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10 Task Every Boston Landlord Must Complete To Find The Perfect Tenant

Cheryl Ricketts and Kate Brennan of The Mandrell Company take you through “10 Things Every Landlord Must Do Find Great Tenants”. While the information is geared toward Boston area landlords, must of the tips and tricks can be used anywhere in the state of Mass. For more information or for questions, you can contact them at Kate@MandrellCo.com or Cheryl@MandrellCo.com.

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Dear Boston Landlords : Here’s How To Find Well Qualified Tenants

If you’re a landlord in the Boston area and you have a vacant unit currently or becoming vacant in the coming months, myself and the Mandrell Company would love to help you fill that vacant unit with a qualified tenant.

We do so completely free. There is no cost to you the owner or landlord. We start off by advertising your rental unit for lease. We help you show the apartment so you are not using your valuable time standing around waiting for potential tenants. We take care of that for you as well.

Once we find an applicant who we feel is qualified, based on the criteria that you’ve presented, we then do background checks, credit checks, employment verification and several other background checks to make sure that that person is qualified and they are who they say they are.

Once we gather all that information we then present you with a full package on that tenant. If you deem that tenant qualified and the person that you’re looking for we move forward with the lease signing process and if not we put the unit back on the market and proceed to find another qualified tenant.

We also, again, assuming the tenant is qualified, draft the lease for you, collect all the first month fees, security deposits and anything else that you were asking for and then assist you and the tenant through those first few days of keys, lease signing and various other things that need to be taken care of at the time.

If you do have a vacant unit, if you are looking to fill a vacancy we would love to work with you. You can contact us at 617-297-8641. You can also reach us at contact@mandrellco.com. We look forward to working with you. Thanks.

Thanks for watching our video. Did you find this information useful? If so please remember to like the video and also subscribe to our channel for more useful information. I would also encourage you to share this video with your friends and family. Thanks again and we’ll talk to you soon.

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Is The Dorchester Multi-family Market Cooling Off? Check Out These Numbers

If you know anything about Dorchester real estate, you probably know it’s been on fire for the last couple years…especially the 2-4 family buildings. But is the market cooling now? Are we at the peak? Check out the sales and rental numbers over the last 6 month and determine for yourself.

Here is Dorchester’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the last 6 months.

Total Multi-Family Listings SOLD: 104

Average Living Area by Square Feet: 3,362

Average Listing Price: $599,789

Average DOM (Days on Market): 51.58 Days

Average Sales Price: $593,745

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,645

Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $1,972

Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,211

Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $2,564

 
I Want To Know My Home’s Value!

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report. In the title put the words “FREE Boston Sales Statistics” and in the body, add the up to 3 areas you’d like to receive data for. Your name and email will be added to the next monthly reporting cycle. It’s that simple to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641, for custom reports or questions above the data provided.

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South Boston’s Multi-Family Sales Are On The Rise. Check Out These Stats!

South Boston Multifamily Sales & Rental Market Report   

Are you a current or aspiring landlord in Massachusetts? No matter how many years you have in the rental business, fully understanding your local market is one the most important thing you can do to ensure your long-term success.  Receiving regular market updates will help you determine when’s it time to buy and when it’s time to sell. It will also allow you to see what your apartments rent for in comparison to your neighbors. Should you be increasing rents? Is now a good time to sell?
Here is South Boston’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the last 6 months.

Total Multi-Family Listings SOLD: 24

Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,958.00

Average Listing Price: $1,308,736

Average DOM (Days on Market): 49.11 Days

Average Sales Price: $1,256,778

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $2,189

Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $2,828

Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $3,616

Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $4,178

 
I Want To Know My Home’s Value!
 

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report. In the title put the words “FREE Boston Sales Statistics” and in the body, add the up to 3 areas you’d like to receive data for. Your name and email will be added to the next monthly reporting cycle. It’s that simple to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641, for custom reports or questions above the data provided.

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In our latest series of educational webinars, we explored the topic of self managing your rental properties vs. hiring a property manager. In the fourth and final section of the webinar, we talk about six ways to create more value in Boston rentals, creating a “preventative maintenance schedule” and should you hire a professional and what do they charge.

For more resources and tips on managing your properties, please contact us.

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In our latest series of educational webinars, we explored the topic of self managing your rental properties vs. hiring a property manager. In the third of four sections of the webinar, we talk about protecting your real estate investments and essential landlord/tenant forms that you will need throughout the course of running your business. Many people will say it’s not “if” you will get sued, but “when” so learning about all the strategies that can protect your investments is imperative.

For more resources and tips on managing your properties, please contact us.

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In our latest series of educational webinars, we explored the topic of self managing your rental properties vs. hiring a property manager. In the second of four sections of the webinar, we talk about how you should handle your income, expenses and taxes when it comes to your rental properties. This is another area of focus that is very important when running your business.

For more resources and tips on managing your properties, please contact us.

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In our latest series of educational webinars, we explored the topic of self managing your rental properties vs. hiring a property manager. Even if you initially plan to self manage your properties, it is important to still factor in the cost of hiring a property manager. In the first of four sections of the webinar, we talk about the eight tools every small landlord needs, mastering your rental market and marketing your rental units. Each topic is very important when running your properties like a business and making the best decisions for the business.

