All Posts By

Kerry Zeckman

Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid

Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid

By | Property Management Company | No Comments

If you’re renting or buying a home in a community governed by an association, it is important to know the top HOA violations you need to avoid.

Moving to a new home is always an exciting adventure. You find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. You make plans to make it your own, and dream of the future. However, if that neighborhood comes with a Homeowners Agreement, (HOA), there might be some conditions or restrictions that you should know about before you sign on the dotted line.
Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid

Vehicle & Traffic Violations

Speeding or reckless driving, especially in a residential neighborhood, is never a good thing. An HOA may choose to have its own regulations and fines for violations. Typically, HOAs prohibit parking a commercial vehicle, recreational vehicle, or a boat in front of your house. As a result, owners may face the expense of having that vehicle towed.

Yard & Garden Restrictions

Keeping up with weeds can be a full time job, but some HOAs require homeowners to keep gardens weed free. In addition, an HOA may address pruning, mowing, and even the types of plants and trees allowed in the front yard.

Trash & Recycling Requirements

Often there are time limits for trash bins to be visible or on the street. Having the bins out too early or left out too late can result in fines from the HOA. Trash containers should be stored in the garage. So, to avoid unnecessary fines, don’t leave them out in driveways or on the side of the house.

Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid with Your Pets

For everyone’s safety, it is important to walk your dog on a leash and only in the designated areas. It is also essential to clean up after your pet and properly dispose of waste. Some HOAs have restrictions on the size of a pet (usually a dog) that they allow. Invest in training so that your precious pet doesn’t bark and create a noise nuisance that your neighbors will object to. It would be horrible to have to choose between your home and your pet.

Holiday Decor Restrictions

Many associations have restrictions on the timeliness and types of holiday decorations. These usually pertain to flashing lights or music that might annoy neighbors. Leaving decorations up too long also creates problems. Thirty days before and thirty days after is a reasonable time to celebrate a season.

According to the Community Associations Institute, more than 69 million Americans live in community associations. If you are considering renting or buying a home in a neighborhood governed by a community association, be sure to read the fine print. Familiarize yourself with the “CCRs”, the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions laid out in the HOA. If you know the rules, you can abide by them and save yourself the inconvenience of receiving an unpleasant letter or fine.

At Vineyard Property Management, our trained experts can advise and explain the HOA violations you need to avoid at any of our properties. Contact us today for more information.

Tax Advantages of Owning a Rental Property

What Are the Tax Advantages of Owning a Rental Property

By | Property Management Company | No Comments

Do you know about the most popular tax advantages of owning a rental property? As it turns out, being a landlord works in your favor come tax season. Sure, buying a home is a considerable investment. But, if you can make money off of that investment, you’ll see an even bigger return when your taxes are due. Don’t forget to ask your tax advisor about these deductions the next time you file.

Tax Advantages of Owning a Rental PropertyMortgage Interest

If you have a mortgage on your property, you’re paying a hefty amount in interest every month. The good news is that you’ll most likely be able to deduct this amount from your taxes. Why is that? Since you are operating the property as a business, it counts as a business expense. Be sure to save your Form 1098 at the end of the year, so you know how much interest you paid. Your tax advisor will help you claim this deduction on the correct tax line.

Property Depreciation

You can deduct the purchase price of your property from your taxes. Be careful when you do this, however. You can’t claim the entire amount at once. Instead, the value depreciates over 27.5 years. The longer you own the rental property, the more money you’ll get back in return. Even if the market value of your home goes up, the depreciation amount will stay the same.

Repair Deductions

As a landlord, it’s up to you to provide your tenants with a property that is in good condition. To do this, you’ll inevitably need to make a few repairs or upgrades throughout the year. While maintenance costs come out of your pocket, you can deduct these expenses from your taxes. Some common repair expenses include buying new lightbulbs, replacing a broken window, or fixing the stove.

However, you cannot deduct all maintenance costs this easily. Some more substantial expenses, such as replacing the roof, count as a capital improvement. These get depreciated over time. Once again, a tax expert can help you determine which repairs fall under which category.

Administrative Costs

Being a landlord is a business. Whether you do it full-time or not, you can still deduct any administrative costs from your taxes. These may include travel, advertising, or office expenses. If you work from home, you can even claim a home office. Be aware, however, taking the home office deduction may trigger an audit. Always keep receipts and records to validate your expenses. And, make sure to consult with a tax advisor when filing.

Make Sure Your Rental Stays Occupied

Of course, these deductions mean nothing if your property is vacant. That’s why you need to make sure you keep it occupied with reliable tenants. Vineyard Property Management can help you do just that. We offer many property management services, including leasing, accounting, and maintenance. We know how to find and keep trustworthy tenants! If the tax advantages of owning a rental property caught your attention, then connect with us online to quickly fill your rental vacancy.

Tips for Renting a House

4 Tips for Renting a House Through a Property Management Company

By | Property Management Company | No Comments

Tips for Renting a HouseA lot of property owners have considered renting a house through a property management company. However, most hesitate to follow through. It can be overwhelming to try to find the right fit with a company that will manage your rental home and has your best interests in mind. Instead of doing a Google search and picking the first in the results, there’s a better way. A little research will go a long way to a good working relationship and better return on your investment. Take a look at these four tips for renting a house and for using a management company:

Tip #1: Take a Look at Their Experience

Look for a company with experience. You want someone who knows the area and who understands the market. Consider how long they’ve been in business and what types of clients they’ve had. Ask potential candidates for examples of properties similar to yours and their success rate with them. Treat this as if it were an interview and they’re the job candidate. Because they are. Their experience matters.

