How to Prep Your Californian Rental Apartment for Fall and Winter

shutterstock_322255574California is the sunny state that lets its tourists and locals make the most of great weather year-round. However, its climate varies a great deal-from subarctic to hot desert, based on several factors, including elevation and latitude. If you’re planning on spending the cold season in California, here are a few tips that you should apply to make your stay more comfortable and prep your rental apartment for lower temperatures.

Clean and De-Clutter Your Space the Smart Way. While you were still living with your parents, you probably owned impressive collections of clothes, accessories, furniture pieces and decorative objects. Now that you’re getting ready to rent a new place and realize the fact that your personal belongings occupy a lot of space and make you spend a lot of money on a house that is too big for you, maybe you are thinking about downsizing into a smaller house. Or maybe you love the spacious apartment that you are currently occupying, but do wish to de-clutter your living spaces with ease. If that’s the case, here’s what you can do to manage clutter:

  • Think about renting storage space in your ZIP code and deposit old clothes, furniture, papers and other non-essentials inside your unit
  • Trade heavy furniture pieces for multifunctional ones that can be used and rearranged in countless ways
  • Leave seasonal clothing in storage
  • Learn to compromise and set some limits to manage your wardrobe and jewelry collection the easy way; for instance, you could follow the “1 in, 1 out” rule, which basically implies the fact that you can buy a your new object of desire only after tossing or donating an item that you no longer see yourself wearing
  • Add hooks and open shelves wherever you can to come up with versatile and inexpensive DIY storage solutions for each and every room

Apply a Few Easy Tips to Shrink Your Utility Bills. During the cooler months, it would be a good idea to perform a thorough some inspection and address the problematic areas that could make you waste energy and money. Make a list of all the changes that could help you save some cash and boost the warmth and level of comfort of your space, and talk about all these potential improvements with your landlord or property manager. Here a few suggestions that may help you keep your expenses in check and stay warm during the cooler days.

  • Lower curtains and blinds during cloudy days and also during the night to keep the heat inside the room
  • Dress up your floors by adding fluffy and soft rugs
  • Layer clothes to maintain an ideal body temperature; by doing so, you will be able to set your thermostat lower
  • Consider replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones; if you don’t have your landlord’s permission or financial support for this project, think about covering sliding patio doors and windows with transparent plastic film; this simple and cost-effective DIY project can help you reduce your heating costs by up to 14%.

Decorate Your Apartment without Making Your Landlord Angry. With Halloween just around the corner, you are probably thinking about cute designs that you could personalize and use to beautify and individualize your space. Instead of opting for wall paint and frameable decorations that would force you to hammer nails into your walls, go for fun, temporary alternatives that are easy to remove and reuse.

If you’re strictly prohibited from drilling or hammering, buy and add adhesive strips with disposable hooks, designed to hold and display your artwork without making you damage your walls to complete your project. This option comes in handy especially if you like to change or reposition your wall art quite often. Nonetheless, do keep in mind that disposable hooks and other popular types of mounting strips are usually made to support only light objects. They may work for small acrylic frames, but they clearly aren’t the best match for oversized art and heavy wooden frames.

Take Precautionary Measures to Avoid House Fires. Warming devices are excellent additions that can up your level of comfort at home, without burning holes in your budget; however, if you’re planning on adding candles, space heaters or any other lit decorations, keep in mind that all these elements can be linked to a potential fire hazard. Be mindful when placing and using all these items and whatever you do, don’t leave these objects unattended; anything that is lit or plugged in could easily set your house on fire.

Get Ready for a Bigger Change: Find a Better Rental with Apartment Hunterz. All your life, you have feared change and strived to gain stability in life. Even so, while your friends are busy carving their pumpkins, you are daydreaming about a bigger, brighter, better indoor space that could stimulate your productivity and match your creative vision.

Maybe you want to rent an apartment that you could use to relax and start a profitable at-home business at the same time; or perhaps you want to move out of your parents’ house, abandon your comfort zone and become independent. Either way, you should know that Apartment Hunterz feeds all these ambitious goals. California’s #1 apartment finding service offers you the best expert support that you could ever ask for from a real estate real estate connoisseur.

At the same time, this rental apartment tracking website provides an ample collection of verified listings, as well as a generous set of tools that you could use to get in contact with landlords and property managers, discuss the details of your arrangement and close a mutually advantageous deal in record time. Don’t let the cold season catch you inside an apartment that you genuinely dislike; instead, perform an online search with Apartment Hunterz and spend less on a rental that manages to exceed all your expectations.


