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The Do’s and Don’ts When Renting


The Dos and Don’ts when Renting

Most tenants living in rental properties have nothing to worry about when it comes  repairs and maintenance. Typically, tenants are not responsible for doing tasks such as repairs on electrical, plumbing, or roof leaks. These are some of the reasons why many Americans choose to rent over owning a home. Renting also provides tenants independence and convenience, but there are some restrictions on the things in a rental property. While it’s advantageous for some to live in a rental property, here are some do’s and don’ts that need to be followed when renting a property.

Don’t paint your space without permission from the landlord

Before doing any painting jobs, get permission from your landlord. As a general rule, tenants who want to change things up during the time of their stay must ask permission from a landlord and get it in writing. Maybe you don’t like that red accent wall which is a rare case, but because the landlord wants to avoid headaches to look for a new tenant, he’ll allow you to change the color of your wall. However, when you want to repaint any of your furniture which isn’t a part of the rental property, you can do it.

Don’t try to customize the landscape

Sometimes a tenant wants to improve the beautifully-laid-out landscape design into a vegetable garden which also needs the permission of the landlord. However, you don’t need to ask permission from your landlord if you want to grow a few plants in your unit. Most of the landlords want the tenants to feel they can make the property their home, but they can’t customize anything during their residency. But when you talk to your landlord about the things in a rental property you want to do and get written authorization to do it – you will have peace of mind, and you can stay out of trouble.

Avoid doing major renovations to a rental property

Always consult with your landlord before you do significant changes to a rental property. The rental agreement you signed with the landlord must have some condition that’s agreed upon on how improvements will be handled when you move out.

If the landlord didn’t know that you added a ceiling fan in all of the bedrooms, he will be only thrilled to find out that you improved the rental property and you can’t ask for a reimbursement for the installation expenses and costs of the fans at move out. And if you decide to take your fans with you on moving day, you’ll be responsible for patching and repainting the ceilings.

Don’t use a hammer for all of your projects.

Using a hammer to install something on your wall can do some damage to a rental property. Consider installing decorations that won’t damage the walls. Some landlords will allow you to hang a few pictures, or hang curtains on decorative rods. With this in mind, it’s essential for every tenant to avoid installing any decor that involves the use of a hammer. This only means that you need to take out from your thoughts about mounting cabinets in the bathroom, or adding artworks with wainscoting.

That’s not to say you won’t be allowed by the landlord to decorate in other ways. One example, if you have white or black appliances, you can easily change the look. Consider applying the dishwasher and refrigerator with stainless steel covers. These steel covers come in magnetic varieties that can instantly transform and update the space.

Help maintain the property

When you want to help in maintaining the property, it requires you to make some effort by informing your landlord about the problems you notice. You may not be responsible for repairs like the landlords, but you, as a tenant, you are responsible for informing the landlord or the property manager when there are some problems in your rental unit. Whether it’s a leak in a faucet or a broken doorknob, you need to report these problems as soon as possible.

Get renters insurance.

In the event of flood, fire, theft, the landlord or the property owner will be held responsible for the damage caused to your unit. But for the things inside your unit such as your furniture, electronic equipment, and personal belongings, you are responsible for all those. To avoid this to happen to you, it’s important for you to get a renter’s insurance as it protects you against these unforeseen events.

When you live in a rental property, you’re fortunate because there’s nothing for you to worry about repairs and maintenance. But since you don’t own the property, there are some do’s and don’t’s that you need to follow when renting a property.


Things to Expect When You Start Living in Branson



Things to Expect When You Start Living in Branson

Branson is one of the most vibrant communities in Missouri which makes it an ideal place to raise a family, start a business or enjoy retirement. This popular vacation spot is such a unique and fun place to live where you can expect many great things when you start living in Branson.

When you start living in Branson, you will find the place to be abundant with outdoor fun activities and adventures as it is nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains where you can find a wide range of exciting activities such as hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, picnicking, and other outdoor activities. You will also find many public and private nature parks that are spread throughout the Ozarks as well as ten world-class golf courses. You will also find over 50 theaters that provide many different performances such as comedy, magic, concerts, and tribute shows.

You can also expect to enjoy many exciting lake activities in Branson as it is home to three pristine lakes. Locals and visitors alike find it great to enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, tubing, scuba diving, and more. At Table Rock Lake, you’ll see plenty of water enthusiasts living it up through recreational water activities or any other thrilling water adventures. You will find in the area many beautiful lakeside properties and cozy weekend resorts tucked away in coves. The lake has also become increasingly popular as a fishing tournament site.

