10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and enjoy the new season  — home maintenance made easy.

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

Owning a property can be expensive with high energy bills. Without taking energy efficiency precautions, your utility bills can make paying a mortgage even worse. To help avoid such financial pains, here are 3 main areas you can make small adjustments to save on your electric bill.

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Home Safety Tips

unnamed (3)We’re always looking for tips, hints, and tricks on how to keep the place we live in more secure and safe.  Below are several great ideas that should be reviewed to increase your home safety.  If you’re not doing any of these currently, hopefully you will adopt these moving forward.  

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How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

With the constantly rising cost of energy, we all try to save energy in any way we can. Since heating and cooling make up about 50% of our energy bills. The United States Department of Energy reports that changing your HVAC filter can improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment by 5% to 15%.

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5 Places and 5 Reasons You Should Never Ignore Water

Water is a necessary element to support life and water usage must be available. Water can be a force in itself, such as from a serious flood or hurricane. Left unchecked in a rental property, water can cause anything from minimal damage to major havoc and damage. Water problems can affect just about every area of the property, inside and out. There are 5 places and 5 reasons you should never ignore water.

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10 Myths About Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs are elusive creatures because they are difficult to be seen and even more difficult to get rid of. Because of these facts, there are many myths that surround them. To debunk some of these myths here are the top 10 bed bug myths and why they are untrue.

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What is a Real Emergency?

unnamed (2)It is important to understand what a rental emergency is. Being a renter, it is important to know the difference between maintenance emergencies that should be reported immediately, others that can wait, and others that require contacting a service company.

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More Americans Heading South

A rising number of Americans are heading to southern states, lured by a combination of warmer weather, affordable housing, lower taxes and less congested cities, according to a new report published by RealtyTrac called “The Next Great Migration of ‘Housing Refugees’ On the Move.”

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Can Dogs Really have an Affect on Listing Photos?

A five-year-old Shih Tzu named Tiffany is becoming a top model in real estate photos in Australia. The dog’s owner, Tracey Ashley with RE/MAX United Vision in Carina, Queensland, is using the small dog in photos she shoots of her listings to appeal to dog-loving home shoppers.

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How to Have a Successful Open House

unnamed (1)Successful open houses require more than a yard sign. It’s not rocket science, you just need a little time and effort. The right residential sales agent will utilize these best practices to create an effective open house.
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Are you Prepared to be a Landlord?

When you are contemplating whether or not to lease your property, there are many things to consider. Once you decide to be a landlord, you have some very important and new responsibilities to your tenants, the property, and your neighbors that you may not have thought of. There are many reasons property owners become landlords. Some are not by choice. Maybe you cannot sell your property in a slow sales market. Maybe your job transfers you out of town for a while. Maybe you have inherited a home or condo and cannot go through the emotional stress of selling a family property. Whatever the case may be, once you decide to lease your property, you have created a small business for yourself.

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Why is My Property Still Vacant?

Our goal at Home encounter is always to rent your properties as quickly as possible to qualified tenants. However, there are circumstances that can cause an owner to call and ask “Why is my property still vacant?” when it appears that it should not be that difficult to rent the property. Of course, it is obvious to look at the rental market and review competition. Perhaps there is simply a glut of comparable properties available and tenants can be choosy. Sometimes, it appears that the market is tighter and the property should rent more quickly but is still available despite the advertising and many showings. The explanation is not always easy to conclude, but we have found there are 5 common denominators.

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How to Improve Resident Retention

In the 2012 SatisFacts Research-published ebook, Getting Inside the Head of the Online Renter, it was revealed that the highest ranking factor for an apartment resident’s lease renewal decision was “Quality of Maintenance Service Provided.” Believe it or not, the service your maintenance team provides to your residents is more important to resident retention than perks and parties, the appearance and condition of their apartment home, and even the desire for more parking.

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6 Landlord Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

unnamedAs with all areas of life, some mistakes are small and have minimal consequences. These small mistakes can comfortably be chalked up to learning experiences. Other mistakes can land you into legal and financial battles. Going it alone can be intimidating and can have lasting consequences. Hiring a property manager will provide you with the knowledge and support needed to run a smooth renting process for you and your residents and help you avoid these 6 landlord mistakes.
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