Should you Buy or Rent a House in Pasadena?

iStock_000051369886_Small (1)The idea of putting down roots in Los Angeles County, California, can be pretty tempting. The people who have already chosen to relocate here profit from a number of notable advantages, including excellent weather year round, great job opportunities, great views and above average accommodation options. Speaking of outstanding housing alternatives, should you buy or rent a place in a cool city like Pasadena?

Why Choose Pasadena in the First Place?

With so many appealing choices that make sense to you in terms of location and rental rates or median home sale prices, why should you decide to move to Pasadena in the first place? There are many reasons that could justify your decision. Home to a little over 139,000 people, Pasadena represents the 183rd largest U.S.-based city and the 9th largest one in its county. This prominent city is well-known nationally mostly due to its famous Tournament of the Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl football game that takes place every year. Moreover, Pasadena also counts several notable cultural and scientific institutions, such as Pacific Asia Museum, Art Center College of Design and the California Institute of Technology. Its remarkable cultural heritage and history, correlated with the unique offers introduced on the local real estate market represent just a few important factors that could convince you to invest in a property located in Pasadena. This brings us to the next question: should you rent or buy a place here?

Should You Become a Tenant or a Homeowner in Pasadena?

You can analyze your options and make an informed decision by simply taking a closer look at the latest real estate trends. Recent statistics indicate that the median home sales price for Pasadena-based slices of real estate is in the $650,000 range. This amount reflects a 3% decline, compared to the numbers reported after the past quarter and a 6.7% decrease compared to the values recorded last year, during the same period. How much are current owners asking for their pieces of real estate? The same statistics reveal that the median listing price is estimated at $893,339. If you can afford to shed this amount of money on a property that could accommodate all your family members and satisfy your needs and requirements in terms of amenities, location and layout, then buying may be a good option for you. You should also know that the price per square foot is approximately 490 dollars and reflects a 3.6% increase compared to last year’s price. Can’t determine which neighborhoods would work best for you? In this case, feel free to choose from some of the most popular options that attract the highest number of potential buyers and tenants, including North Central, West Central, South East and South Arroyo. North Central and South Pasadena are two excellent picks that satisfy a great variety of demands and necessities due to the diverse collection of listings that they ensure. In these two neighborhoods one could easily find for sale properties that carry price tags ranging from $599,000 to $896,800 and up. If you don’t have enough money in the bank to buy yourself a nice house or apartment in Pasadena, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have your plan to move to Los Angeles County. Renting a place in Pasadena is always a great alternative worth considering, especially if you can only set short-term goals and wish to go for an accommodation option associated with the lowest level of commitment. How much should you expect to pay for a rental based in Pasadena? Recent stats show that one-bedroom properties cost approximately $1893 per month, while two-bedroom ones are in the $2,300 range.

How Can You Make Your House or Apartment Search More Effective and Enjoyable?

We know what you’re afraid of. You don’t want to spend weeks or months talking to various real estate agents and looking for a great house or apartment that you could actually afford to occupy for a certain period of time. Rental hunts usually take time, especially if you’re on a tight budget and have high expectations. But even in this context, you can still boost your odds of success by letting a professional apartment finding service support your home search efforts.

Apartment Hunterz give tenants a helping hand by offering them convenient access to a large collection of verified, regularly updated listings. Using this service, you can search and compare different properties based on the filters that matter to you the most, including location, price, amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage. Furthermore, you can also save your searches and keep tabs on all the rentals that seem right to you.

Need another reason to put this amazing service to the test? If so, you should also factor in that Apartment Hunterz relies on a fantastic concierge service designed to retrieve the properties that match your criteria and send you notifications via email or SMS. This means that you can focus on your work-related assignments and any other daily tasks that require your attention, while a team of professionals are taking care of all the details associate with your upcoming relocation.

Once you finally find a property that represents the perfect match for you and your family, you can close the deal by contacting its landlord of property manager. In this stage of your apartment finding process, Apartment Hunterz makes this task significantly less complicated by encouraging you to use the modern iConnect feature, implemented to simplify and strengthen the ties between landlords and the people who are looking for a new place that they could call home. Convenient, modern and easy to use, this apartment finding service is all you really need to spot and compare the best listings in your areas of choice and record a new version of the Californian dream.

