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Do you have an upcoming or existing vacancy in one of your rental units? Follow these 3 “must do” task to ensure you land a great new tenant.

1. Do your due diligence – Do you fully understand your local rental market? What are your fellow landlords charging for rental units similar to yours? Are you below market value on your rents and leaving money on the table? These are the question you’ll want to answer as soon as you’re informed you’ll have a vacant rental unit. You’ll want to make sure your asking rent is close to market value for the unit. You’ll also want to make sure the tenants quality of living meets whats called for in the neighborhood. For example, if you have a perfectly priced rental unit but all of the apartment features are outdated (and all other available units are updated), you’ll have a difficult time renting that apartment. You can easily find out what going on in your neighborhood by acting as a prospective tenant and searching through current rental listings in your neighborhood. You can also call your local real estate agent to receive a free rental market analysis.

2. Background, Credit check, Employment verification – Many small landlords select tenants with “their gut feelings”. While you should definitely trust your gut, I would suggest also doing a background check for any applicant over the age a 18. This is the very best way to truly know who’s living in your rental. I would also conduct a credit check to verify that they’re financially trustworthy. The last bit of information is probably the easiest to do and the most important. Verify the status of your potential tenants employment and their ability to pay. During the application process you should have asked for pay stubs and for the tenants employer information. Call the employers HR department and tell the representative you’re calling to verify employment for a rental application on the said tenant. Download to packet below to determine whether the your prospective tenants income should qualify for your rental unit.

What Can I Afford To Pay For Rent

3. Take a holding deposit – Okay. You’ve done your due diligence and found a great tenant. They are ready to move in a few weeks, but the lease has not yet been signed. Make sure you receive a “holding deposit” from your new tenants. A holding deposit acts as insurance for you. It insure that your prospective tenants plan to move in and not continue searching for another apartment. Let’s say for example you’ve stopped marketing the apartment because you’ve found the perfect tenant. The plan is for them to move into the property in 3 weeks and you’ll draft up the lease in the process and give them a call when it’s ready. 1 week before move in you call them for the signing and they’ve informed you they’ve already found another apartment. You have nothing from them and you’ve also wasted 2 weeks of marketing while you had the apartment off the market. The easiest way to combat this scenario is to get a deposit. Download the packet below for a sample holding deposit form.

Holding Deposit Agreement

Do you need help finding new tenants? We can help you fill your vacancy at NO COST to you. We conduct a background checks, credit checks, employments/income verification and draft all lease paperwork for you.  Contact us for details. 617-297-8641 or Contact@Mandrellco.com

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Are you looking to buy a home in the near future? Has less then perfect credit stopped you from buying a home in the past? Home ownership is a huge part of the American dream and no one should be denied access. Here are 6 steps to improving your credit so you too, can achieve the American dream.

1. Pay down your credit cards to below 40%.

Ideally 30% but let’s start small and work our way up. It can be overwhelming if you have 5 credit cards that are all near their limit. Here are a couple strategies you could employ.  A. Pay off/down the highest interest card first. The money you save on interest payments will go toward paying off your next card on the list. B. Pay off/down the credit card with the smallest limit. Paying off something quickly gives you motivation to move on to the next. You feel motivated after paying down a $500 credit card in 2 months compared to paying $500 off a $5,000 credit card because you still see a high balance.

2. Slow down on opening new accounts

Each new account places an inquiry on your credit report, which decreases your credit score. When creditors see these inquiries, it decreases your chances of being approved. Also, new credit means less credit history, which is frowned upon. Side note: Choose cards with rewards so you earn while you spend.

3. Add someone’s credit history to your profile

If you have a family member that has good credit and good credit history, consider asking them to add you to their oldest credit card and preferably the one with the best credit history attached to it. While you will not adopt their credit score, you will obtain their history, so if they have owned the card for 10 years, you now have that 10-year history on your credit report. We DO NOT recommend you having access to their credit however. No matter how good your intentions, you never want to jeopardize someone’s credit for your own gain. They can give you their history without giving you access to their credit.

