General Articles

Avoiding Apartment Fees

Avoiding Apartment Fees

Before anything else, an individual renting an apartment needs to understand exactly what a fee apartment is. When a broker assists a client in locating a new apartment, the broker must be compensated for the work they performed, so the broker in turn charges their client a fee. Usually, the fee is 15% of one year’s rent. However, in most markets within the United States, this 15% fee does not exist. For the broker to receive compensation, they are usually paid by the apartment in question’s owner, since the broker located them a qualified tenant.

Many opinions have been formed over this process, however. Sometimes it is reasonable to charge something, due to time constraints, etc., but sometimes brokers are able to locate apartments for tenants in a mere 10 minutes, but they still receive the 15% fee. So in simple terms, the broker would receive, say, $3,000 for 10 minutes worth of work and research. This has caused quite an uproar with certain people who feel it as being extremely unfair.

For the individual in search of an apartment, there are two methods for avoiding fees. The most common way to avoid fees is to rent an apartment directly through the property owner. If owners offer brokers an owner payment for the apartment that is leased out to a tenant, the broker is compensated with the owner payment, therefore eliminating the need for the broker to charge a fee.

The owner of the apartment offering the owner payment to the broker allows the broker to advertise the apartment as a “no fee” apartment, therefore attracting many more potential tenants, even though the tenant doesn’t necessarily receive a better deal.

As a whole, the mass majority of potential tenants will more than likely be more interested in an apartment with no fees as opposed to one that has fees.…

How You Can Check to See If Your Landlord Has Hidden Cameras in Your New Apartment

How You Can Check to See If Your Landlord Has Hidden Cameras in Your New Apartment

Protecting your privacy from a potentially nosey or just plain perverted landlord, is more of a worry for women today than it has been in past years due to the volume of options and availability of hidden cameras. Hidden cameras disguised as every day items are the best known but hidden camera can also come in the form of pinhole cameras.

When you first move into your new apartment, rented room or home you need to do a thorough walk through and pay attention to all of the little things. This is especially true if the place comes fully or even partially furnished.

When you do your initial inspection you need to check the following very carefully:

o Air vets for the air conditioning and heat.

o Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

o Any mirrors, paintings or wall decorations you don’t install yourself.

o Corners of each room, check the ceiling for small holes this also goes for the walls to any adjoining apartments.

o Check the bathroom carefully paying close attention to the shower and toilet areas

What you are looking for are wires that appear out of place and seem to go no where, and small holes that make no sense. If you turn out the lights and get it pitch black in your place you can look for lights in odd places.

Most cameras come with some type of power on light that can much more easily be seen in the pitch dark through careful examination. As I mentioned before you need to pay close attention as you do your inspection.

The bad thing about apartments and rented houses are that the landlord can come in under false pretenses and install cameras at any time after you move in. So you may also want to consider buying a bug detector.

Bug detectors can let you find any wireless cameras or microphones. Best of all you can occasionally sweep your living area to be sure nothing gets slipped in after your initial inspection.

Another bonus to getting a bug detector is that it can be used to ensure your privacy in dressing rooms and public bathrooms as well. We have all seen the news stories of perverts placing cameras in these public places and you do not want to fall victim.

A little prevention can save you a lot of heart ache down the road.…

Your Home – Owning Vs Renting

Your Home – Owning Vs Renting

Many people often wrestle with the debate of whether to purchase a home, or to rent one from somebody else. Renting is very attractive, because it allows you to pass off the responsibilities of home ownership to someone else, which often includes major expenses. However, money paid out in rent does not go to something that will build equity, such as real estate. There are also several other major benefits to home ownership.

You do not need the permission of anyone else to make modifications to your own home. When you rent, you will need to contact the property owner or property manager in order to make changes. These changes include installing safety equipment, painting, removing or modifying walls, or making other aesthetic improvements. Sometimes, apartment managers will deny any change, regardless of how much it might improve their property. Their interest is in keeping all of the units the same.

Owning your own home also offers a level of privacy that an apartment or town house cannot compete with. In most states, Landlords must notify you before entering your home. However, they generally do not care to modify their schedule to a time that is convenient for you. This can be very bothersome if they are bringing a cleaning or Maintenance Company by, and can eat into several hours of your personal time without you having any say in the matter.

Most homes are also much farther apart than the typical apartment or town house. This, of course, does not include condominiums. However, most condos that are designed for individual purchase are built out of much higher quality materials than those intended for rental, and will therefore experience a significantly less amount of cross-noise.

