Home Solutions Archives - Home-Solutions

Renewing a Rental Lease Agreement

Feeling settled and happy in your current place? Fantastic news! At Home-Solutions, we understand the value of a comfortable and familiar home. Learn below our tips for a stress-free lease renewal process.

What You Should Know About Renewing a Rental Lease Agreement

Empower yourself with renewal knowledge and keep your happy place thriving! Connect with Home-Solutions experts for personalized guidance and solutions for property owners. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [ https://www.mysmartmove.com/blog/what-landlords-should-know-about-lease-renewals ]

Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Rental Properties

For many renters, pets are cherished members of the family. But for landlords, the question of allowing furry friends in their properties can be a heck of a dilemma. Let’s explore both sides of the leash.

Pros and Cons of Allowing Pets in Rental Properties

Ready to make a positive decision about pets in your rental property? Connect with Home-Solutions! We are experts in personalized guidance and solutions for property owners. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [ https://www.mysmartmove.com/blog/allowing-pets-in-rental-properties ]

Move-In Fees vs. Security Deposits: Understanding the Key Differences

Keeping your rental property attractive to tenants is key to maintaining occupancy and a steady income stream. But with various fees involved, ensuring clarity around costs can make a big difference in attracting qualified renters. 

As a landlord, there are two essential payments to accept from tenants when they rent your property: move-in fees and a security deposit. But what’s the difference between move-in fees vs. security deposits Move-in fees offset some of the expenses they may incur when a tenant moves in and are non-refundable. These fees are often used for expenses like processing a rental application, allowing a pet on the property, or for setting up a utility connection. On the other hand, a security deposit is refundable, and is a one-time payment collected at the beginning of the lease to cover any damage caused by the tenant. Any leftover funds must be returned once the lease is over and the tenant moves out. Learn more about move-in fees and security deposits in our guide below.

They say that it’s better to give than to receive. For independent landlords, that can be true: when renting out property, there is some relief in being able to give back a tenant’s security deposit because they treated your property well.

Giving hundreds or thousands of dollars to your renter might seem counter-productive for your business. In reality, returning a deposit suggests that your renter left your property in the same great, move-in ready condition in which they found it. You can rest easy, knowing that you don’t have to deal with expensive damages, evictions, or repair-based vacancies—what could be better than that

Unfortunately, not every applicant out there is going to be a great renter. Some tenants can cause property damage, pay rent late or not at all or skip town before the lease is over. Tenant turnover costs average of $1,750 per month and can leave you holding the bag for costly repairs. It’s essential to protect your financial investment through charging security deposits and move-in fees.

Although both are collected at the beginning of the lease, there are several key differences between move-in fees and security deposits. They differ in charge limits, purposes, and legal requirements. All of these differences—and the various rules for each—are discussed below.

Expertly managing move-in fees and security deposits aside, the best way to protect your business is to find excellent renters from the start. Using a comprehensive tenant screening service like SmartMove® gives you the opportunity to vet your renter applicants in order to feel more confident in selecting your choice of renters.

What are Move-In Fees

Move-in fees are used by some landlords to help offset various expenses a landlord may incur when a tenant first moves in. They are typically charged upfront during the initial lease agreement and can be used by landlords to offset various expenses that may incur.

According to Apartments.com, move-in can fees cost renters between $300 and $500, though some landlords don’t charge any at all, and others may charge even more. As you determine what to charge, it is important to always be fair and transparent in your pricing.

Unlike a security deposit, move-in fees are generally non-refundable and typically not regulated. It’s up to the landlord’s discretion to decide how much to charge and for what expense. This may vary based on:

  • The terms of the lease or rental agreement
  • The value and location of the property
  • The competitive state of the rental market

There are several types of charges that can fit under the umbrella of “move-in fees.” These are discussed in detail below.

Application Fee

Most states allow landlords to charge their rental applicants with an application fee. The average application fee is between $30 and $50. In some cases, it can cost $100. This fee is designed to cover the cost of a tenant credit check in addition to the time and trouble it takes landlords to run one.

Note: Some states restrict how much you can charge for credit check fees during the application process. For example, California sets a maximum screening fee of approximately $35. This fee can only be used for “actual out-of-pocket expenses” plus “the reasonable value of time spent” by a landlord obtaining:

  • A consumer credit report
  • Background information
  • Personal references

Landlords in California who use the application fee to cover the cost of a credit check must provide rental applicants with an itemized receipt.

