Stress-free rental ownership

Home ownership is a wonderful, albeit stressful, and overwhelmingly rewarding experience.

However, due to a number of reasons (financial, work, flexibility) not everyone who needs a home is able to own. This is where rentals come in.

Around 36 per cent of dwellers rent their properties, a large market that can be incredible profitable for a rental owner, so long as it is done smartly and successfully.

Whether you are considering buying your first income property, or are an experienced landlord struggling to keep your tenants happy, I have compiled a list of five tips for stress-free rental ownership.

Hire a Management Company

There is no denying the return on investment that hiring a property manager can bring to a rental home owner, not to mention the stress-relief.

While financially it can seem enticing to self-manage, there are copious benefits to hiring out. Feel free to shop around, some companies charge a flat fee while others a percentage. Never rule out the advantages to keeping it local also. 

Price Fairly

Similarly to when selling a property, finding the ideal rental price is an art.

You want a price that will attract a number of potential good renters, so you can make your renter decision wisely.

However, unlike the flexible pricing of a home for sale, a monthly rental income is a bit more of a long-term commitment. Whatever price you agree on with your tenant, you will likely be earning for the following 12-24 months, depending on your rental agreement.

If you choose too low, you may find yourself regretting that decision when other homes in your area are earning a higher rent. On the other hand, if you post a competitive price, you’ll likely see fewer vacancies and in the long run more earnings.


Maintenance on a rental home isn’t always an equal playing field with maintenance on a property you live in.

Human nature often persuades us to put off and delay smaller projects at home, but be wary of doing so when it comes to an issue that a tenant calls about. A happy tenant leads to a stress-free rental.

Although it may not be your priority on a holiday weekend to fix an AC unit in a rental, it is your responsibility.


On the flip side, while it is your job to maintain the property that your tenant is renting, it is their job to inform you of any damages and seek approval for any changes they make to the property.

However, tread lightly as to not be intrusive of a tenant’s privacy. Perform regular inspections, but give advanced notice.

Streamline the Process

Gone are the days of chasing down a tenant for cash or a cheque. With a multitude of software and technology available in this day and age, give your tenants the ability to easily pay online and make finding a future tenant a breeze by marketing your property on a real estate site or app.

For more help finding or marketing a rental property, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout.  Salt Fowler Team at 250-549-7258 or [email protected].

Home design trends, Part 2

Part 2: Renovation

Last month, I shared with you some of my favourite cosmetic design trends for 2019.

From the return of vintage and old-world textiles, to the never-ending fascination with white, I hope you found something interesting to blend into your own home’s style.

While paint colours and area rugs are impactful yet relatively easy changes to make to a home; full renovation requires more careful deliberation and decision making.

Whether you are currently in, soon will be, or simply hope to be in the renovation or new build game, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite trends in home design and building materials for you to ponder.

Be “open”

The German design movement, the “Bauhaus,” was a highly influential design movement that focused on the harmony of the function of an object and its design.

I believe we are seeing a resurgence of this in today’s minimalist society, as we strive to lessen the purely ornamental and increase what is both beautiful and useful.

One of the ways I believe we see this style put into play today is with the trend of open shelving. This relatively-easy renovation is being used most commonly in kitchens, but also in bathrooms, living areas, and office spaces.

It allows homeowners to display commonly-used items as décor while simultaneously keeping the design light and airy.

Be “raw”

This next trend in home renovation focuses on texture and material.

For years, home design has focused on hiding the bones of a structure with ornamental layers. Increasingly, we see the layers being peeled away to reveal more organic materials.

From exposed wood beams and unfinished cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms, to natural stone tile floors and back splashes and massive marble slabs, the trend forecasts the use of more raw materials in home renovation.

Be “clean”

To total chagrin of most home buyers today, the trend of the past was tiny, hidden laundry spaces. Ironically, this very commonly used area of the house was often the least considered in the building process.

Today, homeowners are looking for dedicated rooms and spaces for their washer and dryer. Think folding tables, a large sink, and drying racks for the utmost in laundry luxury.

To utilize this renovation trend in a more practical way, consider combining with a mud room or rarely-used bath.

Be “smart”

The smart home style has already been around for a while, but while in the past this technological trend was something used on occasion, now we are seeing it as the standard.

From TVs and refrigerators, to outlets and small appliances, it’s becoming increasingly easy to utilize smart technology in your home.

