How to Turn Yourself into a Happy Californian Tenant in 7 Easy Steps

House for rentLooking for a simpler method to polish your apartment finding skills? In this context, you should know that the best deal reflects a balance between price, amenities, current condition and location. Still puzzled? If so, keep reading to find out how you could upgrade your apartment renting experience without going out of your way. We give you not one, but seven tips on how to spot and rent an above average Californian property in a few days, with minimal expenses and efforts.

  1. Choose a Home Based on Your Specific Needs and Demands. Life in California can be pretty exciting, especially when you live on a property that encompasses a small gold course, tennis court and large outdoor swimming pool. But when you live from paycheck to paycheck, you should probably start crossing these luxurious amenities off your list. Instead, try to set up realistic selection criteria that could guide your home search in the right direction. Set your priorities straight. Create a list of desired features and highlight the filters that matter to you the most (such as location, rental rates, overall condition and so on). Always remember that a good real is represented by a property that is actually tailored to your objective needs and price range.
  2. Keep an Eye Out for Single-Family Homes. OK, so maybe you’ve always dreamed about renting an apartment located in a chic residential complex, equipped with all the amenities that you could ever hope to use, including an onsite gym and beauty center. If you don’t really have a lot of money in your bank account and want to experience a superior level of comfort without abandoning your dream entirely, consider renting a single-family house located in your preferred neighborhood. Such properties are often considered exceptional bargains, simply because they belong to individuals who are renting out their houses or condos simply because they would have a difficult time trying to sell them in this market. Therefore, don’t hesitate to get in touch with such “accidental landlords” who are looking for a valid method to supplement their monthly income.
  3. Take a Closer Look at For Sale Listings. Bold tenants are usually the ones who walk away with the keys to the best Californian apartments and houses that weren’t even listed on the rental market. How is that possible? These people think outside the box. You can follow in their footsteps by approaching homeowners who are planning on selling their properties. According to MarketWatch, if the house has been sitting on the market for quite some time now, its owner may be desperately looking for a good deal that could bring him closer to a steady cash flow. In this case, a convenient rental agreement could be the best solution for both landlords and Californian tenants looking for a real steal.
  4. Reevaluate Your Initial List of Essential Features. At the end of the day, do you really need an onsite wellness center, a gym or a pool to live a happy, comfortable life? If your budget is telling you that you can’t afford to be picky when it comes to renting a Californian apartment or house, consider revisiting and adjusting your list of priorities. For instance, a small, clean apartment with nice storage options, a fully-furnished kitchen and in-home washer and drier that would cost you around $1,000 per month could be more convenient that a $3000/month luxury apartment located in a residential complex with concierge service, fitness center, pet spas, wine cellars, private pools and various other mind-boggling amenities that you simply wouldn’t have time to profit from because you work 10 hours a day.
  5. Double Check the Landlord’s Inventory. You’d be surprised to find out just how many first-time tenants sign on the dotted line without taking a second look at the goods that their rental property is equipped with. Don’t make the same mistake: regardless of their value, these possessions belong to your landlord and become your responsibility as soon as you sign the rental agreement. This means that it’s your duty to keep them in excellent condition. To prevent misunderstandings and false claims, you may want to double check your landlord’s inventory and document the condition of each item present in your rental apartment/house. A stained carpet, cracks in the walls or floor and mold-contaminated surfaces are only a few of the elements that could force you to kiss your security deposit goodbye, so make sure you signal pre-existing signs of wear and tear and damages and discuss any potential concerns or confusion related to the inventory with your landlord before shaking hands.
  6. Determine Whether Rental Rates Are Fair or Not. Would you be overpaying for your rental apartment of choice? There is only one way to find out. Start by analyzing different listings available in your favorite ZIP codes. Check out different properties and compare them in terms of features, condition, exact location and rental rates. Some of the best apartment finding services, such as Apartment Hunterz, let you determine whether or not rental rates associated with a certain property are justifiable.
  7. Choose to Do Business with a Trusted Apartment Finder. Let’s face it: finding the perfect Californian rental is not exactly easy, especially when you’re juggling a dozen other important responsibilities on a daily basis. In this case, apply this foolproof tip to conduct a successful, painless home hunt: analyze and compare different verified listings introduced by Apartment Hunterz. California’s biggest and most popular apartment finder gives you access to an ample collection of recent listings and lets you use your filters of choice to refine your search and find the best deal on the local rental market in only a few days. Give this exceptional service a try and share your positive experience with other potential tenants.


