6 Things That Nobody Told You about the Californian Real Estate Market

iStock_000018777492_SmallIf you were to follow your strongest desire blindly, you would probably hop on a plane, leave your state and move to Los Angeles for good. As a matter of fact, you would gladly relocate to San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego or any other Californian city that is fully compatible with your bold goals and luxurious aspirations.

6 Things That You Should Know about the Real Estate Market before Moving to California 

We get it: you are craving for an upgrade. You want the very best in terms of housing and you want it now. However, before making any changes that would inevitably impact your lifestyle, you should start by getting familiar with the Californian real estate market. Here are six key aspects that you should grasp and analyze before your big move.

  1. The Real Estate Market Is Currently Gaining Extra Strength. According to a recent report made public by PropertyRadar, condominium and single-family home sales have recorded a 31% increase in March, compared to the numbers revealed in February. This appears to be the most significant spring increase reported in the last three years.
  2. The Number of Home Sales Is Rising. According to the same source, the median home prices revealed a substantial growth in no less than 17 the biggest and most prominent Californian counties. All these numbers indicate the fact that the Californian real estate market is gradually recovering its strength, as more individuals seem determined to buy or rent a new roof over their heads in this state.
  3. The California Drought Isn’t Putting Buyers and Tenants on the Run. Tempting interest rates and mild, friendly winter weather are only two of the reasons why more and more prospects are interested in for rent or for sale pieces of real estate based in Cali. As Housingwire points out, the feared California drought that has dominated headlines for quite some time now isn’t perceived as a major threat by people who are interested in what the Californian real estate market has to offer. As a matter of fact, according to the same source, it appears that the draught hasn’t affected the market in any way so far. There are millions of other aspects that usually influence the buying/renting decision, and this sunny state definitely manages to qualify as a main target for home seekers due to its mix of unique attributes, including plenty of attractive job opportunities, great views, multiple climates, quality entertainment and the mirage of the Californian dream.
  4. Renting Is Still the Best Solution for Those Who Are Intimidated by Prohibitive Price Tags. Can’t afford to buy a new home in Cali? This is perfectly understandable. Lots of other people can relate to your situation, especially considering the fact that some of the most sought-after cities aren’t exactly listed as the most welcoming environments for non-millionaires. So if you don’t have enough money in your bank account, don’t want to deal with mortgage payments or prefer the flexibility and convenience offered by a rental, should you start a new chapter in Cali as a first-time tenant? The final choice is all yours, but do keep in mind that renting is a cost-effective option for most candidates interested in a fresh start in this state. Recent statistics presented by Zillow highlight the fact that the median rent price in Cali is estimated at $2,000 per month, while the median home value exceeds $441,000. Naturally, densely populated cities offer pricy accommodation options that may be way out of your league. For instance, the median rent price in San Francisco has recently reached a new record value after climbing to $4,225 per month. This doesn’t mean that only the insanely rich people can afford to become tenants in Cali. One could easily find plenty of decently priced accommodation options in less crowded cities. For example, the median rental rate is in the $760 in Fresno. Keep these differences in mind before creating a list of cities where you would like to live. Do the math, set your priorities straight, analyze your short and long-term goals and find the real estate deals that make more sense to you and your family.
  5. Buying a Home in California’s Best-Loved Coastal Areas Is Still a Challenge. Here’s an important aspect that you shouldn’t neglect during your home hunt: the recent surge in sales has also pushed home prices considerably higher, especially in coastal areas where the competition for pricy slices of real estate was already fierce. Median income buyers can no longer hope to get their hands on the keys to a median priced Californian home located in these regions. Again, this new reality compels prospects to explore the many benefits of renting a house in California.
  6. You Can Always Score a Good Deal by Counting on the Insight of a Californian Apartment Finder. Assuming that you can’t afford to invest millions in a nice oceanfront property, ask yourself the following question: would you be able to rent one and fulfill your dream without going bankrupt? You can discover the most accurate answer to this question by checking out listings delivered by a trusted apartment finder.

