Considering Renting Your House? Improve Its Curb Appeal!

When preparing your home to be rented, improving curb appeal without breaking the bank is the goal. Adding a few eye-catching improvements while keeping the landscaping and front porch neat and clean will help you quickly win over potential renters. An attractive home will also ensure you get market rent or more for your property. Take a look at our list of impactful home upgrades to enhance curb appeal for NC renters.

Prepare Your Home to Welcome New Renters

Drive up to your home and evaluate it with fresh eyes. What defects do you notice and what features could use a bit of polishing? You don’t need to include all of the following improvements to rent your home, but select those that will make your home appear desirable and unique:

• Replace dingy, bent or broken window blinds, which can easily be seen from the outside of the home.
• Keep the lawn neat and green, and consider adding pops of color with potted plants or flowers on the porch or along the walkway. Repair the driveway if needed.
• Consider purchasing a new front door or painting your current door a bright, but not off-putting, color. This creates a focal point–and makes people feel tempted to enter.
• Think about adding attractive door hardware in high end finishes to impress renters who get close up.
• Add distinctive or oversized house numbers, so renters who’ve seen an ad can find the place. This also adds a sense of stability and modernity.
• Install a new mailbox if yours is worn.
• Wash the siding on the home so that it looks sharp and not neglected in any way.
• Light it up, for potential renters who might drive by after work. Add attractive lighting to the lawn, walkway, and/or along the front fence. A distinctive and impressively elegant porch light fixture will draw attention. Keep indoor lights on during the evening with sheer curtains drawn so the house doesn’t look cold and empty.
• Consider painting the trim on your home if it’s peeling or worn.

These economical tips will brighten up your home and significantly increase its curb appeal for renting. Your home should attract the best qualified renters, rent quickly and command a top-tier rent.

Get Expert Guidance on Renting Out Your Charlotte NC Home

If deciding on home upgrades to attract renters seems daunting, work with an experienced property management team. Contact T.R. Lawing today.

 

Benefits of Using LLC For Investment Properties

If you own a home that you rent out or other investment properties, you might want to consider forming a limited liability company (LLC). There are several benefits to using an LLC to handle the business activities of your investment properties.

Protecting Your Personal Assets

One of the primary reasons property owners choose to set up an LLC is to protect their personal assets. As much as you would like to trust your renters, you cannot control everything that goes on at the properties you rent 24 hours a day. For example, if your renter had guests over for a party and a guest was hurt, there is the possibility that you could be personally sued because of their injuries. An LLC limits your personal vulnerability to this type of lawsuit and insulates your risk exposure. Your personal assets would be protected any claims would go against assets that are owned by the LLC.

Pass-Through Taxation 

If you are a single proprietor or have partners in an LLC, you get the benefit of pass-through taxation, which avoids the double taxation you would be subject to if you had another type of corporation, like a C corporation. As a single proprietor, you are able to avoid double taxation of your rental income and the appreciation on the property when you sell it. An added benefit is that you get to deduct your mortgage interest. As a sole proprietor with an LLC, your profits and losses are passed directly through to you and you would be required to pay taxes as an individual. A multimember LLC is treated as a partnership, and you would be required to file an informational return to the IRS. The profits and losses would also be passed through to members and reported on their individual tax returns.

An LLC can give you greater flexibility with other business aspects, in comparison to other types of corporations. The best way to decide if an LLC is right for you is to discuss it with your tax advisor

Charlotte Property Management Companies: How to Choose the Best One?

If you own property in the Charlotte, NC, area and would like help with managing the rental process and upkeep, property management companies are an excellent solution. In fact, expert property management can help increase your property value. Charlotte property management companies are not all created equal, however, so here’s what makes the best stand out.

Hallmarks of Top Charlotte Property Management CompaniesThe key to successfully and profitably managed rental property is selecting the best property managers. If you look for the following skills and qualities, you will be able to enjoy owning rental property without the day-to-day challenges of management.

