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

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

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

Make Your Transition Period More Enjoyable in 5 Simple Steps

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

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 Also, you may want to replace old, outdated gadgets and appliances that wouldn’t be a good match for your new home (think about your ancient, wall-hogging TV or the massive 3D framed wall art that no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

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

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

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

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

7 Californian Rental Upgrades That Will Make You (and Your Landlord) Proud

Kitchen in New Luxury HomeTruth be told, it’s always difficult to find a rental that matches all your needs and demands to a tee.  Moreover, it’s even more complicated to identify and rent a house or an apartment that manages to reflect your personal style and taste. In this context, should you keep looking for a new roof over your head until you run out of options, or should you actually adopt a proactive attitude, settle for a nice Californian rental that you can afford and visualize and implement changes that won’t upset your landlord? If you’re more willing to employ the latter strategy, keep reading to discover 7 inexpensive rental makeover ideas that always pay off.

  1. Add New, Shiny Hardware. Old hardware usually manages to affect the look and feel of any room. Get rid of rusty hinges and cabinet handles and replace these pieces with modern, shiny hardware that will automatically contribute to a more polished look. Even the simplest stainless steel alternatives can completely transform your indoors, by adding gorgeous metallic accents that go well with most styles and themes.
  2. Opt for Clever Storage Ideas. If you’re on a tight budget, then you might be forced to reevaluate your priorities and settle for a small for rent house or apartment. Look on the bright side: less square footage is associated with less upkeep and smaller expenses. Fortunately, even in this situation you can boost your level of comfort by implementing a series of smart storage options.

Start by following a basic rule: you have to have a place for every single item that you choose to keep around the house. A well-edited household with fewer possessions is always easier to keep in check. Next, focus on the ways in which you can improve your existing furniture pieces. To begin with, you could add shelves to old fixtures to maximize your storage space. Vertical dividers are the ideal, inexpensive add-ons that could upgrade the looks and functionality of your kitchen cabinets.

Furthermore, wire organizers are also extremely affordable and they can enable you to store small essentials (trash bags, sandwich bags) in your cabinets. Afterwards, if you can afford to spend some money on new furniture pieces, shop around to get the best deals on multipurpose furniture. For example, you could choose to replace a worn out chair with a timelessly elegant ottoman that offers you sufficient space to store blankets and other small items that you only get to use every once in a while.

  1. Replace Old, Boring Fixtures. Next, choose to replace those cheap brass fixtures that don’t do your indoors any favors with luxurious pieces that command attention, like a bronze chandelier that you could find at a flea market or a set of modern stainless steel lighting fixtures that go oh-so-well with basically any other decorative element.
  2. Repaint the Walls. A nice coat of paint can improve the appearance of any room. Opt for pastel colors that have a soothing effect. Also, keep in mind that lighter shades are also recommended for two more reasons: they can make your rooms seem more spacious; plus they are compatible with a plentitude of contrasting hues.
  3. Breathe New Life into an Old-Fashioned Kitchen. Instead of planning on replacing expensive features and appliances, such as old-school refrigerators, beat up cupboards and stoves that look like they’ve been used on a daily basis since the early 50s, set smaller goals that are easier to reach from a financial standpoint. Attach adhesive hooks to the interior side of your cabinets, replace old, worn out pulls and knobs with new, shiny ones and make more room for smaller appliances and kitchen supplies by installing magnetic shelves.
  4. Go for Clever and Cheap Bathroom Remodel Ideas. Following the same cost-effective remodeling principles, consider replacing the least expensive elements that influence the appeal of your bathroom in a considerable manner. From towel racks, toilet paper holders and faucets to toilet paper seats, all these common items are fairly cheap and easy to replace and can turn your bathroom into a more welcoming room.
  5. Reorganize and Beautify Your Outdoor Areas. Here’s one word of advice: do not neglect the outdoors. Do everything in your power to maximize the curb appeal of your property to generate neighborhood envy. By repainting your siding, adding a few potted plants, keeping your lawn weed-free and perfectly trimmed and keeping your walkways properly lit you could turn your rental into a much more attractive slice of Californian real estate.

