the large amount of rain we had in the last few months. Check out the video links below of the Suwannee river.  It is now close to its high marks due to the opening of the Okefenokee swamp damn to allow that area to drain. We’ve got all kinds of debris and other interesting things floating down the river. I also included some pictures of our deck renovations that is turning out beautifully!!

This season is also loaded with sales activity. We talked last month about making your plans to prepare your properties so this month is the time for action. We are currently working with a couple handfuls of owners by helping them prepare their property for the best possible performance on the sales market. You can stay tuned to future newsletters for some before and after videos.

Because we are so well practiced in taking care of properties and improving their value through mini renovations, it’s an easy process for us to help you determine your property’s best market value and what improvements would be needed to get you there. But you can also do this on your own if you have the time and the resources. You don’t want to wait too long because repair people will be in high demand as we get closer and closer to spring and summer.  It will be difficult to get people in and out quickly once summer hits so that you don’t lose money with the additional time.

Of course you can also Google how to do just about anything yourself if you’re so inclined. Remember to take into consideration the quality of materials you use will strongly affect the value.  Having a good eye for putting materials and colors together to create a quality beatification project can more than pay for itself. Take a look at the potential value with improvements and without to decide if it is worth your time and effort. You may decide your not up to investing the time, energy, stress, inconvenience and money needed to make the upgrades your property needs and instead want to sell the property as is at a reduced price. Be prepared to justify your pricing with comps and estimates for needed repairs because today’s buyers are very savvy and your property sitting for months on the market overpriced can be a huge financial loss that’s avoidable when the property is priced and prepared correctly.

We are always happy to help you sell or rent your property and are very experienced at handling everything for you smoothly and quickly!

Click here to see more pictures

A Property Investor’s New Year Resolutions

Starting a new exercise regimen? Swearing off sugary snacks? Aiming to focus more on family?

At the start of a new year, resolutions in every aspect of our lives start to appear. Resolutions about our physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual health abound as we try to start off the new year on a new foot.  One area often overlooked are your investment properties.

Investment properties may be part of your plan to achieve a peaceful retirement or to grow excess income. Waiting until closer to retirement or when you are ready to sell does not ensure the biggest bang for your investment buck.  Now is the time of year to put thought into how you will capitalize on making this year a success for your investment properties.   Small goals, or “resolutions”, each year will ensure a higher ROI for whatever goals you hope to achieve in the future with your investment!

Below are some areas to focus on in order to make this year a success for your investment property portfolio and to ensure higher returns for years to come.

  1. Budget! It is best to get this item out of the way first since it is probably the least glamorous part of being a property investor.  As 1099s come in and you sit down to do taxes, you can easily take time to look over your income and expenses over the past year.  Maintenance is going to be the big area to examine as you budget for this year. Taking the time to budget now will prevent surprises later.  It is wise to reinvest some profit back into the home to ensure it continues to stay updated. Small improvements now will save money when it is time to sell.  It will prevent you from having the sell the property below market value because the property is outdated or poorly maintained. Ask yourself some of these questions:
    • What large maintenance projects may need to be done this coming year?
    • What percentage of your profit will you reinvest in the home to complete upgrades?
    • If the current tenant doesn’t renew, what expenses will I incur during the turnover (vacancy time, painting, etc.)?
  2. Goals: Now that you know how your property performed this past year, it is time to re-evaluate what your long term goals are.  Write out why you are investing in this property. Seeing your goal for the property in writing will help determine if the property is performing well.  Ask yourself some of these questions:
    • Why am I renting this property?
    • If your goal is to make a certain amount of profit, is your property producing your target amount?
    • Due to major life events, has your long term goal changed this past year?
    • What do I hope this property will produce in 5, 10, 15 years?
    • How much would I like to sell this property for?
  3. Market: Put your feelers out to see how the rental and sales market is doing.  Contact your property manager, real estate agent, fellow property investors, and any one else in the industry that you trust.  Ask them where they think the market (sales and rental) is headed.  Gather information that relates to the goals you just wrote.  For example, if you plan to sell the property, determine how much it is worth and when the ideal time may be to sell.  If you wish to rent, talk to your property manager about upgrades that may increase rent.  Knowing what the market is like will help determine what your property’s future may be.
  4. Take Action: You have all the information you need to take action.  Resolve to follow through on what you have decided this year.  Contact your property manager to share your budget and planned property improvements.  Put a reminder on your phone to review your property’s goals each month.  Make a final decision about renting or selling this year and contact the necessary people.

Starting the new year with a little planning will ensure 2017 is a successful year for you and your property!

January 2017 Words From Our Broker

Hi, I hope everybody had a fabulous Christmas and New Year holiday. Oh boy is it obvious it’s a new year with a new president! So many predictions flying around like our last article spoke of. The gym classes are packed full of new folks, lots of people trying to eat right, bunch of people talking business…..and especially the business of real estate .

With a new president that is pro-real estate and business and the Fed pushing up the interest rate, it’s creating an even stronger sellers market than last year. And last year was a good year!

Although some say it’ll take Trump about a year to become accustomed to the political side of his job, folks previously on the fence about buying and selling are making moves in that direction. The combination of talk of interest rates rising and Trump’s proposed immigration policies (that may drive up construction cost due to a lack of cheap illegal immigrants) positions NOW is a really good time to buy as the months and years that follow will likely bring higher housing costs.

Other predictions that resonate with me in my world is the talk of MLS mergers (multiple listing service ….AKA-the keeper of the data) and possible agent commission structure changes.  Due to the availability and vast possibilities of technology, I believe this year will be the beginning of really big changes in how Realtors do business. If you don’t stay up, you will definitely get left behind in the years that follow especially if you have a hard time accepting and maximizing change. We’ve included an article in the links section of this newsletter that sums up what’s happening in these areas. It won’t be business as usual for long.

I spent my holidays with family. We are so fortunate to live relatively close so it was packed full of family fun. We had the traditional pictures with Santa, making kids breakfast on Christmas morning,  watched them open presents, drove through an amazing Christmas light display at the Spirit of the Suwannee music park, jet ski ride with the manatees on Christmas morning, and a New Year’s Eve celebration with life size Jenga and sky lanterns. I included videos in the link below that are sooooo much funnier in the high speed I set them to! We even had a trip to Disney packed between the weekends. I’m so thankful and grateful to be able to spend quality time with my family. I hope you were also able to spend time with loved ones. When all else is said and done that’s really what matters most in life: Being there for those you love.  Happy New Year!!

Click here to see more videos of Tanya’s holidays.

 

Housing Trends to Watch in 2017

Interest rates are increasing. Trump will become President.  Millennials are looking to buy.  The European Union is experiencing shake ups.  How will all of this affect the housing market? No one knows. Change is the only guarantee for the coming year.

  • Interest Rates Will Continue to Rise: We have already experienced this after the election results. Interest rates are only expected to continue to rise in 2017 although some predict rates will top out at 5%.  This will affect affordability for first-time home buyers.  It may also negatively impact the market by encouraging some potential buyers to stay put rather than buy.
  • Increase in Millennial Home Buyers:  The average age of a first-time home buyer is 32. In 2017, 4.4 million Americans will be turning 32. Two factors are expected to push Millennials to be home buyers: household formation and wage growth.  As more young adults graduate, marry, and start families, buying is becoming a more viable option especially given recent wage growth.  They are expected to create a lot of demand on the housing market potentially causing prices to rise if supply cannot meet demand.
  •   Shortage in Housing Inventory:  Low housing inventory will continue to be a problem. Entry-level homes represent the biggest shortage on the market as Millennials shop with a limited budget.  Also foreign investors continue to see the US as a safe real estate investment due to turbulence in the European Union. Foreclosures have continued to decrease cutting off affordable alternatives. The shortage may cause the market to overheat and some predict a small bubble will occur. New construction may help close the gap later in 2017 and into the beginning of 2018 as housing starts increased.  This past October housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million – the highest pace since August 2007. That trend is expected to continue which may help balance out the shortage.
  • Construction Prices Will Go Up: If Trump follows through with his tough immigration plan, it is expected to negatively impact the construction industry.  The current shortage of construction workers is expected to get worse as hiring immigrant construction workers will become more difficult.  The byproduct will be an increase in workers’ wages causing the price of newly constructed homes to increase.  We may also see fewer large-scale remodeling projects on existing homes due to the worker shortage and increased prices.

2017 is expected to have a lot of changes.  By keeping your pulse on the market though, there shouldn’t be many unexpected surprises 🙂

Check out these other articles to see other 2017 predictions:

 

December 2016 Words from Our Broker

Brrrrrrr. Winter has finally hit Florida. Which means we have a few days a week that we get to break out our heavy jackets and boots. Peppered with days of shorts and tanks. Gotta love north central Florida in the early winter and late fall. It seems this year we’ve had more color changes in the leaves than other years.

The river is especially tranquil and beautiful right now. I’m still pinching myself for being able to experience this beauty daily. We slipped in an end of the year tube ride over the Thanksgiving Holiday for my grandkids. It was both of their first times and they had a blast. Alicia only four years old wanted to ride by herself and go fast! She’s got her grandma’s sense of adventure for sure.

Business always slows down during the holidays. Nobody likes to move this time of year when they’re busy preparing for the holidays, spending family time, and traveling with kids that are out of school for winter break. This is a perfect time to start preparing the direction of your investment for the upcoming year. This time of the year people are taking into consideration their taxes and exemptions. Things to be considered range from contributing more money to IRAs by the year’s end or scouting for and buying real estate for investment or personal use. A lot of businesses will be paying bills early and some property owners may be making improvements now so the exemptions can be realized this year.

With the elections over and Trump in office, there are bound to be lots of changes that will affect the economy and your investments directly. Of course nobody can be sure exactly how things will be affected but there is a lot of speculation as you can see in the article Laura put together for us.

Interest rates have already started creeping up a little and it’s predicted that the the Federal Reserve rate will increase in December. I wouldn’t hold off too long if you’re considering purchasing real estate. Spring comes quickly and that sprouts new buyers and investors every year. So don’t miss taking advantage of this slower season to prepare properly for your year end taxes and plans for your investments for the New Year.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving making lots of memories. Jeff brought a cooler full of snow back from upstate New York for a Thanksgiving snow ball fight in sunny Florida! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Click here to see more pictures and videos

November 2016 Interesting Articles

These articles and more are shared daily on our Facebook. Follow us on Facebook if you would like to read more!

This article was featured in this month’s newsletter.  Please subscribe if you want to receive these updates and more each month.

November 2016 Words from Our Broker

The beautiful fall weather is here!! In Florida, it seems we have a pre-fall (where it just teases you) and then a fall season. It’s a beautiful time of year. The river water is getting colder as evidenced by the alligators on riverbanks warming their bodies. My middle and high  school years were spent growing up in the swamp of  Manshack Louisiana always excitedly watching these powerful animals. 90% of the time you’re watching them do absolutely nothing. Then that other 10% kicks in and you see them use they’re powerful jaws eating their prey.

I wish I could draw a clever parallel on how it’s election day today and the strength of candidates for president. But there is nothing funny or powerful about this election. I have to believe that this has to bring about a better selection and election process. We need good leaders and role models.  Having to choose the lesser evil is no way to run a country.

The real estate market has already started slowing to its upcoming holiday slumber. Not a lot of people like to move during the holidays. It could be a good time for you to consider doing renovations or improvements if your home hasn’t sold and it has not been updated. Taking the home off the market for a few months and then reintroducing it with a mini makeover and new MLS entry can boost your chances of getting it sold.

We’ve coordinated and overseen a lot of mini renovations for our property owners when it came time for a face lift to sell or rent. It’s amazing what a little tastefully done paint, lights fixtures, mirrors and floors can do for a place.

If your home’s roof is over 20 years old or even close to it, you may want to replace it if you intend to sell. Most banks will require it and trying to get it done under the gun of a closing date looming can be difficult and stressful.

During the spring and summer, repair and trades companies are busy, busy but come the holidays things slow down for them as well. You may be able to negotiate better prices than you would be able to get in the summer. Scrutinizing and comparing line items in your improvement estimates is a must. Finding someone you trust to do the work can be tricky. Often your top concern is to save money and you may set yourself up for a big disappointment and costly corrections if you don’t hire good folks the first time. Make sure you get a referral from someone you trust if you’re going to have work done. Because of our years of property management in this area, we have developed a strong list of trades and repair people that we supervise and can count on for good work and fair prices.

We have started renovating the river house by starting on the outside with the decks. We’re going to the cable system so we can soak up every ounce of view. After the decks we’re going to completely open up the wall along the front of the home with two sliders and big french doors. I can’t wait!  Below are pictures of the deck now and an example of the cable system we will be doing.

Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving! I hope you create beautiful memories with family and friends.

October 2016 Interesting Articles

These articles and more are shared daily on our Facebook. Follow us on Facebook if you would like to read more!

This article was featured in this month’s newsletter.  Please subscribe if you want to receive these updates and more each month.

October 2016 Words From Our Broker

Hi, it’s a beautiful fall morning on the Suwannee! I just couldn’t help but share a picture.

suwannee

This picture is right after Hurricane Matthew came through Florida. Gainesville and the surrounding counties were spared for the most part. Only a few trees down but not as bad as last month’s storm where we had a lot more rain. On the river, we had 20 mph wind gusts and light sideways rain 🙂 It simply made for an exciting and beautiful day on the river. The grandkids sure enjoyed it!

Unfortunately our east coast didn’t fair as well. There was significant flooding in St Augustine, Jacksonville, and South Carolina. Here is the link to some videos of the flooding that I shared on our Business Facebook page 

With destruction comes re-birth. It is the natural process of life but our hearts go out to those affected.

The few weeks prior to the Hurricane were spent traveling and working mobile-ly. I attended the CMLS (Council of Multiple Listing Service) annual convention at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for our Local Board of Realtors where I serve as MLS Vice President. What a hoot! Both the conference and the town. The gist of the future of the MLS is they need to be ready to adapt to the inevitable change that is happening driven by technology. The link to the presentation below sums it up well (in my opinion). Notorious R.O.B. gave a very entertaining and insightful presentation on the future of MLS. Click here for the link.

Again another adage of popular wisdom: “Adapt and evolve or get left behind”. The crux is that old ways of Realtors not sharing information (all the homes listed and sold) are hard to let go of for many reasons (fear of replacement being the top reason, the second logistics and service). However, inevitably technology will cause some destruction of current the MLS as we know it and the creation that comes from it will eventually make information more easily accessible, understandable and measurable – ultimately making the home finding process easier. I am excited to be a part in helping work through the transitions that will take place. Not likely in the next two years but I would guess in five we will know where it’s going.

After the conference we rented a truck and spent the next two days sightseeing 900 miles of dessert! From Vegas to the Red Rock mountain, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon Western Rim, the Painted Desert, and finally the Grand Canyon Southern Rim before sliding into the airport for our “Red Eye” back to Gainesville. I’ll leave out the details of almost missing our flight and only being saved by it being postponed an hour. Whew!!!! I’ll just say…don’t always trust your phone to auto adjust to time zones.

our-pilotWe were home for one day and closed on our River House. Yay!!!! Then put the bike on the auto train out of Sanford to Virginia for a few days of wet, beautiful, exciting riding through the mountains before the sun came to join in on our ride back to Florida. I loved it all! The train ride was a fun, economical, and great way to make progress traveling during sleeping hours. I highly recommend it.

Being gone so long we were ready to be home so we had a 15 hour day on the bike ride back to Florida. That’s some crazy traveling!

Thankfully with that wonderful technology that’s ever evolving how we do business, I was able to continue keep up my work flow easily. Having made it through our busy season the market is slowing down to a normal pace and not the hectic load we have during the summer and early fall. If you have properties to sell or rent you should make the most of the next month by having the property in optimal condition and correctly priced to take advantage of the activity thru October because come Thanksgiving and Christmas not many folks like to move.  Enjoy your fall weather

Click on the link to see all the pictures and video. Don’t miss the Helicopter dropping into the Grand Canyon and some wild Elk love!

What Repairs Require a Licensed Contractor?

flyerThe Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation  met with our property management council to go over what maintenance repairs require a state licensed contractor. Below are a few takeaways from the  meetings:

  • Owner builder permits say the owner has to live in the property for a year before they sell or rent the property. The above is the new law as it pertains to employees. This applies to large apartment or condo communities over 100 units and requires certifications.
  • Handyman exemption chapter 48: Any work of a casual nature under $1000 for general building or plumbing (not for electrical) is exempt.
  • Go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/ and go under the unlicensed activity section for a more in-depth list of what requires a permit. Section 015 talks about each different type of contractor.
  • Check the mobile app for DPBR to get instant information and the ability to report unlicensed activities.
  • Below are some stipulations for apartment community repairs:

rul

Are You Prepared for the Next Big Hurricane?

hurricane season 2016Hermine gave us all a scare and our first dose of Florida’s hurricane season.  Luckily, Hermine did not do much damage in our area aside from a few downed trees and lots of rain.  As the hurricane season gets into full swing, there are actions tenants and owners can take to ensure their personal safety and the property’s.  Below are suggestions on how to prepare for the next big storm.

Before the Next Hurricane:

  • Stock up the pantry.  All it takes is for one big storm to knock out power and block roads making you dependent on your emergency supplies.  Stocking your pantry with non-perishable food and water will aid in a crisis situation.  Adding batteries, flashlights, a portable radio, and emergency first aid kit are all good items to have on hand as well. Having these supplies stocked throughout the hurricane season ensures your family will be able to weather most worst case scenarios.
  • Clean out the gutters.  Although this may seem trivial, clogged gutters (or even slightly full gutters) can cause water damage.  Hurricanes can produce a week of rain and several inches of downpour which takes a toll on gutters.  If the gutters are not functioning properly, then the water will not be pulled away from the house creating water damage.
  • Locate emergency numbers.   If the power goes out… if damage happens to the home… if you need to evacuate, who do you call? Locate these numbers now and then put them in an easy to find place or save them in your phone.  Also create a backup plan if you cannot use your phone.

When the Hurricane is Headed your Way:

  • Bring in all outside furnishings.  Hurricanes are characterized by strong winds. Make sure to bring in all furnishings and possible projectiles located outside and on your porch.   If not secured these items can become airborne and hit windows, screens, and other property causing damage. Even small lawn ornaments need to come inside.
  • Stay inside.  Once the hurricane’s outer bands begin to hit your area, park your vehicle in a safe place and head inside.  Strong hurricanes can induce tornadoes and even mild winds from the hurricanes can cause trees and limbs to fall.  Plan to be safely inside throughout the whole hurricane.  If you know the time it will hit, you can even host a hurricane party and spend the time catching up with friends.
  • Stay updated.  Hurricanes can be upgraded and downgraded quickly.  By watching the news or listening to the radio, you can know what to expect in your area.   Staying informed lets you know the precautions you need to take and when it is safe to leave your house.