For more resources and tips on managing your properties, please contact us.

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Tenant screening can be one of the most important aspects to owning rental property. The more due diligence you preform in this area will only lead to a more stress free future when managing your property. So first, what are some qualities that make up a great tenant?

Qualities:
Ability to afford rent – not just the rent, but look for the applicant’s income from their job to be at LEAST 3x the monthly rent.
Stability of housing – look for renters that have lived somewhere for more than a few months at a time. Finding those who have rented for at least a year are most desirable.
Cleanliness – it would be best to desire someone that will appreciate the quality of apartment you are providing them and know that they are going to take care of the unit as you would. A neat trick that you can do is to take a peak inside the applicant’s car. This can often times be a good indicator as to how people treat their own possessions.
Pays rent on time – this one could be argued both ways, (opportunity to collect a late fee) but the issue here is the tenants are more likely to stop paying altogether in the long run. Ultimately this just creates more stress than is worth your time.

Here are a few things that you should be looking for in each applicant and if they do not meet these standards, should lead to a denial.

What I would call “absolutes.”
Income greater than 3x monthly rent
Good references
No evictions EVER
Clean background

As a reminder, never discriminate against race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status or handicap as these are all protected classes according to Fair Housing Laws. You should also check up on State and Local Fair Housing Laws to further ensure you have doing everything within your legal right.

To truly succeed in being a landlord, treat it like a business. And this is one of the most important parts of your business. Do your due diligence, be consistent in your screening and always, always stay true to your screening guidelines.

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When you are preparing to sell a MultiFamily, Here are 8 things you should do to ensure a smooth transition and to limit surprises. 

  1. Hire a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) who is well versed in real estate. You want to know what your tax consequences are when you sell. There are capital gains taxes associated and you want to know next steps before you begin the process.
  2. Talk to a Realtor who is familiar with your area and multi-family homes. It is not just about listing your home, they need to understand the intricacies of a multi-family and how rent, condition, location etc affects the value. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?
  3. Does it make sense to sell as condos? Boston is experiencing a real estate boom and oftentimes in some neighborhoods, it is more profitable to divide the property and sell as condos as opposed to selling as a multi-family.
  4. Informing tenants of the sale. You want to inform them as early as possible. You want to be respectful of your relationship because a disgruntled tenant can hinder the sale of your property. You want their cooperation in coordinating showings, assist them in providing information for relocating.
  5. Gather property Financials. Buyers want to know the additional cost associated with the property so they know if the numbers make sense
  6. Gather tenant lease information. The buyer will want to see the lease agreements. When do leases expire? Are they market rent rates or below market rents?
  7. Fix any major and minor repairs in home. You want building in best shape possible as first impressions are lasting. Also, home inspections are a time to renegotiate the price. If you do not want to renegotiate the price, repair as much as you can that makes sense (discuss with realtor) so that you get the strongest offers.
  8. Connect with a real estate attorney. You want to ensure your best interests are protected.

For more information and helpful tips, please follow our blog posts or connect with us on  facebook or email at contact@mandrellco.com

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Cash Flow

Cash Flow by definition is the total amount of money being transferred into and out of a business, especially as affecting liquidity. In real estate investing, what this means is:

Total Income – Total Expenses = Cash Flow

While you would assume total income would consist of just rent, make sure to include other potential sources of income including application fees, late fees and laundry income. If these sources are possible, also make sure to estimate your numbers using a conservative approach. In the long run this will be the most beneficial approach. On the flip side, your total expenses are NOT simply your mortgage, property taxes and insurance. Other expenses that cannot be overstated include utilities, potential flood insurance, repairs, vacancy, property management and capital expenditures. The last three expenses can be used as percentages against your monthly income from the property. Failure to include ALL possible expenses could lead to you purchasing a “deal” that actually turns out to be no deal at all.

Depreciation/Appreciation

Once you have purchased a property and become a landlord, it is to stay up to date with the value of your property and identify whether appreciation or depreciation has taken place. While this is very important post purchase, factoring in appreciation for an investment decision is speculative in nature and brings unneeded risk into the situation. In the event that your property has depreciated over time, there may be significant tax advantages to this and those same advantages may even be available to you if your property has appreciated over time.

Net Operating Income

Net Operating Income by definition equals all revenue from the property minus all reasonably necessary operating expenses. To look at this simply, NOI is calculated on a monthly basis using monthly income and expense data, therefore it can be converted to annual data just by multiplying by 12. The important thing to remember with NOI is that the formula does not include debt service costs, (loan costs) which differs from cash flow. One of the biggest reasons a landlord will want to know this number is because Net Operating Income plays a huge role in determining the value of your property. For this reason, it is in your best interest to work towards maximizing this number using different strategies to accomplish this.

