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.


Jun 2015

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.

Short-Term Vs. Long-Term Rental Agreements: Which Is the Best Option for You?

Hispanic couple outside home for rentThere are millions of compelling reasons why you should build a new life in California. The friendly weather, great career opportunities, fancy clubs and restaurants and awesome sandy beaches are only a few of the decisive factors that always make you pack up your bags and get the first plane to Cali. However, when it comes to renting a place in America’s most densely populated state, things tend to get a little more complicated. For starters, you would have to answer pressing questions such as: should I go for a short-term rental or a long-term rental? Does a long-term rental involve the kind of commitment and responsibilities that I may not be ready for at this point? Do short-term rentals involve greater risks than long term ones? Each and every answer to these questions will bring you closer to finding the perfect rental for you. To make a smart final call, you should start by carefully analyzing the pros and cons of both short and long-term rentals.

Discover the Pros of Short-Term Rentals

Short term rentals are well-liked by many tenants for a number of reasons. First of all, they ensure the highest level of flexibility that a prospect could ever hope to experience. One day, you could rent a house on the beach; the a few months later, you could get the keys to a gorgeous Napa Valley villa that could become the perfect home away from home for the next ten months or so. For those who love to travel extensively and don’t wish to put down roots in a specific area, short-term rentals are a clever solution stimulating tenants to broaden their horizons and maintain an active, nomadic lifestyle.  Also, for businesses seeking new properties for rent, short-term rental agreements may work best simply because they ensure an easy way out. If your new business idea were to fail, this type of lease would give you the opportunity to cut your losses and close this chapter without getting covered in debt; on the other hand, long-term rentals leave business owners on the hook for their delayed rent payments. This advantage is quite significant, considering the fact that 8 out of 10 companies close their gates within one year and a half of opening, according to recent statistics quoted by Huffington Post. Short-term rentals may not offer you the stability that long-term contracts usually provide, but they do ensure a safety net that you may appreciate when it comes to developing new business or travelling frequently.

Short-Term Rentals Also Have their Disadvantages

Lack of stability leading to frustration, a never-ending stressful and time-consuming house hunt and increased housing costs, is by far the most important drawback that tenants should take into consideration before renting a house or apartment for a short period of time.

Weigh the Pros of Long-Term Rentals

Predictability. Long-term rentals are the perfect alternative at hand for people who would like to settle down in California, but can’t actually afford to buy their own place here. In other words, long-term rentals lead to a sense of security. They help tenants discover the thrills of a predictable existence. Moreover, companies that sign short-term rental agreements could witness an increase in their real estate costs every single year. On the other hand, long-term contracts enable tenants to prevent such risks and make the most of their rental properties without spending more than they can actually afford to on rent.

Stability. Tenants who don’t really like to move around much appreciate the stability associated with a long-term rental. Unlike short-term rental agreements, long-term ones protect you from a number of unpleasant situations, like being forced out of the property that you are currently occupying, very unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. Long-term leases are perfect for people who want to turn the house that they live in into a home and prevent the stress associated with endless relocations.

Concessions. Let’s face it: long-term rentals allow you to build a solider relationship with landlords and property managers. This type of bond could help you unlock various benefits, such as rent deduction or improvement allowances. Sometimes, short-term rental agreements can offer similar advantages; however, in most cases you would have to put your negotiation skills to the test to benefit from major tenant improvements that will enhance your level of comfort and satisfaction.

Find out why Long-Term Rentals May Not Be the Best Option for You

For those who don’t really like serious commitments and hate the idea of putting down roots in one place, long-term rentals may not be the best alternative at hand.

Bottom line: both short-term and long-term rentals are options that may work for you, as a newcomer determined to upgrade your personal and/or professional life in California. At the end of the day, you should go in favor of the option that is fully compatible with your lifestyle, necessities and financial possibilities.

Identify the Most Tempting Listings with Apartment Hunterz

Now that you are familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of both short-term and long-term rentals, perhaps you feel ready to move into a new house or apartment. In this case, choose to find the most amazing Californian properties with just a little help from Apartment Hunterz. Using this premium apartment finding service you can check out thousands of regularly updated listings, compare different options in terms of location, features and price, narrow down your search by targeting houses or apartments available in your favorite neighborhoods, get in touch with property managers and landlords online, with just a few clicks, submit your applications over the Internet and schedule in-person meetings with the people who hold the key to the place that you could call your new home.

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.


