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How To Maintain Control With Your Rental Management Company

house for rent

Rental management with vacation properties is quite popular in the Finger Lakes even though Home Away and Flip Key are quite popular.  Rental management companies reduce the stress for homeowners in the weekly rental market  Owners are relieved of finding cleaning help, landscaping work and regular maintenance.  But owner beware, it can lead to additional and unexpected charges.

After purchasing your new vacation home in the Finger Lakes and you decided to put it into a rental management company, take your time when working with the representative.  One of the most important things I tell my real estate clients, is to remember it is their property and that they are allowing the rental company to make an income on “their” property.  I can not tell you how many times my clients have told me:

“My rental company does not want us to use the house during that week.”

“They told us we can not have that type of furniture.  “

” They told us to install that type of flooring.”

“We are not allowed to do our own cleaning or painting.”

All of the above statements are only true if you allow them to be true.  What do I mean?  Read the contract that is presented to you to sign.  If you do not agree with anything, ask to have it changed and then sign the agreement or if you are not sure what you should do contact your real estate agent, one that is not involved with the rental management company and ask them for their advice.  Working in the area and selling real estate in the area, they can usually give you sound advice.

One of the most unseemingly things that I have seen precariously inserted into a contract states ” If you decide to sell your property while under contract with us, you have to used out real estate services.  If you use another agency you still be required to pay us six percent commission on the sale of your property.”  This statement is definitely unethical and may potentially be illegal.  This limits you when it comes time to  sell your property with them, and then if they do not sell real estate at the time, you are still obligated to pay them a commission.  Of course this would be above and beyond what you have already agreed to pay the listing broker from the company of your choice.  This statement was found inserted into a contract and not one person that came to me about it, had any idea it was there until they went to sell the property and found out their limitations from the rental agency.

Maintenance fees can be very confusing .  Be sure to find out what it covers, how much it costs and how it will be billed.  Many companies require a minimum of one deep cleaning each year.  Some companies will go in before the beginning of the season, inspect the property and determine if the cleaning was done properly, even if you did it. Some will just take it upon themselves to go in with their own crew, redo the deep clean and then charge you for it without any communication.  They will then refer to the contract as their defense.

What happens if a water pipe breaks or the furnace will not turn on?  I would recommend that you break down various large utility break downs and hire a specific company to make the repairs yourself.  For example if the air conditioning or heat will  not work, have your own company to call for repairs.  Most of the rental companies have employees that can repair minor issues, but are not really qualified for heating and air conditioning. Do not be afraid to list your preferences…again…this is “your” home.

If the rental company you are working with does not utilize electronic locks, I would recommend you install them.  This keeps a record of every time the door is open and the combination can be changed by you.

By keeping a communication going with your neighbors, you will know if there are issues with your rental property and can quickly call to negate.  The key to a good rental is that you can sit back and easily manage your property from afar either by yourself or through an agency.  Many home owners are testing the waters with HomeAway.com and FlipKey.com.  It is inexpensive to list your property, the portal is advertised extensively and you can save anywhere from 15 to 20 % by taking bookings online.  There are also a few smaller agencies in the area that are offering very competitive pricing that should be on your list of agencies to talk to.

Before allowing anyone to tell you what to install or not install in your property, talk with your real estate agent.  If you decide down the road you want to sell, you want to insure that your property is saleable based on the updates you add to the property.

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A Fresh New Look For Your Kitchen

Something different - no emphasis on granite counters or stainless steel

Something different – no emphasis on granite counters or stainless steel

As a Realtor® I am continually asked about granite counters and stainless steel.  Are these kitchens pretty?  Absolutely… But then again, they all start to look so much a like. I am not quite sure when the page turned to only exist with granite and stainless, but it happened.  Yes there will always be followers for the materials because they are really beautiful.

So it is always refreshing to me when I see someone mixing things up, without using granite or stainless.  The kitchen cabinets in the above photo are custom but they are done in a mint green, the hardware and fixtures are brass and the trim is in oak with oak stools. The one wall adorns wallpaper with an Arts & Crafts feel, the refrigerator and dishwasher are covered with matching panels.  The built in ovens do show metal, but it adds to the nice blend of differences.  The wood adds warmth that is inviting and looks like someone actually would use it.

kitchen ideas

The above kitchen before remodel

Updating your kitchen always adds value to your home when done with care.  When updating consider how long you plan to live in the home.  If you are completing the upgrade just to sell, then you want the improvements to give the kitchen a fresh clean feel, yet using a minimal approach.  If you plan on staying for many years, then go ahead and think about the little added touches that will make the kitchen say it is all yours.

For more ideas about remodeling your kitchen, what you should do when selling and what you should not do, then give me a call 315-719-8377.  I want to make sure that your kitchen is “picture perfect” when home buyers are looking at it and to also sell it quickly.  Let’s chat…mstgeorge@Nothnagle.com

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MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale !!!! Save the Date

 

The long awaited announcement is out, and much earlier than normal.  Yes the huge!!!!! Barn Sale is set for July 16-19, 2015.  In the past, everyone at MacKenzie-Childs was very close lipped until right before the date.  No excuses this year for not attending … you have over 3 weeks to plan and prepare.  Come early and call for reservations now, as rooms in the area fill up quickly.  You might want to check out some of the B&B’s in the area and maybe even some of the lakeside rentals.

This sale is attended by followers from all over the world, literally.  Every year at this time, my phone starts to ring and it mixed between real estate clients looking to buy or sell, or it is the proverbial question “Do you know when the Barn Sale is?  I just have to go.”  So there you have it.  You now know the ball is in your court.  Hey you may even see me this year,  I have avoided the sale for the last few years.  Well not really avoided, but had client appointments.

While you are here, how about looking at some great vacation properties?  If you own a vacation home in the area, you will always have a place to stay for the sale.  Plus you will have another reason to pick up more “goodies” at the Barn Sale.

Bring your wallets and shopping savvy…there will be some great buys !

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Must Do Road Trips According to Yahoo…

 

Mary St.George -Seneca Lake Home For Sale

Mary St.George -Seneca Lake Home For Sale

It seems like every other week the Finger Lakes area makes it on one list or another for top 10, for best of, or a combination of headlines.  The area is known for so many great things.

  • Wineries/wine
  • Craft beers
  • Beautiful clean and clear lakes
  • Farm to table dining
  • Museums
  • Historic figures that were responsible for Women’s Rights and the end of the slave trade.
  • The birthplace of Memorial Day
  • A roadway and canal system that have their own history
  • Quaint villages and towns
  • Antiques
  • Grand Prix Racing at Watkins Glen
  • Corning Glass and other major corporations were founded in this area

So it was no surprise to see that Yahoo had the Finger Lakes listed as a must do road trip.  There really is so much to see and do in this area.  Many people that come from outside the area are surprised to see that the entire state is not made up of skyscrapers.

If you would like more information on the housing market and or lakefront properties, contact Mary St.George for your real estate needs and she may even encourage you to either invest in the area or purchase a wonderful vacation home.  She will even suggest her favorite spots to visit and dine at.SAM_7754

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