Category Archives: Apartment Living

How to Work From Home in an Apartment

How to Work From Home in an Apartment

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many apartment dwellers into a unique work situation. Widespread stay-at-home orders have forced everyone except for essential workers to work from home, and for people who previously worked in offices alongside their coworkers, the sudden transition to a work-from-home lifestyle may be challenging. How can you recreate an ergonomic, efficient workspace in your apartment? What can you do to make your apartment office feel like your actual office? Here are some tips that can help you work from home in an apartment.

work from home apartment

Organize and arrange your work-from-home desk

Whether you’ve repurposed a folding table into your work-from-home desk or are struggling to make proper space on a small desk you’ve long had, you can optimize any surface for minimal workflow interruptions if you organize and arrange your workspace properly. Manage your cables and wires with twist ties or cable management organizers. Invest in a filing cabinet to keep papers and other office supplies from taking up precious desktop area. Move any items not fully necessary for work to another part of your apartment.

Expand or rethink your work-from-home surface

If you find that the desk you’ve long had in your apartment is too small, there’s nothing wrong with buying another small table to give yourself more working space. Conversely, if your desk just isn’t working for you, you can consider setting aside a portion of your kitchen countertop, living room coffee table, or another apartment surface as your work-from-home space. You can even switch to a standing desk if you think you can go through a full day of work without sitting. No matter where you find that you have the most space for your work-from-home operations, your primary goal should be to create a dedicated office space.

Get high-quality work-from-home equipment

If you’re using a folding chair from your living room or a bar stool from your kitchen as your work chair, you’ll be surprised how much better your workday will flow if you invest in a proper office or computer chair. Likewise, if you’re struggling to make space for all your tasks and software platforms on your laptop screen, buying an extra monitor might help you to keep your desk organized. 

You should also buy additional lighting if you have to work from home in a part of your apartment that isn’t as well lit. Good lighting is correlated with not just increased productivity but less strain on your eyes, lower fatigue levels, and fewer headaches. It can also be vital for ensuring that you appear professional in any video calls you make for your work.

Work from home like you’re working from the office

Besides equipment concerns, one of the biggest shocks that can accompany the shift to working from home instead of the office is how much it can blur the line between work and the rest of your life. That’s why it can be important to set boundaries and routines that simulate an office working experience. 

When you wake up, go about your usual morning routine – including putting on an outfit you’d normally wear to the office – before starting your work. Set work hours and include breaks in them. Do everything you can to separate your work-from-home space from distractions, whether the snacks in your kitchen, the TV in your living room, or any roommates with whom you live. Working from home may not immediately feel comfortable, but if you treat your time on the job as though you’re actually in the office, it might feel like your usual routine soon enough.

Published at Tue, 26 May 2020 13:26:33 +0000

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

In a world that moves at a breakneck pace, finding time to slow down and quiet your mind is difficult—and it’s also essential. Many people turn to meditation to help. The practice guides the mind to a calmer place using breathing techniques, mantras, and imagery. It can be as simple as breathing deeply and repeating a phrase or as complicated as traveling to a different plane tucked away in the recesses of your imagination. Either way, you need a quiet, calm space to do it in order to really reap the benefits of meditation. Here’s how to make your apartment feel bigger when you meditate.

  1. Oust any clutter.
    One of the most obvious ways to make your space feel larger is to rid it of any stuff that’s non-essential. Purging extra clutter is a good habit to get into, whether you meditate or not. Donate any knick-knacks, furnishings, and decor that you don’t really need in order to open up some space for your meditative practice. This will make it even easier to get into the zen zone.
  2. Welcome natural light.
    When sunshine comes streaming into your home, it makes your world a bit brighter and bigger. Harness the power of natural light and pick a corner for meditation with ample windows. The sunny rays, and the view visible through the windows, will make your meditation nook feel instantly more spacious.
  3. Enlist neutral hues.
    While dark colors tend to make a room feel smaller, light and neutral tones do just the opposite. Whites, creams, and shades of beige create the illusion of extra space. So when you pick furnishings for your meditation area (or for any room in your home, really), opt for these lighter colors instead of dark, bold hues. If you already have darker furniture in the area where you intend to meditate, there’s no need for a full makeover. Just add some lighter elements, like a whitewashed throw blanket or set of pillows.
  4. Just add mirrors.
    Mirrors instantly add square footage to your home, almost in the same way that a window does. The reflection seemingly doubles the size of any space. Affix a mirror to your wall or find a small stand-alone mirror that you can incorporate into your meditation nook.
  5. Strategically place your pillow.
    One essential that every meditation space must have is a cushy pillow for you to perch on. Pick your pillow and then arrange it strategically to make your space feel larger. Instead of pushing it up against the wall, pull it out at least six inches. This is an old trick for arranging furniture. When you let your furnishings float, the room feels bigger. When they connect with the wall, that seems to suck up space—or, at least, make a room look smaller. You can use this tip with any piece of furniture or decor in your meditation area.

How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger: 25 Tips That Work [StyleCaster]

5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Home Meditation Space [Yoga Journal]

10 Sneaky Ways to Make a Small Space Look Bigger [The Nest]

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:53:45 +0000

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Tours

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Tours

In the wake of Covid-19, the real estate industry has experienced significant changes in the way we help potential tenants and buyers. This is largely a result of the shelter-in-place suggestions enacted in many states and at federal level.  

Private showings, open houses and tours have been the norm for showcasing available properties and screening possible tenants. All of this has come to an abrupt halt. The use of progressive digital 3-D virtual walk-through tours and aerial drone footage historically reserved for luxury properties have become common marketing practices.  

Real estate services have been deemed “an essential service” in some areas, so private showings and one-on-one meetings are possible, but not advised. As such, virtual tours are now the most explored and implemented options. Besides the advantages it has for property managers and the industry at large, virtual tours are helpful for the tenants as well. Here are a few pros and cons of this popular solution. 

apartment search virtual tour

Pros of Virtual Tours

Tour properties anywhere from the comfort of your home  

In the old days — just a couple of months ago — if you were in the market to look for a new rental, it could take multiple hours to tour around town. You’d be navigating traffic, finding parking, dealing with foot traffic and clingy salespeople. By the end of the day, your head might be spinning trying to remember which house is which.  