When renovating or building, ask your contractor about installing LED recessed lighting, smart thermostats, or blinds that you can control from your phone.

he benefits of this are also two fold, while simultaneously making your life easier, smart appliances are a great way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

For a full analysis of the best items to focus on for resale for your home in the coming year to increase the value upon sale by up to five per cent, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout at 250-549-7258 or [email protected].

Design trends for 2019

There is something about storing away the Christmas decorations and returning my home to a state of minimalism post-the holidays that always triggers an urge to update a room or two — or the whole house.

Along with the New Year come new home design trends, and I’ve compiled a few of my favourite cosmetic style changes that you can seamlessly bring into your space without full renovation.

Out with the new, bring in the “vintage”

This particular trend is nothing new, as Turkish and oriental rugs have been in decorative use for ages. However, while the classic geometrics we are used to seeing won’t be going anywhere, more simple woven textiles are becoming increasingly popular.

Look for the minimal weave and design of flatweave Kilim rugs to add style without overwhelming a neutral space, as well as the clean stripes and lines on hmong fabrics for beautiful throws and pillow covers.

The future of white

There is something to be said for the lovely simplicity of white walls. While providing a shade for everyone’s tastes, the white palate is simultaneously bright, clean, and easy to blend with most home styles.

I don’t believe this trend is going anywhere soon, however what 2019 will bring is more experimenting with darker tones, particularly in kitchens and accent walls. Deep, earthy tones look beautiful on cabinetry and behind open shelving, particularly when combined with natural wood tones.   

It’s only natural

Though it seems like only yesterday that we saw the near disappearance of chrome and silver and the arrival of brass, I am told that this year will bring with it the arrival of more natural materials for fixtures within the home.

The organic texture of concrete and other stone lend themselves beautifully to light fixtures and storage containers, and the warm tones in copper offer timeless elegance when used for knobs and pulls.

I hope something on this list sparks your interest, or at least spurs some online shopping. Check back next month for a list of my favourite trends in home design, the renovation version.

For a full analysis of the best items to focus on for resale for your home in the coming year to increase the value upon sale by up to five per cent, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout.


Top 5 home resolutions

It’s the same old story. Every New Year you vow:

  • to exercise
  • save more money
  • reconnect with old friends.

However, what do you do for you home? I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the top five resolutions for your abode in the upcoming year.


Unless you are one of the very few homeowners who keeps their space paired down regularly, you probably have an abundance of stuff. From clothing and décor, to kitchen utensils and home improvement items, our natural instinct tends toward collecting and hoarding.

For clothing items and home décor, I believe the strategy is the same. If you don’t love it, lose it.

Trends and tastes change, but rarely do they come around in one lifetime. When it comes to more technical items such as appliances, first remove what is clearly unfixable or not worth fixing, then decide what to sell or donate.

The process might be daunting, but the end result will leave you and your home feeling lighter and clear the way for future updates!


Once you have eliminated the clutter, it’s important to keep everything else in order.

Having a specific location for every type of item in your home will keep life simpler and save you time. This is particularly important in the kitchen and office areas.

Labelling always helps too.

Reduce Energy Consumption

The benefits of this are two-fold — lowering your energy consumption lowers your bills and helps preserve this wonderful world we call home.

Luckily for you, this resolution has been around for a while, and therefore there are an abundance of products and ideas out there to help.

If you haven’t already, schedule an energy audit to get the full picture on what your home is using (or losing) on a daily basis.

Next, little changes such as replacing incandescent bulbs, lowering your thermostat when you’re away (a smart thermostat can help with this), and installing low-flow shower heads can also help.

Big changes like solar panels and updated insulation are also something to investigate.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Whether you have children or are suffering from seasonal allergies and ailments, improving the quality of air in your home is an often overlooked, but vital thing to consider.

Start with keeping things clean, after you are done minimizing your stuff, take a day to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny to give your home a clean sweep.

Next, investing in an air purifier is a great way to maintain your home’s air quality if you live in a polluted area or city.

Lastly, air quality monitors are relatively inexpensive, and in today’s climate of smart-home products, they look the part too.

Budget Home Renovations

The beginning of a new year (and winter in general) can bring about new ideas for home updates and upgrades.

If your list is already growing, it’s important to prioritize these projects to avoid getting into financial trouble.

Further, when and if you decide to start a job, make sure to create a detailed outline and budget (and leave room for the unexpected!)

For a full analysis of the best items to focus on for resale and to increase the value by up to five per cent, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout.  

More Just Add Salt! articles

About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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