4 ways how to survive in a tenants’ market

Landlords face increased competition for long-term tenants. With short term holiday rentals being down due to covid-19 – many switched to renting their property long term. How can landlords survive in this tenants’ market?

Here are 4 tips to get landlords through this tough period in a tenants’ market.

Leasing a residential property has always been a challenge, now it got a little harder

We saw a trend in some cities where residential properties where used to rent it out to tourists. This short-term rental was far more lucrative and therefore very attractive for the owner. With that almost coming to a complete hold, we see a reverse effect as those landlords now are entering the long-term rental market.

Another difficulty we face is the social distancing rules – although they recently relaxed those rules slightly. Still, some prospective tenants are uncomfortable about entering a property and worst, if there are tenants still living at the place, they might not like any strangers entering their home at this time.

1 Adapt to new conditions

The smart landlord will do some research to recognise and adapt to these new conditions. Luckily, we can do so by doing our research online.

You may eve find an opportunity here in this challenging tenants’ market. For example, some landlords that own property near hospitals were able to rent out their places to hospitals or medical staff as those needed to stay separate from their family to don’t put them at risk.

2 Stay realistic

Don’t push the rent up to test the limit. This can cost you valuable time and money, in the end, you might only get a smaller rent anyway but maybe wasted 2 months in which you could have already earned. Make sure you are realistic and meet the market.

You may also consider to rent the property for a shorter period than the typical 12-month period. This might be more convenient for some tenants that are in an uncertain situation. Being flexible in that way can give you this little extra advantage.

3 Present your property in the best light

To present your place at its best is crucial. Some landlords or agents who take some quick photos with their cell may not take a good approach. As always, and especially now, the first impression is important. Great photos, with good light, showing a tidy property can make all the difference to stand out from other offers.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

If it is not possible to show your property at its best because it just isn’t at its best maybe now would be a good time to do some maintenance or upgrading. A little bit of paint and well-chosen decoration can make miracles.

4 Advertise on a wider market

Take advantage of online real estate platforms such as www.listproperty4free.com where you can list property ads for free.  Also, often a local classified portal can get you the right audience.

How Covid-19 affects house prices

Experts are far from agreeing how Covid-19 affects house prices. Most pros advise investors to stay calm.

There is no clear answer to the question of how the prices for residential or commercial real estate will develop as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

House Prices Forecast

The forecasts range from price drops of up to 25 percent to stable prices and even further rising rents to further price increases.

We are currently in a situation that never happened before therefore it is very difficult to predict the outcome as we cannot compare it with any other time in history. There is one thing though experts agree on which can be summed up in the following quote

“There is only one thing certain and that is that nothing is certain.”

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

House prices forecasts are for this year or a maximum of twelve months. Afterwards, the experts seem to agree, the prices tend to go up rather than down. All on the premise that the recession will be overcome by 2021 at the latest. Nobody speaks of a price bubble that could burst.

Corona would at most lead to a cycle break, meaning a temporary interruption of the general upward trend.

Real Estate is “concrete gold” – a rather safe investment

Although the price boom we saw before covid-19 would be a thing of the past, real estate seems to stay a rather safe investment compared with other ventures.

Researchers cite five factors for their forecast of short-term price declines: rising interest rates, less influx into booming cities, emergency sales due to less liquidity, for example among freelancers, fewer new buildings and less demand from investors.

The good news for home owners is that we currently have no indications of falling house prices.


Capital investors who were interested in buying an apartment before the epidemic are advised to simply pursue their plans. Residential properties still offer relatively good returns.

Conclusion

People need to live somewhere. Even if some who were planning to buy a house can’t do it anymore due to financial difficulties, they still need a place – meaning they rent a place, which in return is good for the owner as he receives the rent.

Surely, we always like to get a good bargain that’s why some buyers are hoping that the current situation will make houses more affordable.

