What to Know About Extending the Life of Your Rental Property’s Roof

Proper maintenance of your rental property is key to making sure that it remains profitable. It will be hard to justify high rental rates if things aren’t in good condition. Tenants don’t appreciate a residence that is in disrepair. Preventative maintenance will help you avoid costly repairs down the road and keep your tenants happy. One of the most important items to maintain is the roof. Here are some important things you should know about roof care.

Built to Last

If you haven’t already, you should have your roof inspected by a roofing expert. They will be able to help you know if your roof was built to last, or if you need to do some immediate repairs. They can also help you set up a routine maintenance schedule. A solid roof will help make sure that the rest of the home stays in good repair. The roof will help protect the home from rain, snow, and hail. It also helps keep out the wind and heavy objects that are tossed around in a storm. Without a good roof, your rental could be irreparably damaged.

Know Your Materials

There are a lot of different materials that you can use on the roof of your rental. Some of the most popular are, slate, metal, asphalt, wood, and clay. What material you choose depends on what attributes are more important to you. The asphalt shingle has moderately good performance and is cheap. However, it doesn’t tend to last as long as other materials. There are many reasons why people choose stone-coated metal roofing, but the short of it is they are tough.  But strength isn’t the only important factor for a roof. You want a roof that has good insulative properties as well. Metal is usually a very good conductor of heat, that makes it less than ideal for keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

Regular Upkeep

There are few signs that you should watch out for when it comes to roof repair. Missing or crooked shingles are a bad sign. Also pay attention to any shingles that are flapping in the wind. Cracked, torn, or discolored shingles are a sign that they are starting to break down due to age. If you see these things, you need to replace them before they start allowing water into the home.

Even the best roof is going to allow water in if that water is pooling. To keep water from pooling, you need to make sure the gutters of your roof stay clean and clear of dirt and debris that can block water flow. This will also help prevent pests from making their home in your gutters.

Tenant Responsibilities

Your tenants share a responsibility with you for the homes upkeep. While they are not responsible for any damage caused by normal wear and tear or by the weather, they are responsible for any damage they cause. Make sure that your tenant knows that they need to inform you immediately of any damage that they notice. It is much better if you can fix things early on rather than later. They should know that they will be held liable if they caused the damage, and for any subsequent damage that occurs should they fail to notify you.

For these policies to be enforceable, they should be written into the lease agreement that you tenant signs before moving in. Before writing these policies, consult with a real estate lawyer. They will help make sure that your contract is legal and enforceable according to your local laws.


A rental property is only a good investment if it has good cash flow. In short, you should be earning more money off of the monthly rent then you are spending on upkeep. Keep this in mind when you are considering what work you want to perform on the roof. A certain roofing material might last longer, but it might also be more expensive. Money devalues over time due to inflation and lost opportunity. So you need to make sure that your decisions will turn out to be a wise investment in the long run.


While cash flow considerations may incentivize you to be frugal when it comes to your maintenance costs, liability considerations will make you want to spend more. You have to understand that you can be held liable for accidents that occur on your rental property. This is true even if you were not directly involved in the accident. If someone injures themselves because you did not properly maintain the roof, you may find yourself stuck in a lawsuit. You might wonder how roof maintenance could matter. If someone slips on a loose shingle and falls while hanging up Christmas lights, or shingles fall off the roof onto their head.  These are just two of many examples of injuries that could turn very costly for you.


You should think about the type of weather that your region experiences when making roofing decisions. For example, in some places, the winter will result in multiple feet of snow piling on the roof. This is a lot of weight and can cause the roof to collapse if the snow isn’t cleared. This is a responsibility that you will usually have to take care of. In other places, wind and rain can cause large balls of hail to fall out of the sky. This can put holes in your roof if you’ve chosen a weak roofing material.


Most roofs are black. That isn’t for style purposes, it’s because most roofs use asphalt shingles. While they are cheap and reasonably durable, this is really bad for keeping a home cool in hot regions. Black roofs suck up the sun’s light and heat up the house. If your rental is in a warmer region, you may want to use a lighter colored material to help keep the place cooler. If it is in a colder region, then black will be a great color for keeping the place warm.

If you are unsure of how to handle some of these concerns, your best bet is to talk to a professional roofer. They would be more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Just do your best to take precautions like the ones listed above so you can make sure that your property’s roof lasts for a long time.

