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Owners Newsletter – January 2018

“Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.”-Niels Bohr

OWNERS NEWSLETTER – JANUARY 2018  

DEEP FREEZE – Temperatures here in Central Texas dropped below the freezing mark beginning Sunday, December 30th, and did not rise above freezing until Wednesday, January 3rd. During that time period, temperatures fell into the low 20s at night and generally remained in the upper 20s during the day with periodic snow showers. We began notifying all of our renters last week of the coming cold front and gave them instructions on how to prepare and take preventative freeze measures in order to minimize property damage. A few properties did experience frozen and burst water lines.

Some effects of the hard freeze will not be known until this coming spring. Sustained hard freezing temperatures will often kill St. Augustine grass root systems and severely burn or kill many varieties of plants and shrubs that might otherwise handle brief drops in temperatures below the freezing mark.

YEAR-END STATEMENTS – Year-end summary statements and IRS 1099 forms were both e-mailed and posted to owners’ on-line accounts on January 1st .

MORTGAGE COMPANY DATA – At some point between last month and this March, your mortgage company will furnish you with a copy of your escrow accounting showing expenditures for taxes, insurance, and interest for the year 2017. This information is provided by the mortgage company for your tax filing. When filing your taxes, you should also include any receipts for personal expenditures you had, such as costs associated with travel to visit your property in 2017.

INTEREST RATES – Rates continue to remain low. The current interest rate on a 30-year conventional loan is about 4.125%. The VA rate on a 30-year note is 3.625% and 3.75% for FHA loans. The rates are lower on 15 and 20-year notes. Now is still a great time to purchase real estate or refinance.

6,700 – Approximate number (20%) of Fort Hood soldiers currently deployed around the world.

28.3 MILLION – Current population in Texas after gaining 400,000 new residents last year according to the Census Bureau. Texas had the seventh fastest growth rate in the country in 2017.

2017 – Killeen’s deadliest year in over twenty years with 21 homicides. The Killeen Police Department has sought assistance from the Justice Department in an effort to formulate a crime reduction strategy.

David Gerke

Broker

Owners Newsletter – December 2017

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is
the cemetery.” – Harold Wilson

OWNERS NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2017

WINTERIZATIONS – With temperatures forecast to dip into the 20s over the holiday weekend, we moved forward with winterizing all of our vacant properties last Friday. We will continue to winterize properties as they become vacant in advance of freezing temperatures expected in the coming ten days. The winterization process includes draining all plumbing lines, covering all exterior water faucets with insulated covers, and applying nontoxic and environmentally safe anti-freeze in all drains throughout the dwelling. The cost of winterizing is $45 plus materials. Once a property has re-rented, the cost of de-winterizing is $35.

RENTAL TRAFFIC – In spite of the many soldiers deployed away from Ft. Hood, we successfully leased twenty-five properties in November. Of those properties we rented, nineteen were single family houses and six were apartments. We ended last month with 97% of our single-family houses occupied and 99% of our duplexes and townhouses occupied, respectively. We also renewed the leases of twenty-five of our existing renters. One noticeable change we have observed this year is an increase in the number of non-military families that are renting from our office. Historically, 95% of our renters were military. Presently, we estimate that approximately 30% of our current renters are non-military.

WWW.HUNTERRENTALS.COM – On December 21st, our new web site went live. With our new property management software, properties we advertise on our website are also listed on hundreds of other listing sites. Prospective renters can now apply to rent via their smart phones. Although our thorough screening and qualifying of  prospective renters has always been fast, the credit reports and criminal background checks of applicants can now be completed in minutes. Renters can now pay their rent on line with zero transaction fees, pay by credit card, or pay by cash in their local CVS or 7 – Eleven store.

$70 MILLION – With President Trump’s recent signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, Fort Hood is set to receive close to $70 million in funding. From that amount, $37 million will be used to complete renovations on the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters building. The remaining funds will be used to construct motor pools and make repairs and renovations to barracks. The act also provides a 2.4% pay increase for soldiers.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS – From the entire staff here at Hunter Rentals, we wish you a safe and blessed holiday season. We sincerely appreciate your faith, support, and patronage. Best wishes for a happy and successful New Year!

David Gerke
Broker