Patience fried by couch-potato son, dad eyes eviction


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Dear John: My 18-year-old son is doing nothing to gain independence. He doesn’t work or go to school. All he does all day is lie on the couch, watching TV and playing video games. He eats a lot of food and smells bad, too.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

So often I hear my clients saying "I let a family member move into my rental and I’m having a hard time getting them out". I love all the helpful advice in this one that has to do with a child who is now ‘of age’ mooching off of their parents. Set aside that cupboard, shelf on the fridge and give them notice to vacate ASAP. Great advice by John Hartzell in this article. Have you had a similar experience?

See on union-bulletin.com

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Where Americans—Rich and Poor—Spent Every Dollar in 2012


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Here it is, fresh from the Bureau of Labor Statistics : all of American spending in one big color wheel. Since some of you (inexplicably) don’t like pie charts, here’s the same data in bars. Averages are …

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

As the struggle to balance our budgets continues, you’ll note here that the bottom 20% (poorest) spend 40% of their income on housing. Typically they are renters. This is above the typical 33% requirement that many landlords have. So, by looking at this it means that those in the lowest income brackets (disable, seniors, students, etc.) are having to cut costs elsewhere. It looks to me like they are cutting it in insurance. How do you think this will change as Obamacare requirements come online?

See on finance.yahoo.com

2013 Firm Survey: Future Outlook of Firms


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Forty-five percent of firms reported they are actively recruiting sales agents in 2013. Seven in ten firms expect profitability (net income) from all real…

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

When I read this from a Landlord perspective, I see – Those in house hunting mode will turn to purchasing on a slightly increased scale over the next year to two years. Therefore, vacancies will be on the rise, rent amounts will fall and a glut of rental housing will be readily available. For those who continue to build new rental housing options, the wait for ROI will be longer. This will also be a boon for those who choose to continue renting, as the market rents will slowly decline – in their favor…  What is your take?

See on economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org

Newser shacks up with wife in one of Bloomberg’s “Mike-ros” mini-apartments


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My wife and I are intimate again — thanks to the Bloomberg administration’s latest housing initiative.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

I’ve been following the micro apartments since they started rolling out the articles and photos. To be honest, I’m not much impressed with the ‘affordability’. Yes, you save on space, can cram more families into tight quarters and while in some cities save a little off your rent, I’m not sold. The cost of the special furnishings to fit into these tight spaces are very expensive compared to the ‘norm’. I’ll continue to watch this trend and see if it gets any better in the coming months/years. What is your take?

See on www.nydailynews.com

House Styles


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Use this illustrated dictionary to identify house styles and learn about home design in North America and other parts of the world. Find photos, floor plans, and helpful resources.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

If you’re like me, you see the terms like "Cape Cod" or "Craftsman Style" home and wonder – What exactly does that mean?  This is a wonderful picture guide of over 50 different types of architectural styles of homes just to anser that question. Very informative…

See on architecture.about.com

Facebook friends could change your credit score


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Some short-term loan services look at your online social profiles to determine your credit-worthiness.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Here is an article to make  you say hmmm…   Do you know what your friends credit looks like?  I don’t. One item in here that kind of bugs me says – if your a small business owner they look at where your computer says you’re at vs. what you say. I have an issue with that since my ISP connects me through Spokane and I live in Walla Walla. I sure hope this is not in effect now, and if they are still contemplating it they consider all the factors if they will be using a friendship as a basis for credit determination.

See on money.cnn.com

Soaring rents force lifestyle changes


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Rising rent is forcing many to reexamine lifestyle choices and, in some cases, move out of Seattle altogether.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

… the reality is that many renters, saddled by stagnant wages, are being forced to reexamine lifestyle choices and, in some cases, move out of Seattle altogether." While Seattle is still a hop, skip and jump away from Walla Walla, it does make me ponder whether or not this could happen in our area. Also, just where are those that are moving out going? Are there areas that are more income friendly?