Having rental properties can be a great source of income, but they can be hard to manage on your own. Let us take care of that for you! Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

8 Tips to Keep in Mind About Having a Dog in an Apartment

A dog can be a man or woman’s best friend. If you’re feeling lonely in your apartment, a dog can be a great way to liven things up. Owning a dog is a big decision. They require a lot of care and need attention. If you are planning on keeping a dog in an apartment, there are several important factors to consider before adopting a furry friend.

Get the Right Breed

There is more to picking the right dog than finding a cute one. This is even truer for those living in apartments. The first matter you should consider is size. Don’t just think of a puppy’s current size, but how big it will get as an adult. Keep in mind that a full grown golden retriever is large in size, which may not be suitable if your apartment is small. The next factor to consider is their health needs. Consider common health problems that may affect the breed. Another important consideration is temperament. Is the dog hyper, curious, easily bored? These traits are not good to have in a dog that is going to spend most of its time in an apartment.

Check With the Property Owner

First things first, you need to check in with the owner of your property before getting a dog. Due to the potential damage a pet can cause, many landlords prohibit pets. Even if your neighbor has a cat, you shouldn’t just assume that pets are allowed. Some contracts will allow specific animals while denying others. If you are getting the dog as an emotional support animal, then you may be able to have it in your apartment even if there is a policy against pets. As long as you can have a doctor authorize that you have a disability that is being treated by an emotional support animal, your landlord must accept the pet. There are a few instances in which this is not the case, but for the most part you cannot be denied an emotional support animal.

Give Them Plenty of Exercise

In order to keep your dog from tearing your apartment to pieces, you need to give it plenty of exercise. If you don’t, you will likely return home to see your couch ripped to shreds and the stuffing strewn around the place. There are many ways to help your dog get this exercise. You can go on walks or runs with your dog. If your dog is well trained, you can even go on a bike ride with your dog. Fetch is a great, classic game to play with your dog. It gives your dog plenty of opportunities to run without requiring you to take a step. If you are unable to give your dog the exercise it needs, you can hire a dog walker to do the work for you.

Establish a Bathroom Routine

One of the quickest ways a dog can ruin your day, and your apartment, is by going to the bathroom in it. This can easily stain your carpet and the smell can be difficult to get rid of. You can prevent this by establishing a routine with your dog. An adult dog will need to use the bathroom 3-5 times a day. If you take it out at the same time during the day, your dog will get used to this schedule and wait to go until that time. Dogs don’t like to use the bathroom in their living area, so if you give them a consistent alternative they will adjust.

Plenty of Toys

Another way that you can keep your dog from chewing your apartment to bits is by providing it with plenty of toys. Chewing is actually a very important activity for a dog’s health. So give the dog several bones and other toys that it can sink its teeth into. Some great options for toys include, doggie bones, dog ropes, dog balls, and stuffed animals that are made specially for dogs. It’s important that these toys be made for dogs. Toys that are not specifically made for dogs can be dangerous for your fluffy pal. Dogs can chew plastic apart and then swallow the plastic which can lead to serious consequences.

Establish Rules

In a dog’s mind, everyone in its home fits into a strict social order. If you aren’t careful, your dog will try to establish itself as the alpha and consider you as a beta. In order for you to establish dominance, you need to establish rules and boundaries. For example, you may wish to keep the dog off the furniture and out of your room. These expectations need to be set from the beginning and always followed without exception. When you go for a walk, do not allow your dog to pull on the leash.

If you ever need to scold your dog, do it carefully. Dogs do not respond well to people that are unable to demonstrate stable behavior. When instructing your dog, you should be calm and assertive. Human’s naturally will use a higher pitched voice when getting upset, which will confuse your dog. For dogs, higher pitched voices can often indicate playfulness. If you are upset, you can emphasize this by using a lower voice.

React to Prevent Barking

In an apartment setting, a dog is going to be dealing with a lot more people passing by than normal. If you don’t want your dog barking every time a neighbor passes your door, you need to train your dog to realize that their reaction is unnecessary. When you first bring a dog to an apartment, watch it as people are coming and going. Whenever it perks up and before it barks, congratulate it for detecting that there are people there.

Train Them to Be Alone

Being alone in an apartment can be hard for a dog. Before you leave it for the day, you need to help the dog understand that you will come back. Start by leaving for a few minutes, then come back and play with your dog. Then leave for a slightly longer time. Little by little, you can build up your dog’s tolerance.

Owning a dog can be a wonderful thing. Sure, dogs are a lot of responsibility, but their undying loyalty makes it worth it. There is no reason why you can’t make keeping a dog in an apartment work. Just make sure that you do your research, plan ahead, and prepare. If you do, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

Looking for an apartment? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find the right apartment for you!

