Renting Home

My family and I have decided to move to Europe where my wife's family is from and we're looking to rent our unfurnished single family 3/2 home in Oakland (Dimond District). Because we won't be local we have decided to go with a property management company to manage the day-to-day things that might pop up. We're hoping to tap into the collective knowledge of the BPN! If you currently rent your home do you have any words of advice for us? Particularly things that you wish you would have known before you started becoming a landlord? Do you have a property management company that you love and would recommend? I'm a little put off by all the fees that we see from the property management companies and also am nervous about the potential lag time between tenants when we would be on the hook for the mortgage. We obviously would like to maximize how much rent we can collect while at the same time finding a long term tenant who would take care of the house. I appreciate any and all advice!

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RE: Renting Home ()

We have two houses we inherited from grandparents and now rent. Since you are moving to Europe, I would recommend you use a property management company as you will need someone local to deal with any issues that come up with your rental. If you have a yard, I would recommend that you charge a little more rent and hire a gardener to come every other week or at least once a month. Also, the first year you are with the property management company, you should be in contact  with them frequently to make sure everything is set up properly. If you have a long term tenant, I would recommend that you have the property management company do a walk through every few years and take some pictures to send to you so you know what kind of updates are needed to the house. Put a small amount of money aside each month for updates. Also, if you know a good handyperson and you have a larger project, it's cheaper if you send in your own person rather than using the property management company, but the property management company is great for emergencies. 

We currently use The Cal Agents as our property management company and have been happy with them. We had a horrible experience with the company we used prior. I have found The Cal Agents to be very receptive to my e-mails (our previous property management company often didn't respond to my messages).  They also did a great job finding new tenants. We had a tenant who was going through some hard times due to Covid and vacated unexpectedly The Cal Agents worked hard to find us a new tenant, with excellent references in three weeks. 

Property Management Services - The Cal Agents Real Estate

RE: Renting Home ()

We used ZipRent to rent out our house 2 years ago. They took photos, listed the property and advised us on pricing. We had to do the showings ourselves but they did the credit checks on applicants. Overall, they have been very responsive and we have been quite satisfied with the services they have provided at an affordable cost.