Concerned about water damage on your rental property? Read our list of 7 tips for preventing water damage in your rental home now!
Water damage is a serious problem across many US homes, causing billions of dollars' worth of damage every year. The reason that water damage is so prevalent is that every home has running water. To make things worse, water leaks are very hard to detect before more extensive damage is already done. Untreated water leaks are especially harmful in rental properties, as they can seriously affect the investment and livelihood of the landlord and property manager. So, to help you avoid issues with your rental property, we have put together a list of 7 tips for preventing water damage in your rental home.
1. Inspect plumbing yearly or biannually
The best way to deal with plumbing issues is to catch them before they become more severe. As such, inspections are essential to preventing water damage in your rental home. After all, most leaks and old pipes have warning signs before they burst and start flooding. So, the only way to miss them is to neglect regular inspections. Or, if you are doing regular inspections, they aren't thorough enough to spot the problem. Make sure to hire experts, or if you're doing the check yourself, make sure you know what you're looking for. And while we're on the topic, you should know the difference between normal wear and tear vs property damage. We recommend that you perform these checks yearly, but biannually can also work.
2. Inspect the roof, chimney and attic
It can be easy to focus solely on the water damage inside a home. However, water damage can just as easily come from outside, especially in states with a lot of rain. Regular checks of your roof, attic and chimney can reveal wear and tear, which can quickly evolve into more severe issues. You should do this check biannually; however, we recommend inspecting the outside of your home after every heavy rainfall or snow. Additionally, if you're someone who's moving into a rental property, experts from heartmoving.us recommend doing a check as soon as you move in to make sure. After all, you don't want the damage to be blamed on you, so prevention is in your best interest too. Landlords are advised to perform a move-in inspection and note all pre-existing damage on a checklist.
3. Regularly clean and maintain gutters
Another common source of water damage is the home's gutters. After all, the point of gutters is to direct water away from the house, which is a good thing. However, when they're not cleaned or get damaged, gutters can have the exact opposite effect, and they can retain water. If water gets stuck in your gutters, it can cause severe damage to your roof in the long run. As such, after every heavy rainfall, or every few months, you should ensure the gutters are cleaned and well maintained. Remember, the most common issues of this problem are ice damming and gathered debris. As a tenant, you can easily do a check yourself, but be careful not to damage the gutters yourself while checking. As for property owners, remember that keeping the property well maintained is an excellent way to make your property more attractive to renters.
4. Insulate the pipes
Even if your tenants take excellent care of the pipes in your property, or if you give them guidelines on how to do it, problems can still happen. As such, installing pipe insulation is the best way of preventing water damage in your rental property. Sure, this isn't the cheapest thing to do, but the price of having the insulation installed is tiny compared to how much you'd have to pay to replace burst pipes. As for tenants, always be careful how you use water fixtures around the home. The tiniest mistake can lead to serious consequences. And if you're planning to move out of a rental property, especially when it comes to apartments, you want to make sure you leave everything spotless when moving out. Landlords should talk to their tenants and remind them that they will perform a move-out inspection, so everything needs to be in order.
5. Maintain basement drainage
If your property has a basement, it's crucial to ensure no water gets stuck in it. It's easy for the basement to flood and for that to go completely unnoticed. However, fixing a basement flood isn't as easy as solving other problems around the house. So, making sure the drainage system is working properly is quite important. Regular checks on the drainage system, preferably every few months, should help you prevent water damage in the basement. Also, if the basement is used to store belongings, this becomes ever more important. The last thing you want is to go into your basement and find everything you kept there to be drenched. However, it would help if you also considered how a property manager can benefit from a storage solution.
6. Use a catch basin
Some properties can have issues with water gathering around the base. A good solution, in this case, is to install a catch basin, which will ensure no water gathers around the home's base. A catch basin will effectively redirect the water from the basement and foundation, thus preventing structural damage.
7. Install a sump pump
An excellent way to make sure there's no water building up in your basement is to use a sump pump. Essentially, any water which might otherwise gather in the basement will drain into the sump pit, which you can later pump out a distance away from the house. However, keep in mind that sump pumps must also be maintained regularly to work properly.
