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Things to Consider When Looking for Single-Family Homes for Rent

Happy couple walking looking at their houseFinding the perfect single-family home for rent is no easy task. Simply flipping through dozens after dozens of photos on the Internet just doesn’t provide enough information. It can be great to see photos and learn all the details of a house. However, there are a lot of options and things to consider when it comes to finding the right place for you and your family. Whether you are looking for something with plenty of rooms, or just want something for you and your partner, these tips may help you narrow down your options.

Amenities Near Single-Family Homes for Rent

As they say in realty: location, location, location. Finding the right single-family homes for rent includes finding the right neighborhood and amenities. The first thing to consider is the school district you move into. If you have children in school that you don’t want to uproot, staying in the same zip code or neighborhood might be your only option. However, if you are willing to move to a different school you can start your search by looking at the ratings of different schools in El Paso. You can also find out who has the best academic programs and extracurricular activities. Finding out about the local grocery stores, neighborhood watch programs, nearby parks, and restaurant can help you make your decision as well.

Size of the House and Yard

Of course, when you are shopping for a home to rent in El Paso it is important to think about the home itself. You can make a wish list with the size of a home that is best, optimal yard size, floor plan, one story or two and more. Knowing what you are looking for and need will be a big help when it comes to narrowing down your options. Of course, you also have to remain flexible. If your wishlist is too long you may end up turning down everything you look at.

Private Owner or an Agency

When you are searching through single-family homes for rent in El Paso it is always best to turn to a rental agency. You can be sure that the process will run much more smoothly. Repairs will be fixed much quicker. You will more than likely be able to pay rent online, as well. Often times, a rental agency will also offer better customer service and a more streamlined process when it comes to contracts and signing a lease.

Contact Us Today

If you are looking for a single-family home to rent contact us today at Vision Realty. We have plenty of available homes all over El Paso!

How to Get the Most When Searching for a Rental Home

Hand Drawing House For Rent Design Isolated on White Background.When you are making your move to El Paso one of your first steps is probably to scour the web for El Paso homes for rent. It can be disheartening and cause anxiety to have to choose your next home simply based on a few pictures and description. However, this is often the case for military families relocating or anyone looking to move to El Paso from a different location. This can be especially true if you have a full family in tow. With this in mind, we have created a list to help you make the most of your online search.

Consider Location

The first thing you need to realize when searching for El Paso homes for rent is that the city is big. There are many areas of town that are pretty spread out. If you have children you can make your decision based on school districts. You can search public school districts or private schools to get an idea of ratings and what each school offers as far as extracurricular activities. If you are a military family your service member may be interested in a short commute. Looking at communities in the far east or northeast area might be best for a short drive to work.

Questions to Ask the Rental Agency

When you are searching for homes for rent be sure to reach out to the rental agency. Without actual human contact you are missing out on a great deal of information. Have a list of questions ready to ask. If there are specific homes you are looking at consider asking about the floorplan. Simply looking at photos might not give you the full picture. You can also ask about the neighbors. Find out how long they have lived in their homes. It can be beneficial to find out what resources are nearby like grocery stores or parks. An agent might even be able to provide info you had not thought about asking for.

Use Online Resources

Be sure to search Google and Facebook for different community groups in El Paso. You can find groups of moms, dads, sports fanatics, outdoor buffs, car clubs and more. People in these groups are usually more than happy to welcome you. You can use these online groups as great resources for finding info about various neighborhoods, local events, schools, and more.

Contact Us Today for El Paso Homes for Rent

If you are not satisfied with simply looking at photos of El Paso homes for rent give us a call at Vision Realty. We can provide you with the info you are looking for. Our experts are always available and ready to help!

Renting a Home Vs. an Apartment

parents in a single family home holding two pieces of cardboard, forming a little roof, over a little girlMany people have a hard time deciding whether to look for a single family home for rent or an apartment. Renting a home actually offers quite a bit more benefits for the average family. This can be especially true for military families, households with children and pets, and those that are planning to transition to home ownership. While apartments can offer a smaller rent payment, a home can offer so much more.

