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Four Safety Features To Look For When Renting An Apartment In The City

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Safety Features To Look For When Renting An Apartment In The City

If you’ve never lived in a city before, the apartment hunting process may be a bit intimidating. A lot of things—like how many bedrooms you want and whether windows are important—really depend on personal preference. But everyone hunting for a city apartment needs to keep one important factor in mind: safety. Even in “safer” areas, cities are teeming with people and unpredictable things can happen, so it’s important to ensure the apartment you rent has these features. A Deadbolt You never know when there might be a scuffle on the sidewalk or when an irresponsible citizen will decide it’s time to burglarize your apartment. A deadbolt will go a long way towards keeping you safe when you’re home. Make sure the deadbolt is newly installed or that the lock is changed when you move in to ensure old residents can’t get in with keys they have kept. Lock both the deadbolt and door lock when you’re home. A Secure Front Door A deadbolt won’t do much good if the door is flimsy enough to be kicked on by an average-sized human. Plain, wooden doors aren’t typically the safest choice unless they’re very thick. Look for steel doors or reinforced metal and vinyl doors. A Fire Escape Most cities require apartments to have at least two exits so you can get out if there’s a fire blocking one of the exits. The second exit is sometimes a fire escape, but it can be a big window or a second door if your apartment is on the main floor. Some landlords skirt by the authorities and rent apartments that aren’t up to code, so check for this safety feature yourself before renting a place. A Carbon Monoxide Detector This is another thing that’s often required by authorities by all-too-frequently overlooked by landlords. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that is released whenever gas is burned and can cause nausea, headaches, and death. A carbon monoxide detector will alert you to its presence. If you don’t see a detector, ask the landlord to add one before you move in; they don’t cost a lot and most will make this slight improvement if it convinces you to rent from them. Also check to ensure the apartment is in a well-lit area and that you can park nearby so you don’t have to walk a long distance to your apartment at night. Happy apartment hunting! For more information, contact apartments like University Manor...

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Three Situations Where You May Want An Emergency Property Management Service

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Situations Where You May Want An Emergency Property Management Service

When it comes to property maintenance and management, there are a lot of things to keep up with on a regular basis. Even if you’re able to handle the routine maintenance and upkeep from wherever you are, you may find that you aren’t really prepared for responding to emergency property maintenance situations. Here are a few situations where you you may want a property manager to handle your emergency property needs. Do You Own Several Properties? Handling emergency calls on one property may not be that hard to balance, but if you own multiple properties, you may find that those emergency calls can be tough to keep up with. In those situations, working with a property management company can take the pressure off because they’ll have enough staffing to handle multiple calls if they come in. This ensures that no emergency situation goes unanswered. Do You Live Out Of State? You might be able to handle seasonal property maintenance and collecting rent remotely, but if you live out of state, dealing with emergencies can be difficult. Whether it’s a broken pipe, a gas leak, or any other problem, you need someone nearby who can evaluate the situation and help you choose the right path for addressing it. With a property management company for your emergency needs, you can continue to handle the day-to-day calls and needs remotely, but any emergencies can be routed through the local management company. Do You Lack That Sense of Cool Under Pressure? Although some people are well-equipped for dealing with stress and pressure, others don’t have the ability to deal with the situation in front of them if they are too overwhelmed. If you’re one of those people who cannot put the stress aside long enough to act on the emergency situation, you’ll want to hire an emergency management company to deal with those problems for you. Recognizing this as a problem for you and responding accordingly may actually help you to get problems addressed in a timely manner without causing further anxiety for your tenants. As the owner of rental properties, your investment is likely also its own biggest reward. When it comes to protecting that investment and dealing with the unexpected, recognizing your own weaknesses and struggles is important. If you face any of the situations mentioned here, you may want to talk with s property management company like Choice  Maintenance Group LLC about the possibility of handling your emergency calls for...

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New Homeowner Basics About Fire Safety

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Homeowner Basics About Fire Safety

