Pardon our dust.

On February 14th- February 15th, we will be taking down the website to relaunch the newly remodeled site. Don't worry, it looks very similar. We will get the site up and running as soon as possible. If you need anything in the meantime, just drop us a line at 210-344-3463. Thank you for your patience and we hope you like the new design!

San Antonio Turns 300!

 

San Antonio is turning 300 years old and San Antonio is gearing up for the huge milestone with a year long celebration. The Tricentennial year kicks off with the New Year's Eve celebration with family friendly music, entertainment, and a fireworks show. The headliners of the night will be Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo, and REO Speedwagon.

May 1-6 is designated as Commemorative Week to celebrate the exact milestone. May 1, 1718, the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later known as the Alamo) was introduced. San Antonio's five area missions are Texas's only UNESCO World Heritage site and will be at the forefront of the activities.

On top of a celebration, there is a huge drive for educational events during this celebration to include history, arts and culture, and community service that is aimed at getting the San Antonio more involved with local organizations. The 300 group identified community projects and helped match volunteer groups to projects based on need and demand.

For more information to see what events are happening, or how you can get involved, take a moment to check out the 300 website and the efforts that the leader of our great city have put together.

Congratulations to the Upcoming 2018 TRLP Participants!

The Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program provides participants an experience to use their talents to make a different in their professional and personal areas of interest. The program is an eight month long course that brings an innovative and highly flexible training that allows self-motivated learners the opportunity for leadership development. The mission is to cultivate leaders from all segments of the community by education, developing, and encouraging participants to undertake leadership roles, providing them the means and resources to begin their involvement, and instructing them on how to utilize the assets to effect change and make a difference in their respective professional, personal, and civic areas of interest.

We are proud to announcement that two of our employees, Kyle and Lacy Hendricks, have been accepted into the 2018 Leadership Program! The different areas of study will be understanding leadership, your role as a leader, the business of associations, inclusive decision making, spokesperson training, personal sustainability, and Texas legislature. This program will help them prepare to be the leaders of Texas real estate in years to come and we're happy to see them grow within their business and communities.

Solar Roofing, Tesla, and Energy Rebates

Traditionally, solar roofing consists of panels mounted onto your roof. They are made up of photovoltaic cells. That's a big, fancy phrase that means it converts sunlight into electricity. The solar panel works by allowing photons (particles of light), to knock electrons free from atoms which generates a flow of electricity. Solar panel technology has continued to evolve and become more efficient in the past years, resulting in a new products coming onto the market.

Enter Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, among other companies such as SpaceX, PayPal, and HyperLoop. Needless to say, he likes things that move fast and efficiently. May 22, 2017, launched the sales of Tesla's "Invisible Roof". The roof is made of glass tiles that perform the same way solar panels do, but they are invisible from the street, leaving the home to look as if it has a traditional roof.

The goal of creating the "Invisible Roof" was to create a solar roof that looks better, costs less, and lasts longer than non-solar roofs. The roof comes with a lifetime warranty and install costs will be around $69,000 for a 240 square meter home.

As a landlord, you may be asking, why would I want to invest this money in my rental property? The simple answer is that the rental pool is getting younger, and a younger renter looks for efficiencies and products like this in their potential home. In the United States, there are 75.4 million people between the ages of 18-34, which is the largest living generation. To be able to compete with mixed-use developments and apartment complexes that offer these amenities, it is necessary to stay ahead of the technological curve that motivates this demographic to rent your home.

If a price tag of $69,000, sounds a bit too expensive for invisible solar panels, CPS Energy provides a rebate program on traditional solar panels. To qualify for the rebate program, there are some terms and conditions you must abide by. The new terms and conditions provide protection to you by requiring that you purchase your panels through a legitimate and local company. If you are interested in learning more about the rebate program, please visit the CPS website.

Another green initiative coming up quickly is the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday. May 27-29, you can buy specific ENERGY STAR® appliances tax free. Qualifying products include air conditioners, refrigerators, ceiling fans, light bulbs, washing machines, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and programmable thermostats.

Moving with Children

It’s that time of year! Summer is coming and so is the height of the moving season. Moving is a stressful time for any family, especially if you are having to change school districts. To help you be mindful of your children’s needs in regards to a move, below are some tips to help them ease into the transition without being totally overwhelmed.

  • Inform your kids as early as possible about the move. Talk to them about it frequently to reinforce that it is going to happen.
  • Children will respond to this news in different ways, but the bottom line is that their reaction usually stems from fear. Encourage them to ask questions and be honest with your answers.
  • Involve your children as much as possible when planning the move. Take them with you to look at possible new homes. Once you have decided on a home, let them draw out how they are going to arrange their bedroom furniture, toys, or playroom.
  • Have your child pack their box of their most favorite items and label it. Then, let them unpack it first thing when you get to the new house.

These may seem like simple things to do, but they make a huge difference. You should also help your children adjust to their new community and school.

