July 13, 2016


5 Small Changes to Your Rental Property that Appeal to Every Potential Tenant

Filed under: Landlord Tips — Tradewind @ 3:20 pm

Small Changes to Rental Properties that Appeal to Every Tenant

Considering renting out your property? When it’s time to spruce up your rental, attract potential tenants with these quick, simple improvements.

 

1. Focus on that Kitchen

Today’s renters are putting a lot of emphasis on one room in the house: the kitchen. The layout, details, and functionality of the kitchen can make or break a property. While you don’t have to do a complete remodel or change the layout of your existing kitchen, there are a few quick improvements that can make the kitchen wow your tenants.

Install new cupboard hardware, a shiny new retractable faucet, and a hidden space for the trash can. Repaint the walls if they’re looking dim, and spend some time thinking of smart storage solutions for the kitchen. Making the kitchen inviting, clean, and modern will help potential tenants imagine themselves in this important space.

 

2. In-Home Laundry

Carrying around loads of laundry is a pain, and in-home laundry is one of those items that shows up on most tenants’ wish lists. Even if it is a small washer and dryer, stacking or side-by-side, see if you can fit in these appliances to make your tenants’ lives easier.

 

3. Allow Pets

There are pros and cons to allowing pets or not allowing them, but being open to dogs and cats can open up your rental pool significantly. Read more on this subject.

 

4. Clean It Up

This may seem obvious, but deep cleaning all parts of your rental space is crucial. Don’t skimp on washing windows, floorboards, door frames, blinds, and every inch of the bathrooms. Hire a carpet cleaning service to make sure your carpets are fresh. Although most people won’t notice that your place is spic-n-span, they will notice if it’s not.

 

5. Improve Your Curb Appeal

Taking time to amp up your exterior can range from repainting the entire façade, to planting flowers or putting an afternoon’s time into the lawn. Try any of these simple ideas to make your property more inviting: spray for weeds, scatter grass seed on bald spots, plant shrubs or flowers, repair cracks in the sidewalks or driveway, and repaint trim or shutters.

 

For more assistance with renting out your property―including vetting and finding tenants or conducting a Home Rental Analysis, contact the real estate experts at Tradewind Properties: 763-657-1957. We are here to help!

January 12, 2016


Landlord Insurance: What’s Covered?

Filed under: Landlord Tips,Tradewind Properties — Tradewind @ 12:53 pm


When considering becoming a landlord and renting out your property, you may be wondering how insurance will help you manage the risks of your new arrangement.

Landlord Insurance is a specific type of coverage for this situation, and, along with working with a good property management company, is one of the best ways to be fully prepared to be a landlord.

 

What’s Covered by Landlord Insurance?

Each insurance company is different, and coverage will differ. Talk to your insurance agent for full details. But in general, Landlord Insurance may help you in the following situations.

  • Fair Rental Value Coverage. This is the biggest difference between home insurance and landlord insurance. If your property becomes uninhabitable for a reason that is covered, Landlord Insurance should cover your lost rental income while repairs are being finished, usually up to 12 months.
  • Dwelling Coverage of your rental property from fire, hail, vandalism, and other dangers.
  • Coverage of other structures on the property, such as garages, sheds, etc.
  • Coverage of Items that you own on the property, like appliances, furniture you’ve provided, or even tools you keep there.
  • Liability Coverage; Legal Counsel and Medical expenses should someone become injured on the property.

 

Landlord Discounts

Some insurance companies will offer discounts for certain circumstances, such as:

  • New/ Recently-Renovated Home Discount, for rental properties newer than approx. 13 years old, or newly renovated.
  • Multi-policies Discount, for those covering several properties, or a property and car, for example.
  • Protective Devices Discount: may apply if you use a security alarm, a sprinkler system, deadbolts, fire extinguishers, etc.

 

Other Questions Insurance Companies May Ask

In order to determine the right coverage for you, your insurance company may want to know some additional information.

  • Do you currently live in the same home as your tenant?
  • How many properties are you renting out?
  • What type of unit are you renting out?
  • Do you rent out your property intermittently, or on a regular basis for longer periods of time?

If you have any questions about becoming a landlord, or about landlord insurance, Contact Tradewind Properties. We are here to help!

December 22, 2015


When Should a Landlord Hire a Property Management Company?

Filed under: Landlord Tips — Tradewind @ 12:55 pm

Congratulations! Now that you’ve made the choice to rent out your property, think about whether it’s best for you to take on the role of landlord and manage your rental yourself, or hire a property management company for help.

Depending on your skills, free time, and experience, it may be best to hire a property management company if:

1. You’re not up for the detailed organization and upkeep of managing a property.

City ordinances, affordable housing programs, and local practices can overwhelm some landlords when it comes time to rent.

2. You’re not sure how to draw up a rental agreement, or run the proper background checks.

Management companies will perform the necessary credit and background checks on possible renters, and will supply the legal agreements as you enter into your new landlord/tenant relationship.

3. Your daily life keeps you busy and you’d like to leave the management tasks to professionals.

Being a landlord can be a breeze one month and require more hours of troubleshooting and on-site visits the next. If you maintain a full-time job and have a busy schedule, you can pass along these tasks.

