“Everything’s negotiable,” we’re always told. But is it true? For example, can you negotiate rent with a property management company or landlord? Read the rest of this entry »
Renting your first apartment comes with several other firsts in tow, like finding roommates, managing your bills, and figuring out just how much furniture you need to fill your space. With this guide, you’ll learn what furniture is a must when moving into your new apartment and what pieces you can pause on purchasing. Read the rest of this entry »
Has your landlord ever told you that you need to make repairs yourself? Do they refuse to address chronic noise issues around your apartment? Or, perhaps they’ve asked you to move out… immediately. While laws vary from state to state, there are certain things your landlord doesn’t have the right to do. Read on to find out more about your tenant rights and what to do to combat illegal landlord actions. Read the rest of this entry »
Save with Rental Furniture
There’s a lot to think about and square away when you rent an apartment: setting up utilities, changing your address and deciding just how you’re going to furnish the place. That last part can either be really fun or really stressful — if you already have furniture and decor, you’re set, but what if you don’t? Consider getting rental furniture.
You might be wondering, why wouldn’t I just buy furniture for my new place? Well, depending on your situation, getting rental furniture might just be the easiest, most convenient and most cost-effective decision.
The cost of furnishing an entire home can add up quickly. Buying a new bed, a couch and couple of chairs could set you back more than $1,000. With having to pay a deposit and first month’s rent — and possibly last month’s rent as well — up front, you may be strapped for cash once you get to the point of furnishing your home.
If You’re Temporary, Consider Renting
Another reason to consider rental furniture is if you’re not going to be staying in the apartment for very long. Whether you’re working in another country, just in town for a corporate relocation assignment or you are living somewhere temporarily for some other reason, it might not be ideal to purchase furniture to use only for a short amount of time.
Rental furniture is all about convenience. Typically, the rental furniture company will deliver your stuff, taking the hassle out of you having to rent a truck and do it yourself. This is especially convenient when you’re busy with getting your new apartment set up. Plus, it could help you save on moving expenses.
The bottom line is that rental furniture is worth checking out. Convenient, flexible and easy, it might just be the perfect way to furnish your home.
Apartment Noise: What a Racket!
Windows facing a busy street, a close proximity to a bus or train stop, loud air conditioners and heaters, noisy neighbors who love to party — any of these things can make for a serious apartment noise. While apartment noise issues are certainly something you want to watch out for when you’re looking to rent an apartment, sometimes it’s worth dealing with apartment noise when the place is just plain awesome and you don’t want to pass it up. Other times, in cases of noisy air conditioners, appliances and rowdy neighbors, it’s a not-so-pleasant surprise when you move in.
Apartment Noise Abatement
So how do you go about reducing apartment noise? Wearing earplugs is one idea, though not everyone is a fan of wearing them when they go to bed or are at home. But there are some things you can do to reduce annoying apartment noise.
- If you’re not keen on hearing cars and buses drive by your apartment at all hours of the day and night, or if there’s a bar or restaurant close by that stays open late, consider putting up heavy drapes to help absorb the noise. Window treatments to reduce apartment noise – like heavy drapes, which can be paired with noise reduction shades for an even more effective result – can be a big help.
- Rugs are another idea, and like drapes, perform double-duty as decor and a way to reduce apartment noise.
- Line the walls with sound-absorbing material like eggcrate-shaped Styrofoam. With the right decor, this can actually look stylishly modern and minimalist.
- Is your air conditioner, heater or another appliance the source of the apartment noise? Call up your landlord or apartment management office and let them know that there’s an issue. In some cases, they may be willing to move you into a different, less-noisy unit, or they might just send a repairman out to take care of the problem.
- Get an air filter. For $75-$150, these machines not only clean and filter the air in a room, but they produce white noise that might help you sleep better.
- If the problem is noisy neighbors, try politely asking them to keep it down. If they don’t respond, speak with your apartment manager about it. They’ll likely be able to improve the situation.
If That Fails…
If you’ve tried everything to reduce apartment noise and you’re still not happy, just remember that you don’t have to stay there forever. Take a look at your lease, find out when you’re able to move out, and find an apartment for rent that’s as quiet as possible. Remember, it’s always easier to ask tenants about problems at a new apartment before moving in rather than finding out about apartment noise problems afterwards.
Look for Cash in the Recycling
Apartment recycling might be your ticket to cutting your garbage bill. Although we don’t usually recommend looking in the trash for cash, recycling your trash is a good thing to do for the planet – and it can save you money.
