What to Inspect When You’re Inspecting

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What to Inspect When You’re Inspecting: The Importance of Conducting Regular Inspections

Inspections should not be dreaded by Tacoma area investment property owners, and instead should be looked upon as a time to make improvements on your property. It can be a way to make more money, make your properties safer, and even spread out costs. For do-it-yourself landlords, it can be hard to know exactly what you are looking for when conducting inspections, so we have put together some tips from the Tacoma property management pros.

Inspection Musts From Our Tacoma Real Property Management Today Company

Placing property inspections or reviews on the back burner is doing a disservice to yourself, your tenants, and your property. It’s not safe, and in many cases,  it isn’t legal. One of the reasons we have become a leader in the Tacoma property management industry is because we take the time to carefully check the property during routine inspections for issues that can easily escalate.

Not sure what to look for? Cover your basics:

  • Plumbing issues: check for noticeable leaks or cracked pipes; replace faucet washers as needed.
  • Appliances: verify the water heater, furnace, air conditioner, and any other major appliances supplied by you are in working order
  • Maintenance and Repairs: be proactive about small things now before they turn into big things later
  • Ensure lease compliance: Don’t allow pets? Limited to a certain number of occupants? Smoking banned inside the home? Verify that the rules laid out in the original lease are being followed by the tenants.

During the property review, take note of any new damage done to the property, and document it with pictures. Any issues that are discovered need to be addressed in writing when the review is complete. From there, you can work on ways to solve the issue – whether that means you are going to require cooperation from your tenant or you need to hire a professional to fix something.

Texting and driving

This generation has caused a great commotion over heavily distracted drivers. Reports have shown large increases in accidents from people being distracted while driving due to cell phone use while driving. This link Shows some great alarming statistics on why we shouldn’t text and drive. The most alarming fact is that 11 teens die daily as a result of texting while behind the wheel. 

Buckle up and drive safe. 

Proof is in the Pudding.

When hiring a property manager in the South Puget Sound area, it is important to weigh all variables. Wether your home is in Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Olympia or even Port Orchard, RPM is there to help you. And we are growing nationwide to assist more landlords across the continent in epic proportions. See the link below in the latest release about how Think Realty has named RPM the franchisor of the year. We do great things on a grand scale, and on a small scale in your local market.

Franchising.com

We Are Here to Help

 

 

 

Free Stuff!

Who doesn’t want to save a little money and get free stuff? We all know there are little tricks around our home that can help us save on energy cost. However, did you know that there are companies out there that will help you look for those energy savings? Puget Sound Energy has partnered with Eco Consulting to do just that for you. Please see the attached flyer for information about the services they provide. These services are of no cost to you and they will bring you up to 20 light bulbs and two shower heads for free to help cut the cost of your energy bill. So, again I ask, who doesn’t want to save a little money and get free stuff?

About Eco Consulting

Laundry, tips and tricks of the trade.

Everyone has it and not many like to do it. But there are many ways to be efficient at it and having best practices in your laundry will help you in your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

  • The Dryer Lint trap. This is crucial to keep clean and clear. The dryer lint trap plays a crucial role in the drying process. It is there to catch debris from clogging up the ventilation system, however, if not properly maintained, itself can be the main reason for blockage. Check out this short video for a brief tutorial on how to make sure you clean it right.
  • Folding a Fitted Sheet. Most people don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet. It makes a very awkward storage in your linen closet when you have a bunch of stuffed up fitted sheets piled in there. To save space and for more organized storage, check out this short video.
  • Storing and Organizing Laundry. Folded sheets and towels tend to topple over if not folded well or organized perfectly. Over time we can also lose track of set of sheets. Check out this site to see how to best organize your sheets.

Here is a cheat sheet for other Laundry tips.

amazon-laundry-stain-removal

A First Impression can be everything…

Advertising your home for rent is a bit like preparing for a blind date. First impressions can make or break a relationship with a potential renter. Just as you would shower, shave, put on your best clothes and dab on some cologne before meeting a date at a restaurant, you want to make sure your house is looking its best when renters come for a tour.

 

Putting your home’s best foot forward isn’t too hard or too expensive, but it’s definitely worth the investment.  Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure that your home shows well and attracts quality tenants.

 

  • Stand on the street facing your home and try to see it through a tenant’s eyes. Is the lawn mowed? Are flower beds free of weeds and debris? Are the walkways and driveway swept and tidy? Tenants will live inside the home, but the curb appeal of the home can entice or turn off a potential renter before they even step foot through the front door.
  • Have the carpets professionally cleaned, with pet deodorizer if there have been any animals in the home. You might not see or smell any signs of pets or spilled drinks on the carpet, but a scrutinizing renter will, and their nose enters the property almost as fast as their eyes.
  • Make sure that the home is “white-glove” clean. If a tenant knows that the home is clean and ready to move right into, they’ll be much more inclined to apply immediately. Don’t forget those spots that are notoriously missed – the top of the fridge, inside bathroom drawers and window blinds.
  • Ensure that all light bulbs are working so that the home can be brightly lit during a showing.
  • If there are any minor maintenance items that are waiting to be done, don’t put them off any longer! Things like drippy faucets, running toilets, or damaged walls tell tenants that maintenance items get ignored on the property and a good tenant won’t want to get involved.

So while you’re preparing to make your home rent ready, keep that blind date in mind and make sure that your home doesn’t get passed over because of an unappealing first impression!

The importance of updating records

From time to time we lose track of where we stand with certain situations and accounts. One great blessing of not updating your records is going back and finding that you have money held in a state fund called unclaimed property. Unclaimed property is where funds go to find out if anyone that owed you money, but couldn’t find you. Washington state’s page is HERE. Each state has its own site and collection efforts.

If you are one of our clients, we strongly encourage you to keep your records up to date. In a few short weeks, we will be sending out our annual 1099 tax filings and it is imperative that you receive and review it. If there are any errors for any reason, we need to know, because we do have a month before those need to be reported to the IRS for filing.

We love what we do, (mainly because it creates some of the most wonderful stories, funny and interesting) and we want you to have a good experience with us. We hope you all enjoy the end of 2015 with a good Holiday time and we look forward to a new beginning of 2016!

 

Are you ready for Winter?

We’ve made it through thanksgiving, but does that mean we will make it through the holiday season without any problems? We strongly encourage all who are in our network to winterize their homes by prepping for the worst case scenarios. A few frequent problems we encounter are:

  • Refrigerators. Most people forget that a fridge needs upkeep. It needs basic cleaning and maintenance, otherwise it will go belly up on you when you least expect it. We have had dozens of tenants lose hundreds of dollars worth of food due to improper care for a refrigerator. For more details, check out sites like this one. 
  • Condensated Windows and window sills. This one can lead to some real health problems. All too often in the cold seasons, we don’t let the air in our homes circulate. We also tend to keep the blinds and curtains shut to keep out the cold, this creates a lot of condensation on the windows that can lead to mildew growth and eventually mold. No one wants to go through that, so crack your windows from time to time to give your home a fresh breath. Also, wipe down the window sills weekly to keep the water from settling.  The water can also cause unwanted damage that can take away from your security deposit return as well. 
  • Clearing debris from sides of the house. Some of the times winter storms knock down limbs and debris into our yards. Make sure not to pile those up against the house, as it can attract unwanted rodents and/or insects. This can also cause damaged to the siding. Not to mention those pesky HOA’s breathing down your necks for an unkept yard.

There are many other ways to prevent your home from having troubles this winter. Make sure you are prepared for all cases of emergency, from flashlights and candles to food storage for in times of need. 

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.