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November 2015

apartments in MinnesotaAs the temperature continues to drop in Minnesota, maintaining a comfortable temperature indoors becomes a necessity. Residents know that it can get dangerously cold in the winter, making apartments in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and other Minnesota cities the places in which people will spend most of their time. Fortunately, a regulation called the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule makes it illegal for the city to turn off a renter’s utilities without at least seven days’ notice. This rule works well for people who pay for their utilities directly, but what about renters who don’t control their heat because the landlord takes care of it for them?

Understanding the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule

Before addressing this dilemma, it’s important to know a few basics about the Cold Weather Rule. The city must give a tenant seven days’ notice before shutting off their utilities, in order to give them time to get the appropriate sum of money together. Additionally, the rule offers decreased payment plans for those who realize they can’t afford the normal price of heat and other utilities.

co-signing an apartment leaseLet’s say a close friend comes to you and asks for help securing a two-bedroom apartment. She is able to pay all the deposits and has no problem adhering to the terms of the lease, but she has bad credit and so the landlord probably won’t accept her as a renter. So she’s asking you to cosign the lease with her. However, you’re worried about what cosigning could do to your credit. What would you do?

Whether you are considering cosigning a lease for a friend or a family member, here are some things you should know about how cosigning might affect your credit score.

What does cosigning mean?

“Cosigning” is exactly what it sounds like: you are signing a lease alongside another person. Because a lease is a contract guaranteeing that the signees will uphold the terms of the lease, both the renter and you will be responsible for adhering to those terms. More specifically, if you are cosigning, you are guaranteeing that the renter will pay all bills due to the apartment. If they can’t, it falls on you to meet the financial terms of the lease.

exterior of apartment abroadMoving apartments is hard enough without the added stress of furnishing your new space. And that becomes even more complicated when you’re moving internationally! After all, you’ve got the prospect of choosing an apartment, coordinating with management for lease types and terms, and getting renters insurance. Add the fact that you’re hundreds (or even thousands) of miles away from your destination, and you’ve got the potential for a massive moving headache.

So what’s a renter headed abroad to do? When it comes to furnishing your space, furniture rental can simplify matters. Whether you’re temporarily relocating for work, changing stations as a military service member, or simply moving to a new country with your family, it’s a way to make the transition a little easier.

So how do you approach the option of international furniture rental? Here are the two things you should know before starting your search.

Big party cities on Halloween nightWhile there are a myriad of ways to get spooked for Halloween in your town or city – including haunted houses, watching scary movies, and going on local ghost tours – there are some cities that are just creepier than others. If you really want to get your fright on this Halloween, you need to live in one of these five U.S. cities:

Top U.S. Halloween Cities

1. Salem, Mass.: Thanks to the city’s history of witch hunts, Salem has become the creepiest – and most fun – place to celebrate Halloween. More than 250,000 attend the city’s Haunted Happenings, which includes a Grand Parade, haunted house tours, ghost tours and costume balls. Plus, there are nearly 20 costumes parties, witch trail re-enactments, witch museums and magic shops.

Colorful English patio area with planters and iron bench.With winter on the horizon, anxiety can arise for apartment dwellers who choose to maintain outdoor plants. All it takes is one particularly strong freeze, and several plants can be gone overnight. However, there are a few precautions you can take so you won’t have to start over in the spring.

 1. Insulate in the Evening

A common trick for potted plants is to wrap them in various materials overnight so that the roots don’t freeze. You can use blankets, sheets, styrofoam, or tarps. It’s important to note that the insulation should be wrapped around the pot, not the actual plant, since keeping the roots alive is most important. Another way to keep the plant itself healthy is by installing poles around the plant, wrapping plastic around the poles, and then filling the space with insulative material. This creates a kind of nest around the plant to keep it warmer. Make sure to take the covering off of your plants during the day so they can get sunlight, and then repeat the process as needed.

Pumpkins near the door for HalloweenAs the seasons turn, you may look around at your apartment’s decor and decide it’s time for a change. While you may have wanted your apartment to feel sunny and light during the summer months, you might want a cozier, more intimate setting during the fall. Let’s tackle the top five ways to change your apartment’s decor while still staying on budget.

1. DIY some new decor

New decor doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Adding some catch-alls or crafting some new pieces for your home can make your apartment feel more personalized. Bringing some character into any space is a great way to have your apartment’s aesthetic feel brand new.

Apartment house with swimming poolEvery apartment that a prospective resident is looking for is one-of-a-kind, just as each apartment shopper is unique and has distinctive needs. However, at a certain point in the apartment-searching process, all apartments start to look the same. Perusing local print ads, you start to see the same features and benefits described about nearly community in your region. These include colorful terms such as “state-of-the-art”, “resort-style” and “luxurious”. But what everyone really wants is a “unique” place to call their own – that perfectly fits their needs, desires and lifestyle.

In the search to find that right residence, not all apartment communities are created equal. Some, in fact, offer unique perks that may not exist elsewhere in the local landscape. It is these perks that turn an ordinary apartment community into an extraordinary place for you to call home. Here are some of the most fun and exclusive apartment amenities we have seen:

Fall season place settingWhen entertaining family and friends for a dinner party in a cozy 2-bedroom apartment, the perfect fall menu is a must. As the weather turns chilly, you’ll want to warm your guests with fall favorites. So pull out a few scented candles, decorate with a little fall flair, and use the recipe ideas below to craft the ideal dinner party menu.

What’s in Season?

Cooking with autumn vegetables is one of the best parts about planning a fall dinner menu. Of course, thanks to the marvels of the modern grocery store you can put most anything on your list, but there’s something about cooking with in-season fall produce that makes a menu more apropos for a seasonal meal.

AS_BikeWhether you’re looking to store 7 bikes creatively in your garage, or just trying to save some space in your studio apartment, finding the perfect bike rack can be a daunting task. But the truth of the matter is that if you’re willing to spend a little time assembling or even building your bike rack from scratch, a lot of creative options are available.

Here are five bike storage ideas for all the bike enthusiasts in your life, varying from easiest to hardest in terms of execution.

1. For The “Creative But Busy” – The Bike Shelf

If you’re looking for a bike rack that’s easy-to-install, requires little assembly, and looks pretty neat, the Bike Shelf is a good option for you. Half-bookshelf and half-bike rack, it’s perfect for studio apartments or people who tight on space in general. After minimal assembly, the Shelf can go right up on the wall. It’s your choice what to put on top, but users usually opt for a few books.

large potholeWe live in a crazy world. In one moment you say to yourself “Now I have seen it all” only to find something even more bizarre and baffling a few minutes later. It happens all around us and the growth of social media has allowed us to share and be exposed to more and more of these unusual events each and every day. The result is one part bewilderment, one part inspirational, and two parts hilarity. In celebration of the nonsense and silliness, today is Mad Hatter Day (which also marks the half-way point to April Fools’ Day).

Apartment residents are on the front lines of witnessing and experiencing these notable happenings. In fact, it is one of the great perks of apartment living that you could see or experience something new every day. The best way to describe it is that apartment living equals fun. So here to celebrate are 5 examples of the funny things you might see at your next apartment community.