Water damage is one of the common issues in properties all across the US. However, avoiding this kind of damage is very important for rental properties, as the damage can seriously lower the property's value and the landlord's investment. So, it's imperative to do your best to prevent it both as a tenant and a manager. Fortunately, most ways to do this are straightforward, only needing regular checks to ensure problems don't become serious or stop them outright. We hope this list of 7 tips for preventing water damage in your rental home helps you avoid water damage, and we wish you a great rest of your day.
As a homeowner, it can be challenging to determine whether downsizing is right for you. However, by understanding what downsizing means and looking at the benefits, you can often make the best decision for yourself with relative ease.
If you’re trying to determine whether now is the right time to downsize, here’s what you need to know, courtesy of Clark Real Estate.
What Is Downsizing?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, downsizing means moving “to a smaller home, usually because your home has become too large for you or as a way of saving money.” It’s a common activity among homeowners, particularly during significant life transitions.
For example, some homeowners downsize after their children head to college or otherwise move out, often because they no longer need as much space. Others decide to downsize as they prepare to retire, allowing them to simplify their lives, cut costs, modernize, and reduce home maintenance-related burdens.
Exactly how your new home differs from your last one can vary. In most cases, you’ll have less square footage when you downsize and might have fewer total rooms.
The Benefits of Downsizing
Decluttering Reduces Stress
Unless you previously embraced a minimalist lifestyle, there’s a good chance you’ve currently got some clutter. When you downsize, paring back on your belongings is typically part of the equation. Not only does it make it a great excuse to declutter, but eliminating that extra stuff can reduce stress. You won’t feel overrun by your belongings, giving you peace of mind.
Plus, there are plenty of simple approaches that make downsizing easier. You could try:
Less Cleaning to Manage
Another one of the major downsizing benefits is less cleaning. When your home is smaller (and there’s less clutter), your cleaning needs go down. You’ll have fewer surfaces to contend with and less overall square footage, letting you tackle all of your needs in less time.
Since your home won’t have as much maintenance, you’ll have more time to spend on activities you enjoy. If you’ve regularly felt pressed for time, that alone can make downsizing worthwhile.
When you downsize, there’s nothing that says you have to stay in the same neighborhood. Instead, you could set your sights on a new location, giving you a chance to reinvent yourself after you move.
In many ways, a move can be a fresh start. By coupling it with downsizing, you’ll get both benefits at the same time.
Smaller Energy Bills
When it comes to financial benefits, downsizing your home typically shrinks your energy bills. You’ll have less square footage to heat or cool, and that alone can make a big difference. Additionally, you might have fewer light fixtures or may be able to shift to smaller appliances that run more efficiently. As a result, your energy bill could go down quite a bit without you having to change your lifestyle.
Making Money from Your Home Sale
If your current home is larger than your new one will be, you have a money-making opportunity. Smaller houses typically cost less than their larger counterparts. As a result, there’s a decent chance you’ll earn a bit of profit on the sale that won’t have to go to your next property.
The extra cash could help you accomplish a variety of goals. You could eliminate debt, making your budget easier to manage. Handling a large purchase, tackling some renovations, or taking a vacation might also be viable options.
Try a home sale proceeds calculator if you aren’t sure how much money you could make by selling. That way, you can estimate the property’s value and your potential profit, giving you a decent idea of what to expect.
Protect Your New Home
When you downsize your home to save money, the last thing you want to happen is having to spend a lot of money out of pocket to fix several things breaking at once. You can protect yourself from this circumstance by finding the company with the best home warranty for your home. A solid home warranty will protect you in the event of an HVAC or plumbing issue, ensuring that it gets repaired quickly. All you’ll have to pay is the trade service fee. Read testimonials online to find the best provider for you.
There are a host of financial benefits to downsizing your home. If it’s time for you to downsize, get started decluttering and organizing, sell your home at a profit, and protect your new home with a warranty.