Common Apartment Renting Mistakes That Could Cost You Thousands of Dollars

Mortgage concept by money house from  coinsA well-guided apartment search can be quite enjoyable, especially when the house hunt isn’t eating up all your energy and resources. In an attempt to save money, many people choose to start looking for a new home in Cali on their own. For the same reason, they end up saying “no, thank you!” to a company offering them the chance to get affordable renter’s insurance. These are just a few misguided decisions that could impact your budget. Here are a few of the most common (and costly!) mistakes that you could ever make while striving to become the perfect tenant living in the perfect Californian rental.

  1. Not Getting Renters’ Insurance. You’ve finally met the most dependable landlord on the planet and it was love at first sight. You two are on the same page on so many levels and this incredible connection gives you the certainty that you won’t have to deal with major crises while renting his apartment. The truth is that, regardless of how well you get along with your landlord, major problems may arise out of nowhere. We’re not referring to large-scale natural disasters that are less likely to shake your reality; we are actually talking about incidents that are much more common, yet equally unpredictable, like an injury suffered by one of your guests on your property or damaged or stolen goods that may be difficult to replace. Renter’s insurance only costs around 20 dollars per month and represents a fraction of the expenses that you would have to cope with in the event of a burglary, home fire or any other similar emergency situation.
  2. Ignoring the Value of Your Goods. The goods that you store on your property may not be the most expensive items on the planet, but even so, in order to replace them you may have to spend thousands of dollars in the process if you are uninsured. According to a list of estimates published by Forbes, an average tenant may have to spend around $5,000 to replace computers, external hard drives and other gadgets, $6,000 to buy new clothes and shoes, $500 to get a new TV set, $2,000 to replace jewelry pieces and around $1,000 to purchase new dinnerware. However, the list is not definitive and can include several other items that you may store in your house. If you think that your lessor is responsible for your stuff, then you might be in for a truly unpleasant surprise, as landlord’s insurance does not cover the value of damaged goods owned by the tenant. The good news is that you can protect your own back by buying renter’s insurance. Things get a whole lot better if you have roommates: by paying just a couple of dollars more for this type of insurance policy, one of the roommates can add you to his or her policy; in this case, you wouldn’t have to get your own renter’s insurance policy. Bottom line: never underestimate the value of your goods. On the contrary, in order to prep yourself for the unforeseen, it is highly recommended to evaluate and inventory your most valuable goods, take pictures and store all these important documents in a safe spot.
  3. Conducting a House Hunt in Cali on Your Own

Here are a few reasons why starting a house hunt on your own in the great state of California could represent a major mistake impacting your resources:

  • Great Deals Come and Go. As you may already imagine, thousands of other potential tenants are hunting down the best offers on the local real estate market. Just like you, they are also looking for the lowest rental rates, paired with an above average level of comfort, great amenities and fantastic neighbors, if possible. While you may be consulting an endless list of sources to compare offers, another candidate could snatch the keys to a good rental from under your nose. This is why you make numerous phone calls and hear the person on the other end of the line saying: “Sorry, it’s rented!”
  • The Californian Real Estate Market Is Incredibly Diverse. California’s real estate market is an inexhaustible source of surprises and powerful contrasts. Just think about it: you could end up spending $3,000 on a 3-bedroom house based in Huntington Beach, while another tenant could pay anywhere from $750 to $875 per month on a superb 1 or 2-bedroom apartment comprised by a modern residential complex located in Fresno. In this case, flexibility and in-depth research represent the key to success. Check out recent listings provided by a large apartment finder, identify the best deals available in several Californian cities that may appeal to you and get in touch with landlords in a timely fashion, before anyone else.
  • The DIY Approach Can Cost You Time and Money. Just like any other unguided action, a DIY house hunt could make you waste a lot of time and money. On the other hand, just imagine that you could compare recent, verified listings in terms of features, price tags and amenities from the comfort of your own home and schedule appointments with landlords online, rapidly and stress-free. Wouldn’t this help you simplify your apartment search and avoid additional hassles?
  • Those Who Choose to Fly Solo May Expose Themselves to Rental Scams. These days, rental scams are not exactly uncommon. An article published by Sarah Gates in Huffington Post proves that anyone could easily become the victim of an “awful Craigslist rental scam.” If a deal seems somewhat shady or too good to be true, choose to consider other options. Don’t let anything and anyone trick or pressure you into renting an apartment when you don’t really feel ready to take this step. There will always be a better, safer solution waiting for you just around the corner. To avoid such problems linked to consumer fraud and/or Internet crimes, it is advisable to trust your gut, question everything and do an extensive background check on your landlord.

Have Faith in the Power of a Reliable Apartment Finding Service. Why waste energy, money and time looking for vacant Californian rentals on your own when you can spot the best deals with Apartment Hunterz in the most convenient manner? Start each day by taking a closer look at the new listings hosted by California’s largest apartment finder, save your favorites, compare different offers, contact landlords using the iConnect feature, schedule in-person meetings and submit your applications online. Instead of hiring a realtor, choose to use a tool that lets you explore the highest level of freedom and control while looking for a new roof over your head.

