Austin Property Management Blog

2113 Pennsylvania Avenue Unit B for rent in Austin, TX

Grant Williams - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

2113 Pennsylvania Avenue #B, Austin, TX 78702

Visit our website for more information and to view more Austin, TX homes for rent!

Central Texas Leasing Update | July 2020

System - Monday, July 13, 2020

Central Texas Leasing Market Update

There are still many unknowns in our market and what may be happening in the economy in the coming months. There were millions of dollars that were disbursed to businesses to assist in employee retention through the “Paycheck Protection Program”. These funds were enough to cover a companies’ entire payroll for two months lasting through June. We anticipate that many markets will suffer if the economy can’t recover in the coming months should another lockdown be required in Texas or across the country.

However, Texas and more importantly Central Texas is still very strong. We have a large tech industry and government jobs that are helping to keep many people employed. The University of Texas at Austin (UT) has released its plans for reopening for classes this Fall. They will be moving to 40% capacity in classrooms and offer 3 models of classes: Online, Hybrid, and In-Person. Due to this plan, we feel campus housing and the surrounding economies it affects should remain reasonably strong as students will be returning to campus until at least November 23rd.

Otherwise, in most parts of town and as of this writing, things are great and much better than expected. Tenants are paying rent nearly as normal and our vacant listings are moving even faster than normal this time last year. We are seeing slight dips in the outlying suburbs near Liberty Hill and Kyle. This could all be changed in a few short weeks, but we won't be able to really tell until we see if large employers keep people on staff or what their plans are for staffing as COVID remains around.

As a company, Stone Oak Management has done our best to retain tenants by offering payment plans where applicable and work with people that have never been in this situation before. Many good-paying and hard-working individuals are in a position that they have never known. Unemployed. Upper management must make some tough choices on behalf of our owners, but as always, we treat our clients’ properties as if they are our own and we treat everyone as we would want to be treated.

For all you data junkies, I have the full report that I have requested from the Austin Board of Realtors. This shows both sales and leasing data. Sales appear down, but we are still having an inventory shortage in the greater Austin area.

FULL AUSTIN BOARD OF REALTORS REPORT

Additionally, I have listed a few articles with some positive news about growth in the Austin area below. These may help to further understand our strong market in Central Texas. With the recent announcement that Travis County has approved Tesla's plans for a Gigafactory and Apple bringing their new campus to the area, we expect Austin to continue its rapid economic growth in the coming years. 

Tesla Gigafactory deal approved by Travis County

Amazon expected to open delivery station in Round Rock

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions' Round Rock location on track to open in November 2020

Hutto chooses new developer for $800 million baseball field project

Lastly, we are a full-service Brokerage and our partner Matt Teifke is a Broker Associate with our firm and expert in Investment real estate. Matt holds a Master’s degree in real estate from Texas A&M. Feel free to contact him if you are considering purchasing or selling your property with us.

Author:

Jason Huval, MBA
Broker and Partner
Stone Oak Management

Have further questions about the market or Austin property management? Please don't hesitate to contact our team!

Tax Benefits that Come With Your Austin Rental Property

Grant Williams - Monday, June 1, 2020

Being the owner of a rental property in Austin, Texas brings you a number of benefits. Your Austin rental home straddles the line between a business and an investment and can typically receive generous write-offs and tax advantages.  As we near 2020's extended tax deadline, our team at Stone Oak Property Management wanted to review some of the tax benefits landlords in Austin, Texas can take advantage of with their rental property. 

Tax-Sheltered Growth

Regardless of your goals with your rental property, one thing most landlords count on is appreciation and their property gaining value every year. A portion of that growth comes from just making the mortgage payment on your home every month. Just by doing that your equity ownership in the property will increase! 

Another portion of your tax-sheltered growth comes from owning the rental property in a healthy real estate market, or in your case, it can also be due to growing net operating income for your rental. The IRS will not recognize this growth in capital gains until you sell your rental property and your money will continue to grow as long as it remains in your Austin rental property!

Tax Sheltered Cash Flow

You will only be taxed by the IRS on the profit you earn from your rental property. To calculate your profit, you'd add all of your rental income and subtract your expenses from that total. Some of these expenses include mortgage payments (don't forget the interest!), repairs for your tenants, Austin property management fees & property taxes. Your expenses can even be for travel! For example, if you live out of state and own a rental property in Austin, any fees associated with a trip to Austin to work on the home would be tax-deductible!

