Austin Property Management Blog

Austin, Texas Leasing Market Update | January 2021

Jason Huval - Friday, January 15, 2021

We are off to a running start for 2021. The 2020 year was full of surprises and pitfalls, but as a company we fared better than most. Our rent collections stayed consistent and we were able to continue to practice property preservation with a pandemic in full swing. Our staff at Stone Oak is dedicated to serving you and your Austin property management needs in 2021 with the same integrity and passion for excellence that you expect from us. 

On January 14, 2021, President-elect Biden announced his stimulus proposal. In this plan, he proposes some payments to landlords, forbearance options and more money directly to taxpayers that qualify. The proposal suggests the payments for rents included in the proposal are to be made directly to landlords. This would be a move in the right direction, however, he is also proposing to extend the eviction moratorium until September 2021. The issues are complex and create more challenges, however, we are doing our best to stay ahead of them and continue to remain effective in rent collections. Keep in mind, this is simply a proposal and will likely be further modified, but we are aware that it could be coming down the pipe and wanted to make you aware that it will be coming soon.  

We have maintained open communication with all tenants that fall behind in their rent payments and have been successful in executing payment plans and voluntary move-outs where possible with tenants that are cooperative and that can no longer afford rents. We will continue this effort in 2021 and make changes to our approach as more options become available. 

If you have any questions about the Austin market please don't hesitate to contact our team of Austin property managers at Stone Oak!

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2316 Hat Bender Loop Available for Lease in Round Rock, Texas!

Grant Williams - Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2316 Hat Bender Loop, Round Rock, TX 78664

1,867 SF | 3 Bed | 2 Bath

View this property and more available rental homes across Austin, Texas!

Considering renting turning your property into a rental home? Learn how much you can earn in rent every month with a free market analysis for your property from Stone Oak Property Management!

1009 Alden Court for Lease in Austin's 78758 Zip Code!

Grant Williams - Monday, January 11, 2021

1009 Alden Court, Austin, TX 78758

View this and more available Austin rental homes!

Have a property just like this one? Learn about Stone Oak's Austin property management services.

21402 Greylag Drive for Rent in Pflugerville, Texas!

Grant Williams - Thursday, January 7, 2021

21402 Greylag Drive, Pflugerville, TX 78660

For more information about this property visit our Austin, Texas rental properties page. 

Considering renting your property that's similar to this one? Claim your free rental market analysis packet from Stone Oak!

Should I Get a Home Warranty for My Austin Rental Property?

Grant Williams - Monday, January 4, 2021

Having been in property management for over 10 years, Stone Oak Property Management has worked with our fair share of vendors in different industries. One industry our owners are always checking to make sure we work with are home warranty companies. As a leading Austin property management company, Stone Oak advises our current and potential clientele to leave the home warranty policy behind. While a home warranty policy can seem attractive on paper, typically they just add another layer of work on top of any issues with your rental property. 

Typically a Home Warranty is “gifted” to our property owners during the purchase of a rental property to enhance the perceived value of the property “deal“. Other times they are purchased by the home buyer/owner that may be afraid of an avalanche of maintenance costs. In both cases, the perception of value is far greater than what will typically ever be realized.  Not only will the value prove to be less than was hoped for, the aftermath of trying to utilize it can cost you in a number of untold ways.

In every case, the first action the Home Warranty company will do, when contacted by your property management company, is seek to deny your claim.  If they cannot disallow the claim through the fine details of the contract, they will arrange for a vendor to go to diagnose the issue, and further try to disallow the claim using terms like negligence, life expectancy, improper maintenance, etc.  Regardless of what they determine, you will be charged a fee for their trip.  Typically that is around 75 dollars, whether they do anything or not.

The two major items that they can on occasion help offset the replacement costs on are the water heater and HVAC system.  Assuming you had a property inspection at the time of purchase, you likely know approximately how old your water heater is, and if it is approaching 8 plus years in age this could become a consideration, though a typical complete replacement of a standard residential water heater is around 1200 dollars - or roughly two years premiums for Home Warranty coverage.  So let's say you keep the money in your reserves that you would have paid the Home Warranty Company instead, if the water heater lasts just three more years, you are way ahead financially.

If the diagnosis requires a repair or replacement of a water heater they usually find a way to stick the homeowner with the bulk of the cost.  They always say the unit must be brought up to code and will give a price higher than our cost of replacing the unit.  The warranty will not replace the unit unless the additional money is spent to bring it up to code, and they will not send other vendors to bid the job nor will they allow ours to do so.  This is just one example of how they increase your cost and provide the bare minimum. 

So that leaves us with the Air Conditioner.  This is where they scare you and sell you., and this is the area that will cause you the greatest discontent, extreme upset, and disloyalty from your residents.

