5 days ago
Justin Becker ·
If you are a seasoned renter, then you understand how deep you have to dig (security deposit, pet deposit, just to name a few) to find your desired one bedroom apartment.
Why is it so hard to find an apartment? Most of the time, they are either unavailable, too expensive for your budget, or aren’t close enough to amenities, like public transportation.
Rental prices have been steadily increasing, and, in some cases, dramatically. With the increase in rent prices, more and more Americans are spending a larger percentage on rent.
As an illustration, the average American now spends 30% of their income on rent, a 5% increase from 25% in 2010. The bad news is that if you’re a renter and your income is low, you’ll be paying a higher percentage of it to cover the cost of the rent.
How to Save Money While Living in an Apartment
With high rent being an expensive reality these days, along with other financial responsibilities on your plate, saving money on your cost of living is most likely near the top of your list.
When it comes to cutting down on living costs, you might be feeling a sense of desperation. You know that the only way to make your budget work is by making sacrifices and cutting back on your standard of living.
While some people choose to live in their car or go without food, there are other low housing costs options and food that will make it possible for you to afford life’s necessities.
In this article, we’ll look into money saving tips by lowering your living expenses and putting more money in your pocket.
Look for Apartments in the Winter
Winter is when to start looking for apartments. Fewer people are looking for new apartments during this time, so the competition is lower. Plus, you can take advantage of the low rental prices.
Since fewer people are moving, you have more options when comparing apartments and choosing one.
In addition, because there are fewer people seeking apartments, landlords are generally prepared to negotiate a lower rent to let a new tenant fill the vacancy. With that said, you might be able to get a great price for the next couple of years before you move-out of an apartment.
With the winter season experiencing fewer bookings, it’s the perfect time to make your move. The number of people moving is lower this time of year, which means you will have the leverage to negotiate a lower cost of moving.
In the summer, many more people are moving, leading to an increase in the cost of relocation. The demand for relocation is high because of the time of year, so the supply is scarce. This leads to higher prices for those who are looking to move (typical supply and demand).
Pick Your Location Wisely: Prioritize Convenience
When shopping for your first apartment, consider choosing your location strategically. It is a common misconception that a person’s apartment is just a place to sleep. In reality, it’s an important social space.
The location of your apartment will have a major impact on your finances. For instance, if you live within walking distance of a grocery store, you’re being economical. If you live near a mall, you will save time.
The mall is full of little things that make life easier – from bargain-priced clothes to free manicures – and they are always open. There are also big stores, like Costco and Walmart, with grocery sections to buy everything in bulk at discount prices.
Whenever you think of a convenience store, you often picture a small space with one or two registers and limited items for sale. Yet, some people opt to live near these retailers because they save cash on gas.
Negotiate Your Rent if You Want a Good Deal
When you are looking for your new apartment, there are many ways to save cash. This starts the moment you start looking.
If you know what to look for when renting an apartment, you will find the perfect affordable apartment and in a neighborhood that suits your needs.
Negotiating is an important part of any business transaction. With rent, it’s doubly important to find out what the other party is willing to concede before signing anything.
When negotiating, make sure you are clear in your demands and be willing to walk away if the situation isn’t in your favor. Establish whether or not the security deposit is refundable and other upfront costs are manageable.
The security deposit is often the equivalent of one month’s rent, and make sure you are fully aware of how to get the apartment deposit back. Also, consider the additional fee for your pet when budgeting. Be sure to read the apartment pet policy in detail.
When you’re at the point when your landlord has given you their “offer,” and you’re considering giving up and or accepting it, be sure to ask yourself these questions:
● Is the budget within my reach?
● Can the landlord agree to lower the rent price?
Long-Term Lease is Often the Cheaper Option
Who doesn’t like discounts? For those who are leasing a house, the lease options can present a difficult decision.
Some people prefer to have a short lease, while others would rather have a longer one. The most common options are 1-year and 2-year leases, which typically give you a discount on your rent.
A month-to-month lease is a great option for those who want to move in and out of an apartment quickly. This short-term lease can be a great solution for someone who needs a place to live for less than a year. The downside of the month-to-month lease is that it will cost you more money.
When it comes to renting, there are many factors to consider. You should analyze your living situation by considering whether or not you will be moving soon and how much time you will spend at the property, amongst other things, before picking a lease option.
Breaking a lease agreement, either due to moving or any other reason, can be costly. The landlord will likely charge you for what is left of the lease agreement, including any fees they incur due to your early departure.
Rent With a Roommate and Split the Monthly Bill
Most people prefer to live in a location of their own choosing, but unfortunately space is limited and the cost of living in a desirable area is high. Rent prices in a city are frequently upwards of double that of a suburban area, and we are talking about the same size apartment.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to help you afford a place on your own terms. If you’re willing to make a move and look for the perfect apartment, these tips will help you survive living in an expensive city.
One solution is renting with a roommate. When you live with someone else, you can split the rent and utilities equally among yourselves. You will be able to pay rent at a lesser rate as a result of this.
With that being said, living with someone can be both a blessing and a curse. If you find the right person, they will become your best friend in no time and you both will be living comfortably.
However, if you don’t find the right person to share your living space with, it could be a recipe for disaster. You need to make sure you are compatible with your roommate.
It may sound silly, but you’ll want to consider these things before settling on a roommate:
● Hygiene Habits
● Lifestyle Habits
● Cleanliness Level
Buy Less Household Items: Ditch Impulsive Buying Habits
Cut down your budget by buying less stuff. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Impulse buying is often a big problem for many millennials. Many people cannot resist the urge to purchase an item that catches their eye, so they end up owning too much stuff, even if it’s something they don’t need.
Millennials are facing the daunting task of saving up for retirement and investments. Without enough savings, they will not reap any of these benefits at all.
With that in mind, a simple fix will be to give up the desire to buy things excessively in order to save a few dollars and invest it wisely so you can maintain a steady net income stream during peak years.
Consider Living in a Smaller Space: No Need for a Larger Space
If you’re looking for ways to save money on rent, you may want to opt for a studio apartment instead of a two bedroom apartment. A studio for a first apartment is a great idea because it offers the same amenities as apartments with more room, and for less cost.
