Common Pest Problems For Apartments And Multi Family Homes

It may surprise you that the pests people are most commonly concerned about are the least likely to be encountered within apartments and multi-family homes. Pests like bed bugs are by far the most feared pest of all pests based on a survey taken by Orkin but flies actually make the top of the list for the most common pest found in apartments and multi-family living spaces. Though you may not be able to get rid of all pests completely it’s certainly a problem worth addressing as 85% of renters have expressed encountering some kind of pest in their apartment according to the National Apartment Association. For landlords and owners, this is something worth paying attention to as pests can quickly take up residence and become a full blown infestation.  

The Most Feared Common Pests

The three most commonly feared pests that tenants worry about are bed bugs, rodents and cockroaches. Bed bugs are the least likely of all common pests to be encountered among renters but that is not to say renters will go without seeing them. Bed bugs can easily travel from one space to the next. Commonly known as travel guests, people unknowingly bring these pests home from trips where they’ve stayed at hotels or other vacation rentals. Just setting down your luggage on the floor can provide these pests access to your possessions and a free ride to a new destination. 

Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed which can easily go unseen. They can hide pretty much anywhere but common places to look for them are along the seams of mattresses, around headboards and footboards, along bed frames and any furniture close to the bed. Pulling back carpet from the wall to look along the floor boards is another one of their hiding spaces. Floor, door and window moldings as well as gaps and cracks around outlets are other areas to look at. 

Outside of being travel companions these pests can also enter your living quarters if used furniture that is purchased is infested without the new owner’s awareness. 

The Most Likely Of All Common Pests

Flies– Flies are inevitable. If you open your doors to enter or leave your home the chances a fly will come in are highly probable. If you eat fruit and leave it out on counters, have a kitchen drain and/or garbage disposal then it’s also likely that you will come across fruit flies. House flies and fruit flies are commonly seen inside living spaces and can become a nuisance very quickly. Keeping food stored in air tight containers and screening doors and windows will help to keep these pests out but even with those precautions, you are still likely to see them from time to time. 

Ants– Ants are the most common pest seen in apartments and multi-family spaces. This is because their colonies are literally everywhere with thousands of ants within each colony. These pests are typically seen inside our walls during the spring and fall months when they begin to scavenge for food that they store up for the winter. Keeping counters and floors clean as well as pantry foods in airtight containers will help reduce the odds of ants invading your space. However, ants can easily hone in on food sources and once they make it inside they leave a scent trail behind to let other ants know where the food source can be found. 

Cockroaches– Now this is a pest that no one wants to see inside their abode but unfortunately they are one of the more common pests to cause problems. Hiding within walls and having the ability to squeeze through small cracks and crevices allows them to stay out of sight before one realizes how big of an infestation they have on their hands. Colder temperatures of course begin to force these pests inside but once they have made refuge they will quickly breed in large numbers and can easily move from one unit to the next. 

Rodents– Rodents are disease carriers. Not only do they carry diseases harmful to humans but they can quickly destroy the structural integrity of a building leading to high replacement costs. Rodents are not a pest anyone wants to encounter within their home which means that owners and managers of multi-living spaces need to make property maintenance a top priority to aid in  rodent prevention. 

How To Keep Common Pests Away

One of the first things you will hear when it comes to pest preventative methods is making sure that food, water and shelter sources are well maintained. This means that all food, including pet food, should be stored in airtight containers, the perimeter of a building is sealed and that there is not any water leaking around the property or within. Leaky faucets and shower heads not only increase one’s water bill but they provide easy access for pests. Sealing a building foundation vents with heavy mesh along with even the smallest of cracks and crevices will deter rodents from entering. Cleaning up after meals by wiping counters down well with a disinfectant along with storing food away and not leaving dishes sitting in the sink will reduce the odds of pests entering your home dramatically. Ultimately, you are not wanting to give them any reason to even think about your apartment space as a place for them to eat and take shelter. 

If an infestation has occurred it’s important that you contact your local pest control company as some of these pests can be harmful to humans. Even coming into contact with their feces and urine can place you at risk of disease. It’s also important to note that apartment spaces can easily allow for these pests to move from one space to the other. Just because one apartment is bombed for a pest infestation doesn’t mean that the neighbors are safe. 

Why Maintenance Is Critical For Owners And Managers

Market Appeal- Due to the digital age, renters have the capacity to easily leave good or bad reviews for pretty much anything they experience. If tenants find themselves constantly battling pest control methods within their living spaces they may be more likely to leave a bad review. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take many bad reviews to tarnish one’s name or reputation. Keeping up with regular maintenance methods will not only ensure a well maintained property but can prevent bad reviews from having a negative impact. 

