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Is It Time to Invest in a New Vacation Rental Property?

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This week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates a quarter of a percent. Despite the minor increase, it’s still a great time to buy a home for first-time shoppers or a new home for those looking to move or add investment properties.

California’s real estate market is doing well overall and homes that go on the market sell incredibly fast. In fact, in some areas, homes are selling in as little as 18 days on the market! Now that’s some fast turnaround.

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Let’s Talk Mortgages

According to a report from the first tuesday Journal, a California real estate reporting journal, the average fixed mortgage rate in May 2018 was up by just 1.12% (4.43%) from its lowest point over the last 30 years (3.31% in December 2012). For comparison, the highest average fixed rate over the last 30 years was an astounding 9.62% in January 1991. Though average rates have fluctuated significantly over the last 3 decades, the current numbers are still promising and offer a positive outlook for those interested in purchasing real estate in California.

All in all, things aren’t “bad” in the Golden State.

Reasons to Invest in a New Vacation Rental

If you’ve ever considered purchasing additional real estate as an investment, now might be a great time. Despite the Fed raising rates across the board, California averages are nothing to scoff at.

As they say, “There’s no better time than the present.”

Rates will likely continue to rise steadily over the next several quarters, meaning you’ll save a little more money on your investment if you can get in now.

Here are a few other reasons why taking the plunge and adding another vacation rental might be a wise investment:

 

  • You’re spending money to make money. If you’re really serious about making your vacation rental business an actual business and taking things beyond just a side gig, adding another property could potentially bring in significantly more income. LA is still very much a hot vacation spot; it all depends on where your new place would be located in town.

 

 

  • Property taxes may not be as bad as expected. Thanks to the most recent tax overhaul from Washington, D.C., the federal government will cap property tax deductions on returns filed for 2018 and beyond at $10,000. That doesn’t go very far in California and state politicians have been working to do something about it. In January, California state Senator Kevin de León spearheaded a bill that would allow taxpayers to donate money to the state in exchange for a lower tax bill. Senator de León isn’t the only one working on a solution: Assemblywoman Autumn Burke is working forward a similar solution, too.

 

 

 

 

  • You don’t have to spend a fortune. There’s something out there for every price point. You don’t need to invest in a huge, multi-bedroom home. Consider looking for a small place with enough room to host 1-3 people. If you can afford a bigger place, great. If not, stick to your budget. There will still be guests looking for what you’re offering.

 

Is it time to invest?

Ready to start shopping?! It’s all very exciting, but be sure to think things through before jumping into local real estate listings.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you’re considering buying an investment property:

 

 

  • What can you put toward a down payment? These days, having a down payment is key. Lenders are less likely to offer money to cover this expense.
  • How will you manage both (or all, if you already have more than one vacation rental) of your listings efficiently? Will you enlist the help of a vacation rental management company? Will this be your new full-time job? The logistics are important.
  • Can you charge enough each night to cover your new mortgage payment each month? It’s important to do your research and have a good idea of the going average nightly rate and whether you can charge as much or more based on your home furnishings, location, and so on.

 

 

 

There’s a lot to consider when thinking about adding real estate to your investment plan. However, it has the potential to be lucrative long-term and worth the expense.

 

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How Often Do You Need to Replace Linens in an Airbnb?

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Being a vacation rental host requires a lot of attention to detail. To ensure you get great reviews from your guests, it’s up to you to ensure your place is looking just like it does in your listing photos.

Part of maintaining a stellar vacation rental is discerning when it’s time to replace linens and other things in your Airbnb. From sheets and towels to the carpeting, everything has to be considered.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the things you should be prepared to replace and when you should be doing it.

Linens

Your linens really go through the ringer if you stop and think about it. Depending on how busy your vacation rental gets, they get used A LOT and then get washed after every guest has checked out. That’s likely more wear-and-tear than what you put your own linens through at home. Before you know it, your vacation rental sheets and towels can start to look a little ratty….especially if/when your guests use the towels to clean up spills or makeup – ahhhh!

All that being said, it’s wise to replace your sheets and bath towels with some regularity. Here are some recommend timeframes:

 

  • Sheets: If you’ve got a high occupancy rate year-round, aim to replace your sheets every 6-12 months at least. If you’re not booked as frequently, once a year should do it. Obviously, if you find any kind of ripping or tears or if stains pop up on your sheets, toss them out immediately and replace them.
  • Pillows: Pillows can be washed but even the best washing machine can’t rid them entirely of loose dead skin cells and germs that accumulate over time. The best option is to replace the bed pillows at least every 6 months.
  • Bath Towels: It doesn’t take long for bath towels to start looking worn out. Again, depending on how consistently you’re booked throughout the year, aim to change these out every 3-6 months. This is especially important if you provide white or light-colored towels as they’ll show signs of wear faster than darker towels.
  • Hand Towels: Stock up on hand towels. These take a real beating and should be replaced at least when you replace your bath towels. It’s smart to buy extra hand towels when you buy your bath towels so you’ve got a few on hand if you should ever need them.
  • Kitchen Towels: If you choose to provide kitchen or tea towels to your guests in addition to paper towels, plan to replace these every 6-12 months. Unlike your other linens, kitchen towels may not get used as much; it all depends on how regularly your guests cook. Check these often and look out for signs of wear or stains. These are the least expensive and, arguably, the easiest linens to replace, so don’t dilly-dally!

