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How to Write a Great Property Listing for Portland Real Estate

How to Write a Great Property Listing for Portland Real Estate

Writing a great listing for your property in Portland—whether listing for sale or lease—is definitely more an art than a science. Every real estate agent or investor with have their “system” which they believe to be the best—and to each his own.

One thing to point out, though, is how much smarter and intuitive potential real estate buyers and lessors are becoming. Long are the days where doctored photographs and wide-angle lenses will fool them into coming out to see a property. In a day and age where everyone is receiving thousands of advertising impressions every day, it’s important to get to the information that matters.

Spin will only take you so far in the real estate market, so it’s helpful to understand the psychology of the buyers and lessors that want to be in your property.

A few tips that can help improve your real estate listing whether on MLS or another site:


Use Real Property Photos

Potential buyers and prospects are skeptical of everything, these days. If your property looks “too good to be true” that sets off light bulbs and red flags in a prospect’s mind. You want prospects that are going to come out and actually do a transaction with you. There’s no sense in lulling someone out to a property under false pretense. This wastes both your time and the prospect’s.

Obviously, it’s important to shoot photos with your property in its best light, but applying cheap tricks like color filters, Photoshopped images, or avoiding problem areas just wastes time. Do a deep clean of the home, clear out any clutter, dress things up a little, and then take real photos of the house without leaving out any major “problem areas” (they are going to see them when they show up!).

Talk About the Neighborhood

No matter how great your property is a buyer or tenant is going to want to know where it is in proximity to their day-to-day activities. They need to know if living in your property is going to provide them with the right access that they need to their already busy life. Some good things to highlight in your property descriptions are:

  • Nearby Bus Stops or Public Transportation
  • Local Parks or Neighborhood Amenities
  • How close is the nearest grocery store or coffee shop
  • Are there co-working spaces nearby?
  • Nearby schools and school district
  • The county they will pay taxes to

Meet the Neighbors

We’re all seeking, consciously or subconsciously, that place where we belong. We want a sense of community. It’s that old patterned thought process from the days of living in tribes. Potential buyers and lessors are no different. Who their neighbors are going to be is important.

While it might not always be possible if your property has great neighbors, why not interview them? Something shot on an iPhone about how much they love the neighborhood, who they are, and how excited they are to meet their new neighbor can be a game-changer when it comes to enticing a prospect to view your property over another.

Of course, this strategy requires that your neighbors are actually good people and willing to be interviewed, but when the situation allows for it—this can be a big win.

Listing your property can be a daunting task. It requires you to look at it in a way that you might never have done before and to put yourself in the shoes of potential prospects. If you’re having trouble communicating the value of your property or neighborhood, one of our property management experts would love to speak with you on the phone to help you work it out. Call us, today: (503) 256-2323

You Can Get a FREE assessment of your rental property by Starting Here!

Does a Portland Property Manager Have to Give a Property Owner’s Contact to a Tenant?

Does a Portland Property Manager Have to Give a Property Owner’s Contact to a Tenant?

In the course of your real estate investment career, it is inevitable that at some point a tenant—either for praise or in a tangential rage—will request the name and phone number for the owner of the property they are living in.

While it might not seem like that big a deal, the reason you’ve hired a property management firm in the first place is to keep some distance between the day-to-day details of your properties’ administrative chores and yourself.

Despite what might be communicated to you by a property manager who wants offload a problem tenant onto you, the property manager is certainly under no obligation to provide a tenant with your contact information as the property owners.

As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons to hire a property manager would be to specifically avoid problem scenarios with tenants. A good property manager understands how to handle any level of communication from a tenant in a professional manner, whether emotionally charged or logical in nature.

A property manager is legally an agent for the property owner—you. This means that your best interests should always be front of mind and protected at all costs. It’s important to make sure that your property management company in Portland has a system in place and rules of escalation for bringing something to your attention.

With a proper escalation process set in advance and agreed upon by all parties, you can keep your focus on finding and acquiring new lucrative investments, while your existing assets and portfolio continue to mature in value.

If you’re having trouble forming a good system of communication with your existing property manager in Portland, we’d love to speak with you about potential solutions for a more proactive relationship. Even if you end up staying with your existing firm, it’s always nice to have a new perspective to bounce your thoughts off of. Our team of expert Portland property managers is standing by to answer your questions to satisfaction. Give us a call, today: (503) 256-2323

You Can Get a FREE assessment of your rental property by Starting Here!