In the hot summers of Austin, every HVAC breakdown is critical, and rapid response is crucial in maintaining strong resident appreciation and ultimately retention.  Home Warranty companies DO NOT accept after-hours calls, and the vendors do not do after-hours work even if the call was received during business hours.  It is not uncommon to get a call from a resident on a Friday afternoon that cannot even be assigned a vendor until Monday morning when dealing with home warranty companies.  When a claim is made it is put in the queue of vendors that often means they will not get an actual visit to the property for at least 3-5 days.  So in this scenario, we could have a resident go well over a week with no air conditioning in order to access home warranty benefits.  Sometimes if it is something simple they are able to do a quick repair and the home warranty serves its purpose, but most of the time what we see is that the vendor has to report back with a diagnosis and seek approval from the home warranty company.   This can lengthen the process and then if the home warranty approves the work they have to order parts and/or schedule a follow-up visit that further delays the repair all the while the tenant is without AC.

In addition to that delay, which is not the exception, rather the norm, there are other problems that come from warranty contractors.  The people that are sent to do the work are not vetted by us and we have no control over the customer experience with your resident. They are paid flat, predetermined amounts for work that is usually under market rates thus they may cut corners or do otherwise shoddy work. 

Financially, we have to consider the reality of what they are selling as well.  These contracts typically range from $450-$850 depending on the company, coverage, etc.  The reality is that they would go out of business pretty quickly if they were paying for $1200 water heaters or $5000 HVAC replacements on a regular basis. 

These are only a few points that come from our experience with dozens of home warranties, of which most are overall terrible while others are ok to work with even though we end up with similar results.  Some other points that contribute to our assessment without getting into the details are long delays in getting vendors to the property including some that go on for weeks, vendors failing to show up or respond, long wait times to get someone on the phone to file or follow up on claims, and no urgency when an actual emergency repair is required to protect your asset. 

In summary, understand what you may be purchasing.  In our opinion, it all but guarantees your residents dissatisfaction when living in your Austin rental home and having maintenance issues. Tenants will definitely remember these things when it is time to renew and it's in our client's best interest to keep rent-paying tenants in their properties!

Have questions about your rental property and the different protections you can offer it? Contact our team of Austin property managers today to learn more about our company & services!

103 Insider Loop Available for Lease in Elgin, Texas!

Grant Williams - Tuesday, December 15, 2020

103 Insider Loop, Elgin, TX 78621

1,539 SF | 3 Bed | 2 Bath

Visit our 'Rentals' page to learn more and view our available Austin rental homes.

12292 Mulligan Glen Court C Available for Lease in Austin, Texas!

Grant Williams - Wednesday, December 9, 2020

12292 Mulligan Glen Court Unit C, Austin, TX 78753

1,266 SF | 2 Bed | 2 Bath

Learn more about this home and view more available Austin rental properties on our Rentals page. 


Own a rental property like this? Learn more about our Austin property management services

Austin Home for Lease: 10302 Stubble Quail Circle

Grant Williams - Monday, November 23, 2020

10302 Stubble Quail Circle, Austin, TX 78758

1,324 SF | 4 Bed | 2 Bath

Apply for this home today or view this and other Austin, Texas homes for rent from Stone Oak Property Management!

Austin, Texas Leasing Market Update | November 2020

System - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The markets in Austin & the Central Texas area are still going strong. We were not sure how COVID-19 would affect the housing market and more importantly the local economy, but we keep getting surprised.

The rental market has slowed as we enter the tail end of the year, but we believe it to be seasonal. We are still leasing homes every week and our economy is strong in Central Texas. In September, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) stated that our unemployment rate for Texas is 6.8 percent and 5.5 in the Austin-Round Rock MSA. “Texas is below the national seasonally adjusted rate of 8.4 percent" and the rate has been slowly dropping and is now the lowest since March 2020.

The market for homes for sale has not slowed down. The demand for housing in greater Austin is fueled greatly because we don't have the inventory to meet the demands of everyone trying to move to the area. Affordable houses are being sold well over asking prices after a bidding war and often without inspection periods. Our brokerage and sister company, Central Metro Realty, has had consecutive record months since July. People are still flocking to the Austin area from states like New Jersey, New York, Arizona and California where the cost of living is higher than here, at least for now.

Many housing experts and economists point to the virus as a potential reason for the surge in the suburbs for both sales and leasing. People are looking for more space, have less commuting to do and this has driven them to suburbs in droves. They are ditching their high-end, expensive apartments and seeking single-family homes for accommodation which is driving an increase in rents for single-family rentals across the country. 

All the while, we are pleased that people are paying their rent. Less than 5% of our tenants are in delinquency status, which is significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, yet still indicative of a relatively strong residential rental and job market.  This is in spite of the ban on evictions being in place until the end of the year. 

We are fortunate to be in a market that is able to experience growth like Austin, as the influx of people to the city continues to drive the strong market. With Tesla bringing their new factory to the area and Apple building their new campus right up here by Stone Oak's offices, we feel strongly about the Austin housing market going forward.

If you have any further questions about the leasing market or property management services for Austin rental homes, please don't hesitate to contact our team at Stone Oak Property Management. 

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1200 E 11th Street #304 For Rent in Austin, Texas

Grant Williams - Friday, November 6, 2020

1200 E 11th Street #304, Austin, TX 78702

513 SF | 1 Bed | 1 Bath

For more information about this apartment for rent visit the 'Rentals' tab of our website.

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

Phone: 512.617.6766
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