Use a World-Class Apartment Finding Service to Simplify Your Upcoming House Hunt

Looking for a small, inexpensive apartment or a lavishing mansion in California? Now you can identify, compare and rent your favorite real estate slices the easy way while counting on the unconditional support of California’s top-rated apartment finding service. Apartment Hunterz ensures a flawless connection between tenants and landlords and enables prospects to monitor, assess and save the listings that match their selection criteria. By guaranteeing access to a wide range of user-friendly tools, Apartment Hunterz simplifies the work of any home seeker and turns the renting process into a wonderful, hassle-free success story. Put this service to the test and find out how it could help you find the ideal home in less than a week.

 

How to Maximize the Space of Your Rental the Easy Way

iStock_000057768698_SmallAfter sleeping on your friend’s couch for a few months in a row, you have finally decided to regain your independence and find a nice Californian rental that you could call home for the next few months, years or decades. Here’s the problem that stands in the way of your plan and bothers you the most: money. The truth is that you couldn’t possibly afford to spend more than $2,000 on rent. This means that big 3-bedroom apartments, especially the ones located in densely populated, sought-after cities like San Francisco, are out of the question. Could you survive in a small apartment for more than a week? As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t avoid small-scale rentals during your apartment hunt. These candidates offer multiple benefits; not to mention the fact that they could be easily transformed into spacious, stylish environments.

3 Reasons Why You Should Probably Settle for a Smaller Apartment

Why should you ignore luxurious properties that are as spacious as a palace and start to target humbler housing options? We give you not one, but three reasons why a small, modest apartment may be more convenient that a larger one.

  1. It’s Cheaper. As you may already imagine, a 1-bedroom apartment can be much cheaper than a 2 or 3-bedroom one. By using the data provided by an apartment finder, you could compare the price tags carried by similar properties available for rent in your area of choice. Why go for a 3-bedroom apartment when you could save $400 or $500 per month by settling for a smaller unit? The difference stays in your pocket.
  2. It Involves Reduced Utility Costs. Smaller properties trigger smaller utility bills. If you are determined to cut down costs, a small studio could be the perfect choice for you. To identify the one displaying a perfect balance between its price and features, monitor the listings brought to you by Apartment Hunterz and spot a great deal in less than a week.
  3. It Implies Less Complicated and Costly Maintenance Work. We all know just how frustrating it really is to clean and work on spaces with a complicated architecture. Sometimes, you get the distinctive impression that larger properties fuel your compulsive hoarding disorder. If you don’t want to put a lot of time and energy in regular upkeep, go for a smaller home and you won’t regret your choice.

6 Ways to Make Your Californian Rental Look More Spacious and Airy 

In case you already feel the need to improve the look and feel of your rental by creating the illusion of extra space, here are a few tactics that can support your mission:

