Online Payment Option: The Way To Go

These days almost all large retail companies have online payment processing. Unfortunately smaller businesses, such as those which multiple investment properties do not often use this method. Why? Many feel that offering the online feature costs too much money. If fact, it doesn’t cost as much as you might think.  

Some people feel that it is too complicated, but it actual pretty simple. Many companies that offer the service make it as easy as possible to transition your business to online payments and often include online tutorials as well as customer service via phone to walk you through any issues.

There are many good reasons why having an online payment option is the way to go. If you have multiple properties, online payments are a great way to keep track of who paid what and when. If a tenant drops a check in the mail, on different days of the month or simply hands you payment different days of the month it can get confusing. If you didn’t write it down in your ledger right away or enter it into your data entry form, then you may forget and things become complicated. If you allow online payments, you can check who paid, what they paid, when they paid and also keep a running list of it all at your fingertips. Another great thing about online payment is that the payment will not go through without available funds. How many times has a check from a tenant bounced? Online processing will eliminate that altogether.

Often you can see patterns. If someone is constantly late you can address the issue with warnings or late fees and have the online payments as proof. With a check or cash there is no way of knowing for sure when they exactly paid. Even if they write the date on the check, that is no sign they gave it to you on that date. Another issue with checks, corporate checks especially, is that companies often only process checks once a month and can delay the payment to you even more. Having the option to pay online could potentially help eliminate this as well. 

We hope these tips have given you a little food for thought regarding online payment options for your business or real estate investments.

Effective Tips for Screening Tenants

The secret of succeeding in the real estate business lies in proper screening of all prospecting renters. It does not matter how honest a person seems to be. Before you let him or her move into your premises, you must subject them to a thorough tenant screening. Such vetting will ensure that you end up with high-quality and well-paying tenants, who will co-exist peacefully with other residents, and also take good care of your property. So how can you go about such a process? Here are practical steps to do it.

8 Tips for Screening Tenants

Define your ideal tenant

Naturally, as the owner, you will have a preference of the type of residents you want on the property. To be a great landlord, you need to take the time to clarify what qualities an ideal tenant must possess. For instance, they should; earn three times more than the rent amount, have a stable job, have no criminal background, and have above reproach landlord referrals. Such a description equips you with the perfect yardstick against which to assess the applicants.

Include your ideal tenant description in your listing

Contrary to what most landlords believe, effective tenant screening starts way before the application process. It should commence when you are crafting the vacancy advertisement or listing. As part of the message, you could include a brief description of the type of renter you want. By including a description, you deter prospects who do not fit the description from wasting your time. Besides, it increases the likelihood and speed of attracting suitable tenants.

Set up a formal application process

Even though stating in the listing what qualities you are searching for is critical, you further need to ask every interested candidate to fill out an application form. The document will help you to obtain valuable information such as the applicant’s legal names, social security number, driver’s license, ID or passport details, credit scores, as well as employment, tenancy, and criminal history. Through the form, you should also get the applicant’s permission to run background and credit checks, and even talk to his or her employer, landlords, and neighbors.

Conduct Credit and Background Checks

Most first-time owners make the mistake of trusting the information that tenants put on their application form. That is not advisable since renters tend to hide any information that might jeopardize their chances of getting the house. Hence, you need to take the investigation a notch higher by running a credit and background check. The credit check will reveal an applicant’s employment background, credit worthiness, rental history, and whether the person can indeed afford the rent. The background searches, on the other hand, helps to unveil a person’s identity, past, and criminal record. As a result, you will be in a position to make an educated choice.

Compare the Background and credit check findings with the candidate’s Application details

After conducting the investigations, you must compare what you find with the information that the applicant gave on the application. Such a move will help weed out those candidates who tried to hide incriminating info. After all, quality tenants will provide honest information, irrespective of whether it will negatively impact their application or not. If you discern any discrepancies between the two, it is best to disqualify such an applicant and save yourself from countless headaches once the tenant occupies the property.

Scrutinize the best applicants

Logically, after comparing the application details to the checks findings, your list of tenants will narrow down. You should then create time and talk to the candidate’s current and previous landlords, employer, and neighbors. It will help to ascertain whether an applicant was a good tenant who pays rent on time, can afford the rent, takes good care of the property, and gets along well with neighbors.