11 years ago, we set on a quest to find the cheapest houses in the world and are surprised with what we found. So much so, that we created a website for cheap real estate. Check it out at https://www.propertyunder20k.com/

Change Orders and Cost Control-All That You Need to Know

When it comes to the completion of construction projects, change orders happen to be one of the major sources of frustration for contractors. At the same time, they have a far-reaching impact on the project scope, cost and timelines, yet it is something that cannot be avoided. However, having a proper change order management system in place enables teams to mitigate the disruptions in costs and schedules. But effective change order management remains a crucial pain point for a majority of construction companies.

Thankfully, big and small firms alike have realised the value of effective project management and cost control software solutions in construction, which have the potential to steer change management in the right direction. But before we talk about these solutions, it is vital to understand the costs associated with change orders in the first place.

Calculating the actual cost of change orders

Even before you start working on project cost control strategies in the face of change orders, it is vital to grasp their actual impact. Apart from the quantified costs, change orders also result in a significant loss of productivity. There is a lot more that exists below the surface. Let us explain the true cost of change orders as segmentation of direct, indirect and consequential costs.

Direct Costs: As the name implies, these are the costs directly influenced by the change order. Typically, this includes labour, equipment, material and other expenses related to the change. Apart from these costs, less obvious expenses such as the cost of the structure redesign, expenses of extra set up and clean up and cost of communication with engineers and crew specifically for implementing the order also come in this category.

Indirect Costs: Essentially, indirect costs include overheads. They may be a fixed or variable part of the project, based on the accounting practices followed by the business. When indirect costs are calculated as a percentage of the overall job, they tend to rise.

Consequential Costs: These are the costs associated with the timing of the change order. It is common for these orders to slow down the efficiency, which can result in consequential expenses that are hard to quantify. This can happen due to factors such as reassigning supervision, diluting labour power and more.

Cost Control with a Digital Solution

Considering the myriad of costs associated with change orders, managing them can be more challenging than you may think. Handling them manually can take a lot of work, right from budgeting for the change to tracking costs, analysing them and preparing reports that are to be passed on to the stakeholders. Apart from the complexity of the manual cost control operations, the chances of error run high when you have to record, access and process information across multiple spreadsheets. To handle such scenarios effectively, a project cost control software solution can prove beneficial as it automates the entire lifecycle and provides actionable insights to take the right steps for monitoring the change order-related costs.

Project managers should look for a holistic project management software solution that not only facilitates cost control but also encompasses other aspects such as ordering supplies, planning deliveries and scheduling labour. One that enables real-time updates in project information is a plus because it will keep the stakeholders informed about cost deviations at all stages.

About the author: The author is a construction project manager with Zepth.com and has a flair for writing as well. Since She has a rich experience in working on construction projects of diverse sizes and scales, he likes sharing them as articles on leading blogs and online platforms.

The safety features every tiny house needs

Living in a tiny house seems like the way to go nowadays. Proponents of the ‘tiny house movement’ argue that it is more economical and promotes a sense of mobility – many are built on trailers for easy transportation. Cynics argue that having to live in a small space with all of your belongings squeezed around you would quickly outweigh the positives – especially with the inevitable compromises on facilities and features taken into account.

But what about safety and security? Although you may think that having a smaller home means safety and security present a smaller challenge, this isn’t entirely true. In fact, living in a tiny house presents many of its own unique challenges! Just like any other living space, a home security system is obviously paramount – and there are other safety features that must be included too.

Whether you’re thinking of living in a tiny house yourself, you’re already the proud owner of a tiny house, or you’re simply interested in tiny houses in general, read on to find out more.

1. Trailer brakes

It is vital to have electric brakes if you are building your house on a trailer. In case your mobile home detaches from the vehicle towing it, the brakes are activated. It’s obviously an essential safety precaution to test that the brakes are working as they should before you set off on the open road.

Additionally, ensure that the trailer you select can withstand the weight load of your house, as they have different maximum load capacities. Moreover, the tow vehicle you choose should be able to withstand the trailer’s weight.

2. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors 

Smoke detectors are a quick and essential means of informing you of a fire. It goes without saying, but every house – no matter how tiny – should have one. Some smoke detectors can even connect to an app on your phone, allowing you to receive alerts regardless of your location.

