Vernon FosterVFMR-Residential Rentals & Property Management

Management & Rentals

2803 W. Vernon Avenue, Suite D... Offices of VFMR
2803 W. Vernon Ave., Suite D, Kinston NC 28504


Property Management for the Investor 

(new or seasoned)

Information & Tips for Current Owners

Information for Visiting Landlords

"Property Management is all we do... Nothing else!... Well, almost..."


ARROGATE: What the NC Governor & CDC (Federal Government) are doing to Landlords. What effect is this having on  Landlords? What can a Landlord do to mitigate the damage?

Considering using Professional Management?
Have a manager, but not happy?
What is a Real Estate IRA? Is it right for me?
How do I add Rental Property to my portfolio? Just consider this... VFMR has been responsible for over $3,000,000 in real property transfers. Just over 87% of these values represent Rental Investors. The other 23% represents conversions from Rental use to Owner-Occupant use. 
VFMR is exactly where you need to be to grow/expand your rent portfolio or, if contemplating adding rentals to your investment portfolio. We're IT!
Link below will give you some additional info...
I have a rental portfolio, but am looking for more Property. Can 
VFMR help me?
The answer is a no-brainer, but what are the facts backing up such a claim? VFMR has been responsible for over $3,000,000 in real property transfers. Just over 87% of these values represent Rental Investors. The other 23% represents conversions from Rental use to Owner-Occupant use. VFMR is exactly where you need to be to grow/expand your rent portfolio or, if contemplating adding rentals to your investment portfolio. We're IT!
Link below will give you some additional info...

I can't sell my home for a reasonable price. I am relocating. Can I rent to cover my mortgage?
How can I cut my operating expenses to increase my rental property return?
 HVAC for my rental(s) uses R-22. Why does it cost so much to service the unit(s)? THIS IS A HOT TOPIC!
Can I pass Schedule C losses against my 1040 Gross income?
 What I notice you have a Custom Search (for a rental/Lease) for site visitors? Do you have similiar for Landlords/Investors?
 I am an Absentee Owner. What should I expect from my Property Manager during and after a natural disaster?
My Tenant has caused an unneeded/negligent expense. When or will I be reimbursed? [Info for VFMR OWNERs]
I did not get paid my rent with my last Monthly Statement. What's going on and what are you doing to correct this problem? [Info for VFMR OWNERs]
I don't understand my Owner Statement format. Can you assist me in understanding the form? [Info for VFMR OWNERs]
Do you schedule regular inspections of my rental property? [Info for VFMR OWNERs and others]
Can I hire/procure VFMR to help me grow my rental portfolio?


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The following column contains periodic postings by Vernon Foster as well as anchor links to the above topics. Feel free to scroll and read a few items. If you would like to contribute your suggestions and ideas, do contact Vernon.
UPDATED 12/2020

Hurricane Season: Began June 1!

The majority of our Owners are "good to go"! This means:
  • Hazard Insurance for your rental leaseholds has been in place for at least 30-days. Hazard Insurance is normally not in effect for the first 30-days -and- Hazard Insurance, if purchased after a storm is "named", (usually) offers no protection from the "named" storm. Usually, the 30-day wait is sufficient to be the real problem if anything occurs in that first 30-days: fire, wind, hail, etc (flood damage is excluded unless insured by National Flood Insurance). Always review your Insurance Policy Declarations page(s) and update or purchase as needed. VFMR does not maintain/purchase/own your Hazard Insurance... That is OWNER's responsibility. VFMR only requires you carry General Liability Insurance protecting OWNER (you) and this AGENT (VFMR) against claim of liability.
Please DO NOT CALL or otherwise communicate asking "Have you seen my Property?" VFMR will let you know if there is significant damage, I. E. - to the level of any Insurance Claim, when it can... IF you cannot wait for a notification, you may come to the area (when it is safe) and conduct your own assessment.
If you do visit/inspect your leasehold(s), communicate to the Management Office date/time/findings; and, avoid interaction with your Tenant as it relates to Lease terms... VFMR manages the terms as your Exclusive Agent.
VFMR job description does not entail over-sight or management of repairs or damage that will exceed the value of one-month's rental for an individual property. VFMR will assist by calling the Insurance Agent on file for your Property to report a claim (IMPORTANT: Please BE SURE your Insurance Agent will accept report of damage/Claim from VFMR) and/or referring the Owner (you) to a contractor appropriate to the damage. REMEMBER: In the case of wide-spread damage, do not call VFMR. We will contact you if/when damage information is known.
VFMR does not call you, don't be concerned.

