Winter Maintenance

Winter Maintenance
Although pipes freezing doesn’t seem to be as common a problem anymore, as we have seen this past month it is still a very real problem in the event of a storm that knocks out power. If you have ever lived in an older house or in a place with extreme cold temperatures, you probably haven't experienced the possibility of your pipes freezing and bursting. If you never had that happen to you, you should count yourself lucky. It is an extremely unpleasant situation to have to deal with.

When you have rapid changes in temperature, there are certain things that are bound to happen. Older buildings and houses will often make noise, which is normally written off as “the house settling”. It’s one of the things that makes sleeping in a different house than your own so scary as a kid (or even as an adult), because you aren’t used to the noises that this house makes. This is especially true when it’s an older building that uses a water-based heating and cooling system instead of forced or central air or even gas.

While North Carolina doesn’t normally have times where the temperature dips low enough to be concerned about freezing pipes, it has been known to happen periodically. It's one of the biggest reasons why making sure that your heat is working before you need it is important. While you obviously want the heat to work for your own comfort, there are other things that you can do to get yourself warm. You can go to a store or a friend's house, but your pipes can't. You never want to find out too late that your heat isn't working, so don't forget to give it a test. It is especially important if you have someone living with you that is vulnerable, such as an elderly family member or small children.

Emergencies like frozen pipes or heat issues are great reasons to have Talley Property Services on your side. We have a 24 hour emergency number for your tenants to call in case this happens, and we even have businesses that we can contact in case repairs are needed. It is always a stressful time when something goes wrong, but you don't have to deal with it alone. Let Talley take some of that concern off of your shoulders so that you can enjoy the winter without care!

Rent Rates

Rent Rates
When it comes to renting a place to live, there are a lot of different questions that need to be asked. One of the most important questions is how much can you afford to pay for an apartment, and the other important question is how much do you want to pay for an apartment. You obviously don’t want to pay too much and possibly be in financial trouble if you end up losing your job or having to take a pay cut for any reason, but you also don’t want to go for a cheap place either. Cheap locations often don't fit a person's needs or may even be basically uninhabitable, which is never good. Remember, you very often get what you pay for.

According to most financial experts, your rent payments should be about 30 percent of your income. This is often a good balance of expenses between housing and other necessities such as food, entertainment, and other costs of living. While the full 30 percent isn’t always an option, it is a good jumping off point so that you can adjust your numbers until you have something you're happy with. It also gives you a healthy glance at what price point you should be looking into. For example, if you really like an apartment that would cost 40 percent of your income, you may need to reevaluate what exactly it is that you need.

It is always a good idea to check around other apartments in the area to see how much they are listed for. There may be one specific area that costs more than the others around it, and depending on your financial situation you may want to either look there or avoid it. It also gives you a good idea about how much of a deal you may be getting on your rent payments and if something seems too good to be true.

At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide how much you can pay for rent. Some landlords do require a minimum income to prove that you can afford the apartment, so be sure to pay attention to the listing and make sure that you are eligible to rent the property at all. If you are looking for a new place to live and have a budget in mind, give Talley a call and see what we have to offer. You never know, we might just have exactly what you’re looking for!

Model Apartments

Model Apartments
If you are a landlord or rental property owner with multiple similar units, then we have a tip that may save you a lot of time and hassle. If you have ever dealt with the trouble of trying to rent a unit out while someone still lives there, then you know how much of a struggle it can be. Trying to work with your schedule, the tenant’s schedule, and any possible renters can feel like you're trying to herd cats. It causes a great deal of stress for at least two of the parties, especially if the tenant hasn’t been keeping up with the cleaning before someone views the apartment. It can be a frustrating time, and you never want to cause yourself more stress than you already deal with. If you have the room, you might want to think about trying a model apartment on for size.

A model apartment is kind of like a sample product that you can test in a lot of stores. It is a way of showing a potential tenant what your apartments look like without having to work around anyone else. Simply keep it clean, and you can bring people through any time you want. This means you don’t need to worry about what the unit is going to look like, dealing with pets, or risking your current tenants making things uncomfortable while showing the place off.