It’s also important to make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector. These are a necessity in any house, but even more important in a tiny house. In confined spaces, carbon monoxide can spread and overwhelm you even more quickly than usual.

3. Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are crucial firefighting tools to have in your home. Space is obviously more limited in tiny homes, but this is one item you should not be tempted to store away. Keep in it an open, easy to reach area – and ensure that it’s still working and within its expiration date!

4. Automated controls

Automated controls help you to protect your home during an emergency, even when you’re not there in person. If your smoke alarm activates, for example, an automatic control system can immediately turn off the main gas supply. This will decrease the fuel for a fire and minimise its spread.

5. Indoor and outdoor security cameras

According to figures from Direct Line, a property is criminally damaged every five minutes in the UK alone – underlying how attractive our homes can be to potential criminals. Tiny home owners may also benefit from the peace of mind of having a video surveillance system. It’s a good idea to install cameras inside and outside your home, making sure that all points of entry are covered. You can even connect the cameras to your phone, which will alert you when there’s a disturbance and show you a direct stream of the cameras’ viewpoint.

6. Exhaust fan

Every tiny house needs to have this powerful tool. Exhaust fans maintain the air quality in your home by removing moisture, fumes, and bad odours. This is vital for small houses, which can be more prone to damp and grow mould. When using a propane stove, it’s best to ensure that your exhaust fan is always on.

Tiny houses may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean you can get by with a smaller number of safety features! A house is a house, no matter how big – and every house needs to be safe and secure. Although tiny houses come with some of their own safety challenges, they also come with their own positives. They allow their owners to live a simpler life, with fewer belongings, a healthier bank balance, and the freedom to take their home with them wherever they go.

Author: Hubert Day

Homes are still selling despite Covid-19

As latest numbers are in, there is a wave of relief going through the real estate sector. The good news is, homes are still selling.

No doubt, the covid-19 virus will have severe consequences on the real estate market, but it seems with low interest rates people are still buying homes.

All over the world people have lost part of their income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first shock

When the coronavirus hit the world most of us were under shock. I never spend so much time to watch the news than the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, always checking the latest numbers. After a couple of weeks though we kind a got used to it – although there are still moments when the whole situation seems incredibly unreal.

It is true that we also saw a decrease of visitor to our website for a couple of weeks but we are happy to say that all numbers are back to normal now. People are still interested in good real estate deals and they didn’t give up of buying homes.

Homes are still selling – a home is one of the basic needs

One reason might be that people became more aware of their “needs” rather than their “wants”. Staying at home and trying to keep everybody in the family sane has shown many the importance of having a home that has everything they need. Having a home definitely is a need. Even if someone needs to downsize and move to a smaller more affordable home it still means that there is movement and therefore home sales are happening in the real estate market.

Challenge to close the sale

In some countries it has become more challenging than in others when it comes to closing the sale legally. With solicitor and notary offices closed or not fully operational this is really a challenge. But surely, as some countries have already started to lift their covid-19 lockdowns this will just be a matter of time.

Time for new ideas

All these new challenges truly have given fuel for new ideas and innovations to simplify the home buying process.

Stuart Miller from Lennar Corp., one of the USA’s largest homebuilders, said they are working on new ways for buyers to buy houses, including through the company’s digital programs as well as drive-through closings, where homebuyers can close on a home through their car.

Positive Outlook for Real Estate

To know that homes are still selling is really good news. It helps us, home buyers as well as sellers, to see the future more optimistic. It’s been a nerve wrecking couple of weeks, even months for some. For me it was great to see how quick real estate agents adapted to the new challenges and finding alternative ways of showing homes to interested buyers.

Keep up the good work.

Real Estate for Preppers

I just stumbled upon a few websites for preppers when I looked up how to make my own yeast (there was none left in the shop). That’s when I discovered that there is a whole trend out there, it looks like everybody wants to become a prepper these days. There are also a few real estate websites offering properties for preppers.

