High-Value Home Improvement Trends for 2022

Homeowners are constantly looking for creative ways to distinguish themselves from the competition and increase their home’s value. Home improvement is one of the most effective ways to upscale your property. 2022 brings a distinct set of home improvement trends that all real estate investors should keep in mind.

Bringing the Office Home

With remote and hybrid work becoming the new norm, homes need to be multipurpose even more than before. In order for their homes to seamlessly transition between an office space and their comfortable homes, owners are enhancing their home offices and even transforming their kitchen countertops into professional workstations.

The Cozy Outdoors

Homeowners in 2022 want the comfort and convenience of their indoors to spread to their outdoor patios, porches, and even backyards. Large fireplaces, unique gardens, and elegant seating areas protected from the weather by pergolas are all elements that could enhance these outdoor spaces.

An Accent of Wallpaper

Buyers are looking for ways to showcase their individuality, and wallpaper is stepping up to the plate. A cost-effective option that can save homeowners quality time, wallpaper is used as a bold accent piece to catch visitors’ eyes and pop against the rest of the home.

A Personal Spa

Tranquil, spacious, spa-like bathrooms are taking the home improvement market by storm. Consider calming bathrooms with huge bathtubs as the focal points and numerous cabinets and shelving to keep the space orderly and clean.

Home improvement is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment for first-time and seasoned homeowners. Follow these 2022 trends to add value to your home and entice new buyers. If you need help selling your home or are looking to become a homeowner, contact us today!

5 Ways to Make Your Home Feel and Look New This Spring

Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or are looking to sell this spring, we’re sure you’re tired of looking at the same walls for years on end. A new study discovered that homeowners now spend about 13 years in their homes. This is a considerable increase of about ten years compared to a decade ago. Many factors determine the length of homeownership: older homeowners aging in place, a home supply shortage, and more affordable housing payments if homeowners refinanced and took advantage of the low mortgage rates last year. Whether a seller or homeowner, here are 5 ways to bring your home back to life and make it feel and look new this spring!

1. Paint the walls

Paint is the most cost-effective way to make a massive difference in any room. This will be especially noticeable if the walls are chipped or show other flaws. 

But choosing the right paint color is the key to success. For a color that goes with everything, earthy colors or tinted neutrals are the colors you want. Both color types are soothing and easy to mix and match in your home. If you want to give off the illusion of more space, then off-white will be your friend.

If you’re selling this spring and want to attract homebuyers, it’s best to avoid colors that trigger a love-it or hate-it reaction. Think of trending colors like mint green, yellow, baby blue, etc.

2. Update the kitchen

You don’t have to renovate your entire kitchen to make it feel new, either! A few replacements and upgrades will help give it a new look. Some ideas are replacing old kitchen cabinets and handles with modern hardware, installing a touchless faucet, or installing or updating the backsplash. 

3. Replace outdated light fixtures

Any REALTOR® or photographer will tell you that lighting is essential. Lighting has a significant impact on a room by defining the room’s look and feel. Lighting fixtures go out of style, too, so consider replacing old chandeliers, sconces, and pendants. It’s also a good idea to replace the light bulbs themselves, depending on the mood you want for the room. For bedrooms, it would be beneficial to use soft-white bulbs, while the kitchen could benefit from daylight bulbs. Don’t forget exterior lighting either!

4. Increase curb appeal

Did you know homes with high curb appeal sell for 7% more than houses with a less than pleasant exterior? Your home’s curb appeal is people’s first impression of your home, and you know that saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” And that’s true with homebuyers this spring! Increase your home’s outside appearance by adding landscaping or changing what’s already there. If you don’t have a green thumb, a simple task like trimming trees and shrubs will still make a big difference. 

5. Replace the carpet 

According to a March 2021 poll by the National Association of Home Builders, most homebuyers prefer hardwood floors. 32% said hardwood floors in the main living area is a “must-have”! So if your flooring needs a tune-up, consider removing the carpet and going for hardwood. Another option is to restore the original hardwood floors found under the carpet. Laminate hardwood floors are less expensive than natural wood and easier to maintain if you’re on a budget. 

If you need help sprucing up your home this spring to sell your home, contact us

Benefits of Month-to-Month Tenants

Now that you have a property, you need tenants! But what kind of tenants? Do you want short-term or long-term? Month to month or fixed-term lease? Long-term and fixed leases are the most common, then short-term for vacation rentals. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of having month-to-month tenants. 

