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Top 6 Trends For Low Cost Landscaping In 2018

Top 6 Trends For Low Cost Landscaping In 2018:

First impressions are everything when it comes to rental homes. Quality landscaping is vital to the curb appeal and the first impression that a home will make when a potential tenant comes to view the property. Making a good first impression can often be the difference between gaining or losing a tenant, even before they set foot into the indoor space.

However, quality landscaping can also be very expensive and eat into a good portion of the landlord’s profits. The key to avoid this? Tasteful landscaping that is done at a low cost to the landlord.

For 2018, the following are 6 low cost landscaping trends that are taking hold and capturing the interest of potential tenants:

  • Adding Some Mulch Beds: Adding a few mulch beds to the landscape of your rental home gives the home a fresh, clean look. Mulch is a low-cost option as it doesn’t have to be cut like grass or watered like vegetation. All that it needs is a simple change each spring to keep it fresh. Being relatively inexpensive makes it a bonus in addition to it adding a nice touch the front of your home. Many people also enjoy the pleasant aroma that it gives off in the yard.

 

  • Plant Some Lavender: Lavender offers an amazing aroma while also being a low-maintenance plant only needing watering once or twice a week. It will also come back year after year, which saves you from the cost of having to replant new flowers every single year. Moreover, a perk for your tenants is that lavender repels bugs.

 

  • Choose To Plant Perennial Plants: Perennial plants will save you quite a bit of cost as you won’t have to go through the planting process for every single growing season. These plants will come back year after year to beautify the yards of your rental properties.

 

  • Add Some Grasses To The Land: Planting some grasses that grow in the climates in which you live can help add some different scenery to the yard without spending tons of money. Grasses are usually relatively inexpensive and will flourish if they grow naturally in your geographical region. Research which grasses grow well in your area and turn that into savings as you will spend less on watering and fertilizing than you would if you picked other plants to adorn your property.

 

  • Focus On Plants That Endure The Climate: When selecting plants for your rental homes, focus on plants are meant to endure the specific climates in which you are living. For example, if you live in a hot, dry climate consider plants that don’t need a lot of water. If you are in a tropical climate where you get heavy rains, choose plants that can withstand the heavier amounts of precipitation.

 

  • Incorporate Pots Into Landscaping: Potting plants helps avoid the growth of extra weeds and also adds some color and decoration as well as variation to the landscape in the home’s yard. Seasonal flowers can be planted in pots and thrown away or used as compost at the end of the season. Pots can also be used on patios or porches to help spruce up the entertaining spaces throughout the home where having a mulch bed isn’t possible. Save the pot to keep using the same pot over season after season to save money and avoid having to buy more pots every time you plant new flowers.

These are just a few great, relatively inexpensive landscaping ideas that will help make your rental home look warm, welcoming, and inviting to potential tenants. Increasing curb appeal with perennial plants ensures that the plants come back year after year and you will save money not having to replant landscapes every single growing season. A fresh coat of mulch and some flowers for the pots on the property will provide your tenants with a new, relatively inexpensive landscape that looks updated and new, which can help you get top dollar for your rental home.

For more information on making the landscape at your rental home appealing and attractive without overspending please feel free to contact us.

Investing 101: Why Real Estate is Better Than Stocks

The stock market is often the first option that comes to mind for many people who are thinking about investing their money.  Many have no idea which investment will provide them with the best return. While the stock market is certainly viable and has a lower barrier to entry, real estate may be the best option for many.

Real estate can offer a number of benefits over the stock market. Consider the fact that according to Forbes Magazine, prior to the recession, two-thirds of American adults were investing in the stock market; that number fell to a little over 50 percent by 2016. In other words, the recession took a toll on the American willingness to invest in stocks. Instead, American investors between the ages of 18 and 34 have opted to invest in real estate or to save their money. Why? What makes real estate so attractive? Because of benefits like those below.