How to Find a Quality Contractor for Your Property

Are you planning an improvement project on your home or property? Unless you are experienced in construction work, you should probably hire a contractor to get the job done. Hiring the right contractor can be a difficult decision, though. How can you be sure that you are picking an honest one? Will you be satisfied with the quality of their work? You can answer these questions and address other concerns by doing the following.

Review Their Portfolio

Any professional contractor who takes pride in their work will have a portfolio of past projects. You should be able to find this on their website. When checking out their work, keep the following in mind. Do they have the experience necessary for your project? For example, any good contractor can put in a wood floor, but a quality dance floor needs to be specially built. Dance floors need to have a certain amount of spring in order to protect dancer’s joints. If your project requires special expertise, look for a contractor that has completed a similar project.

Also consider the contractor’s style. Many contractors specialize in a certain architectural style, be it modern, colonial, contemporary, etc. If available, you should try to visit a past project so you can evaluate the quality up close.

Check for Insurance

Contractor work can be dangerous. Any experienced contractor knows the importance of having an insurance policy. Insurance coverage protects you and the contractor from any problems, accidents, or other issues that may come up during the process. If the contractor is injured, their insurance will give them less of a reason to try to sue you. If they damage your home, their insurance will help them pay the cost of repairs, this will give less of an incentive to cover up mistakes. Before hiring, ask for the contractor’s insurance company. If they do not have one, you should find a different one.

Check Licensing

Anyone can swing a hammer, so can anyone be a contractor? Not necessarily. Most cities and states require contractors to be licensed. Licenses vary depending on the type of work and the cost of the job. Before hiring, check with your local government to determine what licenses are necessary, then ask your contractor to show you your license. Do not hire the contractor until you have seen proof of their license. Don’t just take their word for it. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can have serious legal ramifications.

It may be more expensive to use a contractor that meets all of these requirements, but it will get the job done right. When the project is complete, you’ll be glad you went to the extra effort to thoroughly vet your contractors. By following this advice, you can be confident that your choice of contractor was the right one.

Need help with your property? SouthGate Companies develops and manages both residential and commercial real estate properties. Talk to us today about what we can do for you.

Renters’ Insurance And Why It’s So Important

When someone is renting an apartment or a house, they may mistakenly think that their possessions are covered under the insurance of the property owner. That may not be true, and that’s exactly why you need renter’s insurance. It can help cover you and your possessions in the face of a catastrophic loss or another financial challenge. As such, here’s a look at why renters’ insurance is so important, and it can help protect you.

Many Places Require It

Depending on where you live, your apartment building, local or state laws may actually require that you get renters’ insurance. This is as much for their protection as it is yours, and renter’s insurance can help to distribute financial losses to a business that is prepared to pay for them, rather than to social services or a landlord. One of the most important things you can do is check with your local and state laws when signing a lease on a new place of residence. You can also ask your landlord if they require that you get renters’ insurance and ask if they have any recommendations about good insurance firms you can use to get this insurance.


The purpose of renter’s insurance is to protect you, as it provides you financial protection if something happens to you or your possessions. According to Murfreesboro Insurance Solutions, renters’ insurance protects residents in the event of an incident. Renters’ insurance is similar to liability protection in this way, and this is one of the lesser-known features of this type of protection.

It Is for More Than Just Your Things

Sure, renter’s insurance can cover your possessions if there is a fire, theft or natural disaster. However, according to Policygenius, it can cover more than that. Depending on the specific policy, it can also cover medical bills, legal liability, and living expenses if your rented apartment or house becomes temporarily unlivable. These are all expenses that may not be covered by any other policy, and that could potentially result in a major hit to your wallet.

Renting a home or apartment demands that you be a responsible tenant. This means many things, taking care of the property, ensuring the safety of your guests and roommates, and getting insurance. This will cover you, or family and your possessions in the unlike or unfortunate event that something terrible happens. Remember, the last moment you want to find out something has gone wrong is after an incident, not before.

If you’re looking for a place to rent, take a look at our available rentals!

Apartments for Rent: How Do You Find the Best Option?

You’ve been looking for Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, Iowa apartments for rent for some time but haven’t had much luck. There should be a large number of options – we at SouthGate always have some available – but knowing what you want and what you can afford is often a challenge. Therefore, it may be an excellent choice to pay attention to the factors outlined below. Our experts can help you figure out which option is the best for you and will work hard to ensure that you are satisfied.

