7 Basic Things That You Should Do Before Moving Out of Your Californian Rental Apartment

shutterstock_301744478For years in a row, you have appreciated the warmth and comfort of your Californian rental property. However, at this point, you feel that the house or apartment that you’re currently renting is no longer a good match for your lifestyle, ambitions and future goals. So what’s next? You choose to find out on your own, by moving out of the apartment that you have been occupying for so long. Life goes on. Goodbyes are always hard, but this doesn’t mean that they should also burn holes in your pockets.

Recover Your Tenancy Deposit in 7 Easy Steps

In this context, your number one goal is to maintain a cordial relationship with your landlord (because we all know that great referrals never hurt, and may actually help you impress other landlords and get the keys to other awesome apartments in the future).

At the same time, you would very much like to get the deposit back, and make the most of a significant amount of cash that you kind of consider “found money.” Both goals are achievable, but they do imply a little bit of work. As you can probably imagine, in order to convince your landlord to give you your tenancy deposit back, you have to prep the property for a thorough inspection. The good news is that you can simplify the entire process by following the seven easy steps described below.

  1. Clean and De-clutter Like a Pro. First of all, start the cleaning process by gathering all your belongings. Now would be a good time to separate the things that you’re planning on using and depositing inside your new apartment, from the ones that you could donate, toss or leave in storage. Make sure all rooms are clean and tidy; and pack your personal belongings and put them in labeled cardboard boxes, to avoid confusion and potential losses before, after or during your big move. Clean the carpets, polish the floors, dust the furniture and do your best to restore the apartment to its original condition, which hopefully you have documented before moving in.
  2. Invest Time and Energy in a Paint Job. A paint job is one of the simplest and most cost-effective improvements that you could invest in with your landlord’s permission. Believe it or not, one coat of fresh paint could bring an entire room back to life, making it seem larger, brighter and tidier at the same time. Opt for professional services ensured by an experienced painter, and you’ll also manage to find a good solution to small cracks, scratches, holes and other marks on your walls.
  3. Erase All the Sings of Your Presence inside the House. While you probably shouldn’t worry about normal signs of wear and tear displayed by the furniture, décor elements and appliances that your rental apartment features, you should try to address minor damages that lower the practical or aesthetic value of the property that you’re still occupying. For instance, now would be the perfect time to take your colorful artwork down and patch those ugly holes that your nails and screws have left on the walls. Use spackling paste and remember to sand every single spot to make it easier for your landlord to repaint the walls and recreate a uniform surface.
  4. Gather All the Keys. To avoid any potential safety risks and cut all ties with your rental property, don’t forget to round-up all the keys, including the spare one that you have decided to give to your friend or neighbor who comes to feed your cat and water the plants every single time you have to go on a trip.
  5. Clean the Fridge and the Oven. Even if you have already managed to vacuum the carpets, dust the furniture and clean the floor, this doesn’t mean that your job is done. Target the less visible corners of your rental apartment and clean and sanitize areas where you often tend to neglect, including your kitchen cabinets, fridge and oven. These areas may still store leftovers and crumbs, which could attract small animals or insects, leading to a potential pest contamination.
  6. Plan the Details of Your Upcoming Walk-Through. If you think that your landlord will just give you your money back without inspecting his apartment, you may be in for a big surprise. In most cases, landlords and property managers will do the exact opposite: they will explore even the most hidden corners, looking for potential signs of damage.

You can prevent misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises by scheduling a walk-through, which will give you the opportunity to show your property manager or landlord that you have already taken care of all the cleaning and small adjustments required before your big move, and make certain that you will get your deposit check as soon as possible.

  1. Look for an Even Better Rental Matching All Your Needs and Budget. At the end of the day, you should strive to leave the rented apartment just as you found it, get your deposit back and carry on with your life. In case you may feel the need to start looking for an even cheaper, more spacious or more comfortable for rent property in the state of California, use the tools and insight offered by Apartment Hunterz to conduct an effective and affordable house hunt.

Why waste any time driving around several neighborhoods and tracking down for rent signs, when you can start a cheaper and more convenient apartment search online? Analyze thousands of listings daily, save and compare all your favorites, contact landlords using the smart iConnect feature, upload and download forms with a few clicks, and schedule in-person meetings to tour and rent one of the most appealing apartments or houses for rent in your price range.

7 Tips on How to Find a Cheap Apartment for Rent in California

shutterstock_294233039Conducting a house hunt in California is usually a complicated, time-consuming process that can drain all your energy and resources. The good news is that now you can count on the insight provided by California’s number one apartment finding service to find great rentals on a budget.