Always Discuss Your Options with Your Landlord Before Making Any Radical Changes

It’s always recommended to have a nice chat with your landlord for two very simple reasons: firstly, by discussing your plans with your lessor you could avoid awkward situations and mistakes that could prevent you from getting your security deposit back. Secondly, an open dialogue could enable you to beautify your home, while also saving some money that you would otherwise have to spend on rent. For instance, your landlord may be willing to give you more room for maneuver if you agree to implement a few positive changes. By moving things around, investing a small amount in affordable patio furniture and cutting down shrubs you could improve the curb appeal of the property that you’re inhabiting, while convincing your landlord to lower your rent for a certain period of time.

Start Looking for the Perfect Rental with Apartment Hunterz

Maybe you don’t want to invest time, money and energy in an ample remodeling project. This is perfectly understandable, especially at times when you can actually find fairly inexpensive Californian accommodation options online, using a good apartment finding service. If you don’t want to redirect most of your resources towards an extreme apartment makeover, choose to use the data and tools brought to you by Apartment Hunterz to spot the best rentals in your city and/or neighborhood of choice. Browse though thousands of appealing, recent listings, contact property managers and landlords, download and upload forms the easy way and profit from a simplified, rewarding apartment hunting experience.

5 Things That All Californian Landlords Need to Find the Right Tenants Fast

Couple holding hands with house as a backgroundIn the sunny state of California there are thousands of people who would fight tooth and nail to find and occupy a great rental. Prospects who are targeting some of the most sought-after Californian cities are usually monitoring the local real estate market 24/7, hoping to profit from a better deal. Even if your “for rent” apartment or house is everything a tenant could ever wish for and more, you would still have to invest a great deal of time and energy in the right promotional strategies designed to make your property seem more desirable in the eyes of potential clients and increase its level of online visibility. Managing your listings can be quite difficult, especially when you own multiple rentals or when you have already been unsuccessfully trying to fill your vacancies for quite some time now. In this particular case, the services provided by a reputable Californian apartment finder can give you a helping hand, by offering you unlimited access to the five essential features that any landlord should count on to meet the right tenant rapidly and conveniently.

  1. A Bigger Online Audience. Building your audience on your own is no easy task, especially when you have very little time on your hands. Why waste time distributing flyers or relying exclusively on word-of-mouth when you can bring your ad in front of a larger public that is actually looking forward to hearing from you? Counting more than 5 million hits on a monthly basis, Apartment Hunterz is the apartment scout that lets you list your rental on a popular platform attracting thousands of potential tenants who are looking for a new roof over their heads in your own neighborhood.
  2. A Quicker, Smarter Way to Communicate with Potential Tenants. Wondering why you aren’t getting enough phone calls from people who might be interested in renting your property? Here’s one possible reason why the right tenant isn’t knocking on your door: maybe your house or apartment isn’t being promoted properly. Or maybe or tenants are looking for a simplest, more satisfying method to reach you. While sitting with his laptop on his lap, a potential tenant wants to be able to talk to you without actually making a phone call. The iConnect feature provided by Apartment Hunterz makes this possible. Using this service you can communicate with people looking for a new home with just a few clicks; not to mention the fact that candidates would be able to submit applications online and simplify their entire house hunt by using modern technology to their best advantage.
  3. A Maximum Level of Exposure. In order to fill your vacancies in a timely fashion, you need more than a large audience. You actually have to stay visible and active in an environment where people are searching for Californian rentals like the one that you own. With Apartment Hunterz, you can post listings that could attract approximately 20,000 unique visitors on a day-to-day basis. While counting on this type of exposure, you won’t need any other aces up your sleeve to market your Californian rental in a successful manner and meet the right tenant in record time. Apartment Hunterz makes sure that your listings get automatically emailed to numerous tenants who are looking forward to occupying a new Californian rental. All you have to do is to upload your form (in Word or PDF format) and let potential tenants submit their applications online.
  4. Diverse and Extremely Useful Listing Features. Let’s face it: newspaper ads can be quite boring and unremarkable. In this case, it’s all about a combination of square footage, amenities and price tags with reduced visual appeal. Readers may find it difficult to compare all these values, especially when these hard numbers aren’t accompanied by at least one suggestive photo reflecting the best features of the rentals in question. You can take your ad to a whole new level by counting on the services provided by a big Californian apartment finder. This way, you would be able to increase the attractiveness and expand the functionality of your listings by adding a few essential details, such as accurate, detailed descriptions, high-resolution photos and/or video tours. You can upload up to 12 photos of your rental and use the right descriptive terms of highlight the strongest points of your property. Because a short video is much more relevant than an entire collection of words and pictures, now you can also post a virtual tour allowing candidates to get familiar with the looks and vibe of your house or apartment without actually touring it in person. Virtual tours are extremely useful, as they give prospects the chance to narrow down their search and go in favor of properties represented by personalized listings, which are usually easier to evaluate.
  5. Comprehensive Management at Their Fingertips. Managing multiple listings is no easy task, especially when you’re trying to promote your property via a plethora of online and offline channels. What if someone told you that you could manage your online landlord account with just a few clicks, in a matter of a few minutes? There are so many things that you could do to keep your rental on the first page. The good news is that all these tasks can be completed in a time-effective manner. For example, you can compose, edit and post new listings; or you can retrieve some of your older listings and implement a series of changes. As a landlord, you can also make the most of free credit reports and free rentals forms. Moreover, if you get stuck at some point, all you have to do is call the landlord hotline and get the expert advice that you may require to make the best decisions. All these handy tools and services help you boost your odds of becoming a successful landlord. Give this apartment finding service a try, test its ample selection of features and start marketing your Californian rental with minimal effort.