See on seattletimes.com

RRD


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Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Do you stay on top of changing laws as a landlord? For my clients, we only mention when section 8 is accepted at a property to avoid discrimination in the advertising. However, times are changing once again. Check out the upcoming Oregon law:  A new Oregon law which is set to take effect July 1, 2014 proposed by House Speaker Tina Kotek, will make it illegal to discriminate against renters who use any of the federal Section 8 voucher programs. I forsee this going nationwide soon. What are your thoughts?

See on www.therrd.com

‘People think everyone who is poor gets welfare, and it’s just not true’; How the myth of the welfare queen died


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By Allison Linn, Staff Writer, NBC NewsHere’s one thing both critics and supporters of the modern welfare system agree on: The direct assistance program as we knew it in the 1980s and 1990s is dead and gone.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

If you think… The ‘Welfare Queen’ is alive and well, That only those not working are on Welfare, and that those receiving State Assistance are living the high life – Read On. This great artice debunks many of those old 1970’s stereotypes as the Welfare system has gone through it’s changes over the last 40 years. It also explains how some of the changes that were supposed to move people up the ladder and off of the Welfare system failed…

See on inplainsight.nbcnews.com

Fair Market Rents: Large Changes in Many Areas


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On August 5th, HUD published its preliminary Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for Fiscal Year 2014.  By law, HUD is required to publish final FMRs annually by October 1, and circulates a preliminary list i…

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

For Walla Walla County in WA State, the Proposed amounts for FMR for 2014 are down over 6% across the board. As a landlord, are  you willing to take this cut if you allow the section 8 housing vouchers? As a renter, how will losing 6% of your housing expense being paid effect you? It certainly does not look good…

See on eyeonhousing.wordpress.com

Rentals: How can you get into a place with a eviceion? – Trulia Voices


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how can you get into a place with a eviceion? Find answers to this and many other questions on Trulia Voices, a community for you to find and share local information. Get answers, and share your insights and experience.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Are  you someone who believes in second chances? Not many landlords are. Would you have any additional advice for this poster?  I’ve always found that being up front is best and make sure you explain all of the extenuating circumstances. Sometimes the persons listed on the lease, while responsible, are not the reason the eviction happened…

See on www.trulia.com

Eye of Newt – Is your curb appeal attracting the wrong kind of renters?

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Eye of NewtFor many landlords, the whole prospect of trying to find the ideal tenant to fill their vacant units can seem quite daunting. There seems to be an abundance of renters out there that all have some sort of flaw and make them less than ideal for what they have in mind for their investment. This task may be even more of a challenge if the property or neighborhood itself is less appealing.

The Eye of Newt has been used many times throughout history, from Shakespeare to the notorious witches brew. Several sources have come up with various several meanings behind the term. For one, the Newt is a Salamander that excretes a poisonous substance for their body that is very toxic. They use this as a defense mechanism to drive away predators. Eye of Newt has also been used is as a magical substance in potions in some of the modern day computer games. So, is your property toxic and driving away good renters, or does it need a dose of magic to make it more appealing?

Curb appeal - First impressions matter!

First Impressions matter!

If you feel like all of the propective renters that are interested in your property are less than desireable, you may just need a dose of magic to spruce it back up. Find a friend, family member or someone who is unattached with no interest in the property to come and take a look. Fresh eyes often times willl help you find the flaws and many can be remedied with little or no cost or elbow grease.

A few questions to ask are: Will the new tenant have to spend hours cleaning an overgrown flower bed? Does the lawn need some edging? Is the grass knee high? What about the windows – are they dingy and hard to see through? Do the shrubs that should be about 2 feet high seem to be reaching for the sky? All easy fixes with just a little bit of time. Now, take a look inside: Are their outlet or light switch covers that are painted over or broken? Are the window sills clean and window tracks free of dust & debris? Is the caulking in the bathroom fresh and white? You would be surprised at how many little things you can do to improve the first impression a potential renter will perceive.

Does the neighborhood scream neglect and lack of care? Have you spoken with your neighbors? Is there a way to establish a block party for clean up? What about that elderly neighbor 2 houses down? Are they able to get out and trim up the shrubs, trees and weed their flower beds? Offer some assistance to those in need and with a little team work, your block may just end up being the best one in the neighborhood. A bonus to this is that you will also meet the neighbors and establish a network to help you keep an eye on your investment.

