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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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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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There is an alternative to simply saving for retirement over the course of a 40 year career. One of the most effective options is to acquire income producing assets. A perfect example of accomplishing this is to purchase rental properties that cash flow every single month. This is a great way to supplement your employment income and actually provides you the opportunity to immediately increasing your spending power if you so choose. We are seeing more and more that just simply saving for retirement has left people in difficult situations once they reach that point. Therefore, if done right, investing in long term rental properties can be an incredible vehicle to allowing people retire the way retirement was always meant to be.

 

If you are looking for more information about Boston real estate or investing in general call us directly 617-297-8641

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What’s the difference between a lease and a Tenant At Will (TAW)?


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A lot of my friends comb through craigslist for apartments that do not have realtor fees. I completely understand as I used it as my primary search engine a few years ago as well. The problem with craigslist is that there are few checks and balances which therefore leads to rental scams posted. A new report from New York University explores just how common these scams are. Spoiler alert: they are everywhere.

How the Scam Works:

You are looking for a new place to live on the very popular Craigslist apartment listings. You know that scams are common on the site, but just how prevalent are they? Very! Craigslist fails to identify more than half of rental scam listings, and suspicious posts linger for as long as 20 hours before being taken down.

Researchers reviewed more than 2 million for-rent posts and found 29,000 fake listings in 20 major cities. Yes, Boston was on the list for researchers and I have discovered a few myself within 10minutes on the site. Of those, there were three key types of scams. In the first, a fake post instructs a would-be tenant to purchase a credit report. The scammer gets a commission from the credit reporting site, even though there is no property for rent.

In another scheme, con artists duplicate rental listings from other sites and post on Craigslist at a lower price. Prospective renters pay a deposit via wire transfer. Another pervasive scam is “realtor service” companies. Targets are asked to pay fees to access listings of pre-foreclosure rentals or rent-to-own properties. In the majority of cases, the companies leading the scams have no connection to the properties listed. Realtors do not ask for fees up front nor should you pay, especially when the information is public knowledge. There is NO SECRET PRE-FORECLOSURE LIST… ITS PUBLIC INFORMATION! You find them in your newspaper, local search engines, Zillow, RealtyTrac, your city’s public records database. If someone is asking for money before they prove themselves… RUN!

How to Spot a Rental Scam:

Don’t wire money or use a prepaid debit card: You should never pay a security deposit or first month’s rent by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. These payments are the same as sending cash – once you send it, you have no way to get it back. Real Estate professionals ask for checks which are held in escrow and you receive a deposit receipt. Realtors are held to a code of Ethics and you know who they are, you can track them, report them, not so with online tricksters.

Watch out for deals that sound too good: Scammers lure in targets by promising low rents, great amenities and other perks. If the price seems much better than offered elsewhere, it may be a scam. Many people search for rent-to-own opportunities… while these do exist, they are usually MORE EXPENSIVE than market rent and not thousands cheaper. You will never find a 3 bedroom for rent at $900 in Boston. We all know that is unrealistic..why would you fall for that scam on craigslist? Even if it was rent-to-own…where is their profit? Think like a business and you won’t get got!

See the property in person: Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met for an apartment you haven’t seen. If you can’t visit an apartment or house yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it is what was advertised. Call their bluff… You will show up with check in hand if you like the property…scammers generally never have access to the property so they will find an excuse as to why they can’t get you in on a specific date or ever.

Search for the same ad in other cities: Search for the listing online. If you find the same ad listed in other cities, that’s a huge red flag.

 

The moral of the story is…. feel free to use craigslist for finding apartments and homes but understand there are ALOT of scammers out there. Do your due diligence (research) before handing over your hard earned cash. Sometimes paying a realtor fee is worth it not to have the stress or risk losing your money. For assistance in finding an apartment in the greater boston area…be sure to connect with one of our agents

Source: PR Newswire
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Downtown Affordability Within Reach?

As we prepare to usher in a new year, something rarely seen in today’s market is also upon us. The developer Related Beal has begun work on a downtown apartment building where EVERY unit will rent at BELOW-market rates. Downtown is prime real estate so this endeavor is very shocking as developers could get top dollar for such apartments. Their efforts are especially applauded as it called for a hefty $230 million budget. 

