Fall Yard Maintenance: What Do I Do With All of These Leaves?

Autumn is here! The leaves on the trees present a gorgeous display, and they often add a lot of curb appeal to your rental properties. But once they’ve fallen from their branches, they can be quite a pain. A large part of landscape maintenance in the fall revolves around keeping your lawn clear of fallen leaves, especially if your property is heavily wooded.

But it seems a waste to just bag the leaves and get rid of them. What if there was something you could do with them? Good news: there is! Leaves are actually a fairly valuable resource. Read on for some tips on keeping your yard pristine while taking full advantage of the benefits that autumn has to offer.

  1. Turn Leaves Into Mulch. Leaves make a great mulch alternative, and they’re free to use. Simply rake them into your garden beds and break up any of the larger leaves for a more even coverage. If you don’t like the look of dry brown leaves in your flower beds, you can always cover them with a thin layer of traditional mulch.
  2. Collect for Compost. Leaves hold a lot of the tree’s nutrients, and breaking them down into organic matter can be great for your garden. Use a mulcher or a lawn mower to shred the leaves into little pieces. This will allow them to decompose faster. Then, add them to your compost pile and let them sit.
  3. Shelter Insects. Rake or blow leaves into small piles bordering the edge of your property to create a safe space for insects. Many bugs are important to a healthy and balanced ecosystem, including worms, snails, moths, bees, ladybugs, and spiders. These all thrive in the shelter of fallen leaves.
  4. Mow Over the Lawn. Why give all the nutrient-rich goodness to the garden when your lawn needs some love too? Distribute a thin, even layer of leaves across your yard. Then, use your lawn mower to run them over and grind the tiny pieces into the grass. Your lawn will thank you for the nutrient boost.
  5. Bag for Others. If you have an excess of leaves, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. What more can you possibly do with them? If you can’t use it, surely somebody else can. Share your wealth by bagging any extra leaves and offering them to friends and neighbors in the area.

For more tips on landscaping and property care, follow the Talley Properties blog. Contact us today for more info on Charlotte’s best property manager!

Lawn Care Advice for Rental Property Owners

As a landlord, you have plenty of responsibilities. From keeping up with rent collection to ensuring that maintenance and repairs are completed, your to-do list might feel like it never ends. With so many tasks vying for your attention, landscaping might be one of the furthest things from your mind. The reality is that it’s just as important as any other regular upkeep. In fact, it can boost your curb appeal, making your property more attractive to potential tenants.

Not sure where to start? No problem. Talley Properties is here with a few tips and tricks for rental property owners.

Share the Responsibility

When a tenant moves in, they’ll be subject to a lease agreement. This agreement is a contract that lays out the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. Lawn and landscape care should be among the items outlined in the document. As a landlord, you’ll need to keep the property looking nice while it’s sitting vacant. But it’s up to you to choose whether to delegate that process when someone moves in.

Go Beyond Grass

An enormous grassy lawn can be very visually appealing, but it requires quite a bit of upkeep. You can get the same visual impact and make your property more practical by adding gardens, flower beds, and even hardscaping. Consider stone paths and patios that your tenants can actually use. Not only will this create a marketable outdoor living space, but it will reduce the sheer volume of grass that you and the tenants have to care for.

Install Irrigation

Automatic irrigation systems are a landlord’s best friend. No more setting out sprinklers on those hot, sunny days. No more watching the weather forecast and waiting for the rain to come. An irrigation system is a great selling point, and it keeps your lawn looking great without the extra hassle.

Invest in a Professional Landscaper

If you find yourself unable to dedicate the time to mowing, weeding, watering, and fertilizing your rental property, don’t let it slip through the cracks. Instead, consider letting the professionals handle it. A landscaping company will take good care of your lawn and gardens with their expert tools and knowledge.

Talley Properties: Property Management

Property management agencies work with the landlord to delegate and automate certain routine tasks, including maintenance, accounting, and rent collection. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by the responsibilities of owning a rental property? Take a look at some of the valuable services that Talley Properties offers its clients, and contact us today to learn how you can get started with us!

