Californian Rental Deal Breakers That You Shouldn’t Ignore

Successful business man looking away with cityWhen you’re conducting a first house hunt on a tight budget, you are usually inclined to ignore all warning signs indicating that a certain property may jeopardize your safety, comfort or financial situation. You know what they say: on a highly competitive market with a short housing supply and a high demand for cheap accommodation options, when something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

What Are The Things That You Should Give Up to Spend Less on Rent?

This being said, what kind of compromises should you agree to make to get the keys to a somewhat attractive house or apartment that you could actually afford in the long run? At the end of the day, only you can draw the line between determination and pure desperation while comparing various alternatives in your preferred ZIP codes.

Some may agree to get roommates and split the costs with their cohabitants; others may opt for a small, unfurnished apartment to keep costs in check. Some may choose to avoid for rent properties located in some of the most desirable neighborhoods and settle for decent places situated in an area with a low crime rate. All these strategies can be quite effective, especially if you make a final call based on the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz, California’s favorite apartment finding service. Take a look at recent listings to identify the best cities/ZIP codes where the odds of finding a place within your budget are relatively high.

5 Bad Signs Indicating That a Californian Rental Is Clearly Not “The One”

While making small compromises is the key to a successful apartment hunt, remember that you should never ignore red flags indicating that your property of choice is inhabitable and/or potentially dangerous or simply not the best fit for you. Here are five such drawbacks that you should take into consideration during the apartment search phase.

  1. Safety Threats. To being with, you should know that drawbacks associated with a piece of real estate fall into three categories: those that put your safety/life on the line, those that lower your level of comfort and the ones that annoy you to death. By far, safety threats are the number one concern that should never become your problem as a tenant. To avoid such risk factors, always check reports available online to identify and compare crime rates in different neighborhoods before renting. Also, tour the property during the day and at night to figure out whether or not you feel safe in this new environment. After completing this step, extend your investigation by visiting the places that you would normally go to on a regular basis: the park, a supermarket and so on. Do you feel safe and comfortable walking alone from point A to point B? Choose to filter your search results based on your answer.
  2. Major Issues with the Basic Systems of Your Building. Ideally, any dependable landlord should invest time and money in its rental to make sure that all its basic systems are running like new. However, problems may arise at any given point in time, so you should do your homework and conduct an ample inspection to discover potential hazards before they become an actual issue. An odd or shoddy electrical box or circuit breaker could be seen as a warning sign; the same goes for an old, poorly maintained furnace that may very well cause a carbon monoxide leak. Don’t leave the house without inspecting the plumbing system. Flush the toilers and pressure test the shower. Go inside the kitchen and turn on the oven. If you get a distinctive smell of gas, run for your life and never look back. The same goes for non-lethal threats that may be bothering you during your first house tour (like walls with peeling paint, cracks in the walls/floors or rusty, defective appliances), especially if you may have to spend money out of your pockets to replace them or if you get fishy reassurances (“Yes, this can be easily fixed. I just need to find the time/right kind of help to do it. Maybe one of these days..”) from a potential landlord.
  3. Foul Odors. We know what you may say: foul odors are not the worst problem that you can think of, and they could never stop you from renting a cheap apartment that is much more affordable than similar options located on the same street. While we appreciate your determination, note that some odors can signal a more complicated issue, like a mold contamination, for example. Moreover, heavy smells (of smoke, urine and so on) can be difficult to eliminate, especially if they are already impregnated in carpets, upholstery and carpet pads.
  4. Pest Problems. Pest problems represent a deal breaker because they are very unpleasant and costly. Moreover, while dealing with this issue, you may have to take this matter into your own hands and incur the costs of a potential decontamination (cleaning, sanitizing and restoration of indoor spaces), especially if your landlord fails to respond to your complaint/request in a prompt manner. Because you wouldn’t want to share your slice of cake or pillow with a colony of ants, trust us when we say that you will call a team of decontaminators as soon as you identify the problem.
  5. Disrupting Factors That Make You Feel Uncomfortable in Your Own Apartment. People who are constantly yelling are annoying. Yes, you could always call the police, but would your intervention put an end to this type of unpleasant stories for good? Probably not! While you can’t choose your family, you can definitely choose your landlord and neighbors and this is great privilege that you should never give up.

The truth is that even in this market, you can still afford to be a demanding tenant in the state of California. Use the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz to compare thousands of listings and choose the one that speaks to you. The whole selection process is simple, painless and convenient. Test the effectiveness of this apartment finding service and simplify your future house hunts using the very best tips and tools designed by true Californian real estate experts.

