How to Downsize Your Californian Home in 5 Easy Steps without Going Crazy

Businessman Moving Out With Cardboard BoxTrading a luxurious castle for a modest condo doesn’t sound like a smart thing to do, especially when you’re determined to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without making any major compromises. And still, many people who are dealing with a certain degree of financial hardship choose to downsize their homes to reduce your expenses.

If you want to avoid huge utility bills, spend less time and money on maintenance work or simply find a smaller, more elegant and welcoming for rent or for sale Californian property that is nicer and easier to clean, start by checking out the fresh listings promoted by Apartment Hunterz and identify the ones that match your criteria.

Make Your Transition Period More Enjoyable in 5 Simple Steps

During this phase, you may also want to apply the following tips to say goodbye to your old place without any regrets, organize your personal effects rapidly and effortlessly and adapt to your new life and environment in less than a week. Here are five simple steps that you should take to facilitate your transition.

  1. Sort and Prioritize Your Belongings. Start by inventorying your goods. To simplify this process, make three lists: one comprising your must-haves, a second one for the things that you could definitely part with in the future and a third one featuring all the items that have ended up gathering dust in your home, for one reason or another. Obviously, you have to pack your essentials and ship them to your new address as soon as possible. The goods mentioned on your second list don’t necessarily have to go (unless lack of space becomes a serious concern); note that you can always organize a profitable yard sale to turn some of your unwanted possessions into solid cash, or you could rent a self storage unit and turn it into a great temporary home for some of the possessions.
  2. Store, Sell, Toss or Donate the Items That You Can Live without. Be ruthless when it comes to dealing with objects that have very little or no financial and sentimental value. Also, you may want to replace old, outdated gadgets and appliances that wouldn’t be a good match for your new home (think about your ancient, wall-hogging TV or the massive 3D framed wall art that no longer matches your style and aesthetic aspirations). Always focus on square footage and storage options before making a purchase. For instance, instead of going for a huge leather couch that is extremely beautiful but fairly unpractical, you may want to turn your attention to modern, versatile space-saving furniture pieces that will impress you with their multifaceted design.
  3. Invest in Smart and Convenient Storage Options. A smaller home doesn’t have to be a chaotic, cluttered, unwelcoming one. To keep your property nice and tidy, it is imperative to design and implement clever storage solutions. Start by buying and adding wall-mounted shelves and large storage boxes that could go under the beds. Tour your local container store and find the products that could maximize the appeal and spaciousness of your home. If you have gathered boxes containing items you don’t necessarily need at this point, but can’t or don’t want to toss, sell or donate, note that you could always send them to the nearest self storage facility to keep your indoors and outdoors clean and clutter-free.
  4. Be Selective when It Comes to Spending Your Money on New Household Items. In order to avoid clutter, you have to have full control over your buying habits at all times. Before planning a new shopping spree, ask yourself the following questions: Do I really need this new item? Would it fit in my new home, or would it force me to find and use a new storage solution?
  5. List the Main Benefits of Downsizing into a Smaller Home (and Go Beyond Financial Savings). It is very important to prep yourself for the process of downsizing into a smaller home. Make a list of all the advantages that this change would allow you to unlock, and go beyond the dollar bills that a smaller Californian rental may help you save. For example, think about the fact that you will have less work to do around your house; this will give you plenty of time to discover a new hobby, get a second job to supplement your monthly income, meet old friends or go on a trip. Moreover, you could opt for a condominium and delegate some of the most important, costly or labor-intensive assignments to your maintenance guy.

What If You Want a Cheaper Rental, and Not Necessarily a Smaller One?

Perhaps you are contemplating the idea of moving into a smaller Californian house or apartment only because you are intimidated by huge rental rates associated with 3 or 4-bedroom properties. This is perfectly understandable! However, you should realize the fact that you could always stumble across more affordable rentals located in areas with a cooler housing market.

In other words, just because you have to cross insanely expensive San Francisco-based rentals off your list (the median rent for a modest 1-bedroom apartment located in this sought-after city hit the $3,400 milestone in January) this doesn’t mean that you should put an end to your house hunt without exploring all your options.

While a 1-bedroom property based in San Francisco is approximately $1,000 more expensive than a 2-bedroom house or apartment located in New York, one could definitely spot several attractive, budget-friendly properties located in nearby cities. Apartment Hunterz offers you all the support that you may need to discover amazing Californian rentals and choose the one that actually makes sense to you. Go through the vast collection of listings offered by California’s top-rated apartment finding service, select your favorites, connect with landlords the easy way and organize a successful house hunt on a budget.

