We trust you and your families are healthy and well in these unusual times.
Covid 19 and Politics Still Dominate our local News.
Although the election is over we have a recount and two senate races headed to a run-off January 5th – be sure to vote if you still live in Georgia. Whether you like them or not Rafeal Warnock and Kelly Loeffler put out some unusual and clever ads here and here. It will be an interesting 2 months here.
Most of the zip codes we service are of almost fully built-out established neighborhoods and downtown areas – Roswell, Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw.
So much of the excitement and NEW planning is centered in Canton, and Holly Springs.
The city of Holly Springs started around the Railroad Track and Depot in 1879.
One of the primary attractions in the town was a large marble quarry. In 1884 Holly Springs boasted 3 stores, a cotton gin, gristmill, blacksmith, sawmill, church and school…. and a whopping population of 70.
Today it encompasses about 7 square miles along exits 11 and 14 of I575. Holly Springs has just begun work on an impressive Town Center to be developed over the coming years.
As Donna & Mike Stott as well as Jon & Denise Burke (with 3 kiddos) live in Holly Springs we are excited about the potential for this mixed use development – think a bit smaller than downtown Woodstock but every bit as cool without as many crowds!
It will have an amphitheater, city hall, shopping, dining (including food trucks), townhouses, single family homes and apartments and green space.
We think it will be a nice addition to the growing community. The 2010 population was 9189 and by 2020 we are well over 15,000! Compare this with a Woodstock population of over 30,000 and you get the idea.
Just about 3 miles east of Holly Springs is Hickory Flats. Hickory Flats was established along an Indian trade route in 1838 and now contains some major retailers (including the largest Kroeger supermarket we’ve ever seen) and great schools: Hickory Flat, Dean Rusk and Seqouyah.
There are also big plans for Hickory Flats – with community meetings happening now.
This report shows a lot of data and stats – more houses and growing population.
Sales prices year-to-date in 2020 compared to the first ten months of 2019 are up in every area and for the first time since Covid, our number of sales have increased.
In August every area was behind, September was a mixed bag, and October we are up in all but 2 of the cities.
What we know for sure is if we had more homes for sale the numbers would be higher. Demand is far higher than supply. In general, well priced homes are selling in two weeks or less!
For our region sales prices rose an average of 7.88% during this time period while the number of sales rose 1.3% Our investor clients who traded in their older homes 4 to 5 years ago and bought new are thrilled.
As an example we had several investors buy new homes in the Stations at Prominence in Canton in 2015. They generally paid $200,000 to $210,000 back then for a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home. We have managed those properties and increased those owners’ cash flow with rising rents over this time period and have had them rented steadily at $1500 to $1800 a month since then.
The 4 recent sales in the complex have ranged from $270,000 to $295,000!! Over $1000 per month in appreciation over the 5 years. We think Cartersville and Dallas will see similar appreciation over the next five years. Let us know if you want to explore selling your current rental and finding an even BETTER return on a NEWER property to avoid costly maintenance over the next real estate cycle.
As you already know, all real estate is hyper-local and if you’d like a professional analysis of value or your property at no charge or if you wish to sell while the market is at all-time highs let us know – 770-726-1454 or email Mike.Stott@mac.com
9 Property Management Tips – Securing Quality Tenants
Over the past 10 years we’ve been managing rentals, we are very proud of our track record. Our tenants stay in their rentals for about 3 years and we’ve had to evict only 2 in all that time. In addition, during Covid we had VERY few tenants unable to pay rent.
Here is a list of our best tips for finding good tenants:
1.) Set a fair rent. Quality tenants expect to pay fair rent. If you ask too much we find quality tenants don’t apply and instead you get those who hope they can get in with bad credit if they agree to pay more.
2.) Have the home sparkling clean. A 10 out of 10 home will be a 9 in terms of condition after three years. A 7 out of 10 will degrade quickly to a 4 or 5 in 3 years because the tenants you attract are those who think you don’t take care of your property anyway and they won’t either.
3.) Establish a property rent-to-income ratio and stick to it. We recommend a 3:1 or 3.5:1 minimum.
4.) Do a thorough initial screening. Establish questions to ask before showing a tenant. What attracted you to this home? Where do you work? Tell me a little about who will be living with you here? Do you have pets?
5.) Show the property personally. Some property managers allow tenants to view homes without someone present and so cannot get feedback and cues from the tenants putting the tenant in a stronger negotiating position. You want that stronger position.
6.) Get an application with a copy of their driver’s license and car insurance – you want tenants who have insurance.
7.) Do your due diligence carefully and look for inconsistencies. Run a credit check AND a background check. Personally call the previous landlords and ask would they re-rent to the tenants again? Landlords fearful of violating laws on discrimination and credit will answer this question readily. Then call their place(s) of employment to verify they are employed and expect to remain employed. If you are suspicious of false information, verify it. We once thought a past landlord sounded vague… and when we checked, it was the potential tenant’s cousin in another area of the state who had never rented to them at all.
8.) Collect an appropriate security deposit. It’s not unusual for us to collect two months security deposit if there are any concerns about a tenant’s reliability. This allows you a cushion just in case anything goes wrong.
9.) Do not be rushed by a “enthusiastic” tenant. It is better to lose a tenant than to install a tenant who doesn’t pay rent. We have found most tenants needing to “…move in today…” have some serious defect in their history or their credit.
Good tenants are worth this careful selection process. They pay on time, maintain your property, and are good neighbors. It adds up to getting a good return on your investment.
If you have any property management related questions we are happy to answer them for you for FREE! Call Jon Burke at 770-845-4149