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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.

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.

 

What Do Renters Really Want?

As a property manager, this question surfaces all of the time. What do renters really want?

Most real estate expert agrees that personalized customer service ranks at the top of the list. Happy customers who feel valued are more likely to stay in a rental relationship.

“60% of renters plan to relocate within the next 12 months” according to Elizabeth Millar from Appfolio.

Ask Your Tenants What They Want

Ask them what amenities and neighborhood area characteristics are most important to them.

  • In-unit laundry
  • Pet friendly policies
  • High-end applicances

Communicate With Them In Their Preferred Style

Have you asked them how they prefer you communicate with them? There is paper, email, text and tenant portal options these days.

If you are wanting open, honest communication, you might consider anonymous forms. This will give you and your rental team accurate responses.

We like to ask such things like:

  • Which amenities are your favorites?
  • What could we do to add, change or remove to make this feel more like home?
  • Do you feel valued and appreciated by our team?
  • How would you rate overall safety and security?
  • Is the maintenance staff responsive and efficient?

Did you know that 13% of Americans don’t have smartphones while the other 87% use their phones to manage almost their entire lifestyle. Don’t leave out that 13% that might be attracted to the properties your company has.

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.

 

Make White Walls Be Anything But Boring

All-white walls may be a blank canvas, but in the hands of textures, patterns and antiques, they’re anything but boring.

Have you ever walked into a white room and it felt sterile, cold or uninviting. Well today, I am going to show you some ideas of how to warm up the white and make it inviting for you and everyone that walks in your house.

When painting most people steer clear of white? Why do you think that is? It doesn’t get any more dirty than any other color. In fact, white can open up your space and make it look larger. How you accessorize and decorate to create the feel of the room will make all the difference in the world.

When you go to the paint counter of your local hardware or paint store, you might be shocked at all the difference variations of WHITE there are. I was quite shocked when I did this recently. I did not ever know there were so many versions of one color. It kind of made me chuckle. I always thought white was white.

I love white walls because it is just that, a blank canvas. You can create any look you want in your home, rental or apartment.

Paloma Contreras gives us a few decorating ideas to go by.

  1. Add texture.
  2. Curate accessories.
  3. Embrace bold accent colors.
  4. Create tension.
  5. Incorporate your TV into your design.
  6. Try oversized fixtures.
  7. Wallpaper a powder room.
  8. Command attention.
  9. Use mirrors.

You can read more what Paloma says about each of these here.

These white walls are anything but sterile or boring. If fact, white with all those accent colors has never looked so inviting and good.

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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.

 

Does Your Garden Need Fall Fruits and Veggies?

You have seen a little shift in weather. Afternoon thunderstorms and a little shorter days. That is because fall is just around the corner.

But don’t worry, the summer planting season isn’t over yet. Get ahead of the game and start lining up your fall to-do’s. These fruits and vegetables, planted in fall, are full of flavor.

 

Rhubarb

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This large-leaf perennial is easy to grow, looks great in a flower bed, and is a wonderful addition to a summer pie.

What vegetable is a perennial that’s easy to grow, looks great in a flower bed, and is a wonderful addition to a summer pie? Rhubarb of course! Get growing.

Garlic

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There is no better time than the present to plant this bulb!

It’s simpler than you might think to grow this flavorful plant that can be used in your favorite recipes. Here are some tips on where to grow, how to harvest, and the different types of garlic you can raise in the fall.

Kale

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Kale is a garden superstar. It’s super nutritious and thrives in cooler fall weather with sufficient water.
Trending superfood kale is easy to grow in your vegetable garden. Kale loves cool weather, so plant it in spring or fall in a sunny location.

Blackberries

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Grow these juicy berries, rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. And they’re NOT black raspberries—know the difference!
Pluck juicy, blue-black berries from your own blackberry bushes that produce fruits year after year.
What kind of things do you also plant in your late summer or early fall garden?

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.

Grout Cleaning: The Secrets to Success

The solution to dirty grout may be in your pantry. Grout lines are magnets for dirt and grime, and dingy grout can detract from the good looks of pretty tile.

Eliminate dirty grout for good with these tips and tricks.

If your grout looks dull and dingy, a good cleaning will have it looking fresh and new.

Cleaning options range from the commercial, to the completely natural.

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Before beginning to clean with any product, prep the area by wiping it down with a wet cloth.

One natural cleaning solution is simple paste of two parts baking soda and one water. Use a grout brush or an old toothbrush to apply the paste to the grout lines. To get twice the scrubbing power, use an old electric toothbrush. Clean all of the grout lines then rinse the area with water.

If your stain is stained or discolored replace the water with vinegar in the baking soda paste. Careful it doesn’t bubble over. Apply the paste to the grout and allow it to set a few minutes before scrubbing. Then rinse well.

If you have coarse tiles, such as marble test this method in an inconspicuous area since the acidic vinegar could stain the tile.

Hydrogen peroxide is a less acidic option than vinegar. Mix one part peroxide with two parts baking soda. Apply this paste to the grout, scrub and rinse.

There are also plenty of commercial grout cleaners designed to do the job. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions to clean your group when using these products.

No matter which cleaning option you choose, all the grout to dry for 24-hours then use a sealer to preserve all of your hard work.  Whether you use store-bought cleaners, or go with a natural option, clean grout improves the look and extends the life of your tile.

 

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.

