Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Can you believe fall is just two weeks away? With summer in the rearview, it’s time to give your home a maintenance checkup and prepare it for the cooler months. Whether you live in an all-seasons region or a warmer climate, perform the following maintenance items to give your home the care it needs this fall.

Inspect and Repair Your Roof.

Your roof endures a lot throughout the year, and regular maintenance is essential to prevent major damage and costly repairs. Experts recommend having your roof inspected twice a year, ideally during spring and fall. Look for loose, missing, curling, or blistering shingles, and replace any missing or broken shingles right away. Also, check for soft spots, which indicates rotting wood beneath the shingles. Reseal flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights with new caulk, or replace them if they are beginning to rust. If you have a tile roof, talk to a professional before climbing up on your roof as tiles are fragile and can break easily. 

Seal Out Air Leaks.

Cracks and gaps around your home’s exterior allow air to seep in and out, resulting in wasted energy costs and consumption. This also allows moisture to enter your home, which can cause mold, mildew, and wood rot. Prevent potential air leaks by applying weather-stripping around windows and door frames, and caulk any openings where plumbing, wiring, air ducts, and AC units enter the house. 

Repair Cracks in Driveways and Walkways.

Allowing cracks in your driveway to grow not only opens you up to more damage and expensive repairs, but it also diminishes your curb appeal. During harsh winters, your driveway is susceptible to cracking caused by freeze/thaw cycles, which is why it’s especially important to fix cracks in driveways and walkways before the end of fall. Use a water-based acrylic filler to fill fractures in asphalt, and use a cement mixture or vinyl patching to repair cracks in concrete. If necessary, apply a sealer to prolong the life of your repairs and help reduce future damage. 

Have Your Furnace Serviced.

Furnace maintenance is an item that’s commonly overlooked by homeowners, but it shouldn’t be. Having your furnace checked by a professional (once a year, HVAC pros recommend) ensures it’s working properly and efficiently and also helps to control heating costs. Plus, a furnace checkup can identify deadly carbon monoxide leaks or potential fire hazards. In addition to getting your furnace serviced, don’t forget to replace air filters, which should be done at least every three months. 

Tend Your Garden.

Fall is just as important a time for gardening as spring and summer. A little bit of prep work in autumn can make things easier come springtime and provide you with a more beautiful, vivacious garden. Plant spring bulbs, such as tulips and irises, as well as cool season plants. Later in the season, remove weeds, dig up non-hardy bulbs, remove annuals, till the soil, and rake mulched leaves onto your flower beds to act as a fertilizer. 

Ready Your Lawn.

If you want a healthy, attractive lawn in the spring, aerating and fertilizing in the fall are a must. Aerating involves creating small holes in your soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grass roots. You can rent an aerator or hire a lawn care service to take care of it; just be sure to use a plug aerator over a spike aerator, which actually removes plugs of grass instead of simply poking holes. Most importantly, be sure to fertilize your yard to allow your grass to absorb vital nutrients and promote root growth. Doing so will result in a healthier, greener lawn in the spring. 

How to Stage Your Rental For Sale in Winter

It is important to note that a tenant wants to be wowed when they look at a unit for rent. A clean, comfortable home is on everyone’s wish list, and it is easy to prepare a rental property to show off its assets and get it rented out quicker. Consider the fact that a staged home will garner a higher rent and will stand out in a sea of properties. Your My Dwelling representative will help you stage your home for the ultimate winter property.

 

Let’s start with the outside.

  1. Always make sure to keep your driveway, pathways, patios, decks and steps free  from snow or ice. Not only is this a hazard wreathfor your potential renter, but it will look clean and inviting with clean walkways.
  2. Add a winter wreath to your doorway, or sparkling white lights to your bushes or fence. These small holiday touches will give your house a homey, welcoming feel.
  3. Add outdoor lights on timers to help potential renters see the home and help them see where they are going.
  4. Make sure to add a welcome mat to your front door. This will not only add a touch of warmth but also will help keep renters from tracking in snow and dirt from the outside!

 

Moving onto the inside.

  1. Make sure your heat is turned up to a comfortable temperature for your guests.
  2. If you have a fireplace, light it! Take the time to talk to your My Dwelling representative to make sure they will be in the house while it is lit.
  3. If you have a non-working fireplace, add fake or real logs to add ambiance. Or get creative with candles, greenery or holiday decorations!fireplace
  4. Cozy it up with throws on the backs of your couches, fluffy blankets and quilts on the beds.
  5. Keep curtains open and lights on. Your house will show better without the shadows or fumbling to find the light switches.
  6. Want to make it not only look festive but smell festive? Simmer a few cinnamon sticks, oranges and cloves over the stovetop prior to your open house or showing.
  7. Clean your windows inside and out. They should sparkle and shine!
  8. Decorate for the holidays without going overboard. A few elegant items will uplift your décor, not overpower it.

