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.

Key Aspects to Consider When Touring Apartments for Rent in California

shutterstock_126452231Finding the ideal apartment for rent in California can be a complicated, time-consuming mission, especially if you don’t want to settle for less than what you need and deserve. You want to spend the right amount of money on the ideal property that meets all your expectations in terms of location and amenities. As a matter of fact, at this point in your life, you feel ready to settle down and consider the idea of signing a one-year lease to occupy a gorgeous apartment or house that you could actually call home.

Nonetheless, this type of commitment that you are willing to make compels you to research your options very well and proceed with caution; after all, you wouldn’t want to get stuck with a rental that puts your safety and/or comfort and well-being on the line.

In this situation, it becomes obvious that you should set up certain filters to separate the most desirable for rent properties that you can afford from the ones that you wouldn’t dare to recommend to your worst enemies. To make things easier for enthusiastic home seekers looking for a new roof over their heads in California, we have compiled a list of aspects that any potential tenant should consider while touring and rating rental properties.

Service. Assuming that you love the shared apartment that your landlord has allowed you to inspect very closely, try to get the bigger picture here. Is the staff service attentive and effective? You can answer this question on your own, by simply checking out the surroundings. Are the grounds properly maintained? Do you see trash all over the patio or in the pool? Are the trees and the lawn perfectly manicured or does the outdoor area require an urgent extreme makeover to recover its natural beauty? If you can identify such flaws during your first visit, consider crossing this property off your list or at least ask a few additional questions related to the activity of the designated service staff and maintenance staff. If the staff members have a 9-to-5 schedule during the week and don’t work nights, weekends and holidays, this could become an issue if you break your keys inside the lock or realize that your air conditioner isn’t working in the middle of the night.

The Surroundings. Outdoor areas can tell you many things about various other aspects, including the safety of your neighborhood and the habits and attitude of the neighbors that you could be dealing with from now on. Homes with broken windows and junk on the streets are never a good sign; moreover, lawns in a terrible shape, dirty stairs and poorly maintained amenities may indicate that your potential landlord is sloppy and not very good at addressing the complaints and repair/maintenance/improvement requests of his current tenants. Bottom line: if you don’t like the outdoors and get the feeling that the entire neighborhood is about to crumble, keep looking. Even if you’re on a tight budget and feel obligated to target only certain areas that provide the highest number of inexpensive rentals that you could afford to rent, dare to be selective and only consider the properties that could make you feel safe and comfortable in the long run. Using the info provided by Apartment Hunterz, California’s 1st class apartment finding service, you could perform a simple and effective targeted search and look for cute, decently-priced rentals using your filters of choice, such as square footage, number of rooms, exact location or rental rates.

Costs. On the Californian real estate market, if an ad sounds way too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Real bargains don’t last for more than a few moments on the market, simply because of the low inventory and high demand. Therefore, don’t expect to find a 2-bedroom spacious, modern apartment in San Francisco for less than $600 per month, when the current median rent in this city has already reached the $4,225 milestone.

Set up realistic goals and expectations to avoid wasting time during your house hunt. At the same time, before getting ready for your first tour, prepare a set of questions related to the costs that you may have to incur as a tenant. Are utilities included? If the answer is no, then keep in mind that you will have to spend a significant amount of money on electricity, Internet, cable, gas, water and garbage removal on a monthly basis. While these expenses may not be overwhelming, they can easily add up, especially if you don’t always manage to pay your bills on time. Also, consider gathering additional info on additional fees, such as late fee, renters insurance, pet fee deposit, parking fees (if any) and so on. Cover all these aspects to figure out whether or not you could actually afford to occupy the rental properties that you like best. Also, solid numbers will lead to a better understanding of your rights and obligations as a tenant, while giving you the opportunity to create and stick to a budget each month to avoid getting into debt.