Touring homes virtually, everything is done on your terms. You can visit an apartment as many times as you like and stay for as long as you want for one tourYou don’t even need to get out of your pajamas! Virtual tours are comfortable and convenient. 

vr glasses apartment tour

Tour many apartments in a short period of time 

Time is a valuable resource. It can take up to five hours to tour six to ten properties in person, and that’s if they’re in one neighborhood or in the same part of town. If you’re touring them virtually, it could take just minutes! And the best part is you can go back and check certain apartments as many times ayou like. If you’re a first-time renter and a family member is helping you with the rent, they can virtually walk through the apartment too, from anywhere they might live. 

Virtual tours are more reliable than pictures 

Pictures aren’t always very reliant, and that’s why a lot of people tour the properties before actually moving in. Virtual tours eliminate a lot of the uncertainty of a picture and give you a true perspective of the property.  

searching apartment vr tour

Cons of Virtual Tours 

Not knowing the neighborhood 

If you’re not familiar with an areaa virtual tour won’t help. You won’t be able to see the building next door and the surrounding area, so extra research will be needed. Even then, you won’t be able to talk to the neighbors and get an idea of the dynamics of the area. 

Not physically interacting with the home 

Although you can see the apartment and make accurate evaluations about its condition, its strong and weak points, it’s not the same as physically being in the apartment and interacting with its components. Also, virtual tours sometimes make it difficult to accurately determine how much natural light a home gets or how it smells when you enter the home.  

phone 360 apartment tour

Not meeting your landlord

With a virtual tour, you might not have the opportunity to meet the landlord in person and address all the issues you’re concerned with before moving in. If you’re not renting in a state like California where real estate has been considered an essential business, a virtual conference with the landlord is your best bet for crossing that bridge.  

Conclusion 

Virtual tours are an excellent tool for saving time, energy and money. While still very different from physically sitting in the apartment you’re considering to call home, it’s an innovative and very useful solution for convenient touring.
 

About the author: Glenn Shelhamer is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Los Angeles area for many years. He is also the team lead of The Shelhamer Real Estate Group. When Glenn’s not selling real estate, he can be found spending time with his beautiful wife and two terrific kids. 

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Published at Fri, 15 May 2020 07:50:39 +0000

Biden Gains Momentum in Manhattan and Brooklyn, While Trump Continues the Lead in Staten Island

Biden Gains Momentum in Manhattan and Brooklyn, While Trump Continues the Lead in Staten Island

Former Vice President Joe Biden shocked the world with his Super Tuesday revival, and he is now on the right path to the Democratic nomination against President Donald Trump in November.

Thanks to the wide support he received from Black voters and the consolidation among Democratic moderates, Mr. Biden seized primary victories across the nation, clinching wins in key states such as Michigan, Florida, and Arizona. Now, the question is no longer Bernie vs. Biden, or progressive vs. moderate, but more so if Mr. Biden could unite the Democratic party and beat President Trump.

Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.

 
Below are our key findings in New York City for Q1 2020:

  • From Jan 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2020, Biden attracted 6,382 unique donors, whereas Trump gained 3,656 unique donors.
  • With Mayor Pete dropping out of the race, Manhattan voters shifted their support to Biden. As of Q1 2020, the Biden campaign attracted 4,845 unique donors in Manhattan, a 112% growth from 2,281 at the end of Q4 2019.
  • While Brooklyn, as of Mar 31, 2020, was still Sanders’ base, the number of unique donors contributing to Biden’s campaign jumped 232% this quarter, from 249 to 826.
  • Among the 217 zip codes included in this study, 201 are blue zip codes. Meanwhile, Biden leads in 99, or 46% of the zip codes. We expect this number to continue to grow as Democratic voters consolidate their support.
  • 17 NYC zip codes are becoming “bluer”, including 11434 (Queens), 11691 (Queens), and 10310 (Staten Island). This means that the Democratic support is growing in these zip codes.

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

The interactive map below highlights New York City and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.

 

Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.
 

Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that Senator Bernie Sanders was the front runner in the City of New York in Q1 2020, but as Vice President Biden seized primary victories in other states and positioned himself as the presumptive party nominee, more donors were turning to his campaign. In March, the Biden campaign attracted over 2,000 unique donors, pushing the total unique donor count to 6,382 as of March 31, 2020, around 74% more than what Trump had attracted.

When breaking down the contributions by borough, we can see that Biden’s unique donor base composes largely of Manhattan voters. In fact, of the 10 zip codes where Biden gained over 100 unique donors in Q1 2020, nine are located in Manhattan. 76% of the donors who have contributed to Biden’s campaign are in Manhattan. While Brooklyn, as of Mar 31, 2020, was still Sanders’ base, the number of unique donors contributing to the Vice President’s campaign jumped 232% this quarter, from 249 to 826.

Trump’s fundraising effort, on the other hand, seems to be slowing down in New York City. From Jan 2020 to Mar 2020, Mr. Trump only gained 20% more unique donors in the city. Of all the unique donors the incumbent President has attracted in the past six quarters, 31% are from Manhattan, and 28% are from Queens.

Democrats Are Taking Over these Zip Codes

 
In addition to analyzing which candidate leads in each zip code, we also noticed that certain zip codes are becoming “bluer” from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020. In total 17 zip codes went from neutral to blue, whereas the Republican party has yet to successfully flip any zip codes in New York City. Below are some highlights of these zip codes.

  • Zip code 10271 (Manhattan): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 86%. Four of the donors contributed to the Sanders campaign, and two to other past Democratic candidates. Trump attracted one unique donor in this zip code. Biden, meanwhile, has yet to generate anything in this zip code.
  • Zip code 11434 (Queens): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 78%. Seven of the unique donors contributed to the Biden campaign, and six to Bernie 2020. Trump attracted five unique donors in this zip code.
  • Zip code 11417 (Queens): Democratic donor share went from 47% to 61%, making it a light blue zip code. Trump, however, is still the unique donor leader in this zip code, with 10 unique donors as of Q1 2020.
  • Zip code 11691 (Queens): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 62%, making it a light blue zip code. Trump, however, is still the unique donor leader in this zip code, with a total of 11 unique donors compared to Biden’s four as of Q1 2020.
  • Zip code 10310 (Staten Island): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 60%, making it a light blue zip code. Most of the Democratic support in this zip code, however, was driven by past Democratic candidates, such as Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, and Bernie Sanders. Biden received contributions from only three unique donors in zip code 10310, compared to Trump’s 15 as of Q1 2020.
Biden Thrives in these Zip Codes

As he became the presumptive Democratic nomitee against President Trump in November, Biden finally started gaining momentum in New York City after months of flat numbers. Below are some of the zip codes where the Biden campaign saw the most quarter-over-quarter growth.