7 Steps to Follow to Ensure a More Enjoyable Tenancy

iStock_000014915526_SmallFinding the perfect tenants who pay rent on time, don’t cause or make any complaints, mind their own business and send you gifts during the holiday season can be quite complicated and time-consuming. This is why landlords should do their best to work on their relationships with existing tenants and employ different strategies to keep their residents happy and completely satisfied in the long term.

7 Steps to Take to Guarantee a Flawless Tenancy Experience

If you’re willing to go the extra mile to stimulate your tenants to renew their leases or speak highly of you and recommend your Californian rental in their circles, start by following the seven key steps that guarantee a more enjoyable tenancy.

  1. Meet Your Tenants in Person. The very best Californian apartment finding service offers you all the tools and services that you may need to reach tenants and help them discover the best features of your property without actually touring it in person. You can even upload forms and encourage potential tenants to fill them out and send them back to you. However, this doesn’t mean that virtual interactions should replace face-to-face ones. Take the time to meet all candidates in person before signing on the dotted line. This way, you will manage to complete your screening process and shake hands with the people who meet your criteria and send you the best vibes.
  2. Be Present (and Helpful) During Move in Day. A landlord who is present and active on move-in day manages to highlight his reliability and commitment. Moreover, by following this path you could also anticipate and address potential problems that your new tenants could encounter on your premises.
  3. Be Available and Stimulate Your Tenants to Provide Feedback. Most first-time landlords have a hard time trying to stay on top of things. Their tasks become even more complicated and time consuming when they have to manage multiple buy-to-let properties. If you are currently dealing with similar challenges, consider spending the right amount of money on property management services. If this option is out of the question for one reason or another, at least try to break down your daily assignments into smaller, simpler ones that are more manageable. Keep the lessor-tenant relationship warm and cordial by returning texts and phone calls promptly. Respond to repair, improvement or replacement requests as soon as possible and don’t forget to ask your tenants to rate your work. Feedback from tenants is an invaluable element that could help you evaluate (and improve) your performance in record time.
  4. Be Proactive. A proactive attitude will always work to your best advantage by helping you keep your expenses in check. Why wait for that pipe to burst when you can replace it today and prevent significant repair costs? Regular maintenance will ensure a higher level of comfort for your tenants, while also enabling you to avoid bigger and more expensive home improvement projects.
  5. Keep All Your Promises. Procrastination can deteriorate your relationship with your current tenants and lower your odds of finding new ones in the long run. As you can imagine, more than a few people who are Internet savvy and particularly active on social media platforms are inclined to share their experiences with the whole world; tenants who fit this description won’t hesitate to complain about your lack of commitment/involvement/interest, putting your reputation on the line. Therefore, treat all your tenants with the uttermost respect and honor their repair requests in a timely fashion. Keep your promise to replace old, rusty appliances or fix leaky pipes. The simplest changes related to the looks, feel and functionality of your Californian rental will help you better your relationship with the people who live under your roof.
  6. Find the Perfect Gifts for Your Landlords to Reward Their Loyalty. Every once in a while you should consider surprising your tenants with small, inexpensive gifts ideas that underline your good intentions. Remember that great tenants are hard to come by, especially on markets where high rental rates keep intimidating budget-conscious prospects who are constantly looking for bargains. Holidays offer you the perfect opportunity to consolidate your bond with your tenants.

Why is it so important to target the perfect gift idea? Presents, regardless of their value, stimulate mediocre tenants to adjust their attitude and implement positive changes (pay rent on time, renew their lease, keep your house clean and clutter-free and even send you small gifts in return). At the same time, presents encourage ideal tenants to keep up the good work. So what should you actually get them? Keep in mind that you shouldn’t break the bank to keep your tenants happy. By taking a certain amount off next month’s rent you could come up with the perfect holiday gift for your tenants. If you’d rather stick to more conventional presents, consider opting for gift baskets, iTunes gift cards, movie/concert tickets or practical gift cards. Looking for the gift that could benefit both landlords and tenants? If that’s the case, choose to make a small investment that will boost the appeal and/or functionality of your Californian rental. Appliance upgrades, house cleaning services and simple, cost-effective additions (like that gorgeous set of patio furniture that all your tenants have been dreaming about for so long) will make your residents happy, while also turning your property into a more comfortable and welcoming environment.

