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The Winter Months Are Here
Finding renters may be increasingly tough during this time of the year. Why you may ask? There are several factors which play into these slow moving cold months. The main reason for this change has to do with the school year.
Start And End Of The School Year
Many college students have already found their housing before the start of the school year, which usually take place in August. So, their search doesn’t begin until the summer months, a few months before their lease ends again. Families with children also move accordingly with the school year, making sure their kids are settled in before the start of the school year. This unfortunately leaves a huge gap that takes place during these cold days. In general, the chilly weather and the lack of properties being available often turn people away. What can Philadelphia Property Owners do to get their units occupied? Read further to learn more tips and insights to get you on the right track.
Renter’s Insights and Tips
Offering a shorter lease term with a reduced price is the best way to keep your property occupied in the winter. The length of the lease can be directly related to the number of months left until spring starts. This lets Philadelphia Property Owners jump on the busiest cycle of renting, resulting in a happy outcome for both renters and owners.
The rental market in Philadelphia stays competitive throughout the year. Renters looking to live in major cities like Philly need a heads up before entering their search, so the “right one” doesn’t slip right between their fingers. Here are a few pointers to find and hold onto your right match:
1. Application- Have an application filled out before you come to your showing. At JG Real Estate, You can find a PDF version of our application under the Tenants Area tab of our website: http://jg-realestate.com/Docs/JG_Real_Estate_Application.pdf. Having this ready to hand in will speed up the renting process.
2. Deposit- Generally, first month’s rent will take the unit off the market. I would recommend giving a deposit for the unit that is on the top of your list. This will show the property owner you are serious and increase your chances of making the unit your home.
3. Lay Your Cards Out On The Table- If you have bad credit or a recent foreclosure, don’t try to push it under the rug. It will come out sooner or later during a background check. That’s why it’s good to be up front and include a letter of explanation with any application.
4. Be On Time- It is important to keep a track of all the appointments you have made to view apartments. Make sure you’ve researched the address and area of the place before viewing so you won’t have any surprises.
5. Keep Options Open- Putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea when making big decisions like renting a home. That’s why it’s recommended that you have a list rentals that suit you and pursue them accordingly. You can find your ideal location and any back ups under our rentals tab of the website: http://jg-realestate.com/category/listings/rentals/.
Philly Condo Management Features: 1221 Shackamaxon St. Unit 16
Come home to a roomy 2 Bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom condo with modern finishes throughout. Some updates include; stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors throughout, gas fireplace, and french doors that open out into a beautifully landscaped courtyard. This condo includes 1 garage parking spot and gated entry with keypad for extra security. Philly Condo Management selects this unit to be your next home if you’re looking for a classy, gated community in a great location; Fishtown.
Philly Condo Management’s Neighborhood Review: Fishtown
Easy access to transportation, amazing food, and plenty of attractions; what more could you ask for? Stroll through and see new restaurants pop up right before your eyes as you meet the locals walking their pets. Check out Steven Starr’s Frankford Hall Beer Garden, Johnny Brenda’s Bar, Fette Sau, PYT, and many other hot spots. If you feel like staying in and cooking, just walk on over to Super Fresh grocery store! The Girard trolley line and Market-Frankford El train gives you easy access to anywhere you wish to go to in the city. Visit the Sugarhouse Casino or tour through the Yards Brewery just to name a few attractions! Philly Condo Management gives this neighborhood a high rating for having potential and being able to flourish by using it.
Tour Without Stepping Outside: Walk Through With Philly Condo Mangement
Winterize Your Philadelphia Rental Property
As we are nearing Thanksgiving and the weather is getting colder, it is time for us to think about how to winterize our real estate. For those of you who rent units in the Philadelphia area, it is often not up to you to clean your gutters or check the age of the furnace. There are, however, things you can do within your own Philadelphia rental property to keep you warm and the energy bills low.
Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Philadelphia Rental Property for Winter
- Invest in some door drafts for your Philadelphia rental property. You can find these at any home store; they will keep the cold air from getting in and prevent the heat from leaking out.
- For those of you that have window air conditioning units that are not coming out for the season, make sure you cover them. Again, this an easy solution to keeping the cold air from coming in. Also, for your Philadelphia rental property that has storm windows, make sure to put them down. This acts as double duty for your window!
- Get yourself some thick or insulating curtains. They come in many styles and will not obscure your Philadelphia rental property style and aesthetic. They will reduce your heating costs and allow your home to be a warm oasis.
- If your Philadelphia rental property has lots of rooms or is a large square footage, the heating costs may be extremely high. Space heaters can be inexpensive and save you a lot of money. Use them to just heat one or two rooms while you’re in them. They heat up quickly and are useful when you only use specific spaces.
- A great tip is to reverse your ceiling fan in your Philadelphia rental property! In the spring and summer months, we use fans to keep us cool. In the winter months, when your blades have been reversed, the fan blades will push the air down and help keep the toastier air in circulation. “How do you know if your fan is rotating in the right direction for winter? Here’s the trick — turn your fan on and look up. For winter, your fan’s blades should be moving clockwise.” (Waits, Kentin)
For other larger issues, please talk to your landlord about making improvements to your Philadelphia rental property. We wish you all a warm and safe winter!
