How to Deal With Water Damage

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Water damage: something no homeowner ever wants to encounter within the walls of their home. Whether it’s the result of severe weather and a leaky roof or a burst pipe inside the framework, water damage is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, it’s not permanent and can be fixed after the fact. You may want to contact a professional cleanup company to do any major restoration and repairs, but there are a few things you can do meanwhile to prepare the area and prevent any further damage.

First, you must identify the source of the water. Has the house undergone any severe damage recently? Do you have any known leaks in your roof or cracks in your ceiling? Were your plumbing pipes frozen or corroded? Knowing what type of leak you’re dealing with will help you better stop the continuous flow of water and correct and issues down the road.

Once you’ve identified the source of the problem and contacted the appropriate correspondence (roofer, plumber, etc.), it’s time to start fixing the damage left behind. Begin by drying the affected areas and wicking any moisture that may be trapped under furniture, beneath floorboards, or soaked into carpet padding. This is crucial, as mold and mildew could creep up and take hold as soon as 24 hours after the incident.

If the water damage is extensive, you may have to do some major repairs inside your home. For example, saturated drywall will need to be replaced, as will carpets and the padding beneath them. You may be able to salvage your hardwood flooring if you caught the water leak and removed the moisture in time to save its integrity. Otherwise, you may have to replace it.

If any of this sounds difficult or outside your expertise, consider allowing a professional cleaning service to come in and take care of things for you. They will often be better equipped with the tools and know-how to get excellent results. Contact your insurance company to see who and what is covered under your insurance plan, then work alongside the cleaners to get advice on how to proceed and how to prevent future incidents.

In the end, time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The sooner you are able to spot it and resolve the issue, the better. Water damage can spell disaster, but act quickly and you may be lucky enough to emerge with only some minor cleaning bills.

Picking the Right Property Manager - Charlotte Property Management

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While not essential to the success of your rental income, a property manager can make things a lot easier for you, especially if you have a full-time job. Property managers will take care of things like website listings, screening potential tenants, and even collecting rent from current tenants. But of course, you don’t want to choose just anyone for the job. You want someone reliable, someone you can trust with your business and your income, even when you aren’t there to watch over their shoulder. Here are some things you should consider when looking for a good property manager.

  • Get Referrals. The single best thing you can do when looking for a reputable manger is collect referrals from other sources. Contact people who would have had experience with a property manager, then ask whom they would recommend. After a while, you may find that there’s some overlap in the names being recommended. These are the property managers you’ll want to follow up with first.
  • Do Research. Rather than depend entirely on someone else’s favorable opinion, do your own research. A quick internet search will typically tell you everything you need to know regarding experience, credentials, and other information. They may even have a website available for you to browse.
  • Meet & Ask Questions. Form your own opinions by scheduling an in-person, face-to-face meeting with some of your top prospects. Consider the image you want to project and remember that your tenants, potential or otherwise, will likely interact with their property manager more frequently than they will with you. Record any general observations, including personality, sociability, and any other qualifications that you may consider important.
  • Observe Business Practices. If you have the opportunity, observe how they conduct business. Alternatively, you may ask these questions when meeting in person. Have they gone paperless, or are they more traditional? Do they prefer digital communication, face-to-face, or some combination of the two? Are they strict or lenient in the observation of rules and contracts? The ideal property manager aligns with your own values and current practices.
  • Ensure Insurance. Should something happen under their supervision, it’s essential that the manger have their own insurance. You shouldn’t be held personally responsible for a manager’s mistakes. Be sure to clarify during the interview process and weigh your options before hiring an uninsured property manager.

Finding a property manager that you like and trust can be tough, but it will be worth the extra time and effort spent in the end. Follow Talley Properties blog for more tips and tricks!

Home Interior Trends for 2022 - Charlotte Property Management

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After spending an unusually large amount of time in our homes these past few years, it’s no surprise that home interior trends going into 2022 represent a paradigm shift. These new trends reflect a changing of the times. Rather than simply looking nice for others who happen to drop in, our homes have become a personal haven of utility, functionality, tranquility, and personal expression. If you think it’s time that our homes reflect who we are, what we want, and how we want to live our lives, then 2022 will be the year to do just that.

  • As we’ve been stuck in our homes, we’ve had to be flexible and adapt as we go. Our houses have become offices, gyms, schools, and so much more. This year, design trends are taking this idea and running with it. What if our homes were designed to be multipurpose? What if they were designed with functionality first and foremost? Gone are the stuffy dining rooms only used for special occasions, and gone are the awkward bonus rooms filled with various odds and ends. It’s time to take control of your space and make it work for your life, your schedule, and your activities.
  • Furniture & Decor. As we head into the future, our homes may begin to feel like they’re slipping into the past. Traditional furniture pieces, as well as the spaces they inhabit, may see a return in 2022. Gone are the hard, sharp edges and modern sterility often associated with the style of the future. In its place will come rich fabrics, high-quality materials, and inviting homescapes.
  • Color, texture, and pattern can be used to evoke certain emotions and create an atmosphere. Bold colors and patterns are predicted to make a comeback this year as people reinvent their homes to be more personal, more expressive. Bygone decades, such as the 60s and 70s, will likely be a key inspiration as people learn how to create a comfortable, livable, relaxing home atmosphere.
  • Our homes are no longer bound by four walls. We open windows and doors, and we coexist with plants and animals. Now more than ever, we have begun to invite the outdoors inside. This is reflected in the materials we use, the colors we choose, and the decor we select to accent these elements. In 2022, make a conscious effort to live in harmony with your surroundings.

