Category Archives: Apartment Living

What San Diego Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

What San Diego Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

If there was ever a place to relocate, San Diego would be the place to start.

San Diego is known for its almost perfect year-round weather. Sunny skies, beaches, mountains, terrific restaurants and unique San Diego neighborhoods make this city a wonderful choice for young professionals, families and retirees.

The most popular San Diego neighborhoods

Figuring out which neighborhood may pose a challenge, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Perhaps you’re looking for a historic neighborhood with old-time charm, or a family-friendly area close to parks and beaches.

Keep reading to learn about the most popular San Diego neighborhoods, and then take our San Diego neighborhood quiz to find which one best suits you.

Mission Valley

mission valley san diego neighborhoods

If you want to be close to everything, Mission Valley may be the spot for you. It’s divided by State Route 163 and is centered around the San Diego River.

It’s home to shopping and has three major shopping malls, Fashion Valley Mall, Hazard Center Mall and Westfield Mission Valley, as well as retail outlets. You’ll also be close to chain restaurants and Riverwalk Golf club, an 18-hole golf course.

Mission Valley is central to public transportation, so it’s easy to get around even if you don’t have a car. You can easily hop on the Green Line from the San Diego Trolley System, which makes several stops throughout the valley.

A one-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood averages about $2,360 a month.

North Park

north park san diego neighborhoods

North Park may check several specific boxes from your wish list, including a high walkability score, 1920s Craftsman-style homes and a central park (Balboa Park). The area is best-known for updated bungalow, turn-of-the-century homes.

If you’re ready to ditch your car and walk everywhere, North Park may be the perfect place for you. One of San Diego’s oldest and most hipster-y neighborhoods, you’ll never find a shortage of mustached and tattooed locals, along with craft breweries, vegan tacos and vintage boutiques.

Living in the center of the action will cost you. The average one-bedroom apartment here is more than $3,000 a month.

Little Italy

little italy san diego neighborhoods

Little Italy is a part of San Diego’s vibrant business neighborhoods and offers plenty of options for foodies. From authentic tacos, homemade ravioli to fresh seafood, Little Italy is perfect for young couples or professionals who want to be close to a variety of restaurants and cafes.

You’ll also find high-end shopping, including boutiques, trendy cocktail bars and a weekly Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market. It’s a perfect place to hang out on the sprawling green on Waterfront Park and soak up views of the bay.

Expect to spend about $2,600 on average for a one-bedroom apartment.

Gaslamp Quarter

gaslamp quarter san diego neighborhoods

Coined the Historic Heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to go if you want to be close to a vibrant nightlife. Located downtown, you’ll find a unique mix of Victorian-era buildings and skyscrapers throughout the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s known for swanky cocktail lounges, dive bars, music venues and restaurants.

Gaslamp is great for folks who want to be close to the action, as well as cafes and coffee shops. Rich with cultural offerings, you’ll find theaters, art galleries and museums.

Ocean Beach

ocean beach san diego neighborhoods

If a smaller, bohemian beach town is more of your thing, Ocean Beach might be just what you’re looking for. A local favorite, Ocean Beach is great for spending your days surfing, sunbathing, strolling through unique, local boutiques and watching the waves break at Sunset Cliffs.

Ocean Beach has a vintage feel with plenty of micro-brews, restaurants and shopping. Take a walk on the pier at the end of Newport Avenue, which is one of SoCal’s longest piers — a mile and a half out to sea.

Ocean Beach is also one of the few places in San Diego where a fishing license isn’t needed.

University City

university city san diego neighborhoods

University City is an expansive residential and commercial area conveniently located in San Diego’s “Golden Triangle,” which makes it easy to get to the beach, desert or mountains. Close to La Jolla and marked by a massive “Lord of the Rings”-looking church, it’s easily accessible to plenty of hiking trails, valleys and outdoor activities.

