Inside T&H: Marketing Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Devon L. Hicks on Dec 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Once we’ve taken over management of your property, gotten all of the necessary paperwork in order, and have it in rent ready condition, it’s time to show it off to the world.

We pride ourselves on having one of the most comprehensive and successful marketing plans in Indianapolis. In fact, we typically rent our homes 2-3 weeks faster than our collective competition.

It’s not by dumb luck that this phenomena occurs. We put a lot of time, effort, and staffing into our marketing efforts to ensure your home is seen by as many qualified Renters as possible.

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Inside T&H: Taking Over Management of a Vacant Property

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 2, 2018 10:00:00 AM

So, you are all signed up, set up, and you have a vacant property.

Vacancy, as we discuss over and over, is the single biggest drain on an investor’s return.

We’re on the same page with you, and our goal is to get the property in rent-ready shape and on the market as soon as possible.

Let’s spend some time reviewing our processes whenever we take over management of a vacant property.

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Inside T&H: Taking Over Management of an Occupied Home

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 18, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Now that you are a Client of ours, how we initially proceed is dependent on the occupancy status of the home.

Prior to 2017, almost all the homes we placed under our management were vacant. Occasionally, we picked up occupied homes, but not often.

However, that’s all changed.

Now, a significant portion of homes we take on are occupied… generally from other management companies in Central Indiana.

As a result, we’ve created detailed processes on the proper way to onboard an occupied property.

Bottom line: We’re pretty good at it.

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Inside T&H: Becoming Our Client

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 11, 2018 10:00:00 AM

At T&H Realty, we strive to be totally transparent with our Clients and prospective Clients.

One of our core values is “Always Educating and Advising.”

Generally, this starts well before we even speak to potential Clients.

As you may know, our website is LOADED with information… from our detailed pricing breakdown, as well as other informative, insightful content.

In an effort to further facilitate this mission, we have decided to produce a series of blogs detailing the inner workings of our company. You can expect to see topics on everything from how we handle move-ins and security deposits, to how we handle evictions and turnover work.

We want our current Clients to have a firm understanding of our processes, and prospective Clients to know what we’re all about even before signing with us.

So, let’s start at the beginning… “Becoming our Client.”

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Inside T&H: Using Rently to Rent Your Home Faster

By Devon L. Hicks on Nov 4, 2018 10:00:00 AM

*This blog is intended for Clients and Prospective Clients to further understand the Rently Self Showing System and how we utilize it to benefit our Owner Clients.*

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Smoke Detectors: What Indianapolis Landlords Need to Know

By Devon L. Hicks on Oct 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the various obligations that you have as an Indianapolis Landlord.

On a very basic level, you’re required to provide your Tenants with a safe, clean, and habitable dwelling.

Drilling down into the safety aspect is where smoke detectors come in.

Yes, smoke detectors.

Those circular, plastic gadgets that we stick on our ceilings and don’t give a second thought about until the batteries start to die which causes that annoying, incessant chirping.

At which point, let’s be honest, we usually just end up taking the batteries out until we finally remember to replace them a month later.

In your personal home, you have the luxury of doing what you want (although I strongly recommend that you keep your smoke detectors in good working order as it could save your life). But the fact is, when you’re running a business, which you are when you become a Landlord, you don’t have that luxury.

You have a very distinct set of laws and guidelines that you have to follow.

Smoke detectors may seem like such a small, trivial issue in the grand scheme of rental property ownership.

But I assure you, if it wasn’t important, there wouldn’t be an entire section of Indiana Law dedicated to it.

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How Does the Marion County Tax Sale Work?

By Devon L. Hicks on Oct 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

If you weren’t aware, the Marion County Tax sale just took place this past week in Indianapolis.

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Indianapolis Property Management Update: Rental Statistics Q3, 2018

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 14, 2018 10:00:00 AM

The Central Rental Market Machine chugged right along during this year's Third Quarter, posting some impressive numbers, particularly in Indianapolis. 

Generally, prices are steady, number of rented homes are up and days on market are down. 

All of which are good numbers for Landlords. 

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How Do Emergency Evictions Work in Indianapolis?

By Devon L. Hicks on Oct 7, 2018 10:00:00 AM

We’ve discussed Indianapolis evictions at length in past blogs.

There are evictions that benefit you as the Owner, and there are evictions that can benefit Tenants (Constructive Eviction).

There is, however, a third type of eviction.

This is the holy grail of evictions, if you will.

The eviction process that every Landlord dreams about.

The ever elusive, highly coveted….Emergency Eviction.

For those of you who have gone through the unfortunate circumstance of having to evict a Tenant, you know it can be a grind.

It’s not an instant solution.

In fact, it can take weeks, or even months, to go through a typical eviction court process.

In a perfect world, you could dispel lease violating Tenants within days, but unfortunately, that’s not our reality.

So, an Emergency Eviction is the closest we get; and even still, it has some major limitations.

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How Does the Marion County Sheriff Sale Work?

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 30, 2018 10:00:00 AM

This is a topic I’m shocked has taken us so long to blog about.

We’ve been attending the Marion County Sheriff Sale since 2005.

And - wow - do we have stories to tell.

Lot’s of them, which we may decide to do in future blogs.

But, to start, I thought I would use this blog to discuss the basics of the Marion County Sheriff Sale.

Sort of a “Marion County Sheriff Sale for Dummies” blog.

Note: I’m obviously not a lawyer, not an expert on foreclosures, so I’ll provide a VERY basic overview of the process.

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The PTFA: What Real Estate Investors Need to Know

By Devon L. Hicks on Sep 23, 2018 10:00:00 AM

I’m sure many of you can remember, or are at least aware of what the housing market was like around 2008.

Dismal to say the least.

The Case-Schiller home price index reported its largest price drop in history, foreclosures increased seven-fold, and there was a credit crisis that resulted from the bursting of the “housing bubble.”

The 2007-2009 recession was brutal, and it affected a lot of people.

If you were an investor or real estate professional during this time, you’re probably having some PTSD flashbacks.

Luckily, the housing market began to bounce back around 2012, and Warren Buffet was a major reason for that.

He was the spark that lit the fire for what is now single family home investing. He suggested investors should buy up homes while prices were low, and then reap the benefits when the market leveled out.

And that’s just what began to happen.

We can now see the results of that idea. It’s a MUCH different climate today.

In Indianapolis, there’s not even enough inventory to go around because so many people are investing here, and seeing major success.

Let’s go back to 2009 for a second, though.

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6 Tips to Manage Long Distance Rentals Effectively

By Ben Mizes on Sep 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Investing in your own backyard is an incredible strategy if you are able to find the deals that will help you achieve your investment goals.

If you happen to live in a market that doesn’t have the best returns, however, you need to look out of state. Managing long distance rentals effectively takes a bit of work, but many do it very successfully.

Here are their secrets.

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Tenant's Rights Prevail: Buying a Tenant-Occupied Indianapolis Rental Property

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM

If you are like most investors out there, my guess is you spend a lot of time reviewing MLS listings.

I’ll also guess that you’ve run across some language in an MLS description that includes a phrase, “Tenant’s rights prevail.”

Here’s an example of a description I found on our local MLS system…

"Investor alert! Check out this spacious and updated ranch on Indy’s west side. Home went through a complete remodel 6 months ago, including new roof, HVAC, kitchen and bathroom updates. Home is Tenant occupied. Tenant’s rights prevail.”

Now, as you know, or as you should know, Tenants do have certain rights when living in a property, including...

  • The right to quiet enjoyment
  • The right to occupancy
  • The right to a habitable home
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11 Tax Deductions Indianapolis Landlords Need to Take Advantage Of

By Devon L. Hicks on Sep 2, 2018 10:00:00 AM

While owning rental real estate can be a great way to build wealth, it most certainly comes with its fair share of expenses.

Taxes are one of those expenses.

For every dollar you earn, you’ve got to give a few cents - or maybe more than a few cents - back to Uncle Sam.