As a new homeowner, you need to understand the basics of fire safety and the most common fire threats that you may find in your home. The better informed you are, the safer you’ll be able to keep yourself and your family. Knowing the types of fires you might encounter and how to respond to them may even allow you to deal with a fire before it causes significant damage. Here’s a look at what you need to know. What Are Some Common Causes Of Home Fires? There are a few primary sources of home fires. Understanding each of these is your first line of defense for protecting your house. Wiring damage is a serious concern. Old, damaged, or insufficient electrical wiring can lead to a short. The sparks caused by that short may trigger a fire. In addition, if your home has even a minor rodent infestation, chewed wires are an equally serious threat. Routine electrical inspections may help you minimize this risk. Chimney fires are serious and more difficult to detect. Often caused by the buildup of soot and creosote inside your chimney, a chimney fire can burn for some time and potentially breach the chimney liner before you know that it’s there. Avoid this risk by having the chimney cleaned at least once each year by a professional chimney sweep. Grease and cooking fires can grow rapidly. The kitchen is a hot bed of fire safety concerns. From hot grease splatter to the open flames of a gas stove, you need to be attentive. In addition, your kitchen should be outfitted with several fire extinguishers for grease, electrical, and traditional fires. How Do You Respond To Home Fires? It’s important to consider the root cause of the fire when you determine how to respond to it. For example, while it’s tempting to throw water on any kind of fire, you may actually worsen the problem if you do this with a grease or electrical fire. For electrical fires, turn off the power to the area first. Sometimes this means shutting off the main power breaker to the house for safety. Then you can use a CO2 extinguisher on the fire. These are specially made for electrical fires. Grease fires, on the other hand, can often be dampened by covering them with salt, baking soda, or a pan lid. If the fire is in a pan, putting a lid on it may starve it of air, which can extinguish the fire. If that doesn’t work, coat it in a thick layer of baking soda. In most other fire situations, water or a standard fire extinguisher should help. Contact a company like Universal Fire Equipment to learn more about outfitting your home with the extinguishers you may...

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A Property Management Company Can Help Maintain Your Rental Property While You Are Deployed Overseas

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Property Management Company Can Help Maintain Your Rental Property While You Are Deployed Overseas

If you have recently found out that you will be deploying with the military, but you have a home that you do not want to sell because you one day want to come back to it after you retire, it can be hard to know what to do. Putting the house up for rent can be a great option, but the only problem is that you are not going to be able to take care of any situations that arise while you are out of the country. That is where a property management company like Shook & Tarlton Rentals comes into play. The guide below walks you through a few ways a property management company can ensure your home is kept safe and sound while you are deployed. Ensure Any Issues Are Taken Care of Right Away When you are overseas, it can be nearly impossible to take care of any issues that arise within the home while you are gone. If something needs to be repaired or replaced, the property management company will be able to hire the right people to do the job and then check to make sure that the job was done properly. Ensure the Property Is Properly Cared For While you are deployed, you will have to trust that the people renting your home are taking care of it properly. Hiring a property management company will give you peace of mind because the company can send someone by the house on a regular basis to check on it. They can let you know if the tenants are maintaining the property or if there are issues that need to be addressed. Collect Money for You Each Month The company can also collect rent from the tenants for you each month. They will keep a very accurate record of the amounts that are collected and when they are collected to ensure that you will have proof of payments that were and were not made if they ever choose to stop paying rent and you need to evict them. A property management company will charge a small fee for their services. The fee is worth paying if you consider all of the hassle and irritation that will be saved by having the company take care of the tedious issues that arise when it comes to owning a rental property. You will not have to worry about anything while you are on...

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Two Tips For Those That Are Considering Buying A Townhome

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Tips For Those That Are Considering Buying A Townhome

Buying a new home can be one of the more intimidating and important tasks that you will have to do. Unfortunately, it can be easy to make oversights that can cause problems or complications. For those that are wanting to buy a townhouse, it is important to consider some tips to help ensure that you are not making some potentially critical oversights. Review The Details Of The Homeowners’ Association It is common for townhomes to be under the jurisdiction of a homeowners’ association. These associations can be one of the great strengths of investing in a townhouse as the homeowners’ association will usually handle the landscaping for the townhomes as well maintaining community amenities, such as swimming pools and playground areas. However, it should be noted that homeowners’ associations also commonly have strict regulations in place. These regulations can govern what you are able to do with your property. For example, these regulations may ban renting the unit or painting the townhome’s exterior certain colors. Because these regulations can vary widely from one community to another, you will want to ensure that you are closely reviewing the homeowners’ association contract to verify that it does not contain restrictions that would excessively hinder how you want to use the home. Consider Buying Into Current Construction Projects Choosing to buy a townhome that has not been completed can be an excellent option for getting more from your budget. This is due to the fact that these homes are often priced at a discount compared to existing homes. Also, you will have the benefit of having a home that has been built with the most recent techniques and materials. When considering buying a house that is currently being built, you will want to review the section of the contract that covers what will happen if the house is not completed on schedule. By ensuring that the contract has provisions that will protect you in the event the project runs behind, you can help to reduce the risks of serious problems arising due to construction delays. Choosing to buy a townhome can be a great option for those that are wanting a home that combines the privacy of a house with the benefits of a managed community. By making sure to closely review the contents of the homeowners’ association contract and what happens in the event the construction project runs behind, you will find yourself in a far stronger position to evaluate potential...