3 Things a Bad Property Manager Does in Portland & How To Avoid Them

3 Things a Bad Property Manager Does in Portland & How To Avoid Them

Any real estate investor working with a truly great property manager will tell you that their partnership with their property management firm was a solid investment. A great property manager frees up your time, helps you form a solid strategy (both short-term and long-term) for your real estate portfolio, and makes sure that all maintenance is handled by professionals.

The nightmare stories that often get passed around the industry about bad property managers, on the other hand, can and do happen. Knowing some of the things to look out for as you move into a new relationship with a property manager can allow you to be proactive before it’s too late.

Here are three things to look for and actively avoid when hiring a property management company in Portland, OR:

Is Your Property Manager on Your Side and Protecting Your Time?

You’re hiring a property manager in order to free up time in your own life. Your time is valuable and as such, your property manager should not be contacting you for every little issue that creeps up at a property. You hired them because they are a professional and should have the experience to know how to handle little situations without your direct involvement.

If your phone is constantly ringing with “urgent scenarios” at your property, that could be a red flag that your property manager is not confident in how to properly manage your real estate portfolio. As a smart real estate investor, you should not be bothered with trivial issues. A great property manager will only contact you when there is an issue that requires your approval on budget or a firm decision that only you can make as the owner.

Of course, your level of communication with your property manager should be up to you. Most real estate investors are not interested in being bothered by petty situations at each of their properties, but some rental property owners enjoy knowing the day-to-day that happens at each property. Before hiring a property manager in Portland, it’s important to set the expectations for communication up front so that everyone can move forward with confidence.

Is Your PM Detail-Oriented?

One thing that great CEO’s and business people all have in common is their ability to be a visionary. The reason great ideas often require a team is because someone has to be maintaining and managing the ship, while the Captain is focus on the final destination. Hiring a property manager in Portland should remove you from having to deal with all of the details of your property by turning those details over to someone competent. This allows you to remain the visionary of your real estate investment business.

Many clients come to us from other property management firms with horror stories about property managers who allowed tenants to sub-lease out to multiple people to the point where the property manager didn’t even know who was living in the property any longer. They’ve told us about PMs who let easily preventable maintenance issues escalate to the point where large investments had to be made. And they lacked a certain intuition for which tenants would be right for each property.

A great property management company knows every little detail of your property and the people living there and will present that information to you in a way that allows you to make smart decisions from a macro-level without having to get lost in the weeds.

Do You Really Know Who Is Doing Your Maintenance Repairs?

It’s unfortunate, but we see many property managers who are much better salespeople than they are actual managers. The last thing you want in a property manager, as a smart real estate investor, is someone who is just going to outsource all of the work to the lowest bidder and then charge a markup to you.

Before hiring a property manager in Portland, make sure you have a conversation with them about who is actually handling maintenance requests and repairs. Your property portfolio is an asset that you want to maintain and grow. Shoddy maintenance and repair work by inexperienced or junior employees or contractors can ultimately end up costing you a lot more money down the line.

At InterWest Properties, we’ve been compiling our team of experts for over 30 years so that our clients can rest-assured that their property is in good hands. If you’d like to discuss how we can take your property portfolio and infuse it with new life, profit, and vision, we’d love to hear from you.

You Can Get a FREE assessment of your rental property by Starting Here!

Where Smart Portland Landlords and Property Managers Invest Their Time

Where Smart Portland Landlords and Property Managers Invest Their Time

Is owning an investment or rental property in Portland worth the hassle? Talk to ten different real estate investors and you’ll get ten different answers ranging from, “Absolutely!” to “I wouldn’t do it again.” The difference in the two ends of that spectrum has a lot to do with proper time management and outsourcing of various property management needs.

Many of our clients loved managing their own properties but reached a point where they were looking for more time freedom. Other clients simply grew their real estate portfolios too large to manage on their own and sought professional property management assistance from our team of experts at InterWest properties.

Regardless of whether you’re looking into hiring a property manager or handle it all yourself. We’ve identified three main categories of attention that a great property manager in Portland must address on a regular basis.

Ongoing Property Management Administrative Work

Owning rental properties means that you own a business. With any business, there is going to be a certain level of mandatory paperwork, in addition to administrative chores that simply allow the business to run more smoothly.

