We mentioned in a previous article that the summer is one of the most common times for people to experience break-ins at their homes. This is generally because criminals know that people travel on vacation around this time of the year. This basically leaves your home as an open invitation to these people if you do not take the proper precautions. Here are a couple of easy and cheap things you can do to make sure that you are not the target of a home invasion. 1. Let Your Neighbors Know. If you live close enough to someone where they can keep an eye on your house or apartment from theirs, let them know that you are heading out for a couple of days. This way, they will know that no one should be coming into or out of your front door. If they do see any suspicious activity or people, they can alert the police and hopefully minimize any damage that may be done. 2. Get A House Sitter. If asking your neighbors to keep an eye out isn’t an option, you may want to consider getting a house sitter. I did this a lot when I was a teenager for friends who were going away. This meant that the house was not empty and any pets could stay in the home which greatly cut down on any price the family would have to pay. Just make sure that the person is responsible and hide any alcohol or firearms if they are underage. 3. Have A Light Timer. One of the easiest tips that a house is vacant is a lack of lights on. You can purchase a timer from almost any store and plug it in so that it turns your lights on and off at certain times every day. If you want to get fancy with it, you can even get one that works through WiFi which you can control from anywhere in the world. These are three of the easiest ways to help prevent your home from being burgled. While nothing is foolproof or certain, these are some good places to start. Always remember to keep an eye out for those around you, especially if you live in an apartment building or complex. If someone else’s safety is compromised, yours might be as well.
Now that the weather is warming up, many of us are thinking and planning our vacations. Going to the beach, visiting family, or even just taking a couple of days away is something that we all look forward to after the winter each year. Hopefully you are in a position to take a nice, well deserved trip and are currently making plans or looking forward to something that has already been decided upon. Unfortunately, there is another thing that many of us need to think about over the summer. Thieves. Late spring and summer is the time that most burglaries occur. This is because criminals know that you are looking forward to leaving and may even be watching your home to see when you are gone. It often happens that burglars will even break into an area while you are at work, as rarely they will choose a location at random. While not every break in is preventable, there are some things that you can do to help combat any criminal activity that may occur at your home. One of the best things that you can do is let your neighbors know that you are leaving for a couple of days. This way they can keep an eye on your home while you are away and report any unusual activity to either you or the police. If someone notices that there is movement in your house and they know you are away, then they know the chances are that it isn’t you. This means that they may be able to thwart a burglary and it may actually protect your belongings. Even if all they do is bring in your mail, it can help to keep a target off of your home from the prying eyes of criminals. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be explaining a few ways that you can protect your property from people that have negative ideas. These articles will help you get ideas about how you can keep your possessions and home safe, even during this time of the year. It may also be a good idea to pass these along to your tenants, as you want to keep them and your rental properties safe as well.
Now that spring is officially here, there are a couple of things that you may want to start doing if you own a rental property. With the weather warming up and people venturing outdoors again after such a long and chilly winter, there are many different things to change or update to increase curb appeal. While there may be lists that are pages long of things like this for you to work on, here are a couple to give some thought to on those really nice days when you want to be outside. Power Washing. After the winter with all of the salt and dirty snow, your rental property may need a good power wash. Many places will rent out a power washer for a day and they are relatively cheap to operate as well as rent. Obviously it is better if you have a friend who owns one, and the beauty of social media is that you can easily ask around. Check classified ads if you are interested in buying one, you never know what will pop up! Planting. Getting your hands down into the dirt in the beginning of the spring can be a great feeling and extremely rewarding. You may want to plant a couple of flowers around the lawns or maybe a tree or two for shade. You may even want to create a memorial garden of some kind, either one that is for someone specific or one that others can use if you own an apartment complex. Perhaps you have been thinking about starting a communal vegetable garden. Ask around with your residents and see if there is any interest in keeping a couple of plants and herbs alive for the community to use. Paving. This is always a big one after a rough winter if you have an apartment complex with a parking lot. Plows and snow wreak havoc on asphalt, and so you may be thinking about patching some of those pot holes left behind. While it is certainly expensive, it will be more than worth it in the long run for you and your residents as well as any guests they may have over. These are only three things that you may want to consider doing now that the weather is warming up. Stay tuned for a couple more ideas if you want to keep improving your rental property.
