255 Westview Drive #317

Wonderfully located large 2 bed, 2 bath condo in West St Paul. Well cared for unit in mature community looking for that ideal long term tenant.  Secure building w/elevators. Large entry closet keeps things organized.  Spacious living room with balcony overlooking the pool area. Working kitchen w/all appliances (new fridge, dishwasher, range, microwave) and informal dining area. Primary bedroom features private ¾ bath.  Additional full bath in hall and decent sized spare bedroom. Coin-op laundry on same floor. Unit comes with 1 heated underground parking stall and plenty of open parking. Tenant pays electric only! Available now w/18 or 24 month lease terms. $45/adult app fee. Sorry, no pets allowed. Renters insurance required. Section 8 not approved. Info deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

888 Clark St N #2

Affordable 2 bed, 1 bath upper floor duplex. All carpet will be replaced with new LVT flooring. Unit has been freshly painted. Separate private rear access. 2 Spacious bedrooms with functional kitchen and large bathroom. Free shared washer/dryer in basement. Small corner of basement available for storage if needed. Tenant pays ONLY $60/month to cover all utilities. Snow/Lawn care included. 1 off street parking space available (left side of driveway). Available now w/flexible month to month terms (60 day notice). App fee: $45/adult.  No dogs allowed. 2 cats max w/$25/cat/month pet rent. Every pet/animal must go through professional screening process and apply. The fee is $20 for the 1st pet and $15 for each additional, if applicable paid directly to the 3rd party screening vendor. $20/pet app fee paid at time of move in. Section 8 not approved.

739 11th Ave S #4

Centrally located Hopkins 1 bed, 1 bath end unit for rent. No carpet, no stairs! Property features generous sized living room that leads to your private patio w/green space. Kitchen equipped with range, fridge and dishwasher. Unit comes w/1 assigned parking lot spot and storage secure storage locker. Shared coin-op laundry located on same floor as unit. Available immediately – 1 yr lease terms. Sorry, no pets allowed. Tenant pays gas and electric. App fee: $45/adult. No smoking/vaping allowed. Renters insurance required. Section 8 not approved. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

5 Steps to Finding Good Tenants

Finding good tenants can be difficult. It’s time-consuming and finding new prospects is stressful. Maybe you have no idea what steps to take in order to find the best occupants for your property. We will go over the key steps landlords should take to achieve the happiest tenants and a low-stress living situation for everyone involved. Even in areas with high property demands, that is no guarantee you will have an easy time finding the ideal resident.

Here are our top 5 tips: 

  1. Utilize renter applications: Having a good quality rental application is a great way to jumpstart your search. This allows you to gather relevant details about potential renters in a way that is straightforward and honest – people are willingly providing details that would enable you to perform background checks and weed out renters that are not compatible with your building. What you include can be tailored to your requirements. 

 

  1. Know where to Advertise: Online listings are the most common today, but it helps to narrow down your audience. If you are looking for a target demographic, finding your renters through connections or networking may be the way to go. This can work exceptionally well if your building is suitable for seniors, with or without pets, students, etc. Knowing your target audience goes a long way so advertising through fliers at local businesses, event centers, or places of employment is a good strategy. 

 

  1. Complete a background check: We mentioned how rental applications help you obtain relevant information about prospective tenants, but the process of completing a quality background check is just as important. This will help to “weed out” applicants that are incompatible with your building or rental property, such as a history of property destruction or poor credit. Knowing where to complete your background check is essential. Not all information is easy to access but knowing where to find it goes a long way. We recommend focusing on criminal history and credit reports as a general rule, be sure to use a respectable background report service. 

 

  1. Maintain a good presentation: Promoting your property as high-end, luxurious, and well-kept will attract tenants who align with your vision. You want tenants who will respect the property and take pride in their living space, so keeping a visual emphasis in your listings will attract like-minded people. 

 

  1. Prioritize customer service: Good tenants are more likely to receive rental offers from other landlords, so communication is crucial. If you wait too long to respond to applications or call people back, it’s more likely that they will select another property that suits their needs first. 

 

For more tips, continue reading our blog to learn about all things property management! 

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Staging For Success: Get Poised to Sell Your Home

Staging For Success:  Get Poised to Sell Your Home

There are a few basic rules in life and one that can be carried into almost any situation is the old saying, “if you fail to plan, plan to fail”.  No one likes to fail, but failing to plan could be a sure way to not see success. This is especially true in real estate when it comes to placing your home up for sale.   Preparing your home for new buyers requires a lot of planning, thought, and attention to detail.  One way that gets your home ready for a quick sale is with home staging. 

What is Home Staging

You see it every time you turn on HGTV or some other house-flipping show.  Home staging has quickly become recognized as a necessity to highlight your home for its maximum potential.  A norm for almost any home at any price point, home staging can set the stage for a quick real-estate sale. Overall, the goal is to help prospective home buyers emotionally connect with a property that hopefully leads to an offer to buy.

Who Hires Home Stagers?

