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Property Management Blog

Published on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Why Is It Important To Have Good Carpets In Your Apartments Or Homes?

Why should you pay close attention to the condition of the carpets?

Carpets that are old, have matted fibers, and are littered with stains will not only make the carpet look bad, but it will also make that room less appealing. The fact of the matter is, no one wants to rent of live in an apartment or home that looks like it hasn't been taken care of or even worse─neglected. Plus, if you can't be minded to change the carpets when they need to be, what else won't you do when the tenant needs something more pressing addressed? If you want to entice potential tenants to sign that lease, maintaining the entire look─both inside and outside, of what you are selling is important.

So, you decide to get new carpets. What carpets should you buy?

When replacing carpets, the first thing you need to do is consider durability. If your apartment complex is pet-friendly, you should choose carpets that have been made from a durable fiber such as nylon. Nylon is dense, and will hold up well against animals and even young children that can tear into carpets as the play and grow.

Aside from durability, another thing that you should consider when choosing carpets is how well they stand up against stains. The better a carpet is against stains, the less likely it will need to be replaced. After all, replacing carpets is not cheap. If you install a carpet that is less stain-resistant, this might cause the potential tenant to question the history of the unit or home. Inevitably, if you would like to avoid answering the question "What happened to the previous owner?" install a stain-resistant carpet.

Is softness as important as important as durability and stain-resistance?

Of course it is! Installing softer carpets will prove ideal for bedrooms or other areas of the home or unit where people spend most of their time barefoot. But, we do suggest that you stick to the more durable carpets for highly-trafficked areas because durable carpets are not usually the softest!

Where can you get a carpet that is soft, durable, stain-resistant, and cheap?

The answer to this question depends. National brands often have a diverse range of materials and prices, but smaller companies have professionals who have dedicated their life to selling and installing carpets. If you were to ask us here at Onyx Management Group, we would suggest that you do your research before you buy!

Onyx Management Group has experience helping property owners get their units or homes in tip-top form. If you have any questions about how or what you can do to make your property more appealing, please reach out!

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Landlord Knowledge Base

If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.


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