Traits of a Good Tenant

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Working as a landlord can be difficult enough, having to market your space, find and manage tenants, and keep the building clean and up to code. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. But having a difficult tenant can just make things even more difficult. Whether they’re disruptive to the neighbors or they are consistently late in paying their rent, a problematic tenant can be distracting and stressful.

As long as you have good reasons for your decisions and you’re not breaking any housing discrimination laws, you get to decide who will run out your space. There are a number of things one should do when screening for potential tenants. First, a short list of red flags and things you should probably avoid:

  • Insufficient Income. People should be on the lookout for housing that they can afford on their current income. If the prospective tenant does not make enough to afford your space, then you should probably turn them away. You don’t want the end of the month to arrive and then find that they can’t pay their rent.
  • Prior Evictions. While this isn’t always the case, prior evictions do often indicate problematic behavior or circumstances. Take a look at their rental history, and get references from previous landlords.
  • High maintenance. Everyone is entitled to their own input, but perhaps a prospective tenant seems a bit too particular. This doesn’t bode well for a long-term business relationship between landlord and tenant.

These are things that should be avoided during the screening process. Below is a list of things to look for that may indicate a good tenant:

  • Stable Income. The prospective tenant has a steady job with reliable income. It’s recommended that landlords look for an income that is 2-3 times the rental fee. That way, there shouldn’t be any late payments or requests for an extension on the payment due.
  • Polite & Respectful. During your interview, observe how they conduct themselves and how they interact with the people you come into contact with. Are they friendly and polite? This is a good indicator that they won’t disrupt the neighbors or cause any damage to your property.
  • No Eviction History. Be sure to get references during the screening process. If they have no prior history of eviction, then it’s safe to assume that they haven’t caused any issues.

The important thing is to ask the right questions and follow your intuition. Build good rapport with your tenants, and you’ll get along nicely. For more tips and tricks on the housing market and the responsibilities of a landlord, follow the Talley Properties blog.

New Developments in Charlotte

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Although not the capital of North Carolina, Charlotte has been nicknamed the Queen City. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s diverse, it’s fast-paced, and it’s growing. If you’ve ever been downtown, you’ll know that the skyline almost always shares its attractive silhouette with cranes and other construction machinery.

Charlotte is constantly under development, adding new buildings, new spaces, and new opportunities all the time. In fact, we’ve discussed some of the upcoming construction and development projects in a previous post, but there was simply too much to cover. Let us introduce you to a few more exciting prospects that you can look forward to in the years to come.

  • Lowe’s Tech Center. Charlotte’s South End will see construction of a new 23-story office building, commissioned by Lowe’s retail. The company is looking to expand their IT department, and these office spaces will allow for the growth they want.
  • The Square. The Square at South End is actually a multipurpose plaza. The Square combines a new office building, restaurant and café, retail shops, and quick access to Wilmore Centennial Park. Overall, it’s certain to be a hub of activity, situated in one of Charlotte’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
  • Centre South. Much like The Square, Centre South promises a bit of everything for everyone. Centre South will offer high-class residential spaces and amenities to match, as well as office spaces and access to the brand-new Centre Park. Of course, location is everything, and Centre South will offer quick access to local restaurants, entertainment, and other activities.
  • Duke Energy Plaza. Duke Energy has announced plans for a new corporate headquarters in Uptown Charlotte. This is all part of the company’s long-term plans to consolidate and reduce their footprint by over 50%. Once completed, the tower situated on the plaza will be one of the tallest in the city, and across the state, at 40 stories tall.

Looking at this list, it’s clear to see that the South End is the next up-and-coming neighborhood, with ambitious visions for the future of Charlotte’s infrastructure and a bold redefinition of the city skyline. Whether you’re a Charlotte native or you’re looking to move in, there’s never been a better time to be a part of the Queen City.

If you’re looking to learn even more about the upcoming development projects underway in the downtown area, you can find any previous posts on our blog. And that’s not all! Follow the Talley Properties blog to get tips, tricks, and up-to-date information about the real estate market here in Charlotte.

Things to Consider During Summer

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The temperature has continued its unsteady upward climb, the leaves have returned to the trees, and you got all that Spring cleaning out of the way. For many, this is the time of year for fresh starts, when you start looking outward at all the possibilities that the season holds. But for many people, early Summer is a time for buying and/or selling their homes as teachers, students, and families transition into new circumstances.

Summertime is notorious for its rental boom, due to an influx of homes and apartments flooding the market as people move in and out. Realtors are slammed as some help clients sell their home, while others find a new one that meets the buyer’s wish list. It’s a busy time of transition, and everyone seems to be hanging on with white knuckles. Let us help with that! Below, we’ll discuss a few tips and tricks to help you get a leg up as you enter the wild world of real estate this Spring.