After the Hurricane Hits:

  • Do a visual inspection.  Walk around the exterior of your home and look for possible damage.  Inspect trees for dangerous limbs that may need to be removed.  Look for any roof damage or missing shingles.  Check the interior ceilings for any wet spots which would indicate a leak.
  • Report any damage.  Water damage is especially important to report as soon as possible since it can escalate quickly if it is left unaddressed.  Usually vendors do get backed up right after an especially strong hurricane.  Make sure to call right away in order to secure your spot near the top of their list.
  • Contact your insurance.  If significant damage does occur to the property, it is good to take pictures and to contact your homeowners’ insurance company immediately to learn if it is covered.  Tenants can also contact their renters’ insurance company if they sustained any damage to their personal belongings.  Have a copy of your policy on hand to ensure you get the complete coverage your policy guarantees.

For a recap of Hurricane Hermine, click here.

September 2016 Words From Our Broker

Hi,

I am writing this month’s Broker’s corner on Labor Day just a few days after the first hurricane of this season hit Florida.

Hurricane Hermine rolled in on Thursday and the whole town was a buzz of excitement with people preparing for the storm. Some prepped  by getting water and supplies while others prepared to face it with a traditional hurricane party. I’ve always loved a good Huricane party. Being we were actually already preparing for a big Family Labor Day party and sort of house warming party we were already set up for both!

We were curious to see how the new River home would fair especially because our little town was in the direct path. It turned out to be just a big storm for most of us with a lot of rain, wind, and thunder but little major damage. None of our rental properties suffered anything major just a few screens blown out and a couple of big branches down. We took a ride on the motorcycle to Lake City the next morning and saw a few trees down on power lines but for the most part the category 1 hurricane left our area peacefully. The river has risen several feet on the Suwannee. My floating island did get away and was blown a few hundred yards upstream so we got to go rescue it.  The rest of the weekend had “popcorn” showers as usual with some beautiful fast moving clouds. The storm also brought that first real feel of fall all day Monday.

The Labor Day party on Saturday was a huge amount of fun on the river with 25 close family members (half of them being kids) all fully enjoying the river. The rope swing over to the floating island was a big hit. Our vision for our new river home was fulfilled when we woke the next morning and made breakfast for the 17 peeps that were sleeping all over the place.  After a yummy banana pancake breakfast we were off for a quick boat ride to Bob’s River place for a little river water park action. Kids and adults were exhausted by sunset Sunday. We’re so fortunate to be close to our family and able to make such fun memories with them all. I shared some video of the weekend below.

This week should bring us to finally close on the River property (thank you pre-occupancy agreement). In getting ready for closing I received an interesting education on homeowners insurance and flood insurance so I thought I’d share a few things. In the past when hunting for homeowners insurance (or any insurance) it was relatively inexpensive and competitors closely priced so I didn’t bother really shopping and comparing for it like I did this time. I’ve include my spread sheet and some notes in the link below that helped me identify the policy I felt was best and see how certain aspects of coverage can change the price. Dramatically in some cases. We did end up saving about $1400 per year on flood and $400 on Home Owners policy as compared to the first quote received.

Homeowners Insurance Policy Comparisons

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend and take advantage of the beautiful fall weather ahead of us 😊

Secure Investments Realty Newsletter August 2016

Are your turnovers giving you a headache? Check out this month’s newsletter to five easy ways to ensure your turnovers go smoothly! Plus learn how to complete a thorough move-in inspection!

Check out Secure Investments August 2016 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • 5 Ways to Ensure a Smooth Property Turnover
  • How to Complete a Move-In Inspection
  • Words From Our Broker
  • August 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • Interesting Real Estate Articles
  • List of our current available properties

5 Ways to Ensure a Smooth Property Turnover

For Gainesville property management, July 31st is THE biggest day of the year. Because of the university schedule, hundreds of leases end on this day.  Property management companies are scrambling to ensure they have documented every move-out  and contacted all needed vendors in order to have the properties prepared for the next set of tenants.  All companies related to this turnover time are slammed with work.

Property turnovers are one of the necessary parts of property management.  No tenant is going to live in your property forever.  At some point they are going to move and preparation is key to ensure it happens smoothly.  Because of the craziness of July 31st turns, those properties require special attention and preparation to ensure nothing goes wrong last minute.  The tips below will help any turnover go smoother whether it be a July 31st move-out or any other time of year. Hope this helps produce fewer gray hairs during your next turn!

  1. Smooth turnovers start during the application process.  When the property is on the market, you need to have stringent criteria to ensure you only accept the best tenants.  Most owners know they are looking for tenants with a history of paying rent on time but you also want to keep your eye out on this important intangible: respect for your property.  This important quality is harder to identify but it is important to ensure a smoother turn because tenants who respect your property leave it in better condition at move-out.  You need to make sure to complete income, credit, landlord, and background checks to get unbiased facts about how well a tenant can pay their rent and how well they treated their last property.  Strengths in these all these areas tend to correlate to how well a tenant will respect your property. Asking a previous landlord what condition the property was in at move-out can tell a lot about what you can expect.  Credit reports full of unpaid cable bills or other collections can also indicate how the applicant will value a hit to their credit report if you have to pursue them for damages not covered by a security deposit.
  2. Smooth turnovers start before move-in.  Is the property clean? Are all major repairs completed such as leaks fixed and holes patched? Does the property have upgrades and a nice coat of paint? All of these items communicate to the tenant your expectations.  If a tenant sees you do not care about the property (or that you are unwilling to fix basic issues like a leak under the kitchen sink), they will see that as the standard of care they are expected to give to the property.  This is not a good start to a year long relationship.  Always make sure the property is spruced up and clean upon move-in to communicate the best expectations about care of the property.
  3. Smooth turnovers benefit from regular inspections.  One of the easiest ways to catch large turnover work and issues is to have an inspection every 4-6 months at a property.  Allowing a trained individual to inspect the property can catch missed maintenance preventing it from becoming a larger issue and can find problems with tenant upkeep.  Discovering a damaged carpet 6 months into the lease is never enjoyable.  The earlier you know though, the easier it is to: correct the behavior causing the damage, collect reimbursement from the tenant for the damage, and estimate replacement and get the work pre-scheduled before move-out.
  4. Smooth turnovers benefit from quality vendors.  Without a team of trustworthy vendors, your turn is going to be full of headaches.  Relationships with vendors is crucial to getting a quick turn completed on schedule and on budget.  By working with vendors throughout the year, you will already know which vendor offers the best prices for the highest quality work.  This saves you precious time because you won’t have to shop around as much or worry that the job is not done well.  You will also already understand their work ethic and favored methods of communication ensuring accurate timelines, quick estimates, and possible favors if an emergency happens.  Good relationships is especially important during the July 31st turn because everyone is trying to get on the schedule for the same vendors so any leg up you can have on getting priority is beneficial.
  5. Smooth turnovers are the product of great preparation.  Plan, plan, plan, and plan some more! Turnovers can only go smoothly by thinking through them as much as 6 months in advance.  Try to learn early whether a tenant will be vacating.  Give yourself plenty of time in between the old lease and new lease to prevent the property not being ready in time.  Communicate with vendors in advance about which properties will be turning and how much work you think will need to be completed. Decide what work will be priority and what can be completed after move-in to alleviate stress on your vendors.  Create a system to ensure easy return of keys, documentation of move-out condition, and creation of work orders. Preparing for the expected and giving space for unexpected saves you money, time, and headaches.

If you read any of these and thought “that is too much work!”, you are right.  It takes a lot of work to turn a property at minimal expense.  That is why professional property managers make it their full time job to think through the right formula to minimize your headaches and expenses.  Like any home, rental properties do require money to upkeep but a professional finds you the best deal and limits the down time.  The less downtime and issues during turnover, the sooner the property can get back to producing income for you.

August 2016 Words From Our Broker

This month’s corner is being written from my front porch  on the Suwannee River watching sheets and sheets of rain fill the river. Then beautiful sunny skies spattered between the bouts of driving rain. With or without rain the river is beautiful. Always changing and alive. Very active on a sunny weekend but mostly quiet and peaceful the rest of the time…especially during a storm.

We are having a low pressure system that Florida can be famous for. It’ll be hovering over us for this next week. Thankfully too because we do need the rain. The lakes and rivers are low and lawns are getting brown. But the rain will be a challenge for a lot of work force who work on property. The construction industry will be pulling there hair out, with the rain wreaking havoc on their schedules and labor force getting a break (like it or not)…

In property management, it creates a real challenge getting our properties ready and new tenants moved in. Carpet cleaning, maid service, paint, lawn care….in the rain.  It’s a challenge just not to create more dirt. We have years of experience turning properties in the rain…just look back to last year’s Facebook post of “turning in the rain 🎶🎶🎶”. It’s getting close to hurricane season in Florida so of course, it’ll be rainy to spice up your property’s turn.

Thankfully again this year we get to see the fruit of our preparatory efforts shine through as our tenants leave the properties in great condition…for the most part. Not that we haven’t had our fair share of homes needing lots of work but those tend to be the new properties that come into management. I mean no disrespect but most homes that are not being professionally managed by a qualified person have a much larger cost to turn the property over to a new tenant. This year I was pleased to find that the majority of my properties had a very light turn over expense. This is because they’re kept in good condition throughout the year and are rented to people that take care of the home to begin with.

Property management done right can be very easy. One of my wonderful owners Mr. Lamb just recently emailed thanking us and commenting to me how he never knew owning investment property could be so easy and saying he would have done it years ago had he known! Of course, I did have to share that it’s not always this easy but….it can be 98% of the time if done right.

It’s never too late to turn a property’s performance around. We tend to get a lot of new owners this time of year ready to make a change and turn their property over to professional management. We are able to help coordinate and manage the mini renovations often needed for their properties to start attracting that quality renter. Having strong relationships with trusted vendors is the heart of a smooth turn over of a property. We’re thankful we’ve maintained our good relationships for the 25+ years I’ve been managing property in this area. I know I mentioned them in last month’s corner (and some by name) but obviously no turn can be a success without the right people and that takes nurturing those relationships all year. If your choosing to go it alone again this year, my advice to you is:

  1. Hire quality vendors you can trust
  2. Get your property in prime condition.
  3. Screen your tenant’s credit and criminal background, previous rental history and income.  If there’s a flaw….don’t rent to them or, at the least, collect a double deposit.
  4. Keep your property in good condition throughout the lease so your tenants’ renew (This is the biggest savings!)
  5. Upgrade as needed between tenants to keep your home competitive and continue to get top rent.
  6. Save yourself the hassles and extra expense and hire a good property manager.  They will usually pay for themselves several times over by taking care of items 1-5 for you 🙂

If you have a property on the sales market and you’re not getting the offers you want and cannot lower your asking price to compete, you may want to start considering renting the property. While we do rent properties year round, families like to get kids settled in their new home before school starts.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. A beautiful fall is just around the corner. I created a little video of hanging outside of Bob’s River place watching the fun as kids spend some of their last days of summer at the river. I hope you enjoy yours 😊

Help Us Lower the Gainesville Landlord permit fee!

We need your help to contact the Mayor to lower the current landlord permit fee! Let your voice be heard by sending in a letter requesting a decrease.

The City’s Community Development Committee (CDC) recommends lowering the Landlord Permit Price to $118 over the course of three years. According to the 2015 independent fee study that the City commissioned, the cost per permit is only $112.71. Many of the commissioners acknowledged the fee was too high and burdensome at the September 17th, 2015 City Commission meeting. However the commissioners did not want to approve the CDC’s recommendation to reduce the Landlord Permit fee because the timing was too tight. The FY 2016 budget hearing was that same night and they recommended re-evaluating for FY 2017.

The landlord permit fee is an unfair burden on our landlords. The landlord permit fee went from $84 in 2006-2007 to $177 in 2007-2008 and the city has continued to raise the cost to the current price of $204.75. The services don’t match the fee making it unchecked taxation. Many homeowners are renting their homes because they are upside down on their mortgages and therefore cannot sell. Lowering this fee would help underwater homeowners.  Please click here to mail a letter in support of lowering the fee to the Mayor.

July 2016 Words From Our Broker

Hi! Is it really only mid July? We’ve been having 100 and above heat indexes in the beginning of June! Is it just me or has this been one of the hottest summers ever? I can’t imagine it being any hotter. It’s actually made me rethink my love for volleyball….. Or at least for afternoon volleyball. It’s absurdly hot and sucks the life right outta ya unless it’s after 6:30 pm. I’ve questioned my sanity on our Sunday 1 PM games. Aside from the heavy heat and humidity, the weather is gorgeous. Beautiful blue skies and Florida’s famous out of nowhere thunderstorms where the rain comes down in buckets reminding you of how quickly Mother Nature can work her magic. I’m hoping one day she chooses to refill our lakes out in Keystone so my property values out there improve 🙂

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Suwannee River and am looking at buying property on a beautiful high bluff close to the Sante Fe. The constantly changing river and wildlife has such a beautiful energy. It’s been a fun experience checking out the various properties along the Suwannee and learning about the various flood areas, sandy bottoms, springs, swells, various widths of the river, setback requirements etc. It’s a good reminder how important having a good Realtor is and that it really is time consuming finding the right property.  I’m a Realtor and have all the tools needed to search out the perfect property and yet it’s still very time consuming and not the easiest of tasks. Even with a good Realtor it’s so important to view the properties you’re considering in person especially if it’s not a cookie cutter style community in a suburb. There are some things you just won’t know until you experience the property by walking it and getting a feel for the land and the neighborhood. Having a great app like Realtor.com is a must. We would ride the jet ski and explore the areas by water being able to see the various property information and pictures on the app as we rode by them. I think it’d be very cool to have an organized river run open house and load up customers on a pontoon boat and take them to the various properties along the river and maybe stop for lunch along the way at a sandy beach!  It sure helps you get an idea of the values so you can make an informed decision.

Things are also heating up in the property management world and we’re in the heart of the famous “turn over season of Gainesville”. We’ve had a handful of properties turn over at the end of June and will have a larger handful throughout July. I am so thankful for how organized and attentive to detail my assistant Laura Garcia is. Because we have such good policies and systems in place coupled with her superb work habits we are able to keep our vendors on track with the multitude of work that happens at this time of year. Getting property after property, painted, cleaned and maintained and new tenants moved in one to two weeks later. We also have a lot of new owners come to us this time of year needing their property made ready for new tenants. The only way we’re able to accomplish such a large amount of work in a small amount of time is through our good trusted practices – Laura’s commitment to excellence, combined with our trusted quality vendors.  Every year it’s a challenge to see how much better we can accomplish it. There will always be bumps and the unexpected but it’s how quickly, thoroughly, and friendly, you accomplish it that matters. A big thank you to our awesome vendors like, Michael Byrne, Stellar AC, Deidre and Reggie at Carpet Systems Plus, Rocky at Titletown Plumbing and Scott Grady and of course our Laura! Keep up the great work we’re halfway there!

I made a little video of last weekend’s trip to Bob’s River place on the Suwannee. It was my first time visiting and we brought my 4 year old granddaughter Alicia. She had a blast! This place is so cool with its great big slides and rope swings into the river and its many handmade amusement water games like the log roll, hammock throw, rafting wars and the karaoke stage. It’s a must visit for sure! Enjoy ~

Secure Investments Realty June 2016 Newsletter

Looking to maximize your phone and money on your next vacation? Read our top picks for travel apps in this month’s newsletter to guarantee you have an unforgettable vacation

Check out Secure Investments June 2016 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Travel Around in the World with 8 Travel Apps

  • Words From Our Broker

  • June 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • Interesting Articles

Please subscribe if you want to receive these newsletters monthly in your inbox.

Around the World in 8 Travel Apps

Around the world in 8 travel appsSummer is here! Time to leverage that smart phone to have the best summer vacation while also saving some Benjamins…or Tubmans 🙂 If you have any favorites we left out, please feel free to share via social media.  We love trying out new apps!

Tripcase: Keeps your itineraries all in one place including flights, hotels, and rental car bookings.  You send your travel information to an email address and it automatically uploads the information to your app.  You can also share with friends and family which is a perk if you are a frequent traveler.

Skyscanner: Compares flights to find the best possible price on domestic and international travel.  You can set it up to send emails when prices dip on your saved searches.  You can track hotel and car rentals on this as well.

Bring Fido: Traveling with a furry friend? This app allows you to find pet-friendly hotels and other arrangements.  It also maps out parks near you that are pet friendly.

Airbnb: Allows you to stay in personal homes at a lower rate than a hotel usually.  Our company has personally used this for work trips and saved $100s plus had the luxury of staying in an unforgettable location.  Although this style of hotel is not for everyone, for those willing to try it out, be prepared to meet great hosts who may become a new set of friends around the world.

Citymapper: Provides detailed real-time transit information for the metro, bus system, cycling, etc. This apps helps you navigate a new city maximizing your time to see all the sites you want.   It also is integrated with Uber to make calling a car easier.

Expensify: Tracks your travel expenses in one place.  This provides easy to use reports to make budgeting easier while traveling. Also if you are a regular business traveler, it will help with reimbursement and taxes.

Timeout: Provides a directory of ideas on how to enjoy your current city.  The app covers bars, restaurants, attractions, events, concerts, etc.  You can even book through the app for some events, making you feel like an insider.

Livetrekker: Tracks you on your travels creating a digital journal of your time.  You can go back after and add pictures, video, and audio to properly document your site-seeing. It is like a digital scrapbook.

Honorable Mentions:

Postagram: Allows you to create cute postcards on your phone to mail to family and friends while traveling.

Bravolol: Plan ahead and learn some basic phrases before you travel.  Once downloaded this app needs no internet connection so you can hear the phonetic spelling to new words to become a regular linguistic connoisseur

Hitlist: This flight app finds deals for trips you are interested in taking.  You can track different destinations and they give suggestions for the best dates to plan your vacation based off airfare.

Hopper: Uses month maps to recommend best days to fly out.  Unlike other apps, they show you each day’s deals and color codes them by whether it is a good deal or not.  It will also share recommendations of when the app thinks prices will go up or down on your trip.

June 2016 Words From Our Broker

Hi,

Things are certainly heating up. And I’m not just talking about the typical hot, humid,  rainy Florida weather that’s rearing its head. The late spring/early summer begins a transition for many people in our town.

tanya chappell bimini bahamas

Between education, medical, technology and construction, our town has got it going on! Gainesville has become a great place for employment. As Gainesville grows in size with the construction of so many new commercial and residential projects, Gainesville’s economy, job market and wages are all growing – bringing us plenty of buyers and tenants. Thankfully with the robust economy fewer people have trouble qualifying to rent or buy (especially with the interest rates remaining low). We call this time of the year turnover season with so many people moving in and out of town. We have so many houses to get ready in a short amount of time. Property managers live for this time of year! Rofl 😉

With all the building happening good skilled carpenters are in high demand (which points to wage increases).  I have also heard the cost of construction materials is slated to increase in September. This means the cost of building will be increasing which will push up the cost of buying a home. It still remains true that there is no time like the present to buy property.

