General rules to follow for an efficient and fire hazard free dryer:


General rules to follow for an efficient and fire hazard free dryer:

1. Clean the lint trap screen after each dryer cycle.

2. Wash the lint trap screen after 20-30 loads. Let it air dry before replacing.

3. Use a vacuum hose to suck out any remaining lint inside the dryer where the lint trap is stored.

Looking for the Perfect Tenant? Seek out These 6 Traits!

1Your most important decision that will determine the success or failure of your rental is the person you put in the property. A bad tenant can potentially cause years of stress, headache and financial loss, while a great one can provide years of security, peace and prosperity.

So, don’t underestimate the importance of renting to only the best tenants. While it’s not possible to know with 100 percent certainty what type of tenant your applicant will be, here are six telltale signs and traits that will give you a pretty darn good indication that this person is great tenant material:

1. The ability to pay

The first and foremost quality of a good tenant is his or her level of financial responsibility and ability to afford the rent. Without proper payment, the landlord may be forced to evict the tenant and face potentially thousands of dollars’ worth of legal fees, lost rent and damages.

Most landlords require that a tenant’s (documented) income equal at least three times the monthly rent. Many tenants believe that they can afford more than they really can — so it is the landlord’s job to set the rules to protect his or her investment. If the tenant is already financially responsible, income that amounts to three times the monthly rent should be sufficient.

2. The willingness to pay on time

While some landlords look at late rent as a benefit because of the extra income from the late fee, a late-paying tenant is more likely to stop paying altogether. The stress generated when the rent doesn’t come in is not a pleasant experience and can be avoided by renting only to tenants with a solid history of paying on time.

3. A positive long-term outlook for job stability

While a tenant may be able to pay the rent and pay it on time right now, his or her ability to do so in the future is often determined by the job situation. If this person is the type to switch jobs often or has had long periods of unemployment, you may find long periods of missed rent.

4. Cleanliness and housekeeping skills

No tenant stays forever — and upon departure needs to leave the property in good condition. As such, it is important that the tenant’s day-to-day lifestyle be clean and orderly. This means taking good care of the property.

5. An aversion to crime, drugs, and other illegal activities

A person who has no regard for the law will also likely have no regard for your policies. Tenants who engage in illegal activities will cause you nothing but stress and expense. So, be sure to run a background check on your prospective tenant to ensure he or she doesn’t have a shady past.

That said, keep in mind that a prospective tenant’s past history of drug or alcohol abuse could be considered a medical problem — and thus something you can’t reject him or her over without being guilty of violating fair housing laws. If this person is selling drugs, that’s different from using. Be sure to study up on the fair housing laws in your area.

6. The ‘stress quotient’ — how much stress will this person cause you?

The final quality of a great tenant is something I call the “stress quotient” or, in other words, the amount of stress a tenant will cause you as landlord. Some tenants are very high maintenance and constantly demand time and attention. Others simply ignore the terms in their lease and need constant babysitting, reprimands and discipline (late fees, notices, phone calls, etc.). This type of tenant will only be a thorn in your side.

So, is a perfect tenant even possible?

Obviously, no tenant is going to be 100 percent perfect, so deciding how much near-perfection you require is a personal choice that largely depends on your desired involvement and the community in which your property is located. If tenants are difficult to find, it may be financially advantageous for you to rent to a less-than-perfect tenant in order to fill a vacancy.

Notice the use here of “less-than-perfect tenant,” and not “anyone.”

On the other hand, if you have plenty of applicants to choose from, you can be significantly more picky. Just remember, it’s much better to have your unit vacant a little longer while you wait for the right tenant than to rent to the wrong person.

So, how exactly do you weed out the bad tenants and find those quality tenants? The answer involves setting strict qualifying standards and screening your applicants to verify whether or not they meet those standards.


Pokemon Craze!


Use #PokemonGO as a way to get out of your house, and #BevRobertsRentals as a way to get into your next one! #PokemonCraze

What Do Rising Rents Mean for Investors?

House Icon Shows House Price Going UpThe cost of renting has fallen slightly in the last year among the top 25 largest rental markets, according to a report from Trulia this week. However, affordable listings are on the decline in metros such as Oakland and Orange County in California and Phoenix, Arizona.

In Oakland, for example, the share of affordable listings declined by nearly 20 percentage points year-over-year in April 2016 from 66.0 percent down to 46.2 percent, according to Trulia. Meanwhile, in metros such as New York City, Miami, and San Francisco, rents remained sky high—in San Francisco, nearly 91 percent of two-bedroom homes rented for more than $3,000 per month in April, and 63 percent of two-bedrooms rented for more than $4,000.

