Find Real Estate Investment Tips That Work for You

Tips For Successfully Selling A Studio Apartment

Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Successfully Selling A Studio Apartment

If you are getting a smaller studio apartment ready to sell, there are some specific factors to incorporate when it comes to showing your property. This isn’t the time to try to hide the small size of your apartment; embrace it for what it is. Here are four tips to help play up the highlights a studio apartment might have to offer. 1. Play up the ‘Artist’s Loft’ Theme If you can stage a studio to look inviting for sleep, living, and work, singles and those on a budget will fall in love with the small space. While a space might be small, the size doesn’t have to take away from charm and function. Play up the space for those that might be working within their unit, but might not have a lot of money to invest into a property. 2. Feature the Area Instead of the Space If a studio apartment is located in the downtown area of a city or in an up-and-coming neighborhood, this can be used to sell a space. A potential buyer can get excited about coffee shops, bars, and cultural events that will be at their fingertips. The size of one’s living space doesn’t have to be the major pull for buying, and the area should be featured in advertising and flyers. 3. Note Amenities Within the Building Many studio apartments are part of an HOA or feature additional amenities that can make studio living worth it. If the building or community has a pool, serviced washers and dryers, or a mailroom for package drop off, know these features can sell a space. Play up the extra features that one just won’t get in a stand-alone home or a building with fewer units. 4. Future Income Property While many studio apartments require the space be owner-occupied for at least a year, after this point an individual might be able to turn their studio apartment into a rental. Keeping this as an income property in the future might be a reason to buy today. Play up your studio apartment for sale as a ‘starter home’ so that potential buyers will see this as the first step in their future as real estate owners. Trying to sell an apartment on the smaller side in your city might seem daunting, but every space has its own unique character that will make this perfect for the right buyer. Some might shy away from a studio apartment and insist on a one bedroom. If you can advertise this right, you might bring in some curious potential buyers who might change their minds once they are sold on a studio apartment’s...

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3 Things To Keep In Mind When Searching For A College Apartment

Posted by on November 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Keep In Mind When Searching For A College Apartment

Whether you are looking for a college apartment for the first time or the fifth time, it is important that you keep certain things in mind. Your circumstances change over time, which means your apartment needs may also change. If you take the time to really look into the apartments in the area and see what all of your options are, this allows you to find the best apartment for the best price. Since most college students aren’t rolling in cash, but still want to live somewhat comfortably, this is incredibly important. This article will discuss 3 things to keep in mind when searching for a college apartment.  Distance From College Campus If you are a college student that doesn’t have a car of your own, then your main focus is going to likely be on location. You want to move into an apartment that is either close enough to campus that you can bike or walk, or one that has close access to a bus or subway system. Living in an actual on-campus apartment would likely work out really well for you because you would already be on campus. However, you would want to be sure that you either found a job on campus, or one that was close by, so that transportation to and from that wasn’t an issue either.   Private Room Vs. Shared Room If you have shared a room your whole life, or if you are really wanting to save money, then you are likely okay with having a shared room. However, if you are someone who needs your privacy, then paying a bit more for a private room will help to keep you happy and sane in college. While some apartments offer only shared or private rooms, some of them offer a combination of the two. When viewing apartments on and near campus, just ask what the rates are for the private rooms and what apartments include them. This will help you to see where you can afford to live and still get what you want.  Married Vs. Single Student Housing While you may have known exactly where you liked to live when you were a single student, you may be completely clueless now that you are married. Most campuses have apartments on and near campus that are set aside for either single students or married students, however, some have somewhat of a combination. If you don’t want to live the young and single college life now that you are married, it may be a good idea to choose a married only complex or an apartment that is a bit further away from campus.  To learn more, contact a company like O’Neil Property...