Appliances. If you wish to go for a fully-furnished apartment, make sure your rental features all the appliances that you need on a daily basis, such as stove/oven, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. Next, ask yourself the following question: how much money would you be willing to pay to benefit from an available/working washer and dryer placed inside your closet or garage? If the costs associated with different additions that you need in your life exceed your allocated budget, perhaps it would be wiser to start looking for a rental with a more generous array of features and amenities, available at no extra cost.

Finding the perfect for rent apartment in California should be a fun experience, not a dreadful challenge. If you want to simplify the entire process by identifying and comparing offers the easy way, choose to take a closer look at the listings promoted by Apartment Hunterz. Save your searches with a click, contact landlords over the Internet and discover a whole world of attractive possibilities during your very first apartment search.

7 Key Tips on How to Find the Perfect Home Away from Home in California

Small wooden house with umbrella beach - concept imageyuhCalifornian hotels offer you all the features and amenities that you could ever need to create wonderful memories in picturesque places. However, tourists who want to relax on vacation without actually breaking their routine and abandoning their daily habits will most likely try to rent a home away from home, instead of booking a hotel room.

7 Steps to Take to Find the Ideal Vacation Rental in California

If you also love your privacy more than anything else and would very much like to spend a weekend, a week or a month on a superb property that you could call home, keep reading to find out how you could select the ideal vacation rental in California rapidly and absolutely stress-free.

  1. Opt for a Property That Turns Every Day Spend inside the House into a Small Vacation. When you own a vacation home, you seldom get to enjoy the first week of the season simply because you are too busy doing repairs and improving the looks of your indoors and outdoors. A house is not a hotel room; it requires constant supervision and regular maintenance work. On the other hand, a vacation rental can offer you the privacy, comfort and homey ambiance that a hotel could never provide, in spite of its good name, privileged location and luxurious amenities. Research your options and go in favor of a vacation rental with great scenery, large, airy rooms, plenty of storage space, basic amenities and a fully furnished kitchen. These are the key attributes of a practical and appealing home away from home that never disappoints.
  2. Start Early. Most people start planning their summer vacation during the cold season, right after New Year’s Eve. You should also know that some of the most popular vacation destinations in California, like Napa Valley for instance, attract a large number of loyalists- people who have been spending their holidays in the same place for years or decades in a row. These clients usually book the same apartment or house and profit from significant discounts for early booking. You could follow in their footsteps to benefit from an additional discount. At the end of the day, planning in advance could be the key to staying organized and saving money before, during and after your vacation.
  3. Don’t Hesitate to Play the Waiting Game. Some families don’t like to make long-term plans simply because they can’t foresee the future and are worried that a series of unpredicted events could interfere with their vacation plans. If this sounds like one of your biggest concerns, don’t worry. Even if you don’t want to book a vacation rental in advance, you could still get a considerable discount by searching for attractive last-minute deals. In some of the most popular vacation destinations supply usually outweighs demand. As we get closer to the high season, landlords and agents boost their efforts to fill vacancies. Some choose to cut down costs, while others agree to add certain perks to make the overall package seem more desirable. If you can afford to be flexible and spontaneous, keep your options open when it comes to selecting the best vacation rental. Use its location as filter and perform a targeted search with Apartment Hunterz. The online platform offering the best tools and means of communication for landlords will help you identify and compare the hottest new listings in a timely fashion, without having to leave your home or office to tour, rate and rent different properties. Searching for last-minute offers is a reward versus risks kind of game, so take your chance, start looking for affordable Californian rentals a few days or weeks before your trip and don’t get your mind and heart set on a particular slice of real estate; by staying emotionally detached you could evaluate the pros and cons of different accommodation options in a more objective manner and go for the offer that makes more sense to you from a practical and financial standpoint.
  4. Select a Great Property Based on Your Goals and Actual Necessities. Will you be travelling with your four-legged companion? In this case, you may want to narrow down your search by targeting only the properties offering pet-friendly accommodation options. If you’re planning a fun, relaxing vacation with your youngsters, make sure the rooms that you wish to book will give you access to a great variety of kid-friendly sites and attractions, including playgrounds and parks. If you’ll be travelling with small children, you may want to reserve a house or apartment that has already been baby-proofed. Even the simplest additions, like baby gates for stairs can help you attain peace of mind, knowing that your new environment won’t expose your youngest family members to considerable safety risks.
  5. Get All the Details Before Signing on the Dotted Line. Always read the fine print and ask for additional information on key aspects that may be on your mind, such as cancellation policy, repair and cleaning services, furnishings, property insurance, deposits, physical layout, financial arrangements and so on. At the end of the day, it is extremely important to communicate with your landlord in an effective manner, to understand the rights and obligations that you have as a tenant and keep your side of the bargain. If you have the distinctive impression that you could be forced to change your vacation plans in the near future, remember that renting an apartment is not like reserving a hotel room. When renting someone else’s house, binding contract compels you to cancel your reservation within a week or even one month to benefit from a full refund.
  6. Use All The Information Provided by Vacation Rental Websites. These days, you can spot a good deal on the local real estate market without driving around town and knocking on other people’s doors. At the same time, you can use different tools and platforms to find out what previous tenants are saying about certain landlords and properties that might interest you. Use their feedback to simplify your selection and remember to consult multiple sources before making a final call.
  7. Use the Data Provided by California’s Premier Apartment Finding Service. As soon as you figure out where you would like to spend your vacation, start looking for stunning vacation rentals in your price range. Rely on Apartment Hunterz to compare and save different listings, get in touch with homeowners who are renting out their places and select the accommodation option that meets all your expectations.

