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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! 

Cool Ideas for Hot Weather

Diane Starr - Thursday, July 20, 2017


Is your Pg&e bill high due to this hot weather?  We have all at one point crank up our Ac this summer. Well, here is a few ways to keep your home cool and your bill low. 

Keep your blinds closed and doors shut. This helps the unwanted heat out and prevent the cool air from vanishing these areas during the hottest part of the day.

Keep your fans on high at all times. Also keep your body temperature cool by drinking ice cold beverages and applying a cold cloth on neck and wrist areas.

During the night, try to not use the oven or stove to often.  BBQ dinners are always a great idea to enjoy the summer nights. It will also keep the degrees in your home a lot cooler. Keeping the windows open also helps night air flow through the home to keep cool.

Wearing thin and loose fitting clothes reduces your body temperature and keeps you cool throughout the day.

Hope these tips help you  keep cool and your bill low during these hot summer days. 


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!

Responding To Maintenance Emergencies After Hours

Diane Starr - Wednesday, January 18, 2017






Responding to Residents for after hour maintenance emergencies:

Are we available for your residents 24-7? Please realize that this does not mean following up on minor issues that can be easily addressed in the light of day. It does mean that when you have a legitimate concern, are we easily reachable, even if just for some reassurance?

If you’re a little confused on what constitutes a legitimate emergency, here are some issues that we should respond to as quickly as possible. And remember, if you’re not sure, err on the side of the emergency being important and pick up the phone and call.

  • Major leaks, which can not be contained or issues such as a toilet or sink overflowing from an upstairs units.

  • A fire causing major damage.

  • A clogged toilet when you only have one toilet

  • A break in, leaving your home unsecured.

  • Any structural issues. This can include anything from collapsing balconies, stairways, carports, or ceilings.

  • Any gas smells. While hopefully residents have been instructed to call the local gas company in the event of a gas smell, this is an issue that managers need to address promptly.

While we do not to respond to every issue that arises after hours, it’s important for residents to know that should an emergency arise outside normal business hours, we are only a phone call away.


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!

 

7 Things People Forget to Do Before They Move

Diane Starr - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

7 Things People Forget to Do Before They Move

You packed everything perfectly, including that dining room chandelier, the big-screen TV, the vintage ’70s “Dukes of Hazzard” T-shirt collection. You even got your dog’s medical records from the vet. But something’s keeping you awake at night as your move draws nigh. You know you forgot something.

Don’t worry, keep packing. We assembled this handy checklist of things people often forget to do—or don’t even realize they should take care of—so you can make sure you’re covered and can move and settle down in your new digs with ease.

1 month before: Cancel recurring charges

Taking care of a gym membership or other subscription services may fall by the wayside during the madness leading up to moving day. Worse, those recurring charges will keep mounting on your credit card while you’re in the throes of unpacking. Get a jump on canceling these at least a month before your last expected day of use, especially since many gyms require a 30-day notice.

Can’t get out of your contract or transfer your gym membership to a facility by your new home? Sell it through online classifieds such as GymTransfer (yes, most gyms allow this!). Don’t forget to unload any prepaid class cards, too.

On the flip side, important recurring charges on your credit card—such as mail-order medications—might be canceled if your address change hasn’t caught up with billing information. So compile a list of charges and make the effort to call these companies and give them a heads up to avoid disruption in service.

2 weeks before: Call your car insurance company

The Department of Motor Vehicles advises people in the process of moving to closely manage their car insurance during the transition, as states have varying levels of required coverage. Even if you’re staying in the same city, rates can differ from neighborhood to neighborhood. So call your insurer well before the move to find out the parameters and deadlines for updating coverage at your new address.

2 weeks before: Change your address early

Most people know the U.S. Postal Service offers an online form to quickly change an address for all of your mail, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to fill it out.

Complete this form about two weeks before your move. That way you should see the first of your forwarded mail by the time of move-in.

1 week before: Organize your finances

Important financial tasks are often forgotten in the whirlwind of moving. Since losing track of bills among piles of boxes is all too easy. It is recommended to set up systems before a move that can easily transition from old home to new. For monthly bills such as phone, rent, or mortgage, it can really help to set them up for autopay, which you can typically do through your bank or the billing company.

This can help ensure on-time payment during a hectic time.  Whatever system you choose, decide which household member will be responsible for paying which bills. And as moving often incurs unexpected costs, be sure that you’ll have enough money in designated accounts at time of payment.

1 day before: Snap pictures of your electronics

Those cables in the back of your TV and modem that keep your life wired? They don’t make sense now and will make even less sense when they are tangled in a box. A simple solution is to snap a picture of the setup before you take your electronics apart—and coil the cords and label them with masking tape, for good measure.

1 day before: Pack your plants

Do you have a special plant (maybe that hydrangea you planted for your child’s birth or your mom’s prized azaleas)? To make sure you aren’t forced to leave it behind in your rush, make a list of what plants you want to take with you and put a plant plan in place. Don’t put your shovels into the moving van until the last minute—you’ll need them to carefully dig up root balls. Buy large buckets beforehand and use them to transport each plant.

1 day before: Stock a go-to box

It is a good idea set aside one box for the first 24 hours in your new home. Pack paper towels, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, towels, paper plates and silverware, toilet paper, and maybe even a bottle of bubbly to celebrate all your hard work, picnic-style.”


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