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Who You Need to Know When You Own Investment Properties

Investment Properties

Real estate investing is about having patience and making the right choices. It starts with making the right purchase decision, and those choices continue as you build relationships and leverage the expertise of trusted professionals. When it comes to owning investment properties, just like in so many other areas of life, it all comes down to who you know.

Real estate attorneys
A real estate attorney can be a make-or-break decision in a real estate transaction. These professionals help draft, review and manage the real estate documentation, including contracts and titles. The legal guidance from the real estate attorney is critical to ensuring the transfer (i.e. purchase or sale of a property) is legally binding and in your best interest.

Tax experts

Having the right tax expert in your corner during a property investment transaction could save you thousands. Do your research when it comes to hiring. This includes seeking referrals, reading reviews and even getting a second opinion when it seems necessary.

Staying on top of maintenance and repairs can also save you thousands. It’s necessary to manage a maintenance checklist for things like plumbing, HVAC, electricity, etc. consistently. If not managed properly, the cost compounds as damages and their side effects quickly add up. Finding and employing a trusted and well-reputed handyman or handywoman is the key to avoiding such a mess.

Property Management Companies
A property management company is a one stop shop. It handles the prospects and the tenants, and will take care of a host of services. These include: consulting services, including brokerage and assessment; development services, including contract management and disposition; administrative management, including tracking and monthly statements, collection services, and financial management; and maintenance services, including interior and exterior repairs and operations, lease management, and application screening.

Need a trusted property management company in your corner? Contact Class A Management today.

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Financing a Rental Property: What are Your Options?

Financing a rental property

By Anthony Gilbert, REALTOR, Seattle, WA

It’s no secret that investing in real estate can be a smart decision. Still, for those looking to break into the world of renting out properties for income, there’s that first challenging obstacle to get over: financing. Getting approved for financing on one’s first rental property can sometimes be an ordeal, but by being aware of your options and ultimately choosing the one that best suits your needs, you’ll be on your way to managing your first rental property in no time.


Obviously, paying cash for a rental property is the most cost-effective and convenient option—but it’s also not very realistic for most investors just getting started. Still, for those who have the means, paying cash for an investment property can yield a number of benefits

For starters, paying cash means not having to jump through the hoops involved in getting approved for financing from a bank or other lender, which is a little tougher for non-primary residences. And of course, with no loan, there is also no interest being accrued on money borrowed. This, in turn, frees up cash to make renovations on the property and pay for other routine maintenance as a landlord.

Finally, making a cash offer on an investment property automatically gives you a competitive advantage against any other offers that might be on the table.


For those who are just getting started with their first rental property investment, an owner-occupy approach may be best for financing. With this approach, you take out a traditional mortgage (usually a 30-year mortgage) just as you would if you were buying a home that you planned to live in yourself for many years. From there, you live in the property for the required 12-month minimum before turning around and renting the property out for a profit.

The best thing about this option is that, even after you’re no longer living in the property itself, you’re still able to enjoy the original loan terms, including your interest rate. One thing to keep in mind with this type of financing, however, is that it’s not practical if you want to hold multiple rentals at once.

Bank Loan

If cash or owner-occupy aren’t viable options, a conventional bank loan may be worth exploring. When you opt for a conventional bank loan, you will generally be expected to put about 30% down on a rental property. However, the nice thing about this option is that when you take out a bank loan for an investment property, most banks will factor in estimated rental income from the space into the debt-to-income rations they use to determine your interest rate and other loan terms. This, along with having a decent credit score, can help to reduce interest rates and ensure reasonable terms on a loan.

Private Loan

For those with less-than-perfect credit or those who want to save on closing costs, shopping around with private lenders may be a smart option. Because private lenders can set their own loan qualification requirements, it’s generally easier to get approved for a private loan than a conventional bank loan. Furthermore, interest rates usually tend to be lower on these loans because the repayment terms are shorter—meaning you’ll pay off your loan sooner and pay less in interest when all is said and done.

Knowing the options available to you when seeking financing for a rental property is important. By keeping these options in mind and assessing your own current financial situation, you’ll ultimately be able to make the smartest and most cost-effective choice for your first residential investment property. If you’re still unsure what’s right for you, consider speaking with a financial advisor, rental property management company or real estate professional.

About Anthony

Anthony is a full-time real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Danforth, located in Seattle, Washington, and specializes in working with clients in the Eastside Seattle communities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Sammamish, Snoqualmie Ridge, Fall City and North Bend, located in the picturesque foothills of the Cascade mountains. 

He takes great pride being in-tune with both the professional and human element in every real estate transaction, and truly enjoys helping clients through the entire home-buying and/or selling process.

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3 reasons why multifamily makes the best real estate investment

Why multifamily? Found out here.

Investors know that volatile markets can send financial gains plummeting, but real estate investing is typically a viable shelter that appreciates in value. Let’s explore four reasons why multifamily is the best investment in the real estate market.

Less risk for lenders means easier financing

Multifamily properties like apartment complexes require a higher initial investment than single-family real estate properties. That might seem like a deal-breaker, but the reality is that while multi-family loans are larger, they’re less risky for lenders because they generate cash flow even when not fully occupied. A single-family home, on the other hand, could be seen as high-risk because, when vacant, it generates no cash flow and carries a higher probability of borrower default.