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2 Things To Consider When You Co-Sign On An Apartment

Posted by on November 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Things To Consider When You Co-Sign On An Apartment

If a friend or loved one needs to rent a new apartment but can’t pass the credit or background check on their own, they may ask you to co-sign the new lease to help them out. But there are some things you should consider before you do so. The apartment complex may hold you responsible for the lease if your friend or loved one fails to pay their rent or keep up the property. Here are things you should be aware of if you co-sign the lease. Credit Problems If you help your friend or loved one rent a new apartment and they leave the lease early, it could affect your credit. If you don’t take over the lease or pay on it, an apartment complex can place the unpaid balance on your credit reports. To avoid this issue, sit down with your loved one or friend and discuss how they plan to pay for the apartment. In most states, renters must make two or three times as much as the rent before they qualify for an apartment. Apartment complexes set these types of guidelines to make sure consumers can make their payments on time. For your protection, it’s a good idea that you ask your friend or loved one about their income so that you can help them find an apartment they can reasonably afford. If the person is unwilling to share this information, you may want to avoid co-signing the lease. Although your loved one or friend’s income is private, it can become a problem for you if they can’t pay the rent once you sign the lease. But if the person understands the risk you face if they break the lease, they may be more willing to share their income information with you.  Legal Problems Renting an apartment is a legally binding agreement. As a co-signer, you become legally bound to the lease, even if your loved one or friend pays their rent on time. But if the person stops paying for the new apartment, the complex can take you to court in order to obtain the past due rent, court fees and other expenses associated with the lease. If the person does break their lease, you can continue the payments until the lease ends. You may also have the option of settling the past due rent without going to court. Sometimes, apartment complexes will accept several months of pay from a broken lease instead of the full amount owed. It’s a good idea that you ask the apartment complex about this option before you co-sign the lease. If you still want to help out your friend or loved one, consult with a real estate agency, such as Sterling Realty, for a list of available apartments in your area. The list may contain apartments that fit your friend or loved one’s...

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Three Questions To Answer Before Hiring Your First Property Manager

Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Questions To Answer Before Hiring Your First Property Manager

Branching out into an apartment complex or multiple multi-family dwellings can increase your real estate income, but it can also make your work load more heavy. This is why you may want to consider hiring a property manager. They can handle the regular day-to-day operations of your properties and tenants so you can focus on the bigger picture. The following are a few questions you need to answer before hiring your first property manager. Question #1: Do you need onsite help? An onsite manager has an office and keeps regular office hours on the property. These are typically for apartment complexes where you have many tenants making demands on the manager’s time. You don’t need an onsite manager for small properties with only a few tenants. For these, an offsite manager that tends to several of your properties, or a management company that handles your property and others, is a better option. Question #2: What do you expect from your manager? It’s up to you to define the job parameters of the property manager. Generally, they take care of finding new tenants, collecting rent, handling maintenance concerns, and dealing with tenant complaints or problems, such as an eviction. If you hire an outside management firm, they will likely offer you a package rate for these services or the ones that you desire. If you hire your own manager, you may determine what they are responsible for. As an example, you may prefer to interview new tenants on your own, so this will not fall under the responsibilities of the manager. Question #3: What are your maintenance needs? As a general rule, the property manager should have some independence when it comes to covering maintenance issues. The best way to do this is to give the manager a spending ceiling for calling in outside contractors to fix a problem. This way they can tend to minor issues quickly, but you also have some control so that spending doesn’t get out of hand. Another method is to have your own contracts with local maintenance services, like plumbers and electricians. Your manager will call in the contractor needed, they will survey the problem, and then they will call you with a quote. This way you have service contractors you trust onsite so you don’t have to worry about price gouging. It’s exciting when your real estate business becomes successful enough so that you don’t have to handle all the landlord responsibilities yourself. With a little planning, you can find the perfect property manager (like those at MGR Property Management Inc) for your...