 

Staging your home during the winter months is so important! Creating a space that your potential renters can see themselves living in is imperative for your home to be rented out. For any questions or suggestions about your own home, ask your My Dwelling representative!

Flying South for the Winter? Steps to Winterize Your Home

If you fly south for the winter, there are some precautionary steps you should take to ensure that your home is safe while you are gone. In addition to the steps you can take, My Dwelling provides Property Management with their Home & Condo Management program. They will visit your property weekly and winterize take all the worry out of the home being vacant. They also provide other services such as coordinating maintenance repairs, move-in/out checklists, rent collection, security deposit, and accounting management if you decide to rent it while you are away. They can also monitor furnaces, walk throughs following a rain storm, schedule gutter cleanings and more!

Here are some things to do with your vacant home during the winter:

Outdoors

  • Forward your mail, stop your newspaper deliveries or ask your friend or relative to collect things that are left on your doorstep.
  • Arrange for someone to shovel the driveway after a snow storm.
  • Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from occurring.
  • Check large overhanging branches and consider taking them down. They could be a hazard in a snow storm.
  • Have your chimney inspected and closed to make sure that no critters will find their way into your property.
  • Drain and shut off outdoor water faucets to prevent freezing damage.

Indoors

  • To make sure your home looks like it is continuously occupied, set some interior lights on a timer, and put motion-sensor lights on the exterior.
  • Confirm that your alarm systems are in working order and have been turned on. Or download an app to your phone that can control the alarm from anywhere.
  • Depending on how long you will be gone you can protect your pipes by turning off your water. Hire a plumber to blow compressed air through the pipes to make sure there is no excess water left.
  • Otherwise if your home will only be vacant for a short amount of time, you will need to keep your home at a minimum of 55°F to keep pipes from freezing. Leaving room doors and under the sink cabinets open will also help the circulation.
  • Clean, defrost and unplug refrigerators and freezers by wiping them dry and leaving doors propped open to prevent mildew.
  • Store valuables that you are not taking with you in a safe or an offsite location.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances before you leave.

home

These are imperative to complete before your property would be considered winterized. Taking care of your property can take time and skills you may not have. Consider hiring a representative from the Home & Condo Management who could take care of all of these chores for you. Professional, respectful and timely, the Home & Condo Management division are people you can trust.

How To: Winterize your Vacant Rental Property

If you have multiple properties that are vacant this winter, it is essential to upkeep them to prevent frozen pipes, burglary and more. My Dwelling provides Property Management with their Home & Condo Management program. They will visit your property weekly and take all the worry out of the home being vacant. They also provide other services such as coordinating maintenance repairs, move-in/out checklists, rent collection, security deposit, and accounting management. They can also monitor winterizing_home_mdfurnaces, walk throughs following a rain storm, schedule gutter cleanings and more!

Here are some things to do with a vacant property during the winter:

  • To make sure your home looks like it is continuously occupied, set some interior lights on a timer, and put motion-sensor lights on the exterior.
  • Arrange for someone to shovel the driveway after a snow storm.
  • Confirm that your alarm systems are in working order and have been turned on. Or download an app to your phone that can control the alarm from anywhere.
  • Protect your pipes by turning off your water if no one will be in the home for extended periods of time. Hire a plumber to blow compressed air through the pipes to make sure there is no excess water left.
  • If the home will only be vacant for a short amount of time, you will need to keep the home at a minimum of 55°F to keep pipes from freezing. Leaving room doors and under the sink cabinets open will also help the circulation.
  • Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from occurring.
  • Check large overhanging branches and consider taking them down. They could be a hazard in a snow storm.winterizing_home_md_2
  • Clean, defrost and unplug refrigerators and freezers by wiping them dry and leaving doors propped open to prevent mildew.
  • Have your chimney inspected and closed to make sure that no critters will find their way into your property.

 

 

These are imperative to complete before your property would be considered winterized. Taking care of your property can take time and skills you may not have. Consider hiring a representative from the Home & Condo Management who could take care of all of these chores for you. Professional, respectful and timely, the Home & Condo Management division are people you can trust.

Seven Features to Consider When Searching for a Profitable Rental Property

Deciding to purchase a rental property is a big investment step. My Dwelling is here to guide you through the process confidently while providing resources along the way. Here are eight points to research and think about while looking for a rental income property.