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Now that summer is finally here, it is a good time to take a look at all potential maintenance needed for your properties. As the winter months tend to be the quieter time of year, spring is typically the time that tenants move out, whether it is a result of a new job or just general life changes. Therefore, it is most important that you inspect your properties to ensure that the condition is such that you can turn them over quickly. If not, it is definitely important to address such issues to maintain the desirability of your property. Some specific areas of maintenance include:

Landscaping
One of the more important summer maintenance areas, a well landscaped property can do very well for the desirability of your property. Falling under curb appeal, this is one of the first things a potential tenant or buyer will notice when first seeing your property. And seeing as first impressions can be very important, it is critical to keep your property well maintained on the outside. The good news is that this is one of the easier jobs to do yourself and should be relatively easy to receive help if need be.

Siding and Walls
Like landscaping, the siding and walls on the outside of your property go a long way to maintaining its desirability and positive first impression appeal. When cleaning your siding is all that is required, simply wash the siding with a soft cloth or ordinary long-handled, soft bristle brush. This can be done using water and mild soap. The best approach is to start at the bottom of the siding, work your way up and rinse the cleaning solution completely before it dries. If siding needs to be replaced, this is another relatively small job and can be learned and applied in a relatively short period of time.

HVAC Systems
Your tenants are definitely going to have working A/C during the summer months, so this is one of the most important areas of focus within your property. One of the specific components to pay attention to for A/C maintenance is cleaning the air conditioner coils, both inside and out before cooling season begins. When the coils are dirty, the system runs longer, which reduces efficiency and increases cooling costs. Another component to address is to check and refill the refrigerant charge if necessary. If you do not have the right amount of cooling refrigerant, you run the risk of damaging the air compressor. Lastly, clean and calibrate the blower system components for optimal airflow. This will lead to a longer lasting and more efficient system.

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Criminal Record and Apartment Rentals

2016 has been a year of initiatives, laws and policies affecting homeowners, and renters. One such “guidance”  as it pertains to screening tenant applicants with a criminal history record. I have mixed views on this as I can see both sides of the argument.

Tenant: I made a terrible mistake when I was 19 that has remained on my record. Now at age 29, I am trying to find an apartment and I am constantly being denied due to my prior criminal history. THEN I was a nuisance to society but today… I stand before you an upstanding citizen. I have my Master’s degree in Physical Therapy, I make $75,000/year but I cannot find an apartment because of my prior transgression. How do I grow? How do I move on to the next stage of life if I am constantly penalized for a mistake I made 10 years ago?

Landlord: The government is imposing poilicies and laws that make it increasingly harder to protect my investment. I believe in giving people a chance but I do not want to be forced into a decision. Criminal background checks are meant to protect my tenants. They want a safe place to live and not feel threatened. If someone has a history of violence or burglary… how can I in good conscience, accept them as a new tenant? I understand people change, but am I not failing in my duty as a landlord to the tenants I currently have? I believe this creates undue tension between landlord and good tenants.

I can argue either side. I choose to see the good in people most times but I do not want to be forced to overlook something that troubles me. I do also see the connection between minorities disproportionately being affected by this decision. What is the middle ground? How do we obtain more information on a person’s record with regard to timeline of criminal activity? Something I will be following over time to see what develops.

For more details see the excerpt below on the decision.

HUD issued legal guidance from the Office of General Counsel (OGC) regarding the likely violation of the Fair Housing Act when housing providers employ blanket policies in refusing to rent or renew a lease based on an individual’s criminal history because such policies may have a disparate impact on racial minorities. The guidance states, “Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics.” The protected classes of the Fair Housing Act are race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.

The guidance states that when a housing provider’s seemingly neutral policy or practice has a discriminatory effect, such as restricting access to housing on the basis of criminal history, and has a disparate impact on individuals of a particular race, national origin, or other protected class.

Some landlords and property managers assert that the reason they have blanket criminal history policies is to protect other residents and the property. Landlords and property managers must be able to prove through reliable evidence that blanket policies actually assist in protecting residents and property.

The guidance also states that a housing provider with policies of excluding people because of a prior arrest without conviction cannot satisfy its burden of showing such a policy is necessary to achieve a “substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest,” since an arrest is not a reliable basis upon which to assess the potential risk to residents or property. In instances when a person has been convicted, the policy must be applied on a case-by-case basis considering the nature and severity of the conviction, what the individual has done since conviction, and how long ago the conviction took place.

In addition, the guidance discusses how a housing provider may violate the Fair Housing Act if the provider intentionally discriminates when using criminal history information in evaluating applicants and tenants. “This occurs when the provider treats an applicant or renter differently because of race, national origin or another protected characteristic. In these cases, the housing provider’s use of criminal records or other criminal history information as a pretext for unequal treatment of individuals because of race, national origin or other protected characteristics is no different from the discriminatory application of any other rental or purchase criteria.”

The HUD guidance is at http://1.usa.gov/1TwM6m5

 

If you are a landlord and looking for assistance in finding quality tenants for your units… Call The Mandrell CompanyCall The Mandrell Company. We work hard to screen tenants to ensure you have the most qualified and highly referred tenants.

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Landlording 101: Documentation and Security Deposits

In the case Meikle v. Nurse, The court ruled that landlords cannot evict a tenant unless they have followed the Security Deposit law 100% TO THE LETTER. Landlords argued that Security Deposit violations are only counterclaims (for money) and not defenses (preventing evictions). Although I understand their sentiment, the first sentence of MGL 239, 8A says that any claim can be used as defenses against eviction in cases of non-payment of rent or no-cause. As a general rule of thumb and especially as a new landlord, avoid evicting for “non-payment” or for “no-cause” and try to evict “for-cause” which at least prevents the tenant from raising the habitational defenses.

