Top 4 Reasons Why Detailed Move-In Inspections Are Essential

Why Move-In Inspections Are Essential For Your Rental Property

Any time you place a new tenant into your Bel Air rental property, you must conduct a thorough move-in inspection – even if you think that your rental is in tip-top shape.

But you and your property management company tirelessly prepared your rental for new tenants, made sure that everything was clean, in good working order, and was visually appealing – that’s enough, right?

Wrong.

In an effort to protect both you and your tenants, as well as the investment property itself, a move-in inspection documenting the original condition of the rental at the time your tenants move in is absolutely necessary, despite how “perfect” the condition of the rental may seem.

To learn more about what a move-in inspection is, and why they are the key to starting a satisfying your renters (as well as one of the best ways to protect your rental property business), keep reading.

 

What is a Move-In Inspection?

Before physically moving into your Bel Air rental property, your tenants, alongside you and your property manager, must take part in what is called a move-in inspection.

Move-in inspections are designed to document, in both writing and visual proof such as photographs or video, the original condition of your rental property at the time your tenants move in.

This way, any existing damages will not become the responsibility of your tenants come the end of their lease term.

In addition, any new damages that do appear at the end of the lease term can be attributed to your tenants, should the damages extend beyond that of normal wear and tear.

The most important part of the move-in inspection is the signature section, where both the landlord and tenants sign in agreement to the original state of the property at the time the tenant takes possession.

 

4 Reasons Why the Move-In Inspection is Important

According to Maryland law, the move-in inspection should be performed with both the property owner and tenants present. This way any damages found in the property at the time the tenant takes possession are seen and agreed to by both parties.

There are very specific reasons why you and your property manager should conduct move-in inspections every time a new tenant moves in.

Let’s take a look.

 

1. Easily Recover Repair Costs

Move-In Inspections Easily Recover Repair Costs Of Your Rental Property

Your Bel Air property management company is going to recommend you collect a security deposit from your new tenants at the start of their lease term.

This is to cover any costs associated with damages to the property, an early lease termination, and any unpaid rent on the part of your tenants.

However, in order to use your tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of damages that go beyond normal wear and tear, you will need to have proof those damages didn’t exist at the time your tenants moved in.

This is where a detailed move-in inspection checklist comes into play.

If you and your tenants sign a document agreeing to the original state of the property at the beginning of the lease term, and the property looks very different from that original state at the end of the lease term, you now have legal proof that you can collect from your tenant’s security deposit to make necessary repairs.

 

2. Maryland Law Requires It

Every landlord needs to follow all federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws when it comes to disclosing specific information to tenants at the time they move in.

These disclosures either need to appear in the lease agreement itself, or be attached to the lease agreement as a separate document. Either way, the original state of the property must be revealed to those moving in.

One of the most important things to disclose to your Maryland tenants, which may end up on your move-in inspection checklist, is the certification that your property is free of any lead paint hazards.

According to Maryland’s Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law, all properties built before 1978 must be registered as having potential lead paint hazards. In addition, landlords must distribute educational materials regarding lead paint hazards, and meet specific inspection requirements that certify the property is safe for living.

As a rental property owner, it is your legal duty to include this information in the move-in inspection so that your tenants are fully aware of what type of rental property they are about to reside in.

This not only protects them from the hazards of lead paint (since your property must be certified as safe to live in), it also protects you from a lawsuit at the end of the lease term should your tenant make the claim you failed to disclose this information to them.

Make sure that you and your Bel Air property management keep your rental property updated with its lead paint certifications. At any time, your tenants may request a copy of your most recent passing lead paint risk reduction inspection certificate that is on file with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

If you do not have this on file, you may find yourself in some legal trouble that you and your property manager may not be able to get out of without paying a hefty amount of fees and fines.

3. It Holds Parties Responsible

Move-In Inspection Holds Parties Responsible In Your Rental Property

Move-in inspections are designed to hold all parties – the landlord, property manager, and tenants – responsible for the condition of the rental property at the time of move in, during the lease term, and at the end when the tenant moves out.

