Metro Realty,
The Property Management Company
Specializing in sales, leasing, and property management in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

News

Renting Is Better Than Buying
06-01-2017
06-01-2017

In a market where prices are high and inventory is low, renting is a perfect alternative to buying a home.  Click here to discover four reasons renting is better than buying.

Renting can be a great alternative to renting

If you need a property manager to find you a rental, contact us at peter@metrorentals.net or call us 925.556.1976.

Fun Events in San Ramon This Memorial Day Weekend
05-15-2017
San Ramon Art and Wind Festival
05-15-2017

San Ramon Art and Wind FestivalThe East Bay is a great place to live and play.  With parks, restaurants, shopping, easy freeway access, and award-winning schools, it truly is one of the best places to invest and rent.  Memorial Weekend is May 27,28, and 29.  The San Ramon Art and Wind Festival is a popular activity for families in the area.  There is Food, Art, Music, Activities, and Fun for the entire Family.  Check out the line up here.

http://www.sanramon.ca.gov/Parks/events/windfest/default.htm

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Raising Rent for Your Tenants
05-15-2017
Increasing Rent
05-15-2017

Consider hiring Metro Realty for your property management needs.As a company who has been in the business of real estate and property management for almost three decades, the topic of rent increase is something Metro Real Estate is very familiar. With the fluctuations in the market, it's natural for landlords to consider raising their tenant's rent.  As less homes become available, and all-cash offers and price wars bump many prospective homebuyers out of the running, it would seem to be in the best interest of the property owner to raise rent.  Or is it?

Thoughts to Consider Before Raising Your Tenant's Rent

While the thought of more income may be appealing to you, there are some things to consider before raising your tenant's rent. In some cases, you might actually lose money by raising rent.

1.  Will Your Tenant Be Likely to Leave if You Raise the Rent?

In the event you raise your tenant's rent so much that they can no longer afford to live at your property, you have to consider what effect this will have on your finances. If you can afford to be without rent for a month or two, it might be in your best interest to raise the rent.  Consider the time it wil take you to find a tenant, repair the property to attract the next best tenant, and advertise for a tenant.  If being without a rent check will cause economic hardship, then it is not in your best interest to raise the tenant's rent.

2.  Consider the Relationship You Have With Your Tenant

It can sometimes be difficult to form a solid relationship between tenant and landlord.  Finding the "perfect" tenant who respects your home as their own, keeps up on repairs themselves, doesn't overly call you for minor problems, pays the rent on time if not early, avoids neighbor complaints, and continues to want to live in your home over the long term, is not always possible.  But if you find a tenant or tenants who at least offer a few of those qualities, it may be in your best interest to keep them happy and not raise the rent.  Think of what you may have to replace your home with-the new tenant could be worse, cause problems, neglect the property, be a burden to your neighbors, thereby affecting your relationship with them and getting phone calls to address situations, pay late, or have to be evicted.

3. Be Realistic About Why You Have Rental Property

If the purpose of rental property is to be a second or third source of income to you, and raising the rent is a necessity, then you may not have a choice. But if raising the rent causes more hassles, stress, time, and money than you can reasaonably afford to spend, then re-evaluate your need to raise the rent.  You are allowed to write off expenses on your taxes which can sometimes offset the need to raise rent.

4. Be Thoughtful Toward Your Tenant

Again, a respectable relationship between landlord and tenant goes both ways. If the tenant is in between jobs but still making payments, just had a brand new baby, is struggling with a temporary challenge, you may want to consider how difficult it will be for that person to find a new place to live.  Your tenant may have interactions with the new prospects or know people and may damage your reputation, thus making it more difficult to replace them.  A little consideration goes a long way.

5.  Have You Followed Your Lease and Considered the Rights of the Tenant?

There are certain laws landlords must follow, and if you do not follow them, you could be subject to fines or judgments against you. A good property manager has an intact lease with his or her tenant, providing valuable measures for both sides.  Raising the rent without notice or a lawful time limit could be against the policies set forward in your lease.  Be sure to carefully read your provisions or consult with a lawyer.

Do You Need a Property Manager?

If the thought of dealing with a raise in rent is too much to handle, Metro Realty, the Property Management Company can help. We specialize in the sales, leasing, and management of properties in the East Bay and beyond. We have an experienced team of agents, managers, accountants, and marketers ready to prepare and market your home.  We have made a career out of finding the right tenants and keeping you informed while we do all of the leg-work, leaving you to deposit the check.  Plus, we have outlasted the market influxes and can give you personal advice about raising or sustaining the rent.