5 Facts That You Should Know about California Real Estate Trends before Renting an Apartment

iStock_000000818620_Small With a population of over 38.8 million, California is considered the tangible version of paradise. Encompassing some of the most lavishing slices of real estate that you could ever dare to imagine, superb oceanfront properties and even modest condos that are far from being affordable, this state offers extremely diverse for rent and for sale properties tailored to each price point and manages to please the widest segment of potential buyers and tenants. In this context, would it be a smart move to invest in a California-based house or apartment? You don’t have to be an experienced real estate agent to figure things out; you just have to analyze recent real estate trends, pay attention to new predictions and determine how they could impact your future plans. Here are some facts that you should take into consideration before making your first move.

  1. Prices Have Gone Up. As a Forbes article points out, price tags carried by California-based properties have managed to reach pre-crash levels; in some cases, prices actually succeed in eclipsing the ones that were set by buyers before the apocalyptic collapse. This means that very few people with limited financial means can enjoy the perks of ownership. On the other side of the coin, when owning a house or apartment is not a valid option, renting a new roof over your head could represent the best alternative worth considering.
  2. Reasonably Priced Pieces of Real Estate Can Be Difficult to Spot in the Largest Cities. Families with a modest income will inevitably have a hard time targeting affordable for rent or for sale properties in some of the most sought-after Californian cities. In San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home values are witnessing a rapid growth that may take most prospects by surprise. When buying or renting a slice of real estate in these overcrowded areas is not an option, you could always focus your attention on smaller or less populated Californian cities that could provide equally tempting employment opportunities and accommodation options without forcing you to break the bank to pay rent each month. For instance, the median home value in Fresno is estimated at $178,100, while the median rent price is in the $790 range. Less than $800 spent on rent is a real bargain, taking into consideration the fact that a San Francisco-based rental could cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 and up on a monthly basis.
  3. Several Factors Will Make It Even More Difficult for Prospects to Buy a Place of Their Own. Wondering why buying a house or apartment in California has almost become a mission impossible? The past actions of investors who have profited from sales and foreclosures to turn properties into moneymaking rentals, scarce land (especially in some of the most desirable neighborhoods from San Francisco or Los Angeles), and deep-pocketed foreign buyers that keep inflating the prices by stimulating sellers to raise the bar too high are just a few of the negative elements that stop so many middle-class families from owning a house or apartment in California. Very limited land available for new developments is one pressing problem that is difficult to address in a satisfying manner. When old properties are being demolished, they are usually replaced in no time with new shiny ones that are two or three times more expensive than their predecessors. Therefore, there are quite a few obstacles standing in the way of California’s residents who are contemplating the idea of becoming homeowners. Nonetheless, stumbling across a convenient rental represents an event that is more likely to occur. With help from a professional apartment finder, one could identify and compare different California-based rentals in their neighborhoods of choice, filter and save their searches and come in contact with landlords and property managers at a touch of a button. Clearly, exceptional client-oriented apartment finding services have changed the way in which individuals fish for bargains on the local rental market, making it possible for everyday people to find a decently-priced house or apartment for rent in less than a week.
  4. Renting a Place in California Is a Good Choice for a Number of Reasons. For those who actually dislike any type of long-term commitment and aren’t very fond of the idea of putting down roots in one place, renting a Californian house would be a good call. Rentals offer tenants the highest level of flexibility and freedom of choice. Ownership may ensure a certain level of stability, but at the same time it also involves more than a few responsibilities such as mortgage payments, repairs and maintenance work; not to mention the fact that in today’s market some sellers may be forced to sell at a loss, which is a great disadvantage that each prospect should factor in before pouring money into a piece of real estate.
  5. Finding a Decently Priced Californian Rental Is Easier Than You Think. As a newcomer or a busy professional who knows very little or nothing at all about California’s real estate market, you are probably thinking about counting on the services of a real estate agent to find a good home for yourself and your family. This is only one option that you can explore if you’re interested in renting. On the other hand, the assistance offered by a reputable apartment finding service could be the cost-effective alternative to hiring a realtor. By analyzing the latest real estate trends, checking out recent listings and using a plethora of additional perks and features (such as 24/7 client support, iConnect feature ensuring a rapider connection between tenants in landlords in real time), you could spot and compare different for rent properties in the comfort of your home or office. With the support offered by Apartment Hunterz, California’s most popular apartment finder, you could maximize your odds of conducting a successful home hunt with minimal expenses.