Documentation is EVERYTHING when you are a landlord. 

  • ALWAYS deposit your security deposit into an interest bearing account. Simply go to the bank and ask for a landlord/tenant account. Failure to do this will result in a fine of 3x amount collected. Save yourself the financial burden. If you are not disciplined, do not collect a security deposit.
  • ALWAYS provide a receipt for collection of security deposit. If you do not document, the tenant can state any reason because you did not provide any paper trail.
  • Have tenants do a walk through and sign an apartment condition form.
  • Have tenants pay rent electronically, this way, there is no he say/she say as to why rent is late (lost in the mail excuse gone)
  • Communicate with tenant via email or text only. Email or certified mail is best and always have them acknowledge receipt. I would venture to request a read receipt for emails.
  • Always confirm and reconfirm appointments for work done to units with tenants and take pictures.

To read more on security deposits or what your rights as a tenant or landlord are please click here.

Being a landlord is a job, more specifically, it is a business that has endless growth potential if done correctly. If done incorrectly, it can be a huge financial and emotional burden. In a highly concentrated market such as Boston, with neighborhoods in high demand such as Roxbury, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain… It is crucial for landlords to understand the law.

 

If you need assistance screening tenants, completing the process and applicable paperwork, please contact us and we would be happy to walk you through the process. 

Contact@Mandrellco.com 0r 617-297-8641

 

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Landlord Tip: Security Deposits

Many landlords are hesitant to collect a security deposit (SD) from tenants because they fear it is too much money for someone to pay. While I completely understand the sentiment and extending a helping hand….security deposits are designed to help you (the landlord) in the event your tenant damages the property. 

The following covers some major points of security deposits as they pertain to landlords.

How much can you ask for?

You must strike a balance, requiring a deposit that sufficiently insures against potential damage but that does not overburden your new tenants. In the state of Massachusetts, the maximum amount you can request is equal to one month’s rent. 

You must charge the same security deposit rate for all tenants so as not to trigger a discrimination issue. For example, you cannot charge your first floor tenant a $500 SD because you felt sorry for him and your 2nd floor tenant $1000 for a SD because you knew they could afford it. If unit 2 found out and decided to sue you, it would be their legal right to do so and win because you did in fact discriminate. 

How should funds be held?

Security deposits remain the legal property of the tenant until a triggering event, such as damage to the unit, occurs. Security Deposts are to be held in an interest bearing account (also called an escrow account) at your local bank. You will need a W9 for the tenant so that any interest earned on the account can be reported to the government (Yes, you can be taxed on interest). If you fail to comply and your tenant pursues it, you will be forced to pay 5 times the amount. I say…follow the law and avoid the headache. 

When can you keep the deposit?

Your lease agreement should clearly spell out which situations would warrant retaining the tenant’s security deposit; otherwise, the tenant may have a strong case against you for wrongful withholding of tenant funds. Some legitimate reasons for withholding some or all of the SD may include the following:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Damage to the property
  • Damages exceeding normal wear and tear
  • Unpaid utilities
  • Removal of abandoned property
  • Cleaning costs

In nearly all states, you must provide an itemized list in writing detailing the costs of the expenses. If the tenant disputes the list, he or she may initiate a lawsuit in housing court, which would require you to prove that damage occurred and that repair costs were congruent with the amount withheld.

How soon should you return the deposit?

You must return unused security deposit funds within 30 days of the tenant moving out, keeping in mind that these funds legally belong to the tenant unless a triggering event has occurred. 

Being a landlord is like running a business, you need to be organized and set up systems to ensure success. For free Landlord-Tenant forms, feel free to contact us and we will gladly email them to you.

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10 Must Do’s Before Selling Your Boston Triple Decker

Are you preparing to sell your multifamily property (2+ units) and want to make sure you earn top dollar from the market? The best way to maximize the resale of rental apartments is to get buyers to fall in love with the building. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to ensure buyers open up their wallets.

1. Inform your tenants of the sale:
A multifamily seller’s tenants can often make or break a transaction. If the tenants are non responsive to showing requests or provide damaging information to prospective buyers it could instantly mean a lower sales price or possibly no sale at all. The best thing to do to avoid trouble is to have a conversation with your tenants about your intention to sell. You’ll need to inform them that potential buyers are going to be viewing their living space and they will need to make themselves (or their unit) available during certain scheduled times. Let them know you’ll be respectful of their living quarters but will need access for potential buyers soon. If there are any complaints that have yet to be resolved, now would be the best time to handle these issues.

2. Prepare the property financials:
When you’re selling a multifamily home you need to consider your potential buyers and their wants/needs. Many multifamily homes are purchased for investments purposes. If you’re perfect buyer is an investor, they’re going to want information on the buildings operating expenses. You should gather this information and be prepared to show it to potential buyers during the selling process. Operating expenses include: Taxes, Insurance, Water/Sewer, Common Area Cost (Heating & Electric), Utilities, Trash Removal, General Maintenance, and anything else needed to keep the building running smoothly. They are costs your potential buyer will need to consider during the purchase.

