Oregon Gone Mad on Rent Control

Oregon Gone Mad on Rent ControlOregon is poised to become the first state to enact rent control state wide. Frustrated with increasing rents, officials believe something must be done.

Never mind that rent control is a bad idea that even lefty economists like Paul Krugman condemn. The problem is, rent control results in diminished supply of new rental units and accelerated deterioration of existing rental housing stock because landlords can’t afford to maintain their properties and why should they? The resulting imbalance of diminished supply to ever increasing demand means that tenants are clamoring to live in poorly maintained junk.

Ironically, exploring the causes of high rent points us right back to government. Government regulation of housing and building codes makes it more difficult and more expensive to supply the market, resulting in higher cost of construction and fewer apartments being built. Higher rents result.

One of the leading proponents of rent control in Oregon is Margot Black of Portland Tenants United. She has this to say about landlords: “Homegrown Oregonians tend to be white and racist…I think the faster they can get out of the landlord business, the better.”

Before anyone reacts to the idea that passing judgment on an entire group of people is itself racist, I want to assure you that as a white landlord, we are all in fact the same! You can generalize about all of us based upon the experience you had with any one of us, particularly if that experience was a bad one.

Rent control will be a disaster for Oregon tenants, but I’m sure Margot Black will get her wish as plenty of Oregon landlords of all stripes abandon the market.

Also see “Insanity in Seattle – An Update”

Decorating Your New Digs

Decorating Your New DigsDon’t be flustered about where to put the lava lamp. The key to decorating success is to start with a great apartment.

Hey, you’ve got some nice stuff, why put it all in some dump? That’s why you should be calling the Skyview Apartments home. We’ve got everything you need and it’s all like brand new. Spacious room sizes, heat included and available garages because you’ve got a nice car too. And all at a price that won’t break the bank.

I was going to blather on at further length, but why not let the pictures do the talking?
Click here for the full photo line up.

The picture of dogs playing poker is never going to look right in a living room with 70s shag carpet some come to Skyview today!

How to Dress Up Your Floors

How to Dress Up Your FloorsThe other day, I was reading about tricks and tips for dressing up your floors without spending a lot. Good luck with that!

Why put perfume on a pig? Don’t you walk barefoot on those floors? Isn’t the flooring one of the most eye-catching elements of your home?

If your floors look like they are in need of a retread, check out Catalina Crossing Apartments where everything is new, including the floor, and the name too.

The standard around here is new construction. Even in our older properties like Washington Heights Apartments in Horicon, we know what you want and what you deserve. And we deliver.

Come see one of our beautiful new units today!

Why You’re Going to Get Superior Snow Service at Catalina Crossing

Why You're Going to Get Superior Snow Service at Catalina CrossingBing Crosby may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but here in reality land, we’re kind of dreading it. Sure it looks beautiful, right until the moment you slip and fall and smash your teeth on the curb. We can’t have that, so Ventrac to the rescue!

Ventrac is the manufacturer of our enclosed cab heated snow removal machine. It’s designed for sidewalk snow removal. Ordinarily, getting snow off the sidewalk means long miserable hours of walking behind a snow blower in the cold. But not now. This thing is so much fun, it’s probably going to be a new ride at Disney Land.

So when Old Man Winter goes on the prowl, we’ll be ready to clear that snow faster than a speeding bullet at our brand new Catalina Crossing Apartments in Madison. Take that Bing Crosby!

What Autonomous Vehicles Will Mean for You

What Autonomous Vehicles Will Mean for YouThe future is here! Or at least almost here. It does seem likely that one day soon, we’ll finally be able to text and drive with impunity because the car will be able to drive itself. And the implications of this new technology will change more than just when we text. This tech will impact even the experience of renting a home, so let’s peak into the future.