Tip #2: Consider the Tech They Use

It’s important for property management companies to use technology that makes your tenants’ lives easier and that makes your life easier. They should have online portals for making and receiving payments and the ability to send and receive electronic invoices. It’s a huge benefit if you can log in and see any maintenance requests, billing history, and a record of issues, should there be any. Don’t settle for a company that isn’t willing to bring their business up to speed with the latest technology. It will only become a burden in the long run.

Tip #3: Get Referrals

Sometimes the best place to find the top companies is by talking to people you know. Talk to your friends and see if they have any stories, positive or negative, from working with a property manager. Ask a real estate agent you know or work with; they’re an excellent resource for this type of service. And ask for tenant information so you can talk to them directly for feedback. Get several referrals from different sources to weed out any biased opinions. If you find someone who is happy with a company, ask them what they like about them, what they don’t like, and then get the company or contact info and give them a call.

Tip #4: Look at Their Marketing

One of the best sources of information is their current work. Take a look at their current ads for other house rentals. Does it look professional? Is it appealing and compelling? Do they advertise in multiple locations or do they stick to one platform? Make sure their marketing strategies are in line with your expectations.

Before you hire someone to represent you and take care of your rental property, make sure you do your due diligence. Talk to the professional team at Vineyard Property Management for more tips for renting a house.

rental property inspections

How Rental Property Inspections Eliminate Surprises at Tenant Move Out

By | Property Management Company | No Comments

rental property inspections

You are probably familiar with this scenario: a tenant moves out, and you discover a host of problems with the rental property. There’s a leak that’s clearly been a problem for months. There’s a hole in the wall. And you can see the sure signs of a pet on the carpet, even though it is a pet-free rental.

As a result, it will take you far longer than you expected to get the property ready for the next tenant. It’s a common issue—and one that causes major headaches, hassles, and extra costs for property owners and managers. The good news is you can end these unpleasant surprises with regular inspections of the rental property.

Benefits You Can Expect from Regular Inspections of Your Rental

When you have regular inspections of your property, you’ll be able to catch minor issues before they become costly disasters. For example, finding a leak early is a relatively easy and fast repair. Catching a leak months later and having to deal with water damage and possibly mold is going to cost you a fortune.

What if you don’t have the time to inspect your property on a regular basis? At Vineyard Property Management, you can request two professional inspections of your property each year. It’s a service we offer to our valued property management clients.

We understand that you have enough on your plate, which is why our qualified team will be there to handle all the details—including scheduling the inspection, performing the inspection, and taking care of all subsequent tenant issues and repairs.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Property Investment

You can’t be in all places at all times to make sure your tenants are respecting your property. However, having our team on site is the next best thing. Not only will we provide two property inspections each year inside the tenant’s space, but we will also continually inspect the building to identify any necessary repairs or replacements.

The Vineyard Property Management team cares about your rental property like it’s our own. We help you protect your property investment and keep it in optimal condition to maintain your best tenants and attract new ones.

Get a Free Management Quote for Your Property Today

Would you like to avoid those nightmare surprises when your tenants move out of your rental property? Vineyard Property Management is here to put those unfortunate experiences behind you. You can trust we will make the condition of your rental property our top priority.

We welcome you to take full advantage of the benefits of our professional property management services, including our thorough rental property inspections. Connect with the Vineyard Property Management team online now to request your free rental analysis and management quote.

millenials renting instead of buying

Why Are Millennials Renting Instead of Buying?

By | Renting | No Comments

millenials renting instead of buyingAccording to a new survey from Apartment List, more millennials plan to rent not just in the short-term, but forever. What are the reasons behind this change in housing choice? And, how can you leverage the trend to fill your property with high-quality tenants? Keep reading for the details that can help you grow your rental property ROI in 2021 and beyond.

Rent vs. Buy: Understanding the New Trend for Millennials

Housing prices continue to climb steadily, and the twenty-something crowd desires flexible housing options. That’s why more and more millennials are turning to rentals instead of home purchases. Affordability is the primary reason. While some in this age group may eventually purchase a home, many say they plan to rent indefinitely.

The biggest obstacle to home ownership is the costly down payment. Financial burdens like student loans, high living costs, and other economic struggles make purchasing a home more complicated than it was for previous generations.
Still, other Millennials aren’t interested in purchasing a home at all. They prefer the flexibility of renting. There are fewer maintenance expenses associated with rentals and less overall responsibility. This makes renting appealing to busy people who are trying to establish careers and begin families.

Choosing Life in the Suburbs Instead of in Metro Atlanta

Another trend relevant to local property owners is the fact that people are moving out of Atlanta and into the suburbs. As people learn to live the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, they find suburban life more appealing. Less crowding makes it easier to enjoy life while adhering to social distancing guidelines. According to the Washington Post, COVID-19 has been a catalyst for people from all generations, especially Millennials, to move out of metropolitan areas.

The perks of city life are  waning due to business closures and social distancing. People believe they can experience a better quality of life in the suburbs. Other contributing factors include a lower cost of living and better public schools.

How to Leverage the Trends for Your Alpharetta Rental Property

Now is the time to make sure you reach all of the best potential tenants seeking optimal renting opportunities in Alpharetta and surrounding communities. At Vineyard Property Management, we have the streamlined solutions in place to help you find the cream of the crop to fill your properties. Our in-depth screening and vetting process enables you to attract and maintain the right renters for your property, reducing your risk and maximizing your profit.

Connect with us now to get a free rental analysis and property management quote for your Alpharetta property rental. Our experts are here to give you peace of mind and a more secure investment by connecting you with Millennials renting instead of buying as well as other ideal tenants.