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6 Reasons to Move in College Station, TX

The Academic Building at Texas

An old place somewhere in College Station, TX

More than 200,000 residents call College Station home, and there are many reasons why they are happy to be living here. It is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the US and considered one of the best places for retirees. Here are the top reasons why you should consider living in College Station, TX, from having a relatively low cost of living to a vibrant downtown and school spirit.

Affordable Cost of Living

College Station residents enjoy an affordable cost of living, compared to other areas across the country. The average price of a three-bedroom property in College Station is around $273,000. Meanwhile, in a big city like Los Angeles, the same home will have a $775,000 price tag. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is around $800-$900. Aside from a relatively low-priced housing market, College Station also has one of the lowest tax rates. It ranks fifth in the list of lowest property tax rates in Texas among communities of the same size.

College Station is home to Texas A&M, one of the largest public universities in the US. It was established in 1876 and was Texas’ first institution for higher education. The university is also a member of the Southeastern Conference, so college sports is a major event in College Station.

It also has a triple designation as a Land, Sea, and Space-Grant Institution. This means that NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research fund research projects for Texas A&M.

You’ll also find George H. Bush Presidential Library and Museum here in College Station. Some of the activities available at the museum include movie nights, summer camps, guest lectures, and game nights for adults.

Suitable for Raising a Family

College Station has consistently ranked high in the list of places best for raising a family. It boasts of low crime rates, affordable cost of living, and high-quality education. If you want your children to grow in a location with a small-town vibe where big city conveniences are within easy reach, College Station is the place to be.

There are many activities to be enjoyed by the whole family in College Station. You can explore the outdoors, visit parks and libraries, and discover the interesting nooks and crannies of the downtown area.

Come holiday season, kids and kids-at-heart will surely be in awe with the spectacle at Santa’s Wonderland. It features over 2 million LED light displays in a 32-acre land where Christmas is alive and bright.

Plenty of Outdoor Fun

There is no shortage of public parks in College Station. It has 55 public parks with a total land area of 1,337 acres. Some of the activities to be enjoyed in these parks are tennis, basketball, swimming, hiking, and jogging. There are also dog parks and playgrounds in these parks.

College Station also has a skate park, outdoor amphitheater, and a festival site. Meanwhile, there’s Lake Bryan where you can go boating, water skiing, camping, or for a picnic.

Thriving Art and Music Scene

Art and music enthusiasts will surely feel at home here in College Station. Watch performances of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, appreciate art at various art galleries, including the SC Forsyth Center Galleries, Wright Gallery, and MSC James R.

Reynolds Student Gallery at the Texas A&M.

There’s also Chilifest, an annual two-day country music festival attended by locals, students, and even tourists. Expect live performances, beer, and chili taking center stage. Some of the artists gracing the festival include Willie Nelson and Robert Earl Keen. Attendees reach 35,000 every year so this is one fun event one shouldn’t miss.

Vibrant Downtown

The College Station downtown doesn’t disappoint with countless options for dining, shopping, and culture. Two of the most popular restaurants in town are Cafe Capri and Madden’s. In downtown Bryan, locals and students can enjoy the monthly First Friday event. During this free event, the streets are shut down for live music, art, dining, and shopping for the entire family.

Meanwhile, Village Cafe offers something exciting to beat the midweek bug. They host salsa lessons on Wednesday nights for those who want to learn the dance or just want to dance the night away.

Living in College Station, Texas will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. If you want to learn more about life in College Station or you’re decided to purchase a property here, get in touch with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty at 979.694.8844.

Architectural‌ ‌styles‌ ‌in‌ ‌College‌ ‌Station,‌ ‌TX‌

Community of single family homes

Community of single family homes

College Station, Texas is a peaceful neighborhood with a suburban feel. Home to Texas A&M and Blinn College, it’s a particularly attractive area to live in. Those who’re considering buying a home and living in College Station, TX may find it worthwhile exploring the different architectural styles of homes found in the area. This way, narrowing down what to pick can be easier.

College Station’s storied history has resulted in a great variety of architectural styles for homes around the city.

A look back

First, a quick history lesson. In 1871, the area along the Texas Central Railway was chosen as the site of the proposed Texas A&M College, which opened in 1876. The city takes its name, College Station, from the post office that was built near the railroad tracks in 1877. The ensuing years saw this area grow rapidly as the area north of the campus was developed as a business district.