As you head into the new year, consider some of the latest design trends. Whether you’re moving to a new home or simply contemplating updating your current home, there’s never been a better time to hop on board and redecorate!

How Much to Invest in Landscaping - Charlotte Property Management

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As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make your property attractive to as many potential tenants as possible. Of course, the most important part is the living space. How many bedrooms/bathrooms? What amenities are offered? How competitive is the rental rate? These things will be at the forefront of renters minds as they are searching for their next home.

But what about the landscape? Surely you want your lawn and foliage to be just as attractive as the house itself. Not only that, but the right landscape design can drastically reduce regular maintenance and even discourage prying eyes. Below are a number of ideas that you may want to consider for your investment property.

  • Choosing the right type of grass for your lawn is essential. Some types are very high maintenance and need regular watering and mowing. In other words, they require quite a bit of upkeep. Research grass types that will thrive in your area, and pick one that does not require constant maintenance. This will make landscape management easier for you and your tenants.
  • Hardscaping or xeriscaping. Hardscaping makes use of tough materials such as brick, stone, gravel, wood, and other naturally occurring elements. Decks, patios, walls, and walkways can be a great use of space, and they require very little upkeep. Hardscaping may be considered a subset of xeriscaping, which is defined as water-conscious landscaping. Less water, less maintenance.
  • Climate-conscious shrubs. Depending on the climate of your rental property, you may be quite limited in the types of foliage that will grow. Consider cultivating local flowers, shrubs, and trees that will thrive in your particular environment, whether hot and humid or cold and dry. This will make it significantly easier to keep them alive and healthy, no matter your skill level when it comes to gardening.
  • Privacy screen. Everyone wants privacy in their own home. Depending on the property and its layout, you might consider planting trees or vines surrounding the house. Not only will this make the property more attractive, but it will make the residents feel secure and block prying eyes from the street. It may even discourage burglars during those times when the house is sitting empty between tenants.

Landscaping may not be top priority when compared to the house itself, but it’s a considerable bonus for potential tenants. Consider investing your time and money into making your property look finished. A lush lawn, a few flower beds, or an outdoor living area go a long way in making a house feel like a home.

Why Hire A Property Manager - Charlotte Property Management

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Being a landlord is a big commitment, especially for those who can’t dedicate 100% of their time and energy to its success. Marketing, finding tenants, and otherwise managing the maintenance and financial aspects of your property can be time-consuming. For those who are new to investment properties, it can be downright overwhelming.

Hiring a property manager may be considered an investment in and of itself. Whether you simply can’t dedicate the time needed to nurture your new source of passive income or your primary residence is not in the immediate vicinity, a property manager will help you every step of the way. For a small fee, you can essentially put your income on autopilot. Here are some of the benefits that come with hiring a property manager.

  • Marketing and pricing. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what people are looking for in a rental property, the positive aspects that you should highlight when marketing. Perhaps even more difficult is coming up with a rental rate that is fair but competitive. A property manager can work alongside you, or even do this for you.
  • Screening potential tenants can take a long time, and there are typically many steps to the process. Background checks, credit reports, and references can all be handled by your property manager.
  • Rent collection. This is the fun part! In practice, however, rent collection can sometimes be difficult. What do you do when someone asks for an extension on their rent? How do you handle late or missed payments? A property manager will take care of this for you. Fortunately, they are typically better equipped to handle these types of situations.
  • From leaky pipes and loose wiring to a stovetop on the fritz, ensuring that everything is running smoothly can be a full-time job on its own. It’s important that tenants maintenance requests take priority, preferably completed within 24 hours. A property manager can fulfill these requests for you, freeing up your schedule to focus on other pressing matters.
  • Geographic diversity. The great thing about property management is that you can expand your reach. Rather than being restrained to your immediate vicinity, a property manager will keep up with your investment wherever it may be located. This is particularly helpful for those that don’t have many viable options in their area.

There you have it. A property manager is an investment, but perhaps you would consider it a necessary one. Whether you’re new to the rental property scene or you’ve been doing this for years, it may time to put your investments on autopilot.

5 Hidden Costs Landlords Accrue - Charlotte Property Management

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Owning and maintaining a rental property is a great source of passive income. But you may find that your position as landlord is hardly passive. Rental properties often require regular maintenance and repairs, and you have to be willing to make the needs of your tenants a high priority. It can be a bit overwhelming… and expensive.

When first getting into this business, you may not be aware of all the little, hidden costs that come with the territory. Those little costs can add up quickly, so make sure you are aware before committing. Here’s a list of 5 hidden costs landlords tend to accrue.

