HOW-TO RENT WHEN YOU HAVE BAD RENTAL HISTORY

When renting a home in the Las Vegas area, you will more than likely need a rental history form filled out from your previous landlord, and if you are anything like me, you might have been late on a few of your payments. Do not let this scare you, you will not be couch hopping, or staying with friends, I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to get a good rental form from your previous landlord! Your landlord might just give you a good review just to get rid of you as a current tenant… But if they are not willing to do that, here are a few tricks you can try to get a good rental form! Start by trying to explain yourself, most applications has a spot about previous rental history before they even reach out to your old landlord, if you have a legit reason on why you were late a couple of time, most landlords will work with you, for example you could say “I was late because I could not afford the rent, that is why I am applying for a cheaper home.” Something as little as that might make your new property manager be on your side when it comes to your new rental. If that does not work try offering to pay more of a deposit! You might not have entire years of rent in cash on the spot, but if you are willing to put 2-3 months of rent down, it might persuade the property manager/owner into renting from you despite the bad rental verification form! If you do not have that either maybe you can go for a home that is below your budget and offer to pay more a month, for example if the home is $750 a month, you can offer them $850 a month it might help the owner over look your previous rental history! Having a co-signer could also make the biggest difference when it comes to having a bad track record. Just knowing the owner has someone to fall back on if something were to happen, make them feel more at ease when renting from you! Start asking family members. Offer to have auto-pay! Having the owner know the rent will be coming out of your bank account every month, on the same day; auto deposited into their account can make them feel a lot better about knowing they will receive the rent! If all else fails, or are not working the way you planned, try moving to a less desirable neighborhood, or if it is possible an apartment to try and get good rental history started. There are many ways to get into a home if you do not have the best rental history, just do not give up, and try all of your options. You will get into a home, and even if it not your dream home, you have to start somewhere, and build up your rental history so eventually you will be in your dream rental with no problems!

HOW-TO LIVE WITH ROOMMATES

Have you thought about getting roommates, but you are scared because you do not know who should pay what and how you should split the bills in your home? I am going to share a couple of tips that have really helped me and my roommates not only stay roommates, but also stay friends. Sharing a home with roommates can cause a lot of conflict within your friendship! But to keep peace, keep all the bills paid, and keep your friendship you will first and mostly want to keep communication. Communicating with your roommates about you want the bills to broken down and who is going to pay what from the very begging will help a lot. If you need a day or two to pay someone back, make sure you are letting your roommates know, so they do not think you are one not going to pay, or two that you forgot because these two things can truly cause tension in your home! After you have broken the bills down, you will want to buy all the furniture in your home SEPARATELY. This is because if anything happens at the end of your lease you do not want to be fighting over the furniture you all bought! It is easier to just buy the couch have it be known that it is yours so that if you ever need to move out, you do not have the awkward conversation about who gets the couch. Do not pay bills until you have money from every one of your roommates. This may seem like a silly concept, but when you are going to pay rent and you are spotting someone, eventually they will mentality that why pay on time to the head of house hold when they already paid.  It is best to have your roommates turn in their bill money at least 1 week before it is due, this will ensure that you have all the money in on time and that you will not have to ask for it and it be late when it is actually due. Try not to become passive aggressive when it comes to your roommates. Try and talk about things that are bothering you, because holding it in will only cause you to build up a tension against your roommates and then when you finally snap it will not only be for one reason, it will because of only one reason it will because of all the things that have built up! Easiest way to make a roommate living situation easy is to make sure everyone is on the same page with things. If you are looking for a roommate try finding someone that is on the same schedule as you, and has the same goals as you, moving in with someone who is on a completely different life style than you will cause a lot of tension. You will really want to think about pros and cons of having a roommate and if it is even worth it.

