10 Tips to Organize Your Office Space

1. Purge: There’s probably a lot of unnecessary stuff taking up your valuable office space. Go through your office and get rid of duplicates and anything you no longer use/need. When you are left with only necessary items, you will know how much space you will need to organize those things.

2. Re-configure your space: If you have to get up every time you need to throw something away or put a file back in its proper place, your floor will likely be your new trash can/file storage. Arrange furniture so that the things you use can easily be accessed and put back in their proper places.

3. Keep necessary items within reach: In this electronic age, you probably don’t need white-out sitting on top of your desk, not does your pen cup need to house every writing implement you own. Align the items on your desk, making those that you use most, closest. Things like your phone, computer, stapler, a few pens, etc. should all be within arm’s reach for easy access. Those supplies that you use less frequently can be tucked away into drawers, leaving your desk less cluttered.

4. Employ a filing system: Piling papers on the floor is not an effective filing method. There are a lot of different systems that work. Some people file alphabetically, some by project, and others by client, but a filing cabinet is key. Find the system that works best with how you think and work, so it will be easy to maintain.

5. Archive files you don’t need: Files from years ago don’t need to live in your immediate space. Store files you aren’t using in a different location, so it doesn’t clutter up your workspace. If you have a lot of old files, consider using a scanning and storage company to maintain those files at an off-site location.

6. Keep track of ‘To-Dos’: Whether you are a technical kind of person, or prefer pen and paper, having a running To-Do list is important so things don’t fall through the cracks. Separate your tasks into categories, by project or client, and list out all deadlines and important dates associated with those tasks.

7. Stay on top of communication: One of the worst things you can do is ignore communication from others. Make time each day to check and answer emails and phone messages. Doing this once in the morning and once in the afternoon gets the task done and doesn’t disrupt your work flow.

8. Organize your Inbox: Being electronically organized is just as important as being physically organized. Create different folders and subfolders in your Inbox for clients and projects. That way, when a new email comes in you can act on it, then file it in its appropriate e-folder.

9. Personalize your workspace: Whether you’re in a cubicle, home office, or shared workspace, having touches that make you feel comfortable put you more at ease in your work environment. Put up pictures of loved ones, awards and honors you’ve received and even little knick-knacks. Make sure not to over-do it though, or your space will begin to look professional.

10. End of the day rituals: Coming in each morning to a pile on your desk starts the day off on the wrong foot. When you’re done working for the day, leave 15 minutes to update your to-do list and put the things that you’ve been using in their proper places. This will give you a sense of accomplishment for that day and start the next day off with a clean slate.

Source: http://www.denversbdc.org/announcements/10-tips-to-organize-your-office-space

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The Los Angeles Rental Price Heatmap Is Almost All Red

Los Angeles has the highest percentage of renters in the US, a serious housing shortage, and the resultant high rents you’d expect. Trulia tells us now that rents in Los Angeles actually rose the most out of any of the 25 largest rental markets in 2013. They’ve heatmapped the average cost-per-bedroom for 2013 rentals (green=more affordable, red=less) and the LA map runs blood red, just like the streets will after the wage-slaving proletariat rises up against the landlord class.

Los Angeles has the highest percentage of renters in the US. The LA Rents are higher than they were before the recession.

 

Author: Adrian Glick Kudler

Source: http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/01/the_los_angeles_rental_price_heatmap_is_completely_red.php

 

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Real Estate News: The new “ability to repay” rule is now in effect.

 

Real Estate Matters | CFPB’s new ‘qualified mortgage’ rule now in effect

 

  • BY ILYCE R. GLINK AND SAMUEL J. TAMKIN
  • January 22 at 5:30 am

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new qualified mortgage (also known as the ability-to-repay) rule went into effect.

The new rule is about helping borrowers understand the true costs of the mortgage they apply for. On the flip side, it is designed to keep lenders from lending money to borrowers who can’t afford to make those payments over time.

If it works out the way the CFPB has planned, the number of foreclosures should drop in the coming years, and, hopefully, some of the conditions that helped create one of the biggest real estate bubbles in U.S. history will be eliminated.

To be considered a qualified mortgage, a lender may not charge excessive upfront points and fees (capped at 3 percent of the loan), and the loan cannot be longer than 30 years in length (say goodbye to 40-year mortgages.)

Also, interest-only loans (also known as zero-down payment loans) and negative amortization loans (where the monthly payment doesn’t cover the true cost of the interest, so the total amount of the debt grows each month) will not be considered qualified mortgages.