  1. Use an Apartment Finding Service to Become a Better Landlord. Landlordship involves a series of responsibilities that you may not be ready or willing to handle at this point. If you are determined to squeeze more value from your Californian rental and wish to create the perfect foundation for a mutually advantageous tenant-landlord relationship, consider using the tools and expert support provided by Apartment Hunterz. California’s favorite apartment finding service makes it easier for landlords to identify the perfect tenants and maintain an excellent connection with the people who may be interested in renting their houses or apartments. Set up your landlord account today, start using the cool tools and features offered by Apartment Hunterz and fill your vacancies rapidly, easily and stress-free.
Aug 2015

Should you Buy or Rent a House in Pasadena?

iStock_000051369886_Small (1)The idea of putting down roots in Los Angeles County, California, can be pretty tempting. The people who have already chosen to relocate here profit from a number of notable advantages, including excellent weather year round, great job opportunities, great views and above average accommodation options. Speaking of outstanding housing alternatives, should you buy or rent a place in a cool city like Pasadena?

Why Choose Pasadena in the First Place?

With so many appealing choices that make sense to you in terms of location and rental rates or median home sale prices, why should you decide to move to Pasadena in the first place? There are many reasons that could justify your decision. Home to a little over 139,000 people, Pasadena represents the 183rd largest U.S.-based city and the 9th largest one in its county. This prominent city is well-known nationally mostly due to its famous Tournament of the Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl football game that takes place every year. Moreover, Pasadena also counts several notable cultural and scientific institutions, such as Pacific Asia Museum, Art Center College of Design and the California Institute of Technology. Its remarkable cultural heritage and history, correlated with the unique offers introduced on the local real estate market represent just a few important factors that could convince you to invest in a property located in Pasadena. This brings us to the next question: should you rent or buy a place here?

Should You Become a Tenant or a Homeowner in Pasadena?

You can analyze your options and make an informed decision by simply taking a closer look at the latest real estate trends. Recent statistics indicate that the median home sales price for Pasadena-based slices of real estate is in the $650,000 range. This amount reflects a 3% decline, compared to the numbers reported after the past quarter and a 6.7% decrease compared to the values recorded last year, during the same period. How much are current owners asking for their pieces of real estate? The same statistics reveal that the median listing price is estimated at $893,339. If you can afford to shed this amount of money on a property that could accommodate all your family members and satisfy your needs and requirements in terms of amenities, location and layout, then buying may be a good option for you. You should also know that the price per square foot is approximately 490 dollars and reflects a 3.6% increase compared to last year’s price. Can’t determine which neighborhoods would work best for you? In this case, feel free to choose from some of the most popular options that attract the highest number of potential buyers and tenants, including North Central, West Central, South East and South Arroyo. North Central and South Pasadena are two excellent picks that satisfy a great variety of demands and necessities due to the diverse collection of listings that they ensure. In these two neighborhoods one could easily find for sale properties that carry price tags ranging from $599,000 to $896,800 and up. If you don’t have enough money in the bank to buy yourself a nice house or apartment in Pasadena, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have your plan to move to Los Angeles County. Renting a place in Pasadena is always a great alternative worth considering, especially if you can only set short-term goals and wish to go for an accommodation option associated with the lowest level of commitment. How much should you expect to pay for a rental based in Pasadena? Recent stats show that one-bedroom properties cost approximately $1893 per month, while two-bedroom ones are in the $2,300 range.

How Can You Make Your House or Apartment Search More Effective and Enjoyable?

We know what you’re afraid of. You don’t want to spend weeks or months talking to various real estate agents and looking for a great house or apartment that you could actually afford to occupy for a certain period of time. Rental hunts usually take time, especially if you’re on a tight budget and have high expectations. But even in this context, you can still boost your odds of success by letting a professional apartment finding service support your home search efforts.

Apartment Hunterz give tenants a helping hand by offering them convenient access to a large collection of verified, regularly updated listings. Using this service, you can search and compare different properties based on the filters that matter to you the most, including location, price, amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage. Furthermore, you can also save your searches and keep tabs on all the rentals that seem right to you.

Need another reason to put this amazing service to the test? If so, you should also factor in that Apartment Hunterz relies on a fantastic concierge service designed to retrieve the properties that match your criteria and send you notifications via email or SMS. This means that you can focus on your work-related assignments and any other daily tasks that require your attention, while a team of professionals are taking care of all the details associate with your upcoming relocation.

Once you finally find a property that represents the perfect match for you and your family, you can close the deal by contacting its landlord of property manager. In this stage of your apartment finding process, Apartment Hunterz makes this task significantly less complicated by encouraging you to use the modern iConnect feature, implemented to simplify and strengthen the ties between landlords and the people who are looking for a new place that they could call home. Convenient, modern and easy to use, this apartment finding service is all you really need to spot and compare the best listings in your areas of choice and record a new version of the Californian dream.