  • Take your children to tour their new school. Inquire about a buddy system for new students and the possibility of meeting their teachers.
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood so your child is familiar with their surroundings. If there is a park nearby, take your children to play and introduce them to the other children in the neighborhood.

The best thing you can do for your child once you are settled in is get back to a normal routine. If school isn’t in session, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at set times. Also, try to set a bedtime routine. And as always, remember tell them you love them.

Each of your children will handle a move in their own way. Some kids will see the move as an adventure and adapt quickly, while for others, it can take longer. Just remember, kids are resilient and most will adapt in about two to three months.

Sources:

https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-moving-and-relocating-helping-you-and-your-child-cope/

https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-moving-and-relocating-helping-you-and-your-child-cope/

Fiesta 2017 and the Battle of the Flowers

The Battle of the Flowers parade began in the late 19th century and is the highlight event of Fiesta today. Originally, it was intended to be a one day event to pay homage to the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Fiesta is now a city wide event that lasts ten days.

In the beginning, 1891, local women decorated buggies and bicycles with live flowers and threw them at each other. This was the beginning of the Battle of the Flowers that has become the annual event. In 1895, the Battle of the Flowers Association began crowning a Carnival Queen; then, in 1909, a full court was established. Today, the signature Battle of the Flowers parade is known for the elaborate dresses and fancy shoes or boots worn by the court contestants.

Fiesta has now become a great resource for the city's non-profit organizations by staging over 100 events over ten days with the help of over 75,000 volunteers. There are three parades including a night parade on the River Walk.

Other featured events include Oyster Bake, Alamo Heights Night, and NIOSA (A Night in Old San Antonio). If none of these events find your fancy, there are plenty of other events during Fiesta that you might enjoy.

Keeping Your Grass Green and Your Wallet, too.

Best Practices for Your Lawn 

Did you know April is National Lawn Care Month? It makes sense since we're drowning in April showers! Follow these 6 simple steps and your lawn and wallet will be lined with green.

  1. Get water wise. Conserve water by giving your lawn a deep watering every few days, not daily. Frequent, light watering can cause water to evaporate and leads to shallow root growth.
  2. Keep grass at a longer, finished cut height. Never remove more than one-third of a grass blade while mowing. The means about 2-3 inches tall after you mow. It is best to mow in the morning and not after a fresh rain.
  3. Consider grass-cycling. Keeping some grass clippings on the lawn after mowing allows nitrogen and nutrients to be returned to the soil for a healthier lawn. It protects against fungal disease. If the grass is long, you may have to double cut it to properly mulch clippings. Never leave excess clippings on top of the lawn.
  4. Check your balance. Healthy grass starts at the soil. A simple soil test can determine its pH balance, which can help indicate nutrients and is appropriate for the season and your lawn type.
  5. Think smart lawns. One of the top landscape trends of 2017, cultivars, or cultivated grass varieties, are selectively bred to withstand the elements while still delivering an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lawn. A landscape professional can help you determine if these grass varieties are best for installing or overseeding a lawn.
  6. Care about more than color. Don't worry if your grass isn't always green. A brown lawn does not mean it is dead. It could be dormant due to factor like extreme heat or drought.

Tenants should consult with a professional regarding lawn care guidance for their individual property. For more tips and to find a qualified landscape professional, visit LoveYourLandscape.org/Find-A-Pro.

Selling Rental Houses to Tenants

ilendfs-buyvsrent If you own a rental home or investment property and you have decided it is time to sell, finding a buyer may be easier than you think, especially if you have a property management company overseeing the management of your  home. The most ideal situation would be to sell your home to your current tenants.

Selling your property while tenant occupied can be very difficult. In most rental leases, the tenants agreed that at any time during their occupancy, if the owner decides to sell, they are required to comply. However, getting your tenant to clean up when showings are happening, or even allowing showings to happen is challenging. Understandably, it is frustrating to the tenant to have random buyers, inspectors, contractors, and appraisers walking through their house at any given time. This is what makes your tenant your ideal buyer.

If you do decide to sell your house, you should first contact your property manager. Most property management companies also have a sales division. They can provide you with REALTOR® services, as well as assign another in-house REALTOR® to the tenants. This transaction would be considered an intermediary sale and comes with lots of benefits. Because the agents work in the same office as the property manager, they will have easy access to maintenance records. This will come in handy when going through the inspection process.

The next step in selling your property will be determining a list price so that your tenant can get qualified for their loan. The tenants' agent will send them to a lender and advise them through the process. Once your tenant is qualified, their agent will write you an offer to start the negotiation process. It is always advised to get an inspection report completed to release liability from yourself, even though the tenant is familiar with the home.

Once you reach the end of the option period, the period in which the buyer can withdraw their offer without losing their deposit, you're almost out of the woods. Let your REALTOR® guide you, and you should have the expertise to get through the process fairly easily. Because of today's technology, closing on your property when you are an absentee owner is easier now than ever before. Most documents can be signed electronically and those that can't will typically be emailed to you by the title company with pre-paid postage for overnight return. They can even setup a mobile notary to come to you for a nominal fee.