Are rising rents prompting renters to enter the housing markets as buyers? Some recent reports say they are—but this is not necessarily the case, according to Dennis Cisterna, CRO of Investability Real Estate, Inc.

“High rents are not necessarily driving people to homeownership,” Cisterna said. “While rents are increasing in markets like San Francisco, New York and Miami, the initial down payment to become a homeowner can be cost-prohibitive in areas where home values are high. It’s a delicate balance. You may have the right monthly income to be able to pay high rent, but you don’t have the cash on hand to make a down payment on a home in those markets.”

“High rents are not necessarily driving people to homeownership.”

Dennis Cisterna, CRO, Investability Real Estate, Inc.

The rising cost of rent has not caused the demand for single-family rental homes to shrink, according to Cisterna.

“It’s no secret that the single-family rental market has experienced serious growth over the past decade, and while we will probably see a stabilizing of the market, there is still strong demand,” Cisterna said. “Today, it’s not about diversification so much as it is about evolving and innovating to improve the investor experience through technology, market intelligence and services.”

Does the high cost of rents mean good news or bad news for investors in these markets?

“It really depends on the objectives of the investor,” Cisterna said. “Most cities with high rents also have high home prices, so while your annual cash flow may be low, the investor balances out the opportunity with an asset that is appreciating over time. That being said, investors should be cautious when investing in a property based on potential appreciation. The proposition of appreciation, regardless of the likelihood, is speculative in nature and carries with it a lesser degree of certainty than a property with strong in-place cash flow. Experienced investors practice identifying properties in stable markets with consistent demand. Variables like schools, crime, and local economies are big factors that impact property demand, values and rents—and can therefore indicate how an investor will bode in specific markets. Market data and property analysis tools have improved dramatically over the past several years, giving buyers better insight and transparency into their purchases.”


Should You Invest in Rental Property?

for-rent-signRental properties sound ideal at first: If you purchase a turnkey property, and then you get good tenants, acting as a landlord certainly can be an ideal way to make some extra money (especially if you buy in an ideal rental market). However, if you choose to take on a rental that requires a renovation, unexpected expenses can arise; plus, most landlords won’t have ideal tenants every time. There are many pros and cons to owning rental properties, and jumping right in can be tempting, but it can also be a disaster. Before you make a decision, it’s a good idea to look around for ideal properties, ask advice from other landlords, consider the financial implications of your decision, and determine whether you really have the time and energy to become a successful landlord. Here are the pros and cons to consider before purchasing a rental property.

The pros

Obviously, owning a rental property (or multiple properties) can add to your income. According to Money Magazine, the best ways to make more money on your rental properties include decreasing vacancy, minimizing turnover, using late fees, and adding additional services.

Becoming a landlord also gives you a chance to decide how involved you want to be in your job. If you are taking on rental properties as your full-time job, you may be confident that you can handle everything yourself. On the other hand, if you are hoping to keep working at a separate full-time job, you might prefer to hire a property manager, or at least use contractors for issues that are time consuming. The good thing about owning rental properties is that you can definitely determine how much you want to work, and that isn’t a possibility at many jobs.

Rental properties can also give you peace of mind as you grow older. If you purchase rental property, and you hold on to them for many years, you can later sell them and make money later due to home appreciation. You can also benefit from tax benefits.

The cons

Owning rental properties isn’t always a smart financial idea. Finding tenants often requires more than simply putting up a sign on the lawn; especially if you live in an oversaturated rental area, you may have to spend a great deal of time and money on advertising. In order to attract the best tenants and have a wide pool of applicants, you may need to pay for newspaper, magazine, or even social media advertising.

In addition, you will want to carefully screen potential tenants (you will want to besure to ask for their social security number, employment, income and credit history, references, and past evictions), and if you end up with a bad tenant you could face bounced checks, lack of income, and damage repair. If you can’t find a tenant or the property has to be repaired over a significant amount of time, you will also lose money. You also may face legal ramifications.

Owning rental properties can also require a lot of time. You can delegate some or all of the responsibilities, but you will have to pay someone else to do it (which means loss of rental income). At the minimum, if you choose to do everything by yourself, you will need to attract tenants, fill out paperwork, fix problems, perform regular maintenance, and handle phone calls and rental fees; these things alone can take a good deal of time.