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POSTED 12/2020

Dumb Repair Expense

Ya gotta love it!
  • NCGS 42 is pretty straight-forward... Mr. RepairmanThe Landlord is required to fix "whatever" irrespective of the cause, including, but not limited to error by the Tenant. For example: "Little Johnny" tries to flush his toys and "Lo and Behold!" the toilet backs up. "Mom" is clueless and reports a stoppage requesting service (another way of saying, "I have no idea, but my commode is stopped-up and overflowing! Help!") VFMR  recognizes there is the occasional "normal and necessary" repair expense which we gladly manage for the Landlord. But, in an effort to eliminate the Landlord having to "eat" needless expense, VFMR created an  online Tenant Service for reporting and requesting service for non-emergency issues. Prior to the implementation of this service, there was an inordinate time expense to weed out Dumb Repair Expense. The webpage used by Tenants for this purpose was over six-months in design and beta testing... And, it is continually updated and adjusted as new situations arise. The WHOLE IDEA is to SAVE YOU the expense and aggravation of Dumb Repair Expense! The cost of the design, implemetation and continual maintenance to the Landlord? NOTHING! It is included with all other services provided our represented Landlords. As always with our website and any new tools, VFMR does seek comments and suggestions from the Landlords. Got a moment? Just select the following link and use it just like your Tenant may do... Try: Stopped up commode... What do you do? Just follow the page links to report (if needed) the repair request. BTW, if you "go all the way" with this, do edit the Subject of the email to include the words "TEST-ONLY". You surely do not want VFMR to actually send a plumber! I don't think you would pay the charge-back for a Dumb Repair Expense!
  • Try it! Select LinkREPAIR REQUEST
  • BTW... "If/When" a Tenant does receive service for a Dumb Repair request resulting in a Dumb Repair Expense against the Landlord's cash flow, VFMR does conduct a charge-back against the Tenant's Ledger with Notification to Tenant of its requirement (under the written Lease) to repay the Landlord (thereby reversing the expense). Yep! We have to honor all repair requests as well as pay for any repair. But, should the repair be deemed DumbVFMR willYour fault? You pay! :-) be acting to protect Landlord's interests... In such case, affecting Tenant's Ledger and commanding payment of the subsequent charge-back.

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UPDATE 12/2020
Update Info: Mixed Topics ("Interesting!")
Lenoir County Tax Valuations Reflect Local Economic Conditions.
Lenoir County conducts property tax reassessments at intervals of no less than 8-years. Following is published on the internet.
Revaluation Information
Lenoir County's last County Wide Revaluation was completed January 1, 2017, in accordance with N.C.G.S. 105-286. The next scheduled reappraisal is January 1, 2025. North Carolina General Statute 105-283 requires that all property be valued at its "true value" in money.
A random search of the Lenoir County Tax Records does not reveal an consistent approach as to which Property received tax valuation increases... Sort of a "shotgun" approach, if you will. As a rule, the valuation should reflect reasonable values established two (2) years prior using comparable sales or the Income/Cost approach. The latter is customary for rental investment leaseholds.
If the valuation appears excessive (I would suggest you time/efforts would necessarily be worth more that a 15 percent change in value), you can appeal "the past" as it will affect "the future". Sorry... No refunds! You can only affect "next years" assessment.
So, how does that work?
The following link is provided you and published by the North Carolina Department of Revenue...

This document is rather long and detailed, BUT it IS the definitive statement on this issue. REMEMBER THE ADIGE... "If you ain't spent it, you made it!" Just be sure to consider/weigh your time and efforts versus potential tax savings.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at (252) 468-0660  his VoIP number. List subject as "Property taxes".

Rental Investor Forecast-Kinston/Lenoir County.
You own Rental Income Producing Property in Kinston/Lenoir County... You are exactly where you need to be with all or a portion of your investments.
LENOIR COUNTY... in particular Kinston within the ETJ, remains a "Rental Town". Families and Individuals have to have SHELTER (If you don't, you are homeless!) You have heard me speak of Maslow's Hierarchy (click the hyper-link for explanation). Along with FOOD and FUEL, everyone has to have SHELTER.
If you are interested in expanding your rental base or you are contemplating adding rentals as an income vehicle, we need to talk! Use the email link below and include subject as "Rental Investment".

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It's now SOONER... not LATER!

Some Properties with Central HVAC are still operating on older R-22 Refrigerant Systems. IF your rental leasehold(s) still utilize older R-22 HVAC systems... A word of caution, "Save Up Now" because the day will come when you will need to replace, and NOT 
repair. The cost of R-22 is climbing every day!

EPA announced July 2015 the following:

"You may continue to have your equipment containing R-22 serviced. The most important thing you can do is R-22 Refrigerantto maintain your unit properly. Appropriate servicing minimizes potential environmental damage and maintenance costs. It is important to select a reliable service contractor. Technicians must have EPA Section 608 certification to service equipment containing R-22. Request that service technicians locate and repair leaks instead of “topping off” leaking systems. This protects the ozone layer and saves you money by optimizing performance of your existing equipment. It is illegal to intentionally release any refrigerant when making repairs. Technicians must use refrigerant recovery equipment during service."
A 30 pound cylinder of R-22 is going for as much as $900! Prices will continue to climb until 2020 when EPA is expected to ban importation of R-22. Only recycled/reclaimed R-22 will be available. Don't count on much or the quality of reclaimed refrigerant.

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Bad Weather & Accidents
. How's your Hazard Insurance doing?

Quick Reminders:
1. VFMR does NOT require you carry Hazard Insurance on your Investment Property. But, it would be playing "Russian Roulette" to not have (at the very least) NCJUA coverage. We ONLY require you carry Liability Coverage (by your personal homeowner's policy or Business Liability Coverage).