No-doc loans, also known as stated-income loans because the loan officer would just write down how much the applicant said he or she earned and not verify that information, have been eliminated. Starting this week, if you apply for a mortgage, you have to be able to prove that you can afford to repay it in full.

In addition, the loans must fall into one of three categories: The monthly loan payment plus the borrower’s other debt payments cannot exceed 43 percent of the borrower’s gross monthly income; the loan must qualify to be purchased or guaranteed by a government-sponsored enterprise (such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) or to be insured or guaranteed by a federal housing agency; otherwise, the loan must be made by a smaller lender that keeps the loan in its portfolio and does not resell it.

As the CFPB Web site puts it: “The ability-to-repay rule is intended to prevent consumers from getting trapped in mortgages that they cannot afford, and to prevent lenders from making loans that consumers do not have the ability to repay. It’s that simple.”

So, of course, the nonprofit real estate and mortgage trade associations, which represent the housing industry’s interests in Washington, are up in arms. They claim that self-employed individuals, small business owners and many others will have a harder time qualifying for loans. They also say that loans will cost more.

Perhaps. But while lenders may offer other sorts of nonqualified mortgages (provided they verify that the borrower can repay that loan), if a loan doesn’t fall into the qualified mortgage category, it will not receive the same sort of legal protections.

And after the billions spent to pay off the housing crisis, lenders may be inclined to primarily offer qualified mortgages.

Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book is “Buy, Close, Move In!” If you have questions, you can call her radio show toll-free (800-972-8255) any Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Contact Ilyce through her Web site, www.thinkglink.com.

Author: ILYCE R. GLINK AND SAMUEL J. TAMKIN

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/where-we-live/wp/2014/01/22/real-estate-matters-cfpbs-new-qualified-mortgage-rule-now-in-effect/#!

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Benefits of Property Management

SaraVita Properties takes great pride in serving you. Our goal is to make your lives easier and stress-free. If you are in need of some extra help managing your business, let us show you why having a property management team on your side is the right path to take.

You may be asking,

Is Property Management worth my investment?

Many real estate and financial investors would tell you that hiring a property manager would add significant value to your business and can show you a higher return on your money quickly.

Preventative maintenance is achieved through putting systems in place that catch and deal with maintenance and repair issues early on, before they grow into larger more costly problems A management firm like SaraVita Properties can also offer you suggestions and feedback on upgrades and modifications, both how they will affect the rent you can charge, as well as their impact on maintenance and insurance.

Higher Quality Tenants

Tenant screenings and credit checks are key to gaining reliable tenants. Although it is possible to evict a bad tenant, it is a frustrating hassle that could have been prevented with better tenant screenings. Efficient credit reporting and screenings help find tenants who  

  • Consistently Pay Rent On Time
  • Rent Longer
  • Put Less Wear and Tear on Unit
  • Generally Cause Less Problems

SaraVita Properties is a management company that selectively chooses it’s tenants to ensure that all tenants are trustworthy and responsible. We carefully analyze all prospective tenants and look out for any suspicious behavior or consistently poor financial behavior. By allowing a management company to handle the screening, you will also be shielding yourself from rental scams directed at owners, and discrimination lawsuits resulting from an inconsistent screening process. This kind of experience takes time, and insomuch as it means avoiding bad tenants, scams and lawsuits it is arguably one of the most significant benefits a company like SaraVita Properties will provide.

Less Time Consuming and Costly Legal Problems

A good property manager is armed with the knowledge of the latest landlord-tenant laws and will ensure that you are not leaving yourself vulnerable to a potential law suit. Each state and municipality have their own laws, these plus federal law cover a number of areas including but not limited to:

  • Tenant screening
  • Safety and property conditions of the property
  • Evictions
  • Inspections
  • Lease addendums
  • Terminating leases
  • Handling security deposits
  • Rent collection

Shorter vacancy cycles

SaraVita Properties will help you perform three critical tasks that affect how long it takes to fill your vacancies:

  • Improve and prepare the property for rent – We will suggest and oversee cosmetic improvements that maximize revenue.
  • Determine the best rent rate – Too high and you are stuck waiting, to low and you’re losing money every month the tenant is in the unit. Determining the optimal price requires knowledge of the local market, data on recently sold comparables, and access to rental rate tools.
  • Effectively market your property – An experienced property management company like SaraVita Properties has written hundreds of ads and understands what to say and where advertise in order to get a larger pool of candidates in a shorter period of time. Additionally because of their volume they can usually negotiate cheaper advertising rates both online and offline. Lastly, they are familiar with sales and know how to close when they field calls from prospects and take them on showings