What are preppers and what is real estate for need?

Preppers or survivalists are people who prepare for emergencies, including probable disturbances in social or political order, as well as preparations for personal emergencies, such as job loss.

The main focus is on self-reliance, stockpiling supplies, and gaining survival knowledge and skills. Among other things preppers often stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, if possible, off-grid living, and build structures such as underground shelters that may help them survive a disaster.

Why do so many look for real estate for preppers now

The covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to re-examine their way of life. It created a wave of interest in rural living and particularly in prepper properties. Relocation to rural areas where one can be self-sufficient to some degree is an increasingly attractive possibility.

A lot of workers have been sent to work from home, and discovered, they actually love it. They are seeing its many advantages. With internet available in even isolated locations, the feasibility of working from home has gone up radically.

It can be immensely satisfying to grow your own food.

Less populated areas = easier social distancing

People in city areas are feeling restricted to their homes or apartments. In such densely populated places, social distancing can only be accomplished by staying at home. In less populated areas, or maybe suburbs where a house comes with its own big garden there is plenty of opportunities for outdoor activity, while easily maintaining a proper distance to others.

If you are planning to become a prepper, survivalist or maybe you are just seeking some more space outdoors by moving to the countryside, have a look at our real estate listings.

Time of opportunity for a real estate investor?

The covid-19 outbreak has affected every industry. As new unemployment numbers come out it leaves people speechless. There is no guide book for times like these. Some real estate investor may see a opportunity to hunt for real estate offers.

Many home owners didn’t have the money to pay their mortgage this month. Also, many tenants could not pay their rent as a result many landlords are in trouble to make their mortgage payments. Looking at the current mess on the real estate market many see this as an opportunity for property investors. Some already speak of a real estate recession.

But not so fast

Of course, we can already start thinking about possible consequences for the real estate market. Nevertheless, we need to keep in mind that we don’t know yet what exactly we will have to face as this covid-19 pandemic continues.

A possible scenario

One scenario would be a compressed but normal recession and it would probably look a lot like the 2008 recession, but quicker and deeper. Of course, it is not difficult to imagine other set-ups where a larger disaster awaits.

There is not much else you can do than to…

Stay positive

We should not forget that the real estate market moves very slowly, and the covid-19 pandemic is still young.

It is very unlikely that all of a sudden people will sell their homes for next to nothing. Even if home owners get under pressure because they can’t pay their mortgage anymore, we need to keep in mind that this will happen to thousands of people – most probable they will receive some sort of help to prevent them from losing their home.

Time of opportunities

No doubt, there are and there will be more opportunities for a real estate investor. This is a good time to go hunting for real estate bargains.

Real Estate Investor to the rescue

At the same time, nobody feels good about taking advantage of disaster. Therefore, it has to be noticed that many will be happy to find buyers quickly even if it means to sell for less. A real estate investor may be able to give exactly that help that the home seller needs at this time.

Find great real estate offers on www.propertyunder100k.com

Less new home listings

Spring is naturally a time when sellers put new home listings for sale as more people are looking for a house to buy. Home sellers hoping to take advantage of the buyers new born enthusiasm after the winter period. But this year, new listings dropped significantly in March and early April as the Covid-19 outbreak embraced the globe. 

Real Estate Portals report less new home listings

Zillow, inc. reported yesterday that newly listed homes in the U.S. were down 27.1% from a year ago in the first week of April. They reported that the number of newly listed properties usually increases in late March and early April as home buying season starts. This year it’s been quite the contrary as many states have suggested or instructed people to stay at home. New listings in the U.S. have fallen 19% from the beginning of March.

No surprise

We can see the same trend happening on our website with international real estate listings. The number of new listings dropped slightly as well as the number of people who made enquiries about real estate offers.

It is totally understandable that people had other things on their mind than getting a new home. Nevertheless, after the first weeks past we can now see that the number of enquiries is slowly coming back to normal.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Social distancing cooled the real estate market

While the covid-19 outbreak and the resulting social distancing have cooled the real estate market considerably, it isn’t completely motionless. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents have started to change their activities as they adapt to public health requirements. They make 3D Home tours available or make home viewings via video conference.