How to Spend Less on Rent as a College Student in California

The girl draws marker piggy bankMoving out of your parents’ house to go to college is a big step that will inevitably bring you a great deal of satisfaction. However, this change also brings along a bunch of new responsibilities that you may find a bit overwhelming at first. For starters, renting an apartment in California may force you to manage your money more wisely and become more aware of the impact that your daily decisions inevitably have on your financial situation. Is there a way to reduce rental costs without making any regrettable compromises? Could you actually spend less on rent without having to live in a shoebox apartment located in a shady neighborhood? Should you live on campus to keep your expenses in check? To make the most of an ideal apartment renting experience in California, you should start by getting the most accurate answers to all these key questions.

Why Should You Even Consider Living Off-Campus?

To begin with, you are probably wondering: is living off-campus a feasible option, from a financial standpoint? Believe it or not, recent studies indicate that living off-campus is the most convenient and cost-effective alternative explored by most students in the United States. As a matter of fact, an infographic published by Visually indicates that room and board costs on average $11,571, while commuters spend around $9,669. Do the math, and you’ll realize that students living on campus pay $2238 more than their peers who live off-campus.

5 Tips on How to Find the Perfect Budget-Friendly Accommodation Option in California

Moreover, living off-campus is a great choice simply because it helps you avoid gaining “the freshman fifteen” and embrace healthier eating, while also giving you the opportunity to build credit, gain control over who your roommate is and eliminate potential distractions standing in the way of your academic achievements. If you want to start this new chapter of your life in a rental apartment in California, choose to apply the five following tips to reduce your costs and maximize your satisfaction.

  1. Target Neighborhoods and Properties That You Can Actually Afford. First of all, you should do your homework to identify some of the most affordable neighborhoods in your Californian city of choice. You should know that even San Francisco and its surroundings, representing one of the most desirable urban areas in California with rentals priced at around $4,000 per month, can surprise you with a plethora of less expensive accommodation options, as long as you know where to look for cheap housing. For instance, if you are determined to move to San Francisco and spend less on rent, you could target the foggy Richmond District, Central Sunset or Oceanview. All three alternatives ensure great rentals priced at around $2,000 per month.
  2. Manage Day-to-Day Bills and Monitor Your Expenses. Most college students end up experiencing a certain level of financial hardship simply because they are unable to prioritize their needs and take control of their expenses. Some of them buy clothes that they never get to wear, throw a lot of money on school supplies that they could live without and spend even more on parties and other leisure activities.

