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Are Open Floor Plans For You?

Open floor plans are in. In fact, is is one of the most highly sought after traits in both rentals and for those seeking to purchase real estate.

There is a new trend emerging though. Homeowners who already live in open-concept homes are saying they are staring to miss the walls according to Realtor Magazine.

With an open floor plan, a kitchen, living room, and dining room are often one large open space.

“Buyers are moving away from uninterrupted views,” Loren Larsen, a real estate professional with Compass in Boston, told The Boston Globe about what she is frequently hearing from clients. Her clients, she says, no longer want their kitchen, along with its dirty dishes, on display.

Life can also be too loud in open concept living, says Bob Ernst, president of FBN Construction in the Boston area. The family togetherness that open concepts bred may ultimately be too much togetherness to some homeowners now. Parents find it difficult to watch adult TV programs if their school-age children are not in their rooms, or to conduct a work call in private.

However, some homeowners may be struggling to voice their dislike of the open concept. “The message [of open concept living] is so powerful that to admit you don’t want to live in a house as open as a soccer field is to reveal something shameful,” The Boston Globereports.

What do you think about open floor plans vs. walls?

All my best,

 

Teresa

Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you an owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

Attract and Retain Quality Residents

Convincing quality tenants to move into your property instead of a competitor’s isn’t always an easy task.

To do that, you have to send the message that renters will benefit more by moving into your community than they will somewhere else. Many property managers can compete by offering competitive rental prices or by building upon the advantages of a desirable location.

However, you can’t always compete on price, location, or other traditional benefits. You also may not have the budget to offer high-priced amenities that can draw in renters. In this case, you might have to get creative in order to stand out from your competitors.

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1. Incentivize with Cash Back for Good Renters

Tenants who constantly pay their rent late or damage property end up costing you money. Instead of just punishing renters who violate the terms of their lease, why not reward your best renters? Some property managers have begun to offer a cash-back deal. Typically, they offer about two percent of all rent paid if tenants pay on time for six months and pass a property inspection.

For instance, a renter who pays $1,000 a month could qualify for a check for $120 at the end of the term you set. Alternatively, you might just offer to shave that amount off of the next month’s rent. This kind of incentive can help you save money and give your best renters a reason to stick around.

2. Offer a Workspace for Renters Who Work From Home

According to the New York Times, 43 percent of surveyed employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. Although there are benefits to working remotely, a downside is the increased amount of time you spend cooped up in your home with minimal face-to-face social interaction. Imagine how valuable a workspace outside of their apartment would be to renters working from home?

Perhaps you have a lobby that isn’t very utilized or an outdated rec room that isn’t used. Think about turning the room into a shared workspace. To get started, free WiFi is key to making it easy for residents to seamlessly go from their apartment to this work hub with their devices. And since remote employees rely on their smartphones and laptops, there’s no need to worry about installing additional phones or landlines. Get the workspace furnished with a few tables and chairs, perhaps a couch and coffee table for those who like to relax with their laptops to work. Before you know it you’ll have a communal place for renters to step outside of their home and get work done. If the space becomes highly utilized by your remote working residents, think about adding a coffee maker or water cooler to improve it even more.

  1. Community Gardens and Rooftop Farms

Consider setting aside minimal funding for a community garden that your renters can share. If you don’t have extra land to spare, you could also consider installing rooftop gardens. You might need to invest in the initial startup costs but then you can encourage your residents to form a local gardening club to handle the rest of the details.

Community gardens can help renters form a committed community of residents, too. They might enjoy gardening and are sure to enjoy the fresh produce they grow. They also might enjoy donating part of their produce to a local food bank or selling it to other residents for money for supplies for the next year. Either way, you can certainly promote this healthy activity on your social pages to help you attract more renters.

 

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

The Paint Forecast 2019

The paint manufacturers have released their 2019 color forecasts, and we couldn’t be more excited about their color predictions for the year to come!

Neutrals take a warm spin this year, leaving cold shades of gray behind.

Moody blue, brown, and burgundy paint colors are on the rise, as well as grounding shades of black.

If you’re looking for the perfect paint color, you will find beautiful inspiration from these forecasted colors.