Witches BrewWhile not every property will be able to make the cover of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, you can at least give it a boost in the right direction. Now, go grab your cauldron and whip up a batch of magical potion to get your investment back on the upswing! Do you have any suggestions on sprucing up a property? I’d love to hear your tips!

Lori Hartjoy is the owner of Blue Mountain Rentals, established in April of 2011. As well as being a devoted mother of 3 toddlers, she provides over 20 years of clerical experience to her clients. Her background includes processing employment, tenant screening and background checks, working as a property manager for 25 rental units, as a bookkeeper for a HUD apartment complex and as the sole payroll clerk for a major telecommunications corporation.

The information contained on this blog and from any communication related to the Blue Mountain Rentals website is provided for informational purposes only. All information you choose to use is at “your own risk”.

BMR Logo for web smallPlease visit http://www.bluemtnrentals.com for more information on how Blue Mountain Rentals can provide a win-win solution for your housing needs.

Blue Mountain Rentals – Helping Landlords & Renters Click!

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Low cost rental listing promotions & housing search services. Many free resources are available to both landlords & renters.

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Breakpoint: What Ants Can Teach Us About Market Saturation


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Ants. They may seem like nuisances that intrude our picnics and attack our delicious foods, but they actually provide us with valuable business advice, especially on how businesses should deal with…

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

The information here is wonderful and can easily be applied to advertising your vacant rental listings. While maximum exposure is best to get the word out – QUALITY is a must as well. My favorite line: ‘The only successful way to survive seems to be to follow the example set by the ants: don’t dread your market shrinking to equilibrium because it can still grow – not in size, but rather in quality.’

See on blog.dandb.com

Warmer World Will Keep Millions of People Trapped in Poverty, Says New Report


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                    Regular food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa….shifting rain patterns in South Asia leaving some parts under water and others wi…

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Here is an interesting article on the continued increase in overall world temperatures and how it will affect those currently living in poverty. Definitely worth a read if you follow any of the global warming trends.

See on bayintegratedmarketing.wordpress.com

How to Prevent Squatters On Your Rental Property | GoSection8 Blog


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Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

There are other good reasons for maintaining curb appeal on a vacant rental property. This article has great tips for keeping those ‘unapproved’ tenants at bay. Have you ever run into a situation like this? I’ve had a couple rentals I’ve listed where I had to twist the landlord’s arm to keep it maintained and in good condition. Great from a sales point of view too…

See on www.gosection8.com

Thieves Take Rent Checks from Property Management Company – 8 News NOW


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Dozens of people who left their rent checks in the drop box of a property management company had their checks stolen, before they were cashed.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Are  you opening up your rent collection system to risk? Do you still have the drop box outside? After reading this you may rethink your options. Try setting up a way at a bank for the tenants to drop their check in person. Take online payments as an option – Thieves are doing everything they can to try and make money for nothing – don’t let  yourself or  your tenants become the victims…

See on www.8newsnow.com

Occupancy Standards 101 | Property Management | Multifamily | Real Estate Investing


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Landlord and property management news and publications

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Once again I’m seeing and hearing of our local area landlords trying to limit occupancy and deny families with children rental units when their are downstairs neighbors… sigh… I wish there were classes here locally on a regular basis to refer these stubborn non-law abiding landlords to. Please – if you are a landlord be familiar with the Fair Housing Laws – this is a great article on occupancy…

See on www.thelandlordtimes.com

When a city is on the move, with mattresses and dishwashers in tow


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The first day of July is a federal holiday in Canada, but thanks to a quirk of history it is also the date when more than one hundred thousand Quebec residents each year move home.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

"…because renting is more popular than owning, July 1 has become Moving Day for much of the population. By the city’s estimate, about 115,000 of Montreal’s 1.6 million residents relocate every July."