Lake Taneycomo features a cold-water that allows anglers year-round trout fishing. An excellent trout fishing destination, Lake Taneycomo attracts anglers throughout the year, making it a #1 trout fishing lake in Missouri. Bull Shoals Lake is another beautiful lake in Branson that offers much of the same recreational and sporting opportunities as Table Rock Lake. This lake is a local favorite for many water enthusiasts who want to enjoy boating, fishing, and smooth-water skiing.

Other great things to expect when you start living in Branson are several shopping centers, many large discount stores, and hundreds of unique stores that offer a variety of clothing, hand-crafted gifts, housewares, pieces of jewelry, luggage, ladies’ and men’s accessories, and other fine assortments at reduced prices. You will also find plenty of tasty restaurants and appealing shops waiting to be explored at 76 Strip and historic downtown area. You will find unique shops that offer specialty items from home furnishings to jewelry.

Branson Landing is one of the things to expect in Branson where you can take the splendor of a new $420 million recreational development on Lake Taneycomo. You will find in Branson Landing over 140 luxury waterfront condos align with 100 retail shops that include Belk Department Store and Bass Pro Shops. You will expect around the area, a 260-room Hilton hotel and a 220,000 square feet convention center with a marina.

When you stroll down Branson Landing’s boardwalk, you will enjoy the great performance of dozens of street entertainers and a spectacular water fountain that features six canons shooting water 120 feet in the air, 13 fire cannons shooting balls of flame stretching 40 feet, and water and flames that synchronize to music.

There are also many live entertainment theaters to expect in Branson than anywhere else in the United States. Branson offers many entertainment opportunities from more than 45 theaters and 100 shows that are filled with great music, magic, comedy, country, and gospel, some of these feature special effects, great costumes, live animals, trick-riders, and pyrotechnics. Branson is world-famous for its assortment of entertainment shows that include Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, and many concerts and tribute shows.

You will also expect to see in Branson the fascinating Silver Dollar City where you can see great features of handcrafted items and artworks created by resident craftsmen and artisans, entertainment throughout the park including street shows, restaurants, and snack stands, and exciting themed rides such as an 1880’s steam strain, log flume, outlaw run, powder keg, and many other thrilling rides. Silver Dollar City is the biggest single attraction in Branson throughout its history and is one of the leading attractions in the Midwest.

The weather is another great thing to expect in Branson as the place has mild weather and blessed with four distinct seasons, offering spectacular views of wooded hills and lakes. The scenic trails and clean waters of the three pristine lakes draw visitors year-round. You will be fascinated also with the colorful foliage during autumn as well as blooming dogwoods and redbuds in the spring.

People living in Branson are sure to enjoy a great life because of the things the place offers such as world-class shows, exciting attractions, fascinating museums, pristine lakes, and mild climates.

Five Cheap and Awesome DIY Halloween Home Decorations



Five Cheap and Awesome DIY Halloween Home Decorations

Whether you just want to impress the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood with your haunted mansion or you throw a Halloween party, you can decorate on a budget for Halloween, and still have the most impressive house on the block. You only need a few tools, some supplies, and your wild imagination to make these five cheap and awesome DIY Halloween home decorations.

1. Reusable Jack o’ Lanterns

Jack o’ Lanterns are the most staple Halloween decorations, but many of us would rather not deal with cutting and carving pumpkins every year. Some would prefer to buy artificial pumpkins at hobby and craft stores that can be stored for next season. But for those who want to exert some efforts, you can purchase an artificial pumpkin that comes in several different shapes, colors, and styles, so choose the one that will look best at your front door.

You need to use an Exacto knife to carve a small holes in the bottom of the pumpkin and create a design on the front. After you are done with the design, use a small piece of sandpaper to gently sand down any rough edges. Then, place a small flashlight or electric candle in the bottom to make your design glow, and display it on the front porch. For those who prefer to use small reusable jack o’ lanterns, you can place them in the windows of your home to create an eerie light on your front yard.

2. Ghost-Lit Walkway

You can create a ghost-lit walkway that your trick-or-treaters will surely love. This can be done easily by making use of some of your milk jugs in your recycling bin. You can get some inspirations by searching on the internet in designing your ghosts’ faces. Try to make a scream mask which makes an instantly recognizable, scary ghost face that you can easily replicate on your milk jugs.