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A Couple Of Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Couple Of Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

There are few investments that are more important than your home. In addition to being one of the most expensive purchases you will make, your home will also serve to keep you and your family comfortable and safe. However, first-time homebuyers can easily make some fairly simple oversights that can greatly complicate or hinder their experience with buying a house. To help you minimize the risk of making these mistakes, you will likely benefit from learning about the following home buying tips. Always Start The Buying Process With A Pre-approval From Your Lender One of the first and most important steps that you should take during the process of buying a house is to meet with your lender to obtain pre-approval for financing. Without this type of approval, you may have no idea how much of a loan you will be able to receive, which can make it almost impossible for you to know what your actual budget for the house will be. Additionally, there are some sellers that may not be willing to show their property to individuals that have not obtained a letter or pre-approval as they may not think the buyer is serious. Luckily, the process of receiving this type of approval can be completed in a fairly quick manner. In fact, most banks will be able to provide you with an estimated pre-approval amount within a couple of days of providing them with the documents they require. Consider Maintenance, Taxes, And Other Ownership Costs For Each Property In addition to considering the upfront price of a house, it is also critical for you to consider the various costs that the property will involve. Property tax can be an easy factor for individuals to overlook, but high property taxes can cause your end of the year tax burden to be far higher than it would otherwise be. Additionally, you will need to consider the other costs associated with owning a property. This will involve the cost of maintaining the building and grounds as well as the utility costs for the structure. Most real estate agents will be able to provide you with an estimate for the monthly energy usage of the buildings you are shown and they can also show you the more expensive maintenance tasks that will be associated with each particular house. By making it a point to consider these factors, you will be able to ensure that you choose a home that will not put a strain on your...

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About The Services A Realtor Can Provide When Buying A House

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on About The Services A Realtor Can Provide When Buying A House

Have you decided that it is time to invest in a house for your growing family? If you have no idea how to begin the buying process, you can’t go wrong by visiting a real estate agency for assistance. Below, you will discover the various ways that a real estate agent can come in handy when going through the process of finding and buying a house. Discuss the Needs of Your Family The first thing that a real estate agent will do to assist with finding a house is discuss the needs of your family. He or she will need to get a general idea of the type of neighborhood you are looking to live in. For instance, you can let the agent know what kind of schools you want to live by, as well the average utility rates in the neighborhood. The distance that you want the commute to work to be should also be discussed. Assist with Finding a Lender A real estate agent can give you the contact information of a lender that is likely to approve your loan application. He or she will first discuss your income, credit score and the down payment amount that you can put towards a house. The agent will try to help you get preapproved for a loan so you can narrow down your search to houses that you can actually afford. Provide Thorough Details About Houses The great thing about looking at houses with a real estate agent is that he or she will know a lot of details. For instance, the agent can let you know what kinds of renovations were done, as well as whether there are any original features in a house. If a seller intends on taking any of the appliances, cabinets or flooring before a buyer takes possession of a house, an agent will make sure that you are aware. Make Sure You Get a Good Deal A real estate agent has the skills that are necessary for negotiating of the sales price of a house. That is why you should not worry if the agent shows you houses that are over your budget. He or she might show houses that are over your budget if they have been on the market for a while. You will then have more negotiating power. Stop by a real estate agency as soon as you are ready to find a...

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When You Can’T Afford A Professional Staging: Little Things You Can Do Yourself To Help Sell Your Home

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When You Can’T Afford A Professional Staging: Little Things You Can Do Yourself To Help Sell Your Home

A good way to sell your home more quickly is to hire a stager who will come in and decorate in a way that attracts buyers and makes your home seem more appealing. But hiring a stager can be expensive. If you cannot afford this service, you can still take a page out of the book from stagers and do some little things that will help attract buyers. Improve The Lighting A dimly lit room is always less attractive than one where the lighting really opens up the space and calls attention to the decorative elements. Add a few accent lights under pictures, open up the curtains to let in more natural light, and switch your light bulbs to ones with a higher wattage. Colors will look more vibrant, and prospective buyers will feel like your home is more spacious and fresh. Paint Over Bright, Personalized Colors You don’t have to paint the whole house, but if you have any rooms that are truly polarizing colors, like bright pink or olive green, consider painting those rooms a more neutral shade like beige or gray. It’s easy to assume buyers should look past the colors any buy a home based on more permanent features, but the truth is, colors make a first impression. If a prospective buyer is turned off by a color they find tacky, they may not even keep looking at the other features to see if the home’s right for them. Hide Personal Photos When prospective buyers are looking at a home, they want to be able to picture themselves living in and enjoying that space. That’s hard for them to do if there are pictures of your family and pets everywhere. Take these down and hide them in a closet somewhere. If this leaves your walls looking rather bare, you could always purchase some cheap prints of generic images like landscapes and flowers and hang these on your walls in place of your photos. Display Some Greenery Put a few potted plants in a corner, on a tabletop, or along the mantel. The greenery will make visitors feel more connected to nature, and this positive feeling will leave them with a better impression of your home. Plus, plants help remove toxins from the air, so your home’s air will smell and feel cleaner in their presence. Follow the tips above and you’ll make your home more appealing to buyers without emptying your wallet. Talk to an agent, like Homestead Land Co, for more...

