Do Energy Efficient Appliances Help Save Money?

Has your landlord recently made the switch from your old rusty toilet, to a water saving model? You love the aspect of helping save the resources, but will the savings reflect in your utility bills as well? Zillow has graciously done a little research on the topic, and put together a cheatsheet for those renters confused with all of the benefits of new energy efficient appliances. First, it depends on the size and model of the appliance you are replacing, and inevitably the terms you agreed to pay for utilities in your lease. The average American spends roughly $2,200 per year on utilities, and nearly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, 14% towards heating water, and 13% to appliances including dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers.

If you’re replacing a really ancient model you’ll likely see the upgrade reflected in your bill, but if you’re replacing say a 2 year old dishwasher, you might not see the difference that you’d expect. If the appliance has an energy star label, those are the most energy efficient, and will save more likely than others. It’s also important to be, the cost might not be reflected initially, but the savings that could add up in the long run might be worth the change. For more information on energy saving appliances visit Zillow.

Where Have All the Rentals Gone?

It’s a question many rental seekers have been asking themselves while on the quest for the right apartment. According to Seattle’s Real Estate ladies Team Diva, “the rental market out there just sucks right now and I would not expect it to get better any time soon.” Seattle has a very tough, competitive market right now and if you’re looking into renting, you should expect to fight for it like they do  in New York and LA these days.

Last year rental prices rose around 10% from the past year, and in particular certain neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill and Queen Anne have prices that continued to climb. If you want to give yourself the competitive edge against other potential renters, Team Diva has compiled a checklist of things that will make your application stand out among the rest.  It might be useful to have letters of recommendation handy from your previous landlord, have a cashier’s check ready for the deposit, and have a renter’s resume that includes a description of what you will bring to the community, past rental history, and pet description, or other information needing to be disclosed. For more information on the best places to find rentals, visit Team Divas.

Where Have All the Rentals Gone?

It’s a question many rental seekers have been asking themselves while on the quest for the right apartment. According to Seattle’s Real Estate ladies Team Diva, “the rental market out there just sucks right now and I would not expect it to get better any time soon.” Seattle has a very tough, competitive market right now and if you’re looking into renting, you should expect to fight for it like they do  in New York and LA these days.

Last year rental prices rose around 10% from the past year, and in particular certain neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill and Queen Anne have prices that continued to climb. If you want to give yourself the competitive edge against other potential renters, Team Diva has compiled a checklist of things that will make your application stand out among the rest.  It might be useful to have letters of recommendation handy from your previous landlord, have a cashier’s check ready for the deposit, and have a renter’s resume that includes a description of what you will bring to the community, past rental history, and pet description, or other information needing to be disclosed. For more information on the best places to find rentals, visit Team Divas.

Moving in With a Roomate? Tips For a Happy Home

Have you been considering moving in with a roommate? When you do make sure you consider these things to ensure you’re both moving into a happy healthy home. First and foremost; make sure that you actually really want a roommate. If you are simply looking for a roommate for financial reasons, search around and see if you afford an apartment on your own. It helps to keep things equal between roommates to level the playing field for all and to keep the home from feeling like it’s owned more by one person than the other. You should also both sign the lease agreement, allowing both parties to have equal rights to the property.

Photo Courtesy of Scholarshipexperts.com

Keeping the lines of communications open is key in any relationship, (especially someone you live with!) and it’s important to establish  your expectations upfront before you move in to make certain you’re on the same page, and everyone’s needs are being met. of course, you won’t always get everything you want, and compromise is also a key component to a happy healthy home. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and when things aren’t going according to plan, it’s best to put things into perspective and weigh the situation, choosing your battles wisely, and compromising when the situation isn’t worth the fight. Living with a roommate can be a very rewarding experience, and create a lasting friendship, so make sure you plan ahead and choose the right person to share your home. For more information on multi-bedroom rentals in Seattle, visit Ewing & Clark.

Tips For Choosing the Perfect Rental

The Rental market has become quite competitive in recent months, with long time homeowners swiftly switching back into the renting along with prospective renters, all in search of the perfect rental. While everyone seems to be scrambling to find a home, there are a few things to keep in mind while searching for the right rental for you, before you sign the lease.

