Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. Louis has a lot going for it.

It's no surprise that the major metropolitan areas have experienced significant housing troubles. The housing prices were so high that they had a long way to fall before hitting the bottom. These high prices have been part of the reason that people have been leaving the areas. People need somewhere new to go and St. Louis is the ideal place. St Louis has a lower housing market in general, and a lower cost of living.

According to a current article, "It is a metropolitan area with a great past, and many fine civic institutions, including great parks, sports teams and a world class orchestra. This long laggard Midwestern metropolitan area may face its best competitive prospects since Chicago passed it in population in 1870. Local and state leaders need to stay away from the policies that would dilute St. Louis' principal competitive advantage, a low cost of living, due to a housing market left to operate without destructive distortion."

So what can we do in this situation? Buy houses! Warren Buffett recently said "he'd buy up 'a couple hundred thousand' single family homes if it were practical to do so. If held for a long period of time and purchased at low rates, Buffett says houses are even better than stocks.  He advises buyers to take out a 30-year mortgage and refinance if rates go down."

If you are able to invest in real estate, now is the time. Contact us if you need a good property management company with fair terms and reasonable people.  We are ready to help.

Friday, February 24, 2012

More good news about the housing market

There is good news on the housing front. According to an article on, fewer homeowners are facing possible foreclosure.
Jay Brinkman, the mortgage bankers' chief economist, said "employment is the key driver of mortgage performance" and noted that the number of delinquent mortgage payments is falling faster than the nation's unemployment rate. Higher unemployment typically leads to more missed payments and a greater number of foreclosures over time.
 As foreclosures slow down, there are still a lot of homes on the market. The time to invest is now. If you are looking to start investing in real estate, contact us to see how we can help. We are ready to become your property management company.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Importance of home inspection

A home inspection is important whether the house you are buying is for your family or for an investment property. An inspection performed by an experienced inspector can highlight problems that may make a great deal into a not-so-great deal. A lot of homes, especially foreclosures, are being sold in as-is condition, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have an inspection done anyway. The seller will not make any repairs, but the home's price may be renegotiated or you may realize that the repairs are not in your budget. Either way, knowledge is power. There are several areas you should check yourself or ask your inspector to check for you. For more information on inspections, check out this article.

Primary system shutoffs are an important safety component for any house. Water, natural gas or propane, and electrical shutoffs should all be easily located by either you or your inspector. If there seems to be a problem with shutoffs that are owned or maintained by a utility, that utility should be contacted for repair as soon as the house is purchased to protect the investment.

The inspector should be willing and able to climb the roof for an inspection. He or she should inspect both the condition of the shingles and any outlets on the roof. The insurance company will inspect the roof anyway after purchase, and any repairs or replacements will need to be made before insurance will be underwritten. Knowing of any possible problems ahead of time will allow you to be prepared for needed repairs.

If the home is in poor condition and needs renovation including drywall, ceiling, or flooring replacements, you should check the underlying condition of the walls and floors. Stains and damage to the carpet can seep through to the underlying pad and sometimes the subfloor, leading to more intensive repairs to remove any lingering odor or potential problems. If there is a drop ceiling, you should remove tiles in several places to examine what is hiding underneath.

Provident Property Management is committed to helping you get your investment properties rented. We will work with you to improve your property in any way necessary to secure quality long-term tenants. Please contact us for more information on how we can help you with your investment properties.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Down for the count

Sorry for the lack of postings lately. Our entire household/company has been hit by a bug. We will resume our regularly scheduled posts when everyone has recuperated. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What can Provident do for an investor?

We've talked before about what services Provident offers for Real Estate Agents, but what about for investors? For the purposes of this article, I'll define an investor as someone looking to buy houses purely to use for rental income. These people may already own one or several homes, or just be starting out and are ready to purchase their first rental property.

While Alann is a licensed real estate agent, as required by MO law in order to manage properties owned by someone else, selling real estate is not his business. He does not list properties for sale or pursue clients looking to buy properties for owner-occupant reasons. However, if an investor is looking or a one-stop shop and wanting someone to find their rental properties, represent them as a real estate agent during the purchasing process, and then manage those properties, he is open for business.