  • Better Returns

When weighing the value of one type of investment against another, the investor has to factor in the risk as compared to the expected returns. Real estate has earned its investors almost twice as much as the stock market has in the years since 2000. Rental properties are particularly profitable since along with the returns from the property’s appreciation, the investor can earn a return of as much as 12 percent from rental income.

Real estate is not as liquid as stocks in that it is not as easy to buy or sell real estate; however, it is also not as volatile as stocks. In addition to the lack of volatility, real estate investors can take advantage of tax benefits. Consider the fact that the interest on a mortgage is tax deductible. Landlords can also deduct operating expenses as well as property taxes and depreciation.

  • The Ability to Add Value 

An investor in real estate gets has the ability to add value to their investments. Popular ways to do this include kitchen or bathroom remodeling or the addition of rooms. Any of those upgrades can increase a property’s value considerably. This is not something that can be done with stocks. You have no control over it.

  • People Will Always Need Housing 

Shelter is a necessity, which guarantees perpetual demand for both rental properties and homes for sale. Predicted interest rate increases and other recent changes within the economy make renting a more desirable option than ownership for many people.

  • Hedge Against Inflation 

Both home prices and rental rates have historically risen with inflation. The means that real estate can serve as a hedge against inflation for the rental income and the property’s sale price. It offers a long-term benefit since mortgage payments will not increase as a result of inflation.

  • Fewer Risks 

There are fewer risks involved in real estate investment when you compare it to stocks, especially when it comes to long-term investment. Consider the fact that a real estate investor has more control over their asset than a stock market investor does. A stock market investor is a minority investor who must place a considerable amount of trust in a company’s management. Investors should consider the fact that the longer they hold on to investment property, the lower their risk since the property will appreciate and they will also build equity.

  • It is a Tangible Asset 

Real estate exists in the physical world,  unlike the abstract concept of stocks. This fact means that it can be occupied and used. While real estate can provide shelter, stocks are not tangible and have no innate, practical value.

If you would like to learn more property management as well as the benefits of investing in real estate, contact us at Property Management Pros today.

6 Reasons why you DON’T Want to Manage Your Own Property

Owning multiple properties is a great way to invest your money. In fact, it’s a viable way to earn full-time wages. You have the ability to bring in a steady flow of cash. However, as with any business venture, there are some do’s and don’ts in order to get the best experience. Here are 6 reasons why you don’t want to manage your own property.

 

You’ll deal with difficult tenants

There’s no getting around it. When you own multiple properties, you will run into problems from time to time with tenants. Maybe you will have one that is disrupting the neighbors or having incidents with police complaints. Tenants may give you trouble with making their rental payments on time or be constantly complaining about the property. This is a problem you don’t need to deal with. However, if you continue to manage the property you most certainly will end up dealing with this stress.

 

You’ll be inconvenienced at the worst times

When you manage your own properties there’s a 100% chance that you’ll be called at the worst times to handle some type of emergency. Tenants may have their furnace go out in the middle of the night and it’s you they will call. If the water pipes freeze and burst, you will be the one responsible to find a repair person right away. If it’s not in the middle of the night, you may find yourself getting those dreaded calls while you’re trying to enjoy a bit of family time. Let’s face it, there are not too many ideal times to be interrupted in life.

 

You might undercut yourself

Part of the responsibilities of property management is setting the rental rate. While that may seem like a simple thing to handle, you may undersell yourself. Or you may put the price too high and drive customers away. It takes careful research to determine just the right price for the current market and location. This is something that property management companies are adept at handling.

 

You may break the law

There are many laws concerning renting out properties. Some involve safety issues while others are focused on the contract agreement and so on. That means you have to stay up to date on the laws of property management or you may inadvertently break the law. That’s a headache you don’tneed!

 

You have to deal with taxes

Not many people like to deal with tax paperwork, but if you manage your own properties this is something you will need to take care of regularly. Not only will you need to file your taxes but you need to know the current tax laws for real estate well enough so that you can gain the maximum benefit at the end of the year. A property management company provides help with tax and other financial issues.