Choose a Modern Apartment With Energy-Efficient Appliances
The biggest culprit in monthly bills is the energy utility bills. It is the one bill that we all need to pay, including gas and electricity.
So, how do you keep utility bills low in an apartment? To start, an apartment with energy-efficient appliances will save you more money. A recent study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that a person can save up to $500 a year on their electric bill using energy-saving appliances.
Before you sign the lease on an apartment, make sure to ask the landlord about their apartments’ energy-efficiency. This is a crucial piece of information that will impact your monthly rent and utility bills.
If the landlord cannot answer this question or you are not satisfied with their response, keep looking for another place to live.
Adopt Energy Saving Habits to Save More Money
The easiest way to save money is to live in an energy-efficient apartment. While the initial cost might be more expensive, the monthly cost will be much lower.
Once you get your electricity bill down to a reasonable level, it’s still not time to get lazy. If you are not taking care of your energy-saving habits, a high electricity bill will always come your way.
So, how do you save energy in an apartment? To start, energy-saving bulbs are a great investment. Not only will they help you round up more money, but they also have a much longer lifespan than the usual light bulb.
Natural light is also good for saving on your electric bill in your dream home. This way, you can reduce your electricity bill while still having bright light.
Cook at Home Instead of Buying Restaurant Food
It is not uncommon for people to buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner food. This can get expensive when you are paying for the convenience of having someone else prepare your meal.
Cooking your own meal at home can be much more affordable than buying takeout food every day or eating out at restaurants. Additionally, cooking your own meals allows you to control what ingredients go into your food, which can be beneficial if you have dietary restrictions or health goals.
You’ll be surprised as to how much money you may save if you start making your own meals at home.
Don’t Forget About the Cost of Commuting
The cost of commuting can vary greatly depending on where you live. For example, if you live relatively close to your office, the costs are likely much lower than if you live a significant distance away. This can significantly impact your monthly expenses, along with your overall quality of life.
In addition to lowering your cost of commuting, living near public transit will also save you time. According to the American Public Transportation Association, 66% of Americans drive to work alone, spending, on average, 25 minutes on their commute and $10 on gas.
Bottom line is you will save both time and money if you live within a short distance to your most frequented destinations.
Offer to Work for the Landlord
Renting an apartment often comes with a hefty monthly price tag, but there may be a creative solution for those who know their way around appliances and plumbing.
If you’re able to offer repairs to your landlord in exchange for a discount on rent, it could be the perfect side hustle.
Don’t be disheartened if you lack a specific skill set; things like mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges are two jobs that require no special skills. All you’ll need is a push mower or a hedge trimmer, as well as around an hour of your free time.
If you can offer a service to your landlord, this can lead to discounts in your monthly expenses, which can help you adjust to apartment living.
Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt
One of the most important factors landlords will consider as they’re qualifying you for approval is your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
Your credit score is the numerical representation of your credit history. In contrast, your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that you spend to pay off monthly debt obligations.
Knowing what credit score you need to rent an apartment is crucial. Early settlement of debts can be an important factor in your ability to qualify for your desired apartment, and the higher the credit score, typically the lower the move-in costs are.
The best way to maintain a high credit score is to pay off debts as soon as possible.
Buy Renters Insurance
No matter if renter’s insurance is required or not, buying renter’s insurance is among the many ways to save more money.
You never know when disaster will strike, but with renter’s insurance you’ll be covered for any accidents that happen. From fires to floods, if your apartment building is hit, you won’t have to worry about the costs of replacing your things. Renter’s insurance is affordable and it only takes a short time to purchase!
In addition, it’s important to have renters insurance since it can take up to 10 days for FEMA or insurance companies to reimburse people in the event of a disaster.
Flea Market: You’ll Get Cheaper Household Items
Flea markets are a great place to find things, like old furniture, at a discount. People often give away the old stuff that they don’t want anymore because they’re ready for a change.
Whether it’s an office desk, dining table, or bookshelf you’re looking for, flea markets can be your one-stop shop if you have a limited budget.
Remember to buy less stuff; only purchase what you need in an effort to round up more money.
It is possible to save money while renting if you are committed.
It’s hard to control the urge to buy things we like. We might be tempted to buy something that we don’t need and end up spending money on it. With that said, when we think about the benefits of saving our money, it can help us make better decisions with our purchases.
It’s not a good idea to empty your bank account only to satisfy your wishes. Create a budget and a list of wants and needs instead. Pay more attention to the needs and less to the wants.
If you want to put a down payment on a house soon, the suggestions above will help you save money while renting an apartment.
2 weeks ago
Justin Becker ·
So, after graduating from college, you‘ve just moved out of your parents‘ house, the empty apartment you‘ve reserved for yourself is staring at you, and the least you can do is fill it up with your first paycheck.
Even yet, renting an apartment for the first time entails a slew of charges, including a security deposit, first month’s rent, an apartment pet policy fee, and moving expenses, all of which might be difficult to fit into your first salary, especially when you have to shop for your first apartment.
It’s an exciting time when you have a lengthy list of things you’ve always wanted to buy for your first apartment, but a major thing that may be standing in your way is your income, which is rapidly becoming thinner with each additional item you add to the list.
How to Shop for Your First Apartment
Nonetheless, you must get going and settle into what will be your home for the foreseeable future, before moving out again (see our guide on how to move-out of an apartment). There is a way out if you’re concerned about your limited financial resources.
It’s natural to want to buy a few things more than you can afford, but you may initially want to settle into your first apartment with what you have.
You don’t have to buy everything at once; you can create your first apartment categories into two sections:
1. Items to buy now, before you move
2. Items to buy later, after you relocate
So, if you’re not sure about shopping for your first apartment, here’s a quick guide to help with your first apartment checklist.
What You Should Buy Before Moving In
Breaking down your first apartment checklist will allow you to cover the most crucial items first, then purchase additional items after you‘ve settled.
Consider this section to be stuff you can’t live without, and make it a top priority to purchase them before your relocation.