Better Tenant Retention

While its easy to see the effects of lost rent, there are other equally serious problems with a high tenant turnover rate. The turnover process involves a thorough cleaning, changing the locks, painting the walls and possibly new carpet or small repairs, not to mention all the effort associated with marketing, showing , screening and settling in a new tenant. This is a time-consuming and expensive process that can often be averted by keeping tenants happy and well cared for.

A good property management company will have a time-tested tenant retention policy that ensures happy tenants with lengthy stays in your properties. These kinds of programs require a consistent, systematic approach, which is where a good property management company will shine.

Tighter rent collection process

The way you handle rent collection and late payments can be the difference between success and failure as a landlord. Collecting rent on time every month is the only way to maintain consistent cash-flow, and your tenants need to understand this is not negotiable. By hiring a property manager, you put a buffer between yourself and the tenant, and allow them to be the bad guy who has to listen to excuses, chase down rent, and when necessary, evict the person living in your property.

If you let them, your tenants will walk all over you. They have to be trained to follow every part of the lease or deal with the consequences. Property managers have an advantage because tenants realize that they, unlike the owner, are only doing their job and are obligated to enforce the lease terms. Many property managers will tell you that it is considerably easier to manage other people’s units rather than their own for this reason.

Assistance with taxes

A property management company can help you understand which deductions you can claim, as well as organize the necessary forms and documentation to make those claims. Additionally, the property management fees themselves are also tax deductible. SaraVita Properties keeps a record of all the finances and expenditures in a up-to-date and easy to read file that gets emailed every month for review or at your request. This takes away all the financial stress and burdens of record keeping.

Personal benefits for owners

  • Less stress – Avoid having to deal with middle of the night emergencies, chasing down rent, evicting people from your property, tenants who wreck your property, rental scams, lousy vendors, piles of paperwork.
  • More freedom – Live and invest wherever you want with the constraint of needing to be near your properties. Additionally you can live and travel without the requirement of always being available in the event that your tenants have a need you have to tend to. Once you have found a good management company, it doesn’t matter if you live in the same state. Some landlords live in other countries and simply collect their check every month without ever seeing the property.
  • Free up more of your time – Time is money, and for many investors, their time can be more profitably spent in areas other than servicing their properties. When you focus on asset management you’re working ON your business, when you manage your own properties you work IN it. Additionally you have more time to spend with family or friends doing things you enjoy.

These are just some of the ways a Property Manager can help you. A Property Manager is a financially smart way to invest in your business and to watch it grow quickly and efficiently. Stop in to SaraVita Properties in West Los Angeles to get more information on how you can set your business to overdrive!

 

Source: Jordan Muela in Property Management Articles

Link: http://www.managemyproperty.com/articles/what-are-the-benefits-of-using-a-property-management-company-9

 

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11 Apartment Hunting Tips for Renters

Looking to rent a new apartment in West Los Angeles? At SaraVita Properties we know what a stressful task this can be. This is why we have your best interest in mind. Check out 11 apartment hunting tips that could make your apartment search easier!

1. Narrow your search.

With a city as big and populated as Los Angeles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. The first (and possibly most important) rule to remember before beginning any search is to narrow your search down. Focusing on an area or two that are of particular interest to you can help you find a apartment that you are pleased with and can make your search easier. Although this is not always an easy task, services like SaraVita Properties can help you find what you’re looking for without the stress or hassle!

2. Prioritize

What is most important to you when searching for your next apartment? Location? closet space? budget? Prioritizing a few things that are essential to you is a good way to find an apartment that’s right for you.

3. Keep track of multiple listings.

At SaraVita Properties, we have mastered management of multiple apartments and buildings. When you are searching for your new apartment, a good tip to keep track of all of the listings is by taking a photo of each apartment and jotting quick notes or details you liked about each listing. This can easily be done through your phone or writing it down!

4. Be prepared.

Before contacting the landlord to sign a lease, make sure you have your paperwork ready and proof of funds in hand. This will ensure that you claim your apartment quickly before anyone else has a chance to grab it before you. It is also a bonus if you already have a copy of your credit report. Most landlords will run a credit report at a cost to you. Having your credit report ready is a way to save you time and money.

