PITTSBURGH, PA – Arbors Management, Inc. is excited to announce that they are the new management agent of the Eva P. Mitchell building in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as of May 24th, 2022. The property is located at 7113 Mary Peck Bond Place, Pittsburgh, PA, conveniently close to Lincoln Park, Highland Park, the Allegheny River, downtown shopping, and so much more. The Mitchell building, which was originally the historic Lemington Center built in 1883, is an affordable housing complex designated for elderly and persons with disabilities with 81 one bedroom efficiency units.
“We are very excited to be working with Eva P. Mitchell to continue the important work of providing affordable housing to the residents of the city of Pittsburgh,” said Christopher Wagner, President of Arbors Management, Inc. Pittsburgh has always been a lively and welcoming city, and has only grown in popularity over the years. “It’s no secret why people are moving to Pittsburgh left and right,” Christopher continued. “It’s an incredibly diverse city with plenty to offer for everyone who calls Pittsburgh ‘home,’ as well as visitors.” With plenty of public transportation, parks, shopping, grocery stores, and entertainment around every corner, the opportunities for the residents of Eva P. Mitchell and Pittsburgh alike are endless.
Beginning in 1982, Arbors Management, Inc. has built a portfolio of over 4,000 residential units with a large majority in the affordable housing segment across Western PA and West Virginia and continues to grow. The team at Arbors Management is looking forward to building a lasting relationship with the community at Eva P. Mitchell.
Read the article online here, or read it in print in the Pittsburgh Business Times on July 8th, 2022.
If you’d like to learn more about how Arbors can help you manage your property, please contact us.
By: Brady Merkle, Regional Operations Manager, and Michelle Cherup, Property Manager at Carmichaels Arbors
Welcome to Carmichaels Arbors!
Carmichaels Arbors is a beautiful community consisting of 76 garden-style apartments. We have 16 buildings spread over four acres with sidewalks leading to the front door of every apartment. Every resident has their own patio and garden area where they plant beautiful flowers and vegetable gardens. Property grounds are meticulously maintained by onsite staff all year round. The community is tucked away in a quiet area of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, just a few blocks from the quaint town circle and necessary stores, banks, and restaurants.
Carmichaels, PA is a small borough located about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA and approximately 30 miles southeast of Washington, PA. Notable places to visit near Carmichaels include the Skyview Drive-In Theatre and Thistlethwaite Vineyards. Cedarwood Apartments, another property managed by Arbors Management, is only one mile away from Carmichaels Arbors.
What makes Carmichaels Arbors most special are the residents. They are a friendly group that care for and watch out for one another. When the weather is nice, you’ll see big smiles and hear joyful laughter coming from our beautiful courtyard in the middle of the complex. Residents also gather in our charming community room to play cards and bingo, and to have the most fun and festive holiday parties. Those of us who get to work and live at Carmichaels Arbors are very fortunate to be a part of such a special community!
Did You Know?
Carmichaels Arbors is a Project Based Section 8 Housing community and became so after its construction in 1978. Our affordable apartments are designated for the elderly and persons with disabilities.
The community room is a great place for residents to socialize with their friends and neighbors. The community room is used for hosting all sorts of events including cards/bingo, birthday and holiday parties, and a monthly Library Program. It even has a computer station open to the residents!
The property is almost entirely smoke-free, but we do still have a central designated smoking section for residents to utilize.
A Look Inside Our Homes
Our 1-bedroom garden-style apartments have private entrances and plenty of space to make a cozy, welcoming home!
About the Manager: Michelle Cherup
My professional career started as an Administrative Assistant at Howard Hanna Real Estate. After working there for several years, I decided it was not for me. After I had my son, I decided I wanted a job closer to home, so I got a job working for a small property management company called Dentino Agency in California, PA, which managed housing for college students. The owner encouraged me to get my Real Estate license. While working there, I found that I really liked the property management side of real estate.
After working a couple of other positions, one wonderful day, I saw the Property Manager job posting for Carmichaels Arbors and Arbors Management. I immediately applied, as the property was only 15 minutes from my home. I had my interview with Paul Lingenfelter; we hit it off from the moment I met him and the rest is history. To me, working at Carmichaels Arbors is a dream job; I love the property, my co-workers, and especially the residents.
My husband and I love to travel to new places. He won’t fly but that’s okay because he will drive anywhere. Places we have traveled to in the past are San Antonio, TX, Memphis, TN, Boston, MA, Cape Cod, MA, Orlando, FL, Key West FL, Pensacola Beach, FL, Nashville, TN and we have been to Ocean City, MD, Myrtle Beach, SC and the Outer Banks, NC.