By having your tenants sign the move-in inspection, you set a very clear message that you expect them to care for your property in a certain way, and that if they fail to do so, they will be held accountable.

On the other hand, the move-in inspection, as well as the lease agreement, holds you responsible for detailing the damages at the end of the lease term as an itemized list of security deposit deductions. This ensures that you do not wrongfully take your tenant’s security deposits to fix things in the property that are considered normal wear and tear items.

 

4. It Protects Your Property, Business, and Bottom Line

Here are some of the biggest complications that can arise from not conducting a move-in inspection of your rental property before the tenant moves in:

  • If you wait until after your tenant has moved in to ask them to complete a move-in inspection, you may have trouble compelling them to finish it properly
  • Once a tenant starts to move-in, the original condition of the property has become altered, perhaps even damaged, with no proof of when the damage occurred
  • If you let your tenant complete the inspection without you or your property manager, you run the risk of additional things being added to the list that are not there
  • Simply failing to complete a move-in inspection altogether (or failing to have the tenant sign the inspection) makes collecting the security deposit for repairs nearly impossible

 

These are just some of the scenarios you face if you don’t have a detailed move-in inspection process in place when new tenants move into your rental.

 

In Closing

If you own an investment property in the Bel Air region, and want help ensuring that all parties are fully protected from the start of any tenancy, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

We can help draft legally compliant lease agreements addressing the issue of both move-in and move-out inspections and security deposits, set up time to thoroughly inspect your rental with both you and your tenants at the start of the lease term, and make sure your property is well cared for throughout the tenancy.

And, in the case excessive damage has been incurred during the lease term, we make sure you collect on your tenant’s security deposit to make proper repairs, so that the next tenants that move in have a pristine rental to call home.


Why Landlords Shouldn’t Try to Manage Their Own Properties

Managing Your Own Rental Properties Takes a Great Deal of Organization and Multi-Tasking

Deciding to start your own Montgomery County rental property business is an exciting time. There is so much that goes into investing in your first property, placing your first tenants, and of course, managing your first rental property.

And, if you choose the hands-on approach and decide to manage your own property, you get to take the front line and have an active role in all things management and maintenance when it comes to your rental home.

 

There are plenty of benefits to managing your own property:

  • You have direct control over everything that takes place in your rental
  • You are in constant contact with your tenants
  • You may save a little cash avoiding property management fees

 

However, there are many more benefits to handing over the large responsibility of managing your Maryland rental property to a highly qualified property management company such as Bay Management Group. In fact, you can even be a seasoned property owner and reap the benefits of a property management company caring for your investment properties.

 

Today we will explore the reasons why you should not attempt to manage your own Montgomery County investment property and how handing the reigns over to the experts will save you time, money, and plenty of headaches.

 

The Downsides to Managing Your Properties

The prospect of hiring a property management company to manage your investment properties can be a daunting one. Though it can be appealing to think of someone handling the day-to-day administration of your rental property business, it is not always easy to hand over something as important as managing your rental property.

 

However, with a little due diligence and a lot of research, you will find that employing a quality property management company is typically the best choice. In fact, here are some convincing reasons why you should not consider managing your own Montgomery County rental properties.

 

You Do Not Have the Right Expertise

If You Lack the Expertise, Managing Your Own Rental Properties Will Be Very Difficult, Maybe Impossible

If you want to get into investing in real estate but have no experience in the field of property management, it is wise to leave that up to the professionals. Learning as you go can be highly ineffective and end up costing you a great deal of time and money in the long run. By attempting to manage your own properties you run the risk of:

  • Hiring the wrong vendors to make repairs, which can become costly and time-consuming
  • Using ineffective advertisement that can lead to longer vacancies
  • Violating Fair Housing laws or becoming a victim of alleged discrimination that can land you in court
  • Improperly screening tenants, which makes for trouble tenants
  • Implementing poor rent collection policies that can dig into your bottom line

The truth is, if you have no experience in managing a rental property, you should not start doing so with your own costly investment property.

