Beginner’s Guide to Being a Landlord

Taking on the role of landlord is a huge undertaking. You have renters to find (and trustworthy ones at that), a property to look after, and being the go-between for the many different people involved in this process. Follow these tips to ensure that being a landlord is rewarding, rather than being a headache-inducing responsibility.

Screen tenants properly

Too often, landlords don’t screen potential tenants as thoroughly as they should, often causing mishaps further down the line. Don’t get so bogged down by other responsibilities that you forget to screen the people who will be living in your property. Look at credit scores, references, and if they have adequate employment before moving forward with an application.

Don’t short yourself

Your profit is coming from the rent, so make sure you’re charging the right amount to maximize your revenue. Look at the comps in the area, as well as accounting for any renovations you made to the space, and set the amount accordingly. You don’t want to short-change yourself, especially after the contract is signed and rent is locked into place.

Be as organized as possible

When it comes to managing a property and the tenants who live there, spreadsheets are your best friend. Keep track of important documents, make copies of everything, and stay on track with the various transactions and events that pop up throughout this process. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute if anything were to come up.

Make your guidelines clear

All of your rules and regulations should be outlined in the lease, but remember to reiterate in person. This is especially important concerning any pet restrictions, what day of the month rent is due, and what (or if) interior changes can be made to the space. Having these guidelines in writing is important, but it’s even more crucial to emphasize in person before the lease is signed.

Being a landlord can be a breeze if you follow these simple tips!

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Easy Easter Traditions

Easter is one of the most exciting holidays of the year, as it’s not only another opportunity to eat plenty of sweets, but a celebration of the coming spring season and a welcoming of warmer days ahead. Of course, no Easter celebration is complete without a little egg dying and egg hunt, but there are plenty of other festive traditions you and your family can adopt to make the holiday a memorable one.

Start an “Easter” garden.

Easter is one of the first indications that spring has arrived, and what better way to celebrate than by starting your own garden? Plenty of wonderful-smelling flowers come into bloom around March and April, like lilies and hyacinth, which are perfect additions to a garden. You could also try planting your own fruits and vegetables, too, which you’ll be able to enjoy in a few months when summer arrives!

Make Easter bread.

This colorful confection is an Italian Easter tradition that is completely manageable, so kids can help out! There are a few variations on the traditional recipe, and you should feel free to make it your own, too—so long as you don’t forget the decorative dyed eggs.

Watch one of the classic Easter movies.

Though there’s no real explanation for it, it seems that every year there are a plethora of fantastic movies on television throughout Easter weekend. The Ten Commandments is always an obvious choice, but in recent years The Sound of Music and other classic films are among the must-see programing throughout the holiday.

Host a nontraditional egg hunt.

While most people have their egg hunts during daytime hours, it’s even more fun (and challenging) to hold the egg hunt at night. Kids will have a blast searching for eggs with only the light of the moon and a flashlight to guide them. This activity may be best reserved for older kids, but younger kids will love to assist them in the search. Have fun switching up the traditional egg hunt!

Take a quirky family photo.

Taking a group shot on Easter is no new tradition, but you can turn this practice into a wacky family ritual that everyone will love to do year after year. Try throwing in some goofy costumes or props, like bunny ears, to create memorable pictures you’ll cherish.

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Set a Spark this Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or your gal pals, Valentine’s Day is all about the love. If you’re racking your brain for a non-traditional way to celebrate, grab your special someone, and cozy up by the fireplace for a night that no one will forget!

Create a welcoming ambiance.

Invite your significant other into a warm and cozy atmosphere. Lay your favorite blanket in front of the fire, dim the lights, crank up your favorite tunes, and light a couple of candles. The more tranquil, the better! With these simple touches, they’re sure to forget about Old Man Winter who is (still) knocking on the door.

Select a menu.

You can’t have a picnic without food and drinks! But one of the best parts about a picnic is that it doesn’t have to be a full meal. In fact, finger foods can not only be easier to make, but also can add a little variety to your menu. Consider your special someone’s favorite foods, and get creative! Are they a veggie-lover? Then these avocado pesto mozzarella tartines are as sophisticated as they are delicious. And, for a delicious appetizer, consider trying these steak pinwheels

While a bottle of champagne is nice, a fun cocktail can help set your picnic apart. This mint grapefruit spritzer is not only refreshing, but also easy on the eyes. As the night comes to an end, impress your special loved one with a sweet treat—truffles.

Add some special touches.

After all, it is Valentine’s Day, and the holiday isn’t complete without little pops of pink and red. Consider going all out and purchasing a bundle of colorful balloons and a bouquet of flowers to brighten up your living room. This love banner will add an extra oomph to your decorating. Simply print it out, string it together, and hang it either above the fireplace or on the mantle.

Spread the love, and put together your own Valentine’s Day picnic to make this year’s holiday the best one yet!