Wednesday, January 8, 2020

5 Rental Features to Attract High Quality & Responsible Tenants

The success or failure of your real estate investments is highly dependent on your power to consistently attract and keep responsible tenants. How exactly do you find great tenants for your property? First of all, the quality of your property determines the quality of the tenant you are likely to attract.

Thus, if you want to attract excellent tenants to your property, you should focus on creating an excellent asset to advertise. High quality tenants tend to look for certain qualities and features. Here are the top 5 rental features which tend to attract high quality and responsible tenants:

1.    Nearby School Quality

The quality of schools zoned to the property was the primary deciding factor for the majority of high quality tenants recently surveyed. Schools are enormously important to families and single parents with school-aged children. Likewise, school quality is the best predictor of neighborhood quality, which is something all impressive tenants pursue. To ensure your properties attract only high quality tenants, only purchase properties zoned to high-performing, sought-after school systems. 

2.    Safety

Safety is a powerful motivator for high quality tenants seeking housing. In fact, one of the central reasons why prospective tenants are willing to pay more to lease a home (instead of an apartment), is to provide themselves and their family with a safe and secure home environment. Always research crime statistics and only purchase homes in safe neighborhoods.

3.    Move-in Ready Condition

The condition of the property, and more specifically the ability for prospective tenants to move in right away, is very important if you are seeking high quality tenants. Renting a property that is not yet move-in ready (requires new flooring, cleaning, paint), is not likely to attract high quality tenants. Your desired tenant plans to take care of your property and has elevated standards of sanitation and maintenance. If you provide a move-in ready home, you are proving through your actions that you share those identical standards.

4.    Proximity to Employment 

Commuting is not an ideal experience, and a big time waster. Thus, proximity to employment centers and buildings is highly important to excellent tenants. While looking at prospective properties, think about where your target tenants are likely to work and how close the property is to those areas.

5.    Neighborhood Quality

Neighborhood quality is a high indicator of lifestyle quality. Quality tenants care deeply about neighborhood quality. Thus, look for highly desired neighborhoods which would provide your tenants with a high-class lifestyle. 

Next Recession in 2020? What Should You Know?

Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. Thus, they also know that a recession may be approaching soon. A recent report published by Zillow Research brought to light a survey in which they interviewed economists, investment strategists and market analysts how they felt about the current housing market. That report revealed the possible timing of the next recession, and the majority of experts expected the next recession to begin in 2020. This survey confirms recent statements published by economists in the Wall Street Journal: 

“The economic expansion that began in mid-2009 and already ranks as the second-longest in American history most likely will end in 2020 as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool off an overheating economy, according to forecasters surveyed.”

What should you know and how this affect the real estate market? First of all, a recession does not equal a housing crisis. A recession is defined as a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. A recession essentially means the economy has slowed down significantly. However, it does not mean we are experiencing another housing crisis. Although the housing crash of 2008 caused the last recession, during the previous five recessions home actually values appreciated.

According to economic experts, the top three probable triggers for the next economic recession are monetary policy, a stock market correction, and trade policy. 
A housing market correction was ranked ninth in probability. Those same experts also projected that home values would continue to appreciate in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.  
Others agree that housing will not be impacted like it was a decade ago. If a recession occurs, it is unlikely to be caused by housing-related activity, and consequently the housing sector should be one of the leading sources to come out of the recession.
Essentially, a recession is probably less than two years away. However, a housing crisis is not. 

How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

If you are in the market to purchase a home or sell a real estate property, having a proficient and experienced agent is key. It can sometimes be overwhelming to choose a real estate agent, however we have made the process easier for you. Consider the following tips to choose a quality and knowledgeable real estate agent. 

1.    Ask friends/family for referrals

One of the simplest ways to find a quality real estate agent is to ask trusted friends and family members for a referral, and inquire why they recommend that particular agent. This will provide you with detailed information, which can be used to determine whether a specific real estate agent is suited to help reach your real estate needs and desires.

2.    Read online reviews/testimonials 

The internet is a great place to discover information regarding specific real estate agents. Many real estate agents share client testimonials on their website, while others share them on social media platforms. To ensure you have the full picture of a real estate agent, conduct an online search for all user-submitted reviews and feedback. 

3.    Look for a real estate agent experienced in your particular neighborhood

Specific neighborhood knowledge is a valuable asset. The more a real estate agent knows about an area, the better. Your real estate agent should be highly knowledgeable about the specific area you’re selling or buying in to ensure your goals are met efficiently and effectively.

4.    Interview multiple agents 

Once you have a collection of potential real estate agents, conduct interviews to narrow in on the specifics of each. By interviewing each real estate agent, you will achieve a broader understanding of your needs, and which agent is best suited to satisfy your needs. It’s critical you find a real estate agent who aligns with your personal goals and preferences to guarantee a smooth and positive experience.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Report: Cost to Rent Two-bedroom in Boston Rises 8.5%

According to a report released by Zumper on Monday, Boston is still the third most expensive place for renters in the U.S. Only New York City and San Francisco ranked higher. 

In metro Boston, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment increased 5.4 percent year over year to $2,530, while the price of a two-bedroom unit jumped 8.5 percent to $2,930.

Providence, Rhode Island ranked #18 on the list. The median rent for a one-bedroom in the Rhode Island capital remained stable at $1,480, while the cost for a two-bedroom rose 3.7 percent year over year to $1,700.

Nationally, rents have overall increased. The median rents for one- and two-bedroom units are up approximately 2.5 percent year over year — to $1,237 and $1,480, respectively. 