The neighborhood is also near the University of California, San Diego, so you’ll never find a shortage of eateries, restaurants, coffee shops and shopping. The Westfield UTC outdoor mall even has an ice rink.

The average one-bedroom apartment in University City runs about $2,565 a month.

La Jolla

la jolla san diego neighborhoods

Gorgeous beaches, golf courses and spectacular views are great reasons to be a part of the affluent community in La Jolla. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming at La Jolla Cove and soak in the scenic views of the migrating whales.

La Jolla is also home to Scripps Park, an aquarium, art museums and the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and offers a number of hiking trails with soaring views of the ocean. It’s an ideal place for ocean lovers who want to be close to the waves and sand.

One-bedroom apartments in La Jolla average about $2,650 a month.

Chula Vista

chula vista san diego neighborhoods

Chula Vista is the San Diego area’s second-largest city and has more than 52 square miles of coastal mountains, parks and trails. It’s been named one of the region’s safest cities, which makes it a great place to raise a family. The vast landscape makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy running, cycling, hiking and bird-watching.

Chula Vista’s close proximity to the bayfront means you can easily access Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and the Living Coast Discovery Center. Visit Chula Vista Bayside Park or go for a relaxing stroll at Otay Ranch Town Center for some shopping.

Living in Chula Vista is slightly more affordable than San Diego. A one-bedroom apartment here averages about $2,175 a month.

Find the best San Diego neighborhood for you

Still undecided about your San Diego neighborhood? Just answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!

People would describe my vibe as

When you need to escape, what’s the first landscape you picture when you close your eyes?

Pick a place to visit on a Sunday afternoon

Pick a TV show

What’s important to you in a home?

What’s your food of choice?

My favorite activity to do on a weekend is

Which San Diego Neighborhood Should You Call Home?

Mission Valley

If you want to be close to everything, Mission Valley may be the spot for you. It’s home to shopping and has three major shopping malls as well as retail outlets. The neighborhood is also central to public transportation, so it’s easy to get around even if you don’t have a car.

Find Apartments in Mission Valley

North Park

North Park may check several specific boxes from your wish list, including a high walkability score, 1920s Craftsman-style homes and a central park (Balboa Park). Here you’ll never find a shortage of mustached and tattooed locals, along with craft breweries, vegan tacos and vintage boutiques.

Find Apartments in North Park

Little Italy

Little Italy is a part of San Diego’s vibrant business neighborhoods and offers plenty of options for foodies. From authentic tacos, homemade ravioli to fresh seafood, Little Italy is perfect for young couples or professionals who want to be close to a variety of restaurants and cafes.

Find Apartments in Little Italy

Gaslamp Quarter

Coined the Historic Heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to go if you want to be close to a vibrant nightlife. Located downtown, you’ll find a unique mix of Victorian-era buildings and skyscrapers throughout the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s known for swanky cocktail lounges, dive bars, music venues and restaurants.

Find Apartments in Gaslamp Quarter

Ocean Beach

If a smaller, bohemian beach town is more of your thing, Ocean Beach might be just what you’re looking for. A local favorite, Ocean Beach is great for spending your days surfing, sunbathing, strolling through unique, local boutiques and watching the waves break at Sunset Cliffs.

Find Apartments in Ocean Beach

University City

University City is conveniently located in San Diego’s “Golden Triangle,” which makes it easy to get to the beach, desert or mountains. University City is an expansive residential and commercial area close to the University of California, San Diego.

Find Apartments in University City

La Jolla

Gorgeous beaches, golf courses and spectacular views are great reasons to be a part of the affluent community in La Jolla. It’s an ideal place for ocean lovers who want to be close to the waves and sand.

Find Apartments in La Jolla

Chula Vista

Chula Vista is the San Diego area’s second-largest city and has more than 52 square miles of coastal mountains, parks and trails. It’s been named one of region’s safest cities, which makes it a great place to raise a family. The vast landscape makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy running, cycling, hiking and bird-watching.

Find Apartments in Chula Vista

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in September 2020 and goes back for one year. 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.
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.