2. You cannot bind hazard insurance in less than 30-days. So, if Lenoir County is threatened with a significant storm and your coverage is lapsed or non-existant and the threat is less than 30-days away, you are out of luck. You can only hope Kinston/Lenoir County does not get hit with a Fran, Floyd or Irene level storm. BUT, an Atlantic Hurricane for this area is like termites... Not a question of if, only a question of when... not the least of which, and more likely, plumbing damage or fire.

3. Liability Insurance... This is required. If you have changed insurance carriers or any other sort of change, send this information to VFMR.

4. "Why did I not receive funds this month?" The answer to that question and many more are contained within your Month-Ending Statement. Before you raise concern, please be sure you have reviewed your Statement as well as any attached Owner Note or Paid Invoice... But, if you still have a question after having reviewed your emailed Statement, do feel free to call or email your question.

5. CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING. R-22 is being rationed and the cost/pound is rising EVERYDAY. If your Property has the older R-22 freon, start putting back sufficient funds for the inevitable. As of 2019, NO R-22 refrigerant will be available.

IF you saw this coming, wouldn't it have been a great "score" to have bought 600 pounds of the stuff... You would be looking at a return of astronomical proportions!

6. DIRECT DEBIT for Rental Receivables.
We are not there just yet... software support by Key Property Management Systems (service provide for VFMR) has co-authored with Wells-Fargo this tool, BUT it is neither free nor inexpense. So, 
VFMR continues to encourage your Tenant(s) to avail themselves of their depository bank's Ofer this service, and so fanline Billpay services. All of the commercial banks ofr, it is free to customer checking.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "General Question".

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Dateline - December 2020

ProManagement by VFMR
Ready for Professional Management?

VFMR is ready for you. Here's what the Property Manager considers:
1. VFMR manages 'Rent-Ready' Properties. If your Property is needing significant repairs or renovations, please know VFMR manages tenable Properties only. If your Property is occupied/rented, it likely meets or exceeds minimum requirements established by regulatory folks such as the local PHA, State and/or Federal regs. If it's minor "touch-ups", we can handle it or, at the very least, advise you. Let's do it!
2. "My Tenant is a problem. I'm tired of the excuses!" Okay... In 31-years as a professional Manager, I've been presented with more than a few problem tenancies. You might think you have to "clean up the mess" before you can hire VFMR. In most cases, that is not necessary as VFMR is a seasoned Risk Management Agency. If the Tenant is the problem, you are exactly where you need to be. Waiting for the problem to be solved BEFORE bringing VFMR on-board is contrary to what VFMR can and will do for you + You will likely waste/lose more of your money. Let's do it!
3. VFMR is dedicated to your success. To that extent and as one example... The Poster Campaign has and continues to "brand" VFMR as THE go-to location for quality residential housing...
Posters "move" throughout Lenoir County on all major thoroughfares! VFMR is dedicated!

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The "Broker from Hell!" story...

Idiot  "I have a broker managing my Property, but I am not happy... He's more interested in anything but my Property! What can I do?" That's easy... Fire him... Hire VFMR."
There is a LOT that goes into ethical, legal and professional Property Management. First of all, someone who manages real property for another (in North Carolina) must hold a valid Real Estate Broker's License. But, there's more to it than just the licensure. I could fill page after page of all the intricacies and details. BUT, you want your rental cash flow and without a bunch of problems or other concerns. Count
VFMR in on that! We want EXACTLY what you want. Let's do it!
"VFMR already manages a lot of Property for many Investors. Are you sure you have the resources, energy and time for my Property?" Heck yes! VFMR is kinda like the Marine Corps recruiting matra: VFMR is always "looking for a few good (Investor/Owners)". Let's do it!
"Okay. Nice words and pitch, Vernon. Can you deliver?" That's simple. If you want both accountability and reliability in a Property Manager, you are exactly where you need to be. There is no other place, person or entity in this service area that can truly say it and mean it. Let's do it!
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660  
his VoIP number. List subject as "Management Inquiry".

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Dateline - December 2020

VFMR recommends Growth!
Ready to acquire more? Looking to trade? Time to par down a fixed asset?.
There has been discussions and planning for this Investor Tool. As with any initial "build" (some call these types of things Testing in Beta, you input and suggestions will be appreciated!
So how do you decide? What makes a Property desirable to the Investor? (YOU!)
1. Use Your Formula. There are more than a few ways to determine viability of a rental asset. Cash-On-Cash; Gross Rent Multiplier; Capitalization... General Rule of Thumb - Requirement = positive cash flow. As of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, a Landlord/Real Estate Investor cannot use losses from a passive income generator (Rental Property) to reduce Adjusted Gross Income. Hey, I'm not a tax professional! Ask your tax accountant/CPA if this is correct... Bet he/she says "Yes".

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Who the Heck enjoys paying taxes?
OR put another way...
How to reduce payouts to "Uncle Sugar", A.K.S. - IRS.

Hint: Following is all about Schedule C Income!