Model apartments are also great because you can have them as furnished as you want. This means you can have it completely bare to show your client the blank canvas they will be working with or fully furnished to show them what they can have if they move in. Finding furniture at a thrift shop or online is a great option, since they are normally inexpensive and often is still in extremely good shape. You can even use old furniture that you no longer want! The possibilities are endless when you have a model apartment.

If you are a rental property owner in the Charlotte area, you need to contact Talley Properties so that you can have a shot at some of the best rental help in North Carolina. Let us handle most of the work so that you can relax a bit while still feeling all of the benefits that come with having investment properties. Give us a call today and see just how much we can help you!

Location

Location
One of the most important things to think about when you are looking for a place to live is the location. Location is considered a cliché when it comes to real estate, but that cliché exists for a reason. Location is everything when it comes to housing, and it can be difficult to find something that ticks all your necessary boxes. There are multiple factors that you should consider about the location of your apartment when you are looking for a new place to live. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind:

1. Proximity to Work. No one wants to have a long commute. It can be frustrating enough to have a short one take longer than it normally does due to traffic or weather issues, but when your commute already takes a half hour or more under optimal conditions, it can grate on you quickly. Not only is driving that much tiring, but it gets expensive very quickly. It is important to look for a place that is close to not just your current job, but has others around in case something happens where you need to change positions.

2. Distance to Stores. Something that often gets ignored until it is too late is the distance between the apartment and certain stores. While being close to department style stores may not be a requirement, you should definitely look around for the nearest grocery store and other places that you frequent. It isn't uncommon in rural areas to drive nearly a full hour to get to a grocery store. Obviously this is less than ideal, so be sure to ask around if you don’t see at least one store on your way in.

3. School Systems. If you have children and you aren’t planning on homeschooling, you definitely need to look at the surrounding school systems. You naturally want to give your kids the best opportunity for their future, and a good school can help set that groundwork for them. Always be sure to keep an eye on the school ratings in towns that you are considering moving to.
Location may seem simple, but there are many factors that need to be considered when you are looking to move. It definitely goes beyond what is simply pretty to look at. Call Talley and see what they have to offer that will fit your lifestyle and needs the best!

Ice and Safety

Ice and Safety
When it comes to the winter, it can be difficult to find enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. While we all know that there are always 24 hours in a day, it can seem like a lot less with how little daylight there actually is. If you work a standard eight hour day, you barely get to see any sun around this time of year. Pair that with cold temperatures and you get a recipe for disaster. This is most often brought on by one big issue: winter weather.

Trying to do anything while there is snow and ice outside is annoying at best and downright dangerous at worst. Even just walking to get your mail can result in a fall if there is ice. That's why it is important if you are in charge of an apartment building or complex to make sure that the snow and ice gets cleared for your residents before one of them gets hurt on your property. The last thing you want is for someone to fall and get injured due to something as simple as ice that can be corrected before the ice even forms.

If you have a large complex or building, you should always try to invest in some salt for the parking lot and any roads and sidewalks that you may have. If nothing else, the salt will help to melt the ice and keep things from getting too dangerous. The larger your property, the more you will want to keep on hand. This may require a team of people to shovel or even a snowblower or plow to help get the roads and lots cleared. Any walkways should be cared for as well, especially if there are stairs. While it is important for residents to be careful and monitor their own properties, it's always a good idea to try to help them out.

Making sure that snow and ice gets cleared away in a timely fashion is important for a rental property owner. If you only have a few smaller units, however, you may decide to leave it up to your tenant. Even if you have large properties, you may leave patios and doorsteps up to the residents. Regardless of who is in charge, remember that winter weather can be dangerous. Make sure to keep your property safe with Talley's help every storm!

Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors
Personally, I love getting new neighbors. I just recently moved and although I have met a few of my closer neighbors, I haven't met them all. It's one of the things that I look forward to doing when the weather warms up. You don't always want to just ring someone's bell when you first see the moving boxes, but there's certainly nothing wrong with a friendly wave when you see them outside. It is always important to be careful when meeting new people for the first time, but this is especially true when you are going to be living in close proximity to them.