 

Managing over 1000 units in the Baltimore-Washington D.C area, Bay Management Group has years of in-depth property management experience. Less than 1% of all placed tenants are evicted under the management of BMG. This is because of their strict tenant screening and placement procedures. Plus, being broker-owned and locally operated, Bay Management Group is educated in all things property management and is actively involved with all of their properties.

 

Your Portfolio is Growing

With a Growing Portfolio of Investment Properties, It Will Become Harder to Manage Them On Your Own

As your portfolio of Montgomery County properties increases, so do your responsibilities. Since many people get into the rental property business to make passive income to fund vacations, pay off debt, and even replace their corporate income, they tend to want to increase the amount of properties they own and make them available for lease.

The problem is, the more properties you own, the more tenants, administrative duties, and problems you encounter. Owning multiple properties will never yield a true “passive” income if you choose to manage the properties on your own. Your time commitment will increase significantly the more properties you have and you will end up sacrificing many of the following:

  • Your job. If you are a full-time employee seeking to build a strong rental property business, balancing both by managing your own properties is going to take some serious luck. Either your career or properties will begin to suffer over time, possibly leading to the downfall of one or the other.
  • Your family. If you have a lot of extended family you spend time with or small children at home, managing your own properties is destined to cut into family time. Late night maintenance emergencies, long days at the office dealing with paperwork and tenant placement, and day-to-day communications with tenants can eat into family time.
  • Your social life. Just like your family time, any type of social life you have will likely be interrupted if managing your own properties. Your tenants deserve the best treatment and managing your own properties cannot be performed at your convenience. This means being prepared to bolt out the door at any moment to take care of something property-related.
  • Your free time. Many adults crave the elusive “me time” that seems to dwindle as families grow, careers boom, and life happens. If you are on-call to manage your Maryland properties, you may find what little bit of free time you have for yourself again being taken away due to plumbing issues, non-payment of rent, and property showings, just to name a few.

 

Enlisting the help of a property management group that is on call 24/7 will diminish this loss of time, leaving you room to build a bigger career, enjoy family holidays, get social with your friends, and even enjoy that book you have been trying to find time to read. Plus, you will reap the rewards Montgomery County properties bring in, all with very little effort on your part.

 

Your Personality Does Not Click With Others

Customer service is a major component that property management companies focus on in order to gain customers and retain tenants. If you are not the type of person that wants to deal with the headaches that come with evictions, complaints, and maintenance requests, you should not manage your own rental properties.

Property managers, like the ones at Bay Management Group, are well-versed in how to deal with even the toughest of tenants. They understand the landlord-tenant laws, can buffer any issues your tenant has with your property, and pride themselves in being able to diffuse any complaints or issues that arise.

 

For Those That Need More Convincing

If you are still not convinced that employing a property management company is the right decision for you, check out these other reasons why managing you own properties may not be your best option:

  • The location of your properties span far and wide, requiring extensive travel commitments
  • The condition of your property is not pristine, which means repair requests may be regular and often-occurring
  • You are unsure how to add extra curb appeal to your properties to attract high-quality tenants
  • You don’t know how to draft legally-compliant lease agreements with the provisions you want

 

Altogether, hiring a property management company such as Bay Management Group to manage your Montgomery County rental properties far outweighs the benefits that come with managing properties on your own. With the lowest monthly management rate in the region, a 12-month tenant warranty in place, and a support staff of over 20 people, you can rest assured you will save money and your property will be well-cared for with Bay Management Group.

 

In addition, services such as tenant screening, vacancy advertisement, lease drafting, an on-the-clock maintenance staff, and in-depth knowledge of the Montgomery County market are what Bay Management Group provides their property owners. Contact us now and see how Bay Management Group can help take a load off your plate and give you the peace of mind you’re looking for with your rental property investment.


Property Management vs Rental Property Maintenance

Property-Management-VS-Rental-Property-Maintenance

Owning rental property in the Baltimore County area is not without challenges and complications.  That is why many landlords choose to hire a property management company to handle such tasks as finding quality tenants, collecting rent, and scheduling routine maintenance and repairs.

But what exactly do we mean when we talk about “property management”?  