To do this cheap home decoration, you need several milk jugs, some black construction paper, and enough artificial candles to fill the jugs. It’s important to wash and dry each milk jug. When it is dry, use a knife to cut a small hole in the bottom of each jug.

Now you can start making ghost faces for each jug by cutting out a pair of eyes, a nose, and a mouth from the black construction paper. Then place an artificial candle inside each jug and line them along your walkway and turn on the candles. As the jugs light up, it creates glowing faces.

3. Coffin Cooler

With some little imagination, and wood and nails, you can create your life-sized coffin, that you can use in many different ways and make your home look spooktacular. You can turn it into a cooler to hold drinks for an outdoor party. You can also use it to create a gravedigger scene in your front yard on Halloween. You can also use it for a spooky planter or as a table during a party.

For Halloween home decoration, display the coffin in your front porch to strike fear into the hearts of your neighbors, by hiding someone inside, who pops out occasionally to spook the older trick-or-treaters. To do this scary home decoration, you need seven 4×4 boards, varying in length depending on the size of the coffin you want to make. Two boards make the two sides, one board makes the bottom and you’ll cut the other four to fit the shape of the coffin.

4. Floating Hands

You can create a severed hand out from a clear plastic glove. You can then place them around your house, sneak them into a chip bowl, or even make a garland out of hands. You can use them to shake hands with arriving guests, and then release the hand and feign dismay. To do this, fill a plastic glove with tissue paper, popcorn, or small shredded paper waste. Tie the open end of the glove with a clear elastic band to secure its contents.

5. Giant Spiders

Spiders are an ideal home decor for a spooky Halloween theme. A trash bag can be transformed into a giant spider that fits on your front porch, or up in a tree. You can also make multiple giant spiders and cluster them across the front and sides of your home. To do this, you need nine black trash bags and filling-in items such as newspapers, leftover packing materials, or even leaves.

Halloween season is a great time for most of us as the air starts to cool, pumpkins appear on grocery store shelves, and many are becoming busy decorating their homes.


Top Small Appliances that Every Renter Needs


Top Small Appliances that Every Renter Needs

If you live in a studio apartment that has a small space, you need to consider buying small appliances so you’ll find it easy to get them to fit into your space. When you’re setting up a small kitchen from scratch, check out these top small appliances that every renter needs.

A food processor

This is a kind of small kitchen appliance that can do a great job of preparing food for your family. A larger 12-cup is handy for your family of 4 and you can double or triple the recipe you’re working on. You can do great with a mini-prep food processor. Even a three-cup food processor can do a great job if it is just for you. Here are the top picks food processors: Cuisinart Elite Collection 12-Cup Food Processor and Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor.

A blender

A blender which is usually small in size and will easily fit into a counter space of about a foot size area, is a very useful tool to have in the kitchen. But it can be a big question whether you need a countertop blender, or if you can get by with an immersion blender. Some homeowners use an immersion blender, for example, while others prefer to use countertop blender.

If you prefer to use countertop blender, you may need to upgrade it to a high-end model for the sheer power and versatility. But if your kitchen is spacious and you need a reliable, multi-functioning tool that’ll whip or puree with ease, you need to opt for an immersion blender. Here are the top picks for a blender – Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Breville Hemisphere Control, and Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender.

An electric mixer

An electric mixer is a small kitchen appliance that will easily fit in a small space. You have two options to acquire an electric mixer – a stand mixer or a hand mixer. If you bake a lot, you should consider a stand mixer. It’s a highly recommended kitchen appliance for avid bakers which can make life easier. If not, you’re fine with just a hand mixer for the occasional mixing task such as beating egg whites, making whipped cream, or getting a smooth cake batter.

A pressure cooker

A pressure cooker is one of the top small appliances that every renter needs as it doesn’t occupy a lot of space on the countertop. Pressure cookers deserves a spot in every kitchen. It beats out the slow cooker, especially if you have limited space in your kitchen. Again, if you want the best of both worlds, get a pressure cooker. You can easily accomplish your cooking task in a short time.

An electric kettle

An electric kettle is one the most essential small appliances in the kitchen that many don’t think it is highly necessary until you have one, and then you realize that it’s an important kitchen appliance that’s used all the time. And you may very well use it more than any other single small appliance in your kitchen.

This small kitchen appliance is more energy-efficient than boiling water on the stove, and 10 times as fast. If you always drink coffee or tea, it’s a game-changer. Many users of an electric kettle aptly put it, “an electric kettle is a wonderful thing.”

