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The short-term rental market is one of the hottest segments in real estate and property management

The short-term rental market is one of the hottest segments in real estate and property management

  • Posted: Jan 04, 2017
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1.Hidden Costs – Short-term rentals are a different breed; they have many costs that traditional long-term rentals don’t have. These behind-the-scenes costs can include everything from replacing furniture to landscaping the lawn to supplying toilet paper. In essence, they’re more like hotels than rental properties. Here’s a quick list of common unforeseen costs:

  • Maintenance – garden and lawn irrigation, pool maintenance, pest control, HVAC maintenance
  • Utilities – cable, electricity, Internet, telephone, etc
  • Upkeep – housecleaning, toiletries, replacing appliances, carpet cleaning
  • Annual fees – taxes, insurance, property management fees, license fees

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Mobile Leasing: The transition to mobile-based marketing, leasing and resident management in 2017

Mobile Leasing: The transition to mobile-based marketing, leasing and resident management in 2017

  • Posted: Jan 04, 2017
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The buzz in the property management industry right now about the transition to mobile-based marketing, leasing and resident management, with the expectation that the pervasive tech obsession sweeping America will leave no process unturned.

The reality may be a little closer to the current standard practices of renting an apartment—with a couple of notable exceptions.

Industry insiders tell us that while things are going to change a lot for some high-end apartment communities and their tenants, many of us will still be filling out paper applications. But we may get to pay our rent and submit maintenance requests, online. And while searching for that great new place, expect to be courted with apps and mobile-friendly websites.

Here’s a step-by-step look at the apartment rental process and what’s changing—or, perhaps, staying the same.

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Tips on Property Management Rental Income, Deductions and Record keeping.

Tips on Property Management Rental Income, Deductions and Record keeping.

  • Posted: Oct 02, 2016
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If you own rental real estate, you should be aware of your tax responsibilities.

All rental income must be reported on your tax return, and in general the associated expenses can be deducted from your rental income.

If you are a cash basis taxpayer, you report rental income on your return for the year you receive it, regardless of when it was earned. As a cash basis taxpayer you generally deduct your rental expenses in the year you pay them. If you use an accrual method, you generally report income when you earn it, rather than when you receive it and you deduct your expenses when you incur them, rather than when you pay them. Most individuals use the cash method of accounting.

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Getting involved in the vacation rental business.

Getting involved in the vacation rental business.

  • Posted: May 24, 2016
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Are you thinking about purchasing a short-term rental in a resort or vacation area? Are you thinking about purchasing a short-term rental in a resort or vacation area? Or otherwise getting involved in the short-term vacation rental business? Understand what you’re getting into before you buy. There are a number of specific considerations rental real estate investors should be aware of before purchasing these properties. Continue reading to learn about six of these considerations. 1. Enjoy the Property Yourself Considerations for those who want to purchase vacation rental properties For many people, the best way to own a vacation rental property is to enjoy it themselves. That is, purchase your own vacation home because you enjoy using it yourself.You can rent it out when you’re not using it to offset the expenses of ownership, but it’s very difficult to make a short-term vacation rental a cash-flow positive property in its own right. 2. You Need Additional Insurance Most landlords understand that a standard homeowners insurance policy isn’t sufficient if they plan to treat their property as a residential rental. That’s why they get special landlord insurance policies. But even your standard landlord insurance policy won’t provide adequate coverage if you own a short-term vacation rental. In these cases, you’ll need something closer to commercial liability insurance. Here’s why: your landlord or homeowners insurance doesn’t cover business activities conducted in the dwelling. But in a vacation rental, everything that happens on the property is commercial activity! Furthermore, in most cases, your personal umbrella insurance coverage won’t protect you against claims arising from your business. You’ll have to get this protection from a separate policy in addition to your personal liability plan as it isn’t designed or priced to provide commercial coverage. 3. Marketing Costs More Than You Might Think Marketing a vacation rental is a resource-consuming but necessary task. In most cases, vacation rentals have a lot of competition from local hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and RV parks. Many of these businesses have professionally designed websites with excellent photography, so it’s necessary for vacation rental owners to do some marketing of their own to make their properties stand out. Well-produced video tours of vacation rentals can help book renters. While these videos aren’t free and usually aren’t cheap, remember that nothing is more expensive to a vacation rental owner than a cheap-looking website that doesn’t adequately sell their property!   http://sfpma.com/listing/fort-lauderdale-stays/  …

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Vacation Rentals – consider renting it out