These skills and characteristics set the best property management firms above all the rest. Look for:

• Experience: Choose a company with decades of experience in the Charlotte rental market. Experience brings many advantages to you as a company client. For example, long-term property management companies have valuable contacts in home improvement. This saves you money on property upkeep or upgrades, while guaranteeing quality repairs. Experience also ensures your property remains in compliance with local codes and landlord-tenant law.

• Reputation: A proven track record gives you confidence you’re making the right choice to manage your rental property. Check references and reviews.
• Organization: A good property management firm runs smoothly, with well-established procedures for advertising, budgeting, running background checks on prospective tenants, collecting rents, managing lease agreements and conducting legal evictions as needed.
• Communication: Your property management company should keep you informed of the state of your property with regular proactive reporting. The firm should be responsive to your questions or concerns and never delay in calling you back or answering your questions completely.
• Local real estate expertise: Your property manager should be able to offer solid advice about the market and home values, They should ensure that you receive market rent and advise you on improvements to increase rental or resale value for your Charlotte rental units.

Choosing the right property management company for your rental home or multi-family property is crucial to protecting your investment. In fact, the best property managers maximize your investment steadily, ensuring that you enjoy reliable, worry-free management and rental income.

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Home Rentals in Charlotte NC

When searching for home rentals in Charlotte NC, deciding where you want to rent is where most of your research will take place.  The best neighborhood for your lifestyle is an important long-term investment and work the extra effort when it comes to a commute, schools and recreation that is close to home.

Picking the Right Neighborhood

Even if you don’t have or want children, choosing a neighborhood by school ratings is usually accurate as far as crime rates, the feeling of community and safety.  Also, look for crime rates in the area, if this is a concern and use a crime rate map of the city to stay current on where crime concentrates the most.  Next, assess the neighborhood for commute times, public transportation and distance to recreational activities that you enjoy.

Money vs. Location

Sometimes money is a concern and the home is not in the right location, that is affordable.  This is a sacrifice many have to make, but there are things that can make the wrong neighborhood more pleasant.  Getting a rental closer to a bus line, makes getting to work easier.  Also, consider nighttime noise.  If you are a soft sleeper, a home or apartment away from main streets and possibly a corner unit will help with staying rested in the city.

Family Home Rentals in Charlotte NC

When renting a home for a family, things to look for besides schools are safety, when children grow and want to play outside.  A fenced yard, proximity to a local park and access to child friendly activities are all things to consider prior to signing a lease.

Cost of Living

Cost of living changes from city to city and a cost of living calculator will help you find the increases and decreases you can expect if you are moving long distance.  This can also help you find a balance between the neighborhoods you’ve selected to look at for housing options.

Rental Properties in Charlotte

Even in the best of circumstances, renting a house comes with a lot of unknowns. But if you know what to look for and what to avoid when searching for rental properties in Charlotte NC, you’ll be able to find the perfect property for your needs.

Here’s the top 5 things to avoid when renting a house:

Bad Neighborhoods

With rental prices climbing across the country, you might be tempted to rent a house in a less-than-desirable neighborhood to save a few bucks. While making compromises in the rental process should be expected to a certain extent, putting your safety at risk is never worth it.

Do your research on the area you’re interested in, look at things like crime statistics, average income, average mortgage price, etc. to get a good idea of what the area is really like.

Problems with Pests 

You would obviously never rent a house you knew was infested with pests of any kind. Unfortunately, renters get stuck with these unwanted guests without even knowing it in most cases. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before moving in.

Ask if the property has ever had problems with mice, cockroaches, bed begs, fleas, etc., and inspect the house closely for any signs of infestation.

Outdated Appliances 

Before renting a property, take a look at the appliances to ensure they are up-to-date and working properly. Older appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and stoves, are much more likely to break down and/or stop working.

Even though the landlord is typically responsible for these type of maintenance costs, it’s still not a problem you want to be dealing with on a regular basis.

Expensive Utilities 

Renting a house can be an extremely smart financial move. However, those savings can quickly be eaten up by unruly utility bills.

Don’t fall for this all-too-common pitfall and contact the utility company beforehand to get an estimate on how much things like electricity and water cost at the property you’re interested in.