Therefore, it seems like a good time now for all home sellers that are in a wait-and-see-mood to get their home for sale out there.

Need for new homes is still there

Although there is a particularly strong wait-and-see pattern similar to what happened during past pandemics we can see that customers still interested or actually needing to buy a new home even if they are not going to walk-throughs or able to close on transactions in person. Especially smaller and cheaper properties are in high demand.

List your home for sale

If some predictions turn out to be true and house prices will fall dramatically due to the covid-19 outbreak wouldn’t it be better to sell your house today rather tomorrow?

Don’t wait any longer, list your home for sale today.

Will Covid-19 drive people back to the countryside?

After 4 weeks being locked up in an apartment in town, I wish I could be in the countryside. I’m not alone, we can see a tendency on our website that the demand for real estate on the countryside is slightly increasing. If it will lead to more sales is still to be seen.

We need nature to be happy

Some recent news from Portugal, where people flocked in thousands to the beach during country lock down or from Snowdonia National Park in Wales, UK that was inundated with visitors, simply shows that we still value being out and being in the nature. It doesn’t matter how comfortable our homes are or how convenient it is to live in the striving city we need nature to be happy.

Since Covid-19 many see things differently

During lock down we all seem to have been busier than ever keeping in touch with friends and family through messaging. Sharing funny stuff, thoughts and just moments of our daily life has become part of our routine. I received many photos from friends who live in the countryside. They show how they do relaxing walks in the forests that are just at their doorsteps or how they do some gardening, growing all sorts of vegetables. “Lucky them!” I thought, I wish I could do the same.

Having a balcony is a start

All I was able to do so far was to grow some salat and strawberries on the balcony. Anyway, that’s already better than nothing. But still, I think I would really enjoy living in the countryside especially in this uncertain covid-19 future to come.

Taste the fruit of your own labor.

Eating your own produce

Especially now where many people started working from home – me included – it would be great to get away from the computer sometimes and do a bit of gardening to find your balance and be out in the nature.  As a reward you might even be able to eat some of your own produce.

What do you think, will covid-19 drive people back to the countryside?

Please leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

Real Estate After Quarantine

This temporary quarantine made many people think about their values and goals in life as well as their work situation and their homes.

Although, this isolation is only temporary, life itself has always and will continue to change.

Our social interactions will be different for months, if not years to come. Our economies will eventually grow again, but the way we do business will have progressed. This is true for real estate as well.

Next time I like to quarantine on a tropical island…

One thing is certain, everybody needs a place to live, therefore real estate will always be needed. As much as everybody would like to improve their homes to be able to quarantine in style in case this happens again, it has to be considered that the financial situation of most people changed. Therefore, the housing market needs to adapt. Cheap real estate will be needed more than ever before. “Cheaper” meaning more cost effective.

This of course can mean that people have to downsize or reconsider what they really need in their home – simply back to the basic needs.

“Cheaper” doesn’t mean uglier

It’s true that many houses for sale that are on the lower end of the price range don’t look too good. But to be honest most of them only need a little bit of TLC and they can be a cosy home.

If you need to downsize, why not sleep on a sofa bed in the living room?

How can real estate agents adapt to this new situation?

You as a realtor can continue to do what you are really good at – be there for your clients and understand what they need in their circumstances. This is a new situation for all of us and for some it may be hard to adapt. Maybe some can’t picture themselves in a smaller, simpler home.

Whatever step someone needs to take, you can be there to help and make this a good experience.

What exactly does this mean?

You have to think outside the box, but yourselves in the buyer’s shoes. It maybe time to rethink how real estate deals where done in the past and see new ways that can make the whole process simpler, more time effective and more cost effective.


Will you go with the flow, let the waves take you wherever they go, or will you build a ship and go your own way?

Pick your boat and get on your way.

What is your idea of real estate after quarantine? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.