Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Allston Christmas: Tips and Warnings for Boston Move-In Day

This article is a guide to help you understand how the old phrase "another man's trash is another man's treasure" firmly applies to what is called Allston Christmas.

You might also be interested in our Boston Sept. 1 Move-In Guide

A Guide For Success During Boston's "Allston Christmas" 

Allston is the section just outside of Boston that is a haven for lots of college students, post-grad upstarts and twenty-somethings, and other longtime residents that are outside of the 20-34 year-old demographic that comprises almost half of Boston's workforce.

Most of Allston is made up of renters who move yearly from apartment-to-apartment at the end of August once their lease ends. During the moving process, plenty of people will be tossing out old furniture and unwanted decor from their homes out onto their buildings and rental house curbs and sidewalks for all other migrants to rummage through.

For landlords and Boston Property Management companies, this guide will help you have a successful Allston Christmas and how to use multiple communication methods with tenants to address what is allowed in the property owner's units during Boston's most hectic time of year.

Moving In Sept. 1: A Boston Cluster-Land

September 1st is the date when the entire city becomes a zoo for professional movers, newly transplanted residents, and students who cram the city's streets, and mainly cause traffic on the city's longest strip, Commonwealth Avenue.

This main congested street runs from the Back Bay area near the Boston Public Garden through Allston, Brighton, to Newton.

Property management crews usually can help diffuse this chaos and help with the flow of traffic if you are living in a building that has multiple units. But not everyone is moving into an apartment complex or condo association.

This could cause many of you to double-park outside of the new apartment building to unload moving trucks and cars, but this only adds to the chaotic traffic.

Luckily, the Mayor's office is being a little more lackadaisical for parking permits this September 1st. But it's still best for you to believe that meter maids and police will be on the prowl to fill their month-end quotas for cutting parking tickets and moving violations on movers.

Allston Christmas Is Not Just for College Students

College students who live off-campus usually don't have much money to spend on new furniture. That is why you see them scavenge through piles of chairs, picking up old couches, coffee tables, and other home decoration items. But that does not mean they are the only people by age who are looking for new items to put into their homes.

Longtime residents are also looking for other items to place in their homes. Also, they may be looking to get rid of stuff for free.

So if you are a property manager or a landlord that has older residents living in some of your units, communicate with them to see if they are looking for items to place in their living quarters so you don't end up with piles of junk laid out in front of your building for the following weeks after moving day. Also, piles of trash can lead to rats, bugs, and other debris that can either cause you a city violation fine, or just a bad look for your property entrance.

Know What Types of Allston Christmas "Gifts" You Bring Into Your Home

Sometimes all the glitter of a displaced item is not gold. There are items that you should not be bringing into your home, that may appear safe when viewed on the street.

  • Displaced mattresses - You never know who had been sleeping on that mattress, or used that mattress for other things beyond slumber. These may contain dangerous bed bugs, or may have broken springs inside the mattress.

  • Chipped coffee tables - This is to expand on my previous point regarding bugs. If a coffee table looks old or chiseled in certain spots, it may not just be due to damage from the previous owners. It possibly could be due to termites that weaken the coffee table, if it's a wooden one. This adds potential for the bugs to relocate into your home!

  • Old refrigerators - Don't bring these into your place just because it has a plug. It may only work temporarily until it permanently loses it's cooling ability. Also, older refrigerators can work so extremely that they can freeze your food to the point where it is no longer edible.

Make sure that you communicate with your landlord or property manager first to get their approval on what new items are allowed into your rental unit. If it's a new couch or something large in size that requires more than two people to move, notify the landlord or property manager before you move the items because it could potentially damage the walls. And that could hurt your security deposit return at the end of your lease.

Talk With Item Owners To See If They Are Trashing the Items Or Not

Looks can be deceiving during Allston Christmas because everyone is putting their items outside in stockpiles. This may not always mean that the owners of the items are throwing them away.

You don't want to look like a thief running off with items that are considered stolen by the owners. This is why it is important to simply ask questions about the items with the owners. Or if you don't know who the owner is and don't have time to wait for their return outside, leave a note on the item with your email address to ask and see if they are willing to hand over or resell you the items.

Final Thoughts on Allston Christmas in Boston, MA

This is a crazy time period, but it can be navigated well if you simply stay patient, do your research, and communicate with the landlords or property managers for advice. The weather is generally hot since it's still the summer, technically. But you can certainly become successful if you prepare well the night before Allston Christmas.

Have you ever moved during this timeframe? Or are you scheduled to move this year at the end of August? Tell us your best and worst experiences about moving during this time, and we can help you with answers beyond this guide.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Why Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Property Management Matters

During the past decade, there is much to be said regarding sustainability for home energy usage.

So what steps have you made to be more environmentally efficient?

