As the weather gets hotter one of the most important ways to keep both our owners and tenants happy is to do regular maintenance on your A/C. Tenants will be happy to be cool and comfortable and owners have less worries of their A/C running into bigger issues.
Although the filters should be getting replaced monthly it is recommended that you service your A/C as soon as possible if it has not been done in a while. These services usually cover the replacement of air filters, checking the refrigerant levels, cleaning of the coils, and making sure the coil fins are in good shape as they are easily bent. According to angieslist.com, “your A/C system can lose 5 percent of its operating efficiency each year from buildup.”
If you are interested in having your A/C serviced we are happy to send one of our licensed contractors to your property.
• Use your appliances in the evening– When its 90 degrees out you just don’t feel like cooking over a hot stove and if you do, it usually means your turning the AC down too. In general, using major appliances like a dishwasher or dryer in the evening is more cost effective then using it during the day.
• Use power strips instead– Unplugging every electronic in your house may be time consuming, so, opt in for a power strip instead. Before leaving the house or when going to bed simply turn off the switch.
• Keep your water heater at 120 degrees– Although you can turn it down to less than 120 degrees to save even more, that is what most people are comfortable with. But, keep in mind; turning your water heater down 10 degrees can save you up to %5 on your next bill!
• Be smart about how you cool off– With air conditioning, fans, and windows there is no excuse for why we can’t save money, while still staying cool. Though keeping your A/C at 78 degrees saves energy, it’s not always comfortable. Take advantage of the cool setting on your fan as well. At night, try turning the AC off all together and open up a window.
• Change your filter– This is an easy one and also one most tend to neglect. Changing your filter allows your AC to not work as hard, therefore saving you money.
As with many areas in the United States, rental demand continues to climb in the San Antonio area. The latest data from the Federal Reserve suggests that now is a great time to be a property owner since during the last three months of 2015 property owner’s rental income added up to about 4.3 percent of the U.S. national income. Meanwhile, key takeaways from the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report published by the Urban Land Institute and pwc has us looking forward to successful investments for properly managed rental assets.
What the analysts are saying
(You can download and read the full report here):
• Prospects for the multifamily rental sector still rank “well” for 2016.
• Due to the size of generation Y, demand for both rentals and ownership housing is poised to expand.
• Investment strategy for single-family home rentals is changing from the “flip” strategy to becoming operating businesses, as more people opt to rent by choice rather than necessity.
• Investment prospects for single-family homes rank “fair” for 2016
• Some older home renters are opting for luxury rentals.
• Domestic and global capital continues to flow into the U.S. real estate market.
• “The industry is trending toward more intensively active management…”
• Interest rates will continue to rise.
• “The Supreme Court has affirmed that local communities can take legal action to address disparities in housing, even if they are the unintentional result of actions rather than conscious discrimination.”
Why the San Antonio area?
• New job opportunities have brought new renters to the area.
• HomeVestors and Local Market Monitor have ranked San Antonio as one of the top ten areas in the United States for real estate investing.
• Millennial populations tend to rent for longer periods than did their parent and they add to the overall rental demand.
What if my rental is vacant?
Selecting the right tenant for your rental is a critical first step toward maintaining the value of your investment property. Qualified reliable tenants play a significant role in protecting against undue deterioration.
If your rental has been on the market for a significant amount of time, consider talking with All County Alamo Property Management about what changes can be made to decrease the amount of time it takes to find a qualified tenant. While every situation varies, there is a short list of frequently cited improvements that can often lead to more rental applications.
• Give it some curb appeal. Spruce up the yard or to trim the trees and bushes. A freshly power washed driveway can also make a big difference.
• Clean the carpets. A professionally steamed and shampooed carpet can make a rental feel like new again!
• Add some paint. A little bit of outdoor and interior paint can go a long way.
• Price it right! If your rental is drawing in the kinds of applicants that you are looking for, talk with your property manager to ensure that the asking monthly price is competitive and compares to other similar properties in your area and that are relatively the same age.
All County Alamo Property Management can help you get your property rent ready and help you take advantage of the San Antonio area rental market. Call now to learn more about our annual management services and how our professional property managers can make a big difference to your bottom line.
Since your central air/heat is one of the most expensive components in your rental property, we would like to strongly suggest our owners take advantage of a special deal we have worked out with one of our contractors.
Due to the home being tenant occupied, there is no guarantee the filters are being changed as often as necessary, as well as issues with the unit that are minor in nature if discovered early before they become major.
The option we recommend is to have this checkup done twice a year, once in the Spring before the AC season hits, and once in the fall before it’s time to use the heater.
This checkup includes checking the following:
-Date of the Filter
-Amperage draws on compressor and condensing fans
-Temperature split between the return air intake and output (should be 18-20)
-Drain lines and capacity
-Condition of the evaporator and condensing coils
If any repairs are found needed, and are approved to complete, the service fee would be applied to the repair total. This service fee can also be credited towards repairs on the HVAC system needed within 90 days of service.
Owners may also choose to have the unit checked only once a year. Terms and conditions of a twice-a-year service call would also apply to this option.
The contractor that we would be using for this service is Whit’s HVAC and Mechanical who, while originally specializing in commercial work for 20 years, they have now been doing work solely for Property Managers for the last 6 years. They are both licensed and insured for HVAC work. This is a company we have been regularly doing business with.
Keeping ourselves warm on these unexpectedly cold San Antonio nights is priority number one. Here at All County Alamo, we want to keep you and your family safe with these tips and precautions for using your fireplaces, and heaters this winter.
Having a fire going can be beneficial. Not only does it keep your electric bill from being sky-high, it also provides a nice ambiance for the cold winter nights. A few tips to fire safety in regards to a fireplace can not only save you money, but also lives.
1. Make sure the flue is clean of debris, and the smoke has a way to travel out of the home. Very “Mary Poppins” in nature, you can hire a chimney sweep service to come out and clean the chimney area of all matter of rubbish.
2. Install a screen for the fireplace opening. Not only does it add a bit of ornamentation to the living room, it also prevents sparks and embers coming out of the fireplace. It’s also serves as a barrier from any curious kiddos and pets roaming around.
3. Do not use any kind of accelerant to start a fire. Firestarter logs already have a safe amount of chemicals to aide in starting a fire. Use of additional accelerants can cause an unstable fire that is potentially dangerous.
Remember to exercise common sense when using any type of supplementary heating devices. Don’t drape blankets over space heaters, or go to sleep with a fire burning. Make sure to keep any space heaters away from sources of water, and don’t overload circuits; use an extension cord of necessary.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a very serious issue. Over 10,000 incidents, and over 200 people in the US have been victims of this, caused by poor venting of the harmful gases the heating system produces. It is very important to make sure your chimney system has routine inspections and is clear of any blockages.
It’s a good idea to invest in some CO detectors around the home. This can be placed in outlets around the home, giving coverage to all rooms in the house. These are designated to emit an alarm before the CO levels in the home reach a dangerous level.
Keeping your family safe during the winter is high priority. By following these few tips, you’ll be well on your way to a nice, warm, and happy winter season.