  • Zip code 11225 (Brooklyn): 14 unique donors, +1300% Q/Q
  • Zip code 11205 (Brooklyn): 11 unique donors, +1100% Q/Q
  • Zip code 11203 (Brooklyn): 9 unique donors, +800% Q/Q
  • Zip code 11358 (Queens): 9 unique donors, +800% Q/Q
  • Zip code 10037 (Manhattan): 11 unique donors, +450% Q/Q
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden

 
Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.

  • Zip code 10023: 96% Blue, 428 unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign.
  • Zip code 10024: 97% Blue, 400 Uunique donors
  • Zip code 10021: 93% Blue, 358 unique donors
  • Zip code 10128: 93% Blue, 328 unique donors
  • Zip code 10028: 91% Blue, 282 unique donors
  • Zip code 10011: 98% Blue, 277 unique donors
  • Zip code 10025: 98% Blue, 272 unique donors
  • Zip code 10022: 89% Blue, 243 unique donors
  • Zip code 10003: 98% Blue, 219 unique donors
  • Zip code 11201: 98% Blue, 209 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump

 
Below are the top 10 zip codes where Trump received the most support.

  • Zip code 10314: 51% Red, 101 unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign.
  • Zip code 10022: 11% Red, 100 unique donors
  • Zip code 10028: 9% Red, 91 unique donors
  • Zip code 10128: 7% Red, 83 unique donors
  • Zip code 11209: 24% Red, 81 unique donors
  • Zip code 11375: 18% Red, 75 unique donors
  • Zip code 10312: 56% Red, 72 unique donors
  • Zip code 10021: 7% Red, 70 unique donors
  • Zip code 10065: 11% Red, 69 unique donors
  • Zip code 11235: 41% Red, 69 unique donors

Methodology

The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. The city and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and committee names. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

 
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?

This is related to the nature of the primary. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party has 3 candidates running, all the support is gravitating towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the likely nominee, we should start seeing some changes.

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.

3. How is the party majority calculated?

The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.

Published at Wed, 06 May 2020 13:20:39 +0000

How Can You Get COVID-19 Rent or Mortgage Relief?

How Can You Get COVID-19 Rent or Mortgage Relief?

During the two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders necessary for public health and safety have resulted in massive unemployment, in turn affecting apartment renters’ and owners’ budgets. Rent and mortgage payments become considerably tougher to pay without income, and though there were some federal interventions to delay evictions and foreclosures at the start of the crisis, some temporary laws have since expired. Here’s the latest on how you can get COVID-19 rent or mortgage relief.

covid-19 rent mortgage relief

Federal COVID-19 rent relief regulation

Through the federal CARES Act passed in late March, evictions are banned for 120 days in many forms of housing. Under the CARES Act, tenants in federally-backed housing cannot be given an eviction notice before July 25. Thereafter, these tenants cannot be evicted until August 24.

The CARES Act covers many, but not all, rental situations. If your apartment is covered according to section 41411 of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 or the rural housing voucher program outlined in section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949, the CARES Act applies to you. Likewise, if your landlord has a federally backed or multifamily mortgage on your apartment, the CARES Act protects you from eviction. 

If the CARES Act applies to your apartment, your safety net expands past a ban on evictions. Your landlord is also banned from adding late fees or other penalties for missing rent. Despite these renter protections, the CARES Act does not free tenants of their obligations to pay their rent, meaning that even though this law may provide you with housing stability in the short-term, it might not do so in the long-term.

Federal COVID-19 mortgage relief regulation

The CARES Act also applies to apartment owners unable to pay their mortgages. Under the CARES Act, lenders and loan servicers may not foreclose on apartments and homes for 60 days following March 18. During this 60-day period, lenders and services are banned from starting foreclosure proceedings or finalizing any foreclosures that were pending before the pandemic.

Additionally, you can request a forbearance on your mortgage payments for as long as 180 days, and you can ask for an additional 180-day extension at the end of your first forbearance period. To explore this option, you must directly contact your lender or servicer, who will be banned from implementing penalties or any other extra fees, though all scheduled interest will remain part of your mortgage. 

Under the CARES Act, you technically do not need to provide documentation of any financial hardship you face due to COVID-19. If you remain able to pay your mortgage, do not exploit this documentation gap to receive unnecessary mortgage relief. Loan servicers and providers are currently inundated with unprecedented volumes of phone calls from apartment owners in desperate need of mortgage relief.

State COVID-19 rent and mortgage relief regulation

In addition to federal COVID-19 rent and mortgage relief regulation, individual states (as well as Washington, D.C.) have implemented their own guidelines regarding evictions, foreclosures, and other housing concerns. For a state-by-state list of eviction and foreclosure bans and other relevant regulations, click here.

Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 13:12:32 +0000

Home Buying and Selling During the Pandemic: What You Need to Know

Home Buying and Selling During the Pandemic: What You Need to Know

Technology and good-old-fashioned creativity are helping agents, buyers, and sellers abide by COVID-19 health and safety practices while getting deals done.

Some buyers are touring houses virtually. Others visit in person while remaining at least six feet from their agent. Sellers are hosting open houses on Facebook Live. Appraisers are doing drive-by valuations. Buyers are watching inspections via video call. Masked and gloved notaries are getting signatures on doorsteps.

“We have had to make some adjustments, for sure,” says Brian K. Henson, a REALTOR® with Atlanta Fine Homes / Sotheby’s International Realty in Alpharetta, Ga. “Everyone is trying to minimize face-to-face interactions. There have been some delays, but mostly, deals are getting done, just with tweaks.”

Here’s what home buying and selling during the pandemic looks like.

Showings Go Virtual

The rules around in-person showings vary by city, county, and state. Some allow them and some ban them. Check with your state, county, and local government to get the latest on business closures and shut-down rules.

Agents have conducted home tours via FaceTime and other similar tools for years. But these platforms have proven invaluable for home buying and selling during the pandemic. Real estate sites report a surge in the creation of 3D home tours. Redfin, a real estate brokerage, saw a 494% increase in requests for video home tours in March.

“I’ve done several FaceTime showings,” says Henson. He conducted virtual showings before COVID-19, too. He recently closed a deal on a home the buyers only saw on video, he says, but hasn’t yet done so during the pandemic.