Things like art and storage, overhead lighting, wall hooks, for example, are some of the stuff you can put off and buy later, while prioritizing items like mattresses and other necessities.
Essentials for the Bedroom
One of the most important tips for moving into your first apartment is setting it up for a good night’s sleep. Anything less than that will not only ruin your day, but also make your work life uncomfortable and unbearable. With that said, you should invest in your bedroom essentials before moving in.
One of the most important things to consider on your first apartment checklist is the mattress. Look for the correct mattress size and other bed needs, like duvets, pillows, and sheets, among other things, on the web.
Since sleeping on an air mattress isn’t as comfortable as resting on a decent mattress, you should think about investing in a long-term solution.
If you’re a fashionista, sheets in sets, with the duvet, are a good idea. Decide on a color and see if it goes with your bedroom’s color scheme. White sheets, in general, look good and can simply be mixed and matched with any other color on the wall.
The window treatments are the next item on your checklist that you might wish to check-off. The majority of bedrooms have windows. According to the International Residential Code, a bedroom must have at least one window that is 24 inches tall by 20 inches broad.
In other words, a window opening of at least 5.7 square feet is required. Since this measurement covers such a large area, it will expose your bedroom. If you need privacy, you should get curtains or shades before moving.
You‘ll also need hangers because you‘ll need to hang your items in the closet. Purchase enough hangers right away to get you started after unpacking.
In a recap, here is what you should buy for your bedroom.
- Decent mattress
- Window treatments
- Bed frame
- Mattress pad
- Clothing hangers
Essentials for the Living Room
The living room requires furniture, so you should consider what type of furniture you want. Since the space here is typically not humongous, consider purchasing multi-functional furniture as a first step.
This means you should purchase items that may be used for multiple purposes. For example, if you don’t want to buy an extra bed for your guests, consider sofas that double as beds and a convertible table.
You’ll also need a coffee table, but not just any coffee table. Look for one with a storage compartment so you can store your books or laptop beneath it and keep your table clean.
Purchasing goods that may be used for multiple purposes saves money and helps maximize space in an apartment. People buy a lot of home products over time, so if you have the opportunity to preserve space, take advantage of it so you don’t have to search where to find affordable storage units when you start buying more.
Essentials for the Bathroom
When it comes to apartment purchasing, the bathroom is another important consideration. After a long day or night of work, you deserve a decent shower in the evening, or when you wake–up in the morning.
It’s normal to want to keep yourself clean by showering, so consider purchasing the necessary bathroom items before you move-in.
Of course, if you don’t already have a favorite shampoo or soap that you use frequently, buy it before you move-in. Also, your shower will most likely require excellent curtains, so choose one that complements your personal taste or style preferences.
If you don’t already have a towel, go ahead and choose the appropriate size and color. Decide on a theme color ahead of time so that you can have a clean bathroom look with appropriate colors, rather than one that seems out of place. This is also a good way on how to make your apartment feel like home.
Toilet paper, shower curtain liners, hand towels, bath towels, shower caddy (in case the apartment didn’t come with a built-in one) and shower curtain hooks are just a few more things amongst various bathroom essentials.
Essentials for the Kitchen
The kitchen is, without a doubt, one of the most often used areas of an apartment. Everyone enjoys a well-designed kitchen with all the essentials, but will yours be one of them?
Before you move-in, make sure you have all of the necessary kitchen supplies for basic home cooking. Consider buying paper plates and cups and stick with them for a little while.
Preparing dinner can take a long time, and you may need to sit somewhere other than your living room couch while doing so. Consider if you require a full kitchen table with seats, or whether bar stools will serve.
If you don’t have enough money to buy everything at once, consider purchasing the goods below first, and then adding the rest later:
- Water glasses
- Fork, knife, spoon
- Food storage containers
- Kitchen trash can
- Table and chairs or barstools
- Cereal bowl
By the time you read and sign the lease agreement, the unit has usually been cleaned and painted. With that said, you may wish to conduct your own cleaning of your apartment and dust the room before moving in.
Keeping this in mind, you should consider purchasing all of the cleaning essentials you’ll require. Of course, you won’t only undertake a full cleaning before moving in; you’ll do it on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to help make your apartment smell good year-round.
Consider the cleaning materials in the bathroom and kitchen surfaces, which are prone to stains and food scraps. Make a list of the items you want to purchase and add them to it, such as:
- Mop and bucket
- Static duster
- Toilet brush
- Toilet bowl cleaning solution
- Dish soap
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
- Dustpan and broom or vacuum
When relocating, make sure cleaning materials are in a convenient location where you can obtain them quickly and have them close at hand so you can get started as soon as you unpack.
Safety is crucial, and you may want to improve the apartment’s security features before moving in. Smoke detectors, for example, are frequently required for safety reasons. Most apartments, especially if it is brand new, come with smoke detectors already installed. Carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are two more items to consider.
You’ll also want to find out if renters insurance is required for your apartment. When it comes to renters insurance, safety features will get you a significant discount and help you save money. Most renters insurance firms offer discounts to tenants who have installed safety systems in their flats.
Home Toolkit Essentials
A home toolkit will make life easier for you. A toolkit will supply you with the essential tool, no matter if you need to screw or unscrew something.
Your toolkit, at minimum, should have the following items:
- Duct tape
- Power strips and extension cords
- Light bulbs
- Measuring tape
What You Should Buy After Moving In
As previously stated, you do not have to purchase everything at once if you do not have the financial means to do so. With that in mind, here’s a list of things you should save for after you move-in.
Investing in Wall Decoration or Art
Although wall art is enticing, putting it ahead of cleaning essentials or the living room sofa may not be a good idea. So think about what kind of wall art you want once you‘ve settled in.
It’s natural for everyone to want their apartment appealing, so look for ideas or inspiration on Pinterest or other online home decor sites.
Acquiring Side Tables
We’re not suggesting that side tables are unnecessary; rather, they can wait a little while as you focus on the more crucial goods, such as mattresses and cleaning supplies.
Enjoying drinks with friends and using the side table as a holder, while playing computer games or watching football games, is quite luxurious and comfy. With that said, this may not be as critical as purchasing a bed frame or the mattress on which you will sleep.
