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Amy Hedgecock appointed to NAR Housing Opportunity Committee

Fowler & Fowler, REALTORS is proud to announce that Amy Hedgecock has been appointed to the National Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Committee!

The purpose of the committee is to “monitor, oversee and measure results of NAR’s housing opportunity programs and initiatives; to provide strategic direction on housing opportunity initiatives and to propose or develop new programs; to disseminate information on housing opportunity programs and encourage Realtors®’ participation and collaboration through state and local initiatives; and to analyze, monitor and recommend policy on housing opportunity issues which are not within the authority of other NAR committees”.

The Housing Opportunity Committee is comprised of REALTORS® actively involved in state or local housing, financial or affordable housing issues or whose businesses are multi-family housing or real estate investment.
Committee members must participate in community-based affordable housing and/or community development programs, as well as have a strong interest in affordable housing and community development activities.

Congratulations, Amy!

High Point enacts a dog tethering ban

If you are a resident in High Point and keep your dog tied in the yard, you will need to find a new way to keep your dog in the yard.  The City of High Point has enacted a dog tethering ban.  From the High Point Enterprise:

“For the past several months, animal rights activists have pressed City Council to restrict or ban the tethering of unattended, outdoor dogs. Animal rights activists contend the practice of tethering unattended dogs for long periods in a yard is cruel and dangerous.

High Point Police Department Major Larry Casterline said city law enforcement supports the policy.

The city ordinance would be phased in during the next 18 months, including a final six months in which violators would be issued warnings. After the 18-month grace period, penalties for offenses would start at $100, then $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third and subsequent offense”.

For more information:

http://www.hpenews.com/news/council-oks-dog-tethering-ban/article_08f6fbfe-4539-11e5-aa3d-5f1377c49f52.html

The Animal Shelter Offers Great Programs For Low Income Pet Owners

Did you know that it is against the law in Guilford County to tether your pet?  Did you know that fines can be up to $500?!

I recently spoke with a representative from Unchained Guilford.  They are offering a solution to low-income families, so that they can fence their dogs and keep their pets.  If you are interested, you must complete and application process and make sure that your dog is current on his rabies vaccines.

Does your dog or cat need a rabies vaccine or to be spayed/neutered?  Well, there is a low-cost option for that as well.  The ASPCA offers the SPOT program.  SPOT services include spay/neuter of the pets of qualified persons.  According to their brochure: “In order to qualify, you must own the cat or dog to be serviced.  Your annual household income must not exceed $20,000 and/or you are on a public assistance program.”

Additionally, the Haley Graves Foundation and the Guilford County Animal Shelter offer a food pantry for pets. The qualifications mirror the ASPCA SPOT program.  The food pantry is a great way to make sure that your fur-baby is well fed.

And even if you don’t qualify for these programs, the Guilford County Animal Shelter will periodically offer rabies and microchip clinics where you can get a rabies vaccine for $5 and microchip your pet for $15.  You can’t beat that!

We all love our pets and we want to do right by them.  These are some great programs offered through the Guilford County Animal Shelter.  For more info on any of the above, you can contact SPOT@GuilfordCountyAnimalShelter.com

We will also keep the brochures and information in our office as well.

Apply Online!

If you see a property that you are just dying to get, no need to wait until we open to come in and apply.  We now accept applications online 24/7!

The application will walk you through what documents you need and how it works.  You can also choose to pay the application fee online or come to the office and make the payment.

Note: We can’t process the application until it is complete and the application fee is paid.  We would still need for you to view the property before we schedule a time to sign a lease with you.

We are proud to offer this added convenience to our prospective residents.

Thank you!

Pay Your Rent Online!

Exciting News! You can now pay your rent online! Choose to pay by Credit Card or E-Check anytime, anywhere. Additionally, where available, there is an Electronic Cash Payments option.

How To Get Started?

You will be receiving an email invitation to setup and access your unique tenant portal.

If we already have your email address, please look for the separate email invitation.
(note: the email may be in your spam folder)
For the best experience, Firefox or Chrome are the suggested browsers.

If you have not received the invitation, please send AmyHedgecock@gmail.com your email address and we will send out your invitation.

Why Pay Online?
It’s Secure – Online payments are more secure than mailing a check!
It’s Fast – Online payments post to your rent account immediately!
It’s Convenient – View your charges and make payments online anytime, from anywhere!
It’s Flexible – You can pay with whatever method best fits your needs!

What Are Your Payment Options?

E-Check – (FREE) Enter your routing and account number to pull your rent directly from your checking or savings account.

Credit Card – Charge your rent to your credit or debit card; earn points or pay over time. There is an online payment fee affiliated with any Credit Card payments:
$17 for rent up to $900
$27 for rent between $900.01 and $1250
$37 for rent between $1250.01 and $3000 (max $3000 per transaction)

Electronic Cash Payments – Take your cash and personalized PaySlip into 7-Eleven or ACE Cash Express to pay your rent.
Contact us for your personalized PaySlip and to find the most convenient payment locations
A transaction fee of $3.99 will be applied for transactions up to $1500
Ace Cash Express is located at 2114 S. Main St in High Point

Please contact our office at 336.883.1333 with any questions.