  1. Define Your Zones. First of all, think about how you are going to use every single inch of space. For instance, you will definitely need a dining area, a small office and a lounge area. Carefully define your most important zones where you eat, sleep, work and relax and delimitate them using the most subtle demarcations that are 100% compatible with the style and décor of your living space. For example, you could implement a decorative screen or a curtained bed to separate the area where you sleep and unwind from the rest of your bedroom, which can be turned into a small office.
  2. Avoid Clutter at All Costs. If you live in a small apartment, your number one duty is to stay organized 24/7. Work on your organizational skills and invest in smart, modern furniture pieces and additional features enabling you to keep your apartment tidy. Whether you’re a big fan of minimalist beds with storage or love those rattan-like storage boxes, do remember that there are more than a few ingenious design solutions that could enhance the appeal and functionality of your space. Mix and match them based on your taste, need and budget and put them to good use to boost the spaciousness of your home.
  3. Invest in Sleek, Multifunctional Elements. Why spend a fortune on an item that only serves one purpose when you could pay less for a multifunctional product that will make your space seem more organized and welcoming? For instance, instead of shedding hundreds of dollars on a high-end nightstand that you don’t really need, buy a coffee table that is also a super convenient all-in-one storage solution.
  4. Use Shelves. Using shelves, you can stack books and other lightweight personal belongings. Opt for a neutral color matching the shade of your walls and let open shelving breathe new life into your boring indoors.
  5. Create Optical Illusions Using Popular Decorative Pieces. OK, so maybe you can’t always find multifunctional furniture pieces that match your unique taste and don’t actually cost a fortune; or perhaps you just don’t like the idea of separating your living space into different zones using various demarcations. In this case, what’s the next best strategy that you could employ to turn your tiny apartment into an inviting corner of paradise? Explore the power of optical illusions to create the idea of extra space. You can achieve this goal by installing strategically placed, large mirrors and transparent furnishings, or by adding floor-to-ceiling, thick curtains and larger windows. All these simple tactics will enable you to make your rooms seem more airy and sophisticated.
  6. Choose Your Furniture Wisely. Last but not least, remember that you have to select your furniture very carefully. Don’t just go for disparate pieces that catch your eye at a first glance. Don’t buy things that you don’t really need, simply because they are incredibly gorgeous. Try to resist the temptation and judge every single furniture piece based on two distinctive elements: its practical value and its aesthetic value. While in most cases it is advisable to purchase multifaceted furnishings that can be used in different ways, sometimes it is better to opt for separate pieces that occupy less space and don’t block traffic around the house. Remember your vintage wood table that you still see as one of the most dangerous knee knockers ever known to mankind? Choose to replace it with two smaller tables. Tiny, round tables look spectacular and ensure a better traffic flow.

What If You Don’t Actually Want to Transform Your Old Californian Rental?

Truth be told, there are many changes that you could implement to improve the appearance and functionality of your Californian apartment. You could buy new furniture, explore different optical illusions, add shelves or try a combination of all these practical options. But what if you don’t want to deal with the extra expenses and the hassle implied by this new home improvement project? If that’s the case, you may want to start looking for a new, more spacious house or apartment in your neighborhood of choice. To simplify your selection and save time and money during this process, let a good apartment finding service guide your search. Analyze thousands of verified listings promoted by Apartment Hunterz to rent the perfect house or apartment in California in less than a week.

 

18
Jun 2015
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9 Pitfalls to Avoid While Looking for the Perfect Apartment for Rent in California

hand holding mobile phone with house sale offerMoving out of your parents’ house was your New Year’s resolution at the end of 2010. Five years later, you are still struggling to accomplish the same goal. So what exactly are you intimidated by, aside from your limited financial possibilities and the overly competitive Californian real estate market that always seems to be full of surprises?

Can You Overcome the Obstacles That Are Standing in the Way of Your Upcoming House Hunt?

Well, first of all, you don’t know much about the latest real estate trends in California and you feel very insecure. Secondly, you can’t decide which sources of information you should monitor to get the expert insight that you require to compare different properties for rent and select the one that fits you like a glove. In all honesty, most first-time tenants face similar challenges. Here are 10 problems that you may experience along the road and the best ways to solve them in a satisfying manner.

