Getting the home ready for that Christmas Vacation.

The countdown to Christmas is here, and with that, the countdown to vacation is on the way. If you are traveling away from the home, it’s important to make sure your home is in order before leaving. Creating a checklist of activities you can do before leaving can save you a ton of time as you are trying to leave, and it also can prevent you from forgetting something. Instead of creating this list yourself, we’ve put together some of the most helpful and most important ideas below to save you even more time, and get you back to being with your loved ones this Christmas.

The first idea is to make sure and collect everything that is outside, and securely put it away inside. If you’re like most families, you probably have a lot of toys, dog bones, yard tools, and other random items around your yard and around your driveway. Before leaving, take some time and assign each member of the family a spot to take care of. Gather up all the items, organize them, and make sure they get returned to the correct spot. This is also a great time to adjust any outdoor lights or other holiday items that may have come loose these past few weeks. An extra tip here is making sure the garage looks great before leaving. If you have to even dedicate a few extra minutes to making sure things are put away and organized, when you leave your home, the last thing you will see is a beautifully organized garage. This will get you feeling great and be the perfect thing to get your vacation started!

The second idea is to make sure you have those lights on a timer. Burglary rates rise up during the holidays because lots of families leave for vacation. One way to make those rates go down is to have timed lights going on and off in your house. You can also keep outdoor lights permanently on to make it look like someone is still at home. With smart speakers and other smart devices you can now set your Alexa to play music, or have your TV come on for a certain time and have a show be playing. Noises and lights are great ways to deter a potential burglar from entering your home.

Finally, make sure the beds are made. Similar to the first idea, making sure the inside of the house is straightened up and in order can create an incredibly good feeling as you are leaving for vacation. However, if you do not have time to get everything cleaned and tidied up, try and make sure to at least have your bed made and your bedroom looking great! Usually people return from a vacation feeling exhausted, so having that bed looking good will be extra important.

These ideas should get your checklist started for you, and feel free to add even more if you think of them! Getting the home looking great before leaving is a truly rewarding feeling and will make that vacation that much more enjoyable.


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Why You Shouldn’t House Hack to Get Started in Real Estate

In today’s article I’m going to be explaining why house hacking is not the smartest way to go, when getting started in real estate. Most people don’t want to put in any kind of effort and want money to magically start appearing out of thin air. If you’re thinking of anything along the lines of, “I’m going to pay the down payment for a double story house and I’ll pay for the rest of it from the money I’ll get for it by renting out the upper story of the house, ingenious!” Stop right there, you might as well start hoping a golden goose will just walk on your porch and lay golden eggs for you, for the rest of your life.

Here’s what you should know:

You Need to Spend Money Before You Start Earning Money

Let me explain, in order for you to start getting a solid income flow, you will need to own property. If you’re just going to give the money, you just got. What will you have? That’s right, nothing. You might be thinking, “I’ll just increase the rent.” But if you do that you’re not going to get any customers in the first place. Though if you’re still adamant on that, remember the old saying, easy come, and easy go.

Stop Taking the Easy Way Out

House hacking does seem like easy money, but it’s probably because you’re not aware of the cons. Remember the property you’re currently renting out does not belong to you yet. So, if your tenants are behind on rent and if they damage property. It’s you who is going to have to pay from your own pocket and that kills the whole point of everything. This is one major factor that most people do not consider and regret afterwards. Sure, there are some plus points to house hacking, like you may generate solid income overtime, you may possibly make good friends and if you look at it positively, you’re kind of living for free.

Lack of Privacy

When sharing the unit with other families (tenants), be prepared to listen to a lot of racket, potentially annoying kids and people who just don’t know how to stay in their boundaries. Many a times, your tenants will try to be “friends” and be real chummy, just to reduce the rent or to borrow a little more time to pay the rent. How you deal with all that depends on you but I’m sure nobody would ever find living in such situations pleasant.

An Alternative

If you can’t put up with annoying neighbors but still want to go with house hacking, I suggest you pay the down payment for condo in a place near your child’s college and have his friends or college mates stay there and pay the money. This way it’ll be way more convenient and you’ll be saving yourself a lot of trouble. You won’t have to deal with the problem of advertising the property for rent either! Sounds nice doesn’t it?