In places where in-person showings are allowed, agents wipe down door handles, spray the lockbox with disinfectant, and open up the house, closets, everything for a client. “We leave all the lights on so no one touches switches, and we don’t touch cabinets or doors during showings,” Henson says.

Safe-Showing Guidelines

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, which produces HouseLogic, recommends only one buyer enter a home at a time, with 6 feet between each guest. NAR also recommends agents have potential buyers wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer when they come in the door. They should also remove their shoes. No children should be present at showings, either.

“We’re living in extraordinary times and unusual circumstances. If you have the ability to work, you have to be creative,” Mabél Guzmán, a Chicago real estate agent, told NBC News. Guzmán, who is also vice president of association affairs for NAR, has put together a video offering tips and strategies for virtual showings during the pandemic.

Down Payment Help

Many organizations offering down payment assistance to first-time home buyers have temporarily suspended the programs or changed the rules. You can check the status of programs in your area at the Down Payment Assistance Resource site.

Desktop, Drive-By Appraisals

Appraisers are essential workers in many areas, so home valuations are continuing. But often remotely. New, temporary rules from the Federal Housing Finance Authority allow drive-by and desktop appraisals for loans backed by the federal government.

In a desktop appraisal, the appraiser comes up with a home estimate based on tax records and multiple listing service information, without an in-person visit. For a drive-by, the appraiser only looks at the home’s exterior, in combination with a desktop appraisal. The Appraisal Foundation has put out guidelines for handling appraisals during the pandemic. Here’s the FAQ.

And here are specific new appraisal guidelines by agency:

On the other hand, some private lenders still require in-person appraisals, which are allowed even in areas with shutdown orders. Private lenders hold about 35% of first-lien mortgages, according to the Urban Institute

When appraisers come to your home, they should adhere to Centers for Disease Control guidelines, including wearing gloves and a face mask, keeping at least 6 feet apart from anyone in the home, and asking if the homeowners have been sick or traveled recently to a COVID-19 hotspot.

Inspections Via Live Video

Inspectors are now often working alone, no buyers in tow, and using hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors advises inspectors to videotape their inspection so clients can watch it at home later, or to use FaceTime or other live video chat apps to take their clients along on the inspection, virtually. They can also call clients with their findings after they’re done.

The American Society of Home Inspectors has also issued guidelines for inspectors so they keep themselves and the homeowners safe while providing an accurate assessment of a home’s condition.

Mortgage Rates and Locks

With mortgage rates fluctuating quickly and closing times taking longer than usual, some lenders are extending mortgage rate lock periods. You can grab a good rate and hang on to it even if your lender takes longer than usual to process your loan.

But the protocol depends on the lender and the loan. Some lenders are offering this for all loans; others for refis. Check with your lender about its policy.

Related: How to Get Home Financing

Employment Verification

An important step in getting a mortgage is proving the borrower has a job. In pre-coronavirus days, lenders called the borrower’s employer for a verbal verification.

The Federal Housing Finance Authority, which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and federal home loan banks, has relaxed the rules for loans backed by the federal government because so many businesses are closed.

Lenders for federally backed loans now accept an email from an employer, a recent year-to-date paystub, or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit as proof of employment.

Walk-throughs

Home buying and selling during the pandemic means real estate agents can conduct the final walk-through via video with their clients. Or they can just open the home and have buyers walk through on their own. Henson says he still accompanies his clients, but stays six feet away and has them wash their hands when entering and exiting the house. Everyone’s wearing masks, too.

And, of course, when the buyers take possession, they should disinfect.

Remote Notarization Depends On Where You Live

About one-half of states have permanent remote online notarization (RON) policies. These allow a notary and signer in different locations to sign electronic document, usually by use of video apps like Zoom or FaceTime. Notaries will watch you sign either a paper document or do an electronic signature on an e-doc, via camera.

Some states have rolled out temporary rules allowing RON. Here’s a state-by-state list of notary law updates, and the type of remote notarizations allowed. The number of states allowing remote notarization could grow as federal and state pandemic legislation expands.

Closings Get Creative

Traditional closings, where everybody gathered around a big table to sign the final papers, are no longer possible. Title companies and banks are getting super creative in dealing with the limitations.

A Minnesota company, Legacy Title, rolled out a drive-thru closing service at one of its offices in an old bank branch building. The title company rep sits in a bank teller window and handles the closing papers while the customer sits in their car. Legacy completed 14 closings in the first week it offered drive-thru service.

Then there are drive-by closings, where the entire transaction takes place in cars. Masked and gloved notaries meet buyers in parking lots and pass documents through car windows.

“I had a closing where the buyer sat in her car the whole time. The attorney came out to her car, gave her paperwork, had her sign in her car, and my buyer never got out of her car,” Birmingham, Ala., agent Isaac McDow told WBRC television.

Says Georgia-based agent Henson, “I’ve had closings the last three weeks [that] I’ve been asked not to attend. There was one where the seller signed two days before buyer. Then the seller came back two days later and signed.”

Henson, who is also licensed in New York, has had to extend closing dates on two sales there since. Co-op boards won’t let non-residents into buildings ­­­– not even an electrician who needs to make repairs as part of an issue that came up in the inspection. He left the closing with an open-ended date.

“It’s all about being really flexible right now,” he says.

TIP: Find out if your county recording office can complete the deal online.

Student Loan Relief

Finally, if you’re also trying to swing your student loan payments, know that federal student loan borrowers get an automatic six-month break in loan payments from April 10, 2020, through Sept. 3, 2020. Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, they also won’t be charged a dime of interest in that time.

Learn more at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s site.

Keep in mind that payment suspension only applies to federal loans owned by the Department of Education. Some help may be available to borrowers with private student loans and other loans (like Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loans) that aren’t covered. But it’s not automatic. Reach out to your student loan servicer for information.

So, Should You Buy or Sell?

The real estate industry is creatively and safely responding to the situation, and mortgage rates remain low. Your agent is a great source of information about home buying and selling during the pandemic to help you feel comfortable. But, ultimately, it’s a question only you can answer.

Related: 5 Questions to Ask Your Agent When Buying a House

Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 21:31:14 +0000

Evictions Dropped Thanks to Cuomo, and Gravesend Is Now One of the Most Livable Places in NYC

Evictions Dropped Thanks to Cuomo, and Gravesend Is Now One of the Most Livable Places in NYC

Finding the right apartment is never easy, especially in the City of New York.

