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Using Your Multifamily Property as an Airbnb

Jan 28 2020 9:02AM

Since it’s inception in 2008, Airbnb has taken the real estate market by storm and encouraged many other copycat business models to emerge.  While many landlords may have been skeptical at first to jump onto the bandwagon, it has now become a common practice to use multifamily investment property as short-term rentals.  While the benefits are many, there are also some potential downfalls, so ultimately, whether or not it is in the best interest for your property is up to you! PRO:  Bigger Price Point One definite upside of using your multifamily investment property as a short-term rental is that short-term rentals go for higher asking prices.  This is largely due to the fact that leasing your property for a shorter term removes the guarantee that it will be constantly occupied.  It is true, however, that sites like Airbnb are largely dependent on traveler reviews.  This means that, the more your tenants enjoy your property, the better reviews you will receive and the more likely you are to continue to draw people back.  PRO: Less Hassle Collecting Rents Another benefit of using your multifamily investment property as a short-term rental is that you don’t have to worry about collecting a rent from your tenant each month.  Short-term rentals that go through apps like Airbnb require funds to be paid in full prior to use of the space.  The credit card used is typically kept on file as well to cover any damages that might occur.  PRO: Landlord Control Did you know that nearly 43% of renters offer their space as a short-term rental without their landlords’ permission?  That means that your tenants are potentially making money off of your investment.  Using your multifamily investment property as a short-term rental allows you to take back control and get your cut of the transaction.  PRO: Rising Demand Perhaps the largest benefit of short-term rental options is the growing demand!  As more and more people (both landlords and tenants) see the perks of shorter leasing options, they are becoming much more sought-after.  As this demand continues to rise, so will the probability that short-term units will remain occupied year-round.  CON: Constant Upkeep There is, however, a downside to using your multifamily investment property as a short-term lease option. 

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10 Jobs You Can Easily Do From Your Apt Rental

Jan 28 2020 8:54AM

When you’re living on your own, sometimes money can get a little bit tight, particularly as the holiday season approaches!  There is not, however, any reason to let your financial woes cause unnecessary stress and concern.  In fact, there are a whole bunch of ways to make some extra cash RIGHT NOW that you can do from the comfort of your very own apartment rental.  Let’s take a look at a few of them! 1.Blogging Blogging is everywhere these days, and as long as your apartment rental affords you access to a computer and the internet (and, of course, that you can type) there’s no reason that you can’t start earning money blogging on your own.  Some people choose to create their own blog, focusing on a topic they consider themselves a bit of an expert in.  The downside to this is that it may take some time to traction enough of an audience that people will want to pay to advertise on your site.  You could also choose to look for businesses hiring freelance bloggers.  2.Online Courses Creating an online course can also easily be done from within your apartment rental and can become a great source of passive income.  Once it’s created, you can let it go to work, creating income for you! 3.Selling on EBay If you’re pretty tech-savvy, you know a bit about EBay and you have some really cool stuff you want to sell, why not make some money doing it?  Not only will you create more room in your apartment rental as you unload some belongings, but you’ll potentially pad your bank account in the process.  4.Pet Sitter If your landlord allows pets in your apartment rental, you might consider taking in some furry friends over the weekends to make a little extra moulah! 5.Become a Crafter If you are the creative type and you have some extra space within your apartment rental to make a craft area, take your skills online and open and Etsy store!  This is a particularly great idea now, just before the holidays, when everybody is in search of the perfect unique gift! 6.Data Entry While data entry may not be overly exciting, it does offer you the potential to earn anywhere from $10 or more an hour working from home!    7.Online Teacher/Tutor With the rise of online schools (such

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A Guide for Renting an Apartment as a Student

Jan 28 2020 6:08AM

Are you a college student looking to find the perfect apartment in your college town? If this is your first time renting your own apartment, you may be unsure of what to look for. Not to worry, we have put together a guide so you know exactly what you will need to get approved to rent and what you should look for in an apartment. First, let’s discuss what you will need to have to rent your very own apartment. What You Will Need to Rent an Apartment Different apartment complexes may require different things for their tenants to get approved. For example, some apartment complexes may require you to be interviewed by the property manager to get approved. So, don’t be surprised if you end up having to go through additional steps than the ones listed below. Here are some things you will definitely need to rent an apartment: Proper Identification Considering an apartment lease is a legal document that must be signed, you must show government-issued identification. This could be a driver’s license, passport, work visa, social security card, or a birth certificate. Unfortunately, your student ID is not an acceptable form of identification, but can be used if they would like to have a picture of you along with your name to prove your identity when using your birth certificate. These requirements may seem strict, but for safety reasons, they are very important. Clear Background Check Most apartment complexes require that you complete a background check before approving you to live in their apartment complex. If you have minor infractions as a minor, you should be fine. However, recent sex crimes, violent crimes, drug distribution, and other severe offenses may call for immediate rejection. This is because apartment owners only want to lease to people who they know they can trust.   You should be thankful that apartment owners are so picky--especially in college towns. Typically, college towns tend to have higher crime rates than other areas. These crimes are usually burglary, which is something you don’t want your neighbors to have on their record. You want to trust you are safe in your apartment complex, so background checks are very important. Good Credit Apartment owners want to make sure they can trust their tenants to pay their bills on time. Just like how they look into your criminal record, they will look into your financial record. This is to make sure they don’t lose money on leasing their space to their tenants. Typically, apartment owners know that college students don’t have high credit, as they haven’t had enough time to build one. So, if you have a lower credit score, try not to worry. You can always explain why you don’t have great credit or get a cosigner. Employment History Your apartment owner will ask you about your employment history or if you are actively employed. This is so they can ensure yo