Decide What Level You Want

When you’re looking for apartments for rent, you may end up finding that you have many options based on the level of the home. For example, there are second-story apartments available at many complexes. Some even offer third and fourth-floor apartments. What level do you want for your needs? There are many different factors to keep in mind when deciding, here.

First of all, the first floor is often a good choice for those who have children or who can’t get around quickly. That’s because they are safer and more comfortable to enter for those with mobility issues and less likely to cause falling accidents for children. That said, first-floor apartments are also often more expensive because they usually require more heating and cooling to keep comfortable.

So those looking for inexpensive options may want a second or third level apartment. Keep in mind, though, that you may end up getting way too hot because heat rises. Try to find a complex that offers cooling, here, and you should be fine. Also, don’t forget that you may end up paying more if you get a good view in a very high apartment. So pay attention to these factors to ensure you get the best choice.

Move at the Right Season

Many people make the mistake of trying to find apartments or housing during the summer season. This situation is understandable, particularly if you’re a student trying to find a home after the summer break. And while there may be more options in some ways during this period, you’re more likely to spend more because you’ll be moving during the busiest season. Try to choose a slower time to save yourself a little cash.

For example, moving during the winter can be a frustrating experience because it can be quite cold and hard to move through snow and other types of weather situations. However, that also doesn’t take into account the fact that you may find cheaper apartments during the winter because fewer people will be moving. And you may also be able to find lower-cost moving help from experts as well.

Please do some research, here, to get an idea of when the apartments for rent are at their cheapest in the area. A good year of study is a good idea. If you, for any reason, need to move more sooner, talk to housing experts in the area. These professionals can give you an idea of when housing is less expensive and provide you with the help that you need to keep your apartment as low cost as possible.

Know What Fees You Have to Pay

If you are moving into an apartment for the first time, you may not realize that your rent is often not the only thing that you have to pay. There are often many fees that landlords and complexes charge that up your living expenses further. Most compounds will explain these to you to make them easier to understand, but others may not. So pay attention to this facet to ensure that you don’t run into complications.

For example, be upfront about any potential problems and fees that may occur. Ask about parking fees, extra costs for pets, and more. Some apartments for rent are welcoming to pets, but others don’t allow them. Most that do allow them have a pet deposit that you need to pay once and which you never get back. You may also have to pay extra for your monthly rent, too, so pay attention to this factor.

And when you find apartments downtown, your parking prices are going to go up. Some apartment complexes with large parking lots may charge nothing to park. Others may have specialized garages that you have to pay to use. However, they offer more protection and privacy for your vehicle. So there’s a bit of a balance, here, one that requires you to be careful when choosing a place to live.

Debate a Fixer-Upper

People trying to find apartments for rent may not want to have to worry about finding any issues that may cost them money to fix. However, there can be a few benefits here for you. For example, if you spot problems with an apartment that you can fix – such as paint issues or cracked pipes – you can use these elements against the apartment owner to get better rental rates.

Does this seem unfair to you or a bit mean spirited? Not at all. Remember: your landlord is going to take heavily out of your deposit if even minor things are a problem when you move out of your apartment. As a result, you shouldn’t feel too bad about trying to get a lower rent. And we saw this as a company that rents housing out to others – we always expect a little haggling in this situation.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ll always get a cheaper apartment here. Some complexes have a very strict budget and may not decrease your rent for you. However, they do have to make repairs to the condo when these problems do occur. As a result, it is a good idea to talk to them about this potential problem and to see how soon they can fix it to avoid any other complications. Even better, you can have them install appliances, such as a washing machine, to replace ones that may break on you.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

As you can see, finding the best apartments for rent in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, Iowa isn’t as hard as you might think if you’re willing to take the time to work for it. If you’re still struggling to find your dream apartment in the big city, please don’t hesitate to contact us at SouthGate right away to learn more. Our experts have years of experience and can help you find the apartment in Iowa City that you’ve been hoping to find. We’ll work hard to ensure that you are satisfied.

Your Guide to Decorating A New Apartment

Moving into new apartments in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, Iowa is often an enriching experience. However, finding the best way to decorate a home may be a challenge for some people. As a result, you need to do what you can to enhance the overall look of your new apartment in a variety of ways. Thankfully, these tips should help you achieve that goal quickly and easily.                       

