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Real Estate

5 Advantages of Depreciation for Properties



Depreciation is a term frequently used in economics and finance that describes the loss of value over time. Depreciation can affect any asset, such as cars, real estate, stocks and even currency. Depreciation can arise from a variety of factors such as wear and tear, obsolescence and economic factors like demand for the asset. Depreciation can be both advantageous and disadvantageous.

It allows businesses to account for the slow degradation of the equipment as it is used throughout its life. A value is assigned to the asset and gradually expensed throughout the years it is used. This is designed to accurately reflect the usefulness of the object to the business, and therefore its value.

Below are the advantages of depreciation on properties:

It reduces start-up deductions

This option can reduce start-up costs by increasing deductions that are taken during your business’s first years of operation. This will allow you to reduce your overall business tax debt, which means that you will have more money that you can use for marketing, purchasing equipment and growing your company. This also means that you will have increased chances to succeed in the market.

It allows you to take a higher upfront deduction

Another huge advantage of accelerated depreciation is that it allows you to immediately take a higher deduction, and so, you can reduce your current tax bills. This is really helpful especially when you have a new business that might be having problems with short-term cash flow. Also, by maximizing deductions today, you will be able to avoid delayed deductions in the future when it happens that your business no longer exists.

It works as a tax deferral

As this depreciation system creates increased deductions, your business will be able to defer a portion of its tax debt. If your company is trying to reduce taxes that it currently owes, deferring tax debts with the use of this approach will provide you additional time before the time when you must pay your taxes in full amount.

It helps in replacing of assets

Assets used in the business need to be replaced after the expiry of their useful life. Depreciation can be taken as a source of fund for replacing worn out asset by a new asset. Thus, depreciation charges help in accumulating funds for the replacement of an asset.

It saves some taxes

The profit and loss account will show more profits if depreciation is not charged on asset. So, the business needs to pay more income tax to the government. Depreciation charges on assets save the amount of tax equivalent to tax rate. Since it is shown as expense in the profit and loss account, it reduces the amount of the profit.

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Real Estate

8 Ways Landlords Can Save Time Every Day



8 Convenient Ways to Save Time as a Landlord

Investing in property and becoming a landlord is one of the best ways to make money. With the right property and good tenants, you can reliably generate income every month – and with a few properties in your portfolio, you might be able to collect enough to fund your retirement. You can also benefit from the long-term growth in your property’s value.

The one drawback is that, as a landlord, you’ll have many responsibilities to handle. You’ll have to find new tenants for a vacant unit, screen tenants, collect rent payments, follow up on late payments, respond to requests, issue maintenance and repairs, and even manage tenant evictions (in bad situations).

If you’re not careful, managing your property could take up a ton of time – and jeopardize the profitability of your entire operation. So what are the best ways for landlords to save time every day?

How Landlords Can Save Time

Use these strategies to save time and keep your property running smoothly:

  1.       Find a consistent rental application. One of the most difficult and time-consuming things you’ll have to do as a landlord is find new tenants for a vacant property. But you can save time and make things simple once you find a solid rental application. With a consistent, thorough rental application in place, you can collect the same information from all your tenant applicants and review that information more thoroughly. Not only will this help you keep your paperwork straight, but it will also help you find better candidates for your property.
  2.       Screen your tenants carefully. Collecting information is valuable, but it’s also important to verify that information. Tenant screening is a time-consuming process, but in the long run, it can actually save you time. Check your candidate’s credit score, job history, current job, current income, criminal history, and other factors to make sure they’re a good fit for this property. If it doesn’t seem like they can afford to pay rent consistently, you can reject the application and move on – sparing yourself countless later headaches.
  3.       Create an airtight lease agreement. Your latest applicant may have gotten through your screening process, but before you immediately bring them in, make sure they review and sign a thorough, airtight lease agreement. It’s a good idea to work with a lawyer to draft and improve a lease agreement that protects your interests and prevents misunderstandings in the future.
  4.       Automate rent collection and follow-ups. If you’re still manually collecting rent from your tenants and cashing physical checks, you’re doing something wrong. You can save hours of time by simply transitioning to an automated system of rent collection. With automated withdrawals, your tenants will save time, you’ll save time, and your incoming rent payments will be more consistent. There’s no reason not to change.
  5.       Work with a partner and split responsibilities. If you’re overwhelmed with your responsibilities as a landlord, one option is to partner up with someone and split the duties. If you know another property investor in the area, you can split the profits and split the work evenly. It’s not the ideal arrangement for everyone, but it could easily save you time.
  6.       Inspect and maintain the property regularly. Taking the time to inspect the property and maintain it efficiently can spare you a lot of effort in the future. It’s almost always better to spend time and money proactively preventing issues than to respond to problems once they’re already fully developed.
  7.       Communicate efficiently. Some landlords waste a lot of time because of poor communication. They don’t respond to tenants promptly, they don’t set proactive expectations, and they allow conversation threads to drone on inefficiently. Instead, be as concise and clear as possible in all your outgoing messages and set expectations with your tenants for how they should be communicating with you.
  8.       Hire a property management company. If you find that property management is taking over your life, it may be in your best interest to hire a property management company. You’ll pay a fixed percentage of your gross rent for someone else to handle the day-to-day operations – and you can sit back and collect the profits hands-free.

Improving Upon Your Existing Process

Many landlords suffer simply because they’re unwilling to change. They know that they’re spending more time than they’d like on managing a given property, but they don’t do the work necessary to understand the root causes of that time loss – nor are they willing to tweak their approach to make things better.

Instead, you have to be proactive and keep improving on your existing processes. Track your time, analyze your habits, and keep looking for new ways that you can increase your efficiency or save time and effort. With a bit of extra awareness, you’ll be amazed at what’s possible. 