3. Provide details on your systems:
When were the heating systems installed? When was the roof installed? What is the age of the hot water tank(s)? How old are the windows? Any electrical or plumbing upgrades recently completed. Have your real estate agent provide you with a check list of home systems so you can make sure you’re fully prepared to answer questions the buyer or investor has.

4. Get a home inspection done:
Home inspections are just for buyers. As a seller you can also have a home inspection done for the property prior to placing it for sale. This proactive approach will cost you a few extra bucks, but it will also allow you to see exactly what your potential buyers are going to see. The more issues you can resolve prior to the buyers home inspection, the less you’ll have to negotiate and the more the buyer will pay.

5. Bring your rents to market value:
If market rents for a two bedroom apartment in your area are $1500 a month (but you’re a nice lady) and you’re charging your tenants $1100 dollars per month, you’re hurting the value of your property. Charging tenants less than market value is what many landlords do to keep good tenants in place. They think to themselves that they don’t want to upset things and force the tenants to move out. While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, landlords are not helping the resale value of the building. For example, if you have two triple deckers side by side with one landlord collecting $1100 ($3300) per month while the other landlord is collecting $1500 ($4500) per month, all else being equal, the multifamily with the hire rental income is going to have a higher value. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If I have the option to purchase two identical income producing homes, why would I pay the same price for a building producing less income than its counterpart? I wouldn’t. If you’re timeline allows, it may make sense to increase the rents a few months prior to selling your property to show the increased income. Consult your realtor about this strategy and make sure to properly assess the current rental market.

6. Assemble your real estate team:
Do you have a real estate agent? Does that agent understand the local market, the investment business and what potential investors are searching for? Do you have a good real estate attorney to represent you during the transaction? Your attorney will help work out the details in the purchase & sales contract which you and the buyer will sign. Have you spoken to your CPA or tax preparer? Do you fully understand the (if any) tax consequences for selling this investment property?

7. Have leases and tenant documents available:
Have your tenant leases and security deposit information available to show potential investors. Once both parties are in agreement on a selling price, and an offer has been accepted, your buyer will want to see leases and ask about deposits you have in place. This is important to them as these will be the documents they will need to honor after the property is in their name.

8. Make necessary repairs to the property:
If you’ve done a pre-sale property inspection, you now have a good list of what the property will need to avoid any buyer concerns. Now is the time to take care of these issues. Ask your realtor for local contractors and handy men and have them take care of what’s necessary. Making these proactive repairs will help deter the buyer from requesting a discount and help you achieve top dollar during the sale.

9. Have a Realtor provide the home’s value range:
Your home’s value isn’t determined by a real estate agent, the bank or an appraiser. All of these people (or entities) can provide you with opinions of value based on their market knowledge, but the true value of your property is always going to be determined by the open market (buyers). Your building is only worth as much as someone in the market is willing to pay for it. When buyers determine what to pay for a particular property they review what other properties have sold in the neighborhood similar to the one they’re considering. They do what’s called pulling “comps”. They “comp” or compare your house to other sold homes in the area. When determining a value, your real estate agent will do the same and provide you with this information. They will sit with you and go over other recent sales in the neighborhood and determine where your property lines up.

10. Brush up on the current real estate market:
Are you operating in a buyer’s or seller’s market? What’s happening within the local economy and is now a good time to sell? Your real estate agent will be able to help you answer both of these questions. It’s important to know if the current market benefits you as a seller or does it work in the favor of buyers. A sellers market is anytime inventory (amount of homes on the market) is really low, but there are a larger number of buyers looking to make a purchase. This is the best time for you to sell. In a perfect world you’ll have multiple buyers bidding for your property and driving the price upward. A buyers market is a condition when there are more homes available than willing and able buyers.
The local economy should also play a role in your sales decision. Is there development going on in the area? Are interest rates good and loans readily available for buyers? If money is tight and buyers aren’t able to find lending, you’ll have a tough time finding a suitable taker for your property.

Contact me directly to learn more about how The Mandrell Company can help you sell your multi-family for the most money in a reasonable time frame.

Willie@Mandrellco.com or 617-755-4938.

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Do you have a single or multifamily property in the Boston area with problem tenants? Are your tenants not paying or just causing you headache? If so, we may have a quick solution for you.

The Mandrell Company works with a long list of local real estate investors and developers and each of them is looking for new investment property. These investors buy single family and multi-family homes of any size, any price range, any number of units, and in any condition.

Working with us and our investors we can help to sell your home quickly and easily. You don’t have to worry about spending money on repairs, putting a sign in the yard, having strangers drop in through your house,  or wondering when your property will sell.

When you sell your troubled property with our investors and developer clients:

• You get multiple cash offers and avoid most normal closing costs
• You sell directly to them and there isn’t often no Realtor commission to pay
• You sell your house in “as is” condition – no cleaning or repairs to make
• You can close quickly – if that’s what you need.

Our clients are also buying properties in foreclosure, probate, pending evictions, inherited, vacant or abandoned, or just in need of much work.

