4 Ways to Make More Money on Your Rental Property

With interest rates at their lowest levels in 50 years, more and more people are venturing into the world of real estate investment. Investing on an income property is a huge commitment, but it can bring large financial rewards if handled properly.

Learn how a rental property can lead to big money in your bank account. Here are 4 ways to increase the value of your income property

Improve curb appeal

Just like buying a house, tenants would usually drive by the property before they commit to renting. If they don’t like how the property looks from the outside, they won’t be interested in renting the house.

Simple improvements such as repainting the front door, installing window shutters or replacing the house number can go a long way towards improving curb appeal. Not only will it make your property more attractive from the outside, it can also increase the value of the house.

Invest on energy efficient appliances

With the rising cost of monthly rent, tenants are looking for ways to save money elsewhere. Prospective tenants will be happy to know that they can save money on monthly utility bills since the rental property is equipped with energy efficient appliances.

Heating and cooling account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical American household. Investing on a newer, more energy efficient HVAC unit can cost you a huge sum of money upfront, but it will add value to your property. According to the NAA’s Amenities Survey, you can generate an additional 16% in rental income by investing on energy efficient appliances.

Update your pet policy

Nearly all pet owners consider their pets as family members. Unfortunately, most landlords do not allow pets in their rental property. If you allow pets, you’ll appear to a wider market. Because of the increased demand, you may be able to charge slightly higher rent.

Make sure the property is well-lit

Cramped, dark living spaces are a quick turn off for most, if not all, renters. Dark rooms will look smaller and less welcoming. Make sure that the house is well-lit inside and out. Don’t forget to turn on the lights on before it gets dark. During showings, open the blinds and curtains to let the natural light in.

 

3 Ways to Build Equity in Your Home

Although most people’s situation varies, for most people, their home is their biggest asset. For such a major investment, your goal is to get the most out of your money and build equity in your home.

Home equity is the market value of your home minus the amount of money you owe on your mortgage. Having more equity is a good thing as it is an asset that can be used later on in life.

Here are 3 ways to build equity in your home.

Price appreciation

Believe it or not, you can build equity on your home without doing anything. How? Your equity increases over time when your home gains value.

If a big company like Starbucks or McDonald’s opens a branch near your home, then you’re in luck. There is no denying that America’s love affair with coffee is going strong. In a study that was conducted by Zillow, they found out that homes that are within a quarter mile of Starbucks increased in value by as much as 96%. Meanwhile, home that are near Dunking Donuts have appreciated in value by 80%.

Home improvement

Another way to increase your home’s equity is by doing some home improvement projects. Keep in mind, though, that not all home improvement projects are created equal. Some will help boost the value of your home, while others may not. To get the most bang for your buck, make sure that you choose projects that will help increase the value of your home.

Kitchen and bathroom renovations, curb appeal improvements, lighting fixtures upgrade, as well as repainting the walls can add significant value to your home.

Monthly repayment

One of the easiest ways to build equity in your home is to pay your monthly amortization. In order to reap the benefits, make sure that you pay your dues on time. Otherwise, you will incur penalties for not paying your mortgage on time. The penalty could have been used for extra payments that can help increase home equity.

If you have extra money, we encourage you to pay more toward the principal. Overtime, the extra payments will add up and help you build equity on your home.

4 Ways to Prepare Your House for a Home Inspection

So you have finally received an offer for your home. Congratulations! The next step in the process is a home inspection.

A home inspection is a visual inspection that determines the present condition of the house. Passing a home inspection is an important step to complete to sell your home. If major issues are discovered during the inspection, the buyer may either negotiate for a lower price, ask you to tackle repairs or back out of the sale.

Here are 4 ways to prepare your home for a home inspection.

Get a pre-sale inspection

If you haven’t had your house inspected before, you’re probably anxious about the issues that may pop up during the inspection.

Have your home inspected before putting it on the market. This will help you determine the actual condition of your property. Plus, it gives you a chance to tackle repairs early on. All issues should be dealt with right now to prevent delays later on. If you have no plans of making repairs, consider adjusting your asking price.

Be on time

Home inspectors will come on time. Many of them will even arrive 15 minutes earlier, so make sure that you’re all dressed up and ready to go before the scheduled time.

Most inspectors will start examining your home’s exterior. The last thing you want is for him to be walking around the house while you’re still dressing up. Get up early on the day of the inspection. If possible, be out of the house before they arrive.

If you have pets, it is best to have them taken off the premises. If that’s not possible, secure them on a crate.

