How To Screen Tenants

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Your residential property is ready for occupancy. It’s time to start the process of selecting your first, or perhaps your next, renter. A property is an investment, so it is crucial that your tenant take care of your investment and pay their rent on schedule. A careful screening will help with the vetting process so that you can make an informed decision about a tenant who applies.

 

Before starting the screening process, it is important to be familiar with federal Fair Housing laws, as well as any additional laws that may vary by state. A landlord is prohibited from discriminating against 7 protected areas:

  • Religion
  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Family status

 

Prescreening Process

 

If you will be advertising your rental, it will help to be as forthcoming as possible in order to prevent wasted time on both sides. In advertising, describe your rental as realistically as you can. State any policies you intend to enforce, such as no smoking. Let prospective renters know if you intend to check criminal and credit records. Be clear about the amount of security deposit required as well as the monthly rental fee. If you are taking initial inquiries over the phone, have a list of questions ready that you would ask. Here are some ideas:

  • What move-in date are you seeking?
  • How many people will be moving in?
  • Do you have any pets? (Decide on your pet policy ahead of time!)
  • What is your monthly income?
  • Have you ever broken a rental agreement or been evicted?

 

Application and Info Gathering Process

 

Prepare a rental application. You will need information on anyone age 18 or older who will be living in the house, even if they all are not signing the lease, so that there are no surprises down the road involving your tenants. You will want to know about their previous addresses and get contact information for previous landlords. After you have obtained written consent, you can use outside services to gather the credit history, eviction history, and criminal history. 

 

Call all the references they have listed on the application, and have a conversation with any past landlords as well. Equip yourself with as much information as possible, so that you can feel confident that your new tenant will both take care of your investment and pay the rent. 

 

If you would prefer to let a property management company handle the tenant screenings and occupancy of your properties, you can have full confidence that Talley Properties has the expertise and experience to partner with you. 

State of the Housing Market in 2022

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The housing market over the last few years has been a particularly poignant source of conversation and, in some cases, concern. The effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have had the United States in a vice grip, with varied results. Now that the pandemic is no longer at the forefront of everyone’s minds and people are returning to their normal lives, it’s interesting to see how these years of fear and isolation have affected the housing market.

First, it’s widely forecasted that buyer and homeowners alike will see a housing market more in line with the typical spring season. Last year at this time, the pandemic was still in full swing and homeowners were less inclined to sell. With interest rates ever-increasing, it makes sense. Why would most homeowners willingly choose to abandon their fixed-mortgage rates for something more expensive during such a volatile period in history? Of course, this led to a massive imbalance between supply (which was relatively low) and demand. Homes that were listed on the market sold quickly, often leading to bidding wars between potential buyers that caused prices to skyrocket. Those who decided to list their homes were rewarded with a seller’s market and a tidy sum of money.

This year, the seller’s market continues, though it won’t be quite as severe as it was in 2021. Whether you’re a potential buyer or a current homeowner or both, consider the following before you jump in:

  • Home prices are expected to continue rising. They won’t inflate quite as much or as quickly as they did last year due to low demand, but don’t wait around for a market crash any time soon.
  • The real estate market is based on local comps. While the national average is a good overall indicator, do some research in your area. The prices can vary wildly in either direction, and you may find yourself with a bargain on your hands.
  • A national shortage of labor and construction supplies is another reason for the low supply on the real estate market. If you’re listing a house, be sure to schedule any necessary construction or repairs far in advance.
  • Hire a real estate agent that knows the local market. They will be invaluable throughout the entire process, whether buying or selling.

The housing estate market has had its ups and downs, but there’s never been a better time to find your dream home. The world is returning to normal, and it’s time to get back to business. Follow the Talley Properties blog for more tips, tricks, and insights into the real estate market.

New & Emerging Developments in and Around Charlotte

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Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing places in the country. Not only does the metropolitan area continue to evolve and flourish, but several of Charlotte’s suburbs are nationally ranked in growth rates over the last ten years. A few of these towns have creatively used their history as a springboard for their emerging new image.

Kannapolis is a northern suburb located in Cabarrus county. It is known for being the birthplace of Dale Earnhardt, but the central focus of the town was textiles. Cannon mill was once the world’s largest producer of sheets and towels. After decades of success, the mill closed in 2003 and the downtown found itself virtually vacant. But new life began when most of the mill property was purchased to build the North Carolina Research Campus, home to projects involving eight universities around the state. Plans took shape under the watchful eye of the city council, and in 2018 renovation of the stately brick buildings that once belonged to the mill began in earnest. The city’s minor league baseball team was renamed the Cannonballers, and a new state-of-the-art stadium and workout facility was built as the crown jewel of the downtown, surrounded by boutiques, eateries, breweries, and streetscapes. The main street alongside the ballpark is becoming a thoroughfare for mixed-use spaces, drawing new interest in residing beside or above the new retail hub of Kannapolis. The residential portion of the downtown revitalization is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Tega Cay is a southern suburb located in York county. In the 1970s it began as a gated community along the shores of Lake Wylie when the purchasing company was inspired to create a community which felt like a permanent vacation spot. Tega Cay means “beautiful peninsula” in Polynesian and now boasts of 13 miles of waterfront. Expanding into a fully governed city in 1982, it has grown from being a small gated community to incorporating the entire peninsula in a resort-like vibe. It has recently been ranked #1 in Best Places to Raise a Family in South Carolina, offering many festivals, concerts and recreational programs to strengthen the community feel. Developers and builders are scrambling to keep up with demands, as the city’s population grew by 62% between the 2010 and 2020 census.