Consider Unique Sources for Decorations                       

When finding decorations for new apartments, you have many different choices. For example, some people will go to standard supermarkets to find items for their apartment’s decoration. In some situations, however, this can be costly if you don’t have a lot of spare cash. As a result, you may want to consider alternative options to ensure that you get the best results here.   

For example, people who are good at arts and crafts may want to consider DIY decorations. Consider creating some cool paintings that look great on your walls and which bring your apartment some class. You may also want to integrate photos throughout your home that make it feel more homey and appealing. Talented DIY experts can do just about anything if they think about it.                       

Check out second-hand stores, flea markets, and other discount shops to find items to use in your DIY projects. You may also be able to find items such as furniture at these stores. Don’t hesitate to do a little hard work to make this situation more palpable. Try to seek out a balance between too much decoration and too little, as well, to keep your apartment from getting cluttered.                       

Consider Space-Saving Options    

Even though many new apartments have plenty of room for you to add furniture and other decorations, you may still want to consider space-saving options. For example, floating shelves on your walls help to give you a storage area that is off the ground and which saves you some space. These shelves are easy to add to a multitude of walls and can hold many different items quite easily.                       

You may also want to turn end tables into storage options with a little bit of work. For example, storage bins can be turned into a small table for the end of your chairs and couches. Place items that you don’t need in here to keep them out of your way. You can then drape a tablecloth or something similar over the storage bin to make it more decorative and attractive for your apartment.                       

Make sure also to consider dual-purpose furniture for your apartment as well. These items are similar to the storage bins mentioned earlier because they provide more than one use for your home. For example, a fold-out sofa bed helps to make your apartment comfortable for guests. You can also buy a fold-up bed for your bedroom to save space when you aren’t sleeping.   

Don’t Ignore Little Elements                

They say that apartment design is only as good as the small details that make up its look. You can add beautiful new furniture, gorgeous paintings, and other elements but end up missing out on little features that genuinely make your apartment stand out. As a result, you need to pay close attention to these aspects throughout your residence to make sure that it feels like home and has a great style at the same time.                       

For example, throw rugs placed throughout your apartment can make it feel more homey and comfortable. This option is particularly useful if your residence has mostly hard floors that feel cold on the feet. Many new apartments utilize this option because it’s less expensive and ultimately easier to clean for many people. However, throw rugs help to make your residence more decorative.                       

And don’t forget to add other personal touches that make your apartment feel more like home. Place little knick-knacks throughout your apartment on shelves and in unexpected places. You may also want to change up different elements of your apartment’s design, such as adding a standing desk in your bedroom that gives you room to work while also making it easier to get some exercise.                       

Changing Up the Look                       

When decorating new apartments, you need to make sure that you find a style that feels comfortable for you for the long haul. You may not be upgrading your look for a few years and need to make sure that it looks and feels great. That said, you also need to make sure that you aren’t afraid to change things up over the years to keep your apartment as attractive as it deserves to be for your home.                       

For example, you may need to get rid of old furniture that has outstayed its welcome. Obviously, damaged furniture should be replaced with new items if they are starting to fall apart. Importantly, you should also pay attention to elements such as furniture layout, the look of your television and other electronic items, and how they are integrated into the overall look and feel of your home.                       

Pay particular attention to elements such as your rugs to make sure that they aren’t getting worn down with the years. Carpets should be able to last for decades if you buy durable types and make sure to maintain them properly. These repairs and maintenance procedures shouldn’t cost a lot of money if you take the time to do them properly. If not, you’ll end up having to purchase some new carpets and rugs to keep your apartment looking great.                   

Need Help With Your Apartment?                      

As you can see, decorating the best apartments Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, Iowa has to offer doesn’t have to be a difficult task. So if you want to find a great place to live at a price that you can afford, please don’t hesitate to contact us at SouthGate to learn more. Our professionals will work with you to create the most fabulous apartment that you can find and to get you moved in as quickly as possible.

Should You Rent or Own A Condo?

When looking for condos for rent in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, Iowa, you quickly found a large number that were available for purchase. As a result, you need to fully understand whether renting is your best choice for a condo or if you should consider making a purchase. The following information should help you know which option is best for your needs – both may be appropriate in many situations

When Renting is Right for You                       

Renting is often an excellent choice for those who want a condo. For example, if you plan on only occasionally using your condo or plan on moving soon, you should always rent. Buying in this situation is rarely a good idea because you’ll struggle to sell the property before your move has started. Renting gives you the chance to just walk out the door and be free of the living area for good.