Buying a Headboard
Purchase a headboard once you’ve completed buying all of your other vital items. A headboard will enhance the appearance of your bedroom, but is it truly necessary? No, we don’t believe so!
Save it for later and get a headboard just after you’ve sorted out all of your other crucial items.
Buying Serving Dishes
When it comes to moving in for the first time, you generally don‘t need all of the extras, like serving dishes. As you prioritize critical items, purchase your mug, plates, and bowls first.
Serving dishes, or measuring cups and spoons, for example, can wait until you’ve settled in and have more money to spend.
Dining Table and Chairs
Is it necessary for you to have a dining table and chairs in order to eat? No, it’s not!
You’re in a better position if you have a sofa or a kitchen stool. Use it for your meals and then purchase the dining table with chairs later on, as you settle in.
If you have visitors, just cram yourselves into the couch while you wait for the dinner table to arrive.
Investing in Storage Units
In your apartment, you probably don’t have quite as much stuff that necessitates additional storage.
Being a first-time renter should ideally mean you have fewer belongings, allowing you to concentrate on the most critical stuff while putting storage units on the back burner.
Kitchen Space and Appliances
For now, we recommend keeping things basic. Before you move, you don‘t need to have all of your kitchen appliances (things like a coffee maker or refrigerator, just to name a few).
You can concentrate on other household tasks while leaving the kitchen equipment until the end.
If your own space doesn’t have a microwave or toaster, make it a priority to get them.
You’ll also need to buy pots and pans after you move-in. Think about the types of pots and pans you want.
Here are a few to think about:
- Large stockpot
- 2-quart saucepan
- 10-inch frying pan
- Rimmed baking sheet
Tools and Supplies
After you’ve moved in, you’ll need some tools and materials. It’s not enough to have pots and bowls on your first apartment checklist; these tools and supplies will make your life in the flat easier.
Here are some items you should consider purchasing after you’ve moved in:
- Cutting knives
- Cutting board
- Bottle can opener
- Aluminum foil
Three Silly Mistakes Renters Make When Furnishing a New Flat
Moving to a new unit is exciting because you get to choose your living area’s furniture, decorations, and layout.
On the other hand, freedom can be a curse at times, clouding our judgment when shopping for the first apartment essentials immediately after you just signed the lease.
With that in mind, here are three common blunders made by first-time tenants when furnishing their apartments:
Buying Things You Don’t Truly Need
This is something that everyone has done at some point in their lives. When you‘re in charge of everything and don‘t have to answer to anyone else, it‘s very tempting to buy items you don‘t need.
No one is always present to remind you that you already have a similar pot in your kitchen and that you shouldn’t buy that fancier one. This want for new goods causes many people to become indebted, and money that was intended for other purposes mysteriously vanishes.
When you’re first starting out, choose solely useful goods. Try to control your need for new things; you don’t need everything to figure out how to adjust to apartment living. If you can resist the impulse to buy new things, you’ll be able to take responsibility for something that many people struggle with.
Buying All Your Furnishings at Once, Right After You Move-In
You’re probably excited as a first-time renter and want to get everything in one place. We’ll forgive you if you believe you’re saving time because it is true, if you buy everything at one store, everything is simple!
With that said, if you think of the big picture, you’ll see that you’re making a massive error by undertaking that shopping. Consider buying furniture at various periods throughout the year and from various furniture stores. This way, you’ll receive better prices and save more money than if you bought everything from a single place all at once.
If you’re months away from starting your new lease, consider purchasing items one at a time if you want to save money, and check out several thrift shops for better deals.
Buying High-End or Delicate Furniture, Assuming You’ll Never Move Again
As a first-time renter, you should be aware that you will most likely relocate one or two more times after your initial move. As a result, the items you’re buying should be able to withstand a few trips to your next destinations, if you decide to relocate again.
Since you’re on a budget, don’t make the mistake of shopping at high-end retailers when you may find better offers elsewhere. This type of decision can frequently make or break your apartment living experience.
Instead, be a wise shopper and read user reviews to determine the item’s durability. This way, you’ll be able to make purchasing decisions that will end up saving you money in the long run.
The apartment living experience might be thrilling for a first-time renter, but the real effort begins during the process of finding an apartment.
Shopping for a new apartment necessitates thorough consideration to make informed judgments and avoid purchasing stuff you don’t require.
All you’ll need for your first apartment are a few essentials to get you started. Concentrate on it and the rest will fall into place.
3 weeks ago
Justin Becker ·
There is no denying that you’ll love your new apartment due to the amenities you have always been dreaming of. However, there is so much that you don’t have control over. For instance, you might realize that the unit lacks the ‘it’s my home’ feeling.
After moving into a new apartment, it’s normal to miss your old home. Worry not. You can still find comfort and quickly adjust to your new place if you take the right steps.
If you aren’t sure how to give your new apartment that homey feeling, go through the tips below.
How to Adjust to Apartment Living
Below are tips for adjusting to living in a rental unit:
In fact, we recommend that you unpack all your belongings within the first three days upon moving. We understand that moving can sometimes be a stressful experience, but how you handle the moving process determines how fast you adjust.
Start by unpacking all the boxes immediately to make stepping into your new apartment a pleasant experience. If unpacking immediately seems too tiring, we recommend that you place them all in a single corner.
Give yourself at least three days to unpack all the household items and keep them where they’re supposed to be.
Prioritize the Bedroom
To relieve your exhaustion, you’re more likely to find yourself jumping onto the bed and sleeping. For your rental unit to feel like home, we recommend that you set up the bed with new sheets of your preferred colors.
Once you’re done organizing the bed, add the coffee table and dressing table in a similar setting as your previous home. When you enter your bedroom, never remind yourself about unpacking the next day’s chores.
In fact, you can opt to grab a nice book and start reading it till you fall asleep.
Add Personal Touch to Your Living Room
Do you own home decor items that make you remember some good times? Reconnecting with emotional stuff is one sure way to adjust to the new space in less time than expected.