Interview the successful applicants

For you to identify the ideal tenants out of the successful ones, you should have a personal interaction with them. A practical and convenient approach is to interview those prospects over the phone to know them better. From such an interaction, you can determine whether you feel comfortable having such a person as a tenant.

Show them the rental agreement terms

The last and final stage of tenant screening should be to take the qualifying applicant through your lease contract terms. If he or she cannot abide by them or has reservations about them, then you are better off disqualifying such a candidate. Only settle for the one who agrees to your rental agreement terms.

Conclusion

While there is no such thing as a perfect tenant, such a screening process can significantly increase your chances of getting the best occupants for your property. Just make sure you do not break any of the Fair Housing regulations.

Spring Cleaning Doesn’t just Mean House Cleaning

Many homeowners are not aware of tax exemptions that may be owed to them. Particularly if they have recently purchased a home. Some thing s that can be included are energy efficient appliances, heaters, air conditioners, solar panels, and more. Fell free to give us a call.

March is a good time to change your water and air filters. It also helps to write the date of install on a disposable filter so you can easily remember when they need to be changed. It is also the perfect time to vacuum all your heat vents. Dust tends to accumulate on them without much notice. An ounce of a prevention can save you a bundle.

March is also a great time to have properly charged and working fire extinguishers in your home. Good places to keep them are kitchen, garage, near a fireplace or near your furnace. Most people don’t think they need them until they actually do and in a lot of cases there are none to be found or not found easily using costly damage that may have been able to be avoided.

Now is a great time to declutter your home. Pesky little critters like spiders like cardboard boxes and dark places. Replace any cardboard boxes with sealable plastic bins and label them properly for easy access. This also helps to keep your valuables safe from moisture as well as critters.

Cleaning your range hood filters and fan blades now will help you to remember to do it on a running cycle. This will help keep your home free of dust allergens and potential fire causing grease. Looking for a forever home? Visit us @ HNDRealty.com

Why Should You Hire A Property Management Company?

 Tip 1: Today owning real estate investments also come with a lot of responsibility. Making sure the investment stays an investment and not a liability can be a full time task that not many who are investors can take the time to fine tune the day to day. Hiring a property management company can be the quickest, and most cost effective way to ensure your investment is protected.

Here at HND Property Management we can ensure high quality tenants with a better retention of rental agreements. We can screen potential tenants to rent to people who will pay their rent longer, on time and are reliable. Call us today for more reasons to hire a Property Management Company 615-297-7711

301 Criddle St.

ah1608312-1010This gorgeous condominium is located at 301 Criddle Street #202 in downtown Nashville. The prime location of this home is unparalleled. At the corner of 3rd and Harrison, it sits within walking distance of the Broadway district, a thriving farmer’s market and the Bicentennial Mall, a state park located within the heart of downtown. Surrounded by restaurants, shopping and close to Germantown, the location of this condo cannot be matched.

 

ah1608312-1011The 1,555 square foot space has one bedroom and one and a half baths, with an office that could easily serve as a second bedroom. With upgrades like a wet bar and gas fireplace, the condo’s features and location make it a great for entertaining friends and family. You won’t have to worry about parking, as the condo comes with a covered parking space under the recreational deck.

 

ah1608312-1013Priced at $349,900, this end unit downtown condo displays urban living at its finest. From the granite countertops, to the stainless steel appliances, you’ll be living in luxury in this space. Imagine yourself walking to meet up with friends for drinks after work without worrying about driving downtown and finding parking! You’ll be soaking up the hassle-free life as soon as you move in.
ah1608312-1019ah1608312-1019

Buy or Rent: Which One is For You?

Buy or Rent? - Real Estate concept with female hand with text

Owning a home has always been a part of the American dream. But in most areas of the country, owning a home costs more than renting. Not sure which option is best for you? Don’t worry! We have put together a list of things to consider when making your final decision on whether to buy or rent.

Does it make sense to buy?

Owning a home is expensive. In today’s real estate market, the expenses home buyers typically pay in closing costs is between 2% and 5% of the home’s purchase price. On top of that, you will need to be able to afford a sizable down payment and monthly mortgage. Once you’re all moved in, keep in mind that you will be responsible for the maintenance of your home. Whether you buy a newer home or a more established one, upkeep is inevitable. One way to keep costs low is by doing projects yourself, such as touching-up paint or replacing a door lock.