Higher occupancy equals cash flow for landlords

High occupancy rates are the primary goal with rental property investments, but a single-family home that is unoccupied is a liability that many investors cannot afford to risk. While rents may offer a higher profit margin for single-family properties, multi-family rentals are more affordable for prospective tenants and easier to market for more stable income. Granted, there will always be certain markets in which single-family properties are in high demand, but a successful multi-family investment property rarely sees occupancy rates that result in negative cash flow.

Ease of maintenance and upgrades

Attached multi-family properties are also easier to maintain due to efficiency of scale. Any real estate investment will require regular maintenance such as roofing repair and replacement, and that’s where multi-family properties help investors save money by sharing a common roof. Owners can also save on other upgrades like windows and doors, insulation, and exterior painting for multiple rentals within a single building.

Full service property management

Hiring a property management company is always a good move for multi-family investors who don’t want to spend their time marketing, collecting rent, and performing maintenance and repairs. Class A Management professionals are prepared to handle all the details, from pre-purchase consulting to deciding when it’s time to sell, and everything in between. Contact us today to learn more about how to maximize your return on investment with a team that wrote the book on multi-family property management best practices.

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What is Real Property Management?

What is real property management?

Real property management is a scalable service that helps real estate property owners manage successful investments. Real property management companies come in many different sizes, from a single property manager who lives on-site in an apartment complex to a large-scale company that manages properties for many different landlords for a fee.

What does a property manager do?

Property managers work to keep properties maintained and rented within a fair and profitable business model. From marketing to general repairs, managers work for both the property owner and the tenant to provide excellent customer service.

It all begins with establishing a relationship and management contract with the property owner. Property managers then set the rent, market the property to find and vet the right tenant, and work with the tenant to make sure the property stays in good working order and that the rent is paid on time.

Benefits of real property management

Landlords who manage their own properties sometimes end up spending most of their time finding tenants or performing maintenance and repairs. Real property management companies can ease that burden by employing industry best practices and leveraging resources not available to property owners. These companies often have rental applications and contracts designed to protect property owners and tenants from unfair practices and litigation, which is a win for everyone involved. Property managers also maintain real estate properties, which preserves their value. In addition, a good real property management company will provide a landlord with detailed expense reports and documentation that help simplify taxes for owners.

How to find a good property manager

The best real property management companies offer consultation services even before purchase, helping prospective property owners through the vetting and real estate purchase process. Comprehensive property management services include marketing, operations, maintenance, accounting, and even disposition consulting when it’s time to sell. Ask any property management company you’re considering about their professional affiliations, what their occupancy rates are, and how they approach tenant disputes or non-payment issues.

Whether you’re hiring a management company or looking for a great rental property for your next home, finding a company with a great track record is essential for long-term success. Class A Management offers comprehensive management services, and our seasoned professionals are committed to serving our landlords and tenants fairly and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about how we can customize a services package for your single-family or multifamily property. Maximize your investment with a team that offers the respect, value, and experience you and your tenants deserve!

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5 Tips for Keeping Tenants Healthy

5 Tips for Keeping Tenants Healthy

If you haven’t noticed, a movement for a healthier America is happening right now, and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. In the past, we’ve seen trends like this. We watched as everyone joined in on aerobics with Richard Simmons, then a trend started toward Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, and somewhere in there, we ran through several periods of really bad fad diets. But this movement isn’t like those.

Today, the buzz centers on all-natural, clean eating and high-impact workouts. Eating clean is about getting rid of anything processed, unnatural, or stripped of vital nutrients from our diets. It’s organic, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and free-range meats and dairy, lots of water, and choosing to cook in the healthiest of manners, such as baking instead of frying. The workouts are just as they sound: lots of heavy lifting indicative of approaches such as CrossFit and P90X. 

These trends sound beneficial, but how can they help in your efforts of keeping tenants healthy

Keeping Tenants Healthy

As a property owner, there are many benefits to helping your tenants stay healthy. The care it shows for them and the opportunity it provides to build a sense of community are two surefire ways to encourage tenant loyalty. So, here are five ways to make it happen:

  1. Spread the word. Whether through a property newsletter, regularly distributed email, or social media, make health a part of the ongoing conversation. Build a special section focused on eating and exercise tips. These weekly tips and stats can include recipes and easy-to-replicate exercises.
  2. Encourage a group effort. Tenants want that sense of community. Keeping tenants healthy begins with getting everyone involved. What better way than property-wide activities? From hosting a get-fit class to encouraging an organized walk around the complex at sundown, there are plenty of options to get tenants involved. 
  3. Make it homegrown. Community gardens remain a hot trend that tenants demand. Encourage clients to take on new gardening challenges and share excess produce with others. It gets them involved and encourages loyalty because they aren’t as apt to walk away from the project. The added benefit is getting those locally-grown fruits and veggies that are so coveted.
  4. Get it discounted. Fitness clubs and gyms want your tenants to join. Your property is a treasure trove to them because it offers the prospect of many new memberships. Because of this, they will be more willing to offer exclusive discounts and benefits to tenants of your complex. Create gym connections, then make sure your tenants are aware.
  5. Create a challenge. Do you have sister properties or a friendly rival with another property in town you can leverage for a friendly wager? Utilizing the power of self-quantifying apps, your tenants can challenge those of another complex on results achieved within a certain amount of time. Even if it’s not against another complex, you can create healthy competition among the tenants.

These five tips to encourage healthy living are just the beginning. Work with a leading property management company to create a plan that builds tenant health and community loyalty. 

Class A Management knows your tenants

Need some more tips like these? We have the latest on exactly what your tenants are looking for and what they expect from you. Contact the professionals at Class A Management to continue discussing maximizing your property investment return through community building.