The Benefits of Single Family Homes for Rent

Single family homes for rent can offer quite a bit to the average family. For one thing, the space in an apartment just can’t compare to what a rental home can offer. With a larger floor plan comes a bigger kitchen, more closet space, a garage, and of course a laundry room. Families with multiple children and pets benefit from a yard and a safe neighborhood as well. Many people may stop to consider the amenities that an apartment offers when making their decision. However, the quality of gyms and pools don’t are not always tip top. These are amenities that can easily be found within short distances from most neighborhoods in El Paso. A home will also offer more sufficient privacy. Apartments are notorious for loud neighbors and parties. In neighborhoods where homes are spaced adequately and families reside, the noise level is much less of an issue.

What About Costs?

Often times people opt for an apartment over single family homes for rent because of the cost. It is true, an apartment can be a much smaller cost when it comes to rent and utilities. However, for some they may end up compromising the needs of their family simply because they are looking for a smaller bill. At the end of the day apartment living offers tiny kitchens and closets, less privacy, and less security for cars and possessions. With a smaller cost comes a smaller place to live. Dealing with repairs can be hard to manage as well.

Contact Us Today

If you have decided you want to find the right single family home for rent for your family, be sure to talk to our experts at Vision Realty. We have a wide variety of listings in El Paso. We can help families relocating to El Paso as well as those in town looking for a home. Contact us today for more information.   

Get Your Property Ready to Rent Out

Empty white room with hardwood floors with a ladder and paint cans on the floor.

Whether you are renting a piece of property in or out of town there are a few things you can do to get the house into tip top shape. While managing your own property might not be something you want to do, we do have a great deal of tips and ideas to help you get ready to hand your house off to the residential property management team. After we take control of managing your rental, you can rest assured knowing everything will be taken care of.

Spring Cleaning

No matter what season it is, the obvious first thing you should do is clean up the property. A pristine home is more likely to attract tenants. This can include taking care of the front and backyard landscaping as well. Be sure to take a good look at the detail areas like baseboards, ceiling fans, under sink cabinets, and so on. If this job is more than you have time for there are many cleaning agencies that specialize in move-out cleaning. They know exactly what to look for and deliver results. Cleaning up can include taking care of walls that are stained by dust, a fresh coat of paint on the trim, and filling holes from wall hangings.

Take Care of Safety Hazards

Be sure to conduct a detailed inspection of the home focusing on areas that might be safety hazards. Be sure that all smoke detectors are up to date. Installing a fire extinguisher, while not a requirement, is a great way to provide an added measure of safety. It is after all your own property you are protecting. If the home is older you can also take the time to ensure all the electrical wiring is up to par. Be sure to be thorough in your safety checks. Preventing accidents and providing safety measures against disaster will make for happy and cautious tenants on your property. The last thing you want is someone getting hurt by something that could have been prevented.

Consider Added Insurances

While your home may already be protected by homeowners insurance consider looking into other options. Protecting your home against unforeseen circumstances is a wise idea. Most insurance agencies offer added landlord insurances for your protection. If you are not familiar or need further advice, our residential property management agency can lead you in the right direction.

Contact Our Residential Property Management Team Today

While you may have a bit of work to do moving out of your house, we can take care of the rest. With our residential property management services you can be sure that everything will be handled in a professional and effective manner. From marketing to lease management, we handle it all. Contact Vision Realty today.

Do’s and Don’ts of Searching for Homes for Rent

FOR RENT graphic with a floor and roof over the wordsSearching through homes for rent can be a long drawn out process if not conducted properly. If you don’t have experience in finding a rental home you may be looking in the wrong places or missing out on a huge portion of the market. At Vision Realty we have a few tips for you to get the most out of your search.

Be Weary of Homes for Rent Listed by Owners

Renting from a private owner should not be slashed off your list solely on principal. However, you should know what you are getting into before hand. When you are given a tour of the home you need to be on your toes and ask lots of questions. You will want to know how quickly repairs will be conducted, what is the policy for the landlord entering the property and what the policy states concerning getting the deposit returned. All of these questions should be answered up front and be listed in writing on your contract. If you are going to sign a contract with a private lister you need to read it over carefully. Anything that is not listed in writing will be up to the landlord to decide how to handle. These loose ends can end up as trouble later on down the line.

Get Everything in Writing

Whether you are renting from a property management company or a private lister having a thorough contract is vital. You don’t want to be left frustrated when a repair takes to long or the landlord shows up and walks in unannounced. You can protect your rights as a renter by reading and being away of the details of your contract.