You, therefore, don’t have to pack everything when moving from one place to another. Just make a list of your favorite items, such as a sentimental frame that hung in your old home, your graduate shield, or a decoration piece gifted by your uncle.
When moving into a new apartment, keep such items in the handbag and place them in the new apartment’s living room as soon as you arrive. Apart from this trick helping you personalize your home, it’ll also create familiarity with your new apartment.
Use the Right Lighting
There is no denying that a dark living space provides a gloomy look. Why would you allow low lighting to make you miserable when you can change it to fit your imagination?
A new apartment and new lights form a perfect combination. You can begin implementing your home decor plan by installing kitchen bulbs, chandeliers, and beautiful veiling fixtures.
For an enhanced lighting reflection, select any wall of your living room and fill it with mirrors of different shapes. Apart from enlarging the living space, the mirrors will also add beauty to the rental unit.
Invite Family to the New Apartment
No matter the decorations you have made on your new apartment, there is only one thing that’ll make you feel happy, your family member’s comments.
After settling in the rental unit, we recommend inviting your family members for dinner. As they see the stylish home decor and the new setting that you have, they’ll appreciate the effort you put in.
Such a positive reinforcement will, without question, make you love your new apartment living experience.
Ease Roommate Tension
If you decide to live with a roommate, you’ll have a lot of things to deal with. For instance, you’ll be forced to share close quarters living space and divide up all the expenses. With shared expenses, you can easily manage everything using a service like Splitwise.
You can also have a positive conversation around everything else and set the rules straight early on. If you find yourself with a terrible roommate, there are procedures to evict them. Ensure you live with a roommate that gives you peace of mind.
Plan Your Space
We all know that apartments are usually smaller compared to a house. Due to this reason, you might lack the square footage that you are used to and all of your multi-functional furniture might not fit into your new apartment.
One approach to ensuring you fill your rental unit without it feeling crowded is taking your time to plan everything.
Before moving in, we recommend that you schedule a walk in the rental unit and inspect the floor plans to get a clear idea of how you can lay everything out once you get there. If you take the proper time to plan, your moving will be smoother and it’ll be easier to decide the pieces you can take with you.
As a general rule, the more convenient the moving is, the less stuff you may need to carry around. Regardless of how big your new apartment is, try to pare down as much as possible beforehand.
Meet Your Neighbors
One challenge you may encounter when moving into your new apartment is getting used to your new neighbors. Depending on the other tenants living closer to you, you should expect at least some unpleasantries that may make it more difficult to fall asleep, such as loud music.
The approach to avoid or cut down the chances of any potential disagreements with noisy neighbors is by introducing yourself and your family. Who knows, maybe you can make new friends out of them so they will welcome you with open arms.
We recommend that you leave a friendly note on their floor or even invite them for a cup of coffee. Whatever way you approach it, meeting your neighbors will make adjusting to your new apartment enjoyable.
Save Money on Energy Costs
Though things like upgrading the fixtures is feasible, some energy-saving measures are difficult to implement in a new apartment, but you can still manage them.
For instance, it would help to install a programmable thermostat and window shades, along with using energy–efficient light bulbs.
In fact, you should implement the best energy-saving tips if you want to adjust well to your rental living. With that said, check with your landlord for the best practices before sealing your windows and doors.
Develop a Good Relationship with Your Landlord
Apart from your neighbors, you’ll also be interacting a lot with the landlord. In fact, you should pay close attention to the property manager or landlord while apartment hunting. Getting a good landlord will prevent you from getting into problems in the future.
Try to understand your rights, get everything in writing, and document your apartment condition. This way you can hold your landlord accountable if anything goes wrong.
Building a good relationship with the landlord helps ensure that you’re in good hands during your adjustment period.
Why it’s Easy to Adjust in Apartments
It is not as hard as you may think to adjust to rental living. Below are reasons why rental living is easy to adjust to:
Living in an apartment is far simpler, thus translating into a low-stress and happier life. Leading a simpler life gives you a chance to focus and figure out things that matter most.
With apartments, instead of spending the weekends mowing the yard or working on maintenance projects, you can take your children to the pool or the park. You can also simply relax more rather than focus on stressful things.
We all know that an apartment offers a small living space compared to a house. Therefore, this will force you to alter your lifestyle and make the right decisions about what stays in your unit.
You will, therefore, learn the feel of ‘enough’ in your apartment. This will give you peace of mind and make it easier to adjust to rental living.
Connection thrives well in smaller spaces. These connections can be within your faith, family, or even yourself. Since apartment living presents less home to care for, self-care, prayer, and family time become more of your daily theme.
The apartment’s smaller space lets families be available for one another, leading to more shared experiences and, thus, connections.
Apartment complexes are built in a community setting. Many communities have a clubhouse or weekly activities where people often meet. This presents some benefits, especially to those who work from home.
In an apartment complex, it’s difficult for someone to feel isolated. This will, therefore, contribute highly to your adjustment to apartment life.
Apartment living presents more flexibility. Instead of spending money on home projects and repairs, you can focus on values, such as traveling, generosity, health, and relationships.
You’ll adjust to apartment living better if you’re able to save money and use it on a cause you’re passionate about.
Any home requires upkeep, and, by design, rental units are easy to keep tidy. Since there is less square footage, you’ll spend less time cleaning your apartment, which you can get tips for by reading a previous article of ours.
You’re likely to be motivated to do the cleaning when it doesn’t appear overwhelming. The peace that comes with a clean space will motivate you to maintain the feel in your apartment.
It’s also easier to implement home maintenance systems in an apartment setting.
For instance, most apartments have a washer and dryer, meaning that you’re likely to stay on top of your laundry. Due to this, you can easily adjust to apartment living.
4 weeks ago
Justin Becker ·
After submitting your rental application, you might feel like time is dragging as you wait to know whether you have been denied or approved for an apartment. After touring, searching and finally settling on an apartment for application, it’s normal for tenants to want to know the answer to: how long does it take to get approved?
In most cases, however, it takes about 1–3 days for the potential landlord or property manager to review your application and give a response. So is there something you can do to make the response a little bit faster?
Here, we look at how long it takes for an apartment application to be approved and what it can take to get approved faster.