Mar 2015

5 Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Californian Rental Property without Going Bankrupt

iStock_000011739530_Small“All I have to do is to let a few close friends know that I’m planning on renting my Californian home, and the right buyers will come knocking on my door in no time.” Does this statement sound familiar to you? Unfortunately, this is a popular misconception shared by more than a few homeowners who want to turn themselves into successful landlords. The truth is that this is not how it goes. Unless your house is brand-new or in mint condition, you will have to invest a certain amount of time, money and energy in home improvement projects. Here are a few starting points that you may want to consider when it comes to implementing changes that add real value to your Californian rental property.

  1. Increase the Curb Appeal of Your Property. Before checking out your indoor space, your potential tenants will inevitably inspect your outdoor area. Walls displaying a chipped coat of paint, shrubs that have grown out of control and an old, unappealing front door that looks like it’s about to fall on your guests don’t exactly do you any favors. Try to address the faults that impact the functionality and aesthetic value of your property. You can enhance the curb appeal of your rental by installing a new mailbox, adding a few strategically placed potted plants and/or working on a more ambitious project revolving around a new porch/walkways or driveways.
  2. Depersonalize Your House or Apartment. Only a few homeowners realize just how important it really is to depersonalize their properties before putting them on the market. Think about it this way: would you be willing to rent or buy a property that has nothing in common with your taste and personal preferences? Would you be able to appreciate an indoor space in an objective manner and consider it your home, as long as it reminds you of its previous owners? You get the point: clean and remove personal belongings and decorative items; turn your home into a neutral environment allowing potential buyers to assess the level of compatibility between themselves and the property that you wish to put at their disposal.
  3. Stage Your Property. We will let you in on a little secret: more than a few people who wish to rent or buy a new place lack imagination. This is precisely why you should make it easier for all candidates to visualize the potential changes that they could make to feel at home in your Californian house or apartment. Therefore, start by cleaning and de-cluttering your kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Let your guests be stunned by the spaciousness of your rental and allow them to picture the potential improvement that could trigger their complete satisfaction. Proper furniture placement is one of the most important elements that could help you stage your property in an ideal manner.
  4. Add Clever Architectural Details. Assuming that you can actually afford to go the extra mile to increase the value of your Californian property and make it more desirable, what are the main steps that you should take to accomplish this mission? You can start by adding a series of high-value architectural details that will certainly be appreciated by a large category of potential tenants. In this case, we are referring to additions that serve both aesthetic and practical purposes. For example, you can give some much-needed pizzazz to an old, boring room by adding tasteful ceiling moldings to its current décor. Instead of directing your attention towards your bedrooms, start by remodeling your bathrooms and kitchen, as these indoor spaces are the ones that usually attract or deter most renters and buyers. These areas can become the most important deal-breakers, especially when they require ample, costly renovations. If you can afford to shed a few hundreds of dollars on a remodel project, don’t hesitate to change old sinks, countertops, cabinets, fixtures and flooring material. New, shiny stainless steel appliances could add a touch of glamour to your bathrooms and kitchens, which will definitely be appreciated by most tenants looking for a modern Californian house or apartment. In case you have the time and money required by more complex renovation work, consider upgrading the floor plan of your property, to modernize it and expand its functionality. For example, you could decide to take down a large wall separating your living room from your kitchen. You could also add a small bathroom to your master bedroom, in an attempt to create a luxurious and practical suite. The possibilities are endless; you just have to make sure that your new floor plan is compatible with the desires and expectations of a larger category of prospects.