Young people who plan on picking up multiple jobs early in their lives often appreciate this benefit of renting. However, renting is also a great idea if you hate mowing the lawn, repairing your house, or simply don’t have the money to do either. Rented condos provide services for upkeep like this and will typically provide it either at a low price or for absolutely free, saving you money.

Just as importantly, those with poor credit may find that renting is simply a more comfortable option for them than buying. Poor credit may make buying even a condo hard, though renting may raise your credit score in many circumstances. All of these influences are important to take into consideration when deciding to buy or rent. So don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if you’re interested in renting or may want to buy.

Unfortunately, there are situations in which rental is simply not a good idea. If you find that renting a condo is too expensive – and costs are rising – buying may be better because mortgages are usually lower. You may also want to avoid renting if you don’t plan on moving any time soon or have a stable lifestyle that would perhaps be better served by buying instead of looking for condos for rent.

When Buying Works for You                       

Although you may want condos for rent near you because you aren’t ready to buy, there are situations in which buying is the best possible choice. Though you may pay a little more upfront when you buy, you will ultimately save yourself money over the life of your mortgage. Beyond this benefit, you can also get a myriad of other advantages when you buy instead of rent.

For example, a condo is often a good starter home for people who are sick of renting but not quite ready to invest in a large house. Many condos are more significant than apartments and have mortgages that will be lower than renting. If you end up moving out of the apartment for another home, you can even sub-lease it like an apartment to make a little bit of money for your other home’s mortgage. This option is an excellent choice if you want to make good money owning a condo.

Condos are also a good idea if you don’t need a vast living area or if you are comfortable with a smaller living place. Single people who want to own a home often choose condos because they are smaller and fit their needs. Others may like a condo because they have minimal maintenance – some facilities even have on-site handymen who can provide you with the attention that you need to get your home fixed. Some facilities also pay to replace some items in your condo.

However, there are situations in which buying a condo isn’t a great choice. For example, if you plan on just visiting an area occasionally while you’re on vacation, buying a condo is often an expensive choice. When you find condos for rent in this situation, you can pay a minimal fee to own or rent a timeshare and save yourself a lot of money. This option is one that many people are starting to find is better for them than buying a condo for their needs.

You may also want to avoid buying a condo if you have a large number of personal belongings that you need to store. Condos are typically much smaller than standard homes and have fewer places where you can place your items. As a result, you may end up feeling somewhat constrained in your condo. No matter what choice you pick, though, you need to take the time to fully understand what type of condo is right for your needs.

Choosing a Condo                       

If you want to find condos for rent or even want to buy one, you have many different options from which you can choose. As a result, you need to take the time to check into the various models available near you thoroughly and to do what you can to sort out your different options. Typically, you need to ask yourself a series of questions about your needs to figure out which choice is right for your overall needs as a buyer or renter.

First of all, how many people are going to stay at the condo? If you’re the only person visiting or living there, you may only need one bedroom. However, multiple people will require more than one bedroom. Similarly, you should try to find a reasonably large condo if you plan on having a few people living there. A failure to give enough room for each individual may make the living situation more uncomfortable, even if you only plan on staying a short period during the year.

Also, you need to ask yourself what amenities you want in your condo and how much each is worth to you. For example, you may want a pool or decide that one is unnecessary for your needs. Likewise, you may want a condo with a lot of storage or feel comfortable with one that has limited options. Try to find the best choice in this situation, discuss your purchasing options with people near you, and work hard to seek out a condo that meets your needs.

We Can Help You Make a Decision

If you decide that you want condos for rent in Iowa City, Coralville, or North Liberty, Iowa, please don’t hesitate to contact us at SouthGate to learn more about your renting options. Our professionals have years of experience working with people in situations like yours and will work hard to ensure that you get the highest-quality condo that your money can afford.

Spotting Common Electrical Problems Before Renting An Apartment

You’ve been on the market for apartments for rent near Iowa City over the last few months, but you’ve had a hard time finding a place that you can trust. For some reason, you keep running into structural issues that make it an unsafe place to live. These issues included mold, problems with appliances, and even electrical problems that cause a multitude of issues that threaten the integrity of your apartment.

Of these concerns, electrical problems are probably the worst. They can cause fires that spread through your home and potentially harm or kill you while destroying your belongings. As a result, you should do a serious electrical examination of every apartment that you visit before renting. Though this might take some extra time, it ensures that you are protected from any dangerous problems.