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What to Look for in an Apt Rental Landlord

Jan 28 2020 5:45AM

Living in a rental apartment has a lot of obvious perks and benefits.  Easy access to amazing amenities, the ability to call somebody else to handle anything breaking and clear, up-front costs of living are just a few.  That being said, butting heads with your landlord is a fast way to turn the simple joys of apartment living into a living nightmare.  For that reason, it’s important to know what to look for in a landlord before you even begin to search for an apartment.  Red flags before you commit to a lease can be a big indicator of what’s to come during your stay, so you won’t want to ignore them!  Read on to learn more about characteristics that make a great landlord (and thus, are bound to make your renting experience far more enjoyable).  Accessible If you can’t even get a hold of your prospective landlord to show you around his/her rental apartment, there’s probably a good chance that they are not the most reliable person.  Look for a landlord who returns your calls, emails and text messages in a timely manner and shows an eagerness to meet with you and show you their space.  Many landlords will defer this responsibility to a management team who can step in and act as a liaison between you and them, particularly if they know that their own schedule is too busy to do so.  This shows that your landlord respects your time and energy and is more inclined to continue this pattern should you choose to live in their unit.  Diligent When you move into a rental apartment you will obviously want to feel safe and secure.  How your landlord handles the application process will likely either encourage these feelings or add to your anxiety.  Make sure that your landlord requires you to go through a proper vetting process.  They should ask you for documentation that will prove your identity and require that you consent to a background and credit check.  Insisting that each tenant goes through this process can help you to be surer of the people you are living next to.  Boundaried If you decide to move forward with the leasing process, it’s very important to check your lease to ensure that there are firm boundaries outlined which determine when and why your landlord will be allowed into your unit.  Any agreement that doesn’t properly define the circumstances for which entry will be allowed is a gross misrepresentation of your tenant rights and needs to be addressed. 

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Decorating a Tiny Apt Rental for the Holiday

Jan 28 2020 5:42AM

December is a fun and festive month where everything feels filled with magic, hope and a whole lot of glitter!  It can also be a time of stress for many of us, but there is a way to stay tapped into the more positive vibes of the holiday season by keeping yourself surrounded with visual reminders that will lift your spirits day after day.  If decorating your tiny apartment rental feels like a daunting task, fret not!  Here are some simple tricks that will help you make use of even the most limited space so that your home can embrace the holiday spirit this season.  Tree Variations If you celebrate Christmas, you’ve likely spent years past with a tree.  Just because you’re now living in a smaller apartment rental, it doesn’t mean that you have to forego your tradition and miss out!  There are lots of ways to think outside of the box and find a way to get a tree into your space!  If you’re set on having a real tree, consider a miniature version that can easily sit on a tabletop or mantle (as opposed to a regular sized tree that is going to eat up a ton of space that you don’t have).  You could also get really creative and draw or paint your own tree!  Cut it out, tape or tack it to your wall, add some bows, stick on some decorations and voila! Tantalize Your Senses The holidays are a sensory experience.  Everywhere we go we are subjected to sweet tastes, the smells of winter, the sounds of holiday music and more.  You can create the same experience in your own home!  Spray spruce scented air freshener, burn holiday scented candles, bake cookies and keep some holiday music gently playing in the background. Pay Attention to Your Windows Something as simple as making your windows appear frosted (you can purchase the spray can at virtually any craft store) is a great way to add to your holiday spirit and clean-up is super easy.  Hanging decorations from your windows is another great way to spruce up your space. Decorate Your Door Your entryway is the first impression that both you and your guests will have of your apartment rental, so make it festive!  Whether it’s hanging a fresh wreath, decorating with a big, red bow or wrapping your door in gift wrap, take a little time to make it count! Make Some Simple Switches Decorating your ap

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End Roommate Disputes in Your Apt This Year