Prepare the documents

If you did some remodeling projects, upgrades or repairs in the past, you need documents to back up your claim. Prepare documents showing roof repairs, HVAC inspections, kitchen renovation etc.

Make sure all areas are accessible

Aside from examining the house, the inspector will also check on the different systems in your home. This includes your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC system. He will also be checking the attic, basement, under the sink, electrical box etc.

In order to do his job thoroughly, ensure access to critical areas of your home. Get rid of any clutter or possessions from areas that may need to be inspected.

How to Prepare for a Home Renovation

You have probably thought of renovating your space. We all know it isn’t cheap, but it does provide several benefits. Not only will it help bring your house back to life, it can also boost your property value. Plus, it can improve the comfort and functionality of your home.

If you are considering having your home renovated, this blog post is for you. Prepare your home for renovation with these tips.

Set a budget

Knowing what you want to do and achieve in a remodelling project is the easy part. Knowing how much your remodelling dreams will cost is the tougher question.

Before you get started, it is important to establish a spending limit. This is one of the most important steps you need to take before you start envisioning your dream space. By determining how much you can afford, it will be easier for you to make a realistic plan for the project. The last thing you want is to end up having a huge debt due to poor planning.

Find the right contractor

Home renovations can be costly. Often, these home improvement projects cost thousands and thousands of dollars. As such, you want to make sure it’s done right. In order to get the most out of your remodelling project, you need to hire the right contractor.

Choosing the right contractor can mean the difference between a job done right and an utter nightmare. Ask family members, friends, relatives and colleagues for referrals. Also, make sure that you interview candidates and look at their credentials to ensure that they are the best person for your renovation job.

Renovate for the future

When planning for renovation, always think long term. You may not be interested in selling the house now, but there may come a time when you need to move or upgrade to a bigger house. Your goal is not just to beautify your home, but to increase the value of your home as well.

Kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor living renovations can give your home value a boost. Make sure, though, that you keep your budget in check. Otherwise, you may not be able to recoup your investment in the future.

Find a temporary place to live in

Your home will soon be a renovation site. It can pose numerous dangers for children and pets. You can’t have them roaming or running around the renovation site. As such, it might be best to find temporary place to live in. This is especially beneficial if the project will take a few weeks.

Clear the property

If it’s a major renovation, it is best to clear the property. Pack away as many belongings as possible. Start packing your things once you decide to have the house renovated. Since this will be time consuming process, it is best so start early. Tackle each room one day at a time. Get rid of things you no longer use or need. Also, find a place where you can place your belongings temporarily. If it’s just a minor renovation, simply empty the room that needs to be renovated. Make sure that you cover furniture that may be damaged by dust.

Home Fixes to Complete Before Selling

Home Fixes to Complete Before Selling

If you’re planning to sell your house in the near future, we highly recommend that you tackle all the necessary repairs before putting your home on the market. Not only will it be more appealing to potential buyers, you’ll also be able to sell your house for the highest price possible.

Considering the amount of money you need to tackle repairs, it is important to focus on repairs that will help boost the value of your home.

Here are some home fixes you need to complete before selling.

Paint

Let’s face it. Most buyers today are very particular about the visual appeal of the house. If the buyer notices that the paint is peeling or chipping off, they would immediately think that the house lacks maintenance. Because of this, they may conclude that the house is in poor shape.

Before selling, we suggest that you paint the walls. This simple task will help freshen up your home. Make sure that you choose a neutral color like cream, ivory, beige, gray, and white to appeal to a wide audience.

Curb appeal

Most sellers are too busy fixing their home’s interior that they forget to give the exterior the attention it needs. You need to keep in mind that buyers judge your house based on what they see from the outside. They won’t be interested to go inside your house if they didn’t like what they see on the outside.

Before selling your house, we highly recommend that you spend time beautifying the exterior of your home. Repaint the front door, plant some colourful flowers, power wash the walls, and add some outdoor lighting. These simple tasks will make your home more appealing, homey, and inviting.

Kitchen upgrades

Kitchen upgrades can be expensive, but when done right, it can increase your home’s value. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a huge sum of money to rehab your kitchen. Simple upgrades like replacing the lights, painting the wood floors, replacing or adding a backsplash, changing the hardware or repainting the cabinets can boost the value of your home.

Flooring

The flooring is one of the first things buyers notice upon entering the house. That said, you want to make sure that the floor looks nice. If you can afford to update the flooring in one significant part of your home, then go ahead. If not, try to repair it so it looks nice. For instance, wood flooring can be painted on to conceal scratches and give it a fresh look. Tile flooring just needs thorough cleaning to make them sparkle and shine.

