Finding the Right Place

Finding the Right Place
Trying to find the perfect place to live is a struggle under the most ideal of conditions. It is even more difficult when you are on a strictly fixed or limited budget. You may have special requirements that are unique, which further reduce the amount of places that you can move. This can make it seem impossible, especially if you're on a time limit. When it comes to finding a good fit, it can be more difficult than you ever imagined.

Trying to balance the amount of money that you can pay in rent and utilities with the amount of space you need gets exponentially more difficult the larger your family is. If there is only you or yourself and one other person, you might be able to get away with a one bedroom apartment depending on your relationship. However if you are someone with children, it can become prohibitively expensive. This is especially true if the kids are a little older and need their own rooms. Kids are expensive to begin with, so trying to pay for any school supplies, food, utilities they use, also paying for their own space can quickly become nearly impossible. Yet, it is still important that everyone is able to thrive where they are living.

Another issue that may limit your housing options is if you have certain medical requirements. While something like a service animal isn’t normally too much of a deal breaker, needing a completely wheelchair accessible apartment can be almost impossible to find. Not only would you need to find a bottom floor apartment without stairs into the location, you need to be sure that the doorways will accommodate you comfortably and the corners aren’t too sharp for you to turn through. Everything also needs to be at the correct height for you while you are in the chair, so things like bathrooms and kitchens can very quickly become problems.

Here at Talley, we are determined to help you find your dream home. We are dedicated to finding you a place that you love, regardless of any needs or restrictions you may have. We understand that everyone is different and will need different accommodations, so we are prepared to help everyone find the apartment that fits them perfectly. Give us a call today if you are looking for a new place to live and see what we can do to get you into one of our rental homes!

Keeping Up with Trends

Keeping Up with Trends
“The only thing constant is change”. This is a saying that was first attributed to a philosopher named Heraclitus around 500 B.C.E. While change may have been the only constant that Heraclitus believed in, this phrase has become a bit of a paradox because it has certainly shown itself to be true since then. Things seem to change at such a rapid pace that it can be hard to keep track of it all. Things like technology show this better than anything. In the past 25 years we have gone from most people having a hard wired phone line or two in the house, and perhaps one computer, to having no land lines and a phone and computer combination that fits in their pockets. We have seen the change from cassettes to CDs to digital music and now vinyl records are being used again. This also helps to illustrate the idea that what goes around comes around.

While this information may not seem like it has much of a place on a website that deals with property ownership or rentals, it actually illustrates a large issue that many owners have. Trends change a lot and housing styles are not immune. If you ever see a house that hasn’t been updated since the 1960’s or 1970’s, you’ll likely see things like shag carpeting and bathrooms with pink and/or blue tiles, bathtubs, and sinks. As I’m sure you know, this has not been a popular design in many years. People are tearing this style out of their homes and replacing it with something completely different. If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it is that in another 20 years or so, there will be a new style that is considered ideal and everything we have now will seem like those pink and blue bathrooms.

Preparing your rental property for a new tenant in a way that will make it appealing to modern residents isn’t always easy. We can help with some of the changes that may need to be made. If you call Talley Properties, we can let you know what we can do to help you out. We know that getting a place ready for a new tenant can take a long time and is often stressful. Our goal is to make that transition as easy and painless as possible for everyone involved. Give us a call today and see what we can do to help you out!

Having Roommates

Having Roommates
Having roommates, also known as flat/apartment sharing, is a common solution for people who are looking for housing that they may not be able to afford on their own. Although the ideal solution is generally to have your own apartment, this isn’t always a possibility depending on where you live and what work you do. Often, you will hear about friends moving in together to split the costs of housing in order to make ends meet. This is a very sensible option, and if you haven’t thought about it before, here are some reasons to look into it.

1. Lower Costs. Although a two bedroom apartment will obviously cost more than a one bedroom, the difference is often substantially less than paying for two full separate apartments. For example, a quick search in the Charlotte area can find apartment or townhouse complexes where a one bedroom unit costs $1,150 while a two bedroom costs $1,450. While that $300 difference may be too much for one person to float on their own, two people can easily pay for that if they have similar incomes. It also means that instead of two separate people paying $1,150 each, they can have their shared apartment for $725 per person. That means that they both are saving $600 a month if you compare it to them each having their own apartment. That extra money can go towards any other bills or groceries or even saving up to buy their own home one day.