How Long Does an Apartment Application Take To Be Approved?
The exact period that it can take to get approved for an apartment depends on several things. Keep reading to understand what you should do to get approved for an apartment quickly:
How to Apply and Get Approved for an Apartment
After seeing an apartment you like, you should immediately get your hands on the application. The application documents are typically found at the leasing office through the property manager or landlord, or sometimes it can be found online.
Fill out the application documents with the relevant information. Remember to include critical details, such as driver’s license number, current address, phone number, social security number, place of employment, previous address, and monthly income.
A rental application and approval process also usually requires you to pay a processing fee or application fee, which varies depending on the property management company or landlord. You should submit everything exactly the way the application instructs.
It’ll take about 1–3 days for the potential landlord or property manager to review your application and give a response.
Be Thorough and Quick with the Application Process
No matter how you access rental applications, you must fill it out fully and return it immediately.
Remember to 100% complete it and be as thorough as possible on the application. This helps ensure that the leasing agent or landlord doesn’t call you for additional information, which might slow down the process.
As we’ve already mentioned, always remember to include pertinent information, such as driver’s license number, current address, phone number, social security number, place of employment, and income.
Some leasing offices might require you to pay a processing fee.
Have All the Relevant Documents Ready
Apart from the rental application, you must supply your leasing agent or landlord with additional supporting documents that allow them to further assess your qualifications. You need to supply all the requested documents to avoid delaying the application process.
Some of the critical documents include:
- A copy of your social security card or driver’s license
- Copies of your most recent pay stubs, a letter of employment, or both
- Copies of your tax returns, W2, bank statements, and documentation of assets, including real estate or stocks
- Personal reference letters or copies of recommendations from your previous landlord
Some landlords require you to give information about the pets you plan to keep in the apartment. This means that you’ll need to have health and vaccination records.
The leasing agent or landlord may also require you to provide your vehicle documentation, including its make, license plate number, and model.
Check Your Financial Situation and Prepare for a Financial Background Check
The rental applications you submit typically require a credit and background check. This comes with a serious review of your rental history as a renter and your credit history.
Most potential landlords will be looking for any previous complaints lodged by past landlords or if there are any red flags, including a rental history of delinquency relating to rent payments.
During this time, your employment status and monthly income are thoroughly verified. The landlord will want to be sure that you can pay your monthly rent without any challenges.
In most cases, the landlord rule is that your monthly income must be at least three times the monthly rent costs before you qualify as a renter. For the case of an annual income, it should be at least 40 times the monthly rent cost.
You might be asked to submit copies of your taxes, W2s, bank statements, and pay stubs. There are situations even where your landlord calls your current employer to ask for an employment letter. They may even call past landlords to make sure you paid your rent on time.
The letter of employment states how often and how much you’re paid. It’ll also show whether your income is enough to pay your monthly rent.
Give Credit Check Information to the Landlord
A management company or landlord might ask to run a credit check on your credit history. This will assist them in determining your financial responsibility and credit score. If you lack a credit history, you must explain or share that information upfront.
A positive credit report enables your rental application to move faster. However, a bad credit report won’t necessarily hurt you if you haven’t had an opportunity to build your credit. This is why we recommend that you communicate the credit history very clearly.
Prepare for a Background Check
The landlord uses a background check to determine whether you’ll be a worthy renter. Any pending charges or legal convictions are likely to appear on your background check. Therefore, you should have this in mind before allowing the landlord to do a background check.
The landlord can overlook previous problems if you can explain, or better yet prove, that it’s no longer an issue.
Provide Proper Reference to the Leasing Agent
The landlord might ask you to produce a letter of reference from your previous landlord. This provides clear information on whether you upheld your previous lease, maintained the properties well, and paid rent on time.
If you don’t have a past rental history, you can hand in your personal letters of reference. These might be provided by colleagues, employers, and friends outside your family.
Consider the person who will write the letter critically, since it should be someone who will speak about your responsibility, trustworthiness, and ethics in a high regard.
Consider Whether You Need a Guarantor or Co-Signer
You should provide a guarantor or co-signer on your lease if you don’t have a credit history or have bad credit. A co-signer is a renter who resides in the apartment and will be responsible for a part of the rent.
A guarantor has no rights to the apartment unit, but assumes legal responsibility for paying rent. In most cases, a guarantor is a family member willing to pay rent on your behalf. The landlord is likely to consider their credit score and income check.
How Long Does it Take for the Rental Application To Be Approved?
After submitting the rental application to the leasing agent or landlord, expect to hear back from them within 24 to 72 hours. It would also help to ask for the expected wait time when turning in the application.
You can expect the leasing officer or landlord to contact you for questions about your application, additional income verification materials, or confirm your application status.
Causes of Delays in the Apartment Rental Application Approval Process
Your rental application can be delayed for several reasons, including:
Incomplete Rental Application
An incomplete document on the application is likely to cause delays. If the application isn’t satisfactory, the landlord won’t move forward with the application. Completing the application will take you just a few minutes.
Using a Real Estate Agent
If you make the application through a real estate agent, the approval process is likely to drag since any communication must go through a third party. Things become faster if you deal directly with the landlord.
Challenges with Your Financial Documents
The landlord is likely to ask for an explanation if they spot any problems with your documents, including a spotty credit report or issues with previous landlords. If the problems are major, the landlord can reject your application outright.
Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case. Some landlords happen to be very meticulous with the vetting and approval process and, therefore, nitpicks at every issue on the application. In such a case, you should reconsider whether you want to continue with the process or not. However, we recommend that you avoid such landlords since they won’t stop, even after you have occupied the apartment. You may even consider private landlords.
How to Speed Up the Rental Application Process
The best way to speed up your rental application process is to come prepared with the relevant documents and ensure that you only apply to apartments within your financial means. If you can avail additional documents, such as solid work history or good references, the rental application process will be even quicker.
2 months ago
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Apartment
Insects are typically meant to stay outside, perhaps in the woods, but they constantly invade backyards and homes.
You might be wondering what draws them to your house. Even more agonizing is the question of how to get rid of them! Well, it’s not as difficult as you might think, and gnats make up the majority of these flying insects.