5. Uncover Hidden Costs.

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to ask about any hidden costs that are not included in the monthly rent. This may include utilities, parking, cable, etc. It’s important to know of any added costs so you can budget it accordingly.

6.Rely on your senses.

Odd smells and noises you notice during a showing could end up being a major problem when you move in. Natural light, or a lack thereof, can make all the difference in the world, so try to attend a daytime open house rather than looking at the apartment after work.

7. Don’t be afraid to be a little nosy.

Open the closets to get a realistic picture of the available storage space. Turn on the shower, run the water in the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and flush the toilet. Check under the sinks for signs of mold and critters — it’s a lot better to know now if there is a problem.

8. Combine methods for the most effective search. 

To maximize your results, and to help you find the perfect apartment in a short period of time, utilize all the methods available to you. This includes effective websites like Craigslist and real estate services like SaraVita Properties so that you are tapped into the best apartments in your area!

9. Planning to stay a while? Negotiate!

If you have excellent credit and a solid rental and work history, and you want a place to call home for many years to come, you may be in a position to negotiate a better deal. Finding excellent long-term tenants is the hardest part of being a landlord, so remember, you are a catch!

While it’s not likely any landlord would lower the rent, you could try negotiating for a longer lease to lock in your current rent, ask for improvements to be made (and paid for) before moving in or get permission to paint and make improvements on your own.

10. Measure key pieces of furniture … and check if they fit through the door.

If you have not accumulated much furniture yet, or you don’t mind swapping a few things out, this may not be an issue. But if you do have a special piece, like a canopy bed, large sofa or piano, it would be heartbreaking to find out it won’t make it through the door after you’ve signed the lease. Bring a tape measure with you to each open house, and check doorway and stairwell measurements to be sure your beloved pieces will make it in.

11. Get everything in writing. 

So your landlord promised that the leaky sink would be fixed, you can paint the walls any color you want and your cat is allowed without a deposit? Get it in writing. Should you and your landlord ever get into a disagreement down the road, having documentation will be a lifesaver.

Author: Houzz – Laura Gaskill

Source: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/10180155/list/11-Apartment-Hunting-Tips-for-Renters

 

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9 New Coworking Spaces planned for the LA area by Be Great Partners

Be Great Partners Announces New Culver City Coworking Space, First of 9 New Locations in Los Angeles Area

Be Great Partners, Los Angeles’ leading startup incubator-accelerator, today announced the opening of its new Be Great Labs coworking space in Culver City. The 5,000 square foot facility enables startups to begin operating instantly in a fully-furnished office environment for a no-contract monthly membership for $295.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 12, 2013

Be Great Partners, Los Angeles’ leading startup incubator-accelerator, today announced the opening of its new Be Great Labs coworking space in Culver City. The 5,000 square foot facility enables startups to begin operating instantly in a fully-furnished office environment for a no-contract monthly membership for $295.

Be Great Labs Culver City is the first of 9 new coworking spaces planned by Be Great Partners for the Los Angeles area. Located at 5870 W. Jefferson Blvd, the site offers virtual offices, hot desks, private offices, media-integrated conference rooms, and exclusive amenities. Members will be granted 24/7 access to the space as well as monthly workshops and special events hosted by Be Great Partners.Queen Creek

“As part of our mission to bring Los Angeles to the forefront of the global tech community, we wanted to create an infrastructure for startups at all stages of development,” said Be Great’s Managing Partner, Lin Miao. “Our coworking space is a complete facility where LA startups can work alongside their peers without the hassle of a long-term lease or setup costs like a security deposit.”

The location is strategically placed in the heart of Culver City near the I-10 freeway, offering convenient access to Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, and the Miracle Mile area where Be Great Partners operates its central facility.

On-site amenities include a member mailbox, high-speed Internet, printing services, coffee and snacks, theater and game rooms, and fully-stocked kitchen.

Tours of the new Be Great Labs coworking space will begin on November 18, with the grand opening scheduled for December 2. Be Great Partners will also be opening its Miracle Mile facility at 5900 Wilshire Blvd. as a coworking space beginning November 18.

Interested parties are also invited to enjoy a free two week trial at all Be Great Labs locations. To make an inquiry or set up a tour, visit http://www.begreat.co/labs.