Jan 28 2020 5:32AM

The New Year is the time where we sit back and take stock of all of the things that may not be working in our life currently.  If you’ve found that your roommate is topping the list this year, it might be time to figure out how you can mend fences and recreate a more positive environment in your shared apartment rental.  It may sound daunting, I know, but it really is as simple as making a few conscious choices that will have you both breathing a little easier and enjoying your co-habitation once again.  Set Up a Meeting The first step in inviting peace back into your apartment rental is to lay everything out on the table.  After all, you can’t resolve what you aren’t aware of, right?  Take some time to get clear on what it is about your living situation that’s causing distress and invite your roommate to do the same.  Take notes so that you don’t forget to address anything and then set a time where you and your roommate can sit down and have an open discussion to let it all out in the open.  If your roomie is on-board, you might even opt to make this a more regular occurrence, holding weekly or monthly meetings for the duration of your lease where you can work through things as they arise.    Be Honest & Polite You won’t get anywhere with your roommate if you come at them slinging accusations and freaking out, right?  You’re much more likely to get a reasonable response by being reasonable yourself.  Speak honestly about what has been bothering you about your living situation, but do so in a way that is kind and polite.  Not only will this help to prevent them from shutting down and becoming defensive, but it will also model a behavior for them that they will hopefully mirror back when they get their turn to air their grievances.  Be Receptive & Compassionate If you’re experiencing some dissonance in your apartment rental, the chances are probably pretty good that your roommate has been experiencing it, too.  Give them the opportunity to openly discuss anything that has been bothering them as well and do your best to be receptive to what they are saying, even if you don’t fully agree with it.  Remember that you are both seeing the situation from your own perspective and, therefore, may interpret it entirely differently, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsolvable. 

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Halloween Party Tips for a Small Apartment Rental

Oct 30 2019 8:43PM

Halloween is just around the corner and everybody knows that there’s nothing quite as fun as a great Halloween party!  If life in a small rental apartment seems to be dashing your dreams of throwing a spooky soiree to be proud of, don’t fret!  There are many ways to make your party one to be remembered for many Halloween’s to come! Minimize Your Guest List Throwing an incredible party doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to invite a million people!  In fact, if your rental apartment is particularly small, having too many guests could make it feel a bit uncomfortable.  Instead, focus on inviting your closest friends and family members, choosing the quality of the people you have in your home over the quantity of them.  If you pick a group of fun and social friends, the party will create itself!  Utilize Every Square Inch A small rental apartment can begin to feel cramped pretty quickly, so consider using all of the space that’s available to you.  Turn your bedroom into a comfortable seating area where guests can convene, use your office in the same manner and create cozy seating areas throughout the main space of your home.  If you have a patio or any outdoor space available, make sure to fling the door open and allow the extra space to be utilized as well.  Letting some airflow into your apartment will also help to keep your guests from getting too hot or feeling claustrophobic. Consider a Potluck If the thought of providing snacks and cocktails for all of your guests feels a bit overwhelming (particularly if you have a tiny kitchen in which to prep them all), don’t feel like you need to handle the whole party alone!  Instead, invite all of your guests to bring a creative and/or spooky dish or drink that they can contribute!  This will also help to save you some money and will provide some great conversation starters as imaginative recipes begin arriving.  Decorate Sparingly Another common misconception when throwing a Halloween party is that your rental apartment has to be completely covered in decorations.  Actually, overdoing the cobwebs and bedsheet ghosts is only going to make your space feel even smaller than it actually is!  Rather than rely on a host of large and potentially intrusive decorations, o

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9 Ways to Save on Your Apartment Rental

