Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Green Building Practices Stymied by Industry Politics

An agreement between some of the country's top homebuilders has slowed the progress of green building practices, a new report from the New York Times reveals. Building codes intended to promote more sustainable building techniques and materials have passed in many areas, but a group of industry leaders has blocked them from becoming widely-enacted. The secret deal will help offset costs for builders but may ultimately have a high price tag for the planet. 

While we may not be able to control the choices of homebuilders, we can enact greener policies of our own. Last year, Scott Safadi was recognized by the Mayor of San Mateo for Cal Bay Property Management's energy upgrade efforts. More efficient appliances and apartment units can save tenants money in the short-term and help reduce the overall carbon footprint our lifestyles have on the Earth long-term.

By doing our part to live more sustainably, we can ensure the health of our planet for generations to come. How do you plan to incorporate Earth-friendly practices into your daily life?

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Interior Design Ideas for Fall

Now that summer is officially in the rearview, the fall fun can begin. Sipping apple cider by a bonfire isn't the only way to enjoy the autumnal vibes, though. Create the perfect fall feeling in your rental home or apartment with these interior design ideas. They're versatile enough to keep your place looking stunning year-round! 

Mixed Patterns

Matching your curtains to your carpet and your couch is so 1985. For a more modern feel, consider mixing patterns. You'd be surprised at how chic a floral print pillow can look next to a plaid throw blanket. The best part? You can swap out prints and fabrics without completing starting from scratch on a new concept for the room.

Peachy Tones

Dusty pink has been having a moment for the last several years. Light without being overtly feminine, the neutral tone has serious staying power. Not sure you want to swap out your white walls for pink hues quite yet? Consider pairing the shade with classic fall colors like gold, burgundy, or bronze. 

The Great Indoors

Fall is all about coziness. For a quick seasonal decor update that doesn't break the bank, find a few new candles to add atmosphere to your home. Bonus points if they smell like pumpkin, apples, or pie!

-- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

New Law Ties CA Rent Prices to Inflation

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new resolution into law on Tuesday that may have long-term impacts on California rental market. The bill limits annual rent increases to five percent plus the cost of inflation. Advocates of the law saw the new law will help protect tenant rights and counterbalance rental prices that have skyrocketed for years. Opponents, on the other hand, say the rent cap could hurt supply in a market that's already short on housing.  Wherever you come down on the law, it's likely to have a significant impact on the way rentals are managed over the next few years. 

Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management urges landlords not to make any rash decisions. It's true that many San Francisco landlords opted to covert their units into owner-occupied spaces when rent control was first put in place there. Demand, however, remains high throughout the Bay Area, giving owners the chance to cherrypick their ideal tenants.

The true impact of this new law can't be predicted. So long as area colleges keep turning out new graduates and Silicon Valley tech companies keep creating jobs, though, the housing shortage will continue to be a challenge for renters. There's one thing most Californian's can agree upon: more housing is needed across the state. 

This law may directly impact property owners' strategies for rent increases moving forward. Cal Bay Property Management can help landlords understand their property's context in the overall market and how to employ rent increases in the wake of the new law.

-- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Signs You Should You Hire a Property Manager

The choice to become a landlord is an easy one at first. After all, investment properties are only worthwhile if they're being leased! As you take on more and more tenants, however, the part-time investment of your time can become more demanding. If you're debating whether or not you should hire a property manager, Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends looking for these signs:

You Spend Your Nights and Weekends on Landlord Duty

Many property owners turned landlords underestimate the demands that tenants can have on their time. Even when HVAC systems are functioning properly and the plumber doesn't need calling, tenants will still reach out for help. It's exhausting being constantly on-call. A property manager could take these duties off your plate.

You Struggle to Fill Vacant Units

Marketing a property is challenging and time-consuming. Posting flyers and ads on Craigslist will help, but for stubborn vacancies you can't seem to fill, you'll want to call in the experts for support. A property manager can help you target your ideal kind of tenant and ensure your marketing efforts are going to waste.

You're Not Sure You're Following Housing Laws

There's no college major for becoming a landlord - most people just fall into the role. Unless you're a lawyer, you're probably not well-versed in the rules and guidelines that surround the Fair Housing Act. If you're worried you might not be following these laws, it may be time to bring in a property manager for support.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

More Dormitory-Style Housing Coming to Bay Area

Many people look back on their college days with fondness, but most would never trade their comfortable lifestyle for dorm life. The excitement of living on your own for the first time wears off quickly, which is why so many students opt to move off-campus after their first few years of living in dorms. The latest trend in Bay Area housing embraces the best parts of dorm life but fails to address many of the most challenging parts of renting by the bed.

The Grad San Jose isn't the first dormitory-style apartment community, but it's certainly one of the newest. They seek to rent to both students and non-students, making for a potentially quirky mix. The Grad plans to rent out space by the bed for 50-week leasing periods. The suites come fully furnished and include utilities and internet. 

While this kind of leasing style may appeal to some renters, most people want privacy above all else says Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management. Such a community is ideal for students and young people seeking connections with others, but many people would find the lack of personal space unappealing. Given the way the Bay Area and Silicon Valley attract young people, though, it's easy to see why dorm-style housing continues to grow in popularity. 

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tips for Attracting College Student Tenants 

Since the days of Animal House, college students have struggled to find off-campus housing. Their collective reputation as party animals has limited the options for countless college kids over the years. While it's true that some students are indeed rowdy and prone to throwing parties, most are simply looking for a place to study and sleep when not in class. 

If you've been considering renting to college students but aren't sure where to begin, Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management has some advice. Use these tips to attract college renters the next time you have trouble filling a vacancy:

Go Where the Students Are
Before you post your listing just anywhere, consider your audience. If you're specifically hoping to target college renters, consider going old-school and hanging a few flyers on campus bulletin boards. While it's true that Gen Z students are more tech-savvy than any other generation before, a simple flyer can attract more eyes than a paid ad on Facebook might. 

Offer Roommate Matching
College students are notoriously broke. Most can't shoulder the financial burden of an entire apartment on their own. Consider offering a roommate matching service for those who are interested. While many property owners are hesitant to begin such a service, it can mean moving new tenants in more quickly.

Include Furniture in Your Rental
Most students don't have furniture, nor do they want to invest in pieces at such a transient period in their lives. Too often, furniture is the only thing stopping a student from moving off-campus. Solve this problem for your future tenants by offering furnished rentals. While the initial investment might seem steep, you'll see the furniture pay for itself in no time.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Could Backyard Apartment Homes Solve San Jose's Housing Shortage?

Mother-in-law suites and poolhouses are nothing new. California homeowners have been leasing out these spaces for decades, putting unused space to good use for tenants in need of a small place to call their own. Now, a new company wants to help bring more of these rental homes to the properties of San Jose residents.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Abodu, a residential construction company based in the Bay Area, has secured the first pre-approval for San Jose's new program encouraging the construction of backyard apartments. The company offers a 500 square foot, one-bedroom living concept for homeowners interested in becoming landlords. 

The base price for these auxiliary dwelling units isn't exactly chump change. Starting at $199,000, the homes will be constructed off-site and come with a 10-year warranty. Though these structures are unlikely to fix the larger housing shortage in San Jose, it could bring solo renters relief. 

Of course, becoming a landlord isn't something to embark upon casually. Convenient construction projects are just the beginning. Ongoing maintenance, tenant screening, leasing, and other challenges await new San Jose landlords. If you're considering renting out space on your property, you may want to reach out to the team at Cal Bay Property Management. Fully explore your options before committing to a year-long experiment!

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management


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