We are excited this year to be traveling to Key West, FL again; we are stopping at Savannah, GA on the way down for a few days and Daytona Beach, FL on our way back. Every month we try to go somewhere for a weekend trip. Some of my favorite weekend spots are Deep Creek, MD and Annapolis, MD where the seafood is delicious. My favorite place we have ever been is Key West, FL, and we are so excited to be going back this July. I have a feeling it will be hard to leave, so if I don’t return, you will find me selling straw hats on a corner in Key West!
My husband Jim and I are high school sweethearts, the old football player/cheerleader story. We have been happily married for 35 years this coming October. We have one son, Austin; he is 25 and we are very proud of him. We also have a silly grand-dog named Willie Nelson who we adore. I am truly blessed with the life I have!
Interested in Carmichaels Arbors?
If you’re interested in filling out an application or learning more about Carmichaels Arbors and all we have to offer, please take a look at our property page or contact property manager Michelle Cherup at 724-965-7111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Kind of Fees Can I Expect From Arbors Management?
Every property management company has a different way of working and a different way of charging management fees.
For example, you might hire a management company that charges one flat rate, or you might find a property manager who charges separately for every service that’s performed.
At Arbors Management, we have three all-inclusive fees. We do not like to piecemeal our costs, and we don’t have an upcharge on our maintenance services.
Today, we’re talking about our three fees upfront and what all you can expect when you work with us.
These fees are also similar to many of the fee structures you’ll find with property management companies in and around Pittsburgh.
Leasing Fees in Pittsburgh
Our leasing fee is the equivalent of one month’s rent, meaning the first month of rent that we collect for you will pay for our leasing services. It’s a one-time fee that’s paid at the beginning of the lease.
This fee covers everything involved in finding and placing a great resident, including:
- Marketing your property
- Showing your property
- Rent pricing
- Preparing the property for rent
We’ll also handle the application process and screen each resident thoroughly and in compliance with the fair housing laws.
Once we’ve approved a resident, we’ll take care of:
- Collecting the move-in funds
- Conducting a move-in inspection of the property to document its condition
- Executing the lease agreement
Management Fees in Pittsburgh
Then, you’ll have the monthly management fee, which is typically 9 percent of your monthly rent.
The management fee can differ depending on a few different factors:
- How many units the property has
- If we will need to employ onsite staff
- How many total properties we’re managing for you
- How much those homes are earning
- The neighborhoods in which those homes are located
Your management fee will come directly out of the rent we collect from the residents. It includes everything that’s covered in our management services, from lease enforcement to inspections to maintenance.
The management fee also covers:
- Our resident and vendor communication
- Any notices that need to be served
- Our accounting and bookkeeping
- The portals we provide for residents and owners
Lease Renewal Fees in Pittsburgh
Our final fee is a renewal fee, which is a flat $250 charge that you’ll pay each time we renew a resident.
When you think about the cost of resident turnover and vacancies, it’s easy to see what a value $250 is.
We’ll work hard to retain your residents, and the renewal fee will cover our negotiation and signing of the new lease. It costs you a lot less than it would if you were paying a new leasing fee.
There is no single right way to charge management fees, but the most important thing is that the company you’re working with is transparent and honest.
The last thing you need as an owner and investor is to be surprised by extra charges, and it’s important to review your management agreement before you sign it.
Contact us at Arbors Management if you’d like to know more about our services and their costs. Our Portfolio Managers and Leasing Specialists would be happy to provide a personalized quote that’s based on your property and its unique needs!
By: Cindy Peterle-Harris, Director of Compliance at Arbors Management
Section 8 Housing: Section 8 Vouchers vs. Project-Based Section 8 Housing
It’s likely that you’ve heard of Section 8 housing, or its two subcategories, but do you know exactly what it is?
According to this article on www.hud.gov, the Section 8 Housing program is “the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.”
Oftentimes, there can be confusion regarding the Section 8 program, who qualifies for Section 8 housing, what it means for owners and their rental properties, and more.
Today, we’re going to try to clear up some of that confusion for owners and tenants by discussing Section 8 and breaking down the two housing programs – Section 8 Vouchers and Project-Based Section 8 Housing – that fall under that title.
Program #1: Section 8 Voucher Program
The first type of Section 8 housing is the Section 8 Voucher Program.
A Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is a type of housing assistance that will pay a portion of the rent that is charged on a unit.
