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New Villa ApartmentsWelcome to the New Year. As we bid farewell to 2014 and say hello to the new journeys of 2015, people begin to take stock of the world around them. Many will make resolutions to lose weight, stop a bad habit, or spend more time doing the things that they love. Unfortunately, many of these quests for self-improvement will fail. But not to worry! There is a task you can undertake in 2015 that could have profound impact on your life. And this amazing journey to create a new you is actually one of the easiest things you could ever strive for. It is time that you create a new lifestyle for yourself by finding a better apartment for your life.

Psychologists have done countless studies on the effect that your surroundings have on you personally. If you have negative thoughts attached to the place you live, it becomes very difficult to escape those feelings. Many of these could be a result of life circumstances that happened to you throughout 2014. Or, maybe you are the victim of a negative environment, such as having neighbors who perpetually argue or living in a more distressed part of your area. Whatever the case, if your current home is causing you undo distress, the best thing you can do to improve your life is to find a new place to live.

New Year's ResolutionsNow that the holidays and New Year’s Day have come and gone, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life and forget about those pesky resolutions that were made on January 1st. Whether your resolution was to lose weight, spend less money, or just be happier, life has a habit of getting in the way of achieving your goals. However, there are plenty of easy ways that apartment living can help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

Save Money

There are many different ways to go about saving money, and apartment living can help you do that! If your finances are getting a little tight, consider moving in with a roommate, cut back on the little things like eating out, or check out our Budget Blog Roundup for excellent tips on saving money while living in an apartment.

Be Happier

If 2014 wasn’t your best year, maybe it’s time for a change. Take the leap and find a new job that makes you happier or cut out the negative people in your life. A new year allows you to change things up, so consider where you’re living and if you’re content there. Start fresh, find an apartment in a new city, and jump into the culture there. Making a big change can seem scary, but it might just be the thing you need to make 2015 your best year yet.

Chicago Subway SignChicagoans know that there’s much more to the Windy City than just Millennium Park and Navy Pier. Chicago reaches miles and miles beyond the historic downtown – there are an estimated 200 neighborhoods in the area, with 77 “community areas” defined by the University of Chicago Social Science Research Committee, all with a distinctive culture and essence. Here are a few that you shouldn’t let slip under your radar if you’re hunting for Chicago apartments and trying to find that perfect neighborhood.

Old Town

The Old Town neighborhood lies in the Near North Side community area, on Lake Michigan and just north of the business district and downtown. Because of its ideal location and popular shopping and dining destinations, the area is known for its extreme affluence. Huge, historical houses are sometimes turned into a cooperative-style living situation, however, if you’re looking for a unique style of living. Otherwise, the area makes a great visiting destination for a day to shop, eat and see the beautiful historical buildings and modern masterpieces alike.

Lock on a Storage UnitThese days, lots of people are downsizing and moving into apartment communities to save space and money on homeowner expenses. This trend also means people are moving some of their belongings into self-storage. However, finding the right self-storage space can be a challenging task, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. Storage units are available in a wide range of sizes and a variety of features, which can make the decision process seem endless. By evaluating your exact storage needs, you can determine what the best option and value is best for you. Here are a few tips to consider when selecting a storage unit:

Four Baby Boomers Standing in One RoomYears ago, the so called “Baby Boomer” generation defined the American Dream as having a house with a white picket fence. But now as this generation begins to age, retire, and downsize, the American dream has changed. It is now apartments that the Baby Boomers are moving to in droves.

Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 and 1964) love the apartment lifestyle, for many reasons. First off, many of them are retiring or are becoming empty-nesters, and they need to downsize. There is no need for them to upkeep a huge house – and they are keenly aware that this does not make financial sense either.

Dirty Dishes in the Sink Living with another human being isn’t always easy, but as rents continue to rise in many urban areas, roommates become a financial necessity. Whether your roommate is your childhood best friend or a stranger you were placed with, combining two different lives is bound to result in a few conflicts. Once you find an apartment, it’s important to try to anticipate future disputes before they arise and set up guidelines for when fights do happen.

Here are 3 of the most common roommate disputes and how to navigate through them maturely:

ApartmentSearch_Manhattan-ApartmentThe children of Baby Boomers are very practical, self-reliant, and independent. That is why this group – Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) – are choosing to live in apartment communities all over the U.S.

The independence and practicality of this group of 51 million Americans are fueled by the fact that many of them grew up as “latchkey kids”, or the parents of divorce. This has caused Gen Xers to learn to rely on themselves and make decisions for their lives – and those of their children – based on their own experience, not what someone tells them is best.

Trees During Fall SeasonAs summer comes to an end, we start looking forward to the joys of fall: the cool, crisp weather, the autumn leaves, the aroma of fresh pumpkin pies, and celebrating Halloween, to name a few. Still, apartment dwellers in certain U.S. cities have the advantage of truly enjoying the beauty, fun, and festivities of fall.

Here are some of the top cities where apartment residents can enjoy fall:

Portland, Maine:

While the Northeast U.S. is known for its beautiful fall scenery, Portland is especially renowned for its fall foliage – and for making it easy for apartment dwellers to view the gorgeous scenery around them this time of year. They can take a bike tour of the trees and waterways using bike-share program Zagster or hike up Bradbury Mountain. Plus, there are local apple orchards where they can pick their own apples. October’s Harvest on the Harbor, which includes food samplings and the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, is not to be missed by residents from all over the city.

Tailgating Football FansThe NFL football season is back and sports fans around the country are celebrating the return to action of their favorite teams and players. When you move into an apartment, you also join a team. A team composed of neighbors as well as the employees that manage your apartment community. As a member of this team, you receive many benefits and lifestyle perks that make every day a victory.

Price

In recent months, exaggerated reports plague the news that living in a house is more affordable than apartment living. These examples are only true in five percent of U.S. markets where the population is living in densely-populated urban cores. Examples of this include San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. In the other 95 percent of housing markets, the apartment lifestyle remains the most affordable option, which takes more into account than mortgage versus rent. The unforeseen maintenance costs and increased utility expenses cost home owners thousands of dollars per year over what renters pay.

Smiling Blue Collar WorkersOn Monday, September 1, our Nation pauses for a moment to celebrate Labor Day. For most people, this is simply a day off of work. But in all actuality, it is a celebration of the American Worker. It is on this day that we honor the contributions that the U.S. work force has made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. We celebrate the blue collars, the white collars, all of the business professionals, and we celebrate apartments. For it is apartments that house our nation’s workforce.

From part-time college students to hourly workers on an assembly line, and to waiters, waitresses, and bartenders, we honor those professions that call apartments home. And it is not limited to the previously mentioned hard-working hourly jobs. Sales professionals, salaried office staff, and corporate executives choose apartments as their preferred lifestyle as well. In fact, there are 19.3 million apartment homes with approximately 34.6 million apartment residents, comprised of Americans from every walk of life. And the factors for which they choose the apartment lifestyle are as diverse as the people themselves.