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Monday, February 22, 2010

Rebates Help You Save Money When Upgrading Appliances

In the market for a new appliance? Then think Energy Star. Not only will you be helping the environment by purchasing an energy-efficient appliance, but you’ll be helping your budget as well, thanks to a $300 million “cash for appliances” program funded by the U.S. Government and being rolled out state by state.

The Energy Star program is a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. According to the Department of Energy, by using Energy Star, Americans saved enough energy in 2008 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 29 million cars--and also saved $19 billion on their utility bills.

The appliance rebate program differs in each state, but the basics are this: Buy an Energy Star appliance and receive a rebate of between $50 and $250. You must be replacing an existing appliance to qualify. Depending by state, the program covers boilers, air conditioners, washers, dishwashers, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, refrigerators and water heaters.

Each state runs its own program with funding from the Department of Energy. Dates and program details vary by state. Check out www.EnergySavers.gov for details on your state’s program.

One piece of advice: Act quickly!

The rebate program will continue only as long as each state has the funds to support it. Once the funds are exhausted, so is the rebate program.

To learn more about such programs and other local initiatives that may affect home-owners in the San Gabriel Valley, contact our offices today at 626.358.1858 or 626.963.762.

Our team of REALTORS will be more than glad to help and answer your questions.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Want to Rent Your Vacant Properties? Try Renovating Them

Are you a small independent landlord trying to rent your properties? Consider renovating them. A recent survey indicates that over half of small, independent landlords are renovating vacant properties in an effort to differentiate themselves from the competition and attract tenants. Renovations don’t just help you attract new tenants; they help you retain current tenants as well.

“With so many homes and apartments sitting empty, landlords want their properties to stand out from the competition,” says Tracey Benson, president of The National Association of Independent Landlords. “Even if landlords have no rent coming in, they need to bite the bullet and make improvements to put their properties on renters’ short lists.”

The Association recently conducted a survey of landlords across the country and found that over half (52%) of smaller, independent landlords who expect the difficult rental market to continue are renovating their vacant properties. Over three-quarters of these landlords (76%) are doing so in an effort to attract tenants, while 42% of respondents said they are renovating to keep current tenants from moving.

But you don’t need to install high-end accoutrements like granite counters, stainless steel appliances or laminate floors to attract or retain tenants. Even low-budget investments like new carpeting or a fresh coat of paint can make a difference.

Just about any improvement will make a property look better than one that hasn’t received much TLC,” Benson says.

For more information on how to attract or retain tenants in your apartment properties, or to learn about available properties, give our CENTURY 21 office a call today. We have Commercial and Property Management specialists available to help you with your rental needs.Our associates may be reached at 626.358.1858 or visit our Property Management page today.

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