UPGRADED HOMES

Have you thought about buying a property recently that has upgrades, or that you can easily upgrade on your own, but you do not know where to start when it comes to finding the perfect home for you and your family! I am going to give you a couple of things to look for when you are looking for an upgraded home! Start with the basics, an open floor plan can make your home INSTANTLY feel more upgraded, it gives you more space to have decorations and furniture! Not only in the inside for an open floor plan, look for something with a porch or a larger back yard that you can put outside furniture, just that will instantly make you feel like your home is more upgraded and more homey! If the home is not already, try and paint it a neutral color, like white, grey and tan! Painting it bold colors will restrict you from having any furniture and decoration you might be planning on putting in the home. Also bolder colors close in the home, and make it feel smaller, but with neutral color, it will brighten up your home and make it appear more open with more space, with very little work. Look for a home no dining rooms. I know that seems weird, but trust me, with your open floor plan, having an open dining room, will also open your home up! Having a dining room that is closed off from the rest of your home will make you feel like you are closed in when you and your family is eating!  Try looking for home with an all white kitchen! All white kitchens are all the hype these days, and finding a home that already has an all white home will really make you feel like you have an upgraded home! It may seem scary because all white can look dirty easily, but when it is clean, it looks amazing! Also having a larger garage will make your new home feel like it is upgraded! Having an oversized/3 car garage, not only will give you more room to park, but will also give you room to store things in your garage, and add shelving if that is something you are thinking about. Looking for a home with large closet really adds value to your new home! Who does not want a larger closet, am I right? Of course not every house is going to come with huge master room style closets, but if you look for something with closets a little bigger than your average closet, it could feel like you are living in an upgraded home! To top this list of easy repairs off, installing barn sliding doors inside you home can truly make you feel like you live in a 5 star home! You can put them in placed like, pantry, closet, and even from room to room! All of these things we listed are easy fixes if the homes you are looking for does not already come with it. They will truly vamp up your Las Vegas home!

HOW-TO HIRE THE PERFECT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY

These Days, investors are hitting every low marketing town across the country. Buying, fixing up, and renting out homes! If you are an investor and you are purchasing homes in a different state than you live in, you will find it kind of difficult to manage these properties on your own, especially if you have more than one investment property. You will want to hire a responsible Property Management company! Here at Black and Cherry Real Estate, we manage over a THOUSAND properties for owners who not only live in Las Vegas but who live all over the world. You will want to find a company who will not only collect rent, but also handle all repairs, and all problems the tenant might run into while living in your home! When you are looking for a property management company, you are going to start with the basics. Get Referrals. The best way to find a trust worthy company is to ask around and do your research. Speak with the agent who helped you buy your home, ask if they have heard of the company, and what other licensed agents are saying about the company. After you ask around, check into the companies commission, and talk to the Better Business Bureau to make sure the property management company is not only real and licensed, but also that they do not have any complaints or law suits pending against them. Once you have made a short list of companies you are interested in, start interviewing them. This is where “first impressions” are the most important. If possible, try and meet each company in person. Is the manager on time, educated on their business, and just all together put together? Think about if YOU would want to rent from the company you are signing with. Not only talk about business try and get to know them a little bit. Not get their whole life story, but ask about the business and how long they have been doing property management, and why they started it. You can usually tell by your gut feeling if someone is the real deal. Next you are going to want to find out how the company does their advertising and vacancies. Look at their website and find out the websites they post on. After you have found out all you want to know about renting the property out, you are going to read the contract MORE THAN once! High light the things you want to ask questions about, and try and negotiate everything you are not willing to do with your property. See if they are willing to work with you on the contract. If they are not, it is not the company you want to be in contract with. Look at things like how they handle move ins-outs, repairs, paying you as the owner, and how they handle deposits. Finding the right property manager is not an easy task, but going the extra mile to sign with someone who is going to help you as the owner will be worth it in the long run in not getting scammed.