House hacking is not for everyone, you might have come across people who have successful earned a lot by it but this sweet dream isn’t as easy, though investors may swear by it. Investing in real estate is also a stellar way to earn income relatively easily but just as everything else, it involves risk. You can try that if house hacking doesn’t seem to cut it out for ya. At the end of the day, it depends on how you want to go with it.

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Buying Cheap Real Estate Properties

Real estate is a very profitable business if it is run in proper dimensions. There are so many options available when it comes to buying a real estate property. One can easily buy a cheaper real estate property and renovate it a little bit and sale it away with so much of profit. In doing so one should always remember certain things so that they don’t buy a property for which there is no resale value. In such a case one might lose money earned with so much effort. Investors should keep the following things in mind while buying a real estate property.

Location of the property

There are a lot of cheap options for real estate when the stakeholders go out for starting or expanding the business but not all properties are worth spending the money for. When searching for a cheap real estate property, the location should be the prime focus.  One can change anything of the property with time, but the location remains the same forever. The location of the property is the fundamental requirement when buying a real estate property. the property can be turned into anything we would want but we cannot change the location and the neighbourhood. the neighbourhood is equally important to maintain the value of the property. the investor should keep this in mind when buying a property.

Buying title insurance

Insurance is one of the most important factors when one opts for buying homes from auction or the property that is in distress. Such properties may have title issues that can be easily solved by buying the title insurance. There can be a number of issues with such homes and not all of them can be solved by the buyers themselves. Insurance policy can help in a lot of situations that might show up any time.

Making smart offers

When the investor decides to buy a san jose CA real estate property from auction specially in the far away  areas and places where they don’t have much real estate business experience. One should be able to make profitable offers so that the buyer has much to save from such a property. an undervalued property should be bought with enough savings. the profit should be locked from the beginning no matter how expensive the property is. one can always make handsome amount of money while buying.

Proper inspections should be performed

many investors fail in buying acceptable cheap homes because in the excitement of buying a worthy property they forget to get the homes inspected properly. afterwards the house proves to be more expensive when the costs of the renovations and repairs are summed up. the property might need to be built again. At the end the cost of all repairs nears the profit that was saved while buying the property. the property should be inspected properly so that the investor is accurate with the numbers. inspections may come up with hidden issues that were going to cost a significant amount later on.

Property management at its best

Not all investors can effectively operate the lower end properties due to lack of experience. they might not be able to understand the tenants and the processes associated with such properties. it is recommended that the investor goes for a property management company that has experience with such properties. Good management can turn an average property into a cash flowing money machine. Such properties cannot be managed by staying afar from them. It is full time job and requires proper attention. Only professional property managers can do this job perfectly. The investors should keep all these factors in mind while buying a cheap property.

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How to mix Bathrooms with Farmhouses

For many people, having that homey farmhouse lifestyle is super popular. How can you get that in your home though? Are there ways to incorporate this? Well, one of the best things about your bathroom is that there are different ways to incorporate this in. From faux stone panels, to even overhauling the overall look of the bathroom in order to truly get the best feel. How can you incorporate a farmhouse feel to your bathroom? Well, you’re about to find out.

First consider the traditional elements in the farmhouse. A tub that is standalone for example, is something that you should consider. These are typically easy to install as well, and they look a lot better than some of the built in tubs as well.

Old time faucets and sinks actually look great as well in these. Even if the furniture is modern, incorporating this into it can really change it.

Faux stone panels, combined with hexagonal floor tiles, can add to this. the stone can help with this, and it can help bring forward a rustic sort of look, but the hexagon tiles are some that are definitely a lot prettier than the average floor. Hexagon floors might not seem like something that would fit, but in a sense, the aesthetic of this is that it gives it a bit of an old timey feel to it, while also working towards a more new and innovative look for it.

With the cabinets and such, sometimes getting them standalone, with a mirror vanity on it, can really help. You can get lights installed around the sides as well to give it a feel, but if you go for a more rustic and wooden look, it can often make the place look a whole lot homier, and a whole lot nicer for the person who is living in it.

One thing that you should keep in mind when you’re trying to mix the farmhouse style with your bathroom, is don’t go sophisticated and complicated. Farmhouse living isn’t some sort of complicated thing, and it’s relatively simple. You can include the luxurious walk-in shower if you want, of course, but if you want to truly go for the farmhouse aesthetic, you want to ensure that the furniture is simple, and definitely more furniture like. You want to look into the inset furniture, and see if it works as it’s flush against the wall.