 

 

When replacing linens, don’t be tempted to take the cheap route. Consider this an investment in your business and purchase at least mid-range sheets and towels for your guests. If you enjoy the hunt, check out discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Stein Mart. If you’d prefer to skip what can sometimes turn into a wild goose chase, the Threshold or Fieldcrest brands from Target or this option from Amazon* also a good bet.

You certainly don’t need to purchase top-of-the-line linens, but be sure to consider quality over price when you shop… After all, the goal is to limit headaches AND get you that 5-star review!

Appliances and Home Mechanical Necessities

Chances are, your major appliances and home mechanical systems (like your HVAC) don’t get much use if you’re renting out your entire home. The washing machine, dishwasher, and kitchen appliances likely don’t see much use until your guests check out and your thermostat runs consistently without much thought. Thankfully, that probably means they’re in fairly good shape and you won’t need to replace anything anytime soon.

If you rent a room and live in your home full-time, you’re operating things often enough that you have a leg up in this department: You can spot things before anyone else does. If this doesn’t apply to you, however, you must remain vigilant!

Unlike linens that should be carefully monitored and replaced at the first signs of overuse, appliances are harder to plan ahead for. We simply expect these machines to function properly until the day… well, the day they don’t.

It would be silly for us to suggest you to sit in front of your dishwasher or washing machine and watch for glitches or sit idly and wait for the thermostat to act strangely. However, keep a watchful eye on these things anytime you do a walk-through of your vacation rental.

It’s smart to ask your guests to report anything that seems “off” if they operate any of your appliances but it’s even better if you can catch wind of trouble before your guests see it.

If you don’t visit your vacation rental often, ask your cleaning team or management company to let you know if they notice anything operating oddly when they conduct turnover cleanings or walk-throughs. They are your best reporters.

Carpets

Carpet is a lasting floor covering and doesn’t need replacing often. That’s probably a relief, considering how expensive it can be to make a flooring change.

The frustrating thing about carpet is that it doesn’t wear evenly. Heavier traffic areas like the living room, hallways, and bedroom doorways show their age more rapidly; the aging pace increases if shoes are worn inside the house or if you have or allow your guests to bring pets.

Generally speaking, carpet should last anywhere from 7-10 years after it’s been installed. With proper care, you could get as many as 15 years out of it.

To avoid the need to replace carpet before its average shelf life, here are a few tips for keeping it looking as new as possible:

 

  • Invest in doormats. Doormats at the front entrance and any other doors leading outside with greatly decrease the amount of dirt and dust carried into your vacation rental from your guests’ shoes. This is your best first line of defense.
  • Vacuum often. Some sources will suggest you vacuum every day while others will recommend once or twice a week. Daily vacuuming in a vacation rental is likely next to impossible – you certainly shouldn’t ask your guests to do it! However, be sure to run the vacuum after every checkout. If your guests are staying long-term, offer them basic maid services weekly or bi-weekly to ensure your carpet is getting the care it needs.
  • Shampoo or steam your carpets. With so many people coming and going, you’ll want to shampoo your carpets or hire a professional to clean them more often than the average homeowner. Don’t wait for things to start looking dingy or because you need to work on a stubborn stain. Aim to deep steam clean your carpet every 6-12 months. Resist the urge to overdo things, though. Too much of a good thing can be damaging. Hint: just ask MaidThis to arrange this for you during a turnover cleaning…..we have a partner company who can totally help with steam cleaning. 🙂

 

To know when it’s time to recarpet your place, look out for visible signs of wear through main walkways. When a deep cleaning doesn’t do much to revitalize it, it may be time to go shopping.

 

Ensuring your guests are happy should start before they even arrive for check-in. By keeping a watchful eye on your place and replacing or revitalizing things before they show they need it, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and referrals.

 

*This is not an affiliate link.

 

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How to Find a Cleaning Lady?

So you’ve finally made up your mind to make your life easier with top-notch cleaning service in Playa Vista or anywhere else in LA & Orange County. Apart from finding out how much it’s going to cost you, you’ll also want to know how to find a cleaning lady that you can trust and rely on to truly make a difference in your household.

That’s where we come in, as we’re here to help you find what you need and stick to your choice for many happy chore-free years to come.

Ask around

What is likely your very first instinct when it comes to how-tos, including how to find a cleaning lady, is tapping your network of friends and family for advice and referrals. The easiest thing is to look for honest recommendations from people you know and trust.