Coffee Maker

The coffee maker is a must in most households, one that every rental property should have along with a backup or two. Most coffee makers automatically shut off (something bad is going to happen when the renter forget to turn it off and burning the apartment down); easy to use (you don’t want your guests spending the first 90 minutes of their morning in your small space trying to make the coffee maker dispense their much-needed caffeine.


Many homeowners love toaster as many of us want to eat hot bread for breakfast. Here are some reasons why it’s cool to use a toaster: simplicity – minimal buttons, simple mechanism; cool-touch – your bread won’t be burned; toast tongs are always a nice touch and prevent things like electrocution and burnt fingers. Here’s friendly advice – never buy a cheap toaster – it will only break or spark or hurt your guests within a month. When you invest in a nice safe toaster, you’re guaranteed to make your life easier.

These small appliances mentioned above are necessary for homeowners especially if they move to an apartment with a small kitchen space. They can be sure to fit them easily in a new place.


Essential Reminders When Moving in Autumn

Essential Reminders When Moving in Autumn

If you’re planning to move during the autumn season, you’re in luck.  Autumn is an awesome time to move. While most people have already moved during the busy and often expensive summer season, some families enjoy a convenient and affordable relocation at the start of the autumn season. If you’ve never moved during the fall before, here are some essential reminders before diving in.

  1. Negotiate to Take Advantage of Lower Moving Costs

Moving in the fall is much more affordable compared to other seasons. Many of the moving companies have become so busy with many move orders during summer, with lower demand this time, more trucks and crews are available, they now offer lower moving costs. Moving in autumn typically means you have a good chance to negotiate on moving estimates and bids. So be sure to compare prices and find the best deal.

  1. Declutter from the Summer

Do you have so many clothing items, swimwear, beach gear, outdoor furniture, toys, and other personal items that you don’t want to use till the next summer? Instead of packing these items, only to discard them next summer, it would be better to ditch or donate items you think not important anymore. If there are old cold-weather clothing items you or your family have grown out of, considering donating those before the arrival of the winter season.

  1. Rethink Storage

If you move to a place with challenging seasonal weather, take advantage of putting some items in storage during your moving time. This will help lessen the load of your moving truck of heavy or bulky items you may not use until late next spring or summer (such as outdoor furniture, gardening tools, and bbq grills), and you can streamline your move by helping you pack everything at once. It will also make your move-in much easier.

  1. Pack for the Season

While you’re busy thinking of taking bulkier items, don’t forget about clothes and sporting gear that you may not need right away after the move. Pack seasonal items together so it’s easy for you to find them later – and make sure you’ve packed all those cold-weather items you’ll need shortly after you settle into your new place. If you’ve stored away rain boots and raincoats, snow gear and snow-removal equipment, this a good time to find them and make sure they’re easy to access and unpack after you’ve arrived.

  1. Unpack for the Season

If you’ve stored away sandwich presses and crock pots, large Dutch ovens, and other seasonal dishware and service wear, consider talking to your movers about placing them in more accessible locations in your house or apartment upon your arrival. Instead of dumping them to the garage or down to the storage closet for items you packed away last year, place them in your kitchen or dining room, ready to be put into service for the fall and winter seasons.

  1. Setup Utilities in Advance

There’s nothing worse than arriving in a new place during the cold season and to find no essential utilities like electricity and gas. Oftentimes, the waiting time for new accounts takes several days. So be sure to apply in advance for utilities account at least a few weeks before you move in, so that you arrive at a warm, and relaxing environment on day 1.

  1. Put Down Plastic During Your Move

When you move out of your old place and move into your new place during the fall, there’s a potential increase in wet leaves, dirt, and mud. If you want to get back your security deposit, make sure your post-move-out doesn’t damage floors.

So buy a plastic painter’s sheeting, or cut open large black trash bags and tape to entryways and other pathways were movers and friends will come and go, so as not to damage the hallways. When you arrive at your destination, be sure to let the movers wait for you to lay down more plastic before they unload your items.

  1. Clear Outdoor Pathways

Even if you are so cautious about protecting your old place and new home or apartment, you should take extra steps to clear the outdoor paths to and from the moving truck. Sweep away leaves and shallow puddles with a study broom, and lay down flat cardboards in any particular muddy, or wet spots. Cleaning while your items are carried to the truck can help keep your place tidy (and help with that security deposit).

Moving in autumn is an awesome time to move as the weather temperature tends to go down into more comfortable ranges and movers’ lower prices are all in your favor.