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 Also, you may want to replace old, outdated gadgets and appliances that wouldn’t be a good match for your new home (think about your ancient, wall-hogging TV or the massive 3D framed wall art that no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.

How to Select the Perfect Waterfront Property in California in a Few Easy Steps

beautiful houses downtown at the waterfront Miami southPeople who live in California have all the reasons in the world to wake up with a big smile on their faces. After all, they count on beautiful weather year-round, have some of the most amazing entertainment options worldwide and can easily choose from luxurious pieces of real estate that are hunted down by a plethora of wealthy international buyers. Assuming that you have enough money in the bank to get the keys to a lavishing oceanfront property for an indefinite period of time, what are the main aspects that you should consider when it comes to selecting the perfect house for you and your loved ones? Here are six essential elements that you could use as selection criteria to simplify your search for the perfect piece of waterfront Californian real estate.

  1. Purpose. How do you plan to use the high-end property in the first place? Would you like to own it or rent it for a few weeks, months or years in a row? Moreover, would you use it as your primary residence or as a home away from home? Last but not least, would you buy the place for yourself or would you be eager to rent out the waterfront house to supplement your income? Do keep in mind that a bit home remodeling may be required before actually embarking on a quest to find the perfect tenants. Also, depending on how often you are planning on using the property, you can afford to be more or less picky when weighing different options. For example, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to purchase an expensive Californian property that is not 100% compatible with your needs and wishes; ownership involves a higher level of commitment, plus it may be difficult for you to sell your house at a profit in today’s market. On the other hand, a Californian rental that satisfies your basic needs in terms of comfort might do for a very limited period of time.
  2. Hobbies. Waterfront properties are perfect for people who embrace an active lifestyle and have more than a few beach-related hobbies. In this case, the key is to go for a property that will make it easier for you to enjoy your pastimes. For instance, enthusiastic fishermen will appreciate pieces of real estate ensuring easy access to the ocean. Those who are very fond of boating will most likely direct their attention towards spacious properties enabling them to store their boats in excellent conditions. At the same time, those who think that canoeing and kayaking are among the most relaxing sports known to man will definitely value privacy a great deal and go for secluded pieces of real estate that keep them close to the water, but far from the madding crowd. For this category of homebuyers or tenants, busy waters counting dozens of ski jets are not the most welcoming environment that they could imagine. On the contrary, they are constantly looking for more isolated corners of paradise that could reinforce their connection with Mother Nature.
  3. Square Footage. When it comes to selecting the perfect waterfront property, size matters a great deal for two main reasons: costs and comfort. First of all, you wouldn’t want to overspend on a property that is too big or too small for you. Also, a house that is too spacious for your current needs will most likely lead to greater maintenance costs and utility bills that you may not be ready to deal with. Comfort is an equally important aspect. An apartment or house that can’t accommodate all your relatives and/or guests may not represent such a good deal after all, in the long term. Nobody likes to share the room with other family members or sleep on inflatable mattresses for more than a weekend.
  4. Location and Price Tag. California has more than a few gorgeous cities where prospects could spot a fair share of beachfront properties designed to satisfy any fantasy. The thing is that such rentals vary a great deal in price based on their specific location. For instance, in Huntington Beach you could find modern apartments for rent in the $1,750 – $3,050 range. Forbes reveals that Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and La Jolla are listed among the most popular vacation destinations with the most expensive beachfront property markets. According to the same source, even the most modest bungalow located in these areas could cost you more than $1.6 million. In this context, even renting a vacation home in such locations may be off-limits, so weigh all valid options in an objective manner before making any phone calls.
  5. Feel free to select and rate different Californian vacation rentals based on the amenities that they offer. If you count on a big budget, you can target some of the most sought-after upscale details, such as rooftop terraces with fire pits, indoor and outdoor heated pools, game rooms and onsite gyms and wellness centers. On the other hand, if money is tight, you may want to put the amenities with the highest practical value above the ones that only satisfy your caprices and take a lot of money from your wallet. For instance, instead of hunting down rentals with onsite fitness centers and pet spas, you may want to settle for a nice, clean and welcoming waterfront house or apartment with a fully furnished kitchen and in-unit washer and dryer.
  6. Pet Policy. When you own a place, you never have to worry about the ways in which your beloved four-legged friend could damage your property and/or personal belongings. On the other hand, when you’re renting a house, you’re dealing with a completely different story. This is precisely why you should analyze the owner’s pet policy very carefully before signing on the dotted line. If you can’t imagine your summer vacation without your Fido and your landlord is determined to stick to his no-pets policy, then you will definitely have to focus on finding another house or apartment that is pet-friendly and meets the rest of your conditions.

If you don’t want to complicate your existence and wish to find the perfect waterfront property in less than a week, count on the support offered by Apartment Hunterz. California’s largest apartment finder will bring you the freshest listings and provide the expert guidance that you may require to narrow down your search make a smart decision in no time.


3 Costly Mistakes That You Could Make While Renting a Home in California

Man giving handshake to real-estate-agentThe collapse of the housing market has inevitably turned millions of owners into more or less enthusiastic tenants. It’s no secret that very few people are now prepared to deal with the responsibilities and the type of long-term commitment that ownership involves. In this particular set of circumstances, renting a place in Cali seems like the smartest thing to do. A good rental usually implies a short drive to the beach, great views, friendly white-collar neighbors, cool bars and clubs and some of the most tempting job opportunities. Renting in Cali can be a wonderful experience as long as you manage to avoid the three crucial mistakes listed below.

  1. Not Reading the Lease Agreement Multiple Times. Nobody is rushing you into anything, so don’t hesitate to read the lease agreement (preferably more than once). Make sure the clauses don’t actually go against the legal rights that you have as a tenant and always pay attention to additional expenses that may arise (associated with utility bills, storage space, parking and so on).
  2. Not Keeping Your Options Open. Just because you’ve managed to find a decent rental priced at $1,000 per month in an area where you couldn’t dream of finding a cozy single-bedroom apartment under $1,700 doesn’t mean that you should sign the lease in the blink of an eye and ignore all your other options. Take the time you need to research different properties in your preferred ZIP codes and compare different candidates in terms of location, amenities and price tags.
  3. Refusing to Take Picture Before Moving in. A good picture is worth more than one thousand words and in this case, it can help you prevent a whole lot of trouble started by your landlord. Therefore, remember to photograph every single defective or poorly maintained item that you find around the house. Even the tiniest hole in the rug or the smallest fragment of chipped wall paint can infuriate your landlord and make him retain your security deposit or charge you extra for damages that you’re not actually responsible for. So take pictures, file them properly and don’t hesitate to use them as evidence in the event of a potential dispute.

The Alternative: Spot the Most Convenient Rentals with Help from California’s Trusted Apartment Scout

We totally get it: you’re awfully busy. You don’t have the time and energy to check out different neighborhoods, compare prices and browse through an endless list of listings. You don’t want to make dozens of phone calls just to hear the same annoying message over and over again: “Sorry, it has already been rented!” this is why Apartment Hunterz has designed a completely different apartment finding service especially for you. By offering you the chance to check out only verified, recent and absolutely magnificent listings, Apartment Hunterz help you prevent the most common California renting mistakes and feel at home in the nicest property that you could possibly afford at this time

Dec 2014