Maintaining Curb Appeal During the Winter

Winter is upon us and it can be difficult to maintain curb appeal during the dreary, rainy or snowy months ahead. However, there are some small things you can do to make sure your house stays looking as fresh as possible, whatever the weather.

1) Keep walkways and driveways clear.

Particularly in northern areas, snow accumulation can be an issue. Clearing your driveway and walkway not only keeps you and any visitors safe, but it also gives your home the look of being well maintained. And, a maintained exterior gives the subliminal impression that, if the owner takes the time to maintain the outside of the house, they probably are maintaining the inside of the house as well. Using salt or a similar ice melt can help keep your walkways clear, even after you’ve finished shoveling the snow.

2) Rake or remove leaves and sticks.

As fall comes to a close, many yards are filled with leaves and dead sticks that have fallen off of the trees. Like clearing snow, clearing leaves can also leave visitors with the impression that your home is well maintained. More importantly though, raking and removing leaves will make sure that your curb appeal is still around in the spring. If leaves are left in the yard all winter, they inhibit the growth of grass underneath, leaving your lawn yellow and patchy come spring.

3) Keep gutters clean.

With the extra rain and snow during the winter, your gutters put in a lot of work. And, with the leaves of fall, it’s easy for those gutters to get filled with debris. Not only do full gutters make your house look messy from the curb, but they can cause damage to your home. If a gutter is filled with wet leaves and then freezes, the weight can pull the gutter away from the house, causing damage that you’ll have to fix in the spring. Additionally, if your gutters and downspouts don’t funnel water away from your home, you can end up with expensive leaks in your basement!

4) Don’t cut corners on holiday decorations.

Many people put up lights or other decorations around the holidays and if you’ve ever taken the time to drive around town and check out the decorations, you’ll easily notice the difference between the people who took their time adding their decorations (or even had them done professionally) and those people who simply through a net of lights over their front bush. Well done holiday decorations can be a great way to draw positive attention to your home. Half-hazard decorations will have the opposite effect!

None of these things take significant time or expensive and are great ways to keep your home looking nice even over the winter. Just be careful, particularly if you plan to clean your own gutters, and don’t slip on any ice or snow!

How to Boost Cap Rates by Getting Great Tenants

Usually, when you’re looking to buy a rental property, you need to look at different things such as rent, water damage, if the house is on anything, the type of neighborhood you’ll be in, anything that needs to be replaced, and the like, but there is actually a bigger question that you should ask yourself: how long has the tenant been there, how do they handle rent, and what kind of maintenance they do request.

Why does this matter? Well, landlords will tell you that tenant screening is one of the most important things to do, since it’ll tell you their credit score, history of criminal activity, and other information, and it can predict how reliable someone is with paying rent, and how responsible someone will be with the property that you have. I would say, that if you want longevity, responsibility, and reliability, you should definitely make sure that you observe and verify the current resident. You should definitely watch for this, and while you can’t visit every single tenant beforehand, you can actually find out good information on previous activity.

There is one chance you can actually visit the tenant in the home, and that’s when they buy the house that they live in. quality tenants are very important, and if you see that the house is kept, the lawn is cared for, and they do minor things themselves and don’t bring up broken items when you’re there, that’s a sign of a good tenant.

Quality tenants are worth it, and they are definitely really good, and a good tenant can affect the investment in different ways.

When a tenant does turn over, it can cost money. It can be as minimal as 500 dollars, or as much as thousands in a sense. Lots of times, you’re not really getting much from a tenant if they only have about 500 in repairs that they cover, and maybe a month of rent. If you’re a property manager like real estate that does charge a re-leasing fee, it can get to just under 2 percent on what you get in the cap rate.

Tenants who do pay on time are actually great because they save collection issues. If you have to evict someone in the area, it can be up to a thousand for each occurrence. If you assume that 20 percent of slow paying tenants have to be evicted, this adds to about 25 dollars a month, and it can bring the cape rate down a lot. You want to get tenants that are reliable.

Then there is the responsibility factor. It is harder to quantify what minor maintenance is worth, and if a quality tenant puts up their own ceiling fans, or they break the leaky bathroom faucet that they have and they fix it, it can save you a ton of money as an investor. You want someone that has longevity, reliability, and responsibility, but finding these is hard at best. While you can call the current landlord, you need to make sure that the references aren’t forged, or given fake numbers. You can always check the credit score, but will that tell you of the moving history. Existing tenants are very easy to evaluate.

Finding properties to purchase that already have great tenants can be worth almost 200 dollars a month for every investor. You can look for this, and this makes a huge difference between loss and profit, or a good investment versus a great one. You want to find those little gems in the rough, and since you can’t raise rents by almost 200 a month, by getting good tenants that don’t bother you or create drama, you can really benefit from this, and reap these benefits for years on end to come, and it’s a valuable set of tenant qualities.

If you’re worried about getting the wrong tenants, do consider all of these, since they make a huge difference in your future, and the types of people that you let onto your property, and in turn can help you get the most that you can out of this, and really make it so that you do benefit.

