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Things to Consider Before Renting Your First Apartment



Things to Consider Before Renting Your First Apartment

Renting an apartment for the first time can be exciting, but it is slightly scary and challenging. After all, you will navigate in new areas, paying monthly bills and there are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself. Below are several things to consider before renting your first apartment

It’s essential for you to get renter’s insurance

Sure, you don’t want to add another monthly bill. But renter’s insurance will save many of your essential possessions if a fire happens, a disaster or if your apartment is burglarized. Think about the stuff you own, if something happens, sure you cannot afford to replace it all out of pocket. Fortunately, the renter’s insurance is very affordable – it’s usually $20 or less a month. Many landlords now require renters to have renter’s insurance.

You don’t have to rent for a full year

While many renters sign a one-year lease, meaning they will pay one-year total rent, some landlords are more flexible and offer semi-annual lease agreements. Why opt for a full year rent when you find it burdensome. If you can’t afford to sign a twelve month lease, you may want to try to look in another neighborhood and consider a six-month lease option.

Signing a more extended contract can save you money

Some landlords offer a discount on their monthly rent for renters who sign an 18-month or twenty four month lease term. Landlords sometimes offer discounts for long term lease because it’s easier and there are less expenses when recruiting a long term renter. A long-term lease can be beneficial for you and the landlord.

Utilities might be covered under your rent payment

Utilities like electricity or water are sometimes included by in the base rent. Others may require you to pay for that separately. It’s essential to determine your situation will be regarding utilities before you sign a lease (and before you start the air conditioning unit), only to get a surprisingly big amount for utility bill.

Knowing your community rules is more important than you might think

Most apartments have policies to provide guidelines to renters regarding visiting hours, quiet hours, pet restrictions, and discarding your trash. So you need to make sure of the rules before you move in and stay updated with the community policies.

You should know how much it’ll cost you if you have to break your lease

It is always for the benefit of the renter to avoid breaking a lease. Because it’s always the tenant who’ll take the risk such as penalty and the forfeiture of a their security deposit. To prevent this, it’s important to check out the lease and understand the policy in advance so you’ll know what to expect if you find it necessary to move.

Your lease might automatically renew

Some of the lease agreements in many properties automatically renew, but others require renters to let the landlord or property manager know whether they are interested in renewing the lease or leave at the end of the lease term, this is often done within a 30 day period before the contract is up. If you fail to do so, you could be required to pay a penalty.

What you’ve told might be different than what’s on your lease

Make sure all terms of your new lease is in writing. It’s important to confirm that the terms of the lease match to what you’ve been told.

You may not be allowed to add a new roommate

Some landlords or property managers won’t allow you to get a roommate before your original lease is up. If you’re planning to add a roommate in your apartment or know your current roommate isn’t planning on staying for the full lease, it’s important to ask the landlord.

All things to consider!

How to Be Financially Prepared Before Moving

How to Be Financially Prepared Before Moving

One of the most challenging things to do is when you’re moving out by yourself for the first time is making sure you can afford the move and all the expense that come with becoming a renter.

This part of independence is often accompanied by anxiety and stress, partly because you don’t have an exact idea about what to expect when you start to live alone. If you’ve never experienced buy groceries, paying bills, or cooked your own food? Then here are a few these tips on how to become financially prepared before moving.

  • Open up a savings account

Although this is just a small step, this will give you a great favor. When you separate your savings from your checking/spending account, it will help you save more and spend less. Just make sure that the money you keep as savings should be out of your sight and out of your mind.

  • Save rent money six months in advance

Before moving in, try to research the rental rates in the area where you want to move to and start a stash for the rent for at least six months. It’s easier to save when you are still staying with family.

So, save more money while you still have low expenses. Your brain will also be trained to pay rent monthly, so when you’re on your own, you will find it easy to shoulder other costs.

  • Start cooking at home

Many of us love going out and, of course, it always includes your favorite meal, but at this point in your life when you need to become “independent.” Part of that is tightening your belt and putting your finances in the right order.

When you cook at home,  you save a lot of money. You can buy groceries at a much lower price than that delicious food at your favorite eatery.

If you can’t avoid going out for dinner with friends, and still want to save some money, maybe you can ask your friends to have a potluck instead of eating out. Invite them to your house, you’ll save some money, and you won’t feel like you’re missing something.

  • Make a mock budget

You should learn how to budget. To start with it, make a mock budget. To do this, add all the future expenses that you think you’ll need. List the monthly rent amount, monthly groceries, utilities, and even laundry care. After all, when you move out on your own, all those “freebies” you enjoy from your parent’s house will be gone. It’s wise to estimate how much you’ll spend living out on your own.

Making a mock budget will let you know if you have enough money to cover all of your future expenses when you move out. If you need to make more money, you know soon enough. This way you’ll be prepared to meet all the expected expenses.

  • Start an Emergency fund

An emergency can happen any time, and if you’re not financially prepared, you’ll end up borrowing or even worse, you’ll get behind on your financial responsibilities, if not careful you be back in your old room at your parents house again. No one wants this to happen. When you have built an emergency fund, you have the chance of survival and can proceed to live on your own.

