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All renters move in with the best of intentions.  They believe they will only be renting for a year.  "I'll clean every weekend", they say.  Then they do decide to move out, and found they didn't do so well on their promises.  Kool-aid stains in the carpet, baked-on grease in the oven, dirt around each light switch.  This wasn't the condition of the apartment on move-in day.  Now, cleaning takes a full 12-hour day and risk losing your security deposit.  What to do?

A Clean Home Is A Happy Home

Keeping your rental clean is an important step to earning back your deposit.  Devote up to an hour each day to keep your home clean.  Vacuum, dust, wash down walls, pickup trash....all of these "small job" items can be completed while cooking supper during the week.  In addition, choose 1 "big job" to tackle each week.  A "big job" would be like cleaning the oven, shampooing the carpets or cleaning out the refridgerator.  These jobs should be finished at least once every quarter and can take between an hour and 3 hours to complete.  However, your home will look better, smell better and be more inviting to your guests.  Above all, your landlord will thank you with a better return on your deposit.

Nail holes: Small Holes, Big Repairs

Want to hang pictures in your apartment?  Don't use nails or adhesive hooks or tape!  These items are hard to repair and will require painting afterwards (all of which uses up your security deposit!).  Some stores carry "no repair EZ Hooks", however we cannot recommend these hooks as we have yet to test them.  Your best bet is to not hang anything on your walls or make any alterations whatsoever.  This will maximize your security deposit return.

Furnace Filter Replacement

Just like in a home, your apartment requires monthly furnace filter replacement.  When originally leased, your apartment was fitted with a brand new furnace filter.  Your landlord requires a new filter to be installed on move-out day.  But between move-in and move-out day, having a dirty furnace filter increases your electric bill significantly!  Change your furnace filter monthly!

Smoking Can Kill Your Security Deposit!

By now we all know the dangers of smoking to our bodies.  However, smoking in a confined area (such as your apartment) can cause more than just bodily injury to ourselves and our children. 

The tar and nicotine in cigarettes will get on everything. 

  • It will cause your ceilings and walls to brown and look very dirty, which will cost additional security deposit money to repair.
  • The tar will get into your heating and air conditioning units and cause them to not work as well.  Not only that but you will need to change your furnace filter more often! 
  • No smoking in the home also saves having cigarette burns and holes in the carpet.  Replacing your carpet after moving out is a major expense and will eat up your entire security deposit! 

If you cannot quit smoking, resolve to only smoke outside your rental unit and putting your cigarette butts in a sand-filled receptical (like an old flower pot).  This will keep your home looking and smelling clean and will make cleaning up your butts extremely simple on trash day. 


While no one likes cleaning and maintaning their homes, doing just an hour of maintenance per day can go a long way to maximizing your security deposit return.  Remember, your landlord wants his properties to stay clean and defect-free for the next renter.  Additional work to repair the unit will cause significant delays and restoration costs.  Your landlord wants his tenants to have a clean, well-maintained home to live in.  Any damage found to the unit will be deducted from your security deposit.  If no damage is found, you are entitled to your entire security deposit back!

Jan 2013

Buy Or Rent Your Next Home? Featured

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Not everyone is cut out for homeownership.  I know the statement is tough to hear, but it's the truth.  If you are currently looking for a home to buy or build, honestly compare your situation with the following.  Better to know the truth now than be stuck in a bad situation later!

Credit Score Below 620

If your Credit Scrore is below 600,  your interest rate will be higher!  Any credit score below a 620 is going to get pricey.

The Fix

  • Fix your credit score by disputing erroneous entries, updating your credit profile, etc.
  • Go through a Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" Class.  Find available classes around Union HERE
  • Do NOT reduce the number of credit cards.  This reduces the amount of available credit and makes your situation worse!
  • STOP using your credit cards.  If you don't have cash, don't buy it!

High Debt To Income Ratio

If you run out of money before payday, buying a home might not be the best idea.  Homes are expensive, with higher electricity, water, sewer bills not to mention the monthly house maintenance like grass cutting, fertilizer, seed, paint, caulk, carpet cleaner, upgrades.  When you own your own home, everything that breaks is your responsibility.

The Fix

  • Add up all of your monthly bills plus the projected mortgage payment (including taxes, insurance, etc).  Divide this number by your income.  If it's less than 50%, your ok.   If this number is higher than 50%, decrease your bills until the number is around 40%.
  • Go through a Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" Class.  Find available classes around Union HERE

Employment Instability

What is the outlook for your current job?  What about the industry you are in, is it booming?  Could you be fired or layed off?  How hard would it be to find another, equal paying job right away?  Don't count on Unemployment Compensation. 

The Fix

  • Make sure you have put yourself into the best position you can before even thinking about buying a home.  If you're always layed off and cannot work anywhere else, it might be time to head back to class and get trained in a more stable industry.
  • If your job frequently transfers employees to other cities, buying a home might not be the best option for you.  Currently the sales process is taking between 12 and 16 months to complete.  Not the best environment for quick sales!


Every home requires maintenance.  If you aren't handy, or do not have a handy family member to help around the home, buying a home might not be for you.  Many experts suggest setting aside 5% of the home price for maintenance and repairs.

The Fix

  • Become self reliant!  If you don't know how to fix a leaky faucet or reset the breakers in your home, ask!  Learn to fix simple problems yourself.  Youtube is a great resource for simple "How to" videos geared towards homeowners.
  • Take a class!  Hardware stores and building supply stores frequently have "How To" classes on many differenty topics such as painting, wallpaper, plumbing, electrical and gardening.  Just a few hours of effort now can save you thousands over the cost of repairs later!

Will Renting Cost Less?

If the home you are looking to buy will cost $4,000 per month in mortgage payments, but renting the same size home only costs $1,500...why would you buy?  Save the $2,500 per month to pay down bills or just save for your down payment.  Just don't forget to add in ALL of your costs and benefits of each, then make the best decision possible!

When you are ready to buy OR rent, Bequette Homes is here to serve you!  With over 175 rental properties and 20 building sites to choose from, Bequette Homes can make your dreams come true!  Call  today at 636-583-4311 to schedule your personalized appointment with an experienced home builder!


Quality, selection and price.  Whether your family needs to rent an apartment or buy a custom-built dream home, our staff can get you more home for your money!

Call us today to setup an easy, no-risk appointment at 636-583-4311.

About Us

Bequette Homes is a custom home builder and property manager located in Union, Missouri.  Bequette Homes rents apartments, duplexes, condos and houses in and around Union, Missouri. Bequette Homes specializes in builder financed rent to own situations and can help you land your dream home without a large down payment.

Our Location

109 North Oak Street, Union, Missouri 63084

Call us!  636-583-4311


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