  1. Not Doing Your Research. Would you buy a car without test driving it? Would you pick a school for your daughter without analyzing its history and graduation rate? You probably wouldn’t. Therefore, also do your homework when it comes to choosing a “for rent” apartment or house. Proper research will let you find the most convenient deals available in the best neighborhoods that you can afford to live in.
  2. Ignoring Online Channels That Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars. In today’s market, it is virtually impossible to identify real bargains by doing a door-to-door search or counting exclusively on word-of-mouth. The Internet has made the real estate market become so much more dynamic. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to go online and use the best apartment finding service to analyze a plethora of listings in your area of choice. Such services also facilitate a better communication between tenants and landlords, making it easier for you to avoid scams and bad deals.
  3. Not Realizing that What You Like and What You Can Afford Are Not Always the Same Thing. When conducting a house hunt on a budget, it is imperative to separate the things that you fancy from the ones that you can’t and shouldn’t be able to live without. You may not be able to shed $3,500 on a San Francisco rental located right in the heart of the city, but this shouldn’t stop you from looking for nice spacious properties available for rent in the family-friendly suburbs. For instance, Walnut Creek, a suburb based in the East Bay area and Novato, situated in the North Bay area, represent excellent targets for young families with kids requiring above average public schools and convenient housing options.
  4. Not Getting the Bigger Picture. When it comes to researching properties, there are two categories of people who are doing it wrong: those who don’t bother to check online listings and those who think that they can evaluate and rent a house with just a few clicks. While apartment finding services have simplified the apartment search a great deal, you should still take some time to tour the property in person. This action will help you get the bigger picture by weighing the pros and cons of each option and getting to know your new potential landlord.
  5. Overspending. To avoid spending more than you can afford on your rental, you should follow two important steps: 1. Set up a realistic budget and stick to it, and 2. Use the data provided by a local apartment finder to compare different offers and save the listings that are in your price range.
  6. Enquiring about Properties Listed with Zero Photos. Listings featuring very short, general descriptions that are not accompanied by a set of photos or a video tour are not exactly the best choices that you can stumble across. This kind of evasiveness raises a lot of questions: are you dealing with a property that can be labeled as an eyesore or with a landlord lacking interest? Both scenarios raise a red flag and should determine you to focus on listings that do comprise virtual tours and/or photos.
  7. Not Being Able to Make a Compromise. In life, you simply can’t have it all. Deal with it! If you’re targeting rentals in Southern California, a region well-known for its ultra expensive pieces of real estate, chances are that you will have to compromise at some point. Perhaps you should broaden your horizons by pinpointing rentals available in less expensive neighborhoods or maybe you don’t need a third bedroom after all. Re-analyze your selection criteria and make the right adjustments to profit from a happy, successful house hunt.
  8. Not Realizing That a Potential Landlord Is Open to Negotiations. In difficult economic times, most things are perfectly negotiable. Rental rates are not an exception to this rule, especially in rural areas where good long-term tenants are more difficult to come by. Therefore, do not hesitate to negotiate your rental rates, especially if you’re extending the length of your lease. According to Lifehacker, in case such negotiations are out of the question, at least try to get other attractive perks, like an extra parking spot for example.
  9. Ignoring the Fact That You Can Always Count on a Reliable Apartment Finder in California. At the end of the day, you should remember the fact that you’re not alone in this. Whether you want to get an expert insight into the Californian real estate market, spot recent, verified listings or establish a deeper connection with landlords the easy way, Apartment Hunterz can address all these needs. Use the information provided by California’s most popular apartment finding service to turn your upcoming apartment search into a smashing success.

 

28
May 2015
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5 Ways to Avoid Losing Your Security Deposit While Renting in California

Security depositYou take really good care of all your personal belongings. You clean the house every two or three days and invest time and energy in regular maintenance work to avoid costly repairs. You’re far from being lazy or sloppy, in all aspects of life. Does this mean that you shouldn’t worry about your relationship with your landlord and the ways in which it could impact your budget? Not exactly! Unfortunately, many landlords would invoke just about any reason to prevent their tenants from recovering their security deposit. This tactic is neither fair, nor legal. Unfortunately, recent statistics show that 36% of all tenants who did not get their deposit back did not receive a justification from their landlord. The good news is that you can avoid all this drama by simply applying the 5 easy tips listed below.