Flexibility

A major selling point of owning a home is the flexibility. You can paint the walls, add an addition to the house or finally install that hot tub you’ve been dreaming of. Many people are drawn to owning a homr because of the investment value. If you buy a home in an upcoming area or a fixer-upper in a coveted neighborhood, the return value from selling the property may leave you with major money in your pocket. Nonetheless, there are numerous advantages to owning your home.

Permanency

Depending on what point you are in life, you may want more or less permanency as far as location. If you’re new to an area or want to try out a new part of town, renting may be the best option. If you like a particular area and know you’ll be there for a while, owning a home could be a more feasible choice. Life is unpredictable and it’s impossible to know how your location may change because of the unpredictability. If there are still a number of unknowns in your world, renting may be the best option for you.

Responsibility

When you’re renting, the landlord has control. He or she can decide to sell the property, forcing you to move elsewhere, or decide to raise rent, not rent to you, not allow pets – the list goes on and on. On the other hand, if you want to move, you aren’t bound to the property after your contract is up which can be a major advantage if you’re getting married, get your dream job in another city or any other big life event.

In addition to these considerations, there are various tools that can help you decide if you are ready to take the next step toward owning a home. One tool is a calculator that utilizes the breakeven horizon, to see how many years of renting it will take before the amount is equal to the cost of buying. As always, consulting a finance or real estate expert can help you decide what option is best for you.

If you are still unsure if owning a home is for you, feel free to give us a call at (615) 297-7711! We will be glad to answer any questions you may have!

How to Prepare Your Lawn and Garden for Fall

autumnbrew-3
Fall has arrived and winter will be here before you know it. The cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall provide an ideal time to prepare your lawn and garden for the upcoming winter. Many people don’t realize how important it is to give your lawn attention now so it will be flourishing again next spring. During the fall, the grass absorbs water and other nutrients to help it last through the colder, dormant months. Follow these lawn care tips to ensure your lawn and garden are well-prepared this fall.

Clean Up Fallen Foliage
Raking leaves and other fallen debris gives you a clean slate to start all your fall yard projects. It’s important to rake leaves as they fall, rather than wait until they’ve all fallen in order to prevent the leaves from getting too wet and difficult to remove. When wet leaves and other foliage collect on top of grass undisturbed, they create a layer that cuts off air from the grass and can cause fungal growth.

Continue to Mow
The grass will continue to grow, so make sure you’re keeping up on mowing. As winter gets closer, drop the height of your mower to the lowest setting for the final two trimmings of the season. Cutting the grass lower allows more sunlight to reach the grass and there will be less area to turn brown.

Fertilize
Many experts agree that fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn and garden. The grass grows more slowly during the cooler season, but root growth remains constant. So, the nutrients in fertilizer get spread deep within the root, leading to a more flourishing spring season.

Keep plants hydrated
Don’t forget to water! Your yard and garden plants need as much water as they can handle before the long winter months. Fall is also a great time to aerate the soil. Aeration allows water, nutrients and oxygen to go deep into the soil and reach the grass’s roots. It also removes thatch, improves drainage and loosens the soil. You can rent an aerator at many home improvement stores or hire a professional.

Take advantage of the cool temperatures to tend to your lawn and garden this season. Following these tips will improve the health of your yard and bring on prosperous spring growth.

6 Ways to Have an Inexpensive Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is often seen as the last weekend of the summer. So, take in that last breath of warm air with these 6 inexpensive ways to enjoy your three-day weekend!

Potluck BBQ
Barbecues are one of the traditional ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend, but when hosting it by yourself it can get pricey! Do away with all that cost by hosting a potluck barbecue. Call up your friends and have them bring a side dish or beverages. Provide the meat, fire up the grill, and dance the night away to some awesome tunes!

Home Improvement Projects
If you’re a home owner, then you most likely have a long list of home improvement projects that you’ve been meaning to get done. Use this extended weekend to get to all your ‘Honey-Dos’. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the weekend alone though! Get a few friends together and share the projects. Do a project at one friend’s house on Saturday, then another’s on Sunday, and another’s on Monday. Each friend can host a dinner for everyone that night while you’re at their house. Talk about a triple win!

