The new year is upon us, and as such people are setting goals, getting gym memberships, and starting new diets. Ah yes, the new year. So much anticipation, so much hope, so much planning. In this blog I wanted to lay out a short checklist for you to go through in order to make sure you are doing well with your Chico or Redding rental property.
Check the New Laws
There are updates to rental housing laws every year and they can vary from state to state. You can find a list of new laws for 2018 in California here. A fair housing lawsuit, or some other sort of legal battle is the last thing you want in the new year. Make sure you are up to date with the latest procedures and policies you need to follow.
Plan for Capital Expenses
Have you done your maintenance inspection yet? How is the condition of your appliances, floors, HVAC, water heater, roof etc. Make sure you are doing at least one annual walk through inspection of all your rental properties. This will help you to plan for those capital expenses.
Research New Tax Laws for 2018
2018 has brought a lot of changes to our current tax structure. Here is a good overview of how it effects rental property owners. In the end it looks like it’ll be a win for real estate investors. One nice change is that instead of being able to write off 50% of improvements to flooring, landscaping, etc., you will be able to write off 100% of those expenses.
Check the Market
You should always be doing this, but do a deep dive. There are plenty of websites out there that can help you get a gauge on the market. Here's an article I wrote on How to Determine the Rates for Your Chico Rentals. Even just perusing Craigslist or Zillow will give you some good insight. Pay attention to not only what people are asking for rent, but also how long those properties have been sitting there. I’ve looked at Redding and Chico rental property listings that owners have put up that I know are 30% above market. I check back again and those listings are still there 100 days later. Doing a deep dive into the rental market will give you valuable information to know what your proforma rents will be for the new year. Can you drive rents? If so, by how much? This is valuable information for your future planning.
Go Out to Bid on Your Vendors
Now, if you have a great vendor and you like the price you are currently paying for landscaping, management, pest control etc. then just skip this one. However, if you’re not so sure you’re getting the best service or prices, then use this new year’s motivation to spend some time researching vendors in your area. You would be amazed at how much money over a year you could save by shaving a little bit here and there. One of the amazing things about living in America is that we have a free market where local competition will give you the best service for the best price. You just have to make a few phone calls to take advantage of it.
We have all heard the age old adage that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. So as you sit down to write your new goals and plan your new diet, take some time and plan for this next year with your rental property. You’ll be glad you did.
What do you think? Did I miss anything? If so, leave your comment in the comments section below!