Request an Unaccompanied Tour

When you’re looking for apartments for rent, and you’re worried about electrical problems, talk to the landlord about being an unaccompanied tour of the apartment. This situation is often possible if the renter is willing to give you the keys for an afternoon. If they act like they don’t want you to enter the apartment or seem a little shady about everything, you might want to find another apartment.

Once you set up a time for an unaccompanied tour, schedule at least 1-2 hours out of your day to look through the apartment for electrical problems. This step might seem like a bit excessive – after all, everyone is quite busy these days – but it can provide you with the insight that you need to understand the strength of your apartment’s electrical wiring fully and whether or not you’re in any danger.

While you’re there, you might want to bring along a friend who understands electrical wiring and who can let you know if there are any issues with the home. They don’t necessarily have to be professionals, though if you know a home electrician with skills in this area, you may want to consider bringing them along. If you have nobody who can help you, you can thankfully perform this step on your own.

Check for Common Electrical Problems

During your inspection of any apartments for rent you’re interested in leasing, you need to follow this guideline to find any potential electrical problems in a home. Make sure that you check every room in the house following this simple list. If you do, you’re more likely to spot any electrical problems that could trigger issues with your apartment and which could cause fires:

  • Inspect All Outlets for Stability – Place your hands carefully on the side of the electrical outlet and move it from side to side. The outlet shouldn’t shift on the wall at all but may have a slight give of less than an inch. If the outlet feels loose in the socket, then there might be an issue.
  • Remove the Outlet Cover – Use an appropriate screwdriver to open up the outlet and to check it for wiring issues. These include frayed or even broke wires exposed to the air. This problem is huge because it could cause sparks that are likely to trigger some problems in your home.
  • Sniff Around the Outlet – Plug a small electrical appliance into the covered outlet and wait for a few moments for its to power up. Smell the air as it runs to detect any odd odors. Smells often occur in a bad outlet and signify serious electrical problems. Unplug the appliance right away if this is the case.
  • Feel the Outlet Cover – While you have an appliance plugged into an outlet, wait a few minutes for it to run a while and then feel the cover. Does it feel warm at all? If it does, there may be an issue with the outlet that is causing it to run warmly, such as excessive electrical flow.
  • Listen for Any Sounds – Electricity is a powerful natural force but should be silent when running through your electrical outlets or switches. If you notice any buzzing sounds coming from a switch or outlet while it is in use, turn it off immediately or unplug the appliance.
  • Check the Switches – Turn the light switches on and off in several different ways to gauge how well they are operating. If you notice the lights flicker when you use the switch slowly, electrical issues may exist. Also, check the switches the same way you did the outlets – remove the cover, listen for sounds, and check for warmth.
  • Test the Circuit Breakers – Flick the circuit breakers several times to see how they react to this action. Typically, the power should come and go without causing any other issues. If other breakers trip while you’re triggering another breaker, there’s a good chance more problems exist.

Other steps that you can take include using electrical meters to test the power output of the outlet and checking power records to see if the home uses an excessive amount of electricity. These actions typically require you to leave the house and do a little investigation, though they should be done if you’re worried that any apartments for rent you’re interested in leasing have electrical issues.

Talk to the Landlord About These Problems

If you notice any obvious electrical problems in any apartments for rent near you, it is essential to schedule an appointment with the landlord right away. You should do this even if you don’t plan on renting the apartment anyway. Why? The landlord may not know about these problems and should so that they can take steps to repair them and to keep their future tenants protected.

An excellent landlord will listen to what you have to say and will be willing to make the necessary fixes. After all, they need to ensure that you are protected from any dangers for legal and professional reasons. If the apartment burns down and you are injured or suffer from severe losses, they will experience financial and legal ramifications that may cost them dearly.

After the landlord assesses and repairs these issues, take another tour of the apartment to see how well they fixed it. You should notice new outlets and switches in problem areas that you may have spotted. There should also be signs of wire testing and other symptoms. Double-check all of the outlets and switches again to see if any are still problematic. And trigger the breakers to see if anything adverse happens. If your landlord fixed these problems, the apartment is more than likely protected.

Let Us Help You!

So if you’re interested in high-quality apartments for rent in Iowa City, North Liberty, Coralville, or the surrounding Iowa area, please don’t hesitate to contact us at SouthGate to set up an appointment. We make sure that all of our apartments are as electrically sound as possible.

The Best Amenities for Family-Based Apartments

Your family has been looking for apartments for rent in North Liberty, Iowa for a few months now and you can’t seem to get anywhere. This situation can be very frustrating and may cause you to settle on a complex almost out of spite. Don’t make that mistake, as good family-style apartments need a myriad of amenities to make them worth your time.