Image via Pexels
What goes up must come down. That adage is true when it comes to throwing a ball or hot air balloons, but what about rising prices? History tells a different story. You don't need to be an economist to know that prices for most products are more on a continuum trending upward with only slight and temporary dips. Inflation is a result of supply and demand. When there is greater demand than supply prices will increase. When there is a oversupply of products, the cost typically goes down albeit not necessarily lower than a previous average. Anyone that has filled their vehicle with gas over any period of time knows that gas prices fluctuate with the seasonal ups and downs directly related to usage by consumers and how much is available in the world. Inflation not only affects the price of gas and groceries, but also housing prices. The price of building a new home is related to the supply of construction materials. When the cost of building a new home is prohibitive, there is more demand for existing houses. Which, in turn drives up the sales price of an existing home. Other factors can contribute to home prices such as interest rates or the availability or affordability of low cost financing. Again, supply and demand is what pushes inflation to the record levels we've recently seen. Here is what many in government see as a benefit to inflation: The cost of paying back debt is actually lower when the debt was incurred prior to inflationary increases. If inflation devalues our money by say 10% it means that the debt represents a lower percentage of the income needed to repay it. If inflation pushes prices to 50 or even 100 percent, the pre-inflation debt seems insignificant. That is possibly one reason that many in congress don't seem to be concerned about inflation. One key to surviving inflation is to hold on to assets that rise in value with inflation. Cash is not a good hedge against inflation because it continually takes more of it to buy goods and services. Real Estate, precious metals, and durable goods that remain in demand in any economy historically provide protection better than most liquid assets. While high inflation rates may subside when demand and supply are corrected, prices typically level off but do not decline. That makes investing in real estate, for example, fairly safe. Landlords rarely lower the rents when inflation cools off. A shift to new construction could occur if materials become more readily available, but the existing homes hold their own. Understanding inflation can help you make better choices about what to invest in and how you can benefit from what can be negative affects.
In the world of real estate, having a rental property is an excellent investment. You will benefit not only from long-term investment returns but also from interim income. This is why many investors are looking for rental opportunities. However, being a landlord is not an easy job. It can be pretty demanding at times because it requires many skills and knowledge about real estate. So, if you're having a hard time being a landlord, you should definitely consider hiring professional help. Read this article to find out about 5 signs that show it's time to hire a property manager!
You don't have time to manage
One of the main reasons landlords choose to hire a property manager is they simply don't have enough time to manage their investment. More often than not, being a landlord is not a full-time job, but it sure is time-consuming. It comes with regular responsibilities and requires total commitment. This being said, if you have a full-time job, managing your rental property as a side job can become an issue.
Another problem can appear if you have multiple rental properties. The more properties you're leasing, the bigger management needs you'll have. It's hard to keep up with one; imagine with two or more! Therefore, it's highly beneficial to hire a professional in situations like this.
You have a problem with tenants
Being a landlord means choosing reliable and responsible tenants who will be respectful of your property. Unfortunately, this is harder than you think. As a landlord, you might face a lot of unpleasant situations. Here are the most common examples:
You don't live nearby
Not living in the area of your rental property can turn into a problem when it comes to being a landlord. The distance can intervene with your management obligations. For example, even if the property is in excellent condition, there will be times when you need to drop by and pick something up or inspect the building. You will be unable to respond to these emergencies if you don't live nearby. As a result, anyone who lives far away from their commercial property should think about contacting a professional manager to keep an eye on it. Hiring a property manager eliminates the need for you to commute back and forth every time your tenants need something. You'll be able to rely on the manager and their expertise when it comes to managing your property without your supervision.
You're struggling with leasing
As an investor, you want to make the highest possible profit from your investments. If you're renting a commercial property, this means you'll have to have tenants at all times. To make this happen, you have to meet the tenants' needs and keep up with the current real estate trends. Learn about what's hot on the market at the moment, how you can interest potential tenants for your apartment, what you can do to improve it, etc.
Every good property manager has this kind of knowledge, so it would be a good idea to hire one for some expert advice on the matter. Tenants may relocate for a variety of reasons, but the property managers can assist in lowering turnover. They know how to make tenants happy and keep them from looking for a new place to rent. Additionally, they will definitely have good marketing strategies and a network of interested tenants to occupy your property. All things considered, hiring a property manager is a win-win situation.
