So you’ve got the apartment, what are you going to put in it? Are you going to venture into your grandmother’s basement to find that dusty, 1920’s armoire? Maybe your old beer-stained college couch? Probably not. How can you fill your new place without breaking the bank? We’ve got you covered.
If you plan on buying furniture, it’s best to know where to look and what to look for.
Look for sales and consider using a credit card that offers free extended warranty options on furniture. Ask to purchase the floor model as these are often considerably cheaper. Shop at second hand stores, flea markets, and yard sales to find a good deal.
(Check college campuses for leftover furniture. As semesters start and end there will always be excess furniture. Make sure to clean it first, though)
If your more of a “Do it Yourself” person, you can repurpose old furniture or even build your own. Cleaning, sanding, and adding a fresh coat of paint will have any of your old furniture looking like new. Get milk crates and fruit boxes from supermarkets to convert into shelves. Old tables can be repurposed to be used as desks.
The key to maintaining a profitable rental unit can often time come down to maintaining and upgrading wisely. While some in-unit changes likely aren’t worth the money, many are. Often times, investing more initially will pay off over the long run. Here is a list of recommended changes and best practices that won’t break the bank over the long run. These changes will allow any landlord to keep the rent high and ensure less tenant turnover.
Focus on curb appeal.
- Changes include landscaping, power washing, and repainting the exterior. This can be particularly helpful when it comes time to place a new tenant in your unit.
Upgrade the appliances.
- This is a purchase that should be viewed as an investment, as band-aiding problems can be expensive long-term, cause tenant dissatisfaction and become a headache for you, the property owner.
Add backsplashes in the kitchen.
- This is a cheap addition that will light up any kitchen and provide a quality feel to the room.
Wash carpets instead of always replacing.
- A professional carpet cleaner can make even the dingiest of carpets appear brand new. Give this a show before choosing to replace immediately.
Invest in high-quality fixtures.
- Not only will this provide your tenant with a more polished look, the investment will pay off in the long run as less maintenance/replacement will be required. Band-aiding issues will most likely become more expensive in the long run.
Install new shutters or curtains.
- Old shutters and curtains can make even the nicest of units appear worn and dated. Consider newer, more modern options to get the most out of your unit.
Keep it clean!
- Perhaps the most important item on any landlord’s list is often the most overlooked. Always thoroughly clean between tenants to ensure your unit does not wear prematurely. It is recommended that a professional deep clean be done between each tenant.
Boston 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.