 

Tips to Perk Up Your Outdoor Living Space

Your outdoor space can be used in a lot of ways. In fact, most homeowners would look at their empty or cluttered outdoor space and think of how to use the space in the best way possible. Many of them would envision turning it into a garden, entertainment space, outdoor kitchen, playground or a pool.

If your balcony, lanai, garden or outdoor nook is bare or has tons of weeds and dry leaves, your outdoor space may be in need of a makeover. Summer would be the perfect time to tackle some home improvement projects.

Here are some tips to perk up your outdoor living space. Make the most of your balcony or garden space with these ideas.

Power wash your home’s exterior

If the paint on your home’s exterior still looks good, it is a good idea to pressure wash your house to get rid of dirt and mildew. If you want a truly clean house, then this is the way to go.

You want to make sure that the bottom area of your house siding is clear of bushes. This way, you can pressure clean this area. Also, clear the area – remove all the toys, tools etc – to avoid tripping over them. Wear safety rated sunglasses to avoid eye injury.

Never use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder. This is a safety risk. The pressure from the equipment may cause you to lose balance and fall.

Create a dining or entertainment area

This summer, wouldn’t it be nice to sit on the balcony or the garden when you want to take a break from household chores or other tasks. It would be the perfect place to entertain friends while connecting with nature. You can invite your friends over for a barbecue party or just have dinner with your family outdoors.

Create a wonderful dining area for you and your family outside the house. If you have enough space, consider adding a countertop next to the grill. Use natural materials like slate, granite or stone to create a kitchen-like environment and make outdoor cooking more enjoyable.

Add a fire source

A fireplace draws people. It encourages family and friends to gather around. It exudes coziness and offers warmth and light. The same is true in your outdoor living space. Consider adding a firepit or a fireplace to your outdoor space. This will instantly turn your patio into a gathering place.

Outdoor lighting

Having good lighting can really improve your outdoor space. With proper positioning, outdoor lighting can really enhance the look of your home. They can also improve the functionality of your yard and present a cared-for impression to the entire neighborhood.

A well-lit yard presents a feeling of security. This makes it easier for you to navigate the walkways, driveways and entry way safely. The more lights you have, the safer your outdoor areas will be.

 

4 Ways to Supercharge Your Home’s Online Listing

Today’s homebuyers start their search online. They would go online and look for their dream home at the comfort of their home. Given the number of sellers who decide to promote their property online, you need to make sure that your listing quality is good, especially if you want to sell your home fast. The better your listing looks, the faster it will be to sell your home.

Here are 4 ways to supercharge your home’s online listing. Use these tips to improve your listing quality and sell your property in the soonest possible time.

Upload good quality photos

In the age of the internet, listings with photos perform better than those without. Potential buyers use your listing photos to gauge whether or not they like your home. These photos will attract potential buyers; thus, making your listing more competitive. The key is to capture a set of attractive photos that will complement your online listing.

When selling your home, you want to make sure it looks its best. As such, we highly recommend that you stage the rooms before taking photos. Tidy up the room and make sure that everything is in order. Focus on the strengths of the property and skip rooms that detract from the overall impression you are trying to give. For best results, make sure you have a good quality camera. Any modern DSLR camera is recommended for this purpose.

Be descriptive

When selling a property, you want potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.  Tell people about all the great features of your home. Tell people about the lovely outdoor space, the newly renovated kitchen or the brick patio for BBQs. Make sure you’re actually providing value in your descriptions.

Sell them the dream neighborhood

The location is one of the most important things to consider when buying a house. Future owners can change certain features they don’t want in your home, but they can’t change the location and the neighborhood it is in.

If your home is located in a good neighborhood, we recommend that you mention it in your listing. Are there restaurants, boutiques, hospitals and schools nearby? Are there outdoor amenities like a community pool, bike paths or hiking trails near your home? Can you walk to public transportation? Let potential buyers know about it. Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you’re also selling a neighborhood.

Include your contact details

You created an online listing to reach potential buyers and to sell your property fast. But your listing will be of no use if buyers can’t get a hold of you.

When creating an online listing, make sure you include your contact details, your email address, as well as your availability. Make it easy for potential buyers to contact you.

4 Ways to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring Planting

The end of winter is finally in sight. It’s time for your garden to come back from the winter weather.

If you’re new to gardening, this guide is here to help. These tips will help you get a head start on preparing your garden for spring planting.

Have a plan

Start planning in early spring and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful, blooming plants in the summertime.