Keep in mind that trades people are in high demand this time of year so if you’re needing help getting your property in condition to put on the market or change over tenants, you need to plan ahead. Getting estimates now and commitments from your trades people are key to a smooth transition. This is one of the areas that having a good property manager can save you a lot of money. Not only in having trusted vendors with good rates and quality work, but also the organizational and follow through skill that’s imperative when working on getting properties ready with the shortest vacancy or down time. Time is definitely money.

This time of year also brings lots of travel for many people with kids out of school and summer fun things happening. Being in the middle of the State like we are makes it easy to enjoy the beach, the river or the springs. Being in Florida also makes it oh-so convenient for a little Island travel. This past weekend we took a charter flight out of Fort Lauderdale over to our friend’s place in Bimini, Bahamas. Such a cool little island with lots of good fishing, diving and golf cart riding fun, all just a 20 to 30 minute hop over. Their place is great and it’s for sale!!! They also have a lot for sale if you prefer to build your own. I hope someone I know buys it so I can continue to come over and live like the locals! Lol. It will need to be written into the contract. For more information about this place click here. I had plans of doing a nice little video promoting the house and lot but being my phone fell in the ocean on the first day, my life proof case not doing its job, and a rice grain becoming lodged in the plug-in port, my movie editing abilities were grounded 😮

To see more pictures from Tanya’s trip, click here.

May 2016 Interesting Articles

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Secure Investments Realty May 2016 Newsletter

Interested in increasing your property’s ROI? Watch the transformation of these properties in this month’s newsletter.

Check out Secure Investments May 2016 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • 3/3.5 Lofts Oasis Renovation

  • 2/2.5 Casablanca West Renovation

  • New Changes in theTenant Screening Process

  • Words From Our Broker
  • May 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties
  • Interesting Articles

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Before & After: 3/3.5 Lofts Oasis Condo Renovation

Improving your property’s overall condition not only saves you money but it saves you time and stress. If your property needs work, it will attract less quality buyers and tenants.

With this 3/3.5 Lofts Oasis Condo, the industrial style design was no longer an attribute to the property due to wear and tear. In order to increase the rental rate and eventual re-sale value, the renovation focused on:
– Installing new flooring to cover up the current stained and gouged concrete floors
– Painting the bare concrete walls to make the property more inviting
– Cleaning and addressing maintenance concerns such as plumbing and A/C

Before & After: 2/2.5 Casablanca West Condo Renovation

Improving your property’s overall condition not only saves you money but it saves you time and stress. If your property needs work, you will attract lower quality buyers and tenants.

The main areas that make the biggest difference is exterior condition, paint, flooring, appliances, countertops, and light, plumbing, and bath fixtures (tubs/caulk/tile). Sounds like everything doesn’t it? Often only some of it is needed. Most commonly paint, flooring and appliances. These three things should always be in good condition, clean and updated, without stains or defects. Once these areas are addressed, you are guaranteed to start attracting higher quality tenants.

With this Casablanca West property, we had to update most of the property. The following are highlights of the renovation:
– Replace and update all bathroom mirrors and light fixtures
– Install new carpet upstairs and on the stairwell
– Install new vinyl in one upstairs bathroom
– Freshly paint the whole property (doors, trim, ceiling, and walls)
– Install a new dishwasher, stove, and range hood
– Re-screen the back porch
– Complete a thorough maid service throughout

May 2016 Words From Our Broker

Hi,

This month’s corner evolved from the cool breeze morning on my front porch office 😉 as most do… This morning it’s clear I’m enjoying some of the last cool mornings of this season. Soon it’ll be hot and humid first thing in the morning. So I’ll definitely enjoy it while it lasts.File May 09, 3 13 44 PM

The real estate market has been ever increasingly active. We’ve had a lot of properties enter the sales market this season.  Some to test it and see if they can get their price, others deciding they have come to an end of their landlording times 😉

We’ve helped investors buying more properties to rent, new people becoming investors and trying out the landlord life, parents buying homes and condos for their kids for their time in Gainesville, and of course those parents that have kids that decide to (OMG) transfer away or leave UF (some unexpectedly. Ouch… ) and current owners renovating properties to increase both rental and sales value.  This is definitely prime time in Gainesville!

Last month’s tax time was time to review how your investment property is performing and determine if it is working to its best ability or if it’s time to make needed changes. This usually comes in the form of evaluating current management and/or needed improvements and often both.

Sometimes it’s as easy as evaluating current management practices and hiring or changing your current property manager (maybe finally firing your-untrained-self). It can also be a time to listen to your professional Realtor and property manager on what changes you can make to increase the value of your property to allow it to sell quicker and at a higher price or allowing it to rent to a better quality tenant and usually for more money.

Improving your property’s overall condition not only saves you money but it saves you time and stress. If your property needs work you will attract less quality buyers and tenants.  Communications in this realm can also be of less desirable content causing emotional stress and wasting precious time, money and energy.

If you’re also trying to manage or sell the property yourself and you’re not a professional with all the resources available to us today or you’re not experienced in our local market, it can be a real downer and a very expensive lesson.

Nothing makes me love my job more than being able to turn a property’s performance around. It is one of the primary reasons I have chosen to specialize in real estate management all of my adult life and some of my teen years. Whether I’m looking at the property to sell it or to rent it, my first step is to evaluate the property’s current maintenance needs as well as any improvement opportunities.

The main areas that make the biggest difference is exterior condition, paint, flooring, appliances, countertops, and light plumbing and bath fixtures (tubs/caulk/tile). Sounds like everything doesn’t it? Often only some of it is needed. Most commonly paint, flooring and appliances. These three things should always be in good condition, clean and updated, without stains or defects. If it is a single-family home, a major lawn cleanup is needed and re-freshening with flowers, bushes, and mulch if needed.

It’s not only important to have these items be in good condition but to pick updated styles and colors are equally important. In the past couple of months we have successfully turned around properties by making recommendations, selecting desirable materials and hiring and supervising quality vendors. Then sitting back and watching the rewards of these efforts evolve through quality tenants moving in and taking good care of the property resulting in very happy owners! Ahhh the manifold rewards of success.

These days it seems I’ve been a bit video crazy.  It’s just so much easier to express and relay information quickly this way. For this month’s newsletter we’ve put together a renovation video with before and after clips. I hope you enjoy. Let us know if we can work our magic on your property 😉

Work hard and play harder right? This past month I attended a tactical shooting class and also took a bike ride to Virginia to white water raft some class five Rapids on the New River. It’s was an amazing trip!

The gun class made me a lot more comfortable with my lil 9mm. I hope you enjoy the videos I put together of these adventures.

Of course my favorite is the one of my little Alicia climbing in my beach chairs back pack. She lights up my heart like nothing else!

 

April 2016 Interesting Articles

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April 2016 Secure Investments Realty Newsletter

Not sure whether to rent or sell your rental property? Check out this month’s newsletter to find a social fitness group that fits your needs!

Check out Secure Investments April 2016 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Rent It or List It: 5 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Rental Property
  • Words From Our Broker
  • Interesting Articles
  • April 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • Tanya’s Trip to Santa Fe River Video
  • List of our current available properties

5 Questions to Ask Before Selling a Rental Property

rent it or list it secure investments edition

As outlined by Tanya in our “Words from Our Broker”, Gainesville’s sales market is experiencing a shortage of median priced inventory.  With a better sales market, property owners are weighing the options of listing their property or continuing to rent it. Every property and owner’s situation is unique; there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The real estate market can be unpredictable and there is no guarantee that either option will go exactly as planned. We always recommend talking to Tanya or another qualified Realtor® before making a final decision. Make sure to pick a Realtor® with experience in both rentals and sales when asking for advice. Here are some tools to help you start making your preliminary decision of whether you should…. Rent It or List It.

Questions to Ask Before Selling a Rental Property:

1. Are you sick of being a landlord?
Not everyone is cut out to be a landlord. Renting property can be stressful and unpredictable. Being a landlord takes work and the ability to handle the highs and lows. If you know you don’t have the stomach or patience for it, it may be better to sell and choose a different investment route.

2. Is the area depreciating or appreciating?

If the neighborhood has been going up in value, it may still have a ways to go before you reach the best point to sell. If it is depreciating, now may be the best time to sell before your sales price goes down even more. If you have already broke even or made as much profit as you would like, an appreciating sales market can be the best time to sell if you are tired of being a landlord as well.

3. Do you have a better place to invest?

Calculate the returns you are getting each year with your rental property. If you can get better returns in other places such as in an IRA or another rental home, then now may be the best time to sell. You want to make your money work for you. Also if you need the money to retire or make a family move, selling a property can provide you with the immediate capital you need for your next step in life.

4. How much can you sell the property for?

Call our company or a Realtor® in the area and ask to see recently sold homes (comparables) in the area. Once you have enough research to determine a realistic sales price, run the numbers to see whether you can make more money selling the property than renting it. Be sure to look at it long term as well and take all factors into consideration such as Realtor® fees, renovation needs, and vacancy rates. Selling a house can give you a lot of cash immediately but you might have made more 15 years down the road by holding and renting for a while before selling.

Questions to Ask Before Putting a Property Up for Rent:

1. Will you ever want to move back to the area or will you have kids going to school in the area soon?

It may be cheaper to rent your house and move back in when you return or your kids move in when it’s time for college, instead of paying commissions to sell your current property and the purchase of another one when you get back. You also won’t be able to predict how much the prices will increase in the area when you are ready to move back. If you have kids going to school in the area, adding their name to the deed will allow you to claim homestead tax exemption and further save money.

2. Can you rent your home for enough money to cover the mortgage payment and expenses?

If you can cover the expenses, renting can be a smart way to help fund your retirement. If you have enough expenses to deduct like mortgage interest, property management fees, maintenance expenses, insurance and property taxes, you may not have income on paper that would be taxed. Your savings will be in the form of equity appreciation. Essentially the rent will be paying your mortgage and building equity; thus reducing your debt. When you’re ready you can sell the house and convert your equity into a lump sum, or continue renting it and collecting income during your retirement. Keep in mind you will want to talk to your accountant so they can explain the capital gains taxes you will pay when you sell.

3. What’s your home’s condition?

A common mistake is thinking that renters won’t care much about worn out flooring or fixtures. The homes condition is a direct reflection on the rent income you will get and the type of tenant you will attract. If you’re trying to rent a home that is not in good condition, you will generally not be able to rent it for the optimal price nor will you be able to attract good renters. Landlords often set themselves up for failure by not preparing the property properly to attract a good renter. When tenants see you respect your home, they will in turn respect your home. The opposite is also true.

Our company does not represent properties that are not in good condition. If we did we would spend all of our time handling complaints and maintenance issues. This is the type of situation that will make you regret getting into this business to begin with. If you’re spending all your time fighting problems, no amount of money tends to be worth it. By spending the money upfront getting your property ready and making sure it is in good condition, you will be able to charge the highest possible rent for that property and attract the best possible tenants. Your savings will come in the lack of vacancy time and maintenance needed throughout a tenancy and satisfied tenants who will stay in the property longer and help you pay off the debt. Most of your expenses come when turning the property over and having to find new tenants. Keeping good tenants happy is always best financial decision.

4. Are you willing to pay to maintain the home?

One of my general rule of thumb when buying an investment property is: Can I afford to pay four month’s worth of mortgage payments without rent income? You have to be prepared in the event of a vacancy or bad tenant. I’ve never had to go four months without rent on any of my properties but you need to be prepared if you have a tenant that doesn’t pay rent and you need to evict them and get the property ready for a new tenant. I find an average of four month’s rent works in this scenario.

As a landlord, you are required to completely maintain the property. The tenants will usually be responsible for the lawn upkeep but anything that breaks in the property you as the landlord are responsible to pay for the repair. This then becomes a good deduction from the income. With a good management company, they will be able to determine if the repair was needed due to the tenants neglect. If so, they will in turn charge the tenant to reimburse you for your cost. Between each tenant you’ll expect to have some cost turning the property over. This usually entails: touch-up paint, cleaning, spring cleaning on the exterior (tree and bush trimming, mulch, power washing, etc.) and minor maintenance. We find inspecting the property every four months tremendously cuts down on the amount of work needed when the tenant vacates. You will be able to charge the tenants for the damages they created and deduct it from their security deposit, but you can’t charge for normal wear and tear.

If you are okay with handling the upkeep of a rental, or can afford to pay a management company to handle the property for you, and it makes sense financially then I feel it’s a no brainier. If you can’t live with that stress, selling rather than renting your home may be your best move.

Words From Our Broker April 2016

A happy spring hello to everyone,

When I wrote last month spring had just sprung 😉 Now we have a nice full thick coat of green pollen on everything! People who don’t normally have allergies this season still experience some issues with the pollen especially if you work outside all day (which I love to do). Be sure to keep some local honey in your diet to help reduce the effects. I take mine in my two cups of coffee every morning. 😉

The front page of last month’s Gainesville Business Report says it all. “Shortage of Qualified Construction Workers are Creating Challenge for Local Companies”. I didn’t need to read the report to know that for a fact. I get this information firsthand from my boyfriend who has a commercial construction company. His biggest challenge these days is finding reliable and qualified workers. It’s very cool to have this insight so I can see the “big picture” when it comes to the real estate market and changes that lie ahead. I don’t have to be that smart to figure out if he’s having to pay more for an experienced carpenter his prices are going to have to go up. That means the cost of building will go up. Gainesville’s current median price home inventory is low which means more people will have to turn to building new homes to get what they want.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past week talking to friends that are real estate brokers and owners about our local market trends from wages to business growth and challenges. I gotta give a shout out and say thank you for being a member of such a supportive Realtor community! It is one of the blessings of being a member of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors. I have been told that this openness is not the case in all markets and I have experienced that to be true.

Everyone I spoke to said they were experiencing properties leaving their property management inventory and being sold. At the same time though, investors are buying property and putting them in to their management inventory. It is so helpful to be so close to all of it: construction, property management and real estate sales. I started seeing the changes in the construction industry a couple of years ago when some of the construction, painting and handyman vendors I would normally turn to for back up, no longer had time for my work. That was the beginning….

All of these are neon signs for “The time to buy is now!!!” Especially with the interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage falling from 3.71 to 3.59 last week. If this is a good time for buyers to be in the market, then it’s certainly a good time to sell your home. While we do specialize in property management we are also a full-service real estate office and can provide you with a market analysis.  We want to help you determine the sales value of your home so you can decide whether it’s a good time to sell and we can represent you in selling your home.

You can see from my short video clip below that it was a packed house at the recent Builders Association Of North Central Florida annual horseshoe tournament. Another sign that business is good! Kudos and a big thank you to Jeff and Patti Moser for hosting this awesome event annually for both the Realtors’ and Builders’ Association.


With spring also comes spring break for the kids. This year I took my daughter and college spring breaker to Siesta Key for a few days. Then we took my mother and other daughter, granddaughter and family to the lower Sante Fe River close to both Ichetucknee and Suwannee River where we rented a house through Airbnb.

Then a quick car ride to make it back in time for our annual Easter Celebration at my sisters house. What a fun, family filled month it has been! Our Easter celebration is so much fun. The kids have quickly outnumbered the adults and the family pyramid is getting trickier! I put together a couple of quick little iMovie clips in the link below.


Because I love Siesta Key Beach Village area I did a little walking tour video of the place we rented. If you’re ever heading that way and need a recommendation, I highly recommend this place.  I can also recommend some other great places near the beach 🙂

Have a great month!

Secure Investments Realty March 2016 Newsletter

Learn the best way to deduct business expenses, mileage and more before filing your business’ taxes in this month’s newsletter.

Check out March 2016 Secure Investments Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Tax Strategies & Business Planning for Real Estate Professionals

  • Tanya at Sporting Clays Classic

  • Words From Our Broker
  • March 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Please subscribe if you want to receive these newsletters monthly in your inbox.

March 2016 Words From Our Broker

Photo Mar 01, 10 39 47 AMYay it’s March!! The beginning of spring 🙂 Probably almost everybody’s favorite time of year, especially when you live in beautiful Gainesville and Alachua Florida. While the beginning of the new year is a time for planning… the beginning of spring is a time for action.

All of our flowers and trees are beginning their budding and some have even bloomed early. This is a great time to get to work in your garden, cleaning out the old and getting ready for the new. Spring cleaning of cabinets and closets, exterior washing of siding, sidewalks and driveways, and polish off by replenishing mulch and trimming trees and bushes. Folks are also making reservations for spring break with their kids,  summer vacation with their honey, and putting this year’s volleyball tournaments on the calendar because you’re finally healthy enough again to compete …lol …. forgive me I digressed 😉

But clearly it is a time of action. We are in the process of renewing leases and putting properties on the market for rent and listing properties for sale for those owners who no longer want to be a landlord. For most property types the values have recovered enough for some owners to get out of the landlord business. We know being a landlord is not for everyone and that becomes clear every year around this time.

I find on average that I manage properties for an owner for about 3 to 5 years before they decide to sell the property. Our typical owner is not the investor doing this on purpose. It’s the owners that can’t realize the profit they want from selling now.  They need us to hibernate the property for them, keeping it in good condition and helping pay their monthly mortgage by putting a good renter in place until the owner can turn around and sell it for a profit; all while the property is gaining appreciation and increasing in value along the way.

Often this time of year an owner will put their property on the market for the price they need (not necessarily the market price) hoping to sell it. If you do this just bear in mind that if you need to keep the property rented to help cover your mortgage, you don’t want to wait too long to put it back on the rental market so you can secure a good responsible tenant. It’s always a fine balancing act. We prefer to have properties on the market at least three months before you need to have a tenant in place. It is definitely easier to sell the property when it’s vacant but just don’t wait too long to secure a new tenant.

Listening to your Realtors advice about the accurate value of your property will save you a lot of stress and money over this dilemma. If you’re one of our owners that has been referred to us by another realtor and you would like to sell your property we always ask you to go back to that Realtor when you decide to sell. However if you don’t have a Realtor you trust to help you, we are more than qualified and happy to help you by determining the value of your property and advise you accordingly. If it turns out to be a good time for you to sell we will happily handle that transaction for you in the same smooth and efficient manner in which we have managed your property. Ive been helping folks buy and sell real estate for over 25 years as well as buying and selling my own investment properties.Photo Feb 22, 11 49 17 AM

Of course it should never be all work and no play. This past month I took a long weekend in Bimini in the Bahamas which is a quick 30 min plane ride from Ft. Lauderdale. The fishing was great and the views even better! This island is so untouched that you can’t help but relax. I also fully enjoyed watching a favorite band, Southern Culture on the Skids at The Colonial St. Augustine Amphitheater. What a really cool venue that I didn’t know existed right off George street. I also couldn’t help but add a video of my busting a double at a Boy Scout fundraiser event “Sporting Clays Classic” at the Bradford Sportsman’s farm 😉

Be sure to take some time to enjoy this spring and don’t neglect to put your New Years plans to action!