The town was finally incorporated in 1938, with John H. Binney as the first mayor. Texas A&M initiated a major expansion in the 1960s, and College Station has since grown rapidly over the succeeding decades.

Here are some architectural styles you can now find around College Station, Texas:

Cape Cod

One of the first architectural styles ever used in the United States, the Cape Cod style dates back to as early as the 1600s. These homes were originally shingle-sided, one-story cottages with no dormers.

Centuries later, in the 1930s, people began to build their homes in suburban developments in this style once more. Today’s Cape Cod homes have two multi-pane windows flanking each side of the entry door, dormers on each side of the chimney, and a steep roof with shallow overhangs. The whole structure is usually rectangular or square with one or one-and-a-half stories.

Ranch

When you talk about popular American styles in the mid-20th century, one style sticks out: Traditional Ranch (sometimes called California Ranch). This style dates back to 1932, and became a favorite during the 1950s-60s suburban home building boom.

It is a style influenced by Spanish Colonial, Prairie and Craftsman homes, and is characterized by brick, wood, or stucco siding, a hipped or gabled roof, picture windows, sliding glass doors, and wide overhanging eaves. Its layout is either box, cubic, U- or L-shaped. One of its most prominent features, however, is its built-in garage, since this particular style was popularized when automobiles had replaced early 20th-century modes of transportation (like streetcars).

Colonial

Although there are technically many housing types and styles that were prevalent during America’s colonial period (like Cape Cod, Saltbox, and Georgian), the ‘Colonial style’ refers to rectangular, symmetrical homes, usually with bedrooms on the second floor. It is a style that dates back to as early as 1876.

This style is one of the most popular styles found in the eastern United States, where most colonial settlements were. This style’s exterior features brick or wood siding. These homes are further characterized by a medium-pitched roof, two windows flanking either side of the door, five windows on the second floor, and one window above the entry door.

Today’s versions of this style represent the classical detailing used by America’s founders, albeit with updated features.

Prairie

Prairie is an American style that was first developed by Frank Llyod Wright, America’s most famous architect, in the Midwest between 1900 and 1917. Considered a bold new approach to domestic architecture, it is touted as the first uniquely American style of the 20th century.

Inspired by the broad, flat landscape of America’s midwest, Prairie houses come in two variants: boxy and symmetrical or low-slung and asymmetrical. The exterior is characterized by rows of casement windows, a low-pitched roof with wide eaves, a one-story porch with big square supports, and a heavy-set central chimney.

Contemporary

The Contemporary style rejects typical architectural styles before World War II, such as more ornate Victorian or Colonial homes. After the war, there was a desire for experimentation with the all-new building materials that were available. This resulted in a vastly different way of thinking about space and functionality.

One can recognize this style by its bold geometric shapes, open floor plan, tall windows, lack of ornamentation, and unusual mix of wall materials. Thanks to its tall windows and open floor plan, this type of house usually has a good amount of natural light illuminating its interiors.

Want to learn more about the College Station, TX lifestyle and the different home styles you can expect to buy? Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com today.

A‌ ‌quick‌ ‌guide‌ ‌to‌ ‌pricing‌ ‌your‌ ‌home‌ ‌right‌

Housewife using computer planning house remodeling

Housewife using computer planning house remodeling

Pricing a home right is one of the most important factors to get buyers interested in a property. Price a home too low or too high, and you risk driving away potential buyers. Here are some tips for selling your home, especially when dealing with Texas real estate listings:

Survey competitor listings

Spend some time looking at comparables. Doing so will help you see things from the buyer’s perspective and better grasp what price points will be most attractive for them. Use comparables to dissect your property’s features vis-à-vis the competition’s.

Another way to compare properties is to tour active home listings, at least virtually. This’ll give you an idea of what buyers will and won’t like based on your own opinion of the properties you’ve seen.

Acquire a CMA

Real estate agents can provide a CMA (Comparative Marketing Analysis) – a compilation of recent sales for homes nearby. Look for homes that are within a half-mile radius. Check for those that have been listed within the past 3 months, are about as old or as new as your house, and have a square footage within 10% of yours.

A CMA can help you spot patterns that will allow you to piece together exactly what buyers are looking for in your particular area. This way you’ll have a better idea of what you can improve on in your own home so that it sells at just the right price point.