The Voucher is awarded by the local Housing Authority to a qualified applicant and can be used at any rental property that accepts Section 8 Vouchers.
Who Qualifies for the Section 8 Voucher Program?
There are income and household composition requirements that must be met to qualify, but the applicant should contact the local housing authority for more information on those requirements.
Accepting Vouchers as a Property Owner
If you’re a single-family rental property owner, you can agree to accept these Section 8 Housing Vouchers if you so choose. If you do, you will receive all or some of the rental payment directly from the housing department every month.
Many rental property owners in Pittsburgh find this to be a good strategy because it’s guaranteed rent. You won’t have to chase down residents for late rent or missing payments because you know exactly where the money is coming from – a government agency.
However, even though your rent payment is guaranteed, there are still some hoops to jump through when you accept Section 8 Vouchers at your rental property.
Your property will have to undergo several different types of inspections. If there are any habitability issues, you’ll need to fix them right away – otherwise the Voucher program will not approve you for participation.
Additionally, there can be delays with rent payments, especially if there’s a government shutdown.
There can also be a difference in market rental values. With a market-rate property, you can set the rent at whatever you want; as long as the market will bear what you’re asking, you’ll get the rental price you ask for. But with a Section 8 Voucher, you are limited to what the Section 8 program determines is the acceptable rent rate for your property.
Does Arbors Management Accept Section 8 Vouchers?
Arbors Management will accept Housing Choice vouchers for the properties that have Low Income Tax Credits attached to them: The Meadows Apartments and 38 West Prospect Road in Washington, PA.
We do not accept Vouchers for our Project-Based Section 8 or PRAC (Project Rental Assistance Contracts) properties because there is already a deep subsidy attached to the unit itself. If an applicant has a Housing Choice Voucher and moves to a Project-Based Section 8 or PRAC unit, the applicant will lose the Voucher.
When looking for housing with a Section 8 Voucher, please be sure to check with your leasing agent to see if the owner will accept a Housing Choice Voucher.
Program #2: Project-Based Section 8 Housing
Project-Based Section 8 properties have an agreement with HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) that HUD will pay a portion of the contract rent (the rent rate that HUD has established for the property) for qualified residents.
The resident will pay 30% of his or her adjusted gross monthly income and HUD will pay the difference between the rent paid by the resident and the contract rent on the unit.
Project-Based Section 8 Housing is a little bit different than the Voucher Program. In this case, the subsidy is attached to the property, not the person. So, funding is given out based on the property, not an individual person and their income.
Who Qualifies for Project-Based Section 8 Housing?
It all depends on the property!
Eligibility factors always include an income limit based on a percentage of the median household income. This income limit is set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It’s updated annually and the income limit increases for every household member living in the unit.
Other eligibility criteria include age or disability if the property is considered an elderly property, as well as number of persons that will be living in the household.
Finally, for a household to qualify for a unit in this program, the household must require at least one dollar of subsidy even if it is below the income limit for the property/household size.
The best way to discover the eligible criteria for a property is to contact the Property Manager and ask what the eligibility criteria are for it.
What Are the Differences Between the Two Programs?
While both programs provide “deep subsidy” assistance, the major difference between the two is that in the Housing Choice Voucher program, the subsidy is attached to the tenant not the unit, while in Project-Based Section 8 programs, the subsidy is attached to the unit, not the tenant.
In other words, a tenant who has a housing choice voucher may move to another location and still receive Section 8 assistance, but with a Project-Based Section 8 property, if the tenant moves he or she may not transfer the subsidy to another property.
What Are the Similarities Between the Two Programs?
For both Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Section 8 units, the tenant is required to provide income, asset and expense information on an annual basis. Rent will be adjusted yearly based on the information that is provided.
It is also important to note that despite differences in requirements for each program, the purpose of the two programs remains the same: to assist low-income families, persons with disabilities, and elderly by providing comfortable, safe housing.
There are two types of Section 8 Housing: Section 8 Voucher Program and Project-Based Section 8 Housing.
While both programs are meant to help low-income families, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, they do so in different ways. Section 8 Vouchers are attached to the tenant, while the subsidy for Project-Based Section 8 Housing is tied to the unit.
Section 8 can be a confusing topic, especially if you’re not dealing with the program on a daily basis. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d be happy to help you manage your Section 8 property or help you find an affordable place to call home.
By: Nicole Fandel, Marketing Specialist at Arbors Management
6 Renter Friendly DIY Projects to Make Your Rental Feel More Like Home
There are a lot of perks to renting: you don’t have to worry about home maintenance, you have more flexibility with moving, you’re not tied down by home ownership, etc.
