Starr Property Management, Inc. Serving the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys
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Stockton Property Management Blog

How to Prep your home for Winter!

Diane Starr - Thursday, November 30, 2017



How to Prep your home for Winter!

Test your heater. Make sure your heating system is working like it should. Test your heater.

Reverse your ceiling fan. In the summer, ceiling fan blades cool a room by pushing cold air down. In the winter, you want the opposite to happen. Most ceiling fans come complete with a switch that allows you to reverse the direction the blades spin. Flip it to get a little help with keeping warm air near the part of the room you’re living in.

Consider smaller heaters. Space heaters and electric blankets are just two ways that you can add extra warmth to parts of your home that you use the most. Focus on these and you could save big on heating costs.

Inspect windows. Look over your windows and determine if they have leaks or are drafty. 

Learn to use your thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can save big by programming it to warm the house when you’re there and cool it when you’re not. 

Check your smoke detectors. Between holiday lights, candles, space heaters, and other devices, there are plenty of fire hazards in the winter. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxides are in good working order so you’ll be alerted of any hazards with enough time to get out of the house.

Invest in warm bedding. You’ll keep yourself from shivering at night when you’re sleeping by getting flannel sheets, a down comforter, or other types of super warm bedding.


Stockton has second fastest growing rents in nation

Diane Starr - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Stockton has second fastest growing rents in nation


California is the fourth most-expensive state to live in, according to CNBC. Considering the sky-high housing expenses in the Bay Area and Southern California, it doesn’t come as a surprise that is increasing the demand for rentals in the San Joaquin and Sacramento areas. Though Stockton’s rate of increase is high, the average rent for an apartment in Stockton was still below the national average at $990. Which we believe has increase the demand of affordable housing to be at a all time high in San Joaquin County.
 
According to the report, from May 2016 to May 2017, Stockton had the fastest-growing rent in the country. Its rent grew 10.6 percent to $1,030. Sacramento came in fifth on the list, as its rent grew 8.2 percent to $1,214.
Even though Stockton and Sacramento saw increases in rent, and San Joaquin and Sacramento is only projected to grow in the future. With a all time lowest vacancy rent we have ever had here in Stockton. 
With that all said, here at Starr Property Management we have been working over 30 years in Stockton and Sacramento property management has given us the knowledge and experience required for understanding what service and commitment to our clients is all about. We bring our combined talents and ideas together in a steady effort to best work for you and with you in every capacity needed for your home rental concerns.
Our associates at Starr Property Management have worked hard and gained local support by establishing a solid reputation built on offering competent, blue ribbon services. Satisfied clients are our most valued resource.
Please give our office a call to discuss all your property management needs.

The 10 Rules of Rental Decor

Diane Starr - Friday, August 18, 2017

The 10 Rules of Rental Decor



If you are a renter, these tips are for you! Paying your rent on time is important, so too is making sure your place is personalized and stylish. Working within the boundaries of your landlord, it's little things like a new light fixture that will make an impact without costing a lot of time or money.
  
 Add Storage

Let's get real, custom cabinetry is not an option if you don't own the place. Since rentals usually lack storage, add your own with affordable Ikea bookcases or simple shelves.

 Change the Hardware

Rental hardware is basic . . . your style, not so much. Switching out cabinet pulls and bathroom hardware will make a huge difference. Just remember to keep the original pieces to swap back in before moving out.

 Ditch Vertical Blinds

They are the ultimate decorating sin! To prevent your space from looking like a hospital room, take them down or hide them under curtains. Again, don't toss — they're essential if you want your security deposit back.


 Line Cabinets

This might seem trivial and a bit annoying, but lining your cabinets is a must. Not only will it make your kitchen look clean, but also it will mask worn and grungy cabinets without having to paint. Adhesive liner works, but a softer grip liner is better because it's easy to install; it will also prevent glassware from chipping.

 Accessorize 

It's true, and that's the only way you're going to get a truly personal space. Go to town with throws, pillows, and accents that reflect your style.

 Avoid Wallpaper

Well, in most cases. Sure it's stylish, but in all honestly, wallpaper is really inconvenient to remove, especially if you won't be in your place for long. If you love the patterned look, consider the removable wallpaper .

 Hang Art

No excuses — get your art on the walls! Patching up a tiny hole come move-out day is nothing compared to the impact it will make on your space. No need to create a full-blown gallery wall either. Try hanging one statement piece and resting photos on a mantel or shelf.