Call us today!  925-556-1976!

Should You Allow Renters with Pets?
04-28-2017
Renters and Pets
04-28-2017

Allowing the Renters to Move in with the Family Pet? Or Say No to Fur and Wings, Scales, and More

  When you have a rental, you want a tenant who is going to treat your property with the same care and consideration you do.  This is your investment, and you want to make sure that it's going to pay off in the years to come. When you have a tenant who has a pet or two, it's a decision you, as the owner, have to make about whether to allow them to have a pet or not.  Consider the pro's and con's of this decision.

Allowing a Pet

According to a recent survey by AOL.com, over 75% of renters have pets. Should you choose to not allow pets, you are severly limiting your chances of finding a renter, and a good one at that.

Homeowners who have pets, according to Apartments.com, tend to stay longer at their rental.  Finding another rental that accepts pets can be a hassle, and if renters find a landlord who allows their pets, they may be more apt to not only stay longer, but to pay rent on time, keep the home in shape, and keep you from having to find another renter which equates in lost income and time.

Pet owners tend to be more responsible and respectful, continues the survey and make better neighbors.

Choosing Against a Pet

As an owner, you have the right not to allow pets or to put stipulations on the type of pets allowed.  Perhaps you may want a size limitation or the restriction of a certain breed due to your homeowners policies. 

You realize that pets can cause damage, be a nuisance to neighbors, and leave behind odors that may be difficult to remove for the next tenant. Paws can scratch floors, muddy paws can leave carpets dirty, and any number of items can be chewed, leaving you with a bill, headache, bad feelings between tenant and landlord, and repairs.

Every Situation is Different

Determine what situation is right for you and go from there.  Most landlords put a limit on the number of pets allowed, which also eliminates some of the renters.  Perhaps you might feel comfortable meeting the pets, taking into account the age, weight, size of the pets.  Consider a monthly rental fee for the animals, which can also increase the amount you take home. 

Stipulate rules-animals are to be inside between the hours of 7-9 pm. Dog litter must be picked up and discarded on a weekly basis to show consideration to neighbors and keep your property up.

Take a look at where the tenants you are considering live now and how they keep the home and yard.  Ask for referrals from their landlords and friends or neighbors.

To read the article yourself, go here.

 

What Improvements Add Value to Your Home?
04-21-2017
What Improves the Value of a Home
04-21-2017

Every homeowner has his or her own taste.  Some people like hardwood floors while others prefer carpet.  Some like colorful specs of tile in mosaic patterns while others prefer granite.  Plain paint or colors.  Four inch floorboards or two. But in the bigger scheme, some home modifications bring top resale value while others do not.  

When you make a modification to your home, keep in mind the resale value that alteration is bringing-if any. Generally, home improvements to the bathroom or kitchen are worthwhile, as the home owner will recoup the costs in the sale of the home. New faucets, granite, travertine, or marble flooring or countertops, and new appliances are attractive to prospective homeowners.  New cement and landscaping is aesthetically pleasing. These are good investments.  

New carpeting, hardwood flooring, and a fresh coat of paint on the inside and out can also add to the value of a home during sale, as long as the quality is good and the paint choice is neutral.

The addition of a pool or solar elements can often be a subject of controversy among possible homebuyers. While you thought a crystal clear pool would be a fun and enticing, some people may find pools unattractive. They can be expensive, a safety hazard, and a time-soaker. Solar is a popular addition, as long as the expense to put it in outweighs the long term expenses. But not everyone wants to turn to solar energy, so that could be detrimental to a sellar when attracting a homebuyer.

Consider Resale Value Before Making any Alterations

Your home is your castle.  When you live there, you want to make your home comfortable and up to your standards and likes. By all means, create the home of your dreams.  But be aware that not everyone will like your tastes and style. Not everyone will appreciate the modifications to your home.

When it comes time to selling your home, meet with an experienced real estate professional to get advice on how you can get the best value from your home.

Metro Realty and Century 21 Marquis

Peter Polce is a licensed real estate broker with over 30 years of experience.  He has helped many people with buying and selling properties in the Bay Area and beyond.  If you are thinking of selling and would like information on getting the best value out of your home, or if you are looking to buy a home, please give us a call. 925-556-1976.

How to Choose a Realtor that is Right for You
04-14-2017
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
04-14-2017

Buying or selling a home can be one of the most expensive decisions you make in a lifetime. That choice can also be an emotional choice for some homeowners who may be selling the family home, relocating to a new territory, or even selling their parent’s home.