  1. Document the Condition of Your New Apartment Before You Move in. Are you worried that you may be held responsible for pre-existing damages? Create a move-in checklist and use your camera or smartphone to show what the apartment or house really looked like before you shook hands with the landlord and moved in.
  2. Take Pictures (or Video) Before You Move Out. You should also document how clean and faultless you left your Californian rental. Who knows? Five minutes after you’re gone your landlord could decide to throw an amazing party and you clearly wouldn’t want to be charged extra (or lose your security deposit) to cover damages that may be unjustly linked to your presence in the house.
  3. Analyze Your Lease. Your lease is the best source of information enabling you to stay in the safe zone and avoid potential disputes with your landlord. Just think about the fact that you could avoid so many stressful and costly confrontations by reading your lease twice. Check out the end date listed on your lease. If it doesn’t have an end date, this basically means that it automatically extends; in this case, you should give a written notice usually one month before moving out. In this phase, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to solicit a receipt from your landlord, which should state the fact that you have submitted your written notice on time.
  4. Work for It. Let’s face it: even people who are incredibly meticulous can make mistakes. Maybe you have done everything in your power to keep the place clean and inviting, but accidents do happen. Even if you didn’t stain the carpet or break the glass window, you may still have to make small adjustments to bring the rental back to its original conditions. Therefore, repaint the walls if needed, replace the dinnerware that you’ve damaged, patch holes that you made while trying to hang your paintings, fix the damages that you may have created during your stay and clean the oven, cabinets and refrigerator. If you want to go the extra mile to impress your landlord and eliminate all reasons that may stop you from recovering your security deposit, invest a little time and energy in carpet cleaning and dust and polish the furniture and the wooden floors.
  5. End This Chapter in a Gracious Manner. Schedule a walkthrough, print a checklist and ask your landlord to sign it, after the final inspection. If your busy schedule forces you to skip this step, mail the checklist to your landlord and ask him to sign it and return it. Provide a forwarding address. If you can’t collect your security deposit in person, let your landlord know that she or he can send the amount to your new address. Even if you’ve left the place in excellent condition, some landlords may still be tempted to stall or refuse to give you your money back for no apparent reason. In this situation, tell your landlord that you won’t hesitate to drag him or her to court. The mere threat of an upcoming legal action is an effective tactic enabling most tenants to get their deposit back in no time. As a last resort, you could employ the same strategy to put an end to a tiresome conflict with your landlord or property manager.

Extra Tip: Reduce Risks by Relying on a Good Apartment Finder

Renting an apartment or house in California can be a wonderful experience allowing you to live in one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the world, get a great job, start your own business and set up and reach bigger goals in your personal and professional life. Rentals involve a minimal level of commitment and let you profit from the highest level of flexibility. Even so, your balance could be easily disrupted by an unscrupulous landlord who would do just about anything it takes to prevent you from getting your security deposit back. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to avoid such risks. Nonetheless, you can minimize risks by establishing a deeper bond with potential landlords and property managers. A good apartment finder lets you get in touch with the people who own and manage some of the most attractive for rent properties in your area of choice; not to mention the fact that the expert insight it provides could maximize your odds of finding a decent property in a specific neighborhood and save more than a few dollars on rent each month. Want to get to know your landlord before landing on his porch? By using the iConnect feature brought to you by Apartment Hunterz you could reach landlords with a few clicks, schedule convenient in-person meetings and even submit your paperwork online. Before knocking on a lessor’s door, screen him properly with a little help from Apartment Hunterz to keep risks in check and make the most of a flawless house hunt.

5 of the Most Expensive and Luxurious California-Based Celebrity Homes

House cube B1 deconstructionWhen you have plenty of money in your bank account, California seems like the perfect place where you could rent or buy a home, start a family and grow a successful business. Celebrities show us how it’s done, by investing in some of the most lavishing properties that you could ever dare to picture. Money may not buy happiness, but in all honesty, being rich helps a lot, especially when a multimillion dollar slice of real estate is at the center of your definition of happiness. Without any further ado, here are 5 of the most sought-after California-based celebrity homes that could convince you to work harder to finance your relocation process.