For the most part, your neighbors are going to be people that you want to get along with at least in passing. It is important to know them at least on a basic level. Knowing what your neighbors look like can definitely help with things like suspicious activity. It also helps if you need a favor, and can go a long way in making your experience at home all that much smoother. It can take a little while to get used to someone new moving in, but it is always better to try and be friendly with them than to ignore them.

While doing something like baking them a pie may seem traditional, there are certainly other things you can do that are safer for everyone involved. Bringing over some simple toiletries such as toilet paper or even some take out menus for your favorite places can go a long way without having to worry about someone else’s dietary restrictions. It can also be a great conversation starter into other things about them so you can get to know your neighbors better. After all, it's always a good idea to try and find common ground between you and those around you!

Here at Talley, we always want everyone to get along. We know this isn’t always feasible on a deep level, feeling comfortable around your neighbors is a very important thing if you are going to get the move enjoyment our of your property. When it comes to having and being good neighbors, sometimes it is worth it to turn the music down just a little or ask if they want to choose the next song. You can do dozens of things to be a good neighbor, and that always makes living somewhere so much better!

Attracting New Residents

Attracting New Residents
As much as we love to talk about how helpful landlords and rental property owners are, the truth is that they are only half the deal. After all, without a tenant to live in the property, a landlord is simply someone who owns more than one piece of real estate. This means that you need to be able to convince someone to give you money in order to live in the space that you own. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here are a few simple tips about how to attract new residents that are super simple and thankfully cheap.

1. New Coat of Paint. While this may be used as a metaphor more often than not, here we mean it literally! Sometimes doing something as simple as putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls of your rental property can make all the difference in the world. Even if it doesn’t look dirty or scuffed to you, it might seem that way to someone coming in. Paint your property and make sure that it looks brand new!

2. Pictures. Having clear, sharp, and brightly lit pictures is one of the most helpful things when it comes to finding new tenants. Many people won’t try to view an apartment if there aren’t any pictures, or if they’re too blurry and dark. With so many cell phones with such great cameras now, there are few excuses for you to not have at least a couple available for someone to look at. Spend a couple of hours making sure that you have a good number of nice photos and pick the best ones to put online. It will definitely help your chances.

3. Keywords. If you have recently replaced an old fridge, then write about your updated appliances. If you have laundry in the unit or even close by, mention that. If there are a lot of windows, be sure to say that the apartment is naturally well lit. Few words can convey a lot, so be sure to put down those that apply and watch how much of a difference it makes!

If you aren’t sure that you can attract residents on your own, don’t worry. Talley can help you get the exact kind of tenant you want into your apartment. Give us a call and let us do the heavy work for you. You have enough to worry about, so let us handle this instead!

Allowing Pets

Allowing Pets
One of the most common arguments that we hear about between landlords and tenants, and even from one property owner to another, is whether or not to allow pets in your apartment. Both sides have some great points, so we wanted to take some time to show a little bit from both sides of the argument. It is important to remember that here at Talley, we respect the decision you make about your property either way. We simply want to help our clients make the most informed, and therefore best, decision for you.

On the one hand, pets can be messy. Dogs and cats both have the ability to ruin the work that you have put into your unit. This may include them having accidents on the floor or chewing up and scratching the walls and doors. We often find that smells from animals can linger even after they are gone, especially if there are carpets that were soiled. While much of this comes down to whether or not the owner cleaned up after them there is always a possibility that your next tenant will be extremely allergic, and even a deep cleaning of the apartment may not be enough.

On the other hand, pets can also be helpful for you if you are going to allow your tenant to have them. Many landlords require an additional pet deposit, or even extra rent each month for someone to keep a pet. You can even charge more if you allow pets, regardless of whether or not your tenant currently has them. You also open your apartment to a wider pool of people by allowing pets, as a great number of people will not even look at a place if they can’t bring their pet along. Others require their pet for one medical reason or another. Although the law states that a support/service animal is often exempt from the law in regards to housing, many will still err on the side of caution and only look where pets are already accepted.

If you are trying to decide whether or not you want to allow pets in your rental property, be sure to weigh the pros and cons. You may even settle somewhere in the middle, allowing only animals that are confined to tanks such as fish or some reptiles. No matter what your decision is, Talley will be able to find your perfect tenant!

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