Oct 30 2019 8:40PM

Are you struggling to make rent each month but don’t want to settle for another apartment? There are many things you can do to save some money so you can afford to pay your rent and bills more easily. Below are 9 ways you can save some money each month. With no coupon clipping required, just some minor changes to your daily routine, you can be more comfortable in your rental apartment. Get a Roommate(s) One of the easiest ways to cut down on the cost of a rental apartment is to get a roommate. If you have an apartment with more than one bedroom, open up your home to someone else. Think of any people in your life that have a similar lifestyle as you and who would respect your space and privacy. If you can think of anyone, ask them if they would be interested in moving in with you! You will be splitting the cost of rent with someone which will result in a lot of money being saved. If you have a one bedroom apartment or are using all of the rooms in your space, think about ways to make room for a roommate. You could make room in your bedroom for another bed, or you can put a futon in your office or living room. If you are interested in having a roommate, get creative with your space and think about an option that will make both of you happy. If you don’t have any space for another person, a great option is to put your apartment on Airbnb when you know you will be on vacation. This will get you some money back on your monthly rent. Do the Moving Process by Yourself A great way to save hundreds of dollars is to do the moving process by yourself. Pack your own items, load up your own furniture, and move everything into your new apartment. Moving can be stressful and can take a lot of hard work. However, when you save hundreds of dollars that you can put towards something else, you won’t regret taking the time to do the moving process yourself. Moving companies are very expensive, and can even raise their rates when helping people move to places that are far away. So, save some money, recruit some friends, and pack your things without the help of a company. Cut Out Cable Many people are cutting their cable to save upwards of $50 per month. There are many video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video that are much less expensive and have even better viewing options! You can also split the cost of these services and share them with your roommate or a family member to save even more money. If you enjoy watching sports live, there are many networks that are now offering subscriptions to their live broadcasts on Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick. So, ditch your cable and save some money! Watch Your Electricity Bill Something that will greatly contribute to the cost of your monthly expenses is your electricity consumption. Electric bills are notorious for being very expensive. In a state with high temperatures like Mississippi, it is very easy to get caught up enjoying the air conditioning and forgetting about the incoming electric bill. This is why you should try to keep your thermostat at 78 degrees during the daytime in the warmer months of the year. At night, try to keep your thermostat set to 75 degrees if you are comfortable sleeping at that temperature. In the two or three months where Mississippi has colder weather, keep your thermostat at around 68 to 70 degrees. You can also consider investing in a space heater so you can isolate which rooms are on the warmer side, and which rooms to leave at a colder temperature. Your electric bill doesn’t only raise when you are using your A.C. or heater. Whenever you have lights on, have things plugged in, or are using any appliances, you are adding to the amount owed

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Why You Should Consider Leasing an Apartment

Sep 25 2019 9:45AM

The American dream of buying a home in suburbia with a white picket fence is shifting.  In fact, more and more people are moving away from the antiquated version of utopia and deciding, instead, to embrace life in a rental apartment.  It has some people asking what is to blame for this shift in perception.  In many ways, choosing to rent over buying is a smart decision that’s offering both baby boomers and the upcoming generations’ access to a whole different way of life.  Flexibility The most common reason it seems that people are choosing their rental apartment over the seeming stability of home ownership, is that life in an apartment leaves a whole lot of wiggle room.  Rather than being tied down to a 30-year mortgage, many prefer the flexibility of shorter lease terms, allowing them the room to travel and move as opportunities arise.  Particularly, as more and more jobs offer remote options, this has become an increasing benefit, allowing people to live where they want.  As life changes arise, renters are free to get up and move about the cabin, so to speak.  Many landlords will even allow their tenants to sublet their units (as long as they follow the agreed upon protocol).  Compare that to having to go through the process of finding a renter (and vetting them) for your own home and you’ll see that it’s much easier this way! Cost Purchasing a home typically requires a hefty down payment.  Add to that the cost of homeowner’s insurance and property taxes and the monthly amount that is due on your home begins to slowly creep!  In a rental apartment, however, you can be certain that all that is required of you for move-in is the equivalent of a first and last months’ rent, as well as a security deposit and possibly an application fee and/or background check fee.  Your credit is also not as much of a factor (although it is still important) when looking for a rental, largely due to the fact that many landlords understand that first-time renters may not have any credit history to speak of.  Responsibility As a homeowner, you are certain to take on a lot of responsibility.  There’s nobody to call in the middle of the night if your water heater breaks or your air conditioning stops working.  You are solely responsible for anything and everything that could potentially go wrong.  This includes the extremely large costs like replacing your roof, your HVAC system and

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Finding an Apartment Rental in a College Town

Sep 25 2019 9:40AM

When you’re searching for the perfect apartment rental, there are a lot of factors you will want to take into consideration.  After all, it may just be a rental, but you’ll likely be spending quite a bit of time in your home and you want to make sure that it’s a place you can be happy with for the duration of your lease.  If you’re on the fence about living in a college town, taking a year to “test drive” the experience could offer just the clarity that you are seeking!  Here are some of the pros and cons you might encounter throughout the experience.  Cost One of the biggest benefits of finding an apartment rental in many college towns is the many affordable housing options that are available to students.  Landlords are eager to keep their units filled (particularly with the potential for a lease renewal for the duration of the student’s enrollment at the school).  These savings can continue beyond the education system and, in fact, oftentimes the affordable nature of life in a particular college town is what keeps the rental  market going strong in that area.  This, of course, does not necessarily apply to large cities such as New York and Boston where there are many educational establishments but rents remain high.       Diversity Another thing that sets college towns apart from many other places is the diverse nature of the people who live there.  Having access to a wide range of different ethnicities and backgrounds encourages many cultural attractions, such as music festivals, art fairs, museums, sporting events, and more!  Merging such a variety of cultures also often creates a platform where creativity can reach a whole new level, making this environment perfect for those that aren’t afraid to live off the beaten path, take risks and submerge themselves into new and different experiences.  Education Another more obvious benefit of choosing an apartment rental in a college town is the access that it offers to higher education opportunities.  Whether you are a first time college student, an established adult looking to satiate a passion or curiosity or someone looking to embark on a new career journey mid-life, the opportunities in a college town are rampant! Crime Rate An unfortunate downside to life in a college town is that they have been reported to have higher crime rates.  Crime in this context usually refers to petty crime such as the theft of unattended laptops and bicycles.  In fact, burglary is the most common offense

