Author Archives: Byrne Management

About Byrne Management

Byrne Management is the best choice for property management in the Colorado Springs area! Give us a call to find out why.

Break Lease Fee Purchase Program and Common Real Estate Questions

Considering a home purchase in can be daunting and tricky. With questions like ‘Is this a good time to buy? Are interest rates too high at the moment? Do I have enough saved up to even consider purchasing? Where do I even start?’ As experienced real estate agents and property managers, we understand the challenges our field can present, and the confusion that surrounding a constantly changing market. We’ve seen some pretty significant changes in the last year, so those hurdles that appeared too large to overcome in the past- from bidding wars to cash offers impossible to compete against- appear to be overall a thing of the past- at least for now.

We wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the biggest questions we get from tenants looking to transition from renters to homeowners:

1. Are we still in a seller’s market?

It’s a difficult question to answer, and can vary on who you ask. One thing is for certain- we’re closer to a balanced market than we have been in almost 10 years. The last six months have clearly indicated a correction in the market nationwide. After the meteoric rise in house prices since recovering from the last recession, home prices appear to be coming back down to Earth. For example- the Pikes Peak Realtor Services Corp listed 334 homes- both existing properties and new build construction- actively for sale in El Paso County in January 2022. By the end of the year that number rose to a whopping 1,409! Increased inventory means more homes to choose from, less competition from other buyers over the same property, fewer bidding wars, and steadily declining prices month over month. Which leads us to our next question:

2. Do I have enough saved up to purchase a home?

We commonly receive calls from tenants asking if they need to be able to put 20%
down payment on a home- to which the answer is NO! Most loans only require anywhere from 3.5% to 5%, with some not requiring any down payment at all! Even then, some conventional loans allow for 3.% down, and there are several down payment assistant loans and grants you could be eligible for as well. Active duty service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses can obtain 100% financing on VA loans that don’t require mortgage insurance. We have several local lender contacts, knowledgeable and locally competitive we’re happy to refer you to anytime!

3. Shouldn’t I wait for interest rates to go back down?

Our honest opinion- no. Rates are higher now than they were in the last few years, but
historically 30 year mortgage rates in the United States averaged 7.75% from 1971 until 2023.
The highest rate during that time ? 18.63% in 1981! While rates increased in 2022, we’ve
experienced a steady decline in interest rates in the past two months, convincing some
economists that rates could level off through early 2023. While it’s unlikely we’ll see rates in the 2-3% range again for a very long time, some sellers are now offering to sell their home and assume their low interest loan at the same time, while others are offering to buy down your rate by 1-2% with a buydown program! We’re happy to provide more information on both of these options

We hope this article helps clear up some of the more common questions we hear from both first time and seasoned homebuyers. If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss- and as always, be sure to inquire into our home purchasing program, which allows you to
purchase any home in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area without paying a break lease fee!

Thank you!
Morgan Schneider

719-260-9970 x105

Is it Illegal to Tackle Those Rental Property Repairs?

In some states, making capital improvements to rental properties while tenant-occupied is strictly prohibited.  This means that owners are required to wait to upgrade or improve their properties until there is some sort of vacancy period.  

Thankfully, in Colorado, we are able to make improvements, even remodel homes, while rented.  But, does that mean we should?  

As with many aspects of investment property management, there are definitely pros and cons to both approaches – making improvements while occupied or waiting for a vacancy period.  

It is likely that residents would appreciate improvements once completed, but would suffer inconveniences as the work is being done.  So, as a property manager or owner, when moving forward with these projects, are there ways to lessen the impact on the tenant?  At our office, when an owner is interested in tackling bigger projects, we try to coordinate scheduling with the occupant to maximize convenience to them. Perhaps there’s an upcoming vacation that will leave the property vacant for several days. Or, perhaps there is a way that the tenant can occupy another area of the home while work is being completed. We find that providing advance notice definitely makes planning on the part of the occupant much easier.  

During these projects, there are often several material choices owners would be happy with. For instance, when replacing flooring, there is usually more than one pattern or color of the product the owner would find acceptable. Involving the tenant in the decision-making process with these choices can help them feel vested in the project. 
Obviously, when the work is done, the tenant is able to enjoy all of the improvements. Owners, while not enjoying the improvements directly, often enjoy benefits like tenant longevity, shorter vacancy, and increased equity.

Please keep in mind that many projects can (and should) be coordinated during the vacancy between tenants.  This is especially true for projects (like interior paint, flooring, etc.) that are difficult to complete when a home is furnished or if a tenant is opposed to work being completed while they occupy the home.  

Over the years, there have been times we’ve been approached by homeowners for management services while they’re in the throes of implementing improvements. Too often, we see owners who are trying to complete these projects on their own.  This can easily delay our ability to begin marketing for a tenant and showing the property.  In these cases, it’s important to consider the benefits of having improvements completed by a professional.  Homeowners often decide to take on the project to save on labor costs.  However, there is always a trade off and owners can find themselves squeezing the work into an already very busy schedule, risking injury and delaying rental income. A project that would normally take a professional two weeks to complete might take homeowners two months to finish. If we’re able to start marketing for a new tenant sooner, we almost always find that the additional rental income covers the labor cost and then some.  So, in planning a project (especially during vacancy), my advice would be to really look at the numbers carefully. If you’re realistic about the time you’ll be investing, you might find that hiring an organized and efficient professional will result in a more profitable outcome.

In summary, capital improvements can be completed at occupied rental properties in Colorado.  However, it makes sense to talk with occupants to find an approach that will work for everyone.  Investing in improvements can benefit owners and tenants alike.

Securing a Great Rental in a Low Inventory Market (Tips from a Property Manager)

By Stephanie Goudy, Byrne Real Estate & Property Management, Leasing Coordinator

Searching for your next rental home can be a daunting task. “Where do I even look for a rental home?” “Why is everything leasing so fast?” “Will I qualify to rent this home?”

As Colorado Springs Property Managers, we know the difficulties and challenges renters face when navigating the rental market for their next home. Colorado Springs homes for rent do not last long on the market, so staying active and vigilant online plays a key role in successfully procuring a Colorado Springs rental when competition is high.

Search Closer to Your Desired Move-in Date

Rentals listings are typically made active online between 30 and 60 days prior to the available date. If you are looking for a July move in, start your search in the May/June time frame. Starting too early can cause a headache of sifting through listings available too far out.

Check out Local Property Management Websites

Local Property Management websites are more up to date than syndicated websites. This means you will find the most accurate  information directly from the Property Management company vs. other popular home search sites.

Have all Your Ducks in a Row

Ready to apply? Come prepared! Ensure you are ready to provide proof of income, past rental history, and anything else the Property Manager will need to get you approved fast. You can always call before applying to find out exactly what documents are needed. Some companies work as a first come, first serve basis while others go based off the most qualified applicants. Be ready to throw your hat in the ring as soon as you start your search.

Moving from out of state has its own set of challenges. We encourage prospective tenants to view a property prior to submitting an application… which might be an issue if you are not local. Try to contact a local friend or family member to view a rental property on your behalf. Alternatively, some Real Estate agents will offer virtual tours for out of state renters.

Securing a rental home in a fast-paced market can be intimidating, but it is possible. Keep your eyes peeled and be ready to respond to a listing. You’ll be sure to find a home that’s perfect for you.