  1. Property tax. Besides the obvious costs that come with having an extra property, sometimes rental properties incur higher tax rates than those that are owned and lived in full time. You may be eligible for a tax break because of its rental function, but calculate the cost and be prepared to pay full price before you commit to a property.
  2. Cleaning & maintenance. The time between tenants should be used for deep cleaning the rental space. Whether you choose to do this yourself or you hire a cleaning service, it will cost you to ensure that your next tenants begin their stay with a clean slate. Even while people are living in your space, you are responsible for consistent maintenance on utilities, appliances, and the structure itself. Make sure that tenants have a way to contact you, and make their needs your highest priority.
  3. Legal fees. Why would a landlord accrue legal fees? Unless you are an attorney or fairly well-versed in the law, you will likely need some legal guidance when drafting a rental contract. You must create a new contract for each tenant, as a one-size-fits-all contract may lead to disagreements or other issues.
  4. Insurance rates. Like property taxes, insurance rates can skyrocket when it comes to rental properties. Be sure you are prepared to take on the extra cost.
  5. While it would be ideal for your rental property to be occupied at all times, the reality is that there will be dry periods. You may have to go for a few months at a time without income. Save a little money on the side so that when the doldrums come along, you are not badly affected.

These are just 5 of the hidden costs that come with a position as landlord. Do your own research and plan every step of the process. When those hidden fees or necessary services come along, you will be prepared to meet them head on.

Your Change of Address Checklist - Charlotte Property Management

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Moving is a lot of work, and your to-do list is probably already a mile long. On top of packing your possessions, filling out last-minute paperwork, and finding a moving company, you have to consider the broader effects that come with changing your location. For example, your address. Think of all the things that hinge on your current address: letters, packages, bills, bank statements, and even utilities such as internet and phone lines. We’re here to help you through the process, shortening your to-do list by compiling some of the important companies and services that you will need to notify when moving.

  • Post Office Unless you want your packages, letters, cards, and other mail to end up in someone else’s mailbox, it’s critical that you let the post office know of your new location.
  • Utilities (gas, electric, water, internet, phone, etc.) The last thing you want when you move into your shiny new home is to find that the electricity doesn’t work and the water has not been turned on. Utilities such as gas, electric, water, internet, and phone lines require your address to properly bill you for their services.
  • Financial establishments (bank, card companies, etc.) Tax and insurance agencies need to know your current place of residence. It’s very important that your bank statements and other personal financial communication not end up in someone else’s hands. Plus, you will need to change the address associated with your credit and/or debit cards.
  • Current employer Whether you are paid via direct deposit or you receive your salary in the mail, it’s crucial that you give your employer your new address. Certainly, you want any emergency communication, tax forms, or pay stubs to end up in your own mailbox.
  • Shopping and subscription services While you may think that updating your address with the post office will solve all mailing issues, it’s wise to alert all services of your move. This will make checkout quicker and easier, and it’s less likely that your mail will be lost on its journey.
  • Physicians (doctor, dentist, vet, etc.) Physicians should be alerted when you undergo a change of address so that their records may be updated and corrected.

While this list will help smooth the transition between homes, please double-check your own records to be sure that nothing is left unchanged. The good news is that most records can be changed at any time after your move. So take time to relax, unpack, and enjoy your new home!

Ways to Attract Tenants - Charlotte Property Management

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Moving is a lot of work, and your to-do list is probably already a mile long. On top of packing your possessions, filling out last-minute paperwork, and finding a moving company, you have to consider the broader effects that come with changing your location. For example, your address. Think of all the things that hinge on your current address: letters, packages, bills, bank statements, and even utilities such as internet and phone lines. We’re here to help you through the process, shortening your to-do list by compiling some of the important companies and services that you will need to notify when moving.

  • Post Office Unless you want your packages, letters, cards, and other mail to end up in someone else’s mailbox, it’s critical that you let the post office know of your new location.
  • Utilities (gas, electric, water, internet, phone, etc.) The last thing you want when you move into your shiny new home is to find that the electricity doesn’t work and the water has not been turned on. Utilities such as gas, electric, water, internet, and phone lines require your address to properly bill you for their services.
  • Financial establishments (bank, card companies, etc.) Tax and insurance agencies need to know your current place of residence. It’s very important that your bank statements and other personal financial communication not end up in someone else’s hands. Plus, you will need to change the address associated with your credit and/or debit cards.
  • Current employer Whether you are paid via direct deposit or you receive your salary in the mail, it’s crucial that you give your employer your new address. Certainly, you want any emergency communication, tax forms, or pay stubs to end up in your own mailbox.
  • Shopping and subscription services While you may think that updating your address with the post office will solve all mailing issues, it’s wise to alert all services of your move. This will make checkout quicker and easier, and it’s less likely that your mail will be lost on its journey.
  • Physicians (doctor, dentist, vet, etc.) Physicians should be alerted when you undergo a change of address so that their records may be updated and corrected.

While this list will help smooth the transition between homes, please double-check your own records to be sure that nothing is left unchanged. The good news is that most records can be changed at any time after your move. So take time to relax, unpack, and enjoy your new home!

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