Look at withdrawn or expired listings

Instead of looking at what worked and resulted in a successful sale, look at what didn’t. Ask about the history of home sales in your area and find out about any expired or withdrawn listings. Studying why homes in your area didn’t sell can help provide insights on what NOT to do.

Make Use of Strategic Price Points

Retail stores often use strategic price points – such as $4.99 instead of $5 – to make items appear more enticing to consumers. To get more offers for your property, you can apply the same concept when pricing your home.

Offer incentives to buyers

When potential buyers have narrowed down their choices to a handful of properties – yours among them – it may help to give them a little push towards your listing. Incentives like paying for closing costs, buying down the loan interest rates, and making additional repairs could possibly encourage them to lean more towards picking your home.

Don’t shy away from learning experiences and criticism

Another thing can allow you to rise above the fray is your ability to take criticism and readjust your strategy accordingly. Listen to your listing agent’s suggestions, from pricing to curb appeal.

Keep in mind, however, that not all listing agents are created equal. Hire an experienced agent who knows the lay of the land intimately.

Are buyers rejecting your price?

No matter how much time your agent may have spent on developing a marketing plan for your home, success is not always guaranteed. If there aren’t any buyers viewing your property on a regular basis, this may be a sign that the market is rejecting your price. In this case, you may need to reconsider your asking price. If there, on the other hand, quite a few buyers have checked out your property but haven’t made any offers, something other than the price may be turning them off. It’s best you investigate further.

Consider staging the home

A simple way to attract buyers is to stage your home. People can be very visual, especially so given today’s digital landscape.

With the marketplace being more crowded than ever, staging can help you gain the edge over competitor listings. Sometimes, it can be difficult for buyers to tell how the rooms in the home can be maximized. Some may look at an empty house and think it to be bigger than what they are looking for. Staging a house can help them gain a better sense of the space. Setting up a visually-appealing online gallery can help your home sell faster. Staging your home can also be beneficial when a buyer takes the time to physically visit the home.

If you want more tips on listing your property for sale in Texas, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com.

What to ask about before you buy a home

Happy African American boy having fun with his father at home

Happy African American boy having fun with his father at home

Buying a house in Texas (or anywhere else, for that matter) is one of life’s biggest decisions. It can be pretty daunting, especially when you’re looking to buy a home for the very first time. Adequate preparation is always necessary. This means learning the nuances of the home buying process and knowing what questions you need to ask before you commit to a purchase. These are just a few things you might want to determine ahead of time:

What is your budget?

If you’re thinking of buying a house, the first thing to determine is how much you can afford. Sit down and figure out your finances. Other than the sales price, you’ll need to factor in a lot of other expenses: property taxes, homeowner’s association dues, home insurance, maintenance fees, and renovation costs. Property taxes, for instance, often vary from state to state and may potentially entail a considerable expense that could impact your home buying decision.

By carefully studying the different factors that should be considered vis-à-vis your budget, you can definitively let your realtor know how much you can afford to spend. This will give your realtor the necessary assurance he or she may need and allows you to establish yourself as a qualified buyer. Sellers will also be more confident about accepting your offer.

Why is the house for sale?

Why are the owners moving? The answer to this question can provide you valuable insights on why the house has been put up for sale. Are the owners relocating for new job opportunities? Are they looking to move into a better or more upscale neighborhood? It may be worthwhile for you to check out potential neighborhood issues, such as rising crime rates or a failing school system. The reasons behind the move may play a considerable part in negotiations.

Is the area prone to natural disasters?

What natural phenomena are prone to occur in the area? Will this entail additional costs that you may have to integrate into your budget? Some areas, for example, require flood or earthquake insurance. While paying for insurance costs could cost less than a massive repair bill if the house does get damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster, it’s still something you should know and adequately plan for.

How long has the house been on the market?

If the house has been up for sale for quite some time, you need to get behind the reasons why. Could the home just have been listed during off-season, when they were fewer potential buyers? If it appears to be a great home – at least on the surface – could there be some underlying issues that would make it less desirable? It will never hurt to do some discreet digging.

What, exactly, is included in the purchase price?

Fixtures are usually included in the sale, but do find out what is excluded – maybe that antique chandelier, that lovely stained-glass window or that awesome Sub-Zero wine cooler. This way, if there’s something in particular you want included, you can negotiate to make it part of the deal.

Insurance claims

Secure a copy of the home’s Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) report, a document that summarizes all the insurance claims filed over the last seven years. This can help you gain some insight into the damage the home may have sustained over the years.