First, let’s dispense with the idiocy that none of us are going to own cars. The “experts” believe that we’re all going to subscribe to a ride sharing service and we’ll hail autonomous cars from our smart phones when wheels are needed. This might make sense in a dense urban environment like New York City, but for the rest of the world, you’re still going to want to own your own car, for lots of reasons. Continue reading

Renting More Affordable Than Buying?

Renting More Affordable Than Buying?Is there an echo in here? We’ve been saying for a long time that home ownership is a wonderful consumer purchase, but as an investment, not so great. See Is Home Ownership The Worst Investment Ever?The Worst Investment that You Will Every Make, and Rent or Own?

Now the Wall Street Journal is chiming in with agreement. In the 10/17/2018 WSJ, the paper reports that 78% of people say that renting is more affordable than owning according to Freddie Mac, the mortgage company.

This report reflects marketplace reality. Between high constructions costs, labor shortages and municipal barriers to development, it has been difficult to supply the market with new construction of single-family homes. A lack of new construction supply has resulted in increased demand and higher prices for existing homes. Throw an increase in interest rates into the mix and single-family home ownership just loses its economic luster.

In the meantime, our apartments continue to shine, offering more square footage and better amenities like walk-in showers, walk-in pantries, walk-in closets three car garages and massive square footage, not to mention granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. At least that’s what you at the Catalina Crossing Apartments where townhouses range in size up to 1775 square feet. The wannabees and the also-rans don’t have walk-in showers yet or three car garages, but someday they will. Until then, call text or email to Josh at 608-575-4377 or josh@davidjdecker.com to learn more about the Catalina Crossing Apartments in Madison.

How Not to be One of the Worst Six Kinds of Tenants

How Not to be One of the Worst Six Kinds of TenantsOur friends at Rentalutions recently published an article, “6 Types of Nightmare Tenants and How to Avoid Them.” It got me thinking about how not to become one of those tenants:

Nightmare 1: Tenants that don’t pay. Obviously, don’t be one of these. If you run into a problem, communicate early. Be transparent, don’t hide. Maybe the only solution is for you to move out of an apartment that you can no longer afford. But maybe the landlord has a tenant already waiting for your apartment. Or maybe it’s not as bad as you think. You won’t know until you talk to your landlord.

Nightmare 2: Tenants that damage the property. If the party got out of hand and stuff got wrecked, that won’t be a secret for long. One rule for life: don’t burn ex-spouses, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends, employers, landlords and friends. Word gets around. People, particularly landlords, check references. There’s an adage that applies here: you break it, you bought it. If you can’t afford immediate repayment, make a payment agreement with your landlord. It beats getting dragged into court later.

Nightmare 3: Tenants that argue with everything you say. It’s not just landlords. Try to get along with people in general. Landlords make mistakes too, but hear them out, listen carefully, and see if maybe the landlord is sharing truth.

Nightmare 4: Tenants that never move out. If you’ve given notice to vacate and your plans have changed, better communicate that to the landlord right away. Your apartment may already be rented to someone else. Possession might be nine tenths of the law, but not in rental housing. Staying past your vacate date might subject you to double damages payable to the landlord.

Nightmare 5: Tenants that become ghosts. Some tenant just move without notice and even leave their stuff behind. Don’t let that be you. This will come back to haunt you. The landlord will throw your stuff away and charge you for the privilege. Plus rental charges will continue to accrue. You may get a surprise bill or a surprise judgment and corresponding hit to your credit score.

Nightmare 6: Tenant that take the landlord to court. We already said that sometimes landlords make mistakes. Should that happen to you, try working things out with the landlord first. You can always go to court later, but once you do, the court case becomes a permanent record easily accessible online. In other words, your next prospective landlord may discover that you’ve been a plaintiff against another landlord and decide to rent to a less combative prospect.

Our careful tenant screening creates great apartment communities like Willow Grove Apartments in Pewaukee, or Georgetown Square Apartments in Racine. Call (262) 785-0840 to start your brand new dream!