It’s important for landlords to research their state-specific and federal laws when establishing a real estate business. There are also established best practices to follow when charging a move-in fees. Understanding the general dos and don’ts of rental application fees can help you cover yourself when bringing new tenants into your space. In general, it’s a good idea to:

  • Notify the applicant up front that the fee is non-refundable, unless the applicant is denied prior to running a credit report
  • Include the exact move-in fee amount on the rental application
  • Save a signed copy of the completed application for your records
  • Follow all local laws and regulations pertaining to move-in fees

In hot rental markets, you may end up renting a property to an applicant while other applications and fees are still pending. If you do not run a credit check on a prospective tenant, their money must be returned.

Additionally, landlords should only charge credit check fees on applicants who pass your pre-qualification questions. If an applicant is unqualified and does not meet the income requirements, it’s better to save your time and the applicant’s money by not collecting a credit check fee. One way to speed up the application process is to ask for income verification. The industry standard on the rent-to-income ratio is three times the cost of rent earned in monthly income, but this may vary based on location. If the applicant does not meet your screening criteria for income, then it may be time to move on to another applicant.

Once you have the applicant’s credit check in-hand, there are additional legal considerations to keep in mind. If you deny an applicant based on poor credit after performing a tenant check, or if you charge higher rent due to poor credit, you must comply with regulations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

SmartMove provides tenant screening checks that are FCRA-complaint, which can give you one less thing to worry about. Also, when you screen with SmartMove, you have the option to cover the cost of the credit check yourself or pass this expense onto the tenant as part of your application fee. This gives landlords the flexibility to structure their move-in fees as they see fit for their business.

First and Last Month’s Rent

In addition to collecting the first month’s rent or prorated rent, some landlords request the last month’s rent as a part of the move-in fee.

Collecting the last month’s rent upfront provides a measure of protection in the event your tenant moves out before the lease agreement is complete.

Pro Tip: If you decide to protect yourself by charging the last month’s rent within your move-in fee, it’s wise to keep these funds clearly labeled and separate from the tenant’s security deposit.

This practice is less common in short-term rental agreements because landlords typically charge month-to-month rent premiums, ranging from an extra $100 to $300 per month—or an additional percentage of the cost of the rent. Such a financial boost helps protect landlords against impending tenant turnover costs, as short-term leases pose a higher risk of tenants moving out with untimely notice.

Pet Owner Fee

According to Apartments.com, over 70% of renters own pets. In order to attract a larger pool of rental applicants, many landlords decide to advertise their rental listing as “pet-friendly.”

There are many pros and cons of allowing pets in rental properties. Benefits may include:

  • Higher rent price
  • Longer tenancies
  • More responsible tenants

If you choose to allow your tenants to live with their furry friends, then you might consider adding a pet owner fee to your move-in costs. The reasoning behind this charge is because pets increase the normal wear and tear on an apartment, regardless of whether or not they do obvious damage.

If you decide to impose a pet owner fee, then keep it to a reasonable amount of $200 to $300 per year. You might also consider the type of pet your tenant owns and adjust accordingly. A small cat is not likely to cause as much wear and tear as a large dog.

However you decide to structure your pet fee, be sure to articulate it within your lease’s Pet Policy.

Note: Pet fees are not considered legal in every state. Research state specific laws prior to adding a pet fee to your lease terms.

Utility Connection Fee

Who pays for utilities in your rental property—you or your tenant Covering the cost of utilities could allow you to justify having a higher rent price and attract Gen Z renters who would rather not deal with monthly utility bills. However, managing utilities for your tenants also comes with additional responsibilities and oversight.

Which utilities you cover (if any) likely depends on the type of rental property you lease and what you can reasonably afford. In multi-family units, apartment complexes, or townhouses, it may make more sense for landlords to pay for:

  • Water
  • Trash
  • Sewer

These utilities are assessed to the complex as a whole. Landlords may opt to cover the bills themselves, pass the cost through to the tenant, or charge for water beyond “normal usage.”

Tenants are typically required to set up their own accounts and pay bills in their name for utilities such as:

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Cable
  • Internet

Independent landlords who lease single-family rental properties might prefer the tenant to take over all the utilities in full, considering that the average annual energy bill for a single-family home costs $2,060.

During vacancies, some landlords disconnect utilities in an effort to minimize holding costs incurred mid turnover. In that case, once you find a tenant to fill the lease, you might consider re-establishing the utility service in your name—at least temporarily. Doing so might reduce vacancy by encouraging the tenant to move in quicker, knowing that the home is ready to be lived in.

