Pool time! It’s summer and it’s sure been warming up (at least, here in LA!) - so why not think about soaking up a little pool time!? Actually, the only pool time I’ve had recently is researching pools. A long time client recently asked me to help with some selections for her pool renovation. I took to Pinterest to research concepts before diving (pun) into the actual selections + materials. Check them out at the bottom of this post!
Last summer, I helped this client with her backyard and patio furnishings (left). On the right, is a concept board featuring three material and color scheme options for her pool coping, tile, & surfacing. It was fun to research ideas for pool selections!
If you have a rental property but you don’t yet have any tenants, rectifying that issue is probably one of your top priorities. Really selling your home to renters and making them want to move in sooner rather than later is a tough task. With so many other rental properties that you’re competing against, it makes sense to take the time and effort to present your property well and carefully. Here are some ideas for how to do that.
Tailor Your Messaging to Your Target Demographic
First of all, you should take some time to think about who you’re actually trying to sell to. You need to know who makes up your target demographic and why they might be interested in renting the property that you own. When you know which demographic you’re targeting, you can start to tailor your message to their specific needs and preferences.
Promote it on Social Media
These days, many people find their next home, whether renting or buying it, on social media platforms. So be sure to advertise and promote yours on these platforms too. Targeting tools on platforms like Facebook are very good, so you can make sure that your ads only end up on the feeds of the people who are most likely to be interested.
Use Word of Mouth
It’s also a good idea to use word of mouth. If you’re a local person looking to rent a property in that same local area, there are probably lots of people you can talk to about it. Ask around, see if anyone knows anyone else who’s looking for a place to rent. You’d be surprised at how successful this kind of strategy can be when you really work at it.
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Have a Professional Real Estate Video Made
Great photos are really important when you’re looking to show tenants what’s on offer. But what’s even better is video. If you can create a killer real estate video that people are going to love, you’ll find it much easier to find tenants. It’ll get across what your property really has to offer far better than photos alone could. So find a company that offers real estate video services, and make the most of them.
Sell the Community, Not Just the Property
It’s a good idea to sell not only the property but also the community around it. When someone chooses a home to rent, they don’t only care about the home itself. They also care about the location, the local community and the things they’ll be experiencing every day when they live there. So try to present these as part of the package and make the community a desirable asset in its own right.
Now that you understand a bit more about the process of appealing to prospective renters, it’s up to you to start putting these ideas into action. If you get it right, it shouldn’t be too long before you’ve got tenants beating down your door wanting to rent your property.
Storm season is among us and we are at the mercy of mother nature. Well, not quite. Our homes are tough and yet they are vulnerable. They kind of share the same condition we humans do in that we can endure much, but we’re still vulnerable at times. When a storm is brewing, it can feel as if you just have to hope and pray that all will go well. You don’t have to rely on fate to help you out, you can just take some simple proactive steps to protect your home. It's easy to get started and here’s how.
Trim your garden
Storm force winds are incredibly strong. Many of us just do not realize how powerful they are. Winds that are over 100mph are deadly. To protect your windows and your loved ones in the event of a storm, trim your garden trees, plants and bushes. You should also rake your garden for stones and take them out of the soil. Trimming tree branches can avoid wood landing on you, your car, your home and your pets.
Install storm shutters
Broken glass becomes more than just a hazard during a storm. It can be deadly if it falls on someone and it can be painful if you step on it. Not to mention, if you are cut by glass and you’re wading through dirty flood water, your open wound can become infected. So the first thing you may want to do is to install some storm shutters on the outside of your windows. These hatches can be shut from the inside if you have a latch or rope attached to them. Make sure that the latch is made out of steel and not iron.
A simple diesel power generator stored away in your shed or loft, could be a godsend when you have suffered a bad storm. Your power might be out for a few days, and cooking and heating will become the two most sorely-missed things. A small power generator running on diesel can last for up to 20-30 hours. It can help you to stay warm, boil water to cook food and also, help you to charge and use your electronics. Some semblance of normal life can be restored and it can really boost your confidence.
No matter how hard you prepare, sometimes mother nature just wins. So always have the contact details of a restoration company on your phone. They will restore flood, fire and storm damage. This can help with repairing walls, broken windows, wet carpets, broken slabs and wiring in the home. You should also devise a plan for how you will repair your home, such as clearing debris from outside the home first, clearing the lower flower and repairing the vital needs such as central heating, boilers, oven, etc.
Mother nature doesn’t take any prisoners, including your home. These are just some of the ways you can protect your home during a storm, which one do you think is the most effective.
If you decide to opt down the property route as a source of income you will need to be organized, attentive, willing to take calls and provide assistance to your tenants if you truly want to be a good landlord. Below are some examples of what you can do to facilitate the idea that you are an efficient landlord.