Apartment recycling was just a curiosity in many cities for our parents’ generation, but now most communities offer free recycling pickup with the garbage pickup. It’s a win-win proposition for city governments because it reduces the need for more expensive landfills while keeping the air and water quality high. Apartment recycling can be a win-win proposition for you as well.
Do You Usually Rack Up a Big Garbage Bill When You Move?
When you find an apartment and move, do you often find yourself spending more on trash because you’ve filled up the garbage bin at your new apartment? Moving to a new apartment is no picnic and it uncovers a lot of garbage, like old papers, broken appliances and moldy refrigerator food you didn’t know you had. This new trash outflow can impact your garbage bill in the form of excess garbage charges or trips to the city dump.
If you maximize your recycling when you move, you can often avoid these costs entirely. Although it depends on where you live, that big recycle bin can usually handle glass, paper, cans and plastic containers. Just make sure to empty and crush soda cans, laundry detergent bottles and milk jugs so you can maximize the space in that recycling bin. If your apartment recycling facility is limited in space, just take the excess to the local recycling center – they’ll thank you instead of charging you like they do at the dump!
How Apartment Recycling Earns You Money
Look closely at your garbage bill. If you’re like some people who rent an apartment or duplex, you pay a monthly fee for garbage pickup, but nothing for apartment recycling. The fee probably varies with the size of the garbage bin you use; a smaller bin means less monthly cost. Again, use that apartment recycling bin freely, and if you can, reduce the size of your trash bin to reduce your garbage bill.
You can compost your food waste, or grind it up with a garbage disposal, to further reduce your trash usage. In fact, after food waste and recycling, most apartment renters only have packaging waste, and some apartment dwellers can cut off their garbage service entirely. They simply pay low one-time charges to dispose of the occasional bag of packaging trash, or take it to the dump. If your city has pickup days for brush or bulky items, you can use those to further reduce your garbage bill.
No Recycling at Your Apartment?
Sadly, some apartments offer no apartment recycling at all. These are generally the apartments that hire a private garbage service, which you pay for as part of your rent. Ask your apartment manager if they offer recycling services. If there’s no recycling at your apartment, ask for it – and talk to your neighbors about it. If there’s a demand for apartment recycling, most complexes will listen. Apartment recycling not only makes renters happy, but it can also reduce the cost of the private garbage service.
Good luck on cutting your garbage bill! And don’t forget to use ApartmentSearch.com when you’re looking for an apartment for rent. Not only do we have hundreds of listings all over the nation, but we also give you up to $200 in apartment rewards if you rent through us!
An Apartment Search Guide to Renting Your First Place
Renting your first apartment can be pretty exciting. You’re looking forward to having your own place, new neighbors and a new view, but then there’s the whole moving thing you have to deal with first. It can be a pain — boxes and boxes (and more boxes), heavy furniture, endless packing and then unpacking. Here are some pointers on renting your first apartment that might make things a little easier.
- Find an apartment. Okay, okay — so this one’s obvious. But we had to put it in here, as it’s essential to you actually renting your first apartment, and because you want to do it right. Rent an apartment that you’ll be happy living in. Consider location, size, price and amenities. Figure out what’s important to you and rent an apartment you can call home. Other things to consider are whether the apartment complex will allow you to have pets, whether it’s a smoke-free apartment and the length of the lease.
- Set up necessary utilities for your first apartment. You’ll want to ask your apartment manager or other relevant person about which utilities you need to set up before moving in. It’s different for every place, but you may need to, for example, call the electric company and the gas company to set up service so that the lights and hot water will be working on the day you move in. You can also ask about cable, phone and internet services. It’s ideal to find out about these things at least a couple of weeks in advance to be absolutely sure you’ll have them when you move in. This is one of the primary problems for people who are renting their first apartment; they’re usually unfamiliar with these delays.
- Get furniture for your new apartment. If you’re renting your first apartment, you’re going to need some stuff to furnish it so you at least have a place to sleep and sit. There are many ways to go about this, like getting hand-me-down furniture from family and friends, going to thrift stores, renting furniture or buying new furniture. Measure the pieces to make sure they’ll fit where you want them to.