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Real Estate

7 Tips for Getting a Tenant in Your Vacant Rental Property



7 Tips for Getting a Tenant in Your Vacant Rental Property

As a landlord, keeping your properties leased is one of the keys to maintaining strong cash flow. And while some vacancy is normal, extended vacancies can leave you in a financial hole. Figuring out a system to keep tenants in your properties will benefit you tremendously in the years to come.

7 Tips for Filling Your Vacancy

When you invest in a rental property, it’s always a good idea to account for some vacancy. One month per year is a safe number in most markets. However, your goal should be to keep your property rented for as close to 365 days per year as possible.

When your property is vacant and you have no tenant lined up, here are some suggestions you can use to get the unit filled:

1.Outsource to a Property Manager

The easiest option is to outsource your property marketing and tenant acquisition to a property management company. These companies have connections and, depending on the setup, are incentivized to help you find the best possible fit. They don’t get paid if you don’t get paid!

2.Use Word of Mouth

Ideally, you want to fill your vacancy without having to go through the painstaking process of creating a listing, investing in marketing and advertising, collecting applications, and screening a bunch of people. In a perfect world, you simply reach out to your network (which includes both personal and professional connections) and let them know that you have a vacant property. This is the most cost-effective option.

3.Leverage Social Media

Social media is another great place to get the word out. The beauty of using a platform like Facebook is that other people in your network can tag and share. This amplifies visibility and allows you to reach more people without any additional effort. 

4.Put up Signs

Even in a digital age, there’s still immense value in putting a “for rent” sign in the yard. This is especially valuable if your property is located on a road that gets a lot of traffic. With the right visibility, you can easily find a tenant within a day or two using this approach. 

5.Use Free Online Classifieds

There’s no need to pay for an expensive ad placement. There are plenty of free online classifieds where you can post your listing and drive qualified leads directly to your application. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are the obvious places, but there are plenty of niche and local platforms, too. 

6.Optimize Your Listing

When prospective renters are looking through listings, they’re trying to be as efficient as possible. They aren’t going to spend 10 minutes with every listing they run across. They quickly scan and move on. And that’s why your listing should focus on a few key elements:

  • An eye-catching title that’s descriptive and compelling
  • Descriptive language that discusses the key points of the property
  • Lots of high-resolution images that show each room from multiple angles.

While there’s an art to developing well-optimized listings, you don’t have to become an excellent copywriter overnight.

“Fortunately for all of us, these things don’t need to be creative or overly unique,” expert Kasia Manolas writes. “They just need to give the tenant what they’re actually looking for. And once you understand what tenants are looking for, it’s really just formulaic.”

Review the rental property listings in your area and then study the ones that find tenants within a matter of hours. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – just copy these formats and tweak them to your property. 

7.Ask Existing Tenants

If you own other rental properties, get in touch with your existing tenants and ask them if they have any referrals. You might even incentivize them with a discount on their rent if they send you someone who ends up signing a lease agreement.

Find the Right Tenant

The right tenant can be difficult to find. And in the heat of the moment, when you feel the pressure to put someone in the unit, it’s easy to make a poor decision. Be careful not to rush into a decision. Take your time and remain disciplined. It’s better to wait an extra week or two for the right person than to rush into a lease agreement with someone who will create headaches for months to come.

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Real Estate

Why is it So Complicated to Buy a House?




Purchasing a house is one of your life’s biggest commitments that is bound to be stressful. To add to your stress, the process of buying a house may seem unnecessarily complicated.

Over time, the brokers working in the housing market have convinced homebuyers and sellers that their expertise is required to ensure that all the parties get a fair share. In addition to this, the government has added multiple regulations that are meant to actually protect consumers but end up looking complicated and difficult to interpret. This has resulted in an incredibly complicated and costly homebuying process.

Understanding the Complexity of Buying A House

The Congress passed the RESPA law in 1974 that put an end to routine price gouging and kickbacks that took place between agents and service providers that were essential to buy a house. But this made the process of homebuying complicated for the consumers.

Today, there is an escrow service that is required to hold the deposit amount until the contract is settled. In addition to this, there is a title insurer whose job is to evaluate if the property under consideration has any liens or boundary issues. Next, the mortgage provider is required to lend money that most consumers require to buy a home. Apart from this, there is an insurance provider who covers the insurance required to obtain the mortgage and secure the property in case a catastrophe was to occur. Lastly, there is a home warranty provider who offers a limited warranty if any big items such as the roof or water heater were to fail. Owing to the RESPA regulations, each of these entities has a separate fee that cannot be bundled together. To top this off, there are real estate agents who are still overcharging you separately for their services.

The Cost of Commission

Sellers traditionally used to pay about 6% of the value of the transaction to their own broker and that of the buyer for their services. However, nowadays buyers find properties through Zillow, Google or and send them to their agents. In many cases, the only job that a buyer’s agent does is to open the house for viewing. In spite of such limited work, the buyer’s agent still collects half the commission that is paid to the sellers. When you look at this amount in terms of numbers, it is a huge sum. As a buyer, you may be thinking that the seller is paying this amount however this amount is usually built into the listing price of the house.

How Can A Good Mortgage Professional Help You?

Based on the complications surrounding buying a house and the cost of commission, it is best to hire a mortgage professional who can make the process less costly and less complicated for you. A good mortgage expert will remove the need to overinflate list price and help you secure insurance and mortgage at competitive rates. Moreover, a seasoned expert who handles a lot of business can take care of title, escrow, and warranty so that you are easily able to fulfill your home buying dreams. Rex Homes, for example, has some information on why this process is complicated and what they can do to help you on their blog here:

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