Decision time

Should you invest in or purchase income property? Consider your stage of life before you do. If you are extremely busy, rental property ownership won’t necessarily be the best idea for you unless you are willing to hire help. Also, you will need to take out a loan unless you have a lot of extra money lying around, so you also need to consider your credit standing.

Your personality and abilities should also be considered: Some people would enjoy the social aspects of being a landlord, but others would not be able to go after tenants who owe money or need to be evicted. According to Landlord Station, a good landlord will keep good relationships with tenants, complete repairs quickly, maintain the property and keep renters safe, and keep the grounds clean. If you think you can do these things, then investing in a rental property might be the right choice for you.


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Apartment Complex’s Demand That Tenants ‘Like’ It On Facebook Backfires

facebook-like-social-mediaA Utah apartment complex that ordered its tenants to “like” the property on Facebook is now backpedaling as the Internet lashes out against the bizarre requirement.

Tenants at City Park Apartments in Salt Lake City spoke out against the policy after finding a “Facebook addendum” taped to their doors last Thursday. Those who did not “like” the complex within five days of signing their lease would be found in breach of the agreement, KSL News reports.

Residents also had to let City Park Apartments post pictures of them and their guests on its Facebook page, and were forbidden from posting any negative comments about the complex on any public forum or page.

“I don’t want to be forced to be someone’s friend and be threatened to break my lease because of that,” tenant Jason Ring told KSL News. “It’s outrageous as far as I’m concerned.”

While residents were predictably angered, so were many social media commenters. Since issuing the addendum, City Park Apartments has racked up overwhelming negative reviews on Yelp — where it currently boasts a one-star rating — as well as on An unofficial Facebook page for the complex also shows a 1.1-star rating. Some Facebook and Yelp users are going so far as to call the policy fascist.

A tenant lawyer who spoke to KSL News said the addendum was likely illegal because it potentially discriminated against the elderly, the poor and people who simply choose not to have a Facebook account.

The controversial addendum was intended to “provide some protection to [the apartment complex’s] residents and its owners from usage of photos on its Facebook page from all community events,” the Law Offices of Kirk A. Cullimore, representing City Park Apartments, told The Huffington Post in a statement on Tuesday.

The addendum that appeared on residents’ doors “went beyond” what the complex intended and was not carefully reviewed before its release, the firm stated.

“At no time was any resident in jeopardy of eviction or action from City Park for failure to sign the addendum or ‘friend’ City Park Apartments. City Park has not implemented the addendum nor is it requiring its residents to execute it,” the statement continued.

The complex also sent a letter to tenants on Tuesday to clarify that the addendum “went beyond the original intent,” according to a copy obtained by HuffPost. City Park Community Manager Ana Raphael signed the letter.

“While we openly encourage residents to follow the property Facebook page for announcements and feedback, this is not mandatory and an absence of engagement on Facebook in no way affects any residential lease agreement,” the letter stated.


What is the Value of a Single Lease Renewal?

Whether you operate a shoe shine stand or a multifamily property your business is built on renewals, or re-occurring income from existing customers.  In multifamily, a high percentage renewal rate makes for a much more predictable income stream.

The value of a lease renewal can be quantified.  Granted, while different for each property, the amount is one that has a direct impact on asset value, particularly when multiplied by their effect on year-over-year Net Operating Income.

Lower turnover, higher profitability

Focusing on renewals has significant downstream impact on operations.  Each renewal equals one less turnover (make-ready) making the math pretty easy.  Use the following math to calculate savings from increases in renewals.

  • A) What is the average costs of a single make-ready?
  • B) What is the average costs of gaining one renewal?

Cost of A minus the cost of B equals direct savings from eliminating a single turnover.

Now let’s apply this to a 100 units development that is experiencing 50% turnover versus the same development with 25% turnover.

If the average costs of  each turnover is $650, then fifty turnovers per years cost $32,500.  Reducing turnover from to 25% from 50% saves $16,250.  Thus, expenditures to secure renewals in any amount less than $16,250 generates real savings.

But wait! There’s More!

This is just the initial, easy-to-calculate savings.  The “real” savings comes from the reduction in days vacant.  Each renewal removes turnover expenditures and days vacant for that particular unit.

In our example from above, with turnover reduced to 25% from 50%, assuming that days vacant were 15 days with rents at $900, then the revenue generated from avoiding these days vacate equates to $11,250 (25 units each vacant for two weeks).

Additional costs savings from increases in the renewal rate show up in the form of make-ready overrun cost avoided, the potential necessity of flooring and fixture replacements and appliances.