- On the day you’re moving into your first apartment, you’ll need a way to get everything there. Decide how you’ll go about doing this by planning in advance. You may need to rent a truck, hire a moving company or ask a friend or two for help. Having your belongings packed safely into boxes can make loading and unpacking easy, especially if you clearly mark your moving boxes. Also, confirm with your landlord what’s required to get the keys to your first apartment on move-in day. You wouldn’t want to show up with a truckload of your belongings only to be turned away.
- Once you’re moved in, it’ll take some time and effort to make your new home feel like home. Decorating your first apartment can be really fun and it can show off your personality.
These are just a few of the many things you’ll need to take care of when you’re renting your first apartment. Don’t miss our Moving Checklist, which is a great way to organize the tasks related to your move so you don’t forget anything. Happy renting!
Renting an Apartment Wisely
Apartment renting advice isn’t hard to find. Ask around, and we’re sure you’ll get a ton of great apartment renting tips. Everyone has stories, advice and “secrets” for apartment renting. And at the end of the year when a lot of people are at the end of their leases and trying to find an apartment for the new year, these renting tips can really come in handy.
Use Apartment Search Websites
There was an interesting article recently in the Denver Post that gave some tips for apartment renting. So what’s the number one tip on their list? They say, “Seek web help in picking apartment features.” They suggest using apartment finding websites for helping in renting the townhouse, condo or apartment complex that works for you. When using a site like ApartmentSearch.com, you can browse apartments for specific features, like number of bedrooms or laundry facilities. Following this apartment renting tip, says the article, is a great way to get an idea of how much you’ll be paying in rent and which neighborhoods may be a good fit for you.
Don’t Be Tricked into Renting by a Low Apartment Rent
Another helpful apartment renting tip from the Post is to avoid choosing an apartment based on perceived value. Basically, you don’t want to go renting an apartment just because it seems like a good deal without also considering location and features. For example, apartment renting in a dangerous neighborhood just because it has a low price might be a mistake.
Don’t Visit That Apartment – And Then Do
Calling an apartment manager before you stop by to check out an apartment complex is another useful renting tip from the Post. Their reasoning: Over the phone, you’ll be able to simply get a quote, without letting an apartment locator try to wow you by showing you around. You can compare this quote with what you found on the apartment search website you used too.
Of course, the Post also says that if it’s possible, make sure to visit prospective apartments yourself to get a feel for what you’d be renting. If you’re apartment renting for a long-distance corporate relocation or time is tight, you may find yourself renting an apartment blind.
Make Your Apartment Needs List Before Renting
One of our favorite apartment renting tips is to make a list of the features you’re looking for, the rent you can afford and where you’d like to live. As you look at apartments, take notes on what features each one offers so that when it comes time to go renting your new home, you’ll be able to reference which ones best fit what you’re looking for.
Following these apartment renting tips may mean a little more work, but the effort will really pay off when you find the perfect apartment for your needs!
The Economy Is Temporarily Making More Apartments Available
“Apartments Available” is a common message at apartment complexes right now. The rental market has taken a beating from the economic crisis, and if you’re trying to find an apartment, now is a great time because rents are temporarily low and more folks are finding apartments available.
According to an October 28th article from The Wall Street Journal‘s Marketwatch.com website, the Market Tightness Index has indicated more apartments available and lower rents for five straight quarters – more than a year of declines. At the same time, Mark Obrinsky, the vice president of research for the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), says that “favorable demographics and a lower homeownership rate will benefit the apartment industry over time,” driving up rents, tightening the rental market and making fewer apartments available.
High Apartment Availability Won’t Last
In our opinion, Obrinsky’s right on the money about the rental market. The mortgage crisis has made it nearly impossible for home buyers to get loans to buy new homes. Right now, things are so bad that people are living with friends or family while they try to regroup from foreclosures and job losses. Soon, though, those people will move into apartments and reduce the number of apartments available.
The rental market is slow now, but this is just the calm before the storm. We expect to see a lot of traffic on the rental market in coming months and a lot fewer apartments available for renters.
If you’re unsatisfied with your current housing situation, you should consider looking to rent an apartment on our website or swinging by one of our local apartment rental offices for a chat with one of our apartment finders. We anticipate that there will be far fewer choice apartments available for renters to choose from in the spring.
Source: MarketWatch, October 28, 2008.
Protect Yourself Against Apartment Fires
Residential fires, either in your single-family dwelling or apartment, are frightening for all involved. However, there are steps that you can take to help ensure that you, your pet and your family are safe even in the incidence of a fire. Read the rest of this entry »