How To Calculate What You Can Afford for Rent

Calculating how much you can afford to spend on a rental property per month is a crucial first step in the house-hunting process. Living beyond your means is obviously not recommended, but you also want to use your money effectively to be able to afford a comfortable space for yourself. This is where the calculations come in.

But how do you do that? What all do you need to consider when searching for an ideal price range that won’t break the bank? Stretching your income as far as it will go is a necessary skill, and having every dollar allocated to a certain category will make the process go much smoother. We’ll go a little deeper on this topic down below.

You’ll first need to create a budget that reflects your monthly spending habits. If you haven’t already done this, or the idea of a budget gives you a surge of panic, then don’t worry. This is something you can do any time, and it’s as simple as making a list of your monthly expenses. What do you currently spend on necessities such as groceries, utilities, transportation, and housing? How much do you spend on luxuries, such as streaming services or dinner out with friends? Sorting your budget by order of importance will make it easier to determine what you can and cannot afford down the line.

Compare your spending to your monthly income. All things considered, your total spending should total less than your income, with some left over for savings. Whether you already pay a monthly rent or you’re making room in your budget to pay for a place of your own, some things may have to go as you reorganize and reprioritize. Consider the well-known 50/30/20 rule. In this model, 50% of your income goes to necessities, while the remaining 30% and 20% go to luxuries and savings, respectively.

Let’s say that your monthly income is $5,000. That gives you $2,500 per month to spend on all your needs, including housing. Although not an exact science, it’s generally recommended that you spend roughly 30% of your income on rent. That’s $1,500 per month, leaving you with $1,000 for groceries, gas, clothing, and other necessities. Of course, you might be willing to forego a portion of your luxury budget for a larger home or more convenient location. Budgets are entirely adjustable. Take the 50/30/20 model, apply it to your income, and tweak as necessary to fit your needs and your lifestyle!

Looking for rental properties? Talley Properties has an ever-changing selection of listings available for potential tenants. Visit our website today to see what we have to offer!

Early Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Rental Property

It may seem like fall has only just begun, but we’re creeping ever closer to the end of another year. The official start of winter is now several weeks away, and it’s time to start thinking about preparations for your rental property. Trust us when we say that your future self will thank you for getting a head start on the maintenance projects and winterization.

North Carolina is known for its relatively mild winters, but you shouldn’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best. Leave nothing up to chance, and put in the effort to make sure everything is ready for the season ahead. Read on for some essential tips as you prepare your property for winter.

Trim Bushes & Trees

Bare branches can become brittle as the seasons progress. For the safety of you and your tenants, keep bushes and trees cut back to prevent any unfortunate accidents. The last thing you want is a tree limb breaking off and falling on your rental home or injuring a tenant.

Insulate Pipes

The plumbing carries water throughout your house, even when not in use. In cold temperatures, this standing water can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst. By insulating the pipes against the cold, you’re saving yourself from potential water damage and emergency maintenance.

Set Your Ceiling Fans Clockwise

Ceiling fans in the winter? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Warm air rises, leaving only cold air at ground level. By reversing the rotation of your fan, you’re creating an updraft that forces the warm air back down. This is an effective way to maintain a steady temperature and save on the energy bill.

Get an HVAC Checkup

If there’s one thing tenants will want during the winter months, it’s a working heater. The HVAC system is critical when preparing for the season ahead. But don’t try to do it yourself. Have a professional come out, test the system, and optimize performance so that it’s running in tip-top condition for your tenants.

Fix Cracks & Gaps

Little gaps in windows, underneath doors, and around the foundation of the house could be costing you a significant sum in lost heat. Patch up the cracks, fill in the gaps, and make the house more energy efficient, which will save you money in the long run.

Talley Properties: Charlotte’s Best

Managing a rental property is difficult, especially if you’re trying to juggle more than one in your portfolio. Let us help you! With over 40 years of experience, you can trust Talley Properties to get the job done right. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more!

