Pool Season - Charlotte Property Management

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When May rolls around, there are a few things that we always look forward to. Strawberries and watermelons are in season, and so are the pools. Most places that have a pool tend to open them around the end of May to coincide with Memorial Day as long as the weather cooperates. While it is always enjoyable for residents who are ready to jump in, it can be quite stressful for anyone who is in charge of the pool. This is especially true if it is meant to be used by an entire apartment complex.

Getting a pool ready to open takes a lot more work than simply filling it and unlocking the gate so that people can swim. Every state and town has their own laws about community pools, which is one of the first things you need to factor in. It is important to follow the law about everything regarding your pool, of course, but especially when it comes to the safety of your residents. Having a pool is often one of the biggest selling points for an apartment, but it is still a luxury. It can be frustrating for tenants and property owners alike, but it is important to remember that the pool has to be kept up to certain standards. This is why many owners decide not to even bother with a pool, regardless of whether or not there is already one on the property. The price of the upkeep alone is far higher than many smaller complexes can handle without raising dues too much. Between the chemicals needed to keep the pool up to code and the cost of any lifeguards that your town may legally require, it can easily put you in the red. That said, it is a great way to draw people to move into your complex, so that is something that should be concidered.

If you do have a pool in your complex, you should definitely try to have it available for your residents more often than not. It is often a selling point no matter the moving season, as most leases are at least 6 months and the tenant could make use of it during that amount of time. You just have to be sure that you are safe and responsible if the pool is going to be open. Here at Talley, we hope you have a great summer and get to spend at least a little bit of it relaxing in that pool you work so hard for!

Safety at Night - Charlotte Property Management

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We all know that nighttime seems to be when most people are concerned about criminal activity. Although criminals will try to break the law at any time of the day, our defenses are generally down at night as we try to get ready to go to bed and actually sleep. There is a certain safety that we feel in our own homes and that is something you never want to lose. As such, there are a few things that you can do to help keep your apartment safe at night so that you don't have to worry as much about something bad happening.

One of the first things that we always suggest is getting some form of home security system. This can be something as simple as a camera doorbell, or it may be an entire alarm system that goes through the whole property. While what you choose depends largely on the size of your rental and what your landlord will agree to, there are options for every type of agreement. If you cannot get a security system, it certainly wouldn't hurt to get something that looks like a security system. This may be a sticker to put in the window or a sign out front, or it may even be a fake security camera. Criminals will generally look for these kinds of things, so having them will help you keep your place safe.

Another thing that you can easily do to help deter criminal activity is to keep a light on. Whether outside or inside, you can keep a lamp or two on to make it seem like someone is still up and actively awake. If you are going away or simply don't want to remember to turn it on and off, you can always buy a timer to plug the light into which will automatically turn the lamp on at a certain time and off again once the sun comes up.

While there are dozens of things that you can do to keep yourself and your family safe at night, these are two of the easiest methods that tend to work pretty well. Ask your neighbors what they do if you are concerned about something happening, and always be sure to keep an eye on the area. Staying safe is the most important thing, so don't let your safety fall by the wayside at night!

Air Conditioning - Charlotte Property Management

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Right now, it definitely feels like summer outside. Naturally, this means it won't be long before people stay cooped up in their homes with the air conditioner and a fan on to try to beat the heat. The problem is that heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be downright dangerous if you aren’t prepared for it. Dehydration and other heat related illnesses can hit even if you are inside, so it is always important to remember to drink water and keep yourself protected from the heat whenever you can.

You always want to make sure that your air conditioners and fans work before you get to the point where you need them, and that the vents are clean. This is especially true if you live on a higher floor or in an apartment, one with lots of windows, or both. Hot air rises, which can make upper floors absolutely miserable to live on during summer months if you don’t have reliable air conditioning or insulation against it. Windows, while wonderful for natural light and air flow when open, can also be fairly brutal when it comes to the heat from the sun that comes in. If you notice that your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be doing its job, contact your landlord as soon as possible to talk about a replacement or purchase one depending on your lease agreement.

In addition to air conditioning, there are a few things that you can do to keep your apartment cool. Blackout curtains are great for more than just blocking light, they also help to keep heat outside and cool air inside. While any curtains will help, blackout curtains are the best. If you live in a space with an attic, it is helpful to install a fan, commonly gable or roof-mounted, and insulate these walls as well as other areas. Even having a white ceiling can reflect, rather than attract the outside heat.

Air conditioning and other heat repulsion techniques can be life savers during the summer. Be sure that yours is working correctly so that you can relax when you walk through your door. We hope that all of you have a safe and fun summer, and that you stay cool!