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How to Communicate with a Rental Management Team

Aug 31 2019 11:58AM

Moving into a new rental community often means making a lot of new adjustments, particularly when it comes to your interaction with your new management team.  Your landlord and/or management team are integral to having a positive experience in your new home, so it’s imperative that you learn to communicate effectively with them from the very start of your lease.  Here are some tried and true tips to help you do just that. Be Punctual It is said that first impressions are everything, and there’s a lot of truth behind that statement.  Show your landlord that you will be a valuable addition to their rental community by making a positive impression that sticks.  Answer the phone if they call you back to schedule a walk-through and be sure to show up a few minutes early for your first meeting.  You may even consider driving by the property a few times so that you know exactly how to get there and know you won’t be inadvertently late.  Be Prepared Every apartment community will have a different set of expectations and documentation that they will require to complete your application.  Make sure that when you show up to meet your landlord for the first time, you are prepared by having everything neatly organized and accessible.  Be Curious Don’t assume that the landlord or management team can read your mind.  If something is unclear or you have a question about the property, what’s included in the rent, or the community rules, make sure that you ask.  It might even be helpful to attend your walk-through with a list of questions prepared so that you don’t walk away having forgotten anything.  Be Transparent Try not to fluff up your application with untruths and exaggerations.  It is quite likely that your rental community will contact your previous landlords and, perhaps, even require personal references.  Honesty is absolutely the best policy, so start off on the right foot by being completely forthcoming about your rental history and anything else that you might be tempted to misrepresent. Be Respectful Remember that your landlord and/or management team is under no obligation to rent a unit to you.  If you show up with a bad attitude, it may give off the impression that you are difficult to work with, which is a good way to ensure that they offer the unit you are interested in to somebody who may feel like a better fit.  Be respectful by making eye contact,

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How to Cook in a Small Apartment Rental

Aug 31 2019 11:54AM

Life in an apartment rental can sometimes mean giving up perks like large open spaces and backyards in favor of other benefits such as convenient locations and awesome amenities.  If you love to cook, however, these concessions can weigh heavily on you as you potentially transition into life with a tiny kitchen.  That being said, there are a lot of easy ways that you can convert your pint-sized cook space into a kitchen that is truly chef-worthy!   Consider Convenience Nearly every kitchen (even one in a tiny apartment rental) has a definable triangle.  The triangle consists of your refrigerator, sink and stove.  When you set up your kitchen, be sure to do so in a way that compliments this already existing triangular arrangement.  Make sure, for example, that your trash can is located near the sink to make cleaning dishes and discarding of scraps easy and convenient.  Another tip is to arrange your food prep area close enough to the refrigerator so that transferring items from one place to the next is effortless.  Organize Having a kitchen that is tidy and organized will help you to up your cooking game as well (and it may also make your kitchen feel a bit bigger).  Arrange cabinets, pantries, refrigerators and freezers in a way that allows you to easily see what you have.  Doing so will help you to avoid overstocking (taking up room that you don’t necessarily have).  Additionally, keep your countertops free of clutter so that your space feels bigger. Stackable Storage Options Use stackable Tupperware for any leftovers that you plan on keeping.  If possible, label these items clearly and date them so that you know when it’s time to discard them.  This will help to keep your refrigerator organized and decluttered. Divide Bulk Items Sometimes it makes a lot of sense and saves quite a bit of money to purchase items in bulk.  If your monthly trip to Costco has left the kitchen of your apartment rental looking like an extension of the store, however, it might be time to invest a little money in pretty air-tight jars that you can display smaller amounts of dry goods in on your countertops.  Store the remainder in a pantry or a closed cabinet that is out of the way and not as easily accessible.   Clean Up Nothing

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The Best Pets to Have in Your Apartment Rental

