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

Ways to Help You Recover Your Security Deposit after Renting a Place in Cali

Security depositNo matter where you would choose to rent a place in the Golden State, you would inevitably meet two distinctive types of landlords: those who expect you to walk on air without actually touching their belongings, and the ones who understand that tenants inevitably contribute to fair signs of wear and tear displayed by a rental property. How do you recognize the people listed in the first category? To begin with, they’re not exactly very friendly. They will most likely drop by unexpectedly, underline your contractual obligations at all times and talk about the impressive amount of money that they have invested in the property that you are currently occupying. In this context, you are probably wondering: how could I prepare myself for the unforeseen? In short, how should you act to make sure that you recover your security deposit and terminate your collaboration with your landlord on good terms?

Take Before and After Pictures. A good camera and a great attention to detail are your strongest allies when it comes to preventing potential claims made by your landlord. As soon as you move in, take pictures revealing noticeable flaws that you may be held responsible for (chipped paint, cracks in the floor and so on). Copies of your dated and properly labeled photos should be sent by your landlord in an envelope that should also comprise the standard inventory.

Battle Issues Linked to Damp. Sometimes, the worst problems associated with your rental property come unannounced and have very little to do with your daily actions. For instance, damp can cause an endless list of issues, ranging from a persistent unpleasant odor to stained walls requiring a costly repainting job. To prevent this problem you can explore a few distinctive paths: you can leave your heating on for a couple of hours during the day or use a dehumidifier provided by your landlord. Damp patches that may appear on your wall could be easily removed using a mix of diluted bleach and detergent.

Don’t Let Your Landlord Catch You Off Guard. We will let you in on a little secret: most landlords tend to be very territorial. This means that they have a sixth sense when it comes to spotting flaws displayed by their property at the end of a lease. Here’s a word of advice that you should follow: be paranoid. Clean your rental periodically and don’t forget to check out hard-to-reach, difficult-to-remember areas that you don’t actually come in contact with. Look under your kitchen cabinets, check the top corners of your rooms and ask a colleague or a friend to double-check everything. Once you become familiar with an indoor space, it becomes increasingly difficult to notice minor imperfections, such as dirt buildups. This rule does not apply to your landlord, who will most likely be tempted to channel his remarkable attention to detail to make you kiss your deposit goodbye.

It’s not always easy to establish a great relationship with a landlord. Fortunately, Apartment Hunterz facilitates your collaboration with friendly, courteous and dependable independent property owners and property managers and lets you choose the ideal Californian rental matching your expectations.


Dec 2014

4 Top Amenities Any Good Vacation Rental Should Have

Surf rental shop on Kona beach on Hawaii Big IslandCalifornia has some of the most amazing tourist attractions that will eventually convince you to take a few days off work, hop on a plane and set foot in the coolest cities encompassed by this densely populated state. When you’re travelling on a tight budget, hotel rooms aren’t always a good idea. Overpriced, cold and depersonalized, average hotels don’t always meet your highest expectations. On the other hand, vacation rentals are a different story. Tailored to your needs and budget, these inexpensive accommodation options can be found in the most sought-after parts of Cali, including the picturesque Napa Valley, San Francisco, San Diego or Hollywood. But what exactly should you expect from your vacation rental? We give you a list of four essential amenities that should be comprised by the vacation property of your choice.

  1. In-Building Laundry Facility. Dirty clothes piling up in your living room can be quite an eye sore. And who doesn’t hate the idea of wearing the same clothes twice or wasting time trying to track down the closest Laundromat while vacationing in Cali? For these reasons, a rental with in-building laundry facility is worth every single cent.
  2. Dishwasher. A dishwasher can help you prevent unpleasant odor and bug problems during your stay; on top of that, it also simplifies your household chores and lets you focus on much more enjoyable activities.
  3. Garbage Disposal. Garbage disposals are great additions enabling homeowners to reduce their waste coming in the form of solid food. Great at creating scary urban legends and equally useful when it comes to limiting your number of weekly trash runs, garbage disposals are inexpensive extras that can make your stay even more relaxing and carefree.
  4. A Nice View. What would a vacation rental be without a killer view? Whether you have your heart set on a Napa Valley property overlooking a beautiful vineyard or don’t want to settle for anything else than a spacious, brightly lit oceanfront property with a large pool and tons of greenery, pay the right price for the vacation rental that matches your specific criteria and make sure a breathtaking view is a part of the package.

Amenities That Aren’t Always Worth Your Hard-Earned Money

Other amenities are worth a lot of money, but do not always manage to offer you the level of satisfaction that you would feel entitled to after spending your hard-earned cash on them. Private outdoor space, in-building spa/gym and in-apartment washers and dryers are only a few such examples that should be mentioned.

Making an Informed Decision

If you can’t picture the ideal vacation rental on your own or wish to spot the newest, trendiest slices of Californian rental estate before your competitors, start by checking out the listings provided by Apartment Hunterz and use this data to your best advantage to make your house hunt a whole lot easier.

