Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preparing Your Property for Winter Storms

If your rental properties are in cold-weather states, you could be in for a rough winter.Preparing a rental for winter storm season is an important part of maintaining your investment. Here’s how to limit the damage a storm can do:
  • Trim dead tree branches and limbs: Snow, wind and ice can bring down branches, damaging property or causing injuries. They can also take power lines with them, which is even more dangerous.
  • Clean gutters: If gutters are filled with leaves and debris, snow and ice can build up, causing damages to the roof an eaves, and eventually harming walls and ceilings.
  • Check chimney flues: In units with working fireplaces, it’s important to have an annual inspection by a qualified professional. Creosote buildup can cause fires.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Need help moving? Here are some tips!

If you're thinking about moving, be ready for a much more complicated process than just packing up a few things. In fact, moving is typically an expensive and time-consuming process. To help you better understand all the items involved with a successful move, we've noted some of the most important points you should keep in mind before you commit to a new place:

Moving Expenses
Moving is generally more expensive than you may believe. You're going to need to pay for the move — whether you hire professional movers or a rental truck and friends — get your funds ready for a new security deposit, lose some of your existing deposit, terminate and establish new utility services, and handle all other related costs. Not to mention all the time you'll need to pack up your possessions and clean the apartment. You may also have to take time off work, as moves rarely go as smoothly as planned. Then, once you are moved in, you'll likely have to take more time off work or spend time after work to unpack all your stuff and settle in, which could cost you even more money.

Monday, January 9, 2012

MK Asset Management Welcomes Strawberry 1 Condominiums!

MK Asset Property Management is proud to announce its newly formed relationship with Strawberry 1 Condominiums, a 156 unit condominium association located in North Chicago, Illinois. The addition of Strawberry 1 Condominiums concludes an outstanding year for MK Asset’s Residential Division. In 2011, the Residential Division’s customer focus and costs containment resulted in a 100% customer retention.

Lead by a team of professionals with over 30 years of experience in property and asset management, MK Asset Management is a professional and experienced third party property management company that provides management to residential, retail, industrial and small office properties in the greater Chicagoland area. Its presence in multiple asset types allows the proliferation of ideas and vendors to service different property types and benefit from the nuances of each particular management field.  For more information, please visit www.mkasset.com.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Renters Insurance Gaining Popularity in 2012

Renters insurance, a once nice-but-optional choice, is the new must-have in the booming rental market.

"Multiple trends are probably fueling this," said Raleigh Floyd, a spokesman for Allstate Insurance Co. "Apartment vacancy rates are trending downward, more apartment complexes are requiring insurance, and homeowners forced out of their homes have more stuff to insure. Former homeowners also skew older, so there is more appreciation for the need to insure their things."

"Renter's insurance is becoming increasingly more relevant to today's renter," added Sedrik Newbern, an insurance agent in Libertyville.

Although relatively inexpensive, a basic renters policy may begin at $8 to $9 a month or about $100 a year — only 43 percent of renters had insurance in 2006, according to a study by the Insurance Research Council. An Allstate study of California in 2008 found less than 40 percent were insured.

The usual explanation for such a low figure — compared with 96 percent of homeowners with personal property and liability protection — is that most renters are budget-strapped young people willing to take a risk and often misinformed about who pays when a problem arises.

"Often the traditional worker doesn't wonder what it will cost to replace their clothes so they can go to work or school if there is a fire or theft in their apartment, or the at-home designer whose laptop is stolen by a roommate," said Margolis, MK Asset Management owner.

But with the collapse of the housing market, the traditional renter demographic is changing. Today's renter is as likely to be an affluent young professional or a mature wage earner as a struggling college graduate.

Additionally, renters are living longer in apartments and aren't sure about purchasing/buying homes. They typically often have more stuff, and more expensive stuff at that, so insuring it is all the more important. At the same time, property owners and landlords are wising up and do not want to get caught in the middle of an expensive claims issue, and are offering or requiring renters insurance from their tenants.

A survey last year for The National Multi Housing Council, a national association representing the interests of larger apartment companies, indicated that 66 percent of the 45 participating companies required residents to have renters insurance in 2010. That was up from 44 percent in 2009 and was a big leap from 24 percent in 2008. The companies represented a total of 750,000 apartments.

Typically, insurance bought by an apartment landlord covers only the repairs of a building should a fire occur or if there is damage caused by a thunder storm. Property insurance, however, doesn't cover the costs of belongings damaged in those instances, even if the fire or water damaged those belongings. Those belongings are strictly the renter's responsibility, and renters insurance is the answer. Particularly, making renters insurance mandatory when signing a lease is a way for landlords to minimize their responsibility and protect themselves should there be a dispute about who is responsible for damaged or lost belongings.