Jul 22 2019 11:53AM

Let’s face it; life with animals is just better!  There’s nobody else that loves us as unconditionally as our pets!  That being said, if you’re living in an apartment rental, it might feel like whether or not you should get a pet is a more difficult decision.  After all, they might need to be potty-trained, they could shed, they might scratch floors or damage baseboards … the list of possible detriments is endless!  Don’t, however, be so quick to give up hope!  There are all different types of pets, some of whom thrive in apartment situations!     Rats/Mice While you may never have thought of rats or mice as ideal pets, they are actually extremely intelligent (some even more intelligent than dogs).  They are relatively quiet and can easily live in small tanks, making them ideal for life in a smaller apartment rental.  It is important to note, however, that rats and mice are nocturnal creatures, so if you are a light sleeper, their scratching around could be bothersome to you.  It’s also imperative that you don’t allow them to escape, as rodents in the walls can create HUGE problems for your entire building.  Fish Beautiful, colorful and tranquil, a fish tank is a charming addition to any apartment rental.  While it’s true that fish may not be the cuddliest creatures, they do make great apartment pets.  Fish tanks can be as large or as small as your space permits and fish don’t require a whole lot of upkeep.  Feed them twice a day and clean their tank every so often, and voila!       Reptiles Lizards, snakes and turtles of various types and sizes are also great options as apartment dwelling pets.  Again, their habitats don’t necessarily have to take up large areas in your space, and they are some of the quietest pets around!  The downside?  Reptile cages can become smelly quite quickly if not diligently maintained.       Guinea Pigs/Hamsters Guinea pigs and hamsters are notorious for their uncanny ability to remain perfectly content running around in circles for hours at a time.  This ability to keep themselves both entertained and exercised makes them great apartment pets!  They do, however, require larger cages that allow them some free space to roam around.  Rabbits Rabbits are another great pet to keep in your apartment rental.  They are soft and cuddly, relatively low-maintenance

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The 10 Best Apps You’ll Want to Have as a Renter

Jul 22 2019 11:49AM

These days it seems like technology has a hand in everything, and the rental market is no different.  Apps come out every day that are geared at making your life as a renter easier, which is great news!  With so many simple-to-use (and oftentimes free) apps at your fingertips, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice not trying a few out, but where to start?  Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of the top ten apps you absolutely must check out as a renter!     1. Zumper This app is perfect if you’re trying to figure out exactly where you’d like to call home!  It allows the renter to learn about particular neighborhoods and what makes them unique by explaining weather patterns, describing nearby parks and recreational activities, landmarks, culture, and more!  It even makes it possible to submit rental applications and fees via the app.  The best news?  It’s free! 2. Clarity Money Every renter should have a working budget, and the Clarity Money app makes it easy to do just that.  It works by tracking your spending habits and then, makes helpful suggestions of simple changes you could make that would help you to cut and save in particular areas.  3. Handy If you’re not particularly handy, you may need access to somebody who is during your time as a renter (especially as you near the end of your lease if you want to get back that security deposit).  The aptly named Handy app connects users to top-rated professionals all across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and even allows you to book their services right through the app! 4. Nextdoor If you’re new to an area, the Nextdoor app is a must-have and is a great way to build community and get to know your neighbors.  It connects you to people with addresses close to yours and allows you all to interact.  There are places to post about lost/found pets, upcoming events in the area, upcoming meetings, and more!    5. Canary This is actually more than just an app.  It’s a whole security system that makes your life as a renter exponentially safer.  Once the security cameras have been set up in your home, this handy app allows you to monitor your space from anywhere!  Installing a security system can also lower renter’s insurance rates.  6. YouTube TV Skip the hassle of dealing with t

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How to Find Your Ideal Roommate

Jun 25 2019 8:46AM

Living in an apartment rental is often made easier if you have a reliable roommate that can help you to handle some of the responsibility that comes with it.  A good roommate won’t just help with the bills, but should also assist with the chores, help to ensure that you never run out of toilet paper (and other essentials), and not eat the food with your name clearly marked on it in the refrigerator.  If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not!  There are lots of great ways to find the perfect roommate (that don’t require meeting strangers through Craigslist).  Here are just a few! Ask Your Friends & Family The easiest and safest way to find a new roommate to share in your apartment rental adventures is to ask the people that you know and trust.  Not that it’s necessarily always the best idea to live with a family member or even your best friend, but letting them know that you are actively searching for a roomie might be just the thing that leads you to your perfect partner!  Ask your friends and family to spread the word, reach out to their friends and family and keep their ears and eyes opened.  When you secure a roommate through this avenue, you’ll have a lot more insight as to their background and what type of a roommate they will be because they are being referred to you by people who have already built a rapport with them.  Ask the Experts If you’re not too sure that you fully trust the judgment of your friends and family, there’s no need to worry.  In the age of technology that we are currently in, there are a plethora of options available to you that will make the trying task of finding a new roommate much more accessible.  Logging onto a roommate pairing website, such as Roomiematch or Roomster, or signing up for apps like Easy Roommate or Diggz, could be just the thing to get you closer to finding your most ideal roommate.  These services range in cost, with many offering both short-term and longer-term subscription options to users.  Most of these services will also pre-screen potential roommates for you, making your job a whole lot easier!  Hang an Ad in the Common Area of Your Community If your apartment community will allow it (and, assuming they know t