 Invest in Rugs

Especially if your place has carpet! Rugs are an easy way to cover up that not-so-cute carpet and can be packed up with you come your next move. Rugs are also a necessity to keep noise down, especially in older apartments with wood floors.

 Emphasize Lighting

This is another trick that many renters often overlook. Use lighting to set the tone and make an impact in a rental. Get creative with floor and table lamps that can easily be moved from place to place.

 Make the Most of Plants

No yard? No problem. Pots are a great way to achieve the bohemian jungalow look or even have your own urban garden. The best part is you won't have to fret about leaving any of them behind, because you can take them with you! 

Resident Maintenance Requests

Diane Starr - Tuesday, May 30, 2017



There are times when owning a rental property can feel like pouring silver dollars into a big bottomless hole with no chance of recovering them. After a vacancy and repairs, the property successfully rents and then the tenant wants the property owner to spend more money on repairs. It could be a big property tax bill is due or the mortgage is adjustable and the payment is more. The property owner's attitude is - when is it going to end and why should I spend more?

There are times when it may seem never ending but it is important to stop and consider the tenant request; even if there have been recent expenditures. It may be logical to turn down the tenant's request but before doing so, it is important to ask a series of questions before automatically saying "no." Here are questions with appropriate examples.

  • Is the request a habitability issue? Example: there are large holes in the carpet that cannot be repaired and this could cause residents to trip and fall; if this happens, the insurance will probably not cover the accident if there is known neglect; it would have been cheaper to replace the flooring.
  • Is this request reasonable? It may be that the kitchen curtains are torn and dirty; the only solution is replacement and it reduces complaints from the tenant. Would you want to live with this condition?
  • Will refusing the request increase the chance of a shorter tenancy and increased possibility of a vacancy? Example: the request is reasonable but the owner turns it down and subsequent other reasonable requests; the tenant is not happy and there are many properties on the market; at the first opportunity, the tenant gives notice so they can find a better rental property.
  • Can the property owner delay this request for a reasonable period? Example: the tenant wants a new dishwasher installed because the current one is rusting and does not wash well; because of many recent repairs, the owner agrees to install a new one in six months and the tenant is satisfied with this compromise.
  • Is it appropriate to ask the tenant to share in the cost? Example: the carpet is serviceable but an outdated color. The property owner proposed they would put in new carpeting but that the tenant pays forty percent of the cost; the tenant agrees because it is cheaper than moving and they like the location.

Ultimately, will the tenant request provide any return on investment (ROI)? If you look at any of the previous questions and examples, you will recognize that any of them will increase a return on the investment for one or all of the following reasons.

  • By keeping the tenants happy and reducing the vacancy factor
  • By improving the property
  • By reducing liability and costly litigation

When should you turn down a tenant request? There are times when a tenant request is definitely unreasonable and is definitely unnecessary. Just take the time to consider the request and discuss the request with us to seek any possible solutions. We want the best for your investment.

Adding and Removing a Resident from the Lease

Diane Starr - Sunday, March 19, 2017


We all know that life happens everyday, you get married, want move in with friends or family, or you want to move out of the property when someone else wants to stay.

When you want to add someone to your lease there are just a few simple steps:

-The new applicant will need to fill out an application and provide proof of income, ID, and they will have to pay an application fee for processing.
-We will also need a letter from all of the currents tenants on lease stating they approve this person to be added.
-Once the application is processed we send it to the property owner for approval. If the application is approved, then the applicant we need an appointment to come to our office to sign the original lease.

If you want to remove your name from the lease, you would just need to submit your 30 day notice in writing to our office. Once the 30 days is expired,  your name will be removed from the agreement. Please realize that you are fully responsible for the lease,  until the  30 day notice has expired.

On Line Records Convenience for Residents and Owners

Diane Starr - Wednesday, February 22, 2017


The convenience of using a property management company that offers online services is very important. 

Everyone lives such busy day to day lives and  having the options to  check on your
transactions online is very convenient.  Owners can live in a different state or country and still have access. Residents can be out of town and have access to pay rent, communicate with the office and/or report repairs.

Some of the Owners questions that can be answered just by logging in your portal:
   * Did my tenant pay?
   *What bills were paid towards the property.
   *Access to forms for taxes.
   *What expenses and profit were made to the property?
   *Owner contribution towards property online.
   *Review copies of actual invoices for repairs done to my property. 
   *Has my proceeds payment been sent?