It is more than cleaning, responding to maintenance calls, collecting rent, and managing tenants.  Property management can typically be divided into two separate entities—property management and rental property maintenance.  These entities, though different, work together to efficiently and effectively manage your property.

It is important to know exactly what to expect when you hire a property management company to manage your investment.  Today, we will examine the key differences between property management and rental property maintenance of your Towson rental home.

Property-Management-in-Baltimore

What is Property Management?

Property management companies manage your rental property.  They operate, control, and oversee your investment in numerous ways.  These tasks, when done properly, add vitality to your rental property and facilitate positive cash flow each year.

Let’s take a look at the primary responsibilities of a property management company:

Tenant Screening

Finding great tenants is crucial to being a successful landlord.  This is why hiring a good property management company to screen potential tenants for your valuable Essex rental home is so important.

There is a lot that goes into finding the perfect tenant for your Dundalk property.  Background checks should be performed for all potential tenants.  You should screen for prior evictions, liens, bankruptcies, criminal history, and credit worthiness.  You should also follow all federal, state, and local laws regarding tenant screening.

Lease Agreement Drafting

A legally compliant lease agreement should outline all of the important things a prospective tenant should be aware of.  This is where a property management company is especially helpful.  Understanding all landlord-tenant laws and the importance of a thorough lease agreement, your property management company will be able to take care of everything effortlessly.

Rent Collection

It is vital to your bottom line be able to collect and distribute rent payments on time each month. A hired property management company will be able to efficiently collect rent from your tenants and get the payments back to you quickly.

Collecting late rent payments is the responsibility of your property management company as well.  A quality property management company will also be responsible for starting the eviction process, handling lawsuits, and defending you as a landlord.

Property management companies are also responsible for many of the administrative tasks involved in the management of a rental home in the Parkville area of Baltimore.

Here are a few other important things that to look for in a good property management company:

  • Rental property registrations
  • Monthly and yearly financial statements
  • Routine inspections
  • Move in and move out reports
  • Low management fees
  • Advertisement of vacant rental properties

Rental-property-maintenance-in-Baltimore

What About Rental Property Maintenance?

Though they seem like one and the same, property management and rental property maintenance are actually two separate entities.

When you own a rental property, even in the mature and wealthy area of Pikesville, you will eventually have to deal with maintenance issues on your property.  And while property management companies are responsible for facilitating maintenance requests, that is typically where their responsibility ends.

Most property management companies have their own separate maintenance group.  These  licensed contractors are equipped to handle routine rental home upkeep, emergency repairs, and major damage that can result from accidents or an irresponsible tenant.

Tasks handled by rental property maintenance staff include:

  • Lawn and yard maintenance
  • Plumbing
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Painting
  • Electrical work
  • Locksmith issues
  • Common area upkeep
  • Flooding emergencies

A responsible property management company will have a maintenance crew on hand 24/7 should your tenants encounter any issues— big or small.

In addition to the maintenance staff a property management company contacts when an issue of maintenance or repair pops up in one of your Catonsville property investments, your property management company should have relationships with professional licensed vendors that can handle  being tasked with the difficult problems that are beyond the scope of expertise of most general maintenance workers.

It is the responsibility of  the property management company to contact and schedule the repairs. From there the maintenance staff is responsible for resolving the issue, invoicing the landlord or tenant—according to the lease agreement—and taking care of any concerns that may arise during the course of work.

Rental-property-maintenance-and-management-in-Baltimore

So, Aren’t They Really One and the Same?

It may seem that property management companies and rental property maintenance staff are actually one and the same—and some are.  The problem is, not all property management groups provide their customers a rental property maintenance staff.  This means that as a landlord all administrative tasks related to your property will be handled but the maintenance issues will be your responsibility.

Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of a hiring a property management company?

This is why it is so important to research your property management company beforehand and compile a list of questions to ask each company you are considering prior to bringing them in for an interview.

Property-management-in-Baltimore

Bay Management Group

Luckily for you, if you own a rental property in the Owings Mills or the surrounding Baltimore areas you have access to one of Maryland’s premier property management companies, Bay Management Group.