How to Choose an Exceptional Vacation Rental in California

Beach HomesVacation rentals are constantly gaining popularity among families and independent travelers, due to their affordability, welcoming ambiance and overall versatility. Just because you want to leave your worries behind and explore another city or town for a few days or weeks, this doesn’t mean that you have to forfeit the comfort of your home.

Find the Best Vacation Rental in 6 Easy Steps

As a matter of fact, by choosing the right type of rental you could up the level of relaxation, fun and rest associated with your usual trips. Here are a few tips on how to choose your Californian property for rent wisely to benefit from a wonderful home away from home experience.

  1. Book Early. Book your rental of choice as soon as possible. This will help you avoid the stress associated with last-minute decisions and may also enable you to make the most of significant discounts.
  2. Opt for Lesser-Known Vacation Destinations. You may want to target properties that are farther away from the most sought-after tourist attractions for two reasons. First of all, in case you just want to break the monotony and recharge your batteries in a tranquil area, booking a rental in an overcrowded region visited by hordes of tourists would defy the whole purpose of your trip.

Secondly, proximity to popular local attractions usually comes with a larger price tag; if you feel that you need some peace and quiet and want to save a few dollars while vacationing in California, opt for a vacation rental that is located farther away from tourist hotspots. Also, you may want to book an apartment or a house in a city or town representing a lesser-known vacation destination. For instance, if you want to avoid the crowds that usually set camp around Lake Tahoe, you could always choose to visit Fallen Leaf Lake, a beautiful lake bordered by rolling mountains and lush forests. This corner of heaven is the ideal choice for a nice getaway that will give you plenty of opportunities to enjoy romantic walks, fill your lungs with fresh air and profit from all the first-hand amenities that a home away from home could ever offer.

  1. Find Out What’s Available Out There and What Actually Suits You. When people think about vacation rentals, they immediately tend to associate this concept with luxurious beach houses allowing them to spend as much time on the beach as possible, bury their feet in the sand and listen to the sound of the waves as they crash into the rocks. While this idyllic picture may stimulate you to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a Malibu rental, keep your options open at all times and remember that beach houses are only a tiny segment of the ever-growing, incredibly diverse Californian real estate market. From modern condos to extravagant oceanfront properties and rustic treehouses, all these lodging options are available online and can bring you closer to the ideal vacation experience that you have in mind. No matter how exotic your rental of choice may sound, rest assured that you’ll find it in California online, with a few clicks.
  2. Book with a Trustworthy Website with a Generous Inventory. Now that you know just how diverse the real estate market actually is, choose to analyze the offers brought to you by one big apartment finding service. By collaborating with a respectable player in this sector you could unlock a generous selection of premium accommodation options that you might not be able to find anywhere else.
  3. Keep an Eye out for Last-Minute Deals. People can be divided into two distinctive categories, based on the way in which they organize their vacation: some like to profit from the advantages that early booking brings along, while others like to take time to research different options and uncover hot last-minute deals that could help them spend less money than they’ve initially planned. If the latter alternative describes your own modus operandi, don’t hesitate to land on different websites regularly to identify and compare the latest offers.

Or better yet, instead of wasting time on various sites, choose to keep tabs on the freshest listings uploaded by Apartment Hunterz, California’s number one apartment finder. Discover a large collection of regularly updated listings, pick and save your favorites, revisit your searches at any given point in time, reach property managers and landlords, discuss amenities and rental rates and schedule a face-to-face meeting with the person who may hold the key to the ideal Californian vacation rental.

  1. Meet the Homeowner in Person. While Apartment Hunterz gives you the opportunity to find out everything there is to know about the property that you may be interested in (and its landlord) without actually leaving the office, it is advisable to take the time to meet the manager/landlord in person before reaching an agreement. First of all, a first contact with the landlord in his own environment may help you determine whether or not his house is the perfect match for you and your friends or family. Secondly, owners are always excellent sources of local knowledge and may even agree to become your personal tour guides. Most of them will gladly provide a series of tips and expert recommendations enabling you to make the best decisions during your vacation and save some money in the process.

Moreover, you should understand and accept the fact that each vacation home is unique. Avoid assumptions that could trigger your frustration and disappointment and ask questions related to the aspects that interest you the most. For instance, is the house pet-friendly/wheelchair accessible/baby-proofed? Don’t leave any room for misunderstandings and don’t sign on the dotted line or make a deposit until you are satisfied with the answers provided by your landlord/property manager.

Much-appreciated for its large rental inventory and professional services, Apartment Hunterz can lend you a helping hand and offer you the knowledge, tools and expert support that you may require to find a great slice of real estate. Make the most of all these elements to perform a rapid, effective and fulfilling targeted search and uncover the hottest deals on the Californian real estate market from the comfort of your home or office.