Finding a Cheap Rental Apartment in Cali Is Not a Mission Impossible

Using the tools and listings provided by Apartment Hunterz, you could spot the rental apartment of your dreams and rent it in less than a week. Here are 7 easy tips that you could apply to get closer to the perfect inexpensive Californian property for rent that you’ve been hunting for so long.

  1. Look for Bigger Apartment Complexes with an Ugly View . As a rule of thumb, in order to find an affordable apartment for rent in California, you must turn your attention to buildings comprising anywhere from 15 to 30 apartments. If you don’t want to make any compromises in terms of square footage, amenities and location, then maybe you should consider settling for an apartment that doesn’t exactly ensure breathtaking views of the city. Nobody dreams of seeing toll booths while looking out their windows, but let’s face it: an apartment with an ugly view is less desirable than the rest; and thus, less expensive. Generally speaking, if you want to spend less on a rental, it would be a good idea to target areas located in the proximity of highways, train lines and tunnel entrances, which tend to offer for rent properties that are considerably less expensive than the ones located two or three blocks away.
  2. Invest in a Few Sets of Quality Earplugs. If you have never been bothered by noisy neighbors, then maybe you should explore your enhanced sound tolerance to get a great deal on the local real estate market. Did you know that apartments facing construction sites or other areas that are known for their annoying noise-generating daily operations can be a real bargain if you are willing (and able) to put up with them? Factor in this option if you’re conducting a house hunt on a tight budget; after all, in this particular situation, a pair of headphones could cost you less than $20 and help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.
  3. Move into a New Apartment During Winter. During the cold season, people are less likely to start looking for a new home and move. During winter, relocating and moving all your stuff from can be quite stressful; this is why many tenants wait until spring to find a new apartment for rent. Use this trend to your best advantage, and consider moving into a rented apartment in December or January. During this time of the year, landlords are more inclined to offer a series of incentives to new tenants to fill their vacancies. On the other hand, during summer, both the inventory and the demand increase dramatically, making it more difficult for budget-conscious people to find a good rental matching their criteria.
  4. Target Low-Key Neighborhoods. If you’re not intimidated by long commutes and above average crime rates, consider researching less desirable neighborhoods that could offer you access to less costly rentals that you could actually afford. Perform a targeted search with Apartment Hunterz to discover the most inexpensive rentals in your ZIP codes of choice.
  5. Don’t Overspend on a Unit with Lots of Extras That You Don’t Actually Need. If you’re planning on spending less on rent, choose an apartment that is as basic as it gets. Avoid properties with luxurious amenities and features, such as granite countertops, Jacuzzi baths and floor-to-ceiling windows; such extras have a fairly low practical value and will inevitably raise the costs of any rental property. Therefore, choose a for rent apartment in California based on the key factors that you value the most, such as location and square footage, and don’t be fooled into thinking that a house with a wide range of high-end amenities will always offer you a superior level of comfort and convenience; in most cases, tenants who fall into this trap end up spending a lot of money on upscale add-ons that they never get to use.
  6. Establish Direct Contact with Landlords and Property Managers. Looking for the best strategy that you could apply to save some cash during your apartment hunt? Here’s an idea worth considering: put your social skills to good use to find a great apartment for rent without the help of a realtor. For instance, by talking to doormen you could get a list of the homeowners who rent out their properties. In this case, you would just have to leave your business card. This way, the landlords who are interested in filling their vacancies will be able to reach you and hopefully make you an offer that you won’t be able to decline.
  7. Check Out Verified Listings Delivered by California’s #1 Apartment Finding Service. At this point, your number one priority is to move out of your parents’ house, regain your independence and find a place that you could actually call home.

Even if you don’t count on a big budget for this ambitious plan, you don’t want to make many compromises when it comes to renting an apartment in California. You want to find the perfect house or apartment that speaks to you and manages to reflect your personality and sense of style.

Oftentimes, this is easier said than done. However, when you count on the support of a great apartment finding service, the whole process gets so much easier. You just have to start looking for properties for rent in your preferred ZIP code, save your searches, get in touch with landlords, download and upload forms and schedule private viewings online. If you’d like to identify the best Californian rentals with just a few clicks, start using the amazing apartment finding service brought to you by Apartment Hunterz and uncover the best deals on the local real estate market in online a few days.