What is the average selling price for homes in the neighborhood?

Checking out how much other homes in the neighborhood sold for will help determine whether the seller’s asking price is on point or too high. Known as comps, these prices can help in negotiations later on.

What renovations were made previously?

Knowing what kinds of renovations were done on the house can help you gauge its current condition and can justify its asking price. Home improvements can help boost a property’s value, while the lack of renovations could be a potential bargaining chip.

What are the neighbors like?

The prospect of moving into a new neighborhood is always exciting, but do check what your neighbors are like. Is it a pet-friendly area? Are you okay with noise? Do the folks next door prefer privacy? Ask potential neighbors things about the community that the seller may not be as forthcoming about.

The process of buying a house in Texas can be rather daunting for aspiring homeowners. Ask the right questions and get all the information needed before you make such an important decision. This way, you’ll be less likely to regret your purchase.

For more expert guidance on buying a house in Texas, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.8844 or email sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com to learn more.

Choosing the Right Tenant for Your Rental Property

The're best friends

Screening your tenants properly is crucial if you want to minimize problems such as delayed rent payments, your property being in poor condition, or extremely rowdy occupants. While there’s no cookie-cutter approach to screening potential tenants, there are different ways to find out if they are the right fit. Here are several ways to screen tenants for your rental property.

Have a Checklist

One of the first few things you need to do before getting right down to the screening process is creating a checklist. This checklist should contain the criteria for potential tenants in your rental property. Although there is no universal criteria and the standards will be up to you, here’s a list you can adjust according to your requirements:

  • Stable income to afford the rent
  • Pleasing and easy-to-work-with personality
  • No criminal offenses
  • Does not smoke or own pets (if your rental doesn’t allow smoking and pets)
  • Good credit score

By listing the qualities you are looking for in a potential tenant, you’re creating a profile for each of the candidates, making the screening process more organized. It will be easier to separate those who don’t fit the bill and the ones who have the potential to have the key to the rental.

Determine Sources of Income

Tenants with a steady source of income will rarely miss monthly payments. Also, make sure that their salary is at least three times bigger than the rent. If their salary is three times the rent, but still have a car, loan, or other big purchases to pay off, there’s still a chance their income may not be sufficient.

You can also inquire about their employment history to know if they stay in one job for a long time or they frequently change workplaces several times a year. This is an important detail not to be overlooked because they may have trouble paying consistently if they switch jobs often.

Apart from being financially capable, the tenant must be financially responsible. A good way to measure this is through their credit score. Generally, credit scores above 680 are favorable. Check if they pay their bills on time as well as their income to debt ratio.

Find Out the Number of Occupants

As part of property management in College Station and the rest of the state, the landlord can set the maximum number of occupants per rental. The higher the number of occupants, the greater the wear and tear in the property. However, the reason for this is not purely aesthetic. Sewer systems have their own limitations, and can only handle usage from a certain number of occupants.

Noise is also an issue in rentals, and having too many people occupying one unit may be too loud for next-door neighbors. Under the Fair Housing Act, a maximum of two people per bedroom is reasonable. There are exceptions, though. Rentals with a living room or a 500-square foot room are suitable for two or more tenants.

Conduct a Background Check

A background check for criminal offenses is necessary not only to protect your property but also to keep your other tenants safe. Ask for the potential tenant’s valid ID to verify if he or she has criminal records that would make him or her unfit to be a tenant in your property.

Criminal records can reveal a history of violent crimes such as robbery, arson, drug crimes, sexual offenses, and more, which is a big red flag for someone you’ll be entrusting your property with. However, you might want to reconsider those with minor violations such as speeding tickets, but still, proceed with caution.

Ask About Their Rental History

This is applicable for non-first-time renters. Ask why he or she is searching for a new rental or why he or she wants to stay at your property. Common reasons for moving to a different rental are an increase in the current landlord’s rent or needing to move closer to his or her school or workplace.

Verify if this information is true by speaking to at least two of the potential tenant’s previous landlords. Some tenants won’t reveal the real reason why they’re moving out of their current rental, and the real reason may have something to do with them being evicted by their current landlord. Ask about the landlord’s experience with the tenant so you can assess how he or she will be as a tenant in your rental property. For all your Texas property management needs, trust Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.2747 or email rentals@bhhscaliber.com for inquiries.

