Zillow Buys Hot Pads for Cool 16 Million Cash

Zillow just announced that it has acquired HotPads, the San Francisco-based rental and real estate search site for $16 million in cash. 

 

According to the Tech Crunch article, Zillow plans to create one single database for rentals that will be available on Zillow, HotPads and the company’s other properties. HotPads, will continue to exist as its own brand and Zillow will commit additional engineering resources to help the company grow.

 

Between Zillow Rentals and HotPads, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff  expects the company can now offer a rental marketplace at scale – something that wasn’t previously available to users in the highly fragmented rental market. For Zillow, this is also an opportunity to build a relationship with a younger audience – the kind that’s shopping for a first rental but not ready to buy yet. Once they get to the point where they are looking to buy, they will hopefully come back to the Zillow brand.

 

What does this mean to Showcase Property Management? I believe Zillow and HotPads will provide our rentals even greater exposure in a rental market that just keeps expanding. Our investors rely on us to quickly place tenants in vacant properties. The more exposure we have the great chances we have of finding qualified tenants. 

Visit RentWithKaren.com to search for rentals in Brevard County, FL

Grateful to Give Thanks

At this time of thanksgiving I am grateful for the many blessings associated with being the managing broker for what I consider to be the best property management company on the Space Coast. I am grateful for my amazing staff who works tirelessly to keep Showcase Property Management a great company. Being the largest management company in Brevard County, FL comes with a significant work load.  Our office processes hundreds of application per month with people searching for a place to live.

 

I am grateful to our owners who put their faith and trust in the Showcase Property Management Team. Keeping more than 2000 properties maintained across Brevard County, FL isn't always easy, but we make it our priority to keep all of our investment properties the most desired rental properties.

 

I am grateful for all the tenants who rent with Showcase Property Management. Keeping up with all the problems and issues that arise with rental homes is sometimes tough, but we make it mandatory to have our vendors respond as quickly as possible and resolve issues promptly.

 

I am grateful for all the Showcase vendors who provide exceptional service, even on week-ends and holidays like Thanksgiving. Many of our vendors have been with us for many years, I am grateful they make our properties a priority.

 

I hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving video as much as I did; it made me realize how thankful I am for so many wonderful Showcase blessings. From our Showcase Property Management Family to your family… we wish you a Blessed Happy Thanksgiving.

Say thank you with local florist

Feature post from Joan Sinatra

You can stand out as an investor that cares by sending congratulatory and good luck plants or florals to your new tenants. Let them know how much they are appreciated and they in turn will feel more welcome. You'll be pleasantly surprised how inexpensive sending move-in gifts can be, and the return….priceless.

 

As an investor helping your property manager show the full potential for a property is key. Having a floral and interior-scaping professional you can count on is as important as presenting a clean and well staged space. In a furnished space, whether a home setting or office situation, a few strategically placed fresh floral’s or plants can liven up a room. By bringing life into the room, it allows a client to see themselves living or working there too. Flowers and plants are a large part of the staging process and make your property look more appealing than your competitors.

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 Your property can have that wow factor when being shown, with a simple phone call to Sinatra’s Flowers & Design Center. We will keep a photo log of the floral style you prefer on file so that your signature look is represented time after time. At Sinatra’s Flowers, we offer on site set up for your real estate showings, as well as cash and carry pickups for those last minute appointments. Call us at 455-1551 or visit our website http://www.sinatrasflowers.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Safe Halloween

Found this excellent short video on Halloween safety tips:

I also came across the post Halloween Safety and Fun which offers great tips for making Halloween safe for the kiddies. Many of our tenants at Showcase Property Management have children young and older who will be dressing up and hitting the neighborhoods to collect their bounty of candy all across Brevard County, FL

Some of the tips for trick-or-treating include:

  • Plan your Halloween ahead of time
  • Plan your trick or treating route
  • Make sure your kids are costumed for safety

All of us at Showcase Property Management are wishing you and your family a happy, safe Halloween!

USDA Home Loans in Brevard County, FL

Not all properties are eligible to receive rural funding with a USDA Home Loan.  In order to be eligible for  a USDA loan, household income must meet certain guidelines. Also, the home to be purchased must be located in an eligible rural area as defined by USDA.

The USDA only provides funding in Non-Rural areas.  These are areas that lie outside non-rural areas as defined by the USDA's Satellite Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP), published in the Federal Register on May 7, 2010. The term "rural area" means any area, as confirmed by the latest decennial census of the Bureau of Census, which is not located:

– within a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or


– an urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants

USDA home loans are ideal for first time home buyers or anyone who qualifies within the income guidelines. Please contact me at kgblady@cfl.rr.com to obtain more information about USDA home loans.

