Skip to content Sitemap

Blog

Helping Your Elderly Parents Find A Home or Apartment?

You may be finding yourself with a parent who needs more time and attention. If your mom or dad needs to downsize their home, there are resources to help them find inexpensive housing.

Low Rent Apartment Search: This link from Housing and Urban Development brings it all together. You type in your location and they’ll give you names and numbers of subsidized buildings in your price range.

Get the Government to Pay the Rent: It’s true. Low-income individuals can apply for vouchers and use them to pay rent almost anywhere.

Guide to Apartments by State: This link, also from HUD, is a giant list of apartments in your state. It doesn’t have much information in terms of who is eligible for what, but it makes for good browsing.

Public Housing: If that doesn’t sound very appealing just keep in mind they’re actually just apartments managed by local housing agencies with funding from the federal government.

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT APARTMENT FOR YOU

Don’t let searching for an apartment be intimidating. With over 40 years of commercial property ownership and supervision, we have seen trends in finding the right home that stand the test of time. Take these handy tips to help you narrow your search and find the right home for you and your family.

1. SET REALISTIC GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS

It does take some effort to find the perfect apartment. Don’t expect to find the right place for you during your first search. This way, you will be less likely to be disappointed if you don’t find an apartment right away. Just take things in stride, and know that you will reach your goal in due time.

2. CONSIDER THE LOCATION

If being near friends and family is important to you, be sure to consider that in your apartment search. How is the commute to work, schools, or the nearest grocery store? Is it close to public transportation? Learning what’s nearby and what’s easy to get to is truly essential when choosing an apartment. Additionally, you should consider the neighborhood and its reputation. Drive by on several occasions, both night and day, to get a true perspective. Is it in a safe area?

3. SEPARATE THE HAVES FROM THE HAVE NOTS

When searching for an apartment, it’s important that you have a clear picture in mind of what it is you’re seeking. Try putting together a list of your needs and desires. What do you absolutely have to have, and what would be nice to have? Use the Internet as much as you can to do your research before visiting different properties to help save yourself some time and learn which ones fit your criteria.

Consider the following:

  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • How much closet space do you need?
  • How important is location?
  • Are any features — such as an updated kitchen, or built-in shelves — important?
  • How is the parking, for both you and your visitors?
  • What amenities do you desire?
  • Do you need a place that allows pets?
  • Do you need a lot of storage?

4. DETERMINE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

Once you know what you’re after in an apartment, take into consideration what you can afford. Being prepared ahead of time will help steer you in the right direction and help prevent the disappointment of finding the perfect apartment that you just can’t financially manage. Typically, you’ll want to figure a maximum cost of no more than one-third of your monthly income.

5. GOT ROOMMATES?

The two or three of you should come up with a plan of action. Aside from taking into consideration what each person desires and can afford, each can be responsible for helping out in the apartment search. Divvy up tasks, depending on schedules. Maybe someone can preview a handful of listings while the other checks out some others.

6. VISIT THE PROPERTIES

Once your initial research is complete and you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of properties, it’s time to go visit each space. When you arrive, go first to the manager’s office or the leasing office, and let them know that you’re interested in seeing an apartment. Be specific about the size you need, and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way, such as:

  • How much is the rent?
  • Will you have to pay a deposit or additional rent to lease?
  • Do they allow pets and, if so, how much is the pet deposit or pet rent?
  • Are utilities included?
  • What are the amenities and hours of operation?

As you make your way to the model apartment, be sure to look for things on the exterior, such as broken windows, trash, loud music, yelling tenants, sagging doors, broken sidewalks or lights. These are telltale signs of an unkempt, poorly managed apartment complex. Mark properties off your list if you notice two or more of these items.

Once you’re on the inside, take note of the layout and design, and determine if it will fit your needs and desires. Look at the ceiling for cracks and water stains. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and look for signs of bugs or rodents. Open closets and use your nose. If there’s a funny smell inside, it’s likely there will be one in your unit as well.