 

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  1. Will you be the active property manager? This depends on location. If the home is close to your own home, you could be the active manager or if the home is farther away, you can also hire My Dwelling to be your property manager.
  2. What kind of neighborhood are you looking for? Suburban families? Near a university for high-turnover? This will help you figure out how often vacancies may occur.
  3. What kinds of schools will you be near? Parents with children or planning a family will be looking at the school’s rating and will want to live close. Find a school with a quality rating.
  4. How is the local job market and see how it is faring. Are there start-ups in the area or places where businesses are growing? People like shorter commutes and having a growing business in the area would be a positive attribute.
  5. What are the amenities in thmy_dwellinge neighborhood? Are you near a gym, shopping, a park or restaurants? Proximity to these perks will help your price while keeping your building filled.
  6. How are the vacancies or listings in the area? Are there a lot of open slots? This may mean that the neighborhood has become less desirable or maybe it is cycling over from old to new. Do some research to find out what the case is.
  7. What is the average rent in the area? Rental payments are how you make your income; it is a good idea to see what you can charge in the area before buying.

 

After looking into these seven options with your My Dwelling representative, it should paint a clear picture on just what kind of rental income property best fits your needs. Your My Dwelling representative can not only help you with finding your rental income property but also maintaining and more! Contact My Dwelling today to find your representative.

Real Estate Agents Wanted!

Reports to Managing Broker

Overview:

If you are super-organized and love working with people, then a Leasing Consultant position with My Dwelling is perfect for you.  Our goal is to develop sites into walkable neighborhoods that provide amenities that simplify lifestyle, provide economic development and promote sustainability.  Join our growing team of professionals and help transform the  SE Wisconsin area.  Type A and B personalities are more than welcome to apply, as details are key in this position, provided you also have a gentle touch when it comes to dealing with community relations.  We are seeking full time leasing consultants to assist with the lease-ups of our exciting new projects.  Our dynamic portfolio is growing providing tremendous opportunities for growth for the right candidates.

Primary responsibilities:

Show, lease to prospective residents.
Process rental applications.
Maintain all files, ensuring completeness and accuracy of all paperwork and documentation.

Maintain all account records and transactions.
Receive and collect rent and cash receipts in accordance with company standards.
Maintain a calendar of scheduled move-ins, ensuring all move-in appointments are completed and all apartments inspected and compliant with established standards prior to move-in.
Update unit availability daily.
Provide customer/client phone support..
Stay on the cutting edge of market conditions, trends and product knowledge in the community and competitive communities.
Ability to work nights, weekends and occasional holidays.
Other tasks or duties as assigned by supervisor.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Each job duty must be performed with the focus and accuracy it requires. The essential knowledge, skills and abilities you need are outlined below. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the job’s essential functions.

Education

High school education or equivalent is required.
Ability to fluently read and write English, accurately perform intermediate mathematical functions and use all on-site resident management software functions.
Professional Experience

One years’ experience in residential property management or related field is preferred, but not required.
Experience in the service industry is a plus.
Licensed agents, preferred.
Licenses/Equipment

Valid driver’s license and current automobile insurance is required; position requires own vehicle to fulfill all of job’s functions.
Skills

Skills include an excellent ability to address the needs of residents, prospects and vendors. Other essential skills include, but are not limited to:

Excellent communication skills
Excellent customer service skills
Strong administrative and organizational skills
Strong time management skills and ability to prioritize wisely
Strong sales background
Ability to drive and access to a car
Knowledge of state law as it relates to fair housing
Computer Skills

Basic computer and internet knowledge
Intermediate knowledge of MS Word, Excel and Outlook
Ability to operate and understand personal computer functions and company utilized software packages
Physical Demands

Physical demands include the ability to lift up to 50 pounds.  The employee will be regularly required to sit; stand; walk; reach using feet, legs, back, arms and hands; talk and hear.  The employee may occasionally be required to climb.  Specific vision requirements include the ability to use close vision; distance vision; color vision; depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.  The employee will be required to work at a personal computer and talk on the phone for extended periods of time.  Must possess the ability to detect auditory and/or visual alarms and be available to work extended/flexible hours and weekends, as needed.

Attendance/Travel

This position is a full time position.  This position requires the availability to work some nights, weekends, and occasional holidays. This position also requires regular attendance and active participation/planning at all company functions and events.

Learning and Development

Commit to ongoing professional development and career growth
NOTE:  This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive.  Employee may perform other related duties as requested to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Dwelling Tips: A Truly Moving Experience

It’s no secret that the real estate market operates on a warm weather cycle, home buying and renting is at it’s peak during this time of year and as a result it makes summer one of the best times to move. But, while it’s one of the best times –  it’s also one of the busiest times. At, My Dwelling we understand how demanding and time consuming moving can be so we’ve put together a moving checklist to help you stay on track as you pack.

Below are those tips to help you get started:

9 – 10 Weeks Out

  • Get organized: Start a file with all your move-related paperwork.
  • Research moving companies: Ask family and friends for recommendations, utilize online review sites to help in your decision.