Bring the Necessary Paperwork

If you are competing with other renters for the same homes for rent you want to be sure to be prepared. If you come with all the paperwork ready to go, the landlord or property manager may be more inclined to cater to you. The proper paperwork includes a completed application, written references with contact info, and your current credit score. It is best to have all of these items ready from the start of your homes for rent search.

Contact Our Rental Management Team Today

If you are looking for a rental home in El Paso Vision Realty is a great place to start. We have a wide variety of houses on the rental market in several areas of town. Whether you are looking to stay in a specific zip code or want to stay within a specific budget, we have something for everyone. Contact us today for more information.

2018 Technology and Marketing Trends for Better Rental Property Management

real estate concept, buy house or business propertyNowadays, it’s difficult to live completely technology-free. From our vehicles and our homes to our phones and computers, technology is a mainstay in our lives–so why shouldn’t it be a major part of the way you manage rental property? These 2018 technology and marketing trends geared toward rental property management can help you better manage your property, ensuring you and your tenants are content and satisfied and doing so with ease.

Trend #1: The Smart Locker

This trend can directly improve your actual property. With online shopping on the rise, a smart locker helps to keep your tenants’ packages safe from theft or damage. Smart lockers can be installed directly on the property or even by mailbox stands, if the mailboxes are located away from the property. This way, your tenants don’t have to go through a third party, such as having it delivered to the main office if you manage apartments, just to ensure their packages are safe.

Trend #2: Apps

Phone apps have been popular for almost ten years now, but they only continue to gain more popularity as the years go by. While the earliest apps were mostly designed for entertainment (the Kindle App, Flappy Bird, Temple Run), apps are now being designed to optimize and simplify life in other ways. For example, mobile banking apps allow people to check their balances, make payments, and deactivate their cards all from the palms of their hands. And the good news is you can use apps to simplify you and your tenants’ lives as well. There are countless apps out there that’ll allow your tenants to pay their rent from their phones, leave reviews about your property, and file a complaint should a utility or appliance stop working, making it easier for you to address the problem.

Trend #3: Mobile Marketing

While putting signs out on the street can still help you find tenants, mobile marketing is really taking the cake. You can use mobile ads, websites that are optimized for mobile devices (think Trulia and Zillow), and apps that can help you effectively market your property. So while many of the hard sell, cold calls, and billboard marketing are going out of style, mobile and online marketing are taking its place, especially as 2018 rolls around. For better rental property management, turn to your phone!

Trend #4: Video

Video is taking over the internet scene and it’s a great way for you to market your property. You can even use video on your website (if you have one) to talk about your property, best ways to care for it (for example if you have certain appliances that work a certain way), and to simply engage with your tenants, giving them advice about certain things just in case you’re not available when they need it. Either way, using videos gives you the opportunity to give your tenants a face to your name, especially if you have tenants come and go frequently and manage a great deal of property.

With technology advancing the way it is, it’s important to take advantage of it so you can simplify the way you handle rental property management. Managing property can be tricky to handle. If you have a lot on your plate and need someone to help you out, Vision Realty can help. We’re trained in helping you on all aspects of the rental property management playing field and with an eye toward the future of property management and technology, we stay on top of the game. Call us today to learn more about our services!

How to Find the Perfect Home When You Rent

There are many reasons why you may be looking at homes for rent instead of homes for sale. Perhaps you are a military family, or maybe you don’t want to be tied down with a mortgage. Renting certainly offers more mobility and wiggle room than the absolute certainty that buying a house brings. Many people believe that renting a home means compromising what you want in a home, but that is not necessarily true. There are many ways to choose a rental home so that you are always happy with the place you are living in. Here’s how.

First, Budget Out Your Expenses

Just like when you buy a home, the first thing you have to do is look at your finances. What can you realistically afford? Most real estate agents will tell you not to spend more than 30% of your income on you rent, so you have to really hunker down and look at the numbers. How much do you need for groceries, bills, utilities, debt payment, etc.? This way, when you do start your search in earnest, you can be sure to look at houses within you budget.