  1. When seeking a new home, hopefully you have an idea of exactly what you want. You must do your own research ahead of time so that you know what to look for when the time comes. Everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the amenities, to its proximity to classes. Prioritize your wish list so you can distinguish between make-or-break items and nice-to-have amenities.
  2. Be Prepared. The rental market is fast-paced and often cutthroat, especially in the Summer. If you find your ideal sublease or rental, don’t wait to express your interest or even make an offer, it may not be available for long. This is why prior research will come in handy. That way, you’ll know what to look for when the opportunity presents itself and you won’t feel like you’re making an impulse buy.
  3. Go to a Property Management Service. A little help never hurt anyone. These services house a lot of information about local availability and costs on the rental market, so they’re your best bet when it comes to finding the perfect place for you.

If you’re searching for a new rental and you find yourself caught up in the rush of the season, just remember the tips above. Talley Properties is here to help!

Why Home Prices are Up

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Maybe you’re in the market for your first home. Or perhaps you’re looking to sell your current home and relocate your family. In either case, you’ve doubtless had some exposure to the house market. Whether looking at online listings or perusing local opportunities in your town or neighborhood, surely you’ve noticed the inflated prices of homes for sale today. It can be challenging enough finding the perfect home, but the overall increase in asking price can make this process even more difficult. You may have wondered, what causes this inflation? Why have home prices been on the rise in recent years?

Like most things that have to do with the economy, there isn’t just one reason for the spike. There are actually multiple variables to consider. Ultimately, supply and demand is a big factor. If the demand outweighs the current availability, then it becomes a seller’s market. A seller can get away with higher listing prices and higher rent because of limited supply. Unfortunately, there’s no one to blame for the comparatively lacking supply of today’s housing market. Oftentimes, even with the rapid growth of some towns and cities, builders can’t work fast enough to accommodate the ever-growing demand from an ever-growing population. Most recently, housing production has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning back in 2020.

In fact, the pandemic is another major factor behind the inflated price of homes, if perhaps in unexpected ways. Records show that there are fewer houses for sale than there have been in past years. Perhaps the fear of COVID-19 infection has kept people from opening their homes to the outside world. The pandemic has also kept people inside, away from their jobs, their friends, and their lives. With this comes a decrease in spending on things such as fuel, food, drinks, entertainment, vacations, etc. As spending decreases, saving increases, and people set their sights on a new house. These circumstances continue, adding to the already growing demand which, in turn, boosts home prices even higher. It’s a vicious cycle that favors the fortune of the seller. This means that unless you currently have a home to sell before moving, you’re up against a steep cost.

It’s unclear when or if the price of housing will begin to decrease. Supply and demand is at the heart of it all, and the onset of a global pandemic only further destabilized the already fragile economy. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the market. It may generally favor the seller, but you might just spot a diamond in the rough!

How to Deal With Water Damage

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Water damage: something no homeowner ever wants to encounter within the walls of their home. Whether it’s the result of severe weather and a leaky roof or a burst pipe inside the framework, water damage is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, it’s not permanent and can be fixed after the fact. You may want to contact a professional cleanup company to do any major restoration and repairs, but there are a few things you can do meanwhile to prepare the area and prevent any further damage.

First, you must identify the source of the water. Has the house undergone any severe damage recently? Do you have any known leaks in your roof or cracks in your ceiling? Were your plumbing pipes frozen or corroded? Knowing what type of leak you’re dealing with will help you better stop the continuous flow of water and correct and issues down the road.

Once you’ve identified the source of the problem and contacted the appropriate correspondence (roofer, plumber, etc.), it’s time to start fixing the damage left behind. Begin by drying the affected areas and wicking any moisture that may be trapped under furniture, beneath floorboards, or soaked into carpet padding. This is crucial, as mold and mildew could creep up and take hold as soon as 24 hours after the incident.

If the water damage is extensive, you may have to do some major repairs inside your home. For example, saturated drywall will need to be replaced, as will carpets and the padding beneath them. You may be able to salvage your hardwood flooring if you caught the water leak and removed the moisture in time to save its integrity. Otherwise, you may have to replace it.

If any of this sounds difficult or outside your expertise, consider allowing a professional cleaning service to come in and take care of things for you. They will often be better equipped with the tools and know-how to get excellent results. Contact your insurance company to see who and what is covered under your insurance plan, then work alongside the cleaners to get advice on how to proceed and how to prevent future incidents.

In the end, time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The sooner you are able to spot it and resolve the issue, the better. Water damage can spell disaster, but act quickly and you may be lucky enough to emerge with only some minor cleaning bills.

Picking the Right Property Manager - Charlotte Property Management

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While not essential to the success of your rental income, a property manager can make things a lot easier for you, especially if you have a full-time job. Property managers will take care of things like website listings, screening potential tenants, and even collecting rent from current tenants. But of course, you don’t want to choose just anyone for the job. You want someone reliable, someone you can trust with your business and your income, even when you aren’t there to watch over their shoulder. Here are some things you should consider when looking for a good property manager.

