When you’re thinking about advantages and disadvantages of owning a rental property, it’s easy to narrow the thinking down to the equation of rental income minus expenses equals your profit. This is a basic formula to start with, but there are so many different factors and variables that go into making it more complex than it seems. Many rental property owners don’t realize how much of their own time and effort is required for upkeep, taking tenant calls, collecting rent, enforcing leases and more. This brings us to the point of whether it’s worth the investment of your own time to handle these duties, or if paying a property management company to handle them for you is the way to go. Everyone views these perspectives differently but getting an overall understanding of both sides will help you make the decision that fits your lifestyle best. Finally, most people I meet don’t realize there are actually four (4) different ways to make money in rental properties – spending your time managing the property might not always be in your best interests.
I rarely use the “M” word because I’m not an industrial hygienist or a laboratory. However, mold is commonly talked about in the real estate world and is everywhere – that simple fact doesn’t take away from the seriousness of it. A mold infestation or contamination can be extremely damaging to a property and to investment property managers. Not only does mold put your tenants/residents at risk, but you and the property owner may have to spend a significant amount of time and money to properly mitigate the environmental condition and make the rental unit a safe and comfortable place to live. Moreover, mold creates a significant stigma on a property which most certainly attaches and affects value and desirability. In addition to educating yourself about mold, one of the best things you can do is focus on the common areas (bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms) where mold grows and do your best to prevent it by keeping these rooms, walls, ceilings as dry as possible. However, if mold/mildew growth is already there, it’s time to take care of it before the issue becomes more serious. Remember, a property manager and/or landlord’s primary duty is to provide a habitable rental unit – a unit with mold is not habitable.
Located near Atherton, the Menlo Oaks neighborhood of Menlo Park is made up of three small, close-knit sections. These are Menlo Oaks, Vintage Oaks and South of Seminary. Home lots on the narrow, tree-shaded streets that make up this neighborhood tend to be large. A paradise for families raising children, houses in Menlo Oaks make great investment properties. There’s another advantage for those investing in this neighborhood. It is unincorporated so there’s more regulatory flexibility than is found in some of the other more tightly controlled neighborhoods. Driving down the streets of these neighborhoods one is hard pressed to find the same design or construction giving a unique fabric and feel in this Silicon Valley locale.
This Menlo Park neighborhood is located on approximately 540 acres and bordered by Willow Road, Highway 101 and the Southern Pacific Railroad. Belle Haven was originally developed by David D. Bohannon during the Great Depression as an affordable housing project. This part of Menlo Park has maintained that affordable housing tradition, with homes in Belle Haven costing up to 70 percent less than comparable homes in other Menlo Park neighborhoods. This is an excellent neighborhood for those seeking peninsula real estate investment property as this neighborhood is close to Stanford University, Silicon Valley, and the 101 commute. There are consistently opportunities for investors to swoop in and grab part of the peninsula rental property marketplace.
This Menlo Park neighborhood is notable for the lovely 21-acre park at its center, the convenience of its proximity to Silicon Valley for those making the daily commute and its overall affordability. Those factors make the Flood Park neighborhood attractive, not just to residential home buyers, but also to investors seeking Palo Alto real estate investment property. Flood Park is close to Stanford University, Stanford Shopping Center, and the heart of Silicon Valley.
The Willows is a neighborhood in transition. One of the older Menlo Park neighborhoods, as can be seen in the charming old bungalows originally built in the 1920s and ’30s, The Willows is seeing a dramatic demographic change. Young families, many of which are Silicon Valley professionals who appreciate the convenient commute distance and great location, are investing in real estate in The Willows. They’re attracted not just by the comparatively short commute, but also by the excellent schools and the more rural feel of this Menlo Park neighborhood. In the heart of Silicon Valley The Willows offers everything young upwardly mobile professionals desire in primary residences and also long-term investment property.
This Menlo Park neighborhood is situated on what used to be the estate of Senator Charles Norton Felton. Made up mostly of single family homes that were originally built in the 1930s and 40s, this historic neighborhood has been able to retain much of its original look and character. Vintage-style homes line quiet streets well appreciated by the families that live here, often for generations. Life in Felton Gables has a lot to offer residents and investors alike. Close to Stanford University, Silicon Valley, and easy commutes to San Francisco or San Jose make it a very desirable location.
This beautiful unincorporated Menlo Park neighborhood is made up of two sections, The Avenues and Fair Oaks Acres. In general, the largest lots and homes are located in Fair Oaks Acres. In The Avenues, you’ll find homes of about 5,000 square feet on lots that are typically a bit smaller than those in the Fair Oaks Acres section of the North Fair Oaks neighborhood. The Fair Oaks Beautification Association is a big part of life in North Fair Oaks, Menlo Park. This volunteer group’s projects include the traffic chicanes that keep traffic slow and calm on the streets and avenues that make up the North Fair Oaks neighborhood.
West Menlo Park, also known as University Heights, is located along the Alameda de las Pulgas corridor. This is a close-knit neighborhood, in part, because the homes are closer together than in other Menlo Park city neighborhoods. The homes for sale in University Heights tend to be on smaller lots measuring about 5,000 to 6,000 square feet. This is also a more affordable neighborhood, making it a good option for those considering investing in rental and investment properties, and development opportunities. Although West Menlo also offers a central location which is close to Highway 280 for ease of commute to San Jose or San Francisco, proximity to Stanford University, and very close to amazing shopping centers, restaurants, and El Camino Real commerce.
Upscale homes on large lots ranging between a quarter acre and a half acre on average are typical of the homes for sale in Central Menlo Park. Notable for excellent schools children can walk to, as well as Stanford University, which is an easy bike ride away, this is a neighborhood that attracts young and upwardly mobile professionals in search of a neighborhood ideal for raising children, building equity, and having an amazing life. People buying homes in this neighborhood are highly invested in maintaining the superb quality of life residents here enjoy. The epitome of neighborhood living centrally located in the heart of the peninsula and within minutes of prime Silicon Valley Central Menlo Park might be right neighborhood for you or your next investment property.