Wednesday, December 27, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Increase Your Home's Resale Value

When it comes time to selling your home, attaining the highest sale price possible is usually at the top of your priority list. Spending large monetary amounts on expensive home upgrades can end up backfiring and taking large portions from your savings. The good news is, there are surprisingly small and cost-effective ways to dramatically increase your home's resale value. Making your home positively stand out in Boston's competitive real estate market should be prioritized. The following minor home improvements have the power to powerfully maximize property resale value.

1. Refinish Hardwood Floors

Freshly refinished hardwood floors can give any home the pleasant feeling of luxury and cleanliness. Potential buyers are often more inclined to purchase a home with newly renovated hardwood floors,  and are willing to pay extra to experience pristine flooring.

2. Replace Old Light Fixtures

Although a relatively inexpensive purchase, light fixtures have the power to completely change the ambiance of any room. Chunky, outdated, and worn light fixtures appear unattractive and dismal to potential buyers, and negatively affects the atmosphere of your property. Such a small home decor purchase has the power to alter the ambiance of any room, and sellers should utilize this knowledge to their advantage. Replace worn and chunky light fixtures with modern, elegant alternatives, and watch the room's entire appearance improve. 

3. Modernize Your Kitchen

Updating your kitchen is another relatively inexpensive purchase that has the power to beautifully transform any home and dramatically increase resale value.  Potential buyers are highly attracted to homes that lack any worn or outdated appliances. Replace outdated and shoddy kitchen appliances with modern, stainless steel appliances to give your home a touch of elegance and newness. Also consider installing a modern kitchen backsplash, with timeless, neutral tile colors.

4.  Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Repainting your home is one of the most lucrative ways to make your home appear modern and fresh, which instantly boosts appeal and value. Most people prefer neutral paint tones, which is important to keep in mind before embarking on this home improvement. 

5.  Cut Energy Costs 

Possessing an energy-efficient home is a highly marketable advantage, which can save potential home buyers on utility bills. Start by having your local utility company inspect and audit your home's energy consumption. Their utility experts will show you how to increase the overall energy efficiency of your home, and how to decrease rising utility expenses.

6. Replace Old Kitchen Appliances

When renovating your home, it is important to keep in mind that kitchen updates instantly maximize value. Even minor kitchen updates can highly increase the value of your home. For those homeowners on a budget, try starting with small kitchen improvements. Replace stained sinks and outdated, dingy microwaves with modern, stainless steel appliances. For homeowners unconstrained to home improvement budgets, consider replacing all outdated kitchen appliances with modern stainless steel appliances. Furthermore, consider replacing outdated and stained kitchen countertops with modern, elegant granite countertops. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Prevent Property Damage in Colder Temperatures

According to national statistics published by the Insurance Information Institute, property losses procured by snow, ice, and freezing temperatures appear third on the list of serious losses caused by weather, behind hurricanes and tornadoes. As temperatures drop lower in New England, it is important to stay educated on how to properly protect and maintain properties amid harsh winters. Read these tips to avoid catastrophic property losses and damages this winter.

1. Protect Your Pipes

As temperatures drop in New England, it is important to be mindful of protecting your pipes from bursting. The average burst pipe insurance claim stands around $18,000. The damage to your pipes is not the only headache you will be facing. You will also have to deal with floor replacement, sheet-rock replacement, re-painting the room the accident took place in, and possible mold removal and prevention expenses in order to maintain an orderly rental property. Losses can be even worse if the property is occupied and tenant property loss results from the incident.

Luckily, preventing pipes from bursting is a fairly simple project. First, ensure your pipes are properly insulated. Also, remember to occasionally turn on the heat in occupied homes to prevent pipes from freezing up and eventually bursting. Before the first big snowstorm of the year, consider sending a reminder to tenants on preventative measures for bursting pipes. Encourage tenants to open cabinet doors, which allows heat to reach pipes. Additionally, remind them to leave their faucets slightly dripping overnight as a preventative step.