The Related Beal project offers a template for other developers to meet the city’s goal of building more housing that middle-income residents can afford. The 14-story building at Beverly and Causeway streets in the Bulfinch Triangle near North Station will house 239 apartments priced at rents affordable to low- and middle-income tenants.

About half the units are aimed at renters earning mid-range incomes — up to $78,800 for a two-person household — with the rest set at rents for lower incomes. A family of four that earns $78,800 a year, for example, could rent a two-bedroom apartment for $1,628 a month, in a neighborhood where similar new apartments could be twice that price. 

When you are doing good for the community, you have to be creative in recouping the financial loss. Related Beal designed the project to also include a 220-room hotel, to help offset the development costs and make it easier to charge lower rents. This is exciting because it demonstrates that developers can impact their community with a little creativity. Areas like Mattapan and Roxbury could greatly benefit from creative projects like this to boost the local economy, provide affordable housing and rid neighborhoods of abandoned buildings. 

Related Beal is writing a road map that could help other builders finance more affordable housing in Boston. The issue with our housing is that middle income renters suffer the most. Generally, they earn too much for heavily-subsidized apartments but can’t afford the high-end apartments that are quickly taking over.  

Construction will likely take about two years and possibly a record breaking influx of applications for the lottery. We will be following this history making project so sign up for our blog to stay current on the progress and to learn more about the Boston real estate market.

If you have any questions regarding renting one of your units, please CONTACT US TODAY at 617-297-8641 or Contact@MandrellCo.com! Our agents are trained to find you the best tenant that meets your requirements.

 

 

adapted from The Boston Globe

 

 

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It is no surprise that the Boston Real Estate market is HOT! Luxury condo buildings are on the rise, as are rental prices and demand for housing. The Boston Inclusionary Development Policy hopes to keep a place in the city reserved for low and middle income families. 

Some affordable housing activists say changes to the policy is long over due as the last substantial update was in 2007.  Updates are set to take effect in January 2016. The new guidelines would require developers to construct a greater number of affordable housing units or pay more to opt out of on-site affordable units in many neighborhoods. The goal of these efforts is to help keep home ownership within reach for Boston low- and middle income families as current prices are not realistic for achieving home ownership. 

The new IDP shifts will take effect zone by zone. Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury comprise Zone C. The IDP team aims to encourage middle class housing construction here. There is no increase requirements for developers in Zone C as it is difficult to develop here currently. 

Currently. rental units must be affordable to those making up to 70% of the area median income, earning $62,000 for a family of three. The BRA will allow developers in Zone C, to provide units to those making 100% AMI, earning $88,650 for a family of three. This concerns community members as they believe this is still out of reach for residents of the community. Many believe this will make the area more affordable to those from outside these neighborhoods rather than incentivising community members to become homeowners or remain renters. 

We are sure this will continue to be a topic of discussion in the coming year as we (The Mandrell Company) strive to increase home ownership in these neighborhoods. We work with sellers of the community and also educate potential buyers on the home buying process and provide resources to help make it more affordable for them to own in their community. 

 

For more information on our upcoming home ownership and investing in multi-family seminars, please email us at contact@MandrellCo.com and we will provide an updated schedule of events for 2016. 

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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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Are you interested in buying or selling property in Roxbury? Before you do, making sure you fully understand your local market is very important. Receiving regular market updates will also allow you to see where similar properties are selling as well as what landlords are charging for their rentals.

Here are Roxbury’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the last 6 months.

Total Multifamily Listings SOLD: 13

Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,976

Average Listing Price: $513,054

Average DOM (Days on Market): 31.92

Average Sales Price: $494,233

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,334

Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $1,727

Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,304

Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $3,000

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email (or complete the contact form below) 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 where you’d like to receive data. 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 crowd!

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

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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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Okay, so you’ve found great tenants and their expected to move in on the 1st of the month. Now what? Here is a quick “to do” list to make sure you and your rental property appear super professional from day one.