Dec 2014

5 Little-Known Ways in Which You Can Reduce Your Rental Costs in California

iStock_000020871178_SmallJust like thousands of other young adults, you’ve come to Cali to pursue your wildest dreams built around a rapid career ascension, a few moments of fame, a large family or a beautiful home. But we all know that beginnings can be pretty tough, especially when you’re pinching pennies while juggling multiple jobs. When you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, you are probably desperate to find a foolproof way to lower your rental costs. We give you not one, but five amazingly effective methods to manage your finances wisely and spend less on your Californian slice of real estate.

Look for an Exception. A combination of flexibility, research and patience always pays off when it comes to conducting house hunts. Finding a property way below the Californian market rate is difficult, but definitely not impossible. Check out online listings, collaborate with a realtor and target certain neighborhoods to narrow down your search.

Change Location. The ZIP code that you have chosen impacts the price tag of your rental in a considerable manner. To save a significant amount of money, think about ditching the sought-after neighborhoods in favor of the ones that are safe and nice, but less coveted. For instance, if you wish to relocate to Los Angeles, you should know that Canoga Park is considered the poor man’s version of Woodland Hills, ensuring a very short an enjoyable drive to Malibu, as well as fantastic one-bedroom rentals priced in the $800 range.

Rethink Your Definition of “Perfect”. In terms of Californian real estate slices, perfection is perfectly attainable, but at what cost? Do you really need a big house that requires you to hire a landscaper and an army of maids? Couldn’t you live without on-site parking, gym and wellness center? Moreover, overlooking minor aspects that have an insignificant impact on your quality of life (chipped wall paint, ugly carpets, old wooden floors) can trigger additional savings.

Before Signing Your Lease, Make Sure You Are Prepared for Any Potential Outcome. What were to happen if you would have to relocate for a career change? What If you would end up loathing your apartment? In these situations, what would be your alternatives for leaving? Make sure your contract outlines a few important aspects, such as fees associated with late rentals payments or repairs required to correct your mishaps. In other words, read the lease twice before signing it and always be prepared to handle the unexpected. Sometimes, adding an ounce of prevention to your daily actions is the best way to lower your bills.

Work Closely with a Reputable Apartment Finder. Are you picky, overly budget-conscious and/or indecisive? Each of these attributes can complicate your Californian house hunt and make you lose time and energy. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem: rely on the expert guidance of a respectable apartment scout. Keep an eye on the listings brought to you by Apartment Hunterz to find the ideal Californian rental for you and your loved ones in just a few days.

Dec 2014

3 Things That You Should Factor in Before Buying or Renting a Place in San Clemente

iStock_000007751777_SmallMany people spend their time picturing an ideal location where they could retire comfortably. They want it all: a nice house, a spacious backyard, a pool, jaw-dropping views and all the luxury amenities that could help them boost their level of comfort. If you share the same fantasy, you should know that a rental or for sale property matching your specific criteria could be waiting for you in San Clemente as we speak. Wondering why you should consider relocating to this sunny Californian piece of heaven? Here are three reasons that could justify your decision.

  1. Every Day Gives You an Opportunity to Discover New Culinary Preferences. If you’re a fervent foodie and can’t get enough of all the delicacies that the finest Californian restaurants have to offer, you should know that in San Clemente you could discover the highest level of culinary diversity. For instance, you could taste the finest French crepes at La GaletteCreperie, sample authentic American food at Nick’s San Clemente or go for refined seafood-based specialties at Billy’s Meats, Seafood and Deli.
  2. Seafront Settings Let You Slip in a Romantic Mood. What could be more inspiring than a combination of sun, greenery, soft sand and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore? If this is the kind of scenery that fuels your deepest emotions, chances are that you will feel at home in San Clemente. A short relaxing walk around San Clemente Pier or on the San Clemente State Beach could help you clear your head and recharge your batteries in a matter of a few minutes.
  3. The Real Estate Market Hides Plenty of Attractive Deals. You may be inclined to think that San Clemente’s real estate market is geared solely towards the needs and demands of insanely rich families. As a matter of fact, with just a little bit of expert guidance and patience, most tenants and potential buyers could find the perfect accommodation option matching their lifestyle choices, budget and specific requirements. The median home sales price is in the $772,000 range, according to the estimates provided by Trulia. The price/sq. ft. is $465 and reflects a 11.6% decrease compared to the numbers reported last year. This price reduction is clearly an element that makes many budget-conscious prospects see San Clemente as approachable territory. Can’t afford to buy a new house? Not a problem! San Clemente is also known as a tenant’s paradise, due to its attractive and diverse rental properties with amazing views. The median rental price is in the $2,800 range according to Zillow, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to spot cheaper alternatives that will trigger your complete satisfaction.

Work closely with Apartment Hunterz, keep your eyes on the hottest listings to discover the best deals in your favorite ZIP codes and useall the resources of the largest Californian apartment finder to simplify your home hunt.

Nov 2014