No one can escape it.

Well, you can try, but that’s called tax evasion - a federal offense - so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Even though the IRS invokes fairly negative feelings by taxpayers, it isn’t all bad. In fact, the IRS offers rental property owners a hefty amount of tax breaks.

You just have to know where to look.

Unfortunately, the IRS isn’t going to provide you with a neatly, bulleted list of deductions and I doubt you’ll want to scan over the 73,000+ pages in the U.S. Tax Code to find them, so I thought I would highlight a few.

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What Maintenance Am I Legally Responsible for as an Indianapolis Landlord?

By Devon L. Hicks on Aug 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Recently, we’ve picked up a lot of properties from other Property Management companies in Indianapolis.

And when I say a lot, I mean a LOT.

This has given us the opportunity to see a wide range of Lease Agreements.

Some are pretty standard and some...well, some have been a little questionable in the legal department.

When we take over management of an occupied property, we must honor the Lease that is currently in place until the end of the term. We’ve been surprised at some of the provisions in these agreements, especially in regards to maintenance.

Some of the provisions explicitly outline that the Tenant is responsible for all maintenance in the rental home. 

Yes, all maintenance.

But, in the state of Indiana, this is neither legal nor ethical from a Property Management standpoint.

It’s also just downright lazy.

One of the main reasons property owners hire a PM is to handle maintenance issues. It’s a big part of what we do.

And one of the main reasons people decide to rent, is because they’re not ready to take on the commitment of home-ownership... i.e. maintenance.

So, forcing all of the maintenance onto your Renter is basically just a recipe for disaster.

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The Indianapolis Landlord's Guide to the SCRA

By Devon L. Hicks on Aug 19, 2018 10:00:00 AM

In the landlording business, there’s nothing quite as exciting as filling a vacant unit. When that 1, 2, or 3 year Lease gets signed, you sigh in relief at the thought of guaranteed revenue coming in for the next 12+ months, right?

That’s probably why it’s equally, if not more disheartening when you find out that your Tenant wants to break their Lease. Suddenly, you don’t have that security and frustration tends to take over.

I think we can all agree, that our first instinct in this situation is to fight back. Raise your hand if you’ve ever said or thought something along the lines of…"I don’t care what the reason is, they signed a contract!"

Unfortunately for us Landlords and Property Managers, Leases aren’t always the end all, be all.

In previous blogs, we’ve discussed several scenarios where Tenants may have the right to legally and freely break their Lease agreement, such as domestic violence disputes or when a Landlord fails to perform certain obligations.

Well, not to be the bearer of more bad news, but there’s yet another scenario that allows your Tenant to get out of a Lease without penalty, and it’s thanks to a little piece of legislation called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or the SCRA.

This is a very complex, and important law for you to be aware of. Since it’s Federal, it will affect you wherever you own rental properties in the United States.  

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Tales from an Indianapolis Property Management Company: Renting in a Rent Restricted HOA

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Like most property managers in larger cities, we manage a lot of homes in the suburbs.

You know, those idyllic settings several miles from the city center, where young families congregate in mass.

Areas full of chain restaurants, churches and strip malls.

Managing homes in Indianapolis ‘Burbs is great. The homes are usually newer and, because of generally strong school systems, always have a large Tenant base.

One caveat about most suburban areas, however, is the presence of Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

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How Do Constructive Evictions Work in Indianapolis?

By Devon L. Hicks on Aug 5, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Oftentimes, we think of Lease Agreements as a formalized list of Tenant requirements.

When is rent due?

What are the Tenant’s maintenance responsibilities?

When is the Tenant required to provide a notice to vacate?

Obviously, when a Tenant enters into a Lease Agreement, you expect them to abide by the provisions stated in the Lease.

And if they fail to honor those obligations, you, as a Landlord, have definite rights to seek damages.  

But here’s something that I think Landlords sometimes overlook…

When you enter into a Landlord-Tenant relationship, not only does the Tenant have obligations, but you do as well.

Yes, you, as a Landlord, have responsibilities.

Even if those responsibilities aren’t explicitly mentioned in the Lease.  

Just as you can evict a Tenant for violating the Lease, you can indirectly and inadvertently  “evict” a Tenant by not providing adequate or safe housing.

In real estate law, this is called a Constructive Eviction and it’s much, much worse for Landlords than a regular eviction.  

So, let’s dig into this a little bit.

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Aggressive Dog Breeds vs. Insurance: What Indianapolis Landlords Need to Know

By Devon L. Hicks on Jul 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM

I want to start out by saying that we, as a company, LOVE dogs.

Almost every one of our staff members has at least one furry friend and from a business standpoint, we encourage property Owners to allow pets in their rentals.

In our experience, the pros of having a pet friendly unit far outweigh the cons.

However, ‘pet friendly’ shouldn’t equate to any and all animals welcome.

Unfortunately, there are certain dog breeds that have garnered an unfavorable reputation and, in turn, have become too much of a liability for insurance companies to protect and, therefore, Landlords to accept. 

As unfair as it may seem to stereotype entire breeds, insurance companies are supposed to evaluate the risk of an incident happening, and they often feel that the presence of certain dog breeds on a homeowner's property boosts that risk.

Certain dogs simply pose a higher risk of harming someone more than others, so to many, it makes sense to ban those breeds from coverage.

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How Should I Handle a Domestic Violence Dispute in My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Devon L. Hicks on Jul 22, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Domestic violence probably isn’t one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Landlord responsibilities.

It may not even come to mind at all.

But the fact is, that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of domestic violence within their lifetime.  While these are disturbing statistics, they reveal how critical it is that Landlords and Property Managers understand their local laws, both to help protect Tenants and to avoid unwittingly breaking Landlord-Tenant laws.

So, if you haven’t guessed already, we’re going to take some time to discuss an Indianapolis Landlord’s obligations in a domestic violence situation.

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Indianapolis Property Management Update: Rental Statistics Q2, 2018

By Jeremy Tallman on Jul 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Updated, fresh from the oven, Indianapolis rental statistics are in for Second Quarter, 2018.

Mostly, things were steady, but a couple of interesting numbers appeared that are worth some discussion. 

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Excessive Tenant Fees: The Property Management Trend That Needs to Be Addressed

By Jeremy Tallman on Jul 8, 2018 10:00:00 AM

I’ll take some heat for this blog.

I can already anticipate some eye rolling, some emails, maybe a phone call or two.

Likely a few flames thrown my way in some internet forums.

By and large, my peers won’t like this.

But over the past year or two, a trend has emerged in the residential property management industry that has caused me some concern.

So much of a concern, that I thought it was time to discuss it in an open forum.

As someone who values our industry, wants to protect it, and wants it to succeed, I’m afraid we’re well down a road that needs a better road map.

So, I’m a big boy and I’ll gladly accept any backlash that may occur.

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An Indianapolis Property Manager's Review of SimpliSafe

By Jeremy Tallman on Jul 1, 2018 10:00:00 AM

*This review is not paid for or solicited by SimpliSafe or any of its affiliates.*

Break-ins are a real and unfortunate reality of owning rental properties.

They rank right up there with some of the more difficult parts of being a Landlord.

Several years ago, when break-ins occurred in a rental property, options were limited in terms of security systems.

No matter which provider you went with, a long-term contract was almost always a part of the deal and an invasive installation was always required.

So, if the property was vacant, a Landlord had a decision to make… either wait until a new Tenant took possession (and chance another break-in) or bite the bullet and sign-up for a multi-year contract.

Neither option was a good one.

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3 Major Reasons the Condition of Your Indianapolis Rental Property is Important

By Jeremy Tallman on Jun 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Is condition really important?

If you are an experienced Investor - someone who has rented several homes or a home several times - you already know the answer, right?

Of course condition matters.

And while the answer seems simple, we occasionally have to remind some of our Clients that condition does indeed matter.

