Becoming A Landlord

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Home Inspections | No Comments

Brought to you by Tara Molina – Realtor for Airdrie & Calgary Real Estate

As an Airdrie REALTOR ® and a landlord myself, I can tell you being a landlord isn’t always a walk in the park. You’re always on call, your tenants and the home are your complete responsibility. However, if you’re well prepared for becoming a landlord it will be a rewarding and positive experience! Purchasing an investment property is an activity that I encourage, as Mark Twain said:

“Buy Land They Aren’t Making Anymore!” 

Let’s dive into the 6 major factors that I have learned in my experience to not just becoming a landlord, but also to be successful at it!

Live Nearby

As the owner of the home, you will need to care for all the yard work, the plumbing, any mishaps, etc. When your tenants are locked out, you will need to head over and let them in. Living in close proximity to your rental property will ease a lot of these nuisances. You’ll be able to whip over and complete whatever it is your tenant needs. It’s also possible to hire a property manager to care for the property if you’re not able to be on call. Living close to the property also means that you can check on it from time to time to ensure everything is in order.

Know the Laws

It’s incredibly important to know tenant-landlord laws. From provincial security deposit laws to federal anti-discriminatory laws, you should know them all. As a landlord, you need to know how much notice is needed for tenants to move out, for you to show the property, etc. These laws are great general knowledge, and they’re quite straight forward. If you have questions please contact me so I can advise you!

Read Up On The Laws

Enforce Rent to be Paid on Time

This seems an obvious step, but it’s important not to get too friendly with your tenants. If you do, you might just let a late payment slide which can turn into another, and then before you know it you’re a full month’s rent behind. Being too friendly isn’t a great idea, but you should still have a solid relationship with your tenant built on respect. You are trusting someone to live in your property, therefore you should trust them to get the rent paid on time. The next tip ties into this one…

Screen Potential Tenants

When choosing someone to become your tenant, you MUST choose someone you are comfortable with. It’s standard for a potential tenant to apply for the property by answering personal questions. These questions will ask about the applicant’s employment, yearly salary, pets, relationship status etc. It’s also common to perform a background or credit check. When showing the property, ask the potential tenant questions and get to know them a little bit. You will feel much better about a stranger moving into your property if you can have a pleasant conversation with them.

Customize Your Lease

Your lease should be customized to fit your unique requirements. These requirements will include details such as if you allow pets and how many. Other aspects include details on the utilities, for example if the tenant will have to pay any of them separately. A common utility for the tenant to pay in Airdrie is electricity. Another example of something to specify is repairs. If a window breaks, what is the process of getting it fixed? As a landlord it’s important to ensure your tenant knows all the details of living there, so customize the lease with everything you think is relevant.

Inspect the Property Regularily

A huge part of being a landlord is trusting your tenants. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t inspect the property from time to time. It can be daunting having someone else live in your property – especially in the first few months. Do a drive-by to make yourself feel better. Remember though that you can’t just show up unannounced and waltz into someone else’s home. Because yes, your property is now someone’s home – remember that!

Did you know Bocc Home Inspections offers rental property walkthroughs/inspections?

Who better to check on your home than a licensed home inspector who can monitor your home for leaks and important home maintenance while ensuring your tenants are upholding to the lease arrangement. We offer home rental assistance services to help you maintain the value of your investment property.

Tara Molina

Tara Molina

Realtor for Airdrie & Calgary Real Estate

Let my knowledge and experience help guide you on your home selling or home buying journey! I’ll take the time to actually listen to your needs, answer your questions and respond quickly to you so you aren’t left in the dark. My focus is on understanding your real estate goals and working hard to create solutions that make sense for you.

Little Touches That Can Make a Big Difference

By | Buying/Selling Homes, Happy Home, Home Beautification | No Comments

You are probably already aware of the major things you need to do around your home to get it ready for sale. These include getting rid of clutter, doing minor repairs, and making everything clean and tidy so every room is as much of a showcase as possible.

But there are a myriad of little touch ups you can do that you may not have thought about before… touch ups that can make a big difference in how attractive your home looks to potential buyers.

Here are just a few:

  • Paint or replace the mailbox.
  • Add a couple of flowering plants to key areas, such as the dining room, living room, and just outside the front door.
  • Patch up any minor cracks in the driveway and walkways. (If there is a major crack, consider getting it repaired by a professional.)
  • Put out the welcome mat. Literally! If it’s not clean and completely free of stains, replace it.
  • Clean your stainless steel kitchen sink using a special stainless steel cleaner and brightener. The effect will be dramatic; the sink will look like new.
  • Use a special spot cleaner to lift any stains from carpeted areas.
  • Replace plain or out-of-style light fixtures in the main areas of your home, such as the hallway and living room. Without spending a fortune, you can make a big difference in how these areas look.
  • Consider replacing the hardware on the doors and drawers of old kitchen cabinetry. That, along with some touch-up paint or varnish on worn areas, can make your older kitchen look young again.

These simple ideas can have a big impact on first impressions, yet they don’t cost much to implement, and you can probably do most of them in less than a day.

Robin Spiers & Associates

Call/Text: 403-813-6346 | Office: 403-202-4798

www.RobinSpiers.com | Facebook | YouTube | Testimonials

5 Ways Mice Enter Your Home In the Fall

By | Healthy Home, Home Maintenance, Winterizing | No Comments

5 WAYS MICE ENTER YOUR HOME IN THE FALL

In the autumn there is no question about it, mice will find any means necessary to find shelter. This means that your home could be at risk of a mouse infestation. Mice are masters of finding any way in a building they can, this is because they are able to squeeze through holes the size of a dime! And because cracks and holes in your foundation, windows, and roof are inevitable, nearly every home is a candidate for mice infestations.