If that doesn’t work, by all means continue the search online, but look for comments of your prospective fellow-users and what they had to say about cleaning services in your area. Whether good or bad, these reviews are likely to be honest, and the people leaving them might even refer to their favorite cleaning ladies by name.

If at all possible, get in touch with these people and ask them things along the lines of:

  • Which cleaning lady would they recommend and why (or cleaning service)?
  • How thorough is the work they do?
  • What chores are included in the work scope?
  • Was there anything they’d like to change or did they have suggestions for improvement?

Once you gather more information about this person or service, you’ll know what you can expect and whether it meets your criteria. As with all other people in your life, communication is key. You want to be straightforward from the get-go and communicate to your cleaning lady as clearly as possible what you want and do not want. If you establish open communication from the start, you’ll have a better chance at avoiding any misunderstandings in the future.

Check their background

When it comes to inviting strangers into your home, it’s only natural to be a little bit skeptical about how much you can actually trust someone. For this reason, you’ll want to obtain solid references about your future cleaning lady from the company as a kind of guarantee, just to put your mind at rest.

Ask to see a sneak-preview

The trick is knowing how to find a cleaning lady who will live up to your standards, and just reading or hearing about it might be insufficient. To get a glimpse of what your prospective cleaning lady can do for you and your home, ask the company for pictures of the results of her typical day’s work.

Wondering how to find a cleaning lady? Wonder no more!

With MaidThis!, you can rest assured that you’ll be welcoming a dependable professional with an impressive work ethic into your home. We deliver our services with a smile, all the while respecting your privacy. Besides, we offer affordable rates and a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Call us today and pick a cleaning lady who will do wonders for your household!

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My wife and I are thrilled how easy everything is with MaidThis, and now I’m a customer for life! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding your own cleaner, definitely try MaidThis
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I work a full-time job and I have a small kids at home, so by the time I get home the LAST thing I want to do is clean. If you need to save time, I recommend going through MaidThis. Their customer system was amazing.
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How Much do Home Cleaning Services Cost in Playa Vista?

How much do cleaning services cost in Playa VistaPerhaps you’ve been daydreaming about spoiling yourself with some time off from household chores and splurging on maid service Playa Vista (or anywhere else in LA and Orange County) but figured you couldn’t afford it. Maybe you even dreaded asking how much do home cleaning services cost. The good news is that finding some professional help around the house needn’t cost an arm and a leg. Besides, you can always find the plan that caters to your needs and fits your budget.

Does the size of my home affect the price?

It does, but it’s only reasonable – the bigger the house, the more to clean. Still, the prices rise proportionately. For instance, the difference between the rate for a studio apartment and a three-bedroom home is surprisingly small.

How often do you want the cleaning done?

The answer to the first question – how much do home cleaning services cost – requires more information, namely, how often do you want them done? A reasonable choice is to have it done twice a month, but you can opt for weekly, monthly or one-time cleaning.

Which services are typically charged extra?

Deep cleaning is the priciest option, but sometimes there’s just no other choice. Still, not having to do it yourself is reward enough. Besides, deep cleaning is required only once in a while.

For regular maintenance, the standard package will do. It includes the much-appreciated help around the house and leaves you with only a handful of cleaning chores.

A full-on service, on the other hand, costs more, but it’s well worth it. After all, you can surely afford to occasionally treat yourself to a spick-and-span home, without all the work.

Are the cleaning supplies included in the price?

Yes! Any tools and cleaning supplies required for thorough cleaning come at no extra cost. This is great because you don’t have to plan ahead and purchase the supplies beforehand. You can literally schedule an appointment whenever, wherever.

How much do home cleaning services cost in general?

It depends largely on what you want you expect to get and how extensive the work you want to see done. If you want someone to do all the housework for you, it’s going to cost you more, but you deserve to take a break and reward yourself with more free time every now and then. To better illustrate this, the price for cleaning a mid-sized home on a weekly basis is under a 100 bucks.

So, how much do home cleaning services cost? MaidThis! offers transparent pricing!

MaidThis offers flat rates without any sneaky fees or additional costs for home cleaning provided by certified cleaners in Playa Vista (and whole LA and Orange County). You’ll know exactly what you’re paying for and we’ll make sure to get the job done to your delight. Just shoot us a call and we promise we’ll cut you a great deal!

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Using the platform was super simple. I've used my cleaners five times now, and the one time I did have to reschedule it was super easy, hassle-free. It's really simple, it's easy, and they've done great job.
Gus
Los Angeles, Ca
20+

Hours
Saved

My wife and I are thrilled how easy everything is with MaidThis, and now I’m a customer for life! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding your own cleaner, definitely try MaidThis
Jordan
Redondo Beach, Ca
25+

Hours
Saved

I work a full-time job and I have a small kids at home, so by the time I get home the LAST thing I want to do is clean. If you need to save time, I recommend going through MaidThis. Their customer system was amazing.
Suzy
Los Angeles, Ca
70+

Hours
Saved