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A Piece Of The Rockies — A Checklist For Buying Land In Colorado’s High Country

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Piece Of The Rockies — A Checklist For Buying Land In Colorado’s High Country

For many people, the idea of buying some land to build a home in the Colorado mountains is a dream come true. But if you’ve never bought a piece of land, there are a few things that you should look out for before putting your money down. Here is a handy checklist for buying Colorado land. Utilities. All pieces of land you look at will come with the utility hookups in one of various stages. You may have some utilities already prepared while others are nonexistent. Find out what’s been done and what still needs to be done to provide water, sewer, gas and electric to the home. Here are a few utilities questions to ask: Is the water via a well or community hookup? If there is a well, is it permitted for outside water usage? What type of water rights can be purchased? Is the sewer hooked up to city or county lines or will you need a septic tank? Is the septic tank large enough for the size house you want? Has the land been tested with a “perk test” to determine soil absorption? Is there gas service (usually through Xcel Energy) or will you use propane deliveries? Has electricity already been run to the lot, or will you need to pay to have it brought in? Roads. Those buying a house rarely give much consideration to the maintenance of the road, but it’s vital in the high country of Colorado. You will need access to main roads, maintenance on your local road (especially after winter snows and spring rains) and snow plowing. Find out what access the land comes with and who is responsible for all roads out to the nearest designated county road.  Zoning. Local zoning laws oversee what can and can’t be built on particular pieces of land, so make sure you will be able to build the type of home (for example, single family home, duplex, year ’round or part-time rental) you want once you buy. Zoning information can often be found at the county or city offices and websites — such as this website for Summitt County.  Dues and Control. It’s less common in rural areas for local committees to have architectural control (the right to decide what you can and cannot build) over your your property, but it still happens. Be sure to ask your real estate agent about homeowners’ or neighborhood associations before settling on a home. Even if paying dues or following guidelines isn’t a deal breaker, you at least want to know what those requirements will be.  By asking questions about and learning the answers to these items, you can help ensure that you find the best possible piece of land on which to build your dream home. Then, you can start planning your new Colorado...

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5 Ways To Fix Your Lake Home Before Selling It

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Ways To Fix Your Lake Home Before Selling It

Are you planning to sell your lake home? There are plenty of problem areas you may want to focus on improving before you decide to sell. You may quickly raise the volume of inquiries about your lake house simply by making a few changes to it. 1. Fix structural problems with the house. This may be the most expensive thing you can do for your home, but it prevents you from having to disclose this major negative feature of your house. The foundation of your home is important, and it is important to ensure that it is in good shape. 2. Check windows and doors for broken parts. Any piece of a window or door that is broken may damage a potential buyer’s impression of your home. Good windows and doors ensure that your lake house looks well-maintained. It is also important that your locks work to ensure that, if the home is to be used as a vacation rental, it is secure. 3. Replace countertops and kitchen colors. The kitchen is the heart of a home, especially for those who use their lake houses as vacation homes. The countertops will look much more majestic with granite, and the walls will compliment them well with a neutral scheme that is not white. While you are working in the kitchen, ensure that your cabinets are all in great condition and have been professionally cleaned. 4. Landscape your property. The first thing people see when they come to your property is your yard. You do not want your yard to detract from the lovely view of the lake, but you do not have to go out of your way either. You can create a simple, aesthetically pleasing look in your yard. You might consider adding a small gate and a few plants. 5. Make the lake house eco-friendly. Green homes are the future, and adding such elements to your home can up its allure (and price). If the windows need an upgrade, go with double panes. You can also ensure that your home is fitted with energy-efficient bulbs and has a healthy lighting scheme. Don’t forget to check out the insulation, especially if your region is very hot during those summer months the house is sure to be occupied. Chances are that you have plenty of good memories about your lake house, and you definitely want your home to reflect this. Making changes now ensures that somebody else will enjoy it soon...

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