Moving to or looking to invest in real estate in the Charlotte area? Let Talley Properties assist you with all your property management needs!

5 Signs of a Bad Lease

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Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing places in the country. Not only does the metropolitan area continue to evolve and flourish, but several of Charlotte’s suburbs are nationally ranked in growth rates over the last ten years. A few of these towns have creatively used their history as a springboard for their emerging new image.

Kannapolis is a northern suburb located in Cabarrus county. It is known for being the birthplace of Dale Earnhardt, but the central focus of the town was textiles. Cannon mill was once the world’s largest producer of sheets and towels. After decades of success, the mill closed in 2003 and the downtown found itself virtually vacant. But new life began when most of the mill property was purchased to build the North Carolina Research Campus, home to projects involving eight universities around the state. Plans took shape under the watchful eye of the city council, and in 2018 renovation of the stately brick buildings that once belonged to the mill began in earnest. The city’s minor league baseball team was renamed the Cannonballers, and a new state-of-the-art stadium and workout facility was built as the crown jewel of the downtown, surrounded by boutiques, eateries, breweries, and streetscapes. The main street alongside the ballpark is becoming a thoroughfare for mixed-use spaces, drawing new interest in residing beside or above the new retail hub of Kannapolis. The residential portion of the downtown revitalization is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Tega Cay is a southern suburb located in York county. In the 1970s it began as a gated community along the shores of Lake Wylie when the purchasing company was inspired to create a community which felt like a permanent vacation spot. Tega Cay means “beautiful peninsula” in Polynesian and now boasts of 13 miles of waterfront. Expanding into a fully governed city in 1982, it has grown from being a small gated community to incorporating the entire peninsula in a resort-like vibe. It has recently been ranked #1 in Best Places to Raise a Family in South Carolina, offering many festivals, concerts and recreational programs to strengthen the community feel. Developers and builders are scrambling to keep up with demands, as the city’s population grew by 62% between the 2010 and 2020 census.

Moving to or looking to invest in real estate in the Charlotte area? Let Talley Properties assist you with all your property management needs!

Traits of a Good Tenant

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Working as a landlord can be difficult enough, having to market your space, find and manage tenants, and keep the building clean and up to code. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. But having a difficult tenant can just make things even more difficult. Whether they’re disruptive to the neighbors or they are consistently late in paying their rent, a problematic tenant can be distracting and stressful.

As long as you have good reasons for your decisions and you’re not breaking any housing discrimination laws, you get to decide who will run out your space. There are a number of things one should do when screening for potential tenants. First, a short list of red flags and things you should probably avoid:

  • Insufficient Income. People should be on the lookout for housing that they can afford on their current income. If the prospective tenant does not make enough to afford your space, then you should probably turn them away. You don’t want the end of the month to arrive and then find that they can’t pay their rent.
  • Prior Evictions. While this isn’t always the case, prior evictions do often indicate problematic behavior or circumstances. Take a look at their rental history, and get references from previous landlords.
  • High maintenance. Everyone is entitled to their own input, but perhaps a prospective tenant seems a bit too particular. This doesn’t bode well for a long-term business relationship between landlord and tenant.

These are things that should be avoided during the screening process. Below is a list of things to look for that may indicate a good tenant:

  • Stable Income. The prospective tenant has a steady job with reliable income. It’s recommended that landlords look for an income that is 2-3 times the rental fee. That way, there shouldn’t be any late payments or requests for an extension on the payment due.
  • Polite & Respectful. During your interview, observe how they conduct themselves and how they interact with the people you come into contact with. Are they friendly and polite? This is a good indicator that they won’t disrupt the neighbors or cause any damage to your property.
  • No Eviction History. Be sure to get references during the screening process. If they have no prior history of eviction, then it’s safe to assume that they haven’t caused any issues.

The important thing is to ask the right questions and follow your intuition. Build good rapport with your tenants, and you’ll get along nicely. For more tips and tricks on the housing market and the responsibilities of a landlord, follow the Talley Properties blog.

New Developments in Charlotte

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Although not the capital of North Carolina, Charlotte has been nicknamed the Queen City. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s diverse, it’s fast-paced, and it’s growing. If you’ve ever been downtown, you’ll know that the skyline almost always shares its attractive silhouette with cranes and other construction machinery.

Charlotte is constantly under development, adding new buildings, new spaces, and new opportunities all the time. In fact, we’ve discussed some of the upcoming construction and development projects in a previous post, but there was simply too much to cover. Let us introduce you to a few more exciting prospects that you can look forward to in the years to come.