It matters, most importantly, to your bottom line.

Gone are the days when Landlords could simply offer a house that didn’t leak, provided heat and, attracted a good Tenant.

Today’s Tenant is demanding and, if you don’t react accordingly, you’ll find yourself with a worn out property.

A worn out EMPTY property.  

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6 Tips to Find the Perfect Home Neighborhood in Indianapolis

By Micheal Brennan on Jun 14, 2018 2:27:26 PM

*Guest Blog Post *

Whether you're buying or renting, the idea of "location, location, location" being essential to a good real estate investment might seem like a cliché, but that doesn't make it any less important.

While there are plenty of factors you'll need to think about when moving to a new house, from how many bedrooms you need, to whether you need a spare bathroom, there are few things more important than where you decide to lay your hat.

With a reliable real estate agent  or Property Management Company at your side, you have the world at your feet, and endless opportunities to find a home that suits you perfectly. With that in mind, we're going to cover just a few of the tips you can take with you when you're looking for not just your dream home, but the ultimate community too.

Topics: For Tenants
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The 10 Most Common Legal Mistakes Indianapolis Landlords Make

By Devon L. Hicks on Jun 10, 2018 10:00:00 AM

In the rental property industry there are always two sides of the coin - Landlords and Tenants.

In a perfect world, everything would always go smoothly, everyone would get along, and both parties would see eye to eye. 

Unfortunately, we live far, far away from that world. 

Every state has laws in place to protect both property Owners and Renters and there are certain requirements expected of each. You've heard the saying: "with great power comes great responsibility." Well, as a Landlord, you hold a great deal of power in your hands and so you have a greater burden of expectation. 

After being in business for over 10 years, we've made our fair share of mistakes and we've seen the pitfalls that other Landlords have fallen into as well. 

The bottom line is, it's on you - not your Tenant, not your lawyer - to ensure you're complying with state, federal, and municipal laws. Ignorance will not hold up in a court of law. 

Take a few minutes to read about the most common legal mistakes we've seen Landlords make across the board so that you don't suffer the same fate.  

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What's the Deal with Oceanpointe Property Management in Indianapolis?

By Jeremy Tallman on Jun 3, 2018 10:00:00 AM

We’ve been inundated with calls over the past several weeks from investors who share a similar story.

The conversation goes something like this.

“I need help. I own a few properties in Indianapolis and I haven’t received rent in (fill in the blank) months. No one is returning my calls. I feel like I’ve been scammed.”

For the most part, these homes are located in some of the worst areas of Indianapolis. I’ve used this illustration in the past to describe it best… picture the worst parts of Indianapolis and then picture the worst homes inside those neighborhoods.

Generally, those are the homes we’re discussing.

And inevitably, as we further discuss things with the investor, we learn that they were using Oceanpointe to manage their homes.

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What Indianapolis Landlords Need to Know about 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges

By Devon L. Hicks on May 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM

I think I speak for most of us - if not all of us - when I say that taxes can be complicated. 

But, unfortunately, as a real estate Investor, taxes are a big part of our life and in order to be successful, we have to stay informed. 

We've got property taxes, sales tax, write-offs, state, federal, the list feels never-ending sometimes. 

Luckily for us though, we get a ton of perks when it comes to taxes, which most individuals can't claim. 

On top of the plethora of items we can write off, there's another tax benefit special to real estate Investors - 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges. 

If you're looking to grow your portfolio and continue building wealth through REI, this could be a very viable option for you. There are some fantastic benefits and a LOT to learn about the process. 

*I would just like to disclaim that I am not a tax adviser or financial planning expert and you should consult one before you begin conducting a 1031 exchange.* 

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Should I Accept Section 8 for My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Jeremy Tallman on May 20, 2018 10:00:00 AM

A hot topic in the world of Real Estate Investing right now, is whether or not Landlords should accept Section 8.

Or rather, if they have to accept Section 8.

Many municipalities across the country are opting to make “source of income” a protected class. 

What does this mean for property Owners?

Basically, it makes your decision for you.

This increasingly popular trend ensures no Tenant is turned away due to being on a housing assistance program. In essence, you’re required to accept Section 8 vouchers.

So far, the state of Indiana has yet to implement this new protected class, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

For now though, if you own rental properties in Indianapolis, you still have a choice.

So, let’s dive a little deeper into the world of Section 8 to:

  1. Help you determine whether or not you want to accept it for your properties.

  2. Educate you so that you’re prepared in the event you have to start accepting it.
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Tales from an Indianapolis Property Management Company: Why Tenants and Owners Should Never Meet

By Jeremy Tallman on May 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Today, we thought we would begin a regular - or not so regular - blog series that brings you real-life stories, from a real-life Property Management Company - us - about various situations relevant to the day-to-day life of a Property Manager.

I’m certain, as single family Property Management continues to grow, that someone will produce a reality TV show about our industry.

Because, as you can imagine, or as you may know if you are a Landlord, there can be a lot of drama in the rental business.

Today’s story details an event that happened many years ago.

It was an event that was very painful, taught us some valuable lessons, and made us a much better Company in the long run.

But - wow - was it difficult.

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The Pros and Cons of Forming an LLC to Invest in Indianapolis Rental Real Estate

By Devon L. Hicks on May 6, 2018 10:00:00 AM

If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re conducting research to determine whether or not you should form an LLC for real estate investing purposes.

The good news is, there’s a fair amount of information out there, the bad news is, there’s no general consensus. Investors are are pretty torn on this issue and both sides of the argument seem to be passionate about why they’re right.

You can see a clear example of that in these two BiggerPockets articles, one against using LLCs and a rebuttal discussing why you absolutely should.

Out of the hundreds of investors that we represent, around 15% of them have formed LLCs to conduct their rental property business. That may not seem like an overwhelming majority, however, I think it’s a big enough number to warrant further discussion.

We certainly can’t tell you one way or the other what you should do, but there are definitely some pros and cons that you should be aware of when using an LLC for REI.

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An Indianapolis Property Manager's Review of Propertyware

By Jeremy Tallman on Apr 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM

If you Google “Property Management Software”, you will be overwhelmed at the amount of results that come back.

There are literally dozens of different companies out there all vying for your business and it can be daunting trying to scan through reviews and product descriptions to determine what solution will work best for you.

If you have been researching different PM software, you’ve most likely come across Propertyware. It’s by far one of the most popular options on the market right now along with Appfolio, Buildium, and a few other big names.

Our Company uses Propertyware. Today, we thought we would give you an extensive review of the product that we’ve used for more than 10 years.

*This review is not solicited or paid for by Propertyware or any of its affiliates.*

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5 Tips to Minimize Vacancy in Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Jeremy Tallman on Apr 22, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Vacancies present quite a challenge to Real Estate investors.

And in spite of your best efforts, vacancy is inevitable. No matter how good of a Landlord you are, Tenants are eventually going to move. And when they do, it's critical to minimize that vacancy as much as possible.

Tenant turnover is a big expense for many Landlords in the first place. And if you can't get the property re-rented in a reasonable amount of time, lost rents, cleaning costs, maintenance and advertising will compound the Vacancy Effect.  

In a previous blog we discussed ways to increase Tenant retention, and today we are going to share some ways you can reduce down time between Tenants.

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Vacancy: The Ultimate Indianapolis Rental Property Cash Flow Killer

By Jeremy Tallman on Apr 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM

When you think about rental property expenses, things like maintenance, management fees and mortgages are probably what come to mind.

But there’s one item you may not find when Googling typical costs associated with owning rental real estate.

Vacancy.

Now, you can argue that vacancy isn’t an expense per se. It doesn’t show up as a line item on your Profit & Loss statement, but it does have an impact on your income, and is what we’ve called time and time again a “cash flow killer.”

We always advise our Central Indiana Investors to consider vacancy as an associated cost of owning a rental property and to budget accordingly. A general rule of thumb is to expect your property to be vacant for at least one month out of the year or, at a minimum, 8%. Most industry experts will argue that 10% is a better number.