Aug 2015

Tools and Features That Strengthen the Ties Between Landlords and Potential Tenants

Cropped image of man signing contract with keys on itA recent study made public by the National Association of Realtors and Google highlights a new trend: home seekers are heavily relying on online platforms to find a new for rent property matching their specific criteria. This source indicates that no less than 90% of all prospects begin their house hunt online. They check out different specialized websites, compare listings and use a great variety of helpful elements to stay connected with landlords, discover new attractive rentals before anyone else and save their searches. Wondering what kind of aids could simplify your online apartment search? To help you make better decisions, we have compiled two lists of tools that support the development of mutually beneficial relationships between tenants and landlords.

Tools That Help Tenants Find the Perfect for Rent Property

As a tenant looking for a house or apartment in California, you can’t afford to waste time and money on your quest to find the perfect accommodation option. This is the main reason why you need modern tools that can help you perform a targeted search and find and compare the best listings in record time. Here are our favorite little helpers that we highly recommend.

iConnect Feature. This handy feature helps you reach a certain landlord in a split second. Real-time interactions are always a plus, especially when you’re striving to create an awesome first impression and get all the additional details that could help you evaluate a certain property without having to tour it in person.

Google Street View. Want to feel the vibe of a certain neighborhood that may be right for you without leaving your office? Modern technology has turned this objective into an attainable goal. Use Google Street View to get a 360 degrees-view of your neighborhoods of choice and narrow down your search rapidly and hassle-free. Sometimes, the most effective decision-making processes are based on nothing but advanced tools that guarantee your success.

SMS and Email Updates. No matter how hard you try to monitor the Californian real estate market, at some point you will need to count on some kind of support to guide your efforts in the right direction. Let’s face it: you can’t just surf the web all day every day to identify and compare all the newest listings. This is why the very best apartment finding services offer SMS and email updates. Apartment Hunterz goes the extra mile to make tenants happy, by revolutionizing the way in which a house hunt is being conducted.  A concierge will perform a free search, identify the properties that could be the perfect match for you, and then email or text you to help you get in touch with its landlord or property manager as soon as possible.

One-Click Results System. This ingenious system enables you to perform and saves searches with ease. Just think about it: this cool feature let you keep tabs on your favorite listings and compare your top picks at any given point in time.

Tools and Features That Help Landlords Promote Their Listings in a More Effective Way

On the other side of the coin, as a landlord you have to make the most of a generous selection of tools and features that could raise the interest of your potential clients, maximize your online visibility, boost the desirability of your piece of real estate, simplify your communication  with potential tenants and reduce your labor and costs. Here are a few picks that you should put to the test while trying to fill your vacancies.

Quality Real Estate Photos. These days, you need more than a few photos taken with your phone to win the hearts of multiple prospects looking for a new roof over their heads. As a matter of fact, you may want to master the art of real estate photography (or hire a professional photographer who is familiar with this specialized niche). Assuming that you don’t want to spend your money on a photoshoot organized by an expert, focus on these three objectives while photographing your slice of real estate.

  • You want to make your property seem bigger
  • You want to capture all the details that add value to your rental from a practical/aesthetic standpoint
  • You want your indoors and outdoors to seem brighter and more inviting

Virtual tours. Adding photos to your listing is always a great idea, especially if you want to maximize the level of exposure of your ad and individualize your property the easy way. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t neglect the fact that your prospects, just like any other category of Internet users, appreciate rich interactions and a closer contact with their object of desire. This is precisely why both landlords and tenants are very fond of real estate video tours. These additions are incredibly dynamic and enable viewers to discover the particularities of a new environment in a much more exciting manner.

Tenant Connection Tools and Features. Apartment Hunterz has made it easier for landlords to establish a faster, more meaningful connection with people who may be interested in their for rent properties. For instance, this apartment finding service enables landlords to upload application forms that prospects can download, fill out and send back. Moreover, using other tools from the advanced tenant connection toolbox provided by Apartment Hunterz, landlords can get their listings automatically emailed to individuals who are ready and eager to move. Last but not least, the iConnect feature is one extra perk that the landlords and property managers who collaborate with Apartment Hunterz can use anytime, anywhere to maintain an open dialogue with potential clients.

Offering a great selection of practical, user-friendly and insanely effective tools and features, Apartment Hunterz helps build stronger bridges between the people who share an interest in the Californian real estate market. Create your account today and put all these extras to good use to achieve your real estate-focused objectives.