To find the right apartment, we need to first identify the right neighborhood. But how do we do that? Well, this is where data science comes in handy. Instead of blindly recommending neighborhoods based on how “hip” they are, the Data Science team at RentHop crunched the numbers and ranked the NYC neighborhoods by livability. We understand that each person values different things. For some, finding an apartment in a quiet neighborhood is of the highest priority, while for others the number of subway stops in the area is just as important. We believe, by analyzing the pros and cons of each neighborhood, we can help renters make an informed decision.

Our findings this quarter include:

  • Battery Park City-Lower Manhattan ranks the best neighborhood among 150+ NYC neighborhoods for the second straight quarter. The NTA, which includes FiDi and Battery Park City, has 14 subway stops, or 20.5 per sq mi, with a renter-friendliness score of 93.6. However, its quiet score went down 21%, from 91.2 to 72.9 this quarter, possibly related to COVID and the State’s stay-home order. [Neighborhood Livability Infographic]
  • Upper East Side-Carnegie Hill replaced Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill as the second most livable neighborhood in NYC with a high cleanliness score of 93.1, which means that the residents experience fewer poop complaints and rodent sightings. With median 1BR rent at $3,050, it is more affordable than Lower Manhattan. [Neighborhood Livability Map]
  • Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill continues to be the most livable neighborhood in the Brooklyn Borough. However, its overall ranking dropped from #2 to #3 this quarter due to lower cleanliness and noise scores. The noise score dropped 11.3 points to 78.6 this quarter. [Top 5 Neighborhoods in Brooklyn]
  • Erasmus remains one of the least livable neighborhoods in New York City. The neighborhood suffered in categories including quiet score and renter friendliness in the past three months. From January 14h to April 13th, Erasmus received in total 492 noise complaints (or 481.3/10k households) and 418 heat complaints (or 521.0/10k renter-occupied units).
  • Many neighborhoods experienced a significant drop in their quiet score due to noise complaints, including Manhattanville (-36.4 points), Washington Heights North (-34.8 points), and Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate (-25.1 points), which could be related to people staying at home and practicing self-isolation.
  • As the most livable neighborhood in Queens, Ft. Totten-Bay Terrace-Clearview improved its overall ranking from #12 to #5 in our Q2 index, thanks to its perfect cleanliness score and outstanding quiet score (94.6). Meanwhile, Oakland Gardens improved its ranking from #38 to #9 with a 10-point increase in the cleanliness score. [Top 5 Neighborhoods in Queens]
  • The average score among neighborhoods in the Bronx is 60.3, 1.4 points lower than the previous quarter. This is mainly due to the growing noise complaints. [Top 5 Neighborhoods in the Bronx]

NYC Neighborhood Livability Map

The map below illustrates the livability of each NYC neighborhood. The darker the shade, the higher the score. You can click on the neighborhoods to learn more about the score breakdown as well as the median 1BR rent.

Thanks to Gov. Cuomo’s mandate, evictions were down in most NYC neighborhoods, including Crown Heights North (-26) in Brooklyn, Crotona Park East (-20) in the Bronx, and Central Harlem South (-18) in Manhattan. However, most neighborhoods saw an increase in the number of noise complaints in the past 90 days due to the COVID pandemic and the New York State “stay-home” order. In fact, over 85% of the neighborhoods in our index experienced a surge in noise complaints, which resulted in city-wide changes in the quiet score category.

Generally speaking, Manhattan neighborhoods enjoy higher base scores thanks to the comprehensive MTA subway lines. Compared to the other three boroughs, Manhattan neighborhoods also have relatively higher renter-friendliness scores (average 83.2). The average quiet score in Manhattan is down from 75.1 to 63.0 this quarter, which translates to a 16.1% dip. Specifically, Central Harlem North-Polo Grounds and Washington Heights South had seen over 2000 noise complaints respectively in the past 90 days.

In Queens, the average cleanliness score went down 6.7 points, from 91.6 to 84.9, only 0.1 higher than Manhattan. Brooklyn neighborhoods scored an average of 83.7 in terms of safety, 1.1 points lower than the previous quarter. But the borough is a lot noisier these days – Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate and Bushwick South saw 903 and 821 more complaints respectively in the past 90 days. The neighborhoods in the Bronx improved slightly in the renter friendliness category thanks to the warmer weather and fewer heat complaints. The borough also saw some positive changes in terms of cleanliness. The score went up 19.2 points (27%) in Spuyten Duyvil-Kingsbridge and 10.9 points (14%) in Pelham Parkway.

Here are the Top 10 Neighborhoods in New York City

How We Did It

To determine the most renter-friendly and best neighborhoods in New York City, we compared over 190 Neighborhood Tabulation Areas (NTAs) across six key categories, including (1) Neighborhood Greenness, (2) Transportation, (3) Quality of Life, (4) Renter Friendliness, and (5) Safety, using in total 13 relevant metrics.

The following metrics were used for this neighborhood livability index:

Base Score [25 points]

  • Population Density — NTA Population / Land Size (sq mi) [2.5 points]
  • Transportation — MTA Subway Stops / Land Size (sq mi) [10 points]
  • Neighborhood Greenness: Tree Data — Street Tree Count / Land Size (sq mi) [6.25 points]
  • Neighborhood Greenness: Park Coverage — Park Area / Land Size (sq mi) [6.25 points]

Cleanliness [15 points]

  • Poop Complaints — 311 Canine Violations / 10k Households [7.5 points]
  • Rodent — 311 Rat Sightings / 10k Households [7.5 points]

Quietness [20 points]

  • Noise Complaints — 311 Residential Noise Complaints / 10k Households [16 points]
  • Potential Construction Noise — DOB Permits Issued / Total Housing Units [2 points]

Renter Friendliness [30 points]

  • Landlord Level of Responsibility: Heat Season — 311 Heat Complaints / Renter-Occupied Units [9 points]
  • Landlord Level of Responsibility: HMV — Housing Maintenance Code Violations / Renter-Occupied Units [3 points]
  • Percentage of Renter-Occupied Units — Renter-Occupied Units / Total Occupied Units [3 points]
  • Evictions — Evictions / Renter-Occupied Units [15 points]

Safety [10 points]

  • Motor Vehicle Collisions — Collisions / 10k Population [10 points]

We also adjusted the curve based on rental unit availability since that it’d be easier for renters to find an apartment in a given neighborhood if it has more available units on market. The rental rates were calculated using RentHop listings from January 14, 2020, to April 13, 2020.