Make sure you know what you want before you go shopping. What are your personal requirements for renting? Do you need covered parking, a good pet policy, or washer and dryer in the unit? What are your wants vs needs? Make sure that you’re open to different options, and that you don’t expect the landlord to add additional amenities just for you. It’s also important to connect with the landlord; you don’t have to be best friends, but you want to make sure you’re able to have a working relationship with them. Being aware of possible scams is a good thing to keep in mind when you’re searching rentals on Craigslist, Zillow, other sites where anyone can post a listing. Don’t give financial information to just anyone, or even personal information if you don’t have legitimate information on the company or landlord first. For more information on rental listings, visit Ewing & Clark Inc.

DIY Home Projects With Your Kids

Having young children in the house almost always makes the home more lively, exciting, and louder, among other things, and alot of times those summer projects that you’d like to get done around the house get put on the back burner in order to enjoy those precious beautiful summer days with the whole family. Luckily we found that Zillow has put together a list of home projects that the whole family can participate in to make your house or rental feel more like home sweet home.

You can have your kids fill plants in a window box, using a small container and seasonal plants that can be interchangeable. Kids generally enjoy playing with dirt, but the real treat is seeing their handy work come to life when the plants begin to grow. You can have them create  homemade stepping stones for the garden, mixing the cement for them, and allowing them to place stones, shells, etc in a design they enjoy. There are plenty of other projects you’ll be happy to get done around the house, and your kids will enjoy feeling like they helped out too. For more DIY prospective projects, visit Zillow.

Vacationing Late Summer? Review Home Security Tips to Keep Your Residence Safe

Summer is prime time for vacationers to pack up and get in the car, and it’s smart to make sure your home is secured before leaving the humble abode for an extended weekend or longer. Zillow has compiled a precautionary checklist to review before leaving your home alone, and the first item on the list is to consider having a house sitter or consulting with your friends and neighbors to see if they’re able to check on the house while you’re gone, which could be simple if you’re having someone check on your pets, or water your plants.

It might be wise for a neighbor to park in front of your home while you’re away, creating the illusion that someone is home at all times. Shutting off a main valve might be a cautious step to take before you leave to avoid any pipes leaking, which can cause extensive damage, and become very costly. You could consider putting up motion sensor lights (check with your landlord to see if this is feasible) or electrical timers for inside lighting, again you could also have your neighbors stop by and do the same thing. For other tips on securing your home, visit Zillow.

Zillow Added New Mobile Rental App Features

If your search for rentals is getting time consuming, and keeping you out of the beautiful Seattle sunshine we look forward to all year round, take your search on the go with a real estate mobile app! In April, Zillow launched their mobile rentals app for the Android, adding to the most popular real estate apps across all platforms.

Zillow Rentals was created to address the needs of users by organizing listings in an easily accessible way, from the right neighborhood, to the number of bedrooms, and baths. Now Zillow has expanded that list of features to include a pet policy search filter, a keyword search, and expanded list of amenities (such as on-site laundry, parking,  cable-ready, walk score, and more!). Searching for the perfect rental can be time consuming, and it appears mobile apps like Zillow are helping potential renters simplify their search on the go. For more information on the Zillow app updates, click here.

Zillow’s List of Easy Mistakes to Avoid When Renting Your Property

Renting out your property can be a smart investment to make some money, but it’s not always easy; there are several mistakes that many owners make that can actually wind up costing more out of pocket money in the long run. There is no 100% guarantee to weeding out bad renters, but taking the extra steps during the screening process can avoid potential trouble down the road. Zillow has compiled a list of 5 common mistakes to avoid when renting out your property:

1)Proper Documentation– make sure that you’ve put together a signed lease agreement, and make sure that the agreement comes with all of the bells and whistles to cover your house.

2) Discriminating Prospective Tenants – Protect yourself from an legal trouble by familiarizing yourself with fair housing laws, and make sure that your listing isn’t excluding any specific group.

3) Neglecting Proper Insurance – Renting out your space puts you in a vulnerable position for accidents, and leaning back on only homeowners insurance might not be enough to cover you if something were to occur. Protect yourself by looking into Landlord insurance.

4) Failing to Disclose Important Information – If you are aware of mold, asbestos, etc. on your property, be knowledgeable of  information you are required to disclose.

5) Being Too Lenient on Screening – Choosing a reliable responsible tenant is highly important, requiring a credit check isn’t a bad idea to rule out any tenants who might cause a problem down the road.