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Easy and Fun Landscaping for your Rental Property

Summer is a great time to work in the yard!

As a renter OR an owner, whether you do it yourself or hire a landscaping company to do the work, keeping up with the lawn and landscaping in a way that is easy and cost-effective will only add to your happiness with your property. Here are some ideas to get your summer planting adventure going!

Morning watering

If you are renting, find out if you are responsible for the yard or if the owner or the property manager has a landscaping company lined up. Even if someone is coming to mow, however, you should still stay on top of the watering to maintain a beautiful place.

Landscapers agree the best time to water your yard is during the early morning hours. Watering in the morning gives the roots a chance to absorb the moisture before the temperatures get so warm that the water just evaporates. Afternoon watering not only runs the risk of the moisture evaporating, but some grasses go dormant in the warmer hours, so the water winds up wasted either way. Watering in the evening hours runs the risk of damp grass breeding fungus overnight. And a good long watering every few days can be more effective than frequent light waterings.

Mowing

Regular mowing on the right settings makes a big difference in how your yard may thrive. Cutting short might reduce the frequency of mows, but it damages the grass and you can wind up with a brown yard. Mowing on a regular schedule at 2 inches to 4 inches can easily maintain a healthy yard.

Trim those shrubs

Whether you are a renter or an owner, on your own or with the help of a management company and/or a landscaping company, you’ll want to pay close attention to bushes or vines that hug your home because they can invite termites and other insects and vermin. To help prevent them from inviting unwanted critters or even interfering with a/c units or trapping moisture against the house and foundation, you’ll want to keep an eye on bushes, vines, and shrubs and make sure they are neatly trimmed.

Brighten things with flowers

If you are given the green light to plant, plant away! If there are restrictions, turn to container planting. And if you are an owner you’ll want to hear this tip for your plans! Perennials really bring the bang for the buck. Plant them once, and these beautiful and hardy plants will bloom year after year adding your touch to your home.  Perennials can also be used to control the lawn or garden border and prevent soil erosion. And when it comes to choosing your variety,  a garden can always include low-maintenance evergreens and other bushes. Shrubs like boxwood, hydrangeas, and spirea will help you build an attractive, low-maintenance garden. Living in North Texas it is also prudent to consider drought-tolerant plants that can tolerate the Texas heat, conserve water, and are low-maintenance.

 

Owners!

Low-maintenance landscaping and a little investment in a few key elements will keep costs low and make the property more attractive. In some cases renters will even pay more to rent a well-landscaped home. Many rental property owners, however, don’t think of landscaping as an investment but instead view it as a necessary nuisance. The reality is, though, that most tenants will expect/hope that a property be attractive. And on the flip-side, most owners will expect/hope the tenants will maintain the attractiveness of the property.

Don’t want to do all the work? You don’t have to. It’s just as easy (possibly easier) to set up a rotation with a landscaping company or to have your property manager handle landscaping (especially if your management company is also handling all other maintenance). Your property management company most likely has a standing relationship with a lawn care vendor who could give you a good price for the work. For a little extra in, you save a lot of time, energy, and effort, especially if yard work isn’t your thing.

Enjoy your beautiful yards in the summer sun!

 

 

 

 

 

Investing in Real Estate to yield Long-Term Investment Turnaround

Buy and Hold Real Estate: being a property owner on an investment property can produce income and long-term capital appreciation.

  • Buying property and holding on to it as a long-term investment can yield real life-changing money. Most other investments offer either a consistent return (i.e. annuities) or the potential for equity appreciation (i.e. stocks). Real estate offers both. Good buy and hold investments offer positive cash flow from rent(s) that not only offset expenses and debt, but also provide a monthly income.
  • An asset makes you money, and by renting your home you turn it into an asset. And if the investment property carries a mortgage, the cash flow allows an investor to pay back that mortgage without spending any of their own money. Instead, the tenant pays for it.
  • Rental property values (hopefully) will climb over time, and if the property rents for more than monthly expenses there will be additional monthly cash flow. That’s the goal!
  • Many real estate investors and owners start their path to financial growth renting out their homes as they upgrade to bigger or better houses. This may also help fund retirement – by acquiring multiple properties over time, the cash flow on the rentals could provide monthly rental income by the time retirement rolls around.
  • With Rental properties you can also borrow the bank’s or someone else’s money to increase the potential return. In other words, you don’t need to have 100 percent of a property’s purchase price on hand to be able to buy it. Rental properties also potentially allow owners and investors to buy properties for less cash than might be needed to purchase stocks or other investments.
  • The real estate market will go up and down, but the beauty of rental properties is that demand will never end. People always need a place to live.

