Renting & Buying with the “Walk Score” in Mind

1The “Walk Score” is a procedurally generated number assigned to addresses to determine their specific walkability.  The true value in this number is that the higher it is, the less likely you will need a car to comfortably live.  The “Walk Score” calculates the distances to certain amenities that most renters and buyers look for; grocery stores, public transit, nightlife, etc..  Whether you are in the market for a temporary rental or your next home, this score provides a wealth of information.

Walk Score,” an automated efficiency model, has adapted its information gathering to provide scores not only on walkability, but also transit, biking, and crime.  Taking into account all of these different metrics, walk scores range from 0 to 100.  Scores ranging from 0 – 24 dictate a car as an absolute necessity while scores 70 and above suggest that you can accomplish all errands on foot.  

The most obvious money saving benefit of the “Walk Score” is  removing most, if not all, driving from your daily routine.  Save on gas, upkeep, and maintenance, and take public transit to work.  

walkConvenience is the other major selling point of the “Walk Score.”  Easy access to amenities and recreation can make or break a neighborhood.  Higher walk scores typically translate into higher quality neighborhoods.  Pedestrian Friendliness is determined too, by analyzing population density, block length, and intersection density.

On the other side of the argument, a high “Walk Score” often results in higher prices.  In a study done by Redfin, one point of “Walk Score” was worth up to $3000.

Most websites, including RentalBeast.com, feature the score on their listings.  So before you make your next move, make sure to check the “Walk Score.”  

Advertisements

Amenities: Things to consider…

1When leasing a place to live you’re going to find varying types of amenities based on the type of property you’re leasing and the location. In the suburbs, you most likely won’t have an issue with parking, but in the more urban areas, this can be one of the most important items you look for. Are hardwood floors and a gas stove a must have? What about a big back yard or someone to collect your packages?

There are so many things to consider before making your selection. It would certainly be ideal to do that without having to spend hours researching and making phone calls to confirm the information. If only there was something out there with all that information ready for you to use…oh, wait. There is!

At Rental Beast we partner with expert Real Estate agents who then have access to the most robust, accurate, and up to date listings in your local area. These experts will be able to help you find the perfect place with all the right amenities for you.

Here’s a handy list of just a few things to think about when you get your search started. Always remember, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!

  1. Washer/Dryer hookups vs. In-unit washer/dryer
  2. Stainless steel appliances
  3. Hardwood Floors
  4. Pet specific amenities – Pet washing stations, dog runs/dog parks, on-site doggie day care, etc..
  5. Utilities included with rent
  6. Rooftop patios
  7. Mixed use
  8. Tenant Appreciation events
  9. Concierge
  10. On-site Gym

 

 

Rent Prices in Boston Causing Exodus?

2Boston has consistently been one of the most expensive cities in the United States to rent an apartment for a number of years, so it should come as no surprise that affordability is the top reason renters cited as the reason for wanting to leave the city.

Apartment List, a real estate listings site, surveyed around 24,000 tenants across the United States to find out why they chose to continue renting or pack up and move to a different city. In Boston, 81% of renters expressed interest in moving, which is much higher than the national average of 64%. The second most common reason for moving was “switching jobs” at 19%, followed by those who were “unhappy with the weather” at 11%.

One of the demographics most impacted by the city’s rent prices are the older residents. Among residents who are at least 65 years old, over 61% of singles and over 29% of couples can not afford the cost of living, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Since many of residents in this demographic can not receive public assistance, they have no choice but to move.

Rental Scams: What you need to know

We have all been on a rental hunt before; plowing through dozens of listings with little to no luck, when suddenly we find one that seems to too good to be true. Well in the fast paced, competitive, and murky waters of rental housing…it usually is.

Rental scams are found all too often on rental search sites and, with each passing season, scammers and their devious plots become more advanced and increasingly difficult to detect. Here a few notes to look for when search sites for rentals:

us-credit-card-fraud-complaints-rise.jpg

  1. Funds Up Front: Never send money or provide your credit card information before seeing the property, even if the landlord or agent says its just a holding fee or sends you to sight that seems legitimate. Take your time and make sure to see properties or have someone you trust go see properties for you.

    teen1

  2. Holy Grail:  If it seems to good to be true, it most likely is. If the rent is well below market value or the lease terms are very flexible, these are probably not due to an overly generous property owner. Run your own search for the property and make sure it does not come up for a different price or as a for sale property. Often scammers take one listing and replicate it as their own.

    trust.png

  3. Grammar and Gotcha: Emails, text messages, and other communication that includes broken English, excessive punctuation, and other grammar mistakes are often signs of scams. The use of “God bless,” “reverend,” or “doctor” can be signs of a scam as well hoping to build trust.