Sep 2015

5 Steps to Becoming a Risk-Free Landlord in California

home from dollarWhether we like it or not, rents in California are constantly shooting up. Recent statistics indicate that rental rate in Los Angeles are exceeding the pre-recession value. The recession has impacted apartment developments in the worst way; meanwhile, reduced rental stocks and sky-high housing prices have become two pressing problems that any potential tenant seeking a new roof over his head in Cali is now forced to deal with. Even so, a report published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University indicates that Los Angeles takes pride in the biggest percentage of renters in the United States.

Now’s the Best Time to Become a Success-Oriented Landlord

According to this source, 52% of the people living in Los Angeles were renters three years ago, compared to only 35% on a national scale. While fewer and fewer people choose to start a new chapter in their lives as homeowners, some of the individuals who own one or more attractive pieces of real estate choose to try their luck as landlords. Nonetheless, to become a successful landlord you don’t really need luck; what you do require to reach your goal is a mix of determination, research, great marketing skills and even better measures of precaution. Yes, as a landlord you have to cover your back and pay special attention to the potential threats that could impact your financial situation and overall balance. We give you not one, but five excellent tips that you can and should apply to match the low-risk landlord profile.

  1. Get the Right Type of Coverage for Your Property. First of all, think about the fact that your rental is one of your most valuable assets, which requires the highest level of protection to preserve its value and help you attain peace of mind. Buy coverage based on your needs and the most pressing and probable emergency situations that you have in mind (flood, fire, acts of vandalism, expensive stolen goods and so on). When shopping around for insurance, focus on these three essential components to keep some of the most common risks in check:
  • Rent insurance (a policy that covers losses associated with a tenant’s actions or a natural disaster)
  • Personal liability insurance (covers fair housing law violations, as well as the damages suffered by others on your property)
  • Property insurance (covers physical and structural damages affecting the looks, functionality and end value of your property)
  1. Screen All Potential Tenants. Take the time to meet all candidates in person and research your options very carefully before handing the keys to your place to a complete stranger. Keep in mind that you should never reject a potential tenant based on discriminatory reasons (sexual orientation, race, religion and so on), deny or hide the availability of available rental space, or create and embrace different standards for different categories of tenants. These actions are fairly common mistakes representing clear violations of the Fair Housing Act. If necessary, reject certain individuals based on legitimate motives, such as bad credit, negative reports from previous landlords and/or insufficient income.
  2. Turn Your Home into a Habitable, 100% Safe Environment. Next, take a closer look at the space that your new tenants would have to call home. Does it really resemble a home? Is your property attractive, practical and safe at the same time? If you still can’t provide an affirmative answer to this question, work harder to address obstacles that lower your rental’s levels of safety and comfort. Make sure your roof is structurally safe and that your tenants will have access to electricity and clean water at all times. Check the heating, gas and plumbing systems. Inspect lighting systems; replace or repair structures that could expose tenants to considerable risks (such as broken stairs or defective electrical wiring) and go the extra mile to accommodate the special needs of various categories of tenants. For instance, to boost your odds of filling your vacancies, you may want to implement a few additions, including accessible parking spaces, to accommodate disabled tenants.
  3. Address Environmental Hazards As Soon as Possible. Avoid a costly lawsuit by identifying and eliminating the most common environmental hazards that could put your tenants’ health on the line. Hazardous materials such as radon, mold, carbon monoxide, lead-based paint and asbestos can become serious threats, so you should conduct regular inspections to comply with current state laws and prevent potential damages and injuries.
  4. Hire Only Qualified Help. If you feel that some of the most importance tasks related to regular maintenance and your relationship with existing tenants would take away too much of your spare time, consider hiring a property manager who could preserve or even increase the value of your property, while keeping your residents satisfied. When looking for contractors, choose to work with experienced professionals who carry their own liability insurance.

Use the Tools Provided by Apartment Hunterz to Become a Better Landlord

Beginnings are always hard, we get it. As a first-time landlord, there are many things that you should focus on, including tenant screening, promotional strategies, maintenance work and complaint management tactics. All these aspects require time, energy and money. Wouldn’t it be easier to rely on a convenient solution designed to lift a part of this weight off your shoulders? Apartment Hunterz makes it easier for you to thrive as a landlord, by offering you a great variety of tools and features created to help you communicate with potential tenants, download and upload forms, schedule in-person meetings and promote your rental without lifting a finger to find the right clients. Give this great apartment finding service a try and reach a dependable team of experts to find out how you could shake hands with the perfect tenant in a matter of days.