4. Get a secured line of credit

If you were unable to add someone’s credit history to your profile, your next best option is to open a secured line of credit. Essentially, you would put money on a card (like a debit card) and whatever amount you deposit, becomes your new credit limit. For example, you deposit $500 on your secured credit card, you now have a $500 credit limit on your card. If you decide to increase it to $1000, you pay the $1000 upfront and you can borrow against it up to $1000. The benefit is that if you decide to close the account, your money is refunded. Also, secured credit cards report to the credit bureaus unlike a debit card or some other services out there. Do your research and ask questions. See which card is best suited for your needs. The most important thing is to make sure they report to all 3 credit bureaus to help you establish credit.

5. Diversify your credit profile

You do not want all your credit to be of the same type. The goal is to have a diverse portfolio such as credit cards, car loan, mortgage, etc. Creditors want to see that you are responsible over a variety of credit types.

6. Get your credit limit increased with current lenders

I do this every year. If you have a great track record of always paying on time, you can ask your credit card company to increase your limit. Most allow you to do this on the website and it is instant. This serves 2 purposes: A. It increases your credit iimit and the % of credit owed. For example $400 on a $500 limit is 80% utilization, however, $400 on a $1000 limit is only 40% utilization. Do you see how this can improve your credit score without you doing anything more than making a phone call? This is not something you do monthly but rather on a yearly basis because some companies will pull your credit to make the decision which could hurt you in the short term but will be beneficial in the long. B. It gives you greater access to funds. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have an extra $1000 of available credit in case of emergencies?

Would you like to learn more about how to improve your credit? Sign up for FREE course – “How To Achieve An 800+ Credit Score & Never Be Denied For Anything“. You can find details on this course with the following link. http://www.meetup.com/Urban-Money-Matters/

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Boston Land Transactions – Take A Look At What Sold

Here are the most recent 25 land sales from Boston and the rest of Suffolk County. Sales range from $20,000 in Chelsea to $4,000,000 in South Boston.

 

SLD 63 Highland St Chelsea, MA 0.03 Residential acres (1425 sq.ft.)  $20,000
SLD 170 Tremont St Boston, MA 0 Parking acres (0 sq.ft.) $34,900
SLD 10 Everton St Boston, MA : Dorchester 0.08 Residential acres (3301 sq.ft.)  $25,000
SLD 11 havelock st Boston, MA : Dorchester 0.09 Residential acres (4000 sq.ft.)  $45,000
SLD 21 Father Francis Gilday Boston, MA : South End 0.02 Parking acres (999 sq.ft.)  $59,000
SLD 151 Tremont UL308 Boston, MA : Midtown 0 Parking acres (0 sq.ft.)  $64,000
SLD 2 Rollins St. L2- 179/180 Boston, MA : South End 0 Parking acres (0 sq.ft.)  $66,000
SLD 2 Rollins St. L2- 246/247 Boston, MA : South End 0 Parking acres (0 sq.ft.) $66,500
SLD 15 Balina Pl Boston, MA : Dorchester 0.11 Residential acres (4907 sq.ft.)  $90,000
SLD 1313 Washington Street U:L115 Boston, MA : South End 0.01 Parking acres (500 sq.ft.)  $120,000
SLD 29 Lawrence Ave Boston, MA : Dorchester 0.15 Residential acres (6431 sq.ft.)  $115,000
SLD 18 Albion St Boston, MA : Roxbury 0.11 Residential acres (5000 sq.ft.)  $83,000
SLD 42 Olney St Boston, MA : Dorchester 0.27 Residential acres (11756 sq.ft.)  $135,000
SLD 336 Beacon Boston, MA : Back Bay 0 Parking acres (0 sq.ft.) [ $170,000
SLD 0 Geneva St Boston, MA : East Boston 0.06 Residential acres (2800 sq.ft.)  $170,000
SLD 312 Sumner St Boston, MA : East Boston 0.05 Residential acres (2250 sq.ft.)  $291,000
SLD 148 Warren Avenue U:PKG Boston, MA : South End 229.57 Parking acres (9999999 sq.ft.)  $225,000
SLD 120 Bolton Street Boston, MA : South Boston 0.02 Residential acres (892 sq.ft.)  $249,000
SLD 0 Goldie Lot 4 Revere, MA 0.22 Residential acres (9554 sq.ft.)  $245,000
SLD 19-25 Ufford Street Boston, MA : Dorchester 0.3 Residential acres (13227 sq.ft.)  $220,000
SLD 21 Custer St. Boston, MA : Jamaica Plain 0.16 Residential acres (6935 sq.ft.)  $585,000
SLD 101 Summer Street Boston, MA 2.14 Residential acres (93218 sq.ft.)  $585,000
SLD 165-167 Bowen + 217 D + 80,84 Baxter Boston, MA : South Boston 0.13 Residential acres (5869 sq.ft.)  $1,631,500
SLD 1266 Soldiers Field Rd Boston, MA : Brighton 0.72 Residential acres (31363 sq.ft.)  $4,450,000
SLD 170 W.Broadway Boston, MA : South Boston 0.4 Commercial acres (17399 sq.ft.)  $4,000,000