You don't know anything about rental laws
Every successful landlord should know the local landlord-tenant laws. Every municipality has its own regulations when it comes to the relationship between the landlord and their tenants. In a nutshell, these regulations are the guidelines on what your obligations and responsibilities are as a landlord, and they apply to tenants as well. So, before renting a property, you should get to know these regulations very well. If you don't have time for this, or you're having problems with understanding and applying all the rules, you should definitely consider hiring a professional property manager. They will know these rules by heart, and they'll take care of everything you are having trouble with.
Additionally, property managers can help you with getting all the legal documentation you need for your rental property. As a landlord, you'll have to get a few licenses and follow proper regulations when it comes to your property. All this can be a bit overwhelming, so it's a good idea to have a professional take care of it. They know every code and regulation, and they can help you obtain every license you need. It's also convenient because the property manager will make sure everything's done according to law, so you won't have problems in the future.
Are you ready to hire a property manager?
Based on the above mentioned information, we can all agree that being a landlord is a demanding and time-consuming job. It requires a diverse skill set and proper knowledge of the real estate market and its constantly changing trends. Therefore, if you're struggling with any of the things we mentioned in this article, it's time to contact a property manager to help you take the management obligations and stress off your plate. This would allow you to continue expanding your business without dealing with minor problems that can quickly escalate into major headaches. So, don't hesitate and make that call!
A lot of challenges come with owning and renting properties. From remembering to bill your renters to staying on top of maintenance needs for every property, there is no shortage of things to do.
If you own many properties that you rent out or even just one property, there are a lot of headaches and challenges you can face along the way. One thing you must do as a landlord is make sure the property stays in shape. Amanda Hinson, who rents out a property of her own, says that she must “call on tree trimmers, painters, construction workers, the plumber, and electrician for help with maintenance. If there's something I can manage myself, I will do the work such as cleaning gutters.”
However, when you don’t live near your rented property, it is not easy to find the best options to keep up the maintenance, let alone to do the work yourself. You also can’t check if your renters are following the rules, such as not having more people than agreed upon, or taking on another pet. So how can you live with peace of mind while managing your property? By using a property management service!
Reno Property Management Service with Clark Real Estate is a great solution for owners in the Reno/Sparks area. A family business run by Charles and Rick Clark, they will help you rent out your Reno or Sparks property without the usual stress and challenges.
When asked why someone should use a property management service, Amanda Hinson said that it was “convenient, low stress, it provides me peace of mind and freedom to manage my personal house more. I can give time to what's really important.”
Give time to what is important to you, such as your own home and family, while the professionals help you advertise, collect payments, do maintenance, find good renters, deal with emergencies, and more!
And on the flip side, renters can find property more easily with the Clark Real Estate website. They can find what they are looking for among Clark Real Estate’s options, while you still get money as the property owner.
As Real Estate’s brokers find the best tenants for your properties and find the best properties for tenants using their unique qualification process, start relaxing and doing what feels most important again.
If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in a position where you think you can afford to own property, you then have to deal with making the biggest and most complicated purchase of your life. For some, adding to the complication of a major renovation seems like madness. But for others, fixer-upper homes are the most achievable way to get the house of their dreams. If you have been considering joining the fixer-upper club, here’s what you’ll need to think about.
The Buying Process
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. In the case of a fixer-upper, this has to include both the price of the house and the renovation costs, but it is easier for you to think of them together for the time being. Good indicators to establish a budget include your annual income, money saved for a down payment, monthly spending, loan type, and current average APR. Don’t forget that there are plenty of hidden ongoing costs to owning a home, so you also need to take things like insurance, taxes, and maintenance into account.
The next step for most homeowners is to get to know their local market and see what kind of home they can buy in the area with said budget. Nolo.com suggests that the best way to know how much to offer on a fixer-upper is to figure out the value of the home if it was fixed, calculating the cost of the work, and then subtracting one from the other.