Staging may seem like an additional hassle and expense, but the investment can really pay off in the end and possibly lead to an above-asking price offer for your home. Overall, anyone selling or buying property may benefit from home staging. Homeowners selling single-family homes, condos, and townhouses make up the greatest percentage of those hiring home stagers. Even property developers selling new construction, and real estate agents and property managers also are in the mix. While home staging was created primarily to benefit the seller, seeing prospective properties staged and organized also can be advantageous to buyers because it can cut down on their search time.

Benefits of Home Staging

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Most people have trouble visualizing a space’s potential.  Whether it’s figuring out how to place furniture in an empty room or trying to ignore clutter or decor that’s clearly not their style. Realizing that the majority of home buyers can’t easily look past what’s in front of them to appreciate a room’s potential, it’s easy to see that home staging could be beneficial to the home selling process.  Staging helps buyers see what might get lost in an otherwise cluttered or unorganized home.  As reported by the National Association of Realtors,  44% of buyers’ agents say that home staging can increase the dollar value offered.  And 83% say that staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visualize the property as their dream home!  And less time on the market means less taxes, less mortgage payments, and less time you have to keep the house staged.

Does it Matter Which Rooms Are Staged?

While every room in the house could benefit from home staging, that might not be in your budget.  So if you must choose a room, or rooms, it would be best to focus on the higher priority rooms including kitchen, living room then master bedroom followed by the guest bathroom.  And don’t overlook those empty nooks or spaces, they could easily be turned into a small desk/office space to handle all of the daily mail clutter. 

You can certainly attempt to stage your home on your own.  It will save some money, but it is much harder to stage your own home and will likely take a lot of time out of your already busy schedule.   Something key to remember is that when you’re selling your home, it is not about you anymore.  It’s about the buyers and making your home as appealing as possible to attract the right buyer in the least amount of time.  It’s important that your home reflects all of its potential so the future home-buyer can see your home as move-in-ready.  

We have lots of tips and tricks that we can help you with when it comes to preparing homes for the real estate market.  Even if you plan to rent your home, home staging is ideal to attract the right tenants to your property.  Tradewind Properties is here to help you in selling your home and with home staging.

Contact us!

9147 Olson Memorial Hwy #202

Great Golden Valley location with easy access to major highways. This cozy 2 bed, 1 bath condo features luxury vinyl plank flooring, private balcony and detached 1 car garage. Coin-op laundry on site, outdoor pool and storage locker included. Available immediately with 12 or 18 month lease term. Tenant pays electric. No pets allowed. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Renters insurance required. Section 8 not approved.

7600 Lyndale Ave S #428

Rarely available Kensington Park 2 bed, 2 bath condo in the heart of Richfield. This unit comes with 2 heated underground parking spots, perfect for our MN winters! Top floor unit means no noise from above and the best views from your private balcony where you can enjoy your morning coffee from the coffee shop just below you. Upon entering you’ll love the open and modern feel of the granite kitchen with breakfast bar and maple cabinets. Split floor plan is great for privacy with master bedroom complete with private bath on one side and spare bed and bath on the other side. Full size in-unit washer and dryer plus additional secure storage locker round out this must see condo. This unit is conveniently located with easy access to many attractions across the Twin Cities plus just steps from retail and restaurants located on the street level.  Available April 10th 2023; 12 month lease term. Tenant pays gas and electric. Sorry, no pets. App Fee: $45/adult. Renters insurance required. Section 8 not approved. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Minimum 24 hour notice to show.

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Insights on Owning Rental Property During the Pandemic

Insights on Owning Rental Property During the Pandemic

The pandemic has certainly impacted all areas of our lives. What has remained relatively strong amidst the uncertainty has been the housing market. Mortgage interest rates are at record lows. Inventory of homes for sale remains low, resulting in sellers routinely receiving multiple offers on homes quickly after listing. 

The rental market has been a different beast altogether. Mortgage protections are not available to landlords in the same way they are to homeowners. Many rental property owners have tried to get creative with their property management style in order to stay afloat while also working with tenants impacted by the pandemic. 

Given the unknowns of the months ahead of us, these factors will be worth keeping a close eye on in the coming months if you own a rental property:

  1. Changes in government protections for renters. Whether its payroll protections, rent subsidies or a local eviction moratorium, many renters have been supported through the recent hard times when it comes to their monthly financial obligations. While this attempt at stability has been good for many renters, some of these protections may be coming to an end soon, and many renters will face the struggles of disproportionate cost burden in the COVID-19 economy. With all the movement in local and temporary regulations due to the pandemic, it can save a lot of headaches to seek the help of a property management company, so you know you’re a compliant landlord while focusing on your own day-to-day priorities.
  2. Changes in the labor market, and its effect on renters. Job growth is one of the key factors of rental market health in any city. Today’s rental market has been served a major blow by the pandemic, leaving the unemployment rate at record highs. While protections for renters have temporarily provided relief for those who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed by their companies, landlords have absorbed the impact. Additionally, while homeowners have experienced some relief around their mortgage obligations, those same measures have not applied to commercial property owners.