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“Moody” might not be what you want to hear when it comes to weather forecasts and the stock market, but when it comes to picking a paint color, the moodier the better!

Rich, dark, and complex colors like chestnut brown, deep burgundy, and charcoal blue are considered moody because of their velvety appearance and complex undertones. This provides layers of rich depth that we don’t always see with traditional colors.

These rich colors are a great way to make a dramatic statement on cabinetry or accent walls, and in small bathrooms for a den-like appearance.

Paint manufacturers take a close look at all aspects of society, including fashion trends, architecture and global influences, as they form their yearly color forecasts.

Even our increased use of smartphones and devices is a factor that color experts note can play a role in the paint colors we gravitate towards.

Serene colors reminiscent of the sky, nature, and the ocean are gaining popularity with consumers. This is a way to balance and relax our overstimulated eyes at the end of the day. Look to muted blues, greens, grays, and browns for a calm nature affect.

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So no matter if you are seeking moody blue or muted nature, these are some of the hot paints in 2019!

 

All my best,

Teresa

Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

How To Differentiate Your Property

In the real estate market, it can be touch to get an edge on the competition. One of the best says you can differentiate your property from another is through amenity offerings. It the extra “bang for your buck” that tenants are seeking out today. Not only that, but it gives current tenants a reason to stay.

The great part of this for property owners is that you are full control of what the amenities are.

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Some of the obvious amenities are:

  • star appliances
  • wood flooring
  • tile flooring in bathroom
  • smart lighting
  • smart toilets
  • voice activated systems like Alexa or Google home
  • systems that let your tenants submit maintenance requests and pay rent easily online or via voice command
  • outdoor space
  • quality grill
  • updated kitchen counters
  • keypad entries on the garage

Most people when asked what they are looking for when it comes to picking a place to live, want to LOVE how it feels. Coming home from a long day’s work or from a business trip is appealing when it is somewhere you love to come home to.

Do your best as a property manager to communicate with your tenant. Check on them, mail them updates, and let them know you are available if they need you. If you don’t have time to do that, perhaps hiring a property management company is a good avenue for you to consider. After all, that is what we do. We do routine inspections to ensure the tenant is taking care of your property, that rent is paid online, that all service or maintenance requests are kept up to date and that your tenant will be the perfect person to take care of your space for years to come.

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

 

 

Often Home Renovations Make Your Property Desirable

One of the things I work with property owners on is doing home renovations so that tenants will LOVE living in their home. Who doesn’t love living in a beautiful home? Having a dream kitchen?

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One of the things that draws people most though is curb appeal. They want to live in a place that makes them feel good to come home to.

Here are five exterior renovations that will help you get the best return on your investment.

Garage door

You’ll spend about $3500 to install a new garage door but it gives it a brand new look and feel.

 

Stone work

Siding is popular but here in Colorado, stone work is hot right now. It gives your home character and high payback if the home is ever sold.

 

Wood deck

Inviting outdoor areas are popular. Especially when it is nice weather still in December, January and February here in Colorado. You might spend $10,000 but this is something people are looking for.

 

Kitchen remodel

You don’t have to go crazy here. You might just change a few things. Some suggestions are install new or paint cabinets, hardware, a new energy efficient stove, combination refrigerator/freezer, laminate countertops and easy to clean flooring.

 

Siding

A $15,072 investment to replace old warped or cracked siding with new can help sell your home. You will get around 65 percent of that back here in Colorado and almost 77 percent nationwide.

For the full report, visit remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/key-trends-in-the-2018-cost-vs-value-report.

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Have fun with your exterior renovations!

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

Black Friday – Up and At ‘Em?

The retail frenzy known as Black Friday is now an integral part of many family Thanksgiving traditions. From looking at the ads days prior, to getting up in the middle of the night to spending money on things you “can’t live without”.  All of this has become part of the norm. We understand you have to have those things that make your house feel like a home! 

But how did Black Friday start?

This is a great question. I had to consult http://history.com for the answer to that. It wasn’t as cheery and uplifting or festive as I thought it would be.

History.com says:

The term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping but to financial crisis. Specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869.

As the story goes, two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits.

