DIY Upgrades That Make Your Property Feel Like a Luxury Rental

Renovations can be expensive, especially when you want to turn your property into a luxury rental to attract higher-paying tenants. While materials and furniture can be expensive, the prices really start to climb when you bring a professional into the mix. Luckily for your budget, that isn’t always necessary.

Instead, try these DIY upgrades, all of which will make your property feel like a truly luxurious rental.

Update the Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen isn’t just a place to cook and eat; it’s often the space where tenants spend time with friends and family. A simple way to turn the kitchen in the most lavish space in the home is to update the kitchen cabinets. This gives the space an instant facelift at a fraction of the cost of re-doing the entire space.

The lowest-cost update is to paint the cabinets a fresh new color. If you have a little more budget, consider refacing the current cabinets or replacing them altogether. Finally, take it one step further and replace the hardware on your cabinets for another visually impactful, yet simple DIY project.

Source: Freshome.com

Update the Fireplace

The fireplace is a coveted feature, but one that’s not in top condition can be an eyesore and detract from your property’s value. Not to mention, it’s a centerpiece of the home, which means the smallest changes can make a big difference. A few ways to upgrade the fireplace include:

1. Replace the doors with tinted glass: Tinted glass looks classy, and keeps the mess covered: “Your fireplace is the ugliest place in your home. It’s covered with soot, ashes, and is a grayish blackish mess. Glass doors with tinted glass do a great job of hiding the unsightly mess. It’s like closets. No matter how well organized they are, most people still like a door to keep them out of sight,” says Sam Wilhoit, of Brick-Anew.

2. Paint the brick: Bring your fireplace to life with a fresh coat of paint. Consider re-staining or painting the mantle as well to create an entirely new look that elevates the entire room.

Update the Backsplash

An easy and economical DIY project is updating the backsplash in the kitchen. Fresh tile has a significant visual impact without being expensive. “This is another tenant appreciated upgrade that can be very economical if you get tiles on sale and install yourself. Even if the tiles are not on sale, you’re usually only covering an area that is 2 feet by 10 feet = 20 square feet of area = 20 tiles,” shares Nathan Richard with Revnyou.com.

If you want to skip the sometimes-tricky installation, go with peel and stick subway tiles instead. These are both inexpensive and easy to use, giving the kitchen a luxurious look without the high price tag or extensive sweat equity.

Update the Garage Door

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to boost curb appeal and the value of your property is to replace the garage doors. Having worn out or out of date garage doors can make a poor first impression, losing potential tenants before they even step inside.

The best part: garage doors can easily be replaced, and you can also upgrade or replace the hardware on the doors to make an impact without the extra work of a full replacement.

Upgrade Lighting

Lighting has an immediate impact on the feel of a home, making it feel dark and closed off or well-lit, open, and inviting. “One of the worst things about rental units has got to be the outdated light fixtures. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest switches. Simply swap out that light fixture for something more your style. Just be sure to reattach the original fixture before moving out,” says Keri Sanders with HGTV.com.

Updating lighting fixtures can be as inexpensive as your budget needs, with a wide variety of options at varying price points. Consider some of the most popular modern styles, including unique chandeliers and wood and metal materials.

Finally: Clean the Property

Never underestimate the impact of a clean rental, especially if you want it to have that luxurious feel—it’s hard to sell relaxation when the space is filthy: “Nothing will turn off a potential renter more than a dirty place,” says Patricia-Anne Tom with Realtor.com.

It can seem almost too simple, but a good cleaning is a great opportunity to make the rental shine—literally—to prospective tenants. Deep clean the rental twice yearly, if possible, and hire a professional if possible. Don’t forget the often overlooked areas like baseboards, window treatments, ceiling fans and appliances.

A small budget can go a long way to turning a mediocre rental into one that looks could be in a luxury home magazine. Use these ideas to take your space up a notch and attract renters who are ready to spend more.

Find out which rental property kitchen and bath trends are making a statement in 2017.

Original article: https://www.propertyware.com/blog/diy-rental-upgrades/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=diy-rental-upgrades&utm_term=20170822-tpw&hootPostID=8f976df8d8034c60cbe1a343bfe91da9

Detroit Landlords Get A Firm Warning

The city on Friday put out a call to Detroit landlords to register their rental properties ahead of stepped-up enforcement next year.

Mayor Mike Duggan warned the city is gearing up for “a serious enforcement period” in January for rental owners who fail to register and undergo required city inspections.