 

You will have to balance the budget

Balancing the budget is another chore you will be stuck dealing with if you manage your own property. It’s almost as “fun” as filing taxes. This means you will need a good handle on all the incoming rental monies as well as the outgoing expenditures so you know how much you can invest in upgrades, additional properties, and so on. Juggling the financial part of property management can be a headache unless you have a special love for numbers.

 

Avoid all these cumbersome tasks by connecting with a reputable property management company. A property management company will take the care and responsibility out of your hands and allow you to simply collect the money that flows in from your rentals. This alleviates so much of the hassle that comes with owning multiple properties, yet you still have all the benefits of the income. For more information contact us today.

Do You Know What to Expect When Trying to Sell your Property?


When it’s time to sell your house or investment property, will you be ready? Do you know some of the pitfalls that may slow down the process? Do you want to make a big profit? And would you like it to be fairly easy?

If you want to sell your property quickly, for the most money, and with the least amount of trouble, read on to find answers and learn how to successfully navigate the experience. At Property Management Pros we use our professional expertise to benefit property owners in their daily dealings with their real estate management.

To help you decide whether to try to sell it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, here are some questions to consider. Take some time now to thoughtfully step through the selling process, evaluate potential problems, and identify how to avoid or correct them.

Is the property in good repair?

Before you list your property inspect it closely and make sure it is free of damage inside and out. This includes:

All electrical systems are updated, safe, and working properly.
All plumbing is in good repair. Replace any leaking or inefficient toilets with water-saving designs.
Heating and cooling systems work as efficiently as possible.
All appliances are clean work properly.
Flooring is clean and not worn, or replace as needed.
Walls are clean and not damaged, or repair and repaint as needed.
The roof is sound. Gutters drain correctly.
Windows and doors open, close, and lock.
The property is free of any type of infestation and trash.
Lawn and landscaping look appealing and well-maintained.
Do you know what your property is worth?

The value of your particular property is determined by a number of factors. You can’t just compare it to the others in the neighborhood and guess at a listing price. You may get a general idea of what you can ask, but to make the best profit possible you need to do a little more homework. An overpriced property may not sell quickly, and the longer it sits on the market the more undesirable it becomes. Listing too low (unless you just want a quick sale) means less money in your pocket at settlement.

Do you know your market?

Who are you looking to attract as the ultimate buyer of your property? A seasoned investor — or a first-timer? Younger — or older? An individual — or a corporation? Or even: Does it matter to your strategy? Establishing your target market helps direct your marketing efforts.

How will you advertise?

If you choose to sell the property yourself, another crucial aspect to consider is advertising. How effectively you get the word out about the sale will affect your bottom line. For many people this task alone is overwhelming and a big turn-off. Again, the effectiveness of the advertising campaign directly impacts your profit.

Are you up for wheeling and dealing?

Can you deal with offers and negotiate with skill? Do you know how to qualify a buyer? Do you know how to fill out the appropriate paperwork, involving the offer or counter-offers? Are you willing to answer the phone whenever it rings — or promptly return calls — until the property sells?

How will you handle the settlement process?

When you agree on the terms of the sale, do you know the next steps to take? What legal paperwork to complete and sign? Is the title free and clear? Where will settlement take place? Who will help you correctly file and finalize all legal papers to the satisfaction of all parties?

If you want help selling your property or would like to know more about how to run a profitable property management business, contact us today. At Property Management Pros we understand the role that the internet plays and can offer a completely web-based system to help you achieve your business goals.

The Time to Put Your Home on the Rental Market


One of the main benefits of home ownership is that you can often rent the property and make enough money to cover your mortgage and make additional income for yourself. If you have an additional home or someplace else to stay, this is a great way to make money. Many small and medium sized businesses have been started when home owners rent out their homes to generate additional income. Eventually, they can purchase more properties and continue to grow income. However, many people wonder when is the best time to put a home on the market.