Oct 2015

Things That You Should Factor in Before Deciding to Monetize Your Californian Apartment

shutterstock_231320299For many months in a row, you have struggled to supplement your income the rapid, easy and perfectly legal way. You’ve worked overtime and spent many nights awake, thinking about new, ingenious business ideas that you could pursue to make more money. However, none of these approaches to getting rich have returned the desirable results, so now you are turning your attention to the most valuable asset that you could use to add a significant amount of money to your savings on a monthly basis: your California-based apartment.

Should You Rent Out Your Home to a Complete Stranger?

Since you already have a roof over your head, you can afford the luxury to rent out your property. In this context, the question that you need to answer is this: what kind of strategies should you employ to monetize your slice of real estate in the most effective way? After giving some thought to this matter, you realize that you would very much like to turn your apartment into an attractive short-term rental that could offer you the opportunity to interact with more people, establish fruitful tenant-landlord relationships, offset the costs associated with your property (such as mortgage payments and home improvement expenses) and maybe even set some money aside for a rainy day.

Nonetheless, your decision to do business with complete strangers may pose several risks. To begin with, how would you be able to handle potential complaints made by neighbors, deal with repair/improvement requests, collect rent and manage other responsibilities that experience landlords usually balance with ease? Moreover, what happens if your tenant destroys your property and refuses to cover the losses that he or she has caused? How could you evict a problematic tenant without breaking the law and exposing yourself to further complications?

These are just a few of the most important questions that you should answer before turning yourself into a so-called “accidental” landlord.

3 Key Aspects That You Should Analyze Very Carefully Before Deciding to Rent Out Your Apartment

To get the bigger picture here and make an informed decision in what your future as a potential lessor is concerned, keep reading to analyze the main aspects related to a stress-free apartment leasing experience.

  1. The Advantages of Turning Your Californian Property into a Cash Cow. Start by listing the main factors that could convince you to become a first-time landlord. More specifically, why would you be inclined to turn your Californian apartment into a short-term rental? Go beyond the obvious monetary advantages, and you’ll realize the fact that you could unlock a series of additional benefits by renting out your property, including flexibility, social connections and a special form of empowerment.

As a landlord who owns a superb piece of real estate in one of the most desirable tenant-friendly Californian cities, you can afford to be flexible when choosing the dates when you would like to rent out your accommodation option. For instance, you could try to find a tenant that could occupy your home while you’re on vacation. This way, you would manage to cover your utility costs, make some extra money and prevent security risks while you’re far away from home.

Furthermore, by meeting many people and allowing them to sleep on your couch or rent your apartment for a short while, you could expand your circle of friends and establish mutually beneficial relationships in the long run. Last but not least, Californian rentals always empower their landlords, by enabling them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and satisfy a certain need. For example, a landlord could use the income generated by his or her apartment to prevent foreclosure, get out of debt or travel extensively, while another one could use the extra cash to make a down payment for a new house or a car.

  1. The Risks of Monetizing Your Apartment. After listing all these benefits, it is extremely important to acknowledge the risks associated with your decision to rent out your apartment to a bunch of strangers. We have already discussed the main potential threats; most of them revolve around theft, property damage and financial losses. The good news is that you can always keep risk factors in check by investing in a home insurance policy; also, it wouldn’t hurt to implement a few extra measures of precaution, especially since prevention is better than cure. For example, you could use the info provided by a great local apartment finding service to screen tenants the easy way. Apartment Hunterz lets you communicate with rental seekers in real time, while downloading and uploading forms to simplify the entire transaction. Make the most of this type of support to separate scammers and unreliable candidates with prospects with serious intentions, whom you could never perceive as a potential threat.
  2. The Simplest Ways to Convert Your Property into a Lovely Short-Term Rental. Now that you can evaluate both the risks and advantages of renting out your house or apartment in California, you are probably wondering: what’s the simplest, safest and most convenient way to find a great tenant for my short-term rental? In other words, how could you promote your home to reduce your costs and effort and maximize your satisfaction?

Here’s an idea worth exploring: instead of relying on traditional media and word-of-mouth to keep your estate in the public eye, make the most of the ever-growing popularity and influence of online channels to reach your target. Start by advertising your listings via Apartment Hunterz and use a great variety of tools especially designed for landlords to improve the visibility of your ad, get in touch with prospects, screen all candidates with ease and find the perfect tenant in only a few days. This type of service has revolutionized the way in which people rent out their properties in California, so if you’re striving to monetize one of your slices of real estate, give it a try to strike gold as a first-time landlord.