What are Month-to-Month Tenants?

Month-to-month tenants are renters who pay rent monthly to stay on the property without an expiration date. This means the lease doesn’t have a fixed end date and it will automatically renew at the end of each month. Typically, the renters will pay their monthly rent until either party gives a 30-day notice. 

Benefits of Month-to-Month Tenants

More control over timing and financial flexibility are the significant benefits to month-to-month tenants. Month-to-month means the landlord can end a rental agreement at any time very quickly and usually doesn’t need a reason to terminate the lease. With month-to-month tenants, landlords have more financial flexibility as the landlord can change the rent easily. This is usually why monthly leases have higher rents than long-term leases. But most renters who enter this lease understand that they’re paying higher prices for the short-term lease. It is a great option for buyers waiting for their house to be built or people testing out living in a new city. There’s flexibility for both the tenant and the landlord. 

Drawbacks of Month-to-Month Tenants

We want to be fair and explain both sides before landlords decide this is the leasing option for them. There are some drawbacks to month-to-month tenants like sudden vacancies and uncertainties. When landlords offer a short-term lease like this, they have to be aware that there might be sudden vacancies since the tenant is allowed to leave at short notice. If they want to fill the vacancy, this can be stressful for the landlord (unless you have a property management company like us!). Second and tied in with sudden vacancies are uncertainties like when the landlord will receive rent and finding short-term renters. On top of spending more time and money to prepare the property, advertise the property, screen new tenants, and show the rental (did you know TALK Property Management does all those things for you?). 

As a landlord or investor, it’s up to you to choose the best lease option for you and your property. There are benefits and drawbacks to a short-term lease and rental with month-to-month tenants. If you need help discussing your leasing options, contact TALK Property Management

Vacation Homes Are the New Starter Home for Millennials

Millennials are changing the way they buy houses and why they buy the ones they do. The usual path to homeownership and multiple homes was purchasing a single-family home to live in, then purchasing a second property as either an investment or a vacation home. But Millennials are changing it up by going out of order and buying their vacation home first. 

Why Are Millennials Buying Vacation Homes First?

One short-term rental platform discovered that millennials make up 40% of vacation homebuyers, an increase of almost 10% compared to 2019. It’s the largest share of any generation! Millennials cite reasons like extra income, building wealth, and having a property to vacation at as reasons why they purchase a vacation home as their first property. They get “the best of both worlds” as they continue to save for a down payment for their live-in home while also having an investment property to help pay the rent and mortgage. 

Remote work is a massive factor in this trend as the pandemic forced many workers to work from home. And working from home is an increasingly common work environment for younger Americans. With flexibility over work location, many Millennials seek a new location for vacations and remote work. Hence why vacation homes are taking a priority. 

Home prices are another factor as home prices have surged in many cities and metropolitan areas. Buyers consider new regions and locations to purchase a place, like in a rural location. Other living expenses are rising too, especially in popular cities. Homebuyers in high-rent markets use their vacation home as a loophole to avoid high home prices while still investing in real estate. 

Why Millennials Should Buy an Investment Property Home in Austin

Austin has ranked as one of the top U.S. cities for remote workers. Austin is known for its warm sunny temperatures and outdoor activities, making it a popular location for Millennials. With popular attractions like Lady Bird, Barton Creek, Lake Travis, and Zilker, there are endless opportunities for outdoor activities to choose from! 

It’s also quickly becoming the best city for employers as large entities like Facebook, Apple, Google, Tesla, and Oracle are expanding and relocating to Austin. More employers moving into the city will bring more residents moving for their jobs at these companies. And that means there will be more renters in the market for a home. 

Plus, Austin is already the #1 housing market for Millennials. A homebuying platform collected data of the 100 largest metro areas to find the best home markets for Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. Austin ranked #1 with Millennials and #1 for Gen Xers. The study found that Austin has 40 times more new millennial residents on average compared to the other 99 metros in the study. 

Contact us if you’re ready to buy your first investment or vacation home! Reach out to TALK Property Management–we are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

What Does TALK Property Management Do?

When investors hear the term property management, they may just think it’s a company that maintains the property and deals with the tenants. But at TALK Property Management, we do so much more than that! Our property management services include marketing the property, finding tenants, maintaining the property, and accounting. 

