Wednesday, March 6, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Upgrade your Rental Property

The importance of always challenging yourself to improve and progress is vital to living your full potential. As spring approaches, now is a perfect time to upgrade and renovate your rental property. Renovations can appear intimidating, because they sometimes take a toll on your finances and time. However, there are plenty of affordable ways to upgrade your property in powerful and noticeable ways. These simple changes will keep your tenants happy and increase revenue. Here are 5 renovation ideas for you to try in 2019:

1. Fresh Paint 

A fresh coat of paint has the remarkable power to liven up any drab room. You can simply touch up the walls with the current color, or give each room a fresh paint job. Neutral colors tend to have have a calming and inviting effect, and are universally appreciated by most tenants. If you plan to paint multiple rooms, paint each room one at a time to simplify the task and reduce labor costs.

2. Install Light Fixtures

Attractive light fixtures have the powerful ability to change the entire ambiance of a room. Modern, crystal chandeliers will add a touch of elegance and grace to any apartment. If you are electronically experienced, you can install the light fixtures yourself to save money. If you choose hiring a professional instead, finding a handyman is much less expensive compared to hiring a electrician. Overall, light fixtures are small accents that make an impressive statement for new or current tenants.

3. Upgrade Windows

New windows can enhance the outside exterior of your rental property, as well as the inside aesthetic. Installing new windows has numerous benefits, including reducing sun or glare activity, enhancing privacy, keeping pesky bugs out, and enhancing the appearance of your unit overall. 

4. Enhance Curb Appeal 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. By vastly improving the exterior appearance of your apartment units through diligent landscaping maintenance, you will make an impactful improvement on your properties and boost tenant retention rates. Plant attractive seasonal flowers, perennials, or hedges. Another simple yet powerful way to boost your apartment's curb appeal, is to build a walkway. Using stepping stone, gravel, or mulch, you can create a beautiful exterior appearance. Stepping stones are very cost-effective because they require minimal digging, and you don't need to purchase large quantities to cover a stretch of your front lawn.

5. Make Small and Steady Improvements

Finally, making small and steady improvements will improve the overall aesthetic of your rental unit and continuously increase value. Gutting the floors and re-tiling the bathrooms can make a large and drastic improvement, however these projects require time and a considerable price tag. If you do want to make some noticeable improvements, start with small upgrades that still make a huge difference. For example, by replacing old sink fixtures or fixing and re-painting cabinets, you can highly improve your kitchen. Consider whether you need to fix something because it's not working or it is not physically appealing, and start with small improvements as you gradually transform and upgrade your property. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Boston Rent Remains Among the Most Expensive in the Nation

As spring is approaching, Boston rents have remained among the most expensive in the nation. According to a recently published report from real estate listings site Zumper, the median one-bedroom rent as of February 28th, stood at $2,390 a month, and a median two-bedroom stood at $2,750. Rent stayed flat in February, and essentially remained unchanged from a month prior.

Boston coming in as one of the nation’s priciest cities to live in is no surprise. Boston has consistently ranked as having similar rent prices to San Francisco, New York, San Jose, Los Angeles, and more. The spring of 2019 will most likely see the same high rent prices. In fact, the only other city in the Northeast that comes even close to Boston in terms of renting costs, is New York. Boston is still leading as the fourth most expensive to live in within the entire nation, just ranking below San Francisco, New York, and San Jose.

Reports show Boston had Nation’s Worst Traffic Commute in 2018

The average Boston driver wasted an average of 164 hours commuting in rush-hour traffic in 2018, the highest total among U.S cities. According to new reports published from research firm INRIX, Boston was rated as having the worst rush-hour traffic congestion in 2018. The company analyzes millions of data for it’s annual Global Traffic Scorecard, and Boston has consistently ranked very badly. 

INRIX also looked at commutes in terms of peak (slowest travel times) versus inter-peak (fastest point between morning and afternoon commutes) travel times. In Boston on average, commutes increased 27 percent during peak versus inter-peak hours. Fortunately, there was some positive news in the recently published data report. In cities like Boston, Washington, D.C, and Chicago, a higher proportion of trips were found to be taken via public transportation, walking, or even cycling. Any car trips were most likely related to business. Conversely, Los Angeles ranked as the most car-dependent city in the nation. On the bright side, Boston’s title as the U.S city with the worst possible traffic may pave the road towards lawmakers making the T lower in price or fare-free.