If you would very much like to make better choices and discover the simplest way to cut down expenses and set some money aside for a rainy day, start by creating a budget and list your monthly expenses, including food, utilities and rent. Next, you can track your spending using one of the many free budgeting apps available at this point, such as Mint, Level Money or Budget Ease.

  1. Remember That Flashy Details Aren’t Everything Don’t Get Carried Away. As a college student seeking cheap housing in California, you’ll soon learn a very valuable lesson about the perks of minimalist living and reach the conclusion that sometimes, less is more. Sure, an apartment complex with a lavishing rooftop pool or an onsite gym is everything that you could ever ask for, but could you really afford to pay for all these cool additions out of your own pocket without working 3 jobs? Instead of selecting rentals based on the number of flashy appliances and other extras that they have, refine your selection criteria and go for accommodation options that match your realistic needs in terms of square footage, location and basic features.
  2. Stay Organized and Avoid Clutter. Staying organized at all times doesn’t have to be a challenge, even if you can’t really buy new furniture or remodel your indoors to respond to your requirements in terms of space and comfort. The solution to your problem is simple and convenient: use clever storage options to maximize your space, while also giving a personal touch to your interior space. Under-bed storage, mirror frames with doors, custom-made banquette seating offering more than enough under-seat storage space and exposed rafters and beams represent excellent choices allowing you to feel at home even in the tiniest shared apartment.

Put your creativity at work to come up with new, out-of-the-box storage ideas to stay organized and settle for a smaller space that will automatically involve reduced expenses. If you find it hard to fit all your textbooks, clothes and accessories in an apartment that is clearly too small for you, consider renting self storage space provided by a facility located near your school. Self storage carries a relatively small price tag (you can get a good unit for less than $20 per month) and offers you a practical method to deposit and organize the items that you do not actually use on a daily basis.

  1. Find a Cheap Rental Fast Using California’s Top Apartment Finding Service. It’s not always easy to find an affordable apartment for rent in California, especially if you don’t understand the new realities of its real estate market, aren’t familiar with your new environment or don’t have time to circle newspaper ads, make hundreds of phone calls and tour dozens of properties on a daily basis.

Even so, you should know that there is a simpler, more practical way to track down inexpensive rentals in Cali before actually landing in this sunny state. Use an apartment finding service offering you access to the freshest, most tempting listings, conduct a personalized search based on your filters of choice (exact location, square footage, number of rooms, price and so on), contact landlords and property managers at a touch of a button, download and upload forms the easy way and identify gorgeous for rent properties in your price range. Work closely with Apartment Hunterz to uncover actual gems on the real estate market in California and reduce your monthly expenses without sacrificing your comfort and overall wellbeing.

 

What Kind of Compromises Should You Be Willing to Make as a Californian Tenant?

Young realtor is with keys in an apartmentIf you could afford to move to any other city or state, you would probably be tempted to rent or buy a place in California. Maybe you’d do it to fulfill a childhood fantasy, get the job of your dreams or profit from amazing weather and some of the most spectacular beaches in the United States. Either way, you should know that buying a place in California is a serious matter that involves a high level of commitment and a significant amount of money.

Should You Rent or Buy a Place in Southern California?

In 2015, the housing market in Southern California is gradually awakening from a nap, as its home prices are rising after remaining flat for almost one year. As LA Times points out, the short supply and the improving economy are two of the main factors responsible for this growth. Moreover, according to the same source, job growth is another element that is giving people courage to discover the perks of homeownership in Southern California. In this context, it becomes obvious that the competition for affordable slices of real estate in this part of the country is fierce.

