How To Prepare Your Home to Limit Your Liability for Rental and Investment Properties

Rental and Investment Properties
As an owner of rental and investment properties, knowing how to limit your liability is important.

Protecting yourself as a property owner doesn’t have to be complicated. But, many owners fail to take basic steps that could put them at risk for serious exposure down the road.

Fortunately, learning how to prepare your home for renting while limiting liability is pretty straightforward. Here’s how we recommend you go about it.

Get a Home Inspection

Limiting liability in your home starts with a home inspection, which gives you peace of mind that the structure and interior of your home are safe to live in.

It’s also a good way to assess the current state of your rental property. You may discover basic upgrades that you can advertise in your marketing campaign, enabling you to increase rent.

Get Renters Insurance

Renters insurance protects you (and your tenants) from bearing financial responsibility for minor and even catastrophic events.

There are different types of renters insurance—homeowners and landlord insurance are two popular options—that you should weigh the pros and cons with your specific property.

Have a Renter’s Checklist Available

As part of your rental and investment liability strategy, make sure both you and your tenants have skin in the game. You can achieve this by putting together a renter’s checklist that you and they walk through during move-in.

Have both parties sign off on the agreed condition of the home. That way, down the road, you’ll have proof that the home was that way if something happens.

Put Together a Home Inventory List

If you’re still wondering how to reduce landlord liability, make a list of every item in the home. By creating an inventory list, you can organize and plan out your rental and investment property duties.

An inventory list is also a good way to ensure things don’t go missing or get damaged without being noticed. Treat the large and expensive items the same as the smaller and less valuable—everything in your home that holds value should be on your inventory list.

Check Appliances and Make Necessary Repairs

Accidents and injuries caused by appliances result in about 1,000 injuries per year.

Compared to other issues, this number is relatively small. But keeping up to date on your appliance repairs is a great way to protect yourself and limit liability.

Do some research on how often appliances need to be checked and/or upgraded. Keep these on a spreadsheet and perform routine check-ins every 6, 12, or 24 months (or once a season, like spring) based on need. This will also save you money in the long run!

Make Sure You Have All the Permits

Permits are valuable documents that can prevent you from being held liable when an incident happens.

Acquire all the necessary permits—building, zoning, and any others needed for your area—to ensure you are protected in this way, too.

Get Your Unit on the Market With Us!

Thinking about putting your rental and investment properties on the market? Let us help you!

We can put your unit on the market and help educate you with additional resources that limit liability on your part as a landlord or tenant.

Contact us today to see how we can help you!

Real Estate Trends in 2021

buying-an-investment-property

With so many significant changes in 2020, we expect to see some major developments in 2021 real estate trends. This is due to the pandemic, it has changed how many people think about housing and work. 

We’re expecting more people to move out of cities or away from their offices because they no longer need to be close to work. House hunting will continue to be affected by social distancing until we all can get a vaccine. And, younger people will realize they can afford more property than they thought.

Suburban Growth and Working from Home

Two big trends coming in 2021 are caused by the changes in 2020 to work and society. With so many people starting to work from home, realtors have seen an increase in people looking to move out of cities. They want space and safety in their preferred neighborhoods rather than commuting convenience.

The growth in buyers wanting to move to the suburbs is a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are realizing they can work from home. Those who used to live in a city have quickly realized they can get much larger housing for the same or less money as they would in a city.

Moving away from urban centers has also become a trend because of unrest and protest that we’ve seen in larger urban areas in the past twelve months. As we move into 2021, this trend for buyers to seek homes in less congested areas will continue.

Virtual House Hunting

Another 2021 real estate trend is the move to online house hunting. Whereas home buyers have always wanted to visit houses in person as part of buying a new home, the pandemic has meant that more people are willing to view homes through virtual appointments. This is a significant change in how realtors and buyers operate.

Expect to see improvements in virtual home tours as we move into 2021, as we’re still practicing social distancing and dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. 

Millennials Moving Up

Millennials are one of the fastest-growing homeowner demographics. Moving into 2021, more millennials will enter the housing market. They will soon account for more than half of all home buyers. 

Millennials buying homes also ties into the first of the 2021 real estate trends we discussed. In the past, the youngest age demographic segment tended to look to rent or buy in urban or downtown areas. However, with remote work becoming more accepted, millennials are also joining the hunt for homes outside of cities. 

Part of this trend is that millennials realize they can now afford more of a house than before if they swap high-priced rent in cities for land and square footage in the country or smaller towns. This change in mentality leads to the trend of millennials “moving up” in the housing market.  

Keep an Eye on 2021 Real Estate Trends

As you can see, the changes that have occurred in all our lives will keep affecting real estate. We’ve highlighted three of the biggest 2021 real estate trends here because they are going to change how you think about buying your next home.