Buying a home can be an equally emotional decision. Distinguishing wants verses needs can be a difficult task when one has to compromise. Add the elements of price negotiations, the thoroughness of inspections, the intricacies of qualifying, and the mounds of paperwork that go into each transaction, and the entire home buying, home selling process can be one big headache.

Hiring the right real estate agent can mean the difference between a smooth transaction and a nightmare. Here are a few tips to help you choose a realtor that is right for you.

  • Interview a few different realtors so you can determine whose personality, working style, and tactics line up with yours.
  • Do your homework.  Check out their online profiles, call their references, ask neighbors and friends what they know about that person.
  • Decide if you want to work with just one person, a team, or a group and realize the pros and cons of each choice.  A group or team may be more available to you, whereas a single realtor will be doing every step of the transaction.
  • Ask the realtor how long they’ve been in the business, which company they represent, their tactics, strengths, and weaknesses.  Jumping from one company to the next can be a red flag.  If you’re worried, ask about their history and why they’ve left or stayed with a company.
  • Determine their bandwidth and how much time they have to spend with you.  Are you able to call or communicate after standard hours, or are you held within certain hours?
  • Ask about the terms of a contract you sign, if any, and make sure there are clear and concise terms with which you agree.
  • Ask about the community you are looking to move.  Do they have knowledge about the schools, parks, recreation, top hot spots, eateries, shopping, neighborhood happenings?
  • Determine their thoughts on the market, their negotiating skills, and their relationship with other realtors.  Are they out for the quick sale or do they have your best interest in mind?  Do other realtors like to work with them or avoid them?  This could affect your chances of a fair offer or purchase.
  • Research any history of complaints or violations and make sure their license is up-to-date.
  • Ask what tactics they are going to use to market your home.  Do they have a website dedicated to your home?  Do they have a social media presence to expand the reach of the people who see your home? How many open houses are they going to have?
  • Research their previous sales. Are the homes similar to yours or the ones you are looking to buy?  Avoid a realtor who isn’t used to dealing with the type of home you are buying or selling.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the East Bay-Tri-Valley Area, we can help.  We have over 30 years of experience helping investors, home buyers, and sellers purchase and sell their residential homes. Contact us today! 925-556-1976.

Notice About Property Taxes!
04-06-2017
Property Taxes
04-06-2017

Metro Realty would like to remind you that the second installment of property taxes are due on Monday, April 10, 2017.  Annual Property Tax Installments are due twice a year, November 1 and February 1 in California. Home owners have until December 10 and April 10 to pay the taxes without penalty, as long as payment is received by 5 pm those two days.

How Can I Pay My Property Taxes?

Check with your county tax assessor, but payments can generally be made by check, phone, in person, credit or debit card or automatic withdrawal of a checking account.  Certain restrictions apply, so please be aware.

Paying by Debit or Credit Card

Homeowners wishing to pay via their debit or credit card are subject to a processing fee.

Mailing My Payment

It is strongly advised that homeowners mail their payment in the envelope provided by the County.  Include the payment stub along with the check and make sure the envelope is stamped by 5 pm on the 10th.  Late fees can incur if the envelope is not stamped.  Payments are considered on time as long as they are postmarked by the 10th.

Paying Over the Phone

Be sure to have a credit card or checking account number handy when paying by phone.  You may be asked for your address or parcel number to verify the correct address for payment.

Paying in Person

Check the county your residence is in and the hours of operation.  You can pay in person with a check or credit or debit card. Ask about fees incurred if using a debit or credit card.

Late Payments

If you are late paying your installment, the county has the right to impose a 10% fee on you.  

What if I Disagree with the Value of My Home as Assessed on My Tax Notification?

The county allows you to challenge the assessed value of your home.  Check with your individual county for more information.

What if I Cannot Pay My Property Taxes?

If you cannot pay your propety taxes, interest and penalties will accrue.  You could have a lien put on your home and in the worst case and over time, you could lose your home in a property sale.  In some cases of hardship, you can receive some sort of help.  It's best to consult a tax attorney for your individual case as soon as you think you may not be able to afford your taxes.

What Do Propety Taxes Pay For?

A hefty expense, property taxes are not in vain.  They are used to pay for county and municipal services. Road construction, maintenance, and governement salaries such as those for fire and police officials and local public works department receive the benefit of residential and commercial owners' property taxes.

How are my Property Taxes Assessed?

Values are based upon the existing home value and its land.  In October property owners receive a statement with a value of their home.  Values and property taxes can change.  Property owners can check their tax history and get more information online.  Check with your county tax assessor website for more information.