Using Virtual Tours to Sell Your Home

A hand holding a tablet displaying a house design

Virtual home tours are fast becoming a common tool to showcase your home to potential buyers. This innovation allows sellers to use video and 360-degree photo technology to tour buyers around their home without meeting face to face.

Whether the buyer is living out of state or adhering to000000 safety protocols during the pandemic, using virtual tours is one of the most informative and practical ways to open your home to those who want to see it remotely. It is also one of the most useful tips to sell your home. Here are two common types of virtual tours:

  • Video

    One way to do a virtual tour of your home is through video. The video will be an actual walkthrough of your home that’s on record, taking the viewer to all the corners of your property, from ceiling to floor. This allows potential buyers to see the property up close without actually being there. You can do the video walkthrough yourself, hire someone to do it, or trust your real estate agent to handle it for you.

  • Panoramic Photo

    Apart from virtual tours done through video, panoramic photos are also an option. Digital cameras, even smartphones, have a built-in panorama feature that allows you to take photos of the property in a single wide shot from different angles. There are also apps that take professional-looking 360-degree angle shots that highlight the best features of your property. Those apps stitch the photos together seamlessly, allowing viewers to have a look at your property with a mere swipe. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a professional to do this for you.

Why Do Virtual Tours?

  • It saves time.

    Virtual tours are time-saving for both the buyer and the seller. Potential buyers don’t have to drive to your property to view it personally because they can do so in the comfort of their own home. In-person tours can take a lot of the buyer’s time if they’re coming from a faraway location or if they need to file a vacation leave just to tour your property when they can do it online.

    As a seller, you don’t have to open your doors to people who might not be that interested in purchasing your property, or those who are just plain curious. Imagine cleaning up and preparing your home for the visit several times a month, which can be very time-consuming, especially since you also have other matters to attend to.

  • It is a permanent open house.

    Open house events entail a lot of work, from scheduling to staging, and that’s especially bothersome for sellers who are still living in that property. If you’re staying at the property you’re selling, you have to keep your property suitable for open houses all the time, and it can not only be time-consuming but also inconvenient, and costly at times. By using the virtual tour technology, you don’t have to move out of your home during open houses or hire a cleaning company to keep your property spotless all the time. Potential buyers can just view your property online at any time they wish and even if you are unavailable.

    Since they can view your property anytime, anywhere, they can view your property over and over. With an open house, they can’t do that.

  • It reaches more buyers.

    Virtual tours are done online, meaning even those from out of state or living outside the country can view your property without flying in. Not all buyers are also able to visit your property in person because of restrictions such as age and disabilities. When you use a virtual tour, you can reach more potential buyers because the only thing they need to do is to go online from any part of the world.

    And since it is done online, the link to the virtual tour can be shared among the community of those looking to buy a home. They can share these to their contacts, thus expanding your property’s reach.

  • It allows buyers to visualize the property as their home.

    Virtual tours allow viewers to visualize your home as their home. They can appreciate every nook and cranny better because they can spend as much time as they like appreciating the property. Since they are viewing the home independently, they won’t feel rushed and they can even compare several Texas real estate listings simultaneously. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty employs different strategies to market your property for sale in Texas, from traditional means to more modern, innovative ways such as through virtual tours. Get in touch with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty for more information on your home selling options.

How to Buy a Home Remotely

A man signing a contract

Purchasing a home remotely is becoming popular these days, not only for those who are residing far but also for those who are minimizing contact in the time of COVID-19. Whether you’re buying your second home or a vacation home, here’s how you can purchase a home without actually on site.

Connect With the Right Real Estate Agent

When buying a house in Texas, it is important to find a real estate agent that fully understands your needs. He or she will be handling the majority of the real estate transaction, so it is best to deal with an agent that can represent you in the home buying process.

Not all real estate agents are the same and choosing one who’s a perfect match with you can be a trial-and-error process. Phone or video interviews are good ways to gauge if he or she is the right fit. Another way is to ask around for recommendations so you can know more about them from another point of view. Generally, here are the factors to consider when choosing a real estate agent for buying a property remotely:

  • Experience

    The agent may be experienced in dealing with home buying transactions with ease, but working remotely with a client is a different story. Ask if the agent has experience in the process of buying a house in Texas remotely, and how often he or she works with this kind of setup. Those who can easily navigate the process can search suitable properties and handle negotiations with confidence.