As discussed before, home ownership is a major personal financial investment. You can view your mortgage check each month as an investment, instead of money gone “out the window.” A home will most likely gain value each year, so when the time comes to sell it and move on, you will come out ahead. In this even, you also have the possible option of keeping the home and using it as your own rental property, putting money in your pocket each month.…

The Pros and Cons of Having A Doorman Versus Not Having One In Apartment Buildings

The Pros and Cons of Having A Doorman Versus Not Having One In Apartment Buildings

One very convenient feature to have in an apartment building is having a doorman. Usually, buildings that have this additional feature charge more rental fees. It can sometimes be tough to decide if having an added feature such as this is actually worth the money spent.

Convenience is definitely a big advantage of having a doorman. Some of the things they can do for you include receiving package deliveries, relaying messages and even calling a cab for you when you need one.

Doormen can also function as added security for the building, because they do not allow non-tenants into the building premises. The doorman will eventually be familiar with your schedule and inform you immediately if something is suspicious, adding to your sense of security and peace of mind.

Doormen often have the skills to sense when something doesn’t feel right. This will definitely benefit those who don’t spend a lot of time in the apartment like tenants who travel a lot or the elderly tenants who just live by themselves.

Oftentimes, it is also easier to sell apartments with doormen. Buildings and structures with doormen normally have higher resell value than those without them.

Maintaining doormen for the skills they have and the security they provide is usually why fees for them are required. Expect a higher rent from buildings that have doormen.

However, some people are not too comfortable in having doormen because they feel that it invades their privacy to a certain level. To some, it’s alright to have doormen know what their daily routine is, but others are not too happy to know that someone else knows this part of their lives.

As a conclusion, it will always end up to a person’s preference. Doormen provide a lot of convenience and security, but not to people who value their privacy more.…

Advantages of Renting Vs Buying

Advantages of Renting Vs Buying

To own a home with a white picket fence, beautiful yard with lush green grass and a golden retriever – that’s the epitome of the American Dream. Over generations this ideal has been etched into the minds of many Americans. Most people consider renting the equivalent of flushing money down the drain. Why is that? Let’s explore some advantages of renting vs. buying:

Financial expert Jill Schlesinger for CBS’s Money Watch segment encourages renting. “Don’t feel pressured into buying a home, Renting can often be a smarter financial move”, she cautions. You have to go through and say, ‘Okay, if I’m going to buy a half million dollar place, I have to put $100,000 down, then I’m going to have a mortgage, and then taxes, then I’m going to have insurance, then I have maintenance (which is a pain in the neck, by the way).” Then, you need to really look and say, ‘What’s the comparable rent that I could pay to get pretty much the same thing?’, you may find that it’s going to cost you $6,000 to own, but only $3,000 to rent. Keep renting!”

Our Top 10 advantages of renting:

1. Luxury Living: When renting you might actually be able to enjoy living in that luxury ocean view condo which you would never be able to afford to buy.

2. Perks and Amenities: A lot of apartment communities have swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts and might include other perks such as free morning coffee or even breakfast.

3. Included Utilities: Often rentals include water and heating saving you a bundle of money at the end of the month.

4. No Yard Work: If you have ever pushed a lawnmower or pulled weeds in the summer heat, you’ll appreciate the fact that rentals usually include the yard maintenance.

5. No Property: Taxes and Insurance: As a renter you don’t pay property taxes or homeowner’s insurance, which can be quite expensive.

6. Repairs: What do you do when a pipe bursts or the roof starts to leak? As a renter you simply call your landlord and it will be taken care of at no cost to you.

7. Cash Flow: Renting is cheaper than buying, requiring less cash up front thus increasing your cash flow.

8. Flexibility: Renting makes you more flexible in the case you have to relocate. When that dream job in another state calls, you can move by the next month.

9. No Risk: The housing market fluctuates. If you have to sell your home in an economic downturn you might lose money. As a renter you will instead receive you deposit check back (in most cases).

10. Fixed Cost: When renting your monthly you have monthly fixed costs, which can greatly fluctuate when owning a home due to unexpected repair costs etc.…

Renter’s Insurance Is the Best Thing You Can Buy For Your New Apartment

Renter’s Insurance Is the Best Thing You Can Buy For Your New Apartment

If you do not own a home, do you still need to buy a property insurance policy? Your apartment complex does not require it, so is the extra cost really worth it, or necessary? There are 3 reasons it is absolutely necessary to have a renter’s insurance policy for your apartment, condo or rental unit.

Reason 1: Protect your personal property. You may not own the building you call home, but replacing everything you own INSIDE that building can be very expensive. Even if you are just starting out on your own and don’t have much, buying everything from your silverware to your underwear would cost you a considerable amount more than your annual renter’s insurance policy. Even 10 years of renters insurance would cost you less that trying to refurnish a one bedroom apartment. Perhaps everything inside your new place was a hand-me-down or a gift and cost you nothing, what are the chances you could replace everything the same way?