A smart property manager has systems in place for all of the following:

  • Paying the bills each month for each property
  • Maintaining all necessary accounting for taxes
  • Scheduling regular maintenance for each property
  • Understanding shifts in the Portland rental marketplace
  • Keeping up to date with new legislation that affects your properties
  • Collecting and filing all tenant paperwork and notices

Doing this yourself can be done, but many of our clients discover that turning these tasks over to our team at InterWest Properties is a worthy investment.

Move-in / Move-out Maintenance and Turnover

If you’ve chosen your tenants properly, then turning your units won’t be the nightmare that some property owners experience with bad tenants. You might be surprised at how much work has to go into getting the apartment cleaned and in good shape to show to the rental market. Not to mention the marketing and paperwork required to attract a new tenant each year to each property.

With each new vacancy (when old tenants move out), a great property manager in Portland must think about the following:

  • Scheduling cleaning for the unit (or doing them yourself)
  • Scheduling repairs and maintenance for the unit (or doing them yourself)
  • Taking new photos of the property
  • Listing the property in any number of publications (online & traditional) for lease
  • Fielding prospective inquires about the property via phone and in-person
  • Taking applications from prospective tenants
  • Running background checks
  • Scheduling move-in time and handling any additional needs of your new tenant

When you’re first starting in real estate investment and management, these things can take a lot of your time, but putting together good systems and checklists will allow you to move faster in the future. Many of our clients have chosen us because we turn units every single month and when your property is a part of that momentum, things can happen quickly.

Unexpected or Emergency Maintenance Requests

No property manager wants to get that phone call at 2:00am in the morning telling them that the water heater exploded, but it is in the realm of possibility. Therefore, great property managers always have a contingency planned lined up for when a property has unexpected problems that arise.

A great property manager in Portland knows that they must deal with trouble issues like air conditioners or heaters going out, toilets flooding a room, roofs leaking, etcetera, immediately. That means that whatever you’re doing in your personal life has to be put on hold so that the tenant’s home can be returned to working order.

If you have a great team of handymen, plumbers, electricians, and more, than these emergencies aren’t nearly as alarming as when you’re having to handle it all yourself. If you’re currently experiencing an emergency maintenance situation at one of your properties and don’t know how to handle it, please give our team a call right away. We’re happy to assist: (503) 256-2323

Ultimately, owning investment rental properties in Portland can be a real joy when you have the proper systems and team in place. At InterWest Properties, we’ve been helping property owners and real estate investors create better processes and systems for over 30 years. We’d love to have the opportunity to speak with you about your property or real estate portfolio.

You Can Get a FREE assessment of your rental property by Starting Here!

Latest News: Portland Tenant Rights — What it Means for Property Owners

Latest News: Portland Tenant Rights — What it Means for Property Owners

A tenant protections bill that would have banned no-cause evictions in Oregon died in the Senate this past week. As the affordable housing shortage in Oregon continues this latest episode in rental protections and legislation has many real estate investors wondering where they stand when it comes to property owner rights.

What Was Proposed and Avoided with the Senate’s Decision Not to Pass House Bill 2004:

“The bill would have allowed cities and counties in Oregon to establish rent control policies for the first time in more than three decades, limited landlords’ ability to issue no-cause evictions, and more,” reported The Portland Mercury.

With the Portland Tribune adding, “The bill would have required landlords to pay relocation expenses to tenants when they ask a tenant to leave for certain allowable business or personal reasons.”

For the time being, property owners will still maintain those rights, but the debate over tenant protections in Oregon and the death rattle of House Bill 2004 is far from over.

The good news for property owners is that the proposal lacked any support from any of the Senate’s 13 Republicans with Sen. Tim Knopp stated, “Restrictions on landlords are counterproductive to solving Oregon’s shortage of affordable rental units.” Sen. Knopp has advocated for measures that make it easier for investors to develop new housing units, something that is needed in the Oregon marketplace.

Of course, the issue of housing shortage in Portland is complex and must be discussed from the appropriate perspective. Jonathan Lockwood, a spokesman for the Senate Republicans, for instance, believes that Oregon’s land-use laws are the problem. While Sen. Rod Monroe, a democrat, opposed the bill because “no-cause evictions would be too restrictive to landlords who have problem tenants.”

What This Means for Landlords and Real Estate Investors

While the death of the renters’ rights bill could be considered a win for property owners, there is still much debate about the right direction for Portland’s property owner rights. A judge on Friday, separate from proceedings in the senate regarding House Bill 2004, ruled against overturning a property rights ordinance, which had become law in February.