We will be releasing the RentHop Neighborhood Livability Index on a quarterly basis, and we’d love to hear from you! Think we missed something? Any specific 311 complaints or dataset you’d like us to include? Or, would you like to work on an urban planning project using our underlying dataset? Email us at press@renthop.com.
 
You can also check out our previous quarterly report here.

Published at Mon, 20 Apr 2020 14:20:31 +0000

12 Important Things People Should Learn About Colorado Springs Before Moving There

12 Important Things People Should Learn About Colorado Springs Before Moving There

Colorado Springs is a famously attractive destination for people seeking to relocate. The rental market is cheaper than in most big cities, while the job market is thriving. Also, there’s a generally laid-back feel to the town, which some might even describe as bohemian, and of course a myriad of opportunities for outdoor activity.

If you’re considering Colorado Springs for your next move, here are some funny, quirky, interesting and very useful things to learn about this city.

1. How much do apartments and self storage cost in Colorado Springs?

Renting an apartment in Colorado Springs will cost you around $1,200 per month, well below the national average of $1,468, according to Yardi Matrix. You might want to look into self storage as well, as you’ll probably require a home away from home for all those things needed for enjoying the outdoors, including hiking gear and a bike, winter clothes and gardening equipment. The city is not short of good self storage options, with the street rates for a self-storage unit in Colorado Springs hovering around $108 per month for a standard 10X10 unit, under the national average rent of $114.

2. You get to witness the majestic beauty of Pikes Peak each and every day

The 14,115-feet high Pikes Peak towers over Colorado Springs with all its picture-perfect beauty – one more reason for the social-media obsessed Millennials to love this city. Basically, most pics you take around Colorado Springs are Instagram-worthy. “Pike’s Peak provides the backdrop for the city.  Almost every day you can see it on the west side of the city. It’s gorgeous,” David and Lisa Wolf, long-time residents of Colorado Springs, told us.

American writer Katherine Lee Bates, who visited the area in 1893, was so impressed by its beauty that she wrote the famous poem “America the Beautiful.”

3. Visit the Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods, located at the base of Pikes Peak, only a few miles from downtown Colorado Springs, is a national park featuring stunning geological formations. The iconic deep red, pink and white rocks formed millions of years ago due to erosion and upheavals in the earth’s surface.

The park, with its 21 miles of trails, is very popular for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding, and it attracts almost six million visitors annually.

4. Money has its own museum in Colorado Springs

It shouldn’t be assumed that Colorado Springs’ residents are materialistic – on the contrary, the city is well known for its unpretentious, relaxed lifestyle. But the Money Museum in the city, part of the American Numismatic Association, is a very cool place to visit, especially with your young ones. You get to explore the power that money has had throughout history and how it influenced culture, art, science and people’s lifestyles. Look at the fascinating exhibits about the evolution of currency worldwide and enjoy one the most extensive US gold coin collections ever assembled. The museum also organizes numismatics seminars and workshops.

5. Giraffes seem to be thriving at high altitude

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the highest in terms of altitude in the United States, and it has one of the largest herds of giraffes in captivity worldwide. About 200 giraffes have been born in Colorado Springs since the first one was brought here in 1954. The giraffes, obviously thriving at over 6,000 feet above sea level, are part of the zoo’s renowned breeding program that supports conservation efforts.

There are plenty more habitats and animals to admire at this high-flying zoo, including African tigers, several different species of bear, apes, bald eagles, and many more. In addition, an open-air ski lift allows you to admire the entire zoo from above.

6. Check out the one-of-a-kind museum of World War II aviation

As you have already noticed, Colorado Springs is a pretty unique place, so no wonder you can find an amazing, one-of-a-kind museum right here. The National Museum of World War II Aviation, opened in 2012, is the only one in the world to focus exclusively on the role of aviation during WWII.

You’ll be able to admire dozens of airplanes and other vehicles that were used in WWII. The museum also includes a state-of-the-art restoration facility, where old airplanes are brought back to life for the public to enjoy.

7. Take a stroll through Manitou Springs

As most Manitou Springs residents will let you now, their small town is not technically part of Colorado Springs. However, as it’s located just a few miles from downtown Colorado Springs, it has become a de facto neighborhood of the larger town. Manitou Springs is a National Historic District, scattered with art galleries, restaurants, cafes and boutiques. All in all, it’s the perfect spot to spend a relaxed afternoon with your family, or a fun weekend, making the most of the area’s many sunny days.

8. Get used to living near Olympians

The US Olympic Training Center has been located in Colorado Springs since 1978, and the reason why the city was selected to host the training center has to do, once again, with the altitude. Experts agree that training at high altitudes drastically improves athletes’ performance.

And not only might you casually meet your favorite Olympian while standing in line to get coffee, but you can also tour the facility and understand all the hard work and dedication behind getting those shiny medals.

9. Cross America’s highest suspension bridge

Located about an hour away from Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the country, crossing the gorge at almost 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River. The bridge itself is 1,260 feet long, 18 feet wide, and its towers are 150 feet high – a impressive structure that offers breathtaking views. The bridge is part of the Royal Gorge Park, which also includes aerial gondolas, zip lines, hiking trails, a children’s playland and photo lookout areas.

10. Are you ready to track Santa?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)’s famous Santa tracking program started in 1955, and Colorado Springs is the origin of this beloved tradition. It appears that in 1955 a child trying to reach Santa Claus on a hotline provided by Sears misdialed and instead reached Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command Center.

The call was answered by Colonel Harry Shoup, who provided Santa’s “current location” for the young caller. From there, the Santa tracker exploded in popularity, and today NORAD, who took over this huge and extremely important mission, relies on hundreds of volunteers to answer the approximately 100,000 phone calls and 12,000 emails coming in each Christmas.

11. Colorado Springs is a favorite destination for Millennials

According to research done by the Brookings Institution, the city registered a 15% growth of its Millennial population between 2010 and 2015, the highest nationally. The proportion of Millennials among the entire population of the town is over 26%, the same research says. This obviously indicates that Colorado Springs is a young and thriving place, with plenty of amazing food and entertainment options available.

12. Learn the good and the bad about Colorado Springs: there’s plenty of sun but a little less oxygen

Due to the high altitude of its geographical location and the dry weather in the area, Colorado Springs benefits from about 300 days of sunshine per year, making it one of the sunniest places in the United States. However, there are some downsides regarding the weather in Colorado Springs.