Reason 2: Protect yourself from lawsuits. Just as important as replacing your personal property if there is a fire, is protecting yourself from being sued if YOU start the fire. An accidental fire in an apartment building can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in building damage and property loss to the other tenants in the building. If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for paying for the damages, the answer is YOU ARE! The person that causes the damage is the person ultimately responsible to pay for those damages. The building owner will have an insurance policy to rebuild the home, but the insurance company is likely to pursue the individual responsible in order to recover the money they had to spend. If you don’t have a couple hundred thousand dollars in your savings account and don’t enjoy the idea of having your paycheck garnished for the rest of your life, then a renter’s policy is your best solution. Your renter’s insurance policy provides coverage to pay for damages you are liable for, protecting your assets, and your wages.

Reason 3: Protect yourself from being homeless. Most people will never start an apartment fire or cause damages that leave their home uninhabitable. However, with 10 or more other people living in one building, you need protection from what everyone else may do. If the neighbor above you has a minor kitchen fire, and the fire department fills your place with water while putting out the fire, where will you stay? There are countless news stories of families being forced to stay at a Red Cross shelters because they lost everything and have no money for a new apartment. Your renter’s insurance policy provides coverage to pay for a hotel or other temporary living needs.

There is no easier or less expensive way to replace your clothes and furniture, protect yourself from lawsuits and provide a place to stay in time of need than …

Have a Place You Can Call Home With a San Antonio Apartment Locator

Have a Place You Can Call Home With a San Antonio Apartment Locator

The third largest city in Texas is San Antonio. This city is very appealing to tourists and foreigners because of the fact that this has several things to offer. The outer loop is the one which surrounds the entire city and the freeways simply lead into the business district. The San Antonio International Airport is just located 13 miles starting from the downtown of the River Walk which is linked through an expressway.

You will also have a joy ride with your family and friends because driving in this city is very easy and it also has interstate freeways which lead into it from each direction. If you are planning to live in this city, you must look for the best apartment which can cater to your needs. But wait! Have you ever thought that driving around the several apartment communities can waste your time, money and gas? That is a bit frustrating especially if you know very little about the new city you want to live in. In order for you to look for the best apartment in the quickest time possible, all you need is a professional and expert San Antonio Apartment Locator. A locator is referred to as a real estate agent who is licensed. Right now, because of the domination of the online world in every global transaction, there are lots of websites that provide locators having a huge database of San Antonio townhome, apartment, communities and condo. So, this is an implication that you will have a very wide range of apartment selections having the best deals. But in choosing your very own apartment, you must be sure on what kind of apartment you would to have. Would you like to live in a condo, townhome, or other forms of apartment varieties? Another reason why you really need to ask the help of an apartment locator in San Antonio is that he can also give you pieces of advice on what apartment variety is best for you. In terms of the contract, you will also never have problems because your chosen apartment locator will also be the one to help you in negotiating with the landlord or landlady.

But how and where can you find a professional San Antonio apartment locator? Everything will just be one click away with the help of a reliable and trusted site in the internet. Because of the growing needs of people to settle down to another place because of work or unexpected circumstances, there are lots of websites that offers services in the form of apartment locators. Although San Antonio is a great place for apartment seekers, another great place to stay in the United States is Houston because of their cheap Houston apartments.

With the help of a San Antonio apartment locator, you can already have the chance to have a place you can call home. So, make sure that you can get a great …

Payment Options For The Purchase Of Under Construction Properties

Payment Options For The Purchase Of Under Construction Properties

While purchasing a property, it is very much important to decide whether to go for a home loan or purchase the home with your own funds. There are different options for payment towards the purchase of a property that is under construction.

The first option is that the entire amount has to be paid in advance at the time of booking the apartment. This is very much benefit for the purchaser, because the builders give some discount when the apartment is purchased under construction. The purchaser need not keep track of the payments. But the purchaser should have that much cash available with him.

The second option is that the payment can also be made in installments. There will be a payment schedule that is agreed by both the builder and purchaser. The payments can be made as per the schedule. In this, the purchase price need not be paid immediately as a whole. It is spread over a period of time, like 2 or 3 years. If the purchaser has taken a housing loan, the bank directly pays these installments to the builder. In this case, the purchaser is required to make a payment of about 10-25 % of the cost of the apartment at the time of booking the apartment. The balance amount is spread over a period of time. Usually, it has to be paid every quarter. The final payment has to be done before taking possession of the flat.

Some builders link the payment schedule with the level of completion of the project. In this case, you have to make a payment at the time of booking the apartment. This will be followed by the installments depending on the stage of construction.