Aug 2015

How to Make a Decent Profit as a New Landlord in California

Two men at doorway with keys and contractWe can all agree that California has that special something that stimulates people to pack their bags and catch the first flight to San Diego, San Francisco or Lo Angeles. What you may not know is that this sunny state occupies the first position in the Top 10 U.S. States Visted Each Year. According to recent statistics, California attracts more than 6 million visitors each year. Naturally, most of the individuals who get the chance to contemplate the gorgeous surroundings, explore quality entertainment options and enjoy the nice weather will inevitably consider renting or buying a piece of real estate in California. If you own a house in California’s most sought-after vacation destinations, you could always turn yourself into the perfect landlord to make some money. If this possibility appeals to you, here are a few tips on how to survive (and make a profit) as a first-time landlord in today’s market.

Set Realistic Goals. First of all, you should realize the fact that renting out your apartment is a viable strategy that you can implement to supplement your monthly income and cope with expenses. Don’t waste any time daydreaming about things that you want, can’t afford, yet wish to purchase using your rental income. That super expensive Caribbean cruise can wait.  In most cases, renting out a property may be labeled as a smart, profitable action, but only in the long term, after you manage to pay off your mortgage.

Factor in Your Expenses. As a first-time landlord, you could be taken by surprise by a great variety of unpredicted expenses that could kill your enthusiasm in no time. For example, you simply have to get an insurance policy to protect your goods and your Californian house or apartment. There are literally hundreds of worst-case scenarios revolving around fires, burglary attempts, floods and acts of vandalism that could wipe off the results of years of hard work and overbalance your already thin budget. Next, you should probably hire an attorney to receive all the information that you need on California’s legal requirements set for landlords, mediate potential disputes with tenants or get the best legal representation, if needed. Last but not least, do remember that you will also have to handle potential repairs and improvements on your own. Yes, you will actually have to pay for such adjustments out of your own pocket; not to mention the fact that you will be forced to take the time to address your tenants’ complaints day and night. The good news is that the Californian real estate market allows you to set rental rates pretty high and cover all your monthly expenses. If you live in an overcrowded, sought-after city like Los Angeles or San Francisco, you could easily ask $3,000 per month for your rental and find a plethora of candidates eager to sign your rental agreement. To avoid overpricing your property, get acquainted with the latest real estate trends and start monitoring the listings brought to you by California’s most renowned apartment finders.

Create a Checklist. As a new landlord, it’s your job to stay organized. Before shaking hands with your first tenant, make sure your house is in mint condition. Mask or correct visible signs of wear and tear, perform repairs if needed (nobody likes the idea of living in a house with leaky pipes and cracked walls), conduct a thorough home inspection and review all the items that could potentially lead to a disaster. Check the stove, fireplace, wires and pipes and also inspect all your appliances. Replace the ones that are no longer functioning properly to prevent hazards and ensure the highest level of comfort for the people who are willing to spend a lot of money to live in your house or apartment. Create and follow a checklist to get things done on time and on a budget.

Surf the Web to Download and Personalize Forms. When it comes to putting all their terms and conditions in writing, most new landlords seem to get stuck. To avoid misunderstandings and keep things clear, go online and download the forms that your tenants will have to fill out and sign. These days, you could easily find various types of sample contracts with a few clicks. Personalize your version of choice by adding as many details as possible. For instance, list your preferred payment methods and highlight some of the most important aspects of the contract that usually lead to misinterpretations and disputes, like late payments and penalty fees, for instance.

Screen Your Potential Tenants. Renting to relatives may not be such a smart move after all, considering the fact that you probably shouldn’t do business with family members. Nonetheless, when it comes to giving the keys to your apartment to complete strangers, you have to be very careful. Be curious and ask a lot of questions. Be picky. If you are the lucky owner of a beautiful property located in Southern California, you can actually afford to be very selective, considering the current relationship between supply and demand. Yes, numerous people are willing to move to California, but affordable, absolutely fantastic rentals are still in short supply. Therefore, ask questions related to your candidates’ rental history, job and income. Get in contact with their previous landlords and check their background. This is a simple, yet incredibly important step that could help you avoid various unpleasant surprises.

Avoid Risks and Reduce Your Expenses by Using an Apartment Finding Service. How could you possibly market your property in the most convenient manner? Naturally, you would like to use a channel that could guarantee the highest level of exposure, while also giving you the opportunity to maintain a deeper connection with the people who may be interested in your Californian house or apartment. If this is what you expect from a platform that could help you meet Mr. Perfect Tenant in no time, use the tools offered by Apartment Hunterz on a silver platter to increase the visibility of your listings, communicate with prospects in real time and submit paperwork online. Apartment Hunterz lets you do all this and more. By posting up to 12 photos of your property and a video tour, you could raise the interest of thousands of people who are actually looking for a new home resembling the property that you are eager to rent out. Count on California’s preferred apartment finding service to find the best tenant for your slice of real estate in less than a week and market your assets efficiently and inexpensively.