“We have an ordinance that requires you to register your properties — nobody has enforced that in years. We are going to get back to that,” Duggan told a crowd of more than 100 current and prospective landlords at City Hall.

“What we’re trying to figure out how to do is take the strong landlords and help them grow and succeed and thrive, and take those who are abusing the system and not make it attractive for you to stay in the city. We are giving you notice now.”

The Friday seminar is believed to be the first of its kind for Detroit as officials ramp up efforts to get owners of rental homes or apartments to gain compliance with the regulations.

David Bell, director of the city’s Buildings Safety Engineering & Environmental Department, said officials want landlords with vacant rentals to get them registered within 30 days. For occupied properties, they want them to begin the process immediately.

Landlords are required to register with the building department and get annual certificates of compliance showing they are safe and inhabitable.

The majority of rentals, though, aren’t registered. The city has about 2,500 rental addresses registered, while U.S. Census data estimate there are more than 136,000 rental housing units in the city.

Failure to register or get a certificate of compliance are both punishable by $250 fines, officials said.

Duggan on Friday said he plans to ask Detroit’s City Council to sign off on an ordinance amendment that would require rental owners be current on property taxes to obtain a certificate of compliance for their properties in 2017.

The city is also slated to go live with an online database that will show all of Detroit’s rental properties with the proper certificates and approvals, he said.

“I envision a city in 2017 where every single tenant in this city can go online and in a minute find out whether their rental property is legally authorized and operating in the city,” Duggan said. “But we’re saying here today: Get a head start on this before the rush is coming.”

Rich Salem and Peter Sirr own about a dozen single-family rentals in the city and their Royal Oak-based management company oversees another 150 to 175 homes, primarily in Detroit.

The pair said they’ve already been working to register the homes with the city and came out Friday to learn more.

“Personally, I look at this and think it’s a great thing. You can eliminate all the slum landlords,” said Sirr, of Preferred Homes Michigan. “If you do everything the right way it’s going to cost you a few extra bucks, but it’s not a big deal.”

Duggan noted the city’s land bank owns about 30,000 vacant houses. About 5,000 of the properties could be rehabbed and another 5,000 are occupied with squatters, former homeowners or renters with landlords who failed to pay taxes.

“People who are tenants who were paying rent to a landlord every month had no idea the landlord wasn’t paying taxes,” he said. “…we can’t let this continue to happen.”

The Friday presentation gave attendees tips on crime prevention, squatters, fire and lead safety. Officials also distributed registration steps and requirements and inspections information.

The city launched pilot programs in East English Village and the Bagley neighborhoods to boost registration and inspections.

To help identify landlords, Bell has said the city is using records from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

“We are here to partner with you to increase the quality of life in Detroit,” Bell said. “For too long its been an adversarial relationship and it doesn’t have to be that way. We can’t bring this city back without you.”

Detroit resident and landlord James Lovejoy said he’s worried about the financial impact the changes will have on property owners and tenants.

“I’ve got a property and I’m already charging a set amount of rent, and now the city comes and hands me a bill for inspections,” said Lovejoy, who has three occupied rentals. “I’ll get it all up to code but now the taxes are raised up and I’m going to have to raise my rent on the tenants. People are already struggling to pay rent.”

To register properties online, visit the city’s website.

Written by: Christine Ferretti. http://www.detroitnews.com/staff/27525/christine-ferretti. Staff writer Christine MacDonald contributed.

20 Designer Ways to Upgrade Your Rental

Dying to upgrade your rental and still get your deposit back? Our expert tips will give you the style (and storage!) you’re craving!

Renter-Friendly Wallpaper


For some people, the thought of being surrounded by four off-white walls is simply unbearable. And for others, it’s just plain boring. As removable wallpaper becomes more popular, the designs become more stylish and more affordable. It might just be time to pick out your perfect pattern!

Decor Disguise

You’re certainly not going to change the electrical work in your rental, so you may be forced to live with some oddly-placed lights, light switches or power outlets. Carmel from Our Fifth House solved this problem by camouflaging a light switch within a tasteful gallery wall.

Glitz and Glam

Washi tape is great, but it certainly isn’t the only tape out there that can make a big impact in your home. It only took Dina from Honey & Fitz two rolls of gold duct tape to turn a basic white fridge into a glitzy showstopper.

Love Your Lighting

One of the worst things about rental units has got to be the outdated light fixtures. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest switches. Simply swap out that light fixture for something more your style. Just be sure to reattach the original fixture before moving out.