But there are also some downsides to renting – one of them being the feeling that you can’t properly personalize the space or make it your own.
However, there are ways around this! There are renter friendly DIYs that are temporary, cost-effective, and won’t violate the terms of your lease or upset your landlord.
Here are 6 DIY projects that you can do as a resident to make your rental feel more like home:
1. Peel and Stick Backsplash Tile
Does your kitchen need a facelift? Something that is often overlooked but makes a world of a difference is backsplash.
Sounds permanent though, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be.
Yes, there is such a thing as temporary backsplash, and it can take a rental kitchen to the next level. All you have to do is select your tile, peel, stick, and you’re done!
Take a look at this tutorial to get an idea of what materials you need and how the finished product will look. Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did this project.
2. Make a Gallery Wall
Did you know that thousands of famous paintings are considered to be public domain, meaning that you can download high quality files of them for free online?
That’s right, you can find a ton of famous artwork online on websites like this and this and download it all for free, no strings attached. Find a high quality print service in your area, print the artwork at your dimensions of choice, frame, and hang!
To make things even more personal, why not add some of your own pictures into the mix? Pictures of friends, family, pets, anything that makes home feel like home.
3. DIY Artwork
Use an old piece of artwork you have or spend an afternoon at your local thrift shop browsing the aisles and see if you can find a cheap canvas that could use a new look. I’ll admit, this project may take a little more creativity than some of the others, but hey – minimalism is definitely in, so you don’t have to go too crazy!
Personally, using spackle and creating a textured piece is one of my favorite techniques to repurpose a canvas that I’ve seen lately. It’s a little messy, but the end result is totally worth it.
4. Revive Old Furniture with Contact Paper
If you’ve been using the same end tables or desks for a number of years now, it’s probably safe to say that they could use a little freshening up.
If you’re not familiar, contact paper is an adhesive, decorative paper that can be applied to a variety of surfaces and comes in an array of different patterns – granite, wood, marble, and more – there are a ton of high quality designs to choose from!
For just a little bit of money and a little bit of time, the results are more than satisfying – take a look at this blog post to learn more about resurfacing with contact paper.
5. Refresh Floors with Peel and Stick Tile
As we all know, everyone has different tastes and design preferences, even when it comes to things like flooring. Trends and styles come and go, but changing up something like flooring isn’t always that simple – but now, it can be!
Peel and stick tiles are a great way to bring new life to an outdated floor without ruining what’s underneath – a.k.a., a great temporary fix for renters looking for a change.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on what to do, check out this article on how one man changed the entire style of his kitchen with a few hours and some peel and stick floor tiles.
6. Create an Accent Wall with Peel and Stick Wallpaper
In order to keep things simple and appeal to a range of people, most rental houses/apartments stick with a very basic color scheme on the walls, oftentimes plain white or a very light neutral shade.
Because of this, it can feel like your space lacks character or individuality. However, there is a solution that doesn’t involve a paint can and an upset landlord: peel and stick wallpaper.
Peel and stick wallpaper is available in a ton of different colors and patterns, like regular wallpaper, and can completely change the feeling of a room. With a statement wall like this, both you and your guests will be more than impressed with how personalized your rental home can be.
All in All…
When it comes to personalizing a rental home or an apartment, people often feel stuck, limited, or like they are unable to really make a space feel like home without making major, expensive, permanent changes. But as you read above, that certainly is not the case!
As we discussed above, you can personalize you home as a renter in a variety of different ways:
- Peel and stick backsplash tile
- Creating a gallery wall with prints of artwork and personal pictures
- Creating your own artwork on thrifted canvases
- Using contact paper to liven up old furniture
- Cover up old flooring with peel and stick tiles
- Making an accent wall with peel and stick wallpaper
Even though these changes are temporary, it’s still a good idea to check your lease agreement and with your landlord to ensure that any modifications you make are acceptable. All of these changes are able to be reversed or removed, so make sure you leave your rental the way that you found it once you move out!
All of these projects can be done within a day or two with basic tools and actually are very cost-effective options. So, if you’re looking for fun, inexpensive ways to liven up your rental – you came to the right article. Happy DIY-ing!
By: Nick Griffith, Director of Conventional Housing at Arbors Management
What Exactly Do Property Managers Do?
Today, we’ll be speaking about a very simple question that has a complex answer: What exactly do property managers do? The way we see it here at Arbors Management is that property management can be broken down into two main categories – leasing and day-to-day management, and two sub-categories – accounting and compliance.
