Tips for Getting High-Quality Tenants and Making Your Rental Property a Success

If you want your investment property to be successful and bring the return you hope for, you not only need to keep it rented out consistently, you also need good tenants. This can seem difficult to do right now given the pandemic, so you may want to consider only making preparations now so that the investment is ready for occupancy in safer circumstances. Whether you own a rental property or are considering purchasing one, it’s essential to approach it the right way so that you can attract high-quality tenants. From designing the property to showcasing local attractions to promoting the property, this article will provide tips to help you get started.

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Take the First Step

When you’re an investment property owner, you’ll need to set up your business entity before any monetary exchange. A limited liability company is ideal because of its flexibility and legal protection. Once formed, you’ll need to get an EIN with the IRS and then set up a business banking account to separate your personal and business assets. Once that’s set up, find a realtor who can help you find good properties in locations that will maximize your profits. Remember to also do research on what competitors are charging for rent before deciding if the potential property is a smart short- and long-term investment. After all, the goal is to turn a profit with your new business.

Do any necessary repairs.

First of all, you want to make sure your property is in good shape. Perform regular inspections, and have any necessary repairs taken care of. The simplest way to ensure your property is in good condition is to hire a property management company, which can go a long way in relieving some of the stress that comes with being a landlord. A good property manager will take care of repairs and perform maintenance, as well as screen tenants and collect rent.

Boost the curb appeal.

The curb appeal of your rental property is essential, because it will be the first thing people see when they drive up. Be sure the lawn is in good shape by regularly mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs and disposing of any fallen limbs or leaves. It can also help to add mulch around the trees and plants. Other ways to boost curb appeal include:

  • Clearing any clutter from the porch and/or walkway
  • Adding window boxes
  • Painting or replacing the mailbox
  • Putting on new house numbers

Refresh the paint.

Painting is possibly the most cost-effective way to completely change how a rental property looks and feels. Evaluate the exterior to see if you should pressure wash it or add a new coat of paint. Also, consider painting the front door a bright color to add some pop. When it comes to the interior, it’s hard to go wrong with neutral colors, because they appeal to the most renters and allow room for unique design elements, such as fixtures, artwork, and so on.

Refresh the floors.

Floors are also important. Renters will be attracted to flooring that’s in excellent condition, so make sure you redo it if needed. If you have carpeting, consider replacing it with luxury vinyl flooring, which is a more durable and affordable option, and it’s easier to maintain

Keep the property spic-and-span.

None of the effort and money you put into designing the property will pay off unless the property is kept spotless. Anytime the property is vacant, make sure it stays clean—from top to bottom—so that it will be ready for last-minute showings. It’s hard for potential tenants to overlook a messy living space.

Find what makes the property unique.

Finally, you will want to find out what sets your rental property apart from others. That is, you need to figure out what can make your property appeal to high-quality tenants and capitalize on it through your advertising. It could be that it provides an amazing view of the mountains, sits in a quaint neighborhood or historic city district, and/or is within a block of a critically-acclaimed restaurant. Whatever makes your property stand out, be sure to showcase it in your promotions.

It’s essential to put in the necessary effort when you own a rental property so that you can attract good tenants. Be sure the property is in good repair, spruce up the curb appeal, and add some fresh coats of paint. Make sure the floors are in good condition (and consider getting luxury vinyl if the property doesn’t have them), and keep the property thoroughly clean. Lastly, highlight the most attractive aspects of the property when advertising. Following these tips will help you land high-quality tenants and turn your rental property into a success.

Guest Blog by Suzie Wilson. For more information, please visit: https://happierhome.net/

Photo Credit: Burst

Simple Steps to Plan a Secure Financial Future for Your Family

When you become a parent, you become fully responsible for the health and safety of another human being. You’re also responsible for the financial security of your family, which is why financial planning is so important. Despite this importance, many parents aren’t quite sure where to begin with this essential task. If you are one of these parents, know that financial planning doesn’t have to be complex or confusing. You just need to take a few basic steps, like the ones below, to ensure a stable future for your family and less financial stress for yourself.

 

Complete Some Basic Estate Planning 

 

Let’s cover this step first, because it’s one that many parents, especially younger ones, tend to skip. Proper estate planning, however, is one of the most critical ways for parents to ensure that their little ones have the love, care, and financial stability they need in life no matter what happens in the coming years. So at the very least, make sure you have a will, which you can DIY or write with the help of an attorney, and also make sure you have enough life insurance (and, for extra peace of mind, business insurance) to protect your family in the event of a tragedy. Also, know that your rates can be impacted by lifestyle choices, such as tobacco use, so this may provide some added motivation for putting a stop to those dangerous daily habits. By kicking your unhealthy habits, not only can you potentially save some money on your life insurance policy, but you may also be able to add more years to spend with your family.