7. STAY ORGANIZED

Once you’ve started researching more than a few apartments, it’s easy to get them confused. Stay organized by taking notes. For example, consider tracking the following:

  • an apartment’s location
  • the broker, owner, or tenant and their contact information
  • the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • the pros and cons
  • any promises that were made or deals that were offered
  • additional notes

Keep a folder, notebook or file handy to house any brochures, floor plans, pictures or other printed materials.

8. LET US HELP

T &C Property Management can assist you with your apartment search. Be sure to check back often for available listings. Call 505-268-1181 when you’re ready to set up an appointment.

What the Fair Housing Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Means for Real Estate

What the Latest Fair Housing Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Means for Real Estate

HUD’s guidance released on April 4, 2016, states that as many as 100 million U.S. adults – or nearly one-third of the population – have a criminal record of some sort. When individuals are released from prisons and jails, their ability to access safe, secure and affordable housing is critical to their successful reentry to society. Yet formerly incarcerated/non-convicted individuals encounter significant barriers to securing housing, because of their criminal history.

While persons with criminal records are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s guidance maintains that criminal history-based barriers to housing have a disproportionate impact on minority groups. Because minorities are a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s guidance says that creating blanket criminal-based policies and restrictions could potentially violate the Fair Housing Act.

In light of HUD’s Guidance, please consider the following:

  • You may still deny an applicant based on other factors in your criteria, i.e. if they do not qualify financially or have unfavorable rental history
  • Eliminate policies that require denial of all ex-offenders regardless of criminal history or exclude applicants based solely upon arrest records.
  • You must perform an individualized assessment on the applicant, but maintain certain guidelines and apply them evenly
  • Screening criteria reflects a willingness to look into individual circumstances such as:
    • The facts surrounding the criminal conduct
    • The age of individual at time of conduct
    • Evidence the applicant has maintained good tenant history before or after the conviction or conduct and
    • Evidence of rehabilitation efforts
  • Review screening policies for the following:
    • Give greater weight to convictions for violent offences than non-violent offenses
    • Give greater weight to convictions than arrests or
    • Give less weight to criminal activity that occurred years ago
  • You may exclude an applicant who was convicted of the distribution or manufacture of drugs without further inquiry
  • Provide updated fair housing training for on-site staff and refresh resident screening policies.

 

Chuck Sheldon is the President of the Apartment Association of NM, Owner and Qualifying Broker for T & C Management, LLC. Contact us or your attorney for more information.

T & C Management, LLC

1701 Moon St. NE | Suite 400

Albuquerque, NM 87112

(505) 268-1181

Managing Homelessness

Homelessness
By Chuck Sheldon, CPM, CCIM
President of T&C Management, LLC

Our distinguished, Mayor Richard Berry, has reached out to the community, for assistance with reducing homeless. This assistance is through placing homeless folks, into apartment homes. Participating with this program has it challenges, but it’s also rewarding. With several agencies participating, over 400 families, including individuals, have been placed into apartment homes, and communities.

How do you participate in eradicating Homeless when we have strict rental guidelines? When managing market rent properties we have sets of guidelines that help create consistency among our clients and help to create a successful residency. Typical policies and guidelines state: no felons, no evictions, no bad credit, and require a successful rental history. And to top it off, we must be consistent within our application process.

Well, the homeless meet none of these rules; in fact they are in violation of some of these rules, if not all of them. What to do? How do we stay consistent and not violate HUD housing guidelines, by treating clients differently, creating a different class of tenants.

When the Mayor’s initiative was launched with the focus on eliminating Veteran’s Homeless, I reached out to The Veterans Administration, and we created a Memorandum of Understanding, “MOU”, stating clients coming through a program, such as The Veterans Integration Center, “VIC”, we would set aside the standard rental guidelines, and use a set developed to allow clients with troubled pasts to rent an apartment. When living under a bridge, or in open spaces, without a job, food or money, it is hard not to have violated a law or ordinance. Consequently, it is imperative that we adjust our leasing standards to accommodate these individuals, by stating under what conditions we can provide housing. As of April 4, 2016, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance urging housing providers to exorcize caution when implementing criminal history policies or practices used to make housing decisions. A person with a criminal history can challenge the housing provider’s decision, placing the burden on the housing provider to prove that their policies are in fact are non-discriminatory. The issue centers around creating desperate impact on a group of persons, as the preponderance of people with criminal histories are minorities. This direction now directs us to have a policy and evaluate applicants individually as to the type of criminal history they may have. For a copy of this direction, go to WWW.hud.gov.