CLICK HERE to see Tanyas Pictures and Video

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Read similar blog posts from “Words From Our Broker”:

Words From our Broker – January 2015

Words From our Broker – November 2015

 

Secure Investments Realty February 2016 Newsletter

Are you ready for the market rebound? Check out this month’s newsletter to find out!

Check out Secure Investments February 2016 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Are You Ready for the Market Rebound?
  • Words From Our Broker
  • February 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

This article was featured in this month’s newsletter.  Please subscribe if you want to receive these updates and more each month.

January 2016 Secure Investments Realty Newsletter

Missed this month’s newsletter? Read it here.

Check out Secure Investments January 2016 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • ROI Renovations: Figure out what projects are right for your renovation
  • Words From Our Broker
  • January 2016 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

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Interested in reading other newsletters:

 

January 2016 Word From Our Broker

Hi,

Tanya Chappell

My grandaughter and I dancing together 🙂

Winter has arrived in Gainesville! After a warm Florida Christmas, the cold front came in and gave us a taste of what we can expect for our short winter. Although as I write today it’s a comfy 68 degrees.

I don’t know about you but I’m happy to see January. Not only is it an end to all that crazy yummy food and festivities, it is a motivator to end old habits that don’t serve us and evaluate and plan for what does. I know we don’t need a new year to do this but it’s nice to see just the same. I teach a yoga class at the Tioga branch of Gainesville Health and Fitness Center and take many other classes at one of their three beautiful locations and all the classes are full of new folks. The churches are fuller, more people are outside walking. It’s nice.

The real estate activity has been slow through the holidays as no one really likes to move at this time. It should start picking up as we move closer to tax return season and spring. Although we still rent houses year round the winter is the slow time. Being a university town we get a spurt of activity for the winter semester but not much.

Now is a good time to start thinking about your future plans for your property. Are you going to want to sell it this year? Renew your tenant’s lease? Do you need to upgrade or downgrade your own living situation and want to hold on to the property and rent it- or sell?  This is the time to plan. Look at what you’ll need to do in ways of repairs or improvements and work towards getting your property ready. Spring comes quickly and that’s a good time to put properties on the market for sale or rent.

We are always happy to give you a market analysis for the rent or sale of your property and can advise you on repairs or improvements to net more from your property. Whatever your direction just make a plan and put it on your calendar so that you can follow through and make it happen.

We took advantage of the slow time during the holiday’s to go to Louisiana. I was born a poor white girl from the other side of the railroad tracks….. Bahahah!! Funny but true…. For a couple of the elementary years we actually lived in the swamps of Manchac Louisiana, off north pass on Byrne Bayou (my maiden name). We had a generator for electricity and a manual hand pump for water. We hunted alligators, ran trout lines and crab pots. It was quite an adventure and education for us kids. Of course back then I didn’t see the value of it all. But I look back at that and feel fortunate to have had the experience. Plus it was crazy fun to take a boat everywhere you had to go without needing to be of age to drive!

We drove to another town that I went to middle and high school, Ponchatoula, Louisiana.  We rode past the small very humble abodes we lived in that never bothered me as a kid. I had great memories of growing up in those towns. I had no idea of their addresses but I actually remembered the feel of the walk home from high school and the roads I rode my bike through, and was able to drive straight to them. That was very surprising to me. Of course the main reason I was able to find them is because absolutely nothing has changed in that small town. Louisiana’s economy has suffered for decades and it was very evident here. We sometimes don’t realize how well we have it in this wonderfully diverse, progressive, healthy economy and absolutely beautiful part of Florida. Gainesville is steadily growing and it should continue for the next few years at least. It’s a good time to own property here.

We stayed in New Orleans and did the traditional French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Riverboat cruise and Casino, as tourists do.  We rode the trolley’s everywhere just to ride them….lol. We spent time on the balconies of restaurants and pubs watching the craziness below on Bourbon Street. We had to high tail it outta there right before midnight on New Year’s Eve because it became an unmovable mob. We unknowingly 😉 wandered straight to the best balcony view of the midnight fireworks celebration possible, at a Pub on Canal Street. It was a lot of fun. I am happy to be back to my quiet little life in Alachua and done with all the holidays.

I hope you all had wonderful holidays and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year!  I’ve included some pictures of our Holiday festivities in the link below.

Cheers!

Click to see pictures from Tanya’s holiday celebrations

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December 2015 Secure Investments Newsletter

tanya chappell move in inspectionLearn what happens during a move-in inspection. Check out this month’s newsletter to watch how Secure Investments move-ins our tenants in!

Check out December 2015 Secure Investments Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • How to Complete a Move-in Inspection
  • 2016 Tax Preparation
  • Words From Our Broker
  • December 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Please subscribe if you want to receive these updates and more each month.

December 2015 Words From Our Broker

Tanya Chappell Paris 2015Bonjour!

 

It’s a beautiful 65 sunny degrees here in Gainesville Florida today and I’m feeling very thankful to be enjoying this beautiful weather and town.

The Christmas spirit is flowing through our neighborhoods and town centers with Christmas lights and music every where. No we don’t have snow capped trees and buildings but there’s something special about our beautiful Palm trees all decked out in their Christmas splendor. It’s clear I love living in the south. Shorts in the afternoons and jackets and boots in the evenings. Perfect!

The Real Estate market is conveniently,  historically slower as we move through the Holidays.  We did see a very slight increase in interest rates but they came back down shortly after and are expected to rise again. The Holiday season is a good time to find deals as most know it’s tougher to sell or rent this time of year so prices may be lower.

I recently treated myself to an early Christmas present and travelled to Europe. Wow, what an experience! We did a Viking River Boat Cruise through Germany visiting castles, vineyards, and palaces. We started with two days in Paris, France and ended it with two days in Prague in the Czech Republic. The Viking longboats are five star and have approximately 200 guests so it’s nice and quaint and you get to know most of the guests and crew. Our room had a veranda so our sliding glass door offered up one castle after another as we cruised down the Rhine and Mossell where vineyards and tourism are the main employment. I was truly impressed with Vikings Long River boat and seeing Germany through this mode. Some points of our excursions in this all inclusive trip were Tanya Chappell Germany 2015Paris’s Eiffel Tower, the Museé du Louvre, Cathedral Notre Dam,  Arc de Triomphe, the many shops and Cafe’s along the famous Champs-Élysées Germany; Luxembourg American Cemetery Memorial Park where we saw General Patton’s grave site amongst his fallen men. In Nuremberg, we visited the Nuremberg Castle and Palace Würzburger Residenz. In Czech, we roamed the Prague Palace, Charles Bridge, and Praha Old Town Square. It was truly amazing. I could say a once in a lifetime experience but I plan to have many more trips exploring our beautiful world. I’ve shared a lot of pictures and videos from the trip in the link below.

We were in Paris on the night of the terrorist attacks and had the blessed good fortune of leaving the cafe area where the attacks happened and were 4 miles away in our room when we heard what happened merely 30 minutes prior.  Our friends and families were anxious to know that we were ok and we were able to easily keep everyone updated through Facebook. It became a nice way to share our trip as we travelled through Europe. Tanya Chappell 2015Since, I’ve had many people say how they felt they were able to experience these places through our posts. Facebook can be a beautiful tool in sharing (when used correctly ;). I hope you also enjoy the trip.

The morning after the attacks we were told the Borders were closed but as we took our 6:30 am bus ride to Trier, Germany to meet our boat, we passed through the border of France to Germany with nothing significant marking it besides the beautiful rolling farm land and many gazing deer. We expected the Border to be closed and have some difficulty or at least a passport check but it was open with no one in sight and we continued on our trip without out being further affected. We however will never be the same. I won’t bore you with my thoughts on our nation’s issues but I’ll just share a couple of quotes below that sums up my feelings on these complex issues.

“If religion means primarily God-consciousness, or the realization of God both within and without, and secondarily a body of beliefs, tenets and dogmas, then, strictly speaking, there is but one religion in the world, for there is but one God.”

– Paramahansa YoganandaThe Science of Religion

“Kindness is the light that dissolves all walls between souls, families, and nations.”

Paramahansa Yogananda

To see pictures and video from Tanya’s trip, click here.

This article was featured in this month’s newsletter.  Please subscribe if you want to receive these updates and more each month.

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November 2015 Words From Our Broker

GACARHi, I’m not sure what happened to our fall weather we should still be experiencing. We’ve had record high temps this month. Come on already, us gals are ready to wear our boots and it’s hitting 89 degrees this week. Oh well, I’ll just have to break them out on my upcoming trip to Paris and Germany! Sorry, I just had to throw that out there. I generally write about what’s on my mind and of course that’s topping the list. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and videos from our Viking River Boat Cruise down the Rhine.

Today has been an exciting day spent with fellow GACAR (Gainesville Alachua Board of Realtors) on our annual Leadership Retreat. This year we’re in Orlando at Americas Escape Game where my team actually did escape with only one minute to spare! I’m so proud of us! I have to give a shout out to my teammates in “Crisis at 1600”: Gina Barzo, Susan McQuinlan, Kenyada Higgins, Danny Maldonado, Brent Riley, and Heather Swanson. Thanks for saving the world!! Only 16% of teams have ever actually escaped. It was a blast and amazingly revealing of the variety of skills, patience, teamwork and leadership that we have in our GACAR Leadership. What a fun way to bond with our 2016 group. I’ve always felt being involved in our association is top in your recipe for success. The bonding, sharing, learning and leading helps us all to grow. As my assistant Laura always says, team work makes the dream work! I shared some pictures and video below.

We are fast approaching the holiday months and it tends to slow down through Christmas. If you have a property for rent during this time I’d seriously consider all decent offers from qualified tenants as a few months of vacancy will void what you wanted to gain by holding out for more rent.

There is also lots of talk and predictions of interest rates increasing in December. So if your looking to buy or refinance you may want to get moving. Due to new laws it’s taking an average of 45 to 60 days to close and often banks don’t want to lock in rates for more than 30 days so keep this in mind.

Lastly I’d like to say thanks to Mathew Kleckner and Sam Malone of UF Investment Club for inviting me to talk with their group about property investments. It’s nice to see that generation being so interested and knowledgeable in investing for their future!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday full of great food and memories with family and friends.

To see pictures and video from the Retreat in Orlando, click here.

NARPM 2015 Convention: Never Stop Learning!

Secret to Success: Never Stop Learning!

This past week we spent our days going to classes and touring tradeshow booths at the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)‘s 2015 Convention in Atlanta.  Technology was definitely a trend at the conference and something thankfully we wholeheartedly embrace. We loved getting to meet up with Appfolio since their software already has streamlined our data entry and administrative work.  Learning legal and business best practices was another benefit to the conference.  The workshops heIMG_0533lped us understand how to more effectively leverage our business assets while also protecting us from legal liability.  Since NARPM is a national organization, we got to network with other property managers from all over the country.  Chatting with people from as far away as Hawaii and as near as Lakeland, it was helpful to hear how they tackle common problems and to hear about new issues that may soon be affecting our state.  We hope to use this knowledge to implem
ent new systems and ideas that will better serve our owners, tenant, and vendors. Click on the links below to read our class notes!IMG_0564

  • How to Create a Win-Win in Negotiation: Negotiation is successful when you figure out the other party’s interests and needs.  By making an attempt to understand and then compromise, you are more likely to come out of a tough negotiation with a win.  Read more to learn better negotiation techniques!
  • The Millionaire Next Door:  The average 401(k) balance has $72,000 leaving Americans $4.1 Trillion short on what’s needed for retirement. Learn some great personal finance and retirement tips so you can retire on top rather than in a last minute scramble.
  • Covering Your Business Assets: Learn how to protect your growing business by utilizing financial, human resource, insurance, and legal best practices. Read more to see where you can make changes today.

This article and more was featured in our monthly newsletter.  To read more or to subscribe, click this link: October 2015 Newsletter

October 2015 Words From Our Broker

tanya chappell Ziplining near Red Top Mountain, GA

Ziplining near Red Top Mountain, GA

Wow! What a nice feel of fall in the air! Is it just me or has it been an unusually tropical summer with higher than average rain and temperatures this year?

I recently spent time in Kansas City and Georgia thinking I would like some nice cool weather since it was in the 80s in both places. But believe me, the moment I drove back onto Florida soil there was no mistaking I was back. The Florida humidity smacks you right in the face. But not this week!  Fall weather has arrived in beautiful Gainesville/Alachua!

I was recently elected Vice President of our local MLS for this next year.  With that comes the job of getting even more educated on the issues we are facing now and will face in the future with our data and Multiple Listing Services. I went to a conference in Kansas City to learn more and found the conference to  be very informative.  I was also able to spend time getting to know the rest of the board members better. I look forward to working and learning from such wonderful people and continuing my service on this important part of our business.  Baseball is huge in Missouri and there was a cool place a few blocks from the hotel where I got to experience some of the local excitement and shot a short video of this neat little outdoor town center type area.

tanya chappell on the way to NARPM conference

Flying from Kansas City to the next conference in Atlanta

From there, I flew from Kansas City to Atlanta where I attended the NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) National convention with my awesome assistant Laura. It was so fun to be able to work together for that week not only learning through different classes at the conference and the tradeshows but working on some of our informational marketing videos that will be on our website soon. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to share some of the bloopers because they are hilarious!!!

The weekend between my Atalanta and Kansas City business trip was spent at Red Top Mountain with my family for my niece’s wedding. It was a 1920s theme and practically everyone dressed the part. It turned out beautiful! We were able to get in a couple of days of riding through the mountains of Red Top and around its 17,000-acre manmade lake that had such breathtaking views. Red Top offers hiking, fishing, camping, and boating as well as cabin rentals and dinner cruises. It’s a really cool place and you need more than a weekend to experience it all.

So the beauty of all this traveling is that I was able to keep up with my work the entire time I was gone. Because we invest  in great systems, we are able to automate some of our tasks which saves considerable time. Plus with all of the systems being Internet-based, we can practically  work from anywhere! This was definitely the theme at the NARPM trade show. From inspections to leasing to monthly delivery of air filters you can find a way to automate and use virtual assistants in many aspects of our business. I definitely see pluses and minuses in many of these but nothing takes the place of an experienced Property Manager and their team. These are simply tools that will allow you more time to handle the relationship aspects of this business (which is really the biggest part!) There are so many details to take care of in this business that it is nice to be able to utilize technology to help with the administrative areas.

The rental activity in Gainesville picked up a bit as we moved into September and October. It never ceases to surprise me that we get a nice little rest right after August but then are able to rent several properties until right before the holidays when it slows down again. If you have a property you’re thinking about putting on the market, I wouldn’t wait much longer.  The closer you get to Thanksgiving, the more likely you are to miss the activity. As always let us know if we can help or just need some advice.

Click here to see pictures and video from Tanya’s past month

September 2015 Secure Investments Realty Newsletter

Figure out how to take the perfect day trip to the oldest city in the nation. Check out this month’s newsletter to see our favorite spots in St. Augustine!

Check out September 2015 Secure Investments Realty Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • St. Augustine Celebrates 450th Birthday
  • St. Augustine’s Must-See Places
  • Pictures from Tanya’s Trip to Beautiful Upstate New York
  • Words From Our Broker
  • September 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties
  • Interesting Articles

September 2015 Words From Our Broker

tanya chappell new york tripAhhhh! September! If you are an investor or property manager in Gainesville you’re breathing a slight sigh of relief and appreciation for being able to return to a somewhat normal and less hectic schedule.

The bulk of our move-ins for this season are done and our new tenants are settling in. This often brings a list of move-in maintenance requests. Yes, even though you take the time to prepare the property for the next tenant, sometimes it’s inevitable that small things are missed or easily overlooked unless you’re actually living in the property and using it daily. This can be because some minor quirks in the property may not have bothered your last tenant and they didn’t report it. It can also be the simple fact that it was a timely breakdown. Whatever these requests stem from now is the time to step up and take care of the the repair or issue as quickly as possible. Bear in mind that you may be setting the tone for the entire rest of the occupancy and all of your future communications with this tenant.

What may seem like a petty request to you is obviously not petty to the tenant or else the request would not have been made in the first place.

When I move a new tenant in, I always recommend that they feel free to take notes and pictures of any items that they want to document simply as a matter of pre-existing condition and email it to us and we will add it to their move-in inspection folder of video and pictures I took at the day of move in. At the same time I let them know that if they have anything that needs to be repaired to make a list and submit one maintenance request for those items so that we can send our handyman out to handle their move-in repair requests in one organized visit. The kicker is to handle that request as soon as possible. This can be quite a challenge because your maintenance people may still be busy since you’re likely not their only client. There are also often last-minute properties coming into management because the homeowner was not able to rent it on their own or it was on the sales market and they we’re not able to sell it for what they were asking for.

If you’re not able to handle that maintenance call within the first seven days at least contact your tenant and explain the reason due to the season, and assure them their comfort is your top concern and that it will be taken care of shortly. And do it! Follow up! Put it on your calendar to check back with your maintenance people to make sure it’s on the schedule or being done. All your best intentions will fall to the wayside if you do not follow up with your tenants and vendors until it is done.

It was hard enough to find a good tenant and get your property ready for their move-in so don’t blow it now. Save yourself some future work and lots of headaches and keep your tenants happy so that they hopefully not only renew the lease at the end of the year, but are more delightful to deal with throughout the lease term.

How they were treated in the beginning is a huge factor in how unforeseen emergencies like an AC or refrigerator breakdown in the middle of the night on a Friday, are handled by them. When they trust based on past interactions that you have their comfort as a top priority, they will be a lot nicer and accommodating in its repair.

However no amount of nice is going to make up for putting a tenant in the property that was not well prepared. This means completely clean, walls unmarred, lawn cut, and minor maintenance already performed and a clean AC filter in place.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by representing and trying to rent properties that are not in good condition. If the property owner you’re working with does not see the value in taking care of the property and thereby the tenants, it’s not likely worth the wasted time and bad reputation you will see by having that property in your inventory. Everybody’s lives will be much happier when the property is properly prepared so good tenants are found and rent is paid on time and your tenants treat the home like it is their own. As an investor you will see much greater profits with less time spent when you take all of these things into consideration. As a property manager you will be able to spend your time being creative and proactive managing your properties without near the amount of useless stress.