Having a Property Management Company helps deal with various issues and helps alleviate owner stress and responsibility.

  • It is always good to have help in in case of unanticipated problems. Tenants don’t always pay rent on time, which can throw off your anticipated monthly cash flow.  They also sometimes don’t take good care of a property, which means an added cost of repairing the property as needed. However, no matter what issues an owner might face your property management company is there every step. Usually contracted on a monthly fee basis, your property manager will:
        • Work with you to make the property look its best for showing (including scheduling any repairs needed)
        • Schedule and be responsible for all showings
        • Advertise for, find, communicate with, and screen any potential tenants
        • Run all credit and background checks and review and process the applications
        • Finalize and sign the lease
        • Use a convenient online portal to collect monthly rent from your tenant(s)
        • Track all financials and ensure timely payments to owners
        • Respond to maintenance requests and schedule and follow through with all repairs
        • And also file evictions if needed

Getting Started

There are many ways to finance your new investment including

  • Borrowing against the equity in your home. These types of loans tend to carry low interest rates and reasonable fees.  (This also effectively makes you a cash buyer, which can make your offers more attractive to sellers.)
  • Owner financing is often a way to buy an investment property with little or no money down.

Let us here at All County Metroplex Property Management know if we can help you in any way managing your new investment!

Make Moving Easy!

Moving. It sounds daunting, right? But it doesn’t have to be.

Your team at All County Metroplex Property Management has put together some helpful hints to make moving easier. We hope these help you discover ways to improve your move.

Happy hassle-free moving!

Start Early

Starting off on the right foot makes all the difference in the world. Here are a few things to do before you even start packing:

* Notify the utility companies

* Find a Mover (get quotes from multiple movers!)

* Have your packing supplies together (money saving tip: find free boxes by inquiring with local retailers or just asking friends and family members!)

Packing Hacks

* Leave it in the drawers! Save time and space by taking drawers out of dressers, leave the items in the drawers, and then secure by wrapping the drawer in plastic wrap. (And if the dresser isn’t too heavy, you can leave the drawers in the dresser and wrap the dresser itself in plastic wrap!)

* Utilize those towels and other soft items. Wrap your breakables in towels, t-shirts, socks, and linens for extra (and free!) padding!

* Use that tupperware! Instead of spending extra on more and more boxes, pack spices and small kitchen items in small kitchen containers or even in pots with lids. Secure with plastic wrap and you’re good to go!

* Use suitcases for heavy and/or hard to move items. Load those suitcases with books! Suitcases have handles (and often times wheels). Moving those heavy awkward items is a cinch in a suitcase!

Moving

* Be sure to be packed and ready to go the day BEFORE moving day.

* Have a travel plan. Don’t try to wing it under pressure as the mover waits on you. Have your logistics planned out in detail.

* Have a personal bag as well as a cooler handy. You’ll want to have access to the items you’ll need during your move and right after you’ve arrived at your new place (medications, chargers, toiletries, extra clothes). And stock a cooler with drinks and snacks to keep you alert and going on the big day.

Unpacking can feel daunting as well. And having boxes all over the place can make it feel like an even bigger task. But do not fret. Throw out those boxes, or fold them and store for future use, as you empty them. Keep clutter to a minimum and your new place will feel like a New Home in no time.

Something as simple as setting yourself a deadline and making a plan to celebrate can also help keep you on track creating your new perfect space.

Your team here at All County Metroplex Property Management wishes you a safe and hassle-free move!

Decor ideas to personalize your Rental

Make your Rental feel like Home

Renting is very popular! You can try different neighborhoods or even different parts of the country.

But renting can sometimes lack the warm, personalized, lived-in feeling that a permanent home can develop. A go-to thought might be color, but most property owners do not allow tenants to wallpaper or paint. In fact, always know your lease as most owners have pretty strict rules regarding what you can change.