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

4 Hidden Costs Triggered by Home Ownership (and Why Renting in California Is a Good Call)

Five dollar cottages isolated over whiteOwning a house is a major accomplishment at any age. Home buyers benefit from a long list of advantages, including the highest level of stability, comfort and the chance to explore the widest range of personalization options (after all, no landlord is going to nag them for driving nails into a wall to hang their favorite artwork). So there you have it: the property that you may actually afford to buy could easily become your personal temple of relaxation.

Identifying 4 Additional Expenses Linked to Home Ownership 

On the other hand, it’s no secret that for sale pieces of real estate available in California are usually extremely expensive and bargains on this market are hard to come by. What’s even worse is that most prospects seeking a new roof over their heads often ignore less obvious expenses linked to home ownership. Here are four such examples that you may want to factor in before contracting a loan and attending your first open house.

  1. Necessary Improvements. As an owner, you want to feel proud every single time you invite a new guest to tour your home. Naturally, in order to feed your vanity, you choose to conduct ample remodeling work and invest in a series of improvements designed to add value to your home, from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. The problem is that even the smallest positive changes cost a lot of money. Even the simplest Pinterest-inspired makeover plans involve the usage of basic materials (paint, brushes, wood, PVC and composite boards and so on), which could easily overbalance your monthly budget.
  2. Repairs. As a tenant, when your toilet stops working properly, you call the super and let him handle this problem. As an owner, you have to deal with such unpleasant issues on your own. According to MyDomaine, in order to cope with these unpredicted expenses, owners should try to save anywhere from 1% to 3% of the overall value of their property on an annual basis. This measure of precaution would ensure easy access to a fund especially designed to cover damages such as leaky roofs, clogged toilets and defective heaters.
  3. Maintenance Work. When you rent in California, you can afford to be a little bit lazy or sloppy. You can clean up your apartment each Saturday, right before calling your friends and inviting them over for dinner. On the other side of the coin, ownership dictates new responsibilities and forces you to take maintenance work very seriously. Here’s why: by neglecting the things that you have around the house, such as small appliances, you are basically reducing their lifespan. Just think about it: as a tenant, when you discover that your washer and dryer are no longer working, you just have to contact your landlord and ask him to repair or replace your appliances. When you own a house, you have to pay for repairs or replacements out of your own pocket; this is a drawback that will help you combat your own sloppiness and invest more time, energy and money in regular maintenance.
  4. Home Decorating. Ownership gives you the perfect excuse to go back to your hoarding habits and spend more than a few dollars on a daily basis on things that you consider necessary around the house. The sad truth that no homeowner likes to hear is that even the most fervent bargain hunters can end up pouring a small fortune into so-called “everyday essentials” ranging from bedding, vintage market finds, kitchen appliances and bathroom decorations. These items may not sound like the most expensive, high-end products on the planet, but the small expenses that they involve can easily add up.

Why Is Renting in California Such a Smart Decision After All?

As you may already imagine, rentals require minimal levels of commitment. Basically, an affordable rental would allow you to keep your expenses in check and avoid additional costs linked to new impulse purchases, home improvement work, upkeep and repairs. Moreover, rentals enable you to build and maintain a beneficial relationship with your landlord, which could save you a lot of trouble in the long run. For instance, you wouldn’t have to fix or replace leaky pipes on your own or buy a new toaster when the old one stops running. Furthermore, renting in California has gotten a whole lot easier, due to the new technology that both landlords and tenants can put to good use to interact with people who are looking for a good deal on the local real estate market.

Discover the List of Benefits Ensured by a Respectable Apartment Finding Service

Apartment finding services give prospects the opportunity to get familiar with average rental prices in different areas of interest. Moreover, the same type of services grants access to a large database containing thousands of verified, recent listings. Using this insight, potential tenants can compare different pieces of real estate in terms of costs, location, amenities and features and make an informed decision. It gets better! Using the same handy helper, landlords and property managers can market their listings in a time and cost-effective fashion. By writing a compelling descriptions and posting up to 12 high-resolution photos (and video tours, if needed), people who are determined to rent out their Californian houses or apartments can get a few steps closer to the perfect tenant. As a platform that incorporates the finest technology to consolidate the bond between thousands of lessors and tenants, Apartment Hunterz is considered one of the most reputable providers of fresh, appealing listings. If you’re also looking forward to renting a budget-friendly property in Cali, instead of hiring a realtor, give this service a try and find out how it could help you sign your rental agreement in less than a week.