MAKING HOLIDAY PURCHASE

Have you thought about purchasing a home this time of year, but you are hesitant because holidays can stress you out, and you feel like you have no time. I am here to tell you, YES you can purchase during the holiday season, and I am going to give you some time on how to make it pain free! Sometimes sellers try to avoid selling their home during this time of year, because the days seem shorter, the wintery weather, and wisdom that the buyer will avoid purchasing! Buying year end can be much of an advantage to a buyer because the seller is often selling the home for a reason or for urgency! The downside of purchasing a home during the cold season is there is a shortage of homes for sell, so you cannot be very picky if you want to get into your home before the New Year! One of the things you can do is have your Real Estate Agent pulled the “expired listings” in your preferred area code, they might not currently be on the market, but you can always reach out to the owner and see if they are still willing to make a deal with you. Another thing you can do is have your agent reach out to people in the neighborhood you would like to live in and see if they can get someone to crack on selling. Hey who knows they might have thought about selling but wanted to wait till the New Year! Last but not least, you can have your agent call around local brokerages and see if there are any “coming soon” homes in the area you would like to live! On the UP side of purchasing in the winter, you will so to speak have less competition on the home you love. You will be able to negotiate prices and moving costs with your seller without having someone coming along to put in a better deal than you! Picking a home this time of year can be a slower process, not only because sellers and buyers are in and out of town for the holidays, so is your Real Estate Agent. Finding a agent who has the same holiday schedule as you will be a must in this process. One of the biggest up sides to purchasing a new home during the holidays, is having that new home to show off too all your friends and family. Also as the buyer you cannot be shy when it comes to going to see homes during the holidays, if a seller was not serious about selling their home, it would not be on the market when they know purchasers will be coming by at all hours of the day to see the home! There are a lot of pros and cons of moving through the Holiday season, more pros for the buyer! You have to be open minded and know there is not going to be a lot of inventory but if you let go off all your expectations you would be surprised how nice of homes you can find this season! Happy Reading!

DO NOT LET CREDIT REPORTS SCARE YOU!

Do you have a great tenant, but their credit score scares you a little bit? As a property management company, here at Black and Cherry Real Estate of course we look at people who have a good record of paying their bills on time, but we do also help people with no so good credit because in reality not everyone has perfect credit! Some property managers cannot rely only on people who have good credit if they want to keep their properties full and their owners happy. There are a couple things as a property manager you can look out for when renting to people with no so good credit that can either be a red flag, or the best tenant that has every lived in the home! When you are signing a lease with a new tenant and their credit is not the best, try and get them to have a cosigner with them, even if they are not fully on the lease having a back up person that is reliable and can help if things go south in the property will truly have not only you, but your owner feeling at ease with the new tenant. Also with younger kids, because they might have good credit, but they also might not have enough credit established or rental history to go off of, so having a cosigner for them could truly make a big difference when you are starting to rent out your owners home! Asking for a larger deposit from the potential tenant could also make your owner feel a little better about renting to someone with little credit! Having something for your owner to fall back on if the property gets messed up or if the tenant abandons the home, your own will be able to cover the cost to get it back up and ready for a new tenant!  Not only can you get a few extra bucks for the deposit, if legal or possible, you can also ask for rent in advance! Like 2 months of rent with their deposit that they will get back if they complete the lease, and leave the home in the condition they got it in! That will put the tenant at paying a month in advance every month on the due date, and the owner will have rent to fall back on if they fail to pay their payments! Try to require automatic payments! Requesting this can ensure that you will receive the rent on the property on the day it is due every month and the tenant will not have to worry about getting it paid every month! If that is not possible, try and communicate! Sending a renter a text/email every month a week in advance will ensure that they will not forget about their rent payments coming up, and will also give the renter no excuse as to why the rent was late! With a few of these tips, you might be at ease with giving a renter with little to no credit a chance! Just remember to also have a backup plan! You can never be too safe these days! Happy Reading!

