8 Ways to Save on Apartment Utilities

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…)

How to Handle Tenants with Pets

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…)

What Kind of Property Are You Looking For?

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…)

Four Unique Tips for Savvy Apartment Hunters

looking for a new home
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…)

How Much Should I Spend on Housing?

Money and HousingHousing 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 Your Deposit Back

Handshake with moneyGetting 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…)

Saving Up For a Deposit

Saving MoneyMoving can be quite expensive.  You have to get enough boxes for your things, rent a truck (if necessary), hire people to help you move or enlist friends, and of course, pay a deposit and first and last month’s rent at your new place.  Trying to pay for all of the expenses can be quite difficult – especially  when you have to factor inpaying the deposit and first and last month’s rent.  If you are looking to move but are not sure that you can afford the deposit, read below for 5 tips to help you save money so that you can afford it. (more…)

Ways to Improve Resident Retention

A high rise apartment building with big windows and balconies towers over the camera.The most successful residential properties are the ones that don’t have to cycle through waves and waves of new residents every time a batch of leases is up. Indeed, one of the most important numbers to pay attention to when running a property is the rate of resident retention. Having a low retention rate means constantly needed to use resources to try to find new residents. Instead of getting stuck in that mess, it is often much more productive to simply find a way to make your residents happy enough to stay. Naturally, you will always have people who need to move after their leases are up, but it’s better if this number stays on the low side. Here’s some ideas on how to improve resident retention.

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Buying vs. Renting a Home

There are many, many options of where to live in this world. However, one choice that you should get out of the way right at the start is whether you want to buy or rent a home. There isn’t necessarily a right answer to this question, as it almost entirely depends on the situation that you find yourself in at the time. Here are some benefits that will hopefully help narrow down your decision… (more…)

Tips for Renting Out to Students

student in apartmentIf you own rental property in a college town, chances are a large majority of your clientele is going to be college students. While this does mean that you’ll always have a steady stream of candidates for renting, it also means that you’re likely to see heavy turnover and difficulty in keeping your property occupied during the summer months. Plus, there is the added risk of heavy partying causing damage to your property. If you own rental property that sees a great deal of use by college students, here are some tips for renting to students in a way that benefits you as a landlord. (more…)