So let's break it down. Let's say you have some money saved and want to invest in real estate. You know what a great job Provident Management does with managing rental properties and contact Alann. First, Alann will help you define your expectations for the rental property- location, budget, projected return on investment, etc. Then he will search for available properties that meet those criteria. He will then take you to visit those properties and discuss any possible repairs that may need to be done. When you pick a house you like, he will manage the paperwork required to purchase the house, acting as your real estate agent and thus collecting a commission off the sale. After the house is purchased, he will coordinate any necessary repairs to make the house ready for a tenant. When the house is ready, he will list it and find an acceptable tenant, using all of his screening parameters including credit check. Once the house is rented, he will collect rent, deal with any issues with the tenant, address maintenance issues, and cut you a check at the end of the month for your profit off the rental income. Investing in real estate is sometimes overwhelming and difficult to understand. Alann can help you understand the process and help you view properties with the experienced eyes of someone who understands rentals.

Of course, if you are an investor or troubled homeowner who just wants an awesome property manager, Provident is always ready to manage your properties. So no matter your situation, contact us today for more information about how we can help you earn more money.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Guest Post from Tony Collins

For the week of January 30, 2012 – Vol. 10, Issue 5

...Getting ready for a recovery could be the theme of last week's housing reports. Pending Home Sales, after hitting a 19-month high in November, dipped a bit for December, yet came in 5.6% above where they were a year ago. The National Association of Realtors chief economist observed, "Even with a modest decline, the preceding two months of contract activity are the highest in the past four years outside of the homebuyer tax credit period."

Thursday saw December New Home Sales drop 2.2%, to a lower-than-expected 307,000 annual rate. Yet sales remain in the narrow range they've occupied since May 2010. And the best news was that new home inventories dropped to 157,000, the lowest level on record, since 1963. Unsold new homes under construction and unsold completed new homes are at or near record lows. Experts say this is what's needed to get ready for a sustained housing recovery. Finally, the FHFA price index for homes bought with conforming mortgages was UP 1% in November."

When dealing with your home financing, I not only work with one of your largest personal financial investments; I also handle one of your biggest dreams. As your mortgage planning specialist, I will give you my best consistently. My team specializes in renovation financing both for the purchasing of a home or for renovating a home you already own. In fact, Renovation Loans are all we do. Renovation loans allow you to purchase or refinance and renovate the home in one seamless transaction.

With over 13 years experience working with only Renovation Loans you can trust myself and the rest of the St Louis Renovation Team to help guide you from application to project completion. 

Tony Collins
Renovation Specialist
Office: 314-288-2462
Office: 866-997-0358

A word from Provident: The housing market is getting ready to rebound. If you are looking to invest in real estate, now would be the time to start. If being a landlord isn't for you, contact us. We are ready to manage your units professionally and competently.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Staging a home can help secure renters

Most home sellers these days have at least heard of staging. It's the process whereby homeowners clean up their homes and make them more appealing to potential buyers. But why talk about staging a home on a blog for a Property Management Company? Well, if an owner is having a hard time securing tenants for a home, staging may be the answer.

Staging has several areas of focus. To start, highlight key features. If the home has a nice fireplace or built-in bookshelves, capitalize on those features. Staging doesn't have to include the entire home. The owner can decorate just enough to draw attention to the key features of the home. Placing a few items in a built-in bookcase can highlight how much storage space a tenant would have for their own items. Accessories can also help highlight a fireplace. Try hanging a mirror or painting over the fireplace to draw attention, or paint the wall an accent color.

Another focus in staging is clearing the space and emphasizing how large the space is. By removing clutter and unnecessary furniture, the space appears larger and more inviting to the tenant. Some may be tempted to fully empty the home, thinking it will be most inviting that way. However, if the home has any unusual design features or oddly shaped rooms, potential tenants may have a hard time imagining their belongings in the space. By suggesting a layout with carefully chosen pieces of furniture, the owner can highlight the potential use of the space for the tenant.

An important aspect in most homes is the kitchen. Despite the size of the kitchen, emphasizing the layout is crucial to seal the deal. Counters should be cleared, but a carefully chosen accessory or two will help draw attention to the size also. Highlighting a center island or adding one with a portable counter can increase interest in the home. A clean kitchen is also a more inviting kitchen, so focusing on cleaning the kitchen thoroughly will also help.

These tips work for both home sellers and investors looking to rent their homes. While we don't offer staging services to our owners, Provident Management Company does offer many services and features that set us apart from the rest. We want to be your management company, and we will do all we can to secure tenants for your units. Contact us for more information.