Reduce Turnover- Most people don’t want to deal with pests but they usually tolerate them from time to time as long as the pests don’t stick around for long. However, when pests are constantly a problem for tenants the last thing they want to do is renew their lease. Keeping pests at bay through regular property maintenance and specific pest prevention methods will help keep tenants happy and likely increase renewal contracts. 

Prevent High Repair Costs- Outside of paying for expected maintenance costs like sprays or pest bombs designed to kill pests; other unexpected costs like repairing structural damage, soiled insulation or damaged ductwork can also come into play and quickly add up. Pests are not just a nuisance. Pests like rodents can chew through just about anything and often destroy things that cannot be seen until further investigation. If rodents have made a home within the walls of a multi-family living unit the damage can be excessive which is why maintenance is critical for owners and managers.

Let’s face it, wherever there are people there will be pests they have to deal with. Unfortunately, there is not a way to prevent encountering pests 100% of the time, however, you can drastically reduce the chances and when it comes to apartments and multi-family living spaces this is definitely something that you want to pursue as pest problems can deter renters as tenants. 

 

Understanding Tenant Eviction Bans And What States Have It

An eviction ban was first put into place when the Trump administration suspended the possibility of eviction for those who suffered job loss due to the coronavirus pandemic along with the CDC also announcing it as an emergency action that was necessary under law. Since the placement of the original ban in September of 2020, a new eviction ban has been put into place but will expire early this fall which is promising for landlords and property owners.

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Tips To Finding The Right Commercial Roofing Company In Georgia

Finding the right commercial roofing company is essential for your business. Everything you do will be done under the roof of your building which means that potential problems within the framework and structure of your roof could impact the everyday flow of business making it important to find the right one. So where do you start? Let’s look at a few tips in finding the right roofing company in Georgia.

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The Outlook For Multifamily Housing In Georgia Looks Strong

With warm weather most of the year, ample employment opportunities and a high quality of living it’s easy to see the appeal of living in the city of Atlanta or its outskirts. In the last handful of years Atlanta has been attracting the masses as they continue to experience tremendous growth, creating high demand for multifamily housing which is only predicted to increase in the next few years. Known as an iconic American city Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Home to fifteen Fortune 500 companies, Coca-Cola. UPS, CNN and Delta Airlines just to name a few, it is an international hub of culture and media.

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Choosing The Right Low Slope Roofing System

Low slope roofing is considered any roofing slope that is less than or equal to 14 degrees. These roofing systems should be weatherproof and always allow for adequate drainage. There are a handful of low slope roofing options to choose from which should support the overall purpose of your structure. Speaking with your contractor to go over what you desire architecturally as well as understanding what is best for the structure of your building will help narrow down your options.

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What You Need To Know About Low Slope Roofing

Low slope roofing is typically used for commercial buildings such as warehouses, factories, industrial buildings and multi-family housing units. Another term used for low slope roofing is flat roofing. If a roof is considered to be a low sloping roof then that means it has a slope of less than 3 inches per foot which accounts for the roof level going up less than 3 inches vertically for every horizontal foot. There are a handful of reasons for choosing a low slope roofing system over steep slope roofing but before deciding you need to know about low slope roofing first.

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Top States People Are Moving Out Of And Into

Many have noticed the posts and memes on social media and elsewhere about people moving out of their state to another state which leaves us to question. Where are people moving to and why? With states naturally competing with each other in various ways these moves in large numbers could affect the states that everyone is leaving behind as well as those that they are moving into. 

 

Which States Are People Moving Out Of And Into

Every January United Van Lines, the largest moving company in the United States, publishes data comparing the number of inbound moves to that of outbound moves of each state across the U.S. National Movers Study also provides a targeted look at the types of interstate moving patterns. Though this data only provides a subset of all migration movements, it still provides us with a look into what is happening

The National Movers Study recently revealed that Idaho, South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Arizona have the greater proportion of inbound moves while New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and California have the highest number of outbound moves for 2020. With sustained periods of inbound or outbound migration eventually having an impact on the economics and growth of a state, these current fluctuations are worth noting. 