  • Availability

    Some real estate agents don’t work as an agent full-time. While there’s nothing really wrong about it, this means that they might be unavailable during normal work hours because they’re focused on their full-time job. Choose an agent that can attend face-to-face meetings with the other party and accomplish tasks related to the home buying process during regular hours.

Specify Your Needs

Give your agent a list of your specifications when it comes to the property you’re looking for. Specify the size, location, style, and details in the home that is non-negotiable for you, such as a kitchen island for your baking needs or a spacious yard for weekend parties you like hosting.

Don’t forget to mention the things you don’t want in the potential property, so your agent can cross out properties with features you can’t live with, such as a staircase without railings if you have young kids or exteriors with an outdated design. Trust your agent to use industry knowledge while incorporating your specifications when searching for the perfect property.

Maximize the Due Diligence Window

After signing the contract, there is such a thing as a due diligence window. This period is used to review titles and deed restrictions as well as to conduct inspections, financing, and bank appraisals. Most of the time, the due diligence period lasts anywhere between 14 and 30 days.

Buyers have to pay a non-refundable due diligence fee, around $500-$2,000, in order to reserve the property for a few days before deciding to close the deal. An earnest money deposit is also made around this time. The amount of the due diligence fee and earnest money deposit is negotiable.

You can choose to terminate the contract for any reason during this period and get back your earnest money. In case you decide to back out once the due diligence period is up, both the due diligence fee and the earnest money will be forfeited. Since you’re buying the property remotely, the due diligence period gives you enough time to inspect the property before proceeding with closing the deal.

Close the Deal

To complete the remote home buying process, close the deal electronically with help from your real estate agent. Using an electronic signature to sign documents is valid, as per the E-Sign Act of 2000. Once the agent sends you the contract, you will sign it using an electronic signature system, which will send the signed copies to the other party.

For instances where an actual signature is needed, the real estate agent will ship the documents to you to have them signed. Once you’ve sent the files back, the agent will close the deal on your behalf. All payments will be also transferred electronically. For situations that call for buying a home remotely, get in touch with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Real estate transactions that are not done face-to-face may be nerve-wracking, but that shouldn’t be the case. The company will guide you every step of the way to make the remote home buying experience stress-free. Call 979.694.8844 to get started.

Looking for a property manager for your investment? Here’s how to find the best

real estate agent passing the key to the client

Investing in quality real estate does not stop at the closing table. Securing ownership of the property is only the beginning of a continuous, long-term process that requires attention, strategy, and commitment.

Hiring a competent property manager is an integral part of this process. Having a professional running the day-to-day operations of your investment property will ease your burden.

Here are eight things to keep in mind when you start looking for search for the best property manager to hire:

Understand the essential roles of a property manager

To find the ideal candidate to become your property’s designated manager, you must first have a clear idea of the roles that this individual will need to perform.

A property manager’s responsibilities may vary depending on the size, type, and purpose of your property, but the following are considered as the general scope of functions that may be expected from this position:

  • Managing rent, including setting and adjusting rates, as well as collection
  • Finding, screening, and managing tenants
  • Overseeing property maintenance and repair needs
  • Ensuring the compliance of your business with statewide and national landlord-tenant laws
  • Supervising other employees such as security personnel and concierge staff, if any
  • Budget-setting, cash flow management, and other financial recordkeeping roles

Ask for referrals from trusted friends and colleagues Good word of mouth always goes a long way. Listen to recommendations and warnings from fellow property investors in your area, as well as from any friends, colleagues, and even contractors.

Get as much information from your peers as possible; not just names and contact details. The more real-life experiences, anecdotes, and even complaints that you can gather from them, the better for your search.

Do your own research

The internet can help you filter through a long list of recommendations, as well as add interesting new candidates if the referrals you receive still feel inadequate. Peruse the professional websites of your prospective property managers to see whether the services that they offer match your needs.

Check their profiles to review their licenses, specializations, and other important professional accreditation that may be relevant to your business. Pay close attention to client reviews that your top candidates publish on their individual website, as well as other local professional review sites.

Interview several candidates

Take time to interview multiple prospects so you can have a good selection to choose from. Try to limit your interviews to three or four top candidates, however. Remember that these meetings also cost time, energy, and money. Keep a standard list of questions to make objective comparisons easier. Focus on their experience and formal knowledge of the business, the range of services that they offer, and professional fee structures.