Camo and Custom Shelving

Radiators are not attractive; it’s as simple as that. But covering a radiator is not always so simple. Luckily, Marian from Miss Mustard Seed shares her beautiful solution. Her custom radiator cover not only disguises the unit, but it even adds extra storage in an often tight space.

Not Your Daughter’s Washi Tape

Did you think washi tape was just for the kiddos? Think again. With so many attractive styles to choose from, you’re bound to find a roll that suits your taste. These washi tape frames add a colorful touch to any space. Opt for cool geometric shapes to give your home even more personality.

Washi Accent Wall

A washi tape wall can be as colorful or as subdued as you like. Emily from Everything Emily created this stunning accent wall with just two rolls of black washi tape. The best part? She completed the project for less than $10.

Sneaky Stainless Makeover

Older appliances might work just fine, but that doesn’t mean you should have to live with a dated design in your cooking space. Julie Blanner found an ideal solution in the form of stainless steel contact paper. For around $5, this change has the power to totally transform your kitchen. In fact, the landlord may even ask you to leave it up.

Living Decor

If you’re hoping to add a homey feel to your rented space, simply adding a few plants around the house might do the trick. This fiddle leaf fig tree adds life and texture to the living room. And for an added bonus, plants help purify indoor air. (No more mystery smell from renters past.)

Gallery Wall Paper

If you can’t wallpaper your rental, then why not try framing your favorite wallpaper instead? Marianne Canada from HGTV Crafternoon recommends getting a sample of your favorite print and displaying it in a gorgeous frame. Now you can have your wallpaper and your rental deposit, too!

Minimal Shelving

Do you secretly long for a wall of custom built-ins, knowing that your landlord would recoil at the thought? These industrial shelves from Fixer Upper offer plenty of shelf space and can be attached with just a few screws.

Shower in Luxury

One change that makes a huge difference, but is often overlooked, is the showerhead. This is one of those upgrades that is worth spending some extra dough. After all, when you’re ready to move, simply reattach the old fixture and take yours to your new abode. Make barely-drizzling showerheads a thing of the past!

Boring Blinds Be Gone

Bland blinds have the power to make any room feel like a cheap motel. Even if you have to leave them up, patterned drapes layered on top can take your window treatments to a whole new level.

Separate in Style

If you can’t paint the walls, changing the basic structure of the room is obviously out of the question. That’s where room dividers come in handy. Create a home office or give the kids their own play space in a single bedroom.

An Easy Switch

A great way to add some personality to your rented space is to simply switch out those basic door knobs with some that suit your taste. Just make sure you switch back to the originals before you move out.

Rugs on Rugs on Rugs


Let’s talk floors. Scratched hardwood and stained carpet are just the beginning. Before moving in, it never hurts to have the floors professionally cleaned. But if they still look like a mess, area rugs will be your new best friend. Place them over hardwood and even over carpet for a clean, updated look that is all you.

Electric Style

If you like the duct tape idea, you’ll love this stylish door by Stacie from Stars for Street Lights. Some quick measuring, a steady hand and a bit of electrical tape totally transformed these contractor-grade doors. The result is nothing short of fabulous!

Fabric Feature Wall


While you’ve probably heard of removable wallpaper, removable fabric wallpaper is another great option for renters. It peels right off, and has the potential to add a ton of color, pattern and even texture to your home. Learn how to install it here.

 Practical Pantry Additions


Another excellent idea for extra space is an over-the-door pantry unit. You can maximize the space on the back of the pantry door with only a few screws. Warning: Some landlords are more than fine with storage additions like this one, but you may be asked to leave it behind when you move.

Magic Mirror

Want more space instantly? Add a large mirror to any room, and the visual effect is bound to make your space feel bigger and brighter, all without knocking down a single wall.

Let Rental Management One find your next rental home. Visit us at http://www.rentalmanagementone.com!
Written By: Keri Sanders | click here for original article

10 Best Tips for Documenting Posessions for Renters Insurance

Renters have a lot of stuff, but they seem to not know exactly how much for insurance purposes.


The National Association of Insurance Commissioners notes that 59 percent of consumers have not made a list or inventory of their prized possessions and valuables. Of those who have done their preliminary paperwork, 48 percent have no receipts and 28 percent have no back-up copy of the inventory outside the home. Additionally, most don’t regularly update their inventories.

Many insured residents don’t document their belongings.