Note: By law, landlords are required to provide livable conditions under the implied warranty of habitability, so be sure at least heat and water are available before the tenant moves in. If you incur a utility connection charge when re-establishing service, you may pass this onto the renter as part of your move-in fee.

Association Dues

Landlords who own rental properties within a Homeowners Association (HOA) likely pay dues or fees to maintain the common areas and cover the cost of landscaping. According to Realtor.com, the HOA fees for a typical, single-family home can cost $200 to $300 per month, depending on the size of the unit and the amenities.

The property owner may, in turn, pass these expenses to tenants either directly or indirectly by charging a higher rent price. However, if a tenant fails to pay the dues, then the HOA may foreclose on the property.

According to a SmartMove survey, 84% of landlords list payment problems as their top tenant concern. So, you might consider charging for association dues as part of the move-in fee upfront.

Non-Refundable Deposit

Sometimes, landlords may charge a non-refundable deposit included within the assessed move-in fee. This money may be applied to cover tenant turnover and property maintenance costs such as:

  • A fresh coat of paint
  • A change of locks
  • A new key fob for pool entry

A non-refundable deposit is at the landlord’s discretion, meaning you’re allowed to set the price of this move-in fee. However, in order to attract rental applicants and fill vacancies, landlords are encouraged to set fair fees. You don’t want to lose money or give profits away, but you also don’t want to request too large of a move-in fee that could deter prospective tenants.

What is a Security Deposit

A security deposit is one-time payment that is collected at the beginning of a lease and then used to cover any repairs due to damage caused by a tenant. At the end of the lease, a landlord must return the unused portion of the security deposit, up to the full amount.

However, not all deterioration can be deducted from a security deposit. At the end of a lease, it’s typical to have some normal wear and tear —such as chipped paint or faded floors—that is unavoidable when people live in your property. Security deposits cannot be used to cover such damage, which is referred to as “normal wear and tear” or “regular wear and tear” in common lease terms.

What is considered “normal wear and tear” should be discussed when a tenant signs a lease agreement with you. Cover all your bases by creating an air-tight policy that clearly defines your expectations for how your property should be maintained as well as which repairs you are responsible for and which fall on your tenant following a move-out inspection.

Landlords should take photos of any damage that the tenant may have caused during their tenancy. This provides documented evidence in case the tenant disputes your security deposit withholding.

Example Security Deposit Refund Form

Additionally, you and your tenant should conduct a walk-through at the beginning of the lease. Use a move-in checklist and document any existing damage. Having a list of issues before tenant move-in protects both parties; the tenant will not be held accountable from damage they didn’t cause, and you can see any damage you may have missed and repair it before it becomes a bigger problem.

How much can I charge for a security deposit

Landlords can set their own move-in fees, but security deposits are regulated by law. Each state has their own limit on how much you can charge for a security deposit, but it’s typically no more than two times the cost of the rent.

Some states split the deposit into separate tiers depending on whether the unit is furnished or unfurnished, or may base their legal limit on the age of the renter. In roughly 20 states, there is no legal limit on the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit—but that doesn’t mean you should be overzealous with the price you set. Doing so could deter renters and increase your vacancy rate, which can devastate your business.

Pro-tip: Verify that there are no local rent regulation rules which could affect your security deposit limit. If you accidentally overcharge or refund the deposit incorrectly, you could end up with a costly lawsuit that might be settled in the tenant’s favor.

No matter what amount you charge for a security deposit, make sure you follow all state-specific regulations regarding how you may store the funds. According to the IRS, you may not include a security deposit as part of your income because you may be required to return it at the end of the lease.

Depending on state law, security deposits must be returned typically within 14-30 days of the lease end date. Make sure to keep up with all bookkeeping and maintain accounting records of all business funds that flow both in and out. Not only does this help you follow the law in terms of security deposits, but it also may benefit you come tax season if you choose to deduct repair expenses from your rental income.

Note: States also have unique laws pertaining to how a security deposit can be used and which expenses may be deducted from the tenant’s payment. For example, landlords in Wisconsin are not allowed to retain a tenant’s deposit funds to cover carpet cleaning. Do your research and consult legal counsel before withholding any funds from a departing tenant.

