The Benefits of a Good Property Manager

Having a good property manager can go a long way in helping become a successful real estate investor. Along with tapping into their expertise surrounding real estate, investors with property managers can allow their managers to resolve issues that they as non professionals can’t deal with. Recent personal experience helped me see that.

For a number of years I’ve owned a single family home that I’ve rented out and use the services of a property manager.

The reasons I choose to have a manager are twofold. One has to do with the fact that the property is located in another state other than the one I live in. The second has to do with my day to day responsibilities and my level of real estate management expertise. I provide financial advice and don’t know the first thing about plumbing, electrical or other repair work. For me a manager makes sense.

The ironic part about my realization is that I was temporarily living in the state I own the property in when I saw the true value of a property manager.

Since purchasing the property, the need for a property manager had not been a big consideration I thought too much about on a daily basis. For 7% of the monthly rent, they collected the payments for me and deposited them into my checking account through direct deposit. Besides that and checking in on the tenants every so often, that was it.

Then one Sunday afternoon after church, my property manager called me to let me know that something happened at the property and we needed to resolve it. This is where their expertise came into play. The reason, again, my background is in financial services and providing advice to people and companies. Not responding to property damage.

In contacting me, the manager not only informed me of the details but looked to get my insurance information and determine which contractors should take on the job of repairing the property. She also worked with the outgoing tenant on a smooth transition. Finally, she worked with the homeowner’s association to make sure they were aware of the details and plans.

Now again, as a professional the manager was able to go out and spend the time and energy resolving what needed to be resolved. This included hours of time and energy that quite frankly I was not ready to take on. Not only that, I could not accurately assess the expertise of the contractors that where coming out to do the work. The manager however was able to do that.

For many real estate investors the decision to have a property manager or not is a difficult one for some and an easy one for others. The important part in the decision making process for any owner is to truly assess their strengths and weaknesses in property management and to make sure they get the right person for the job.


How Do Prepaid College Plans Work?

With the significant increase in the cost of education after the economic recession, meeting the expenses for higher studies has become a cause of concern. Sometimes grant or aids received for funding education costs is not enough and accepting student’s loan becomes unavoidable.

If you want to avoid paying the interests for education loan, getting the right saving plan is a must. Apart from that, supporting the education needs with prepaid college plans can also be a good choice, provided you are familiar with the basics of the plan.

What is Prepaid College Plan?

To know, how the prepaid college plans work, one should have the understanding of some basic facts related to prepaid college plans. Prepaid tuition plans or prepaid college plans refer to a financial scheme for supporting education in which parents can make tax free investment for their child’s education.

Compared to other saving plans, this is known for its low risk. Yet, proper planning of child’s education expenses is necessary if someone wants to get the best help from these savings plan.

How Prepaid College Plan Works?

When you are planning to accept prepaid college plans to meet any sort of educational expenses, you should at first know whether this plan is accepted in your state or the state where your child intends to study or not. You can check this with the educational institutions of the state and proceed accordingly.

Once you check out the basic guidelines, you need to determine the requirements and purchase the credits when the child is in school. As soon as your child is enrolled in a college or a university, you can use the credit to receive the funds for supporting same amount of expenses.

The best part is, the money that is deposited in this account can be transferred to the account of other student or one can also claim for refund if the child does not enroll for college course. Therefore, the money that is saved in this account can be put to some other use.

Money invested in prepaid college plans are exempted from Federal Income Tax. In some places, State Income Tax is also not charged on the money saved in this plan. Yet, income tax is applicable if the money is withdrawn from the account and is used for meeting expenses in any other field, apart from education.

Parents who are looking for prepaid college plans may also like to know that this investment scheme is divided into two different types. Depending on your requirements, you can go for prepaid unit plan or contract plan. In a prepaid unit plan, you can purchase as many units as you think will be enough for meeting the cost.

Note that each unit purchased will worth one percent of the tuition fee for the year. In case of contract plan, one needs to purchase credits for a specific period [years] at the prevailing price. One can make the investment in parts or as a lump sum. The price of contract generally depends on the age of the child and increases with child’s age.