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Home Inspections in Oakland County MI & Surrounding areas

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February Newsletter

February News

Greetings! Winter is not over yet, but there's still lots to consider and care for with your home and real estate investments. Have you ever considered investing in a rental property? We found some encouraging news on rental properties in Detroit and have a few suggestions for making rental investments safer. Also, in this month's issue some tips for a deep cleaning in February. Enjoy!


Rental Properties

In an article on Nu Wire Investor, Detroit is one of the top markets to watch in 2016 for rental property investments. The median asking price for a three-bedroom home in Detroit is $44,900, giving investors an opportunity for high yield of return on their investment - over 20% with a 25% down payment.

Rental properties can be very profitable and offer some key economic advantages in investing:

  • Regular monthly cash flow over 15%, which is a higher rate of return than most stock portfolios.
  • Appreciation of the property value so that if and when you decide to sell, there's more opportunity for return.
  • Leverage in form of collateral for other investments, including personal loans and business loans.

If you do decide to invest in rental properties make regular inspections of the property a priority to protect you and your tenants. Sterling Home Services recommends 4 types of regular inspections:

1 Move-in Inspection - to be conducted by the tenants during the move-in process. It should be written, comprehensive, detailed, and verified by the landlord. Providing your tenant with a "Move-In Inspection Check List" will help facilitate the process. Have the tenant document any issues inside and outside the property. Go over the check-list with your tenant and any noted issues should be documented with photos, like a  snag in the carpet or a dent in dishwasher.

2 Routine Safe and Clean Inspections - every 3 to 6 months schedule a routine inspection with your tenant to verify that the property is… safe and clean. Inspections at the turn of every season will help to ensure the property is ready for whatever the coming weather will be. For instance in fall, check the heater, check the fireplace, and confirm the procedure and rules for snow removal. In summer, check the air conditioner, gutters, and garage.

3 Drive By Inspections - Observe from a distance what you can about how your tenant is treating the property. If you should notice any issues like trash piling up outside or doors and windows continually left open, you can notify your tenant and schedule another "Safe and Clean" inspection, to prevent any damage to your investment.

4 Move out Inspection - The best way to conduct the Move-Out Inspection is together with your tenant. This is the only way to protect yourself against any controversies over the condition of the property when your tenant leaves. Have the tenant sign your inspection forms, especially if you find any issues.

Remember, Sterling Home Services is available to assist you with any of the above inspections. Protect yourself and your investment!


February Home Checklist

We've gotten through the holidays and for most people life is back to a slower, more reasonable pace. Time to give your home the TLC it needs to be in top shape. Here are a few ideas:

  • Replace the furnace air filter (every 30 to 60 days will keep your HVAC system running clean)
  • Clean the range hood filter and fan - you can remove the grease filter form the fan and clean it in hot water with dish soap (dish soap is great at cutting the grease). If you can reach the fan blades, cut the power to the fan and wipe them down with a hot soapy rag.
  • Degrease your kitchen cabinets. There are many products on the market that are safe for your cabinets - whatever they are made of. Citrus based cleaners are a good choice for wood and laminates. Spray the cabinets down, wait a minute, then wipe down with a hot sponge or rag. You may have to repeat the process if they still appear hazy or smudged.
  • Give the oven and stovetop a deep clean. Remove the burners, drip pans and knobs from the stovetop and wash them with dish soap and baking soda. The baking soda acts as an abrasive. Wipe the top down with a hot soapy sponge and more of the citrus cleaner. For your oven,  run the self-clean program, then use a commercial oven cleaner - follow the instructions on the product.
  • Wash your bed comforters and quilts - some may need to be professionally cleaned, some may need to be taken to the industrial sized washers at your neighborhood laundromat. Read the care instructions printed on the tags.
  • Wash your pillows - check out this process for sparkling white, like-new pillows: How-to-wash-whiten-yellowed-pillows.

It Happened in February

February 4 1902 Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan. He made the first non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris.
February 7 1812 Charles Dickens was born.
February 11 1847 Thomas Edison was born.
February 14 1967 Aretha Franklin records "Respect".
February 17 1909 Apache Chief Geronimo died.
February 20 1962 American John Glenn becomes the first American launched into orbit.
February 27 1950 the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified limiting the president to 2 terms in office.



Happy Leap Year!

Do you know why February only has 28 days? Julius Caesar wanted the month that bore his name (July) to be one of the longer months so he took a day from February leaving 29 days. Augustus did the same with the month of August, leaving only 28 days for the month of February. We add one day every four years to account for the fact that it actually takes the earth 365.25 days to complete a full rotation around the sun.

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