Having these kinds of policies in place allows me some free time to visit cool places like Upstate New York! Wow! What a beautiful place filled with loads of farm country and beautiful woods and waterfalls. Check out the link to some cool pictures and videos from around the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario.

See Tanya’ pictures and videos here

 

Words From Our Broker: August 2015

tanya chappell volleyball
Hi and Happy Turn Over Season, at least that’s what investors and property managers in Gainesville fondly refer to it as.

The past month has been filled with a higher than average amount of new rental properties coming onto the market and tenants moving in and out.

I’ve mentioned in previous articles that a few years ago most of Gainesville’s rental properties “turned” over in the months of June, July, and August. So it’s not unusual that we still get a higher percentage of turn overs in the summer and early fall, especially for those properties best suited to someone teaching or taking classes at one of our two awesome colleges.

We had our share of crazy this turn but nothing like the old days when we “turned” 10 times the amount of properties we did this year. However, even a small turn can be crazy. We “turned” about 38 properties so far this season. That doesn’t sound too hard until you consider we did most of them in 7 days.  Since most leases end at the end of the month, they all need to be “turned” and made ready for the new tenants the first week of the next month. That meant doing about 7 at a time (and in 5 to 7 days) each month. This gets a little crazy because I am having to inspect and job it out to various vendors, follow up with them to make sure they’re on schedule and then again to make sure it’s done right before I meet the new tenant for the move-in inspections. Now keep in mind my vendors don’t just sit around waiting for only my company’s work. They’re having to schedule with many other property managers and owners so you can’t just surprise them with unexpected last minute new work- but it happens. 😉

We often get new homeowners into management towards the end of the season when they haven’t been able to rent or sell the home themselves and need to hurry up and get it rented. Often the reason they haven’t been successful renting it themselves is the condition or price compared to condition. To throw a plot twist into the busy season, getting a new home into management that needs a mini renovation (full paint, flooring replacement, appliances, multitude of miscellaneous carpentry or handyman type needs and major lawn/exterior clean up, etc),  just when my vendors and I thought we had it under control, can add even more stress.  We fit the renovations in so it rents in this optimum season. I always feel responsible and driven to get that property on the market ASAP!

We had several of those this season. It brings me such a sense of joy and accomplishment to bring in a poorly performing property, recommend strategic simple improvements, supervise the work and get it rented to good tenants – often all within a couple of weeks – complete with videotaped move-in inspection with the new tenant.

This year we had an even bigger plot twist! One of our townhomes had a water supply line to the upstairs toilet break and pump water into the second floor for at least 12 to 15 hours before the neighbor heard a loud bang that vibrated his walls when the ceiling fell in. Of course, the property had just been “turned” and the new tenant had only moved his couches in so far (thank goodness)! It’s times like this that you really understand the true value and benefit of having a property manager that knows how to act quickly. Check out the videos above of the event as it took place. It’s currently getting the rebuild so keep an eye on our Facebook page for the final video. I also did some videos of a few properties we did mini renovations on and those will be getting posted on our Facebook page when we’re back into the normal crazy busy instead of crazy crazy busy time!

All that fun makes me look forward to the upcoming 23rd Annual Mudd Volleyball March of Dimes fundraiser even more. The funds will support research, services, education and advocacy, to help mothers have healthy pregnancies and babies. We play five-on-five mud ball (basically a big pit dug out two foot deep and filled with water) in Orlando on August 22nd. I would greatly appreciate any help you can give to this awesome cause. Even $5, $10, or $20 would be fantastic. My goal is to raise $500. Please click on this link if you would like to donate: http://muddvolleyball.marchofdimes.org/orlando/tanyachappell

The picture is from two years ago when I played and we placed 2nd. Of course winning is always great but this is truly an event where just participating is a reward in itself.

To all of you still in the thick of it- deep breaths….. In the nose ….. and out the nose….. 10 times. And if that doesn’t work come to one of my Yoga classes. I’ll be sure to wash away some of the stresses of your day!

 

This is an update from our broker and owner – Tanya Chappell.  You can see more at this month’s newsletter or receive monthly updates about the company by subscribing to our newsletter.

Secure Investments Realty August 2015 Newsletter

landlord nightmare

How would you handle this landlord nightmare? Check out this month’s newsletter to find out!

Check out Secure Investments August 2015 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • A Landlord’s Nightmare:  How to Handle the Unexpected
  • Support the Upcoming Annual 23rd March of Dimes Mudd Volleyball Tournament
  • Words From Our Broker
  • August 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

July 2015 Words From Our Broker

Hi, What a busy first week of July! Has it really only been 8 days? Being a property manager in Gainesville in the month of July ranges from happily busy to insanely hectic depending on your work load and temperament.

Granbabies at 4th of July Celebration

My July is the happily busy kind. Thank God the days of insanely hectic are over for me. I went through that time period when I was much younger and liked the hectic pace – even thrived on it. I remember working till midnight doing inspections sometimes for three or four days straight. Those were the days that we ended all leases on July 31st and moved in the new tenants three days later. Doesn’t sound hard with a few rentals but when you’re managing hundreds it’s simply crazy!

I’ve turned 75 houses in less than a week complete with move out inspections, obtaining estimates, supervising work, and completing move-in inspections. This creates a ton of actual office work as well as having to be in the field. In those days we didn’t have the same wonderful technology shortcuts we get to enjoy today like creating work orders from my iPhone app or video taping the move out and saving to drop box so your office people can work on security claim letters, etc. right away. These days some of my bigger turnover challenges are finding fast enough Internet to upload or send my pictures and videos as I go from one property to another (and yes – hitting send before starting on my way to my next home). Let’s not confuse mobile office with an office in motion 😉

Most apartment complexes in Gainesville still operate this way. I quit requiring all leases to end in July over 8 years ago because the market could support more year round leases. This is especially true in single family homes but some of our properties do still need to cycle on those dates. We do keep those that are more suited to college students on that time frame.Those of you that still have properties that haven’t been rented yet may need to consider dropping your rent if you hope to attract a college tenant for this season. Keep in mind that the Internet allows people to easily compare properties and choose the ones priced best and in the best condition. Also equally, if not more important, is to not get antsy and accept a tenant with poor rental or credit history. Screening is probably the single most important thing you can do. Credit, criminal, and rental history as well as verifying income is a must or you may end up severely regretting even owning rental property. We require they make at least three times the amount of monthly rent for income and provide copies of pay stubs. For the do-it-yourselfers, if you don’t have access to credit and criminal background checks, utilizing a property manager for the advertising, screening, and move-in process is a life saver and a cheaper alternative than paying for full service. This is often termed “tenant placement service”. We provide this service for one month’s rent.

This Fourth of July was spent as most of mine are… enjoying the Keystone Heights “Our Country Day” annual celebration . Such a wonderful hometown event that includes a street dance, parade, fish fry and craft festival and my favorite, the volleyball tournament! Last year I had been released from the hospital the day prior and had to be assisted to walk down the path to the tourney where I had to watch instead of participate. I do love watching volleyball but I love playing more! I was really feeling very blessed to be playing this year. We played fours and our team came in third against some highly competitive teams. You wouldn’t think there’d be that many good players in this town, but we kinda breed them here 🙂 Many of my friends’ kids now play in college and come back home for this fun tourney.

Later that day we took the jet ski out to Kingsley Lake at Camp Blanding joining some family that was camping there. Wow! It is a wonderful little jewel that veterans and enlisted get to enjoy. They have rental houses and RV and primitive camp sites for dirt cheap, but you have to have served to rent them. The lake is clear and pretty big so in spite of the number of boats, it was still easy to find a good spot. I took a short video of one of the usual daily storms that came in while on the lake. That evening the fireworks show around the lake went on for hours. It was obvious some people spent a lot of money on their fireworks this year. I hope you all had a safe and happy Independence Day! Thanks again to all of you that have served.

CLICK HERE to see more pictures and video from Tanya’s 4th of July.

Read similar blog posts from “Words From Our Broker”:

Secure Investments Realty July 2015 Newsletter

Check out the court case you may have missed and what it means for real estate professionals in this month’s newsletter!

Check out Secure Investments July 2015 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Disparate Impact: The Supreme Court Case You May Have Missed
  • Secure Investments Tech Updates
  • New Homebuyers Share What They Want in a Realtor
  • July 4th Videos from Tanya
  • Words From Our Broker
  • July 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Please subscribe if you want to receive these monthly newsletters.

Other issues you may enjoy:

Secure Investments March 2014 Newsletter

Secure Investments April 2015 Newsletter

Words From Our Broker – June 2015

Tanya Chappell Eleuthera Island 2015Hello, it feels like summer is officially here even though I believe the 21st of this month officially marks the date. But, I can tell you from experience, it is here! I fairly recently started playing sand volleyball again after all of my issues last year between the tick disease and a broken shoulder, And OMG! It is hot out there. I am really not sure why the group I play with on Sundays plays at 1 PM in the heat of the day.  It must be purely to test our mental strength and endurance. Running and jumping in the sand in 90 degree temps will make you feel you’ve lost your good sense! The sand was so hot a few weeks ago I had to break out the sand socks and some folks that didn’t got blisters. Yikes!

The real estate market is in full swing with people shopping for new homes to rent and buy. The decision to sell their current property, turn it into a rental or sell their rental is all the buzz now. If you haven’t considered it yet, this is the last month I’d wait if you want to catch the July and August shoppers. But keep in mind these are not like the old days where if you didn’t have it rented or sold by July 31st, it didn’t happen for awhile. Gainesville now supports year-round leases and sales although winter and holidays are always the slowest.

We’ve had our typical busy season with lots of new properties coming into management and some of our rental properties selling. We have a handful of properties turning over each month and moving new tenants in especially in the properties that are closer to the university or that tend to attract students or faculty from one of our two fabulous, top-rated colleges. The vendors in town are all working very hard and if you don’t already have a good relationship with them, your property may not be a priority for them. That’s one of the perks of having a good property management company.  We have trusted vendors that get our work done quickly, correctly, and at a good price despite being busy.

These days are spent doing lots of inspections with pictures and videos and the paperwork that goes along with the tenants’ move-out process and refund of their security deposit. Because we videotape our move-in and move-out inspections, it makes this time a lot less difficult and stressful when tenants don’t agree with the charges assessed in their security deposit. After sending their list of damages if they dispute a charge we invite them back to the office to review the videos. A lot of our tenants turn around and buy property and then have us manage their property when they need to relocate because they respect how they were treated while they rented from us and how well we took care of the property and documented everything. These are all things to keep in mind if your managing your own property.

Using the wonders of modern technology to keep up with work, I was able to finally take the Bahamas trip that was supposed to happen over Christmas last year (before the broken shoulder got in the way). I know that working while on vacation may not sound pleasant for some people, but I like what I do and I have the best assistant in the world so it just makes it another day in the life, but in a different beautiful location. We stayed in Eleuthera, an island 110 miles long and about 2 miles at its widest. We had an overnight stay in Nassau which we maximized by staying in a beautiful hill top, ocean view bed-and-breakfast  that the universe picked for us (or the cab driver depending on how you look at things). Then on to Eleuthera where we stayed in an awesome bungalow right on a private beach. The bottom step of the deck was in the sand. Two full sides of the home were sliding glass doors that opened to that beautiful view. We had such a wonderful and relaxing time. Here’s a link to that property’s web site in case you’re interested: www.romanticbungalow.com and check out our video below. The owners were very accommodating of our schedule changes and easy to work with.  I included a link below to some of the neat places we visited. Check out the video of Glass Window Bridge (our video) that separates the Atlantic from the Caribbean and the stark differences. Big surf and deep deep blue water on one side and calm shallow, serene, green water on the other. It was breathtaking and the video shows this.

I hope you enjoy your summer. Kids are out of school and summer break is here, so take advantage. Last month’s newsletter listed some fun things for kids to do this summer (click here). Wear lots of sunscreen in the day and bug spray at night if you live in the sunshine state 😉

This article was featured in this month’s newsletter.  Please subscribe if you want to receive these updates and more each month.

Secure Investments Realty June 2015 Newsletter

Don’t know the answer on whether you should rent it or list it?  Check out this month’s newsletter to find great tips on deciding which route is best for you and your property.

Featured articles in Secure Investments Realty June 2015 Newsletter:

  • Rent It or List It
  • Words From Our Broker
  • Pictures and Video From Tanya’s Trip to Eleuthera
  • June 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

May 2015 Words From Our Broker

Spring is in full bloom and summer is quickly nipping at her heels here in beautiful Gainesville and Alachua Florida! We’ve had perfect weather with some coolness in the air in the mornings and evenings and even some afternoons. We had a few days hit the 90 degree mark – a reminder of what’s to come. But I’d take even the hot days here any day of the week. It’s a great place to live with so many options on things to do with the river, woods, beach, springs and this great weather to do it in.

This time of year also means a lot of movement in the real estate market. Most everyone is looking at whether they should sell or should they keep renting and for how much?? Are tenants renewing, are they leaving, do we raise the rent? All very good things to be considering and I strongly advise you get a professional to evaluate your property’s market value. (A lot of websites that claim to be able to quote value are often off by 20%).

Emotions aside, the answer should be based purely on financial reasons and if you have the energy and stamina it takes to own rental property.  It’s not for everyone. Real estate is a great investment but as with all things, it takes work. Real estate is more work than perhaps stocks and bonds where someone’s making those decisions based on your criteria and you have little interaction.

There are highs and lows. The highs are that you get fabulous tenants that pay rent on time all the time and handle their own little maintenance needs. The lows are that you don’t…… Checking credit, criminal, and rental history backgrounds and proof of employment is a must but can’t protect you against life’s events that effect their behavior. It could even be that there credit is fine but the last landlord didn’t tell you about certain annoyances that made him happy to see them go.

You can have tenants that are picky and need help when a bifold closet door comes off tract and others that give your landscaping a beautiful over haul. You have to be able to stomach the ups and downs, the disappointments and the financial set backs. It can be costly to replace carpet because of a bad dog or install that new AC (so you don’t loose your current good tenants because they’ve had enough of the old one breaking down). This is one of the reasons owning rental property on purpose is usually a long-term investment and can be stressful.

If it’s not your intention to keep it long term that’s ok but those terms still apply to you even if youmay not be in it long enough to feel the full affect of time and are unfortunate to have felt more downs than ups during your landlording 🙁

A lot of people get into owning rental property because they aren’t able to sell their property at an acceptable net gain. Also some aren’t convinced they won’t be back to this beautiful town someday. I feel renting the home is still a great option for these situations. It beats paying two mortgages and usually beats the loss you take in selling too soon. But again, there are annoyances and risks. I feel if you can detach yourself from feeling annoyed or stressed by the ups and downs of your rental property and realize it’s a great way to hibernate the property until conditions improve, It’s a great solution.

A good property manager runs your first line of defense on all of those risks and annoyances and relays information and advice to you. Everything is touched with their level of expertise based on their knowledge, experience, common sense, and ability to deal with all parties smoothly and effectively.  One of the best things a property manger can do for you is to minimize your risks and loss. Make sure the person who’s actually managing the property (not just the company) has the experience it takes to quickly react to a bad situation and work fast to turn it quickly like when a tenant skips out on a lease a few months early after being told they owe for carpet replacement. Getting that property turned around quickly and back on the market and notifying all parties of the expense and money needed to meet their obligations is key. It’s not pleasant for anyone but it is life sometimes and the quicker your response, the less money lost.

I didn’t intend this month’s Broker corner to be an advertisement for our services, but this is a very good example of what’s happening in our market right now.  We have helped numerous owners out of a bad situation by overseeing turning the property over with our suggested improvements and finding better quality tenants quickly. Some improvements in certain areas that I’ve stressed before can make a huge difference in the look and feel of the property.  This translates into a better caliber tenant. Remember it’s the highs that pull us through so we want to shoot for that quality tenant.

Timing is very important when it comes to real estate so don’t wait too long to make your move whether you sell or rent. I find I procrastinate on the things I’m less experienced in like my IRA lol….. If this isn’t your area of expertise, do yourself a favor and find the people who do know, or it may end up costing you way more than you thought you’d save by procrastinating and eventually doing it yourself. Let us know if we can help and enjoy the rest of your spring. Summer is coming and it feels like a hot one!

Read similar blog posts from “Words From Our Broker”:

Words From our Broker – January 2015

Words From our Broker – November 2014

 

May 2015 Secure Investments Realty Newsletter

Looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer? Check out this month’s newsletter to find local kid-friendly events to fill your summer!

Check out May 2015 Secure Investments Realty Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Recommendations on summer events to entertain the kids
  • 5 Tips to Reduce Computer Strain
  • NARPM: What does it mean?
  • Interesting articles
  • Words From Our Broker
  • May 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Read similar newsletter posts:

Secure Investments Realty April 2015 Newsletter

Secure Investments Realty December 2014 Newsletter

Word From Our Broker – April 2015

This is an update from our broker and owner – Tanya Chappell.  You can see more at this month’s newsletter or receive monthly updates about the company by subscribing to our newsletter.

Tanya Chappell April 2015

Happy Belated Easter and Spring Break!

What a fun time of year spring is. With Easter and spring break close together, it gives us opportunity to spend time with family and friends. I am thankful my business deals directly with families and when they’re off playing with their own family and friends that allows us time to do the same.

This spring break my family and I took a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. It is a beautiful ship with 14 floors, an indoor mall, spa and gym, 6 pools including a surf n’ ride pool and a splash park and pool, a basketball court, and putt-putt golf. We sailed to Coco Cay in the Bahamas,  St. Thomas and St. Martin. I’ll admit that anytime is a good time to go to these places but it is especially beautiful this time of year. Also what a great way to shake off the winter!

It was wonderful spending time with my Courtney and Kyle, and their mom and step-dad who are wonderful people.  I shared a room with my daughter Lauren and my crazy, beautiful, smart, fast, and fearless granddaughter, Alicia. Alicia is a handful in a boring room so times it by 100 in a fun setting like this and you get the picture. You’ll notice the puppy backpack harness in some of the photos. I was one of those people who didn’t like the idea of a kid harness but I was very happy to have it as this little one is fast and wants to see and take in everything in a short time. Needless to say I was exhausted and have the utmost respect for my daughter who does a great job.

Tanya Chappell April 2015We spent time at some beautiful beaches in Cocoa Cay and St. Thomas. Snorkeling and witnessing some lizard sex in the trees lol! All beached out on day three we went to downtown St. Martin and walked the shops and people watched. Alicia was such a trooper and walked the whole town with us without needing to be carried. I was quite amazed at how much energy she has. Of course her favorite place was the splash pool and arcade room. At that age you don’t have to put money in the games for them to think they’re playing 😉

My favorite place was the gym and spa where I took full advantage of the massage service, yoga classes, beautiful gym, and a 180 degree view of the ocean. I relished in my morning quiet time practice on a private deck outside the gym that no one but me seemed to know about. Experiencing the sunrise each morning in this way was a beautiful way to begin the day.