7 Cost-Effective Ways in Which You Could Improve Your Tenant’s Experience

Young business couple discussing rental agreement.You don’t have to be an experienced real estate agent to realize the fact that tenants have plenty of options at hand, especially on local markets where most landlords are struggling to fill their vacancies and turn their Californian rentals into a profitable cash cow. To boost retention and develop a mutually beneficial relationship with your prospects, you need more than a nice property and above average people skills.

7 Ways to Keep Your Tenants Happy without Investing a Fortune in Your Rental

In today’s market, you have to go the extra mile to help your tenants reach the conclusion that your Californian house or apartment is worthy of their time, attention and money. How do you do that? In order to achieve success while building a stronger relationship with your tenants, you have to go beyond first impressions and actually focus on the aspects that will guarantee the happiness and absolute satisfaction of your occupants in the long run. Here are seven easy tips that will help you get started.

  1. Add Value to Your Property to Boost Retention. Create an effective client service plan by elaborating a list inventorying the pros and cons of your property. What are the amenities that add value to your rental? What are the features that it lacks? Keep in mind that you could easily boost the profitability of your slice of real estate by adding a few affordable and extremely desirable elements, like a washer and dryer for instance. If you can afford to pay for these extras, employ this strategy to up the quality of your tenants’ experience.
  2. Implement Better Service Delivery Programs. Even if you can’t really afford to make radical changes that could reshape your property by boosting its appeal and functionality, remember that not all is lost. You could still keep your tenants close in the long term by designing and implementing an improved service delivery program. Make the most of modern tools (including mobile technology that delivers massive amounts of real-time information) to discover and address the needs of your residents. Maid services, golf cart rentals, personal chef services and pet grooming services are listed among some of the most popular extras that help luxury vacation rentals to maintain their competitive edge. Get inspired by their success story and surprise your own prospects with a list of complimentary or ridiculously affordable additions tailored to their budget, schedule and lifestyle choices.
  3. Create a Wonderful Ambiance. Can’t compete with an amazing apartment complex featuring large indoor pools and wellness centers? Can’t afford to provide additional services that could automatically boost your tenants’ satisfaction? If that’s the case, at least try to work on the looks and vibe of your indoors. No, you don’t necessarily have to repaint the walls or change your furniture to recreate this positive effect. Instead, turn your building into a nurturing environment by using invigorating scents and adding the right visuals and music to common areas. All these beneficial factors could help you individualize your Californian rental and maintain a better relationship between key holders.
  4. Manage Complains in a Prompt Manner. Do you have tenants who complain about other tenants because they’re rude, noisy or fail to comply with the rules that you have set as a landlord? Take the time you need to mediate potential disputes and convert your rental into a more pleasant, peaceful and stimulating environment.
  5. Maintain an Open Dialogue with Your Tenants. While modern technology has definitely simplified our lives and changed the way in which we communicate with each other and do business, it seems that most people are still in favor of old-school communication methods. A recent report introduced by Nielsen indicates that 69% of all consumers have the distinctive impression that face-to-face interactions have been gradually replaced by modern, electronic ones. Chances are that your tenants share this opinion; therefore, instead of bombarding them with dozens of surveys and requests via phone or emails, organize a face-to-face meeting and give them the chance to identify and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your property and management staff.
  6. Stimulate Feedback and Use Your Tenants’ Input to Improve Property Management. How could you actually maintain an ideal working relationship with the occupants of your Californian house or apartment? Here’s a path worth exploring: solicit their feedback on a regular basis. File sharing platforms make it easier for you to conduct a survey and get the insight that you may need to implement positive changes and up the quality of your tenants’ experience. Regular feedback enables you to focus your attention on key service elements and enhance your performance, so don’t hesitate to get very specific and target the aspects that interest you the most, such as the work of your maintenance staff and the assessment of a recently completed job.
  7. Use the Tools Brought by an Apartment Finding Service to Strengthen Your Bond with Potential Tenants. Let’s get one thing straight: building and maintaining a solid connection with people who are not your old friends or relatives can be challenging. First impressions count a great deal and tend to shape the nature and depth of your relationship with potential tenants; in fact, this is one of the reasons why all landlords should focus on ways to build credibility and trust while interacting with the individuals who may end up occupying their Californian rental. This process isn’t as complicated as it may seem, considering that the most reputable California-based apartment finding service facilitates the development of a longer-lasting tie between landlords and tenants.

Due to its advanced tools and services, such as the incredibly convenient iConnect feature, Apartment Hunterz brings people together the easy way. Add your listing today, put all these handful elements to good use and discover a simpler and more affordable way to promote your rental.

Aug 2015