The United Nations officially declared 2012 to be "The Year of Sustainable Energy For All," primarily third-world countries, across the globe.

How Energy Efficiency Can Benefit Your Community

This article is an examination on the legislative and residential aspects so that you know about the best property management company to hire that can provide these types of environmentally conservative services, plus help you save money and energy in your building.

On the home front in the U.S. There has been more hot summers and rough winters that have come forth from drastic climate changes. Plus, California residents are currently facing a water crisis due to a lengthy drought that has caused more home fires than we can recount in our recent memories.

The demand for natural energy resources has increased, and the U.S. government and Environmental Protection Agency have collectively moved forward to reduce emissions of carbon for the sake of public health. 

It's essential homeowners, property managers, and HOAs to have the knowledge of these energy alternatives for their property to adhere to the upcoming changes in the state regulations regarding energy usage to combat climate change and increase sustainability. 

Eco-Friendly Property Management Solutions

There are many ways to minimize your expenditures versus your residual income from your tenants paying their rental costs and/or condo fees to keep your financial balance sheet in the black with great energy solutions to keep in mind during the rest of the summer. But for all times of the year, these following landscape construction techniques can help you reduce energy usage for your community and save you money:
  • Recycled Mulch - When you put this on your property's soil around hedges or other plants, the use of recycled mulch can help improve irrigation and water evaporation. If you have use city-supplied water, this could help reduce monthly water bill costs. Also, make sure that you are following the fire-safety regulations for mulch to reduce the chance of burning down your house and land.

  • Don't Send Scrap Items To The Landfill Right Away - Some stuff could be put in storage instead of dumping it in the trash. Waste management costs are very high nowadays, so you can minimize the amount of your tenants trash heaps by telling them to save items like cardboard, old china plates, or paper. If you have a common room in your building, or a multi-family house with children, set up an "Arts & Crafts" event to recycle these items for them to create something new for their home. Also, this can help your tenants get to know some of their neighbors.

  • Solar Panels - There are two sets of phrases "tax credit" or "tax exemption" that will make you really like this idea. The costs of solar-powered energy from the installation of panels on roofs and on the property to give greater photosynthetic effects to the grass or other horticulture on your property can come back to you basically as an account receivable. This can save you lots of money for your real estate investment. In Massachusetts, owners of residential businesses are eligible for these tax write-offs annually.

  • Use Natural and Organic Pesticides for Landscape Maintenance - "Organic" is still the craze in 2015 as Americans look to become healthier in what they consume or live around. Items such as fertilizers and pesticides can certainly make a difference for you and for tenant's pets.

  • Use Rain Barrels To Irrigate Your Plants - Instead of buying or using city-supplied water by the boatload that can run up your water bill, you should try using rain barrels to store some natural water for later usage on your plants. In Boston, we have more than enough rain that comes throughout the year, so use that to your advantage by use of water collection as it comes. You might also want to think about getting flood insurance for the rainy weather.

  • Use Electric Lawn Mowers - Lawnmowers are a necessity for any type of lawn care if you do not have an eco-friendly landscape construction company. Yet it's the type of lawnmower that can help you save money and on gas to power them if you use an electric battery-powered lawnmower instead. Also, it's non-polluting and efficient just much as gas-powered lawnmowers. This will keep your property "greener" than ever in terms of its look, the energy sustainability involved, and in terms of your wallet in the long run.

Breakdown of the U.S. Government's "Eco-nomic" Plans for 2030

The U.S. government looks towards the long-term needs for its citizen's health, and budget their economic plans accordingly. This is considerable for your long-term home value plan because a major part of your expenses will be from the various levels of energy usage of your tenants in your rental units.

One example of this is how they went into experimental measures in 2005 by increasing the start date for Standard Time in the fall season to increase solar light usage and lower heating and electricity usage in home nationwide. Another example came recently this month when the Obama administration announced their Clean Power Plan, a two-year plan to combat climate change and boosting the U.S. economy. The crux of the plan is to lower of renewable energy costs, creating a plethora of jobs, with a benchmark of 30 percent more renewable energy by the year 2030. 

This will be state-regulated on weather natural gas or renewable energy sources, but the plan will affect landlords and tenants inevitably. Under this plan, the biggest takeaways are the following:
  • Saving the average American family about $85 per year on their energy bills in 2030
  • Save enough money to power 30 million homes
  • State and federal government initiatives are to save consumers $155 billion between the years 2020 and 2030

Eco-Friendly Final Thoughts

Do you have any experiences with creating sustainable or "greener pastures" for your property?

Or is there something that you learned that can be valuable towards your knowledge and bank account in this blog? Energy usage is a complex topic, but it can be made simple if you continue to do your research and not be too caught behind before it's too late when your investment is in the red.

What other ideas do you have for creating renewable energy? Tell us your thoughts.