Published at Thu, 01 Oct 2020 13:00:22 +0000

Sustainable Living: Why – And How – You Should Compost

Sustainable Living: Why – And How – You Should Compost

The average American generates about four pounds of trash per day and approximately 254 million pounds of trash per year, creating hefty amounts of unnecessary waste in our landfills. Many people compost instead to convert organic waste and divert it away from landfills toward eco-friendly plant use. You too can help the environment and compost your waste easily in the comfort of your apartment. Here’s why and how you should do it.

What is compost?

Compost is decayed organic matter. After mixing a lot of compost waste in a compost pile, organic matter breaks down naturally into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that helps plants grow. Compost can also capture and eliminate more than 99 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.

What foods can be composted?

Almost anything that comes from the ground can be composted. You can compost fruits and vegetable cores, ends, peels, rinds, scraps, and pits. Grains also sprout from the soil, which means you can add bread, pasta, and cereal to your compost heap. 

Additionally, you can use non-food items in compost. Compostable items can include grass clippings, dried leaves, hair and fur, clean paper, paper towels, cardboard, shredded newspaper, tea bags, crushed eggshells, nutshells, woodchips, toothpicks, burnt matches, coffee grounds, and lint.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that people not compost items such as meat, dairy, and oil products that cause odor problems and attract pests. Additionally, coal, ash, plants sprayed with pesticides, and plants with diseases are not suitable for composting because they contain substances harmful to plants and soil. Most composting experts advise a balance of plant waste and waste containing paper, cardboard, and hair or fur.

Sustainable Living Why – And How – You Should Compost

Who can compost?

Anyone can compost. Whether you live in an apartment with or without a yard, there are many ways to compost your waste. After you convert your organic waste to compost, you can use your compost to help your plants grow or give your compost to a community garden.

How can I compost?

Store your compost pile in a container on your kitchen floor, in a kitchen lower cabinet, in your freezer, or in your backyard. There are also indoor composters you can purchase in stores and in online marketplaces. You might worry that converting food scraps to compost in your home would smell bad, but you can avoid the odor by getting a compost bin with a lid. 

If you don’t have a yard or own any plants, and if you want to start composting, you can either:

1. Bring your compost bin to a compost collection site

If you don’t have a garden, community gardens often accept compost from people who live nearby. Additionally, many cities offer compost collection at farmer’s markets and designated drop sites. On collection day, bring your compost to the market and dump it in a communal compost tub. 

2. Sign up for a compost collection service

Some cities collect compost through trash and recycling services, often in a designated bin. You can have your compost picked up from your apartment or house with a low monthly fee. Some private collection services will even provide you with a bucket.

Is composting worth it?

Composting is great for sustainable living, and you can do it easily in your apartment. Based on your preferences and budget, you can drop off your compost bin or use a pickup service. While at first these processes may seem like too much effort, you can really make the switch to being more eco-friendly with just a few simple actions. Instead of throwing your waste in the trash, just add your compostable items to a compost bin. You’ll produce less waste, lower your carbon footprint, and maybe even help some plants grow.

Published at Sun, 27 Sep 2020 20:00:23 +0000

5 Best Self Storage Facilities in Richmond, VA

5 Best Self Storage Facilities in Richmond, VA

Known for its great variety of activities in the open air, Richmond seems to be the epitome of the good life for all outdoor lovers, from water enthusiasts to avid cyclists or adventurous hikers. As we know how important it is to keep all that hobby gear in pristine condition, you might want to consider self storage as a solution for keeping it safe and protected. There are plenty of good storage spaces available in Richmond of all types and sizes; you just need to know what you plan to store. Smaller units can hold bicycles and ski equipment, for example, but bigger units, such as a 10×10, are needed to store more items, including gardening equipment, home appliances, or large pieces of furniture. Prices start as low as $30 per month, so you’ll have no trouble finding a suitable storage space that’s also within your budget.