We also had a great time with even more family at Easter which is spent at my sister Sandra’s gorgeous log home. We had over 50 people and so many cute little ones. I’ve included some pics and video of my favorite activities, the egg relay and the family pyramid. I know how fortunate I am and thank God daily 🙂

Tanya Chappell April 2015

So now back to work! Our busy season is starting and we will have a lot of activity through August with new properties for rent, renewing leases, tenants moving, inspecting properties and preparing those homes for our new tenants, spring maintenance on ac/heat systems, and new owners and investors coming into management. If your planning on renting or selling your home now is the time to start getting it ready and putting it on the market. We did share some tips in last month’s newsletter on this as well.  Homes are still renting very well with a rent increase over last year and I feel the condo market is slowly starting to see an increase in rents as well (something we haven’t seen in awhile). We’re happy to provide you or your clients with a free property evaluation any time. I hope you take advantage of this great April weather and enjoy your spring! If you’re in Florida you know what’s next…..spring showers! Old roofs, dead tress, clogged gutters beware……owners and managers, be preventative.

Click here to see more pictures!

Read similar blog posts from “Words From Our Broker”:

Secure Investments Realty April 2015 Newsletter

Need help understanding how to use social media to promote your business? Check out this month’s newsletter to find quick-read guides to teach you what you need to know!

Check out Secure Investments Realty April 2015 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Social Media 101: How to Advertise Your Business on Social Media
  • Tanya’s Spring Break
  • Where to Invest in Real Estate: 2015 Economic Predictions
  • Words From Our Broker
  • April 2015 Vacancies
  • Interesting Articles
  • Overview of Gainesville’s Rental Market

 

 

Words From Our Broker

Tanya Chappell hammock spring

Click here to See More Pictures

Hi! Well it really is spring now, isn’t it?  At least it is here in beautiful Gainesville and Alachua Florida; as is evidenced by the powder of green on my car every time I get in it. You would think my car hasn’tbeen driven in days. But it is beautiful! The trees seem to have fresh baby leaves in a lighter shade of green. Lying in my backyard hammock (notice I had to distinguish which one ;)) with my heavenly views of nature, it’s 86 degrees and sunny. I’m listening to the wind blowing through the trees, a woodpecker and various birds and I am thankful for feeling like I live in a fairy tale!! I’ve shared some of this beauty in the picture above.

With spring comes a lot of activity in the real estate market. On both the sales side and the rental side, I have investors contacting me looking for rental homes to purchase, friends and families upgrading and others buying for their kids going to college. Gainesville is going to have some wonderful growth around Butler Plaza and west of I-75 with Celebration Pointe and perhaps even the northeast area going out towards Hawthorne with the Plum Creek project. Did you know we are getting a town center at Butler plaza? Lowes and Walmart will be relocated to another area in Butler plaza to accommodate the new development.   Celebration Pointe is going to be another live, shop, and dine community but on a bigger scale than Tioga and Haile Plantation. It’s a fascinating time to be in this area and watch as we blossom into an even more unique community with small town feel, but big city shopping, entertainment, various cultural events, and our beautiful outdoor and nature attractions. It really combines to be a very nice place to live.

With interest rates still low, I believe our economy will be thriving this next year and real estate appreciating more rapidly in the next few years that follow. We are seeing rental homes rent fairly quickly at around a 3% increase in rent and the condos are ever so slightly increasing. The sales market is pretty much done with foreclosure and there are just a few short sales left. This means prices are and will climb a little more quickly than last year as well.  If you are thinking about making a move, buying, selling or renting, now is the time to start getting ready for it. The old saying still goes: “First impressions are oh so important”. The homes you are competing against are in good condition and if older, have been updated. Things like bathroom mirrors, light fixtures, ceiling fans, flooring and countertops could increase your rental value by $100 or more each month. With the upgrades, the property will take less time to rent and could very well pay for themselves. Let us know if we can help you. Even if it’s just for advice and some direction we’re happy to help. Enjoy your spring weather and if you live up north isn’t it time to visit us in Florida?

This is an update from our broker and owner – Tanya Chappell. You can see more at this month’s newsletter or receive monthly updates about the company by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

Read similar blog posts from “Words From Our Broker”:

Words From our Broker – January 2015

Words From our Broker – November 2015

Secure Investments Realty March 2015 Newsletter

Not sure whether to rent or sell your rental property? Check out this month’s newsletter to find out about the 2015 Rental Market Trends and what it means for you!

Check out Secure Investments Realty March 2015 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • To Rent or To Sell: 2015 Rental Market Trends and Predictions
  • New Gainesville Developments
  • Homeowner and Real Estate Professional Tax Tips
  • City of Gainesville City Commissioner Election Information
  • Words From Our Broker
  • March 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Words From Our Broker

 

Words from our Broker

It seems like the last couple of weeks we’ve been having a false spring.  Plants are blooming and their pollen creating havoc for those with allergies. In spite of the pollen, it has been nice to get a taste of spring.  We’ve had some beautiful days and it’s hard not to want to get back out on the beach! My shoulder therapy is coming along well, maybe even a little ahead of schedule. I finally have been able to include 2 pound weights to my twice a day home physical therapy.  Whoohoo!!! A whopping 2 lbs.  lol! But very little slows me down and I’m looking forward to being back at volleyball by April or May.

The Gainesville sales market is very strong right now. Check out our Facebook page for news and updates that we’ve shared this month and the articles in this newsletter. I personally have several friends that I’m helping buy property right now – condos for their kids to live in while going to school and first time homeowners. Prices are inching up and this holds true for the rental market as well. We’ve rented most of our inventory and the majority of our tenants are renewing so if you’ve been thinking about buying investment property or renting out your home this is the time to get serious about it. I’m happy to advise you on prices and what you can do to make your property move quickly and at the highest price.Let me know if we can help you.  Our evaluation of your property is free!

I took the family to Disney World over the Martin Luther King holiday (bad timing- the holiday weekend had the resorts and Magic Kingdom packed). It was my grandkids’ first time and some of the pictures will show the excitement and wonder on their faces which warms my heart more than I can say. We stayed in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Staying in Disney is definitely the way to do Disney World.  It makes your traveling to and from the park so much easier and the resorts themselves have a lot to offer. We went to the Magic Kingdom in the morning, came back to let the kids (me) rest, and went back that evening and caught the electric light parade.  Notice Alicia’s face of awe (pictured above) as we went through “It’s a Small World”. That look on her face was what I was there to see! Check out the picture of the deer in my front yard! I still feel like Snow White! ❤My home.
Tanya Chappell house

Secure Investments Realty February 2015 Newsletter

Tired of working out alone? Check out this month’s newsletter to find a social fitness group that fits your needs!

Check out Secure Investments Realty February 2015 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Spring Clean Your Workout Routine
  • An Overview of Gainesville’s 2014 Real Estate Market
  • Listing My Property Manager as an Additionally Insured
  • Words From Our Broker
  • February 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Words From Our Broker

Happy New Year!!! I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration. Although I wasn’t able to fly off for Christmas as planned, I did spend some time with family and also went to Captiva Island. My family always gets together on Christmas Eve.  We do a potluck dinner and Chinese auction. It’s interesting to see how time has changed and now it’s the nieces in the family that plan the events and pull it all together. I’m happy to have passed down the throne and to just sit back and enjoy. It was a very special time spent with all of my family, brother and sisters,  nieces, nephews, grandnieces, nephews and grandchildren.  We have a lot of little ones that are so fun to watch with all their excitement bubbling out of them. Check out the pictures to the right that were taken on the picture wall that my very creative niece Megan put together.

After Christmas, we took off to Captiva Island on the west coast just south of Ft. Pierce. It was absolutely beautiful. Still recovering from AC joint and rotator cuff surgery, it took some creativity to figure out what to do with my time. I’m so used to being physically active that simply being at the beach doing nothing took some adjusting.  Of course, I quickly adjusted to a nice long nap and plenty of sun worshiping….. Oh yea ….and eating!!

I sometimes just like to wing it when I go on vacation and find a spot to stay when I get there. We ended up getting this very cute little one bedroom cottage at Captiva Inn, just a block off of the beach right in the center of Captiva Village with restaurants and shops all around.  It really couldn’t of been planned better! I included some pictures in this newsletter and highly recommend visiting Captiva and Sanibel Islands.

True to form as soon as January 2nd rolled around, business started picking up again with lots of rental and property management inquiries.  We do a great job of keeping our properties rented and I believe right now we’re renting our very last vacancy and will soon be at 100% occupancy!!!  That doesn’t happen often. Go Laura!!! I know I’ve said it before but I have to say it again,  I have the best assistant ever! We do have some properties on our website that will be coming available due to tenants not renewing their leases and we have some new homeowners putting their properties into management with us soon. I’m sure the 100% occupancy will be very short-lived but it’s nice to have achieved it!

The weather in our area has been crazy. It may be 35° in the morning and 75° in the afternoon and then a rain storm comes in and we’re dropping back down to 50° by evening time. We have noticed that this has created a lot of what’s termed “environmental mold” in some of our concrete block properties. I asked Jonathan with Dreyer’s Restoration and Mold Remediation to write an article for us explaining what is happening. I’ve worked with Jonathan for years and find him to be one of the best in mold remediation. They do many more things than just mold remediation so check out his article and if you get the opportunity to use him, you won’t be disappointed.

I wish you all a prosperous and peaceful New Year!!!

IMG_1733 IMG_2221 IMG_2246

Secure Investments Realty January 2015 Newsletter

mold

Noticed strange mold growth in your home lately? Check out this month’s newsletter to figure out to get rid of it!

Check out Secure Investments Realty January 2015 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Mold and Moisture: The Unwanted Duo
  • 15 of Our Most Popular Articles to Begin Your 2015
  • Words From Our Broker
  • January 2015 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • List of our current available properties

Words from Our Broker

This is an update from our broker and owner – Tanya Chappell.  You can see more at this month’s newsletter or receive monthly updates about the company by subscribing to our newsletter.

Happy Holidays friends!!

What a festive time of year. For most of us, Thanksgiving was a beautiful time spent with friends and family and lots of food.

Now we all get to look forward to doing that again for Christmas and New Years. I used to dislike the holidays because I thought it was so commercialized and hypocritical with the true meaning behind these Holidays being lost. I now realize that the meaning of these holidays are held dear in your heart. No matter how commercialized it is, if you still have that meaning in your heart, it is a beautiful celebration full of love, compassion, grace, and unity. As with most things, your perception is your reality. That certainly holds true with the Holidays. I hope your perception for the Holidays is a beautiful one.

I have been daydreaming for months about visiting the house we rented in Eluthera, Bahamas right on the beach over Christmas for this year. Apparently, that’s not where we were meant to be this Christmas. Due to a fun night on Thanksgiving weekend spent chasing my boyfriend through the woods on four wheelers, we will be spending our Holiday recovering. I’ll be having surgery and recovering from breaking my right shoulder and he is nursing broken ribs.

See anything wrong with this picture?

Tanya Chappell's injured shoulder

Tanya Chappell’s injured shoulder

The combination of darkness, speed, competitiveness and getting old…. makes it harder to see as well as you can during the day so we both flipped our four-wheelers over a misplaced log 🙁 OUCH!!  I don’t bounce as well as I used to. I’ve been told I need a bubble suit. Lol!  That would’ve been helpful for this past year for sure!  I now get to enjoy my family and friends again this Christmas!  I love that too. I am again just thankful to be here.

Our November and December rental season picked up for a few weeks and we rented several properties. It will slow again as Christmas gets closer and then will pick up after New Years. Be sure your home is in top showing condition and correctly priced during this time to take advantage of this short burst of activity.
Alicia Tanya Chappell's grandaughter

Alicia eating a pumpkin cupcake at Thanksgiving dinner

This is a picture of my granddaughter Alicia enjoying a yummy pumpkin cupcake at Thanksgiving. How could I leave this sweet thing over Christmas anyway! Notice her multitasking skills??
I wish you all peace and love. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

See anything wrong with this picture?

Tanya Chappell's injured shoulder

See anything wrong with this picture? Read this month’s newsletter to figure it out!

Check out Secure Investments Realty December 2014 Newsletter. Featured articles include:

  • Christmas Decoration Contest – All entrants will be entered to win $50!
  • 15 Apps Every Real Estate Agent Needs to Start 2015
  • New Tenant Presentation
  • Words From Our Broker
  • December 2014 Gainesville Rental Market Overview
  • Interesting Articles

November 2014 Newsletter

On the way to Grandmother’s house? All your favorite vacation sites booked? Still scrambling to come up with holiday plans?  Check out Secure Investments November 2014 Newsletter for our road trip ideas! No matter where you are headed this year for the holidays there are great sights for you to enjoy a long the way!  Be sure to check out our Secure Investments Facebook Page and offer your road trip tips for a chance to win $50!

 

Words from Our Broker

Our owner and broker, Tanya Chappell, shares what has been going on in the October Gainesville rental market, her life, and the daily life of Secure Investments.  Stay up-to-date with our monthly newsletter:  Words from Our Broker

What a beautiful time of year! As I sit here and reflect back on the month I realize once again how fortunate I am to be living in beautiful Alachua Florida. The rolling hills are so beautiful and filled with wildlife all around (if you are quiet and still enough to catch them watching you). I guess that could sound eerie to some 🙂

       From my front porch hammock overlooking the field, I’m visited daily by animals. I’ve been able to watch the fawns grow and play and the small bucks get there little horns. The crazy turkeys running back and forth for no reason at all… which is hilarious by the way. Baby bunnies trying to figure out how to take a simple left turn into the woods instead of zig zagging in front of my truck tires.  The funniest of them are all the baby frogs that were everywhere from all that rain we had in September. They ran for their lives under my feet as I walked in the mornings.
With the rain we have had this year, we’ve noticed more growth on everything including algae growth on buildings and driveways creating a larger need for exterior washing. Swimming pools got a little green and grass stayed a little taller. Now that the rains have ceased a bit, those things will come back into balance.
It always seems we get that little lull of activity in September and it picks up in October. That seems to be the case this year too. Rental and management activity picked up the first week of October and will likely remain steady until the holidays before it slows for a bit. So take advantage of this time if you have a home on the market.
I hope all of you are enjoying this beautiful weather as much as I am. Thanks to my wonderful assistant Laura, I will be leaving for a few days in the morning to see the leaves change and feel the colder fall air from the back of a bike in the Smokey Mountains.  Life is good 😉

Secure Investments Realty & Management Rental Update October 2012

 

Hi,

Fall has arrived!!! It has been hinting at making its appearance but as I sit now with the doors and windows open enjoying the coolness in the air, it’s clear that it has officially arrived. I find, as most of us lucky Floridians probably do, the fall weather is truly a gift.

The Gainesville Real Estate Market appears to be stabilizing. A good indicator of market stabilization is that the number of homes for sale has declined. Decreasing inventory is an indicator for a trend toward a more balanced market. The number of closed sales remained constant through August, and slowed in September as the peak moving time has now passed with school now in session.  Home buyers know that the mortgage interest rates are appealing and indicators show an increase in buyers actively viewing homes.

Click here to view the September Gainesville Alachua County Housing Statistics Report. September 2012 Gainesville-Alachua County Housing Statistics

The Rental Market in Gainesville is also doing very well. There are still a large number of folks that are not ready to buy and find that renting is a good solution for them right now. There are various reasons for this that include having homes that need to sell before they can buy, having a short sale on their record preventing them from qualifying for a mortgage at this time, many are still waiting to see if the Gainesville Real Estate market has bottomed out, and some are simply not in a place in life where they are ready to take that step. All of these factors are keeping the Gainesville Rental Market booming. Homes and Condos that are in good condition and priced correctly do not stay on the rental market long. I have found the single family homes and luxury condominium rental values have increased. It appears we still have that healthy supply of the average two bedroom condo’s for rent and those prices do not appear to be increasing quite yet.

Below are properties I have listed recently rented and noted those with referrals and if rented, how much they rented for. As you can see below I have paid out over $3500 in referral fees between Owner referral fees and tenant referral fees. You can check out this link see pictures and Videos of my currently available Rental Properties. http://www.secureinvestmentsrealty.com

The Oaks – 6519 West Newberry Rd unit 1014- $820 Client Referral paid $164
Leewood – 3330 NW 24 Avenue- $995 Tenant Referral paid $199
Bayberry – 2635 NW 51 Place- $920 Tenant and client Referral paid $368
Villages of West End  – 1014 NW 122nd terr- $1050 Client Referral paid $210
Rockwood Villas – 904 SW 57th Drive- $790 Tenant and client Referral paid $316
Thronbrooke Office Condo – 2830 NW 41st Street G-2- $500
Northridge – 8716 NW 35th rd- $1100 Tenant and Client Referral paid $440
Rosemount – 6235 NW 35th Drive- $1250 Tenant Referral paid $250
Mossy Oaks – 4116 SW 15th Place -$675
Haile Plantation/Hampstead – 9519 SW 38th Lane- $1850 Tenant and Client Referral $740
Forest Creek – 1636 NW 34th Ave- $1300 Tenant and Client Referral $520
Countryside – 4000 SW 23rd Street Unit 4-304- $1200 Client Referral $240

 

In the months of August & September over 600 properties in the MLS rented. Click this link to view these properties. Rental properties closed in August and September 2012

I had the good sense to attend a Seminar with guest speaker John Spence, on Achieving Business Excellence and below are some of the notes I took on things he mentioned that struck me. You can read more about him on his web site at http://johnspence.com/services/workshops/achieving-business-excellence

 

The 4 P’s: Passion, Persistence 10 yrs or 10k hrs, Practice, Pattern recognition Ability to see patterns others don’t.

You must be Focused- disciplined – take action – to be successful.

Expectations – give good communication of expectations and make sure you meet them

Visibility drives accountability and accountability drives success

Know what a client/customer is worth to you over the long haul

40% or business is done on word of mouth

Whoever knows the customer best wins

You will fail but you have to try- put it out there- to know if it will work

Learn to delegate- Juggling a lot of balls glass and rubber- delegate the rubber ones

Collaboration – must know how to surround yourself with smart people that want you to succeed and ask them for help.

 

Hire for attitude, character and aptitude- train them what they need to know.

It’s your front line service people that makes or breaks your company -lead them- serve them

 

Below are some links to articles I found interesting and you may too:

Security Deposits and the Lease

Proper use of Property Management Trust accounts

Preparing your property management office for year end

Top 10 Property Management Pitfalls

Reasonable Modifications for disabled residents

Investment Firms eye Single Family Rentals

Gainesville Businesses building a bright future

30 year Fixed rate mortgage at record low

HOA’s tell renters there not welcome

Law offices Heist, Weisse and Wolk Legal Newsletter

 

Please keep in mind I pay referral fees to Realtors for Home Owners that need to rent their home and Tenants needing a home to rent. I am experienced in managing single family homes and condos as well as Multi-family and commercial properties and service Gainesville and the surrounding smaller towns.