Fortunately, vacancy is currently at a cyclical low nationally, and Indianapolis is set to see a vacancy rate of 6.9%, which is down 70 basis points from 2016 according to homeunion.com.

Even though single family home vacancy rates are on the decline, it’s critical to be prepared for when your property sits vacant longer than you anticipated.

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Indianapolis Property Management Update: Rental Statistics

By Jeremy Tallman on Apr 8, 2018 10:00:00 AM

After suffering through its worst quarter in four years, the Central Indiana rental market saw a huge rebound during this year's first quarter.

In spite of a less than stellar January, where frigid temperatures kept a lot of people indoors instead of out looking for rental homes, first quarter numbers were eerily similar to quarter one of 2017. 

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What Landlords Need to Know About Indianapolis Fair Housing Laws

By Devon L. Hicks on Apr 1, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Fair Housing laws are right up there with property taxes and insurance when it comes to level of excitement for Landlords.

You may feel the Fair Housing Act is fairly straightforward and common sense, and you would never knowingly discriminate anyone from renting your property.

So, why is it such a big deal? Why even spend the time reading a blog about it?

We’ll tell you why.

Lawsuits, lawsuits and more lawsuits.

You would probably be shocked to know how many Landlords and Property Managers have been sued over housing discrimination issues due to ignorance of the law and what all it entails.

Violating Fair Housing guidelines isn’t as cut and dry as refusing to rent to someone because of the color of their skin.

There are numerous caveats and subtleties that you should be aware of to avoid an embarrassing and costly lawsuit.

So, in honor of National Fair Housing Month, we thought we would spend some time breaking down the Fair Housing Act so that you don’t make any of these avoidable mistakes.

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Can I Raise Rents Every Year on My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Devon L. Hicks on Mar 25, 2018 10:00:00 AM

If you are a rental property Owner at this point in time, you are part of a monumental shift in the market.

Between younger generations preferring renting to buying, along with the lingering ramifications of the housing crash, we’re seeing the strongest stretch of rental growth since the 1980s.

What may be a Renter’s worst nightmare is a Landlord’s dream come true.

Rising demand for units + low inventory = Increased rent rates.

According to CNBC, rents are at the top of the list for fastest rising consumer prices and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down.

If you subscribe to this blog, you know that rents in Indianapolis are definitely on the rise as well. 

You may have some reservations about raising your rental prices. You might be worried that raising rents will increase vacancy or scare off good tenants, or maybe you just really hate confrontation. These are legitimate concerns that deserve further discussion. 

You have to keep in mind that while your property is someone’s home, it’s also a business and an income generating investment and you need to treat it accordingly. 

While you may not be able to raise rent every year for the rest of your investment career, for the time being, we're in an environment that's certainly conducive to increasing rent rates. 

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How Good Maintenance Processes Help Retain Tenants

By Devon L. Hicks on Mar 18, 2018 10:00:00 AM

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: When you buy rental real estate, you’re entering into a small business.

As with all businesses, large or small, customer service should always be a major priority. After all, it’s easier and cheaper to retain customers than it is to find new ones.

As a Landlord, this holds true for you, too.

Maybe even more so than many other industries.

Effective Property Management is a critical component of any successful buy and hold strategy. If your Tenants renew, you save a TON of time, energy and money.

To maximize your investment, you should strive to retain good Tenants and avoid vacancy, which, as we’ve noted before, is a cash flow killer.

Arguably, one of the best ways to keep your Tenants happy is to practice good maintenance processes.

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The Best Age to Start Investing in Indianapolis Rental Real Estate

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 11, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Several months ago, I was speaking with an investor friend of mine, who had just picked up a nice duplex in a solid area of Indianapolis at a foreclosure auction.

“Are you going to keep it?” I asked, knowing that he owned several rental homes already.  

“Nope. I’m going to flip it,” he said. “I’m too old to be buying more rentals.”

That hit me hard on a couple of different fronts.

One, he’s basically the same age as me. Too old... whaaatttt?

Two, does he have a point?  

Is there an age when buying rental properties no longer makes sense?

After pondering this idea for a while, I’ve come to this conclusion:

There are benefits to buying rental real estate at any age. We represent some very young investors and we represent some investors who have been in the business 50+ years.

Topics: New Landlord
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An Indianapolis Property Manager's Review of Rently Self-Showing Services

By Devon L. Hicks on Mar 4, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Technology has come a long way since we started in the real estate business back in 2000.

Self-Showing services are one of many new technologies that have come to the forefront of the rental property industry in the last few years. These services have changed the game when it comes to showing rentals and we are a real-life example of how they work.

There are a few major self-showing services out there right now, but we use a company called Rently.

Having used Rently for over a year now, we’ve had ample time to see the pros and cons of the service and thought we would share our opinion and experience with it.

This review is not paid for or solicited by Rently.

Topics: Marketing
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How Does a Security Deposit Work in Indiana?

By Jeremy Tallman on Feb 25, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Security Deposits are extremely important. 

Important to you as the Landlord, and important to your Tenant, because it's their money... until it isn't.

In fact, my guess is if you polled Property Management Companies around the country, the majority would say Security Deposits generate the most friction in their businesses. 

So, you need to have strong processes around Security Deposits, understand your state and local laws and still be prepared for some battles along the way.

Today, we thought we would discuss best practices concerning Security Deposit and provide some additional insight into how Indiana operates (or fails to operate, in some cases).

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10 Pre-Screening Questions to Ask Before Showing Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Devon L. Hicks on Feb 18, 2018 10:00:00 AM

It’s no news to you that your rental property is a big investment, and as with all big investments, you have to be extremely careful about who you entrust it to.

If you decide to invest in the stock market, for example, you’re likely going to do your due diligence and conduct a copious amount of research before you commit to investing your hard earned money.

By looking at past and present trends, company information, and other factors, you can get a good grasp of how a stock will perform for you. But remember, there is always going to be some uncertainty and variables outside of your control that may affect the investment as well.

The same goes for owning rental real estate.

You may choose to hire a professional Property Management Company to handle all aspects of your property, including screening all potential Tenants. 

But, you might also decide to self-manage. And to perform your due diligence, you need to screen potential Tenants thoroughly. There are various ways you can do this such as background check, credit report, Landlord references, etc.

But before all that, by simply conducting a series of pre-screening questions, almost like an interview, you can get a good feel for the individual before they even see the property.

That, in turn, can save you, and the potential Tenant, a lot of time, trouble and money.

Topics: New Landlord
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What if Someone Breaks into My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Devon L. Hicks on Feb 4, 2018 10:00:00 AM

As an owner of rental real estate, there are probably a few things you dread the most. Evictions, maintenance, and...break-ins.

Break-ins can be minor or extensive. They have the potential to leave your property heavily damaged and, if occupied, your Tenants feeling uneasy. 

Because of this, you should do everything within your power to prevent one from ever happening.

In Indianapolis, you have a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of a property crime. With odds like those, you need to be prepared to handle this situation should it ever arise. 

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The Landlord's Guide to Indianapolis Rental Property Expenses

By Devon L. Hicks on Jan 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

There are numerous reasons you may be thinking about becoming a Landlord, or maybe you have already made the decision. 

Perhaps you want a way to make some extra income or maybe you are being forced into it due to some extenuating circumstance: house won't sell, need to temporarily relocate, etc. Whatever the reason, you're probably curious about the costs involved with owning rental real estate. 

Unfortunately, there is no set expense budget. There's no magic formula to estimate what your yearly costs will be.

The fact is, the Real Estate industry is dynamic. You never know what issues may arise in a 12-month period.The best thing you can do is educate yourself and prepare the best you can to handle whatever gets thrown your way. 

Below is not an exhaustive list of possible expenses, but it should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect and plan for. 

Topics: New Landlord
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How Do Evictions Work in Indianapolis?