Investors Needed!

January started off with a bang, and we have continued this trend into February!  In fact, at this point we have almost everything rented!  But we are still getting calls and applications from prospective tenants.

If you are investor in need of property management, please contact us as soon as possible.  We would love to tell you what Fowler & Fowler, REALTORS can do for you!

 

IRS Form 1099

This week we mailed all of our clients their 2014 IRS Form 1099.

Your 1099 reflects all of the income taken in on your investment property in 2014.  Please keep in mind that it does not include any expenses.  You will need both your 1099 and your December cash flow statement to give to your accountant.

Your December cash flow was included with your December 2014 owner report.  If you have misplaced your report, have no fear!  Your owner statement can be found online 24/7 at www.Fowler-Fowler.com  You can access all of your reports through the Owner Portal.

We thank you for your business!

Keeping Pest Problems At Bay

No one likes to see roaches crawling through their house!  Just thinking of it gives us the willies……  ewww…..

There are things that residents can do to make sure that roaches are not a problem in their homes.

Keeping your home as clean as possible is definitely the first step toward keeping cockroaches out, but remember that it’s only the beginning. Sweep or vacuum often, especially after meals and under appliances or furniture. Seal all your food in plastic containers and keep it shut up in cabinets or the refrigerator. Keep a lid on your trash. Absolutely any food-related item can be attractive to a cockroach, so there’s no such thing as being too careful when working to keep these bugs out of your house.

The kitchen and bathroom are the main trouble spots for roaches because they involve both food and water. Many cockroaches are attracted to living in damp spaces, and all varieties need water to survive.  Avoid leaving standing water out anywhere, whether in bathtubs, stopped-up sinks, or soaking dishes.

And remember, if you notice one roach on the counter, there are probably others lurking somewhere.  Go ahead and take action before the problem gets too bad.

7 Helpful Tips to Prevent Fires from Alternative Heating Sources

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other fire prevention advocates warn that heating a living space by any means can be dangerous if precautions aren’t taken. In 2011 heating equipment was involved in nearly 54,000 reported U.S. home structure fires, causing $893 million in direct property damage and taking 400 lives while injuring 1,520 others. These are fires started from heating devices – central heating units, portable or fixed heaters, heating stoves, chimneys and water heaters – and are the second-leading cause of home blazes.

Hidden in these statistics are fires started by using kitchen stovetops or ovens to stay warm. It’s unclear how many people use their cooking devices for home heating, but this is big no-no. And it’s certainly something that apartment managers and owners should discourage residents from doing in the coming winter months when home fires are more prevalent.

“Residents should never use their stove or oven for anything other than cooking,” says Ed Wolff, President of LeasingDesk Insurance. “This not only endangers the resident but puts others and the property at high risk.”

Another risk is carbon monoxide poisoning from lighting a gas stove without proper ventilation. Moderate levels of invisible and odorless CO cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and fainting, and high doses can be fatal. A St. Louis woman a couple of years ago was fortunate enough to survive carbon monoxide poisoning after using her gas stove for heat.

 Alternate heating devices involved in 74 percent of fire-related deaths

The risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning from using kitchen devices is just one when alternate heating sources are used for home heating. NFPA statistics show that more than half of home heating fire deaths three years ago were attributed to placing heating equipment too close to flammable objects.

It’s doubtful, however, that these heating sources will go away anytime soon. Alternate heating devices have been used in homes for years, and gained momentum in the late 1970s and early 80s during the energy crisis. Wood burning stoves and space heaters were in high demand as consumers tried to stay warm and keep home heating costs down.

Today, such devices are commonly used in homes and apartments. Nearly half of American families use alternative heating sources like fixed or portable space heaters, fireplaces and wood/coal stoves. While they can warm a room quickly, space heaters are high-wattage appliances that have the potential to ignite nearby combustible materials, says the Consumer Products Safety Commission. CPSC notes that 74 percent of fire-related deaths are attributed to these devices.

Wolff says apartment managers should educate residents about how to use alternate heating devices safely, especially now.  NFPA reports that half of all home heating fires happen between November and January.

Preventing fires by other heat sources is manageable

The American Red Cross offers these tips to help prevent a home fire from alternate heating sources:

  1.  Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
  2.  Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
  3. If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  4. When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over as another safety measure.
  5. Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  6. Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  7. Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.

And, says Wolff, don’t forget to routinely inspect and test smoke alarms.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Tim Blackwell

Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who provides online and print content in the multifamily housing, transportation and education industries. He is a published author and publisher for Cowcatcher Magazine, a regional rail enthusiast magazine distributed in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri. Tim has worked as a reporter and editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Arlington Daily News and as Director Commercial Printing for The Dallas Morning News. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists and graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Communications.

Political Affairs Award

Congratulations to Amy Hedgecock, CPM for being the recipient of the 2014 High Point Regional Association of Realtors Political Affairs Award.

Realtors work hard every day to protect the private property rights of our customers and clients.

Way to go, Amy!

2014 Recipient of the HPRAR Political Affairs Award

2014 Recipient of the HPRAR Political Affairs Award

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