The Top Five Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds

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Living in an apartment doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dream of owning a dog. There are several dog breeds that do well in small spaces and thrive as long as you properly care for them, give them enough exercise, and show them lots of love and attention.

  1. Pugs. With their cute wrinkled faces, curled tails and short hair, pugs are a popular breed for apartment owners, especially because they only grow to be about 18 lbs. They are also kid-friendly, very affectionate, and get along well with other dogs and even with cats.
  2. Bichon Frise. With their curly hair, the Bichon Frise is not as high-maintenance as they may look, but is very gentle and sweet, and great with children and other dogs. Highly trainable, this little dog needs lots of exercise to get rid of his extra energy. However, he may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
  3. Chihuahua. Weighing in at just 2 to 6 lbs, these tiny dogs make wonderful pets for apartment dwellers. Though they can be a little yippy, their sweet nature and loyalty make up for their shrill barks. Make sure to let them know you’re the boss, and watch them around other dogs since they tend to forget how tiny they are and will challenge a larger dog entering their territory.
  4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This is one of the most gentle of any small dog breed and a wonderful family dog. Gentle, sweet natured, and laid-back, this breed is one of the best dogs for singles or families who live in an apartment.
  5. Boston terrier. Adorable sums up the Boston terrier in one word, with its large brown eyes, loving and affectionate manner, and playfulness. They’re pretty quiet dogs, but can be territorial if another dog invades their space.

Five Great Tips for New Landlords

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A landlord’s responsibilities run the gamut of planning, maintenance, safety, and legalities. Most new landlords just don’t realize how much really goes into renting their property. Safety is one of the most important priorities, but a new landlord should also be careful about choosing the right tenant, keeping the property safe and clean, following state laws and regulations, and even creating a solid lease agreement. Before you list your property on Rentalroost.com to find potential tenants, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Safety. Before even thinking of leasing out your property, bring in professionals to make sure it is safe and suitable for a tenant to live there. In particular, hire someone to look for bug infestations, electrical issues, gas leaks, plumbing problems, building code violations, and fire safety issues.
  2. The contract. This is another of the most important steps a new landlord can take. The lease agreement is a great way to specify your rules regarding rent payment, policies on pets, damage, and renter’s insurance. It is also good to outline the eviction process you have in place and any other specific details you have for your property.
  3. Insurance. Landlords must have special landlord insurance on all of their properties to cover the buildings and sometimes even the contents inside if the property is being rented furnished. You may need to check with your state, as most states have differing rules and regulations regarding landlord insurance.
  4. Repairs and renovations. As a new landlord, you must get the property for rent suitable and ready for habitation. This can mean making necessary repairs, changes, renovations, and improvements to the property before even beginning a tenant search. This could also potentially attract a lot more interested potential renters.
  5. Screen tenants correctly. Always be sure to check references (past landlords) and income information, and to run a credit and background check. If they’ve had any past bankruptcies or foreclosures, both should come up under the credit check.  This is one of the most crucial steps for new landlords, and many do not conduct a strenuous tenant screen like they should. Houserie.com can help landlords perform background checks quickly and easily, with minimal paperwork or time wasted! You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your tenant is reliable.

Using all the Senses to Attract Potential Tenants

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All of our five senses—smell, sight, hearing, touch, and taste—can be used effectively by landlords to market their property and attract potential tenants. Landlords too often focus on sight alone to rent their property. However, the other four senses can also be used with more success and faster rental numbers. Here’s how to market using all of the five all-important senses:

  1. Smell. Any tenant who enters a property that has a musty or moldy smell will immediately notice and most likely not rent the unit. First off, make sure everything is clean and well maintained. You can then get creative – use vanilla-scented or “fresh linen” candles, use home fragrance sprays that also get rid of germs while simultaneously disinfecting the home, or bake bread or cookies in the unit before potential tenants arrive. The warm delicious smell is sure to invite several potential renters!
  2. Hearing. Even if your property, or a specific unit, is near a busy highway, there are certain things you can do to minimize the home’s noises for potential tenants. Try to put in double-pane windows to bring down outside noise; insulate around doors and windows; and also try showing the unit at a time when the noise is less blatant. If you cannot do the aforementioned, try playing soft, soothing music throughout the unit or home during showings.
  3. Taste. This is the trickiest of the senses to use when attracting potential tenants. However, it can be very effective if you have a plate of cookies (either home-baked or catered by a local place) for potential tenants to nibble on or even having wine for them to enjoy as they check out the unit. This can help put the tenants at ease, while also making your particular home memorable in their search for a rental.
  4. Touch. When you first meet the tenant, give a firm, not-too-strong handshake. Then, let them touch things in the property (open cabinets, take their shoes off to feel the tile or carpet, etc.). This will allow the tenants to interact with the property and familiarize themselves with the home in the same manner that they would use it.
  5. Sight. This is the main sense that most landlords use for marketing their property, and it is probably the most important one. Don’t just rely on the property or unit itself to attract the tenant. Try using finishing touches such as light decorating or “staging” to get the tenant to sign that lease agreement. Set out fresh flowers, light candles, use colorful throw pillows (for units that come already furnished), and be sure to point out any recent renovations you’ve completed.