Not only does Bay Management Group thoroughly handle all property management tasks related to your rental property, they have an experienced, licensed maintenance staff and vendors on hand to resolve any maintenance issues you or your tenants might encounter.

Bay Management Group is dedicated to the job of property management, and they take pride in a job well done.  Bay Management Group is the ideal property management company for you and your Baltimore County rental property.

 

Final Thoughts

Whether you are new to the rental property business, or you have multiple properties, it is important to understand the benefits of hiring a reputable property management company.  Take time to make sure that you and your property management company are in agreement about the tasks outlined in the contract as well as monthly management fees.

If you’re in need of a full-service property management company in Baltimore County, give Bay Management Group a call.  Their knowledgeable and friendly staff is here to answer all of your questions and I bet by the end of the conversation, you will be convinced they are the right choice for your property management needs.

 

 


4 Benefits of Property Management for Owners and Tenants

Taking Advantage of Property Management Services in Maryland

benefits-property-management-montgomery-county-md

Trying to decide whether you should work with a property management company or handle the properties on your own?

Many Maryland investment property owners are unsure which management method would work best for their situation.

Whether you have rental properties in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, or even around Baltimore, there are a number of factors landlords need to assess to know which style of management would work best for them, including:

  • How many properties are you currently trying to manage?
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to those properties?
  • Do you have efficient and reliable maintenance resources in place when problems arise?

While hiring a professional property management company is an investment, having the right company in place will end up paying for itself by saving you time, money, and stress.

And there are a number of additional benefits, including various long-term advantages, that Maryland landlords should consider when deciding if professional property management is best for their investment properties.

 

  1. Higher Quality Relationships

Working with a property management group is an excellent way to ensure all tenant interactions remain professional. Rent collection doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable.

A property management company will ensure that rent is collected on time and prevents any tenants from trying to talk their way into a reduced rate or delayed payment.

Tenants and landlords alike can feel secure knowing that fair and consistent service is being offered across the board to all renters.

This advantage also manifests in the following ways:

The Benefit for Owners

The worst-case scenarios associated with renting a property are far less likely when working with professional property management.

These businesses have access to a greater pool of clients, contractors, and legal consultants than most individuals can hope to attain on their own. That means these resources are also available to the homeowner.

Cooperating with tenants and meeting their needs is easier than ever before.

The Benefit for Tenants

Knowing an entire team of professionals is standing by is one way to remove the stress of renting. If a lessee needs to make a midnight call for a burst pipe, he or she will never have to worry about waking and upsetting a landlord, or the possibility that the party responsible for the repair is out of town.

From College Park to Cockeysville, our 24/7 Emergency Service ensures the problem will be attended to and fixed promptly.

 

  1. Improved Business

montgomery-county-property-management-improves-tenant-landlord-relationships-and-revenue

Better relationships mean better business.

With less to worry about, property owners can pursue other opportunities and sleep easy knowing their investments are protected by a quality management service.

Tenants can also have peace of mind knowing that any issues affecting their safety or well-being will be handled immediately.

With higher quality relationships and improved business, tenants and owners also enjoy:

The Benefit for Owners

Working with a property management service means higher quality tenants and improved business. With their large networks and advertising resources, property management companies can help homeowners attract and identify quality tenants. Once these renters have signed on, management teams work to keep them happy, increasing the likelihood that they will become long-term tenants.

The Benefit for Tenants

One of the biggest perks of renting is not having to take care of costly repairs on your own. These expenses can significantly cut into a personal budget, not to mention the potential earnings missed when you factor in lost business hours or time spent tracking down reliable contractors.

With a reputable property management team they can rely on, tenants can rest assured that their concerns are a priority and will be addressed immediately.

 

  1. Bridging the Legal Gap

Legal issues are one of the biggest pitfalls for many Maryland landlords, but a quality property management company will handle all legal matters.

In fact, this is one of the greatest advantages of partnering with a management team.

The Benefit for Owners

Landlords take a big risk when renting on their own. Great care must be taken to draft a proper lease, accounting for everything from pets to restricted items and landscaping responsibilities.