2. Roof Maintenance 

Heavy snow can severely damage a roof that was weak to begin with. In preparation for harsh New England Winters, you should have your roof inspected yearly, preferably before the weather turns icy.  The seal around vents, skylights, and other protrusions should be checked and replaced if necessary. Any loose tiles or shingles should also be replaced before the winter begins. Maintaining your roof yearly can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Gutter maintenance is also highly important for snow drainage. Walk the roof's edge to ensure all downspouts and gutters are secured tightly and free of any debris which may block the drainage of melting snow. 

Contemplate shoveling your roof after a heavy snow, not just your sidewalk and driveway. Heavy snow can create structural damage to your property. Furthermore, when snow melts and refreezes on your roof multiple times, snow can turn into ice dams along your roof which can bring about water damage along your walls.

3. Landscape Concerns 

Trimming trees before New England's harsh winter approaches is necessary. Large tree limbs can crash under heavy snowfalls, and demolish cars and roofs. Now is also the time to bring in outdoor patio furniture and outdoor decorative items which will become damaged as temperatures drop and snowfalls approach. 

4. Formulate an Emergency Plan

The most important step in protecting and maintaining property through New England's harsh winters, is formulating an emergency plan. Property managers should outline an emergency plan for their residents, so they are properly prepared if an emergency occurs. If the power goes out, encourage tenants to use flashlights and lanterns, rather than candles and open flames. Candles and open flames introduce an unnecessary fire hazard that can easily be avoided. An efficient property manager should create a small and affordable emergency safety bag for tenants, with instructions on how to proceed when an emergency strikes. The safety bag should contain battery operated flashlights, a lantern, and detailed instructions with emergency phone numbers to utilize during emergencies. This small amount of effort and money will ensure tenants feel safe, protected, and at peace living in your rental properties.

Although not all property damage is avoidable, by taking these necessary steps and precautions, you can lower your probability of facing catastrophic damage this winter. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Top Market Trends Impacting Your Boston Real Estate Business

As the final month of the year is reaching an end, it's time to regroup and strategize your company's business objectives and strategy for 2018. Before strategizing an updated business approach, it is imperative to study and understand the latest market trends in Boston real estate. By taking market trends into consideration when constructing marketing and management approaches, you will fare exceedingly better than real estate companies that did not apply researching methods to their own business approach. Here are the latest regional and national real estate trends for rental and job growth, occupancy, and more.

1. The Millennial Take Over

Millennials continue to make up the largest portion of the population, and are most likely the largest demographic of renters. Consider changing your company's technology and marketing plans to target millennials, who value efficiency and flexibility. Our previous blog post, "6 Ways To Attract College Students To Fill Your Apartment Vacancy", holds detailed and valuable information on both attracting, satisfying, and retaining millennial renters.

2. Mobile Technology is Here to Stay

Mobile technology has powerfully revolutionized the real estate industry, allowing potential renters to quickly locate properties and schedule apartment showings instantaneously. Mobile technology has become standard in the rental industry, and continues to hold power: studies show 84% of renters use mobile phones during their apartment search process. Taking the time and resources to properly integrate mobile-friendly features on your real estate company's website has the power to attract renters, and fill vacancies swiftly.

3. U.S Job Growth Continues to Soar

As U.S job growth continues to soar, the demand for rentals continues to climb. Property managers should remain aware that the U.S economy has added more than 150,000 jobs for the second month in December, and the employment rate has dropped to 4.3%.

While numerous market trends exist, property managers should especially take these specific trends into consideration when adjusting their market strategy for 2018. As the millennial generation continues to grow and seek out rentals, tweak your strategy to specifically target the millennial generation, with specific amenities and features marketed towards them. Furthermore, carefully study the job growth and Boston's rental property supply. Retaining this knowledge and applying these marketing trends to your 2018 strategy will open up successful business opportunities for 2018.