John DiLorenzo is the attorney who was hired to sue the city and get the ordinance overturned, starting in February, “This ordinance is disguised rent control, and those are the state claims that we will be litigating in state court.”

“The ordinance requires landlords to pay relocation costs to renters if they’re given a no-cause eviction or a 10-percent rent hike. In those situations, the new rule requires landlords to pay anywhere from $2,900 to $4,500 of a tenant’s moving expenses,” as reported by KATU On Your Side.

You can Learn more about Rent Control in Portland, here.

At InterWest Properties, we’re committed to keeping you informed and representing property owners when it comes to their rights as real estate investors. If you’d like to speak with one of our Portland property experts, please reach out and give us a call: (503) 256-2323

You Can Get a FREE assessment of your rental property by Starting Here!

Two Big Mistakes Portland Landlords Make

Two Big Mistakes Portland Landlords Make

The be human is to ere and the property management industry is nothing if not a hodge podge of complex human interactions. At InterWest Properties, we’re fortunate to have a team with over 30 years of property management experience in Portland. We’ve seen and assisted clients with all kinds of scenarios in the rental market.

Here are a few mistakes we see Portland landlords who come to us making:


Landlords Who Fail to Check References

More often than one might expect, the landlords who come to us with some kind of a tenant issue or needing assistance with the eviction process did not do their due diligence up front. It can be tempting, as a landlord in Portland, to go with the first or second tenant who is willing to pay your asking rental price. Just remember that an easy transaction, now, can leave to headaches down the line.

Real estate investors don’t only want someone who can pay their asking rent on month one, they want a quality tenant who will take good care of their property, while paying their rent on time for an entire year. One of the best questions a landlord can ask a potential tenant is for references of past residences they’ve had.

While a former landlord may not be able to give you specifics about the tenant, checking a reference and paying close attention to the tone in the former landlord’s voice can be all the information you need to continue digging deeper. Criminal and even motor vehicle checks can also flag potential problem tenants long before you have a personal issue with them.

There are rules that must be followed and as a landlord, you want to make your property available to anyone who is qualified to rent it at the fair rental price you’re charging. However, never underestimate the power of proper due diligence before signing a rental agreement with a tenant. You have many rights as a landlord and assuring that you get a quality tenant is within your means when you approach the rental process properly.


Exterior Aesthetics Matter to Portland Renters

Many clients come to us with multi-family units or apartment buildings they’ve recently purchased. We see, time and time, again real estate investors who have done beautiful interior renovations of older buildings. And yet, when it comes time to make improvements to the exterior of the buildings, little to no work is done.

Renting a property is an emotional decision for most tenants. We all know the old adage, “First impressions are everything,” and it certainly holds true in the real estate world. When a tenant comes to visit one of your properties for lease they begin to form opinions from the second they start pulling into the parking lot or driveway. If the exterior is outdated, or worse, in poor shape, the interior improvements will never look as nice to prospective tenants. They’ll have already formed a psychological block that says, “This apartment is dated.”

Many exterior improvements can be done for far less than you might think. Our team of property management experts are very familiar with the local marketplace and the aesthetics that tend to attract quality renters. Don’t neglect the exterior of your property, just because you’re so focused on the new interiors. It’s unfortunate, but we still live in a world where books are very much still judged by their cover.

To learn more about ways to improve the value of your investment and real estate portfolio, we’d love to jump on a phone call with you.

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Portland Landlords Learned These 3 Surprising Things the Hard Way – Part 2

Portland Landlords Learned These 3 Surprising Things the Hard Way – Part 2

In our last post, we highlighted some surprising things that landlords in Portland had to learn the hard way and received quite a bit of confirming nods and feedback from clients, landlords, and even tenants. That’s why we’re continue this series by highlighting a few more items that landlords and real estate investors in Portland, OR should be aware of before renting out their properties.


4. Everyone Has a Story To Tell

As human beings, it’s natural to want to give people the benefit of the doubt and see the best in them. In day-to-day life, that can mean simply lending an ear and hearing someone out, offering a few compassionate words, or simply being present with the one before you.

When it comes to dealing with tenants on a regular basis over a 30-year period, however, it’s important to recognize that everyone has a story. When you’ve been a landlord long enough, you begin to see certain patterns. Often, tenants are living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to make ends meet. But that doesn’t mean that the contract they signed with you is any less valid.

