Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Holidays from Kuester Property Management

Every week or so we post something on this blog, give you tips on commercial property management, investing, and HOAs. Hopefully, you find the information useful!

In our real lives we are property managers at Kuester in Charlotte. We have locations across the Carolinas, in Boone, Myrtle Beach, Concord, Wilmington, and Fort Mill. We help people find residential and commercial properties to buy, sell, or lease and manage home owners associations. This is a very rewarding job and our company has grown to the point where we now have large team of specialized and very highly trained professionals covering all aspects of property management.

We are quite lucky to be able to say that we are currently celebrating a very successful year. We moved into a new building, we redesigned our website and we have a lot of great relationships with our customers and vendors.

At this time of year, we would like to thank YOU... thank you for reading our blog, thank you for your interest in property management. Thank you for being our partners and our customers. It is because of you that we are able to provide you the high quality of property services that have been our business mission and our family's dream for over 30 years.

Kuester Property Management is here for you. Thank you for being a part of our growth and success and we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Decorations and Home Owner's Associations

'Tis the season right? The season for braving the cold weather and putting up those holiday decorations!

It is great to see families take pride in their holiday lights, and neighbors in friendly competition to out-do each other. But it is important this time of year to follow a couple tips when decorating, for safety, and also for the sake of the community.

First, before you get those strands of light ready, review your HOA policies. Some neighborhoods have rules on how early you can decorate, as well as how long the lights can stay up. Generally, these rules are reasonable and are meant to discourage people from putting up lights on Labor day and leaving them up through Valentine's day. However, it is good to know what the date ranges are, so that you don't incur a notice or a fine.

Some neighborhoods also try to coordinate "like" decorating - for aesthetic reasons, or to compete with other neighborhoods in the area. So before you put up your multi-color twinkly lights and hugh blow-up snow-globe, make sure your neighbors haven't decided that this is the "cool-blue" year.

Lastly, remember safety! There are plenty of new products on the market that make putting up lights safer than in the old days of climbing on the roof with a bunch of nails! Take advantage of the special clips and the extension pole when possible, and always put up lights with a partner. It will do no good to be in a leg cast over the holidays, but if something does happen, you will want someone to be able to help. Also, use special out-door lights, and don't over-load your electrical outlets. House fires are all too common during the holidays, so be careful, be smart, and light up your house... like.... a Christmas tree!

Property Manager - Charlotte - Kuester Property Manager

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Home Owner's Associations

I was sitting in a coffee shop the other day, and started talking to the guy sitting in the seat next to me. He was a nice guy, worked for a local auto repair shop as the manager and through the course of the conversation, we realized that we lived in the same neighborhood.

He announced he was planning on leaving the neighborhood as soon as he could sell his home - told me he was so frustrated with the neighborhood association that it made him want to move into an area without an HOA.

Now, I did not tell him what I did - that I work for a property management company that handles HOAs.... (although ironically, not the one in our neighborhood). But I did ask him a few questions, because I was curious. Personally, I have never felt the HOA was particularly heavy-handed or unfair, and professionally I know that all HOAs are made up of the residents of a neighborhood, and all rules, policies, meetings and events that an HOA oversees can be changed with a vote--a vote of the neighbors!

So I asked him if he had ever been to an HOA meeting... NO. I asked him if he ever volunteered for a committee...NO. I asked him what specifically he did not like, and he told me it was the policy on what you could and could not build on the property. Specifically, he wanted to put a 2-story out-building/second garage on his back yard.

And I smiled. I live in his neighborhood and I would not want someone to build a second garage in their yard! Our properties average a quarter acre at best, and the amount of space that would take up would be huge. It would, in fact be an eye-sore, may even bring the property values around that house down.

We might all love extra space for our tools and our cars. We might all love to have a "guest bedroom" built. But in this particular case, it was not appropriate for the neighborhood and the covenants for our HOA were actually protecting us from everyone building over-sized sheds, or extra buildings on a small property.

This gentlemen and I won't agree, and he also won't join the architectural review committee either and volunteer his time to make a change he is interested in, or take the initiative to find out why his dream of a second garage is something that just doesn't fit into the neighborhood standards.

I am sure that he would not like it if his next-door neighbor painted their home barbie-pink and decided to put a moat in either!

HOAs are a good thing. But they are not for everyone. If you are a free spirit who likes to have full control over your property, and doesn't feel that you should be concerned with the "bigger picture" of how that affects the neighbors around you, there are plenty of homes and properties available. If you want the security and camaraderie, amenities and continuity that a neighborhood offers, than an HOA may be for you.

And remember... if you can and if you care, get involved! HOAs do not run on their own.

Kuester Property Manager
Charlotte, NC

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What does a Property Management Company Do?

Property Management companies have the responsibility of dealing with prospective and current tenants. If you have a rental property, you will need to market it, screen the new tenants, collect rent handle maintenance and repairs, respond to compliants and take care of evictions. A good property management company can do all of this and save you time, money and all of the frustration that comes along with managing tenant relations.

Hiring a property manager has many benefits, but it can also be expensive, and that is why so many people choose not to do it. However, in many cases, working with a property manager or property management company should be considered more of an investment than an expense!

If you don’t live near the property, management can be invaluable, if not necessary, for many issues that will arise. Also Property Managers often have the experience to find the "best" tenants, the resources to market your property in ways that you cannot, the ability to collect rent in an effective manner, and the local contacts with maintenance and repair contractors that can actually end up saving you money!

And if that doesn't sell you...remember that one wants to receive late night calls about stopped up plumbing, or manage the crisis situation of an unexpected ice storm!

Fee structures vary, however, generally, Property Managers receive 5%-10% of the collected monthly rent for the management of the property. There is also a charge of equal to 1/2 of the monthly rental amount for procurring a new lease as a "bonus", which is sometimes paid at the end of the year depending on the type of property and the property management company.

In the end, a Property Manager should save you time and plenty of work--if not money too!

Charlotte Property Manager

Kuester Property Management