Property Management

Being a landlord isn't as simple as it may seem. Leasing, maintenance, repairs and collections become a daunting task for many, which is a good reason to hire a professional property manager. 

Many people who own properties decide to rent them out rather than sell. This is done for a number reasons. Many people, especially in the Houston area, move around for work and eventually want to come back to their home, so while they're gone the asset can be used and maintained. Others want to own a number of different rental properties as a source of growing equity and income. Regardless the reason, it's extremely beneficial to work with an experience property manager. 

Property management services include handling any regular scheduled maintenance on the home, or any unexpected problems with the home. Any good property manager knows what is covered under a contract and what is the renter's responsibility. For instance, if a tenant clogs the drainage due to negligence, it's the renter's responsibility to fix the issue - not the property owner. As well, if the air conditioning or heater goes out, it's the property manager's responsibility to have the problem remedied in a short amount of time. Knowing what party holds the responsibility can save the landlord a significant amount of money. 


Leasing and qualifying renters is a large part of the benefit in working with a property manager. Finding good tenants isn't as easy as it may seem. Every tenant should have an extensive background check run on any criminal, credit and leasing history. Once a tenant is qualified and begins the leasing process, collecting rent money can pose its own issues. Working with an objective, third party to collect rent takes a huge emotional burden off the property owner, and it often makes the tenant more likely to pay on time. Moreover, an experienced property manager has all of the documents that would need to be sent in case of delinquent or other payment issues. 

The process for property owners is pretty simple. After the rent has been collected, a wire transfer of the rent is directly deposited via ACH (Automated Clearing House) or via email (under $2000), minus any possible maintenance costs and property management fees. Magana Estates charges 10% of the rental rate, and there are no hidden or a la cart fees. Clients know what to expect every month. 

The difficulties of managing properties can be challenging for most who are just starting out. Most individuals make costly mistakes when getting into renting their own properties. Property owners should hire an experienced property manager to keep their asset making money. Call Michael Magana directly to discuss your property management and real estate needs; (713) 502-8855  

SEER ratings, Mini Splits, and my AC system

As summer descends upon us, many homeowners turn their attention to their AC units. If you live in a older home this may be a source of great concern. Utility costs suddenly go up and comfort levels can go down. What can be done? New systems can be very costly and picking the right system can be harder than shopping for a car and cost almost as much.



Seer ratings or seasonal energy efficiency ratio indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Basically the higher the SEER rating the more efficient the unit. Starting in 2015 the DOE (Department of Energy) mandated that all new homes have at least a 14 SEER rating. This included the Southeast region of the US only. A typical 20+ year old home has a rating of 10 or less.

Professional AC providers are more than happy to sell you a 20+ SEER rated unit. These can be very costly. My practical advice for homeowners considering an upgrade is to not spend the bank on the latest and greatest unit, especially if you've never done any energy efficiency updates. (Additional insulation, radiant barriers, etc.) Consider going with a 14 SEER unit, which brings you up to current Code requirements and does not require any special thermostats.


Another popular upgrade is the mini split. This is a ductless air conditioner that consists of a wall-mounted indoor unit combined with an outside compressor. They are popular in hotels and can provide additional cooling to a hot room or easy add on to an addition. These are very efficient systems. Consider that the energy lost in the duct work can be as high as 25%.


These units can help if you just want to keep one room cool and keep the rest of the house at a warmer temperature. For example; I like it cooler when I sleep, but I hate the idea that the whole house has to be cooled as well. A mini split in the master bedroom is the solution. I can keep the rest of the house at 79 while the master is a crisp 68!


So, if you electric bills are a nightmare and your system is old and inefficient, consider getting a new system with at least a 14 SEER rating. If your electric bills are reasonable and your system is working, but you're hot in one room consider a mini split. Either choice will bring down your utility costs and keep you comfortable during the dogs days of summer.

- Michael Magna