Spring Refresh

Rather than the typical “Spring Clean”, I’d like to refer to this annual chore as more of a Spring “Refresh”. The reason behind this name makeover is for the simple fact that the majority of the population haven’t left their homes in a year and every property most likely needs to be freshened up in every way. With the weather getting warmer, we can start opening our windows to let the natural fresh air inside. This is such a simple and refreshing approach to our Spring Season plus it costs next to nothing. Below is my room by room refresh suggestions that will leave your property light, airy and ready for ultimate relaxation:

kitchen1
kitchen2
kitchen3

KITCHEN

  1. REMOVE EVERYTHING FROM THE COUNTERTOPS & FLOORS: This creates a blank canvas so to speak making the space open and empty
  2. WORK FROM THE CEILING TO THE FLOOR: Clean off tops of Cabinets & Light Fixtures first so built-up dust falls to the ground. Next wipe down Cabinetry & Countertops before mopping/swiffering the Floors.
  3. PLACE & REPLACE: Wipe down all items going back onto the countertops…keep in mind “Less is More” also wipe down kitchen table & chairs and don’t forget to clean the trashcan. Be sure to check utensils and replace anything that looks dingy and unsanitary.

LIVING & DINING ROOM

DUST DUST DUST…Every Square Inch of Every Square Inch. This is so important in the Spring Refresh because dust gets everywhere and can accumulate in all nooks and crannies (*especially the tops of door frames). It may be annoying but it is so worth it in the end to have a Dust Free Space. Plus, dusting creates better air quality and a fresh inviting environment.

livingroom2
livingroom1
livingroom3

BEDROOM

  1. STRIP THE BEDS: Wash all linens down to the mattress pad!! Assess the mattress and pillows for any imperfections/staining and replace if need be.
  2. CLEAR THE CLUTTER: Remove any excessive miscellaneous items from dressers and night stands. It is so vital for a better night sleep to have an organized bedroom with NO CLUTTER. Sleep is precious and a bedroom should reflect a sanctuary not a trash site.
  3. REARRANGE FURNITURE: This is optional if the space allows. Rearranging furniture is a great way to refresh a room and give it a new look for a change.

BATHROOM/LAUNDRY ROOM

DISINFECT EVERYTHING (period). Wipe every knob, fixture & mirror. Replace all linens. Empty Trashcans. Deep Clean Dryer Vent. Clean Washing Machine (Yes, this is a thing.) Scrub toilet until it Sparkles. Mop Floors and Wash Bath Rugs & Mats.

*Special Note: add Live (or faux) Greenery in all rooms…this is such a welcoming visual for all to enjoy!!

CLICK HERE TO READ: The Sandpiper Motel in North Wildwood will be a New Boutique Hotel And Swim Club this summer!

Like it or Love it

In regards to owning an investment property, a.k.a. vacation rental in this instance, where do you draw the line between “like” and “love”? Sure, you want to obviously like the property you are spending a small fortune to buy and as an investment the main goal is a positive rate of return which you’ll love. But is there a defining moment in the buying process where one stops and thinks if they are becoming too attached to the property knowing it will be rented out to a myriad of people who may not feel the same way?  When are your feelings too much?

Every once in a while, when I’m previewing a vacation rental property, I find myself thinking the owner has too many “personal touches” in this place. Now of course a potential renter wants all the comforts of home and rightfully so but can an owner go a little too far? The answer is... Yes. The whole idea is to make a vacation property comfortable, clean & convenient but keep the personal details to a very bare minimum. Sometimes the line does get blurred when an owner is overly excited about their new investment property and they want to go all out and decorate it to their particular style. This is totally understandable but the point of an investment property is to generate an additional source of income as frequently as possible. It is an investment. Period. I would expect the owner to take pride in the ownership but don’t go overboard. Below is a list of do’s and definite don’ts.

DO

Decorate Minimally:   -use simple accent pieces w/ faux greenery on nightstands, dressers, tabletops &counters which creates both a neutral and unique style. (approx.1 - 2 pieces on each)

Spend some Coin:    -set money aside for items like throw pillows, ottomans, placemats & wall art

DON’T

Over Decorate:   -keep accent pieces to a minimum so don’t clutter the tops of furniture with too many knick knacks & tchotchkes

Break the Bank:   -no need to go overboard or overspend on additional pieces

*Your tenant will need space in these places for their personal items so keeping accent décor to a minimum is a must and keep the pieces you choose to display on TREND.

Decorate Rental Property Minimally
Decorate Rental Property Minimally

*You can add additional “comfort” pieces without spending a fortune. Adding these little extras can be cost effective and go along way. With these “extras” its okay to take a little risk with color and style to set your place apart from the competition. Keep in mind the location and local flare of your rental property. It is always a good idea to incorporate pieces from local artisans and décor that displays the name of the property location, i.e. Wildwood.

DO

Like it:    -it’s totally okay to really, really like your vacation rental property to the point where you give it the best care and attention for your future tenants

DON’T

Love it:  -keep the “L” word out of the proverbial equation when it involves a property you rent to tenants

*This is so important to understand. Remember, you are renting out this property to make money. Don’t fall in love with the furniture, fixtures, decorations…basically anything within the walls. The simple fact remains that in the world of property rentals anything can happen from normal wear and tear to an accidental breakage of some sort. It is truly best to like everything but certainly not love it.

Hello 2021

Welcome to a new year…a fresh start so to speak. With 2020 in the rearview it only makes sense to look towards, with anticipation, a brighter future in the upcoming year ahead. The real estate market is booming in all aspects and has been now for almost a consecutive year. Interest rates are at an all time low and real estate prices are tipping the higher end which means it is kind of a win/win for both buyers and sellers. Now with that in mind, what is the next move? Well, for Sellers, it is most likely the best time to get the most money for their property. We are seeing a trend with new listings hitting the market and encourage potential sellers to consider listing their properties at this time to reap the rewards. On the flip side, Buyers are benefiting from the lower interest rates making the home buying process both appealing and affordable. It really is a very momentous period in the Real Estate world. Both buyers and sellers will find happiness and that is truly what memories are made of today.