Vacation Rentals – consider renting it out

  • Posted: May 24, 2016
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If you have a place that you only live in part of the year, you may want to consider renting it out the rest of the time. That way you can get some income to make your house payment, and you won’t have your home just sitting empty. Even if you don’t still owe on your home, renting it out for the extra money can be a great way to get cash that you don’t need to work for. A word of caution, though, in that you want to be careful who you rent to. Some people are much more careless with other people’s things, and you don’t want them destroying your home. A great way to find good renters is to use a property management company. Because of a tight economy, a lot of people who have vacation homes can’t sell them, so they are renting them out. By getting a company to handle that for you, you don’t have to worry about where you are or what you’re doing. All you have to worry about is collecting the money that the property management company sends you and spending it however you like. Having a company manage your property isn’t free, of course, but the cost of it is generally worth paying for, since you avoid all of the hassle of trying to manage the property yourself. It can be particularly difficult to manage property if you don’t live nearby. You can also have repairs scheduled and taken care of, and you can avoid the worries and problems that come with allowing a piece of property to sit empty and vacant while you’re living somewhere else. There’s too much chance of your vacation home being broken into and/or otherwise vandalized if you leave it empty for months and no one is around to check up on it. Find Vacation Rental Managers on our members directory…

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Vacation Rentals Your home away from home.

Vacation Rentals Your home away from home.

  • Posted: Dec 12, 2015
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Vacation Rentals Your home away from home. Magazine Articles written by Fort Lauderdale Stay’s – http://www.fortlauderdalestays.com/fort-lauderdale Read the Article in the December Florida Rising Magazine – http://joom.ag/F5Sp “Staying in a fully furnished vacation home. not just for vacations any more.”   Vacation rentals have been around for years and are gaining popularity among vacationers. It’s no wonder, because whether you rent a cottage, condo or home, renting a vacation property provides all the comforts of home along with great value. If you think that renting a vacation home is reserved for the rich, think again. The price is often comparable or even less than a hotel room. That is particularly the case for large families who are left with few options in a hotel. They must either cram a cot into a regular room and share a very crowded bathroom or break the budget by booking two rooms. Plus, families can save additional money when they rent a vacation home by eating some meals in. The benefits don’t end there. Rent a vacation home and everyone has their own bedroom… and often their own bathroom too! Pools are an added plus in many Florida vacation homes – and they don’t come with screaming kids (unless you add your own). Most vacation homes come fully, and beautifully, furnished. Many include bed linens, towels and fully-equipped kitchens. All you bring is your clothes, personal items and food.   Renting a vacation home has got to be the most relaxing and convenient vacation experiences ever. No traipsing down a hallway for ice, no slamming doors, loud voices or flushing toilets waking you at midnight and no getting up early for a stale continental breakfast. Instead, you can enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and a bagel by the pool in the morning… in your bathrobe. I bet you ‘ve never considered doing that at a hotel.   Vacation Rental Homes are cheaper than hotel rooms Considering that vacation homes generally have 2 or more bedrooms and can comfortably sleep a number of guests (some vacation homes sleep 8 or more), a vacation rental home is a great value. Most vacation homes have a fully equipped kitchen for cooking which can save you a lot of money when you consider the costs you can save by cooking your own breakfast, lunch and dinners. Most hotel rooms and common facilities (like pools, beaches and lobbies) are jammed with tourists. Rooms tend to be small and often time you can hear a noisy neighbor through the walls. Many vacation rental homes are located on quiet residential streets with their own secluded beach or private pool. Plus, you vacation home includes a nice living room and most have outdoor patios and lanais where you can relax and enjoy yourself.   “It is a good investment – you get use out of the property and use the rent to cover the mortgage.ˮ Thinking about investing in Real Estate in South Florida, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami or Miami Beach as a second or third home but you are not sure whether if you are willing to invest on a property that will be used just for a short period every year? SFPMA has Managers that can help you. We will pair you with Property Managers & Real Estate Professionals that will help you with finding the perfect investment for you so you can make money and offset the costs of your property while you are gone.  …

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Rental real estate provides more tax benefits than almost any other investment.

Rental real estate provides more tax benefits than almost any other investment.