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7 Reasons to Break Your Apartment Lease

Jun 25 2019 8:27AM

Breaking the lease in an apartment rental is rarely recommended.  Not only can it negatively impact your credibility as a renter to future landlords, but it can also come with hefty fines and the loss of your security deposit, as outlined in your lease.  That being said, there are certainly situations that could arise where breaking your lease might be the best thing to do.  If this is the case, it’s important to understand how best to handle them and what the potential impact from making the decision to break the lease could be.  Let’s take a look at a few of them! 1. Failure to Adhere to Lease Terms If you’ve signed a lease on your apartment rental and yet, it doesn’t quite feel like you are getting everything you were promised, you will most likely be able to get out of your lease agreement.  If, for example, you were promised a 2-bedroom, 2-bath space and instead you find yourself living without the pleasure of that second bathroom, there’s no reason you should be locked into the lease.  If you feel like you have been wronged, the proper thing to do is to first bring the discrepancy(s) to the attention of your landlord.  We are all human, and there’s always the chance that the oversight was an honest mistake.  If they are unwilling or unable to fix the problem, you should then take the necessary actions to get out of the lease and get your money back.  2. Unlivable Conditions Similarly, no tenant is legally bound to a lease agreement if the property being leased isn’t up to standards and deemed habitable.  Whether your apartment rental is plagued with a cockroach infestation, a mold problem, or asbestos, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to get these things fixed in order to make the property livable for you, the tenant.  Other scenarios that may cause a property to be deemed unlivable are its failure to meet housing codes, appliances and utilities that aren’t in good working order, or a safe living environment, among others.  3. You Don’t Feel Safe Speaking of safety, your home is your castle and you should never feel unsafe within its walls.  In certain situations, a landlord entering into your apartment rental without the proper notification could lead a tenant to feel unsafe and would be a breach of most lease agreements on the part of the landlord.  There are also scenarios where, if a tenant has suffered any form of dome

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Neighborly Behavior to Avoid in an Apt Community

May 25 2019 11:09AM

Making the transition from life in a single-family home to life in an apartment community can come with a lot of adjustments.  It’s not, after all, only about you and your needs anymore.  You’ve now got neighbors who will likely want to be considered when you make lifestyle decisions that could affect them.  Having a good rapport with your neighbors can really make or break your happiness in a living situation, so let’s take a look at some of the worst behaviors that you could exhibit as a new neighbor!  Avoiding these at all costs will help to ensure that your stay in your new apartment community is long and fruitful. The Noisy One There’s not a single resident in an apartment community who wants to live next to the noisy neighbor!  The noisy neighbor does everything at top volume.  When they walk, the picture frames in adjacent units lean at a tilt.  When they talk on the phone, it sounds as though they are standing in your living room.  Whatever you do, remember to be mindful of your neighbor’s ears.       The Tattletale Another nagging neighborly trait is the one who’s constantly trying to start trouble.  If you’re old enough to live on your own, you should certainly exhibit that by handling any disputes maturely and confronting your neighbor calmly rather than running to the landlord for every little thing.  The Creeper Somehow it seems like every apartment community has one unit that houses the creepy person.  No matter where you turn, it seems that this person is always right there, looking over your shoulder.  If you want to make friends in your new community definitely don’t be this guy! The Fighter If the noise coming from your apartment sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer on full volume, you’re probably an annoying neighbor.  While, naturally, arguments will happen if you’re living with another person, try to keep your domestic disputes to a bare minimum (and quiet, so the rest of your neighbors don’t have to hear you air your dirty laundry).  The Passionate Couple On the flip side of that coin is the passionate couple!  It’s great that you love your significant other!  That being said, your neighbors don’t want to feel like they have front row tickets to your lovefest on a daily basis!  Respect your apartment community by keeping your romance under wraps.  The Crazy One While chances are good that you are pr

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What to Know Before Breaking Your Apartment Lease