 

 

Spring is Here! Now is the Perfect Time to Buy Or Sell a House!
03-21-2017
Spring is Here! Now is the Perfect Time to Buy or Sell Your House!
03-31-2017

Home for Sale in SpringFirst Day of Spring! If you are Thinking of Buying or Selling, the Time is Right Now!

Today, March 20, 2017 marks the first day of spring. With warmer days and shorter nights, flowers in bloom, and summer right around the corner, some find this time of year their favorite.

For realtors, this time of year also means a traditional increase in activity.  Homebuyers are looking for their dream home in a traditional mass of available homes. For homeowners, spring also marks a time to consider listing their home for sale when kids are just about out of school and homes show better.

So why is spring such a great time to consider purchasing a new home?

Timing

Savvy homebuyers know that it takes time to find the perfect home, and sometimes that perfect home is also the perfect home for other families. Bidding wars and prices above their budget keep some homebuyers from finding their dream home as early as they want. Smart shopping and realistic expectations extend the time-period to find the home that is just right.  Escrow closings and delays due to unforeseen circumstances such as repairs or contracts that fall out are some of the other smart reasons to start shopping for a new home before you are ready to move.

Think of the kids

Spring give new families time to find a home to move into during summer when kids are out of school and can transition more easily into their new neighborhood.  Meeting new friends, joining sports or clubs, and taking time to transition to a new place equates to a better start for school-age children.  Moving just before school starts or during the middle of the school year can be tough on children.

More inventory

Typically, there is more inventory on the market in the spring, when freshly bloomed flowers and warm weather make homes visually more appealing and cozier. With fresh breezes, longer daylight hours, and the showcasing of backyard displays, homes often show better.

Spring marks a great time to sell, too!

With the holidays behind and the weather warmer, spring provides the perfect time to motivate homeowners who want to move to a new area, downsize, or upscale.

Picture Perfect

Pink and white blossoms, blue skies, and a varietal of spring bulbs make the perfect backdrop to a great marketing piece. Show off the spring garden, patio, yard, pool in a natural setting with the perfect light. Spring is an amazing time to capture your home at its finest.

Cabin fever brings out the buyers

The winter blahs are behind and buyers are more anxious to get out and leave the cabin fever until next winter. Studies show that even in locations with moderate climates year-round, buyers are more likely to come out in the spring.

Make Your Next Move and Settle In

Selling a home in the spring provides you a perfect timeframe to settle into your new home before school starts and the holiday madness brings on too much stress and an endless list of things-to-do.

We Can Help You With Your Buying and Selling Needs

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, we can help you with your needs. We have been selling property for over 30 years in the Tri-Valley and East Contra Costa areas and beyond. Make your next move with us. Visit us online or call us at 925-997-2296.

Metro Realty Makes Big Improvements to Increase Customer Service
03-31-2017
Metro Realty Makes Big Improvements!
03-31-2017

Metro Realty Gets a New and Improved Look and Focus!

In an effort to improve our services and to help our clients, we are making some changes over at Metro Realty, the Property Management Company.

We have hired Julie, our new sales and leasing assistant.  Julie comes with years of experience helping clients in a variety of ways-both in real estate and in sales.  She is a friendly, helpful asset to our team, and is on top of repairs, customer service, showings, and lending a hand to both Agnes, our bookkeeper, and Peter, our broker/owner.

We have also created a News section to our website.  In it, our clients and potential clients can find useful tips and techniques related to property management, real estate, home maintenance, things going on and around the neighborhoods we service, and whatever else we can find that adds value and expertise.  

We also realize that many of our clients are using social media to share, find valuable information, and find out more about what we have to offer!  Connect with us on Facebook or Linked In! 

We are affilated with Century 21 Marquis in San Ramon and have been recognized as one of their leading sales members. This is an honor we are proud to have been awarded, and look forward to helping more people buy, sell, lease, or manage their properties.

If you would like more information about the services of Metro Realty, please give us a call at 925-556-1976 or email us at peter@metrorentals.net or julie@metrorentals.net. 


  • San Ramon Art and Wind Festival
  • Increasing Rent
  • Renters and Pets
  • What Improves the Value of a Home
  • Choosing a Real Estate Agent
  • Property Taxes
  • Spring is Here! Now is the Perfect Time to Buy or Sell Your House!
  • Metro Realty Makes Big Improvements!
  • Renting Is Better Than Buying
  • Fun Events in San Ramon This Memorial Day Weekend
  • Weighing the Pros and Cons of Raising Rent for Your Tenants
  • Should You Allow Renters with Pets?
  • What Improvements Add Value to Your Home?