Want to see what your options are right now? Here is a list of five of the best storage facilities in Richmond, chosen based on the amenities they provide as well as their popularity with customers:

This self storage facility is located in Richmond at 8025 Midlothian Turnpike. You can rent small, medium, and large climate-controlled or non-climate-controlled self storage units that range from 20 sq. ft. to 500 sq. ft. The facility has 24-hour drive-up access and parking that ensures you can easily collect or drop off your belongings. An onsite manager will help you with any potential issues that may arise and security cameras will ensure that your items are kept safe. The prices start at $40 and go up to over $300 for large, climate-controlled units.

If you’re looking for a storage unit to fit all your needs, this Richmond self storage facility located at 318 Cowardin Avenue could be the best choice. You can choose from small, medium, or large units that range from 20 sq. ft. to 300 sq. ft. The parking and the drive-up access offer an easy way in, while the onsite manager can help and guide you through the property. Security camera surveillance and entrance gate will ensure the safety of your belongings as well. Self storage prices at Mini Price Storage, 318 Cowardin Avenue, start as low as $30 and go up to $215  for a large storage unit.

This facility at 5500 Brook Road offers a variety of small, medium, and large self storage units that range from 25 sq. ft. to 200 sq. ft., with prices starting as low as $40. It offers its customers drive-up access as well as parking, with security cameras to make sure all the items are kept safe.

This Extra Space Storage facility is located at 5202 West Broad Street in Richmond, and it has units that range from 20 sq. ft. all the way up to 600 sq. ft. You can store your precious belongings here without any worry because the facility has security cameras and an onsite manager to supervise the building. The 24-hour drive-up access, the gate, and the parking will make your visit smooth and easy. The prices at Extra Space Storage, 5202 West Broad Street, vary from $38 for a small unit to $705 for a large 20×30 unit.

Another Richmond self storage facility that will most likely satisfy all your needs is this Extra Space Storage located on 1140 North Laburnum Avenue. You can choose small, medium, or large units with sizes that range from 16 sq. ft. to 540 sq. ft., and prices that start as low as $42. The facility offers 24-hour drive-up access as well as parking to ensure you’re able to access your belongings any time you want. The surveillance security ensures your items are kept safe until you’re ready to pick them up.

If these five properties we listed are not conveniently located for you, you can easily browse through all the other self storage facilities in Richmond and find one that suits all your needs!

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Published at Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:11:50 +0000

Biden Support Surged in Milwaukee County, Trump Continued to Dominate Rural Wisconsin

Biden Support Surged in Milwaukee County, Trump Continued to Dominate Rural Wisconsin

With less than 100 days until Election Day, multiple polls show that President Donald Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key swing states, including Wisconsin. Another way to figure out if a candidate is performing, in addition to polling data, is by looking at his/her fundraising effort.

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.

Our key findings this quarter in Wisconsin include:
  • Trump leads in Wisconsin by unique donor count – the President has garnered support from 5,947 unique donors, whereas former Vice President Joe Biden has received donations from 2,393 unique donors as of June 30, 2020.
  • Of all 680 zip codes included in this study, 36.0% of them, or 245, are blue zip codes, including 53711 (Dane County), 53211 (Milwaukee County), 54601 (La Crosse County). [Unique Donor Map]
  • Meanwhile, 45.1%, or 307, are red zip codes, which consist of 54066 (Washington County), 53217 (Milwaukee County), and 53072 (Waukesha County). 18.8% of the zip codes, or 128, are purple, which means that neither parties have more than 55% of unique donors.
  • In Milwaukee County, Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June.
  • In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has.

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

The interactive map below highlights Wisconsin 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 President Donald Trump has been the fundraising front runner in Wisconsin. As of June 30, 2020, Trump has accumulated 5,947 unique donors. On the Democratic side, while support was split among candidates, more donors have turned to Mr. Biden’s campaign as he seized primary victories in other states and positioned himself as the presumptive party nominee. As of Q2, 2020, the Biden campaign amassed 2,393 unique donors in Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, the largest county in the state by population, Vice President Joe Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June. In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has. Meanwhile, Trump comfortably leads the fundraising game in counties such as Waukesha, Brown, and Racine.