2021 Changing Market

Important note: Real Estate always generates trends in some way, shape or form and it always will. The market ebbs and flows on a continuum. This pendulum is always swinging and in this current market, it appears to be benefiting all parties active in the game. As always, the rules remain the same. It is the perception within the human psyche and global life circumstances that ultimately alters the market. As we know, trends come and go so really one question remain…is 2021 your year to play?

The Ideal Investment Property at the Shore: Rental Ready Part 4 of 4

The Ideal Investment Property at the Shore: Part 4 of 4

Four Parts of an Ideal Investment

  1. TARGET LOCATION
  2. Mo’ MONEY NO PROBLEMS 
  3. SHOP Til YOU DROP
  4. RENTAL READY

 

Part 4: Rental Ready 

This is pretty much the final step when investing in a Rental Property. Preparing the IP no matter how big or small for the Rental Season. Once you’ve “settled” on your new investment property you’ll need a checklist to follow to insure a successful rental season:

 

  • Cleanliness: Be sure to hire a reputable Cleaning Company to handle the change overs between tenants. Develop a trusting relationship because they are the set of eyes viewing your property after each and every tenant and will most like be the ones reporting any damage created that would affect the return of the security deposit.
  • Décor: Don’t get too personal or too cluttered. Not quite “Less is More” but be specific with a theme and don’t become too attached with any one piece. The idea is to decorate with an inviting flow into each space. Keep it simple and unique.
tray-on-coffee-table

 

  • Necessities: There are definitely some necessities to include as a standard in any rental property which include but are not limited to: Fully Equipped Kitchens (Dishes, Glasses, Mugs, Silverware, Pots, Pans, Coffee Maker, Teapot, Ice Cube Trays, Microwave, Trashcans, Fire Extinguisher, etc) Cleaning Supplies, Vacuum, Iron & Ironing board, T.V.’s with Cable & Movie Channels, DVD player and most importantly, WIFI. Additional items to include in the beginning of the rental season are extra lightbulbs, batteries, flashlight, trash bags, paper products, toolbox & sewing kit. (*Optional: a Guest Book)
  • Photography: Once your IP is cleaned and decorated, hire a professional photographer to take the photos which will be used to market your rental property online and can be shared on Social Media. All the rooms must be in showing condition. If you choose to take your own photos just make sure you turn lights on and open blinds/curtains to make the rooms appear bright. In the bathrooms, make sure the toilet seats are down and open shower curtain slightly to expose interior bath & shower tile. Stay out of the reflection of mirrors. Keep in mind most tenants choose their rental property based on the photos online. Take the time or spend the money to make them look perfect and you’ll separate yourself from the competition. 
  • Exposure: Now it’s all about getting your IP out there for all the potential tenants to view. Do your homework and enlist the services of multiple Real Estate Brokerages who specialize in rental properties (offer your photos if need be). This will ensure exposure on their websites and within their inventory.  Real Estate companies will charge a commission only if they rent your IP but confirm this commission rate and the details before signing a Rental Listing Agreement. A Realtor can also pull comparable properties to give you an idea regarding the rental rates which are classified by weekly, monthly, seasonally & daily. You may also consider renting the property on your own through numerous websites for owners like Airbnb.com or vrbo.com where you’ll pay a hosting fee rather than a commission.

This is the most exciting purchase you can make to generate income so enjoy the process even though at times it can get stressful and hectic. In the end the goal is to have an investment property creating memories for you and your guests. 

The Ideal Investment Property at the Shore: Shop til you Drop Part 3 of 4

The Ideal Investment Property at the Shore: Part 3 of 4

Four Parts of an Ideal Investment

  1. TARGET LOCATION
  2. Mo’ MONEY NO PROBLEMS 
  3. SHOP Til YOU DROP
  4. RENTAL READY

 

Part 3:Shop til you Drop…literally & figuratively

You got your money and you know where you want to plant it…now it’s time to pound the pavement and start the House Hunting. I whole heartedly suggest you pick a Realtor. Like a new pair of shoes, feel free to try them on for size & comfort but be sure to be courteous of their time because quite honestly a Realtors time is truly money…seriously. Your Realtor is the industry expert who will navigate the entire process from beginning to end as seamless as possible. It is a very important decision so please choose wisely. Once you find the right agent worthy of your business share your intentions with them backed by your financial perimeters. They do not need, nor do they want, your entire financial history…. just a basic Pre-Approval Letter or Proof of Funds from your chosen financial institution simply stating a figure you can afford to use to purchase an IP. Try not to put the “cart before the horse” and start looking at properties before you have a clear idea of how much money will go towards this purchase. Having either a pre-approval letter or documented proof of funds will help avoid any future disappointments and will lead you in the right direction of looking at properties you can realistically put an offer on.

White House with Swimming Pool

*Note: When looking at properties you can afford in your desired location keep in mind properties which have all or some of the following features:

  • Rental History and/or Repeat Renters (keep them happy and they will keep coming back year after year)
  • Furnished Properties… save your time and money with a true “Turn-Key” IP
  • Pools, Jacuzzis, Views, Parking, Game Room or Onsite athletic options…ie. Tennis Courts, Bocce Ball, Shuffleboard, Badminton, etc.

The above items are just an idea which make an Investment Property attractive and should be held in high regard when looking at the resale value as well. Having an affordable and desirable property makes for an ideal investment both presently and into the future.

Now, let’s go Shopping!!