Also, depreciation of your Austin rental property allows you to write off a portion of your property's purchase price every year as a way of acknowledging that it gradually wears out. It's not even required for you to spend anything to get the depreciation deduction, it just allows for you to cancel out income from elsewhere which in turn reduces your tax liability. 

'Passive Activity Loss' Deductions

With the variety of expenses one can claim on their Austin rental property, it's not difficult to end up with a taxable loss. Typically when dealing with investments, you can't use losses from passive activities to offset income that you earned elsewhere (your job, etc). However, there is this neat little trick with your rental property that allows you to claim up to $25,000 in passive activity losses from rental real estate against your regular income. One must qualify for this benefit to take advantage of it though. 

Tax-Free Rental Property Exchanges

Want to sell your rental property but not remove yourself from being the owner of a rental property? If you sell your Austin rental home to buy more investment real estate, even if it's a different type of in another state, you can structure the sale as a tax-deferred exchange. Essentially, you can carry the cost basis of your old property into your new property(s). The IRS doesn't look at this as a sale of the property so you won't be on the hook for capital gains taxes or depreciation recapture taxes on the exchange. Win-WIn!

Have more questions about the tax advantages of your rental property in Austin? Please don't hesitate to contact our Austin property management team at Stone Oak if we can help!

Own or thinking of purchasing a rental property in Austin, Texas? Learn how we help manage your Austin rental home!

5 Things to Ask a Property Manager Before Your Hire Them

System - Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Historically, real estate is one of the best investments that you can make. Turning your Austin, Texas house into a rental home could be a great financial decision that helps generate passive income while paying off an asset you'll own in the future. 

However, owning a rental home in Austin differs from operating one. Finding renters and managing your tenants could be a whole lot more than you bargained for and being on call for maintenance at all times might not be your thing. These are the most important questions you should ask your Austin property manager, or any property manager if you’re shopping around! 

What do you charge for property management?

Your rental home was purchased as an asset intended to make you money, right? That's why knowing how much it'll cost you to hire a property manager is an important question. Most property managers you'll speak with either charge a predetermined flat-rate or will charge you a predetermined percentage of the monthly rent. Once you know the fee you will better be able to determine the expected cash flow you should receive for your property. 

What are the fees that are not included in the monthly management fee?

These might include extra fees for evictions, notices to vacate, or HOA violations. You don’t want to be surprised 6 months into a lease when your account doesn’t reflect the full amount you’re expecting. It's important to also remind owners that the property manager you hire is a direct extension of yourself to your tenants and for the health of your rental unit. You'll need to make sure you trust your property manager with operating your rental property so be wary of going with the cheapest company on the block just to save more money on the fees. Like most things, you get what you pay for...

How is maintenance handled within your property management company?

There are two three things that are guaranteed in a landlord's life - death, taxes & maintenance requests. When hiring a property manager for your rental home you'll want to ask them how maintenance is handled within their company (specifically relating to overseeing quality, price, and emergency issues). You'll want to make sure that the person who is overseeing any work done on your home has the knowledge and know-how to get the job done efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. 

Our maintenance team at Stone Oak Property Management has over 40 years of combined experience handling the maintenance for real estate organizations and property management companies. We keep an updated, ever-evolving list of the top vendors in our area so you know the people who touch your property have experience necessary to get the job done quickly and with minimal costs. 

How often will you inspect my property?

Once you hire an Austin property manager you're trusting them to be your eyes and ears for your rental property. They are seeing your property, right? That's why it's important to ask any property management company you are considering hiring how many times they'll inspect your property throughout the year. 

While you don't want to continually bug the tenants in a property, you need to be sure that they are properly maintaining the home as they live in it. Your property manager should be inspecting your property at least twice a year. Any maintenance done on the home should serve as an opportunity to inspect the rest of the property as well. Stone Oak also informs our vendors to keep an eye out for anything they might see on the property that should be brought to our attention as well. We've got you and your property's back!

How will I receive my rental income?

