Idaho Vacation Spotlight: Spokane (Part 2)

spokaneThis week we decided to finish the “Idaho” Vacation Spotlight for Spokane! Last week, we covered some of the amazing food options in Spokane, and this week we want to check out great places to see. Spokane manages to be centrally linked between urban and rural. With only a few hour drive in either direction you can be in a big city, or Canada! Finding the perfect weekend activity is super simple. Staying in town? Great! Riverfront Park is a great place to take the family! Originally created for the Olympics in the 80’s, Riverfront Park just recently started a multi year expansion. There is an arcade, gondolas over the falls, and Primo shopping throughout this beautiful walkthrough. Check their website (above) for notice on special events like farmers markets and concerts. There is always something to do down there and its a great day trip if you have never been!

Many people don’t know, but there is a gorgeous arboretum in Spokane! Known as Manito Park, it is about 90 acres of ponds, flowers, ducks and geese! This fantastic place to take the family is free entry, and is open most of the year. The flowers mid spring-summer are the “people draw” here! It is worth an afternoon at least! There are a few other great parks in spokane. Several hundred year old churches line downtown, and most are open for tours. You can also stop by the falls for a breathtaking view of the Spokane river.

spokaneIf you are a fan of the arts, you don’t have to look any further! Spokane Civic theater has shows year round. The theater is known for the quality of acting and directing. It is the best theatre anywhere before getting to Seattle! Make sure and check their website for most recent shows to find one your in love with! Downtown also has 2 great movie theaters and tons of food!

While not as pristine and forested as the “official” members of the Vacation Spotlight, Spokane does offer a big city feel in a little town! If your planing a trip, make sure and include it in your plans. Next time we will cover the best places to stay!

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Buying Rental Property Part 2

buying rental propertyWelcome back! This week’s buying rental property part 2, we will cover some information about the property purchases. Our first blog covered some of the things to consider before investing. Before you buy you need to know a bit about the property! Personally, I use a checklist of things to check before investing, ensuring I don’t miss any important details. There are a ton of State and Federal laws that govern real estate investment and properties. Without making it a point, your Realtor is a vital resource and will keep you from a potential hazardous deal! If you aren’t working with a real estate agent, be incredibly careful when looking at investment properties. It really is a field where we earn our commission!

  1. Looking for the “deal.” For the most part, you get what you pay for when buying rental property! “Deals” don’t typically exist and there are many variations of properties that increase (or decrease) the value! Lets just create a small example: You purchase a new rental that was built 40 years ago. Good price, nice area, its a pretty good deal and your excited to start making money! A home built in the 70’s, will not be up to current code and you will need to make some adjustments! You need an inspection, peep holes in the front door, a dead bolt, reinforced front and back doors, etc. The above needed repairs are almost never updated and will cost around a thousand dollars. And that is just a simple home! Buying rental property isn’t a horror story, but you need to know some of the repairs/upgrades you will need to add to the property! You can email me for a list of things to check as well!
  2. More detail repairs. Most rental properties that you will look at need some form of repairs. Because of the competitiveness of the current market, it will be hard to get the seller to pay for any needed repairs! When you’re doing a home walk through, take note of potential repairs you will need to make. Does the home need a new water heater? Are the appliances very dated? Will the walls need repainted? Knowing the general costs to install typical appliances will help you stay out of trouble when buying rental property!
  3. Don’t forget about your taxes! We all love paying property taxes every year! When looking at different rental properties make sure you check the property tax costs! While typically not unreasonable, sometimes the taxes will need to be reevaluated, and your home owners insurance will change rates depending on taxed value! The property tax will be included with your real estate packet, and if your on your own you can request one.

Most of the things you need to check for a rental property purchase are experience based. Make sure your Realtor is experienced with real estate investment, and they will take care of all the reporting and “checks!”

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“How-to’s” of Property Management

Property management is not well known to be the most “savory” of industries.CDA Real Estate investment and Property Management Oftentimes tenants and managers get in heated debates about the state of the apartment before or after rental. All Property managers are not created equal! The property manager you choose could make or break your home rental experience! Most of the general problems associated with property management can be avoided by using a highly reputed manager! Here are a few helpful tips to avoid any property management issues!

  1. Read the fine print. Property management contracts are not big long legalese filled documents! When you sign the lease ensure you know your requirements as a tenant. If you have any questions about your lease document you can feel free to give me a call (208) 640-1365.
  2. Take the move-in photos! There is no way to confirm the original property’s status without photos! As a tenant you want to make sure you don’t get billed for damage so we need those photos to get you off the hook!
  3. Don’t even consider an unlicensed property manager. If they don’t have a license and there is a problem the state won’t protect you. When your signing a lease, make sure they are licensed!
  4. Ask around. Property management is one of those industries where its not hard to hear stories! Check with your friends before hiring someone without the proper reputation.
  5. Make sure you “groove.” Getting along with your property management company affirms your long term relationship stays healthy. While a bit more subjective, if you get along and like their personality, it makes for less long term problems!

Property managers do get a bad rap but speaking for ourselves we are most interested in getting you into the proper home! When you are looking for a place to live come see us! We’ll show you first hand “how-to” enjoy living in Coeur d’Alene!

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