  1. Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion. Did you know that Hugh Hefner is the proud owner of a super stunning mansion comprising no less than 22 rooms, tennis court, zoo, a game room and a wine cellar? With this kind of amenities at your disposal, you could also throw some of the most memorable and decadent parties with minimal effort.
  2. Oprah’s Ultra Expensive Mansion. Oprah decided to pour no less than 55 million dollars in a superb mansion located in Montecito, California. Due to its extraordinary features and the superior level of comfort that it ensures, this corner of paradise is also known as “The Promised Land.” Stretching on 42 acres, this fabulous home is appreciated for its stunning mountain and ocean views.
  3. Simon Cowell’s Overwhelmingly Beautiful and Pricy Estate. You simply can’t list some of the most desirable slices of real estate based in Beverly Hills without mentioning the one owned by Simon Cowell. The house constructed on the lot purchased by this mogul for 8 million dollars was demolished to create enough room for a high-end residential property counting 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a gorgeous spa and an onsite gym that will take your breath away.
  4. Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres’ Crib. These two lovely ladies have invested a lot of money in on-point renovations meant to breathe new life into a luxurious ranch located in Hidden Valley, California. The place has a rustic décor revolving around wooden floors and rugged furniture; not to mention the fact that it sends out a warm, welcoming vibe. Need another reason to love it? This piece of real estate is evaluated at approximately 10 million dollars.
  5. Reese Witherspoon’s Breathtaking Fortress. Reese Witherspoon has great style and we all know it. What you may not know is that this popular actress owns a superb property resembling a medieval castle. The house located in Ojai, California, is worth more than 7 million dollars and is more rustic and cozy than glamorous. If you are very fond of unpretentious settings, chances are that you’ll adore its minimalist kitchen with white cabinets and a large island, paired with red and brown wooden chairs and a round wooden table.

What Should You Realistically Expect from a High-End Californian Rental Property?

If you can afford to spend a little bit more on a rental property, you are probably wondering how you could find the most attractive deals on the local real estate market. While most upscale rentals vary a great deal in terms of price, amenities and size, most of them display a perfect mix of key features, including the following ones:

  1. Great Location
  2. A Killer View
  3. Fabulous Amenities (game rooms, private lounges, gyms and wellness centers are usually a part of the deal)
  4. Additional Services (pet grooming services ensured by onsite salons, concierge service and so on)

Assuming that you simply can’t afford to embrace the luxurious celebrity-inspired lifestyle, should you just let yourself sink into a pool of frustration and disappointment or should you try to see the glass half full? If optimism is one of your innate components, then you will most likely start to look for the best alternatives matching your expectations and budget. For instance, if you couldn’t possibly get near a property located right in the heart of Los Angeles, perhaps you could still get the keys to a nice little apartment located in nearby areas or certain neighborhoods that are considered less desirable, such as Cypress Park, El Segundo, Historic Filipinotown or Little Armenia. With a little bit of research, you could spot great deals on the local real estate market and move in a new neighborhood allowing you to spend less money on rent on a monthly basis.

Can’t shed thousands or millions of dollars on a property resembling the one owned by Oprah? Keep the location and ask for less in terms of square footage and amenities. Using the data delivered by a reliable apartment finder you could compare different rentals available in Montecito, California. Vacation rentals available in this area are usually in the $250 range (per night). You should also know that there are quite a few upscale homes for rent in this area, carrying price tags starting from $4,000 per month.

There’s a Simpler Way to Uncover the Secrets of the Californian Real Estate Market

These days, you don’t have to drive around town and visit various neighborhoods to spot a good for rent or for sale property matching your criteria. At the same time, a real estate agent shouldn’t be seen as your strongest ally in your quest to find a decent rental. As a matter of fact, now you can count on the expert insight and massive amount of data brought to you by a good apartment finding service. The listings delivered by Apartment Hunterz help you save time and money that you would otherwise have to invest in a lengthy, stressful house hunt. Identify and save the listings that interest you the most, contact landlords and property managers online, schedule property tours and submit your paperwork over the Internet. This system lets you experience the highest level of convenience when it comes to renting a house or an apartment in California and eliminates some of the most common challenges that both tenants and landlords have to face in today’s market.