Additionally, throughout the screening process, a self-managing property owner could face discrimination charges or be hit with a claim related to leasing disclosure laws. Overlooking or misunderstanding what may seem like a minor detail can create major issues and have long-lasting effects.

Luckily, property management services exist to address these very concerns.

Inspections, licenses, permits, rent collections, charging and reconciling fees, among other things, are taken off a homeowner’s plate when working with a team of property management experts.

While these services take preventive actions to make sure all the paperwork is filed correctly, they are also prepared to handle any issues that may surface. Attorney’s fees and the process of evicting a trouble occupant can add up quickly. This is often a difficult and confusing process to go through alone, especially if you have no previous experience in these issues.

The Benefit for Tenants

Whether your properties are in Howard, Anne Arundel, or even Prince George’s County, property management companies give tenants the assurance that their concerns are a priority and they have a reliable resource available 24/7 to address any problems which may arise.

And if a tenant ever wishes to make changes to a lease, such as extending it, signing it over to a new party, or reassessing pet agreements, the process is streamlined thanks to our experienced management team.

 

  1. Lower Your Blood Pressure

A positive, stress-free experience is the ultimate benefit of relying on a property management company. By screening tenants, making timely repairs, and resolving all legal matters, a quality property management company will ensure long-term satisfaction for both landlords and tenants.

 

bay-management-montgomery-county-md-property-management-logo

From Prince George’s County to northern Baltimore County, Bay Management Group is one of the top property management companies in Maryland. We offer benefits and accessibility that landlords need and many local competitors struggle to match – including 24/7 responsiveness and one of the lowest management fees in the state.

From our round-the-clock responsiveness for tenant or owner concerns to a number of legal services, Bay Management Group has the resources you need to attract and retain quality tenants, all with minimal involvement required from property owners.

Contact us today to learn more about the hassle-free property management solutions we provide to the Baltimore-Washington metro area and discover how landlords and tenants can find a match made in heaven.

 

Your Turn: Have you worked with a property manager, either as a tenant or landlord? What are some of the benefits and disadvantages you came across?

 


Tracking Rental Property Income and Expenses

6 Financial Considerations for Baltimore Property Managementbaltimore-rental-property-income

The key to receiving a return on your investment property is accurately recording income and expenses.

From reporting incoming rental funds to calculating total expenses, the entire process can quickly become overwhelming for busy investment owners and/or those with multiple rental properties throughout the Baltimore area.

With an understanding of what needs to be tracked and recorded, however, you can ensure you receive the optimal ROI for each property you own.

 

Income Sources and Expenses to Track

Understanding the net operating income (NOI) equation is important for any property investor. Without a firm grasp of this concept, you’ll find yourself making mistakes and missing out on potential profits.

The formula is simple enough: your net operating income is equal to your gross operating income minus operating expenses. But each of these variables has multiple inputs and expenses tied to it.

Your gross operating income is determined by taking your potential rental income, subtracting vacancy and credit losses, and adding other income.

If you are not currently working with a property management team, your operating expenses in Baltimore may include the following:

  • Advertising and marketing. This is the total amount you spend on Internet marketing, paid advertisements, signage throughout Baltimore, listing fees, and more.
  • Auto and travel. This refers to how much money you spend on traveling to and from your various properties for routine maintenance and inspections or to show the property to potential tenants.
  • Cleaning and maintenance. Whether it’s as simple as having the floors scrubbed and countertops wiped off or as time intensive as laying new flooring and installing new appliances, there are always cleaning and maintenance expenses incurred prior to welcoming a new tenant.
  • Legal fees. 78463454-001A lease isn’t anything to cut corners on. A high quality, accurate lease that protects your interests requires the attention of an experienced attorney.
  • Utilities and taxes. Unless your tenant pays for all utilities and taxes, you will incur some of these expenses. They should be accounted for.
  • Insurance. Rental property insurance is often overlooked by many landlords, but is crucial to protecting yourself and your property.

 

Other Expenses

It’s also worth noting that there are some additional expenses that are not figured into the NOI equation. These include debt service, depreciation, income taxes, tenant improvements, capital expenditures, and more.