With the advent of channels like HGTV, more and more people are beginning to think that they are home decorators and restorers. We see constantly that people are getting more steadfast in their ideas of what a good home is based upon television shows instead of looking around in person. While it isn’t always a bad thing to know what you want before you make an investment, this can give some property owners a bit of trouble if someone is determined to rent a place that looks like it’s off of Fixer Upper complete with farmhouse sink. Trends in homes come and go just like with anything else. Unlike with wardrobe changes, however, these aren’t as easy to bend to. They are also no where near as cheap. Right now, most people are looking for open floor plans as a base. While this is fine for people who are renting out newer homes, it becomes increasingly more difficult the older your property is. My parent’s house was built in 1964 and I cannot imagine a way that an open floor plan would be possible. A good friend has a house that dates back to 1887 and while you could create an open floor plan there, it would take so much work and destroy much of the charm that comes with older homes. So how do you balance between the actual structure of your rental property and modern trends that will likely change in a decade of so? Well, that’s fully up to you. Each property is different so only you can tell if it needs that drastic an upgrade or not. Sometimes something as simple as pulling down old wallpaper or updating a bathroom can give the area a fresh feel without having to spend thousands of dollars knocking out walls only to find that you can’t do what you wanted because one of them is a supporting wall. Making sure that you keep your rental home updated is very different than keeping up with every trend in home design. While you can do that if you have the time and money, it is normally best to go with a general feel and freshen things up every now and then. You may be amazed at what some fresh paint and tiles can do to a place, so give that a try before jumping to gutting your entire property.
It is impossible to argue the fact that without a tenant, a landlord is simply a person with an empty house. There is nothing to be gained by having more than one property, meaning to rent it out, and not doing so. In fact, it is generally referred to, in very scientific terms, as a money pit. The fact is that when it comes to renting out some property, you need one thing above all else and that is a tenant. Just knowing that you need one, however, isn’t quite enough. You need to be able to get one as well. That’s where we come in! Here at Talley, we understand how important it is to have a short turnover time in between tenants. Every month that you don’t have someone in there is another month where you are losing money. Even if your mortgage is paid off, you still have to pay for the utilities to remain on, anything used during showings, and most of all the property taxes. Depending on the property, these can be extremely expensive and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some help when you are trying to set aside some money for them each month. Unfortunately, renting out property has never been an exact science. While we know what to do, the time period in which everything occurs can vary from year to year and even from place to place. No two homes rent the same way or in the same time frame, even if they are in the same neighborhood or building. Sometimes it can be clear why, but most often there is no accounting for how the cards fall for different listings. This is why we ensure that each and every client will receive the same amount of dedicated care, no matter how long it takes to rent out your property. While it may seem like a short process, our goal at Talley is to provide long-term care and build lasting relationships with our clients and renters alike. We understand that there is no reason at all to prefer certain listings or people over others when it comes to renting and have held this belief close since 1980 when Talley started. Give us a call today to list your rental property and know that you are in some of the best hands in all of the Charlotte area!