8 Important Things That You Should Know before Investing in Renters Insurance

Paper cut of family with house and car on green grassMany people love the idea of living in a rented apartment or house, simply because they are not very fond of long-term commitments. They understand the responsibilities implied by ownership and want to avoid them at all costs. Truth be told, the thought that you can always rely on your landlord to solve potential property-related crises rapidly and stress-free can be quite reassuring. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that tenants are safeguarded from all categories of risk factors. One day, you could become the target of a burglary attempt; or one of your guests could become the victim of a slip and fall accident on your steps. How could you protect yourself from the legal consequences associated with such unpleasant events? The answer is simple: get a renters insurance policy. Here are a few important aspects that you should consider before actually taking this step.

  1. Renters Insurance Offers Third-Party Liability Protection. Unlike landlord’s insurance, renters’ insurance covers the damages recorded by your guests on your premises. Moreover, this type of policy could also help you cope with the expenses associated with an expensive item that one of your visitors decided to bring on your property. For instance, your best friend may trip on your carpet, fall on his expensive violin and break his ankle. Fortunately, in this case, your renters’ insurance policy could take care of everything, including the expenses associated with your friend’s injury and material losses.
  2. Renters Insurance Would Help You Pay for a New Place If Your Current Home Were to Become Uninhabitable. Picture this: at some point, a natural or man-made disaster could wipe your rented property off the face of the earth, or at least make it completely inhabitable. In this situation, your insurance policy would give you access to the amount of money that you would need to rent a comparable house or an apartment during such a difficult period of transition.
  3. Renters Insurance Lets You Protect the Valuables in Your Home. Who or what can protect the fortunate tenants who store high-value jewelry, works of art and other costly personal belongings in their homes? If you’re not interested in state-of-the-art security systems designed to keep burglary risks at bay, at least invest in a good renters’ insurance policy that would cover your valuable belongings in the event of a theft or an act of vandalism. However, do keep in mind that most policies offer a limit amount of money when it comes to replacing expensive goods that have been destroyed or stolen on your property. In some cases, you may need to pay extra for an additional policy to benefit from an adequate level of coverage, so make sure you read the contract multiple times before actually signing it.
  4. A Good Policy May Also Cover the Items That You Usually Take Outside Your Home. Want to protect the goods that you usually carry around with you every single day? Renters’ policies also cover such “mobile” personal belongings, such as laptops, for example.
  5. Under Certain Circumstances, You Can Benefit from Considerable Discounts. If you’re the type of person who is always looking for a better deal, you should know that you can benefit from a wide range of considerable insurance discounts for your property. For example, you could unlock additional savings by choosing to purchase car insurance and/or life insurance and various other types of policies from the same provider. Also, you could install smoke alarms and security systems inside your Californian rental; this is another valid strategy that could enable you to save a few dollars on your purchase.
  6. Certain Aspects May Prevent You from Getting Great Renters’ Insurance. As you may imagine, insurance companies do everything in their power to protect their own interest. This means that they do a great job at identifying and addressing risk factors that could turn you into a high-risk candidate. Dog breeds that are considered aggressive are only one of the many elements that appear as potentially dangerous in the eyes of insurers. Yes, you’ve got that right: your very own Fido could stop you from getting a better deal while shopping around for renters’ insurance.
  7. There Are Various Types of Renters Insurance Policies That You Should Consider. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” type of insurance policy. On the contrary, you can create a plan that matches your specific necessities and demands by adding or removing policies. For instance, you may feel the need to spend your money on a policy that only protects your personal property; or perhaps you could like to pay only for third-party liability protection. You could also choose to get a combination of these two options. At the end of the day, renters’ insurance gives you plenty of freedom of choice and numerous benefits.
  8. It’s Always a Good Idea to Perform an Inventory Check before Buying Insurance. How many high-value items do you actually keep inside your house? How much are they worth? You can answer all these questions by touring your property and taking a look around. This simple process will help you determine how much coverage your rental property actually requires. Zealous people go the extra mile to protect their home and personal belongings and usually take pictures that reflect the value and current condition of their goods.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by simply buying the right type of insurance policy. If you’re still stuck in the apartment search phase, remember that Apartment Hunterz is your trusted partner when it comes to organizing an efficient house hunt. Just check out the verified, recent listings offered by California’s largest apartment finder, connect with hundreds of landlords and property managers and find yourself a new, welcoming home in less than a week.