 

Word to the wise: Once you have all your documents squared away, consider purchasing a fireproof safe to keep them from harm’s way. By keeping all of your important documents and information in this safe, you’ll know they’ll be safe in the event of a fire!

 

Make Smarter Credit and Debt Choices 

 

Balancing debts and savings can be a lot trickier than you think. That’s because some debts, like a mortgage, can actually help you build more financial equity, and also help build a better credit score with time. Of course, if you have mountains of credit card or loan debt, paying those off will likely only help your credit rating and improve your overall financial stability. Aside from managing debts, parents also need to make other smart choices when it comes to managing their credit ratings. A higher credit score will give you more access to loans for housing, school, and even unexpected family expenses. Plus, that higher credit score can save you the extra expense of deposits for certain bills and utilities. So, plan on taking some simple steps to clean up your credit and boost your score. If you’ve already paid down debts, you can accomplish this by disputing errors, making timely payments, and keeping balances fairly low.

 

Set Up Some Family Savings Accounts 

 

As a parent, you have so many hopes and dreams for your little ones. That type of forward-thinking can also help you dream of future financial goals that will improve or preserve a better quality of life for your entire family. These goals may be different for each family, but creating a few different savings plans should definitely be at the top of the list for parents. Start by setting aside money on a regular basis for your family emergency fund. An initial investment of $500 is a solid start, but aim to save anywhere from three to six months of expenses. You can dip into this account for family emergencies, such as unexpected home repairs.

 

Next, start investing in your retirement. Focusing on retirement savings before college may seem like a financial mistake for many parents, but you need to remember that you can always take out private loans to pay for education expenses, especially if you maintain a good credit score. Taking out loans to fund retirement, however, is typically not a feasible financial option.

 

If you’re having trouble getting your finances on the right track, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of people who do it for a living. Fortunately, with the help of online job boards, you can hire an accountant who can assist you with your finances.

 

Covering these basic financial planning steps can take a lot of worry and stress off of your shoulders. So give yourself some peace of mind, and give your family some added security, by taking the time to plan for a stable financial future.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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How to Plan a California Move and Avoid Missing Essential Steps

If you’re planning a move to California, you’ve likely thought about the big stuff, like finding the perfect city and the perfect new job. While you’re mulling over these major choices, however, it can be all too easy to let smaller details slip through the cracks. That can result in more stress as you manage your big move. So instead of winging it, consider using these essential moving resources to plan your California relocation from start to finish.

Before You Start California Dreaming

Preparations for a long-distance move should start much sooner than later, so…

During Your Big California Roadtrip

There are also a few things you will want to plan for during your move, like…

After You Arrive in Your New Home State            

Before you start enjoying California, be sure to cross these items off of your to-do list…

Missing minor details can cause headaches and stress when you’re planning any move, but they can be a major hassle when you are moving to a new state. So before you make your move to California, make sure you have a solid plan that includes every task you will need to avoid stress and settle into your new home.

 

Guest Blog by Suzie Wilson. For more information, please visit: https://happierhome.net/

3 Reasons To Properly Insure Your Classic Vehicle

Your classic car, truck, motorcycle, or boat are usually treasured items that you would have a hard time replacing. Now imagine, your insurance company is only wanting to pay you for what THEY think your classic vehicle is worth. This happens to many classic vehicle owners, as they do not realize their classic would be better covered on a policy separate from their regular vehicle insurance.

Here are the 3 reasons you want to properly insurance your classic vehicle:

   1.Your normal auto insurance policy only offers coverage on an actual cash value basis.

The standard auto insurance policy that we all have for our daily drivers is on an actual cash value basis (ACV) – Actual Cash Value = The price of the vehicle less depreciation

The insurance companies that specialize in classic’s, primarily, offer agreed value. Agreed Value means that the policy holder and the insurance company agree to insure the vehicle for an exact amount and that is what the vehicle is insured for on the policy.

   2. Classic Vehicle Insurance Companies KNOW Classic Vehicles

Your standard auto insurance company handles claims all day for Old Honda’s-New F150’s. Vehicles that depreciate, not appreciate. They generally don’t know classic’s or collector vehicles, as that is not what they specialize in.