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3 Ways To Downsize And Save Money In Retirement

Posted by on November 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Downsize And Save Money In Retirement

Are you retiring soon? Do you need reduce your expenses so you can enjoy a comfortable and stress-free retirement? While retirement is often an exciting event for many people, it can also bring big challenges. For example, you may have considerably less income in retirement, which means you may need to cut back on spending. Or you may wish to use your income on other things, like travel, meaning you may need to reduce everyday expenses. The good news is that with some planning and preparation, you can downsize in a way that still allows you to be comfortable and enjoy retirement. Here are three tips on how you can downsize: Lose the second car. If you’re married, you and your spouse have probably each had your own car for as long as you can remember. If you were both working or if one of you worked while the other stayed home, then it was likely that you each needed your own car. However, now that you’re both retired, you may want to ask yourself whether two cars are really necessary. Is it likely that you will both be out running errands or doing other activities separately? Given the amount of free time you each now have, could you stagger those separate activities so you can share one car? By eliminating a car, you can also eliminate a number of expenses. Those costs include car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance. That could take a big chunk out of your monthly bills. Reconsider insurance. You may also have big life insurance premiums that you pay every month. When you’re working, life insurance can be an important financial tool, as it can be used by your family to replace your income should you pass away. However, now that you’re retired, you likely don’t have any income from work. If you’re living off of your savings, pension, Social Security, or some combination of the three, consider what would happen to those income sources if you should pass away. If they will pass on to your spouse, think about whether you really need life insurance. Eliminating life insurance could save you a lot of money. Look at a smaller property. One of the biggest ways to downsize and save is to move into a smaller property. By getting out of your bigger home and into a smaller place, you can reduce your monthly mortgage or rent, taxes, property insurance, maintenance costs, and more. Plus, you may not have to put in the work to keep up with a big yard. One popular option for retirees is to rent a mobile home, like those at David McDonald Rentals. This is especially a good idea if you want to relocate to a vacation spot or a beach community. Rental mobile homes offer you enough space to be comfortable with affordable payments. Also, much of the yard work and maintenance may be covered under your rental contract. For more information, look for rental mobile home communities in your desired area. They can give you a tour and help you decide whether a rental mobile home is right for...

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The #1 Most Important Thing To Look For When Downsizing To A Smaller Rental Apartment

Posted by on November 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The #1 Most Important Thing To Look For When Downsizing To A Smaller Rental Apartment

Downsizing for more minimalist living is a huge movement in the U.S. right now. Eco-minded people see it as a chance to decrease their carbon footprint, but most people just want to save money with lower rent and less space to heat and cool. The one thing that is the most important to look for in smaller apartments in your area is wall space, because you are going to need it. Why Wall Space Is Most Important The ideal minimalist view of living is not as easy as it sounds. As hard as you try to rid yourself of non-essentials, you will need a place for things you cannot live without and storage space for seasonal and infrequently used items. If downsizing into a really tiny apartment, you may need space to store even your essentials. The best way to create space is by going up. Taking advantage of every square inch of wall space to go floor-to-ceiling with storage or display shelving is essential when moving a normal-sized life into an abnormally small space. Measure, Measure, Measure Take a tape measure and a list of your furniture measurements with you when you’re apartment shopping. Eyeballing an empty space can be deceiving and has left many people with furniture pieces that don’t fit. If an apartment you love will not accommodate those large pieces, it’s best to know that up front. Look for Large, Blank Walls Rooms with tall ceilings are harder to heat and cool, but they give you a lot more wall real estate to work with. A place with many windows may seem charming and bright, but windows take up valuable, usable space. For example, a large, blank wall can house a row of shelves to hold your books and collections, cabinets for storage, or even provide room for a loft bed. Go Vertical Instead of Horizontal Even tiny strips of wall are usable now, with furniture and accessory designers creating narrower pieces to fit into otherwise unusable spaces. For example, if there isn’t a wall wide enough in the living room to put a horizontal coat rack, look for a narrow vertical coat rack or simply hang hooks vertically on the wall next to the door. There are even roll-out kitchen pantries that fit between the refrigerator and the wall. Find Space for Your Artwork If you love framed art, you may be out of luck for wall space in a tiny apartment. Look for at least one wall large enough to create a gallery for your most beloved pieces. All the conventional rules of hanging art fly out the window in a small apartment. Think of setting large pieces on the floor or hanging pieces in unused space near the ceiling or alongside a window. Again, measuring is extremely important when thinking about art placement. Since floor space is at a minimum in a small apartment, maximal wall space is most important. Taller walls create more possibilities. Measurements and thinking outside the box are essential to fitting your possessions into your new apartment. With ample wall space, you can get creative with your vertical storage solutions, and you’ll be surprised just how much you can fit into your new, smaller...

