FindMeARenter.com Property Management Blog
The case for leasing a luxury home
by Scott Jacques, Crown Marketing Manager
So, you own a luxury home in the metro Atlanta area and you’re contemplating whether to list it for sale or do what was once unthinkable; rent it out. I’ve been asked that question a lot in the last three years or so, and my answer is quite simple. We’ll get to that shortly.
First I want to define, for the purposes of this discussion, what I mean by a luxury home. I’m not talking about the million-plus category that usually defines the luxury market. While, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, recent statistics show that sales of luxury homes in the Buckhead neighborhood went up 15% in 2011 from the previous year, leasing in this market is certainly a niche that does not cater to the masses, nor is it relevant to this discussion. Instead, I am referring to those homes that fall into the mid $300K - $700K in sales, yielding $2000+ in rent. There are a ton of owners I talk to each day who have a home in this category and for whatever reason need to put their most treasured asset on the market. So again I ask, “Should they sell, or rent?”
Usually the first question I get asked by someone with a home is this price range goes something like this: “Is there a market for my type of home?” or “Who would possibly want to pay that much in rent?” Here’s my answer in a nutshell: “Take a look around and understand your market.”
We live in Atlanta: home to suburban sprawl, an underachieving infrastructure of viable public transportation resulting in major traffic issues, millions of transplants and a “build, build, build” mindset. This, in my opinion, is a recipe for failure. For a major city to be the great metropolis it wants to be, it has to adapt to meet the needs of the population with sustainable growth while making good decisions along the way. Having said that, the outlook on the horizon looks promising than in years past regarding the infrastructure and transportation, thanks in part to the initial success of the Beltline (well underway), the Atlanta streetcar (just broke ground early 2012), as well as other proposed projects that would enhance connectivity in and around town. Ultimately the voters will have their chance to really make change in July 2012 by adopting a one cent sales tax that, if approved, will be allocated for specific local projects (including 10 counties representing the Metro Atlanta area. For more on this referendum an how it impacts your area, visit http://www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com)
So the future of Atlanta is at a crossroads: improve and we can become a great, livable and thriving city again; do nothing and our flame of glory from Olympics long gone will extinguish and others surrounding cities will continue to gain ground on their march to take our title as the capitol of the New South. I, along with many investors who are buying properties in this down market, believe Atlanta will rise up to become the great city it is destined to be.
Until change occurs to make our lives easier, Atlantans will continue to move frequently to adjust their work/life balance. According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, 63% of the people who live in Metro Atlanta work in some other county than where their home is. In addition, the number of available homes is high due to the number of foreclosures in the metro area. Add to the mix more stringent lending requirements and low consumer confidence, and the result is the lackluster Atlanta market that exists right now. Some say Atlanta is a prime location for the Federal Reserve to initiate an REO-to-Rent program (because we have more than any major city in the US, nearly 5000 according to reports on realtybiznews.com) to enable investors to purchase and allow for them to be rented. I’m not sure if that’s a step in the right direction, only time will tell.
Consumer confidence is everything. If you were looking to move to Atlanta right now, would you buy in this market? Let’s assume you don’t realize how bad traffic is, how long you are going to be in the metro area. Let’s also assume that you’re an excellent candidate to swoop in on a down market and snatch up the home of your dreams for pennies on the dollar. You’re not an investor but just looking to move to the area to start a new life. Would you buy? Perhaps, if you are taking a chance on the market rebounding quickly or you intend on being tied to the mortgage more than 5 years. Remember, we tend to move around a lot in this town. In this price range, I get a lot of calls from owners wanting to rent because they would likely give up tens of thousands to sell it. That suggests to me that more owners are renting and holding on rather than selling. Right now, it makes a lot of sense.
So why rent your luxury home? The answer is simple: Demand is up for good, quality homes without the long-term commitment of buying.
Now is the time to take advantage. We are leasing homes quickly, and not just the typical $1000 - $1500 range. We have had great success in the $2000-plus market. So what are you waiting for? To find out if this makes sense for you, please contact me.