Second, Figure Out What You Want

What features are you looking for? How many bedrooms? These are all things you have to consider when looking for you home. Some common features you may want to look for are:

  • Backyard
  • Pet Friendly
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Fireplaces
  • Bathrooms- do you want a tub or full shower?
  • Are you looking for a two story or a one story?

These are just some of the things you have to think about as you go through your search. Remember, this a home you are going to be living in for the foreseeable future, so ending up in a home you don’t like shouldn’t happen just because you are renting. You deserve to be happy in you home, so take the time to ask these questions to get exactly what you want. 

Figure Out Your Location

When you are getting ready to make the final choice, a good way to narrow it down is to map out your day. If you are unfamiliar with the city, take the time to go and drive around the neighborhoods you are considering. Check out the schools if you have kids. Time how long it takes you to go to work- these details may seem minor, but it can really make a difference.

Get the Help You Need at Vision Realty

At Vision Realty, our agents are committed to helping you find the right home. We have many listings for homes for rent, and we are confident we can help you find the right one. Our agents know El Paso and know how to work with each client’s unique needs and situations. El Paso is a huge military town, so we know how to work with military families as well. Don’t settle for any rental home just because you are stressed or overwhelmed with the selection. Let our agents take it from here- contact us today to get started!  

Fixing Up Your Rentals After Messy Tenants

couple cleaning house as they move out of a rentalEven with tenant screenings, background checks, and interviews, the tenants living in our rentals can still be unpredictable–including their cleaning habits. So when they move out and they leave a big mess behind, you may have a huge, deep cleaning job on your hands. These tips from Vision Realty can help you clean up the mess in no time. That way, you can find new tenants as soon as possible.

Declutter and Donate

If they left any items behind, it’s a good time to dispose of them properly. If they look like trash and serve no useful purpose, they most likely belong in the trash or the recycling. If someone somewhere could use them, you can donate the items to Goodwill, a homeless shelter, or a nonprofit. That way, these items can be made good use of.

Clean the Carpets and Floors

It’s one of the first things potential tenants notice and one of the of the largest things you should clean. Deep cleaning the carpets, tile, and wood floors should be high up on your list of must-do’s. Not only can it make the rentals fresher and cleaner, it can also help to remove stains, bacteria, and evidence of a previous tenant–which is usually preferred by potential tenants.

Scrub the Walls, Windowsills, and Door Frames

You never know where dirt and grime will end up in a home, and often people neglect to clean the walls, windowsills, and door frames because of it. If you want to really to make sure your rentals are thoroughly spotless, ensure these areas of the unit are clean. That way, when potential tenants stop by to take a look, they won’t be able to find any dirty part of your rental homes. b

Hire the Professionals

Unless you want to get down and dirty in your rental homes, hiring professionals is the way to go to ensure everything is spotless and clean. Plus, this way, you can ensure that every nook and cranny of your rental homes will be spotless, making a great first impression with every tenant who stops by to take a look.

Vision Realty Can Help!

When you work with us here at Vision Realty, you can trust that you’ll find quality tenants and will have the resources available to help you properly clean out your rental homes once your tenants move out. Call us today for more information!

A Guide to Protecting Your Rental Home from Spills, Broken Windows, Scuffs, and More!

Father holding box while his son is sitting on the stairs, also holding a box, of their new rental home

No matter if you’re renting an apartment, duplex, trailer, or home, there’s usually one thing you have to fork over before you move in: the security deposit. The security deposit ensures that the owner of the property is compensated should you cause any damage while living there. If your home is unscathed once you move out, you should receive a portion, if not all, of your security deposit back. Security deposits can be quite hefty, so wouldn’t it nice to get it back once you move out? This guide can help you do just that.

Before Moving In

There are a few things you can do before moving into your home that can help you get your security deposit back. First, it’s important to notify your landlord of any serious issues or damages your home may already have, especially issues with your plumbing system, HVAC system, or roof. This way, these can be handled right away and they won’t be something you’ll have to worry about down the line after you move in. Also, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your home before you move in. So if there are already chips in the paint or scuffs on the floor, you have it documented and won’t have to pay for it after you leave.

Protecting Your Rental Home From Life’s Mishaps

While property managers don’t expect you to be robots who never make mistakes or have accidents while living in their homes, they do hope the home is well taken care of. Since we’re only human, this can be hard to do, especially with kids or pets. Here are a few things you can do should an accident occur.

