Estey Real Estate Sales and Property Management
May 2014
Eric Hogland - Estey Real Estate & Property Management
Eric Hoglund GRI, RMP, SRES
Providing our expertise
to meet YOUR needs!
Street Address
935 First Street
Benicia, CA 94510
Phone: 707.745.0924
Best Practices
Check Your Insurance Events can happen - flood, extreme heat, earthquakes, fire, and more! It is important to check your insurance to obtain the best coverage possible and ensure that it is current.Review now with your insurance agent before a disaster/emergency occurs.
If An Emergency Occurs: Please be patient and avoid tying up critical phone lines and our time. Our first priority during any emergency is to handle the situation, taking any necessary measures for the safety of your property and your tenants. Then, we will contact you as soon as we are able.
Our Associations
Inventory, Inventory, Where is the Inventory?
Southern Solano County is experiencing a period of want when it comes to available homes to be sold. Benicia in particular is extremely low (only 15 single family homes and 8 condos on the market out of 11,000 households). This is great news for sellers who have been thinking about listing their property, but were not sure if the time was right or not. Come down and talk with us, your home is likely worth more than you think. Those that are thinking of buying, start looking now. Summer is fast approaching and with the season comes more competition for the very few units that are available. Get your offer accepted before school lets out and the rush is on.
The immediate future looks strong for the resale market as new home construction is not keeping up with the demand statewide. Banks have slowed their foreclosure trend in the past year or so, opting to sell large batches to investments groups as rentals, or simply sitting on them until they could turn them on the market for a "reasonable" price. The loan environment is quite good, even with recent interest rate hikes money is still historically very cheap. Make sure you have partnered with a good lender before you begin your home search so you know exactly what you can afford, and what will be expected of you before, during, and after the purchase.
Don't let the lack of inventory push you to buy the wrong home, simply because it was the only one you saw, or it was the only one that might accept your offer. Remember, this is likely the largest investment you will ever make, and even more importantly...this is where you will live, raise your family, make a life for yourself, be sure you will be happy there. Have a plan and work your plan with your Realtor and Lender Team. Is this the last home you want to buy, the first? Is your family likely to grow over the next five years, or are will you be looking to downsize. It is important for you to think these things through and share this knowledge with your Realtor so he/she can best assist you in finding just the right property for your unique needs.
Investors, remember your money is made on the "buy" not the "sell", so look for that diamond in the rough, and then have the grit and resolve to see your investment through, improve it, make the home a nice place that your future tenants/buyers will love to live in, help make the neighborhood better so the community will thrive; this is investment of time, money and energy will pay back by multiples.
These are exciting times, let us help you with your housing needs...whatever your situation.
Does Your Property Need a Tune Up?
If you maintain a car by having periodic oil changes, adjustments to timing, interior/exterior detailing and more, it will not only keep the machine in working order but also help with the value when you decide to sell. In short, your vehicle periodically needs a tune-up. It is the same with an investment property; you need to maintain the property in order to keep or increase its value.
With the change of seasons and in particular, the advent of spring, it brings flowers, showers, and hopefully, great weather. However, properties often have a "tired" look after the harshness of winter and it could be that your investment just needs a tune-up. Performing various routine maintenance items is also preventative; this can avoid much larger expenditures. It can also assist with maintaining good tenant relations.
A property, like any vehicle, can look and feel tired after winter. Your tenant may be responsible for the general maintenance of the exterior - mowing the grass, keeping flowerbeds cleaned up, minimal pruning of bushes, etc. However, an overall cleanup of the property usually entails more than the tenant's obligation.
Assess the exterior
An exterior clean up can prevent damage as well as keep your property from becoming the eyesore of the neighborhood. You don't want people to "identify the rental property" as they drive through the neighborhood, particularly prospective tenants if the property is vacant. To prevent that sad look, pay attention to the following items.
  • Trim bushes and trees, removing dead branches from winter storms.
  • Clear all walkways and driveways of landscape debris and check for damage.
  • Repair any roof issues to prevent unnecessary leaks and damage to the inside of the property.
  • Clean out gutters as well to prevent unnecessary leaks and damage.
  • Check any irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly and adjust for the warmer season. Often pipes and connections crack or split and can cause problems with the first use. This can also waste precious water resources.
  • Check for areas that may be collecting water that can lead to problems with pests or cause damage to landscape.
  • Have all exterior windows and doors repaired for any leaks or damage.
  • Review landscape for any necessary changes and if appropriate, consider adding lower maintenance plants if appropriate.
  • Review the exterior paint. Sometimes just touching up the trim can improve the look of a property, preserve exterior wood/siding, and prevent damage. It could be that it is now time for an exterior paint job.
  • If appropriate, clean up weeds and debris around the property to prevent unnecessary fires.
Check for pest invasions
More than flowers and showers pop out with spring weather. It is very common to have increased pest problems, such as major infestations of wasps, ants, mosquitoes, and more. While the tenant has some minimal responsibility, pests can become a health issue and therefore, a liability. Ordering a pest control spray for the season could keep this under control.
Don't forget interior maintenance
While occupied, tenants normally report any necessary maintenance. However, it can pay off to have a maintenance tune up of air conditioning/heating units. Once again, this will help prolong the life of the units. In addition, it is a good idea to have the interior windows and doors checked when there is exterior maintenance.
As your property management company, we will be watching and taking care of necessary maintenance and we will contact you if necessary. We want to keep your property "tuned-up" to protect your investment.

The material provided in this newsletter is for informational and educational purposes only. It is NOT legal advice.
Although we believe this material is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is 100% without errors.

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