Gnats prefer to fly solo or in groups when there is food, and their presence at your home can be irritating. It’s for sure the last thing you want to hear buzzing above your head!
Generally, you feel at home when your apartment is clean.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Apartment
Fortunately, there are simple, effective, and natural fruit fly traps that you can make at home to get rid of fruit flies quickly. With some simple tricks, that you may already know, you can get rid of fruit flies at your home.
Before diving into getting rid of fruit flies, it’s important to understand what attracts them to your home. You’ll keep inviting them, with or without your permission, if you don’t know what attracts them, and it’ll be a vicious cycle from there.
It’s also good to read more about apartment maintenance tips to help keep fruit flies and other insects away from your home.
So let’s take a look at why you keep inviting fruit flies into your home.
What Causes Fruit Flies?
Generally, fruit flies are attracted to ripe fruit, rotten fruit (fermenting fruit), or decayed fruit and produce.
Also, if you keep fermented foods around the house (beer and wine, to name a few), that could be an invitation for fruit flies.
Since they love dirty places with rotten items, your trash bin could be another place to welcome fruit flies. As such, emptying your bin often will help ease the chances of infestation.
If you wait too long without taking these precautions, fruit flies can become nearly impossible to control. This is because a female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, each hatching in as little as 24 hours.
It’s a better idea not to chase them around with a piece of cloth, or trying to kill and keep them away, because you’ll be wasting your time. A more pragmatic approach, such as eliminating their food source, would be preferable.
You’ll starve them this way, and if they don’t die, they’ll at least look for food somewhere other than your house.
Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Using a DIY Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit flies can be kept out of your home in a variety of ways. The majority of people rush to buy chemical remedies, which cost only a few dollars. Your kitchen, on the other hand, may have a solution that you are unaware of.
Vinegar, red wine, and old beer are just a few of the items that can be found in your home without having to spend any money on chemical remedies.
With that in mind, you can use the methods listed below to keep your house fruit fly free:
Clean All Surfaces
The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to concentrate on the source of the problem. Cleaning your kitchen will aid in the removal of food leftovers. With that said, it’s not just the kitchen that needs to be cleaned; it’s all of your home’s surfaces.
Clean your countertops, wipe them dry, and make sure there are no traces of food on them because they can attract fruit flies.
Additionally, clean any spills in your oven and any stains on the fridge door handle that could attract fruit flies. You’re one step closer to getting rid of fruit flies once that’s done. You can now move on to alternative methods to keep them away from your home.
In practice, letting your home smell good by maintaining a high level of cleanliness will help keep fruit flies away.
Throw Away Over Ripe Fruits or Rotting Produce
As said earlier, both rotting and ripe fruit or produce is a huge attraction for fruit flies. Most people keep a fruit bowl at the countertop and forget to check for overripe ones. With that said, check your kitchen for any of these and throw the goods away.
If you leave them unattended, the female flies will lay eggs, and as previously stated, they can multiply in as little as a day.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap
You can trap fruit flies using materials around your kitchen.
It’s easy to come up with this trap. Simply pour some apple cider vinegar into a glass, and cover the top with plastic wrap, then secure it with a rubber band.
The goal is to use the apple cider vinegar scent to attract the fruit fly. With that said, poke tiny holes in the plastic wrap and place it in your kitchen. Fruit flies find it difficult to resist the scent, and once they enter, there is no way out.
Duplicate the trap and place several in your kitchen for better results. This is one of the ways to eliminate fruit flies quickly.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap
This trick can be effective in case the previous ones fail to bear fruits.
In a bowl of vinegar, add three to four drops of dish soap and leave it uncovered.
The sweet scent will attract the flies. When the fly lands on the dish soap, the surface tension is reduced, and the fly sinks; they won’t escape.
Old Wine or Beer
Try using old beer or red wine; they can do the trick too.
Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of wine, so try to leave the bottle open with some spillovers in the bottleneck. Once they land on the bottleneck, the skinny bottle will keep them trapped with no room to escape.
You can do the same thing with stale beer, but add a few drops of dish soap for better results.
Old beer or wine, among other methods, work just like fly tape.
A fly tape is also another effective way to catch fruit flies in your home. The fruit fly may be drawn to the often brightly colored tape, which is strongly adhesive and prevents fruit flies from escaping once it is hung in your kitchen.
The best thing about fly tape is that it is inexpensive, so you can buy a bunch and use them to keep fruit flies out of your house.
Are Fruit Flies the Same as Gnats?
Since fruit flies, drain flies, and fungus gnats tend to all have similar appearances, it’s easy to mix them up. With that said, if you can identify what you’re dealing with, it’s easy to know how to get rid of them.
Generally, fruit flies range in color from light tan to reddish-orange and brown, whereas gnats are typically grey or black. Also, gnats are about half the size of fruit flies, and often they may bite.
Drain flies, on the other hand, have more moth-like wings and are frequently found hovering near drains.
What About Chemical Remedies for Fruit Flies?
You should consult with your landlord or property manager before using any chemical remedies for fruit flies. Often, the type of chemical you can use to combat a fruit fly infestation is dictated by your lease.
Once the landlord is aware of your maintenance request, you can either hire a pest control company or have the landlord handle it entirely on your behalf.
Most apartment communities require a non-toxic chemical to combat fruit flies, especially to keep children safe because they are the most vulnerable to toxic chemicals.
If you can’t do it naturally, buy fruit fly traps that use glue and liquid to keep them away. When the fruit fly population has been reduced, keep up with your cleaning duties regularly.
Cleaning is your first line of defense against fruit flies in your home; any relaxation on this will be a welcome sight for them.
When you open a door or window, fruit flies can easily enter your apartment, but they only breed in areas with moisture and fermentation.
Fruit flies are an annoyance in our homes, and eliminating them can be difficult. To recap, the female fruit flies lay approximately 500 eggs per day, hatching in as little as 24 hours.
You can imagine how filthy the environment will be after females lay eggs and they hatch if you leave your house unattended for a week with food leftovers or fruit spillovers.