An Unavailable Landlord 

Perhaps the most important thing to avoid when looking for rental properties in Charlotte NC is an unreliable or unavailable landlord/property manager.

When first communicating with an owner or property manager, take note of how quickly they return your calls and how helpful they are (or aren’t) when you’re asking questions about the property.

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The Right Rental Home in Charlotte NC

Finding the right home out of the abundance of rental homes Charlotte NC can sometimes be an overwhelming task. There are a few things you want to do to prepare yourself for finding a place in the Charlotte area, so your search doesn’t take longer than it has to and you know what home is right for you.

The Single-Family

Many think of a single family home when considering a rental. The pros are the privacy, that many come with a garage and yard, and it’s pretty close to feeling like a homeowner. Gardening, kids playing in the yard, entertaining outside and having things that are typically not an option in other housing, like a swing set or volleyball net. The cons are the price and the higher expense of utilities.

The Apartment

An apartment can come with amenities that are not included in a single family home. The utilities and rent can be less expensive than a house or a townhouse. The cons are usually how the apartment is maintained, difficulty getting deposits back, owning pets and neighbors that are noisy.

Something in the Middle

When searching for a new rental you can have both the pros and cons of a house and apartment. A townhome can be a good split for many renters who have a family. A townhome can be cheaper than a house and have some of the amenities of an apartment. There is more privacy if the townhome has a fenced yard. A townhouse is also a good compromise on the budget.

When looking for rental homes Charlotte NC can be overwhelming if the type of home isn’t considered first. Once you choose the type of home you want to rent, decide on things like the school district, walk score and neighborhood amenities prior to filling out an application.

Be prepared to narrow down what you want to a few places as application fees can accumulate fast when applying to several locations.

Your lease should be well written and state your responsibilities, how to get maintenance, who to call in an emergency or overnight maintenance situation and all of the fees you are expected to pay.

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Why Renters are Turning to Property Management in Droves

Anyone who has rented before knows how frustrating the search for the perfect home can be. You can be as thorough as you like online and then arrive to find out that the home does not look anything like the picture, or the landlord has changed the rent amount or other rules that come with the home.

That is why many renters are turning to property management rental companies for help. A property management rental company is a group of people who specialize in rentals, assisting people who are looking to rent, or are looking to rent out their home.

You do not have to worry about the details when you work with property management rental companies. You just tell the person you are working with what you want, and they will go out and find the perfect home. Many property management companies have thousands of properties to choose from, which makes it easy to help renters get matched up with the right home – and the right landlord.

There are also benefits to renting a property that is managed by property management. Property management rental companies do nothing but manage their properties so when you have a problem; they are always available to help. This help includes maintenance issues, questions about your rental, financial issues and much more. Properties that are managed by professionals at a property management company respond to maintenance requests faster make paying rent easier and have several other benefits.

However, property management rental companies do not just make sense for renters; they are also the perfect solution for someone who wants to rent out their home. As an independent landlord, your time is precious and spending all your time collecting rent, doing maintenance or answering questions and showing rental properties can keep you busy all day long. A property manager is a perfect solution because they will take care of many of those things for you, leaving you time for more important tasks.

The bottom line is that property management rental companies simply make sense, no matter if you are interested in renting a home or other property, or are looking to rent out an existing property. A property manager is a great way to save you time and money.

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Top 3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood in Charlotte

Charlotte is that quintessential Southern place that offers big city amenities with a small, southern town feel. Residents here enjoy a strong job market, warm climate, and a low cost of living… all of which undoubtedly have contributed to Charlotte making the most recent list of top 10 fastest growing cities in the country.