Apr 2015

4 Things That an Experienced Landlord Will Probably Omit to Mention

iStock_000014915516_SmallHow could you create and maintain an ideal partnership with your landlord? You may be tempted to think that, just like any other type of relationship, your collaboration will always be based on the highest level of transparency. This is not always the case. Here are four important things that landlords usually “forget” to mention when it comes to marketing their rental properties or courting a potential client.

  1. I Still See This House As My Property (Whether You Like It or Not). The (ugly) truth is that landlords still see and treat the apartments and houses that they rent as their property. While most tenants consider lack of privacy a major deal-breaker, you should know that landlords do have a key to their rented property and won’t hesitate to use it to show the place to future prospects, conduct repairs or respond to an emergency situation, like a home fire or a bursting pipe, for example.
  2. In a Favorable Context, Everything Related to a Rental Property Is Negotiable. Sometimes, you just have to work on your negotiation skills to profit from the best slices of Californian real estate. These days, in some markets, it is possible to adjust the terms of your lease in your favor. For example, you could modify the lease length, the value of your security deposit and monthly the rental rate itself. If you’re really lucky and perseverant, you may even manage to get rid of that pesky no-pets policy. Everything related to a Californian rental property is open to negotiations. However, do keep in mind that the landlords or property managers of hot houses and apartments located in sought-after neighborhoods may be reluctant to enter any negotiations simply because they know that they could find a good tenant just around the corner. Even in these circumstances, it wouldn’t hurt to try your luck and tell your potential landlord that you could identify a similar property with more amenities at the exact same rate. This strategy could come in handy especially when you’re planning on renewing your lease and fighting a rental rate increase.
  3. You’ll Be Renting an Illegal Apartment. Illegal dwellings represent a part of the rental market and are not as uncommon as you may be inclined to think. On the contrary, numerous tenants who are desperately looking for the cheapest accommodation option that they could find choose to rent an illegal indoor space, which may come in the form of garages, attics or basement rooms. Obviously, these spaces fail to comply with local housing codes and can pose serious safely and health risks for a number of reasons. Such dwellings may lack proper exits that one should use in case of a home fire, adequate HVAC systems and/or lighting. Believe it or not, more than a few young adults with limited financial possibilities who live in the biggest Californian cities that are dealing with a constant housing shortage rely on such temporary accommodation alternatives to save some money. If this idea sounds like a good plan to you, try to see things from a different perspective: first of all tenants who occupy illegal rentals expose themselves to considerable risks. Secondly, if something were to go awry, as a tenant renting such a property you would have reduced odds for recourse, simply because you shouldn’t occupy a space that fails to meet local housing codes in the first place.
  4. You Should Actually Do an Extensive Background Check on Me. If you are familiar with the mechanism of the rental market, you may be fully aware of the fact that most landlords screen their tenants very carefully. They want to know everything, including how much they earn, the most recent highlights of their rental history and details related to their credit history. As a potential tenant who is eager to avoid scams and disputes with the person who is going to rent you his or her apartment, what kind of questions should you ask and how could you actually do a background check on your lessor? Firstly, you can get to know your landlord and decode his intentions and way of doing business in an effective manner by asking the following questions:

“How would you describe the neighborhood?” If your landlord fails to provide a relevant, satisfying answer to this question, you should probably interpret his silence as a warning sign. Remember that some of the most dependable landlords are actively involved in their community and can give you plenty of info on numerous topics of interest, ranging from crime rates to your new neighbors.

“Who takes care of regular maintenance?” If your landlord handles repairs or emergency situations himself or hires a local company to complete such tasks, this may mean that he takes good care of his Californian rental.

“Did you have any problems with previous tenants?” A landlord who is constantly complaining about past tenants (who actually left as soon as their lease was up) may have bad people skills. It’s always best to collaborate with a lessor whom you can rely on, so try to avoid individuals who bad-mouth their tenants and complain about everything for no apparent reason.

If the answers to these questions fail to shed some light on this matter, try a different approach. Go online and visit websites that review both properties for rent and their landlords. Moreover, you could also get the hottest gossip on your potential landlord by touring the property in person and starting a conversation with other tenants who live in the same apartment building. All these simple strategies let you assess the level of compatibility between you and your landlord and give you the background info that you need to make an informed decision.

At the end of the day, it goes without saying that finding a cheap, spacious and beautiful accommodation option in the state of California is no easy task. With millions of potential tenants who are just dying to get the keys to a convenient vacant house or apartment available for rent, can you actually afford to be picky when it comes to finding the perfect landlord? When your money and comfort are on the line, it is extremely important to identify a good lessor and an ideal property for rent that won’t disappoint you. To accomplish this mission without wasting time and money, choose to conduct a house hunt the smart way. Browse through the listings brought to you by Apartment Hunterz, spot and save your favorites, connect with landlords online, in real time, submit your applications and schedule face-to-face meetings rapidly and safely.

Apr 2015