Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post from Tony Collins

For the week of March 19, 2012 – Vol. 10, Issue 12

QUOTE OF THE WEEK..."I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy." --Marie Curie

... The Polish physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering work on radioactivity, could have been describing the U.S. housing market. But we are making progress. reported that the U.S. median list price of homes they track was almost 7% higher in February than a year ago. The web site of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) also reported that the inventory of U.S. for-sale housing is 22% lower than a year ago. Additional progress was seen in the median age of inventory of homes on the site dropping almost 10%, year over year. summarized the situation this way: "The nation's housing markets as a whole are in better shape today than at any time since the 2009-2010 tax credits." But it should be noted that although current inventory levels are near a two-year low, they're likely to grow a bit during the spring selling season.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Rules (as opposed to laws) aren't there to control us, but to guide us. If you need a creative solution, you may have to break the rules. But that can be profitable, and it's always fun! 

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. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Housing market rebounding

A news article found on the KMOV website certainly makes the housing market sound promising.

 According to the article: "The past two months made up the best winter for sales of previously occupied homes in five years, when the housing crisis began. And the sales pace in January was the highest since May 2010, the last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit...

Mortgage rates are near record lows. And the supply of homes fell in January to its lowest level in seven years.
A lower supply helps push up prices, which lures more sellers onto the market and generally improves the quality of homes for sale. Rising prices also boost sales because buyers want to invest in homes that are appreciating in value.
A key reason for the brighter housing outlook is the job market has strengthened. From December through February, employers added an average of 245,000 jobs a month. The unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years."

If you are looking to invest in prime real estate, now is the time. As the economy recovers more fully, there will be more competition for the best homes available. If you need a property management company, Provident is ready. We are experienced and able to provide all the services you may need. Contact us today for more information.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Put your money where it will return the most

When thinking of updating your home, what comes to mind first? Usually, the kitchen and bathroom are highest on the priority list. These updates can help you sell your own home, make you happier in your own home, or rent out an investment property.

A dirty or outdated kitchen may be perfectly serviceable, but it won't invite prospective tenants into the unit. When trying to lease an investment property, cleanliness is most important. Once the home is clean, any small repairs are easily noticed and fixed. If there are larger cosmetic problems, for example a lime-green laminate countertop with metal edging, some prospective tenants may be willing to overlook them and rent anyway. However, if you have the money, investing in an updated kitchen will help your property rent more quickly. Depending on the era and decor, some renovations may not take that much time or money. Sometimes repainting the cabinets is all that is needed to update a look. Sometimes new hardware and fixtures makes a dramatic improvement. In some situations, the whole thing needs to be gutted. Whatever the situation, the renovation will likely repay itself in the long-run with happy tenants who are willing to pay more for the rental unit.

When deciding what areas of the home to renovate, always consider the return on investment. Especially in investment properties, consider non-specific renovations. The walls don't have to be "realtor beige", but a neutral is more universally acceptable than hot pink. Adding a finished room to the basement will likely increase interest in the unit, as long as it could be whatever the tenant needs- a bedroom, a family room, a media room, a game room, or a home office. Finishing the basement into a media room is great, if the prospective tenants enjoy quality TV time. Otherwise, you are significantly reducing the pool of interested tenants.

If managing your property is becoming overwhelming, Provident Property Management is ready to be your property management team. We will help find new tenants, manage tenants' needs, arrange for maintenance issues to be addressed, and if the property needs some TLC, we will work on making it a desirable place to live. Our passion is helping you get the most from your investment property. So please, contact us today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good news for St. Ann

If you live near St Ann, MO (near the St Louis International Airport), there is some good news going around.

According to the St Louis Post Dispatch, "a St. Louis developer has stepped forward with a plan to tear down most of Northwest Plaza — once the largest shopping mall in the world — and replace it with offices, big-box stores and restaurants."

 This redevelopment would bring new vitality to the area. Home prices would likely increase as the surrounding area improves in nature. Luckily, St. Ann has a lot of homes for sale. Now would be a great time to invest in properties in the St. Ann area for rental purposes. If you are considering rental properties as a way to diversify your income, we would like to invite you to consider Provident Property Management for your management team. We will do all we can to get your units ready, rented and reliably maintained. All you have to do is collect a check at the end of the month. Please contact us today for more information.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Single family housing- a bust?

The housing culture in America is strongly biased towards single-family housing. In larger cities, apartments are the norm, but in most places, the suburbs are much more popular. A current idea floating around the real estate market is that single-family housing is going to be losing popularity in the years to come, as more and more people choose to live in apartments and new urban areas. But an article titled Don't Bet Against the (Single-Family) House refutes that claim. There are two major considerations as to why Americans will still prefer single-family housing.

For one, it's part of the culture. Americans like space. They like privacy. They like lush green lawns with barbecues and swimming pools. Okay, maybe that's a bit of a vintage 1950's visual, but you get the idea. When families add children, the great American dream of owning a home suddenly becomes more important also. Like it or not, America is about wide open spaces. We tend to spread out, partly because we can.

Aside from the desire for lots of space, American families are also growing. With the economy in it's current state, it is not uncommon for recent college graduates or newlyweds to move back in with parents. Even some established families are needing to cut costs by living with family. On the other end of the spectrum, aging parents sometimes need a little more help but are unwilling or unable to live in a nursing home. These elderly folks are choosing to live with their children, rather than a home. Multi-generational families, once the province of immigrants, are becoming more mainstream.

So what's the point? Single-family homes offer a great investment opportunity. While owning a home is the goal for most people, obtaining that goal may be a long way off. People need a place to live in the meantime. It can be difficult to find homes to rent in desirable neighborhoods. By investing in single-family housing, you are making a smart choice for sustainable long-term income. Managing those homes can be difficult at times. Our goal at Provident Property Management is to make it easy for you. When you sign on with us, you can rest assured that your property will be well maintained and well managed, leading to a higher return for you. Contact us today for more information.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Historic building tax credit use increasing

Missouri has a lot of history. Though Native Americans lived in the area for a long itme, European colonization started in the 1700s. Statehood was famously granted in 1820 and from there the population grew and grew. Thanks to this long history, there are a lot of historical buildings. Many of them need renovation to make them safe and usable. Missouri has had a Historic Preservation Tax Credit program available to renovators that repays a quarter of the cost to renovate a building. According to a St. Louis Today article, use of those tax credits declined incredibly during the worst of the recession. However, recently there has been an increased interest in the credits. This is a good sign, as it means that the economy is recovering and people are focusing more on preserving the past, rather than just worrying about the present.

While we are not in the business of rehabbing historic buildings, we are in the business of getting your rental property up to snuff so it can be rented quickly and easily. We can help with maintenance issues and arrange for any work that may be scaring renters away from the property. Please contact us for more information.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Don't shoot the messengers.

As we struggle through the low housing market, a lot of people are often upset when the appraisal doesn't come in to match the contract or desired sales price. The Appraisal Institute says "hey, don't blame us!" To quote a recent handout for realtors: "Appraisers don’t set the real estate market; they reflect what’s happening in the market,” Sara W. Stephens, the Appraisal Institute’s president, said in the handout. “Obviously, the market is depressed — home prices have fallen far below the values of a few years ago. Many homes simply aren’t worth what their owners think they are."

Despite the poor market condition for sellers, now is a great time to buy. If you are looking to invest in real estate, please contact us for more information on how we can help. We are ready to be your Property Management company.