Look for my next blog coming soon...
Are renter’s really that picky?
by Scott Jacques, Crown Marketing Manager
This question often comes up when I’m talking to new owner clients about listing their home for rent with Crown. To answer this question, I often give them scenarios to help them understand the laws in the state of Georgia, such as the Georgia Landlord Tenant Act, as well as asking them to wear the shoes of the tenant and ask themselves, “What would you expect in a rental property?”
Owner’s want to know what tenants look for and more importantly, what they can get away with. Most owners mistakenly think that tenants are not going to care about the small stain in the carpet, or the chunk missing out of the kitchen counter top. They think just because when they lived there and were used to jiggling the toilet handle to flush properly, opening their garage door manually, or only washing their clothes in cold water because the washing machine goes ballistic when you use hot water, that the tenant will become accustomed to these idiosyncrasies.
Let’s face it, in today’s market owner’s want to do a little as possible to get a house ready to rent. More often than not, the basis of this strategy is because owners think renters simply don’t care and should be happy just to have a place to live…as long as they do not call it their home! Not unless, of course, it comes with a legitimate market value offer…but that’s another article altogether. This critical mistake will end of costly them dearly in vacancy expenses.
To some degree, I cannot blame owners for trying to rent “as is”. Unfortunately, renters have more options to choose from and it is much easier to rent than it is to buy, especially right now. If your home is not in tip top shape, and move in ready (or at least could be very quickly) they will simply move on and find another home where the owner is more thoughtful (or motivated). Renters do not have to sacrifice anything. Inventory of available homes to rent in the Atlanta market is plentiful. While demand is high right now, the competition is fierce. Renters hold the bargaining chips because most owners need to fill a vacancy quickly. Owners that choose to ignore this are getting left behind in a cloud of dusty homes…literally.
So, now that you know that renters are indeed picky and you should remove the dinosaur mural from your toddler’s bedroom prior to marketing your home, what else should you think about when getting your home rent ready?
Here’s a few suggestions:
Utilities – Keep them on and in your name during the vacancy until the tenant moves in….period.
Carpets - Shampoo the carpets, with a good quality company every time in between occupancy periods.
Paint – Neutral colors are a must and makes a big difference.
Kitchens & bathrooms – Make sure they are spotless. Don’t forget about the fridge, inside the ovens, wiping down the cabinets and toilet bowls.
Curb Appeal – It’s important! Make sure they get out of the car by keeping your lawn in good condition
Personal Property – Take everything with you. It’s not worth leaving it behind.
Follow these simple steps and you will likely find a quality tenant much faster. It goes back to my first two principles: understand the laws and put yourself in the tenant’s shoes. The next step is to hire a property management company that can put this all together for you. We are ready to serve you!
For a complete rental analysis, contact Crown Realty & Management.
So you own a home is Roswell Georgia?
by Dawn Lione, Crown Leasing Agent
So, you own a home in a city, like Roswell GA, with everything to offer? You need a property Management company that does the same! That company is Crown Realty & Management.
Located on the northern banks of the Chattahoochee River, just 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta is Roswell, GA. Though it is the state’s 6th largest city, Roswell has a vintage background, small town feel and strong sense of community with traditional values and modern ideals. Newcomers, Art aficionados, history buffs, theater goers, nature lovers, foodies and shopper’s alike, will find plenty to do here.
Roswell is home to many innovative businesses and top notch schools. Some of the schools in the area include Centennial and Roswell High Schools, Crabapple Middle and Mimosa Elementary.
Additionally, Roswell has the Chattahoochee Nature Center and National Recreation Area encompassing 127 acres of plants, gardens, and miles of winding bike paths and hiking trails. The city’s 640 acre Historic District includes 122 acres listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you will find the circa 1839 Town Square with boutique’s, Antique’s, tea rooms and galleries featuring the work of over 400 artist’s. All in all, Roswell is the perfect place to live, work and play!