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Recognizing And Rectifying The Dangers Of Lead Paint In Your Properties

Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recognizing And Rectifying The Dangers Of Lead Paint In Your Properties

As you look into acquiring and renting out properties, you need to be sure that your property management company handles inspections for lead paint. Since 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency has passed and enforced laws that obligate property management companies to inspect for lead in paint and not rent a structure that utilizes lead paint. Make sure that you stay on top of such matters, as you read on to learn more about the dangers of lead paint.  Children And Pregnant Women Are Most Severely Affected The people most affected by lead exposure are children and pregnant women carrying children. Since a child’s nervous system is still developing, any trace exposure to lead can result in anything from cognitive issues to seizures to death. In most situations, children come into contact with it from lead-based paint — which is why these paints are no longer used on buildings. Pregnant women can be severely harmed from lead exposure as well, and that harm can trickle down to the baby she is carrying. Lead Exposure Can Stunt Child Development In addition to severe issues, exposure to lead can create long-term developmental issues in children. They may suffer lifelong hearing issues, anemia, stunted growth and other such issues. The reason for this is that lead can have detrimental harm on just about all bodily organs. Children under six are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which is why parents must be vigilant in preventing this exposure at all costs. Understanding Signs Of Lead Exposure In Adults  While children are most harmed by lead exposure, exposure to lead can harm able-bodied adults just as much. Adults can experience issues with their kidneys, brain damage and a number of other toxic symptoms when dealing with products that contain lead. While any organ or bodily system can be affected by lead, 90% of this damage will be stored in your bones, where it can later be released into the bloodstream. If you are experiencing lead toxicity, you may experience symptoms such as hearing loss, seizure, constipation, difficulty concentrating, miscarriage and other issues. You will need to get your levels checked to make sure that you are not dealing with extremely harmful levels of exposure. This is why it is so important to stay abreast of governmental recalls of lead-based products so that you can act accordingly and respond if you happen to have come in contact with contaminated products. Consider these harmful effects and remember to always stay on top of inspections and the law. To find out more, speak with a business like Condominium...

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Top 4 Things You Should Do To Prepare Properties For Winter

Posted by on November 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top 4 Things You Should Do To Prepare Properties For Winter

With the winter season, quickly approaching it is important to make sure all your vacant properties have been properly winterized. In addition to your vacant properties, you also need to take care of a few of the properties that also have tenants as well. However, what exactly goes into the winterization of a home? Below you will be given a few tips that you should take this upcoming winter season that can end up saving you thousands of dollars. Gutter Cleaning This needs to be done to both homes that are vacant and those that are not. During the fall, your gutters can become full or even clogged. Full gutters can cause several different issues to a home during the wintertime. However, two of the main damages that can occur are improper draining of snow or ice. This can lead to water leaks to the roofs, creating the need for roof repairs before your home encounters water damage. Clogged gutters also give critters a place to stay warm, which gives them more reason to enter your home leading you to deal with pests on top of winter problems. Trim Trees During the winter season, any weak tree can be broken or damaged by ice, heavy snow, or winds. Therefore, you need to make sure any trees that have the potential of breaking are dealt with properly. Broken or falling limbs can cause damage to your home or vehicles if they are within range of these two. Trimming trees can also be taken care of during the spring cleanup of your property as well. Seal Cracks or Holes Though this is typically for empty homes, if your rented homes have this issue as well it will need to be cared for. This includes making sure you have caulked all water pipes as well as making sure all skylights and roof openings have proper weather stripping to prevent any drafts or leaks. Cracks and holes get larger over the winter creating more damage and openings for more pests to sneak in unannounced. Install Storm Windows and Doors If you have a newer home, chances are, you won’t have to deal with this issue. However, for those who own or rent older homes, chances are, you know how important it is to install these extra windows. Without these windows in place, your home is harder to heat, which in turns raises your heating bill dramatically. By installing these windows, not only do you save on heating bills but you also give your home an extra layer of protection. These are just four tips to help you prepare your property for the winter months ahead. Follow them and your home will be ready when the winter winds begin to...