ABOUT BE GREAT PARTNERS

Be Great Partners (BGP), the leading technology incubator in Los Angeles, has an active $6 million fund to expand LA’s startup ecosystem and bring the most talented tech startups and continued long-term job growth to Los Angeles, specifically its Miracle Mile. The company is seeking big data projects to invest an average capital ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, while providing the startups with strong mentorship, world-class facilities and a team of 25 innovative developers. Be Great Partners works directly with entrepreneurs to develop their project’s full potential. For more information please visit BeGreatPartners.com.

Source: PR Web

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11317418.htm

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“Huge Majority of New LA Housing is Apartments and Condos”

The City of Los Angeles is Densifying

In case you doubted that Los Angeles is densifying, new state data reveals that a huge majority of new housing units are multifamily (meaning apartments and condos), as opposed to single-family. In Los Angeles County, between 2011 and 2013, 87.1 percent of new residential construction was multifamily, according to California Planning & Development Report’s crunching of the numbers from the state Department of Finance. (That’s way more than anywhere else in the state–the next closest was San Mateo at 74.2 percent; neighboring Ventura was 73.9 percent and Orange was 55.5 percent.) “There’s been a general trend toward multifamily construction in California since the 1990s – it was temporarily reversed during the housing boom of 2000-2006 – and in the last couple of years rental apartments have been virtually the only housing product for which California developers can obtain financing. And the overall numbers are very low compared to the boom, when 200,000+ housing units were being constructed per year,” according to CP&DR’s Bill Fulton. Meanwhile, the report says the 2013 vacancy rate for all housing in the County is at 5.4 percent.

Curbed LA: Author - Adrian Glick Kudler

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/05/apartmentscondos_make_up_87_percent_of_new_la_housing.php

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New Project: Remodeling the 3rd Floor of 10801 National Building

The 3rd floor renovation of the 10801 National Building is about to begin. With an addition of new tiles and better lighting, and the replacement of carpet and wallpaper, the current out-dated look will receive a modern makeover. The new lighting in addition to raised ceilings will create a modern yet relaxed atmosphere for this floor. The modern design for this interior space breaks away from traditional aesthetics, developing a simple yet symmetric pattern appealing to tenants. Following the theme of rectangular forms, horizontal and vertical lines, we added a dark trim around the base of the walls as a means of contrasting the lighter wallpaper. Below is a produced Photoshop design depicting our 3rd floor renovation goals.

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LA County Rents Expected to Hit Average of $1,705 This Year

Increase in LA County Rents

A new report predicts that LA County will see average rents jump 4.5 percent this year, a record increase and more than double last year’s. The brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap blames low inventory and a rebounding job market for sending the average monthly rent in professionally-managed buildings up to $1,705. All those selfish people finding jobs and ruining it for the rest of us! The rent hike would be even higher, says the report, if not for the 6,000 rental units expected to be completed across the county this year, meaning there should be a bigger increase in units than there is in new renters. It’s no shocker that the areas with the highest vacancy rates are the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, but seeing South LA and Mar Vista/Palms on the list of tightest rental markets in the county may raise a few eyebrows. They’re joined by Hollywood, Brentwood/Westwood/Beverly Hills, and the South Bay as the areas with vacancy rates below 3 percent.

Curbed LA: Eve Bachrach

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/05/la_county_rents_expected_to_hit_average_of_1705_this_year.php

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Development: Western WeHo’s Santa Monica Getting Mixed-Use Apartments

 

New Mixed-Use Development on Santa Monica and Knoll Drive

The Santa Monica Boulevard apartmentification action is heading west–last week, West Hollywood filed a notice (pdf) that they were going to prepare the necessary environmental docs for a new mixed-use development on Santa Monica near Knoll Drive. The one-acre site is currently home to a parking lot, three two-story commercial buildings, and a single-family house, but a developer is proposing to replace all that with a five-story building of 93 apartments plus five live-work units, and 34,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The apartments would occupy the top three stories and include a mix of one-and two-bed units, with one three-bedroom; a total of 19 units would be designated “affordable.” Residential access would be along West Knoll Drive, and a total of 308 car parking spaces and 45 bike spots would be provided (for both the residential and the retail) on four levels; one level would be underground. No word on who’s designing the project, but the site plans (pdf) were prepared by the recently shuttered Kanner Architects. The first scoping meeting will be held next week.

Author: Curbed LA – Eve Bachrach

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/western_wehos_santa_monica_getting_mixeduse_apartments.php

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