Income to Price Ratio

One of the most important indicators used to determine the rental market is the income to price ratio of homes in the area. This is a little complicated but gives a good sense of whether buying a home is affordable to most people in the area. The ratio is determined by dividing the median home price by the median salary in an area. For example, if the median home price is $100,000 and the median salary is $50,000, the ratio 2x. Generally a healthy ratio is between 3x to 4x. At the peak of the housing boom in 2007, the ratio reached 7x. This was obviously way to high.

During these periods, people should not be buying new homes because they are unreasonably expensive. Instead it is better to rent for most people and wait until home prices become more affordable.

Home owners should examine the trends in their community. If the ratio is above 4x and has been rising steadily over time, it is a good time to rent out your property. More and more people will need to find an place to stay as they cannot afford to buy themselves. That means rents will rise, you will have greater profits and more demand.

Seasonality

Seasonality actually also makes an important impact on the price of rents. Certain times of the year have much higher demand for new housing than other times of the year depending on the area. However, a general rule is that rents begin rising in May and June, stay high in July and August and slowly begin going down after September. This occurs primarily based on the school schedule but also because people generally prefer to move during warm weather rather than in the cold.

Personal Profit Using Comps and Costs

Another way to decide to rent your home is by calculating your personal profit. The first thing to calculate this is to look at the rents for similar properties in your community. Make sure to find places that have a similar quality, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and access to schools, parks or retail locations. Once you have found several comparable properties (comps), average these rental prices together to get the expected amount that you can rent out the home for one month. For example, you may be able to get $1,000 per month in rent for your home.

Next, calculate the total amount that you pay in terms of mortgage and maintenance. For example, you may have mortgage payments of $600 per month. Additionally, you have to pay for landscaping, plumbing, any emergency fixes, insurance and professional property management. Those could total an average of $200 per month. You may leave the heating, cooling and electricity costs to the tenant.

Taking everything into consideration, you will profit $200 per month or $2,400 per year. These funds could be plowed back into the mortgage to pay off the home faster, into other investments or into improving your lifestyle.

On the other hand, you must consider the costs associated with your new living situation and whether it is worth the trade-off when taking into account the extra $2,400 in profit.

Property Management Pros is a leading site for finding the best property managers in the market. For more information, please contact us.

3 Ways a New Coat of Paint Can Save You Money on Your Rental Property


What upgrade or renovation project has the biggest bang for the buck on your rental property? Compared to any other remodeling effort, a new coat of a neutral color paint can give you the highest return on investment. It’s fairly simple, inexpensive, and makes an immediate visual impression.

One of the most important success factors in owning and managing rental properties is the occupancy rate. To make the most profit requires maintaining an occupancy rate as close to 100% as possible. Here are three ways a new coat of paint can save you money on your rental property — which is more money to save, spend, or reinvest.

New paint makes the property more appealing to renters. A new coat of a light-toned neutral color paint makes the place look brighter and cleaner. Brighter walls are inviting and uplifting, and also make the living space feel more spacious. First impressions are important and a freshly painted unit implies the place is well-maintained. This will help the potential tenant to see themselves living happily there. They will perceive the value in the rental price and be willing to pay more. There is also a psychological effect of people wanting a clean space to stay that way. By repainting your rental unit between tenants, you encourage the new occupants to keep the place clean and well cared for. Even though you spend money on re-painting, you save money if the tenants take better care of the property in general so you have fewer overall repairs to the unit.
The right paint protects surfaces. Choosing the right type of paint for the surface saves you money by protecting against damage and wear-and-tear. Here’s a list of recommended paint finishes for the different surfaces in the unit:

High Gloss: doors, trims, kitchen cabinets
Satins: family rooms, kids bedrooms, hallways, playrooms
Semi-gloss: kitchens, bathrooms, trim, laundry rooms
Eggshell: dining room, living room, office or study
Flat or Matte: adult bedrooms, ceilings, low-traffic areas
By making it easier for the tenant to care for and maintain their unit, you have decreased the time and expense needed on your part. Again, this results in more savings to you in time, supplies, repairs, and renter turnover.