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Nearly every time we speak to new Landlords, the subject of evictions comes up.

It’s a hot button topic.

A topic that creates anxiety.  

And an issue that pushes many Landlords into hiring a Property Manager. 

For this week’s blog, I thought I would lay out exactly what’s required to file eviction in Central Indiana, along with some helpful tips if you ever have to file.

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13 Tips for Properly Maintaining My Indianapolis Rental Home

By Devon L. Hicks on Jan 14, 2018 10:00:00 AM

More often than not, maintenance has a negative connotation in the rental property world.

The goal of all Landlords is to minimize it.

The goal of all Tenants is to ensure it’s done and done right now.

For Landlords, maintenance usually means something is broken, or there’s some other issue that’s going to cost them money.

But that isn’t, and shouldn’t always, be the case.

Most maintenance should be viewed as asset preservation as opposed to fixing and replacing.

Most experienced and successful Landlords understand that the better a property is maintained, the lower the long-term expenses should be, and the higher chances for Tenant satisfaction and longevity.

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Indianapolis Property Management Update: Rental Statistics

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 7, 2018 10:00:00 AM

As many of you know, Central Indiana is a seasonal rental market. The first half of the year is booming, the second half... well, not so much.

And the 4th quarter of every year is always the slowest.

This year was no different. 

In fact, you'll have to go back more than four years to find a slower quarter for rental properties. 

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Our Top 10 Indianapolis Property Management Blog Posts of 2017

By Devon L. Hicks on Dec 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM

2017 has been a great year for content. Thanks to you, our readers, our blog has grown more in the last year than we ever thought possible!

We strive to create helpful, actionable, articles that will positively impact Landlords, Investors, and Property Managers alike. Sharing our experiences with you has been very rewarding and we look forward to continuing on into the new year.

As we ring in 2018, we wanted to take a quick look back at our top 10 posts of 2017. 

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Do I Have to Allow a Service or an Emotional Support Animal in My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Devon L. Hicks on Dec 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Here at T&H Realty, we highly recommend that rental property Owners allow pets in their homes. It not only puts more money in your pocket, but it opens up your rental property to a larger market. According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 68% of U.S. households own a pet. 

However, for whatever reasons, you may have decided that you don't want pets in your rental property, and that’s okay too. 

So, then the question comes down to, do you have to allow service and emotional support animals in your rental property? The short answer is yes. 

These animals and their owners have rights and privileges that you need to be aware of. It’s important to understand Fair Housing laws and how they will affect you.

This blog is only meant to be an informative piece of content and you should consult a real estate attorney before taking any action regarding this issue.

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How Much Will I Spend on Maintenance for My Indianapolis Rental Home?

By Devon L. Hicks on Dec 17, 2017 10:00:00 AM

We've been in the Property Management industry since the year 2000, and one of the most frequently asked questions from Landlords across the board is:

"How much will I spend on maintenance?"

As much as we want to provide a quick, one-size fits all answer, it's not that simple.

As you may know, maintenance expenses are dependent on a wide array of variables. There's no magic number we can give you because every property is a little different.

What we can do, however, is help you plan and create a budget for your specific property, and prepare you the right way for whatever maintenance issues may - and will - come your way.

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Return on Equity: The Best Real Estate Return Model You’ve Never Heard Of

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Real Estate Investors like numbers.

Or, at least they should.

And, in our industry, there are plenty of numbers and return models to consider. In fact, we’ve blogged about all the major ones, including:

However, today I thought I would discuss a return model that most people never talk about. I’ll guess that most people have never even heard of it. But, it’s a model that we embraced at the beginning of our real estate careers and I think one that deserves a little more love.

Topics: New Landlord
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Your Guide to Navigating Indianapolis Property Management Reviews

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 3, 2017 10:00:00 AM

There are no household names in the world of Property Management.

Anyone could rattle off a list of car manufacturers, television brands, or even local real estate companies.

But, Property Management is different.

And that can make finding a quality Property Management company difficult.

If you are like most people, unless you receive a trusted referral, you’ll take to the internet to learn about different Property Management companies, paying special attention to not only fees and services, but also to online reviews.

Reviews matter.

They absolutely sway opinions.

But they can also be confusing.

And yes, they can also be fake.

Today I thought I would spend some time discussing what to look for when reading various online reviews about Indianapolis Property Management companies.

Topics: New Landlord
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Who to Hire for Your Indianapolis Investment Dream Team

By Devon L. Hicks on Nov 19, 2017 10:00:00 AM

If you've been an investor for any period of time, you know the importance of choosing the right things. 

The right Realtor. 

The right property. 

The right Property Manager. 

The right vendors. 

Etc., etc., etc., 

These individuals and companies can make or break your investment experience. It's important to get into business with people who know what they're doing and have your best interest at heart. 

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How To: A Quick Guide to the Indianapolis Landlord Registry

By Devon L. Hicks on Nov 12, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Landlord registration is an ordinance that the City of Indianapolis, after much debate, established in 2015. It requires all Landlords and Owners of residential rental properties in Marion County to register with the City of Indianapolis' Department of Code Enforcement (DCE).

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The Pros and Cons of Leveraging vs. Paying Cash for Indianapolis Rental Properties

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM

I know a lot of people will read the headline of this blog and move right along to something else.

Because, in reality, there’s definitely a segment of investors - particularly new investors - who aren’t in the position to actually pay cash for an investment property… at least an investment property that’s habitable and in a respectable area.

But, for those of you in the position where you could pay all cash for an investment home, I’m sure you’ve debated the idea of paying cash, or using a mortgage - leverage - to help pay for the property.

This is a long-standing debate in the investment world and one that really doesn’t have a magic bullet answer.

At the end of the day, the answer all comes down to your personal needs and wants and what makes the best sense for you as an investor.

So, I thought I would spend some time discussing Pros/Cons of both and also talk about how we’ve used both over the years during our investment ventures.

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5 Tips for Finding Quality Property Management in Indianapolis

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 29, 2017 10:00:00 AM

So, you are in the market for a Property Manager.

My guess is that this decision is important to you.

It’s not one of those decisions that’s similar to purchasing, say, a stapler. While you may have a favorite and trusted place to buy a stapler, most people will generally look at the price, scan whatever features a particular stapler may have and make a quick decision.

If you’ve ever spent more than 1-2 minutes debating the type of stapler to buy, I’m certain you are in the minority.

Now, let’s compare that to searching for a daycare provider for your child.

In most cases, referrals from other parents you know will weigh heavily in your decision. If that’s not an option, you most certainly will read reviews of different daycares, visit the daycare or daycares you find appealing, and only enter into an agreement with a specific daycare provider when they’ve established a very high level of trust with you.

Where you place your child for potentially thousands of hours each year is a big decision and a decision you will only make after carefully reviewing your options.

And my guess is that price won’t be the determining factor. It will be part of the decision, for sure, but not the same way you decide on a stapler.

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6 Signs it May Be Time to Sell Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Devon L. Hicks on Oct 22, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Investing in rental real estate is an exciting and challenging venture. It takes both strategy and, somtimes, some good fortune to be successful.

When dealing with rental properties, there are three key factors to consider:

  1. When to buy
  2. Where to buy
  3. When to sell

All three are equally important and extremely dependent on one another.

So, today, we thought we would spend some time talking about a question we’ve gotten from some of our Owners:

“When is a good time to sell my Indianapolis rental property?”

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Indianapolis Property Management Update: Rental Statistics

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The 3rd Quarter statistics are finalized and the numbers are certainly both interesting and encouraging for Indianapolis Landlords.

In short, rents are on the rise and days on market are low, indicating a strong demand by Central Indiana residents in search of rental properties. 

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Should My Indianapolis Property Management Company Own Rental Real Estate?

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 8, 2017 10:00:00 AM

I came across a blog post recently that discussed some tips on choosing the right Property Management Company. It was written in the highly popular Bigger Pockets blog and was directed, of course, toward investors.  