Top 5 Zip Codes in Milwaukee County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53211: Biden’s 81 unique donors vs. Trump’s 25 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53217: Biden’s 89 unique donors vs. Trump’s 72 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53202: Biden’s 58 unique donors vs. Trump’s 27 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53207: Biden’s 12 unique donors vs. Trump’s 22 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53092: Biden’s 31 unique donors vs. Trump’s 69 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Dane County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53711: Biden’s 117 unique donors vs. Trump’s 37 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53705: Biden’s 136 unique donors vs. Trump’s 14 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53703: Biden’s 55 unique donors vs. Trump’s 8 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53704: Biden’s 54 unique donors vs. Trump’s 29 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53562: Biden’s 61 unique donors vs. Trump’s 46 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Waukesha County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53045: Biden’s 14 unique donors vs. Trump’s 68 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53072: Biden’s 15 unique donors vs. Trump’s 70 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53188: Biden’s 17 unique donors vs. Trump’s 49 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53186: Biden’s 16 unique donors vs. Trump’s 41 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53189: Biden’s 8 unique donors vs. Trump’s 40 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden

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

  • Zip Code 53705 (Dane County): 136 unique donors, 90.7 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53711 (Dane County): 117 unique donors, 76 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53217 (Milwaukee County): 89 unique donors, 55.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53211 (Milwaukee County): 81 unique donors, 76.4 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53562 (Dane County): 61 unique donors, 57 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53202 (Milwaukee County): 58 unique donors, 68.2 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53703 (Dane County): 55 unique donors, 87.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53704 (Dane County): 54 unique donors, 65.1 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53717 (Dane County): 45 unique donors, 73.8 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53726 (Dane County): 35 unique donors, 100 % donor share
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump

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

  • Zip Code 53066 (Washington County): 79 unique donors, 80.6 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53217 (Milwaukee County): 89 unique donors, 55.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54016 (St. Croix County): 70 unique donors, 75.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53072 (Waukesha County): 70 unique donors, 82.4 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53092 (Milwaukee County): 69 unique donors, 69 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54313 (Oconto County): 68 unique donors, 80 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53045 (Waukesha County): 68 unique donors, 82.9 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53029 (Washington County): 63 unique donors, 80.8 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54115 (Outagamie County): 62 unique donors, 81.6 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54956 (Outagamie County): 60 unique donors, 76.9 % donor share

Methodology

The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For President Donald Trump, the following committees are included: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (C00580100), Trump Make America Great Again Committee (C00618371), and Trump Victory (C00618389). For former Vice President Joe Biden, the following committees are included: Biden for President (C00703975), Biden Victory Fund (C00744946), and Biden Action Fund (C00746651). The state, county, and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidates. 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. Unique donor shares are calculated using the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign and the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign. Past Democratic/Republican candidates are excluded from the calculation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

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

This is related to the primaries. 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 had 3 candidates running, all the support gravitated towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive 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 June 30, 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, 05 Aug 2020 13:45:23 +0000

How to Stay Safe When Your Roommates Aren’t Social Distancing

How to Stay Safe When Your Roommates Aren’t Social Distancing

When it comes to COVID-19 safety, not everyone is on the same page about taking the necessary precautions. You could even be dealing with this concern at home if your roommate disagrees with wearing face masks, social distancing, or not inviting guests over. If you’re facing this roommate challenge, here are some tips on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 when the people you live with aren’t taking the virus seriously.

Stay Safe When Your Roommates Aren't Social Distancing

Set your boundaries

If you live with people who downplay the severity of COVID-19, setting boundaries is essential for your mental and physical well-being. Set your personal boundaries for discussing the novel coronavirus and limit your physical proximity with anyone — even a roommate — who does not believe they can contract the virus. Respectfully voice your expectations when necessary, even if your roommate might get confused or upset. 