As always I need thank all of my friends, clients and Realtors friends that have continued to refer clients and friends to me. Your referrals are easily 95% of my business. The trust you place in me by sending me those referrals in greatly appreciated and never taken for granted. I will do everything I can to take care of your people and exceed their expectations. Please keep them coming.

 

Life has had so many changes for me over the past year both personally and professionally. I am happy to say I did finally receive my CPM (Certified Property Manager) designation through the Institute of Real Estate Management. Yeah!!! I want to give a big thank you to all who elected me to be a Director of the MLS for the Board of Realtors. I do enjoy being involved in what makes our industry work and thrive, so thank you very much for your trust and support.

I am very grateful that my new business is a success. With that success comes the need to be closer to town so I have made a huge decision to move to Gainesville. I have lived in the small quaint town of Keystone Heights on Lake Geneva for the last 20 years- ten of that on a beautiful piece of property that I designed and had built. I have put my home on the rental market for $1300 per month and am looking for a place to rent as I allow the next year of my life to unfold. If you know of anyone that would enjoy a beautiful home on 15 acres on lake Geneva with lake Hutchinson out the kitchen window, a detached 1700 sq ft Barn/5 car garage with water and electric and 10 ft. roll up doors, and a professional sand volleyball court complete with lights and shower…. Please share this link with them.https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/b4d7d7e6-ffcb-45f7-8c2f-6bc62a1948f4

Also if you know or hear of something nice for rent for the perfect tenant (single professional woman with no pets!) please let me know. I am leaning towards something downtown and want to stay under $1100. I figure I might as enjoy the experience of being around it all, now that I have fully experienced being removed from it all out in the country! I am excited about my move and new chapter in life.

To wrap it up I thought I’d  update you on my Joys of being a Grandma. Alica is four months old now and is in that heartwarming stage of learning to smile, make those wonderful baby talk noises, find her feet and stick them in her mouth!! I had the joy of taking a Sunday afternoon nap with her recently and there is no other feeling of peace quite like that.

Have a great day!

Me and Alisha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108
Tanya@secureinv.net

www.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

 

Secure Investments Rental and Property Management Update April 5, 2012 Newsletter

Secure Investments Rental and Property Management Update

April 5, 2012 Newsletter

Happy Easter!

I hope you have fun plans for your upcoming Easter Weekend. If you live here in Beautiful Florida like I do you will be enjoying some really beautiful weather so get outside and enjoy it!

I hate to admit that I neglected sending out a Newsletter last month. I know there is no good excuse for it but I�traveled�quite a bit last month taking classes to finish up the requirements needed to obtain my Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation through The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). The CPM designation is the highest designation available in the property management industry and I am absolutely thrilled to have completed the requirements. Of course I still have to wait for the official test score for the 42 page management plan I submitted but I felt the plan was very good and am sure I will receive a passing grade on it. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I should know in about 45 days.

I took my last class in New Jersey two weeks ago. Mother nature must have known this Florida gal isn�t fond of cold weather so I was treated to 70 degree weather and was able to watch the trees and flowers bud and blossom while there. It was a real treat � especially after spending 9 hours a day in class and several hours of homework each night. Needless to say I�didn’t�see much of New Jersey except the Hotel and the class room. Which is why I then treated myself to a trip to Bimini Bahamas� to visit some friends and relax for a few days!! The pictures below are some of the beautiful views I was able to take in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bimini is a beautiful Island unspoiled by touristy attractions. It�s a place to experience nature and peaceful relaxation. If you have any interest in visiting Bimini and even swimming with wild dolphins while you�re there let me know� I can hook you up!

The rental activity is really heating up. Last month 86 rental properties were closed in the MLS. You can follow this link to review them.

http://www.gainesvillemls.com/gan/maildoc/sd_4jRMgC20120405103824.html

I would like to give a big �Thank You� for the referrals and support I continue to receive. I value the trust you show in me when you refer your clients and I will give them the best service and care available.

This is a great time of year to refer your clients whose homes are not selling for what they want and need some mortgage relief. �There is currently a big demand for rental homes from $1200 to $2000 per month. I will happily give your client a free rental evaluation and let them know how I� can help them.

You can check out this link see my Featured Rental Properties

http://www.secureinvestmentsrealtyandmanagement.com/home_rentals

Please keep in mind I pay a 20% referral fee for Owners and Tenants. When you refer an owner or tenant I will keep you informed on the rent up and lease end status so that you can keep in touch with your client and know when it is time for them to make another decision in buying or selling. I am experienced in managing single family homes and condos as well as Multi-family and commercial properties in Gainesville and the surrounding smaller towns.

I attended the Women�s Council of Realtors �Appy Hour� last month and below are some of the top App�s that your fellow Realtors find helpful.

Hoot suite � To manage your social media

Sketches- draw picture or make notes on the picture

Shop savvy- price items and find cheaper

Clippish pro- Emoticon for texting with pictures

Grocery gadget- make grocery lists and check off list

Yelp- local attractions, restaurants etc.

Slydia-l leave message straight to voice mail

1password- safely store your passwords

Magic plan- measure, draw and publish interactive floor plans

Text hog- for expenses tracking

Fandango- buy movie tickets and see what’s playing

Sound hound- identifies music that is playing buy through iTunes sing into it

Gainesville sun app � read the daily paper from your app

Wruf am- listen to gators when you don�t have access to radio or tv

I garage sale- finds local garage sales and u can put in what you�re looking for. It searches Craig’s list

Jawbone makes a jam box you can buy at best buy and is a Wifi speaker

Gas buddy- finds cheap gas

Coupon Sherpa- find coupons to use by bar code

Cartabi- like drop box, make folders and invite people to it. Exchange documents

Below are links to articles I found interesting and you may too!

Trulia rolls out iPhone app for rentals.

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/04/4/trulia-rolls-out-iphone-app-rentals

New service streamlines apartment, condo and home rental searches.

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/03/16/new-service-streamlines-apartment-searches

Top 6 business apps: a real estate broker’s faves.

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/03/9/top-6-business-apps-a-real-estate-brokers-faves

Tax break for owners occupying a rental has changed

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/stephen-fishman/tax-break-owners-occupying-a-rental-has-changed

Don’t assume landlord’s insurance covers all damage

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/janetportman/dont-assume-landlords-insurance-covers-all-damage

Fix leaky faucet in 8 easy steps

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/billkevinburnett/fix-leaky-faucet-in-8-easy-steps

Bank of America Announces Rental Program

Federal Laws Property Managers Must Be Aware Of � Part I

Federal Laws Property Managers Must Be Aware Of � Part II

4 Key Things Property Managers Need to Know (But Might Not!)

Managing Your Online Reputation (Webinar Recap)

Trends for Managed Property and Rental Housing

 

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108

Tanya@secureinv.netwww.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

Secure Investments Realty & Management Rental Update August 2012

Hi,
Wow! It’s been a very busy summer for me and from what I hear most of us in the Real Estate and related industries. I have been very busy with my new business successfully building my inventory of homes to rent and manage while at the same time navigating and learning what you need to know in this day of Internet Marketing and social media. I have to admit it’s a love hate relationship!!

As most of you know this is the busiest season of the year for renting. Today’s market brings an abundance of nice homes and condo’s for rent. A lot of Owners are resorting to renting due to their property not selling for what they want or need. At the same time we have a lot of renters in the market. They are made up of various profiles. Those that find it is cheaper to rent right now than it is to buy. Folks that have homes that need to sell before they can buy again. People waiting to see if prices will drop more. Those with short sales, foreclosures or other bad debt on their records that need to rent until they can qualify to buy again. And of course the group of renters that are doing it because of not wanting a long term commitment. All in all it has kept the rental market hopping. I have a link below that speaks to this point and the state of the housing market and specifically rental market. I found it pretty interesting and you might too.

I want to again thank all of my Friends, clients and Realtors friends that have continued to refer to me. Below are properties I have listed recently and noted those with referrals and if rented, how much they rented for. As you can see below I have paid out over $1700 in referral fees between Owner referral fees and tenant referral fees.
Thank you again, ever so much…. Because of you guys I may actually start taking a paycheck soon! lol. Please keep those referrals coming they are easily 80% of my business.

 

Sunrise – 4/3-1612 SW 76th Ter -$1,550.00 Rented!- Referral fee paid $310
Casablanca West – 2/1.5-2735 SW 35 pl #406-$600- Rented! Referral fee paid $120
Bivens North- 2/1- 2812 SW 14th Drive- $800- Rented!- Referral paid $140
Ridgview Estate – 3/2- 3502 NW 18 Terrace $775- Rented!
Woodside Villas- 2/2- 7200 SW 8 Ave $650- Rented!
Pinewoods-3/2.5- 2010 NW 56th Ter $1,320.00 Rented!
Haile Plantation The Preserve – 3/2-4417 SW 84th Way- $1,800.00- Rented!
Hawthorne- 2/1- 21701 SE 67th Place $650- Rented
Longleaf – 3/2- 7660 SW 84th Drive-$1,460.00 Rented!- Referral fee paid $292
Mile Run- 3/2- 6714 NW 37th Drive-$1,460.00 Rented! -Referral fee paid $292
Historic District – 3/1- – 429 SE 7 Street- $910- Rented!
Casablanca West- 2/2.5- 2735 SW 35 Place #304- $680 Rented!
Victoria Station – 2/2.5- 3521 SW 30th way #106- $750 Rented!- Client Referral
Mile Run – 2/1.5 – 4008 SW 21 Rd- $600- Rented!
Napier Oak – 2/2- 3822 SW 30th terr- $710- Rented!
Rockwood Villas- 2/2 – 816 SW 55th ter- $725- Rented
Emerald Woods – 4/2.5- 4234 NW 70th Ter- $1,350.00 Rented
Sunrise – 4/3- 1612 SW 76th Ter- $1,550.00 Rented!- Referral fee $310

You can check out this link see pictures and You Tube videos of my currently available Rental Properties.
http://www.secureinvestmentsrealtyandmanagement.com/home_rentals

In the month of July over 500 properties in the MLS rented. Click this link to view these properties.
http://gainesvillemls.com/gan/maildoc/21Y2f08796.html

GACAR had a panel of various insurance related folks come and share things you should know when it comes to insurance policies. The below are tid-bits of info I found helpful and interesting:

E&O Insurance- Know whether it is occurrence based or claim based
FAR has group program for E&O.

Home Owners and Rental Policy -Check to see what you have; wind storm or hurricane damage. Be sure to read your exclusions and limitations on contents.
Ask to review the policy along with the quote.

Title insurance – Look at the title commitment page and exceptions for list of things that are excluded. You may want to have the exclusions cleared up before closing. Do your diligence by giving copy to buyer so they can exercise their time frame for reviewing.

Title Policy issued at closing- Covers the purchase price so if it’s land it doesn’t cover any improvements made later. The only way you can get it covered is to sell it… To yourself preferably. If the home appreciates after closing your only covered up to purchase price. Talk to underwriter about what can be done to raise the policy. You may want to get an escalation clause to cover improvements your making.

Top Producer at GACAR invited ProActive Tax & Accounting to speak to the group and below are some helpful tid-bits I came away with from that event:

Tax buckets For Real Estate- Passive=Rental, Portfolio=Investors, Active=Realtor

Short Sales- Primary Home no taxable event, Vacation Home taxable event on gain but no personal loss allowed, Business Property taxable event gain or loss. Tip- Consider converting primary residence to rental property to provide loss deductions.

Vehicle Expense Deductions-
Standard mileage rate: 55 ½ cents per business mile. Parking, tolls, personal property taxes. Interest expense on loan, loss on sale of vehicle.

Actual Expense – Depreciation, insurance, fuel, Mechanical Repairs, parking tolls, personal property taxes, interest expense on loan, loss on sale of vehicle.

Buy or Lease a vehicle- Consider the following:
Mileage= 15,000+ annually (consider buying)
7,500 or less annually (consider leasing)
Keep car for more than 3 years (consider buying)

Meals & Entertainment- Record the entertainment in your business journal or appointment book, Make sure the entertainment occurs in a business setting or be se sure to discuss business before or after the entertainment in a business setting, good documentation is KEY!

Entertainment Expenses 100%-
Making Presentations. Can be given to only one person. You do not have to invite the general public. Meals provided, Recreation/party with your employees, Networking event, Dutch treat business meals.

Home Office Rules Improved- # easy rules give you the Home Office deduction; For administrative or Management Duties, Exclusively for business, Regularly for business (10 hours plus per week).

Documentation and Proof of Home Office- A log of time spent, who did you speak to, what work did you perform, any emails to support time spent, if in person meeting as them to sign in on a sign in sheet.

ProActive Tax and Accounting provides classes on Thursdays at 3pm and 6pm. To register email Marlaine@ProActiveCPAs.com or phone 352-333-7880

Below are some links to articles I found interesting and you may too.

The State of the Nation’s housing Market
http://www.propertymanager.com/2012/08/the-state-of-the-nation%e2%80%99s-housing/

NARPM Florida State Chapter Property Manager Conference 2012
http://www.propertymanager.com/2012/07/narpm-florida-state-chapter-property-manager-conference/

Rental Housing and Apartment Rental Market Trends for 2012
http://www.propertymanager.com/2012/01/2012-rental-housing-and-apartment-rental-market-trends/

Bank of America Looking into a Foreclosure Rental Program
http://www.propertymanager.com/2011/12/bank-of-america-foreclosure-rental-program/

Low Income Housing Tax Credit: What is it and How to Pass Inspections
http://www.propertymanager.com/2012/07/low-income-housing-tax-credit-what-is-it-how-to-pass-inspections/

Trends for Managed properties and Rental Housing
http://www.propertymanager.com/2012/02/trends-for-managed-property-and-rental-housing-2/

Law Offices of Heist, Weisse and Wolk Legal update
http://www.evictionlawgroup.com/newsletters/newsletter_may12.htm

Please keep in mind I pay referral fees for Owners and Tenants. When you refer an owner or tenant I will keep you informed on the rent up and lease end status so that you can keep in touch with your client and know when it is time for them to make another decision in buying or selling. I am experienced in managing single family homes and condos as well as Multi-family and commercial properties in Gainesville and the surrounding smaller towns.

To wrap it up I thought I’d share a picture of my new Grandbaby! It is hard to believe I am a grandma now but I have to say… It is as special as everyone has ever said it is and I am truly in love. Meet Alisha Joy Honeycutt!

Have a great day!

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108
Tanya@secureinv.net

www.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

Secure Investments Realty & Management Rental Update May 16, 2012

Hi,

Memorial Day is right around the corner. Don’t forget to get the camping gear out and reservations made. Unless you prefer that nice comfy air conditioning of a hotel room or peaceful escape in your home, just pretending your gone! Whatever your plans are be safe and enjoy.

I am happy to announce that I did pass the IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) Management Plan which was my last class needed to secure my CPM (Certified Property Manager) designation. I am thrilled to have that behind me. Now some red tape and time and I should be able to put those three little letters behind my name on my business cards and name badges!! Who hoo! So much work for three little letters. Joking aside, the CPM designation is the highest designation you can achieve in Property Management and I am thankful to have completed the requirements!

What an active month it has been in the land of Property Management. I’ve been renting property as fast as I can get them on the market. Single family homes and upscale condominiums seem to be flying off the market. The two bedroom condo’s still seem to be in large supply so they are not renting quite as fast. If you have friends or clients that have been considering renting their home let them know that the homes that range in value from 150K to 600K+ are renting quickly and at increased rental rates over the past years.

Below are the properties that I have listed in just the past few weeks.

Rockwood Villas 2/2 900 SW 62nd Blvd B-9 $700 (Rented)

Countryside    3/2 10945 NW 32 ave    $1360 (Rented)

Longleaf          3/2 7660 SW 84th Drive    $1460 (Rented)

Hobbits’ Glen  2/2 + Study-  1660 NW 22nd Cr.  $1030 (Rented)

Hobbits’ Glen  2/2 + Study-  1642 NW 22nd Cr.  $1100 (Rented)

Mile Run         3/2  6714 NW 37th Drive     $1400.00 (Rented)

Newberry        3/2  25136 SW 2nd      $950.00 (Rented)

Savannah Place  3/2 3632 NW 52nd ter    $1160.00 (Rented)

Hawthorne   2/2 21701 SE 67th Place $700.00  (available)

Napier Oaks  2/2  3822 SW 30th ter  $725.00 (available)

You can check out this link to see my Featured Rental Properties

http://www.secureinvestmentsrealtyandmanagement.com/home_rentals

As always I have to give a huge thank you to all of the Realtors that have referred Owners that need their home rented and managed. Below are the referral fees that have or will be paid out once the lease starts on those properties you referred in.  You know who you are and I truly appreciate your trust!

Rockwood Villas 2/2+study  $700 rent-                    referral fee $140.00

Countryside  3/2            $1400.00 rent-                      referral fee $272.00

Longleaf          3/2       $1460 rent-                              referral fee $292.00

Hobbits’ Glen  2/2 + Study-        $1030 rent-              referral fee $206.00

Hobbits’ Glen  2/2 + Study-        $1100 rent-              referral fee $220.00

Mile Run         3/2        $1400.00 rent-                        referral fee $280.00

Savannah Place  3/2       $1160.00 rent-                     referral fee $232.00

Please keep in mind I pay a 20% referral fee for Owners and Tenants. When you refer an owner or tenant I will keep you informed on the rent up and lease end status so that you can keep in touch with your client and know when it is time for them to make another decision in buying or selling. I am experienced in managing single family homes and condos as well as Multi-family and commercial properties in Gainesville and the surrounding smaller towns.

In the last month 126 rental properties that were in the Gainesville Alachua County MLS closed/rented. Follow this link to view the specifics:

http://gainesvillemls.com/gan/maildoc/4KPaNi2588.html

As usual I do manage to make time for little get a ways. Being so connected with technology I can work from anywhere and I take advantage of it! So even if I am out of town, business continues as usual. The last time I went out of town I listed 5 properties and rented 4! Proof positive I need to get out of town more often don’t you think? Below are a few pictures of The Beautiful Florida Keys.

Mallory Square Key West

      

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Peaches!

 

Mallory Square Street Performer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are links to articles I found interesting and you may too!

Helpful Property Management Maintenance Tips

It’s harder for non-investors to buy foreclosures – MSN Real Estate

10 home maintenance tips for spring | Inman News

What makes a good real estate investment

http://www.zillow.com/blog/2012-01-13/what-is-a-good-real-estate-investment/

How to watch your reputation in the rental industry.

http://blog.rentjuice.com/how-to-watch-your-reputation-in-the-rental-industry/

Federal Reserve Clarifies REO Rental Rule

On April 5, the Federal Reserve Board issued a policy statement clarifying its policies on the rental of REO properties acquired by banks through foreclosure.