 

Common Reasons For People Moving To A New State

One of the common reasons people move to a new state may be a bit surprising. Taxes, which can influence the availability of jobs and therefore where people relocate based on job positions, is one of the most common reasons people move to a new state. For example, many people work in Portland, Oregon but live in SW Washington where they can easily commute via the interstate. This way they are close to where they work but live across the river in another state to save on things like property taxes. When it comes to people making smart financial decisions, where they live is at the top of the list and now that more people are working from home they have more flexibility in deciding where they want to live when making these financial deliberations. 

One other reason people move to other states has to do with retirement. Here, the financial considerations are much different, including the consideration of one’s lifespan after retirement. This is where climate factors come into play. Retirees tend to look into states that reflect an atmosphere where they can enjoy their surroundings. Work is no longer the focus but rather the environment in which they will live along with their financial budget. This is why places like Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, and Maine are all on top of the list. They are not only attractive because of their climate, but they also have attractive tax climates making them a double bonus. When a job is no longer the center of one’s thinking, factors like taxation can take precedence in a person’s decision-making.  

 

A View Into How Tax Climate Can Affect Where A Person Lives

The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index allows for business leaders, taxpayers, and policymakers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. It is designed to reveal how well states structure their tax systems as well as providing a visual for improvement. According to the most recent index, the 10 best states were Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Utah, Indiana, and North Carolina. Something to consider that fares well with these states are the absence of major taxes. Unemployment insurance and property taxes are both levied in these states with many doing without at least one of the following major taxes: individual income tax, corporate income tax, and sales tax. 

States ranked as the top 10 lowest or worst states this year according to this index are Alabama, Vermont, New York, Louisiana, Maryland, California, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Arkansas. What these states have in common is complex/non-neutral taxes with high rates. New Jersey has some of the highest property tax rates, corporate and individual income taxes, levies inheritance tax and has some of the nation’s most poorly structured individual income taxes. 

Now looking into how this factors into migration traffic; the State Business Tax Climate Index reveals that four of the ten worst performing states on its index are also among the ten states that have the most outbound migration traffic found in the National Movers Study. Seven of the top ten ranked inbound migration states also ranked in the top half of states on the State Business Tax Climate Index. Although a state may not be able to control the environmental landscape they still have the ability to affect their economics through making wise tax policy decisions which prove to have an impact on whether people move in or move out. 

As 2020 has brought many new changes, society is quickly adapting so it is not a wonder that one of the major changes is the inbound and outbound traffic of people moving around the U.S., and 2021 could potentially be a year that adds to this increase in fluctuations.

Multifamily Housing Trends For 2021

The multifamily housing sector certainly took a hit this past year but it still managed to weather the storm and persevere in comparison to others. However, property owners still felt the loss of income and are hopeful to start moving forward these next coming years with multifamily housing trends for 2021 providing that glimpse of hope they are looking for.

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Why A Commercial Roof Inspection Should Be On Everyone’s New Years List

Think of regular routine commercial roof inspections in the same way you would routinely change oil on a car. By changing your oil regularly you protect and extend the longevity of your engine and much is the same when it comes to a roof. Roofing is an investment so to protect that investment, regular routine inspections are needed to prevent major problems from occurring and extend the life of your roofing investment.

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Tips To Get Your Home Ready For An Appraisal

Are you planning to sell your home or possibly refinance? If you are, it’s beneficial that you know what to expect when an appraiser will come and overview your home. The role of an appraiser is to assess the value of your home and property within the particular housing market trends. They are known to provide an unbiased assessment of the land and exterior and interior of your home and property. This means they will look at everything from your yard, decks, front porches, windows, doors, garages, and everything else inside which also means there can be a lot to prepare for.

Be One Step Ahead

If you are thinking of selling or refinancing then this is the time where you will want to make assessments of your home and property by creating a list of work needed around the home so you can be one step ahead before the appraiser comes out. Waiting until you start the process of refinancing or selling will most likely cause you a lot of stress as it is common to discover a list of things that need repair or touching up. Even cleaning up a yard can be a lot of work so it’s always a better idea to take steps early before you get to this point.

Start With The Basics

Before you start to stress out take a deep breath. This can be an easier experience if you have a plan. Start with the basics. Walk through your home and list any areas within each room that you think need repair work, replacements, or touch-ups. This can be everything from new light bulbs to drywall patching, paint touch-ups, or even areas that need a good scrubbing. Areas that need painting can have colored tape placed as you go through your home so that they are not skipped over when it comes time to touch them up. Check to make sure that your smoke alarms are working and whether or not they function as carbon monoxide detectors. If they do not function as a combined unit you will need to purchase what is needed in order to have both within the home.