Also in Roswell is Crown Realty & Management. Crown truly has everything to offer owners and investor’s looking for Property Management Services. Over the last 30 years, our full-time staff has been providing expert Marketing, Leasing, Lease Purchasing, Property Management Services and Investing to Roswell GA and the surrounding areas north of Atlanta. Crown has managed over 2,000 owners and has leased to over 6,000 tenants. All Property Managers and Leasing staff are Georgia RE licensed and will abide and uphold Georgia RE Law. This helps ensure owners and Crown stay out of trouble.
Whether we manage your listing, do our Lease Only Option, or you subscribe to our Marketing services, Crown’s services are truly next to none. Crown is the only Company in the area to guarantee a “managed” tenant in 30 days of being ready, or we start reducing management fees. When listing your home with Crown, you will be paired you with an agent specific to your needs and who is selected geographically. The agents and staff have extensive knowledge of, rent ranges, management, marketing, investor and and rental services. Research has shown that we will market your rental many more times than our competitors. We not only use extensive pay and free sites, but also market to the First Multiple Listings in Georgia (FMLS). Not all companies will do this for you. You are not only assigned an agent, but also a knowledgeable and experienced Property Manager. Additionally, your home will be linked with our Call Center to ensure all prospects are helped immediately giving you the best chance to procure a tenant quickly. Crown will guide you every step of the way.
Crown definitely has a strong passion for Roswell. It is our home. We believe that our passion for the area, along with our rental expertise, make us the PERFECT Property Management Company for your property in Roswell, GA.
City of Roswell Web site »
What’s my home in the Atlanta area worth in rent?
by Scott Jacques, Crown Marketing Manager
For nearly five years I have worked for Crown Realty & Management answering this very question thousands of times. And that is certainly to be expected. Why not, it’s what everyone wants to know. Our owners seeking property management services in Atlanta can contact me for a free analysis. Since I have done thousands (I stopped counting a few years back!) of rental market analysis for owners, I have developed a system to identify a specific price range quickly. Over the years I’ve constructed charts and kept records of all the comps I’ve done. Many times this can be done while I’m conversing with you over the phone about our services we offer.
Crown Realty & Management covers areas from Roswell to Cumming, Snellville to Duluth, or Marietta to Canton and just about everywhere in between. My formula for calculating rental comps remains quite similar throughout the areas we service. It all starts with the sales value of the home (more about that later) and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. For example, my research tells me that a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in Alpharetta worth $200,000 should rent between $1200 - $1350. I know, I know, isn’t it about location, location, location? Of course there are various other factors that contribute as well, including location, condition of the home, age of the property, amenities, floorplan, basements vs slabs, you get the picture. All, if not most, of these factors however are usually reflected in the overall value or worth of the home.
Complicating the issue right now of course is how do you determine that sales value? It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be exact for us to estimate a rental range for you. Really it’s just an estimate, a ballpark, or at the very least something to get your mind thinking about if renting is even feasible for you. My method is not perfect but I do back up each analysis with current data. I start researching in your subdivision (i.e. The Woodlands, Avensong, Fieldstone, or Brynfield) to get a idea of what’s current in your area. This two tiered approach, more times than not, gets me within a few bucks of what your home should rent for. It’s a start in the right direction to getting prospects through your door. The rest is up to the house itself!
We service Gwinnett County: Buford, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Pleasant Hill, Snellville, Sugar Hill, Sugarloaf, Suwanee; North Fulton County: Alpharetta, Atlanta, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Chattahoochee, Crabapple, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Old Milton, Pleasant Hill, Roswell, Sandy Springs; Forsyth County: Big Creek, Cumming, Polo Fields; Cobb County: Acworth, Austell, East Cobb, Kennesaw, Mableton, Marietta, Powder Springs, Sandy Plains, Smyrna, Vinings, Walton High School, Northview High School; Cherokee County: Ball Ground, BridgeMill, Canton, Holly Springs, Woodstock; Douglas County: Douglasville; Paulding County: Dallas, Hiram; Barrow County: Auburn, Bethlehem, Winder; Jackson County: Braselton, Chateau Elan, and Hoschton.