One of the hardest parts of being a landlord is having to be firm with the terms of your lease agreement. Tenants will come to you with the deepest and darkest skeletons in their closet hoping to build an emotional bond with you, so they can pay their rent late or have certain fees waved. It’s always up to your discernment how each scenario is handled, but equally important to make sure you’re within the legal bounds that have been agreed to.

Many of our clients start off giving all of their tenants the benefit of the doubt, only to realize that when you give an inch, often times, people will take a mile. When rent comes in late month after month, it’s hard to remain the “nice guy.” Afterall, they aren’t being very nice to you by breaking their agreement.

At InterWest Properties, we know how awkward moments like this can be and it’s why we’ve created so many systems for our clients to make sure that the terms in every single rental agreement are followed to the T. If you’re having trouble standing firm with a tenant full of stories, we’d love to offer you an ear and advice on how we’ve been able to curb such problem tenants and get them back on track so that everybody wins.


5. Regular Maintenance Helps Prevent Massive Emergency Maintenance Bills

As a landlord in Portland, you know that there will be certain on-going expenses related to the upkeep of your property. But it can come as quite a shock when a tenant calls in the middle of some summer night and tells you the air conditioning system has gone caput, or a water heater exploded.

Having a plan of action for regular maintenance on each of your properties can help you identify problem areas proactively. It also means that the integrity of your property is maintained, costing you less money in the long-run.

A great rental investment is an asset and just like the farmer and his cows, they must be kept healthy and well-maintained for them to keep producing profitable goods. At InterWest, we put together a maintenance program as part of your rental property business plan that helps you stay in the know about upcoming repairs. We’ll advise you on the amount of money you should have on reserve, as well, so you’re never caught in a financial bind with tenants screaming in your ears.

Regular maintenance reviews also allow you and your team to maintain a strong relationship with tenants and this can become incredibly beneficial when it comes to future issues or negotiations around the property.


6. A Great Property Management Company in Portland Is In Your Budget

It’s easy to want to save as much money as you can when it comes to your rental investments and management of them. As an owner of rental units in Portland, faulty logic can point you to saying, “I can’t really afford a property manager, so I’ll just do it myself.” The reality of the situation is often much different, though.

Making a quick repair here and there may seem like no big deal, but over time the phone calls that come in about rent payments, late fees, neighborhood happenings, maintenance requests, police reports, domestic disturbances, and more can become daunting, quickly.

As a smart real estate investor, one of the best things you can do is offload many of the landlord responsibilities to a competent property management company in Portland. Your time is valuable and little things that seemingly only take 5 or 10 minutes, here and there, have a way of stopping the momentum of your life and taking their toll.

Hiring a good property management company in Portland allows you to focus on the vision and strategy for your growing real estate portfolio. The more properties you include in your portfolio, the more sense it makes to have a property manager tending to them all. Many of our clients at InterWest are amazed at how affordable management for their investment properties has been and the amount of value they have received in return, not to mention time they’ve been able to put to better use.

If you’re a landlord in Portland and curious about the cost of having someone take over the day-to-day duties of managing your real estate portfolio, we’d love to jump on a phone call with you.

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

3 Surprising Things Portland Landlords Learned the Hard Way – Part 1

3 Surprising Things Portland Landlords Learned the Hard Way – Part 1

Being a landlord can be an incredibly rewarding experience. When working with a knowledgeable property management company, the life of being a real estate investor can truly fill you every single day with satisfaction. However, everything in life has a learning curve to it.

Here are five things Portland real estate investors and landlords have come to us with at InterWest Properties that took them by surprise:


1. Tenants Make Decisions Guided By Their Emotions

It’s easy to look at all of the data available to you as a real estate investor and conclude that a price increase in rent is justified. Any smart investor knows that markets have a tendency to go up, but that even when they go down, good data can always present creative solutions and hedges against disaster.

One thing data often overlook, however, is the emotional aspect of the rental process. When tenants are searching for a property, they are not typically making that decision from a practical place. They aren’t usually looking for a “3 bedroom dwelling with optimized energy efficiency”. What they’re looking for is a home. And that makes the decision an emotional one.

Whether is the neighborhood they choose, the color of the walls, the type of shower or tub, or whether the rental price ends in a 5 or 7—renters can be incredibly rewarding, but also fickle in their reasoning.

When it comes to dealing with tenants on any issue, it’s important to have someone in your corner who can consult with you on the proper language, notifications, and legal boundaries which need to be navigated. Tenants who receive information about their lease or renewals in the appropriate language have a tendency to respond positively. Tenants who feel slighted or caught off guard can make any number of emotional decisions.