Philadelphia Property Management Video
The below Philadelphia property management video gives a brief explanation of our website, including the rentals, tenant resources, and management sections. Additionally, we pull up a real owner statement to shed some light on how our back end account software works. Rent is received, commissions are paid out, maintenance issues are accounted for, and finally the owner payment is remitted. This is really a cursory overview, so owners are encouraged to contact us with any questions whatsoever.
Philadelphia Real Estate Law – Consumer protections
Whether you are buying, selling, renting or leasing a home, the government has placed certain protections in the laws that protect you from being scammed out of your hard earned money. Understanding these will help you stand up for your rights and avoid potential scams.
Protection in the Home Buying Process in Philadelphia Real Estate Law
One of the biggest struggles homebuyers face is unethical lending practices from mortgage providers. In 2009, Pennsylvania passed a law to provide protections for homebuyers in the mortgage industry. Under these new laws, all salespeople working for mortgage companies must be state licensed. Also, mortgage providers must use a clear disclosure form to help buyers understand their mortgages, and they must go through the proper steps to ensure borrowers can afford the products they sell to them. These laws apply to both new purchase mortgages and refinance products.
The Pennsylvania Home Inspection Law also protects buyers. This law requires all homes to be inspected by a certified, licensed home inspector. This prevents buyers from purchasing a home with a serious, but hidden, flaw.
Philadelphia real estate law does not just protect buyers. It also has protections in place for sellers. For example, in a home sale, the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent must disclose any conflicts of interest, such as buying and selling agents who work for the same firm. Sellers then have the right to decide to change agents if they wish.
Protections in the Rental Process in Philadelphia Real Estate Law
Investing in property in Philadelphia can be quite lucrative, but there are also risks involved. One of the dangers investors face is the risk of tenants who do not pay their rent or take care of the property. The security deposit helps protect against this. Under current state laws, landlords can ask for two months of rent upfront for the first year of a lease. In the second year, this drops to one month of rent. If the tenant remains in the property for a third year, investors must place the security deposit in an interest bearing account, with the interest paid to the renter at the end of the lease agreement. We suggest using a Philadelphia Management company or at minimum Philadelphia rental agents to ensure that requirements are complied with.
If the renter damages the property or fails to pay the rent, then that security deposit becomes the property of the landlord, but only after a written list of complaints is presented. That list must be presented within 30 days of the violation. Otherwise, the money is returned to the renter at the end of the lease agreement, with interest if applicable.
In each of these situations, the law offers protection for consumers against unethical practices of others involved in the real estate process. If everyone understands and adheres to these laws, the real estate process, whether buying or leasing, will be much smoother.
Free infographic interpreting property management review data
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How YOU Feel about Philadephia’s top Property Management Companies – An infographic by the team at Philadelphia Property Management
The above is an info-graphic representation of totals units (Multiple category, not just residential homes) settled in the zip codes 19125 & 1946 in the month of July from 2007 to 2012. Please note that this takes into account only sales which were documented on Trend, the Philadelphia area Multiple Listing Service of which JG Real Estate, LLC is a member.
Professional Property Management
I recently read an article posted on bigger pockets (a well known blogging forum for real estate investors) which explained, from the client perspective, why professional property management is a crucial part of his business strategy. His closing paragraph is a great summation of how, and why he feels the way he does:
“In closing, let me be clear that no one will care as much about your properties as you will. HOWEVER, hiring a management company doesn’t mean you stop caring about your business – it just frees you up to focus on other aspects of the business. I’m not saying that this is the best option for everyone, but if you don’t have the desire or time to directly manage your properties, this could be a great option for you.”
Arthur goes on to explain how a professional property management company will take care of:
- Tenant turnovers
- Funneling of information
- Eviction and court
- Problems and solutions
He is correct that the person who cares most about a particular property is going to be the owner. However, if that individual lacks the knowledge, experience, or motivation to properly care for the investment; it’s a moot point. I base my Professional Property Management company around efficiency – that means letting the best people for the job handle it. When a property has a HVAC issue, I don’t send my handyman over. True, he would probably solve the issue BUT would also take 4 times as long as the qualified HVAC tech. The same theory should be applied to all veins of business.
Take a look at the Arthur’s original blog post here.
5 Things to do in Philadelphia Before Summer is Over
With the beginning of August comes the inevitable end-of-summer blues – it’s time to get ready for the school year and the Labor Day party planning started. At JG Real Estate, our motto is “It’s not over ’til it’s over!” With that being said, here are five things you must do before the summer of 2012 comes to a close.
Philadelphia End of Summer Countdown
- If you haven’t already, you need to check out North Shore Beach Club in Northern Liberties. This 21+ pool bar features hammocks, ping pong tables, an upper level sundeck, live entertainment, and poolside food & beverage services. Come during the day or at night and imagine yourself on a tropical island with 100 of your best friends.