A STRESS-FREE THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving may seem like the most stressful holiday of the year. Having your entire family in one house, and cooking all day seems like it can be more pain than it is worth. If you are anything like me, I have over 30 people in my family including grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, siblings and nieces and nephews. Having that many people in a small house may seem like it could be the worst thing in the world, but I am going to give you a couple tips on how to make your thanksgiving run smoother! My mom has been hosting Thanksgiving at her house for the past 10 years, and let me tell you, she is very high strung and tightly wound, so Thanksgiving with that many people in her home has always lead to her being stressed out! First thing to do before your Thanksgiving feast is to designate a day to shop. Buying food you have to prepare for 30 people can be done in one day if you have a plan, and if you know what you plan to make, so being at the grocery store is not stressful. Building a schedule a couple days before Thanksgiving will keep you from not only scrambling, but from forgetting things. DO NOT FORGET THE TURKEY. Yes my mother did that one year because she was shopping last minute and was rushing through the store! Develop a list with thing you will need to complete your dishes. In my family we stick to tradition, you will never see a Pintrest based meal on our table. So having a list is sort of simple for us. With that being said, our Master list does not change from year to year! Keeping it classic has really helped my mom keep her cool when she is at the grocery store! Set the table a head of time. By that I mean the night before the gathering, but out your nice plates, and silver wear! Having everything out and ready to go will keep everyone out of the kitchen at once trying to grab them while you are finishing your cooking. We usually put our Christmas tree throughout the holidays, so why not put out your fancy plates to show off to the family before the big meal? Prepping the night before will be a HUGE help to your stress level! Having easy dishes and pre-cut food all ready to go will save not only time the next day, but will also save your stress. Not having to worry about peeling potatoes for an hour, have them peeled the night before so you can just start your mashed potatoes when you are ready to start your cooking.  When you are preparing a dinner like this, do not forget to spend some time doing things you love with the people you love. Maybe you guys can enjoy a good card game, or if you are anything like my family, you will be enjoying a good dance off! Try not to stress and to ENJOY the people you are THANKFUL for! Thanksgiving is only as stressful as you make it! Happy Holidays!

PURCHASING YOUR FIRST HOME!!!

Is it your first time purchasing a home? It can be very overwhelming, TRUST ME! Where do I start? HOW do I start? Those are just a few questions most first time home buyers are asking! In this article I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to make the process go a little smoother! When purchasing your first home in the Las Vegas area, you are going to want to sit down and really think about the area you want to live in, and how much you are willing to spend on your first home! When thinking about purchasing, the first thing you are going to want to do, is start SAVING! Yes saving as much as you can to make your down payment on your home a lot easier. Most people do not start worrying about saving until it is too late! The more you are willing to put down on your new home, the less your loan will be, and the less your mortgage is! If you want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, you will want to have at least 20% of your future homes value to put down! Even if you are not ready to purchase for about a year, putting 100$ per month into a new home fund will truly add up and it will make it way easier on you to get your down payment taken care of! After you have started saving, DO NOT RUSH THINGS!! Life comes with all sorts of circumstances, but if you wait until you truly love a house, and its price, that will make purchasing a home a lot easier! Jumping into a home that you only half love will usually not turn out in your favor, you will start to hate things you loved about your home when you bought it. Be Patient, your home might not even be on the market till your 100 percent ready to purchase! Explore every option before diving in! While you are looking for your Las Vegas home, pay full attention during the inspection. While you are with the inspector, don’t be afraid to start checking things yourself. Look at little things like does the toilet flush properly, is the water heater old, little things that can turn into big things when you are not prepared for them! After you have fallen in love with a home, do not be scared to get a third opinion. Bring a friend, or family member and have them walk through the home looking for things that might cause a little trouble down the road, we have all been in the “love-Bird” stage with a home and have skipped over things that might make you change your mind, but you do not want to miss little things! Looking for your first home can be so fun, but so stressful at the time! Take your time, do not rush it if you are not in love, and start saving as soon as you can, so you are as prepared as you can be! Happy Reading!

 