If you choose to use your property management company to sell your home, you can rest assured that any maintenance issues will be remedied by contractors that you are already know and trust. Utilities will be transferred without having to think about it. You might be surprised how many homeowners forget to transfer utilities out of their name. Also, any remaining balances due will be paid out at closing.

You can always choose to go the traditional route when selling your home and finding an outside buyer. If you are concerned about putting your tenant out, in the state of Texas, the lease transfers with the sale of the home. This means your tenant will continue with the current lease and pay the new owner the same amount until the end of the lease term. Just remember, it is easier to sell to your tenant than to try to sell your home to a third party buyer while your tenant resides in the property.

Written by: Lacy Hendricks

Copyright © 2017 Hendricks Property Management, LLC

Smoke Alarms, Smoke Detectors, and the 10 Year Lithium Battery Alarm

firstalert-B000GEC1P2-SA340CN-main-lgDid you know there is a difference between a smoke alarm and a smoke detector? Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they function in different ways. A smoke alarm is a single device with a power supply, such as a battery, and a sensor. Smoke alarms are not typically connected to any other smoke alarm in a home. Also, a smoke alarm does not have the ability to send an automatic call to a fire department. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines a smoke alarm as a single or multiple station alarm that is responsive to smoke.

A smoke detector is part of a system and has a built-in sensor. An external device, such as a horn or strobe, and a power source are necessary for the smoke detector to function. Usually, the power source for a smoke detector is part of a fire alarm panel which can be connected to automatically call emergency services.  Smoke detectors are part of a circuit, so when one unit is activated, all of the other units on the circuit will sound. The NFPA defines a smoke detector as a device suitable for connection to a circuit that has a sensor which responds to physical stimulus such as heat or smoke and can detect invisible particles of combustion.

With either of these types of devices, as a landlord and homeowner, it is common to see dismantled fire safety devices to due incessant beeping that always seems to happen at 2AM because the battery has reached the end of life. A new product has come out to solve this problem: the 10 year lithium battery alarm. The alarm unit is one solid piece, battery and all. These alarms are tamper free so a tenant cannot remove it and throw it out with the trash. This means you can rest easy knowing that your property has functioning alarms and reduces the risk of someone getting hurt in a house fire.

So far Oregon, California, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland require the 10 year lithium battery, tamper free smoke alarms. It is likely that these regulations will spread to other states soon. Whether you decide to go ahead and make the adjustment to your rental home now, or if you wait until it is state mandated, we want you to know what your options are and what to expect in the future.

 

National Association of Residential Property Management

house_maroon Since 1995, almost all of the employees at Hendricks Property Management have been members of the San Antonio Metropolitan Chapter of NARPM, or the National Association of Residential Property Managers. We believe the education we receive through NARPM is invaluable, and it starts with the basics: ethics. Each member is required to take a 3 hour course on Property Management and Ethics.

Per NARPM, adhering to a professional Code of Ethics helps companies and individuals build relationships of trust with their customers, employees, suppliers, owners and the communities in which they work. The need to adhere to increasingly complex government regulations and the litigious nature of our society has changed how property managers view their profession. With public trust in fair business diminishing, now more than ever, it is crucially important for property management professionals to obtain the validation that comes from belonging to an organization that has set a high standard of conduct for its members.

The San Antonio chapter of NARPM was started in 1995, quickly grew to over 200 members, and is one of the fastest growing chapters in the nation. Currently, our chapter has won awards for Chapter Excellence every year from 2008-2015, and won Chapter of the Year in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015. We have two Board of Directors members in our office that serve as the Chapter Excellence director and Communications director. There are several upcoming events including NARPM-Texas Style, a conference for all Texas chapters of NARPM, a Next Generation Professionals Social, and our bi-monthly chapter meeting with special guest speaker Deniz Yusuf

The New and Improved Pet Policy

pets12 At Hendricks, we have decided to take a new approach to pet deposits: remove them all together. Crazy, right? Instead, we will now be collecting a pet fee of $250 per pet. This fee is non-refundable and will be held in a separate account.

With the introduction of the pet fee, HPM will guarantee that our owners will be covered up to $1000 in damages caused by the tenants' pets, over three times the coverage that they were provided with before. Previously, with the $300 pet deposit, the owner was only guaranteed repairs up to a $300 limit. Let's be honest, we all love our furry, fluffy companions, but sometimes, they can wreak havoc whether it be hair, bad odors, or if little Rover was going through his teething stage and decided to take it out on your dry wall. Whatever the story may be, we've got you covered. 

You may ask yourself why in the world you would even want to allow pets on your property. The answer is that it is estimated that around 72% of renters have pets. If you were to not allow pets on your property, the prospective tenants for your property would automatically be reduced to only 28% of the population looking for a rental home. It could take around 2-3 times as long to rent your property over a similar property that does allow pets. We believe that switching to a pet fee will be a solution that helps our owners sleep easier knowing that they are covered.