It's probably why you got into buying investment real estate in the first place - money. How do they collect your rent and when will, the owner, receive the monthly rental amount. Most property managers will have their own process for distributions so be sure to ask each unique company you talk to. At Stone Oak, we begin distributions to owners on the 8th of every month (unless it falls on a holiday or weekend). Most managers try and get your income to you by the middle of the month with some choosing to do so at the end of every month. 

How is the situation of past-due rent and evictions handled within your company?

While it's ideal to avoid evictions, it's also important to have a property manager with the know-how and expertise to properly navigate the different Justice of the Peace courts here in Travis and Williamson Counties. While it's great to work with tenants who might face temporary hard times, it's also important for your investment's health to remove a tenant that is affecting your property both physically and financially. 

Immediate action should be taken if a case that warrants an eviction arises. That doesn't mean you need to go through with the eviction, but it gets the process started and lets the tenants know you are serious about removing them should the situation not be corrected. This also a good reason to hire a property manager, as a landlord-tenant relationship is a bit different than a property manager-tenant relationship and a lot of self-managing owners will be more likely to be more lenient with tenants which can dig themselves into a hole pretty fast if that tenant doesn't pull through for you in the end. You could be out a couple of months of rent while still covering the mortgage during that time - not good. 

At the end of the day, you need to look at your goals as a homeowner and investor. Share your goals with the property management companies you speak with and choose the one that best aligns with what you are looking for. If you have any questions about property management in Austin, Texas please feel free to reach out to our team.


Round Rock Rental Home Available Now!

System - Tuesday, May 26, 2020

708 Skylers Circle, Round Rock, TX 78665

View this and more available Round Rock rental homes on our website. 

Windy Brook Drive Home for Rent!

System - Tuesday, May 5, 2020

1,722 SF | 3 Bed | 2.5 Bath

View this home and other available Austin rental homes today!

S 1st Street Condo Available Now in 78704!

System - Monday, April 13, 2020

900 S 1st Street #413, Austin, TX 78704

Austin Downtown Condos for Rent

8 Great Restaurants in Austin Offering Delivery or Take-Out During the Shelter-In-Place Order

System - Monday, April 6, 2020

With COVID-19 affecting the nation and Travis and Williamson Counties on Shelter-in-Place orders, Greater Austin residents have had a drastic change in their everyday life. One thing that comes with being cooped in your home is that, eventually, you’ll need more food. Trips to the grocery store don’t have the greatest appeal to them right now and HEB curbside is backed up for a few weeks. To spare our fellow Austin foodies, we threw together a list of 8 great restaurants in Austin offering delivery or curbside takeout during these unprecedented times.

Kerbey Lane Cafe
An Austin staple. You have to try the Banana Walnut Pancakes, Kerbey Queso, and Glazed Brussels….maybe not all in the same meal. Kerbey Lane Cafe is offering delivery and take-out service at this time. 

Franklin's BBQ
Famous in Austin and typically sold out, Franklin’s has closed their dine-in area but are offering Austin residents a curbside takeout option. Craving some brisket or ribs? Franklin’s is the spot. 

Chuy’s
A tex-mex favorite in Austin, Chuy’s is offering ATX residents with the option to order food via delivery or take-out. If you aren’t getting the creamy jalapeno sauce with your chips and salsa you have been missing out. 

Home Slice
Who doesn’t love pizza? Austin has no shortage of pizza places that are continuing stay open during this time. We wanted to give a special shout out to Home Slice. With sauce and crust that really set this place apart, don’t deprive yourself of a classic Austin pie. Delivery or take-out is available.

Round Rock Donuts
World famous and for a good reason! Round Rock Donuts is a staple pastry shop in Round Rock and has been featured on the food network. It’s always a treat when Round Rock Donuts find their way into our office kitchen. They have a drive through so grabbing a dozen classic glazed is quick and easy!

El Arroyo
If El Arroyo had another job they’d be an instagram influencer, but for now they have tex-mex on lock. Not only are they providing Austin residents with great food during this time they also lighten the mood with their comical signs. Right now you can order a 6 pack of margaritas with chips and salsa from their website as well as their regular menu. 

El Arroyo Sign

Hula Hut
Hula Hut isn’t the same without the sunset view on the deck, but the delicious guacamole and pu pu platters will help us forget that we have to enjoy it inside. You can order pickup through their website or you can order delivery through the Favor app. 

