“I’m looking for a rental… but my move-in date isn’t for a few months.”

“I’m looking for a rental… but my move-in date isn’t for a few months.”

We’ve all been there, trying to get a jumpstart on finding and securing a rental before a busy season or personal deadline. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find and secure a rental a few months out. Property managers likely do not yet know if their tenants are planning on renewing or terminating their lease, or may be unsure of the property owner’s plans (such as moving back into the property or putting the property on sale).

As property managers, we get several rental inquiries around this time of year and know how disappointing it is to hear, “We can’t help you until it gets closer to your move in date.” While we can’t provide a definite list of what we will have available, we can usually provide a list of what may be available, so that potential renters can begin to get an idea of different neighborhoods and rental prices. Since we get a few early inquiries, we’ve compiled a list of some tips for those looking to get a headstart on their rental search and have detailed our own rental process for potential renters.

  • Know your budget.
    Sit down and thoroughly examine your income and spending patterns each month to set a budget for rent. Pick a budget for monthly rent that you will be able to pay comfortably each month.
  • Decide what neighborhoods will work best for you to live in.
    Will you be commuting to school or work? Will you have a car or be taking public transportation? Will you be spending a lot of time downtown? When you are looking at rentals, fully consider where it would be convenient for you to live based on where you spend most of your time.
  • Finalize your roommate situation.
    There’s nothing worse than a last minute roommate change but unfortunately, they do happen! Be sure that you and your potential roommates discuss expectations and rooming situations prior to applying for a rental. If there is an individual who seems on the fence about renting with you or your other roommates, have a backup plan if they change their mind.
  • Check your credit score.
    We have a full post on checking and managing your credit score here! Your credit score will be an important factor in the approval of your rental application, so be sure you are aware of your score and work on building your credit prior to submitting applications.
  • If you have furry friends, look into pet policies and restrictions.
    Several property management groups or apartments have certain rules or restrictions when it comes to pets, so it is important to ask about pet policies prior to submitting an application. It will be helpful to have a copy of your pet’s medical history and any references handy during your application process as well.

Looking to move in a few months? Check out our tips on what to include in your budget and how to prepare for applications.

  • Organize the documents will you need for your application.
    Most rental properties will require you to include proof of income and rental history in your application. Be sure to gather financial documents, any written recommendations, and contact information for your workplace and previous landlords/property managers.
  • Keep additional costs in mind.
    Don’t forget to factor in the cost of applications, movers or rental trucks, and utilities! Update your budget as necessary to make sure that it allows for all the costs associated with moving, not just the cost of rent!

Dianne Perry & Company is looking forward to busy spring and summer rental season! While we do not have a final list of available rentals, we would be happy to give you a starting point with rentals that may become available. Give our office a call at 910-332-0736 or email us!

Our Rental Process

We try to make our rental process as painless as possible! Many of our rentals utilize a Rently box, which a lockbox that allows potential renters to view the property on their own at any time, by calling the number listed on the lockbox or signing up on the Rently website to receive an entry pin. (Rently has a $1.00 registration fee).

If a property does not have a Rently box, or if you would like to come by our office, we will have keys that can be checked out with a valid photo ID and refundable $20.00 deposit.

If you like a rental and would like to apply, our rental application can be completed online through our website. We have a $60.00 application fee per person, which is non-refundable regardless of whether or not the application is approved. (If you are not approved for a property, or if another applicant is selected, you do not have to submit another application if you are interested in another property we are listing – we will simply use the same application.)

Once approved, our rental deposit is typically equal to one month’s rent, however, this can vary in certain circumstances.

Our pet deposit is typically $200.00, however, this can vary and not all properties are pet-friendly.


Looking for a rental right away? Check out our current listings!

How To Boost Your Mood At Home

You unlock your door and take a huge sigh as you enter your home. There are some dishes left in the sink, mail scattered across the countertops and to do lists and post-its swallowing your desk. Instead of being a welcoming oasis after a long day at work, it is just more stress. Does this scene sound familiar? You’re certainly not alone, but there are plenty of good ways (and some scientific ways!) to make your home more relaxing. Below we’re sharing the science of home decor and a few of our personal tips for relaxation at home.

  • Contain the mess. While we can all agree this is usually easier said than done, keeping a tidy home will help you feel more organized and relaxed. Try making a schedule for cleaning or complete chores as soon as you get home to get them out of the way. If organization is a recurring problem, look to Pinterest or Home Decor sites for home organization ideas.
  • Add a scent. Adding a scent to your space can reduce stress and even lift your mood. If you’re worried about candles, essential oils and diffusers are a great alternative. Lavender and vanilla are great scents for relaxation, but we recommend searching for a scent that appeals most to you.
  • Fresh air. When possible, opening the window is a great way to improve the circulation in your home and clean out any unwanted scents. Plus, we can’t think of anything better than sitting by a refreshing breeze.


Do you have any tips for decorating or relaxation? Share them in the comments! We would love to hear them!

Rental Real Estate Still the Best Investment

The Great Recession may have knocked real estate values for a loop but it did not change the basic premise that rental real estate is still the best investment value for most Americans. Values are on the rise again. However, this is a bonus and not the basis for investment.

The real story has remained the same through time. The rent coming in pays the mortgage on the property which, over time, allows the owner to have a debt free property that someone else paid for… it doesn’t get better than this! You put up the initial cash down payment-the rent pays the rest. Yes, there will be maintenance, taxes and insurance. That’s all tax deductible and usually covered by the rent, as well. One day, the property is all yours and producing retirement income. And as the real estate market always does, it has rebounded and doubled in value.

