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Cleaning out a rental unit at the end of a tenancy

How to get a mortgage for a rental property

We’re back with another article related to rental properties.  The topic of rental property management, as it relates to cleaning, is frequently requested by our readers.

Cleaning when one tenancy ends, before another begins, is a critical component of rental property management.  There’s nothing worse than starting off on the wrong foot with a new tenant when they take possession of a filthy unit.  As the old saying goes – garbage in, garbage out.  Starting a new tenant off with an impeccably clean unit is a great way to set expectations.  Besides, not doing it is just plain lazy!

Carpet cleaning in between tenancies is vital.  It’s especially important if the previous tenant neglected regular vacuuming, had pets, or smoked in the home.  But what other cleaning activities should be done?

One type of cleaning related activity that we want to discuss in detail in this article is having a professional painting crew put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceilings, and trim of your rental unit.  A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your unit.  Tenants will notice.  If the unit is going to be vacant for a few days anyway, that’s the perfect time to get a crew in to tackle the job.

You might think to yourself – why don’t I just do the paint job myself? Painting is one of those tasks that frequently gets attempted by do-it-yourselfers. If you have the time and the general wherewithal, then I suppose you could do it yourself. The real question you must ask yourself, however, is why should I do it myself? The value that a professional painting crew brings to your project is significant. First of all, any experienced painting company, like Painters St. Catharines, will have a talented crew of painters that will get your project done quick-time. Imagine 4 professionals painting the entire rental unit, compared to you doing it yourself. If one professional can do the job faster than you, imagine what 4 professionals can do, working in tandem. Secondly, painting is a skill that takes a lot of practice to master. One of the most time-consuming parts of doing a painting job is the prep work before the job – masking off certain areas, filling holes, repairing drywall, and caulking. If you do these types of things every day, you’ll become faster and better at them. For example, a pro painter won’t have to mask off as many areas, because they can cut straight lines by hand. Also, pro painters have tricks for filling holes, repairing drywall, and caulking. These tricks produce high-quality results that take less time than what a do-it-yourselfer could produce.

Almost always, a painting project will take twice as long as a do-it-yourselfer expects, due to unforeseen tasks that come up during the job. It’s not as easy as just brushing and rolling some paint on the walls. There is so much more to an interior painting job, and that’s why we highly recommend unloading this type of work to a pro crew. That will allow you to focus your time on other high-value activities related to your rental property. As we all know, there is never a shortage of work when you’re a landlord, so take our advice and outsource the painting work so you can realize value in other tasks.

How to get a mortgage for a rental property

How to get a mortgage for a rental property

Since many of our readers own investment rental properties (carpet cleaning and rental properties go hand in hand), we thought we’d call in an expert to contribute with a guest post. Did you know that you can take out a mortgage on a rental property? According to Frank Del Priore of Mortgage Brokers Niagara, a mortgage on a rental property can be a fantastic option for people who do not have the funds required to buy the property outright. By taking out a mortgage on your rental property, you can make money on the property, while making payments, before finally being able to take on full ownership. Again, this can be an incredibly worthwhile investment as long as you know what you are getting into.

First things first, you are going to want to make sure you have an impressive credit score (660 is considered a good score, but a score like 580 may still secure your loan); and if you have incurred a lot of debt, it would be in your best interest to try paying it off in order to bolster your credit score, and make the mortgage application process much smoother. Then, if you have a property you are already interested in, or are just in the early stages of considering this type of investment, create a budget. You are going to need a down payment, the more you can afford to put down, the better, as this will also help lower your monthly payments. A minimum down payment of 20-35% is pretty much ideal to start with, so if you were looking at a $500,000 property you would want to have a down payment of $25,000-$50,000 or more. Next, you will have to consider closing fees, which can be about 2%, and any other one-time fees that may be involved.

While banks and credit unions can help you in securing a mortgage for a commercial or residential rental property, you can also apply for your mortgage through a mortgage broker. They will act as your intermediary to arrange and negotiate the terms of your mortgage, and may, in turn, be able to secure you a much better deal than a bank or credit union. This is because mortgage brokers work to find a bank/credit union, or a direct lender, in order to find the best deal for a client’s specific loan. You may have to pay fees to your mortgage broker, but this is a hurdle that is ultimately worth it, because using a broker assures that you will find something within your budget.