 

Can you imagine a ‘Federal Moving Day’ holiday? Which day would you choose? I think August is much better – you don’t compete with the 4th of July fun and it’s a full month before school starts for most…

See on www.nbcnews.com

Curb Appeal Feeling a Little Off? Some Questions to Consider


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Color, scale, proportion, trim … 14 things to think about if your exterior is bugging you

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Whether you’re selling or trying to rent out an income property, this article has some great tips on curb appeal for you to consider – 

 

My favorite – Are the kids afraid to trick-or-treat at your house?

Curb appeal continues from day into night. Make sure your front door and pathway are well lit with fixtures that coordinate with your architecture and color scheme. Extra enhancements on the home here also include the lights on the potted trees out front. A well-lit house also helps keep burglars away.

See on www.houzz.com

Private Landlords – A Target on Your Back?!


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Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Are you a landlord who has been targeted? I completely agree with this great article put together by the folks at Moco, Inc & Myscreeningreport. Too often I hear ‘Do you think the screening cost is driving people away?’ or ‘I use my gut to decide if I’ll rent to a person or not’ or my favorite – ‘I decide if they are good renters by how their car looks and how clean it is inside’ WHAT?  *cringe, cringe.

 

The reason the property management companies are more successful and have less loss & evictions is because they don’t budge on the screening process and cave in to ‘fill the rental’. Protect your investment and income and make sure you at least make calls on references, ask for paystubs and then run a credit/criminal check. These steps are not only to protect you, but your neighbors as well…

See on www.myscreeningreport.com

The Art of Persuasive Copy Writing


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I was reading an article in Writer’s Digest on creating written ad content (yeah, I also write marketing content for businesses) and the author, Athena Schultz,  did a great job in breaking down an…

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Is your view of being a landlord strictly someone who cleans & repaints at vacancy and collects a check once property is filled?  There is much more to filling those vacant units than one may think. One of the most important items I emphasize is your ad – if you’re not creating buzz, you are not getting noticed. This article covers the most important parts of your ad copy – no matter what you’re writing an ad for. Do you have a special call to action?

See on nhwn.wordpress.com

For victims of ‘landlords from hell,’ home is where the hurt is


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Think you have the landlord from hell? Think again.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

We usually hear horror stories about bad tenants destroying a rental property, or a landlord who fails to comply with fair housing laws. But, in this case the landlord actually did things to destroy their own building and to cause harm to the tenants and their property. So, the next time you think you’ve heard or seen it all, remember – it could be worse 😉

See on edition.cnn.com

Stop Sabotaging Great First Impressions by Your Leasing Associates


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Have you ever had an apartment tour where things started off great and then went downhill really fast? From the onset, things are looking good and the first impression is stellar. Then everything changes when the prospect leaves the leasing center.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Whether you’re selling a home or preparing a rental property for a new tenant, these tips will help you to get it into the best condition for the market. From property curb appeal to the cobweb in the corner, each blemish leaves a mark when a tour is in progress. Items that you may overlook will probably be seen by that one-time prospect. Do you have any secrets in getting your property ready for the ‘tour’?

See on www.propertymanagementinsider.com

What It’s Really Like To Moonlight As A Landlord – Forbes


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What It’s Really Like To Moonlight As A Landlord
Forbes
… a CFP® with LearnVest Planning Services. She should know: Derrick and her husband, John, own three duplexes, and they’re about to buy a single-family house to rent.

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

I’ve seen it all, from the professional landlord with a portfolio of well over 50 rentals to the retired gentleman who is looking to pad his retirement income just a bit – check out this great insight on what it really means to have extra income from a rental – it isn’t as glorified as you would believe…

See on www.forbes.com

As Laws Regulating Tenant Screening Continue to Change, TenantScreeningUSA.com Recommends Vetting a Tenant Screening Company before Working with Them


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TenantScreeningUSA.com highly recommends all landlords and property managers utilize third-party tenant background screening companies to ensure compliance with new laws and regulations such as the new Oregon State laws regarding the use of…

Lori Hartjoy‘s insight:

Landlord Tenant laws are constantly changing. This article is focused toward some upcoming Oregon law changes that may be in force soon. What do you think about the compliance in how a tenant screening company uses the information to make recommendations for your potential tenants? 

See on www.prweb.com