Moving to Charlotte? Here’s Where To Start

Moving to Charlotte? Here’s Where To Start

So you’ve decided to make the transition and move to Charlotte, North Carolina. Congratulations! Moving is a big step, and we’re quite certain that you won’t be disappointed by all that Charlotte has to offer.

But the Queen City can be an intimidating place. The real estate market moves fast, especially in a city like Charlotte that’s currently growing at a rate of 0.34% annually. If you’re looking for a bit of professional advice before the big move, then you’ve come to the right place. There are some things you should know ahead of time that will make your relocation as smooth as possible.

First, Charlotte has been described as several smaller cities in one. Each district has its own distinct culture with its own community. From the fast-paced heart of the city to the suburbs nestled on and around the outer belt, you can find a neighborhood that matches your personal tastes. Uptown offers a true urban experience in the city’s business district, and apartments available for rent are often within walking distance of social and professional opportunities. NoDa is the city’s trendy art and food district, catering to people who enjoy a cultural experience. Suburbs like Concord and Huntersville provide a slower pace of living that is still only a short drive from the downtown area.

Second, it’s important that you pick a location that aligns with your lifestyle. Do you have a job, and will you need to commute? Do you have kids that will need to go to school? Which school district should you choose? How far away are the essentials like grocery stores and doctor’s offices? These are all things to consider and research as you select the ideal location for your Charlotte home.

Finally, carefully consider your budget. Real estate in Charlotte is in high demand, which drives prices higher than normal. It’s recommended that you make a list of your needs and wants when it comes to a rental space. You may have to sacrifice some of your wants if it means finding the ideal property and staying within your predetermined budget.

Fortunately, here at Talley Properties, we always have a number of fine listings available for rent. Visit our website to learn more and browse our featured properties. Filter by price or search by keyword to tailor the results to your needs. We hope you find the perfect space for your move. And let us be the first to say, welcome to Charlotte!

Best Security Systems for Your Rental Property

Best Security Systems for Your Rental Property

Whether you use a security system in your own home or not, having one for your rental property is always a good idea. It’s worth the price of admission just to have 24/7 peace of mind, and you can share this peace of mind with your tenants, who will also benefit from around-the-clock security. The good news is that you don’t have to be super familiar with security systems to find the perfect model for your rental space. There are plenty of options available on the market, and there’s sure to be at least one that matches your needs.

Talley Properties is here to make your search even easier. We’ve found some of the best systems and compiled them in a list below. Whether you’re looking for easy installation or affordable prices, you can find it all here. Let’s take a look!


When it comes to the easiest DIY setup process, it’s hard to beat Cove. Setup averages around 27 minutes without professional assistance, and you can easily get a generous array of sensors and cameras for around $200. The touchscreen panel features a 4G cellular chip that enables two-way communication even in the even of a wireless internet malfunction. Not satisfied with your purchase? No problem, with Cove’s 60-day risk-free guarantee.


Whether you want to pick from a selection of premade bundles or you hope to tailor the system to your precise needs, SimpliSafe has exactly what you need. The most basic systems start as low as $250, but you can also buy more comprehensive systems that monitor for water damage and fires. Of course, the company also offers a 60-day return guarantee.


One of the most cost-effective options on this list, systems from Abode start as low as $140. The biggest selling point of Abode home security systems is its ability to integrate with established smart home automation platforms. If your rental property already makes use of Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, or any of the hundreds of other options, then this may be the perfect system for you.


For a name you can trust, ADT will always have your back. Known as America’s #1 smart home security provider, you can rest easy knowing that your property is monitored by ADT. The a-la-carte product selection allows for maximum flexibility, and the company offers a staggering 6-month return guarantee. Buyers can choose from professional installation or self-installation, so you’re covered no matter your experience level.

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As Charlotte’s best property management firm for over 40 years, we love helping landlords get the most out of their investment properties. For more tips and advice, follow the Talley Properties blog!