How to Write an Effective Ad for Rental Properties

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Listing your property for rent—whether in print or online—is one of the most important and effective marketing steps you can take for renting out your unit. For maximum benefits and to stand out from the crowd of property listings, follow these simple easy tactics:

  1. Create a headline that makes renters want to read more. Most rental ads will start out with either the number of bedrooms/bathrooms or a succinct phrase like “Good, clean.” To really make your headline stand out, try using something like “Just miles from the beach,” or “Gorgeous hardwood floors throughout.” Use attractive features of the unit/property to really capture a potential renter’s attention.
  2. Use lots of photos. Renters love listings with pictures of the property. Focus on the kitchen, living-room, bathrooms, bedrooms, and any unique features of the unit (fireplace, hardwood floors, or gorgeous kitchen countertops). It might also be helpful to include pictures of great views from the property, if any.
  3. Write a complete, thorough description. Write the listing as if you are walking through the property. Start by describing the rooms, special features, the location, and also note if you have an application fee and how much it is. This lets the renter know the cost up-front so they won’t go into the application process and get surprised with the fee.
  4. End the listing with a call to action. A short call to action would include a phrase like “Make sure to take advantage of this month’s rent special” or “Get the first month’s rent for free if you answer this ad today.” This will entice potential renters to get in touch with you soon so that you can rent out the property quickly.

Why Affordable Rental Housing is Becoming Harder to Find

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According to a report from the Federal Center for Housing Policy, an astounding 10.6 million American families spend more than half of their income (pre-tax) on housing. Experts say that even this astonishing number is impossible to maintain. Due to population growth, low inventory, larger immigration numbers, an economy that is struggling, low investment cash available for investors, and a very high rental demand, affordable housing is extremely difficult to find. Rent is quickly becoming more expensive than mortgages in most areas, and because of recent supply and demand increases, the rent also rises.

Another reason for higher rental housing is the amount of foreclosures.  Those who have just gone through foreclosure or bank repossession must leave quickly and, considering their circumstances, are unable to buy another home to move into. Therefore, those people are forced to rent, and landlords are then able to increase their rates because of such a high demand for those living spaces. Higher demand creates higher rent, as does lower supply.

There hasn’t been an increase in units to equal the increase in the number of renters – another reason for lack of affordable housing. Time and money are needed to renovate old homes into apartments, condos, and townhomes, and landlords still need to have the renovations approved before renting the property. This lack of new housing makes the search even harder.

National vacancies are at their lowest level in more than 10 years. The National Low Income Housing Coalition states that for just a “basic apartment,” a person needs to earn at least $18/hour, whereas most individuals (such as those in Vermont) earn only $11.60 per hour. This indicates that a lot of people are unable to afford even a basic apartment. Rental Roost offers a solution for this problem by helping renters find the right homes within their budget, while still maximizing on the need for a great neighborhood and other amenities.

Five creative storage solutions for small apartments

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When you live in a tiny city apartment, smart storage solutions become even more important. Time to get creative!

1. Floating wall shelves
Ikea offers numerous float wall shelf options. This is a great way to store your books without the need for a bulky bookshelf. And if you do a clean white floating wall shelf against a dark accent wall, it’s also a simple way to add a modern accent to the room. You can design and build a floating wall shelf to your own specifications – it just takes a quick trip to Home Depot, some patience, and a free weekend.

2. Under-bed storage boxes
Bed, Bath & Beyond has fantastic under-the-bed rolling storage boxes that can help you maximize your closet space by storing out of season fabrics. So your sweaters can safely live under your bed all summer long, and your summer dresses can hibernate during the winter in these boxes. This effectively frees up your closet for in-season fabrics and styles!

3. Use magazine racks and bakeware organizers to free up kitchen cabinet space
Magazine racks nailed to the inside doors of kitchen cabinets can serve as a creative way to hold the lids for all your pots and pans. And you can find bakeware organizers at the Container Store. This can help you organize all your baking sheets and brownie pans in neat vertical slots, so that you won’t have a bakingware avalanche the next time you open that cabinet!

4. Hanging shoe organizers
This may not be the best way to display your $500 pair of Manolos, but if you can’t afford better real estate for your shoes, this is a great way to ensure that all your shoes are stored in pairs and easy to find. There are a couple of different options – over the door hangers that you can sling over your closet door or behind your master bedroom door, or a hanging one that you can store from a closet rod. By simply purchasing an additional shoe organizer, it can expand with your shoe collection, which (let’s admit it) is always growing.

5. Slim velvet hangers
Space-saving hangers, usually in an extremely thin plastic or metal coated with a velvet material, are a great way to get more room in your closet. By taking far less space than wooden or regular plastic hangers, this allows you to store almost twice as many clothes in the same space! And if you pack what you don’t regularly wear into space saver bags to be stored in the back of your closet, you will have a very neat and organized closet!