“With the elevation comes crazy weather — it can be really warm, almost hot one day, and the next day snow,”  added David and Lisa Wolf. “Last year we had a horrible blizzard May 20 that wiped out so many trees. The earliest we have had snow since we’ve lived here was September 8…then everything went brown and dead.  Very short growing season! We usually have thunderstorms every afternoon in summer and unfortunately really bad hail frequently.”

The elevation of over 6,000 feet also means that Colorado Springs only has about two-thirds of the oxygen concentration found at sea level. For some people, the exposure to low amounts of oxygen and the changes in air pressure can lead to altitude sickness, characterized by symptoms such as headache, nausea, and tiredness. “It takes about a year to get used to living at this altitude. Some people cannot – especially if they have heart issues,” explained our Colorado Springs couple.

Are you already living in Colorado Springs? Let us know in the comments what your favorite things about the city are and what else a person planning to relocate there should know about.

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Published at Thu, 30 Apr 2020 06:42:23 +0000

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods With the Most Expensive Rent

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods With the Most Expensive Rent

There’s a lot of cultural and economic diversity among Washington’s 125 or so historic neighborhoods.

The city is a wonderful place to live, whether you be a D.C. native, an urban upgrader from Maryland or Virginia, a politician or staffer, college student, tech, government or hospitality worker, Beltway commuter, museum-goer, young family or music or sports fan.

Each distinct neighborhood, no matter your quadrant from Northwest to Southeast, has its own charm, amenities and housing benefits.

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But of all those neighborhoods, which are the ones just right for your budget?

We surveyed rental prices for an average one-bedroom apartment in every single neighborhood in D.C. with at least 20 available units (on Apartment Guide or Rent.com) with a rolling weighted average of prices from now and a year ago. From this list, we derived the top five Washington, D.C., neighborhoods in three categories: The most expensive, the most affordable and the ones closest to the citywide rent average.

Most expensive neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

West End Washington DC

If money is no option, here are the five Washington, D.C. neighborhoods for you.

5. Logan Circle-Shaw

The western end of Logan Circle-Shaw is a booming residential neighborhood of young professionals and hipsters centered on its namesake traffic circle, while the Shaw portion features the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the upscale retail hub north of it.

The commercial corridor runs along 14th Street, including shops, galleries, theaters and restaurants, many catering to the district’s growing LGBT populace. Getting in on this rising neighborhood will run you $3,518 a month for an average one-bedroom.

4. West End

Situated between Georgetown, DuPont Circle, Downtown and Foggy Bottom, D.C.’s West End is dotted with luxury hotels, high-end restaurants and upscale apartments and condos.

The area’s proximity to in-demand neighborhoods and upscale blocks, as well as easy access to the riverfront and Rock Creek Trail, pushes average rent for a one-bedroom apartment to $3,661 a month.

3. Woodley Park

Tucked between Embassy Row and the National Zoo, Woodley Park is a leafy residential neighborhood filled with quiet streets and townhouses, with a stretch of D.C. high-rise apartments along Connecticut Avenue and Calvert Street.

Its commercial district lies on the southern end of Connecticut, featuring a number of international cuisine restaurants, with the Marriott Wardman Park, the second-largest condo hotel in D.C., around the corner on Woodley. Easy access to sites like Rock Creek Park keeps rents up, with $3,754 a month for an average one-bedroom.

2. Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown

It’s no surprise the real estate conglomeration of Downtown, Penn Quarter and Chinatown, from the White House to the Capitol between the Mall to Massachusetts Avenue, is so pricey.

This district includes some of the nation’s most famous landmarks, including Ford’s Theatre, Hoover FBI Building, National Portrait Gallery, The Washington Post and Capital One Arena. But to take up residence so close to the seats of power, it costs a lot of dead presidents, with a one-bedroom apartment average rent of $4,326 a month.

1. U-Street

Located in Northwest Washington, U Street is the neighborhood built around the historic namesake street that was once the heart of America’s black culture, teeming with jazz clubs, soul food and so-called “Black Broadway” theaters.

Today, U Street offers trendy shops, music clubs, including the 9:30 Club and DC9, legendary restaurants like Ben’s Chili Bowl and the century-old Lincoln Theatre. To live within D.C.’s coolest — and most expensive — neighborhood, a one-bedroom will run you $4,892 each month on average.

Most affordable neighborhoods in Washington D.C.

Congress Heights Washington DC

Photo courtesy of Meadowbrook Run

We can’t all be career politicians and CEOs. If you’re looking for a place to live on a budget, these are the most affordable neighborhoods in the District.

4-tie. Edgewood

Founded as the estate of Salmon Chase, Abraham Lincoln’s treasury secretary, then a Supreme Court chief justice, the Northeast neighborhood of Edgewood is a small district in between Howard and Catholic universities. The latter redeveloped the estate’s mansion as an orphanage before it was razed and rebuilt as the Edgewood Commons apartments.

The neighborhood, also featuring Trinity Washington University and historic Glenwood Cemetery, is an affordable locale for students and families with an average one-bedroom apartment renting for $1,847 a month.

4-tie. Glover Park

The vice president himself might not even know that he lives in one of Washington’s most affordable neighborhoods. The official vice-presidential mansion tops the Naval Observatory within the Glover Park neighborhood, also home to several foreign embassies, including the famous Russian Embassy and its underground tunnels.

The remainder of Glover Park is filled with rowhouses and apartment buildings, lined by Glover Archibold and Whitehaven parks, with a commercial corridor along Wisconsin Avenue. Despite all the amenities, a one-bedroom apartment leases for just $1,847 a month on average.

3. Mount Pleasant

Lodged in between Adams Morgan (one of the top 10 most expensive D.C. neighborhoods) and sprawling Rock Creek Park, Mount Pleasant is, indeed, surprisingly affordable.

Blocks of rowhouses populate the neighborhood’s wooded western enclave, once home to Washington luminaries like Senators’ pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson and actress Helen Hayes. With a number of D.C. high-rise apartment buildings along the 16th and Mount Pleasant Streets wedge, the average rent is $1,751 for a one-bedroom.

2. Fort Dupont

Fort Circle Park houses a series of Civil War-era mounts that were built by the Union to defend the capital against Confederate advancement. Several of these battlements dot the Fort Dupont neighborhood, including the large Fort Dupont Park.

Surrounding the parks is a wooded residential neighborhood across the Anacostia River from RFK Stadium, former home of the Redskins. The closure of RFK has helped keep rents down, with an average one-bedroom listing for just $1,239 a month.