If you are interested in a quick cash offer on your property, please call our office today at 617-297-8641 or email me at Willie @ MandrellCo.com

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FREE Landlord Tenant Forms

Greetings,

My name is Liz Newcombe and I am a licensed Realtor, and fellow resident in the Greater Boston area. Are you in need of landlord real estate forms? If so, you can receive the list of forms below by texting “FREEFORMS” to 44222. The system respond with a text asking for your email address. Once you’ve replied, you will receive a download link within seconds! That is my gift to you!

The landlord forms package will include:

  • Tenant Application
  • Move In/ Move Out checklist
  • Standard Tenant Lease
  • Month to Month Rental Agreement
  • Pet Agreement
  • Monthly Income & Expense Recorder
  • Extension of Lease
  • Notice to Vacate
  • Notice of Overdue Rent
  • 30 Notice to Terminate
  • & a few other great forms

If you have an apartment for rent, I would love to assist you in finding and placing the ideal tenant. As a Realtor specializing in your rental market, I work directly with the most qualified tenants around. I would love to visit your rental, take some pictures to begin showing it to my very interested client base, as soon as possible.

When you list your rental with The Mandrell Company, we will handle your tenant’s application, credit checks, employment verification, criminal background checks, lease agreements and more. The best part about listing your rental with us is that there is absolutely no charge to you for our services!

Please contact me if this is something you may be interested in or if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Elizabeth Newcombe

Liz@MandrellCo.com or 617-297-8641

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PREPARE for Winter Now to PREVENT Freezing Later

It’s not too late. Although the first frost has settled on our cars, there’s still time to winterize your home. Instead of waiting for the extreme cold weather to blow in, now’s the time to get everything in order so you’re not stuck catching up on the first sub-zero day. Boston, especially areas with longterm owners such as Mattapan, Roxbury, Roslindale, Hyde Park and Dorchester are laden with older homes so updating/improving your insulation is paramount, especially after winter of 2015. 
Getting your  home prepared for winter is essentially a two-step process: first you need to seal off any leaks, and second you need to make it as efficient as possible so you’re not wasting energy. Let’s start with sealing everything off.
Seal Off Windows, Doors, and Everywhere Else

The last thing you want in the middle of winter is a bunch of cold air leaking into your house. The more cold air that comes in, the more energy you’re going to waste heating up your home. For many people-renters and owners alike-this is an incredibly simple process. Here are a few ideas:

Affordable and Non-Permanent Winterizing for homes and Apartments:

Insulate Your Windows: Your windows are the biggest place you’re going to feel cold air leaking in from. Thankfully, covering them up is easy with an insulator kit. All you need to do is wrap the windows with tape, place the plastic insulation sheets down, and shrink the sheet to fit with a hairdryer. If the window is too big for the plastic sheets, bubble wrap can do the trick.
Use Thick Drapes: If it’s especially cold in your area, you might also want to add a set of thermal drapes to your windows as well. These make the world of difference and help you identify leaks because drapes should not move if air is not entering from the outside. 
Seal Off the Doors: The draft from your door is also a big place for cold air to leak in. You can buy an actual draft guard if you want, make your own from foam pipe insulator, or just toss an old blanket in front of the door. The key is to simply make sure you’re not letting in cold air from underneath the door.
Seal Off Everything Else: Finally, make a quick run through of your house and see if you can feel cold air leaking in anywhere else. You can check attics, basements, and everywhere else. From there, block the air any way you can (safely). 
For more suggestions on how to you can make money saving insulation, reach out to us directly at contact@MandrellCo.com.

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As the Seller, You Need to Understand Your Buyers

As the seller, you control three factors that will affect the sale of your home:
* The home’s condition
* The asking price
* The marketing strategy
However, it’s important to note that there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer. The more your home matches these specifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. When The Mandrell Company represents you, we will advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides.

Factors Affecting Property Value
Location
Perhaps one of the most influential factors for buyers is something you can’t control: location, location, location. According to the National Association of REALTORS, neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.
Size
Home sizes continue to increase but do not be dismayed… smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and “empty nesters,”or couples whose children have grown up and moved out. There is always a right way to market your home, no matter the size.
Amenities
If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be sure to consult your agent to ensure you are updating to what the typical buyer wants. Using market conditions and activity in your area as a gauge, we can help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.
Together, we can work together to make your home appealing to typical buyers and get you strong offers from DAY ONE!
Feel free to contact us today!

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5 Ways Landlords Can Research Applicants & Avoid Surprises

Would you rather lose the rental income for another month or take on a bad tenant. Bad tenants can cost you much more than a months rent in the long run. Make sure you do your due diligence on the front end (at application time) before accepting an applicant. Here are 5 very good ways to make sure you fully understands your next potential tenant.

Sufficient Income:

Does the proposed tenant make enough money to pay the rent and utilities? Landlords typically require that your annual income is at least 40 times the monthly rent. For example, if you have a young couple looking at a $3,000 per month apartment, the landlord would require a combined income of $3,000 × 40, which equals $120,000. To determine how much rent you (and your spouse) can afford, simply divide your combined annual incomes by 40. It’s important to make sure you’re tenants are financially capable (in your eyes) of paying the rent and utilities. Do the math, and if the budget appears too tight, move on to the next applicant.