Now, if you already have a modern bathroom that you love, but you don’t feel like trying to get all of this done, you can always paint. Start to go for a bit of a whitish color, or maybe a cream. Do something simple, in order to make it less dramatic. Add some plants into this, and if you want, sometimes putting a flowering border around the edge can certainly help with improving on the way that this looks, and it can make a huge difference in the overall feel of the bathroom.

Finally, consider the windows. If you want to give it a simplistic and farmhouse style, go for wired windows that have a latch onto them. Find one that fits your home, and work with that. Obviously, this is all on what you want, and it’s your choice on what type of home you’re going for, but you’d be surprised at the difference that this makes, and how much of a factor this can play into the overall feel of the home. Think about this, change your bathroom as needed in order to fit your needs, and from there, make the changes that you have to.

Creating a farmhouse look is easy, whether you want to make this complex and change everything, or add a simple farmhouse look with some faux stone panels. Whatever it might be and whatever works for you, try to make sure that it fits what you want it to look like. It’s pretty amazing what kind of a difference it can make, and it can help if you’re trying to recreate a simplistic lifestyle. It’s a lot of fun to try, and actually not that complicated, for you too can indulge in the farmhouse lifestyle immediately with these amazing tips.


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How to make Tenant Management More Hands-Off

When you get into property management, chances are you think that you’re going to build passive income immediately.  Usually, they’re not totally passive, but you want to make it as passive as possible.

How do you make it more hands-off? Well, read on to find out.

First, you want to screen the tenants for longevity, respectfulness, and not just for the likelihood of getting payments.  Usually, you focus on payment, and while it usually is 90% of the work that the landlords focus on, you should also look to see how long they’re going to be here.  If you screen them and see that they have hopped around a bit, that may determine whether or not you want them. If they stick around, they can be a better investment, so you may want to consider putting them in over the person that hops around a lot. You can also ask the landlord about their unit, and how high-maintenance they tend to be, and usually, if they aren’t too annoying, that could be considered a great investment.

You should also set up reminders for renewals of the lease, and raise the rent.  Usually, there are laws that the landlords must give the person before they raise the rent. If they’re low-maintenance, ideally, you can send a non-renewal notice. If they’ve worked it out, you can send them a lease renewal notice, and a slightly higher-rent. You should always set the rent slightly higher each year, about 1-4%, depending on the market.  This also sets up expectations to also keep you on the market, and you don’t want to slap the tenants with a giant rent hike or anything too, cause that drives them away.

You also want to have a handyman that can do almost anything. Most of the time, the maintenance calls are mundane, but you should have someone that knows what they are doing.  You should make sure that you get someone who is well-versed and knows what they’re doing, and you should definitely build a relationship with them.  You should make sure that you create a good repute so that they want to stay there. This will help because if a tenant calls you about a maintenance issue, you can get one phone call out to resolve it, and you will be able to build a good relationship with someone.  One call beats five calls, that’s for sure.

You should also make sure that you’re not hustling for the rent, and you can do that by automating the rent collection from a paycheck. Once again, you didn’t do this because you wanted a second job, but instead, you should make it so that it’s passive income.  You should make sure that you get a service that works for you, and as a company, it can save you a lot of time if you set this up.

You should then hire a leasing agent like point Breeze real EState, but also make sure that you do your own management.  There is a lot that goes into it, and typically, while the units are occupied, you have to do all of the other little things that involve that. Turnovers take a lot of work though, and you should consider getting a leasing agent to help with this they can advertise for you, get any questions answered, advise on repairs, show off the property, and even screen applicants.  You can then have that person, along with the handyman do that, and it can save you so much time.  You do want have to pay a leasing fee to the agent, and you don’t have to pay ongoing fees, which get expensive.  You essentially delegate the hard part but do the easy part yourself.

When making your life easier with managing a property, here are a few things that you can do. By doing this, you’ll make the job much more manageable, and in turn, it can make everything simpler for you. You don’t want this to be a second job, right? Well, you can prevent that from being the case, and make your life as an investor either, by considering these options that in turn will help you manage your life better.

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