- Wednesday’s in August are a time for you to come to Rittenhouse Square and enjoy their annual “Concerts in the Park” series. They have a wonderful line-up at these free concerts, so make sure you come super early and secure yourself a rad spot on the grass.
- Tomorrow, August 5th, there will be the fourth annual 2nd Street Festival. You do not want to miss out on this event as it will be filled with live music, workshops, and food trucks of every variety!
- Come out tonight, or any Friday night in August to “Fantastic Fridays.” “Fantastic Fridays” is a weekly concert that is sponsored by The Friends of Penn Treaty Park and is a family-friendly experience that you are not going to want to miss!
- Saturday, August 11th at 8:30 Uwishunu will host “a Moonlit Movie Screening in Rittenhouse Square.” The featured film is going to be “Midnight in Paris.” They have teamed together with Rouge, who will be making classic movie-esque food including hot dogs and popcorn!
Embrace the end of the summer by doing something new every day in Philadelphia! Until next time, your Philadelphia Property management team.
Philadelphia Neighborhood: Manayunk
Manayunk, a Philadelphia neighborhood that is just west of Center City Philadelphia, is known for its intimate restaurants, local shops, and abundance of night life. Manayunk is bounded by the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal. It was, at one point, one of the manufacturing centers of Philadelphia. Over the years, with the decline of jobs in the manufacturing industry and closure of businesses, the warehouse buildings were left empty and storefronts were abandoned. During the 1990′s, there was a huge surge of revitalization and upscale stores and restaurants came to the Philadelphia neighborhood, and those empty warehouses were converted into gorgeous loft spaces. The large lofty spaces are offset by the two and three story single-family homes that also surround the area and give it a quaint and charming feel.
Philadelphia Neighborhood: What Manayunk Has to Offer
One of the most appealing characteristics of Manayunk, also referred to as the “Yunk,” is its abundance of outdoor “play” space. There is the wonderful Schuylkill River Trail which winds through Manayunk on surface roads, with numerous access points to a trail along Main Street. This trail leads out to Valley Forge or to Center City! You can also connect to the hiking and biking trails that Wissahickon Valley Park features. Here, you can find horseback riding, fishing, biking, and more! For the lovers of water, there are a ton of boating options in this Philadelphia neighborhood. You can kayak, canoe, and even engage in the sport of Dragonboating. Also, Manayunk features the Manayunk Bike Race every year, which is a huge attraction for all ages!
This Philadelphia neighborhood is full of shopping. There are tons of furniture stores like Nadeau and Pottery Barn, clothing & apparel stores, jewelry shops, and galleries. This Philadelphia neighborhood is stuffed with wonderful restaurants and their delectable cuisines. Cafes and coffee shops line the streets of this Philadelphia neighborhood, and Manayunk does not fall short when it comes to ice creams shops! If you are looking for a good night out, Manayunk has a different type of bar for every personality-type. In all, I can find 20 bars, and that is not a complete list!
Things Unique to This Philadelphia Neighborhood
Manayunk has very special long-standing community traditions and great places for people to join together. Whether it is at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, the North Light Community Center, or the Manayunk Sport and Social club, residents alike
No matter what you’re into, this Philadelphia neighborhood has something for you! If you’re a landlord looking for Manayunk Philadelphia Property Management contact us today!
Philadelphia Real Estate Investment Properties
When deciding to purchase an investment property, you should make yourself aware of the different types of Philadelphia real estate that you can purchase. Remember, an investment property is any Philadelphia real estate property that will bring in some kind of rent or income for access to leasehold rights. You can choose to invest in
- Single Family, Duplex, Triplex, Quadriplex – Basically a small house, with one to four separate units.
- Apartment Building – These buildings have 5+ units in them.
- Residential Complex – Philadelphia real estate with several buildings, each with multiple units.
- Individual Retail Building – Used to house stores.
- Strip Mall or Shopping Center – Philadelphia real estate property with multiple units for stores, usually with parking spaces. Can be open-air or an enclosed retail mall.
- Office Buiding – Building with multiple office spaces in it.
- Warehouse – A building whose main use is for storage, vast in size.
- Vacant Land – A parcel of land which has not been built on.
As discussed in my blog, “Types of Philadelphia Real Estate Property Ownership,” there are different forms of ownership, investment goals, and situations, especially when you are not the sole owner but are investing with partners. The differing investment situations come when you enter into a Philadelphia real estate investment syndicate. This structure involves a number of individuals who join together to invest in one property/project. With private syndication, there is a small group of investors that usually know each other before a deal is made. Conversely, a public syndication will involve a large group of investors, where interest usually comes in the form of shares/securities. The main difference between the two types of syndication’s when investing in Philadelphia real estate is the type of management control and liability associated with the partnership.
If it all is a little too confusing to you, as it is to most, be sure to contact the experts. With regard to Philadelphia real estate investing, get in touch with a real estate agent, an accountant, and an attorney! This team, including your Philadelphia Property Management professional, will help prepare you for a lucrative and beneficial investment.