Remember, cheaper, larger, safer property outside or urban, downtown locations are booming. Improving technology will make house hunting virtually much better. And, the market is getting an influx of younger buyers with money to spend.

For more advice on real estate, get in touch with us today.

How to Help Your Teenager Transition When Moving to Salt Lake City

How to Help Your Teenager Transition When Moving to Salt Lake City

Moving to a new city is often a difficult adventure for everyone involved, but even more so for children. They’ll need to leave behind friends and comfort in favor of forging new bonds all over again. It affects them in ways that last for years.

That’s why it’s vital to find ways to make the move as seamless and stress-free as possible.

If your family is moving to Salt Lake City, then we’re here to help. Listed down below are several ways to help your teenager learn how to cope with moving.

Look For Exciting Places in the Area

The next step should involve looking for points of interest in the area you plan to live in. Places like cool bike trails, shopping plazas, or movie theaters are ways to get the family excited about the move.

They’ll have something positive to focus on, rather than only focusing on the negative parts of moving.

Visit the New School

Moving to a new school is the hardest part your teen will face during a move. That’s why it’s essential to give them a chance to scope out the new school before being thrown into the deep end.

If possible, take a trip together to visit the school and check out the main features of the building. They’re going to be spending a lot of time there, so it’s a significant relief to know where to go. It gives them a chance to focus on other things when the first day at school begins.

It could even facilitate a few new friendships along the way, which is an essential part of every teen’s life.

Encourage Involvement

Many of us don’t know how to deal with moving since it’s such a stressful time. Whenever it comes to making different decisions, try to involve your teenager in the discussions.

By asking for their help or their opinion, it gives them a semblance of control in this situation. It’ll make them feel as though their point of view matters and they’re not being dragged into something they don’t want. Instead, they’ll have a voice in the decision, and it’ll make them accept the transition more easily.

Expect Some Rebellion

Learning how to deal with moving is a different journey for everyone. Some teens might take to the change with an open heart, while others will act out until things normalize again.

As a parent, it’s good to expect some form of rebellion from your teen. Try to remain calm and accepting during this challenging time so that the situation doesn’t escalate. Sooner or later, your teen will find ways to love their new city.

Moving to Salt Lake City With a Teenager Takes Extra Care

Although moving to Salt Lake City opens up a lot of beautiful new avenues for the entire family, your teenager might not see it that way for a while. It’ll take time and effort to help your teen learn to love their new home.

With the help of these tips, that transition will be a whole lot easier.

Are you looking for a new home in this beautiful city? Contact us today to find the perfect match for you and your family!

The Brief Guide That Makes Choosing and Hiring a Realtor Simple

Your-Personal-Realtor

Does thinking about hiring a realtor gives you a headache?

How many of your neighbors and friends have handed you their business card? Chances are, you’ve got quite a few. It seems everyone and their uncle is a real estate agent nowadays.

How do you sift through the endless sea of licensed agents and find one that’s the right fit for you?

It can be a stressful task without any guidance. And deciding to work with the wrong one can be just as stressful!

But don’t worry! We’re here for you. Here are 8 quick tips to show you how to choose a real estate broker.

A Crash Course in Hiring A Realtor

  1. Availability– In a hot market when you are buying or selling, you need to have an agent that has time for you or you will miss out on some good houses
  2. Market Knowledge– Look for an agent that specializes in the area you want to buy or sell in and knows the market stats
  3. Experience– An experienced agent can help to get your home sold faster and also offer you a network of other professionals (mortgage lenders, home inspectors, etc.) to help with whatever you may need throughout the process
  4. Resources– Hiring a realtor who understands the whole picture is critical when dealing with things like financing, contracts, contingencies, and addendums
  5. New Marketing: Social Media– Marketing your house has changed to the point where you need an agent who has an active, professional presence on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  6. The agent sells real estate full time– Finding an agent who sells houses full-time means they will have more time to work on your home, and they’ve been successful enough-and been successful long enough-at it not to need another part-time job
  7. Ask your friends and family for suggestions– Agents who are good at what they can work on referral business alone, so someone you know may have worked with a rock star agent who can’t be found on the traditional marketing platforms.
  8. They are willing to listen– You can spot an agent who won’t listen to their customers from a mile away, and chances are they won’t fall in-line with any of the other 7 tips we’ve given you, but just be on the lookout for them!

Bringing it Home

Buying or selling a house is the biggest decision most people make in their lives because of the high price tag, and people are usually buying or selling in association with some other life event going on(having a baby, getting married, getting a new job, or downsizing because of an “empty nest”).

Here at Market Source Real Estate, we understand how complicated hiring a realtor can seem. We’re here to help and show you that it can be a simple, pain-free process.