Mice are full of diseases and they can also do extensive damage to your home:

  • They can spread diseases such as hantavirus (deer mice), salmonella, and listeria through their urine, droppings, saliva and nesting materials.
  • Because mice breed year-round and able to produce five to ten litters per year, with an average of 6-8 babies per litter, you could have up to 60 mice gnawing at your furniture, rugs, and your walls (to name a few of their favourite treats).
  • They can burn your house down, literally. They love chewing on wires to keep their teeth short and to gain access to places that the wires may be blocking. Mice can chew through soft concrete, wood, drywall rubber, plastic pipes, insulation, aluminum and even gas lines. Expensive repairs!

Rodent proof your house, here are my top 4 suggestions:

1.  Caulking – Go around your house and seal off the cracks and holes

2.  Clean up debris around your house – especially dog poop

3.  Don’t leave garbage and recycling in your garage

4.  Weather-stripping, especially your garage door. Mice will stay out

Happy Fall Season!

This article was brought to you by:

Bill Martin
Martin’s Pest Control
www.martinspestcontrol.com
(403) 460-7213

How to Prep Your Home for an Inspection

By | Home Inspections, Uncategorized | No Comments

How to Prep Your Home for an Inspection

Keep in mind that often buyers attend the inspection, therefore, we recommend you treat the inspection as another showing which could make or break the sale of your home. It is always a good idea to reduce clutter and present a clean and odor free home! Be sure to leave the house too so that your buyers can feel comfortable and the inspector can complete an efficient home inspection. Here are some other ways to help prep your home for a smooth home inspection:

  • Clean toilets
  • Remove extra stored items underneath sinks
  • Remove childproofing from receptacles
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs
  • Install a new air filter in furnace
  • Have all gas, electricity & water shut offs turned on
    (Except for the exterior water during winter)
  • Put your downspouts down
  • Remove storage away from the furnace, hot water tank and electrical panel
  • Make sure the attic hatch is accessible. Cover clothes and items beneath with plastic poly if you are worried about the insulation mess
  • Remove pets from the home
  • Remove laundry and dishes from your machines as they will be tested
  • Fix any issues that you are aware of
  • Leave out invoices for important previous repair
Accurate Home Inspection Calgary

Dishwasher Cleaning & Maintenance

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We often don’t think about cleaning the machine that cleans our dishes, though unfortunately, foot, dirt and debris can build up over time reducing the effectiveness of the dishwasher. It can be frustrating running your dishwasher to clean your dishes, only to have to re-clean them afterwards to remove hardened on flakes of food. Or should we miss inspecting glass dishes in the light, we may risk the embarrassment of serving guests drinks in a dirty glass! These concerns led me to look into how to properly clean and maintenance our dishwasher to help avoid those issues.

How To Clean Your Dishwasher

1. Be sure to keep up on your dishwasher’s rinse aid. Most dishwashers now have a gauge to help monitor the levels of dishwasher air left in your system, if not, as a general rule it is good to top up every couple months, depending on your usage.

2. Fill your sink up half full of water and add 2 cups of White Vinegar. This can be used to soak and clean dishwasher parts and accessories. Vinegar is a safe, natural and effective cleaning agent to remove water build up and disinfectant. Another option is a dishwasher cleaning agent, or lemon juice.

 3. Remove racks and utensil holders for cleaning and to allow yourself access to the other areas of the dishwasher. If they fit, add them into your vinegar cleaning solution or use a cloth or toothbrush with the cleaning solution from your sink to clean.

4. Clean the holes of the spinning arms. Inspect the holes in the spinning arms of your dishwasher to ensure that they are clean and clear from build up or food. These holes need to be clear in order for the dishwasher to run efficiently. To clean these holes use something fine pointed such as a toothpick, needle-nose pliers, or wire with a hook at the end – though be sure to take your time and be careful to not scratch or damage your spinning arms. Start at the holes furthest away from the center, and work your way towards to center.

5. Wipe the dishwasher’s gasket, walls and door sides. These areas do not get cleaned during a washing cycle, so to eliminate odors and build up it is helpful to regularly wipe the sides and edges of your dishwasher. You can use your sink’s solution or a mild spray cleaner to clean these areas. Remember to do the bottom of the door as it can gather debris. Be sure to take time to clean the gasket in the base of your dishwasher, scrub brushes or toothbrushes would be a useful tool in this area.

You can also get a deeper clean by removing the cover, if you do so, be sure to take pictures during disassembly to ensure proper reassembly.

 6. Last Step! Run a ‘Cleaning’ cycle. After you replace all the parts, you can finish off with running your empty dishwasher on low with 2 cups of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher. Halfway through, pause your cycle for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the vinegar to soak.

If you have an odor issue, you can sprinkle 0.5-1 cup of baking soda and run the dishwasher as normal.

Step #6 is great to do periodically as a mini cleaning for your dishwasher.

Please note: Refer to your dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions and information as each dishwasher is unique in some way.

Top 3 Tips to Help Your Dishwasher Run Better

  1. Scrape your dishes before. Sure you don’t want to waste the water and time rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, though scraping the excess food is worthwhile. This goes a long way in reducing the amount of food scraps stuck on your dishes after a washing cycle, and prevents the trap from getting filled up faster.
  2. Don’t overload the dishwasher. It can be tempting to fit all your dirty dishes into the washer rather than waiting for the next load, though keep in mind it is better to wait or wash a couple items by hand rather than having to re-run the dishwasher or hand wash dishes after a washing cycle.
  3. Use the correct cycle. It can be tempting to use a shorter cycle, or an eco-wash cycle to save time, water and energy costs, though these may not be appropriate for each wash. It depends on how dirty your dishes are for that particular cycle.