  • Lowe’s Tech Center. Charlotte’s South End will see construction of a new 23-story office building, commissioned by Lowe’s retail. The company is looking to expand their IT department, and these office spaces will allow for the growth they want.
  • The Square. The Square at South End is actually a multipurpose plaza. The Square combines a new office building, restaurant and café, retail shops, and quick access to Wilmore Centennial Park. Overall, it’s certain to be a hub of activity, situated in one of Charlotte’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
  • Centre South. Much like The Square, Centre South promises a bit of everything for everyone. Centre South will offer high-class residential spaces and amenities to match, as well as office spaces and access to the brand-new Centre Park. Of course, location is everything, and Centre South will offer quick access to local restaurants, entertainment, and other activities.
  • Duke Energy Plaza. Duke Energy has announced plans for a new corporate headquarters in Uptown Charlotte. This is all part of the company’s long-term plans to consolidate and reduce their footprint by over 50%. Once completed, the tower situated on the plaza will be one of the tallest in the city, and across the state, at 40 stories tall.

Looking at this list, it’s clear to see that the South End is the next up-and-coming neighborhood, with ambitious visions for the future of Charlotte’s infrastructure and a bold redefinition of the city skyline. Whether you’re a Charlotte native or you’re looking to move in, there’s never been a better time to be a part of the Queen City.

If you’re looking to learn even more about the upcoming development projects underway in the downtown area, you can find any previous posts on our blog. And that’s not all! Follow the Talley Properties blog to get tips, tricks, and up-to-date information about the real estate market here in Charlotte.

Things to Consider During Summer

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The temperature has continued its unsteady upward climb, the leaves have returned to the trees, and you got all that Spring cleaning out of the way. For many, this is the time of year for fresh starts, when you start looking outward at all the possibilities that the season holds. But for many people, early Summer is a time for buying and/or selling their homes as teachers, students, and families transition into new circumstances.

Summertime is notorious for its rental boom, due to an influx of homes and apartments flooding the market as people move in and out. Realtors are slammed as some help clients sell their home, while others find a new one that meets the buyer’s wish list. It’s a busy time of transition, and everyone seems to be hanging on with white knuckles. Let us help with that! Below, we’ll discuss a few tips and tricks to help you get a leg up as you enter the wild world of real estate this Spring.

  1. When seeking a new home, hopefully you have an idea of exactly what you want. You must do your own research ahead of time so that you know what to look for when the time comes. Everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the amenities, to its proximity to classes. Prioritize your wish list so you can distinguish between make-or-break items and nice-to-have amenities.
  2. Be Prepared. The rental market is fast-paced and often cutthroat, especially in the Summer. If you find your ideal sublease or rental, don’t wait to express your interest or even make an offer, it may not be available for long. This is why prior research will come in handy. That way, you’ll know what to look for when the opportunity presents itself and you won’t feel like you’re making an impulse buy.
  3. Go to a Property Management Service. A little help never hurt anyone. These services house a lot of information about local availability and costs on the rental market, so they’re your best bet when it comes to finding the perfect place for you.

If you’re searching for a new rental and you find yourself caught up in the rush of the season, just remember the tips above. Talley Properties is here to help!

Why Home Prices are Up

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Maybe you’re in the market for your first home. Or perhaps you’re looking to sell your current home and relocate your family. In either case, you’ve doubtless had some exposure to the house market. Whether looking at online listings or perusing local opportunities in your town or neighborhood, surely you’ve noticed the inflated prices of homes for sale today. It can be challenging enough finding the perfect home, but the overall increase in asking price can make this process even more difficult. You may have wondered, what causes this inflation? Why have home prices been on the rise in recent years?

Like most things that have to do with the economy, there isn’t just one reason for the spike. There are actually multiple variables to consider. Ultimately, supply and demand is a big factor. If the demand outweighs the current availability, then it becomes a seller’s market. A seller can get away with higher listing prices and higher rent because of limited supply. Unfortunately, there’s no one to blame for the comparatively lacking supply of today’s housing market. Oftentimes, even with the rapid growth of some towns and cities, builders can’t work fast enough to accommodate the ever-growing demand from an ever-growing population. Most recently, housing production has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning back in 2020.

In fact, the pandemic is another major factor behind the inflated price of homes, if perhaps in unexpected ways. Records show that there are fewer houses for sale than there have been in past years. Perhaps the fear of COVID-19 infection has kept people from opening their homes to the outside world. The pandemic has also kept people inside, away from their jobs, their friends, and their lives. With this comes a decrease in spending on things such as fuel, food, drinks, entertainment, vacations, etc. As spending decreases, saving increases, and people set their sights on a new house. These circumstances continue, adding to the already growing demand which, in turn, boosts home prices even higher. It’s a vicious cycle that favors the fortune of the seller. This means that unless you currently have a home to sell before moving, you’re up against a steep cost.

It’s unclear when or if the price of housing will begin to decrease. Supply and demand is at the heart of it all, and the onset of a global pandemic only further destabilized the already fragile economy. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the market. It may generally favor the seller, but you might just spot a diamond in the rough!

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