Marketing 

If you have a vacant property and don’t know how to advertise your Austin property to prospective tenants, TALK Property Management can do that for you! We create a complimentary Comparable Market Rent Analysis to provide a recommended rent based on the current market. This helps you optimize your monthly rent and may reduce vacancies. Lastly, we market your investment by photographing your property, writing an enticing description, and advertising it using social media marketing, email marketing campaigns, yard signs, and more. 

Tenants

When you choose TALK Property Management, we find you reliable tenants through a rigorous tenant screening process (always complying with the Fair Housing Act). If the tenants turn out to be troublesome, TALK Property Management will attend eviction court proceedings on your behalf. We send a “Notice to Vacate” if rent isn’t received by the third of the month, then file eviction on the eleventh if it’s still not received. We enforce all provisions of your lease. 

Maintenance 

TALK Property Management maintains your Austin property, as well. For minor repairs and maintenance, we use local, reliable handypersons and licensed professional vendors for significant issues. If you have one, we work with your Home Warranty company for any extensive repairs or replacements like HVAC systems to make the process easier and less costly for investors! When we have access to your property, we use a licensed locksmith to handle all locks and ensure your property is up to the Texas Property Code. We ensure the team we use on your property provides the best quality and service.

Accounting

Besides the essential property management services, we go above and beyond to make real estate investing easy for our Austin investors. We utilize a professional software and accounting system to help manage your property’s finances. This means we send you a monthly statement on the tenth of each month with copies of any paid repair bills. We can also send a year-end summary statement and 1099 to help make your taxes easier. Lastly, our software makes it possible to send funds directly to your bank the first business day after your tenant paid rent. 

 

At TALK Property Management, we want your real estate investment to be a success, which is why we pride ourselves on our quality services! Reach out to TALK Property Management–we are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

5 Steps to Fix & Flip Houses The Right Way

Deciding to purchase a home as an investment property is one of the most important financial decisions in a lifetime. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a newbie, flipping houses can be a little scary. But it doesn’t have to be! With over 12 years of property management experience, we have learned a few things over the years. Here are five steps to fix and flip houses the right way. 

1. Create Your Budgets

Before even shopping for a home, you need to create your budgets. One budget should estimate how much it will cost to purchase the home and close on it. The next budget should account for the renovation. When it comes to budgeting, it’s always better to overestimate and have more money than less. If it’s your first time fixing and flipping, a professional contractor should be your first stop to get accurate pricing. When you work with TALK Property Management, we can help you find credible contractors. 

2. Find Fix & Flip Properties

Now that you’ve done the beginning research, you’ll want to continue finding outdated properties to remodel. It requires a particular skill to find these undervalued opportunities, evaluate them, and manage them, so they’re completed on time and within budget. We can handle remodeling on your behalf when you choose TALK Property Management to help you on your fix and flip journey. The secret to finding a good fix and flip property is to find off-market homes and homeowners who are highly motivated to sell. As your REALTOR®, we can help you find these covert opportunities. 

3. Make the Right Offer at the Right Price

The price you pay for your property will determine the profit you’ll make when you sell in the future. So if you overpay, it’s likely you won’t make any profit at all. If it’s in good condition, it means you’ll have to do less work. If it’s in bad shape, you can make a fair offer that’s under the market value as you’ll need to put in more time and money to fix it up. It could mean you could have a lower offer accepted. Essentially, the better the condition, the closer you’ll want to pay to market price, and the worse the state it’s in, then the less you want to offer. 

4. Hire Contractors & Begin Remodeling

After closing, the property is yours and ready to be broken down and brought back to life! Don’t make the newbie mistake of trying to tackle everything by yourself. An investor is only as successful as their team, and part of your team is your remodeling crew. 

In an ideal remodel, you’ll finish remodeling the property in five or fewer weeks. Again, timing is crucial because the longer you hold onto a property, the more it will cost. Because, as the famous saying goes, “time is money.” Make sure your time and money are going to a credible and efficient contractor, so get several quotes. 

5. Market & Sell Your Fix & Flip Property

Now that the property is remodeled, it’s ready to go live! Any good REALTOR® will tell you that marketing is essential if you want your property to sell. That’s why you can’t skimp out on marketing your newly renovated place. With TALK Property Management, we run a Comparable Market Analysis to get you a fair rent price based on the current market trends and photograph your property for advertising on social media, the Multiple Listing Service, and our website. 