State & National Parks
Taking the family camping is a great way to spend a three-day weekend without breaking the bank. Spending just one day at a state or national park, or the entire weekend, can be inexpensive. Pack a picnic and head to the park to enjoy the natural beauty, take a hike, or go for a swim (if available). All-in-all just have fun!

Catch a Local Game
Whether it’s a Little League Baseball team or a local favorite, catching a sports game is one of the best past-times during the summer. So end summer the right way by grabbing a hotdog and some peanuts and cheering on your local sports team!

Be a Tourist
Rather than drop a lot of money going out of town on vacation, save some bucks and have a “staycation”! Go around town and check out all the sights and things to-do that you haven’t gotten around to yet. Be a tourist in your own town and live it up! A bonus to being a tourist in your own city is you won’t have to stop and ask for directions!

Lose Yourself Somewhere New
Checking out towns and cities within driving distance of where you live that you haven’t visited before can be a really fun adventure. Eat at an interesting place, visit strange shops, or go to a local museum – you are bound to find something memorable.

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a fun, enjoyable three-day weekend. If you get a little creative, you’d be surprised just how much fun you can have and how many new memories you will make!

By: Sarah Spadavecchia – September 1, 2016

Tennessee Day-Cations

It’s sad to say, but summer is almost over and with the last few warm weekends left we figured we needed to do some much-needed brainstorming on how to best use these days to the max! Check out our list of some of the best “daycations” for you and your family to squeeze in!

ChattanoogaCHATTANOOGA - JULY 10: Aquarium at Downtown on July 10, 2013 in Chattanooga, TN. It is the fourth largest city in the state.

Check out the popular aquarium or stroll downtown for amazing food and drinks. You can also hike along the urban greenway trails or take a trip on the Riverboat! Whatever you choose to do in Chattanooga, it is sure to be a blast!

Louisville

Food, lively downtown, and Churchill Downs! Need we say more? Louisville is one of those cities where the whole family will have fun. With literally something for everyone of any age, Louisville won’t let you down!

MemphisMEMPHIS TENNESSEE May 11 2015 : City neon lights on Beale Street. Blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are major tourist attractions in Memphis.

Memphis is known for its BBQ and Elvis, but among the smoked meats and Rock & Roll you will also find fascinating museums and great historical sites.

 

The Lost Sea

Craighead Caverns in East Tennessee is a neat underwater string of caves that has the largest underground lake in the US! Spend a day exploring and soaking up the fun!

Leiper’s Fork

Historic Leiper’s Fork is exactly where you want to go when you think of a charming small town. You and the family will enjoy the gorgeous drive out to the country and fill-up on some amazing grub!

Fall Creek FallsFall Creek Falls in Tennessee, early Winter ** Note: Soft Focus at 100%, best at smaller sizes

Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park located in Spencer, Tennessee is probably the prettiest state park in the whole state! Pack a picnic lunch and hike to the falls. Enjoy trekking through nature and splashing in the falls!

 

There are tons of options for you and your family to enjoy the last days of summer and go out with a blast! Share your photos of your last-minute summer day trips with us using the hashtag #HNDSummer!

By: Sarah C. Spadavecchia – August 16, 2016

Agent Bonus – $5,000!!!

Can we pause the summer festivities for a moment and drool over this amazing home? If you haven’t taken a look at this home, located at 9 Fox Vale Lane in Nashville, then what have you been doing with your life!? This home is beyond perfection. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 5,564 square feet, 5.4 acres of property, a theater room, salt water pool, and outdoor entertainment space – please tell us to stop because otherwise we won’t! This house is a dream and we know you can sell it!

First, it’s well under the appraisal value – only $1,099,000. Second, we’re offering a signing bonus of $5,000! We don’t need to tell you that this is an incredibly rare opportunity. This home could sell itself if it could talk…and use Google, but we’re putting our confidence in you to find new owners for this gorgeous home who will love it just as much as we do.

We want you to get out there and show this property off! Show home buyers the sweeping staircases, the extraordinary great room, and the spacious bedrooms! Let them dip a toe into the refreshing in-ground pool and peak over at the personal garden. We’re sure they won’t want to leave once they’ve experienced all that is Fox Vale – but be careful, because you might not want to leave either!

By: Sarah C. Spadavecchia – July 25, 2016