The next layer of savings comes in the form of management administrative time.  Maybe a little more difficult to quantify, but a costs all the same.  This includes leasing and make-ready oversight, for example.

Consider the impact on value for properties under your control.  What is increase in property value derived from one additional dollar to net income?  Now multiply that times $50,000 or $100,000.


Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Fuquay, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Durham, Chapel Hill, Garner, Wake Forest. Residential rentals Wake County, RTP, RDU. Triangle area rental homes and property management.  Bev Roberts Rentals



Is Homeownership Attracting Less People?

home ribbonFewer people were applying for mortgages last week, and it appears even fewer are able to consider homeownership due to obstacles in putting together down payments.

The latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Nov. 6 found the Market Composite Index had dropped 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and two percent on an unadjusted basis from one week earlier. And while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index squeaked up 0.1 percent from one week earlier, the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased three percent compared with the previous week–although it was 18 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index dropped two percent from the previous week, while the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 59.8 percent of total applications from 59.7 percent the previous week.

The federal loan programs, on the whole, saw little serious movement. The FHA share of total applications increased to 14.1 percent from 13.2 percent the week prior, while the VA share of total applications decreased to 10.9 percent from 11.9 percent and USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.

But for many, the path to homeownership continued to be littered with financial potholes–especially in regard to downpayments. While new data released by Zillow reaffirmed the belief that homeownership is ultimately less expensive than renting, many renters are financially stymied in making the transition away from their current residential situation.

Zillow noted that while the majority of renters in the largest metros were able to set aside approximately 30 percent of their monthly income toward a rental payment–homeowners, on average, set aside 15 percent–trying to save money for a 10 or 20 percent downpayment was still tough.

“It’s not uncommon for a 20 percent downpayment on even a modest home to represent savings of $50,000 or more in some areas,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. “And that number itself is a moving target, rising as home values escalate and harder to achieve as more money goes to landlords and less goes to savings. Using a smaller downpayment is an option, but often comes with the added cost of mortgage insurance. Knowing this, it’s no wonder that many current renters are waiting longer to buy a home and are turning to alternate sources, including friends and family, to help them scrape together a downpayment.”

Zillow’s data determined that rental affordability worsened in 28 of the 35 largest metros over the past year, while mortgage affordability worsened in only 18 metro areas. And while some markets are more affordable than others–a 20 percent down payment on the median home in Cleveland is $25,000–other markets offer higher entry obstacles–the 20 percent down payment on the median home in Boston is $76,220.


8 Ways Real Estate Is Your Smartest Investment

Inflation is defined as, “a general increase in prices and fall in the for-sale-computer-hand-300x300purchasing value of money.” Your money doesn’t go as far – simple. The $30k you made at your job 10 years ago and lived comfortably with barely gets you by now. You can’t control inflation (the Federal Reserve does that) and the government has doubled their debt since 2008. It’s now at $18.3 trillion and grows every day.

The government cannot save you or your family, or ensure your financial freedom. Set your mind right about earning money. More cash = more freedom! Money itself won’t make you happy, but it will give you the ability to provide a better life for yourself and your loved ones. You must invest with income streams that give you positive cash flow, learn to leverage your debt, learn to handle inflation and take control of your physical assets.

Do you currently have commercial real estate assets in your investment portfolio? Are you scared to have your money in the stock market (like I am) but also fed up with almost no return on investment with your money at the bank? Do you instinctively like the idea of being invested in income producing real estate with results you can see?

Here are eight reasons why investing income producing real estate is an excellent choice for protecting and growing your wealth:

1. Positive cash flow.

One of the biggest benefits to income producing real estate investments is that leases generally secure the assets. This provides a regular income stream that is significantly higher than the typical stock dividend yields.

Related: 5 Lessons From Commercial-Real-Estate Financing for Entrepreneurs Seeking Funding

2. Using leverage to multiply asset value.

Another important characteristic of commercial real estate investing is the ability to place debt on the asset, which is several times the original equity. This allows you to buy more assets with less money and significantly multiply asset value and increase equity as the loans are paid down.

3. Low-cost debt leveraged to multiply cash flow.

Placing “positive leverage” on an asset allows for investors to effectively increase positive cash flow from operations by borrowing money at a lower cost than the property pays out. For example, if a property generating a 6 prcent cash-on-cash return were to have debt placed on it at 4 percent, the investors would be paid 6 percent on the equity portion and approximately 2 percent on the money borrowed, thereby leveraging debt.