Nine things successful people do differently

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/nine_things_successful_people.html?goback=.gde_1141097_member_114042212#.T7ENaDAdz6w.facebook

Shadow Inventory update 46 months to clear supply of distressed homes

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/shadow-inventory-update-46-months-to-clear-supply-of-distressed-homes-2012-05-14

Rents Accelerating

http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org/2012/04/24/rents-accelerating/#.T6PXXiC0Y-I.facebook

Browsing at warp speed- Your guide to Chrome

http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/browsing-at-warp-speed-your-guide-to-chrome

Your guide to social media marketing

http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/your-guide-to-social-media-marketing

How to build your living Resume on linked-in

http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/learn-linkedin-how-to-build-your-living-resume

 

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108

Tanya@secureinv.netwww.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

Secure Investments Rental & Property Management Update

April 5, 2012 Newsletter

Happy Easter!

I hope you have fun plans for your upcoming Easter Weekend. If you live here in Beautiful Florida like I do you will be enjoying some really beautiful weather so get outside and enjoy it!

I hate to admit that I neglected sending out a Newsletter last month. I know there is no good excuse for it but Itraveledquite a bit last month taking classes to finish up the requirements needed to obtain my Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation through The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). The CPM designation is the highest designation available in the property management industry and I am absolutely thrilled to have completed the requirements. Of course I still have to wait for the official test score for the 42 page management plan I submitted but I felt the plan was very good and am sure I will receive a passing grade on it. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I should know in about 45 days.

I took my last class in New Jersey two weeks ago. Mother nature must have known this Florida galisn’tfond of cold weather so I was treated to 70 degree weather and was able to watch the trees and flowers bud and blossom while there. It was a real treat especially after spending 9 hours a day in class and several hours of homework each night. Needless to say Ididn’tsee much of New Jersey except the Hotel and the class room. Which is why I then treated myself to a trip to Bimini Bahamas to visit some friends and relax for a few days!! The pictures below are some of the beautiful views I was able to take in.

Sunset off Bimini Beach club.

 

 

 

 

 

Bimini is a beautiful Island unspoiled by touristy attractions. Its a place to experience nature and peaceful relaxation.

 

 

 

 

If you have any interest in visiting Bimini and even swimming with wild dolphins while youre there let me know I can hook you up J

 

 

 

 

 

North Bimini Island by Boat!

 

 

 

 

The rental activity is really heating up. Last month 86 rental properties were closed in the MLS. You can follow this link to review them.

http://www.gainesvillemls.com/gan/maildoc/sd_4jRMgC20120405103824.html

I would like to give a big Thank You for the referrals and support I continue to receive. I value the trust you show in me when you refer your clients and I will give them the best service and care available.

This is a great time of year to refer your clients whose homes are not selling for what they want and need some mortgage relief. There is currently a big demand for rental homes from $1200 to $2000 per month. I will happily give your client a free rental evaluation and let them know how I can help them.

You can check out this link see my Featured Rental Properties

http://www.secureinvestmentsrealtyandmanagement.com/home_rentals

Please keep in mind I pay a 20% referral fee for Owners and Tenants. When you refer an owner or tenant I will keep you informed on the rent up and lease end status so that you can keep in touch with your client and know when it is time for them to make another decision in buying or selling. I am experienced in managing single family homes and condos as well as Multi-family and commercial properties in Gainesville and the surrounding smaller towns.

I attended the Womens Council of Realtors Appy Hour last month and below are some of the top Apps that your fellow Realtors find helpful.

Hoot suite To manage your social media

Sketches- draw picture or make notes on the picture

Shop savvy- price items and find cheaper

Clippish pro- Emoticon for texting with pictures

Grocery gadget- make grocery lists and check off list

Yelp- local attractions, restaurants etc.

Slydia-l leave message straight to voice mail

1password- safely store your passwords

Magic plan- measure, draw and publish interactive floor plans

Text hog- for expenses tracking

Fandango- buy movie tickets and see what’s playing

Sound hound- identifies music that is playing buy through iTunes sing into it

Gainesville sun app read the daily paper from your app

Wruf am- listen to gators when you dont have access to radio or tv

I garage sale- finds local garage sales and u can put in what youre looking for. It searches Craig’s list

Jawbone makes a jam box you can buy at best buy and is a Wifi speaker

Gas buddy- finds cheap gas

Coupon Sherpa- find coupons to use by bar code

Cartabi- like drop box, make folders and invite people to it. Exchange documents

Below are links to articles I found interesting and you may too!

Trulia rolls out iPhone app for rentals.

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/04/4/trulia-rolls-out-iphone-app-rentals

New service streamlines apartment, condo and home rental searches.

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/03/16/new-service-streamlines-apartment-searches

Top 6 business apps: a real estate broker’s faves.

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/03/9/top-6-business-apps-a-real-estate-brokers-faves

Tax break for owners occupying a rental has changed

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/stephen-fishman/tax-break-owners-occupying-a-rental-has-changed

 

Don’t assume landlord’s insurance covers all damage

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/janetportman/dont-assume-landlords-insurance-covers-all-damage

Fix leaky faucet in 8 easy steps

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/billkevinburnett/fix-leaky-faucet-in-8-easy-steps

Bank of America Announces Rental Program

Federal Laws Property Managers Must Be Aware Of Part I

Federal Laws Property Managers Must Be Aware Of Part II

4 Key Things Property Managers Need to Know (But Might Not!)

Managing Your Online Reputation (Webinar Recap)

Trends for Managed Property and Rental Housing

 

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108

Tanya@secureinv.net

February 10, 2012 Newsletter Secure Investments Realty & Property Management

Happy Friday!

What a great week! Hope yours was as well. Looks like we are in for some pretty chilly nights for our area this weekend.

Here is the link for properties that were listed in MLS and have rented in the past couple of weeks since my last update. http://gainesvillemls.com/gan/maildoc/okaObK9014.html

Thank you for your referrals!! The following referral fees have been paid out due to that cooperation.

$600 Owner ref 4bd/3bth Meadows of Kana. -9264 SW 90th St. Rented $3000
$600 Tenant ref 4bd/3bth Meadows of Kana.-9264 SW 90th St. Rented $3000
$100 Owner ref – 2bd/2.5bth Casa Blanca West 2735 SW 35th Pl. Rented $500
$185 Owner ref 3bd/2.5bth Crickett Club 501 SW 75th st G4 Rented $850

Please keep in mind I pay a 20% referral fee for Owners and Tenants. When you refer an owner or tenant I will keep you informed on the rent up and lease end status so that you can keep in touch with your client and know when it is time for them to make another decision in buying or selling. I manage single family homes and condos in Gainesville and the surrounding towns.

As always, please feel free to call me if you need an estimate on the rental value of a particular property for your clients.

I attended Craig Grants Technology Toolbox For Realtors class this past week and found it to be one of THE MOST informative classes that I have attend in a long time. It was concise, full of so much good information and advice, technology tips, social networking, NAR services many are not aware of. I took four pages of notes knowing that I would also get a pdf of the slides sent to me. Thank you GACAR- Realtor Enrichment Committee for bringing that class to us!!!!! Here are a few snidbits of tips I liked:

Mercury pro– a web browser that displays the MLS site and many others on a tablet or phone in an easier to read and use format.

Carbonite– For around $5 per month it will auto backup your files and it is the site the government trusts an uses.

UPS Surge Protector– you can ask your utility company to put one on junction box to your home and it will protect the whole house for a very small amount (I think he said $5) per month. BTW- If youre not plugging your laptop into one you risk losing your data one day!!

Broadbandmap.gov– Finds the ISP servers in your area and notes their mpbs rate so you can see who has the fastest service in that area. 10 to 50 mbps is good above 50 and you can get fiber optic.

The top three most used Real estate sites are 1) Zillow 2) Realtor.com, 3) Yahoo Real. Right now you can get 1&3 at a discount.

Active rain– is in the top 25 and considered the Facebook of Real Estate and their blog posts rate high.

Recommended on line advertising is Banner ads, upgrades on Realtor.com & Zillow and pay per click thru Google or Microsoft ad center.

I could go on to my other three pages of info but I recommend you go to the class. And- no, I wasnt asked to pitch the class lol!!! For you Brokers, I would have Craig out to your office to put on a class.

Do you know of anyone looking for properties for rent like the ones below?? The log home has a $1000 referral bonus on top of the 20% referral I will pay for a qualified tenant.

3/2 $1600 Summit Oak-Pool home https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/c0d6fe1d-a1b0-4f1e-9d31-0a807f1afdc7

4/3.5 $2300 Cinnamon Hills High Springs Beautiful custom log home https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/9f754777-1721-46a4-9204-88e63b5ad88f

3/2 $780 Keystone Heights-Very cute home in the country allows horses https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/b9e32053-fb0a-4969-bce4-fe4562c26337

Below are some links to articles I found interesting and you may too:

Real Estate agents opt for mobile offices:
http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=2&id=270525

Unemployed given 6 months of mortgage forbearance:
http://realestateinsidernews.com/predictions/unemployed-given-6-month-forbearance/

Do you want more out of life?
http://realestateinsidernews.com/real-estate-coaching-market-news/do-you-want-more-out-of-your-life/

6 Tax Breaks every homeowner should know.
http://realestateinsidernews.com/celebrity-homes/6-tax-breaks-every-homeowner-should-know/

New IRS regulations impact owners of rental investment properties
http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2012/01/24/news/173663

When it makes sense to keep an underwater home
http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2012/01/23/news/

Tools to avoid social media disaster
http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2012/01/24/news/173580

2002 Housing Trend: Bulk REO Investors buying to rent. Article with CNBC Video
http://realestateinsidernews.com/market_conditions-free_stuff_for_agents/2012-housing-trend-bulk-reo-investors-buying-to-rent/

Benefits of turning long time home into Rental
http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2012/01/27/news/174742

Mortgage rates on 30 year FRM (fixed rate mortgage) drops to record low 3.87%
http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=271232

State of the Union: Obamas housing proposal
http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=270626

Selling a rented home can pose challenges
http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=5&id=270642

Zillow rolls out social real estate shopping tool
http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2012/01/23/news/173338

I attended this class last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It will give you a good education on Gainesville and how the city is ran. I was impressed with the class and would recommend you take it so you can be more knowledgeable on Gainesville and what our city offers.

Find out how Gainesville became the no. 1 ranked city in North America.Enroll in Gainesville 101: the City of Gainesville Citizens’ Academyand meet your local government in person.

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about your city.As a participant in Gainesville 101: the 2011 Citizens’ Academy, you will go behind the scenes at the Gainesville Police Department, Gainesville Fire Rescue, Gainesville Regional Utilities and many other city departments. Participants will learn about the structure of Gainesville’s government at City Hall and how they can be more active in their community. Enroll now to make your experience living in Gainesville even better!

This series of free classes will begin on Wednesday, March 14 and will be held every Wednesday for six weeks (through April 18) from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at various city locations. Classes are limited to 30 citizens and registrations are taken on a first-come basis. If space is not available, you will be placed on a waiting list for the next session. Online registration and more information is available here.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tanya Chappell

Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108
Tanya@secureinv.net

www.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

January 21, 2012 Newsletter Secure Investments Rental & Property Management update

Happy Friday!

I Hope you had a productive week and are looking forward to enjoying the beautiful weekend weather we should have this weekend.

In talking to other property managers this week it seems to be the general consensus that rental activity is starting to pick up. It was a bit slow through the Holidays but that seems to always be the case with our market. I am receiving a lot of calls for single family homes.

A BIG THANK YOU! To the Realtors that have referred their clients to me for the below properties!

$170 paid- Owner ref- 3bd/1bth-Bed & Breakfast Dist.- 429 SE 7th Street. Rented $850
$197.00 paid -Tenant ref 3bd/2bth-Leewood -3330 NW 24th ave. Rented $925
$185 paid- Owner ref-3bd/2.5bth-Timberway- 5406 NW 34th Pl. Rented $925
$600 pend- Owner ref 4bd/3bth Meadows of Kana. -9264 SW 90th St. Rented $3000
$600 pend- Tenant ref 4bd/3bth Meadows of Kana.-9264 SW 90th St. Rented $3000
$100 pend- Owner ref- Casa Blanca West 2bd/2.5bth 2735 SW 35th Pl. Rented $500

3/2 (Summit Oaks) 7630 NW 35th Place. Immaculate Pool Home $1600Immaculate Pool Home. Foyer opens to great room with high vaulted ceilings & wood burning fireplace, screened and heated swimming pool, corian countertops, fenced back yard and more Sq. Ft. 1664… https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/c0d6fe1d-a1b0-4f1e-9d31-0a807f1afdc7

3/2.5 (Cricket Club)- 501 SW 75th St G4. Very nice townhome in quiet community close to schools, parks, restaurants, I-75. Completely updated townhome with beautiful wood floors, granite countertops, two screened porches. Sq. Ft. 1384 https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/d6c5ffcb-d861-485b-b21a-058f932f7f01

Cute home in the country allows horses!

8100 Gustafson Road, Keystone Heights, FL 32656 3/2 (Keystone Heights) Cute home in the country on one acre with separately fenced back yard and pasture. Completely renovated home has wood floors, ceramic countertops, front and back deck. Sq. Ft. 1252 https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/b9e32053-fb0a-4969-bce4-fe4562c26337

Beautiful big, custom built, log home in the country $1000 referral fee!!!

26562 NW 166 Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643 4/3.5(High Springs-Cinnamon Hills) Very large custom built log home on 5 acres with large front and back porches, stone fireplace, log walls and hickory wood floors on 5 acres. Sq. Ft. 4100 https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/9f754777-1721-46a4-9204-88e63b5ad88f

Links to interesting articles:

FHA Flip Waiver extended

http://realestateinsidernews.com/market_conditions-free_stuff_for_agents/fha-flip-waiver-extended-through-2012-how-to-list-reos/#.TxnSFrHRP9g.email

Obama housing program bulk relo-sales-rentals
http://realestateinsidernews.com/breaking-real-estate-news/breaking-news-new-obama-housing-program-bulk-reo-sales-rentals/#.TxnR3cc-6Pg.email

Cashing in on rental property
http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/30/real_estate/rental_property_investing.moneymag/index.htm

Rental Property Market Headed South?
Five Florida Cities in Top Ten Ranking of Best Markets to Invest in Rental Property
http://www.globest.com/prnewswire/story.html?prnewsid=201112281135PR_NEWS_USPR_____DA27940&prnhline=Rental-Property-Market-Headed-South

And something to make you laugh!!

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108
Tanya@secureinv.net

www.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

January 1, 2012 Newsletter Secure Investments Realty and Property Management

Happy New Year!

I hope the new year is treating you well! Below is an update on new rental properties on the market and information on properties recently rented. I have also included some links to articles that I found interesting and good to know.

The rental market is very strong right now. Prices seem to have stabilized and some have increased. As I am sure you know there are a lot of home owners resorting to renting their homes until market values improve. This has created a large supply of homes that are keeping rental values very affordable. I have found the market for large luxury rental homes is very strong right now and I need more of them to rent!

Please keep in mind I pay a 20% referral fee for Owners and Tenants. Ive noted below some of the referral fees I have paid out so far. When you refer an owner or tenant I will keep you informed on the rent up and lease end status so that you can keep in touch with your client and know when it is time for them to make another decision in buying or selling.

A BIG THANK YOU! To the Realtors that have referred their clients to me for the below properties!

$170 paid- Owner ref- 3bd/1bth-Bed & Breakfast Dist.- 429 SE 7th Street. Rented $850

$197.00 paid -Tenant ref 3bd/2bth-Leewood -3330 NW 24th ave. Rented $925

$185 paid- Owner ref-3bd/2.5bth-Timberway- 5406 NW 34th Pl. Rented $925

$600 pend- Owner ref 4bd/3bth Meadows of Kana. -9264 SW 90th St. Rented $3000

$600 pend- Tenant ref 4bd/3bth Meadows of Kana.-9264 SW 90th St. Rented $3000

$100 pending- Owner ref- Casa Blanca West 2bd/2.5bth 2735 SW 35th Pl. Rented $500

Properties recently rented:

Rented-4bd/2.5bth- Idylwild-3703 SW 20th St $1030

Rented-3bd/2bth- Rosemont-6235 NW 35th Dr-$1200

Rented-2bd/2.5bth- Hailey Gardens-2362 SW 42nd Way-$780

Rented-4bd/2bth- High Springs-Silver Ridge 2720 NE 46 Circle-$1260

3/2 (Summit Oaks) 7630 NW 35th Place. Immaculate Pool Home. Foyer opens to great room with high vaulted ceilings & wood burning fireplace and more.https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/c0d6fe1d-a1b0-4f1e-9d31-0a807f1afdc73/2.5 (Cricket Club)- Very nice townhome in quiet community close to schools, parks, restarants, I-75. Completely updated with wood floors, granitecounter tops and vanitiesand more https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/d6c5ffcb-d861-485b-b21a-058f932f7f013/2 (Keystone Heights) Cute home in the country on one acre with seperately fenced back yard and pasture. Completely renovated with tile counter tops and vanities, custom paint and more.https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/b9e32053-fb0a-4969-bce4-fe4562c263374/3.5(High Springs-Cinnamon Hills) Very large custom built log home on 5 acres with large front porch and beautiful two story stone fireplace.https://secureinvestments.appfolio.com/listings/listings/9f754777-1721-46a4-9204-88e63b5ad88f

Links to interesting articles:

Good news!! Renters monthly payments will start being counted in their credit score and could boost the score by 100 points!

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=4&id=269817

Obama Foreclosure to Rental Plan Being Readied: Report (Update 1) – http://www.thestreet.com/story/11370128/2/obama-foreclosure-to-rental-plan-being-readied-report.html

When does lease-breaker’s rent duty end?
http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2011/12/12/news/166066

You may owe federal income taxes in 2013 if you have a short sale, foreclosure.

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=269530

Florida Realtors top 10 stories in 2011

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=269035

 

The Value of Home Maintenance

www.houselogic.com

 

New 2012 Laws for Landlords and Property Managers

www.firstlightpropertymanagement.com

A little tour around Lake Geneva, Keystone Heights Fl.

Lake Geneva

www.youtube.com

Fireworks 2011 St Augustine

www.youtube.com

Grand finally fireworks 2011

Tanya Chappell
Broker/Owner
Office: 352.478.8029
Direct: 352.745.1108

Tanya@secureinv.netwww.Secureinvestmentsrealty.com

December Newsletter Secure Investments Realty & Property Management

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R)