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3 Security Measures To Put In Place Before Your Kids Stay Home Alone

Posted by on November 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Security Measures To Put In Place Before Your Kids Stay Home Alone

When your kids are old enough to stay home alone for a few hours, they may be excited by the opportunity for a little freedom and independence. You, on the other hand, may be worried about whether or not they are safe in the hours between when school lets out and the time you come home from work. Here are three security measures you can put in place to make sure your kids are safe when you aren’t home. Install Wireless Security Cameras Wireless security cameras give you the ability to check on your kids when you aren’t home. You can view your home on your smartphone or your computer to make sure that all is well in the home and that your kids are handling their chores and homework as instructed. Be sure to set a few boundaries, such as setting up a time window every day that you will check the cameras. This will make your kids feel a bit less like you are spying on them while still giving you the peace of mind you need to know your kids are safe. Install A Remote Alarm System The remote alarm system works with your cameras to help provide an extra layer of protection for your house. You can view the camera at your front door to see when your kids arrive home from school, and you can disarm the system so they can unlock the door and enter the home. You can also set up a perimeter alarm that can be activated after your children arrive home safely. This alarm won’t go off as a result of motion inside the home, but it will trigger if any doors or windows are opened without the use of your security pass code. You’ll get real-time data about anyone trying to gain entry into your home so you can take appropriate action. Install Keypad Locks Kids can lose or forget their keys, but a keypad lock can eliminate the need for a key at all. Your locksmith can set up the door lock so that each child has a unique pass code or you can share one for the whole family. When your children arrive home, they simply punch the numbers into the keypad to open the door. You won’t have to pay for replacement keys, and you can be sure that your kids will always have a way to get into the home. Creating a safe environment for your kids is important. Your locksmith can help you come up with unique solutions that keep your home and your children safe when you can’t be there to monitor them. Work together to create a security plan that works for your home. Click here for more info about locksmith...

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Property Management Tips: 3 Best Practices For Security Deposits

Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Property Management Tips: 3 Best Practices For Security Deposits

Although you would like to, you can’t just “wing it” when you are renting out property. There are procedures that must be followed and you must adhere to state laws. Otherwise, you could end up in a legal dispute with a tenant. Security deposits are one of the first transactions between tenant and their landlord, and they are also commonly the subject of many disputes. Here are three best practices to help avoid any negative consequences:  1. Require That New Renters Inspect Their Property Upfront Once a lease has been signed and the tenant has received keys to their property that they are renting, provide them with the paperwork necessary to inspect the rental thoroughly. Have a list of items that could potentially impact their security deposit when they leave and have the tenant mark the condition of each item. When they’re finished, get them to sign it, date it and bring it back to you directly. To help minimize and avoid disputes with a difficult tenant, use carbon copies for the paperwork.  2. Make Sure to Inspect the Property Thoroughly Upon Move Out. When a tenant moves out, it is crucial that you go in as soon as possible and inspect the property. You should take photos of any damage that you see that can be deducted from their initial security deposit. In fact, it may be better to take a video that begins just outside the door of the property and ends when you shut and lock the door behind you. You can use the camera to zoom in on damages. Make sure that your camera (video or photo) has a time and date stamp on it in case the tenant attempts to disagree with the date of the damages. Also, save the photos and videos to your computer as well as an external device, such as a USB flash drive or online cloud storage, just in case your hardware becomes damaged at some point. 3. Maintain Security Deposits In A Separate Bank Account. Although you would probably never dream of doing it on purpose, you may accidentally spend a tenant’s security deposit if it is in your regular bank account. Instead, set up a separate bank account that is specifically for deposits for your rental properties. This way, there is never any confusion regarding where the money is, what it is for or anything of the sort nor will you truly be tempted to use it. If you’re new to property management and feel that all of this is a bit too overwhelming, it’s okay to ask for help. A property management company (such as Carefree Property Management Inc) has a team of professionals that are up-to-date on new and existing laws regarding rentals and tenants and will help ensure that everything stays on track, including security deposit...

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