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.

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: How to Create More Storage Space in Your Rental Home

Looking for a way to create additional storage space in your rental home? Below, we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you efficiently utilize every nook and cranny your dwelling has to offer. Consider the following tips to help you begin maximizing your storage options:

In the bedroom . . .

1. Store clothes under your bed. Most home good stores sell plastic storage containers in various sizes that you can use to take advantage of the space under your bed.
2. Consider a storage headboard.  Look for a headboard with built-in bookshelves or cubbies, your favorite reads are now organized and less than an arm’s length away.
3. Organize your dresser like a pro.  Utilize drawer dividers to create multiple compartments.
4. Go behind.  Utilize over the door solutions such as shoe bags, caddies, towel holders, or racks to make the most of the space behind the doors.
 5. Maximize closet space.  By adding drawer or shelf units, tiered racks, slide out bins, or shoe cubes everything will be in plain sight and you’ll inadvertently solve your nothing to wear problem.

In the living room . . .

6. Double duty. Consider multi-functional  furniture with storage options; instead of a coffee table try a chest. Storage ottomans are also perfect for stowing away blankets, games, and media.
 
7. Put the walls to work.  Add a bookcase or shelf units and store away items in decorative boxes in different patterns, shapes, and sizes. Utilizing removable hooks you can easily create a place to store outerwear in the entryway.

In the kitchen . . .

8. Cabinet space slacking . Try mounting a pegboard and hanging all the utensils you can. For the items you can’t hang individually like silverware, create pockets on the pegboard and store them in there. Label the pockets with fabric letters for extra-pizzazz. Don’t forget the space above the cabinets, stow additional items in baskets and place up top.
 9. Check the office supply aisle. Create more space on the inside of a cabinet door by adding hooks or mounting a file holder. No home for your bake ware and cutting board? Try a file organizer.

In the bathroom . . .

10. Install narrow shelves, racks or ledges.  When strategically placed these not only increase the space but also allow easy access to the items used daily. Spice racks work well for organizing beauty products. Add towel racks to the back of the door, that will leave more wall space to utilize as you please.

In any room . . .

11. Use every inch of space.  Take full advantage of every corner in your home; no matter how tight the space seems you’ll be surprised what it can store when you add a shelf here or there.