That, says insurance providers, is a sobering indication of how unprepared people are when it comes to proving what they have in a claim resulting in a loss from fire, storms, accidents and disasters.

“The average resident never makes the effort to fully understand what they’ve got,” says Ed Wolff, President for LeasingDesk Insurance. “And, many times they don’t have enough coverage because they’ve never taken an inventory to understand what they have. They usually underestimate the cost in a loss.”

Obtaining renters insurance is only half the battle for apartment residents, Wolff says. The other is thoroughly documenting possessions and keeping the records in a safe place.


Personal Inventory Insurance

In a claim process, the insurance company will want to know beyond a general description what items have been lost. The claim representative is unlikely to accept and pay based on a claim of “everything in the living room” without some proof of the contents.

And, during a time of crisis, it’s extremely difficult for a resident to fully remember the various pieces and items that were lost in that living. Documenting via an inventory and keeping records like sales receipts and copies of important legal papers is the only way to prove to an insurance company the extent of the loss.

Making a list, checking it twice, even with an app

While creating an inventory sounds daunting, the process is easier than it looks. In many cases, the task can be done simply by walking through the apartment and making a list on a personal device or notepad. Some even recommend documenting online so the inventory can be accessed from anywhere.

A number of applications are available to inventory possessions. Included are options for descriptions, prices, warranty status, photographs and where they are located in the residence. Some are designed to inventory multiple properties. Many are compatible with iPhones and Android devices. Some can provide access via desktops and allow users to upload various file types.

Inventory Possessions Insurance

The idea is to make a note of each item with a short description and a picture or two, Wolff says. Some items – like expensive jewelry or firearms – may require more detailed descriptions and additional coverage on the policy. An appraisal may be required to get adequate coverage.

Knowing the scope and value of possessions, Wolff says, will help renters insurance policyholders better determine the amount of coverage they need. Following are best practices for accounting for possessions and valuables, as provided by LeasingDesk:

1. Inventory personal property.

Walk through the apartment and make a list of valuable items, such as jewelry, art, collectibles, tablets, laptops, computers, televisions, and guns. An accurate value should be placed on each item. A checklist can be grouped by category, value, rooms in the home, etc.

2. Keep good records.

Anytime a new purchase is made, add to the inventory. And anytime an item wears out or is discarded, cross it off the list.

3. Itemize valuables and get appraisals.

Jewelry, art, and collectibles should be listed and described separately, and include appraisals.

4. Note make and model.

Include the manufacturer and model of big-ticket items like computers and televisions. Include the serial number if possible.

5. Take photographs or videos.

Pictures are worth more than a thousand words. Photographing and/or videoing possessions are especially helpful in assessing value during the claim process. Typically, such documentation can be done on a cell phone.

Inventory Personal Insurance

6. Save receipts.

It’s especially important to have receipts if the insurance policy covers replacement cost value.

7. Don’t forget the storage areas.

Items in out-of-the-way places like closets, attics and garages shouldn’t be forgotten. Make sure they are included on the inventory list.

8. Generalize clothing.

Unless the closet contains an expensive fur, most clothing can be listed by type and number (pants, shirts, shoes, etc.). Items don’t necessarily need to be individually documented.

9. Safely store inventory list.

Place the inventory in a fire-proof safe or protected area. Make a copy and store it in another location, even electronically so it can be accessed from anywhere.

10. Update, update, update.

Annually update the household inventory in addition to periodic updates when new items are purchased and others are discarded. It’s good to walk through the house again and account for new items that may not have been added throughout the year. Also, values change and should be so noted.

“Creating a physical inventory of your possessions is a good habit to get into,” Wolff said. “Keeping it updated and storing it in a safe place that can be easily accessed is the way to go.”
By Tim Blackwell | May 27, 2016

http://www.propertymanagementinsider.com/10-best-practices-for-residents-to-properly-inventory-possessions?hootPostID=bba839d6f345e50dc773da96831b619d

Traverse City Housing Demands

Housing DemandsCalling All Developers! Calling All Investors!

The demand for housing in Traverse City shows no signs of slowing down – and area developers are scrambling to supply the market. From luxury condos to mobile homes to rental apartments to subdivisions, The Ticker looks at a range of housing developments underway this summer.

Luxury Condos

Construction is slated to begin in late June on the new five-story, mixed-use 200 River Place development next to J&S Hamburg on Front Street. The site will offer 45 luxury condo units, 15 percent of which have already been sold, according to Andrew Koons of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors. Construction will take 12-14 months, with the first units likely available in late summer 2017.

