Hire property management for Berkeley home while we're overseas?

We are moving our family overseas for a year, possibly longer. We want to rent our Berkeley home and are debating whether it's worth it to hire property management. We would prefer not to deal with the legal hassles and background checks etc..., and are also just loathe to become landlords at all. Does anyone have any insight or experience with this, or do you have particular property managers to recommend? 

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Though I don't have an answer for you about property managers in Berkeley, I will say that I'm interested in possibly renting your place. My spouse will be on sabbatical and we're looking to relocate to Berkeley. Thanks for being in touch.

We moved away and kept our house, uncertain if we were going to return or not to the Bay Area. We initially tried to rent the house without a property manager, and we even found tenants on our own. At the last minute they decided it wasn't right for them. Luckily it was still a couple of months out from the time we were moving. We hired a property manager, and she rented the place out within the weekend.

We've now been away for a year, and we are planning to return. There were a number of surprises with this property manager. Most recently we discovered that there are now 4 tenants, not just 3, living in our house. When we asked why we didn't know this, the property manager informed us it wasn't necessary to inform the landlords that there was a 4th person and it didn't affect the lease. Though we would have likely not objected, it made me very uncomfortable that she had unilaterally decided not to let us know how many people are living in our house. 

The upshot (I'm not doing the best job at detailing the back and forth and various frustrations of using the property manager) is that though she's been frustrating at times, I am still glad we had someone managing the house, as we were multiple time zones away, and it really would have been an immense stress to manage remotely. I've tried to be an absentee landlord while I was in graduate school, and at the time I couldn't fathom affording a property manager. It was really stressful to deal with tenants' sometimes unreasonable (like needing a lightbulb unscrewed, or a "beeping" that was the fire alarm that needed a new battery) panics, and although I think I'd be wiser about choosing my tenants now, I think being a landlord is generally a stressful undertaking. Better to outsource if you can. Also, do lots of research about managers' rates -- we found them highly variable. We are paying 5% but found managers with rates as high as 9%!

Yes, absolutely get a property manager. I rented out my home when I was overseas, and when the furnace broke I was sooooo glad I had a property manager. I think I paid about 7% of the rental amount. The tenant they found was so great that I ended up selling the place to her directly rather than putting it on the market.

Don't feel bad about being a landlord unless your goal is to be a slumlord. Think of being a property owner who is providing a service to someone who needs a place to live.

As I renter I have rented from http://www.kands.com/. The original owners retired, but I think I would still recommend their services. They run a tight ship and have a great network of repair people.

I am not a landlord but met Duwandlyn as renter looking to rent a house. She was just fantastic. Very trustworthy, thorough in her vetting , responsive with several handymen at the ready and honest and if I were in your position I would consider working with her. It will be difficult to manage all the little things that come up with renters if you are overseas.  http://www.realestateagentvallejo.com/