Qualifying Credit:

What is the tenants credit score or rating? Do they have any accounts in collection? Have they ever been evicted from a prior residence? Either you or the tenant should be pulling credit for each applicant that applys for your empty unit. If you are going to pull a credit report, make sure the application you supply the tenant clearly provides you with authorization to do so.

Reasons For Moving:

Why are you moving? Where are you coming from? What don’t you like about your current residence? Have you notified your current landlord of your intent to vacate? These are 4 great questions to ask a prospective tenant when you receive their application. If you want to take this search a step further you can Google Earth their current residence or even take a drive by (if you’re local). Gathering an image of the tenants current residence may help you get an idea of whether their new home (your apartment) will fit the bill.

Employment Verification:

Call the prospects (current employer’s) HR department. Do they work there? How long have they worked there? Is employment expected to continue for this individual? Make sure the application you’re using to collect tenant information provides authorization for you to make this inquiry. The HR member may also want to verify some information about the employee so have the application in hand when making the call.   

Google Search:

Do a quick Google search for the applicants name and see what pops up. Does America’s Most Wanted pop up as the first website or is a photo of the prospective donating their time to a local charity? In the first case you’ll certainly want to contact the local authorities about your possible discovery. In the 2nd scenario you will hopefully have a better feeling about the tenant you were going to accept.  Note: Any negative information you find on Google should be taken through some type of verification process. You cannot deny a tenant(s) application solely based on something you found online.

Need help finding a good, qualified tenant? Don’t have time to do showings for your empty unit(s)? Let us help. We assist landlords in locating a qualified tenants, often at not cost to the landlord. We will show your unit to potential tenants, collect tenant applications and conduct necessary screening before submitting the applicant to you for review and approval.

If you’re interested in learning more about our tenant location services, please call us at 617-297-8641 or email us at Contact@MandrellCo.com

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Dear Malden and local North Shore Landlords,

My name is Joe Rodriguez and I am a Licensed Realtor, and fellow Landlord on the North Shore. If you have an apartment(s) for rent, I would love to assist you in finding and placing the ideal tenant. As a real estate professional living and specializing in your rental market, I work directly with the most qualified tenants around, and currently have several such tenants looking for rental space.  I would love to visit your rental, take some pictures to begin showing it to my very interested client base, as soon as possible. If you list your rental with me and he Mandrell Co we will take care of your tenant’s application, credit checks, employment and background checks, lease agreements and more. Our services include:

  • Showings: We coordinate all showings of your vacant unit and allow you to relax and no have to worry about taking phone calls from non-qualified individuals.
  • Tenant Applications: We collect all tenant applications which includes all necessary documentation to verify the application information is correct.
  • Background Check: Our office conducts a series of criminal and sex offender checks on all applicants. We want to ensure you’re tenant is who they say they are.
  • Employment Verification: We contact the current employer of all applicants to verify their work  status and ensure their income was stated properly.

When you list your rental with me and The Mandrell Co, we will handle everything for you from start to finish. . The best part about listing your rental with us is that there is absolutely no charge to you for our services!

Please contact me if you’re interested in placing a well qualified tenant in your rental or if you have any questions about what we offer.

I look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Your North Shore Real Estate Specialist, Joe Rodriguez

 

Joe Rodriguez Real Estate ProContact Me: (401) 641-5774

Joe@MandrellCo.com

www.JoeRodriguezRealEstate.com

 

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Do you have an upcoming or existing vacancy in one of your rental units? Follow these 3 “must do” task to ensure you land a great new tenant.

1. Do your due diligence – Do you fully understand your local rental market? What are your fellow landlords charging for rental units similar to yours? Are you below market value on your rents and leaving money on the table? These are the question you’ll want to answer as soon as you’re informed you’ll have a vacant rental unit. You’ll want to make sure your asking rent is close to market value for the unit. You’ll also want to make sure the tenants quality of living meets whats called for in the neighborhood. For example, if you have a perfectly priced rental unit but all of the apartment features are outdated (and all other available units are updated), you’ll have a difficult time renting that apartment. You can easily find out what going on in your neighborhood by acting as a prospective tenant and searching through current rental listings in your neighborhood. You can also call your local real estate agent to receive a free rental market analysis.

2. Background, Credit check, Employment verification – Many small landlords select tenants with “their gut feelings”. While you should definitely trust your gut, I would suggest also doing a background check for any applicant over the age a 18. This is the very best way to truly know who’s living in your rental. I would also conduct a credit check to verify that they’re financially trustworthy. The last bit of information is probably the easiest to do and the most important. Verify the status of your potential tenants employment and their ability to pay. During the application process you should have asked for pay stubs and for the tenants employer information. Call the employers HR department and tell the representative you’re calling to verify employment for a rental application on the said tenant. Download to packet below to determine whether the your prospective tenants income should qualify for your rental unit.