Provide a Warm Welcome
If your tenants are new to the area it will help them settle in if you put together a folder of information which demonstrates where all the local amenities are so that they are aware of the nearest shops, gas station, and transportation links. You could also provide some toiletries, cleaning products and basic groceries for moving in day in case they do not have these basic items when they first move in. This will also create a good impression on your behalf that you are attentive and would like the property to remain clean.
Keep The Property In Good Condition
Ensuring that all the kitchen and bathroom facilities are all up to date and working well as well as repainting the walls will keep the property in good condition. This will help to attract more prospective tenants who will be willing to move in and pay rent, which will certainly encourage business.
Be Organized With Paperwork
It is good practise to make a copy of the contracts that you and your tenant have signed, both digitally and on paper should you need to refer back to this at any point, after they have moved into the property. You are also likely to have more than one property to manage so you will want to ensure that you keep your paperwork all organized
You will need to be attentive and be able to answer calls or queries should your tenants need emergency assistance such as a burst pipe or the boiler breaking down. This will help to maintain a good working relationship with your tenants if you are able to resolve any structural issues with the property and they will be more likely to pay their share of the rent and look after your home well.
Create a Business Relationship With Your Tenants
Though it is important to be a welcoming and helpful landlord, you also want to maintain a professional working relationship with your tenants and not become too friendly with them. This might lead to problems with them paying their rent on time if they do not regard the contract they signed as a business transaction. You can also use the services of a property management company when you need assistance to ensure your tenants do pay accordingly each month due to your busy schedule.
Despite the old adage that "you should never judge a book by its cover," first impressions are important. It doesn't matter how well-organized or profitable your business is if the outside is neglected and decrepit; it will reflect poorly on your company and cause you to lose customers.
If people arrive and see a filth parking lot and a run-down environment, they will get absolutely the wrong impression of what it's like to conduct business with you. Because 95% of buyers make their choice on whether or not to enter a store on how it looks from the outside, freshening up the exterior will almost certainly improve the footfall to your retail store.
If you want to give customers the best possible image of your business, you need to have good curb appeal as well as a great interior and we will look at some of the things you can do here.
Give it a good clean
Customers will not be attracted to your business if the outside of your building is unkempt and chaotic. It also gives the impression that your company is sloppy and inattentive, which is not a good impression to leave with a potential client. Spend some time cleaning up the outside of the building: pick up litter, wipe down windows and walls, remove graffiti and animal mess and use a pressure washing service to give it a good blast.
Freshen up with a new coat of paint
Consider the last time the outside of your business was painted. A good paint job should survive for many years, so it's probably time for a touch-up. Painting the exterior of your building is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve its appearance.
A chipped, flaking paint job exposes the material beneath and exposes it to the elements of sun, wind, and rain, which can harm the structure of your building as well as look exceedingly unattractive. You could even take advantage of the opportunity to fully change the colour palette. To make it stand out even more, paint it in your company's colours.
Keep on top of the landscaping
The environment surrounding the building, as well as the building itself, need some delicate loving care. Overgrown bushes, fallen leaves, and out-of-control weeds give it a dishevelled and unwanted appearance. Trim bushes and shrubs, pick up fallen leaves, and, most essential, mow the lawns on a regular basis to keep it tidy. The difference between an untidy landscape and one that has been maintained is astounding, but keep in mind that it is something that must be done on a regular basis; it is not a one-time activity.
Give it some greenery
A touch of green on the outside of a building will always improve its appearance and make it more appealing. It does not have to be elaborate; strategically placed pots outside the door, as well as a few hanging baskets or bushes at the entryway, can make a big difference.
By improving the curb appeal of your business, you will see a much higher footfall. It makes you look like you care about the finer details, which is what every business wants to be seen to do.
The real estate market has been flourishing ever since its introduction. A clean and profitable way of making money is through real estate investment. Purchasing property can be an expensive venture. Improper management of your property might lead to its deterioration.
The good news is, various strategies can help you manage your property. If this is your first investment, these top tips will help you successfully run and manage your property
Understand your Home
Bedore renting out your home, you need to understand the systems and the lifespan of each service contained within. As you purchase your home, you may be oblivious to the underlying conditions that would not present themselves during the purchase.
Take time to go through each system and its working condition. If possible, hire a professional service to replace items whose shelf life is about to expire.
Reinvest in your Home
You need to maintain your house in tip-top shape to attract more clientele. Reinvesting in your home is an ideal venture that will make your home appealing. With every tenant, there could be an issue that arises with their stay, whether it’s a leaking pipe or a clogged drain.
You need to attend to such issues before they evolve into more complicated problems that would cost more money.