http://lifehacker.com/10-valuable-lessons-for-first-time-home-buyers-1707255214

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT VS HOA

Being a first time renter in the Las Vegas area, it is very easy to confuse and Home Owners Association (HOA) with your current property manager. They are both very much involved in managing the property, and both are working on keeping both the tenants and home owners happy in their neighborhood! IN most cases, they actually work together, but they do function completely different. To be able to tell them apart, you will want to know what their job titles are different. This article could be good information for both a tenant and a home owner in an HOA community! So let’s jump into it! Most people who are first time renters are quick to jump to “What even are home owner associations and what do they have to do with me as a renter?” Neighborhoods, big or small, which are owned by many different owners, more than likely are in an HOA subdivision! These owners may not care for the way their tenant, or the owner is living in the home. This is where the HOA gets involved. They enforce rules and compliance (known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs for short) that everyone in that neighborhood need to abide by! The people who work for these organizations also own properties in that community. While members of the home owners association may propose or “vote” on rules for your community, the elected HOA board usually has the finally responsibility for ensuring that rules get kept and other responsibilities get met. When living in an HOA community, you will get violations for things like trash out too long, un-trimmed bushes, broken blinds, ect. When you receive a violation, you have a certain amount of time to comply with the HOA to get it fixed, or it can result in a fine, and even worse, and HOA foreclosure. Those are just a few things that an HOA is responsible for; now let’s jump into what your Property Management Company is responsible for!   Property Managers are technically employed by the home owner who you are renter from! People hire property management companies so they do not have to worry about their home! Here at Black and Cherry Real Estate we manage over ONE THOUSAND properties, and which more than 60% are in HOA communities! We work directly with the HOA to keep all of our properties in compliance with the CC&Rs. The property management company will not only reach out to you with violations, but the HOA as well. They make it very simple when you have to fix, change, or repair anything on your home to keep in compliance! If you are renting within an HOA community, I suggest you request the CC&Rs from your management company, read over ALL rules and regulations to keep your home in compliance, and most importantly, to keep your home from getting a fine! The difference between HOAs and Property Management Companies is, the property management company works for the OWNER of the home, and the HOA company works for the COMMUNITY! They typically work together, but they do have very different jobs. Look into both the home owners association and the property management company before you rent! Happy Reading!

 

 

http://www.appfolio.com/blog/2016/07/hoa-vs-property-manager

HALLOWEEN IS FINALLY HERE!!!

With all the craziness that is going to erupt when the holidays start, the easiest one of them all is Halloween! As the school starts again, Halloween is a holiday that is not only exciting for the kids, but also for us adults! In the article I am going to tell you a couple of fun, but safe ways to keep the fun going without anyone getting hurt! In all seriousness renters in the Las Vegas area have one obligation on this fun night: making sure the path from the street to your door is safe for the trick-or-treaters! Take no risks; there will be no doubt a handful of giddy ghosts that will race up to your door as excited as ever! Be prepared! The day of, in the sunlight, inspect your side-walks, drive ways, lawns and porch and make sure there is nothing that can be tripped on, on the way up! Not only should you be looking for left over toys, and big rocks be sure to be looking for lifting concrete, broken walk way stones, and exposed tree roots. When you are cleaning up and making sure your house is a Halloween friendly home, try and make a specific path for kids to walk up, not just letting them walk up any part of your front yard.  Do not forget if you decorate for Halloween with lights, and light up pumpkins, and blow up mummies. When you are decorating with lights, make sure no cords are not exposed, and are not reachable by small children! After you have checked the entire walk ways, turn on the lights and get ready for all the kiddies. Houses with a lot of light and a lot of decorations will attract more trick-or-treaters! Make it fun, kids are so excited, they have been waiting to be that football player, or princess all year! Open the door with a happy face and make them feel like they are exactly what they dressed up to be!  When you are lighting up your home in Las Vegas, try to resist from using flammable décor. Whether a kid is just being a jerk, or it was an accident, a lot of decorations for Halloween are flammable, like hay, paper, and dried cornstalks. If you cannot resist using flammable decoration, try to keep them from candles or heat sources. If Jack-o’-lanterns or other luminaries figures into your celebrations, make them bright using LED lights, and not an open flame. Keeping not only your yard, home, and family safe will also keep other people families safe! Try and contain your pets! Chances are you have a very friendly pup, but some costumes are very convincing and can frighten your pooch! Locking your pets up, will keep them from trying to protect you when the zombies are coming down the road! A festive parade of goblins and ghouls, princesses and superheroes will soon be marching to your house. Do your part by clearing the path and lighting the way. Be safe out there, and have a Happy Halloween!

 

http://www.zillow.com/blog