Carpet Stains

Whether you spill a glass of wine on white carpet or your pet has an accident, there are many ways you can get the stain out.

  • Removing Wine and Juice Stains These kinds of stains are consider water soluble stains and can be cleaned by mixing ammonia and one cup of water and applying it to the carpet. This works on all kinds of carpet materials except for wool and wool blend.
  • Handling Pet AccidentsUrine can be removed using white vinegar and water. After soaking up the mess with a towel, you can apply the vinegar-water solution. Once that is done, apply a solution of mild, non-bleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water and that should do the trick.
  • Nail PolishThis one is tricky. Many people opt to pour nail polish remover directly on the stain, but that is something you don’t want to do since it can bleach your carpet. While nail polish remover can get the stain out, your best bet is to damp a rag with it and blot to avoid bleaching.
  • GumGum can be a pain to remove since it is so sticky. First, you want to ice it until it is hard. Once it’s hard, shatter it with a hard object, like a spoon. Before the gum softens again, vacuum it up.

Accidents happen, but with these techniques, your carpets will be as good as new when you move out.

Scuffs, Chips, and Scratches

Virtually every part of your home is prone to scuffs, chips, and scratches, whether it’s the paint on your walls or your wood floors. Here’s how you can fix them:

  • PaintIf your paint was damaged from nails, you can sand it and use caulk to fill the hole.
  • Wood FloorsTo clean scuffs and scratches on wooden floors, first use a soft cloth and hardwood cleaner to clean the area. Once you’ve done this, wipe the area with another cloth and water until the mark is gone. To protect your wood, finish off with a sealant or protective gloss.
  • TileIf you have minor scratches on your tile, wiping brass cleaner with a lint-free cloth can do the trick. If the tile was damaged and can’t be buffed, it should be replaced.
  • Granite CountertopsIf your rental home has granite countertops, you can fix scratches with polishing paste and steel wool. If the counter is chipped, it can be fixed with granite epoxy resin and a razor blade. If it’s badly chipped, it may be in your best interest to hire professional help.

Alternatives to Nails and Screws

Nails and screws can badly damage your walls and paint. Some alternatives you can use to hang up paintings, pictures, and cork boards include:

  • Picture Hanging Strips
  • Monkey or Hurricane Hooks
  • Poster Putty
  • Picture Rail Hooks

If you’re looking to hang shelves or something heavy, don’t risk it. Go ahead and use nails and screws. You don’t want to risk the items falling from the wall and potentially damaging the wall or the floor.

Handling Pet Mishaps

If the property manager of your rental home allows pets, you may have to handle pet mishaps every now and then. This can include carpet stains, scratched floors, and holes in your backyard. If your dog likes to dig holes, it’s best to fill them and keep them from digging more right away since it can damage your lawn or garden.

If your pets have specific spots in the carpet they tend to go on, try covering the area with tin foil or a plastic covering to ward them off. Pets are awesome, but sometimes they do things that get under our skin. Luckily, these tips can help to protect your rental home from pet damage.

Plumbing, HVAC, and Roofing Troubles

Your best bet for handling problems with your plumbing system, roof, or HVAC is to let the pros handle it. Oftentimes, when people attempt to handle these problems on their own, they only make things worse. Professional plumbers, roofers, and HVAC technicians are specifically trained to handle these kinds of problems and will be able to help you should a problem arise.

On Moving Day

When the day comes that you decide to move out, there are a few things you can do to ensure your home is in tip-top shape. A few of these things include:

  • Cleaning your house before leaving, especially the kitchen and the living room.
  • Using ice to get rid of the creases in your carpet. To do this, place ice cubes over the creases and wait for them to melt. Once they have, smooth out the creases with a spoon.
  • Take photos of the house once you’ve moved out. This way you have documented proof of how the house looked when you left.
  • If there are any issues that the owner is responsible for taking care of (roofing, etc.), be sure to notify them as well.

Your Home Sweet Rental Home

Taking care of your rental home is the best way to get your security deposit back. Not only that, you and your property manager won’t have to worry about having to make hefty repairs once you move out. These tips can help you make your rental home your home sweet home and keep it that way!

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