  5. Learn How to Market Your Property the Easy Way. At the end of the day, the steps that you take to market your Californian rental are just as important as the new coats of paint that you apply on your walls, the bright wallpaper that you use to decorate all rooms and the new expensive furniture that you’re planning on ordering. As a matter of fact, in the absence of a good marketing strategy, all these improvements could pass unnoticed, as you fail to fill your vacancies. Does this mean that you should direct a considerable amount of money towards online and offline channels designed to promote your rental? Not exactly! You can limit your expenses and still get excellent results by collaborating with Apartment Hunterz. California’s most respectable apartment finding service lends a helping hand to landlords and property managers, by allowing them to put and keep their slices of real estate into the spotlight. Using this service, landlords can list their properties, accentuate the best features of their Californian rentals, post photos and video tours and get in touch with potential tenants online. Scheduling meetings with the most reliable candidates who are looking for a nice California-based house or apartment has never been easier. Give this service a try, create your own landlord account and discover the simplest method to attract tenants with just a few clicks.
Mar 2015

How to Spend Less Money on Your Californian Rental

Photo Credit: iStock Photo

Photo Credit: iStock Photo

For many years in a row, you have chosen to embrace a rather austere lifestyle just to be able to move to California and afford to rent a decent property here. Now that you are finally one step closer to fulfilling your dream, you are probably bothered by a million different questions: Could you really find a great place in a sought-after neighborhood, which won’t actually drill holes in your pocket? Should you get a roommate? Are there any viable strategies that you could apply to decrease your monthly rental expenses? To help you attain peace of mind and give you the opportunity to make the most of your Californian rental, we have compiled a list of easy tips that you can and should apply right away to profit from considerable savings.

Create a Strict Household Budget (and Stick to It!). Factor in all your upcoming expenses before prepping the field for new acquisitions. If you can barely spend $2,000 on rent and utilities on monthly basis, those designer shoes will simply have to wait.

Consider Buying Renter’s Insurance. Renter’s insurance can help you prevent a number of unpleasant surprises associated with enormous expenses. This type of policy would cover potential liability claims and big losses associated with your Californian rental. Renter’s insurance is far from being expensive and represents a solid ally for tenants who wouldn’t have the money required to replace expensive belongings in the event of a theft or a fire, for instance.

Invest in Cost-Efficient Additions to Lower Your Heating Costs. Worried that you could spend a fortune trying to preserve an ideal temperature in your apartment? In this case, all you have to do is to spend a few dollars on cheap solutions designed to make you waste less energy and turn your home into a warm, inviting environment on a budget. Draft stoppers, window insulation kits and air conditioner unit covers are only a few basic items that could support your goal, while also decreasing the value of your utility bills.

Get a Roommate. At some point, you may need companionship to break the daily monotony. Aside from the fact that roommates could help you explore new entertainment options, they would also give you the chance to halve your rental expenses.

Choose the Most Convenient Rental with Help from Apartment Hunterz. If you don’t want to share your place with anyone else, let Apartment Hunterz guide your home hunt. By brining you the most recent and tempting listings, Apartment Hunterz lets you spot the most convenient deals on the Californian real estate market fast and easy.

Nov 2014