There were 8 tips and I whole-heartedly agreed with all but one.

It was point #2...

"2. Do they own any rental properties themselves?  For me this can be a deal breaker!" 

Whaaaaaaaaa????  

Topics: New Landlord
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Pros/Cons: Renting My Indianapolis Rental Home to Family and Friends

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 1, 2017 10:00:00 AM

 

I get the temptation. You have a rental home and a family member or friend is interested in renting it.

Sounds like a nice idea.

Sounds easy.

Even sounds noble.

And sometimes it is those things. Sometimes the friend/family member moves in, pays rent, leaves the property in good condition, and your relationship is better because of it.

You’ve helped them out, they've helped you out.

Win-win.

But having been in this industry for as long as I have, I’ve also heard plenty of the horror stories.

It’s a conversation I’ve had multiple times over the years, and it typically starts this way:

Topics: New Landlord
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7 Property Management Blogs Every Landlord Should Be Reading

By Devon L. Hicks on Sep 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM

A while back, Feedspot voted us #36 on a list of the top 80 Property Management Blogs. We were thrilled and flattered, but more so surprised and excited to see all of the resources out there for landlords and rental property investors. 

We pride ourselves on our blog and do our best to provide the highest quality content and to educate anyone who wants to learn. 

Although we hold our blog in high regards, we realize that there is a wealth of knowledge and many other outstanding resources for individuals like yourself. 

So, we decided to use our expertise to make our own list of Property Management blogs that we think are the most helpful. 

Topics: New Landlord
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7 Tips to Convert Your Primary Residence Into an Indianapolis Rental Property

By Jake Knight on Sep 17, 2017 10:00:00 AM

So, you’re thinking about transitioning your personal residence to a rental property.  

Maybe the proposition excites you: "I REALLY want to be a Landlord."

Or, maybe you enter this discussion from a simple point of desperation: "I can't sell my house and renting is my only option." 

Whatever the case, renting out your home comes with a lot of potential benefits, but it’s also a decision you need to make after understanding exactly what it means to be a Landlord.  

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Is It OK to Break Even on My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Consider the following scenario:

You decide to buy a rental home and officially enter the Wonderful World of Landlording.

Five years later, after reviewing all of your financial information, you realize that you essentially broke even - from a cashflow standpoint - on the investment.

Meaning, while the investment didn’t put any additional cash into your pocket at the end of five years, you weren’t required to put any additional cash into the investment either. So, basically, your rents covered your expenses.  

Is this a bad thing?

Not necessarily.

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Where Should I Invest in Indianapolis?

By Paul Linn on Sep 3, 2017 10:00:00 AM

We take a lot of calls from investors who are interested in the Indianapolis real estate market. Inevitably, one of the first questions they ask is:

“Where Should I Invest in Indianapolis?”

The answer is: “It all depends on your investment goals.”  

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How Much Rent Should I Charge for My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Claire Holdsworth on Aug 27, 2017 10:00:00 AM

If you are considering renting your home, one of the first questions you might ask is:

“How much rent should I charge for my Indianapolis rental property?”

Pricing is very important. You want to ensure that you don’t price it too high, or the home will sit on the market; and you certainly don’t want to price it too low, and leave money on the table.

Topics: New Landlord
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What Landscaping Should My Indianapolis Tenant Do?

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 20, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Nearly every time I speak to someone new to the Indianapolis market or someone who is a new Landlord, the issue of landscaping comes up.

Most of these Landlords, it seems, don’t understand who is responsible for landscaping.

So today, I thought I would spend some time answering the question:

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Central Indiana Rental Market Update - A Record-Setting Quarter

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Sorry I'm a little tardy with this report. To say we've been busy is an understatement. And to say the Central Indiana rental market is hot right now is another understatement.  

After putting the numbers together,  we discovered not one, but two records were set during the quarter. 
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What Type of Insurance Do I Need as a Landlord?

By Jeremy Tallman on Jul 20, 2017 2:34:24 PM

Insurance.

I get it.

Real estate is filled with lots of exciting stuff, but insurance generally isn’t considered one of them. Insurance ranks right up there with property taxes... just another expense to throw on the pile.

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Should I Require Renters Insurance for My Indianapolis Rental Home?

By Jeremy Tallman on Jul 6, 2017 9:05:08 AM

If you are a Landlord, or considering becoming a Landlord, I’ll guess that you’ve at least thought about the idea of  Renters Insurance.

But most Landlords in the Indianapolis rental market, in my experience, aren’t overly concerned about Renters Insurance. In fact, I think most Landlords are under the impression that Renters Insurance will only cover the Tenants possessions in case of theft. And as a result, most Landlords don't require Renters Insurance.   

So, should you require Renters Insurance for your rental property? 

Absolutely, and there's 4 major reasons why:

    1. It mitigates the threat of a Lawsuit
    2. It reduces your responsibility
    3. It weeds out bad Tenants
    4. It gives you peace of mind
 
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When Should I Fire My Property Manager?

By Jeremy Tallman on Jun 2, 2017 9:53:17 AM

Recently, I’ve taken a lot of phone calls from Indianapolis real estate investors that tell me a similar story. It goes something like this…

“Hello, my name is Joe Investor and I own some rental properties in Indianapolis. I’m just really frustrated with my current Property Manager and I’m exploring my options.”

In response,  I generally follow-up with the same question each time…

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How Much Cash Flow Can I Expect in Indianapolis?

By Jeremy Tallman on May 19, 2017 12:50:50 PM

 Indianapolis is a city where many investors have decided to invest because it’s considered a “Cash flow Market.” We’re not a market, like in coastal cities, for example, that sees dramatic increase in property values, but we are considered a stable market that produces cash flow.

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Should I Buy a Home Warranty for My Indianapolis Rental Property?

By Jeremy Tallman on May 5, 2017 3:54:53 PM

 A question we receive from time-to-time from our Owners, is “Should I Buy a Home Warranty?”

As you probably know, a home warranty is a service contract that is designed to pay for home repairs. So, you pay a home warranty company an annual premium, which could range from a few hundred dollars a year to well over $1,000 per year, depending on options.

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What Type of Cash on Cash Return Should I Expect in Indianapolis?

By Jeremy Tallman on Apr 21, 2017 9:45:56 AM

 A common question we receive from many new investors to the Central Indiana market is: What type of cash on cash return should I expect in Indianapolis?

As you probably know, cash-on-cash is simply the annual pre-tax cash flow of a property divided by the actual cash invested.

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What Kind of Cap Rate Should I Expect in Indianapolis?

By Jeremy Tallman on Apr 14, 2017 5:03:04 PM

We work with a lot of investors throughout the United States and throughout the world. A question we receive from many new to the Central Indiana market is: What kind of cap rate should I expect in Indianapolis?

As most of you know, the cap rate simply measures the annual net income of a property divided by the purchase price.

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Should I Have a Home Inspection?

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 30, 2017 12:07:49 PM

 A question that we hear all the time from Buyers is, "Should I have a home inspection?" As a licensed Realtor, I always advise clients to have a home inspection. I recommend having a home inspection regardless if this is your first time buying a home or you are buying the property as an investment home. Without an inspection, you would have no clear way of knowing if everything is working properly and is up to code.

There are two main benefits to having a home inspection done.

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What Does an Indianapolis Property Manager Do?

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 24, 2017 1:33:07 PM

We take phone calls on a pretty routine basis from people who are considering renting out their home who really don’t understand, at a very basic level, what a Property Management company does.

It’s one of those, “So, how does all this work?” questions.

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Should I Allow Pets in My Rental Property?

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 17, 2017 10:17:11 AM

 A question we get fairly often from Landlords is: “Should I Allow Pets?”

Generally, we recommend that our Owners open their property to pets. And there are a few reasons for that.

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Do I Really Need To Hire a Property Manager?