Give your prospects a chance to ask you questions, as well. How inquisitive they are, as well as the type of questions they ask, can give you a hint of how engaged and dedicated they can be as your professional partner.

Contact previous clients and other references

As in any hiring process you might have experienced, character references should play a key role in your final decision-making process.

Word-of-mouth referrals and published client testimonials can help you build a list of leads, but these are typically focused on prospects’ positive qualities. On the other hand, personal accounts from your prospects’ previous tenants and former colleagues allow you to dig deeper.

Contacting references at this stage in your search can also help you verify information and resolve lingering questions resulting from your interviews.

Thoroughly review the details of your contract

Even after you have made your choice among your leading prospects, do not commit to a candidate until you have reviewed the terms of your management agreement. The contract should cover every detail that you and the property manager have discussed and agreed upon, and nothing more.

To guide you through this crucial final review, look for the following basic elements in the management contract:

  • A complete rundown of the property manager’s services and fees
  • A summary of your responsibilities as the owner of the property
  • A provision that ensures that the agreement is made in accordance with statewide and national fair housing laws
  • A “hold harmless clause” that protects the property manager from liability, except in cases of outright negligence
  • A clear statement of the duration of the contract
  • A clear termination or cancellation clause

You can opt to work with a lawyer at this stage if you want to make sure that all your bases are covered.

If you are searching for the most qualified and reliable property management professionals in Texas, look no further than Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Caliber Realty. To get in touch with the team, call 979.694.8844, email sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com, or send your inquiries here.

6 ways to have a great time in College Station, TX

Texas A&M University, College Station building

Home to Texas A&M University, College Station is an exceptional place to live in Brazos County, thanks to the sheer number of local destinations and activities that local residents can enjoy. You don’t have to be a university student to enjoy what this city has to offer, however.

Here is closer look at six of the most enjoyable things to do in College Station:

  1. Expand your knowledge at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

    It comes as no surprise that one of College Station’s featured attractions is a place of learning. But one thing is for sure: whether for academic or recreational purposes, a visit to the George Bush Presidential Library Center is time well spent.

    On top of approximately 43 million pages of documents in its archives, this facility itself is a stunning architectural achievement. It also houses a replica of the Oval Office, the Presidential Limousine, as well as other memorabilia and artifacts commemorating the 41st President of the United States.

    Just outside the museum is Research Park, an excellent place to unwind with nature after your stroll through the museum.

  2. Catch live games at Kyle Field and Olsen Field

    The best places in College Station to immerse in the genuine excitement and passion of college athletics are Kyle Field and Olsen Field. Kyle Field is a historic stadium that has been home to Texas A&M football since 1904. It was completed as a full-fledged concrete stadium in 1927. With a seating capacity of more than 102,000, this venue is the largest football stadium in Texas, as well as one of the four largest in the country today.

    Home to the Aggies’ baseball program, Olsen Field opened in 1978 and has since made a mark as one of the best baseball stadiums in the country.

  3. Eat your fill at the iconic Dixie Chicken

    If you want a sample of College Station’s culinary tradition, you will not be disappointed with a stopover at Dixie Chicken.

    As a beloved dining destination since 1974, this local landmark boasts a long tradition of treating College Station residents and visitors to sumptuous Southern fried chicken, filling burgers, and more. There are pool tournaments, domino games, and plenty of refreshing beer to go along with the mouthwatering menu, as well.

    Since its humble beginnings as just another bar in College Station’s famed Northgate area, this restaurant has seen it all—from awkward first dates to 20th wedding anniversaries. You are welcome to add your story here, too.

  4. Discover the Lone Star State’s rich military history at Sam Houston

    Sanders Corps of Cadets Center and the Museum of the American GI Located in the Texas A&M campus, the Sanders Corps of Cadets Center offers a unique perspective to the state’s long and storied military history. Here, the focus is on memorabilia related to the university’s Corps of Cadets, including more than 600 photographs and various exhibits telling fascinating stories about the Corps’ most interesting traditions.

    The Museum of the American GI shines the spotlight on the US military in general. Here, an array of restored tanks, boats, and aircraft used in World War II and the Vietnam War are on exhibit. You can also see astonishing artifacts from these periods, including preserved letters, photographs, and even the actual dog tags worn by military personnel.

  5. Hit the links at the Pebble Creek Country Club

    Fancy a round of golf? Pebble Creek Country Club is College Station’s contribution to avid fans of the gentleman’s game. This family-friendly, private club is nestled cozily amid Brazos Valley’s gorgeous landscapes, making excellent use of the terrain to present an enjoyable challenge to players at every level of experience.