If you can’t afford to contract a loan and make a down payment, or simply feel that owning a house would limit your options and stand in the way of your future plans, you may want to try your luck as a tenant in California. While contemplating your options, you might be wondering:  from this perspective, what kind of compromises should you make to ensure your happiness? First of all, you should probably learn and assimilate the most effective lease negotiation tactics and master the art of communicating and compromising.

This will help you profit from move-in-ready space, minimize your expenses and even get flexible lease terms that could come in handy in a number of situations. For instance, at some point you may want to cut down costs by downsizing; in which case you may need your landlord’s permission to sublease. At the same time, landlords have all the reasons in the world to stay on the same page with tenants with good credit, who pay rent on time, do not complain about other tenants or housing in general and do not demand extravagant improvements. In most cases, an honest discussion with your landlord will help you set realistic expectations and negotiate an equitable lease. Once you’ve managed to reduce your rent or obtain other advantages, should you hope (and ask) for more or should you settle with the rental property that you have already chosen?

5 Compromises That You Should Consider Making as a Tenant in California

Even if affordable rentals are in high demand in California, and real bargains don’t last for more than a few seconds on local real estate markets, you should always research your options very carefully before signing on the dotted line. If you want to play all your cards right to reduce your costs and maximize your satisfaction, you should know that you can make other compromises on four key aspects related to your apartment renting experience: remodeling work, location, improvements and amenities. Here are a few suggestions that you may find helpful during this process.

Avoid the Headache of Costly, Unnecessary Remodeling Work. Every for rent property is a blank canvas that you can color and personalize as you see fit. But since you don’t own the place and you’re probably not going to spend more than a few months or years in the same spot, try to curb your own enthusiasm and do the math twice before pouring money in any type of remodeling work. Unfortunately, even the smallest adjustments can exceed your allocated budget, leave you high and dry and make you put more important projects on hold. For instance, a kitchen transformation implying basic upgrades could trigger costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, according to a Forbes article; so keep this price tag in mind before choosing new fixtures, paint and countertops for your rental. Moreover, do keep in mind that you will always need to get your landlord’s approval for any major changes that you may have in mind before giving the green light to an extreme makeover.

Remember That Location Is a Key Factor That Could Up Your Costs. While you can alter the appearance and vibe your house in countless different ways, you can’t actually change its location. Therefore, establish your priorities before making a final call. If you want to avoid long commutes and shady neighborhoods, consider spending a bit more on a rental that is located in an area with a low crime rate, in the proximity of your home and/or office.

Focus on Necessary Tenant Improvements. How much should you compromise when it comes to bringing tenant improvements into discussion? Here’s how it works: landlords will always try to minimize the positive changes that must be implemented to improve a living space. At the same time, the tenant will highlight the most impactful potential adjustments and suggest cost-effective ways in which these modifications can be made. You can employ a similar strategy to present these aspects to your landlord as a part of an ampler and more complex lease negotiation plan. Just make sure you develop realistic expectations and find the best way to let your landlord know why you (and other tenants) need and want these changes.

Evaluate the Available Amenities. Should you really judge a rental based on the amenities that it offers? Yes and no. Yes, you should probably avoid cheap rental properties that do not come with the basic amenities that guarantee your safety and comfort, but at the same time, you shouldn’t overspend on rent, especially if the apartment that you’re daydreaming about offers features and amenities that you don’t actually need and wouldn’t get to use very often. An onsite gym is nice, but how often do you actually work out? An indoor pool sounds like our version of heaven on earth, but it if you’re always at the office and never have time for a swim, this luxurious amenity will only inflate your monthly bills, without actually improving your quality of life in any way.

If you don’t feel ready to compromise, then maybe you just haven’t found the right place for you yet. In this case, choose to continue your apartment search and use the listings offered by Apartment Hunterz to find the most appealing rentals matching your location, preferences and budget. Choose wisely, master the art of compromising and discover the ideal for rent property in only a few days with California’s number one apartment finding service.

 

17
Sep 2015
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