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 10, 2017 11:26:29 AM

 If you are a new Landlord, I’m certain you’ve asked yourself, “Do I really need to hire a Property Manager?”

Now, as an Owner of a Property Management company, you probably are thinking, “Well, I know what this guy is going to say.” But, my answer might surprise you. 

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What If a Tenant Destroys My Indianapolis Rental Home?

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 3, 2017 8:50:15 AM

 One of the top questions we get from people who have never been a Landlord is, “What if a Tenant Destroys My House?”

It’s a certainly understandable question. Most people, who are new to our industry, have probably only heard the horror stories out there. Yes, Tenants can do a lot of damage to properties, but I can assure you, from our own experience, that it’s not common.

And while there are no guarantees, there are some steps you can take to help ensure your Tenant doesn’t destroy your property.

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T&H Realty Services - How Much Is The Mark-Up Fee?

By Jeremy Tallman on Mar 2, 2017 3:57:53 PM

In this blog, we want to discuss our mark-up fee. A mark-up fee is a small service fee that property management companies add to all bills that are paid on behalf of an Owner.

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T&H Realty Services - How Much is the Management Fee?

By Jeremy Tallman on Feb 27, 2017 4:00:16 PM

 As you likely know, a management fee is a fee that Property Management companies charge for managing your home.

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T&H Realty Services - How Much is the Leasing Fee?

By Jeremy Tallman on Feb 23, 2017 11:01:30 AM

 As you may know, a leasing fee is a fee that Property Management companies charge for leasing your home.

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T&H Realty Services - How Much Is The Renewal Fee?

By Jeremy Tallman on Feb 17, 2017 3:36:15 PM

 As you probably know, a renewal fee is the fee that Property Management companies charge for renewing a lease. 

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5 Reasons to Invest in Indianapolis Rental Properties

By Jeremy Tallman on Feb 11, 2017 9:36:00 AM

Indianapolis. 

The Circle City. 

The Crossroads of America. 

By now, you've most likely heard one of these names within the rental property investment community. That's because Indianapolis has been, and continues to be a one of the most desirable residential investment markets in the country.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of investors who own rental Real Estate in Central Indiana. And, they continue to buy at a feverish pace.  

If you're considering a real estate investment opportunity, you are considering Indianapolis, you've come to the right place.

There are 5 big reasons why Indianapolis is such an attractive place for REI investing:

  1. Stable housing market
  2. Extremely low unemployment
  3. Population growth
  4. Low cost of living
  5. Solid returns
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How to Effectively Market Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 17, 2017 7:04:46 PM

Indianapolis rental property management is essential for many reasons, and the ability to effectively market your home is one of the main reasons you would choose to work with a property manager.

Every property management company will tell you how great they are at marketing your home.

It seems like most property managers don’t have a firm grasp on what it really takes, however.

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Understanding Property Taxes for Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 11, 2017 4:25:16 PM

Property taxes are a topic that the average Indianapolis Landlord won't find overly interesting and I totally get that. 

But property taxes are important, and if you’re investing in Indianapolis or you plan to invest here, you need to understand our property tax rules.

I can't tell you the number of phone calls we've taken over the past several years from our customers regarding property taxes. And, trust me, they are not fun phone calls. 

Me: "Hi Joe Investor. Good to hear from you. How can I help?"

Joe Investor: (very panicked voice) "Jeremy, I just received my tax bill and my property taxes doubled!! What's going on??" 

That's followed by a few minutes of Joe discussing how his cash flow is killed, we have to raise rents immediately, being a Landlord is the worst idea ever, etc. 

The bottom line is that Joe didn't understand how property taxes work BEFORE buying his investment property. And Joe clearly didn't use us to help buy his home, or Joe would have known exactly what to expect.

So, don't be Joe.

Take a few minutes to understand how our taxes work here in Indiana. They are a little different, and depending on how and what you buy, you may have to adjust your budget and your cash flow expectations to account for taxes.

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Advice for Investing in Residential Real Estate in Indianapolis

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 28, 2016 5:17:55 PM

 Recently, I have taken a few phone calls and emails from investors who are a bit disgruntled about their investment properties here in Central Indiana. There are a variety of reasons, but they feel like their investments aren’t performing as well as they anticipated. 

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3 Reasons to Use T&H Realty to Sell Your Indianapolis Rental Property

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 6, 2016 5:34:49 PM

 If you’re a customer of T&H and are interested in selling your investment property, we can help you make the process seamless. Today, we’re sharing the top three reasons that you should enlist our help when you decide to sell.

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Why Out of State Investors Should Hire a Local Indianapolis Property Management Company

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 28, 2016 7:12:31 PM

 If you’re an Indianapolis landlord, and especially if you’re an out of state investor, it makes sense to hire a local property manager you can trust. Today, we’re sharing some of the reasons why it’s so important to work with a good property management company.

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3 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Landlord in Indianapolis

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 22, 2016 2:25:01 PM

 If you’re watching this video and reading this blog, you are probably considering the idea of becoming a landlord. Owning Indianapolis rental property can be a rewarding and lucrative experience. There are a couple of things to keep in mind prior to buying your first rental home.

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5 Reasons to Work with T&H Realty – Property Management Indianapolis

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 4, 2015 12:09:44 PM

 On our blog today, we are explaining why you should work with T&H Realty. Here are five different reasons to do business with us.

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Indianapolis Rental Property Maintenance: Vendors and Emergencies

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 8, 2014 4:22:02 PM

 Today we are talking about vendors and emergency maintenance.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, that’s great. You can save yourself a lot of money. You can paint, take care of cleaning ,and maybe do any small repairs that are easy to manage.

That’s assuming you have the time to do it.

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Indianapolis Property Management How To: Tenant Screening

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 26, 2013 2:15:53 PM

 If any of you have listened to my previous blogs, you know that I believe tenant screening is the most important function a property manager can perform.

Basically, it’s because past performance is the best indicator of future performance. If you screen someone and they prove to be very highly qualified, they will likely be a great tenant for you as well.

There are 4 main things you should include in your Tenant screening process:

1. Credit check

2. Criminal background check

3. Current and previous Landlord references

4. Consistent written policies

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Indianapolis Property Management How To: Collecting Late Rent

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 13, 2013 11:52:56 AM

 Most late rent payments can be avoided altogether with proper tenant screening.

Any applicants you consider for your rental property should be thoroughly screened. Confirm with current and former landlords that rent was paid on time every month.

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Indianapolis Property Management How To: Wear and Tear

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 30, 2013 1:55:35 PM

  If you took a poll of landlords and property managers and asked them what their greatest challenges are, they would tell you that dealing with security deposit issues and wear and tear are the greatest challenges.

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How to Choose an Indianapolis Property Management Company

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 16, 2013 6:31:48 PM

 There are a couple of questions you should always ask before choosing a property management company in Indianapolis. Generally, the first question we get is – what are your fees? That’s an important question to ask, however there are a couple of things to consider when you are comparing fees.

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Indianapolis Property Management How to: Lease a House Quickly

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 9, 2013 1:01:00 PM

 Many people often ask me about how long it takes to lease an Indianapolis rental property and what needs to be done before it can go on the rental market. There are a few things you can do to ensure you rent your house fast: 

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5 Reasons to Choose T&H Realty

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 2, 2013 7:02:34 PM

 As a full service property management company in the Indianapolis area, we wanted to spend a little time giving you the 5 best reasons to work with us at T&H Realty for all your property management needs.

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How an Indianapolis Property Manager Protects your Investment

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 29, 2013 6:20:12 PM

 A professional property manager has many responsibilities, and one of those is to make sure your investment, or your property, is protected. There are a few things a property manager can do to ensure your investment is taken care of properly.
Topics: New Landlord
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Part 6: The Turmoil of the Turnover

By Jeremy Tallman on Feb 6, 2013 12:12:16 PM

Our final installment of “So, You Want to be a Landlord?” focuses on the final stage of a Tenant’s residency, which is managing the turnover (sometimes referred to as “Make Ready”) of a property. This blog brings us full circle and has some similar sentiments as Part 1, which was “Preparing your Property for Leasing – The First Time.”