Connect with Home-Solutions experts for personalized guidance on managing move-in fees and security deposits. Check our solutions for property owners. We’ve been doing this a while so you don’t have to. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [https://www.mysmartmove.com/blog/move-in-fees-vs-security-deposit]

5 Key Applicant Red Flags to Watch For

Finding the perfect tenant feels like striking gold, but choosing the wrong one can lead to headaches you don’t need. As a landlord, it’s helpful to know how to tell if a tenant plans to not pay rent. Being on the lookout for these renter non-payment warning signs can help you protect your investment.

You’re not a fortune teller. But as an independent landlord looking to find great tenants, you must act as your own crystal ball when screening new renters. Every prospective rental applicant you talk to has a different story and situation. It’s up to you to ask the right questions, get the right paperwork, and check a person’s background history to fill in any murky bits.

Losing thousands—or even tens of thousands—to rent non-payment and eviction proceedings can utterly destroy your rental business. To protect your livelihood, it’s essential to know what non-payment warning signs to look for in rental applicants and thoroughly screen all potential tenants through a reputable service like SmartMove.

No matter who you end up renting to, look out for these five renter red flags. Without due diligence and comprehensive background checks, you could see yourself in a future with desperately empty pockets.

1. Past Evictions

According to The Economist, the U.S. sees at least . Although personal circumstances and backgrounds may vary, the best predictor of a future eviction is a past eviction.

In fact, renters who have a previous eviction history have 3x as many rental-related collection records as people who have never been evicted. With those statistics, it’s no wonder that a recent SmartMove study ranks rent nonpayment as the biggest fear of independent landlords.

If you’re not checking a rental applicant’s eviction history, you’re putting yourself at unnecessary risk. To help protect yourself from the beginning, start with good rental applicant screening.

Along with every deep-dive past eviction check, SmartMove includes a proprietary ResidentScore, which is designed specifically for renters and is more relevant than a traditional credit score when it comes to leasing decisions. TransUnion data shows that using SmartMove to screen your rental applicant gives you a 15% better chance at predicting if you’ll have to evict them sometime in the future.

2. Not Enough Income

If your tenant has insufficient income, chances are they’ll struggle to pay rent. But, how much should you charge in the first place? Finding the rental sweet spot involves two major responsibilities:

Set an Ideal Rental Rate

Setting a bad rental rate can wreak havoc on your property investment. Too high and you risk prolonging tenant vacancies. Too low, and your profits drop off into the abyss. At the moment, rents are skyrocketing in much of the country, but that doesn’t always mean raising them is the best solution for you.

As a landlord, it’s essential to know how much to charge for rent by looking at comps in the local property market, reviewing your unit’s amenities, and looking into average income in your area.

Verify Your Rental Applicant Has Sufficient Income

Rental business success hinges on finding the balance of the right tenants at the right price. Once you set your rental rate, you need to confirm your potential tenant can pay—both now and in the future. Make sure your rental applicant earns 2.5x to 3x or more income than the rental rate you’re asking.

  • Example: If you charge $1,000 in rent, your tenant should earn at least $2,500 – $3,000.

There are many ways to verify a potential tenant’s income, including paystubs, tax returns, and employer letters. However, be cautious with any materials provided by the applicant directly, as documents can be forged.

For example, an Income Insights report evaluates your rental applicant’s financial strength and lets you know if you should ask your prospective tenants for additional income proof.

3. A Criminal Record

Failing to check a rental applicant’s relevant criminal past before signing a lease not only puts you at legal risk, but it could wind up harming your property, other tenants, and the community as a whole.

According to TransUnion data, 1 in 5 renters screened had a criminal record hit on their online background check. With such a high prevalence of positive results, it’s imperative to screen every renter to get a fuller picture of their past.

Evidence of a criminal past may seem foreboding when you’re screening potential tenants. However, not every arrest or conviction is relevant to the person’s ability to be a great, responsible tenant. If you have doubts, its best to talk with your rental applicant to get a better idea of how their past may actually affect the future success of your rental property.

How to Search a Rental Applicant’s Criminal Record

It’s tempting to search your applicant’s name in Google, social media pages, or a public records finder, but that could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit, depending on your state. For instance, in California, it’s illegal to use someone’s driver’s license or date of birth to search criminal records.

Additionally, tenant screening reports like criminal background or tenant credit checks can include data protected by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This means that only certain individuals are legally allowed to access protected data—and only under specific circumstances.

Rather than risk expensive, stressful legal trouble by attempting self-performed tenant screening, use a well-established, FCRA-compliant rental background check provider like SmartMove.