 

It Is Inspection Time!

How often should a Rental Owner or Property Manager Inspect A Rental?

It is a good idea to inspect your properties on a regular basis. If you don’t do it often enough, you may miss some things and could turn into serious problems. You also could risk the rate of not maintaining a solid relationship with your tenants. More communication is better than not enough.

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Your lease agreement should detail about your inspection policy. If you don’t have an inspection policy, that needs to happen immediately. Technically, you can stop by your rental properties at any time you feel like it, but only to inspect the exterior of the property. You can’t just enter the rental premises any time you feel like it to check on a tenant. This can open you up to risk.

 

You need to give your tenant at least 24-hours notice before entering the rental until. THe notice to them should state why and when you intend to be there and what time you will leave. Make sure you are not violating your renters rights by checking with your particular state and local laws. This is also why many owners hire a Property Management Company like, Picket Fence Properties.

 

Here are some great times to inspect your property:

  1. When the tenant moves in – this can also be a move-in inspection
  2. When a tenant is moving out – This is done when they are departing the rental unit so you can determine the final condition under their lease. Renters will take better care of rental units if they know you’ll be inspecting them on a regular basis.
  3. Routine maintenance checks – this helps you maintain the property upkeep and value. It is a great way to keep you tenant satisfied too as it feels like customer service, ensuring that all things are working great for them.
  4. Check for unauthorized tenants – This is common when a family member overstays or when a tenant begins to house a significant other. This is usually an easy fix to change the terms of the lease and how is living in at the property.

 

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.

 

4 Best Perennials For Your Garden

Here’s an easy-grow collection of the best, most beautiful perennial flowers that are perfect for any garden.

Blanket Flower

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Blanket flower (gaillardia) is a drought- and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. In red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double perennial flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall. Although often short-lived, it is easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed.

Veronica

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The 7-inch spikes of veronica bloom atop 12- to 24-inch plants in shades of blue or red from early summer through fall. In the North, veronica prefers sun, but it likes a bit of shade in the South. Plant these perennial flowers at the front of the bed.

Purple Coneflower

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This prairie wildflower achieves a level of sophistication in the ‘Magnus’ variety, which throws its petals out horizontally daisy-style. Coneflower tolerates heat and drought, and it blooms all summer long. Plant these 30-inch-tall perennial flowers in the middle or back of the bed.

Yarrow

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Even if you’ve never gardened before, you can grow yarrow with little effort. Yarrow is an amazing perennial that is hardy throughout most of the United States and can withstand heat, drought, and cold. These perennial flowers are valued in the garden for its ferny, gray-green or dark green, spicy-scented foliage and showy, flat-topped clusters of flowers in pink, red, white, or yellow appearing from late spring to early fall.

There is nothing like a rental or home you own that is full of beautiful perennial flowers to make it feel like home.

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.

 

 

Gardening 101: Dig into some gardening ideas now – Part II

Spring Gardening 101 Continues…

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Last week we gave you 5 ideas to dig into your spring gardens and this week, we’ll give you 5 more ideas.

Whether you the property owner, tenant or are looking to work with a Property Management company, making the outside of your home is key to loving it there.


Here are a few more spring gardening basics:

  1. Pick your plants. Some people pore over catalogs for months; some people head to the garden center and buy what wows them. Either method works if you choose plants adapted to your climate, your soil, and the amount of sunlight in your garden. You can even surf the Internet for plants to purchase. Here are a few easy-to-grow plants for beginners:
  1. Put them in the ground. Some plants, such as pansies and kale, tolerate cold, so you can plant them in autumn or late winter. Tomatoes and most annual flowers, on the other hand, are touchy about cold, so don’t plant them until the danger of frost has passed in your area. Midspring and midautumn are good times to plant perennial flowers.

Some plants, such as lettuce and sunflowers, are easy to grow from seed. You can sow them directly in the garden. Be sure to read the seed packet for information about when to plant, how deep to plant, and how far apart to plant the seeds. If you’re an adventurous beginner, you can get a head start on the growing season by sowing seeds indoors before the last frost date. You can buy containers or flats designed especially for seedlings, as well as seed-starting soil mixes (available at garden centers). Follow seed-packet instructions, and place the containers on a sunny windowsill or under artificial lights if you don’t have window space. Be sure to keep the seeds and seedlings moist but not wet (or they may rot).

An easier method is to buy young plants, called set plants or transplants. Just dig a hole and plunk them in the ground.

  1. Water. Seedlings should never dry out, so water daily while they are small. Taper off as the plants get larger. New transplants also need frequent watering—every other day or so—until their roots become established. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, how humid your climate is, and how often it rains. Plants are begging for water when they wilt slightly in the heat of the day. Water slowly and deeply, so the water soaks in instead of running off into the street. To minimize evaporation, water in the early morning.
  2. Mulch. To help keep weeds out and water in, cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch. All sorts of mulch are available, from pine needles to cocoa hulls to bark chips. For a vegetable garden or bed of annuals, choose a mulch that decomposes in a few months. For perennials, use a longer-lasting mulch, such as bark chips.
  3. Keep it up. Your garden is on its way. Keep watering when needed, and pull weeds before they get big. Fertilize with a dry fertilizer about halfway through the season. If you use a liquid fertilizer, fertilize every month or so. And remember to stop and smell the—well, whatever you grow.

 

Enjoy!

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.