Once you find the fixer-upper of your dreams (and budget), there are a few additional steps you need to cover before making an offer. Get a full home inspection, which will highlight any repair work you may have missed during your visit, and re-adjust your offer accordingly. If a house you love has severe structural issues that would cost a fortune to repair, it may not be worth it.
As you look into financing your purchase, research the types of loans that will work best for your situation. For example, if you’re a veteran with so-so credit and not a lot socked away, you are eligible for a VA loan, which can help when it comes to finding decent interest rates, plus there won’t be any mortgage insurance. On the other hand, if the home needs serious work, you can look into an FHA 203(k) loan. These loans provide funding for the home and the necessary renovations, in addition for funding that covers the time you can’t live in the home.
When it comes to renovating your new home, planning is the most important thing you can do. It may be tempting to throw yourself headfirst into the first DIY project you can think of, but this is not the most efficient way to proceed.
Make a full list of everything that needs to be done, and sort tasks by priority. At the top, place anything that is necessary to make the house livable, such as electrical work, plumbing, or structural issues. Then address changes needed to make the house attractive. Finally, finishing decorative touches go last.
A full renovation schedule is important, but it is by no means the only thing you need to consider. Real Homes has a detailed checklist of things you need to do before you start renovating, covering everything from securing the building site to learning about your home’s architectural features. And if you haven’t already, invest some cash into some quality power tools such as drills or saws to make those DIY projects a little easier.
There is an accepted idea in society that your first house is a “starter home” and that you will eventually trade up to a bigger and better one. National statistics say the average first-time buyer stays in that house for 11 years before moving on to another home. However, there is also evidence that many first-time buyers, particularly young millennials, are skipping the starter home altogether. Instead, they are choosing to wait longer and put in more effort to buy a home that is right for them for the long haul.
Whether you choose to re-sell your fixer-upper will ultimately depend on two factors: firstly, whether you bought the house with the long-term in mind, and secondly, how much value you have added through your renovations. Do bear in mind, however, that experts recommend living in a home for a minimum of five years before selling.
Buying a fixer-upper for your first home doesn’t have to be a terrifying and intimidating prospect. As long as you are reasonable with your budget and expectations and do your homework, your fixer-upper can either end up being your dream home or a great first step on your way up the property ladder.
First-time home buyers bought more than two million homes in the United States in 2017. Many of those homes were not new, which means quite a few people found themselves in possession of a fixer-upper. These houses can be a dream or a nightmare. If you get the house for a good price, you can make a considerable profit by fixing it up and selling it.
Of course, this may depend on your area of the country; the average price for a fixer-upper in Boston, Massachusetts, for example, is $420,000, but the average will be much lower in less-populated and rural areas. And if renovations head south, you could end up pouring a lot more money and resources than you intended into a money pit. Here are a few suggestions to keep your experience on the positive side.
The Buying Process
As a first-time home buyer, get prepared before you even begin looking. Check your credit score, know what kind of down payment you can afford, and get pre-approved for a loan so you can make an offer without having to wait.
Looking beyond traditional real estate listings often yields results when you’re searching for a fixer-upper in your area. Check your local courthouse for foreclosure notices and attend auctions and estate sales. Because you’re willing to do some work on a house, you’re more likely to find a gem others will miss. The ideal fixer-upper is the worst house in the best neighborhood.
Before you buy, make sure you get a home inspection so you know exactly what you’re facing in terms of repair work. You want to make sure you’re not missing something major that will spell disaster once the house is yours.
Prepping for DIY
Determine what projects you need to hire out and what projects you can handle. For the jobs you’ll be doing, make sure you have the appropriate tools. A few common power tools include a drill, circular saw, jigsaw, oscillating multi-tool, and an orbital sander. These will get you through most projects. If you’re not sure which models or brands to buy -- or which tool to use for which job -- do some research or ask your contractor or an experienced friend for recommendations.
What Projects to Tackle First
Deciding what projects to start with will depend on if you are living in the home. If you’re living there, you will likely remodel one room at a time so you can live in the other areas. If you have other living arrangements, you can work on the entire home at the same time.
Major projects come first. Knocking down walls, tearing out old kitchens, ripping up flooring, and doing major plumbing and/or electrical work are large changes that should come before smaller cosmetic improvements such as paint.
