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Is Yard Service Worth It?

Hiring a company to do yard work on your rental property might seem like an unnecessary expense. Here are a few reasons why it’s not.

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Today we’re going to discuss yard service. Owners often ask us if they should include yard service in their, let’s say, $900,000 home. The answer is yes. For just $100 per month, you can guarantee that the yard will be in the exact same condition as it was when you bought the property.

Most of the time, houses come with a yard service already attached to it. Whoever has been the yard man, continue to use them. If you can afford it, it’s a great investment.

“If you can afford it, it’s a great investment.”

Your yard has a lot to do with how your home looks from the outside. Why wouldn’t you preserve the yard? Why would you risk having the tenant take care of the yard? Tenants either love yard work or hate yard work. If you get a tenant that hates yard work, how would you deal with that? You can cancel the lease, but that process will take months. If you can afford to pay $100 to $150 a month for someone to come and take care of your yard, you should do it. They’ll cut the grass, trim the trees, and de-weed the beds and you won’t have to worry about it at all.

If you have any questions about yard service at your property, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email today. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

How Does Our Walkthrough Policy Protect Your Property?

We have a walkthrough policy in place to make sure your property stays in top condition.

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At Hawaii Property Management, we have a walkthrough policy in place to protect your rental property. Here’s how it works.

Between the start and end date of every lease, we do either a four- or six-month walkthrough of your property. If there are no pets in the home, we do a six-month walkthrough. If there are pets in the home, we do a four-month walkthrough.

 

“There are two reasons we do these walkthroughs: To put money in your account and to protect your home.”

 

During these walkthroughs, we inspect the overall condition of the property—the roof, the flooring, the landscaping, etc. If we see a property that’s extremely dirty, we give that tenant a 10-day notice to clean it up. After those 10 days are up, we go back to the property and check it. We want to make sure the condition of the home is the same when a tenant moves out as it was when they moved in.

At the end of the day, there are two reasons we do these walkthroughs: To put money in your account and to protect your home.

That’s why you hire a team like us—to look out for your best interests.

As always, if you have any questions for us or you have a property you’d like us to manage, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help you.

 

How to Prepare For Renting a Shared Residence

Renting out a second home unit can lead to disaster if you’re not prepared. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this.

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In Hawaii, we can have a second “Ohana” home on our property.

Ohana means family, and it also means that only relatives are allowed to live in the second home unit.

Sometimes, owners will simply rent out the unused unit to whoever’s interested. However, problems can arise without concrete arrangements.

Tenants need certain things, such as parking areas, water and electric bills, and mailboxes. There are many of these problems to go through, so I don’t normally extend our eviction or rent guarantee for shared residences.

“Problems can arise without concrete arrangements.”

Potential issues need to be worked out before they arise and before we agree to rent out a shared home for you.

I can help you navigate this process as well as answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me if you’d like my help or need further information. I look forward to hearing from you.

How Do We Check Your Property’s Hurricane Readiness?

If your property’s located in a low-lying area, I certainly recommend checking its flood-readiness.

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As you know, we recently had to deal with Hurricane Lane, and as of today, we have two more storms predicted to come through the islands back to back. Most of the time, these storms will just drop a lot of rain, but Hurricane Lane also brought 60 mph winds along with it.

How do we protect your property in the event of an incoming storm or a hurricane?

If your property’s vacant, we go out to it and move everything from the outside to the inside. If there are tenants in your unit, we call, email, or text them to confirm that they’re storm-ready. There are also other preparations we can make for you down the road, such as boarding up your windows.

“If there are tenants in your unit, we call, email, or text them to confirm that they’re storm-ready.”

If your property’s located in a low-lying area, I certainly recommend checking its flood-readiness because, again, Hurricane Lane dumped a lot of rain on us.

Any storm-readiness can be worked through in a rental home, so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get started with yours. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as well. We’d be glad to help you.

When To Raise Rent

When should you raise your tenant’s rent? Let’s take a look.

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Landlords often ask me about when the right time to raise rent is. When I’m faced with this decision, I always look at the state of the market and the current market value of the property in question.

Hawaii’s average price on a single-family home is currently $810,000. This is the highest it has ever been.

If you were to rent out a property of that value, you would need to charge an average rental rate between $3,500 to $4,400 per month (depending on the allocation of certain costs) to make a 5% return on investment.  

The bottom line is this: It is a great time to put your investment property on the market to rent it out.

“It is a great time to put your investment property on the market to rent it out.”

Many clients who we’ve managed properties for have seen their properties double in value in just 10 years. And with rental rates on the rise, real estate investing is a wise move right now.

If you have any additional questions about this, please feel free to reach out to me or anyone on my team. We are all armed with the same information, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Why Hardwood Flooring Is a Better Option Than Carpet for Your Property

If you’re trying to decide whether you want to install carpet or hardwood in your property, it’s a much better idea to go with hardwood. Here’s why.

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When it comes to reflooring your property, you’re much better off installing hardwood instead of carpet in today’s market. There are a few important reasons why.

First of all, carpet is out of fashion right now. If your home is already carpeted, you could replace it with more carpet for $1 to $2 per square foot, but carpet only lasts roughly three cycles long (or the tenure of three tenants).