To that end, if you want to get rid of fruit flies, the first step is to clean your house regularly and discard any food leftovers, spillovers, ripening fruit (if you won’t eat it anytime soon) before thinking of homemade traps.
2 months ago
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on How to Move-Out of an Apartment
So your current apartment life has finally run its course, and now it’s time to move on.
Whether you’re moving to another apartment or to a house, there are probably loads of tasks on your plate right now! Tackling it all can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never attempted a move of this scale before.
Moving out of an apartment isn’t usually a straightforward matter. You might have already paid the rent for the final month and contacted the utility providers, if the services were in your name. However, there are several items to keep in mind, especially when it comes to leaving the apartment clean and in good condition.
Other than normal wear and tear, you don’t want to lose your security deposit due to any overlooked damage.
Before the final move-out, and perhaps even before you start packing, you should set a few important tasks to complete on priority.
Here are some ideas to help smoothen the transition out of your old apartment and into the new one:
How to Move-Out of an Apartment
Perhaps, you have various questions to ask when hunting for an apartment. Or you’ve already chosen your new home and are just planning to move out. Moving out of your existing apartment does require you to follow some steps.
The following steps will hopefully get you in the moving mindset and help get things started more efficiently:
1. Make Sure to Give Enough Notice
Whether you’re directly dealing with a landlord, property manager, or management company, giving enough notice before a move-out is just basic common sense.
Even if you don’t get in legal trouble or suffer any financial loss through a too-short notice, there’s no need to sour your relationships with anyone. Keep it courteous and ethical; you don’t want to surprise anyone with the arrival of a moving company!
How Much Notice Should You Give?
The usual policy of any apartment complex is a 30 days’ notice, but you should check the lease to make sure. Some communities may require a 60 or even 90-day notice. These notice periods will also influence your best time to start hunting for a new apartment to rent.
Risks of Not Giving Due Notice
Failing to give notice in the required time can result in a loss of your deposit. At times, you might even have to give up several months of rent payments.
The moving company and relocation costs will already be a burden on your pocket. So, make sure to follow this step to save face and money.
Check the Delivery Method
Finally, check the lease to see the required delivery method of your notice. Some landlords or companies may require written notice, while others may accept emails, a phone call, or even a text message.
2. Stay Aware of Your Payments
The usual agreement upon renting an apartment today is a security deposit, along with first and last month’s rent.
Be aware that the deposit is for covering any damage in the apartment during your stay. You’ll hopefully get a refund on this (we’ll cover this topic later on).
Don’t Confuse the Security Deposit and Last Month’s Rent
The last month’s rent, on the other hand, is to eliminate your final payment when the lease term ends. The amount of your security deposit and last month’s rent may be similar, or even identical, but keep in mind that they are not interchangeable.
3. Contact All Utility Providers
If the utilities services are in your name and not the landlord’s, you are responsible for calling up the providers before the move. Make the call at least a fortnight beforehand and schedule the dates for turning the services on or off.
Ideally, you want the company to turn off the utilities the day after you move out. In the new apartment, you can schedule a turn-on time for the utilities one day before moving in.
Adapting this proactive approach will save you from getting into any hassle later on.
4. Do a Deep Clean
Want that security deposit back? Of course, you do! You also want to leave a good impression. So, it’s time to take out all the cleaning supplies and do a deep clean of the place.
Make it your goal to have the apartment looking as it was when you moved in.
Hire Someone Else to Clean
If you don’t feel like putting in so much effort, especially when a new apartment or house is waiting, you should consider hiring a cleaning service. The security deposit will probably be more than what you pay them, so it’s a win all around.
Get Out the Camera and Take Pictures
Once you have the apartment all spic and span, take some pictures. The memories will be nice to have, but you also want to have proof of the apartment’s condition before your move-out.
Hold up that day’s newspaper or some other evidence to show if your landlord does find some damage or mess.
Have a Walk Through Inspection
After the cleaning, you can also ask your landlord or the property manager to have a walk through before the move-out.
A walk-through inspection will enable both parties to see the apartment’s condition for themselves. They can then discuss any problems, decide on necessary repairs, and generally iron out everything before the final inspection.
Be Prepared for the Final Inspection
Finally, you should try to be present when the landlord does their last inspection, also called the move-out inspection. You might have to work with some checklists and forms, but it will hopefully mean getting your security deposit back in the end.
If you’re confused about where to start, here are some tips on how to make your apartment feel like new.
5. Fix Whatever is Fixable
Yet another way to ensure that security deposit refund is to fix up any issues beforehand.
If you’ve hammered any nails into the walls, take care of those holes as soon as possible. If you have painted any walls, ask the landlord if you need to change it back to the original. The same goes for any changes in blinds, cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and so on.
Ensure Extra Checks for an Apartment with Pets or Kids
Pets and children often cause a lot of scratches, dings, and other minor damage that one may not notice in their everyday routine. A thorough walk-through will probably reveal many of those. Therefore, you must see what you can fix before the landlords take it out of your security deposit.
6. Book the Service Elevator
If your old apartment is on the ground or first floor, you may not require this. However, those living on higher floors might need to book time on the elevator before the moving company shows up.
Why Give Notice for the Service Elevator?
Using the elevator without prior notice will make things very inconvenient for other residents in the apartment complex.
You don’t know if someone might be moving in or out of the complex at the same time. Plus, people might need the elevator for transporting luggage, wheelchairs, or something else.
Book ahead of time and you’ll probably save some money by cutting down on the workers’ hours from the moving company as well.
7. Give Your New Address Everywhere
The U.S. Postal Service will need your new address if you still require its services.
A lot of people still send snail mail; you also don’t want to miss out on those holiday packages from your relatives! Any nearby post office will change your address. You might also be able to do this yourself online.
Also, make sure to give the new address to people and organizations that might send some mail at times. These include relatives, friends, educational institutions, banks, and your employer.
Whether you’re downsizing to live in a smaller apartment or moving to a whole new state, the tips above are sure to help out in many ways.
These precautions are necessary for saving a load of money and also ensuring that you’re comfortable while moving. Here’s hoping the move goes smoothly and safely!