Are you under 50-years old? [You ask yourself, "Why does Vernon ask that?"... What was that movie title? No Country For Old Men?] If you own traditional IRAs, you are making practically nothing on that money! Consider establishing a self-directed Real Estate IRA. A few Investors represented by 
VFMR have done just that... Remember, everyone needs a roof over their head; otherwise, they are homeless! Using the right acquisition formula, and professional management to keep you freed-up from the nuts and bolts so as to make more $$ elsewhere, converting a portion of your retirement portfolio into a Self-Directed Real Estate IRA can make a big and positive difference. Check it out.
Go to Kiplinger's Online Info for this IRA.

Owner's Trading Post...

VFMR always has several Landlords who are interested in entertaining a sale of certain real estate assets -OR- acquiring more. Let's cut to the chase... Here is a current list of rental leaseholds offered FOR SALE. Sorry... No Owner-Occupant Listings. If you need that kind of brokerage, I can certainly refer you to the best... All efforts by 
VFMR are directed at Landlords. I deal with folks that either make money with rental leaseholds -OR- Seasoned/New Landlords who seek grow/expand or just jumping in.
Want more info? Got a question? I'm all about that. Just use the Email link below and send me your questions, comments or other!
Disclaimer: I am not a CPA nor do I have degrees in accountancy. Since the Federal Tax Code is more than a few volumes thick, you should already be using a good and aggressive Certified Public Accountant to plan ways to safely save your hard-earned money by avoiding needless taxes.

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Dateline - July 24, 2015
Single-Property Accounts with an Owner Reserve.
 There have been several instances where there was an imminent need for funds, e. g. - Tenant failed to pay the rental which required Superior Court Filing Fee and Sheriff's Service Fee. In those instances where there was no escrow, your Agent had previously been able to advance that Owner Account by a transaction called "Due Agent" (Agent took its own funds and deposited those into the Trust Account covering the expense... which was repaid by the Tenant curing Breach/Paying the fee, collected from the "former" Tenant's Security Deposit or repaid upon direct request to the Owner). That practice has been abolished by the Real Estate Commission as a form of co-mingling (the mixing of personal/company funds with Trust funds). As much as we consider that type of transaction to be kosher, it just cannot be conducted.
An email was sent in June (2015) to all Owners of single-property accounts stating $200.00 would be held in escrow (an Owner Reserve) so as to meet any immediate/eminent issue which required funds. Now, one might simply say, "Hey, if you need some funds for this-or-that, just send me an email or give me a call." Sounds simple, right? Wrong. :( The need is always "right now". It is impossible to hold up the entire calendar while an Owner sends the necessary funds.
The Owner Reserve is just that... Owner funds held for emergency/gotta-do-it-now situations.
UPDATE 11/2017. Agreement for all Owner Accounts include the Owner Reserve provision [was effective 01/2016].
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660
his VoIP number. List subject as "Reserve/Escrow".

Generally speaking, escrow for calamity or other shortfall is unncessary with Owner Accounts containing multiple occupied leaseholds (as there is normally an available cash flow if an urgent need arose).

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Dateline - July 24, 2015.

Market Conditions for Kinston/Lenoir County Service area.
There appears to be some movement to positive announcements of recent. You may have seen this news...
Kinston City Council offers Lease to the Texas Rangers (MLB) farm league program to commence with the 2017 Baseball season. The deal is pending approval by the Carolina League who governs the "who and where" of professional baseball in the Carolinas.
Lenoir Community College announces expansion of its robotics program (aimed at providing educational base for manufacturing jobs using computer programming skills, i.e. - Robotics).
Rumors of Business announcements exist... We are told there will (hopefully) be an annoucement of a new manufacturing placement in Lenoir County... We are also told the Dupont Sonora Plant is nearing completion of a major facility expansion which should add a few more jobs to the local economy.
Kinston/Lenoir County needs meaningful jobs to bring in both capital and resurgence of value to the local service area. One or both of the latter means greater value for the Investment Property Owner's holdings as well as a renewed opportunity to command higher rents. As changes occur, you can look for your Property Manager to react accordingly for your interests.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Market Conditions".

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Dateline - July 24, 2015.

