Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why Boston Remains one of the Most Expensive Places to Rent a One-Bedroom

New reports show that Boston's median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,340 per month, making it one of the most expensive places in the United States to rent a one-bedroom. Boston ranks as the fourth most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom apartment, trailing just behind San Francisco ($3,500 per month), New York ($2,900 per month), and San Jose ($2,550 per month). Nationally, the median price for a one-bedroom is just $1,208 per month.

Boston's sales market also remains one of the most expensive in the nation. The median asking price for condos in the city both run well over $500,000. In several neighborhoods, it's not unusual to see asking prices averaging for more than $1,000 per square foot. 

There are multiple reasons for Boston's extraordinarily high price points, starting with high barriers to entry in the sales markets surrounding Boston. Neighboring cities including Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville also command consistently high prices. Furthermore, Boston is full of wealthy tenants with money to spend. Although the city boasts a large share of rent-burdened households (where tenants pay at least 30 percent of their income in rent), Boston also has a sizable proportion of residents who find $2,500 a month for a one-bedroom not a big deal.

Another reason for Boston's high rents, are the tight inventory of apartments. Boston is home to more than 30 universities, colleges, and community colleges. Despite apartment construction booming in recent years, it's still not enough to satisfy the demand. Furthermore, the horrible commutes in and out of Boston have worsened over the year, raising the demand to live directly in the city. The proportion of Boston-area commuters who travel more than 90 minutes to and from work has increased a whopping 50.1% from 2005 to 2016.

Monday, October 22, 2018

How to Prepare a Dream Vacation Rental

If you are considering listing your home as a vacation rental, you should understand what qualities and features travelers find welcoming, and what features turn them off. Firstly, offering high-quality amenities and toiletries is key. This small detail goes a long way, and truly affects the overall ambiance and atmosphere of your vacation rental. Many travelers desire high-quality sheets and towels, as well as a satisfying selection of soap and toiletries. This makes your rental warm and inviting, while showing your guests both thoughtfulness and care. In a study conducted by Airbnb this summer, travelers rating their vacation cared most about the quality of their accommodations, followed by amenities that are both thoughtful and functional.

Make your vacation rental stand out by providing guests with comfortable amenities and accommodations. In addition to the basic shampoo, body wash, and conditioner, consider a bottle of wine, snacks, or a fully loaded beach bag. Offering guests a fully loaded snack bar and chilled beverages, are very small details which will make even the most modest space feel welcoming and inviting. Small details truly go a long way. Even adding incense, aromatherapy, or fresh flowers to your apartment rental can improve the ambiance and make guests feel at home right away.

Another necessity to making travelers feel welcome and comfortable, is cleanliness. Hosting a dirty vacation rental is incredibly bad for repeat business. After every guest, there needs to be a complex cleaning plan. The vacation rental should look, feel, and be clean. Usually this means hiring a professional cleaning service before and after each guest checks out. This investment will cause your positive reviews to shoot up, leading to more business and revenue.

This also means, get rid of stained and old-looking carpets, refinish wood flooring, and lay fresh tile or new rugs. Provide several mirrors throughout the rental, as well as storage, and a folder or notes on how to operate any equipment.

Another way to make your property stand out, is to include thoughtful suggestions on what to do and where to go in the local area. Furthermore, some Airbnb hosts have found success through offering incentives for longer stays, like a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Keep the decor minimal and clean, choosing only a few statement pieces. Neutral colors are best, since every guest will have different taste and styles.

Furthermore, consider having your vacation rental professionally photographed, to attract more business and frequent bookings. In addition to professional photography, the images should be staged so that the lifestyle and accommodations are being properly marketed and look appealing. Take seasonal photographs of the yard and outside to make the experience feel more personal and welcoming.

Remember, this may be your guests' first time in your city or town. Do your best to give them a warm and welcoming experience, make your accommodations thoughtful; offer generous toiletries and functional gifts. Keep in mind, the smallest and friendliest details can go a long way, and lead to an abundance of repeat bookings and customers.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Rents are Quickly Rising in Once-Affordable Old Apartments

Older apartment units that were once heavily sought for their relative affordability, are seeing a sharp increase in median rental prices across the United States. In fact, units at properties built in 1959 or earlier had a higher median rent increase from 2000 to 2016 than those half their age, according to a study published by Apartment List. Compared to newer building built in the 1990's or after, older buildings are still less expensive to rent by approximately 23%. 

Older buildings have traditionally been seen as an affordable rental option, however many old apartments have been taken off the market for extensive renovations, resulting in high rental prices once returning to the market. The 1970's and 1980's saw the country's biggest surge in multifamily construction across the United States, with numerous apartment buildings being newly designed and built. However, these older units are now prime targets of reconstruction and redevelopment. Renters seeking affordable home options once sought out older apartment buildings, however finding a budget-friendly older building to rent is becoming increasingly difficult across the entire United States. The lack of unrenovated older apartment units are likely to climb in median rental prices as well, since the demand for older, relatively affordable rentals units is highly increasing.