If you are working with a contractor, make sure he communicates his remodeling plan to you. If you’re doing everything on your own, create a timeline before you pick up the first hammer.
Love It or List It?
As a popular show on HGTV asks, once you have completed the fixing up process, should you love it or list it (stay or sell)? If you are emotionally invested in the property due to the blood, sweat, and tears you poured into it, it makes sense to stay. If the entire process is just a business transaction to you, you’ll be more willing to sell. Either way, you should have your house reappraised once repairs are finished. If the home value has increased significantly, you may be in a good position to sell quickly (make sure you research capital gains tax first).
If you’re up for an adventure, buying a fixer-upper can be an exhilarating experience for first-time home buyers. Go into the process with your eyes open, and get lots of advice from people more experienced than you. Every fixer-upper process has moments when you’re not sure if things will work out, but the end result can be well worth your time, effort, and investment.
Photo from Unsplash
Guest contribution by Bret Engle.
With Valentine's Day just a heartbeat away, now is the time to think about those traditional themes of loved ones, property management, and real estate. Well ok, maybe these three topics aren't routinely considered all at the same time, but why shouldn't they be? After loved ones, real estate and homes are things in life that are pretty high up on everyone's priority list - so let's take a 'seasonal' look at how they might be related to each other.
Love yourself with real estate investment
A few ways that someone might pamper himself or herself to show a little self-love is to buy a new set of golf clubs, schedule a relaxing massage for those aching muscles, or perhaps go a bit further out on the limb and buy that alluring new new sports car. While all those are wonderful perks to contemplate, none of them - even the car - has the permanence or the deep inner satisfaction that an investment in real estate brings. And even better - the security and the value that real estate returns to you is very much like being loved back.
Love your spouse with your real estate investment
There might not be a better way in the world to express your love to a spouse than with a real estate investment. Sure, some people might object and suggest diamonds or other jewelry as the supreme expression of caring, but jewelry usually ends up stowed away in a box somewhere, only to be retrieved for special occasions. An investment in a home is something that surrounds your spouse every day with the warmth and depth of your feeling, and for any other kind of property, it still represents a long-lasting commitment to him or her that cannot fail to impress with its own unique permanence.
The steamy side of love and real estate
You could do the expected and arrange for a fancy date to celebrate Valentine's Day with your spouse or loved one, but you've probably done something like that already, if not many times before. This year, impress him or her with something completely different, and earn major kudos for originality.
Why not stay at home this time around and celebrate the day for lovers by discussing some of the red-hot topics of real estate and property management? Try nibbling on your lover's ear while whispering the latest market statistics on average prices and absorption rates. If that doesn't reduce him/her to quivering jello, a candlelit dinner with breathy exchanges on amortization schedules is sure to do the trick.
And if these two don't quite provide the spice you'd hoped for, you may have to bring out the heavy artillery. Slip in that video on urban sprawl and tax assessments while giving a slow, sensuous foot massage - it just might be the most memorable Valentine's Day you ever share with your loved one.
Gratitude is the first thing we like to decorate our homes with during the holiday season. The simple act of reviewing what we're thankful for is the fastest and easiest way to make your space brighter. Here is a list to get you started:
I am thankful for
-the roof over my head
-a place to eat
-a place to sleep
-a place to put my things
-a place to connect with family and friends
And what else?
What are the special features of your home that make it unique? What furnishings and appliances make your life easier? What decor makes you feel special and luxurious?
Take a walk through your home reviewing each and every thing that you're thankful for.
Are you finding that you're frustrated, and can't find anything good about your home?
That's where we come in! We've found that the best place to start if you're frustrated with your home is to list off what you WANT your home to FEEL like.
When you walk in and kick off your shoes, do you want to feel relaxed or energized? Warm or cool? When you wake up in the morning do you want to see the sun shining through, or do you want those extra hours of sleep in a darkened room?
Let's review your wishlist so we can get you into a home that fits! Whether you want to rent or buy, Clark Real Estate wants you to be thankful for your home--and we'll work hard to make it happen!
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509