"What can I do or What should I NOT do?."
There is alway a good answer to an investment strategy. We are all familiar with "Buy Low. Sell High" plan... It's a good one, albeit a rather simplistic approach that applies mainly to liquid assets (cash, common stocks, etc). But, it does not adapt well when it comes to real estate investments. Here's a quick take on several scenarios:
1. Property is held "in fee" (don't owe a bank). Stay put! You are in the "catbird's seat". If you cash out in this market climate, you will most certainly be on the losing end of an investor sale... But for argument's sake, you decide "What the heck, I'll just take the loss". If you take the likely net proceeds and invest it in a non-real estate vehicle, what kind of return would you likely get? 4% 7%? Maybe 9%? The odds are extremely good, your return would be significantly LESS than providing a rental housing. Hey, remember... Kinston's leaseholds are 66% rental! Kinston is a rental leasehold community. THAT is very good for you.
2. Cash Flow is positive (green). Same thoughts apply, even if you owe a bank a monthly payment. If the investment is "working", best to remain in the game.
3. Someone writes you a letter "I'm buying houses/rentals, call me". You can send me the letter and I'll respond for you... Your Property is an actively managed leasehold. But, if this interests you, reasonable value (to you) is very likely not available from this type of solicitation. I do know of a few folks who are taking the "shotgun" approach in Kinston and Lenoir County... What I mean by "shotgun" approach is: If you put out enough hooks with worms, a fish will likely bite. The "hooks and worms" are cheap to this type of speculator as the only thing it takes is a little time searching tax records for absentee ownership, a First Class postage stamp, copier (reasonable quality so the letter looks personal) and someone to answer the phone. I will say it, but in a different way... The ONLY reason to sell a Property held "in fee" or otherwise showing a profit should be characterized by the word "catastrophic" (the Owner/Seller has to have money at any cost... which will always result in a very poor return).
4. The Tenant says "Can I buy my house?" Your answer would be either "yes" or "no". What do they say? Anything is for sale if the price is right. We have this issue covered in our agreement... The Property is not for sale, but if the Tenant approaches my office with this question, I will certainly let you know. If the Tenant were to contact you directly (which should not happen, but...) do not discuss any potential terms or other particulars. I am your Property Manager and I am a licensed Broker... The Laws and Rules governing real estate contracts do not preclude a private Owner selling his or her leasehold(s) without Broker representation. But, there are State Statutes which do govern real estate transactions which can be unknown or misunderstood by non-licensees. Regardless of the situation, I represent your interests and anything outside of the normal monthly management... You should not hesitate one-minute. Call me.
5. Property is not producing a positive cash flow. Okay... On face, this is not good. There is not a simple answer. Yes, a "green" cash flow is the goal. Your CPA may be telling you, "Hey, your Schedule C Property/Properties are doing well!"! Sometimes, the negative cash flow works... But, a good Certified Public Accountant is the best judge for the performance of your estate (Tax Laws are in constant flux, so even if you think your investment portfolio is too small to justify a CPA's fee, think again). The question begs, "What do we do to get from 'red' to 'green'"? Generally speaking, vacancy loss and/or expenses would be where to look. If you are looking at an average that would be a deficit, you and I need to talk. I've been working with investors since 1984... Do the math. That's over 30-years. If I have not acquired a reasonable amount of knowledge beneficial to your decisions, I've been on another planet.
...These are a few topics I wanted to share... if you have some other items or ideas you think would be good to discuss and impart, let me know... I will try to get some good information your way each quarter.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Planning & Strategy".

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Archive from July 24, 2015.
Some "To Do's" for you.
What do you see in your mailbox near the end of August? Answer: Lenoir County Tax Invoice. Someone once said, "If you ain't spent it, you made it." So, let's talk about saving a few dollars which means increasing your bottom-line.
If you are local to eastern NC, Monday evening, June 1... If you were watching 9 On Your Side, you may have seen Angie Foster and myself addressing the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners. The Reporter did not catch my words when I directly addressed Mike Jarman, the County Manager... Mike had given a verbal report to the Commissioners the previous week that Property Tax revenue was "flat". As I have observed declining values since mid-2008, the market values continued a downward spiral for the following 5-years. Historically, Property Tax values (that is before 2008) have usually been below market value. What happened pursuant to the mortgage melt-down and recession was a hard and deep reversal of that old axiom.
So, what did Vernon say to the County Manager and Commissioners? "Property Tax values are down. If we do the math, it has the potential to be a significant loss to the City and County." I can get more detailed, but anyone (that's YOU!) has the right to present a challenge to the Valuation placed by the County. How? Value is determined by one of two methods: Comparable sales -or- Income Approach. But, the basis for the challenge must be from sales 2 to 3 years PRIOR to the current (2015) year. The valuation of your Property was established BEFORE 2008 (unless you have already lodged a challenge years prior). 2015 is the revaluation year. In 2012, values had been "tanking" since mid-2008. If you assume a loss of vlaue by, say 25%, this will add up. For example, your rental leasehold has a Tax Value of $100,000 prior to 2008, and it LOST value by the 25%, that's $25,000 that you reasonably not pay be assessed taxes. Tax rate is $1.49/hundred value for City+County. That comes to $372.50 net tax. That's $372.50 you can use against other operating expenses. Otherwise, that's $372.50 just tossed to the 4-winds! Again, if you don't spend it, you've made it! Right?
The latter is an example of what you could do to improve your bottom-line... In some cases, that savings could be more... or it could be less.
Now, if you are interested in a possible reduction in your rental property tax expense, you can do it by the INCOME APPROACH or (if they can be found), good and proper comparable sales of similar investment property. I'm willing to bet that over 80% of the rentals managed by my office would qualify for some degree of reduction in tax basis. My thought... Anything over 10% is worth the effort.
Let me know if you have questions, I'll be glad to answer them.
HAZARD & LIABILITY INSURANCES. Our Agreement does not require you to own any hazard insurance (against fire, wind, rain, etc). It does require you to own General Liability Insurance (against Clicker, Clacker & Cloak suing you because the Tenant's friend tripped over a tree root in the yard of the rental property). Both are important because you want to protect your investment as well as your own personal estate. Regarding the latter, Lawyers go "after the deepest pocket". Ask yourself: "If that tree root ended up in a Judgment for $500,000 against my estate...". I don't have to finish that thought. It would be horrible. This does not happen often (Thank Goodness!). But, it's kind of like termites in the Southeastern US: It is not a question of "if", but it is a matter of "when". Hint: That's why it is a very good idea to have a Termite Bond on your rental structures. When it becomes visible, a lot a damage has already been inflicted. Sorry... got side-tracked by termites!
Back to insurance... Most Owners have got their insurance Agents "trained" :)... Each renewal period, they have their Insurance Agents fax or email to my office a CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE or written verification of liability coverage through the Owner's Primary residence homeowner's policy. Either one is acceptible. Neither is not... So, just call your Insurance Agent and verify your Liablility Coverage and extend that coverage to VFMR. Your Insurance Agent gets its commission with your renewal... Let them do a bit of leg-work for you with this item.
More later... I'm a bit overboard, but that's me!