  1. Change the locks and get new keys to the apartment – You’ll like your tenants to feel as safe as possible when they take possession of their new living space. The last thing you want is for them to start questioning whether the old tenants still have access to the unit. Be sure to make several copies and keep a copy for yourself. You’ll need your set of keys if your tenants happen to lose theirs or if you need to enter the apartment for an emergency.
  2. Get a new mailbox key – In the haste of new tenant preparations, many landlords forget the also place a new lock and key on the mailbox. Your previous tenants should have changed their address with the post office so there is no need for them to come back and access this box.
  3. Change the name on the mailbox – Make sure to let the mailman know your old tenant have moved and the new tenants are coming in. The easiest way to do this is to place a new label with the tenants name on the mailbox. If you don’t have one already, get yourself a label maker. When your new tenants see their name on the mailbox on move in day, it will make them feel right at home.
  4. Get the apartment professionally cleaned  – Make sure the apartment has a clean/ fresh feel to it. If you want your tenants to stay for awhile they’ll need to feel as if it’s truly there home. The best way to do that is to make sure there are no remnants of your prior tenants. I always replace the toilet seat and leave the plastic wrap on top. For $20, this shows my new tenants that I truly care about making them feel comfortable.
  5. Add a fresh coat of paint on the walls – Paint is the “new car smell” for apartments.
  6. Check the batteries in the smoke detectors & change the light bulbs – There is a good chance the tenants that just moved out didn’t change the batteries or light bulbs. Do these things before your new tenant moves in. You’d rather not have a smoke detector chirping a week after move in and you certainly don’t want light bulbs dying as they’re moving in boxes.
  7. Prepare a “Welcome Basket” – Moving isn’t easy and there are often things that are lost in boxes the first couple nights after a move. Help out your new tenants out with a couple a basic items. Prepare a welcome basket with toilet paper, tooth paste, tooth brush, soap, local take-out menus and any other low cost item that they may need the first night. Anything you can do to help them get settled in is going to be very much appreciated.
  8.  Get a list of service providers for your new tenants – Prepare a list of companies your new tenants will need to contact. They’re going to call you for this information anyhow, so you might as well have it ready for them at move in. Who provides gas or oil heating? Who provides electrical services? What about cable and internet?

Do you need help finding qualified tenants for an empty apartment(s)? We can help you fill your vacancy at NO COST to you! We do a complete a background and credit check as well as income verification and several other services. For more information, call us at 617-297-8641 or email Willie@Mandrellco.com

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Proper Water Use – This one is pretty straight forward. I’ve had past tenants wash their cars in my driveway and go as far as bringing friends over to wash their cars as well. I had to stop that immediately.  People who’ve never owned property may not understand (or care) that water isn’t free. When they shower and flush the toilet the landlord is paying for it which is reasonable and required by law. But what isn’t required is that you fund their outside water activities. Make sure you address what is/ isn’t acceptable within a clause of your lease.

Trash Removal – Have you had a tenant move out of your rental unit and leave large amounts of trash behind expecting you to take care of it? Here is the specific clause we use in our leases to make sure it’s clear that this needs to be done prior to move out!

Trash removal is your responsibility. If there are large items you need to dispose of, please do this prior to move out. We will not be responsible for removing trash from the unit, the basement or taking trash from the side of the house to the street. This also applies to an excessive amount of smaller items and anything that overflows the trash bin provided to you at move in.

Additional Occupants – Make sure you have a clear statement in your lease agreements that addresses additional people occupying the property after the lease is signed. It’s amazing how many people attempt to sign a lease with one or two individuals and afterward try to move in 3 or 4 people…or more. You always want to make sure you know who’s occupying your property.

Direct TV Dishes – Have you ever driven down a street in Boston and noticed a home with 10 satellite dishes hanging off the side? Did you ask yourself how many people live there and why do they all have their own TV service? Well the problem isn’t the number of occupants, it’s Direct TV. The service provide provides a new dish for every first time tenant while never bothering to come remove old dishes from tenants that have moved.  Why does this concern you as a landlord? Well lets say you’ve own a 3 family home for the past 10 years and between those 3 units you’ve had 15 different tenants. If half of these people chose to use Direct TV as there provider you may have up to 7 stat dishes drilled into the side of your home. Not only does this looks horrible and increases the chances of physical damage to your property.

So how do you address this? You take care of it within your leases. You would ideally insert a clause stating that the tenant must you cable or some other service that doesn’t hang dishes and damage your property. You could also state that the tenant must have the dish removed at their expense prior to moving out (or receiving their security deposit back).

Be sure you’re within legal guidelines when inserting clauses in your lease agreements. As a landlord I keep a Landlord/ Tenant legals guide handy and always consult my attorney if there is anything I’m still unsure about.