Are you interested in land opportunities in Suffolk County or other areas in Massachusetts? Would you like to receive available listings? Send us a quick message with your name, email and the neighborhoods where you have interest. We can email you a list within 24 hours or your request.

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Okay, so you’ve found great tenants and their expected to move in on the 1st of the month. Now what? Here is a quick “to do” list to make sure you and your rental property appear super professional from day one.

  1. Change the locks and get new keys to the apartment – You’ll like your tenants to feel as safe as possible when they take possession of their new living space. The last thing you want is for them to start questioning whether the old tenants still have access to the unit. Be sure to make several copies and keep a copy for yourself. You’ll need your set of keys if your tenants happen to lose theirs or if you need to enter the apartment for an emergency.
  2. Get a new mailbox key – In the haste of new tenant preparations, many landlords forget the also place a new lock and key on the mailbox. Your previous tenants should have changed their address with the post office so there is no need for them to come back and access this box.
  3. Change the name on the mailbox – Make sure to let the mailman know your old tenant have moved and the new tenants are coming in. The easiest way to do this is to place a new label with the tenants name on the mailbox. If you don’t have one already, get yourself a label maker. When your new tenants see their name on the mailbox on move in day, it will make them feel right at home.
  4. Get the apartment professionally cleaned  – Make sure the apartment has a clean/ fresh feel to it. If you want your tenants to stay for awhile they’ll need to feel as if it’s truly there home. The best way to do that is to make sure there are no remnants of your prior tenants. I always replace the toilet seat and leave the plastic wrap on top. For $20, this shows my new tenants that I truly care about making them feel comfortable.
  5. Add a fresh coat of paint on the walls – Paint is the “new car smell” for apartments.
  6. Check the batteries in the smoke detectors & change the light bulbs – There is a good chance the tenants that just moved out didn’t change the batteries or light bulbs. Do these things before your new tenant moves in. You’d rather not have a smoke detector chirping a week after move in and you certainly don’t want light bulbs dying as they’re moving in boxes.
  7. Prepare a “Welcome Basket” – Moving isn’t easy and there are often things that are lost in boxes the first couple nights after a move. Help out your new tenants out with a couple a basic items. Prepare a welcome basket with toilet paper, tooth paste, tooth brush, soap, local take-out menus and any other low cost item that they may need the first night. Anything you can do to help them get settled in is going to be very much appreciated.
  8.  Get a list of service providers for your new tenants – Prepare a list of companies your new tenants will need to contact. They’re going to call you for this information anyhow, so you might as well have it ready for them at move in. Who provides gas or oil heating? Who provides electrical services? What about cable and internet?

Do you need help finding qualified tenants for an empty apartment(s)? We can help you fill your vacancy at NO COST to you! We do a complete a background and credit check as well as income verification and several other services. For more information, call us at 617-297-8641 or email Willie@Mandrellco.com

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