3. Buy paint in bulk to save time and money. When you buy a certain amount or larger sizes of paint containers you should get a discounted price. It’s wise to keep on hand an inventory of a few core choices of colors and finishes. But more importantly you will always have the right paint on hand when you need it. Whether it’s for quick touch-ups or even to repaint several walls or other surfaces, you won’t be scrambling to drive to the store or taking the chance that the new paint doesn’t match the old. It you own more than one unit, it helps to keep detailed records of which paints (brands, colors, finishes, etc.) you use for each. Then you can easily refer back to quickly see what you need when the time comes to repaint. When you buy regularly from some paint or hardware stores you can set up an account that keeps track of your previous purchases in detail. This also helps when you do run back to restock your paint and supplies.

The more you simplify your paint choices, the easier it is to quickly repaint your vacant unit and get it rented out again. Keep these three suggestions in mind as you prepare your next property so you can save money while maintaining and improving on your real estate investment.

For more information about any aspect of property management contact us today.

The Most Important Value-Added Services to Look For in a Property Manager


Rental homes are one of the premier forms of investment property for anyone looking to build their estate and bring in passive income. Of course, a home isn’t really a static asset, it needs care and regular maintenance, especially if you plan on keeping it occupied with happy tenants. Every six months the gutters will need to be cleared, the windows washed, and a perimeter of poison laid down to keep the bugs at bay, not to mention actually tending to the needs of your tenants. This is why all but the most handy and sociable landlords choose to hire the professional assistance of a property manager. When choosing who to hire, it’s important to remember that a property manager is a lot more than just a babysitter for the house, they can literally add value to your property value and the quality of life for your tenants with a few simple value-added services. Make sure the property manager you choose is providing you with everything your investment deserves.

Property Staging

Property staging is the art of making a house beautiful and appealing to new occupants whether you’re renting or selling. When you’re looking for your next family of tenants, the best way to draw in high-quality applicants is to present a cozy, inviting home. Your property manager should be skilled at making a house or apartment look and feel amazing even if there’s not a single stick of furniture inside. Subtle use of curtains, scented candles, and polished surfaces can make an empty home look and feel like it’s ready to welcome a new family.

Tenant Screening

The tenants you choose from among your applicants will make a big difference in how easy and pleasant it is to be their landlord. Ideally, you’re looking for someone with a good rental history, stable finances, and a clean background check who can be practically guaranteed to treat your property with care and consideration as their home and your investment. These fantastic tenants are out there, but making sure you’ve selected one means calling their references, running the background checks and, to a certain extent, trusting your instincts after meeting them. A great property manager will be able to find you delightful, well-behaved tenants who always respect the terms of their lease and make timely requests for the occasional maintenance need.

Landscaping Maintenance

Another great thing a talented property manager can bring to the table is landscape maintenance. You may or may not be surprised to discover that the quality of your lawn makes a big difference in property value and you can’t always count on the tenant to be willing or even able to take care of all the landscaping tasks themselves. Your property manager will not only keep the grass cut, trees trimmed, and the flower beds tended, they will keep the yard the way you like it and will be happy to nurture it to blooming perfection as part of the staging process as well.

Furnace Filter Delivery

One little maintenance detail that many property owners forget, even for their own homes, is the furnace filter. The filters not only determine the air quality for your tenants, they also influence how efficiently the furnace can do its job keeping the building warm and cozy. Depending on the size of the filter, these need to be changed out anywhere from two to six months. Your property manager will get to know your furnace and ensure that there’s always a clean filter installed right on time, ensuring that your furnace will need less maintenance and repairs and your tenants can enjoy clean, efficient heating.

