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The start of a New Year means many things to different people. Some of the things associated with the New Year are:

the New Years resolution Happy New Year! 2012




the day off

and so much more.

One of the things I do near the first of the year is make sure all of my information for my tax return is close to being ready. After all, in just a few weeks I’ll be getting the final W-2 and 1099’s that I need to wrap up my return. Anything I can do now to get things ready will help me to file as soon as they come. This means a faster refund for me so I can take care of some of those things I’ve been putting off (tune up on the car, tires and house hunting).

A tax refund is an excellent source of savings to help pay for the cost of moving expenses. After all, there are usually more deposits to pay than the one to the landlord. It costs money to transfer all the utilities over and pay for the moving van too. Even if the landlord pays city utilites, there is still a fee involved for cable, internet and telephone that usually the tenant has to pay for. If you have a pet, the deposits are even more. So, if you’re getting a refund, this may be the most opportune time for you to find that perfect new home.

While the weather is still breezy, rainy, snowy and not much fun to move in, some perople take advantage of the adverse conditions to get in on some great deals. Over the last week (since Christmas passed) I have seen an increase in the number of rentals back on the market. To me, this means that some landlords took a break from advertising a vacancy that has been around for a while. Because there are fewer looking to move during the yucky weather it makes it harder to fill those rentals. I have even seen a few listings lately that said they would negotiate the rent amount for the “right tenant”. While there has not been a jump in the number of rentals on the market, there has been an increase in the number of rentals that have been being advertised regularly for the last 6-8 weeks.

Just think about it, do you like moving when it’s cold? Getting all the muddy footprints on the floor from trekking back and forth from the moving truck with boxes? I certainly don’t and most others don’t either. Plus, there is then the added clean up on top of what you already need to do in order to get the home you’re moving out of ready for the move-out inspection. Try to take the opportunity of the bad, cold weather and negotiate a lower rent while there are fewer house hunters to compete with.

As a landlord, make sure you know what your bottom rental amount is. If you’ve been trying to get your vacancy filled for some time, maybe its time to make some concessions – paid utilities, money off for a certain amount of time, move-in specials, refunding the background check fee if the tenant is accepted… there are so many ways to wiggle a “deal”. Try to be creative and you’ll probably get that rental filled sooner rather than later. After all, a rental that lists for $1000 a month loses $33 in investment income for every day that it’s empty.

Maybe you’ve experienced or created a special situation during a move. Let me know about it, I love to hear the creative ideas!

Whether you’re the house hunter or the landlord trying to fill your rental, I wish you all a wonderful and fulfilling New Year for 2012. Lori Hartjoy: I am the owner of Blue Mountain Rentals. I bring over 20 years of clerical experience to my clients. My background includes processing employment, tenant screening, background checks and working as a property manager and payroll clerk.

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