Blue Corn Harvest
This scratch kitchen just North of Austin has you covered on all things great food. Try one of the incredible burgers - or any of their other great entrees. They are offering a takeout option during this unprecedented time.

While this list doesn’t do Austin justice when you consider the thousands of restaurants in Austin, it should put you on the right track to enjoy some of the foods you love from the comfort of your home. With the impact this pandemic has had on our economy our favorite restaurants need us more now than ever. What are some of your favorite Austin restaurants?

4 Tips for Quickly Leasing Your Rental Property

System - Thursday, April 2, 2020

Whether you have a portfolio or just one rental property, it’s important to minimize the time your property spends on the market. As the saying goes, “time is money”, and every day your property spends on the market is money lost on your investment. Every day, 110 people move to Austin which makes it a strong rental market with a large pool of potential tenants. The fact of the matter is that while Austin is great for landlords, it's also great for tenants as there is no shortage of available rental properties.  How do you set your rental property apart from the others? Here are 4 tips that we apply to the rental properties that we manage in Austin:

Curb Appeal

It’s the little things that count and a first impression is always the most important. This is how they will tell their friends and family where they live…”It's the cute blue house with the white trim and wooden shutters.” Also, this will be the first photo that renters and showing agents see on the listing online. Easy ideas include:

  • Trimmed Lawn/Landscaping

  • New Exterior Paint

  • Sleek House numbers

  • Updated Shutters

  • A Front Door that Pops

  • New Mailbox

  • Front Doormat that says “Welcome Home”

Price 

As a landlord, you want the highest amount possible in monthly rent, but forcing a higher price on your property than what it should be could cost you money in the long run. If you could lease your property for sure at $1,150 but decide to list at $1,200 and it sits for a month. At $1,150 you'd have made $600 less for the year, but due to your property sitting on the market an extra month at $1,200 you've effectively lost money on your investment. 

To a renter, price is very important. If they feel like they received a good deal then they start off living in your property with a happy attitude. If you want to start with the property priced higher at the beginning that is not an issue, but you should ever expect to just receive top dollar for your rental property. If after a couple of weeks you haven't had much interest you can't be unwilling to cut the price to adjust to the market or you could experience extended vacancies. 

Running comps is a great way to see what comparable homes in your neighborhood/region are receiving in monthly rent. This gives you a better idea of what price to list your home to garner the most attention on the MLS. Stone Oak is happy to provide property owners in Austin with a free market analysis for their property. No obligations. no catch.

Free CMA Packet

Availability

Leasing is a much more fast-paced transaction than your typical real estate deal. Making your property available to potential renters for showings is important. If someone is looking for a place to rent, they more than likely need to make a decision soon and the more available your property is the better chance you have at leasing your home quickly. Being available is key. For example, our Austin property managers provide showings to potential renters by request every single day until 9 pm making it convenient as possible for potential renters to see our home and sign a lease. Again, renters are making quick decisions. If you aren't responding to inquiries on your property in quick fashion you are losing to the competition. 

Make The Process 'Hassle-Free'

The average person is twice as likely to write a bad review than a good one. You need to create as little friction as possible to ensure a pleasant experience for anyone interested in your rental property. Your processes for tenants, from showing the home to move-in need be as convenient as possible for potential tenants. 

There is a wide array of tools available to owners looking to manage their rental properties and keep everything on track and in order. However, if you are looking for a passive investment with minimal oversight on your end we recommend hiring an Austin property manager. A quality property management company will have processes in place to not only make the tenants experience easier but yours as well. For example, our company offers on-demand showings, quick turnaround time on applications, easy move-ins that are scheduled at the renter's convenience and more. 

At the end of the day, if you care about your rental property it shows. Tenants will appreciate any owner who applies the above to their rental home and owners will experience happier tenants and shorter vacancies for their rental home(s). Please contact our team of Austin property managers today with more questions about leasing your home and the best practices to do so quickly. 


Austin Home for Rent: 7311 Sunset Heights

System - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

7311 Sunset Heights, Austin, Texas 78735

View this and more homes for rent in Austin, Texas


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Stone Oak Property Management
13497 N Highway 183, Ste. 700
Austin, TX 78750

Phone: 512.617.6766
Toll Free: 888.892.7940
Fax: 512.994.2300

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