Contact us today if you’re ready to buy your next investment property or need help creating a plan! Reach out to TALK Property Management–we are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

5 Decor Hacks To Brighten Your Home This Winter

Winter is approaching, and you may find yourself spending more time inside with earlier sunsets and longer nights. Here are five decor hacks to help make your home brighter and cozier this winter. 

Decor Hack #1: Paint Walls Bright and Warm

For a quick change, consider repainting one of the walls in a room you tend to hang out the most in, like the living room or kitchen. A neutral color with warm undertones will create a bright and cozy atmosphere in the area, and a vibrant color will help uplift a space while also looking great year-round.

Decor Hack #2: Incorporate Live Plants

Bringing some greenery into your home will add color and life to a room. Some of the health benefits of owning plants are lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety. Start with easy-to-care-for house plants that will most likely survive all year long, like a Chinese Evergreen, ZZ Plant, Moth Orchid, and Snake Plant. 

Decor Hack #3: Change Light Bulbs

There’s no way around it–winter means less sunlight and colder weather. To counteract the lack of light and warmth, try LED lights. They’ll make your home bright and sunny, and these bulbs emit the most light while using the least amount of energy. Soft white LED lights will brighten the room without an intense contrast. 

Decor Hack #4: Let In Light 

With what sunlight we do get during the day, embrace it with a curtain change. Sheer curtains and stylish pullbacks are great alternatives for letting in light. If there is decor blocking the window, relocate them to maximize the light. 

Decor Hack #5: Add Color

Winter is known for being dark so early in the day, but it doesn’t have to be dark inside your home! Try adding pops of color with colorful throws, pillows, dish towels, or rugs. Warm colors like reds and oranges will add warmth and energy to the room. 

 

If you need help styling your investment property this winter to sell or are wanting to buy a home, contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

Hot Summer Color Trends for Austin Investors

If you’re looking to spruce up your home for summer or need some summer inspiration for decorating your investment property, check out these hot summer color trends from HGTV.

1. A Touch of Spring Green

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Spring Green is a vibrant mix between turquoise and sea green. This color works best as an accent when surrounded by primarily neutral colors. It can be just a pop of color like pillows or larger by choosing a furniture piece with this color. 

2. Regal Purple

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Regal purple can easily be used all year round for decor, but it especially pops during summer. You can even incorporate outside when you use fresh lilacs or liatris to accentuate the purple in the room. 

3. Blue

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Blue is a great accent color as well since it can have a masculine and feminine appeal. If you don’t want to commit to painting with this color, let accessories do the job for you. A blue rug with matching pillows and accented table settings is a great option. 

4. Sunny Yellow

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Mimic the sun’s bright hues with a shade of daffodil to brighten up any all-white room. This color pairs great with white, black, or navy and can quickly transform a space into a cheerful room.

5. Turquoise

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We already mentioned blue, but we need to mention this particular shade of blue: turquoise! This color complements mid-century modern furnishing to help give the room a retro, urban feeling. The beauty of this color is its versatility in using it by itself or toning it down with muted hues. 

6. Slate-Blue

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The opposite of turquoise is slate blue, and it’s also a great color for summer too! While not as bright and cheerful as its blue cousin, slate blue can represent coastal inspiration and ocean waves, making it a hot summer color style. This color works best when paired with neutral furniture and accessories. 

7. Yellow Green

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If you’re looking for another color to make your home pop, yellow green is the color for you! This bright color pairs well with browns and creams and can be combined with darker shades of greens as accents. Yellow green will add a whimsy, graceful touch to your room. 

 

If you need help with your rental property, contact us today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

 

7 Moving and Packing Tips for An Easy Move

Everyone dreads moving, whether it’s down the street or across the state, but it’s something we all have to face one some point. But, it doesn’t have to be dreadful! Here are some tips and tricks to make your move easy.

1. Get rid of clutter before the move.

Make your job easier by donating or throwing away items that no longer give you joy, as Marie Kondo would say. This will make moving easier and quicker! So, before packing anything, do an inventory check and purge unused and unnecessary items. Now you have less to pack, move, and unpack!

2. Make a moving folder

Keep all your documents together in a folder to help ease any anxiety and stop stress. Have a hard copy of new addresses, rental or purchase papers, moving contracts, etc in case something happens where you can’t access them digitally. 