Regular Inspections and Upkeep

As a final value-added service your property manager can offer automatically is a regular yearly or 6-month inspection of the home. A simple investigative walk-through can catch potential problems early and take care of little maintenance tasks before they have a chance to become repair jobs. Replacing chipped or broken grout and calking in the bathrooms, watching for signs of leaks under the sinks, and cleaning the gutters before they get full will all ensure that you’re home remains in top condition and ready to bring in rental income for years to come.

Your investment property is great, but with the value-added services of a professional property manager, your residences will soon be the pride of their neighborhoods with beautiful landscaping, exemplary tenants, and appliances kept in perfect repair. For more information about how to find the perfect property manager, contact us today!

5 Signs Your Home Is in a Great Investment Neighborhood

The value of a home is one of those things that is made up from a thousand different little factors. First is the quality of the home, how sturdy the structure is, how insulated and energy efficient, and the quality of the pipes and wire. Then there’s attractiveness and inclusion of popular features like a big backyard, an open living area rather than a closed floorplan, and an enjoyable kitchen design. However, because you can’t pick up a home and move it, it’s location is also a big part of the actual value determining how much buyers or renters want to live there.

A nice home in a nice neighborhood has a much higher practical property value than the same home standing out as the nicest structure in a run-down neighborhood. Naturally, you want to be sure that any property you own or buy is in an area that will make it a more valuable investment. Here are the five clearest signs that your home is in a great neighborhood for investment property ownership.

1) Good School District

When people are looking for a new home, they’re also planning for the future of their family which means considering the quality of the schools. A high-quality school district with good test scores and many positive reports of happy children and an effective education is often a more powerful neighborhood draw than the homes themselves. Simply being within the bussing zone of a good school district improves the property value of your neighborhood, but actually being within safe walking distance of one is incredibly powerful.

2) Close to Shopping Centers and City Features

Of course, it’s not just schools that shape a resident’s lifestyle. The restaurants, shops, parks, and other public features of the neighborhood determine who will enjoy living there. If you are close to your city’s downtown center, your neighborhood is likely to be more desirable to professionals while proximity to laid-back shopping centers and family restaurants will make your neighborhood more appealing to families. If there are enjoyable nearby venues, your neighborhood is likely to be in a good spot for property values.

3) Well Lit Walking Paths

Every city handles its local maintenance a little differently, but often neighborhoods can take responsibility for their own local upkeep. Crummier parts of town tend to be badly lit with broken sidewalks because nobody takes pride in the area enough to fix it up and maintain it. A good neighborhood, on the other hand, will have sidewalks in good repair, well-lit by a collection of street lamps and safe yard lighting from the helpful neighbors.

4) Consistent Neighborhood Curb Appeal

You can always tell a neighborhood that’s begun to deteriorate because a few of the homes will look much shabbier than the others. This can happen because owners stop caring about a home, let it stand vacant and unsold for too long, or because something else has gone wrong. However, if you can look all the way up and down your street and all the homes are well-kept and attractive, you’re in a good neighborhood in which all the other homeowners are working hard to maintain their own and each other’s property values.

5) Active HOA Participation

The final mark of a thriving little investment-worthy community is an active HOA or home owner’s association. While a neighborhood doesn’t need an HOA to be great (not all neighborhoods have one), an active HOA is a good sign that your area is actively managed by concerned fellow homeowners. In fact, an HOA’s primary mandate is to protect and enhance the property values for every owner on the block.

So is your home in a great investment neighborhood? If you have a positive answer for two or more of these points, then there’s a very high chance that your home will continue to appreciate in value over time. For more great real estate investment tips and tricks, contact us today!

Seven Spring Upgrades to Boost Your Rental Price This Year


The value of a rental house and what your renters are willing to pay comes down to a combination of factors. While it’s safe to assume that your rental home is structurally sound and kept in good repair, the exterior appearance, ‘newness’ of the rooms, and quality of your included appliances are all major contributors to how much rent you can reasonably charge. Whether you’ve just acquired a new piece of investment property or have been renting a home for several years, there are a few quick and easy techniques that can help you improve the value of your rental property this year starting with a lively spring cleaning.

