Unfortunately the rental market is quite healthy as everyone ditches the gigantic albatross of an over priced home they have and are doing the exact same thing we are- looking for a nice rental. It's kind of a cut throat market, and the good ones go fast. Not to mention that requiring four bedrooms of a home is apparently a tall order over here. I'll start with a million little pins in the map, and as soon as I require a minimum of four bedrooms, I'm left with a paltry few pins to chose from. And while I'd love to spend three grand on a mansion of my dreams, our financial situation dictates I write those listings off immediately. At the end of the process, I'm left with one or two prospects. ('cause I'm also not willing to live anywhere in the ghetto... or ghetto adjacent)
I've been weighing what is important, what is a luxury, and what is a deal breaker on these potential homes. Clearly, I have been spoiled for far too many years, because the prospect of spending more than a day in some of these sties make me break out into hives. I'm not expecting the Taj Mahal, but really people. I don't know what some of these landlords are thinking when they put up their listings.
So, as a public service, I am offering up some basics to stick to when renting out your home to decent people (like us- we're dream tenants!) who won't make a methlab out of your property. There's also pictures- whom I will not credit, to protect the dim witted:
Craftyashley's Rules of Renting:
- If I can see the stains on the laminate countertops from the small thumbnail of a photo, you've got a problem. Photography can hide a lot, but there are some things that are just skeevy. Put some granite in that biznatch.
- Carpeting in the bathroom? REALLY?! This should just be a universal law: no carpet in the bathroom. No matter how nice the fixtures are, how much money you put into tiling the shower, it never makes up for carpet in the bathroom.
- Also, carpet in a dining room. Especially when it is the only eating space? That's just nasty.
- You know what? Carpet in general is just a bad idea. You end up replacing or cleaning it at the least pretty often, if not after every tenant change. Put the money up front and spring for tile, hardwoods, even laminate. It makes sound fiscal sense. Not to mention the people with the revenge-peeing-dog will thank you.
- A 1300 sq. ft. 4 bedroom home? How do you even go about shoving four whole bedrooms in that tiny space?! This is not New York, where 600 sq. ft. is considered"spacious." Get with the program. But kudos to you on taking my above advice and installing gorgeous hardwoods! Sorry, I'm just not willing to play tetris with my furniture. Or live on top of my dining room table.
- Every once in a while a surly tenant may walk away with one of your appliances. It happens. That's why you (assumably) have insurance. However! You must replace the missing appliance with one of equal or greater aesthetic value to the remaining appliances. An example:
- If you have a fireplace, good! That's a nice (although totally superfluous for our weather) feature to highlight. Except if it looks like this:
Then you break out a can of white paint and go to work fixing that big fat atrocity. (it's a two way fireplace- the other side is even worse, although cleverly semi-hidden:)
- People want to see pictures. You don't have to be a professional photographer, but at least give us a clue to if it's worth our time or not. Wonky, poorly written descriptions do not help. Like this example- and no, I am not making this up:
"Now this is single family living!"
... there just are no words to describe this situation. That is less of a description, as more of something a realtor with a bad combover would put on his business card. And you know what's even more unbelievable? I have tons of examples of this exact problem!
It took me forever to find the right weird keys just to replicate the "description" on that one. I don't even know if I've ever used the ~ button before! So anyway... did you mean "Wow! that's a huge palm tree obstructing the view of this house I'm trying to "showcase?" Because if so, then I agree. Mightily.
The major areas you should feature are: kitchen, living room, master bedroom and bath. Maybe the backyard- it has come to my attention recently that some people (not me) are interested in outdoor spaces. I try to ignore mine completely.
Although I feel there should be some further instruction here. Do not post more than one picture of the same thing. No one is interested in three views of the community pool.
Wow. Glad I got to see all angles of that beauty of a kitchen!
In addition to this- pictures of secondary bedrooms don't help. It's essentially a white box with a window, never impressive or noteworthy. Now, if you are unable to adequately photograph a particular portion or room due to the layout or your flexibility to contort your body to get the right composition- just give up. Don't post anything that even remotely resembles this:
- While this may be a warning for a very small portion of you landlords out there, it just needs to be said. Unless your property is in some way on or near a camping area, mountain region, or any other place where you would expect a log cabin, do not try and list out your oddly located log cabin in the middle of a tract home development at the bottom of a desert valley:
Just bulldoze that sucker down. The land is most likely worth more without the log cabin and matching lawn chair set.
I think that covers the absolute essentials in starting your foray into the rental market. Now go rip up that carpet, take some decent pictures, and put your best foot (er, house) forward.