How To Prepare Your Rental Property for Fall

How To Prepare Your Rental Property for Fall

Summer is quickly coming to a close, and it’s time to begin thinking about the busy months ahead. Just like any other season, autumn requires that landlords and property owners complete a bit of routine maintenance. Tenants expect their rental space to be safe, habitable, and in proper working order during their stay. This transition period between summer and fall is the perfect time to knock some items off your to-do list and make sure everything is ready. Whether you’re a new landlord or a seasoned veteran with many years of experience under your belt, take a look at the checklist below to see how you can best prepare your property for autumn.

  1. Protect the Gutters. The bright red, orange, and yellow leaves of autumn are gorgeous, but they can pose a threat to your gutters and downspouts. When they fall from their trees, the leaves may clog up your drainage system, rendering it inefficient and ineffective. Climb up and clear out any debris that’s already trapped in there, and consider installing a mesh screen to protect the gutters from leaves and twigs.
  2. Service Your HVAC Unit. As the weather gets chillier, it’s important that your HVAC system is operating at full capacity. Take some time to clear grass, leaves, and twigs from around the outdoor unit, and have your system professionally inspected and repaired.
  3. Clean the Ductwork. The ductwork leading from your dryer can get clogged with pieces of fuzz and lint. If this material were to build up over time, it may present a significant fire hazard. Clean the ductwork and the exhaust vent to remove any debris.
  4. Insulate Your Space. Insulation and weather stripping can ensure that the cold stays out and the heat stays in. Be sure to check around windows and doors, and use caulk or foam insulation to reinforce the safeguards already in place. You’ll save plenty of money by making your space more weatherproof.
  5. Prune Tree Branches. Tree branches tend to become more brittle in colder temperatures. If your rental property is situated anywhere near trees, consider removing some of the unstable branches. The last thing you want is for a branch to fall and damage your living space. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

You’re now that much closer to having your rental property up and running for the fall season. Follow the Talley Properties blog for more helpful tips and tricks when it comes to seasonal maintenance. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our property management services!

Quarter 4 Charlotte Real Estate Predictions

Quarter 4 Charlotte Real Estate Predictions

For many people, it may feel like 2023 just started. But, believe it or not, we’re now entering the fourth quarter of the year. It’s time once again to take a look at professional real estate predictions and forecasts for the upcoming months. Talley Properties is based in Charlotte, NC, so we’ll be focusing on our local market.

As you may recall, the Queen City has been ranked among the top fastest growing cities in America in recent years. The strong economy, job growth, and diverse suburban opportunities have supported an influx of people who are looking to call Charlotte their home, both temporarily and permanently. This created a hot seller's market with a quick turnaround time that drove sales in 2022. Now, by the end of 2023, the market has cooled considerably. What does the rest of the year hold? Let’s take a closer look.

According to economists at Zillow, home values across the nation are predicted to rise 6.5% between July 2023 and July 2024. While this broad forecast is not local or specific to the Queen City, the state of the national economy will still play a significant role in the microcosm that is the Charlotte real estate market. Over the past year, our city has seen a decrease in the total number of listings and sales, but average sales prices have steadily continued to increase.

For example, the rent for an apartment in Charlotte has increased 7% since this time last year, bringing the average price up to $1,600. This upward trend shows no signs of stopping, especially when there is no limit on how much a landlord can increase a tenant’s rent. This may sound appealing to landlords, but rising prices often yield the same profit due to inflation. Plus, you have to be careful not to drive current and future tenants away with sticker shock.

That being said, the market will only become more competitive as inventory dwindles, boosting prices even higher than they already are. If you’re looking to invest in Charlotte real estate, the rental market is experiencing constant growth, as apartments and condos are in constant demand. With Charlotte’s booming economy and job potential, new recruits and young professionals are moving to the area to get in on the action. Investing in rental property in the urban heart of Charlotte’s downtown business district will likely continue to be very lucrative.

We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the Charlotte real estate market. Follow our blog for more updates in the future. Here at Talley Properties, we want to help landlords get a leg up in this competitive market. Interested in learning more about our property management services? Fill out the form on our website or contact us directly today!