Many of us made New Year’s resolutions last month to put more money in the bank every month, and if you’re still not saving as much as you’d like, it’s a good idea to take a look at your utility usage. Winter, after all, can be your most expensive season when it comes to utilities. Do you live in a rental where the cost of utilities varies from month to month? Here is a look at some simple ways you can save on utilities in your rental. (more…)
One major decision you have to make as a property manager is whether or not you are going to allow your renters to have pets. And even when you do decide you want to allow pets, there are a variety of concerns and accommodations you’ll want to consider. Here is a look at what to consider and how to accommodate when you allow your tenants to have pets. (more…)
Sometimes, watching others live in your property is a hard thing. You can’t help wincing at each stain, bang, dent, and chip. Every renter has the right to make a home out of the place they’re renting, and this includes “normal wear and tear.” However, “normal” can mean something different to everyone! The truth is, when something doesn’t belong to us, we’re just not as careful of it, and the odds are good that you’ll have some tenants now and then that don’t care for your property as well as you would. (more…)
Low-income housing has been a hot topic in the state of Utah for about a decade now. This is due in large part to a “housing first” initiative that was implemented in the state of Utah a little over 10 years ago, back in 2005. The initiative was part of a larger 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, with the reasoning that the state spends more money incarcerating and hospitalizing the homeless rather than actually housing them. According to the 2015 statewide point-in-time homeless count, the 10-year plan has been largely successful. As of 2015, there were 178 chronically homeless people living in the state―down from almost 2,000 in 2005. This means that chronic homelessness in Utah has been reduced by just over 91 percent over the last decade. (more…)
When searching for a new home, some of us have a hard time even knowing where to get started. Most listing sites will make you start with choosing what kind of property you’re looking for, whether that’s an apartment in a high rise, a unit in a multi-family home, a single family home, a condo, or townhouse.
Remember that each kind of property can come in a wide variety of styles. For example, a unit in a multi-family house could be anything from your own detached guest house to a couple rooms in the basement. Take a good look at each property’s listing, and don’t assume that just because it’s a single-family house, it will have all of the advantages that you’re expecting. However, this rough guide could give you a starting point, and some ideas for considerations you’ll need to think about with each kind of property. (more…)
With one quick visit, it can be hard to tell how a new place will work out. However, there are some creative solutions that can give you a better idea of what you’re looking for. Try out these tips while you’re hunting for a new rental property.
1. Go to the Bathroom
When you do your apartment visit, take some time to be a little nosy and explore the bathroom by yourself. For one thing, this gives you a moment away from the pressure of the realtor, manager, or landlord. Alone, you can get a real feel for the place, and gather yourself. For another, the bathroom is one place where the real workings of a home are exposed.
Take time to check the function of the toilet, the sounds of the pipes, and even the water pressure. That’s right, go ahead and turn on the shower and see how it feels. There’s nothing worse than locking yourself into a lease for a year of terrible showers. (more…)
Many properties will have a space that is the perfect venue for hosting events. Whether this is a community barbecue during the summer, or a property Christmas party, there are many benefits that are inherent to hosting property events. While it may be a little more of an expense, it’s often a small price to pay for the bridges that this can build between landlords and tenants. Here are some of the benefits of hosting tenant events on your property…
Build community on your property
We live in an age where we are less and less connected with the people who live around us, despite being well-connected with the rest of the world. This makes for a less enjoyable living experience for tenants. However, nothing brings people together like a summer barbecue where tenants and their kids can enjoy each other’s company. This community building experience helps create a safer environment, and one where tenants begin to trust each other. It also makes your property a much nicer environment to live in, which means you are providing a better service.
Establish trust with your tenants
One of the most important elements to managing a property is being able to create an open line of communication with tenants. If a landlord and their tenants can communicate with each other without a level of distrust, then it creates a better experience for everyone. Oftentimes, just having this line of communication open will help people manage their problems much, much better, and at less cost to you. Having these community events is a way to open this line of communication and establish trust with tenants by getting them all together and getting to know them.
Creates a better image for you
The stereotype of a property manager is a faceless entity that controls the lives of their tenants. However, this image doesn’t have to be the one that persists. By hosting community events, a landlord is opening themselves up to the community experience that they are trying to create, which builds a new image as an actual human being that tenants can interact with. It is much easier to communicate issues and problems with tenants if they can see you like how they see their peers; as just people.
Becoming a green company is almost like a passage of rite in the business world of the 21st century. Even Wal-Mart has had their own green revolution, which saved millions of dollars and created a new face for a company who has frequently struggled with its public image. The property management industry is no exception, as there are several benefits of going green with your property. Being environmentally friendly is a great PR move, and is actually able to help businesses save on energy costs and taxes. Here are some tips on how to be sustainable and green in property management… (more…)
Housing is one of the largest expenses that people fork out a month. Whether you rent or own, your mortgage or rent can leave you strapped for cash. You should always determine how much you can afford before you decide where you are going to live. But how much should you be spending on housing a month? Below are 5 things to consider when determining how much you should and can be spending on housing each month.
The 30% Rule
A general rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your income on rent. So if you are making $2,000/month you should be paying about $600 for rent. Of course, if you only need one bedroom and you don’t mind sharing with roommates, you can spend less than that a month. If you have a small family and you need a couple of bedrooms, you might be paying more.
Remember Other Expenses
Depending on your other debts and bills, the amount that you can afford might be less than 30% of your income. Make sure that you factor in all of your monthly costs as you determine how much you can spend on housing each month.
Decide What is Important
Housing prices differ drastically based on factors such as space, amount of bathrooms, neighborhood, distance from the freeway, surrounding shopping centers, how close public transportation is, quality of apartment, etc. Decide which of these factors is most important to you and which ones you are willing to sacrifice on. For example, apartments that are a little bit further away from freeways and public transportation can be as much as $50 less than their next-to-the-freeway counterparts. Also, ask yourself how much quality are you willing to sacrifice for cost?
Factor In Cost of Living
When you are deciding where to live based on your budget, make sure that you factor in cost of living. Groceries and fuel will be more expensive closer to city hubs than it will be in suburban areas. If you work downtown, is the extra 30 minute commute worth paying less on necessities every month?
Think About Utilities
When you are calculating how much you can afford on housing, make sure that you think about utilities as well. The more space you have, the more you will have to pay to heat or cool the area. Of course you can save on utilities by turning down the thermostat and making sure that you keep the lights off, not paying for premium cable, or internet, etc.
Getting back a security deposit can be a stressful experience. It is just one more thing to worry about as you move, and some landlords are very reluctant to part with the money that is rightfully yours. Read below for 5 tips to secure your security deposit. (more…)