  • Get Referrals. The single best thing you can do when looking for a reputable manger is collect referrals from other sources. Contact people who would have had experience with a property manager, then ask whom they would recommend. After a while, you may find that there’s some overlap in the names being recommended. These are the property managers you’ll want to follow up with first.
  • Do Research. Rather than depend entirely on someone else’s favorable opinion, do your own research. A quick internet search will typically tell you everything you need to know regarding experience, credentials, and other information. They may even have a website available for you to browse.
  • Meet & Ask Questions. Form your own opinions by scheduling an in-person, face-to-face meeting with some of your top prospects. Consider the image you want to project and remember that your tenants, potential or otherwise, will likely interact with their property manager more frequently than they will with you. Record any general observations, including personality, sociability, and any other qualifications that you may consider important.
  • Observe Business Practices. If you have the opportunity, observe how they conduct business. Alternatively, you may ask these questions when meeting in person. Have they gone paperless, or are they more traditional? Do they prefer digital communication, face-to-face, or some combination of the two? Are they strict or lenient in the observation of rules and contracts? The ideal property manager aligns with your own values and current practices.
  • Ensure Insurance. Should something happen under their supervision, it’s essential that the manger have their own insurance. You shouldn’t be held personally responsible for a manager’s mistakes. Be sure to clarify during the interview process and weigh your options before hiring an uninsured property manager.

Finding a property manager that you like and trust can be tough, but it will be worth the extra time and effort spent in the end. Follow Talley Properties blog for more tips and tricks!

Home Interior Trends for 2022 - Charlotte Property Management

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After spending an unusually large amount of time in our homes these past few years, it’s no surprise that home interior trends going into 2022 represent a paradigm shift. These new trends reflect a changing of the times. Rather than simply looking nice for others who happen to drop in, our homes have become a personal haven of utility, functionality, tranquility, and personal expression. If you think it’s time that our homes reflect who we are, what we want, and how we want to live our lives, then 2022 will be the year to do just that.

  • As we’ve been stuck in our homes, we’ve had to be flexible and adapt as we go. Our houses have become offices, gyms, schools, and so much more. This year, design trends are taking this idea and running with it. What if our homes were designed to be multipurpose? What if they were designed with functionality first and foremost? Gone are the stuffy dining rooms only used for special occasions, and gone are the awkward bonus rooms filled with various odds and ends. It’s time to take control of your space and make it work for your life, your schedule, and your activities.
  • Furniture & Decor. As we head into the future, our homes may begin to feel like they’re slipping into the past. Traditional furniture pieces, as well as the spaces they inhabit, may see a return in 2022. Gone are the hard, sharp edges and modern sterility often associated with the style of the future. In its place will come rich fabrics, high-quality materials, and inviting homescapes.
  • Color, texture, and pattern can be used to evoke certain emotions and create an atmosphere. Bold colors and patterns are predicted to make a comeback this year as people reinvent their homes to be more personal, more expressive. Bygone decades, such as the 60s and 70s, will likely be a key inspiration as people learn how to create a comfortable, livable, relaxing home atmosphere.
  • Our homes are no longer bound by four walls. We open windows and doors, and we coexist with plants and animals. Now more than ever, we have begun to invite the outdoors inside. This is reflected in the materials we use, the colors we choose, and the decor we select to accent these elements. In 2022, make a conscious effort to live in harmony with your surroundings.

As you head into the new year, consider some of the latest design trends. Whether you’re moving to a new home or simply contemplating updating your current home, there’s never been a better time to hop on board and redecorate!

How Much to Invest in Landscaping - Charlotte Property Management

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As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make your property attractive to as many potential tenants as possible. Of course, the most important part is the living space. How many bedrooms/bathrooms? What amenities are offered? How competitive is the rental rate? These things will be at the forefront of renters minds as they are searching for their next home.

But what about the landscape? Surely you want your lawn and foliage to be just as attractive as the house itself. Not only that, but the right landscape design can drastically reduce regular maintenance and even discourage prying eyes. Below are a number of ideas that you may want to consider for your investment property.

  • Choosing the right type of grass for your lawn is essential. Some types are very high maintenance and need regular watering and mowing. In other words, they require quite a bit of upkeep. Research grass types that will thrive in your area, and pick one that does not require constant maintenance. This will make landscape management easier for you and your tenants.
  • Hardscaping or xeriscaping. Hardscaping makes use of tough materials such as brick, stone, gravel, wood, and other naturally occurring elements. Decks, patios, walls, and walkways can be a great use of space, and they require very little upkeep. Hardscaping may be considered a subset of xeriscaping, which is defined as water-conscious landscaping. Less water, less maintenance.
  • Climate-conscious shrubs. Depending on the climate of your rental property, you may be quite limited in the types of foliage that will grow. Consider cultivating local flowers, shrubs, and trees that will thrive in your particular environment, whether hot and humid or cold and dry. This will make it significantly easier to keep them alive and healthy, no matter your skill level when it comes to gardening.
  • Privacy screen. Everyone wants privacy in their own home. Depending on the property and its layout, you might consider planting trees or vines surrounding the house. Not only will this make the property more attractive, but it will make the residents feel secure and block prying eyes from the street. It may even discourage burglars during those times when the house is sitting empty between tenants.

Landscaping may not be top priority when compared to the house itself, but it’s a considerable bonus for potential tenants. Consider investing your time and money into making your property look finished. A lush lawn, a few flower beds, or an outdoor living area go a long way in making a house feel like a home.

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