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Shopping for a Property Manager? You've come to the right place!  
Revised 11/2017.
Property ManagerQUESTION:  Why do you need (this) Property Manager?
ANSWER: Two primary reasons.

* Resources. V F M R is not just Vernon Foster. Vernon's a pretty big deal, but add to the equation: Full-time/Knowledgeable Staff; Hand picked and seasoned repair vendors (at prices the individual cannot command); "Insider" contacts and influence; Dynamic exposure for your investment property; A committment to constant and positive improvements in the management of your Property; over 60-years of combined Property Management experience and knowledge; accessibility (You have a question or need? We are available to you.); Risk Management approach and more...

* Time. What is your time worth? What does it cost you to self-manage or be affiliated with a "mixed agenda" service (remember, V F M R does not sell insurance, provide investment counceling (except when it comes to your property), build houses or run a typical List/Sell brokerage. Also, consider your "emotional equity" which can and does come into play dealing with Tenant issues. V F M R will free up your time for other productive endeavors.

Consider This. For the period of September 2013 to March 2014, VFMR has procured (leased) over $30,000 in monthly gross rents for its Owners. This equates to "bankable" investment value of over $363,000 (Annual Gross Rent Role). The numbers speak volumes... this is just a two-quarter "run", folks. Vernon Foster and VFMR want you to work with you. Email or Call Vernon. He's glad to answer your questions and excited for the opportunity.

NEED TO KNOW. It is important for you to know, Property Management is a full-time endeavour. This is the reason for the above statement. Collecting and accounting to you for the rents due you is just a single-facet of the mission. There are more: Availability of the Manager and its Staff to both Owner and Tenant Tenant's confidence in the Manager and its Staff, constant and proactive revision of management methods and tools Maintaining, nurturing and adding positive relationships with any and all who affect the mission - City of Kinston Customer Services, offices of Clerk of Court and specifice Judges, the Sheriff and Police Departments and its key contacts, Repair Vendors as true assets,North Carolina Real Estate Commission Legal Staff, the Tenants themselves, and more Property Manager's personal observations for each and every rental Property Property Manager's personal contact with the Tenants Anticipating needs and potential risk of the physical leaseholds as well as laws, rules and regulations affecting risk Streamlining of the information flow between all of the above Understanding of the Manager that the success of the mission goes WELL beyond any idea of "9-5".
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Management Inquiry".

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VFMR is not the (typical) LIST-SELL BROKER.  
Successful management offices "stay the course". If broker/manager is looking at profit centers unrelated to your needs, I consider this to be a conflict of interest. Add to this... the broker/manager who has its own rental property mixed in with you rental property... Now, that really is a conflict. Your needs and those of your tenancies could take a back seat to a particular Broker's goals. The dedicated management office is to care for its Owners and their Tenants. Those interests must be first -and- last. Property Management is a service-oriented profession. So, Vernon Foster Management & Rentals, LLC "VFMR" is dedicated to "just you". IF there will be any brokerage activity, it will be directly related to the needs and goals of investment property, i.e. - 1031 exchange, acquisition of new rental property by an Owner, divesting of existing rental property, Contract for Purchase in a management relationship. One other way to assess my reasoning, a typical Sales Agent office that "side-lines" some rentals would "water down" the ability to effectively manage... worse yet, not very experienced with the risk-management required of a seasoned Property Manager.
When you call, we know why
We do not have line-extentions saying "Press 1 for sales, 2 for insurance, 3 for 'Tom, Dick or Harry'."
You do get "
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text to
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List Subject as "Question for VF".

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Approach? Short-term vs Long-term.
Each Owner's approach to their rental leaseholds varies. Some folks check "every 'i' and cross every 't'", while others take more of a "cash" approach to the investment. As your Property Manager, I will assume the latter. Too little information is a problem... Too much information is never a problem. Strategic planning is important. Older structures do require more attention and planning for future needs. Protecting the viability of the structure as an income producing tool does allude to that dreaded word "expenses". It is inevitable that paint peels and components wear. I will be periodically communincating with each Owner as to scheduling and planning. This will reduce costs in the long-run. Asset Management is not in the managers written job description, but "Vernon Foster" is telling you now. it just got added!