4. Hedge on inflation.

For each dollar that is created, there is a corresponding liability. Real estate investments have historically shown the highest correlation to inflation when compared to other asset classes, such as the S&P 500, 10-year Treasury notes and corporate bonds.

As countries around the world continue to print money to spur economic growth, it is important to recognize the benefits of owning income producing real estate as a hedge against inflation. Generally speaking, when inflation occurs, the price of real estate, particularly multi-tenant assets that have a high ratio of labor and replacement costs, will also rise.

Related: How This Tech Startup Is Renovating the $12 Trillion Commercial Real-Estate Industry

5. Capitalize on the physical assets.

Income-producing real estate is one of the few investment classes that, as a hard asset, has meaningful value. The property’s land has value, as does the structure itself, and the income it produces has value to future investors. Income producing real estate investments do not have red and green days, as does the stock market.

 6. Maximizing tax benefits.

The US Tax Code benefits real estate owners in a number of ways, including unlimited mortgage interest deductions and depreciation accelerations that can shield a portion of the positive cash flow generated and paid out to investors. At the time of sale, IRS allows investors a 1031 provision, allowing investors to exchange into a like-kind instrument and defer all taxable gains into the future. (See your tax advisor for full explanation.)

7. Asset value appreciation.

Over time, more and more inflation has made it into the economy, drastically reducing purchasing power. However, income producing real estate investments have historically provided excellent appreciation in value that meet and exceed other investment types. Properties historically increase in value as the net operating income of the property improves through rent increases and more effective management of the asset.

8. Feeling the pride of ownership.

The right property in the right location with the right tenants and ownership mindset can produce a tremendous pride of ownership factor that is highest among all asset classes. Homeownership is out of reach for most people. Imagine owning thousands of multi-family housing units instead?

No one can ensure the future of rental of income properties’ values, but this asset class seems positioned to continue to benefit from many other socio-economic issues that I will save for another time.


September Rent Increases Mark New Record High

housing-increase-rate-chart-imageU.S. multifamily rents continue climbing this year with the September increase of $5 marking a new record of $1,167, according to the September edition of Matrix Monthly, a report on apartment market trends from Yardi Matrix released today.

September’s year-over-year increase of 6.8 percent was 30 basis points higher than the previous two months and the highest growth in the post-recession cycle.

In August, average nationwide rents rose $7 to $1,162, an increase of 6.5 percent year over year, according to Yardi Matrix data. That was the same percentage increase for July, when the average U.S. apartment rent rose to $1,155.

Rents have risen every month in 2015 and Paul Fiorilla, associate director of research at Yardi, told Commercial Property Executive he expects the upward trend to continue.

“We’ve had this consistency to the rate increase, which demonstrates the demand is not slowing down,” he said. “The traditional drivers of demand are not going away, so there is no reason to think that this is not going to continue for the next year or so.”

Fiorilla cited strong job growth and in-migration in the top markets as the key drivers in the “rent engine.” Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September report notes that about 60 percent of Yardi’s Top 30 metros have added 3 percent or more to their employment base in the 12 months ending in July.

On the demographic side, he said more multifamily households are being created as Millennials move into apartments and a growing number of Baby Boomers start downsizing and renting rather than owning homes.

Metropolitan areas in the West and Pacific Northwest led the way in September with rents in Portland, Ore., rising 16.3 percent year over year, according to the data collected by the Yardi Matrix business unit. The next top four metro regions, all above 8 percent year over year, were San Francisco, Denver, Sacramento, Calif., and Seattle.

The Southeast region, led by Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa and Miami in Florida, is also showing consistent rent growth, according to the Matrix Monthly report. Those metros were all above the national average of 6.8 percent year over year, according to the Matrix Monthly data. The report also noted that rents in Atlanta, Orlando and Miami all grew by 0.7 percent during a trailing three-month year-over-year period, with Tampa growing at 0.6 percent in the same time frame.

“Southeast metros continue to see above-trend employment growth, led by corporate relocations, increasing back-office staff and robust tourism, with growing populations drawn by the availability of jobs and inexpensive housing,” the report stated.

Areas that are not seeing the same pace of rent growth includes the Midwest and the Northeast with Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C., falling below the long-term average. Houston, grappling with the effects of lower crude oil prices, has seen its year-over-year rent growth fall “to a relatively mediocre 4.9 percent and T-3 growth over the last three months has been almost flat, at 0.1 percent,” according to Matrix Monthly for September.

Matrix Monthly highlights the results of a monthly survey of apartment owners in 108 markets covered by Yardi Matrix. It is used as a business development tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources that underwrite multifamily investment transactions.