Like us on Facebook for more Boston landlord tips!

 

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Are you a new investor trying to learn his/her local real estate market? Are you a seasoned investor that trying to explore a new investment area? In either case, below are some great way to quickly become a local real estate guru!

Subscribe to your local newspaper – The local paper isn’t real estate focused but it will give you a very good idea of what’s happening in your new market. You really want to be up to date on what new businesses are coming to town, how the local economy is doing, what political changes are happening and anything else that will indirectly affect the real estate values in that neighborhood.

Find a local real estate Investment Association – Put yourself in the middle of local real estate conversations. Your local REIA allows you to connect with people of similar interest. You can learn from them as well as share your experiences. Many times you can find deals from local wholesalers as well as private money investors, and potential partners. Boston Wealth Builders is a local Boston Investment Group and membership is completely FREE. Join Today!

Get Sold comps from your agent – One of the best ways to gather information about your local market is to study what’s selling in that market. What are buyers paying for properties similar to the type you’re considering? How quickly are they selling? Is it a buyers or sellers market? The easiest way to gather this information is to ask your local real estate agent to send you “Sold Comps”.  All you need to provide is your email address and a list if the areas you’re interested in. These sold listings can be sent to you on a weekly basis. If you would like to receive “sold comps” from The Mandrell Co, simply send us an email (Contact@MandrellCo.com) with the towns you’ve selected and we can set that up for you within 24 hours!

Get Rental Comps from your agent – If you’re investing in rental property it’s also important to understand your local rental market as well.  Your real estate agent can also provide you with these “rental comps” just as easily.

Get Google Alerts for your keywords – This is a really cool feature offered by Google.com. It allows you to systematically search the web for information regarding certain keywords you’ve selected. How doe this help you become a local real estate expert you ask? Let me give you an example. If I wanted to become an expert within the Malden real estate market I would set up “Alerts” in google for key terms such as “Malden Real Estate, Malden Homes, and Malden Developements”. Google would then automatically search the web for me daily and email me any news articles relevant  to those search terms. I would be getting all Malden news sent right to my inbox versus having to periodically search for it. To set up google alerts visit https://www.google.com/alerts

Subscribe to a local real estate blog – To sign up for blog post like these by placing your email address in the box at the top right hand corner above! All post are sent directly to your email address.

Neighborhood associations – Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Your local chamber is full of people that make a difference in the community. If you want to know what’s happening in a particular neighborhood, these are the people to speak with.

 

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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?
Here’s a preview of Roslindale’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the month of September.

Total Multi-Family Listings SOLD: 31
Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,874.00
Average Listing Price: $532,735
Average DOM (Days on Market): 53.87 Days
Average Sales Price: $520,680
Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,367
Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $1,664
Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,161
Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $2,400

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 for which you’d like to receive data . 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.
Report data provided by MLS Property Information Network, Inc.

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The numbers don’t lie! Before you decide to accept your next tenant application take a closer look at their income. Many landlord find themselves in trouble shortly after accepting a tenant into their rental units…mainly because the tenants are financially overextended.

A good rule of thumb is to require that your tenants annual income is at least 40 times the monthly rent. For example, if two roommates are looking at a $3,000 per month apartment, you would require a combined income of $3,000 × 40, which equals $120,000. To determine how much rent you they can afford, simply divide their combined annual incomes by 40.

You might have also heard that you should spend no more than 30% of your annual income on rent.  Spending 30% of your yearly income on rent is believed to be an affordable amount, leaving enough money for all your other expenses. What’s the difference between 30% and 40 times the monthly rent? Absolutely nothing, they’re just two different ways of deriving the same number.  The 40x trick is just easier to calculate.

For example, let’s take $120,000 of income.

  1. 30% of $120,000 = $36,000.
  2. $36,000 ÷ 12 months = $3,000 per month.

But to make the calculation easier, just divide $120,000 by 40.

  1. $120,000 ÷ 40 = $3,000 per month

Again, to determine how much rent your tenants can afford, simply divide your combined annual incomes by 40. Don’t have a calculator handy?  Use the following table to look up your maximum rent.

