Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Best and Worst of 2013

It’s never too late or too early for housing market predictions in the US. You never know if it’s a boom or a bust. Don’t worry! This is perhaps the best time of the year to gauge the direction. The interest rates are low and investment opportunities are better than ever. But wait! Not every housing market is the same. Take a look at America’s most must-watch markets in 2013, for better or for worse.

  • Houston – For Better – Plenty of jobs and a continuous rise in condo sales are definitely positive indicators.
  • Detroit – For Worse – Home prices have taken a deep plunge and foreclosures are rampant. Doesn’t really seem like a Detroit year!
  • San Francisco – For Better – They say, you can never go wrong with the Silicon Valley city. Holds true for 2013.
  • Miami – For Worse – The job market is frail and even if it recovers, it won’t affect the housing market as much as we would like in 2013.

Find out more about 2013 market trends

Five Good Reasons to ‘RENT’ not ‘BUY’ a Property

Moving to a new place or just sick of your existing abode? Whether you should rent or buy is a decision that requires an enormous amount of brainstorming. It is not about what you can afford or not afford at the moment. It is about how the decision goes with your long-term plans in life.

To ease your confused mind a bit, today we are sharing five good reasons you should go the renters way rather than the buyers path.

  • Starting with the best part, as a renter you are not responsible for maintenance or even repairs in most cases.
  • The amount of rent is typically much lower than the monthly mortgage amount. However, it depends on the property you choose to rent.
  • You have areas to choose from. Even the ones you won’t be able to buy a property in.
  • Going for vacations is much easier as you won’t have to worry as much as leaving your own home unattended.
  • You can choose a location near your work place and you can move out as soon as you switch jobs.

Still confused, use this Rent vs. Buying calculator to see which one is the best option for you

Going Green Inside

One of the easiest things to keep indoors happens to be plants. Not only do they look pretty, plants help to fight off depression, brighten up the room and act as a cheap interior decoration tool. Many homeowners have found that a houseplant is indeed the perfect way to freshen up the place.

However, you’ll need a specific plant that is rather hardy and can grow well without requiring a lot of sunlight. If you always wanted a plant but were too afraid to get one, you can find many pocket friendly and hardy plants to introduce to your living room. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Plant that Brings Good Luck

The money plant can be seen in the house of every owner. Not only being easy to grow, it is believed that a money plant improves your luck and attracts money. With lush green leaves, it is easy to grow in hanging pots and baskets. Requiring little sunshine, these are very easy to grow from cuttings and you can get them easily from anyone who grows them.

Home Produce Anyone?

Plants that can be useful and easy to grow are the best things to add in your house. With herbs like mint, thyme, rosemary, basil etc. you can get fresh ingredients to add in your dishes growing right on your kitchen sill. However herbs do require 8 hours of sunlight to grow happily. If that’s too high maintenance, look into getting something like Aloe Vera. This low maintenance plant produces a gooey gel that’s good for the skin. Just cut open a stem and slather on.

If you want to find out more on getting a plant that useful indoors, take a look at:

A Better Rental Kitchen

Whenever you rent a place, you rarely get permission or the right resources to revamp an ugly or cramped kitchen. What many people don’t know is the fact there are inexpensive, creative, and simple ways to make your kitchen better and brighter. You won’t find a one-fit answer to providing your rental kitchen with a more fun and prettier look. But you can critically observe your space and determine what you need to mix things up.

Change the Look

  • A new floor – if you don’t like the existing kitchen floor of your rented property, then try giving a shot at changeable vinyl tiles. You can also try putting down a cheap rug – if you’re brave enough.
  • Paint the kitchen cabinets – if your landlord allows it, paint the cabinets to your favorite color and add some life to your kitchen.
  • Wall patterns – removable wallpaper or vinyl wall patterns are ideal for those who are not allowed to do any major decorations.
  • Add storage – hang a pegboard or pot rack, or wall storage or shelf. You can also bring in new furniture.
  • Opt for open storage – take off the cabinet doors and experience what it’s like to walk into a room full of brightly colored cabinets.

Don’t forget to experiment with your creativity and make changes. You can also do the simplest thing by swapping a hanging light or even repositioning the fridge. A little effort on your part can create a huge difference in the way your rental kitchen looks.

For more ideas on rental kitchen décor, log onto

Attracting Renters towards your Rental Property

HTR071613Renting can be an easy task if you’re willing to show some dedication towards your residential rental property. You must be able to look through a renter’s eye in order to attract potential tenants. For example, if you were to rent a house, what would you look for?

Obviously, you’ll look for a proper kitchen to cook your food, a place to do your laundry conveniently, a bathroom that has a good supply of hot water, and an attractive view. Thus, to attract more renters towards your property, you will need to provide all these things.

Hence, you should consider the following:

  • The inside of the property should be clean. Naturally, nobody wants to live in a place where the carpet is full of ugly and weird stains and the furniture is old and broken. You must be able to provide your potential tenants with a clean and comfortable look, i.e. make them feel like they could actually rent the place and be happy living there.
  • Make the property attractive from the outside as well.  A clean and landscaped yard tells the renters that you’re a reliable landlord and property owner.
  • Finally, providing your renters with parking space will be a sure plus as nobody likes parking their vehicles on the street.

Assuring your potential tenants that they will be provided with all the necessary amenities, e.g. hot water, laundry spaces, etc. will convince them to rent your property for sure.

Everyday Cleaning Supplies that are Essential for Your Home

Except for a few people, almost everyone you know may share a common dislike for cleaning, especially when they’ve moved into a new apartment and wish to check out the neighborhood. Regardless of what you want, you’ll have to clean your apartment one day or another. So why not make it simpler for yourself?