Zillow Offers Guidelines: Investing in Real Estate

With all the short sales and foreclosures it makes it an ideal time to buy real estate. I came across an excellent post on Zillow, Investing? 6 Types of Properties to Pursue which offers solid advice on scoping out investment properties.

Leonard Baron says, “Too many people buy fixer-uppers thinking they’ll add value by doing a renovation. Then they get mired in a much more expensive and time consuming property than they ever expected. More money into the property means lower investment returns for you and less wealth-building than you expected.”

Investors get mesmerized by a “cheap price” however price is just one factor in the equation. Location, location, location is still very important, along with the rental demand. What about resale, will the property sale easy in the future?

Our Turnkey Operation was created to help investors purchase prime rental properties. Our rehab team can help with properties that need CPR, (Carpet, Paint, Repair). Once repairs are complete we put it on the market for rent.

Whether you’re a long time investor who wants to add to your existing portfolio, or a newbie venturing into investing in rental properties for the first time, contact me. I am confident you’ll be impressed with how easy we make it to invest in real estate.

Successful Short Sale Helps Owner with Mortgage Relief

I had an owner of a property in Hammock Trace subdivision in Melbourne, Fl approach me to rent her winter vacation home that she purchased during the real estate boom years.  She wanted to receive enough rent to cover the mortgage payment.  I placed her home on the market, but could not get the property rented for the amount the owner wanted.  The owner was very distraught, her husband was ill and she was unable to rent the property, she was at a loss. She thought because she was upside down there was no way she could sell.  I asked Agi Anderson, who is a CDPE to meet with her to discuss selling her property in a short sale. The property recently closed, we saved the owner nearly $80,000, because they did not have to pay anything towards the deficit. They did receive a 1099 from their lender, however with proper guidance from an expert CPA, they should have minimal tax to pay.

So many owners are suffering with mortgage distress because of an upside down situation.  If you have a deficit, if you are upside down, there are options for mortgage relief.   Please contact me… my team and I are here to help.

Many tenants we place plan to buy at the end of their lease.  If you’re thinking about buying and want to consider a short sale, you need to allow at least three months for processing.  The agents on the KGB Home Ownership team can set you up to receive automated MLS property alerts based on your personal preferences.  They can also help you get prequalified for financing.  If you are worried about your credit, they can also lead you in the right direction.

The short sale process helps owners with mortgage relief and tenants with exceptional buys in real estate.  Some of our tenants have an interest in purchasing the property they rent.  It’s great when we create a win/win for everyone.

Eviction Process Explained

Eviction is never a preferred option, but sometimes it's the only alternative. I found this excellent video that explains the eviction process. It's good information for tenants and owners to understand.

Some tips for tenants, if you are unable to pay your rent on time, call and advise you will be late. If there is no communication and three days pass after the rent is due, you will receive a three day notice.

The Three-Day Notice is a condition precedent and jurisdictionally required notice which must be given in a non-payment of rent situation in order for the landlord to proceed to filing an eviction action. It is a very specific notice, clearly spelled out in Florida Statutes, must be of a certain form, with specific rent items only allowed, and it must be prepared and served properly in order for it to be a valid Three-Day Notice.

 

 

 

 

At Showcase Property Management, we do our very best to place credible tenants, but life happens and unfortunately we are forced to file an eviction.

I have dealt with tenants in the past who thought they could prolong the eviction process and remain in a property without paying rent. This is NOT the case.

Eviction is the last resort, we don't want to place people out of their homes, but sometimes there's just no other option. 

SECURITY DEPOSIT TIME LIMIT

 

Your old tenant is moving out and you have a new one coming in.  Let’s say the old tenant left in a hurry, so you and staff have to now move out the trash and leftover belongings, steam the carpet, repaint the walls, do minor repair work.  There’s a huge chunk of change from the security deposit that you want to use to cover expenses.  You think to yourself you have 30 days to notify the previous tenant of your plans to use the funds to cover rehabilitation expenses.  That’s well within your rights.

What if you only use part of the deposit for repairs and/or rehabilitation?  Still think you have the full 30 days to deliver the remaining balance of the previous tenant’s deposit?  Not so, says Florida Law.  You have fifteen days to return the rest of the deposit to the previous tenant if you are not making any claim. That means, if you don’t have to do any cleaning, repairs or rehabilitation that requires you to take some/part/all of the previous tenant’s deposit, you have fifteen days to return/refund the full amount. If not, then you are opening yourself and the corporation to a lawsuit (and potential add-on fees that would double or triple what you would have to pay). So, be sure to ask your company’s attorney or the attorney you have on hand to handle your real estate/tenant legal issues.   The last thing you would need is to have to pay thousands of dollars, in addition to returning the previous tenant’s deposit, when you first were notified of the tenant’s intent to vacate the premises.