Applying for a mortgage on a rental property can be a lengthier process than say, applying for the mortgage on your first home; as the home would be your primary residence and occupied by its owner, whereas a rental property has another party living in it, one that could potentially cause damage and adversely affect a property’s value. This poses as a riskier investment for a lender, and in return the borrower is held to a higher standard, meaning you should be prepared to show things like your proof of income, and any liquid reserves/assets you may have; typically a six-month reserve would be ideal, should anything go wrong with your rental property.

So if you’re interested in purchasing a rental property, reach out to a mortgage broker near you and get the process started! Be sure to come back here and get the latest info on carpet cleaning after you’ve purchased the property!

Many thanks to Frank Del Priore, Mortgage Broker Niagara, for contributing to this article.

Window Cleaning is Not a DIY Job

a woman cleaning a window herself

There are so many reasons why window cleaning is not a DIY job.  Typically, window cleaning is a chore that gets tossed on the back burner.  People procrastinate on it or just avoid it altogether.  It’s a tedious task, but one that is important to preserve the life of your windows, whether it’s your home or your business.

Let’s discuss the most common reasons why you should hire a professional to clean your windows today!

Reason #1: To avoid the dangers of cleaning windows

Cleaning the windows on your house doesn’t just mean the ground floor windows, it means all of them, second story and above!  This means you’ll have to work from a ladder, and it also means you need a ladder tall enough to reach your highest windows.  If you don’t possess such a ladder, you probably don’t have the means to safely transport it from the rental place either.  Do yourself a favour and call a window cleaning pro right now.  Let’s say you have a ladder.  Do you know the best procedures to work with one while at heights, to prevent damage to your property, and most importantly, to yourself?  Pro window cleaners do this for a living so stay safe and call them!

Reason #2: Pros have the right tools for the job

If you have a ladder and you’re comfortable working at heights, what about the rest of the tools for the job?  Do you know what you need to achieve a streak-free finish on your windows, without damaging them?  Most people assume a pressure washer and fancy chemicals are the best tools to clean windows, but that’s not true.  Both of these things can damage your windows and leave ugly streaks.  If you didn’t know this, it’s time to call a professional to do the job right the first time.

just imagine if you didn't have to clean windows yourself

Reason #3: To prolong the lifespan of your windows

The primary benefits of cleaning your windows (letting more light in and being able to see through them better) are obvious.  But what about the not-so-obvious benefits?  Regular cleanings can actually prolong the life of your windows.  This is because a window’s surface can be porous and under a microscope, contains many peaks and valleys.  Over time, these peaks and valleys get filled with dirt, debris and contaminants from pollution in rain water and the air.  Regular cleanings prevent this build-up from causing irreversible damage to the glass.  Think about it this way.  Two houses are side by side.  One house has regular window cleanings and the other does not.  After 5 years, how do you think the windows that have never been cleaned will look?  They will take much longer to clean for the first time and will be impossible to restore to a “like-new” condition.

Reason #4: To make you happier

The most important reason to hire a pro window cleaner is totally an emotional one!  Just think how happy you’ll be when you’re inside your home, looking through sparkling, streak-free windows.  Now combine that with the thought you didn’t have to climb a ladder or use any elbow grease to achieve that view, and the investment in your windows is protected for years to come.

Carpet Cleaning Equipment Basics

There are two types of attachments that the pros use when cleaning your carpet.  The most popular piece of equipment is the high-performance wand, pictured in the image above.  It delivers a thorough cleaning, not just a surface cleaning, that can last one year in most cases.  This wand won’t damage furniture and/or moldings.  No sticky residue or dry chemicals are left behind.

Another equipment option is called the Rotary Jet Extractor, pictured below.  This device is used on extreme soil conditions.  The cleaning head produces 1500 cleaning passes per minute to release deeply embedded soils.  It’s unbeatable for removing dog dander, cooking oils, animal urine and severely worked in soils.  It’s ideal for cleaning churches, wedding halls, commercial halls and municipalities.

So the next time you call on a professional carpet cleaning service, have a good look at the equipment they are using and make sure it’s one of these two pieces.  Otherwise, you won’t get the results you’re paying for!