4. Bad References

How your rental applicant acted in the past can be an eye-opening insight into how they might act in the future. By failing to check the rental applicant’s references, you may fail to protect your property and income.

Learn how to conduct landlord reference checks and ask about the following:

  • Percentage of security deposit not returned
  • Any late payments
  • Early termination of lease

Honest feedback from your tenant’s previous landlords can reveal additional red flags that may not show up on online background checks, credit reports, or other tenant screening. While there are specific questions you may not be legally allowed to ask about prospective renters, making smart inquiries allows landlords to discuss payment activity, security deposit amounts, leasing terms, and whether the lease was broken.

If you really like your hopeful renter, but their rental reference is less than glowing, get their side of the story. For example, if a previous landlord failed to keep the unit at “habitable” levels, the tenant could’ve been legally allowed to break the lease early.

5. Doesn’t Want to Fill Out a Rental Application

This final red flag is one of the most crucial documents to collect from any potential tenant. Rental applications contain important personal information that’s essential for landlord-tenant relationships and can also help verify your applicant is who they say they are.

Know what questions to ask on your rental application to help identify great renters. At minimum, your application should include the following:

  • Personal information and contact details for all prospective tenants in the unit
  • Employment, income, and credit information
  • Rental history, including dates, manager contact information, and any evictions
  • Relevant criminal history
  • Details about any pets and smoking status

If your potential tenant provides an incomplete application or provides excuses to avoid the process entirely, it could indicate potentially sinister intentions. Most qualified tenants understand that part of renting involves an application and are happy to hand over personal information to move forward in the selection process.

Someone who tries to go around attempts to verify employment, credit, and references might be hiding something that could knock them out of the running. Getting a complete rental application, along with SmartMove online background checks, can help you choose the best tenants possible for your particular rental unit.

SmartMove Online Background Checks Give You Confidence that Your Tenant Applicant is the Right Renter for Your Property

You’re not a mind reader. You can’t know what’s really going through a rental applicant’s head when they’re eyeing your property. Knowing what renter flags to watch for can certainly help prevent nonpayment. However, it’s essential to further cut through leasing uncertainty with high-quality hard data from tenant background checks with SmartMove.

With just your rental applicant’s email address, SmartMove delivers thorough, consent-driven credit, criminal and ID-verified reports instantly. All FCRA-compliant background checks are designed specifically for independent landlords with data backed by TransUnion, a major credit agency.

Convenient, affordable reports can help you decide which red flags are a real warning, and which ones aren’t worth the worry. Income Insights and a ResidentScore can help predict a tenant’s ability to pay rent. Eviction reports and criminal history provide greater insight into your rental applicant’s background, so you that you can feel more confident in your leasing decisions.

You might not be able to see the future, but you can help steer it in the right direction with fast, high-quality tenant screening from SmartMove.

Streamline your tenant screening process and boost your confidence with Home-Solutions! Check our solutions for property owners. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [https://www.mysmartmove.com/blog/five-red-flags-that-a-renter-might-stop-payent-rent]

The Ultimate Guide to Property Maintenance

Owning a rental property can be a dream come true – a stable income stream, a valuable asset, and the satisfaction of providing a comfortable home for others. But let’s be honest, it can also be a source of major stress. This guide is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about keeping your rental property in tip-top shape.

How to Properly Maintain Your Rental Property

Good Start With a Tenant

When you take over a new rental property with an existing lease and tenants, you will want to establish contact with those tenants. Follow these suggestions for creating a memorable letter that contains helpful information for your tenants and get the management of your new property started on the right foot.

Get off to a good start with a tenant welcome letter

A welcome letter goes a long way toward getting off on the right food with a new tenant. Follow these suggestions for creating a memorable letter that contains helpful information for your tenants.

Your property deserves the best. Home Solutions offers top-tier property management services to protect and enhance your investment. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/get-off-to-a-good-start-with-a-tenant-welcome-letter]

Top Benefits of Home Automation

Home automation is here to make your life more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable. Imagine being able to control your lights, thermostats, security, and entertainment systems with just a tap on your smartphone or a voice command. Dive on a journey through the incredible advantages of home automation, from saving time and energy to enhancing your home’s security and entertainment.