5 Elements to Consider When It Comes to Renting a Kid-Friendly Apartment in California

Happy family on  floor near  empty  wall in the apartment bought on mortgageFinding a new home in California can be quite a challenge, especially when you have zero connections and just a few dollars in your bank account. When you have kids, things tend to get even more complicated. Obviously, as a caring parent, you have to put their necessities first. Their safety and wellbeing become your number one priority.

This is why you end up spending weeks or months researching different neighborhoods and comparing slices of real estate based on factors that single adults may not find that important, like proximity to schools and playgrounds for example.

5 Elements That Families with Kids Always Factor in Before Renting a House or an Apartment

Wondering how you could simplify the selection process without ignoring any details that might make a difference in your kids’ lives? We’ve compiled a list of five key elements that you should take into consideration before visiting any new neighborhoods and touring any for rent properties.

  1. Potential Risk Factors. Start by inventorying and addressing all the risk factors that could put your child’s comfort and safety on the line. For instance, check all banisters and railings when visiting a new property. These items have to be secure and should never wobble when you put a little bit of pressure on them. Railings should be sturdy and high, with little space between its parapets. Moreover, keep in mind that low windows could be a real hazard. It is always best to install child locks, as an extra measure of precaution. In case the windows don’t have locks or the locks are broken, don’t hesitate to discuss this issue with the landlord before you decide to move in. In addition, remember that hardwood stairs could also be dangerous, especially if you have one or two young children running around the house at all times. Opt for a property with carpeted, wide stairs or add a roll runner for extra protection.
  2. Amenities. Some amenities can make your life a whole lot easier when you have kids. For instance, an in-unit washer and dryer will help you keep your kids’ clothes clean at all times. A fenced yard will allow you to achieve peace of mind, even when you’re busy cleaning or cooking and don’t have time to supervise their kids. A nice playground improvised in your garden will give you the opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones and organize the best parties for kids at home. While comparing different pieces of real estate based on the amenities that they offer, you should start by separating your must-haves from the add-ons that could add value to your rental. For example, while you don’t really need a secured pool inside your apartment complex to create the perfect environment for your children, you may need bigger, airier rooms and an in-house washer and dryer in your life to ensure a higher level of comfort for your youngsters.
  3. Upgrades. Next, focus on upgrades that you can’t and shouldn’t live without. Think of the new elements that you have to implement to turn a rental into a safer, more inviting place. Also, you should probably stick to additions implying minor décor changes that are perfectly reversible. For instance, while baby-proofing your new home, start looking for modern, user-friendly products that could be easily installed and removed without damaging the setting. If you can afford to buy new furniture, consider investing in multifunctional pieces that could turn your house or apartment into a more spacious environment. Beds and desks providing clever storage solutions are excellent choices, especially when you have kids and feel compelled to make the most of every millimeter of available space.
  4. Available Space. Speaking of space, it’s no secret that kids can make even a 5-bedroom property seem crowded and cluttered at all times. Sometimes, you don’t need to start looking for a bigger slice of real estate to live a comfortable life as a parent of 3; you just have to come up with better organizational tactics and more effective storage options. Usually, some of the best rentals for families with kids are the ones that comprise a secure play area and plenty of storage space for clothes, accessories, toys and other everyday essentials.
  5. Proximity. Proximity to schools and local attractions (malls, parks, recreational centers) is another important selection criterion. A rental property that is fairly close to the best schools in your city, a library and a mall is a great asset. Don’t forget to tour all these places before agreeing to sign on the dotted line.

Discover the Simplest Way to Select and Rent a Wonderful Kid-Friendly Apartment in Cali

Browsing through a long list of ads can be extremely tiresome, especially when you have dozens of things on your agenda and very little patience and energy to conduct an extensive house hunt. During this phase, most people would give just about anything to simplify their search. Inspired by this pressing need, Apartment Hunterz has introduced its effective concierge service, designed to help its clients save time and energy while looking for the perfect apartment.

Here’s how it works: a concierge will perform a free personalized search and send you a notification via email or text message, giving you the chance to spot the properties matching your unique criteria before anyone else. Relocating to California can be quite a hassle, especially when you have kids.

Choose to make things a whole lot easier for your entire family by relying on the professional apartment finding services offered by Apartment Hunterz. Analyze an ample collection of recent listings, select and save the ones that you like best, reach landlords in a matter of seconds using the iConnect feature and rent a fabulous, affordable kid-friendly rental property in only a few days.