Gross Annual Income

Max Monthly Rent

$40,000

$1,000

$44,000

$1,100

$48,000

$1,200

$52,000

$1,300

$56,000

$1,400

$60,000

$1,500

$64,000

$1,600

$68,000

$1,700

$72,000

$1,800

$76,000

$1,900

$80,000

$2,000

$84,000

$2,100

$88,000

$2,200

$92,000

$2,300

$96,000

$2,400

$100,000

$2,500

Need help renting one of your units? Contact us! We can help you find qualified tenants….often at no cost to you!

Contact@MandrellCo.com or 617-297-8641

 

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Whether you are a life-long resident of the Greater Boston area or new to the city, here are some helpful hints to assist you with your apartment search:

  • Good apartments rent quickly!  Largely because of its enormous student population, the greater Boston rental market explodes beginning mid-January and continues until August 31st.   Unless a real estate office has exclusive rights to rent a particular apartment, showings for the units are shared by MANY Real Estate offices.  Competition, therefore, can be fierce and apartment availability is an ever-changing process, often hour to hour.  The best strategy is to look at as many apartments as possible during a short period of time and be prepared to put down applications and a check for one month’s rent to take the best off the market.  
  • Many landlords require 24 hours notice to show an apartment so try to call your agent at least a day or two before you want to see places and plan around your work/school schedule, accordingly.
  • Narrow your search to 2 or 3 areas at most.  It’s helpful to physically explore, and speak with others about the neighborhoods you intend to rent prior to viewing apartments there, especially if you’re from outside of Boston.  This will help your agent to do a more detailed search of only the apartments in your top areas.  The following is a link to an informative Boston Neighborhoods descriptive site:  www.bosarchitecture.com/neighborhoods.html
  • Learn the price range you should expect to spend in the areas you are considering.   If you are considering areas outside of Boston you will always get a better deal there, so eliminate those areas first before looking in the city.  See the Boston area rental chart below as a good guideline to what you should expect to spend.  If you are on the lower end of the price range you probably aren’t going to see newly renovated places, so if you need a really nice place it’s important to know that you will need to spend a bit more. 
  • Pets:  Almost all landlords will permit cats.  Your rental options, however, will be dramatically reduced if you have, or plan to get, a dog.  About 85% of landlords do not allow dogs.  Some buildings are “Pet Friendly” and may require an extra monthly or annual fee, while others may exclude certain breeds (e.g., Pit Bull) or dogs over a certain size (e.g., 40 lbs).  
  • Communication and staying connected with your agent is paramount in helping your agent to serve you best.  Phone responders, especially early in the process, will have a better chance of getting updated information on apartments, communicating your changing needs, and being served in real time amid a long queue of apartment seekers with whom the agent may be working.  
  • Financials:  If you are a student you will be required to get a co-signer/guarantor.  If you are professional you will have to show good credit and the rent cannot exceed 40% of your income for most apartments.  Boston area landlords generally require 2-3 months rent (first, last, and security deposit) prior to moving into the apartment. Occasionally, a small key deposit and/or lock change fee may apply.  The first month’s rent, applications, credit reports, copy of ID’s, Fee Disclosure, and co-signer forms might be required to take an apartment off the market.  Once you are approved, the lease and any required paperwork are submitted along with the remaining funds
  • Broker’s FeeSome landlords will pay a full months brokers fee, some will pay a portion (½ paid by landlord ½ by tenant), but most won’t pay any especially during the busy season from mid-January – end of August.  In other cases, a landlord may be willing to negotiate.  Always ask your agent what the fee arrangement is for each apartment you see. 

Finally, as a courtesy, let your agent know if you’ve suspended your search for any reason (found an apartment on your own, via another real estate office, or have postponed your move/search plans).

Best of luck!  We look forward to helping you find a great place!

Still have questions? Want to know what rental listings are available in your area? Contact Carol Parker at CParker@MandrellCo.com

City Of Boston Market Rents – 2013

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Saturday, September 14, 2013 11:00 AM   Hampton Inn 319 Speen St, Natick, MA

Interested in building a portfolio of rental property investments? If so, you don’t want to miss this event!  A large part of building a successful real estate portfolio is building a professional real estate team around you.

This tradeshow will bring together more than 200 local real estate investors and investment experts and is an excellent opportunity for you to meet local vendors & business professionals. It will also be a wonderful opportunity for investor networking and business development. If you’re serious about real estate investing you won’t want to miss this!