Moving in Together for the First Time

Moving in Together for the First TimeCongratulations newlywed! So you’re ready to move in together, now what? You have to prepare for the new shared space and experiences, but with the right planning, your move should be a smooth transition into a new lifestyle. There are several things to think about when moving:

Should I Keep, Sell, or Buy?

Since you are combining two lifestyles, you are going to have double the items. Often apartments don’t have enough storage space to accommodate duplicate pieces, so you’ll have to sort through and find opportunities for each item. If you have two couches, but one is newer and comfier than the other, try listing items on easy online selling platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to make some money back to aid with moving costs. You may also find that both of you are lacking in items like a dining room table, or chairs. Use extra money as an opportunity to shop for new and durable furniture items you’ve both been eyeing, like these pieces here. Exploring websites and stores with your husband or wife will be a fun memory and allow you to merge your style interests to pick the perfect items for your spot. Parting with furniture can be tough, however, especially if you’ve had it for years; but starting a new life together suggests some new furniture to complement a space shared by two people ready to start a life as a married couple. It’s also important that you never give away sentimental items like picture books or memory boxes; sometimes you must find space under beds or in closets to keep the things that aren’t always looked at, but you’re not ready to let go of. This will prevent any later regrets if you want to recall memories.

Overall you can’t go wrong with a new couch or keeping the items you already own — there’s always time to change your lifestyle, and that includes waiting for the right financial time for you and your counterpart.

Inviting Friends

Although you may want the move to be an intimate effort between the two of you, that’s nearly impossible unless you have a moving crew to carry the larger items, especially if you must take the stairs in an apartment building. Use this occasion to invite your friends and family to help. This is a great way for your loved ones to mingle, while also getting the strength you need on a stressful day. It’s nice to include your friends and family during the move because they’re able to contribute to whatever you may need that is missing. Items they’ve been looking to give away may be something you need to complete your new space. If you want to vamp up the day, order some pizzas and offer coffee and water throughout for anyone who needs some energy to help finish the move.

Open Communication

You and your spouse will be presented with many communication challenges throughout a move, but it is important to be open and honest with one another. You are looking to go from living in separate locations to merging lifestyles which can be stressful and uncomfortable at times. Have a system of communication where you can voice your opinions and problems in a relaxing way. Take a few days a week to spend a meal with your partner where you go over any thoughts you have about moving or even some ideas about items you need. It boils down to being able to have time to reflect and work together as a couple to make this time the happiest in your life.

Insanity in Seattle – An Update

Insanity in Seattle - An UpdateThe insanity in Seattle is leaving us sleepless. OK, the movie Sleepless in Seattle was 25 years ago (1993)! Terrible having to explain these jokes.

But courts in Washington State aren’t finding it funny that the City of Seattle tried to implement some whacky housing ordinances.

Seattle wanted to require landlord to give chronological priority to applicants applying for apartments. This would require landlords to bypass a better applicant in favor of one that applied sooner. Score a win for the unemployed with time on their hands to look for apartments while busy people like you get stuck. And never mind the bureaucratic morass for landlords of keeping track of who applied first.

Fortunately, the courts see it differently and kicked this bad idea to the curb.

Similarly, Seattle would like to prohibit landlords from considering an applicant’s criminal history unless they have a legitimate business reason for doing so. The wording of the statutes is vague – who’s to say what is a “legitimate business reason?” Sounds like a plaintiff’s lawyers’ delight.

Fortunately, this ill-advised housing ordinance idea looks like it’s headed for the trash heap of the unconstitutional as well.

Also see “Oregon Gone Mad on Rent Control”

Car Theft Quiz

Car Theft QuizHere’s a fun little quiz to help you put the brakes on car theft:

1. What months are highest for car thefts?
A. December and January – Got to pay for Christmas somehow!
B. July and August – beat the heat in the five-finger discount ride.
C. April and May – Spring into summer in a fresh set of somebody else’s wheels.
D. October and November – Bring a new dimension to trick or treat.

The correct answer is B, July and August. Continue reading