Today’s Millenial generation makes up 40% of our population and 90% of them are renters. This demographic is educated, have very good incomes, great credit scores and want nice rental homes. They are unlikely to cause any damage. It is a great time to buy an investment, put it in the hands of a property management company and collect the mortgage payment as rent!

Decorating your Rental Home for Halloween

So. You love the Fall. And you really love Halloween. You’ve got boxes of spooky decor tucked into every available space in the house but you’re afraid to display any of it because you’re a renter. Never fear! We’ve got a few tips to help you indulge your love of all things Halloween while avoiding potential damage to your rental.

Tip 1: Focus on items that don’t require nailing down. Go crazy at the pumpkin patch, splurge on mums from one of our local Wilmington nurseries. They’ll add wonderful atmosphere to both the exterior and interior. Set up a tiny graveyard in your front yard and hang spiderwebs from the trees. Don’t forget to add some of those creepy fake ravens and skulls to really give your guests the shivers!

Tip 2: If you have some great stuff that’s just crying out for display on your walls, try some Command hooks. This nifty invention sticks to the wall using an adhesive that, once removed per the instructions, leaves the paint job intact. No nail holes, no sweat come move out. They’re also great for using on the front door to display a wreath.

Tip 3: Create a shape large enough to fit your windows using black poster board. Cut out large jack-o-lantern face in each window size shape. Get creative! Use double-sided tape to hang them in the windows and voila! You’ve just made your home the talk of the street every time you turn the lights on at night.

Tip 4: Use special lighting effects to catch the eye of trick-or-treaters! A black LED floodlight in the front yard, painting your home in an eerie purple glow, flashes of lightening, or neon green mist creeping in your landscaping all go a very long way to making a huge impact without harming your rental.

Check out this page with even more tips: http://budgetdecorating.about.com/od/HalloweenDecorations/a/31-Halloween-Decorating-Ideas.htm

What are some of your tips and ideas for decorating your rental home for Halloween?

Schedule your rent payment online!

You can now make your rent payment online- directly from your bank account! Best of all, this service is free- FREE- it comes at no additional cost to you!

Consider the following benefits of paying your rent online:

Security. Online payments are more secure than mailing a check. You’ll receive an email notification when your payment is made that you can keep for your records. You can even sign up for email reminders that your rent is coming due.

Speed. Online payments post to your account immediately- faster than if you mail a check or use an online bill payment service. It’s even faster that dropping off a check at our office.

Convenience. View your charges and make payments online anytime and from anywhere. No more paper checks, envelopes, stamps, or unnecessary “out of your way” trips to our office to drop off a check. You can even set up a recurring payment so your rent is paid automatically- no more worrying about forgetting to pay your rent on time or dealing with those pesky late fees!

You’ll need to activate your account to use this service, if you haven’t already. Contact our office if you need us to resend your activation email. It contains a link that you’ll need to click so that you can set up your password. Log into https://dianneperryco.appfolio.com/connect to access the Tenant’s Portal so you can start up this wonderful, convenient, free service today.

Did we mention that this service is FREE?!?

Wonderful Wilmington October 2014 Newsletter

Falling for Fall with Fun Festivities!    

Whew! That headline alliteration took a lot more brain power than I thought it would. Moving on.

One of the things we look forward to the most during the Fall are all of the fun things to do in and around Wilmington. Do you feel the same way? Here’s a quick list of some local events during the month of October:

1) Annual Wilmington Riverfest. Downtown Wilmington, NC

   Riverfront Park, October 3-5, Admission: Free

   visit http://wilmingtonriverfest.com for more details

2) Family Friendly Farm Days. Legacy Farms in Wallace

   October 4-5, 11, 18 and 25, Admission: $8, featuring corn maze, hay

rides, haunted woods trail, costumed actors

   Visit www.legacyfarmsevents.com for more details

3) Grooves in the Grove. Poplar Grove Plantation

   Every Sunday, at 5:00 pm, through October 26, Admission: Free

Check out WhatsOnWilmington.com for a very comprehensive list of our local happenings!



Pumpkin Huntin’?

Are you wondering where you can both find a great selection of pumpkins this year and support a good cause? We recommend a visit to the pumpkin patch at Wesley Memorial, on the corner of South College and Peachtree! Proceeds support the Wesley Memorial Youth Ministry.

You can swing by the church and browse their huge selection after you drop off your October rent at our office on Treadwell Street. Three birds, one stone. Look at you, you efficiency rockstar!



Notes from Dianne:

“We’re proud to report some of the highest tenant ratings in local reviews,that 97% of our properties are rented for 2014, we have a 98% occupancy rate and only 2% of our properties were vacant for over 30 days.

Great job team!”



Get ready for cooler temps!

Fall is officially here and we can’t wait to wear our cozy sweaters, consume pumpkin spice everything. Aren’t the chilly weather, hay rides and colorful leaves so fun?

At home, take a moment to turn your heating system on to make sure it’s working well. While you’re at it, it’s a great time to replace the air filters and smoke alarm batteries, and check the thermostat batteries, too! Take a look outside, and make sure that debris is cleared away from the condenser.

A little bit of effort now will help to prevent frostbitten toes later.

If you notice a problem with the heat, give us a call. We’re here to help!