What Can I Afford To Pay For Rent

3. Take a holding deposit – Okay. You’ve done your due diligence and found a great tenant. They are ready to move in a few weeks, but the lease has not yet been signed. Make sure you receive a “holding deposit” from your new tenants. A holding deposit acts as insurance for you. It insure that your prospective tenants plan to move in and not continue searching for another apartment. Let’s say for example you’ve stopped marketing the apartment because you’ve found the perfect tenant. The plan is for them to move into the property in 3 weeks and you’ll draft up the lease in the process and give them a call when it’s ready. 1 week before move in you call them for the signing and they’ve informed you they’ve already found another apartment. You have nothing from them and you’ve also wasted 2 weeks of marketing while you had the apartment off the market. The easiest way to combat this scenario is to get a deposit. Download the packet below for a sample holding deposit form.

Holding Deposit Agreement

Do you need help finding new tenants? We can help you fill your vacancy at NO COST to you. We conduct a background checks, credit checks, employments/income verification and draft all lease paperwork for you.  Contact us for details. 617-297-8641 or Contact@Mandrellco.com

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19-21 Fessenden St., Mattapan MA – A six-unit apartment building in Mattapan has sold for $860,000. The property consist of two side by side 3 family buildings.

The building is comprised of six three-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments. The units are separately metered and the tenants pay utilities. The property offers a paved off-street parking lot located in the rear of the building that accommodates six to eight vehicles. Other features include front porches and coin-operated laundry available in the basement of the building. The cap rate at the time of the sale was 9.2 percent.

The sale was originally reported by Bankers and Tradesman – www.BankersandTradesman.com

Do you want to know what investment properties are selling in your area? Want to know what your property is worth or what you can expect to pay as an investor? Contact us (Contact@MandrellCo.com) for a quick list of sold comps in your selected neighborhoods. FREE, no obligations reports.

 

 

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So you just bought your first rental property? Well, congratulations on the purchase and making a huge investment into your future. Now that you’ve become a new landlord, are you wondering what your next steps should be? Here are 8 helpful tips to get you started on the right path.

1. You’re now running a business and you have to treat it as such. This means getting your house and financial documents in order. It’s probably a good idea to buy a file cabinet or safe if you don’t already own one. Make sure you file mortgage, insurance, tax, water and tenants files in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to keep a digital (scanned) file back up somewhere as well. If your paper documents are lost or damaged, it won’t be difficult to replace them if you have an electronic back up.

2. Make contact with your new tenants. You need to introduce yourself as the new owner, provide them with your contact info and collect each tenant’s personal information. This may be a good time to talk with them about any issues the building may have and a little about your plans going forward.

3. Consider establishing separate banking accounts for your rental business. Ideally, you would like to have rental income come into one account as well as rental expenses paid out of that account. You want to keep rental records clean for tax reporting purposes. If you’re combining rental and personal business into one account it can make things more complex for you and your tax preparer. You may also want to consider a separate savings account (reserve fund) or credit card for your rental business as well. You always want to be prepared for rainy days!

4. While you’re at the bank, you may also want to open your tenant’s security deposit account(s). If you’ve collected or plan to collect a security deposit from your tenants, YOU MUST HOLD THESE FUNDS IN AN INTEREST BEARING ACCOUNT AT A LOCAL BANK. Just tell the customer service rep you want to open a “landlord/tenant” account. Before you’re able to open this account you’ll need to have each tenant sign a W9 form. This is so the taxes on the interest paid are reported under the tenant social security number and not you as the landlord.

5. Buy yourself some basic home improvement tools. You don’t have to be very handy to solve many problems in a home; you just need to have the right tool. I would make sure you own a power drill, screw drivers, hammer, tape measure, and a decent size ladder. One $40 tool that will save you thousands is a toilet auger! It’s very simple to use and will help you avoid some hefty plumbing bills when a tenant’s toilet is clogged.

6. Buy a few books for yourself and make sure you have a basic understanding of landlord/ tenant laws in Massachusetts. You don’t have to read each book cover to cover but you should have some type of reference available to you for when things come up. Don’t rely on Google for your answers. The law is different in each state and there are tons of “gurus” on the internet giving bad legal advice. NOLO has an excellent book selection and they’re always up to date/ easy to read. Grab yourself a book on landlord tax deductions as well. There are so many tax write offs for landlords and you don’t want to be missing ones you should be getting. Don’t assume your tax pro will tell you.

7. Create a maintenance plan for your property. A systematic maintenance plan is the best way to keep each of your properties in top shape and avoid costly repairs. Each landlord will have a different plan based on the properties you own, but your schedule may include the following:
a. Changing out the apartment air filters once every 6 months
b. Hiring a rodent exterminator every 6 months
c. Changing out smoke detector batteries every 2 months (important)
d. Cleaning out the gutter in the spring and the fall
e. Cleaning out heating systems in preparation for winter
f. Covering your AC units before the winter months
g. Sweeping, mopping and changing light bulbs in common areas every month

8. Have your real estate agent send you monthly rental comps for your area. So many landlords leave money on the table because they don’t know what’s happening in their local rental market. They buy a new place and allow tenants to stay in the unit without ever increasing rent. Not only are they leaving money on the table, but they are also hurting the value of their property. When rents are on the rise you want to be in the know. Make sure your agent is sending you rental statistics for your area at least monthly. These reports are automated and easy for your agent to set up.

 10 must have forms for all new landlords! Click here to download FREE rental property forms! 

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