Time To Cross Off That List

Once you have overviewed your living space it will be time to start crossing everything off that list you made. This will be one of the more time-consuming aspects of the process but if you start this before you begin the refinance or selling process with your loan officer then you will have plenty of time to get done what is needed. If you have already started that process, no worries. Just take one step at a time and you will be surprised what you are able to accomplish. Cleaning, repairing drywall, fresh paint and touch-ups are all basics things that should be done prior to having your appraiser come out. First impressions do matter so these basic things should not be avoided. Depending on the condition of your home you may even need to repaint or touch up areas of the exterior part of your home as well. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of paint around a door frame to make all the difference.

Cleaning Up The Exterior

Sometimes this can be one of the most dreadful projects depending on the season you are planning to refinance or sell and of course, depending upon the condition your yard is in. Take the time to weed, clean up yard debris, and mow your grass. Cut or trim away any dead plants and/or branches around your home with the intent to keep things looking as simple as possible. Less is more appealing to the eyes so a tidy yard is an overall goal. You may need to pressure wash decking, patios, or even the siding of your house if they are dingy but keep in mind that if you’re selling or refinancing during the colder seasons then your appraiser should keep this into account. By no means will they be holding you to perfection. Be easy on yourself. You want your home to be appraised for the greatest value and therefore show off your homes potential but everyone knows that a winter yard looks far different than a summer yard.

If the weather is permitting this will also be a good time to clean out the gunk in your gutters and check for any external damage that may need to be repaired. This is also a good time to check your roof for damage or overgrowth of moss. Obvious damage to the roof will certainly be noticed by an appraiser and may even delay your refi or selling process. Buyers do not want to be stuck with a roofing problem on their hands so taking care of any necessary repairs will need to be looked at by you first. If moss is the problem, just take some time to clean it off. Moss can be damaging to your roofing material so if it’s the right time in the season, adding moss killer to your roof or doing a quick clean-up is worth the time and effort when it comes to cleaning up the exterior of your home. In a worst-case scenario you may have to get a new roof but always keep in mind that the value you get by what you put in will always be worth the cost upfront.

Keep Current Trends In Mind

It’s probably been a while since you’ve updated the materials in your home. Most of the time, a fresh coat of paint will bring new life to a home and project the current trends but other materials can also catch an appraiser’s eye. Appliances, flooring, carpeting, and counters can all be assessed when it comes to the value of your home. This is not to say that you have to do a complete remodel on your home but a good rule of thumb is to assess the cost it would take to repair or replace these materials and assume that value would go against your total home value. One or two areas may not make a difference when it comes to how updated your home is but if the majority of your home is outdated and/or damaged you will want to look into ways you can make updates. Other things that can appeal to the eye of an appraiser are bright, colorful throw pillows along the couch, fresh flowers in a vase on the kitchen counter, and live house plants that are strategically placed. Lighting a candle can even create an ambiance that can go a long way in imparting a good impression.

Less Is Better

Earlier it was mentioned that less is better. When there is a lot of clutter in a house and/or yard it can seem chaotic. Keeping everything tidy when the appraiser comes out to look at your house will do wonders. Store things in cupboards off of the counters during this time. Practice being a minimalist as best as you can. Cleaning may not be your forte but it will be worth the time and effort you put in to get the highest assessed value of your home. Making beds, keeping toys in storage bins as well as any other household items that may find their way often to the floors or spread across a room should be picked up and put away. Even bathroom items that are normally left along the countertops should be placed away for a time in the cupboards or cabinets so that they are out of sight.

Communicate

The appraiser is not your enemy. Be friendly. Though it may feel as if they are working against you they are actually there to help you. Feel free to ask them questions especially once they are done. If there are any tips they can give you on making improvements to increase the value of your home you will want to know. They will not tell you what the final assessment is but they can provide insight. You also can provide insight. Many appraisers are not familiar with the areas they are looking at homes in. Share with them what school district you fall in as well as the other districts that border your area. Parks, shopping plazas, freeway accessibility, and other public amenities all play a role in the value of your home so share these with your appraiser in case they are not aware. You never know what could be of value if you do not communicate.

The process of getting your home ready for a refinance or selling state can be a long journey but it doesn’t have to be grueling. If you give yourself time within the process you will be able to accomplish what is needed to get done. If you happen to be on a time crunch then assess the priorities, the major fix-its, and start there. Whatever you do, doing something is always better than nothing.