Around the corner on Randolph Street, construction is almost finished on phase one of Windward Condominiums, a three-story, mixed-use development from Socks Construction between Bay Bread and Tilley’s Party Store. Five of the six condos – which range from $469,000-$529,000 – are sold and will begin receiving residents in mid-July, according to Bob Rieck of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors. Construction will start this summer on phase two, which will offer four units ranging from $450,000-$500,000 that will be ready next spring.

Socks Construction is also behind Radio Centre III, a five-story development breaking ground this week on Park Street. The building will offer eight residential units – ranging from $419,900-$524,900 – and 2,700 square feet of commercial space. The project should be ready for occupancy in summer 2017, says Rieck.

Duplexes/Townhomes
Construction is set to begin this fall on 16 units in the HomeStretch Depot Development near the intersection of Eighth Street and Woodmere Avenue. The project will offer 11 new affordable-rate townhomes – priced at $125,000, with just $3,000 required down – as well as five market-rate units ranging from $200,000-$220,000. HomeStretch will host an open house Wednesday from 6:30-8pm at Cherry Republic on Front Street to showcase the unit designs and answer questions on the project.

Six of the planned 18 duplexes in the Seventh Street Flats development on Seventh Street between Cedar and Spruce streets are now sold and occupied – and construction is underway on the remaining 12. That four-story building will be complete by November 1, says developer Ted Lockwood, with units for sale between $349,000-$389,000.

The 15-unit Uptown Riverfront & Cityside Townhomes project on State Street is likely to be complete by January, according to Mike Wills of Midtown Development. Residents are already moving in to the first of the three buildings, with occupancy beginning in the second building in August. The third Cityside building – which offers a hybrid of commercial street-level space and upper-floor residential space – will be ready by the start of 2017. Eight townhomes are sold or reserved so far in the development.

Rental Units
Construction is underway on a 232-unit apartment complex on LaFranier Road in Garfield Township. Ridge 45 – formerly called Maple Ridge – will include 76 one-bedroom units, 136 two-bedroom units and 20 three-bedroom units. The neighborhood will feature a children’s play area, walking trails, fire pit, clubhouse with fitness center, outdoor swimming pool and hot tub area, and dog park. The first units could be available in early 2017.

A new Work Centre development on Centre Street offers “industrial live-work lofts” that allow residents who have DBAs filed with the county to live and work in the same space. The 1,000 square-foot units are $1,200/month and offer one bedroom and one bath, central air and heating, a kitchen and washer/dryer. Units are available but “going fast,” according to management group Cold Water Development.

TraverseConnect CEO Doug Luciani says the organization hopes to break ground this fall on at least 70 rental apartments on the 1.7 acre vacant lot west of Garfield Road between Boyd and Hannah avenues. The units will be rented out “below market rate” and could be ready for occupancy late next year.

Housing Developments
Garfield Township trustees will hold a public hearing June 28 on Sun Communities’ request to expand its King’s Court manufactured home park on LaFranier Road by 37 acres. The expansion will allow for 158 new mobile home sites to be constructed.

Construction will likely begin in June on the first of 90 planned single-family homes in new subdivision The Moorings of Grand Traverse behind Tom’s West Bay. Eight units have already sold, with four buyers interested in beginning construction immediately, according to developer Ted Lockwood. The first homes could be ready by December. Construction on a separate project at the site, the 60-condominium Leelanau Flats, will begin this fall.

Developer Kevin O’Grady could break ground as soon as this fall on the 91-unit Bridge Valley subdivision east of Five Mile Road between Holiday and Prouty roads. East Bay Township officials approved the project plans in January. Project representative Doug Mansfield says the development team is meeting with neighbors now, and will next head into permitting on the 80-acre site.

With the demand for housing in Traverse City rising the opportunity for investors is bigger than ever. Rental Management One offers smart solutions and personalized service to assist you with acquiring and managing your next investment property. Whether you’d like long-term rentals or a vacation home to work for you, we take the stress out of managing your property. With an office on Front St, in Traverse City, we are experts to the city we also call home. Call us today to get started!

For more information see our website or click here to see our current listing of vacation homes.

Pictured (clockwise from top left): The Moorings of Grand Traverse, Uptown Riverfront & Cityside Townhomes, Ridge 45, and Windward Condominiums.

Article written by Beth Milligan. 5/24/2016 Read entire article here: http://www.traverseticker.com/story/tc-housing-projects-underway