Make Your Rental’s Bedroom Feel Like A Retreat

GetMedia (1)With customization options at a minimum, apartments often never quite feel like home for many renters. Living with your landlord’s choices for wall colors, flooring materials and finishes can leave renters feeling dissatisfied with their surroundings. But there are some things you can do to make one of the most important rooms in the apartment – the bedroom – feel less like a hotel and more like your own restful and relaxing retreat. Using some inspiration from the designers at Zillow, here are some ideas:

To start with, overhead lighting in apartment buildings is usually not the most flattering, but since you most likely can’t change the main fixture in your rental, invest in table lamps or floor lamps to give your bedroom a nice glow.  Stylish lamps can often be found inexpensively at stores such as Target or TJ Maxx.

Giving walls a fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to personalize your bedroom, but many landlords are not ready to let you wield a paintbrush of your own. Check in with them first, and if you get the go-ahead, a soft grey or classic white will give you a serene space that is also a blank canvas for the rest of your personal touches.

Once you’ve painted, pick up some new bedding in your favorite color palette to add some interest to the room. Along with a nice set of sheets (Target also carries inexpensive sets that feel much more luxurious), you have an opportunity to make a statement with your duvet cover and unique throws and pillows.

Can’t paint your walls? Paint your furniture! Take an old, tired dresser, give it a good sanding and dress it up with whatever color paint you’d like. Paint the whole thing, just the legs, just the top, it’s up to you! Heavy, dark furniture tends to weigh a room down, especially if there is little natural light, so adding some color in the form of furniture can be a major upgrade and is budget friendly.

Now you’ve got some ideas, so get decorating!

If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today!

Fall is Here! Maintenance Tips to Safeguard Your Home

As you know fall in Western Washington can be quite wet, and it’s important whether you rent or own your home to take proper precautions to ensure your home is prepared for fall and winter conditions.

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Pacific University

You can check the foundation for cracks in caulking around the exterior where pipes and wires enter the house, and especially around windows and door frames in older homes, to stifle heat from escaping through the cracks! Be sure to tell your landlord if you notice anything problematic, because even the slightest crack can cause water to get in and freeze, sometimes resulting in extensive mold damages. Check with your landlord if the roof was checked recently for damages that could lead to leakage, and put away summer tools and lawn furniture. Ask your landlord if they’re going to clean your screen doors, and store for the winter, as winter conditions can damage these as well. For more information on how to best prepare your home in the fall, visit Zillow.

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.