That said, finding that perfect neighborhood niche for your family in this booming city can sometimes be a challenge. If you are looking to rent or to purchase a rental building, residential management companies can help you find the perfect building and neighborhood fit for you. You should likewise keep the following tips in mind during your home research:

  1. Take a stroll around your prospective block. You can’t judge a neighborhood until you walked a mile of its streets. This is the best way of determining the cleanliness and overall friendliness of a given neighborhood. It will also give you a good idea of nearby cafes, restaurants, corner stores, parks, bars, and other amenities. For example, a quick walk around Charlotte’s NoDa or North Davidson neighborhood will show you some of the eclectic art galleries and bustling live music venues that makes this a top living choice for recent college grads. For best effects, be sure to go a few different days of the week.
  2. Do some research into the safety of a neighborhood. Whether you are working with Charlotte residential management companies to rent a home or to purchase a home for rent, getting a place in a safe neighborhood is key. While Charlotte is overall a safe city, there are some pockets of crime (like any big city). Go to the local police department or otherwise do some research into neighborhood crime statistics. You’ll want to look both at the amount and type of crimes as well as consider whether there is an increasing or decreasing trend. 
  3. Check out the local schools. This is important for those people renting with kids as well as for buyers who want to keep resale value in mind. Homes near good schools, whether it is kindergarten or college, will always be in high demand. 

For more information about Charlotte’s many charming neighborhoods and help in selecting the right home in the right neighborhood, contact us today. Our team of skilled realtors will help find out your needs and future plans to guide you toward your ideal next property.

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How to Make Small Rooms Feel Larger: Quality Property Management Advice

Whether you’re renting a trendy tiny house or a studio apartment, or you have a large home with some small rooms, these tips are for you! Interior designers, home stagers and quality property management firms use small-house decorating secrets to visually enlarge living space that’s a little too cozy. Today, we’re sharing some expert advice.

Expand Your Space Without Knocking Down Walls

Remodeling is expensive, inconvenient and sometimes impossible. Here’s what to do instead! Try these tips for living large in a small area:

• Use neutral or lighter tones: Quality property managers recommend neutral or light paint colors, including cream, bone, beige, pale yellow, bright white, gray or light charcoal for walls and/or ceilings. Choosing lighter-color furniture creates a fresh, clean look that feels open and airy. Stuck with a dark couch? Brighten with light, colorful throw pillows. Tone-on-tone is modern, so try lighter tones next to slightly darker shades of the same basic hue.
• Mirrors work magic: You can add a “window” or double your room size without doing construction. Mirrors can reflect great views from an opposite or adjacent window, while pulling extra light into the room or brightening a forgotten, dark corner.
• Be generous with breathing space: Leave lots of floor space (and wall space) empty, between furniture pieces or wall-art. This suggests extravagance—there’s no lack of space here! Many designers feel that hardwood or attractive tiled floors make rooms look larger. Large furniture is ok—but clean lines are preferred. Ideally, use one larger piece per room and coordinate other, smaller furnishings with it.
• Multi-purpose does the trick: Purchase nesting side tables for extra table space and tuck away when not needed. Find an ottoman that works as a coffee table, with hidden storage inside.
• Create built-ins: Sometimes only vintage homes have built-ins, so if necessary–create your own. Purchase corner china cabinets or ordinary bookshelves. Paint the same color as the wall, or one shade darker/lighter. Enjoy the custom made appearance that looks like an architectural feature.
• Choose pendant(s) or wall sconces: Light up your room without using valuable tabletop and floor space. Or opt for floor/table lamps with a small footprint.

If you’re renting out a smaller home or apartment as a landlord, or living in one as a renter, try our tips for small room style! For more expert advice, contact TR Lawing, Charlotte’s leaders in quality property management. Call us today!

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Road Construction on East 7th Street

Effective this Wednesday, May 17, and continuing for 6 weeks, Hawthorne Lane will becompletely closed between E. 5th Street and E. 7th Street.

Effective “before Memorial Day”, the entire intersection of E. 7th Street & Hawthorne Lane will be closed “for several weeks” according to the City of Charlotte.

As soon as the E. 7th Street/Hawthorne Lane intersection reopens (approximately July 1), demolition of the Hawthorne Lane bridge will begin and continue for 18 months … until January 2019.

While access to all local businesses & residences will be maintained at all times, work on the streetcar project will make it difficult for our prospects, residents, staff and vendors.

Please plan before traveling to our main office and our staff will do our best to keep all residents, potential customers, vendors and owners updated on any changes during road construction.

Thank you for your patience.

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