Learn on Landlord-Tenant Law
Managing a rental property is similar to running a business. There are various laws and regulations that both you and your tenant need to abide with. Understanding these laws will ensure that you comply to avoid any hassles mid through.
For instance, if you’re evicting a tenant who’s a bit troublesome, you can use the law by hiring an eviction lawyer to smoothen the process. Landlord-tenant rules will outline what obligations you have as a tenant and your tenants’ rights.
Tenant Screening Process
This is the most fundamental part of property management. You need to ensure that your potential tenants are fit and responsible enough to live within your property. One way you can achieve this is through an effective tenant screening process.
It would be best if you came up with a policy on tenant screening to apply to every applicant. The screening should involve a thorough check into their background, credit history, and reference.
To be on the safe side of the law, ensure that your lawyer goes through your screening policy before you use it.
Being a jack of all trades can significantly save you money on your property. However, at some point, you will require external help in managing your property. If you have a busy schedule, you can enlist your property for management by experienced real estate agents. You will still get profits from your property but at a reduced rate.
Hiring a professional rental property management company will take care of the day-to-day requirements of managing your home. This will, in turn, free you to invest in other properties as you grow your business.
It would be best always to remember that proper rental management is vital in obtaining maximum profitability from your investment. The tips above will set you on a course of success. However, if it becomes burdensome, a rental property management company will provide you with peace of mind.
The flipping of homes is something which has become glamorised over recent years, but really isn’t something that’s completely easy. It takes a lot of research and preparation to do it properly. It’s essentially the method of buying a house or property of some kind, making it better and more valuable, and then selling it on for a profit. Everyone approaches this in a different way. This is where people go wrong. If you just copy someone without taking your personal situation into account you aren’t going to make a success out of it because you aren’t playing to your strengths. Here are some tips to consider.
Know The Local Area
Before you start flipping you need to know what the local area market is like. If you don’t then you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Most first starters decide to buy in the area they grew up or in the wider city. If you’re ever worried about anything you can always reach out to a real estate agent but just remember you’d be better doing any research yourself. Knowing the area simply means knowing where the expensive homes are versus the cheaper ones. As well as knowing which neighbourhoods are good and bad and having a flavour for what developments are going to occur.
Decide How You’ll Flip
Are you going to build extensions on the property to add value, or are you going to rip out and install new kitchens and bathrooms? There are so many options for you to consider. It might be that you want to do all of these and really try to push the profit. Some might even demolish the whole home and start from scratch building a new one or decide to change it into apartments. It’s something you need to decide from the outset though as it allows you to properly plan how you’re going to approach each situation. It also allows you to build up an expertise in a certain area. If you’re doing this with a partner or friend it’ll be easier because you’ll both bring something to the table and will go far in keeping overheads down.
Get Your finances In Order
You need money to start flipping successfully. Buying the home costs money, and then making all the changes needed to improve the property costs even more. If you start a property without all of the money you need it could end up falling through when you run out. It’s hard to estimate when it comes to building works. Sometimes things will just naturally fall through or cost more than you think but it’s why you have some cash in the barrel for this eventuality. If you don’t, you’ll lose a lot more long term. Just go slow, save up more than you need after working out a costings plan and only then start your business. Even if you see a great prospect, don’t go after it unless you think you can do it justice. Once you’ve done it a few times you’ll start to build up some working capital.
Are you thinking about buying your first home? If the time has come for you to explore the property market, you need to be prepared. There are many different things you need to consider and a lot that needs to be organised. After all, this is likely to be the largest investment you have ever made, so you definitely don’t want to throw your cash about without thought! With that in mind, read on to discover the three things you need to do before buying your first property.
Start by asking yourself the key questions - A lot of people end up buying a property, whether a bungalow or a property in one of the popular mobile home communities, because they feel they have reached a stage in their life whereby this is the done thing to do. However, just because your friends are buying properties, does not mean you have to follow suit. There is no correct time to buy a house. It is a personal decision. To determine whether it is the right move for you, ask yourself a few key questions. For example, are you prepared to put down foundations here? Can you see yourself living here for at least the next five years?
Conduct research about the housing market - The second step is to find out about the area. Look into your investment and find out whether there are any development plans in place that could jeopardise this. What does the future look like on a financial front? What about the past few years - have housing prices been rising or falling? This will give you a good picture of how sound the investment is. Would you be better looking for land for sale instead of a pre-built property? This is another element that is worth looking into.
Get your finances in order – The third and final step is to make sure your finances are in order. This means having a good credit rating and doing all of the calculations to make sure you can afford the property. From the legal fees to buying furniture, make sure you incorporate all potential expenses too. What about your credit rating? Luckily, it is easy to get your hands on your credit rating nowadays. You can access it for free online. Do this to make sure you have a good score, otherwise you will struggle to get a mortgage and even if you are accepted you won’t benefit from good rates. If your rating is not good, work on improving it before you start the process of buying a property.
