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Kitchen Maintenance Tips

Top 5 Kitchen Maintenance Tips

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Kitchen Maintenance TipsNeed some kitchen maintenance tips? The kitchen is arguably the most used room in a home. Some even call it the “heart” of the home. Everyone seems to congregate there. Keeping it clean and fresh can be challenging. Here are five handy tips to help you keep your kitchen sparkling:

1. Clean the Sink

The kitchen sink is probably the most used item in the kitchen. Keeping it clean will make every other kitchen job easier. Be sure to empty both the sink and the dishwasher before starting the day. When you begin to cook, fill the sink with warm soapy water and clean up as you go. The entire job goes so much faster.

Last thing in the evening, add a little dish soap to a damp sponge and give the sink a quick cleaning – including faucets – so it is sparkling for the next morning.

2. Take Control of the Trash

You may find it wasteful to take out a partially full bag every day, but it depends on what is in it. When you have food or wet items in a trash bag, it may need to go out more often. If it takes longer to fill a bag, you might just need to take it out every few days.

If you separate trash and recycling, be sure the containers are large enough to hold everything.

Clean your trash cans with warm soapy water or disinfectant every few weeks. If you don’t have a hose available, wash them out in the bathtub.

3. Clean Countertops

Clutter, even pretty clutter, makes it harder to clean the countertops. Find a new home for the knick-knacks and use warm soapy water to clean up every day.

For various stone countertops, no special cleansers are required. In fact, you shouldn’t use harsh cleaners. If the stone is properly sealed, just wash with a little dish soap and water and wipe with a dry cloth to maintain the beautiful shine.

4. Sweep the Floor

All those crumbs and drips end up on the floor. Not to mention dust/dirt from outside or pet hair. Sweep the floor daily to capture all the debris.

5. Once a Week

Every week, mop the floor, sanitize sponges, change the kitchen towels, and clean the inside of the microwave oven. Use a white vinegar and water mixture in a bowl. Heat in the microwave for 5 minutes and wipe down with a sponge. To sanitize the sponge, soak in white vinegar for 5 minutes.

Despite the extensive use the kitchen gets, keeping it clean and sanitary doesn’t have to be a big job. Stay on top of it by following these simple kitchen maintenance tips regularly for a kitchen you’ll be proud of. Contact our team at Vineyard Property Management today for more tips to keep your property in great shape.

Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid

Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid

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If you’re renting or buying a home in a community governed by an association, it is important to know the top HOA violations you need to avoid.

Moving to a new home is always an exciting adventure. You find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. You make plans to make it your own, and dream of the future. However, if that neighborhood comes with a Homeowners Agreement, (HOA), there might be some conditions or restrictions that you should know about before you sign on the dotted line.
Top HOA Violations You Need to Avoid

Here are some of the most common violations:

Vehicles & Traffic

Speeding or reckless driving, especially in a residential neighborhood, is never a good thing. An HOA may choose to have its own regulations and fines for violations. Typically, HOAs prohibit parking a commercial vehicle, recreational vehicle, or a boat in front of your house. Owners may face the expense of having that vehicle towed.

Yard & Garden

Keeping up with weeds can be a full time job, but some HOAs require homeowners to keep gardens weed free. An HOA may address pruning, mowing, and even the types of plants and trees allowed in the front yard.

Trash & Recycling

Often there are time limits for trash bins to be visible or on the street. Having the bins out too early or left out too late can result in fines from the HOA. Trash containers should be stored in the garage. Don’t leave them out in driveways or on the side of the house.

Pets

For everyone’s safety, it is important to walk your dog on a leash and only in the designated areas. It is also essential to clean up after your pet and properly dispose of waste. Some HOAs have restrictions on the size of a pet (usually a dog) that they allow. Invest in training so that your precious pet doesn’t bark and create a noise nuisance that your neighbors will object to. It would be horrible to have to choose between your home and your pet.

Happy Holidays

Many associations have restrictions on the timeliness and types of holiday decorations. These usually pertain to flashing lights or music that might annoy neighbors. Leaving decorations up too long also creates problems. Thirty days before and thirty days after is a reasonable time to celebrate a season.

According to the Community Associations Institute, more than 69 million Americans live in community associations. If you are considering renting or buying a home in a neighborhood governed by a community association, be sure to read the fine print. Familiarize yourself with the “CCRs”, the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions laid out in the HOA. If you know the rules, you can abide by them and save yourself the inconvenience of receiving an unpleasant letter or fine.

At Vineyard Property Management, our trained experts can advise and explain the HOA violations you need to avoid at any of our properties. Contact us today for more information.

Tax Advantages of Owning a Rental Property

What Are the Tax Advantages of Owning a Rental Property

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Do you know about the most popular tax advantages of owning a rental property? As it turns out, being a landlord works in your favor come tax season. Sure, buying a home is a considerable investment. But, if you can make money off of that investment, you’ll see an even bigger return when your taxes are due. Don’t forget to ask your tax advisor about these deductions the next time you file.

Tax Advantages of Owning a Rental PropertyMortgage Interest

If you have a mortgage on your property, you’re paying a hefty amount in interest every month. The good news is that you’ll most likely be able to deduct this amount from your taxes. Why is that? Since you are operating the property as a business, it counts as a business expense. Be sure to save your Form 1098 at the end of the year, so you know how much interest you paid. Your tax advisor will help you claim this deduction on the correct tax line.

Property Depreciation

You can deduct the purchase price of your property from your taxes. Be careful when you do this, however. You can’t claim the entire amount at once. Instead, the value depreciates over 27.5 years. The longer you own the rental property, the more money you’ll get back in return. Even if the market value of your home goes up, the depreciation amount will stay the same.

Repair Deductions

As a landlord, it’s up to you to provide your tenants with a property that is in good condition. To do this, you’ll inevitably need to make a few repairs or upgrades throughout the year. While maintenance costs come out of your pocket, you can deduct these expenses from your taxes. Some common repair expenses include buying new lightbulbs, replacing a broken window, or fixing the stove.

However, you cannot deduct all maintenance costs this easily. Some more substantial expenses, such as replacing the roof, count as a capital improvement. These get depreciated over time. Once again, a tax expert can help you determine which repairs fall under which category.

Administrative Costs

Being a landlord is a business. Whether you do it full-time or not, you can still deduct any administrative costs from your taxes. These may include travel, advertising, or office expenses. If you work from home, you can even claim a home office. Be aware, however, taking the home office deduction may trigger an audit. Always keep receipts and records to validate your expenses. And, make sure to consult with a tax advisor when filing.

Make Sure Your Rental Stays Occupied

Of course, these deductions mean nothing if your property is vacant. That’s why you need to make sure you keep it occupied with reliable tenants. Vineyard Property Management can help you do just that. We offer many property management services, including leasing, accounting, and maintenance. We know how to find and keep trustworthy tenants! If the tax advantages of owning a rental property caught your attention, then connect with us online to quickly fill your rental vacancy.