7 – 8 Weeks Out

  • Get supplies: Buy packing materials – boxes, tape, markers and bubble wrap.
  • Start sorting: Decide what items you’d like to keep, sell, or donate. Also, host your garage sale around this time – you’ll make a few extra bucks to utilize towards moving expenses.
  • Notify schools: If you have kids, get copies of their school records and check into the enrollment process at the schools near your new residence.
  • Medical records: Check with your doctor to get copies of your family’s medical records.
  • Insurance: Consider movers insurance

5 – 6 Weeks Out

  • Give notice: Most landlords require a minimum 30 day notice that you are vacating,  but double check your lease to ensure that you are honoring your contract.
  • Book it: Finalize your moving truck and  movers insurance if you decide to use it.
  • Start packing: Begin boxing up the things you won’t need right away. Don’t forget to label boxes and use color coded tape.
  • Notify utilities: Start the process of closing out utility service at your current place and getting utilities set up at your new residence.

3 – 4 Weeks Out

  • Change your address: Complete a change of address form on the USPS website.  Notify banks and credit cards of your new address.
  • Transfer renter’s insurance: If your current home is covered, check with your agent to transfer the policy to your new home.

1 – 2 Weeks Out

  • Empty fridge: Use up food items that you don’t want to move or donate  items to your local food pantry.
  • Pack away: Now’s the time to start boxing up  everything left in your home. Again, don’t forget to label!
  • Coordinate your valuables: You don’t want valuable items mixed up with your other packed items. Keep them in a safe place so you can transport them yourself.
  • CONFIRM: Check in with your mover to confirm the time and date of the move.
  • The Essentials:  Prepare an overnight bag that will stay with you fill it with items you will need right away at your new place.

1 Day Before

  • Keep important documents handy: Make sure to have any documents related to the move ready.
  • Defrost and dispose: Finish emptying and defrost your refrigerator. Also, check that cabinets are indeed empty.

Moving Day

  • Work with your movers: Assist your movers by pointing out fragile or large items right away. Be sure to be there when the movers load your items onto the truck. You’ll be responsible for verifying that they loaded everything. Be available to answer all their questions.
  • One final sweep: Before the movers pull away, do a final check of your home to make sure nothing was left behind.

Dwelling Tips: 10 Staples of Rental Décor

Want to decorate your place while still keeping your security deposit in-check? Personalizing your place is important, as is staying within the boundaries of your landlord. These 10 staples of rental décor will make the impact you are looking for, without costing a lot of time or money.

 

    1. Add Storage. Adding custom cabinetry in a rental place is usually not an option. Therefore adding your own affordable storage such as bookcases, simple shelves or a fun Pinterest hack will really help, not only with storage but with overall aesthetic as well!Rental 1

 

    1. Change the Hardware. Rentals can be…basic. Your style is anything but! Switching out your cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathroom will make a huge styling impression. Just make sure to keep the original pieces to swap back in before moving out.Rental 2

 

    1. Lose the Vertical Blinds. These style of blinds are very basic and can turn a room from fab to drab. Either hide them under trendy curtains or take them down altogether. Save them for when you move out, they will be essential to getting your security deposit back!Rental 3

 

    1. Line your Cabinets. This might seem like a small step but it can make all the difference! It is the extra touch that will make your kitchen seem clean and streamlined. Adhesive liner can work but a softer grip liner is easier to install (and take out when you move!)Rental 4

 

    1. Time to Accessorize! So easy but so necessary! A truly personal style comes with accessories. Go nuts with throws, pillows and accents that reflect your true style.Rental 5

 

    1. Avoid Wallpaper. Is it really worth the hassle? Sure it’s stylish but it is inconvenient to remove, especially if you won’t be in your place for long. Consider removable wallpaper or even just an accent wall.Rental 6

 

    1. Add Art to the Walls. An easy way to make a statement! Patching tiny holes made from nails on the day you move out is nothing compared to the impact art will make on your space. Consider hanging one statement piece and resting photos on a mantel or shelf for less work.Rental 7

 

    1. Invest in Rugs. Even if you have carpet! Rugs are an easy way to cover up ugly carpeting and are great to take with you to the next place. An added bonus: they help keep noise down, especially in an older apartment with wood floors.Rental 8

 

    1. Emphasize Lighting. Use lighting to set the tone and make an impact in your rental! Get creative with floor and table lamps that can be easily moved from place to place.Rental 9

 

    1. Bring Life in with Plants. No yard? No problem! Pots of plants provide many benefits from clean air to having your own urban garden. They are wonderful accent pieces.Rental 10

 

Personalizing your place is making it your own. With renting it is sometimes hard to do everything you would like to do to your place. These 10 tips will help bring out your personal style and freshen up your living space! If you are looking for a place to rent, don’t hesitate to reach out to My Dwelling, Shorewest, REALTORS® exclusive renting company! #MyDwelling #Renting #Decor