How to Become a Happy First-Time Tenant in California in 5 Easy Steps

iStock_000024616341_SmallFor some reason or another, you have always felt drawn to big cities. You love the noisy crowds, the diversity and sometimes even the horrible traffic that gives you the opportunity to take a break and put your thoughts in order. You also have a passion for picturesque surroundings, love the breeze of the ocean and can’t get enough of sunbaths, fruity cocktails enjoyed on a beach chair and quality time spent with your best friends in classy restaurants and clubs.

What Challenges Could You Be Forced to Face as a First-Time Tenant?

These are only a few reasons why you’re so addicted to California and the exuberant lifestyle that this state encourages you to embrace. If you’re determined to spend more than a few months in the most populous and vibrant U.S. state, you may want to start looking for the best deals on the local housing market. Taking into consideration the fact that some of the most appealing Cali-based properties that will catch your eye at a first glance most likely carry astronomical price tags, it’s safe to say that exploring your options as a first-time tenant is no easy task.  As this wouldn’t be enough, prospects who are not familiar with the mechanism of the rental market may also be exposed to scams and other pitfalls, revolving around shady tactics employed by unscrupulous landlords. To avoid all these nightmares, you could always research different properties using the data delivered by a Californian apartment finder, instead of just settling for the first cheap place for rent that you may find on Craigslist. Here are a few steps that could guarantee your success as a first-time tenant.

5 Steps Leading to an Enjoyable House Hunt

  1. Set up a Realistic Budget Based on the City/Neighborhood That You’re Targeting. You can’t and shouldn’t dream about renting a place in downtown Los Angeles, when you could barely afford to pay rent in Fresno. In order to prevent frustration and deceptions, you have to put pen to paper and evaluate your financial situation in an objective manner. Find out how much money you can realistically afford to pour into your rental of choice. Location is an extremely important criterion that should be factored in. Keep in mind that the price tags carried by most properties also vary a great deal based on the neighborhood where they are located. For instance, according to LA Weekly, Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Elysian Valley are listed among ten of the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles where you could rent a beautiful single-family home without getting covered in debt. Even so, the concept of affordability may be interpreted differently by people looking for a new roof over their head. For instance, if you think that a property that costs more than $1,500 per month is way out of your league, don’t even bother looking for apartments or houses for rent located in the budget-friendly El Sereno, as the median rent in this area is estimated at $1,953.
  2. Take the Little Extras into Consideration. Even if you’ve managed to lower your landlord’s asking price and score a good deal, analyze all the aspects before signing on the dotted line. Would you also be able to cope with the bills that will be piling up month after month? Here’s a simple tip that may offer you the best answer to this question: call the utility providers, give them your address and find out how much the previous tenant spent on cable, heat and electricity.
  3. Prove That You Are the Ideal Tenant. Whether you like it or not, most landlords screen their potential tenants thoroughly to avoid security risks, damages and financial losses. As a first-time tenant, you won’t be able to rely on referrals from your previous landlord to make an awesome first impression. On the other hand, you have other paths that you can explore to connect with a landlord or property manager on a higher level. Tell the landlord that you are ready to pay the security deposit and get your checkbook ready. Also, you can let him know that you are willing to pay a month’s rent in advance, to prove that you match the profile of the perfect tenant.
  4. Tour the Property in Person. Don’t sign anything before inspecting the property in person. While photos and virtual tours can offer you the most important details that you usually weigh before renting or buying a place, do not skip the property tour that will help you feel the vibe of the place and spot potential structural flaws, obvious signs of wear and tear and other problems that may make a property become less desirable in the eyes of new tenants.
  5. Explore Other Options Using the Data Delivered by a Respectable Apartment Finder. Last but not least, conduct your first house hunt by relying on the information delivered by Apartment Hunterz, California’s best-loved apartment finding service. By following this path, you could check out and compare different listings in real time, save your searches so that you could revisit your favorites at any given point in time, filter different properties based on the things that matter to you the most (city, neighborhood, current condition, type of accommodation option, price, amenities and so on) and submit your paperwork online. Using the same service, you can also reach landlords and property managers with just a few clicks and get pertinent answers to all your questions in no time.

As a first-time tenant who is determined to make the most of bargains spotted on the local housing market, you clearly need a helping hand when it comes to inventorying and analyzing your options. Instead of wandering in the dark or taking chances, choose to take the easy (and safe) way out: put the insight offered by Apartment Hunterz to good use to turn your first house hunt into a major victory.

May 2015

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.