2. Security. Even if both people work similar hours, they most likely won’t do everything together. This means that it is possible that at least one person will be home, even if one of them is out. If something goes wrong, the chances that someone will catch it immediately are much higher than if only one person lives in the unit and is out often.

3. Friendship. Having a friend that you can easily go to or be around can be extremely helpful if you need help with something, or even if you just have a rough day. It almost always helps to know that there is someone close by who you can rely on, and a roommate helps to assure that someone will be there!

While having a roommate isn’t for everyone, it certainly has its benefits. You might want to consider asking your friends if anyone is looking for a new place to live if you are thinking of moving. See just how much of a financial difference it can make for you and where you can move!

Newlyweds

Newlyweds
Marriage changes everything. It may seem cliché, but it really is one of the biggest steps that you can take in your life. This is especially true if you get married relatively young, or if you have been single and living on your own for many years. Moving in with another person and combining all of your stuff into one new location can be stressful and result in more than a few sleepless nights. What makes things even more difficult is actually having to find your first apartment together, particularly if neither of you has ever rented before.

There are many different factors that go into getting your first place, but it is sometimes easier if you have more than one person moving into the apartment. In order to have a better shot of being approved, you should try to ensure that both of you have steady income and some form of credit. These measures are often difficult if you are younger, as even the age of your credit score may be something that makes rental property owners concerned. Sadly, there is nothing you can do to “fix” the age of your credit score. The best that you can do is to try and stay on top of your credit and build it into a score that is high enough that no one will second guess renting to you. While is easier said than done, if you both work together with your banks you should be able to build healthy scores in no time.

When you are newly married, it often seems like people ask very personal questions. These may be about how long you've been together, which can seem judgmental, or about the possibility of children. This is often to see what kind of fit you will be for the property and the owner. Simply answer them as truthfully as you can and use your best judgment whether or not you want to go forward with an application depending on what you see and hear.

If you are a newlywed couple looking for your first apartment, give Talley a call. We can help match you with a perfect apartment regardless of what your future brings. With new listings every month, we won’t stop until we are able to find you the place of your dreams. We will work with you to discover what you are looking for in your first place and help you to build up your rental history. Give us a call today!

Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes

Although frozen pipes don’t seem to be as common an issue anymore, it is still worth bringing it up at least once a year. If you have ever lived in an older house or in a place with dangerously low temperatures, you will probably remember worrying about your pipes freezing and therefore bursting. If you never had that experience, you should definitely count yourself lucky, as many of us can tell you from experience that it is an extremely unpleasant thing to deal with.

When you have rapid changes in temperature, certain things are bound to happen. Older buildings and houses will often “settle”, which results in sounds that make it seem as if the building is cracking and groaning. It’s one of the things that often makes sleeping in an unfamiliar house so scary when you're a kid, since you aren’t used to the noises that the expansion and contraction makes anywhere other than your own home. This is especially true when it’s an older building that still uses a water-based heating and cooling system.

While North Carolina doesn’t generally have long periods of time where the temperature stays low enough to be concerned about freezing pipes, it has been known to happen on rare occasion. Thankfully, there are some ways that you can help prevent your pipes from bursting even if record lows do hit. It is always better to have the information on the off chance that you ever find yourself in need of it. Keeping any cabinet and closet doors open helps to improve air flow and can keep the pipes at a steadier temperature. It is also a good idea to keep your thermostat set to the same temperature all day and night if possible. Although it might be annoying or seem counter-intuitive, having a small drip of cold water coming from your faucets can help to keep your pipes from freezing.

Emergencies such as frozen pipes are a great reason to have Talley Property Services on your side. We have a 24 hour number for your tenants to call in case of something like this happening, and we can get someone dispatched quickly in case repairs are needed. It is always a stressful time when something goes wrong, and if it happens around the holidays it is even worse. Let Talley take some of that concern off of your shoulders so that you can enjoy your time without being on call.

Recycling

Recycling

There is a lot of discussion when it comes to apartment complexes and other large buildings that have a lot of people working and living there regarding garbage pickup. Although most places understand that they need to have a place that their residents can dump their trash, many people wonder if they should provide recycling services as well. While this is something that someone who knows the location must decide, we want to help you out when it comes to keeping things out of landfills that could be better used, or reused, in other places.