    1

  4. Outlook is Out: Email addresses from Outlook are 19 times more likely to be a scam than those from Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail — and those from non-United States accounts for properties in the U.S. are almost always scams.

    1.jpg

  5. Cash is Not King: If all checks out – you see the property, love it, and the price is right – never deal in cash. Always have a paper trail and pay in a way that is traceable and trackable – if you’re being pressured to give a cash deposit, it’s a red flag.

Rental Beast is helping agents, renters, and landlords alike better identify and remove scams and fake rental listings with a team of database ninjas working across the United States. Their sole job is to monitor, measure, and manager all listings the enter and are loaded into the Rental Beast database to confirm contact information, financial requirements, unit information, and showing instructions.

Agents and renters alike can be certain that active properties they find on our site are listed by actual agents and landlords with direct contact information provided. By cleaning up and managing our listings from the start, we are able to help agents and renters find their perfect rental faster and more conveniently –  as we say at Rental Beast ‘less hunt; more find.’

Recycling old buildings keeps Philly’s character intact

“Repurposed, remodeled, and revamped.”

feat_history_newsstand_old-jan16-8e0ba478These words are being used more and more in the construction boom that Philadelphia is currently experiencing. Every week there seem to be new restoration and renewal projects proposed, or announced, in what are currently just dilapidated or un-used buildings.

What has been fantastic to watch is the effort and time developers have put into keeping the character and integrity of these architectural slices of history. Structurally, Philadelphia is an extremely diverse city with tons of variant architectural elements scattered throughout its limits. Keeping this personality alive is of utmost importance for the city.

Curbed has done a fantastic job detailing the many different developments.
Some of my personal favorites are below.
Converted West Philadelphia high school in the apartments named “The West Lofts.”
west-loft-apartments-philadelphia-pa-building-photo.jpg
The Hale Building revamp which is labeled as a “Hub for creative tech companies.”
JKRP-Architects-Hale-Building-2-819x1024
The on-going plans for the Edward W. Bok Technical High School; and the incredible views from Bok Bar.
bokbar-2

Homes you can rent in the Miami area for under $2000 right now!

Rental properties are becoming the norm in almost every market across the United States. Those seeking a new home are making the decision to rent at an increasing rate; so much so that the supply is having difficulty keeping up with the demand. Though the market is expanding and catering to the renter, it can be a challenge to get a handle on the ideal price. Because of this, we’re happy to provide you with a glimpse at what under $2000 in rent will get you in one of our most popular markets! —RentalBeast.com

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 12.58.44 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-31 at 12.58.16 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-31 at 12.58.01 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-31 at 12.57.24 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-31 at 12.57.00 PM

Social Media Marketing is a must and here’s why

Social media is booming! In the real estate business, the use of social media platforms has become a sure-fire way to reach out and connect with your local market. Today, renters and home buyers expect businesses they work with to engage on social media, which is why it is important for real estate agents to make a presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Social media gives real estate agents the opportunity to brand their real estate business by creating a business page that allows them to generate interest and leads without a huge financial investment. All social media platforms can provide important social engagement that can benefit building your business in different ways. Below are a few tips to properly use social media for your real estate business.


1. Post at the Right Times – You need to be posting when your followers are actually online—not when it strikes you or you “have the time.” You also want to make sure you post consistently and frequently. One or two posts a week won’t accomplish much; you need to be posting daily. It is easy to be overwhelmed and lose momentum, but having a plan will help.


1
2. Vary your Posts – Every social media platform reaches a different audience and is made for different types of content. You want to post the proper media on each platform and use networks that align with your goals. You also want to be sharing content that is relevant to clients in your town or city. Along with property postings, mix in other content, such as neighborhood news, home maintenance, design and repair tips, and advice for renting, buying, or selling. Most experts suggest following the 80/20 rule, so for every two promotions you share, post eight pieces of informational or educational content.


tenor.gif3. Track your Growth- Many social media management sites allow you to track your growth by showing analytics and engagement, which will give more insight on what is working with your audience.

The Rental Beast Platform allows you to capitalize on social media by directly posting new and attractive listings directly to your Facebook and Twitter pages. With the largest database of listings in the DMV area you will have a leg up on your competing agents. Working with our Broker Support Team, you can learn some valuable tricks for how to strategically use social media and connect with a larger audience.