  • Posted: Dec 12, 2015
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Every year, millions of landlords pay more taxes on their rental income than they have to. Why? Because they fail to take advantage of all the tax deductions available for owners of rental property. Rental real estate provides more tax benefits than almost any other investment. Often, these benefits make the difference between losing money and earning a profit on a rental property. Here are the top ten tax deductions for owners of small residential rental property. 1. Interest Interest is often a landlord’s single biggest deductible expense. Common examples of interest that landlords can deduct include mortgage interest payments on loans used to acquire or improve rental property and interest on credit cards for goods or services used in a rental activity.   2. Depreciation The actual cost of a house, apartment building, or other rental property is not fully deductible in the year in which you pay for it. Instead, landlords get back the cost of real estate through depreciation. This involves deducting a portion of the cost of the property over several years.   3. Repairs The cost of repairs to rental property (provided the repairs are ordinary, necessary, and reasonable in amount) are fully deductible in the year in which they are incurred. Good examples of deductible repairs include repainting, fixing gutters or floors, fixing leaks, plastering, and replacing broken windows.   4. Local Travel Landlords are entitled to a tax deduction whenever they drive anywhere for their rental activity. For example, when you drive to your rental building to deal with a tenant complaint or go to the hardware store to purchase a part for a repair, you can deduct your travel expenses. If you drive a car, SUV, van, pickup, or panel truck for your rental activity (as most landlords do), you have two options for deducting your vehicle expenses. You can: deduct your actual expenses (gasoline, upkeep, repairs), or use the standard mileage rate (56 cents per mile for 2014; 56.5 cents per mile for 2013). To qualify for the standard mileage rate, you must use the standard mileage method the first year you use a car for your business activity. Moreover, you can’t use the standard mileage rate if you have claimed accelerated depreciation deductions in prior years, or have taken a Section 179 deduction for the vehicle.   5. Long Distance Travel If you travel overnight for your rental activity, you can deduct your airfare, hotel bills, meals, and other expenses. If you plan your trip carefully, you can even mix landlord business with pleasure and still take a deduction. However, IRS auditors closely scrutinize deductions for overnight travel — and many taxpayers get caught claiming these deductions without proper records to back them up. To stay within the law (and avoid unwanted attention from the IRS), you need to properly document your long distance travel expenses.   6. Home Office Provided they meet certain minimal requirements, landlords may deduct their home office expenses from their taxable income. This deduction applies not only to space devoted to office work, but also to a workshop or any other home workspace you use for your rental business. This is true whether you own your home or apartment or are a renter.   7. Employees and Independent Contractors Whenever you hire anyone to perform services for your rental activity, you can deduct their wages as a rental business expense. This is so whether the worker is an employee (for example, a resident manager) or an independent contractor (for example, a repair person).   8. Casualty and Theft Losses If your rental property is damaged or destroyed from a sudden event like a fire or flood, you may be able to obtain a tax deduction for all or part of your loss. These types of losses are called casualty losses. You usually won’t be able to deduct the entire cost of property damaged or destroyed by a casualty. How much you may deduct depends on how much of your property was destroyed and whether the loss was covered by insurance.   9. Insurance You can deduct the premiums you pay for almost any insurance for your rental activity. This includes fire, theft, and flood insurance for rental property, as well as landlord liability insurance. And if you have employees, you can deduct the cost of their health and workers’ compensation insurance.   10. Legal and Professional Services Finally, you can deduct fees that you pay to attorneys, accountants, property management companies, real estate investment advisors, and other professionals. You can deduct these fees as operating expenses as long as the fees are paid for work related to your rental activity.    …

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The rent you collect is subject to income taxes.

The rent you collect is subject to income taxes.

  • Posted: Dec 03, 2015
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The rent you collect is subject to income taxes. As a landlord, you have to declare it to the IRS as part of your gross earnings. But you can also reduce your rental income — and thus lower your tax liability — if you incur certain rental expenses during the fiscal year. Before you file your tax return, understand what the IRS considers rental income and what write-offs the U.S. tax code grants landlords. Rental Income The IRS charges you income tax on your rental income. The agency also specifies that rent is more than just what the tenant pays you on a schedule for occupying your property. It includes advance payments you receive, fees the tenant has to pay you to break the lease, any part of the security deposit that you withhold at the end of the tenancy, and any payments the tenant makes that a landlord would normally be responsible for, such as for appliance repairs. Although the rent you collect increases your taxable income, certain expenses associated with your rental property reduce it.   Interest As a landlord, you get to deduct from your rental income the mortgage interest you pay on the property. In addition, if you use a credit card to pay for repairs, appliances or other required expenses, any interest you pay on those charges is also deductible. Repairs The cost of repairs is deductible from your rental income; however, if you provide the labor, you may not deduct its value from the rent you collect. If you pay someone else for his labor, you can deduct those charges.   Travel If you use your car to conduct business related to your rental unit, you can deduct the standard business mileage rate for the miles you drive from your rental income. You can also deduct 50 percent of the cost of meals while traveling as a landlord, and toll and parking fees. If you have a large rental-property operation that requires more than four cars to maintain it, or if you use leased cars, you cannot use the standard mileage rate. You have to deduct from your rental income the actual expenses for fuel, oil, insurance, new tires, renewing license plates and any other costs you incur to keep the vehicles running.   Depreciation Depreciation is the expected wear and tear your rental property undergoes over the years. The U.S. tax code allows you to reduce your rental income by the unit’s depreciation value. A tax accountant can help you calculate the depreciation of your property. You may first claim depreciation in the first year you rent the property to someone. You can then continue to take the deduction every year until the total deductions equal the amount you paid for the rental.   Other Tax Write-offs If you use a property manager to oversee your rental property, you may deduct from your rental income all fees you pay for the service. The cost of consulting with a tax accountant and getting the tax forms related to your rental prepared and filed also reduce your income, as can your costs for telephone calls and advertising. In case of an audit, keep records, such as receipts and bank statements, to prove your expenses.  …

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