1) Clean Everything!

The one factor that can most damage the value of an otherwise nice rental property is signs of previous tenants. While renters may be aware that others have lived in the home before them, who wants to deal with dingy carpets, discolored wall paint, or lingering smells? Your first step for any spring improvement wave is mass-cleaning. Wash every surface you can reach, steam-clean the carpets, and even get the ducts and vents professionally cleaned to get rid of old allergens and smells. The newer the home appears, the better a price you can get for it.

2) A Vibrant New Landscaping Design

What makes a renter think “Wow, this place is nice!” the moment they drive up? A beautiful garden full of landscaped flowers, shrubs, and trees. You Don’t have to completely dig-up and redesign the yard, but you should definitely work with an artistic landscaping service to fill your flower beds with vibrant blooms, trim your trees, and possibly even add a cute stepping-stone walk through the yard or a swinging bench as a nice accent.

3) A Fresh Coat of Paint

Nothing makes a home look more ‘like new’ than a fresh, professionally done repainting job. This not only saves you the trouble of trying to scrub off old discoloration, it also gives you a chance to pick a new subtle color scheme and make sure all your baseboards, outlets, and light switches match. Make sure to choose a sturdy, glossy paint that can be scrubbed safely in case of pets or toddlers. Remove outlet and light switch covers to paint them and use painter’s tape for windows and fixtures so that only the surfaces you want to be painted get paint on them.

4) Maintain Your Exterior Siding and Roof

Almost no one ever looks directly at the exterior siding or roof, but subtle signs of shabbiness will filter into the subconscious and lower the apparent overall value of your rental property. Double-check your maintenance schedules and get both your roof and siding touched up before beginning the staging process. This way, everything will be tidied, freshly repainted or finished, and ready to show your home’s ‘best side’ to new tenants.

5) Replace Old Utility Appliances

The age and quality of the included appliances like the stove, fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer (if included) and the HVAC units matter a great deal to how valuable a home seems. Really old appliances can negatively ‘date’ your home while brand-new energy-efficient models allow you to significantly up your rental price for the utilities savings and reliability of the units alone. For what you don’t replace, have a handyman do a full maintenance check, empty any filters, clear out any accumulated dust and crud (under the fridge), and give you a new maintenance schedule.

6) Breezy Window Treatments

Whether or not your tenants put up curtains of their own, there are a couple of good reasons why you will want to put up some breeze, attractive curtains. First, a home with uncovered windows looks vacant and creepy, harder to imagine yourself living there. Second, take down those dingy old white mini-blinds. While they were once the height of technology and fashion, now they are a sign of age and broken things that are hard to dust. A few inexpensive but cheerful curtains in neutral colors can make a house seem homey.

7) Polish and Finish any Rough Edges

Finally, do a last detailed check of absolutely everything. Check the grout and caulk in the bathrooms, the quality of the garage door, the edges of counters for chips and jagged places, and repair everything you find. Get the home as close to ‘new’ quality as possible by taking care of any signs of age. Discoloration can be re-finished or painted, chips can be fixed with putty or sanding, and rough edges can be smoothed and and re-sealed. When you really put in the time, your tenants will appreciate how nice their new home is and be willing to pay for that quality.

Here at Property Management Pros, we take pride in taking the best possible care of every property we manage. Keeping track of maintenance schedules making sure repainting is done right, and fixing little signs of wear-and-tear between tenants are what we do best! For more great investment property owner tips or to arrange for the pros to take care of it for you, conact us today!

How to Make Your Home More Attractive for the New Rental Season

If you have a rental home that is currently wanting for a tenant, winter is the perfect time to start sprucing up the place to make it more appealing when the next peak rental season rolls around in spring. It can be tempting to think that a home will be fine without updates and touch-ups but in reality, times and tastes in home design change and savvy landlords know how to keep up. If you want your property to be in high demand in the spring, now is your ideal opportunity to make the house shine. Your goal is to make sure the home is in top maintenance condition, is spotlessly clean, and appealingly decorated to make your new potential tenants feel like home the moment they step over the threshold.