According to the report, these cities are the most expensive for renters: 

1.    San Francisco, CA  ($3,530)
2.    New York, NY ($3,000)
3.    Boston, MA ($2,530)
4.    Oakland, CA ($2,500)
5.    San Jose, CA ($2,450)
6.    Los Angeles, CA ($2,300)
7.    Washington, DC ($2,300)
8.    Seattle, WA ($1,880)
9.    San Diego, CA ($1,830)
10.  Miami, FL ($1,710)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why is Boston Traffic So Bad? Your Question Finally Answered

An early 2019 report crowed Boston with the title of the worst rush-hour traffic congestion in the U.S.A. Other reports have reached similar conclusions and proved that not only is Boston's gridlock particularly terrible, but that commutes are outrageously long. Why exactly does Boston have such horrible traffic? We have the explanation on exactly what led to Boston's reputation for having such terrible traffic. 

1. More than "Boston"

Boston isn't just "Boston". The city of Boston is part of a densely packed confederation of cities and towns that stretches for dozens of miles, and that united encompasses more than four and five million residents. In fact, if the Boston area were it's own city rather than a collection of municipalities, it would be more populous than any U.S city other than New York. 

2. Relatively Excess and Cheap Parking 

Several municipalities in the Boston region, including the city of Boston itself, give away free resident parking permits excessively. Or, they charge relatively low fees such as $25 per household for an initial parking permit. Furthermore, metered parking in Boston is some of the cheapest available in urban America. Condo and apartment developments often include parking as well. 

3. Constantly Increasing Population 

The population of Boston is expected to grow from 685,000 to 709,000 by 2030. Surrounding municipalities like Cambridge and Somerville are growing as well. Based on these recent trends, the Boston region could contain 5 million residents in the next few years. A large population will most likely lead to more drivers, and more cars on the road from car-hailing applications like Uber and Lyft.

4. The Demand for Car Hailing Apps

Car-hailing applications like Uber and Lyft have been growing in popularity throughout Boston and the surrounding areas. The number of rides completed through car-hailing applications increased about 25 percent in 2018, to 81.3 million, compared with 2017, according to a recent report from the state Department of Public Utilities. 80% of these rides began in Suffolk and Middlesex counties, which include most of the Boston region, including the city of Boston itself. In fact, 42.2 million, or more than half of all car-hailing rides, began in Boston.

Along with the popularity of Lyft and Uber growing, Amazon Prime has become super convenient for Boston residents who utilize Instacart and other home delivery services, which can drop off household goods with just a few mouse clicks. Although these vendors and services bring convenience to people's lives, these businesses translate to more cars on the road, and more congestion in daily Boston traffic.

Monday, November 25, 2019

5 Amazing Kitchen Upgrades Without Remodeling

Kitchen renovations can be strenuous, requiring a lot of time, money, and effort. However, if you don't have the financial resources or time for a full renovation, there are numerous affordable upgrades which will provide your kitchen with a brand new look. From refacing cabinets to replacing old lighting, a few cosmetic tweaks can give you the kitchen you always desired.

1. New Cabinets

The trend of refacing kitchen cabinets is growing among homeowners, who are looking for an easy and affordable way to modernize their kitchen. Refacing involves replacing the doors, drawers, and hardware, and covering the entire exterior of the cabinets with a brand new veneer. If you are happy with the layout and function of your kitchen, but desire a new aesthetic feel, cabinet refacing might be your answer. While a full kitchen gut and renovation may take several months to complete, cabinet resurfacing typically takes only 3-5 days.

2. New Backsplash

Installing a new backsplash is an easy and effective way to powerfully change the aesthetic of your kitchen. Be sure to choose a timeless material which will compliment your cabinetry.

3. Change Up Your Counter Tops

If you want to reinvent and look and feel of your kitchen even further, consider splurging on new countertops. If you are on a budget, head to your local stone yard and choose a granite at the lower end of the price range. Formica, a more affordable option than natural stone, has a variety of beautiful countertop pattern options and textures. If you are short on counter-space and are not looking to add more cabinetry, consider purchasing a pre-made island or bar-height table that you can float in the center of your kitchen. 

4. Add Shelving

Shelving is an overlooked yet brilliant way to powerfully change the look and feel of your kitchen, while adding functionality. If your cabinets don't have lip molding on the interior, remove cabinet doors to show off your beautiful serving dishes. Or, if you have an empty wall, introduce floating shelves from stores like Pottery Barn or IKEA, to add both style and more storage to your kitchen.

5. Introduce Proper Lighting 

Lighting can quickly and powerfully change the look and feel of any room. Get rid of harsh flourescent lights and replace them with soft can lights. Make food prep an easier experience by having an electrician install under-cabinet halogen fixtures, or ambient light tape. Also, over the kitchen sink is the ideal place for a statement piece like a sculptural pendant light. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lowered Mortgage Rates Boosted US Home Sales 1.3%

As mortgage rates approach near historic lows, there has been a high increase in home buying. According to recent statistics, US home sales rose 1.3% to the highest level in 17 months. Furthermore, the National Association of Realtors stated that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.49 million units, the best performance since March 2018.

The recent increase in home sales are a sign of US consumer's strong resilience, despite a darkening outlook for overall economic growth. Cheaper borrowing costs have resulted in improved affordability for buyers, making them more eager to buy despite rising property prices and a shortage of properties for sale.

The median sales price rose 4.7% from a year ago to $278,200, outpacing average wage gains.

Overall, home buyers are benefitting from the recent economic uncertainty, due to President Trump's ongoing tariff war against China. The 30 year mortgage rate averaged only 3.73% this week. However, the upside is limited due to a shortage in properties available for sale. There were only 1.86 million properties listed for sale at the end of August, down 2.6% from a year ago. The inventory shortage appears to be most pronounced in starter homes priced below $250,000, while sales of homes priced between $250,000 and 1 million have drastically risen.