Two Congratulations to Mike Gonzales RPM® TRLS

Mike Gonzales is awarded the Austin area chapter of NARPM® “Member of the Year” award by chapter president Michael Ebert. Mike Gonzales’s was cited for his contributions and continuous support to the Austin NARPM® chapter and to his unfaltering assistance to the chapter president.  Mike Gonzales stated that he was both surprised and honored to be the recipient of the award.

This year Mike Gonzales is the president of the Austin NARPM® chapter. As incoming president he takes the reins from outgoing president Michael Ebert.  Austin Landmark Property Services, Inc., CRMC® is proud to have on their staff such dedicated professionals who promote the highest standards of excellence to be found in our industry.

Rick Ebert / Austin, Texas / 6 Jan 17

Why Aren’t Home Builders Building?

This was the headline in a recent post in REALTOR Magazine this week.  There were several reasons cited in the article.  Leading the list among them were increasing regulations regarding building.  The article stated, but did not identify what kind of regulations were adding to the cost of building new homes but the cost was estimated to have increased to 29% of the cost of construction over the last five years. I assume this means not only implementing the regulations but also finding the hardware and training craftsmen to make the changes through trail and error.  These costs can include building around trees, impervious cover, set back requirements meaning less land to build on, the height of door handles and light switches all of which have to be designed and then implemented, and the list goes on and on.  Additionally builders are citing the lack of suitable labor and the increasing cost of lots to build upon. 

My take on all this means that if you own a residential rental right now that you are in a good place.  Take all of the above, now factor in the rising interest rate and probably more to come, and the lack of folks to save for a down payment, and you have a lot more people needing to rent vs. being able to buy a house.  Now add in the millennials who have a penchant for “wanting to rent” as a life style choice vs. having to rent, and this throws more prospective renters into the market.  So with a shrinking inventory or rentals, say in the Austin area, and a bunch of folks moving here to take jobs, coupled with the millennials and with those who can’t afford to buy a house and you get rising rental rates.

Just a few good reasons for owning Austin area residential rentals!

Rick Ebert / Austin, Texas / 23 Dec 16 

What and Who is an Austinite?

In the December issue of Impact, a local monthly area-wide newspaper, the publication cited several facts obtained from the Austin city auditor’s office.

Population: For starters the report cited that the city is expected to increase its population by 88,419 over the next five years.  The report didn’t clarify if the increase was from folks coming here of from children being born here.  Either way that amounts to 49 people a day on the average.  This figure actually seems low to me as Austin has seen in the last e years an average of 100 people a day relocating and other sources indicate that this trend isn’t slowing.  Time will tell.  The number of Austin households is expected to grow from 356,998 from 2015 to 395,686 by 2020 which is just a tad over 10%.  Not surprising, the number of families is expected to expand to 201,371 from 183,564.  That figure is also a bit of a 10% increase.

Income: The average Austinite earns $52,460 a year or $4,371 a month.  This figure is just about on target for the average ALPS renter (actually a bit lower).

Housing Costs:  The report stated that renters spend 48% less on housing costs than homeowners with renters reportedly spending $1,240 monthly for rent and homeowners spending $2,390 for a mortgage payment.  Frankly, I don’t buy those figures.  A small one bedroom apartment in a decent area will run $1,100 a month here, and it goes up from there; way up!  I also base my thinking on our average rent in our managed properties are over $1,500 a month.  Also taking into consideration that the “average” Austinite who earns $4,371 month would typically qualify for a rent of $1,457 – so go figure?  The report also stated that 57% of all households rent vs. 43% who are homeowners.

The Californians are Coming!  Well  no surprise there.  In a recent article in the Austin American Statesman a piece stated that 8 Californians a day migrated to our fair city between 2010 and 2014.  And just what part of California is seeing the most of this outflow?  Guess what it isn’t Silicon Valley but amazingly it is Los Angeles!  And why are they leaving.  Well for one thing they are living in California (my former home state) and what does California have and Austin doesn’t have?  Affordable housing, a “go to” work spirit, and lower taxes.  I do give California the edge on having a great climate!  But the Austin area is “climate friendly” when compared to the rest of the nation.

What Does this Mean?  It means that for us investors in Austin area residential real estate that we are in a good place, a very good place.  Our rentals are located in a growing area that is seeing lots of folks coming here, lots of jobs coming here, and folks are making good money to pay the rent.

Rick Ebert/Austin, Texas / 15 Dec 16

What to Expect from Your Austin Property Management Company


What does a property manager do, and what should you expect from your property manager? As landlords, we enter contracts with property managers, and you can read about how to interview a property manager and what a property manager does, and you get a lot of different opinions. Some people say the property should be inspected every two weeks, or having a property manager will save you from problems and you’ll never have an eviction or a nonsense repair. Really, a property manager gives accountability to the situation. That’s the main thing a property manager should do. So, let’s talk about setting expectations. If you have expectations beyond what’s in the contract, talk about them at the interview. You have to make sure you are aligned on culture and expectations. There are a few things to discuss before you sign a contract with an Austin property management company. Read more

How to Rent Your Austin, TX Property Faster and for More Money


Making money with rental properties depends on renting your home faster and for more rent. Today, we’re talking about some of the things you can do. Read more