1. Complete Maintenance Check-Up

Your first duty is to ensure that the home is still solid, in good condition, and likely to stay that way for at least a full year after new tenants move in. This means that you’ll want a complete maintenance checkup now. You’ll want to check everything from the roof to the foundation which means inviting a small variety of professionals to your home or, possibly, one multi-talented service who can cover the whole inspection. Should anything come up, repair or replace it. This is also the right time to change the locks if you haven’t already.

Be Sure to Check

Roof
Foundation
Plumbing
Fixtures
Appliances and HVAC
Signs of Moisture
Tiles, Caulk, and Grout
Windows and Doors

2. The Deep Clean

The next step is to make sure the home is spotlessly clean, and not just on the surface. Your goal is to get even the dust from the last tenant out of the house and that will take just some thought and effort. Start by dusting everything, including the ceilings, walls, and the space between upper cabinets and the ceiling. Clean your air ducts or have them professionally cleaned and clear out the vent behind the dryer of any lingering dryer lint.

Now that all that dust is freed up and much of it has been thrown away, vacuum everything to suck up dust that has re-settled and then steam clean the carpets. With all that done, you’re now ready for a normal deep clean of wiping everything down, scrubbing the bathrooms and sinks, and power-washing the driveway and front walk.

3. Fresh Paint in Blue and Gray

With the house clean and free of lingering particulates from previous owners, it’s time to paint. This year’s colors for what sells a house fast are blue-tinted grays combined with soft or dark blues as an accent. Blue in a home can make it feel more spacious and relaxed and blue in the kitchen has become especially appealing. The most popular kitchens often feature a cool combination of blue-gray paint, stainless steel appliances and frosted glass cabinet doors and decor.

4. Redesign the Landscaping

While the inside of a house matters, the landscaping will always be the first thing your potential tenants see. While it’s still cold and barren outside, now is the perfect time to rething the landscape to have it enacted as the snow melts and green starts to return. If you’re eager to get renting, you might even consider a little winter landscaping with cold-blooming flowers and shrubs.

5. Update Older Appliances and Fixtures

There’s nothing quite so discouraging in a rental property like old appliances. The appliances contribute significantly to how pleasant it is to live in your rental so think carefully about when to replace them. Most modern tenants are looking for stainless steel models that are less than 5 years old and are still in great working condition.

Houses also come with a variety of little details that subtly mark how old and outdated the home is. Sink fixtures, light fixtures, and the handles on drawers and cabinets can all be replaced quite affordably in a way that can completely update the look of your rental. You may also consider repainting the cabinets and redesigning the cabinet doors to something trendy. Glass inserts are very in right now.

6. Consider Smart Home Features

While you’re thinking about upgrades and investments that could raise your reasonable asking rent, have you considered the smart home? Automated home features are incredibly popular and are a high-tech upgrade that renters value. You can start with responsive light bulbs but the best installations are smart locks, thermostats, video doorbells, and security systems.

7. Take Pictures

Once your rental home is completely upgraded, updated, and repaired, it’s time to take pictures. These can serve as a reference for the condition the home is in before you bring on new renters. If there are still cracks, scuffs, or small signs of wear and tear, be sure to document them so you know exactly what the differences are when your next tenant moves on.

8. Staging

Finally, you are ready to stage. Staging is the art of making a rental or for-sale property look appealing to people who might want to live there. It usually involves a few pieces of furniture and a few pots and potholders in the kitchen to show how the place would look if occupied. If you don’t want to bother with staging, just put up a few inexpensive curtains to make sure the place feels welcoming rather than vacant.

Finally, you and your property are ready for the new rental season! For more tips and tricks on managing your rental property or to find someone who will do happily do all this rigamarole for you, contact us today!


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