Some of the Resident questions/services that can be addressed just by logging into your portal:
   *Did my rent get posted?
   *Do I owe any balance?
   *I can report any repair requests.
   *I can set up my rent on auto epay.
   *I can give notice to move.
   *I can send my manager a message regarding an issue/question I have


Embracing technology makes being an Owner or Resident so much easier! You can access your account from any computer or mobile device!

IS PET FRIENDLY THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT

Diane Starr - Sunday, November 20, 2016

IS PET FRIENDLY THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT?
By Debbie Starr
Often landlords feel that their rental property values will lower if pets are allowed in the units. They also worry that increased maintenance from animal-caused damage will hurt cash flow. Studies have shown that with fewer property vacancy days, added premium pet deposits and rent, and minimum actual damage to property, having a pet friendly rental property can in reality increase your investment’s cash flow. Allowing pets will make the rental property more attractive to potential tenants.
 
Pet Friendly Rental Property has Decreased Vacancy Days
Some studies show that about 80% of Americans are pet owners. Pets are seen as valued members of the family. These feelings towards the family pet can actually influence a family’s choice of where to live. With a shortage of pet friendly rental property options, adding a pet friendly policy to your rental property can open the door to more possible tenants. Right away you can see that a pet-friendly lease option influences a faster renting time and decreased vacancy days. Once tenants know they are in a comfortable pet friendly home, they will more likely want to stay for a while, further decreasing vacancy days which increases steady cash flow.
 
Pets Don’t Cause Greater Damage Risk
A major concern for an investment property owner is animal related damage and the cost of those repairs. Studies show that the actual damage caused to property from pets isn’t much higher than normal damages caused by non-pet owning tenants, especially those with children. Pet deposits and fees can more than cover pet related damages, so a property owner’s financial risks for allowing pets are generally low.
 
Customize your Policies
If you are still concerned about increased costs from potential damage and increased insurance when you have a pet friendly rental property, discuss your concerns with your property manager at Starr Property Inc. to customizing a pet policies and pet agreements for your leasing situation. We want to  provide an environment that makes you, as a property owner, comfortable and makes your tenants feel at home.

Happy 23rd Anniversary to us!

Diane Starr - Monday, August 22, 2016





Success is no accident.  It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love what you are doing!

We are thankful for all of our clients, vendors and staff for this exciting time!

 

How quick will my property rent?

Diane Starr - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

            HOW QUICK WILL MY PROPERTY RENT?

 

One of the most popular questions we get from our current and prospective clients is -- how long will it take to rent my property? This is a great question, and we always tell our clients that it’s important to know the rental market that you’re in and to price your property accordingly.

 Market Strength in a slow market (abundant supply), prospective tenants are very price sensitive. They are looking for deals. In a strong market (low supply), you can demand a higher rental amount and you’ll still get your property rented pretty quickly. This can mean the difference between moving from one renter to the next without any occupancy loss or downtime to having three or four weeks of vacancy and turnover. It really depends on the market and the current demand for the type of property that you’re offering. If your property is located in a great area and it has the newest and latest amenities that tenants are looking for, it’s going to rent quickly and you’ll be very pleased. Even the best property manager is not going to be able to control the market, but a good manager can set you up for maximizing your investment.

  • · Five important factors that will determine how quickly your property will rent:
  • · Current rental housing supply and demand
  • · The price of your rental
  • · The current demand for your type of property, in your area
  • · How nice your property shows
  • · How quickly you implement your advertising and marketing plans.

Marketing and advertising is something we take very seriously at Starr Property Mgmt Inc. This is one area where working with a professional property manager can really help you. A professional will maximize the advertising potential and get your property rented faster than if you were doing it on your own. That means you make more income for you!

Remember these five tips to getting your house rented quickly:

  • Know the market
  • Know how your rental stacks up against the competition
  • Make sure it’s ready to show well
  • Sell the best features when you’re advertising
  • Price it correctly

    Hopefully these tips will help answer your questions about leasing your rental property. Happy investing and remember: enjoy life and leave the management to us. Contact us at Starr Property Mgmt Inc. with any questions. 800-750-0017


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1545 Saint Marks Plaza #4
Stockton, CA 95207
LOCAL TEL: 209-478-4111
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