While protections are short for landlords and rental property owners, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of resources that have your interests at heart during the pandemic uncertainty. The professional property managers at Tradewinds Properties can relieve a great deal of the stress of managing rental property through the pandemic.

Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of managing your rental property. As a Tradewind client, your most difficult task is checking your monthly statement. Contact us!

 

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6 Common Lease Violations

6 Common Lease Violations

While renting is a rewarding enterprise, you won’t always have model tenants.  Leases are put in place for a reason – whether it is to maintain the value of a property or keep people safe. When renters decide to break the terms of their contract, landlords may be forced to take action.

In order to learn how to handle lease violations, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the most common violations.

1. Unauthorized Pets

Four-legged friends can be an important part of the family – but they can also be quite a hassle. This is why many landlords prohibit pets to some degree. Pets can cause damage to the property and annoy neighboring tenants.

2. HOA Conflicts

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If your property falls under the jurisdiction of an HOA, renters must stay up to code. These often involve things such as making sure the property is free of trash and limit your external storage.

3. Smoking Indoors

Indoor smoking can be a damaging and dangerous habit. It can discolor home interiors, lead to burns, and leave a lingering odor. 

4. Noise Disturbances

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While being noisy doesn’t lead to structural damage, it can damage the atmosphere of your living complex. Loud tenants can lead to unhappy neighbors and visits from law enforcement.

5. Long-term Guests

Especially if you offer a flat rate for utilities in your rental agreement, unauthorized, long-term guests can be bad for business. It’s not unusual for a non-renting guest to be overstaying their welcome. Some renters may even take it upon themselves to sublet without your permission. The popularity of services such as Airbnb has made this even more common.

6. Damaging Decorations

While there is nothing wrong with making a living space more personal, some decorating can lead to damage. Something as simple as hanging up a couple of pictures can cause countless holes in the wall.

What to do if a renter breaks a clause in the lease agreement?

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The moment a tenant violates a lease, you should begin taking measures to protect yourself. There are different approaches you can take depending on the severity of the violation.

If you notice the violation during the renting period;

  1.       Keep Evidence: Always be sure to save original copies of all of your contracts and get proof of any relevant information. This includes taking photographs of the property before tenants arrived.
  2.       Notify the Tenant: Send a letter to your tenant alerting them of their violation and offer them time (minimum a week) to correct the problem. This is a legal obligation if you decide to take matters further.
  3.       Eviction: When violations aren’t corrected or are continuously repeated, you are within legal grounds to file for an eviction.

If you only recognize the violation (or failure to correct the violation) during the inspection following the end of a contract, you may withhold all or a portion of the security deposit. If the amount is not enough to cover damages, you can consider taking your case to small claims court. 

Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of managing your rental property. As a Tradewind client, your most difficult task is checking your monthly statement. Contact us!

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Finding Utility In Your Utilities. Monitoring And Managing Utility Usage.

Monitoring and managing utility usage.

If you own a property, you know that managing utility usage can feel like nothing short of a headache at times. Owning an income-based property might make this headache feel like a full-on migraine. With a little bit of planning, knowledge and know-how you don’t have to let utility expenditures balloon out of control.

Troubleshooting a water leak

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Water leak
  • A water or plumbing leak is something no one wants to experience; however, they happen. Train yourself, maintenance staff and tenants alike to identify and report things like a dripping faucet or running toilet. Additionally, be on the lookout for paint that is peeling or a musty/wet smell in an area that should be dry. Finally, a spike in the water bill is a pretty good sign there’s a potential leak.
  • If you suspect a leak, it’s time to call a professional, but you can potentially confirm a hidden leak by turning off every water fixture, faucet and appliance that uses water (for say six hours or so) and noting whether or not the property’s water meter readings rise during the time these are turned off.

Smart thermostats

  • Living in Minnesota means your heating system is probably working overtime for at least six months of the year, then of course your cooling system has got to kick it into gear. A smart thermostat can be a worthy investment. They are designed to make temperature adjustments based on a resident’s detectable patterns, that way you’re not paying to heat an unoccupied property. Further, you can always fine-tune manually and monitor as necessary so you or your tenants are not surprised with a huge bill.

Efficiencies with energy consumption

  • Whether you’re renting your property or not, the efficiency of your utility usage should be high on your priority lists to improve costs. Fortunately, there are both quick and easy ways to reduce costs as well as those that require a little more initial investment.

Installing LED fixtures

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LED Lightbulb
  • Want an easy win, win? Consider changing old, incandescent lightbulbs to LED. Not only can they cut the electric bill by almost 25 percent, they last almost 10 years requiring much less maintenance.

Upgrading to Energy Star appliances

  • If your appliances are old, it might be time for an upgrade. Initial costs of replacing these appliances (think refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers) might seem high, but you’ll save on energy costs and new appliances could help drive more potential renters to your door.

Consider air leaks

  • You can probably guess that air leaks are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to energy inefficiencies, but how do you find them? While a visual and physical inspection can easily tell you where your building is leaking air, you can hire a professional to do a thermographic test that uses an infrared camera to locate those more invisible areas of air leaks. 

Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of your rental property utility management, Contact Tradewind Properties. We are here to help!