Your Necessities - Charlotte Property Management

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Everyone has different needs. This is true across the board. It doesn't matter if we're talking about food requirements, medication, or even what they're looking for out of their interactions with other people. Everyone has a different requirement for certain things, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that what will work for one person may not do so for someone else. If you don't need to buy your own insulin, that's great. However, some people do. For them, that is a necessity that you do not share. The same should be said when it comes to housing.

Beyond things like handicapped entrances or generators, we rarely think of different things as a necessity that some people can look for in a home. Generally, anything else falls under the category of “preferred” or “wishlist”. While it may seem silly for a lot of people, someone may have a need for accommodations that, at first, appear as an amenity. Almost everyone wants a washer and dryer at least on site, but someone who cannot walk distances with a full basket may need to have one in their unit. There is nothing wrong with being adamant and steadfast about what you seem to want, as it may actually be a true need.

If you have back problems and cannot stand bent over for extended periods of time, you likely have a need for a dishwasher in your apartment. If you have any chronic pain issues, you may need a first floor unit to avoid having to walk up multiple flights of stairs every day. An accessible shower instead of a shower and tub combination may be exactly what you're hunting for because of your knee issues. There are so many things that are actually necessities that get brushed over, and people's reasoning for leasing one space over another can vary tremendously. If you have any of these needs, don't worry. Talley will have something perfect for you.

With a constantly rotating set of listings, Talley has dozens of units that are looking for tenants that can accommodate for your needs. It can be hard to find a solid lead on any apartment when you have specific necessities that, on the surface, appear to be simple amenity preferences. Thankfully, Talley knows that sometimes when you say that you need a certain thing before you can move into an apartment, you mean it. See what we have for you today!

Gap Months - Charlotte Property Management

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Getting a new tenant into your rental property is always a struggle. The one thing you always want to avoid at almost all costs is having months where you don’t have a resident. You generally rely on your tenants to help you pay things like association dues or property taxes, so the longer it goes with no one renting your space, the more money is coming out of your pocket. Having a quick turnover between one resident and the next is extremely important if you want to make sure that you don’t lose money on your extra property. Here are a couple of ideas to help you skip those gap months.

One method some landlords use is asking their current tenant if they know anyone who is looking for a place to live. Often, a person who is renting will know other people who are also renting. This means that they might know someone looking to move into the area, searching for a location closer to their job, etc. You may want to offer an incentive for your tenant to find someone to replace them, such as a discount on the last month of rent or some free boxes to help them move. While you still have to screen the new person, you can save some time by having your current tenant suggest someone.

If you know that your resident is going to move out by a certain date, start advertising the vacancy as soon as possible. While it may be difficult to actually get people into the apartment to see the location, it is always best to start looking early. You might want to show pictures or videos from before your current tenant moved in to give the new perspective tenant an idea of what it looks like. You can also ask your tenants if they are okay with someone coming in and looking at the apartment while they are getting ready to move out. Most residents are okay with this as long as they are also home at the time.

Having a seamless transition between tenants is so incredibly important when you are a rental property owner. While you may need to take a couple of days to clean and paint, it is always better to have someone already lined up to move in. If you need help finding someone, call Talley so we can help you find your perfect tenant!

Finding Your Fit - Charlotte Property Management

Roommates

Trying to find the perfect place to live can be difficult. It is even more difficult when you are on a fixed or limited budget. A tenant may have specific, unique requirements which further reduce the amount of places that you can move into, and this causes even more trouble. When it comes down to finding a good fit for you, it can be a daunting task, but we're here to find that perfect home for you.

Trying to balance the amount that you need to pay in rent and utilities with the amount of space you need gets considerably more tasking the larger your family is. If it is only you or even yourself and one other person, you can very likely get away with a one bedroom apartment depending on your relationship. However, if you are someone with children it can quickly become prohibitively expensive. This is especially true if the kids are older and need their own rooms. Kids are already expensive, so trying to pay for their school supplies, food, utilities, and their own space can quickly seem nearly impossible. Yet, it is important that everyone is able to be happy with their home.

Another hurdle that may be difficult to overcome is the need for medical requirements that involve your housing. While something like a service animal isn’t normally a deal breaker, having a call button requirement or needing an apartment that is fully wheelchair accessible can be almost impossible to find. Not only would you need to find a bottom floor apartment without stairs or ledges into the unit, you need to be sure that the doorways will accommodate you comfortably and the angles aren’t too sharp for you to turn through. Everything also needs to be at a good height for while you are in the chair, so things like bathrooms and kitchens can be immediate deal breakers.

Here at Talley, we are determined to help you find your dream apartment. We don’t care what requirements you have; we are going to do everything we can to get you a place that you love. We understand that everyone is different and will need different things, so we are prepared to help everyone find that rental property that fits like a glove. Give us a call today if you are looking for a new place to live and see just what we can do to get you into one of our rental homes!

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!

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