One of the main reasons that most rental property owners do not want to offer a recycling option is the price. While it is a bit more expensive than just having the garbage, many companies that offer both will give you a bundle deal so that you can get them at a reduced rate. You can also normally reduce the cost by having fewer recycling pickups than garbage pickups, which works for most places. For example, most apartment complexes can get their garbage picked up twice a week while the recycling is only picked up twice a month. While this may cause a bit of an issue around holidays when lots of large boxes are being tossed into the bins, it should be more than sufficient for most times of the year to have less frequent pickup dates.

Another issue that many owners find is that people don’t seem to know (or care) about how recycling works. It is important that everyone understands which bins are meant for garbage and which ones are meant for recycling. Most plants that recycle will either turn away trucks that are full of garbage or charge extra fines for having to separate the contents. This is expensive for the property managers and owners, which can discourage a lot of places from continuing a recycling program. Make sure to post literature about what can and cannot be recycled and take extra action such as video monitoring if needed.

Recycling is something that can really help out the environment and apartment complexes if used correctly. Although there may be people who don't care one way or another, it can be something that is implemented on your property to great success. Ask around and see if there is any interest in getting a recycling bin for your residents. It certainly couldn’t hurt for you to make a difference in the community and the environment!

Making Changes

Making Changes

You can't realistically expect someone to move into a new space and have it perfectly suit them from day one. Every person has different needs and styles that need to be accommodated when they move. Sometimes these are small changes, like hanging a picture or two, or maybe adding a bookcase. Other times, however, there are major alterations that need to be made. These can include adding a stair lift or changing out a bathroom tub or toilet to make it more accessible to someone with additional medical requirements. No matter the scope of these changes, you should always talk to your landlord.

While most landlords don’t have a problem with you putting up pictures or hanging new curtains, some don’t like holes in their walls. It is important to make sure you ask before you do anything that may bother your landlord. For example, if you put up shelves on the wall your landlord may get angry, but simply putting a nail in the wall to hang a painting is okay. If you want to change out a light fixture, you should ask the landlord if they are okay with you leaving the new one when you move or if you should keep the original to put it back. Every landlord is different, so never assume that the preferences are the same from one to another.

Some landlords are okay with you painting the walls as long as you return them to their original color while others don’t want to deal with covering other colors when you leave. Although you may paint a lovely mural on the wall, it might make it more difficult to rent to the next tenant if they don’t have the same taste in art as you. Even if you don’t think you’ll “get caught”, you should remember that it isn’t your home, and does still need to be treated with respect. If you wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, then definitely think twice before you do it to your landlord.

Any change that you may want to make to an apartment should always go through the property owner. Although you don’t really need to ask permission every time you hang a new picture, it is a good idea to ask what is and is not okay when you move in. As long as you have communication, you should be in the clear!

How Much Should I Pay?

How Much Should I Pay?

In the world of rentals, there are so many different questions we have to ask ourselves. One of those questions, and arguably the biggest one, is how much we can and want to pay for an apartment. You never want to stretch your financial limits and be in trouble if you end up losing your job or taking a surprise pay cut, but you also probably don’t want to go for the cheapest possible rent due to standard of living. Extra cheap locations are often too small or are barely habitable for a variety of reasons, which can be downright dangerous for those living there.

Most financial experts will agree that your rent payments should make up about 30 percent of your income. This is seen as a safe balance between your housing costs and other expenses. While this isn’t always going to work out due to a number of possible factors, it is at least a solid place to start for your budget. It also gives you a good amount of perspective on whether or not a certain price is too good to be true as well. For example, if an apartment would only cost you 20 percent of your budget while the rest of the places in the area would cost you the full 30 and there isn’t an obvious reason as to why, then you may want to reconsider instead of just jumping at the cheapest option.

It is also always a good idea to check around at other local apartments and see how much they are renting for. You never know if there is one specific area that costs more than the others around it, and depending on your financial situation you either want to gravitate there or avoid it. It also gives you a good idea whether or not you're actually getting a good deal on your rent payments.

At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide how much you should be paying for rent. Some landlords require a minimum income to prove that you can afford the apartment, so that is something you need to keep in mind when you look for a new place to live. If you are ever curious about how much you should pay, give Talley a call and see what we have to offer. You never know, you might just find the perfect place within your income level!

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