3. Pack in advance

Ideally, you’ll know when you need to move so you can work backward from the end date and start backing early. We’re going into summer, so you could pack winter clothes now. You can also pack items like books and other once-in-a-while items. This way, there’s less stress and packing to do as the move date gets closer. 

4. Book early

If you’re using moving services, renting supplies, or hiring professionals, it’s always better to book early. If you wait, you could pay a higher price or not book the service at all. This is crucial during the peak moving season. 

5. Schedule services for new place before the move

Once dates are confirmed, contact your utility providers to schedule services like electricity, water, and heat for your new place. Schedule ahead of time so you can come home to a new functioning home after a long day of moving. Don’t forget to request a service stop at your old place! 

6. Keep essentials close right before the move

The night before the move, place essentials like a change of clothes, toiletries, medicine, paperwork, etc., into a suitcase or bag that you’ll have access to in the car, cab, or plane. This way, you’ll always have essentials with you in case of a worst-case scenario.

7. Get a moving truck with a loading ramp

If you’re opting out of a moving service, then do yourself a favor and rent a truck with a ramp. It might be more expensive, but this luxury is worth every penny, especially if you’re moving furniture. It will help save time and prevent sore muscles later!

If you’re ready to move to Austin, contact me today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.

10 Popular Decorating Styles for Austin Investors

If you need help decorating or furnishing your property for future tenants, try one of these popular decorating styles!

 

Transitional

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Transitional can be defined as an elegant combination of traditional and contemporary looks. Because of its simple style, it can appeal to people with different design styles. This style featured sophisticated furniture, serene hues, updated classics, and materials like marble and quartz. It works well with coastal or farmhouse styles too.

 

Traditional

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Tradition is a blend of history, heirloom antique, rich woods, plush carpets. A traditionally designed room should feel warm and welcoming. A traditional design style will have antiques, a refined color palette, intricate architectural details, and materials like marble and wood. This style works best with these styles: rustic, coastal, or Mediterranean. 

 

Contemporary 

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This style is whatever is current and new. This style is the complete opposite of traditional style because it embraces negative spaces, strong shapes, and clean lines. Contemporary style is defined by current trends and designs, open space, and minimalism. This style works best with rustic or coastal styles too. 

 

Modern

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A modern design style focuses on form and structure like smooth surfaces, glass, chrome, and black leather accents. This style has an emphasis on ample negative space, a clean color palette, and minimalism. This one works best with industrial, midcentury, and farmhouse styles. 

 

Midcentury

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This style emphasizes strong shapes and clean lines and combines the past with the present. Decorate with a midcentury style by having clean, uncluttered spaces, natural wood, graphic patterns, and organic shapes. Modern and industrial styles work best with this one. 

 

Farmhouse

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Farmhouse combines rural architecture with modern comforts by utilizing hardworking furnishings and natural materials. This style features wall paneling, sliding barn doors, natural and historic colors, and simple, functional furniture. It works best with modern, rustic, industrial, and transitional styles too. 

Rustic

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Rustic is inspired by Mother Nature’s woods, plains, rivers, and lakes. Popular features of this style are exposed wood beams, brick and stone, natural hues, and rugged furnishing. This style works well when combined with farmhouse, traditional, contemporary, or industrial styles. 

 

Industrial

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Industrial is usually seen in urban lofts and converted industrial spaces but can be used in a home when you use industrial finishes and decor. Typically defined as gritty, industrial is also characterized by salvaged and found elements for decor, wide-open space, exposed raw materials, and a neutral color palette. It combines well with modern, rustic, farmhouse, and midcentury styles. 

 

Mediterranean

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Just the word itself makes people think of sandy beaches and vivid oceans, and the goal is to recreate those cool and breezy or rich and warm locations in a property. Key elements of this style are a rich, earthy color palette, natural materials like wood, brick, and stone, and colorful tile. It works well with traditional and coastal styles. 

 

Coastal

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Don’t get Mediterranean confused with coastal! Coastal style is inspired by the beach and utilizes natural light, natural materials, and a casual tone. You don’t have to live by a beach to make coastal work for your property. If you decorate with coastal colors, whitewashed surfaces, bare wood floors, natural materials like linen, cotton, and wicker, you’ll get the theme across. Coastal style works well with traditional, transitional, contemporary, and Mediterranean. 

 

If you need help with your rental property, contact me today! Reach out to TALK Property Management– We are here to help: (512) 721-1094 or dbrown@talkpropertymanagement.com.