At InterWest, we’re here to help you navigate the waters of communication with tenants so that all parties remain happy and any scuffles are dealt with appropriately.


2. The Eviction Process Must Be Executed Flawlessly

Fortunately, most rental agreements are written to protect the landlord. Having that signed contract in your files can feel comforting and certainly, it is a necessity, when it comes to any investment property. At some point in your real estate investment career, however, there will likely come the point in which you’ll need to actually enforce something in that signed rental agreement. And that’s where things can get tricky if not handled properly.

It’s important that all paperwork and notices to the tenant are filed in the appropriate order, using language that will bode well in court. Eviction is an excellent tool for managing trouble tenants and maintaining the integrity of your property, but there are steps that must be followed to maintain the advantage as landlord.

The last thing you want is to lose months in rental income in court because a judge rules in the tenants favor on a technicality. Our team of eviction experts at InterWest Properties is always available to help you navigate any kind of eviction proceedings to make sure the process runs smoothly. If you are in need of assistance or have questions about the eviction process in Portland, please reach out to our team, today.


3. Landlords in Portland May Have to Pay a Tenant’s Relocation Fees

As a landlord in Portland, rent increases over 10-percent or above in a calendar year can result in a tenant notifying you that they are leaving. You as the landlord must pay money to them for the purposes of relocating. Failure to do so can result in huge fines and penalties.

The same thing goes with a tenant who has a lease coming to an end in Portland. Traditionally, a landlord might issue a no-cause notice to terminate tenancy for any number of reasons. Now, however, the property owner is required to pay relocation assistance to take back control of their own rental property—even though the lease terms have come to a contractual end.

The Tenant Relocation Assistance fees are as follows:

  • Studio or Room — $2,900 in relocation assistance owed to tenant
  • 1-bedroom — $3,300 in relocation assistance owed to tenant
  • 2-bedroom — $4,300 in relocation assistance owed to tenant
  • 3-bedroom and above — $4,500 in relocation assistance owed to tenant

Learn More about Portland Rent Control, here: What is Rent Control?

You can read Part 2 of this post, here.

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Rental Properties & Real Estate Investing in Portland, OR: The Pros and Cons

Rental Properties & Real Estate Investing in Portland, OR:
The Pros and Cons

Over the last 20 years, the available options you have for investing your money have skyrocketed. The Internet has made available investment opportunities that your grandparents and likely, parents, never even dreamed about. That brings up an interesting question for new and seasoned investors, alike: Are rental properties still the best investment for my money?

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely already come to realize that holding your money in a bank CD or savings account is never going to net the results you’re seeking. Ultimately, investments need to be weighed on the return they offer you in both the short-term and long-term. Buying real estate is a business for all intensive purposes and should be treated as such.

At InterWest Properties, we take real estate newbies and old pro’s and help them analyze the current trends and shifts in the Portland, OR real estate marketplace. We then help our clients come up with a business plan and investment strategy that will yield the best results.

Questions to Ask About Your Portland Real Estate Investment

Any wise farmer knows that when running a farm, you tend to your animals and crops, first. These are your assets and by caring for them well, they will produce fruits far and beyond their original value. Real estate is no different. Well-tended properties, purchased with the right strategy, become assets that produce fruit for years to come.

To understand if real estate is worth this investment is beyond the scope of this article. However, there are some telltale signs that an investment has potential.

Some key things to note and questions to ask when analyzing a real estate investment in Portland, OR:


Is there demand for the location and property type?

The first rule of real estate investing has always been: Location! Location! Location! They aren’t making any more land and knowing which locations are trending up is vital to making a strong real estate purchase. Our experts at InterWest have their nose to the grindstone and an ear on the grapevine when it comes to Portland real estate trends. That’s much of the value we’re able to offer to our real estate investor clients.

Fixer Upper or Ready to Rent?

All real estate investors want to find that diamond in the rough. We’ve all heard stories of that sweet deal someone picked up from a distressed seller and the massive returns they got by making a few upgrades and flipping the property. And while those deals can come up from time to time, it’s much more practical to understand which upgrades are going to net the greatest return on investment.

At InterWest, our team of experts can guide you into the industry trends that will net the most profit in both cashflow and increase property equity and value. New floors and a backsplash on the sink might be all it takes to take a vacant property that’s been on the market for months and turn it into a hot rental and or quick sale. Market trends and aesthetics shift and our team is always monitoring what repairs and improvements are adding the most value to properties.