If you complete the three steps that have been discussed above, you can make sure that you are ready to buy your first property. As mentioned, there is no right or wrong time to buy a home, so you certainly should not feel pressured to go ahead with the investment just because other people are buying properties. Make sure it is right for you and that it makes sense financially.
It’s common to upsize when you have a growing family, but there comes a time (or a reason) when families have to downsize as well. And while it might seem a simple task, in reality it’s quite a challenge, especially when you have all the stuff and belongings to get rid off (or keep!!!) from so many years.
Here’s a handy checklist with tips and ideas you can use when you are faced with downsizing your home.
Image Credit: Pixabay
This is one of the best ways to get rid of items you no longer wish to keep or no longer need - and make some money as well. If you don’t want to do all the planning, organizing and executing, then handing the job over to Estate Sale Companies is a great idea. They will manage and do everything for you - from sorting your items to planning the sale to strategically pricing all the items and even marketing it so that you can get the best returns. They can help minimize the stress associated with downsizing while maximising your profit.
2. ...Or Donate To Charity/ Throw In TrashOf course if you don’t have the time to have an Estate sale, or don’t have items worthy enough of selling (or perhaps you would rather give them to the less fortunate who might need them), then a simple way of de-cluttering and getting rid of unwanted items is to donate them. Or, simply throw them in the trash! Job done!!!
3. Re-purpose Sentimental Items But what if you want to keep certain things, yet don’t have the space for them in your new, smaller home? This is usually the case with your memorabilia or certain items of your children that have sentimental and nostalgic value. In this case, you can resort to re-purposing items. For instance, get a quilt made of your children’s clothes that you wish to keep for memories. Or, if you have loads of photo albums and no place to store them, make a massive collage of photographs in a big frame. This way you can even display it and see it everyday. Think out of the box for this one and try and preserve old items in a new way.
4. Use Space WiselyStorage will probably be one of your biggest problems when you downsize. But if you think out of the box again, and use space wisely, you can maximize your storage space. Use every nook and corner of a room, and it doesn’t even have to look cluttered (think sleek corner cabinets or corner shelves). Make use of storage underneath furniture or under the stairs. Here are some more ideas for small spaces.
5. Buy Multi-Purpose ‘Smart’ FurnitureFurniture is key when you downsize. Big and bulky furniture will make your small room look even smaller; instead, buy sleeker looking furniture. Make sure every piece of furniture has storage (a bed with drawers or a stool with storage). But multi-functional furniture (a coffee table that expands into a dining table) and smart furniture (a desk that folds up when not in use).
The lifeblood of interior design is making sure the inside of people’s homes look the very best they can be. However, in the rush to perfect the interior, sometimes the potential of the exterior is overlooked. Fortunately, the advice in the post below should help you rectify this, so read on to find out how to ensure the outside of your home is just as beautiful as the inside.
Think of the garden like an additional room
One of the best approaches from an interior design perspective is to treat the garden, not so much as a separate space, but as an additional room. Indeed, there are many tactics that you can use here that will help to create an outside area that is not only beautiful but comfortable and usable too.
One of them is to create privacy by using fencing and shrubbery, which helps the garden user not to feel overlooked when outside. Also using color as an ongoing theme, you can delineate different parts of the garden for different purposes. In fact, you can use colour in the planting and by painting the furniture or walls and fences in that area.
Finally, when treating your garden like a room, furniture is very important. In fact, you will need to pick pieces that are not only practical but comfortable enough to encourage people to spend more time outdoors. With that in mind, choosing chairs and loungers with plump cushions that are more like interior pieces is a good call.
Consider how you will interact with the wildlife in your garden
Of course, when it comes to spending time outside it isn't only you that will be in your garden. Indeed, it is very likely that you will share this space with local wildlife, and by considering this in your design you can truly get the most out of your garden.
For example, try to pick plants that you know will encourage local insects like bees and butterflies. In particular, flowers like lavender, bluebells, and primroses can work particularly well for this, as bees love them!
Also, consider adding things that will attract birds such as a birdbath and feeder. Although, pondering the question of how do i get birds to come to my bird feeder before you install it is a good idea. The reason being that you can build strategies that will maximize the number and the variety of birds that will visit your garden, which can really boost your enjoyment of your outside space.
Low maintenance is OK
Finally, remember that it is totally OK if you want to maximize the pleasure you get from your garden but keep the amount of effort you have to put into maintaining it low. After all, you don't need to be a prize-winning horticulturist to ensure your garden looks great and is a pleasant place to spend some time. Indeed, even putting a little effort in when it comes to the garden can make all the difference and add value to your property to boot!
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