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.

 

Tips for Decorating Small Apartments

Living in a small space can be tough. There is limited storage space, and your home can look cluttered easily. Decorating is also a challenge, especially when your decorating options are limited by landlord laws and rental rules.

Here are some tips for decorating small apartments.

Accessorize

Most rental apartments prohibit you from painting the walls. To add a splash of color and personality to your apartment, invest in colourful accessories. Pillow cases, curtains, vases, candles, plants and flowers will immediately transform the look of your home and make the space feel cozy. Don’t be afraid to go bold with a deep, rich hue.

Cover furniture

Investing in new furniture is expensive. If your furniture looks old and dated, but you don’t have the budget to buy new ones, we suggest that you cover them instead. Slipcover chairs are cheap, and are available in different colors and styles. Choose something that would complement with your interiors.

Replace lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements of the room. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t give it much thought. Consider replacing lighting fixtures with scones, chandelier or pendants. This may seem like a minor detail, but you’ll notice how it affects the look and feel of your home. It’s a quick transformation that’s super high impact.

Add area rugs

Area rugs are a great way to conceal old and unsightly flooring. They also add a pop of color and define areas within a space.

Area rugs are available in a wide variety of colors, styles and designs. Since the walls are bare, consider choosing area rugs in bold colors or patterns. They are considered artworks for the floor, and will make your living space more sophisticated.

Embrace under the bed storage

If you live in a small space, odds are you don’t have enough space to store your things. One of the best places to store some of your stuff would be under the bed. This will reduce the amount of clutter while making sure that you keep important things inside your home.

 

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.

Tips for Renting Out Your Vacation Home

You used to enjoy spending most of your time at your vacation house. The kids would build their sand castle while you take a nap on the porch swing. It was your little piece of paradise, where you could escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Now that your kids are all grown up, you and your spouse don’t get to visit the property as much as you used to. Because your vacation house sits vacant most of the year, you are considering renting the property to others.

Here are some tips for renting out your vacation home.

Determine your level of involvement

Renting out your vacation home requires time, effort and dedication. Before listing the property, you must first determine how involved you would like to be in the rental process. Do you intend to manage it yourself or just hire a property manager to handle the details?

DIYers can take advantage of certain tax benefits. Plus, they may enjoy the savings of not involving a property management company. However, this means that you’ll have to take care of collection of rental fees, renter interaction, marketing, maintenance, repair and all the other aspects of the rental process.

Set goals

As with any other business, you need to set your goals. Ask yourself, why did you decide to rent out the property? Is it to generate income? Make a profit? Do you want to use it to pay your mortgage or improve your property? Do you want to offset the expenses of ownership? By setting your goals, it would be easier for you to outline a plan to achieve your goals.

Find a dependable cleaning crew

As a business owner, it is your job to provide your guests with a clean home. Since you’re already dealing with a lot of things, you may not have time to clean and prepare the house in time for the next set of guests. As such, you might want to hire a third party cleaning service to ensure that each guest is welcomed to a clean, spotless vacation house. Remember, a clean environment is essential to the success of your business.

Lower the price

Your vacation house may provide a steady source of income in summer, but people may not be interested in renting a beach house during the offseason. Lure travelers to your vacation home by lowering the price.

 

Common Moving Day Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

movingSpring and summer is the busiest time of the year for real estate. If you do drive around your neighborhood, you may notice some big trucks, moving vans and small U-hauls. People want to move and settle into their new house before the school year starts.

Moving into a new house can be exciting and stress-inducing at the same time. When people were asked to identify one stressful event in their life, moving was included in the top 10. Yes, it can be stressful and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

In the hopes of helping your move go smoothly , we have listed down some of the most common moving nightmares people face, along with some suggestions on what to do if you find yourself in these situations.

It’s raining on moving day

So you wake up on moving and realize that it’s raining hard. Not only does it make moving large boxes difficult, it can also be hazardous. As a safety precaution, be sure to wear shoes with good grip like sneaker or gum boots. Also, protect your belongings by wrapping loose items in garbage bags, shopping bags or cling wrap.

Your fragile items broke

There is nothing more frustrating than knowing that your things got lost, damaged or broken. While professional movers try to handle your boxes with utmost care, accidents can happen during transit. When packing your things, make sure they are secured and protected. Also, look for a moving company that offers insurance.

You got sick on moving day

Moving involves a long list of tasks. But it’s hard to be productive when you’re sick. We understand that you want to accomplish as much as you can, but please don’t overdo it. Rest whenever necessary.

If you have hired a moving company, then let them take care of all the heavy lifting and loading. Trust that your movers will take good care of your stuff. Just sit back and let them do their thing.

 

Tips for Screening Potential Tenants

screentenantsA bad tenant is every landlord’s worst nightmare. Late payments, property damage and lease default are the biggest and most costly problems a landlord can face. All these can be avoided if you screen your tenants before letting them move into your property.

As a landlord, you can sleep easy at night knowing that your property will stay relatively undamaged and will get paid on time.

In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips that will help you weed out the good tenants from the bad. Here’s how to screen your potential tenants.

Run a background check

Checking up on your potential tenant’s past may not be fun, but a background check can help you learn more about the person and assess whether the applicant would be a good tenant. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make.

You may want to pass on a tenant who has history of unpaid rent, recently been evicted or a serious criminal record.

Perform a credit check

It’s a good idea to order a copy of the tenant’s credit report. This will show you details about the tenant’s previous credit history, and will indicate if the person has gone through bankruptcy or history of paying bills or rent late. You want a tenant who is financially responsible.

Number of people that will be residing in your property

Allow a maximum of 2 persons per bedroom. This is what the law dictates in many states in the country. Plus, the more people means more wear and tear.

Reason for moving

It may seem like this is none of your business, but try to ask anyway. This can tell you a lot about the tenant. Be wary of tenants who are moving because of a bad relationship with their prior landlord or an eviction. If the tenant says he/she intends to move the next day or next week, there’s a good chance that they are having some issues with their landlords. Changing jobs and needing a bigger place for their family are good reasons for moving.

 

 

5 Ways to Add a Personal Touch to a Rental Home

Your home should reflect your personality. But how can you personalize your space if the landlord prevents you from painting the walls, let alone put holes in the walls?

Here are a few quick and easy tips to make a rental home feel like your own. Follow these tips below and be able to leave with your security deposit intact once it’s time to move out.

Accessorize

The only way you’re going to get a truly personal space is by filling it with arts and accessories that reflect your style. You can hang art, use bright colored throw pillows or dress up your windows with curtains.

Use area rugs

When it comes to rental properties, area rugs are your best friend. They cover unsightly floors and add warmth and beauty to your living space. The best part is, you can take them with you when you move.

Set the mood with lighting

You don’t need to use the light bulbs that came with the house. Invest in a chandelier you love and start using it now. Changing dull or dated light fixtures is one of the best ways to update the space and make it feel a little more like yours.

Go green

It can be difficult to feel at home in a rental, but placing a few potted plants and fresh flowers around the house adds warmth and life to a space almost immediately.

To create an extra layer of interest, consider hanging a few plants from the ceiling and place them at varying levels.

Jazz up the walls

Landlords do not allow their tenants to paint the walls because if they do it badly, they’ll need to redo it over again. But if you really want to jazz up your walls, we suggest that you use stickers.

You can use colored stickers or washi tapes to decorate walls with geometric designs, stripes or spots. You don’t have to worry when it’s time to move since you can easily remove these stickers from the wall.