We live in a time unlike any other. With so many technological advancements at our fingertips, our lives are made easier, which is fortunate considering the fast-paced lives most of us lead. In recent years, great strides have been made in making homes a bit more “tech savvy.” This technology, in short, allows the homeowner to run his or her home while away through a remote, often on a Smartphone or iPad. In fact, these homes have been labeled as being “smart,” due to the fact that they can seemingly think on their own. This ability to “think,” also known as being an automated home, helps homeowners in a number of ways: 10, in fact. What are the ways in which a home automation system can benefit you?

Benefit # 1 – Adds Safety Through Appliance and Lighting Control

Another home automation advantage is added safety for both your family and home. You have the ability to control the small appliances and lighting, again with the simple tap of your finger on your favorite technological device. You can always check to make sure your daughter turned off her curling iron or ensure that your oven has been flipped off from the morning family breakfast. Your home and family also enjoy an added measure of safety through your ability to control the lights in your home. Not only does this allow you to make sure lights are off when you are gone to save electricity, it also allows you to turn them on at specific times if you would like it to look like you are home. This also helps increase the safety and security of your home.

Benefit # 2 – Secures Home Through Automated Door Locks

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of an automated system in your home is automated door locks. How often have you left for work in the morning only to realize that you forgot to lock your front door? Through an automated system, you can lock your doors with the tap of your finger. This quickly eases your mind, so you can focus on your day’s work rather than who may or may not be entering your home. This is also a great benefit for you if you have to leave to work before your children leave for school. Often, children run out the door to catch the bus and forgot to lock the door. You can easily have control of the situation by locking the door from your office each day. The fact that you can be alerted each time someone enters your home also allows you to monitor who is entering your home at all times, even when you are not there.

Benefit # 3. – Increases Awareness Through Security Cameras

Unfortunately, we just cannot be everywhere at once. This means that we often miss things that happen, perhaps even in our own home or yard. With a home automation system, you can easily see what is happening. Now you can make sure no unwelcome guests arrive unbeknownst to you or your family. Security cameras increase family safety by recording clips when detecting movement or at specific times of the day or night.

Benefit # 4 – Increases Convenience Through Temperature Adjustment

Often, we leave for work early in the morning and forget to adjust our thermostat. As a result, we come home to a house that is severely too hot or too cold. This is inconvenient, as it usually takes a good amount of time for the household temperature to increase or decrease after being adjusted. However, with a home automation system, you can simply adjust the thermostat from the convenience of your office a few hours before heading home. This is both cost effective and saves on energy, and it helps you stay “on top of” your life when you have run out the door first thing in the morning without considering much else besides arriving to work on time.

Benefit # 5 – Saves Time

It is no secret that today’s world is busier than in days past. If you are like most people, you are constantly running from place to place, working to accomplish everything on your never-ending “to-do” list. Because of the high-tech nature of a home automation system, you never have to worry about running home to open the door for your children after school or making a quick stop at home in order to adjust household items. In short, you easily save precious time and experience more daily productivity.

Benefit # 6 – Saves Money and Increases Convenience

As mentioned earlier, a home automation system saves money. The most beneficial impact the system will have is on your monthly utility bill. No longer will you be spending money for household appliances left on in your family’s absence. You will also save on gas costs, as you will never need to stop by the house in order to turn something off or on. This is certainly convenient. You will have complete control to make sure costs are low without exerting any additional effort.

Benefit # 7 – Contributes to Economy

Simply put, you are contributing to the economy when you purchase and utilize a home automation system. You ensure that you are only using the energy and resources that are necessary while you are home.

Benefit # 8 – Increases Peace of Mind

Perhaps this benefit will not apply to everyone, but for those who habitually worry about whether or not they have taken care of everything at home before leaving for the day, a home automation system is a perfect investment. In short, it offers peace of mind. This is quite beneficial for those individuals who leave each day, obsessively worrying if everything is in order. With so many stresses in daily life, it is nice to take at least one off the list by being able to see what is going on at home without physically being there.

Benefit # 9 – Allows You Control When Out of Town

Have you ever gone out of town and given a key to a neighbor? Many do this in order to allow the neighbor to perform household chores that cannot be neglected such as feeding the plant, taking care of the dog, or delivering the mail. A home automation system allows you just a bit more control than simply turning over a key, which is a great relief to some homeowners. You can easily set up a time for the person to enter your home and let him or her in yourself through your smartphone or iPad.

This allows you to stay in control of the situation. You no longer need to worry about the neighbor losing that key or having complete, unrestrained access to your belongings. In addition, you can make sure the chores are actually being completed, so you do not have any surprises when you return home.