A purchaser must clearly understand the price of the apartment before booking it. He has to ensure whether the price is just the basic cost of the apartment or it includes the cost that is related to stamp duty, registration charges and the charges for all the amenities in the apartment like club membership fee, society maintenance deposit and parking facility.

If the purchaser has opted for a housing loan, he has to pay interest on a higher amount and also for a longer duration. All these have to be paid normally with the last installment as soon as the apartment is ready for occupation. It has to be paid before the purchaser takes possession of the flat.

Stamp duty and registration charges should be paid along with the last installment. The purchaser should know the fact that the recovery of the EMI starts only after disbursement of the entire loan amount. And so, in the second option, the purchaser needs to pay a higher interest amount. In fact, the purchaser should pay pre-EMI interest on the loan disbursed during the construction period.

These are the two payment options available for the purchase of the property that is under construction. Before deciding to buy an …

Make Your Community More Attractive and Create a Sense of Community With an Outdoor Movie Event

Make Your Community More Attractive and Create a Sense of Community With an Outdoor Movie Event

Getting to know your neighbors has many benefits. Good neighbors can help each other, look out for each other and sometimes even become great friends. Getting to know your neighbors is particularly important for residents of smaller communities like apartment or condo complexes, retirement homes and gated communities. Fun social activities provide an opportunity for community residents to relax and get to know their neighbors,and creates a secure sense of community that encourages long-term tenants and improves the value of the community or complex.

An outdoor movie event is one way to accomplish these goals. An inflatable movie screen can be set up almost anywhere; the parking lot, next to the pool, on a tennis court, in a courtyard, or even indoors in the event of inclement weather. Almost any community has a space that can accommodate an inflatable movie screen for a memorable movie night.

With an inflatable movie screen you can create a relaxing movie under the stars to be enjoyed by all ages, or for a specific group. If you are trying to attract families, a popular family or kid’s movie would be a good choice. For adults, a popular new release would be well received. You might even consider giving the residents several choices and allowing them to vote on the movie for the event ahead of time. Kids or teens in particular might like the chance to decide which movie will be playing at the event.

An outdoor movie makes a great addition to a kid’s or teen’s event. Parents will like that their children are being entertained in a safe environment in their own community, and kids will have a chance to meet new friends right in their own complex.

Activities put on in retirement communities are often very well received. A combination of more free time and less opportunities to meet new people as a result of retirement means that social events are very important in retirement communities.

An outdoor movie event is a versatile and affordable social activity. Outdoor movie screens come in a variety of sizes to accommodate any size group and fit into any size budget. If you are working with a small budget, there are other ways to reduce expenses. One way is to sell sponsorship or advertising. the ads will run before the movie begins, just like they do in a movie theatre.

Existing and potential residents often look for a community with a close-knit feel and activities to stay busy, relax and get to know those who are living around them. Hosting a social event like a family movie under the stars or a kid’s, teen or adult specific movie event is a great way to make your community more fun and attractive to residents.…

Apartment – How to Find a Suitable One

Apartment – How to Find a Suitable One

Miami is a beautiful place where dozens of attractive beach front houses awaits you. This place is definitely ideal for having high-rise condos as well as apartments where you can look at some of the most spectacular views of the beach. A summer scape for most people who love the holidays, it is no surprise that many would love to have an apartment in Miami. While the Miami dream house is a beautiful sight to see, renting an apartment can still be a bit troublesome especially if it is out of your budget.

But there’s no need to worry because you can still find a Miami apartment suitable to your taste and budget! Some apartment hunting services and online listings can help you find just what you need. Here are some tips that can help you find a suitable apartment in Miami.

First, before anything else it is necessary to have an idea of what apartment you exactly need. Aside from that, know which part of Miami you exactly want to stay in since there are a lot of places in Miami you can choose from. Select the place where you find to be the most convenient. Do your research and take your time to review your current listing on the different apartments in Miami. You can look it up online where most business transactions are usually fast and convenient. Be careful though, since there are many offers that are quite unreliable.

If you have a spare time, it is also a good idea to check out the place by driving around the area. Some Miami apartments cannot afford expensive advertising but it does not necessarily mean they are not good. Aside from the fact that the place could be pleasant, they can even offer you a cheaper price. Calling a friend can also help you find the right place to settle in. He or she can even give you useful ideas of what to really look for.

Safety is also an issue you have to take note of. To make sure that you are safe in the place you are staying in, take your time as you finalize your decision on where to settle. You have to make sure that the apartment is well-kept, the security measures are great, and that there are people whom you can call in cases of emergencies. If you can, try researching about the place, location and crime rate. The place must be well-lit to make sure that you are in a secure place. With these in mind, you can definitely find a place in Miami that is enjoyable as well as secure.…