With carpet, you also have to spend more time cleaning up stains and repairing the wear and tear, and if there’s a pet in the home, that problem only gets worse. This is why tenants with children, in particular, prefer not to live in a home with carpet.

“Hardwood is certainly a better choice than carpet in today’s market.”

Hardwood, on the other hand, lasts much longer, whether it’s vinyl or tile. Vinyl lasts anywhere from 25 to 30 years, while tile typically lasts longer than that, although it’s usually more expensive to install. Any wear and tear on a hardwood floor won’t be nearly as noticeable as it would be with carpet, either. It’s also worth noting that hardwood floors are almost completely waterproof.

As always, if you have any questions about this topic or there’s anything else we can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help you.

How Loss of Rent Coverage Protects Rental Property Owners

Don’t let catastrophic damage to your rental property impact your income. Instead, protect yourself with loss of rent coverage.

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If a catastrophic event like a fire or flood causes damage to your rental property, are you prepared? If such an event renders your property uninhabitable and the tenant is forced to seek residence elsewhere, you will no longer be able to charge them for rent.

As an example, the recent fires in Honolulu displaced some tenants for up to four months. For the property owners, this translates to four months of rental payments lost. Thankfully, there is a way for you to protect your income in such scenarios.

“When unexpected disaster leaves rental properties uninhabitable, loss of rent insurance can help.”

When unexpected disaster leaves rental properties uninhabitable, loss of rent insurance can help. This coverage compensates rental owners at face value of the lease amount. Your insurance agent will be able to elaborate on the specifics of this coverage and how it could be helpful for you.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or visit our website: www.hipacificpm.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

You Won’t Find These Guarantees With Other Property Managers

At Hawaii Pacific Property Management, we care about protecting our clients. Today we’d like to share some information with you about two of the great guarantees we offer when you work with us.

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At Hawaii Pacific, we do things a little differently. One example of this is that we guarantee your tenants warranty against eviction. 99% of the time, other property managers will place the cost of eviction back onto you, the owner. And with the average cost of an eviction being between $1,500 to $10,000, it’s clear why you should be careful with your choice of property manager.

Hawaii Pacific Property Management covers all the legal costs in the event of an eviction for you. Beyond that, we also perform background checks on all potential tenants, which can help decrease the chance an eviction will occur in the first place. Not all property management companies can say the same.

“99% of the time, other property managers will place the cost of eviction back onto you, the owner.”

Other property management companies may even try to tell you they can’t rent out your home to begin with, but not us. Our rent guarantee secures you against this. We guarantee that we will be able to rent out your property by looking at and implementing the competitive rates we observe in the market.

You can read more about both of these great guarantees at our website www.HIpacificpm.com or by contacting us directly.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

How Security Deposits for Rental Properties Work in Hawaii

What is a security deposit and how can it be used? Today I’d like to clarify some important points on this subject.

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Security deposits are a crucial subject for anyone who rents out their property or is thinking of doing so.

First, it’s important to realize that you can only take one month’s security deposit in the state of Hawaii. The same goes for the pet deposit. At our company, we scale the pet deposit based on the size and breed of the animal.

“In the state of Hawaii, security deposits are used specifically for damage—not for rent.”

For pets over 50 lbs, the tenant will be charged a deposit between $800 to $1,000. We also require that the tenant take out an additional $10,000 liability policy if the animal is categorized as a “dangerous breed.”

For pets or otherwise, security deposits are intended to ensure that no damage befalls your property. In the state of Hawaii, security deposits are used specifically for damage—not for rent. A tenant who breaks their lease cannot just forfeit their security deposit in lieu of rent.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or visit our website: www.hipacificpm.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Do You Have to Allow Pets Into Your Home?

Whether you want to allow tenants to bring pets into your home is up to you, but I recommend that you do. This way, you can increase the amount of tenant traffic it gets.

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A common question we get from property owners who want to work with us is, “Do I have to allow pets into the home?”

Whether you want to allow tenants to bring pets into your home is up to you, but if you do allow it, you will have full control over your home’s pet policies. You can say what types of pets are allowed in, what size they have to be, etc. If a tenant has a pet, we will tell you its name and provide a description of it along with a picture before we even ask you if you are okay with allowing it into your home.

A great way to get around this issue is to say that pets are negotiable in your unit. I advise you to put that out there first and then see what types of tenants come in.

“In my experience, children do more damage to homes than pets do.”

In any case, if you limit the types of pets that can be brought into your home or forbid pets altogether, you are cutting down the amount of tenant traffic it can bring. Seven out of every 10 tenants in today’s market have pets. Usually, pet owners are very conscious of their pets and how to care for them. In my experience, children do more damage to homes than pets do. It is our policy to do four-month walkthroughs for any property that has a pet.

Sometimes, HOAs can have rules about pets that we must abide by because HOA rules supersede any house rules that we put in place.

My advice? Allow small pets into your home so you can increase the flow of tenant traffic toward it.

If you have any other questions about this topic or there is any other topic we can assist you with, feel free to call us or visit our website. We would be happy to speak with you.

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