 

Your Easy Button: Baltimore Property Management

Thankfully, as an investor, you don’t have to worry about all the finer details that go into turning a profit on a rental investment. By hiring a local Baltimore property management company, you can focus on the big picture while letting somebody else take care of the particulars.

From screening tenants, facilitating maintenance and repairs, and setting rental rates, to handing contracts and tracking expenses, a property management company can save you lots of time.

 

Bay Management Group

bay-management-maryland-logo-2
At the Bay Management Group, we offer premier property management services in Baltimore.

Whether you have a large portfolio or a single property, we can help you by relieving the burden of tracking expenses and handling tenants. It is always our goal to reduce your expenses and increase your net operating income.

For more information, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss our services in further detail.

 


Top 4 Benefits of Owning an Investment Property in Howard County, MD

bay-management-howard-county-property-management-benefitsAre you considering purchasing a rental property in Howard County this year?

It could be one of the best financial moves you make.

Income potential is on the rise in Maryland and when you work with the right property management company, you’ll find that your rental property can be a stress-free investment.

There are several prime factors that make today an excellent time to consider buying an investment property in Howard County, MD.

 

  1. Demand Is High

Despite continued low mortgage interest rates, fewer people are able to buy homes these days. People who in other economic times might become first-time homeowners often are unable to come up with the 20 percent down payment they’ll need to purchase a property. Stagnant wages and increasing costs in Maryland have made it harder than ever for them to save for that purchase.

This means more people are renting today—and it shows in the demand. REIS, a real estate research firm, reports that nationwide vacancy rates for rental properties fell to only 4 percent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 4.2 percent in the last quarter of 2013. Although 2013 and 2014 statistics are not available for Maryland, figures for the state from 2007 to 2012 show a similar trend in decreasing vacancy rates, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Since the economy is still sputtering and showing only erratic signs of growth, these trends are likely to continue. If you buy the right rental property in the right areas of Howard County, you are likely to have potential renters knocking at your door almost immediately. If you choose the right company for property management, you’ll keep quality tenants (and rents) coming in.

 

  1. Mortgage Rates Are Still Low

Although the cost of borrowing money has risen slightly since 2012, mortgage rates remain low in Maryland. The real estate website Zillow lists the average market rate for Maryland mortgages at below 4 percent at the beginning of the second quarter of 2014. But with the Federal Reserve poised to reduce its purchase of bonds, no one knows exactly what the impact on interest rates will be. That means now is a good time to act.

 

  1. The Value of Residential Properties Is Likely to Continue to Rise

investment-property-howard-county-marylandZillow reports that the median home value in Maryland has risen by 4 percent over the past year; it also expects a rise in value over the next 12 months, although that will be a smaller increase.

Housing prices do decline (as we all learned during the recession) but for the most part they have increased over time. The average price of a Maryland home rose 7 percent from January 2013 to January 2014—where else can you get that kind of return on investment these days?

 

  1. Owning an Investment Property Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Being a landlord can be a time-consuming process. When you go it alone, you have to handle everything from routine maintenance (painting, landscaping, cleaning common areas, etc.) to collecting rents to emergency repairs. (Try finding a new refrigerator for a customer on New Year’s Eve, or listening to renters’ complaints when it’s a sweltering 95 degrees in August and the air conditioning goes out.)

That’s where property management companies, like Bay Management Group, come into play. A good property management company will reduce the difficulties of owning a rental in Howard County, starting with ensuring that your property is in compliance with local codes and laws and finding tenants who will respect your property and pay their rent promptly.

A reliable property manager will also keep up with the regular and long-term maintenance so that your property keeps its value over time. You get all of the benefits of investment property without the hassles.

If you have been thinking about investing in a rental property in Howard County, now is a great time to take advantage of all of the benefits that such a move would offer. From Columbia to Ellicott City and beyond, our experts have you covered!

Contact the property management professionals of Bay Management Group today to ease the burden of day-to-day management and maintenance related to investment properties. Then get ready to enjoy a steady stream of passive income.