On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

This isn’t what you have heard?

The most common story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. After an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise.

Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.

Here is a Visual History of Black Friday: From Financial Crash to Today’s Shopping Mania

1924 – The first Macy’s Day Parade

Today the parade is held on Thanksgiving Day this wasn’t always the case. The very first Macy’s Parade on November 27, 1924 was advertised as a “Christmas Parade” with the arrival of Santa Claus signaling the official start of the holiday shopping season.

The original parade, promoted a full-page advertisements as a “marathon of mirth”, including live animals from the Central Park Zoo. In 1927, the live animals were replaced by giant balloon animals.

Black Friday

Today, Black Friday looks like this:

Black Friday

Not only do we have Black Friday but Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday now too.

 

Do you get up and go out on Black Friday? I’d love to hear what your family traditions are.

 

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

The Pros and Cons of Buying and Renting

Buying and renting are both viable ways to live.

Deciding which is best for you is a big decision.

Here are a few tips to consider when looking into the bigger picture of your lifestyle and financial choices when it comes to your living arrangements.

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Pros of Buying A Home

Tax benefits

There are many pros to buying a home, but perhaps none are bigger than the tax benefits. Tax breaks, a tax concession or advantage allowed by the government, can be rewarding to homeowners. These can include lucrative benefits, such as the property tax deduction and mortgage interest deduction. In fact, homeowners can deduct interest expenses on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt from their income taxes.

Equity

One of the biggest advantages of buying a home is purely building equity. Home equity is the current market value of your home, minus what’s still left on your mortgage. It’s an asset that comes from a homeowner’s interest in a home. 

Security & stability

Unlike renting, homeownership gives you a sense of security as long as your mortgage is continually paid. You become your own landlord without the uncertainty of lease renewals and price increases. This particular pro is helpful to people with children who want to stay within school districts, those who like stability within their neighborhood or professionals who live near their work. Purchasing a home can help dodge any undesired disruption to your way of life.  Best of all, owning a house means making your own rules. Barring any city or HOA policies, you have freedom when it comes to home improvements, pets, company and guests, and renting out the space.

CONS: 

Cost

Ownership of a home comes at a large cost. Before taking the plunge, it’s important to fully grasp what this means. Not only will you need to make a down payment, but you should also consider property taxes, private mortgage insurance), homeowners insurance, and maintenance and repair costs.

Risk

Your biggest risk will be the hefty amount for the down payment. For example, imagine putting down $30,000 to purchase your property, and over the lifetime of your 30-year mortgage, the value of the home doesn’t increase. Your return, in this instance, would be nothing. While this does not take into account financial benefits such as the money you saved on taxes, it is a large investment to make nonetheless.

One of the biggest risks is the unknown. What if, for reasons out of your control, you are forced to quickly move and sell your home? Depending on the timeline between the purchase and your move, you might not earn back your closing costs even if you sell for the exact same price for which you bought.

Further cost risks include damage to the home itself such as foundation issues or the need for large repairs. It’s a good practice to have an emergency fund in place to offset these costs.

I know whatever you choose – buying or renting, it will be perfect for you. If you are unsure, Picket Fence Properties can find you a place to be while you decide.

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

How to Feed the Birds in the Winter Months

Here Birdie Birdie!

I just love birds.

You may be seeing less and less birds (and people too) out as the weather turns cold, gardeners are tidying up for the season the everything is preparing for winter.

This is the time of year were spiders and looking for the nooks and crannies of the sidewalks, rock gardens and storage areas.

Though I am sure, like many, you prefer the birds stay around and the spiders go away.  One way to ensure this happens is to provide them an ongoing supply of food and water.

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Birds that food and water provided for them have a higher winter survival rate, especially if we have a long, cold winter.  Food is energy for staying warm. There are wide variety of feeders you can purchase for your landscaping.

Here are some bird feeding tips you might not have known:

Sparrows and doves, and many other birds, prefer to feed on large, flat surfaces and may not visit a hanging feeder. To feed these kind of birds, spread seed on the ground.

Some of you may consider that too messy. Consider a platform feeder or a hopper feeder. If squirrels are not a problem, place your feeder on the ground. Many of these feeders have squirrel resistant solutions and some kind of coverage over them to keep the snow and rain off the feed. There is also something called the tube feeder.