    In addition to the 18-hole championship golf course, Pebble Creek also boasts a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse, the Creekside Grille and Cantina, and top-tier service from the on-site staff.

  6. Experience the holidays like never before at Santa’s Wonderland

    If you live in College Station—or you are planning a visit around Christmas time—there is no better place to visit than the city’s iconic Santa’s Wonderland, especially if you’re bringing your family along.

    This seasonal attraction is certainly worth a visit for the visual spectacle it offers, as well as the variety of activities and experiences that genuinely celebrate the season of giving. The colorful, festive lights on display, the array of gift shops and food stalls, and various forms of entertainment will instantly put you in the mood for some holiday cheer.

Want to learn more about the College Station, TX lifestyle? Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty. Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com today.

Guide: Preparing your home to sell

couple planning for selling their house

Putting your property for sale in the Texas real estate market? The right preparations will make your listing worthy of the highest offers from the most discriminating buyers.

Here are nine tried and tested steps that will make your house look, feel, and work like new before you advertise it to buyers:

Declutter and depersonalize

Homebuyers appreciate seeing clean, neutral spaces that they can imagine occupying and personalizing as their own. Turn your living spaces into a “blank canvas” by clearing away personal decorations, keepsakes, and other unnecessary items that have accumulated in your house over the years. This step is an excellent way to begin preparing for a home sale. Not only does it make your house look tidier in an instant, it also gets you started with packing your belongings for your upcoming move.

Deep clean the entire property

Selling your house will require you to clean it like you’ve never done so before. Your goal is to bring the entire house back to its most pristine, most good-as-new condition—or even better.

While you can take on general house cleaning chores as a weekend project— especially if you have time to spare—some deep cleaning might require professional services. Getting pros to do your deep cleaning will spare you from having to do most of the tedious work, leaving you with more time and energy to attend to the other steps in this list.

Get essential repairs done

Pay close attention to every fixture in and around your home. Look for leaky faucets and pipes, creaking door or window hinges, flickering light bulbs, cracks in walls or tiles, and other clear signs of wear and tear. Make sure all of these are repaired or replaced before you list your property. Even the slightest flaw can make an otherwise interested buyer think twice about making an offer.

Update appliances and furniture

If your furniture or appliances are already too worn out, don’t hesitate to replace them with new ones. The positive impression you’ll make with brand new home fixtures will boost the value of your home and help you recoup the money you invested.

Remember that you don’t have to go overboard with top-of-the-line, high-end models if these are too expensive. Functional, high-quality pieces available at good value are enough if they complement the rest of the property.

Repaint the walls

A fresh coat of paint can instantly liven up a room. Remember to use neutral instead of bold colors though.

Warm tones of beige, cream, or grey work best in the living room and other spaces designed for socializing. Cooler hues like blue or green are more ideal for bedrooms, where the space is meant more for relaxation.

Make everything look brighter

Light is a key ingredient in making a house appear more appealing to buyers, especially when they visit for a personal showing. Bright spaces appear larger and evoke a more pleasant vibe, contributing to a more positive home tour.

If you are welcoming buyers during daytime, remember to open the curtains and allow as much natural light to enter your home. Update your light bulbs if necessary, and consider adding lamps to illuminate shadowy corners around your home. Installing mirrors around the house also helps light bounce around the house.

Clear out your storage areas

Impress your buyers with generous storage space. As part of your decluttering, clear out your closets so you can showcase the available space that the home’s next owner can use.

Installing lights inside your cabinets is a good idea. In addition to making your storage spaces more presentable during the selling process, this is also a practical feature that your buyer will appreciate when they move in.

Spruce up your curb appeal

First impressions are important when you’re trying to impress someone. This is why you should pay as much attention to the exterior features of your property as you do to what’s inside.

There are various ways to improve your curb appeal. Revive your lawn or buy fresh, flowering plants in time for buyers’ visits. Power wash your walls and roof. Repair cracks in the pavement. Decorate your entryway, or even install a brand new front door.

Have your property staged and photographed

When you’re done with the previous steps, get a professional home stager and photographer to capture the best angles of your house in photos and videos. These will make your listing more attention-grabbing, especially when you use online channels and social media posts.

If you want more expert tips for selling your home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty.
Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com.

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