Key Apartment Syndication terms investors should be aware of

Before investing in any industry or market one should first familiarize himself with the industry and the start to know how that particular industry works. The easiest way to learn about the industry is to learn the common terms and phrases. When you are investing in apartments or real estate you should learn the terminology in order to communicate easily with the brokers and other investors. Here are a few terms commonly used:

Accredited investor

Accredited investors are those individuals which can satisfy real estate syndicate requirements. These requirements state that the investor should have $200,000—or $300,000 annual income or at least a net worth of 1 Million (excluding primary residence)

Acquisition Fee

The general partner in the syndication charges a fee to the sourcing, screening, arranging financing and closing investment asset, this is called acquisition fee.

Active Investing

Completing the end to end investing activity from finding to structuring and the managing the existing investments is called active investing.

Asset Management Fee

It is a recurring fee from the property revenues given to general partner for asset management.

Bridge Loan

These are short term loans investors take in order to pay for down payments of new acquisitions or leverage equity in one property to finance another.

Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures also known as CapEx are the funds used by partners or managing company to improve or maintain a property.

Capitalization Rate

In order to determine the expected rate of return capitalization rate is calculated by dividing net operating income by current market value of the property.

Cash Flow

Cash available after paying debt services and all the expenses is the liquid profit, we call all this cash flow.

Cost Segregation

The classification of costs and assets for tax purposes is known as cost segregation.

Closing Costs

All the costs inquired have to be cleared before closing a real estate. These include application, processing, appraisal and recording fees.

Debt Investment

Investing in debts such as mortgage loans is known as debt financing. Like any other loan you have to keep on paying interest until you return all the loan.

Debt Service

The actual amount that is required to be paid back to the lender, this includes the interest.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio

The minimum DSCR then lenders expect is 1.2. Debt service coverage ratio is calculated to evaluate and qualify a deal for financing.


Distributions are the funds usually paid monthly or quarterly to investors.

Due Diligence

The tasks required to screen and evaluate a property such as appraisals, surveys, title work and inspections. These are performed to satisfy lender underwriting requirements.

Earnest Money

It is the sum of money kept is placed into escrow to confirm the commitment of the buyer to purchase the property, this is returned once the transaction is completed.

Effective Gross Income

It is the income calculated after deducting all the bad debts and losses due to concessions, model units etc.

Equity Investment

The cash input in the investment i.e. the apartment building including down payment, operating costs and even the compensation earned by management.

Equity Multiple

Equity multiple also known as the rate of return on equity is calculated by dividing cash dismemberment by equity investment made.

Exit Strategy

Syndicator may buy investors shares, sell property of refinance them out.

Floating Interest Rate

Interest rate float with the change in the market.

Gross Potential Rent

It is the assumed amount that the building would produce on rent based on the assumption of 100 percent occupancy throughout the year.

Gross Potential Income

Assumed income if the apartment building had no occupancy and all apartments were leased on market rate.



Investing In Rental Property

Buying a rental property is a very successful and profitable business. One rental leads to another and then to another and so on. This is an ever-growing business that leads into a lot of cash if managed properly. Following steps can help to achieve the goal.


In the real estate business, there are so many options can be availed. There are different types of rental properties such as single-family homes, multifamily apartments, commercial property etc. It is better to start with one type of rental property and extend it with time but it is not necessary to keep up with the same thing forever. Other types of rental properties can be bought after gaining experience by reading books and talking to the investors.

Choosing the market

the first investment should be made somewhere it means the most. It is not obligatory that the investment is made near the investor’s residence or far away in another city. The investment should be made where it means the most. Once the place of investment is decided, it’s time to understand the market. The market should be thoroughly searched for the prices and the rents etc. The POint BreeZe real estate agents can help in this process.

Building a team

in all the buying and the renting business, there is a lot of work to do. Especially if the investment is being done in a faraway place. There are some very important people who can be the part of the team. The lender financing the expedition is an important member of the team. Along with him the property manager and the contractor are very important.


Once the team is formed, the investor has to figure out the financing of the project. this task can be done in different ways.  One can apply for commercial or private loans. If not, a partner is also a good option. The risk in the first investment is divided upon the partners. The one that suits the best should be selected.

Acquiring the leads

After all these measures the nest one is to get as much leads as possible. Real estate agents are a great way of getting leads. Apart from this direct mail marketing can be used to gain leads.

Analysing the deals.

The real estate business, numbers matter the most. Before the investment is made, the most suitable deal should be found. Once comfortable with the math involved in the deal, the investor becomes confident about the whole scenario. The amount of profit or cash flow to be earned should be set and accordingly the calculation of the property under consideration should done. Now that all calculations are done it is the time to work out the deal.


Once the homework is done, a complete offer should be presented.  Negotiations, that include the amount to be paid and the complete financing plan should be presented. A clever approach is to put forward a couple of deals that suits the investor. The negotiations should be carried out back and forth until a suitable mutually benefitting contract is made. Once such a contract is made, only one step is left now.

Manage the paperwork

Generally, the paperwork is done by some company. To keep the track of the impartiality of the process, the investor should have someone to inspect the process. Managing the process efficiently is very important to keep the bank balance from reaching zero. Once the owner of the property, it is time to learn the skills of a landlord. The beginning can be a little challenging.  To avoid this hassle, the owners can hire property managers to handle the tenants and look after the property. Still the owner will have to take a look over the manager and his work.