But, just as important as what property managers do, is what we don’t do; we’ll cover that, too.
How Do We Handle Leasing?
An important part of property management is getting your property leased to a quality renter. Here at Arbors, we believe that most problems in real estate investing can be solved by placing the right, high-quality resident into each property. We perform several types of screening in order to accomplish this; criminal, credit, income, landlord, sex-offender, terrorist, and pet screening, just to name a few.
In order for us to attract the best quality residents, we need to properly market your property by highlighting its features as well as pricing it appropriately.
A good property manager will look at the surrounding market and comparables to determine the best price to rent the property quickly while also giving the owner the best return on their money. We also handle all the inquiries and showings of the property, saving you a lot of time and money.
Once the property manager has found a qualified applicant, they should have a rock-solid lease to ensure that the owner is protected. Here at Arbors, we have a completely online lease signing process, making renting from us easy and efficient.
Once the lease is signed, deposits are paid, and move-in is scheduled, a good property manager will perform a move-in inspection to record the condition of the property at the time the resident moves in. We record the inspection with photos that we can reference again later when the resident decides to move out.
Speaking of inspections, routine inspections are important to ensure your property is well maintained. At Arbors, our leasing specialists perform an interim inspection several months prior to the lease expiration to ensure we know the condition of the property prior to renewing the lease. We share that inspection with our clients along with our recommendations so they can make the best decision for them.
Day-to-Day Property Management – What Does it Look Like?
After the property has been leased and the resident has moved in, we turn to our second category of property management: the day-to-day management.
Perhaps one of the most important items a property manager can do is collect the rent. After all, rent is what allows you to maintain the property and make a profit!
At Arbors Management, we provide several ways for residents to pay their rent; through a convenient online portal, by mail, by drop box at our main office, or by electronic cash payment at several convenient-store locations.
Money management is also a very important part of property management. A property manager will need to pay the expenses on your property, oftentimes from the rent that is collected and bill the residents for any appropriate expenses for your reimbursement.
Once all the expenses are paid, the property manager should have a way to get the investor their money. Here at Arbors, we do a direct deposit into your bank account at the end of each month.
Another aspect of property management is working directly with residents. On occasion, residents will have maintenance requests, emergencies, and general questions or problems while living at the property. These could range from leaky plumbing, heating issues, loss of employment, income changes, additions to their family, or neighbor disputes.
A property manager communicates directly with residents to solve these issues so that you don’t have to. Enforcing a lease can be difficult, so it’s the property managers job to walk the line between being compassionate while also enforcing the agreement. A good property manager should bring you solutions, not problems.
Addressing maintenance issues is another important part of property managers’ duty to maintain the value of your asset. Emergencies can happen at any time, day or night, and even on the weekends.
This is why a good property manager needs to have a plan on what to do when an emergency does happen. Here at Arbors we have a 24/7 dedicated phone number for maintenance emergencies and a network of contractors that can respond quickly in order to resolve any issue that might arise.
How Do Accounting and Compliance Come Into Play?
Two other categories of property management are accounting and compliance.
As an investor, you’ll want to see where your money is being spent and when rents are collected by your property manager. At Arbors, we have a full accounting staff that generates reports so that you can easily see the income for your property, expenses, and any invoices or bills associated with those expenses.
Transparency is important, but so is legal compliance! When renting out a property, there are a lot of laws, rules, and regulations that come with it. Your property manager should know the ins and outs of what is needed at the property to ensure you stay in compliance with these requirements to keep you protected. At Arbors, we have a compliance department that makes sure we cross our t’s and dot our i’s to make sure everyone is protected.
So What Don’t We Do as a Property Management Company?
Almost as important as what property managers do, is what we don’t do. From the information above, we can safely say property managers wear many different hats.
Even though we have many different roles, we are not tax professionals, attorneys, or debt collectors. Oftentimes a property manager can recommend a specialist in each of these areas. We may know a thing or two about each of these topics, but your property manager shouldn’t get involved in areas outside their expertise.
All in All…
The answer to the question “what exactly do property managers do?” is complicated. We discussed how a property manager should handle leasing, day-to-day management, and all aspects involved in those two main categories.
We also discussed that property managers should be transparent with your money through good accounting reports and remain compliant by staying up to date with rental property requirements.
While property managers wear many hats, as they should, they are not tax professionals, attorneys, or debt collectors.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of everything that property management encompasses.
If you have any questions about property management and how Arbors Management might help you with your property(ies), please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!