1. Congress Heights

The neighborhood with the lowest rent in D.C. might actually be a bit of a surprise. Congress Heights, on the southern bank of the Anacostia, is not only just across the freeway from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling but has also been the target of a bevy of commercial redevelopment.

In the last decade or so, the neighborhood has seen projects around St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the Metro station, plus a much-needed supermarket plaza and the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. The most affordable neighborhood in Washington is the only one under a grand for a one-bedroom, averaging just $992 a month.

Neighborhoods with rent prices closest to the Washington, D.C. citywide average

Navy Yards Washington DC

If you’re looking for a good neighborhood at a good value, consider these five areas where rent prices are relatively similar to the city-wide average.

5. McLean Gardens

Quaint McLean Gardens is a Northeast neighborhood that’s nearly all residential. Built during World War II as temporary housing for defense workers, the neighborhood is populated by condominium and apartment towers and complexes, with a large community garden, a smattering of restaurants and cafes along Wisconsin Avenue NW and a retail building at Newark Street anchored by a Giant supermarket.

Many diplomats and political staffers live within historically upscale McLean Gardens, where rents are just $141 less than the citywide average, with monthly rents for a one-bedroom running $2,626.

4. Southwest Waterfront

As the name suggests, Southwest Waterfront sits in the Southwest section of D.C., at the confluence of the Anacostia River and the Washington Channel just north of Fort McNair. Birthplace of both Al Jolson and Marvin Gaye, the neighborhood has experienced two major urban revitalization periods, the most recent over the last two decades. Apartment and condo conversions led an overhaul which included retail development around Waterfront Station and an expansion of the Arena Stage at the Mead Center.

The Wharf is a waterfront destination, which includes residences, offices and hotels, retail shops, seafood restaurants, yacht clubs and the 6,000-capacity Anthem music hall. Despite revitalization, Southwest remains affordable, only about 70 bucks more than the D.C. average for a one-bedroom at $2,839 monthly.

3. Navy Yard

Talk about great value. With an average one-bedroom leasing for $2,706 a month, 60 bucks less than the citywide average, an apartment in Navy Yard offers so much. Nationals Park, home of baseball’s World Champions, is the centerpiece of an up-and-coming pre- and post-game entertainment and dining district. Well-maintained infrastructure and federal jobs proliferate at the site of the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters. And the neighborhood is the location of the namesake Washington Navy Yard, featuring the Naval District Washington headquarters and Navy Museum.

Redevelopment is centered on a plan to add 15 million square feet of office space, 800,000 square feet of retail, 9,000 housing and rental units, 1,200 hotel rooms and four new parks, plus the riverfront Yards Park and a section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.

2. H Street-NoMa

The real estate subdivision of H Street-NoMa is part of the Near Northeast neighborhood. As the name implies, it’s a Northeast Washington district north of Massachusetts Avenue and along the H Street corridor. The neighborhood is divided down the middle by Union Station, Amtrak’s second-busiest in the nation, and its track spread and sidings.

But the heart of the neighborhood is diverse H Street and the growing Atlas District arts hub that experienced revitalization over the last 15 years. The street between 3rd and 15th, ranked the sixth “Most Hipster Neighborhood” by Forbes, is one of D.C.’s top nightlife and entertainment destinations, featuring unique shopping and retail, trendy dining and drinking spots, jazz and rock clubs and, of course, the legendary Atlas Performing Arts Center.

But in total from NoMa in the west to H in the east, it’s a very average-priced neighborhood, at $2,733 a month for a one-bedroom, $34 above the D.C. average.

1. Lanier Heights

While nightlife neighborhood Adams Morgan is one of the most expensive in all of Washington, its Lanier Heights subdivision comes in at number one as the most-averaged priced rental region in D.C.

One of the first developed districts outside the planned city, Lanier Heights consists of non-gridded streets of rowhomes and medium-rise apartments, many in a distinct Art Deco style.

The diverse district is home to young professionals and families, city workers and Smithsonian intellectuals, and a mix of cultural and economic classes. It’s a place of social change and integration as the most average rental district in the District, just a dollar below the citywide price at $2,766 a month for a one-bedroom.

Methodology

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory from March 2019 to March 2020. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. Neighbors with less than 20 average available units were excluded.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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Published at Tue, 28 Apr 2020 12:58:26 +0000

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

It looks as though social distancing will no longer be the new norm, but the way that we will now be living our lives. It was only 2 months ago that we had never heard of PPE, unless we worked in healthcare or unless you were a scientist, flattening the curve was about weigh loss. Mostly about flattening our stomachs. So here we are all settled at home wondering how to move forward. (Source: NAA)

But what about the folks who were thinking about moving or who were in the middle of a relocation? Any sort of housing transition is stressful enough without having to deal with a national health crisis. But during social distancing it could be additionally stressful.  Take heart, there are many technologies that can help us lease an apartment while keeping you and your apartment community staff safe.

There are many digital advertising sources that you can access from the safety of your living room or kitchen. You can search by typing the word “apartments” into any browser. This will give you a very broad search. After you feel comfortable with user experience with an Internet Listing Service provider, narrow your search by location, price, floorplan size, schools and amenities. Or you use a “long tail search”. For example, a “two-bedroom apartment in Richmond, Virginia with a pool”. This may be more time efficient than a more generic search such as “apartments”. It will provide a short and more refined list of apartment communities that fir those criteria.

Another new aspect to think about during physical and social distancing, is the systems that the community uses to communicate with their residents after you move in. Can you pay your rent on-line? How do they let you know about any community events or repairs? Many communities use Call Assist 24/7. It’s a way that you can send a video or photo of your emergency service request to the on-call maintenance technician.  This will keep you informed via text throughout every step of the process. You will even get a photo of the technician coming out late at night. How cool is that!

Most listings have virtual tours of generic units or their furnished model. Seeing a furnished apartment is always a good way to get a feel for what the space may look like with your own furnishings. (Source: Realtor.com) Many leasing agents are happy to use zoom, skype and Facetime to show you the actual unit that is available if it is currently vacant. Ask the agent to walk through the community as well so you may see the location of your apartment home. Is it close to the pool or does it have a view that you like? Google maps is a great resource for information on shopping, parks and interstates. If you are moving locally, go drive through the apartment community at different times of day to see where the sun sets or where the bark park is located. So there a lot of great resources to help you navigate through finding the perfect new apartment home during Covid-19. Be safe and have fun!

Published at Thu, 23 Apr 2020 12:40:08 +0000