Aug 2015

6 Things That Tenants Interested in Luxury Real Estate in California Should Actually Obsess Over

Beauty interior in contemporary designWhen you think about luxurious California-based pieces of real estate, you automatically start daydreaming about huge tennis courts, heated swimming pools, sophisticated fire pits and breathtaking rooftops enabling you to contemplate gorgeous surroundings.

If you have a lot of money in your bank account and can spend your resources as you see fit, you have the liberty to select a high-end for rent property based solely on your preferences and your gut instincts. But even in this situation, you should probably ask yourself the following question: how are these upscale amenities actually influencing my overall quality of life and level of comfort?  While some of the features displayed by your favorite Californian rentals may be truly useful and awesome-looking, the rest could have a low practical value.

Furthermore, you should also factor in that the most expensive elements comprised by a pricy slice of real estate trigger inflated utility bills and significant maintenance costs. Think about it this way: to resurface your tennis court, you would have to spend anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. At the same time, a pool could cost you around $3,000 per year, including installation, potential repairs and maintenance work. You just have to do the math to realize that premium amenities and features can make you spend thousands of dollars yearly, mostly on services and improvements that don’t really make a difference in your life. In this context, it is mandatory to separate the desirable extras from the add-ons that can add real value to your Californian rental without digging holes in your monthly budget. Here are six key elements that you should obsess over, as a tenant seeking a high-end piece of real estate.

  1. Architectural Uniqueness. Trends come and go in fashion and architecture. However, a practical dress with a clean cut and a house with solid bones are timeless pieces that will preserve and maybe even increase their value in time. This is why you should get acquainted with the works of some of the most prominent local architects and start looking for homes representing their most successful projects. Rate each property as a whole, based on its foundation, the quality of its materials, creative vision, practicality and overall sense of style.
  2. The Height of the Ceiling. Instead of evaluating luxury rentals based on square footage, choose to compare them in terms of cubic footage. An apartment with a higher ceiling will always stun you with its airy, bright rooms and superior comfort; not to mention the fact that each moment spent in a room with a 14 foot ceiling will make you feel like the distinguished member of a royal family.
  3. In-Unit Washer and Dryer. Laundry machines placed in the basement are a must-have that should be encompassed by each luxury property available for rent. Convenient and practical, this type of in-unit laundry helps you save space inside the house. If you’d rather opt for professional dry cleaning services on a regular basis, note that you could always turn the room occupied by your washer and dryer into additional closet space.
  4. Well-Done Renovations. Over the course of time, sellers and landlords have learned a very valuable lesson: investing in expensive remodeling projects is risky, especially when you’re transforming your indoor and outdoor spaces based solely on your unique creative vision. Extensive customization is not always a smart move, especially when you’re planning on renting or selling your house or apartment.

Just think about it: you may be madly in love with the discrete glow of new, shiny stainless steel appliances and the subtle charm of an industrial, minimalist style, but your prospects could be fond of opulent décors and baroque furniture pieces. In this situation, it would be best to avoid remodeling projects with low or zero practical value and focus on improvements that could actually benefit you tenants. Well-done, necessary renovations revolving around key elements such as finishes and fixtures usually capture the attention of potential clients without interfering with their very own creative ideas.

  1. A Practical Layout. If you can spend a little more money on a giant property carrying a big price tag, choose one with a practical layout. Go for a rental with airy rooms, which enables you to maintain a separation between private and social areas. After all, you wouldn’t want your guests to knock on your bedroom door and invade your privacy every single time they need to use the bathroom. Also, you may want to avoid constructions comprising space-wasting structures, such as staircases, large hallways or rooms with a complicated architecture and reduced functionality.
  2. Clever, Glamorous Storage Solutions. If you can shed a significant amount of money on a rental worth thousands or even millions of dollars, then you may want to add a new filter to separate the good candidates from the truly amazing ones. Judge every single option based on the storage solutions that it offers. Extra storage room available in the basement and bright, glamorous custom closets with a multifaceted design are among the top amenities that always manage to create an excellent first impression.

What If You Can’t Actually Afford to Rent a Luxury Apartment in California?

California is well-known for its insanely expensive slices of real estate. You are free to picture the rest of your life on a superb oceanfront property in Malibu, but what if you can’t actually afford to spend thousands of dollars on rentals listed in this category? To turn your boldest dreams into reality, start by exploring an online platform that establishes and maintains deeper connections between tenants and landlords who share an interest in the diverse Californian real estate market.

Apartment Hunterz gives prospects the opportunity to check out thousands of listings, save their searches and reach lessors rapidly and easily. If you’re looking for the ideal rental, choose to conduct a time-effective online search through this service and get the key to a decently priced, comfortable and welcoming house or apartment in less than a week.


Aug 2015