4. You may be renting out several properties, but you’re not looking to make “landlord” your day-job.

If you’re looking to take on several properties, a property management company can definitely help with the volume.

5. You’re not going to be living nearby.

Many savvy homeowners who are moving out of town will choose to rent out their home instead of selling. But being far away can prevent a landlord from being able to show the space, meet potential tenants, or do home repairs.

6. You’re not looking forward to taking on the risks associated with managing a property.

If the thought of tenants missing payments, finding new tenants, or dealing with unexpected home repairs makes you cringe, there’s an easier way to meet your real estate and renting goals.

Contact Us to Learn More

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Tradewind Properties is locally and veteran-owned, and can assist new landlords with all aspects of the renting process.

April 16, 2015


Potential Pitfalls of Being a Landlord

Filed under: Landlord Tips — Tradewind @ 1:58 pm
Improperly Managed Tenants

Improperly Managed Tenants

So, you’re living the American Dream. You’ve got a great job, a wonderful family, and a beautiful home. All the puzzle pieces of your life seem to be falling perfectly into place.

 

And now, you’re looking to broaden your horizons a bit. You want to expand your investment portfolio by purchasing a rental property. After doing your due diligence, you’ve determined that now is the perfect time to put this prudent plan into action. You figure that the positive monthly cash flow you’ll be able to generate, combined with the property’s inevitable increase in value, will help shave a good 10 years off the target date of your eventual retirement.

 

Purchasing and owning rental properties can be a very worthwhile and rewarding experience. The potential benefits are undeniable:

 

– Monthly Cash Flow / Addition Stream of Revenue

– Long-Term Appreciation

– Tax Deductions

 

But imagine this scenario, if you will:

 

It’s 2am on an artic evening in January. The winter winds are whipping around outside, while you’re nestled all nicely inside the toasty-warmth of your bed. All of a sudden, you’re jolted from your restful slumber by the sound of your cell phone ringing. You answer it to find a frantic tenant on the other end. After a long weekend away, they’ve just returned home to find their furnace on the fritz and a massive water leak in the basement. And if you don’t get over there to fix the problem fast, the entire lower level will soon be sitting under six inches of ice-cold H2O.

 

Too many somber scenarios like this one can transform your American Dream into a nightmare in the blink of an eye. And unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential pitfalls of being a landlord.
Here are a few more examples of things people tend to overlook when considering the purchase of a rental property:

 

Finding Quality Tenants
Every intelligent owner out there strives to keep their vacancies to an absolute minimum. A vacant rental property can really take its toll on your finances fast. However, not waiting for the right tenant can end up being even more costly. Whether a renter routinely stiffs you on rent – or they happen to have a penchant for destroying things – a bad tenant can turn your picture-perfect life into a horror movie marathon.

 

And if that ‘perfect tenant’ of yours turns out to be anything but, you will likely have to allocate a lot of time – and money – to remedy the situation. The eviction process is usually an ugly and agonizing experience. It can also be a very costly one, as well. Plus – even if the court rules in your favor – there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever see a dime in return for your troubles.

 

Knowing the Rules
The rules and regulations regarding real estate are ever changing. So, it’s of vital importance that you stay abreast of the latest laws and legislation affecting landlords. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a whole heap of trouble. An accidental act of discrimination toward a tenant, or a failure to follow the Fair Housing Act, could land you on the wrong side of a not-so-civil court case. And if you’re not using an air-tight rental agreement, a judge may deem your document as worthless as the paper it’s printed on.

 

Maintenance and Repairs
It’s inevitable. Structures deteriorate. Appliances and mechanicals break down. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And if you’re not prepared to deal with such situations, the landlord lifestyle may prove to be a painful one for you.

 

Now, not every issue that arises will be a catastrophe. You will likely field a few phone calls for much lesser concerns. Certain tenants may even feel the need to call you for every microscopic imperfection they can find. And while some of these issues will warrant a phone call, others might seem a bit trivial. However, you must also consider the consequences of dismissing the request. Too many of these unresolved issues might leave you with a disgruntled tenant on your hands.
There is, however, a surefire way to deal with each of these dilemmas in an effective and efficient manner. And that is to hire a property management company to manage your property for you. It’s their job to handle your headaches and to do the ‘dirty work’ necessary to ensure that your investment keeps working for you for years to come.

 

Now, while there is a cost involved in utilizing such a service, it is usually quite reasonable and can provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that your property is in good hands. If you would like to find out more about how a home rental service could benefit you, please contact Tradewind Properties today for a FREE consultation and home rental analysis.

March 6, 2014


Become a Landlord in Minnesota

Filed under: Landlord Tips — Tradewind @ 5:21 pm

Tradewind Properties

Are You Ready to be a Landlord for a Minnesota Rental?

If you have a home in Minnesota and have recently moved, gotten married, or inherited another property, you have two options. You could either sell the property, though that can be difficult depending on the market, or you can rent out the property to tenants and become a landlord.

There are some questions you should ask yourself before you put out an ad for your home rental, however. Are you really ready to become a landlord?
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From Our Clients:

"My friend Tasha Langsley (Realtor) recommended Brandon and Tradewinds when I was considering renting my property. Over the past several years Tradewinds has exceeded my expectations."

Wendi Machen

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