  • Start accumulating furniture

Accumulating furniture may not be a good idea for everyone, but if you have room to store the pieces, this can help you a lot. When you have a chance to visit thrift stores, you can find new or gently used pieces, and you’ll be surprised by the quality of furniture you’ll see.

When you start to shop for furniture before moving, you’ll have enough time to shop around for bargains and great deals, which is sure to save you money that you get to buy things at your own pace rather than purchasing everything right when you move in.

Don’t forget the day you move in, you’ll be paying a deposit and first and sometimes the last month’s rent, so if you have some of your furniture already, then you won’t have problems paying your first months expenses. You can even think of buying additional things that you need for your new home.

If you want to become financially prepared before moving to a new home, make sure to follow these tips as they can help make the moving process a little easier.

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Decorations for Your Apartments


DIY St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Decoration for Apartments

Decorating your apartment for St. Patrick’s Day is not an easy task as you need to spend ample time and effort. If you are feeling lucky to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, make sure you outfit your doors, walls, and tables, with lots St. Patrick’s Day decor’. Here are a few DIY decorating tips to help make your apartment look fun and festive.

Learning how to make lucky penny letters is a great way to make DIY St. Patrick’s Day Decoration for your apartment. You can buy paper-mache or wood letters at a craft store to form out the word “lucky.” With the use of a foam brush, you can quickly paint the letters in copper acrylic paint. If your letters are unfinished wood or paper-mache, with just one coat is fine. If you purchased pre-painted white letters, you’d need to apply two coats. You can add pennies to the letters you formed after they become dry.

If you would like your letters to look eclectic, take advantage of the varying shades of older pennies. Use a hot glue gun to attach the pennies. Give them space appropriate to avoid wide gaps. Coat the letters in a layer of glossy acrylic finish. By doing this, it can make the oldest pennies shine. To highlight your project, you can prop your lucky penny letters on your mantel or bookshelf.

Consider using green for decoration as it’s the staple color of St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Incorporate this color green into all aspects of your decorations to transform your apartment into an Irish festival. An easy way to do this is to buy green balloons in a few different shades (you can mix in white and orange). Combine the balloons to help create bouquets using green ribbon. Now you can place the green balloon bouquets around your apartment – you can tie them to tables, chairs, and anything that’s in an upright position.

Make a burlap banner using green colored decorations. To make this, cut four bunting triangles from patterned burlap (gold polka dot burlap)will work too. You need to use painter’s tape to tape off stripes on the natural burlap triangles. Use sponge brush, dab green paint onto the burlap to create lines. When it is completely dry, remove painter’s tape carefully (as it’s fragile). Punch holes in the corner then thread bunting triangles onto a long piece of yarn and hang.

Create shamrock decoration ideas for St. Patrick’s Day for your apartment. To play off this shamrock idea, use shamrock decorations throughout your apartment space to add an Irish touch. One way to do this is to make shamrock coasters. Use green paper to cut out shamrock large big enough for a cup to fit in. Once you’ve cut out your shamrocks, laminate it to make the shamrock waterproof and durable. Place the shamrock coasters on tabletops throughout your apartment for your guests to use.

Another shamrock decoration idea for your apartment is to tie shamrocks into your decorations to create shamrock name-tags. You can cut shamrock shapes out of green paper and print the names of your guests on each one. Then laminate them to make it sturdy. Lastly, glue a pin on the back of each name-tag so your guests can wear their shamrock. This idea is great if you host a party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day so it easier for everyone to learn each one persons name.

Decorating a table is an essential part of any celebration or party for St. Patrick’s Day. Incorporate centerpieces and Irish inspired decorations to keep with the party theme. Incorporate decor’ items such as leprechauns, shamrocks, and pots of gold into your table centerpieces. For example, place together green bouquets such as green carnations, zinnias, and ferns. Cut out shamrocks and stick them to dowels and spray-paint green, then stick them into your flower arrangement.

One last decorating idea that you can add to your table is to make your own “pots of gold.” To do this, create or purchase black bowls to act as the pots and fill them with gold chocolate coins. You can find these gold chocolate coins at the most grocery store or party supply store. At the end of your St. Patrick’s Day celebration or party, encourage your guests to take home any leftover chocolate coins as a party treat.

To be lucky on St. Patrick’s Day, try to decorate your apartment with these easy DIY Decorations ideas and make sure you outfit your tables, walls, and doors.

Safety Tips if You are Living Alone


Safety Tips if You Live Alone

Living alone cannot be avoided especially if you are unmarried and working far from your family home. The truth is living alone affords many freedoms – you can go out and come home anytime you want, you can cook whichever food you like or eat out, you can sleep long hours and nobody cares, but you can’t enjoy full freedom because you’re responsible for home security and personal safety. When you live alone, you need to learn some safety tips that can help you in the event of a break-in or intruders.

