Ready To Move? Time To Take Inventory

Have you found the perfect rental, and are getting your belongings together for the big move? Stop what you’re doing, because this provides an excellent opportunity to scale down, and take a good inventory of your possessions. While adding an extra step to the already growing list of things to do before your move might not seem appealing, a little more work now could save you time and energy in the long run. leschi rental11

First, make a detailed list of all of the contents of your home, including a good description of each item,  a date if you know when the items were purchased, estimated costs and estimated current value, and the make/model of the item. Snapping a photo of each item as you check it off the list will also be helpful as both proof of purchase, and to jog your memory. Set items aside that you have not used in a while, and are ready to be given to Goodwill or thrown out. While this might seem tedious, a good detailed inventory list could benefit you should you need to file a home insurance claim, and will work to help protect your home. This should also help you determine what the right amount of rental insurance coverage will be for you, and if you’ll need to purchase a higher or lower limit coverage. If your house were to burn down right at this moment, would you be able to name every single item in your home? Having a detailed list can help you and your insurance adjuster claim all of your items in the event of a natural disaster or break-in. Keep a master copy of the list in your home to easily update, and keep a digital copy of the file online, saved somewhere safe that you may access easily from other computers, should your computer get stolen or damaged. For more information on Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

The Importance of Renter’s Insurance For Renters and Landlords

There is one thing that seems to be very agreeable for both renters and landlords, and that is the necessity of renter’s insurance. It is likely that disputes among renters and landlords will arise in terms of damage to the property and repairs, but having renter’s insurance in place can protect both the tenant and the landlord. Renter’s insurance will protect the tenant’s assets and ensure safety of the tenant, thus keeping the tenant happy throughout the term of the lease. This will keep the tenant paying their rent on time, keeping the landlord satisfied.

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While renter’s insurance seems like an obvious choice for many, only 35% of tenants seem to be purchasing renter’s insurance, which fails in comparison to the percentage of those who purchase homeowner’s insurance- nearly 96% of homeowners. In the event of theft, renter’s insurance is helpful for tenants by the insurer covering the cost of stolen items claimed by the tenant. The insurance is also helpful for the landlord, because if the tenant did not have insurance, it is less likely that the tenant would be able to afford to replace all of the stolen items and afford to pay rent. The tenant might even have to break the lease, leaving the landlord with a vacant property. If you haven’t looked into rental insurance, consult with your current car insurance company today- they likely bundle for renter’s insurance as well. If you’re interested in Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Perks and Penalties of Posting Negative Social Media Reviews

Have you had a bad run in with your property management company, that left a sour taste in your mouth? Maybe your landlord hasn’t come to fix that leak you informed them of three days ago, the shared laundry room has been broken for weeks, or you just can’t seem to get a hold of anyone when you really need to. We’re you pressed to jump on Facebook or Yelp to let the world know how you felt about the experience? Back in the days before social media, new tenants only learned of complaints via word of mouth or firsthand experience, but today we’re able to jump on the internet and have an extensive database of all the positive and negative experiences previous tenants have had with their landlords and property management companies. But before you resolve to bad mouth the company, be certain the information is presented fair and informative to the public. Yelp Logo

According to Zillow, people are beginning to get sued over posting negative comments for an online review, and the SLAPP lawsuits as their called (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are gaining popularity. A number of states have anti-SLAPP laws to protect consumers, but many don’t, so before you post a comment into the abyss, do your research and make certain you will not be causing yourself more issues than necessary. Always tell the truth about your experience, comment with the intent to help others benefit from your review, and steer clear of opinions. For more information on this topic, visit Zillow.

Estimating Apartment Utility Costs

When you’re searching for a new rental, utility costs aren’t always the first thing that comes to mind when configuring your financing.  You’re aware you need to plan for them, but the costs aren’t always clear, so before you sign the lease, be sure to account for extra rental expenses. During the winter months, you can expect to pay between $30-50 a month for electricity, largely depending on how much you’re at home, how careful you are about turning off the lights, and how energy efficient your appliances are.

Photo courtesy of Movingtoday.com

If you live in a multi-unit building, there is a chance there will be no extra costs for heat, and the Landlord will have added the additional costs for heat into the cost of rent. If you’re renting a house, and have gas or forced air heating you could be paying at least $100 a month in the winter time, but the best way to determine the costs would be to ask the landlord or a previous tenant. If you don’t want to spend time trying to connect to your neighbor’s Internet for free, you’ll need to plan for $30-45 a month for Internet costs, which can be cheaper if you’re bundling with cable or a phone line. It’s also never a bad idea to look into getting renter’s insurance, especially if you’re a first time renter. You never know what can happen, and planning ahead to be safe is actually very affordable, sometimes around $150 a year. For a general rule of thumb if you leave out the cable, you can expect to pay roughly 20% of your rent in utilities if you live alone, and 10% if you’re living with a roommate.