May 25 2019 11:06AM

All good things must come to an end, and life in your rental apartment is no exception.  Sometimes, however, life can throw us curveballs that might expedite our departure a bit earlier than originally intended.  If you’ve found yourself in this type of situation, don’t fret!  We’ve got everything you need to know about the potential impacts of breaking your lease.  Read Your Lease Carefully Most of the answers you seek to the questions that you have about prematurely vacating your rental apartment are right under your nose, contained within the fine print of your signed and notarized lease agreement.  This document will pinpoint what, if any, fines will be accrued for leaving your rental early (helping you to determine if it’s worth it cost-wise, assuming that you have a choice in the matter).  It will also likely outline scenarios that your landlord and/or property management team deem valid and reasonable excuses to vacate the premises sooner than expected (therefore potentially avoiding the aforementioned fines).  These reasons vary from state to state (and among individual landlords), but may include the following: If there are conditions within your rental that are making it uninhabitable or that indicate that the space provided by your landlord does not meet the specifications put forth in your lease agreement. If you are called to active Military duty. If you have suffered an illness or injury that renders you unable to pay your rent or otherwise support yourself. If you are a victim of domestic violence and staying in your apartment may put you in an unsafe position.  If your landlord has entered your premises without your permission or has otherwise invaded your personal privacy.  These are only a few examples landlords might use to determine your “eligibility” to break your lease early.  You can gain further clarification by understanding your lease and also becoming aware of any state laws surrounding early lease termination.  How to Handle Your Landlord If you’ve considered all of your options and determined that it is, indeed, in your best interest to break the lease on your apartment rental, there is a certain protocol you will want to follow as you initiate the process.  For one thing, try to give your landlord as much advanced notice as is poss

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Things to Know When Looking for Apartments

Apr 23 2019 11:42AM

Hattiesburg, MS is a great place to live for myriad reasons.  Also known as “Hub City” to both inhabitants and visitors alike, it offers an unmatched convenience paired with small-town southern charm and access to a variety of activities and attractions.  With so much to offer, it’s no wonder you’re considering looking at apartments in Hattiesburg!  In an effort to jumpstart your search, let’s take a look at a few things you need to know about life in the area!  1.Average Rent Apartments in Hattiesburg are increasing in demand as more and more people realize what a great place it is to live!  For this reason, the rental rates have climbed from an average of $864 last year to $942 as of March of this year, according to the online resource, Rent Jungle.  No need to panic, however.  This is still well below the national average of $1,430, making Hattiesburg one of the more affordable growing cities in the Midwest.    2.Common Amenities Different apartments in Hattiesburg and the surrounding area will offer different amenities to their tenants, but across the board, you can expect clean and practical units.  With the variance in weather patterns, many communities boast wood-burning fireplaces and/or access to community swimming pools and hot tubs.  You might also find on-site fitness centers, 24-hour maintenance, access to laundry facilities, as well as interior upgrades such as vaulted ceilings, granite countertops, and walk-in closets.  3.Outlook on Pets While each apartment community in Hattiesburg is sure to have its own rules regarding live-in pets, the town, in and of itself is considered a pet-friendly place to live.  If you’re bringing a furry friend with you on your move to our beautiful city, rest assured that there are plenty of apartment rentals available in the area that would be happy to host both you and your pet!  4.Safety Your safety, as a resident or guest in our city, is of the utmost importance.  For that reason, many apartments in Hattiesburg have gone the extra mile to ensure it.  From gated communities to built-in alarm systems, there’s something available to make even the jumpiest tenant feel absolutely safe and secure.   5.School Ratings The city of Hattiesburg offers access to a lot of great schools!  In

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Easy Ways to Save Money in Your Rental Apartment

Apr 23 2019 11:09AM

Venturing out on your own can be exciting and perhaps, a bit scary.  Life in a rental apartment can get expensive quickly, but don’t fret.  We’ve got some great tips and tricks to help you save money while making the transition.  Do the Heavy Lifting Yourself The actual act of moving into your new rental apartment can carry its own hefty price tag if you’re not careful.  Rather than hiring an expensive moving company to pack, transport and unload your belongings, consider gathering up a group of friends and paying them in pizza instead! Get a Roommate Another easy way to combat costs in your new rental apartment is to find a roomie!  If you’ve got the extra space and you’ve found somebody that you feel you could easily live with, it definitely makes sense to invite them to take over that spare bedroom…and half of the rent and bills! Ditch Cable Traditional cable is quickly becoming a thing of the past, being replaced, instead, by lots of other cheap and feasible alternatives.  Some of these options, such as cable network channels online and YouTube or Vimeo are even completely free!  Others, like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, all come in under ten dollars a month and offer a range of programming!  Consider the Amenities Something to consider when you’re on the hunt for your new rental apartment is to find a unit within a complex that offers amenities you will use!  A community with a built in gym, for example, could save you extra money that you would otherwise have to spend on a gym membership.  Heating & Cooling Hacks Heating and cooling your rental apartment is another thing that can drive up the cost of your monthly bills unexpectedly.  Instead of allowing your space to go through big fluctuations in temperature, plan to keep your thermostat right around 78 degrees throughout the day while you are at work.  If you like to sleep in a colder temperature, that’s fine!  It takes a lot less energy to cool your space when the sun is down.  You can also keep the curtains drawn during the day in both the summer and the winter to keep both sunlight and drafts out.  During colder winter months, consider investing in a small space heater so that you can isolate which rooms need warming instead of heating the whole apart

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