For a complete rental analysis, contact Crown Realty & Management.
We can’t wait to help you!
Looking for a Property Manager in Snellville Georgia?
by Karen Hollins, Crown leasing agent and Assoc. Broker
Why you should hire Crown to assist you with renting your Snellville property?
Crown Realty and Management offers full leasing and management services to property owners, and has been managing properties in the Atlanta metro area for over 30 years. Crown has over 700 properties under management and has leased thousands of properties over the many years it has been in business. Unlike many of the new property management companies, the learning curve is mostly behind us – we are not learning the property management business at your expense. Crown’s expertise and proprietary lease agreement is sound, has been crafted over the years with one of the most respected law firms of Dickenson, Gilroy, and will withstand most legal challenges. All of Crown’s leasing agents have a background in property management and all of our Property Managers as well as some Assistant Property Managers are licensed as well.
Crown has had great success leasing homes in the Snellville area. On average, our Snellville homes, if rent ready and priced right, lease in about 30 days and we even show you our stuff with a written guarantee. We’re one of the few property management companies to market rental homes on FMLS (our local Multiple Listing Service) – thus exposing your home to the thousands of licensed Georgia agents with access to FMLS. Consequently, more than a third of our homes are leased by agents from other companies. Your home is also marketed by the major public home rental sites like Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com, and Craigslist.org. These sites in turn populate other internet sites, giving your home wide distribution on the internet – over 50 sites in fact.
For Investors: Why you should invest in rental property in Snellville?
Snellville is 10.4 square miles, approximately 80% of which is zoned for residential housing. So although Snellville is just 20 miles from a major metropolitan city, the City of Atlanta, Snellville has retained much of its rural, small town roots. Many people have begun to discover this rural enclave with it’s proximity to a major urban area. Within the last eight years, Snellville’s population has increased 30% to about 20,000 residents. Preferring less densely populated Snellville, the recent growth is due in large part to residents in nearby counties like Fulton and Dekalb making quality of life decisions to move to Snellville. Currently, 82% of Snellville households are family households.
Since Snellville has few apartment communities, people who move to Snellville are typically looking to live in a single family home. The crime rate is below the state average as is unemployment – both being good indicators of the stability of the City of Snellville.
Snellville has lots to offer. Plans are underway to develop a “Town Center” located at the intersection of US 78 and Hwy 124. The Town Center will attract businesses and other recreational opportunities to the area. In the meantime, residents can enjoy great shopping along the primary shopping corridor – Hwy 124 (Scenic Highway), including the exclusive shops at the Avenue at Webb Gin, and Discover Mills in Lawrenceville, just six miles away. Snellville residents can enjoy several of it’s parks – T. Briscoe Park which is 87 acres and features a lake for fishing, jogging trail, lighted tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, swimming pool, open picnic pavillion, Lenora Park, 187 acres, which includes a water park with slides, a river, multipurpose trails, fishing lake, ball fields, gymnasium, community room, playground and pavilion. Other parks are Rosebud Park and Snell Park. Finally, Snellville is also a mere 7 miles from the greatest park of all, Stone Mountain. With it’s historical significance, attractions and beauty, Snellville residents can enjoy Stone Mountain year round.
Gwinnett County has some of the best schools in Georgia and the nation. In October 2010, under the leadership of Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County won the Broad Prize for Urban Education, the largest education award in the nation for academic achievement. $1 million dollars in college scholarship money will be awarded to high school graduates. Two of the highest ranked schools in the Gwinnett County School system serve Snellville residents. Brookwood High School and Grayson High School are well known for their academic programs and are one of the main reasons residents with school-age children move to Snellville.
It’s obvious Snellville is a big part of what makes Gwinnett great. We hope you consider Crown Realty & Management, one of the best property management companies in Atlanta, to service your property management needs in Snellville.
Snellville, Georgia City Web Site »