Not everyone is a particularly handy individual. I certainly know quite a few people that I wouldn’t trust with a Fisher Price hammer, let alone a real one. There’s nothing wrong with this, at least as long as they realize that their strengths don’t rest in home improvement or DIY projects. What happens, however, when you are one of those people and are renting out an apartment or a house? You will probably end up running into at least one situation where some maintenance needs to be done that will require some handy skills. This means you need to call someone in to help. Naturally, you don’t want just anyone to come into your house and get to work. While it is much easier to judge how effective (and cost efficient) a person is now due to the internet, it can take a long time to research until you find the perfect person that you feel comfortable with, can afford, and works at a time that is convenient to you. If you have an emergency such as a busted pipe or no heat in the winter, you may not be able to devote the time you want to find that one perfect person. This is just one of the many reasons that Talley should be synonymous with your rental properties. We do not have an “in house” maintenance crew here at Talley, as we view this to be a conflict of interest. We do not want to give the impression that we are “looking for problems” as the expression goes, so we purposefully contract out to different workers. All of them have gone through an extensive vetting process to ensure that you are getting the best work for your money and that problems will be fixed the first time. Every worker is licensed and insured, so you can be certain that there will not be any issues or liability on your part. Talley is on call 24/7 through our voicemail system in case of emergencies and will always discuss options with you if repair estimates are over $250. If you wish this to be a lower number, simply let us know and we can accommodate that as well. You can always be sure that with Talley, we are ready for anything so that you can focus on everything else being a landlord entails.
Sometimes when I’m bored, I go online and type the name of an area into Google and look at the houses for sale there. You can learn a lot about an area by looking at the places that are on the market. For example, Delaware seems to really enjoy yellow paint. New England seems to have a lot of large, opulent houses. North Carolina seems to have homes that were build before 1950 and after 2000 on the market with very little in between. These little facts don’t make much of a difference in the scheme of things, but they can mean quite a bit if you are looking for a new place to live. After all, you certainly want to find somewhere that you can really see yourself living and it doesn’t hurt to see what’s around the area. I know that if I moved to Delaware, for example, I would not want to rent a house that had all yellow walls. Although I would love to live in New England, those houses are not in my budget and I couldn’t deal with the severe winters. In North Carolina, I would definitely want one of the older homes despite the issues you can have with them. I love a bit of character in a house and find that the older houses have much more of a fun feel to them than newer ones. My best friend, however, thinks that the more modern houses are better and refuses to look at a home if it was built before 1980. Everything is down to personal preference when it comes to finding the home or apartment that fits you the best. Here at Talley, we are dedicated to finding the perfect resident for each and every property we represent. This means that you will never have to settle for something you don’t want if you are working with us. We want tenants and property owners alike to be content with the living accommodations. After all, if you aren’t happy with the place that you are living, the rest of your life tends to suffer. As someone who has lived in some places that were not my first choice, I can attest to this fact. Give us a call today and we can get you into the place of your dreams!
If you are an owner and landlord to an apartment complex, you have a lot to worry about. You worry about people paying rent on time, you worry about people sticking to a pet or visitor policy or maybe a noise ordinance that you have in place for the complex. Parking is almost always a concern as well. You also likely worry about the safety of the complex itself. You need to make sure the building is up to code, that the wiring is fine, that the sidewalks are even, and any stair railings are securely fastened. If your complex has a pool, you need to worry about those who may be swimming, about hiring a lifeguard if your township requires it, about keeping the water clean, and about dealing with any “accidents” kids may have quickly. It can get exhausting and if you focus on worrying about all of this, it can drive you slowly insane. Unfortunately, the list never seems to get smaller, no matter what we do. Make a list of things you need to keep an eye on. Start with the obvious things, like the sidewalks, railings, parking lots, etc. As you think of things, add them in. Keeping a growing list is one of the best ideas when it comes to organization. How are the lights around the complex? Do you have a laundry room, and if so is it clean, bright, and safe? Do you have a plan for winter with the snow and ice? Continue like this until you cannot think of any more. Ask around the complex itself. See what your tenants are concerned about. They may come up with things you hadn’t thought of, like dead trees or the need for an extra dumpster or recycling service in the back. Perhaps they saw a growth of poison ivy by the back fence that you had no idea about. It’s always a good idea to check with those who live at the complex, since they spend most of their time looking at the area. Keeping a list of things to check is the easiest way to ensure your complex’s safety. See about a couple of things each week and if they’re good, mark them off on your list until the next time. This can help keep your anxiety down and your productivity up. It’s a win for everyone this way!