It’s free to register for this event. Just go to http://www.BostonWealthBuilders.com

Come speak directly to industry professional like never before! This event will be great for the novice to advanced real estate investors. Whether you’re just getting started with investing or looking to develop new strategies and income sources, we’ll have something for everyone. RSVP Now! http://www.BostonWealthBuilders.com

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Is your tenant’s lease is expiring soon? Do you have a current vacancy ? Let us help get you back to collecting rents!

Dear Boston Area Landlords,

My name is Lloyd Mandrell and I’m a Licensed Realtor, and fellow Landlord, in the Greater Boston area.  My firm would love to assist you in finding and placing an ideal tenant in your residential rental unit! 

As a Realtor, specializing in the Boston rental market,  I work directly with only best and highest qualified tenants. I currently have several  such tenants looking for rentals in almost every area of the city and would like to talk to you about your available rental unit. It would be great to see your apartment, take some pictures to begin showing it to my very interested client base, as soon as possible. 

When you place your rental with me and 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 our tenants pay our fee and there is absolutely no charge to you for our services!

Our company also offers a terrific property management service if you need assistance beyond filling you vacancy.

Please contact me if interested or if you have any questions. I can be reached at 617-297-8641 or at Lloyd@MandrellCo.com.

We want to help you get back to full occupancy and collecting rents…

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

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Whether you’re planning to purchase a multi-family home as your primary residence or as an investment property, consider the overall structure of the home. When evaluating each property, note the complexity of the construction. While you definitely want a home that’s eye-pleasing to neighbors and potential renters, you don’t want a home that may be expensive to maintain. Look for properties that have simple, solid construction, and use relatively standard materials. These are generally the easiest and most inexpensive to maintain. 

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when evaluating each property:
  • ·         How steep is the roof?
  • ·         How many angles does the building have?
  • ·         Does the home have a slate roof?
  • ·         How complex is the landscaping?
  • ·         How many different exterior paint colors are there?
  • ·         Does the home have any special features that may be difficult to replace?

Want to search for homes in and around Boston? Click Here! 
 

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 Knowing the true condition of your investment property can help you make an accurate evaluation of your property’s worth. Home inspections are traditionally done by the buyer once a sales contract is in place, but can also be done by the seller before the property is listed. A professional home inspection can allow the seller to identify and fix any problems before the home is under contract.

Often there certain repairs that may be missed by a homeowner but brought to light during a professional home inspection. There are also some cases where repairs or upgrades must be done according to local laws. This is especially true when dealing with Boston’s older stock of multi-family homes and the city’s landlord–tenant laws, which are always changing. A good home inspector will help you discover these repairs and avoid any them from slowing down or breaking the sale.

It’s always better to know the true condition of your home prior to determining your listing price. If a pre-listing inspection is not done, and an issue arises during a buyer inspection, it can put the sale on hold or at risk if the buyer determines it’s of significance. By taking a proactive approach and getting an inspection, you can identify and make any repairs ahead of time, saving yourself headache and possibly preventing a qualified buyer from walking away during from a contract. You will also make a better first impression with buyers when you have the property in top shape prior to their visiting.

Though making repairs may sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense, these repairs, especially to the kitchens and bathrooms can really help you increase your selling price as well as assist in the speed of the sale. You may be one of many sellers that are very familiar with the needed repairs in their property but have chosen to avoid them for various reasons. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you can no longer afford to put off these chores.

Take your home inspection report combined with your knowledge of the property, and create a written list of what repairs must be done vs. those that could be done. Preference should obviously be taken to those repairs that must be done and only once those improvements have been made should you consider any other work. Your Realtor can also help you uncover quick and inexpensive improvements that could be done before the home is listed and may also be able to put you in contact with good local contractors.

Not every home needs to be in mint condition to sell, but many times these small improvements will help you justify a higher asking price and gain an edge over the competition. If you are assuming at least one or more units will be owner occupied, be sure that that particular unit is in “move in condition”. For many buyers your multi-family home will be there primary residence as well as an investment. They will look closely at the unit where they are to live and you will want them to like what they see. Buyers will also assume that the others rental units will be in similar condition to the “owner unit”.

Interested in Selling your Property? Just want to know what it’s worth? For a no obligation market analysis, call 617-297-8641 or email Willie@MandrellCo.com

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