But do not fret! Here are some tips to making your space feel like YOUR space.

Add Plants

Adding color and texture with plants can quickly and affordably transform your space into a Home. Houseplants also purify the air so that’s a win-win!

5 “easy to care for” indoor plants to try: Spider Plant, Air Plant, Pothos, Peace Lilly, or Croton all make beautiful additions to your space. (PLEASE NOTE:  If you have pets, always research any plant you introduce into your pet’s environment to ensure the plant is safe for your pet!)

Add Layers

Finding bright whimsical rugs or opting for warm, mysterious-colored rugs can dramatically change any room. Tying a space together with rugs, throw pillows, and of course window coverings can change the feel of any space. Do check to be sure your property owner is ok with hanging drapes or switching out blinds!

MAKE it yours

“Sentimental” can go a long way when it comes to the feeling you can get from a space. We all probably have a piece or two that just “feel like home.” Maybe it’s art that is personal to you, or a piece of furniture that has been in your family, or a photo that just makes you feel good all over. Incorporating the things you love is a sure way to make a space feel like yours. Let that book collection or that side table take a spot in the limelight!

Choose lighting that is right for you

The light in a room can instantly change the way we feel. Change out the bulbs for the quality of light that YOU prefer, that makes YOU feel happy, or warm, or most importantly, just at home. Decorate with accent lamps or floor lamps to get just the right tone and you will instantly see the mood of a room change into your haven.

Get comfortable!

Getting unpacked as quickly as possible can truly make a world of difference! A half-unpacked space filled with boxes can never take on the personality you want or ever really feel like home. It doesn’t have to be perfect right away, there is always time to rearrange and make everything “just right.” The goal to unpacking and removing unsightly boxes is to physically take control of the space and make it yours.

 

Your team here at All County Metroplex Property Management wants you to be happy and comfortable wherever life takes you. We hope these tips help transform any space you choose into YOUR space.

Happy Decorating!

Fifteen fantastic fun DFW family-friendly finds!

Well we made it through record-breaking winter weather and now it feels like Spring is all around us!

Your team here at All County Metroplex Property Management is excited for the warmer temps and we have put together a list of fifteen fun family-friendly activities to enjoy all round Dallas Fort Worth. Spring is one of the best times to explore DFW as the temperatures are mild and the parks are blooming with flowers.

We wish you a Happy Spring and we hope you enjoy some of our suggestions!

The Dallas Arboretum is a terrific place to see Spring in all its beauty! During the annual event, “Dallas Blooms,” over half a million flowers are on vibrant display including bright tulip bulbs, azaleas, and pink cherry blossom trees. Each week of the event, the Arboretum focuses on a different region of the U.S. The 2021 Dallas Bloom event takes place from February 21 to April 11, and the event is included with your admission into the Arboretum. Advance tickets are required with a timed entry for all visits through spring 2021. Also the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is an indoor and outdoor hands-on classroom with 17 galleries focused on science and nature. Outside, kids are immersed in nature as they stroll along the boardwalk, roam through the grass tunnel, explore a full acre of wetlands, cross through the tree canopy along the Texas Skywalk, and explore under a waterfall. Indoors, the Discovery Center introduces technology to enhance a plant and soil lab station and allows children to solve a C.S.I-style mystery in a mini 3-D theater.

The Dallas Museum of Art has a packed calendar of events, many taking place virtually in 2021. The DMA is free to visit for general admission, although some special exhibitions have an additional cost. The museum’s collection includes over 25,000 pieces of art that span 5,000 years, ranging from ancient African art to Renaissance clothing pieces to contemporary photography.

The Dallas Zoo aims to inspire and empower visitors to take action on behalf of wildlife in Texas and around the world. Located three miles south of downtown Dallas, the 106-acre Dallas Zoo is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas. Founded with just two deer and two mountain lions in 1888 as the first zoo in the Southwest, The Dallas Zoo now provides a home for more than 2,000 animals representing over 400 species.