Benefit # 10 – Keeps Tabs On Your Children

Through the home automation system, you can easily keep tabs on your children. You can ensure that they make it safely into the house each night, letting them in without getting out of bed to greet them. You can also see their comings and goings on security cameras, as well as make sure the porch is lit when they arrive home.

This helps you keep them safe, as well as helps you know what they are up to each day, which can be quite helpful for a busy parent. In sum, investing in a home automation system will benefit you in several ways. It is cost effective. It will save you time and energy. And perhaps the most important? It will keep you and your family safe and your home secure.

Home Solutions is the go-to for all your South Florida real estate needs. With our top-notch home property management, you’ll get the results you’ve been dreaming of quickly and effortlessly. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [https://www.mymove.com/smart-home/top-benefits-of-automating-your-home/]

How Millennial Buyers are Shaping Real Estate

As millennials continue to come of age and enter the housing market, their influence on real estate trends has become increasingly evident. From preferences in location to technological advancements, this article explores the profound impact of millennials on the housing market. Gain insights into how the real estate industry is adapting to meet the needs and expectations of this influential generation.

“It’s not a good time to buy”—it’s a phrase that has echoed throughout the U.S. over the past year or two. Shockingly low housing inventory, high price tags and record-setting interest rates are making it tough for some would-be buyers to achieve homeownership.

As an executive in the mortgage services industry for many years, I know that it’s critical to understand how and why borrowers react to the ebbs and flows in market conditions. One of the ways my company keeps the pulse of today’s buyers and homeowners is by producing an annual consumer survey. This year’s survey found that many have abandoned the homebuying process over the last few years.

In fact, 49% of all respondents considered buying but ultimately decided against it. That’s more than double the number who said they abandoned the process in the 2022 study. Another 22% took it a step further and actually attempted to buy a home but were unsuccessful. Housing prices and high mortgage rates were the main deterrents in both instances.

However, despite the obvious factors that would disqualify and discourage some buyers, there’s a generation that is particularly adamant about achieving their homeownership goals.

Last year, I wrote an article where I laid out the depth of determination of the Millennial homebuying cohort. It touched on areas where they’re willing to take a leap of faith and how to best serve them in the 2022 market and climate. In this current article, I’d like to dive a little deeper, with even more insight into how they’re currently shaping the market, moving forward and making a name for themselves in the history books.

Optimistic Outlook

When many are retreating, Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are forging ahead. They’re not afraid to test the waters when others are telling them it’s not a good time. Why? It all comes down to their optimistic outlook. In the study, 60% of Millennials said conditions are favorable for buying a home compared with 53% for Gen-Z and 46% for Gen-X. Baby boomers, by the way, had the least positive outlook, and 53% said conditions were not favorable for buying.

Additionally, 61% of Millennials surveyed said they planned to buy a home in 2023; this flies in the face of those who still want to categorize them as the renter generation. In fact, Money reports there are now more Millennial homeowners in the U.S. than Millennial renters at 18.2 million and 17.2 million, respectively. Homeownership by this generation has spiked 64% over the past five years.

Willing To Give And Take

In my many years in the mortgage and transactional services business, I’ve seen quite a few trends emerge from this generation. While many Millennials may have purchased during the days of the pandemic when mortgage rates were historically low, those in the market today still overall desire to secure a slice of the American dream—even if it’ll cost them.

Considering the tight supply and competition right now, it appears they’re willing to pay higher price tags and interest rates in order to not lose out on the home they really want (the one with additional square footage, office space, tech upgrades, etc.). I believe that Millennials are savvy enough to know that when rates drop, they can refinance and secure a lower rate (and subsequent mortgage payment). In other words, they’re not afraid of a little short-term suffering for long-term gain, at least with respect to achieving homeownership.

In my company’s study, millennials led the pack, with 57% saying they were “very likely” or “likely” to refinance in 2023. That’s compared to 48% for Gen-X and 44% for Gen-Z. Millennials also refinanced in the highest numbers over the past three years. This continues the trend that other surveys show, where Millennials refinanced at almost double the national average in 2021. I see refinancing as a tool they’re not only using but planning to use when rates drop down into more favorable territory.

Opportunistic Group

Opportunistic Group

Inventory is tight right now. In fact, one report shows that housing volume is only about half of what it was before the pandemic. Even when faced with availability issues, Millennials tend not to be afraid to look elsewhere for alternative housing options. Their resourcefulness has led to an uptick in interest in the auction market, for example, with 39% of Millennials surveyed saying they’re open to buying a house at auction.