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Indianapolis Property Management out of the Deep Freeze

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 11, 2013 12:52:05 PM

So, can we blame it on the “Blizzard of 2012?” I doubt it, but the rental market did hit the deep freeze in December.

Generally, property management in Indianapolis is a fairly busy industry during December, or at least it is for us. We find that many people in search of rental properties are anxious to spend the Holidays in a new home, which prompts many people to move just in time for Christmas.

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Part 5: The Pros (no Cons) of Preventative Maintenance

By Jeremy Tallman on Jan 4, 2013 11:47:42 AM

Moving right along, Part 5 of our Blog Series, “So, You Want to be a Landlord?,” focuses on preventative maintenance. Our Property Management Company offers a variety of proactive maintenance measures to head-off many potential issues.

Investing money in preventative maintenance can oftentimes save thousands of dollars down the road.

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Part 4: Reacting to Emergency Maintenance

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 20, 2012 2:41:04 PM

As we progress through our Blog series, “So, You Want to be a Landlord?,” we turn our attention to what many consider the worst part of Property Management: dealing with emergency maintenance issues.

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Part 3: The Inevitable, ‘Every-Day’ Maintenance Issues

By Jeremy Tallman on Dec 10, 2012 9:52:27 AM

The 3rd installment of our series, “So, You Want to be a Landlord?” focuses on 'every-day' maintenance.

At this point, your Property Management Company has prepped the home, the “break-in” issues have been addressed following the move-in, and now those inevitable, every-day maintenance issues will arise. You know, the drippy faucet, the leaky drain line, the back-left burner on the kitchen stove that suddenly stops working.

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Part 2: Managing the Move-In

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 27, 2012 2:23:44 PM

Continuing my blog series, “So, You Want to be a Landlord?”, we’ll move next to the all-important Move-In.

Setting the right tone at the outset is critical to achieving high Tenant satisfaction. By this point, the property should be properly prepped and a basic inspection completed. It’s important that all the plumbing system work properly, all doors latch, etc.

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Part 1: Preparing your Property for Leasing – The First Time

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 14, 2012 2:54:51 PM

As I begin my Blog series “So, You Want to be a Landlord?”, I thought I would start at, well, the beginning.

Generally, when we begin property management with a new Landlord, the home was, and may currently still be, the Owner’s principal residence. For whatever reason, the Owner cannot or does not want to sell the property and decides to rent it instead.

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So, You Want to Be a Landlord?

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 7, 2012 11:10:20 AM

Beginning next week, I plan to begin a series of Blogs titled “So, You Want to Be a Landlord?”

The purpose of the Blogs will be to better educate property owners about the various aspects and obligations required to be a Landlord. Yes, there are just a few!

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The Importance of Renter's Insurance

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 5, 2012 10:51:34 AM

I’ve always been a fan of Renter’s Insurance. The benefits are definitely there for both our property Owners and Tenants. However, until now, we’ve only “recommended” that Tenants get insurance. And many do. It’s cheap. It’s easy to obtain and many residents see the numerous benefits.

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A Property Management Battleground: Security Deposits

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 14, 2012 2:02:36 PM

One of the many hot buttons in property management is the disposition of security deposits. As a 3rd party property management company, we occasionally find ourselves directly in the middle of security deposit battles.

Our Tenants, naturally, want all of their deposit back and our Owners, naturally, want to keep the entire deposit.

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Property Management: Are you Ready?

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 18, 2011 1:20:28 PM

Being a Landlord isn't for everyone, especially for those who can't - or don't want to - treat it like a 24/7 business. Below are some reasons that could cause a Landlord to hire a Property Manager. In other words, you know it's time to hire a Property Manger when...

Topics: New Landlord
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Indianapolis Property Management Heating Up

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 13, 2011 11:24:22 AM

A slow housing market generally creates more demand for Property Management companies. In today's climate, Sellers have seen their equity shrink while Buyers are facing more stringent borrowing requirements.

As a result, more Sellers now lease their homes and more would-be, first-time home buyers are now forced to rent.

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Experience Counts in Property Management

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 26, 2011 9:52:52 AM

Choosing a company to manage the largest asset you own - your home - shouldn't be taken lightly.

All too often, our Company fields phone calls from disgruntled homeowners that are frustrated with their Property Manager. The core cause of the frustration is often traced to a simple lack of experience on the part of the Property Manager.

Topics: New Landlord
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Property Management vs. Realty Company

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 16, 2011 12:39:04 PM

I get calls often here at T&H Realty Services where it seems prospective tenants don’t understand the difference between a Realtor and a Property Management company. The two are similar but they are also different and offer different services.

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How Should I Communicate with my Landlord?

By Jeremy Tallman on Sep 2, 2011 10:32:45 AM

At T&H Realty Services, as a property management company in Indianapolis, we are constantly striving to communicate with our tenants in the best way possible. We manage several hundred properties, and we always wish to deliver the same customer service and appropriate form of communication with each and every one of our tenants.

Unfortunately, quite a few of those tenants do not give a thought about how well they communicate with their property manager, or landlord.

Topics: For Tenants
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Should I Rent or Buy a Home in Indianapolis?

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 26, 2011 4:36:10 PM

It seems like in today’s property management market, I always get people asking if one of our properties is also for sale or "rent to own." It seems like most are going back and forth from either renting a home or buying a home.

If you are going back and forth between renting and buying, here are some of the best tips our Indianapolis property management company has come up with for making the big decision:

Topics: For Tenants
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Help! I Need to Find a Place to Rent... FAST!

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 20, 2011 10:15:36 AM

Here in Indianapolis at our property management company, I am always getting calls from people who need to move and move fast.

The reasons are usually that the end of their lease snuck up on them, that they have been busy and waited until what seems like the very last second to find a new rental property. What, they ask me, can they do to make the process go quicker?


If you need to speed up the process of finding a property to rent, here are my suggestions:

Topics: For Tenants
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I’ve Decided I Want to Rent… Now What?

By Jeremy Tallman on Aug 3, 2011 12:44:00 PM

When you finally decide to rent a home, you’re probably feeling a little anxious. A million thoughts may be swarming inside your head. How in the world, you might think, am I going to find a place with a room I can use for sewing, a back porch, AND close to work?

Trying to find a rental property that is perfect for you can be tedious. Here are the 3 best tips we have for you prospects out there who are looking to rent… and stay sane!

Topics: For Tenants
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A Scammer with Standards

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 30, 2010 11:44:14 AM

Having been involved with residential Property Management over the past 10+ years, I’ve witnessed my share of rental home scams.

Internet marketing, while wonderful and highly effective, has allowed certain scumbags to take advantage of people in a number of ways. Recently, when I saw one of our properties listed in an obviously fraudulent advertisement, I decided to reach out to the Scammer and pose as an interested party.

While most of the “transaction” went as expected, this particular Scammer did throw me a curve ball.

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"My Landlord is in Foreclosure"

By Jeremy Tallman on Nov 11, 2010 2:40:47 PM

We take hundreds, and sometimes thousands of calls from prospective tenants each month. Inevitably, a few of these prospects tell us they must move because their current Landlord is facing foreclosure.

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Indiana Tax Caps up for Vote

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 29, 2010 10:21:10 AM

November 2nd should be a good day for property owners in Indiana. In case you haven’t heard, the Indiana Property Tax Cap Amendment is on the ballot. A simple majority vote will permanently add the tax caps to the Indiana Constitution, capping personal residences at 1%, rental property at 2% and commercial property at 3%.

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Welcome to our Blog

By Jeremy Tallman on Oct 28, 2010 1:38:15 PM

Hello Blog World... this is a new venture for us and one we hope to utilize consistently to spread news concerning various real estate and property management trends as they relate to the Central Indiana market.

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