We pride ourselves on putting our clients’ needs first and will answer any questions you have to help put your mind at ease.

This is your life, your house, and we want you to be 100% certain you’re in the best hands for the job.

Call Monique to get started, or subscribe to our blog to keep updated on what’s going on in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas.

4 Practical Tips for Downsizing and Moving Into a Smaller Home

Downsizing and Moving Into a Smaller Home

Size matters when it comes to your home, but not in the way you may expect. In fact, 60% of people who live in homes over 2,000 square feet would choose a smaller house over a larger one.

Downsizing is a fantastic way to save money, save maintenance time, and reap the rewards of a more minimalistic lifestyle. It can be an overwhelming task from the start, though. Stop stressing with these easy tips on downsizing to a smaller home.

1. Downsize Your Stuff First

A common mistake that downsizers make is choosing a home first and then trying to downsize their possessions to fit it. It’s better to work in the opposite direction.

Go through everything in your home and do a major purge. Sell or donate anything you don’t need. It’s a good idea to start this process early, so you have plenty of time to sell items.

This way, you have a more accurate idea of how much space you truly need in your next home. You’ll also know where that space needs to be.

For instance, perhaps you still have a lot of kitchen items but little clothing. You’ll want a home that has plenty of space in the kitchen but minimal closet space.

2. Get Detailed Measurements

When choosing your downsized home, always have a tape measure handy. Take detailed measurements of each room unless these details are already available.

Use these measurements to see whether your furniture would fit and how you would arrange it. If the home doesn’t fit your furniture, are you willing to sell and replace your furniture?

If you’ve already bought or leased the home, you can still put your measurements to use. Plan out how to arrange each room’s furniture in advance to make the move smoother. Be sure to consider essential layout rules in the process.

3. Make Everything Multifunctional

One of the top tricks to living in a small space is to rely on multifunctional pieces. For instance, furniture should also offer storage space or convert to other types of furniture.

The same goes for decor: storage can be stylish if you find the right items.

4. Consider Space Alternatives

After you’ve downsized your possessions, make sure you think about all your options. For instance, you might see that you have a lot of items you store in your basement. You’d assume your new home also needs a basement or a lot of storage space.

In reality, it may be cheaper to choose a home with little storage space and rent a self-storage unit instead.

The Best of Our Tips on Downsizing to a Smaller Home: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Any time you move, your real estate agent will play a significant role in the process. If you’re downsizing, you need an agent who understands your priorities and respects them. Some agents may try to push you toward a larger house than you need, so they earn a higher commission.

Among all our tips on downsizing to a smaller home, the most important one is to select an agent who will uphold your best interests instead. For an agent, you can trust, reach out to our Utah realty team today.

4 Expert Tips for Choosing an Investment Property

buying-an-investment-property

Are you thinking about buying an investment property? Well, you’re in luck because in this article we are going to give you some essential tips about what to look for in an investment property.

The decision that you make when it comes to the property is crucial because, after all, you’re investing your time, money, and other resources in purchasing this property. We want to help you make the best decision possible.

Tips For Buying An Investment Property

Before you decide to invest in real estate, you must understand somethings first. Its recommended that you do your research because the real estate market can prove to be unpredictable, just like the weather.

1. Are You Fit To Be A Landlord?

When you decide to invest in a rental property, one of the first things you need to understand is that you’ll be a landlord, which can be a full-time job. Landlords are responsible for more than just collecting rent every month.

When your tenant has an issue with air conditioning or heating, it is your responsibility to fix it. You become responsible for payments, repairs, paying bills, and more as a landlord.

2. Decide On The Amount You’d Like To Invest

Before purchasing a property, it is essential to decide how much money you are willing to invest in your rental properties. You should take into account how much work a property may need to make it habitable and estimating the repair costs of the property for the future.

Once you take into consideration the amount that you’re willing to invest, it will dictate how many properties you’re able to purchase.

3. Study Real Estate Taxes

Much like any property you purchase, there will be real estate taxes you have to pay. One of the best benefits of owning rental properties is the ability to use them as a means of tax exemption.

We recommend that you brush up on all of the expenses that qualify for tax exemption. The majority of the costs, such as maintenance and utility payments can be written off when you file your taxes.

4. Study Current Market Trends

Before making your final decision on the investment rental property, you should research the current market trends. The current market trends will give you the information you need about where to invest.

Some of the market trends that you need to take note of are the rates of renting a home, the price of home sales, and more. If you aren’t aware of the trends, you may find yourself with a property that doesn’t make you any money.

Time To Invest

Buying an investment property is a big decision to make. That’s why we provided the tips above to help you make the best decision possible. Remember having an investment property takes also will put you in the position of becoming the landlord.

If you need help deciding on the perfect property to purchase or looking to sell a home, contact us today.