That number was even higher (55%) in last year’s study, suggesting that the appetite for such properties remains healthy. Gen-Z, the up-and-comers behind Millennials, are equally as interested in auction properties at 39%.

How To Best Serve Millennials

Considering the evidence that shows they’re market savvy and eager to take the plunge into homeownership, how do we best serve this powerful generation?

If they’re in the market to buy a home or refinance, lenders should find ways to position themselves as proactive, trusted sources that provide information, direction and access. Survey results indicate this generation is most likely to lean on real estate agents and lenders during the home-buying process.

Additionally, I’ve found that Millennials crave transparency. When asked what they’d change about their mortgage experience, transparency into the steps and fees ranked highly. This underscores the importance of providing relevant information so they can make clear, informed decisions.

And finally, fit into their consumption patterns. These are digital natives who buy, sell and do business on their phones and tablets without batting an eye. They expect forward-thinking solutions that align with their digital lifestyle. In other words, electronic signing capabilities, virtual closing options and the like are more likely to get their attention.

Millennials have made their mark on the housing market, and I suspect they’ll be a force for several more years. However, it’s up to the rest of us within the industry to carefully consider how to better serve both this and future generations of trendsetting homebuyers.

Navigate the changing tides of the housing market with Home Solutions Property Management. Embark on your real estate journey with confidence and success! Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/08/31/going-against-the-grain-millennials-impact-on-the-housing-market/?sh=7d62f4fd2956]

How to Boost Your Home’s Desirability

If you’re a homeowner seeking to maximize the appeal of your properties, we’ve got some tips. From modern amenities to energy-efficient features, discover how these strategic enhancements can elevate your property’s allure and position it as a sought-after gem in the rental market. If you would like to speak with us and gain our insights first-hand, we are here — and have been doing this in excellence for many, many years. Give us a call!

Ready to take your property’s rental potential to the next level? Let our professional experts guide your home property management. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm.

Reference: [https://americanlifestylemag.com/real-estate/buying-selling/5-smart-upgrades-that-increase-your-homes-appeal/]

Beginner’s Guide to Successful Landlordship

Becoming a landlord can be a rewarding venture, providing a steady source of income and the opportunity to invest in real estate. However, it can also be a complex and challenging endeavor, especially for beginners. We bring you this beginner’s guide to help you with essential tips, strategies, and best practices.

Taking on the role of landlord is a huge undertaking. You have renters to find (and trustworthy ones at that), a property to look after, and being the go-between for the many different people involved in this process. Follow these tips to ensure that being a landlord is rewarding, rather than being a headache-inducing responsibility.

Screen tenants properly

Too often, landlords don’t screen potential tenants as thoroughly as they should, often causing mishaps further down the line. Don’t get so bogged down by other responsibilities that you forget to screen the people who will be living in your property. Look at credit scores, references, and if they have adequate employment before moving forward with an application.

Don’t short yourself

Your profit is coming from the rent, so make sure you’re charging the right amount to maximize your revenue. Look at the comps in the area, as well as accounting for any renovations you made to the space, and set the amount accordingly. You don’t want to short-change yourself, especially after the contract is signed and rent is locked into place.

Be as organized as possible

When it comes to managing a property and the tenants who live there, spreadsheets are your best friend. Keep track of important documents, make copies of everything, and stay on track with the various transactions and events that pop up throughout this process. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute if anything were to come up.

Make your guidelines clear

Make your guidelines clear

All of your rules and regulations should be outlined in the lease, but remember to reiterate in person. This is especially important concerning any pet restrictions, what day of the month rent is due, and what (or if) interior changes can be made to the space. Having these guidelines in writing is important, but it’s even more crucial to emphasize in person before the lease is signed.

Embark on a profitable journey as a landlord. Home-Solutions can help you navigate your home property management. With our services, you can enjoy the benefits of rental income without the hassle. Call us today at (954) 545-3027 and follow us on Instagram @homesolutionspm. We are here for your questions! Let’s talk!

Reference: [https://americanlifestylemag.com/real-estate/buying-selling/beginners-guide-landlord/]

Become a Vendor

If you are already one of our Vendors you can sign in to receive work orders or review your account. If you have any questions or want to speak directly to us please call (954)-545-3027 or send an e-mail to hspm@home-solutions.com.

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