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Key Strategy... "Keep it Green". Who wants to show a loss (in any business endeavor). Remember, as a Real Estate Investor (Landlord, if you will), IRS automatically considers your Profits (or losses) to be the result of "passive participation". It is my understanding, passive losses cannot be passed to/against 1040 income [all this stuff has to do with Sole Proprietorship (Ownership is not a LLC or corporation). The adage "If it ain't green, it ain's worth it" has great merit. If you are trying to figure out how to save paying taxes, that's a GOOD THING. If you get a tax refund... OMG!!! If you are paying taxes, you are making $$$. THAT'S a GOOD PROBLEM. Back to the question about "pass-though"... I am not a tax authority, but someone told me if you have some level of discretionary decision-making such as authorization of an expense greater than $149.99, you can consider yourself as Active Participant which would allow you to pass-through losses from Schedule C to your 1040 Gross Income (to reduce your overall tax burden). BUT AGAIN... No one wants to use losses as a business model. This should be either non-existent or exceptionally rare. How's it go? Be happy and pay Uncle Sugar his due. :-)
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Planning".

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Revised 11/2017.
REPAIRSContractors & Repair Expense.
A lot of contractors and associated repair services "love" to "hookup" with a management company, for obvious reasons. There are specific requirements of ANY such vendor dispatched to rental property, some of which are: Contractor's Business Liability Insurance coverages, promise of reduced or very competitive pricing, observation and initiative as an additional layer of risk management ("eyes & ears"), "go when I say go", Contractor's warranty of the finished job, and more. As the vast majoirty of our Owners utilitze this service, do know there is an agreed limit on VFMR's  discretionary actions. As always, repair instructions from you, the Owner, is "fluid". At any time, you are certainly free to conduct these types of repairs independent of VFMR within the bounds of the Lease, HUD HQS and/or governing law.
PENNYYou pay this management company not one extra penny for this service. It is both prudent and reasonable to allow coverage for "normal and necessary" incidents. If ever you have a question regarding any repair or its cost, I want to hear from you.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Repairs OR Cash Flow".

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Revised 11/2017.
Okay, by my own volition, "VFMR is the best!" But, being "top dog" requires continuous learning and committment to the mission. Add to that, your comments, observations, suggestions are needed to gauge the current efforts as well as make good modifications..... Tenants are utilized in the same fashion. So, periodically let me know. Also, I will be sending you emails with ideas for your feed-back.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Feedback for You".

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Archive from 11/2017
STATEMENT FORMAT and other changes.
You either love it or hate it! If you are reatively new to this reporting method or just occasionally dig in a bit deeper, it is an Accountant's style of reporting. Yep, takes a bit of getting acquainted, but it will provide the Owner great tools for analysis of your rental property performance.
Two recent issues/questions have come up:
1. Why are there two "CASH FLOW" lines, but the figures are different?
2. Why is MY deposited funds not the same as the (first line) CASH FLOW?
It is a question of semantics. The use of the descriptive tilte CASH FLOW in the two locations IS confusing.
The first CASH FLOW line represents not the actual flow of funds between VFMR and the Equity-Holder (real live person or entity), but PERFORMANCE. This is ONLY stating the current month and year to date PERFORMANCE of the Account. At this point (location on the Statement) we are NOT talking about "cash".
The second CASH FLOW represents the actual/physical flow of "cash" (funds, if you will) between VFMR and the Equity-Holder (You... or the Entity you own). THIS CASH FLOW is the amount paid from one Party to the other with the net monthly amount being the actual cash/funds sent into the Equity-Holder's depository bank account.
I have requested VFMR's software provider make two line Title changes to clear up what is a bit vague. This change should be effective with the November 2017 Monthly "ACCOUNT" Statement.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Monthly Statement".

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Archived from May 2018

If you have any real property taxes unpaid/outstanding for any prior tax year, it is VERY important you understand the followings:
  1. Assessed tax values were recently "hammered" (many reductions) as result of the 2017 Revaluation. An unfortunate reflection of Property Values which were lowered resulting from the 2008 Recession... which still adversely affects Lenoir County). This means LESS tax income for Lenoir County and Kinston governments. This puts a LOT more emphasis on the collection of past due taxes. You better pay up!
  2. The recent Lenoir County election ballot presented voters with the option to add a .05% tax increase to off-set the loss of Property Tax income. This initiative was voted down... "No".
  3. A sign of growth... or lack thereof... Lenoir County has been placed in TIER 1 IMPOVERISHED Status by NC Department of Commerce. It means what it means. This designation did/does open the door for State funds to be received by Lenoir County for operation of the local government (schools, essential services, etc.).
  4. VFMR is not responsible for Owner's Real Property Taxes. It is one of the Owner's cost of operation. Unfortunately, we have recently seen several Owners get very concerning Notices from the Lenoir County Tax Assessor. Do know, the "Tax Man's" Authority is both wide and sweeping. It can cause a lot of problems. This is the first year I have seen tax liens and garnishment letters for the preceding year, and for amounts as little as $30+/-... If you were a few days late and your tax received a penalty and/or minor interest, LOOK OUT!! They will take your Cash Flow!You can and will get hit with a Lien Notice, Garnishment of Wages, Garnishment of Bank Accounts and/or the threat of Tax Foreclosure. Guess what the County Attorney charges to write you a "nasty gram"? Try $1,200 for an outstanding 2017 tax invoice. No friendly reminders...Foreclosure Sale is very possible!The Lenoir County Tax Assessor is going through the alphabet... Looks like they are on about the letter "G" as of a few days ago. Of course, that's just supposition on my part.
  5. The vast majority of these situations are simply innocent error, but like I said, no more gentle reminders. Folks, it's HAMMER DOWN! The local governments need the cash, so BE VERY CAREFUL and do NOT get hit with penalty, interest, attorney fees or worse.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660  his VoIP number. List subject as "Lenoir County Taxes".