So if you live in these areas and you need help deciding on the best amenities for your needs, seriously consider the options below. They provide a unique array of excellent comfort options that make them a great choice for you, your family, and everyone else who comes to visit you, such as friends.

Exercise Facilities

Workout gyms are one of the most popular amenities for apartment complexes, particularly those for families. These facilities provide a surprising array of benefits that make them one of the best options from which you can choose, particularly if you have children who have a lot of energy that needs burning.

For example, your complex should have at least a small exercise room with a multitude of machines that you can use to work out and get into shape. Even a handful of devices – like a treadmill, a rowing machine, and a weight bench – can provide you with the help you need to get into shape and stay that way.

These options are great for family apartments for rent because they serve a surprisingly wide array of individuals. For example, mom and dad can enjoy getting into shape in the facility and burning some of their child’s excess energy. And teenagers can utilize these facilities to get into shape for sports and other competitive events.

Outdoor Play Areas

Any family with children should look hard for an apartment complex that utilizes high-quality playground or play areas. These spots should be located outside in a fenced-in area to provide your children with maximum fun with the highest possible security while they have fun.

For example, any good apartments for rent should have a small park where your children can play and run on various playground equipment, such as slides, climbing bars, and much more. These areas give your children something to do and keep them out of the apartment during the warm parts of the season.

Just as importantly, these play areas give parents the chance to relax while their children have fun and burn some of their excess energy. As a result, they can come home a little less wired and relax to a delicious dinner and some family time before they end up going to bed for the night.

Swimming Pools

Whenever you go on vacation with your children, they demand that you stay at a hotel with a swimming pool. There is just something about swimming that children love, which is why you should find an apartment with a pool. They offer many advantages to your children and you.

For example, swimming pools are a great place to meet new friends and activity partners in your apartment complex. Your children will play with other friends, which can give you the ability to meet with their parents and talk to them about adult things, such as taxes and work.

These water-play areas often have hot tubs or even saunas where parents can relax while their children have fun in the pool. And since most apartment pools are at least five-foot deep, you can relax in the deep end and cool off when the summer heat gets too far out of control.

On-Site Daycare

Child care is often one of the biggest challenges of any family and can be particularly tough if you have a large family with multiple children. Though school will help care for many while you work, you may still need daycare from your apartment complex to keep your children happy and safe.

For example, an on-site daycare center is often an option in many complexes that focus heavily on the family. These centers are staffed with professionals who understand how to take care of children and who will work hard to ensure your children get the best level of care.

This option is so important for family-oriented apartments for rent. For example, your family may have two working parents – or you may be a single parent – and you can’t find a daycare center for your children while you’re at work. An on-site center will ensure your children are safe while you work.

Pet-Friendly Apartments

If you have pets in your current house, you may end up having a hard time finding an apartment that is right for your animals. Some complexes don’t allow pets at all while others will charge a fee for them. This fee is typically a good idea because it can ensure that your family stays whole and receives the benefits of pet ownership.

For example, your pup can serve as a great relaxation tool when times get rough and you need to calm your nerves. Pets also create a unique family figure that children love to play with and which can create a surprising level of family unit that is hard to get in any other way.

Therefore, you should find an apartment complex that lets you bring your cats, dogs, or whatever pets your family loves. These facilities should also include areas like dog parks, cat grooming facilities, and more to make your pet’s stay at your apartment even more comfortable and as relaxing as possible.

Complex WiFi Services

While most apartments for rent aren’t going to have this benefit, you may find a complex that offers high-quality WiFi services across the whole complex. This benefit is significant for a family because it can provide you with the ability to play video games, watch streaming movies, check email, or stay in touch with your child’s teachers.

In many cases, facilities with this type of amenity purchase multiple internet modems and spread them evenly throughout the complex. Then, you will pay a shared fee with your neighbors and the rest of the apartment facility’s complex to pay back your landlord. While the cost may be higher than a full split would suggest, you’ll still pay much less. Some might even offer this service for free.

Finding the Best Living Situation for Your Needs

As you can see, finding high-quality apartments requires taking the time to assess the amenities offered by each facility. You then need to weigh the price of each option and find one that not only meets the needs of your family but which is right for the money that you can afford.

So if you are looking for apartments for rent near North Liberty, Iowa and you aren’t sure where to turn, please contact us today to learn more. Our professionals will fit you with an apartment that meets your needs and will also try to save you money at the same time.