Get another set of eyes by installing a security camera. This will help you check on what’s happening when you’re away from home, and they can force a burglar to think twice before breaking in. Thanks to a video captured by security cameras, more and more criminals are caught in the act. Good news to would-be buyers of security cameras, many are now available on every budget and need.

Installing Motion Sensored Outdoor Lights is a great way to spook a burglar and put them under the spotlight. Motion sensor lights provide good lighting when you’re walking around your property, and they also illuminate intruders before they break-in. To get good results, install motion sensor lights in every entry point and in all areas outside your home where a burglar could hide and break in without being suspected by neighbors. The dark sections of your yard and home are impossible to miss when a motion sensor is triggered by a moving object.

Upgrading to a Smart Doorbell is a good way to make your home safe. Some of the burglars barge in during daytime hours. With Smart Doorbell, it can give the impression you’re at home even when you’re not. This home security device is affordable and easy to install. Smart doorbells come with live video streaming, remote viewing apps, and two-way communication that lets you see and talk to whoever is at your door. Forget looking through the peephole – these doorbells allow you to see who’s at the door.

Getting a dog is the same as having a companion. A dog will not only alert you when someone is lurking in the yard but also greet you happily as you go home from work. Criminals don’t like to be bitten by a canine. Having a dog in your single-person household is also a good way to fend off loneliness.  If you are looking for a protective dog that will work as your security guard, be sure to consider things like size, breed, and activity level.

In the age of social media and smartphones, people don’t usually get along with the neighbors. However, you can feel safer in your neighborhood if you can know and trust your neighbors. When you make a good acquaintance with your neighbors, you can ask for help from them in keeping an eye out for suspicious activity near your home. So the next time you see your neighbor standing by the door, make eye contact, and say hello. You never know, your neighbor can be a big help if something happen to your home while you’re away.

By adding smart locks to your home, a key becomes a thing of the past. Ask your landlord if the smart lock is permissible. With the use of smart locks, you never have to worry about lost or stolen keys again. Smart locks come with remote control features that let you check to make sure you locked the door – and, if you forgot, you can lock it instantly with just a swipe of your finger.

Knowing safety tips for your home when living alone is a great way to make your home safe especially if no one is around to call for help.


Important Reminders Before Moving In


Important Reminders Before Moving In

Moving to a new home is a challenging task as you are going to make many changes in your life. However, if you make preparations ahead of your scheduled move, you won’t become so busy with the things that you haven’t prepared before your moving day. By following the checklist of activities listed below, you can be sure to have a smooth transition on your moving day.

Get the old place ready

This is an important task that is always neglected. After you have packed all your things, it’s essential to restore your old place to how it looked when you moved in, mainly if you want to get your security deposit back. If you’re going to spend less time and effort in moving stuff to your new place, start to give away the things that aren’t important anymore, sell off, or discard things you no longer want or that may just be occupying space.

Planning for where things will go will give you a smooth move rather than having to check the contents in every box during packing day and decide whether you bring it to a new place or to donate or discard them.

Prepare the new place for move-in

After you have finished packing all the things from your old apartment, you will be doing a lot of unpacking of boxes and finding places where to store them in your new home. Before you step into your new place, consider the following steps to make transitioning to your new place a lot easier.

  • Change your address – Be sure to change your address so that your mail will not be delivered to your old address. Fill out a form in a post office to let them know that you have a new address. Let your employer know also, and others who might send you mail or packages.
  • Set up utilities – You don’t want to live in a place to find that there’s something not working. To keep this from happening, sign up with any utilities that aren’t included in the rent like telephone and internet.  Find out from your new landlord to see which utilities are included in the rent so you can act early.
  • Get/update renters insurance – You may be required by the landlord to get renters insurance, but not all landlords will ask for it. Even if you are not required by the landlord to have renters insurance, it’s essential to have a policy. Get it if you don’t have it yet, and if you do, make sure to change it over to your new apartment.
  • Learn to use power outlets – This can easily be overlooked, but a lot of things need electricity to function. Note where the power outlets are to make sure you have enough places to plug things in.
  • Investigate/document the condition of the apartment – Your landlord may provide a form to be filled out about the situation of the apartment prior to your move in. While you’re around the apartment, take pictures of anything that’s damaged or worn, inform the landlord in writing and keep the list for your own files.
  • Clean anything that needs it – Be sure to disinfect every space in the apartment, it’ll give you a piece of mind that your new space is clean to your own standards.

Keep the move on the track

Make sure that everything gets moved from your old place to your new home. You need to have a moving checklist and write down the things that need to be transferred to keep track ahead of moving time. If you have not done it yet, you should do it right away. Because you can’t keep everything in your head. And this way you can keep track of everything you’ll need to move. Confirm details with your new landlord the time of day you can move in.

Get started living in your new place

Once you’ve moved into a new place, it’s essential for you to familiarize yourself with the area, try to explore the neighborhood, and get to know the critical locations and routes. Find out the best way to work or school. Where’s the nearest store, the right place to jog, you’ll need to know all of this eventually, so start early.

When you plan to move to a new apartment, it’s important to make preparations ahead of your scheduled moving time so you can easily cope with the all the essential items on moving day.