All you need are the right cleaning tools and supplies and you’ll have your apartment sparkling in no time. Also, when you’re done with your apartment, you can easily start befriending the people in your neighborhood and even invite them over to enjoy an evening at your new place.

Following is a list of the things you’ll need to make your new home spotless.

  • ü  Wood cleaner
  • ü  Glass cleaner
  • ü  All-purpose grease cleaner
  • ü  Dishwashing liquid
  • ü  Baking soda – for carpet odors
  • ü  Bathroom cleaner with mild abrasive bleach
  • ü  Mop
  • ü  Vacuum cleaner
  • ü  Dustpan
  • ü  Absorbent cotton dishcloths
  • ü  Rubber gloves
  • ü  Toilet brush
  • ü  Broom
  • ü  Microfiber or feather duster
  • ü  And finally, a caddy to hold all the cleaning supplies and the smaller tools.

These supplies will help you transform your home into a squeaky clean haven. For more essential cleaning products, visit

Living without a Closet

Finding a place to live in that’s comfortable and secure is really a huge deal these days. And once you’ve got yourself an apartment that provides you with these things, it becomes quite easy to overlook the smaller things, e.g. the absence of a closet (IF of course you’re not obsessed with hoarding stuff and can’t live without a proper closet).

Not having a closet can’t be much of a problem if you’ve got other things in the apartment that make up for this deficiency. For example, your apartment may not have a closet but does have a great view and is equipped with the latest amenities that are required for modern living plus a great kitchen and much more.  With all these benefits, you can easily overlook and simply do one thing, i.e. improvise!

You can always use cupboards and storage containers for storing your precious items and clothing. Also, hanging rods are quite convenient when you have little space to hang your sporting equipment among other things. This way, you’ll be able to create ample space for stuff that you use on a regular basis and protect your belongings from possible wear and tear.

For more ideas on closet-less living, visit

Attracting Tenants For Your Apartment


Gone are the days when tenants put up with bad housing and unfair rent charges. With so many renting options available for tenants nowadays, you’ll have to put in some real effort to attract and keep good tenants. Good tenants are like a rare commodity for every landlord but with the help of the following tips, you’ll be able to target and keep your tenants for a long time:

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Tenants always inspect the place from top to toe before they choose to rent an apartment. Therefore, to attract good ones, you’ll have to put on your best smile and show off the apartment as neatly as possible. However, don’t be skimpy on the elbow grease. Tenants can be sharp eyed and a hurriedly cleaned place can give a bad impression so put your back into it and spring clean and prepare the house from top to bottom.

Be Nice and Professional

When a tenant comes in to view your apartment, they often wish to meet the landlord as well. If you’re not abroad, you have to come over and help the tenants view the place and make sure that they are comfortably settled into your apartment. This makes a good and reliable impression on the tenants and it is possible that they’ll extend their leases.

However, while you should remember to wear your best smile, keeping a businesslike approach and ensuring that your tenants follow the correct procedures when moving in and living in the apartments will make things go smoothly for you and your tenants.

If you’re interested to find out more about how to attract tenants, locally or foreign, please view the link below:

Tips for Apartment Maintenance

Though landlords are always the ones deemed responsible for handling apartment maintenance, you can do some work on your part and save money in damage fees. You can also protect your security deposit by following the few maintenance tips provided below.

Keep the Floor Clean

Dirt can damage the floor surface of your apartment by wearing out the carpet/rug fibers or scratching harder surfaces like wood, vinyl, and laminate. You can reduce this damage by placing mats on both sides of the door opening into your apartment. Vinyl, wood and laminate floors can be protected by weekly mopping – using an appropriate cleaning product.

Avoid Plumbing Issues

Ensure that drains are flowing freely and avoid pouring coffee grounds, oil, etc. into the kitchen sink. Also, remove hair stuck in the sink and the tub of your bathroom regularly so that the drain is not clogged up. Clogs in the toilet and sink can be unstopped with the help of a plunger.

The Refrigerator Needs to Work Efficiently

Dirty coils retain heat and force your refrigerator to work much harder than usual for keeping the inner compartments cool. You can avoid this by cleaning coils regularly by taking out the cover from underneath the door and using the vacuum cleaner to get rid of the accumulated dust. You can also take the drip pan (below the coils) and wash it clean. Do check the drain for unwanted clogs.

Dust-Free AC and Heat

Vacuum the vents prior to using the appliances for the first time and inspect them on a periodic basis to ensure that no dust has accumulated. Replace filters as soon as they’re soiled.

You can also call-in the pros and let them deal with any malfunctions or replacement issues as they know what to do and how to do it without extending the damage. These maintenance tips are for tenants. Landlords can checkout more tips on

Yard Makeover on a Fixed Budget

Having a fragrant yard in your residential rental property can certainly create a world of difference when it comes to attracting good tenants. A yard that’s pleasing to the eye can be relaxing and inviting. But sprucing it up can be rather costly. To keep the overall cost in line, you’ll need to establish a game plan that fits right into your budget.

You can save money on even the most expensive aspects, i.e. plants, materials, labor, tools, etc. of the makeover by simply focusing on ways to do things in a more budget-friendly way. For example, you don’t have to buy the yard makeover materials from the market when you can get pretty good ones within your local area or community. Your friends or neighbors can possess materials that they hardly use but are quite useful for your makeover project. Ask them to lend you some of the valuable items so that you can easily enhance the look of your front/back yard.

When it comes to planting ideas, you can get them from the people in your neighborhood instead of hiring a professional to do the job – this will help you save a lot of money! You can also host a small summer party and invite your family and friends to assist you in the makeover. Use free, cheap garden plants and seeds from various sources, e.g. the Internet.

Yard makeover on a fixed budget can be quite easy once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics. For more ideas on yard makeovers, visit