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Revised 11/2017
If you are considering VFMR for Property Management, I am really excited to be able to provide this serivce. The servicing bank (Select Bank, Goldsboro, NC) has been really proactive in supporting the ACH. The availability of funds (for the owner) are now PDQ... no "snail mail" delay as well as faster access to deposited funds. Most of the larger banks will be "second banking day", but you can check with your bank for their specific policy as to "funds availability". Your Statement will also have attached any invoices for repairs. Those invoices will be the scanned image. I suggest you make a folder on your computer and name it "MONTHLY STATEMENTS". If something ever happens to your computer files, not to worry as I will have the identical file archived on my end.
For Assistance from Vernon -> Call or Text at
 (252) 468-0660 
his VoIP number. List subject as "Bank Deposits".

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Posted 01/28/2021
Covid or Fancy Cold!

Your Residential Leases: Fact, Fiction or Excuse
Vernon Foster, Property Manager
A message to Landlords considering management by VFMR as well as info to our represented Owners.

  • If you are experiencing vacancy losses due to Covid-related claims, you are not alone. I have received calls from multiple Landlords (not in agency with VFMR) asking me what I am seeing and what can they do to "stop the bleed".
Short Answer: "An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Just as the case with the Mortgage market melt-down in 2008, the signs were there. Those who "read the 'tea leaves'" saw that one coming. There's not a tinker's d&*%$ anyone can do anything about valid claims. The election of 2020 is past and Executive Orders (Governing by fiat ) is the "flavor of the day".
  • If you are one of VFMR's represented Landlords, you will be pleased to know that these edicts have affected only 1.5% of all the active tenancies managed by VFMR in behalf of its Owners/Landlords.

Why so few?
Folks, it all goes back to "An once of prevention~". Executive Orders mandated by Governor Cooper as well as the Federal Government (through the CDC) are invitations for tenants to ignore the Lease terms, but providing no help or assistance to the Owner/Landlord, who cannot simply ignore
Pay Up!the expenses and payments it must make shorting its other rental proceeds or other reserves or worse yet, from its 1040 income. No assistance or consideration whatsoever is given the Owner/Landlord/Investor. You are expected to "take it on the chin"!

Please do not misinterpret what I am saying. Yes, there will always be some individuals who will need government assistance as they are incapable of coping with life's challenges.
I am saying the (apparent) willingness to surrender personal responsibility to "Big Brother" is a mistake. That's a rather broad statement which can be applied to many of our problems. But, the best way to consider  this view?...... If you are not familiar with THE UNCOMMON MANby Dean Alfange (a 20th century academic Professor, and a democrat), do select the link to read the poem. You are welcome to share this link with any and all!
This will fully explain my attitude and position.

Not much else to add... Please know 
VFMR, nor Vernon Foster, intend any political statement. We all have issues and concerns to which we must give thoughtful consideration and then respond based upon the best available information and facts in order to adapt to any new environment. What's the USMC's matra? Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.

IF you are represented by 
VFMR, you are already in the right place. If you are self-managing or you have management who operates under the philosophy of "What happened?!", you are well advised to consider VFMR as your next best move.
"Welcome" to VFMR!
  • "People can be divided into three groups: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened." 
  • John W. Newbern/ Nicholas Murray Butler


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Kinston NC Home Rentals Source

"Good Property rents quickly! Please do not delay!"
VFMR offers quality rental homes Down East!

2803 W. Vernon Ave., Suite D, Kinston NC 28504
2803 W. Vernon Avenue, Suite D... Offices of VFMR
Office: ( 252 ) 522-2803 Fax: ( 252 ) 558-1530
Hour of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9-1 & 2-5
Vernon Foster has set the "Gold Standard" for Property Management!
does business in accordance with
 FAIR HOUSING LAWS     and     FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACTS.Fair Housing Act... VFMR is a complaince office.FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT... VFMR is a compliance office.

This site is under constant revision so as to provide YOU with the very best Real Estate Rentals Services available for Kinston, Lenoir County and neighboring counties. and all contents of this URL are RESERVED and PROTECTED. Owner, Vernon F Foster and Vernon Foster Management & Rentals, L.L.C. reserve all rights to text, graphics and images. You may download for personal use. Any commercial use, in whole or in part of any text, graphics or images is strictly forbidden.
Copyright 2012-2020

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