Insurance companies that specialize in classic vehicles, KNOW classic’s. They generally, only handle claims for classics and collector vehicles. There’s no guess work at the time of a claim, as you determined the value of the vehicle up front.

   3. Its CHEAPER!

Most of the time it’s less expensive to have your classic insured on a classic vehicle policy anyways! These specialty insurance companies know that the owners drive these vehicles less and are much more cautious with their prized classic.

Hard to beat better coverage and less insurance premiums!

If you aren’t sure of the value of your classic vehicle look it up with Hagerty’s Valuation Tool. You can even plug in your old VIN# and they will populate the info! (If its stock…)

Personal Injury – Homeowners Insurance

In today’s world of social media and online presence, by everyone in a household, it is important to make sure we are careful when sharing on the internet. Sites such as Yelp, Google +, Facebook Reviews, etc. encourage us to share our positive and sometimes not so positive experiences.

What does this have to do with insurance?

It is becoming very common for a business or person to file a lawsuit against someone for libel/slander. Example, A student posts something negative on Facebook about one of their teachers. The news spreads and the teacher ends up being fired and harms the teachers reputation. Whether, the information was true or false the teacher could possibly bring a lawsuit against the student/student’s family.

This family may have coverage to defend themselves against this lawsuit, IF they have personal injury coverage on their homeowners or renters insurance policy.

A standard homeowners insurance policy does not come with this coverage. The Personal Injury endorsement to a homeowners policy is one major add-on that is a must.

 

Find out if your policy has personal injury coverage: http://www.turlockinsurance.com/contact-us/

Real World Case Study – Personal Umbrella Insurance

Nathan was on spring break and rented a car so he could meet up with his friends at Coachella.

As he was driving through the desert, strong winds began to blow dust causing decreased visibility.

On the same highway, Roger, a recent retiree familiar with these conditions, slowed his car below the speed limit for safety.

Nathan didn’t see Roger until it was too late. Roger’s car overturned on impact and he was taken to the hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Since Nathan was a listed driver on his parents’ policies, their standalone personal umbrella covered Roger’s medical expenses and ongoing litigation once their underlying auto was exhausted.

Claim: $875,000

This is a real world case study. Have you thought about an umbrella insurance policy?

Find out how a $100-300/yr policy could protect you, info@insurecal.com – (209)250-0269

Case Study from: https://www.personalumbrella.com/

California – 3rd Highest Homeowners’ Insurance

According to Property Casualty 360, California is the third highest state for homeowners’ insurance costs in the Nation. The median homeowners’ insurance policy is $1,678 a year.

Insurance costs vary widely depending on the risk and the location. California is no exception to this. Areas vary from rural farm, to mountain towns, to large cities, and beach front property.

 

If you want to see a list of the highest and lowest homeowners’ insurance rates by State, check out:

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2017/02/22/10-states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-homeowners-i?eNL=58adabd9160ba0364354867f&utm_source=PC360_NewsFlash&utm_medium=EMC-Email_editorial&utm_campaign=02222017&page_all=1

Mini Storage/Self Storage: Insurance Tip

One of the most overlooked coverage’s on self storage/mini storage companies insurance policies, is also one of the most crucial.

Customer Goods and Sale/Disposal Liability

This coverage is a must for self storage companies to have on their insurance policy. While most proper insurance packages will include this coverage, it is important to consider having higher limits as it may be a great return on your investment.

Recently, we were working with a client that felt they only needed $100K for both customer goods and sale/disposal coverage. We provided two proposals, $1m VS $100K, the difference was less than $100. That is 10X the coverage for only $100!

So, what does it cover?

Definitions courtesy of StorageFirst:
Customers’ goods legal liability coverage provides protection for an insured when they are legally liable (or alleged to have been liable) for damage to storage customers’ goods including property stored in the open.  For mobile self-storage operations, coverage extends to legal liability for customers’ goods off premises or in transit.  Defense costs are outside of the limit. No deductible applies to traditional self-storage accounts.  A $1,000 deductible applies to mobile self-storage and records/document storage operations.
Sale and disposal liability protects an insured for claims arising from negligent acts in connection with the lock-out, sale, removal or disposal of customers’ property. Typically, these claims occur when an insured sells the goods of a customer who is delinquent with regard to payment. The cost of defense is included. A $1,000 deductible per customer applies.