Other considerations when looking at investment property in Portland, OR


Will there be positive cashflow on the property from Month 1?

While buy and hold is one strategy that works for the right kinds of properties, there are many intricacies within that strategy. Some investors don’t mind a property that merely breaks even every month, so long as the overall property value holds or appreciates each year.

Other investors prefer to structure their rental portfolio so they are receiving monthly cashflow from every single property, meaning they are renting properties for more than they pay in monthly expenses and mortgage payments. There’s no right or wrong strategy, so long as it fits within your overall business plan. Our team at InterWest will make sure that investment plan is solid and make sure all decisions flow through that overarching vision.

Are you in a position to hold a property even if it does become vacant?

Finally, it’s important to know that no matter how hot a potential real estate market is, there’s always the possibility that a property might be vacant for any number or months at a time. At InterWest, we use our intimate knowledge of the Portland rental market to prevent this from happening as much as possible.

We want to keep your rental properties occupied and at capacity as often as we are able. And even though we’ve continually showcased success in helping real estate investors achieve their goals, it’s important to know what the potential setbacks could be so that you design your strategy to account for them.

Are Your Portland, OR Rental Properties Vulnerable?

Our knowledgeable team of real estate experts are ready to not only show you the potential of the market but also give you practical advice about how you should handle any market lulls. The investors who are hurt in a down market are the ones who don’t have a contingency plan. Let us look at your real estate portfolio and highlight areas where you might be vulnerable so that you can hedge your bets and make sure you’re good to go regardless of market changes.

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

What Property Owners Need to Know About Security Deposits in Portland

What Property Owners Need to Know About Security Deposits in Portland

To ensure the wellbeing of your property, we ask tenants to provide a refundable security deposit upon move-in. This security deposit amount can range anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. As a property owner, it’s important for you to understand how that security deposit is handled.

Industry sites like Buildium maintain that, “The security deposit has long been a bone of contention between tenants and landlords and property managers. Some courts are awarding double damages to tenants who sued their landlord for not returning their security deposit.”

In the Portland, OR market security deposits are usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. Occasionally, the deposit will be more based on a variety of factors such as how the tenant screening results, applicant’s personal credit, or information from a previous landlords.

All security deposits are kept in a separate escrow account from the property’s operating account, and are treated as money first from and belonging to the tenant. These are highly regulated and monitored accounts and cannot be interest bearing for anyone to profit off of these funds. Upon move-out, the deposits may be used to compensate property owners for abuses and conditions beyond normal wear & tear, including unpaid financial obligations. However, there is brewing conversation and debate at the city that would require all landlords to keep security deposits in an interest-bearing account with the interest gained being due back to the tenant when they move out. What a nightmare that would be from an accounting standpoint, which would create a massive overhaul of state agency regulation & rule of law, banking regulatory practices, interest rate variables between owners & landlord, and increasing financial expense to landlords to maintain and report. Tenants would also have to report the unearned interest income on their taxes, potentially their filing expenses or deductions.

Rumblings like this happen from time to time–even when they aren’t anything near a great plan—and it’s why our team of expert property managers is so closely involved in the process. We are always making sure that when there is a shift in the marketplace, our property owners know and can make educated decisions based on the latest information available. We also help mitigate some of that red-tape when it comes up—whether it be additional resources or expanded accounting.

Something as simple as collecting a security deposit can end up being a real headache. It’s one of the many things we manage for our clients so they can stay focused on the what and who in their lives that are truly important to them.

As your property management firm, we will always make sure that each of the follow is handled with the utmost professionalism, attention, and care:

We will always be up to date on the current policies and laws
We help you determine a fair security deposit rate and attract tenants who can pay it
We manage these funds in a separate account and handle all bookkeeping
We do extensive property evaluation reports before move-in and after move-out to assure the tenant is responsible for any damages at the property
We will always keep you informed on the latest changes in the marketplace, so you can make educated decisions, mitigating risk.

We all understand what a valuable tool security deposits can be to protect your property from damages. It’s important that those funds are handled properly and in line with current policy and regulations. Our team of property management experts makes this easy for you.

We’d love to speak with you about your property and your investment goals in the city. Our goal is to provide quality care for your property portfolio, while increasing its profitability. We look forward to jumping on a call with you.

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