The next step is to create relationships with the agencies supporting the mission of placing the homeless into affordable housing. We need to learn agency nomenclature, which will assist the client with their readjustment back into society and we need to get on a first name basis with their caseworker, creating a conduit which helps when a client intervention is required. Many of the homeless have PTSD, or some form of mental illness, most not acute, but they will need assistance until they can fully transition back into society. People that have lived on the street have learned to live within the frame work of the street society, which is not always conducive to living in an apartment community, consequently the need for a caseworker.

Why should we do this – go through all this work? Besides being the moral thing to do, there is an economic side to this equation. It has been proven that there is a 93% reduction in shelter costs, a 95.9% decrease in jail costs, 65.9% reduction in emergency room costs, and a forty per cent decrease in medical outpatient care costs. All these savings show a 31.6% savings in decreased costs to the community. Reference: www.abqheadinghome.org.

We have successfully housed over 50 families by working with agencies. The greatest reward is having a tenant who was destructive, get back on their medicine, become stable, purchases a vehicle, and ultimately, purchases a home. This veteran has successfully transitioned back into society. One star fish saved; if we each help one family or individual, we can make a difference.

Chuck Sheldon CCIM, CPM
Qualifying Broker/Principal
T &C Management, LLC
Albuquerque NM, Suite 400
87112

Immigration

The president, Mr. Trump indicates that with military precision, we are removing the most dangerous of immigrants; murderers, rapist, and drug king pins. Yes, we have “Dragoons” ICE agents waiting by court houses to bludgeon immigrants who were trying to adhere to civic duties by going to court, but ending up in a dragnet, putting them in unmarked cars and sending them to detention centers. These parents, fathers, and mothers of US Citizens, young under aged children, are being carted off in the guise of being “Bad Hombres'”. In military terms, collateral damage.

Today I had a young mother of three come into my office to let me know that she would have to move due to the fact that her husband had been deported, a dishwasher, who was supporting his family. WOW, what a win! Now we will have children living on the state’s welfare system. We just removed a hard working individual in the guise of removing bad guys. Yes, we will get some bad guys, but at what cost? These parents have children, US Citizens, born in the US, and working like all of us to support our families. We are deporting people that have been here for years, or decades that have been hard working people, contributing to society. We are chilling our communities, people will not call police, and women will suffer in silence, due to fear of being deported. ICE agents are not profiling whites, but people of color. Immigrants are selling their homes in preparation and fear of deportation.

I here all the time these immigrants are taking our jobs! When some one that speaks little English takes a job, it is not because they are cutting pay, but because no one else wants the job. We can’t fill dishwashing or culinary jobs, roofing jobs and construction positions, and least of all agriculture jobs. When food expenses double or triple, and construction costs turn your investments negative, and clothing costs double, there will be a a revelation as too the value of our immigrants.

These policies are anti-American and ill conceived. Proponents argue that these are not dragnets, that these are just casual encounters. What a delusion! I don’t agree that we should deport, but if someone commits a serious crime we should put them in federal prison. No one wants someone in their communities that will hurt them or their family, consequently they need to be tried and imprisoned, so that they don’t reenter the country. We have placed our communities against the federal government. That is why we have the Second Amendment, so the Citizenry can protect itself from the ternary of the Federal Government. We now have Church’s, private citizens creating safe zones. Are these just all liberals? No, it’s the 52% that did not vote for these policies. The President who ran on Washington is not listening, is not listening. Surprise, surprise!

Chuck Sheldon CCIM, CPM
Qualifying Broker/Principal
T and C management, LLC
Albuquerque NM, Suite 400
87112

« Previous Page