So now that you have the feeder, what do you feed your little friends?

Suet is pure fat with some seed, fruit or insect carcasses and provides birds energy in the winter.  The most common type of seed is black-0il sunflower seeds. Hulled sunflower seeds have the shell removed which provides quick eating for many bird species.

Either way you go, both food and water are essential to birds in the winter.

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

Colorado Real Estate Trends and Predictions

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Colorado Real Estate – it is a beautiful place to live! What are the trends and predictions?

While it is no longer a surprise that Colorado and much of the nation are experiencing improved employment rates, a growing economy, and a healthy real estate market- what is surprising are the oftentimes fluctuating trends that occur in real estate.

Each year, Realtors attending the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference have the privilege of learning about the most current real estate research and analysis to help their clients make informed decisions. A highlight at this year’s conference in Boston was NAR Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research Dr. Lawrence Yun’s annual report presentation and predictions for the year ahead.

Dr. Yun reported that nationwide in 2017, we saw the highest number of home sales in a decade. Sales for existing homes and new homes totaled 6.1 million. He called his prediction for the future slightly “boring” with home sales for 2018 predicted to be 6 million homes, increasing to 6.1 million in 2019 and 6.3 million in 2020.

According to Dr. Yun, homeownership is still one of the best wealth creators in America. In the last real estate boom, as prices rose so did the level of mortgage debt. In the boom since 2012, wealth has been created at a much more rapid rate due to lower mortgage debt and the absence of the subprime and greater- than-100-percent financing.

All of this being considered, in 2018 we are still seeing rising prices in 90% of metro markets. Lower price ranges have had stronger price gains, but not as much in the upper price ranges. Notably different have been higher price gains near downtown areas as opposed to suburban areas.

The most common things Colorado buyers are wanting are as follows:

  • Soft, comfortable and contemporary home design, furniture and accessories.
  • Slightly smaller homes and condos is trending
  • Open floor plans including higher ceilings, full walls of windows and fewer hallways
  • A place to retire as Colorado ranks second in the country for retirement.
  • Patio homes that require smaller square footage, simplicity, and the ability to get outside and live healthier lifestyles (but not yard work)

With all this said, keep in mind that all real estate is local, right down to the street. National statistics are very general trends.

The only thing constant in real estate in Colorado is that trends will continue to ebb and flow.

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

7 Tips to Prepare Your Home For Winter

Cooler temperatures and occasional snow are reminders that it’s time to prepare your home for winter. Here are steps to take to get ready for falling leaves and freezing temperatures, as recommended by House Beautiful.

1. Prepare your gutters


Clean and well-functioning gutters are a must for winter. Now is the time to clear gutters of leaves and debris and replace damaged sections.

2. Ensure against drafts

Windows are a major source of heat loss in the home. One simple solution is to eliminate drafts with weather stripping. To check for drafts, close the door or window on a strip of paper, and then slide the paper. If it slides easily, it’s time to replace your weather stripping.

3. Disconnect outdoor faucets

Take action sooner rather than later to avoid frozen and bursting pipes in your home. Drain and disconnect your hoses from outdoor faucets before the first freeze.

4. Protect outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture lasts longer and looks better if it is protected from winter snow and freezing temperatures. Either store the furniture inside for the winter or cover it with a waterproof furniture cover.

5. Repair driveway and sidewalk cracks

When water freezes in small cracks, the small cracks become big cracks. It’s easy to prevent by filling those small cracks with concrete crack sealer. Your drive and walkways will look much better over the years – and will be safer – if you take this preventive step.

6. Fertilize your lawn

As your grass prepares for winter, it needs to be fertilized to prevent stress and damage through cold temperatures. When days shorten, turf grass shifts food reserves from leaves to roots. Fertilizing grass in the fall feeds the roots and paves the way for a healthy green lawn when spring comes.

7. Check your snow blower

Go ahead and dig your snow blower out of the garage now. Check the oil, tires, and shear pins and crank it up now, before the snow flies consistently this winter.

To read the full article, click here.

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.