The Fort Worth Zoo was named the Top Zoo in North America in 2020! The oldest continuous zoo site in Texas, The Fort Worth Zoo was founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. The Fort Worth Zoo now houses more than 7,000 native and exotic animals.  The Zoo offers a day camp for kids between the ages of 5 and 10 that includes crafts, games, animal presentations, and a daily trip to The Fort Worth Zoo to visit the animals. Scheduled from March 15–19, 2021, campers can choose to join for just one day or go the entire week.

The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth hosts events about the current exhibitions, ranging from conversations with artists or curators to interactive activities geared toward kids. The museum, which specializes in American art, is free to visit at all times for all visitors.  In 2021, the Amon Carter is open throughout the spring but all of the planned events are taking place virtually. For example, you can learn to create your own flower collage inspired by as installation on display by artist Natasha Bowdoin via Zoom.

At The Grapevine Aquarium you get the full ocean view via the 360-degree underwater tunnel full of sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, and nearly 300 other species of sea life. Kids can play in the touch pools to get an interactive lesson on tide pool creatures and also check out the sea turtles in North Texas’ only sea turtle hospital.

Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House is a year-round organically maintained urban oasis filled with natural wonders. Located in Dallas’ historic Fair Park, Texas Discovery Gardens holds family festivals, workshops, free admission days, and an extensive (and growing) EarthKeepers® student education program introducing children and adults to natural outdoor learning experiences.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the West. It includes interactive exhibit galleries that feature artifacts of the permanent collection, a traveling exhibit gallery, two theaters, a gift shop, a research library and archives, and a NEW second floor. Currently, the museum’s archives house more than 4000 artifacts and information about more than 750 remarkable women. The 238 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honorees include pioneers, artists, writers, entertainers, humanitarians, business women, educators, ranchers and rodeo cowgirls including: Sacagawea, principal guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition; painter Georgia O’Keeffe; potter Maria Martinez; writer Laura Ingalls Wilder; sharpshooter Annie Oakley; Enid Justin, who created the multi-million dollar Nocona Boot Company; Hollywood icon Dale Evans and U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a drive-through interactive wildlife park dedicated to the conservation of species in peril. Visitors can drive their own car through the nature park which has free-roaming giraffes, rhinos, deer, ostrich, cheetahs, and more. You’ll even be given a cup of animal feed that you can throw from the car to attract hungry residents. The animals are especially active and looking for food in the morning, so reserving an early time slot to visit the park is the best time to visit.

Right next to the Dallas Museum of Art, The Nasher Sculpture Center  houses an impressive collection of artwork from artists like Pablo Picasso, Richard Serra, Giacometti, Rodin, Duchamp, among many others. The museum is open in 2021, but the typical programming is taking place virtually.

Benbrook Stables is holding a Spring Break Camp where kids learn about feeding the animals, horsemanship, horse nutrition, grooming, horse safety, tack and equipment, and horse anatomy. Of course, riding is also part of the camp and kids will get to try out Western style, English style, and even bareback. The 2021 camp is from March 15–19, and participants can drop in for a day or take part in the whole week.

The Fort Worth Stockyards tells the true history of Texas’s famous livestock industry. Fort Worth is where the West begins, and nothing embodies Western heritage better than the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. The Fort Worth Herd is the world’s only twice daily cattle drive, held every day at 11:30 AM & 4:00 PM in the Fort Worth Stockyards and The Fort Worth Herd steers can be viewed before and after cattle drives in their pens behind the Livestock Exchange Building on East Exchange Avenue. Drovers are available before each cattle drive for photo ops and questions. Be sure and ask for a Steer Trading Card! The historic Cowtown Coliseum also holds PRCA Rodeo action every weekend year-round.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is located in Victory Park, near Downtown Dallas. Kids of all ages will enjoy it. Five floors house 11 permanent exhibit halls containing state-of-the-art video and 3-D computer animation with thrilling, life-like simulations where visitors can exercise their brains through hands-on activities, interactive kiosks, and educational games.

Dinosaur Valley State Park is just a short drive from Fort Worth and here you can walk in the tracks of Dinosaurs in the bed of the Paluxy River! With miles of scenic trails, you can spend the day exploring on foot or even get a horse drawn wagon ride from Eagle Eye Carriage Company! The park often reaches capacity; to guarantee entrance, reservations are highly recommended for both camping and day use.

From all of us here at All County Metroplex Property Management, we wish you a Very Happy Spring!