In addition to planning what types of plants and flowers to fill your garden with this year, there are also some important things you need to take into consideration. First, you need to consider how much space you have and how much sun your garden is getting. It is also important to decide how you’ll take care for everything.

Clean up

Clean up your garden about a month before planting. Get rid of those pesky plants that have sprung up during the winter, as well as the weeds left over from fall.  Rake the lawn to remove dead growth and winter debris.

Decaying leaves choke off your soil, so be sure to clean up your lawn before you pick out your seeds. Make sure that you have a tidy plot of soil for your new plants.

Give your soil some TLC

The best way to prepare your soil for planting is by adding organic matter in the form of compost and aged manure. Also, prepare the garden bed by digging to loosen the soil. Do this before planting anything in your yard.

Healthy soil is the basis of healthy plants. You are likely to produce beautiful flowers and healthy, nutritious vegetables year after year if you grow on a strong foundation.

Plant for all 4 seasons

Identify the plants that will bloom each season in your garden. This ensures that your home is surrounded by color and interest through all four seasons. Or better yet, choose plants that bloom all year long. Sweet alyssum, Asters, Achillea and Chinese hibiscus will continue to blossom throughout the year.

Tips for Selling Your Home for the Highest Price Possible

Your home is your most valuable possession. When the time comes that you need to sell your home, you want to make sure that you sell it for the most money. But how can you ensure that you’ll sell your house fast and get top dollar for it?

In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to prepare your home before putting it on the market. With these tips, you’ll be able to sell it in the shortest period of time and for the highest possible price.

Get clued into your competition

Information is power when it comes to selling your home. A little upfront research and legwork will is needed in order to sell your home faster and get the most money out of it. Take a look at similar homes that were listed or sold within the past 3 months. Know your local market trends and compare that to your competition.

Get real about the pricing

We understand that you want to the get the most money out of your property, but pricing your home too high is a big mistake. Price too high and your home will languish on the market. Later on, you’ll be forced to lower the price and then sell it at a much lower price. But if you price it too low, you’ll be losing money. You need to get the listing price right. This will make your home attractive to potential buyers and sell your home for more money. The key is to price your home based on what the market says, not on your perceived value.

Stage your home

If you want your property to be the hot one, stage your home before putting it on the market. A well-staged home can garner lots of attention and sell very quickly. Your home may be stylishly appointed to suit your taste, but if you are selling, it is important that you to stage the house in a way that it appeals to a broad range of taste. Don’t forget to stage the exterior too as this is the first thing that buyers see when they drive by your home.

Find ways to bring out the best in your home and compensate for its shortcomings. The idea is to make potential buyers fall in love with your house and want to buy it.

Beat the competition with condition

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, you want to make sure that it’s in top shape. Take the time to examine your home from top to bottom and tackle all the necessary repairs. Taking care of certain things before listing your home will put you ahead of the competition and potentially add thousands of dollars to its value.

Creative Ways to Maximize Limited Living Space

The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet. But with energy bills and living costs rising, more and more people are realizing that small is beautiful.  While there are a lot of different reasons why people choose to downsize their homes, the majority of them do so due to financial concerns.

Smaller homes feel cozier, are easier to keep clean and are more affordable. Of course, living in a small home doesn’t come without its challenges. Everything, from your furniture to decorations, should be in place. Every item should have a specific purpose and place. Otherwise, you won’t have enough space to move around in.

Whether you live in a quintessential studio apartment or just want to make your home feel spacious or welcoming, this guide will help you maximize your living space.

Put a shelf on it

When you need a lot of storage in a tiny space, going vertical is always the best option. There are always some high spots you can take advantage of. Is there wasted space above your clothes rack? Is there space above any doors? What about the area above your cabinets? Get creative when it comes to finding extra storage in your space.

Use multi-purpose furniture

Multipurpose furniture is a smart option for homes that lack space. They can help expand storage and keep clutter at bay.  For instance, an ottoman with hidden storage can serve as an extra seating or a footrest and can easily double as storage space. A day bed can double as a guest bed. A bed with drawers underneath where you can store your stuff would be a great addition to your bedroom.

Avoid unitaskers as they take up space. Plus, you couldn’t do anything else with them even if you wanted to.

Consider a loft

Adding an extra room can increase your property’s value by up to 20%. But if you’re short on space, we recommend that you take advantage of your roof space and add space with a loft conversion.

Loft rooms are one of the most cost-effective ways to add extra space to your home. You can use it as a guest bedroom or a study room for your children. It can help boost your home’s value without having to spend a fortune. Plus, it provides you a suitable and tidy space, making your home clutter-free all the time.