If your roommate doesn’t wear a mask in public, consider telling them that if they refuse to wear a mask, you will only communicate with them through virtual calls — even though you two live together. Similarly, if you live with family members who don’t want to wear masks in public, tell them you will respectfully keep your distance from them to avoid getting sick.

Avoid conflict and criticism

Communicate your concern without criticism if you choose to share COVID-19 information with your roommate, or calmly discuss safety measures. Some people are resistant to change, so use your best judgment when you believe they don’t want to talk about the pandemic. If you are not comfortable with how your family or roommates are dealing with safety precautions, it’s best to respectfully decline to spend time with them until case rates in your area are especially low.

Practice good hygiene

Cleanliness is crucial during a pandemic. Remember to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Disinfect surfaces regularly and clean your room. It’s especially important to shower and wash your hair when you’re sharing a living space with someone who doesn’t disinfect surfaces often. Avoid letting dirty dishes pile up, and clean your laundry as necessary. If your roommate persists on not practicing good hygiene, it’s best not to borrow or use their items.

Openly communicate about guests and health risks

Have a conversation with your housemate about limiting the number of guests invited to your home. You and your roommates should have a conversation about which guests, if any, will be allowed in your apartment. You may want to limit your guests to only your significant others, a small number of friends, or no guests at all until it feels safe enough to have guests over. As you determine your guest policy, keep in mind that COVID-19 can circulate more easily indoors than outdoors, even over distances longer than six feet. If guests are invited, make sure to address any concerns with your roommate immediately.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, boundaries and open communication are crucial. Living with a roommate can pose some challenges during this time. When issues arise, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns before there is a bigger problem. If your roommate refuses to adhere to safety measures, listen to them before getting upset. You and your roommate may disagree about which precautions to take, but with open and respectful communication, you can plan what works best for both of you.

Published at Fri, 21 Aug 2020 17:34:13 +0000

5 of the Best Self Storage Properties in Tampa, Florida

5 of the Best Self Storage Properties in Tampa, Florida

Tampa, the third-biggest city in Florida after Miami and Jacksonville, has much to recommend it. There’s the great weather and the wonderful beaches — not to mention the Sunshine State’s legendary attractions nearby — and its cost of living and accommodation are well below those of Magic City on the other side of the peninsula. Being a city with around 400,000 people, and also the hub of a metropolitan area with more than three million, the place naturally has a great range of museums, galleries and theater venues to keep both residents and visitors entertained.

Tampa is clearly a good place to move to, and there are a lot of companies in the area in the financial, insurance and healthcare sectors. In addition, STORAGECafé recently rated it the best destination for digital nomads in the USA, emphasizing its wide range of attributes that appeal to people who work online. Anyone thinking about moving here should consider renting a Tampa self storage unit where they can put their stuff while they are looking for the perfect place to live in the area.

Here are five of the best self storage facilities in Tampa:

This Peoples Storage facility is situated to the north east of the city center and serves Temple Terrace, with Uptown Tampa also not far away. It provides storage close to the University of South Florida — useful for students who have had to find a place to put their belongings after they had to leave their campus rooms due to the pandemic. It is less than half an hour’s drive from both Downtown and Tampa International Airport.

Both indoor units and those with drive-up access are offered at this facility, there are security cameras in place, and an onsite manager is present to handle all inquiries. Climate control is an option here, and 5’x5’ storage units which feature it rent for $62 while those without it can be had for $51 per month.

Peoples Storage facility at 12225 North 56th Street in Tampa Florida
Peoples Storage facility at 12225 North 56th Street in Tampa Florida

This storage operation, run by the LifeStorage group, is situated on the other side of the University of South Florida from the previous facility. It is close to the neighborhoods known as University and Azure Estates and it is also not far from the residential areas just east of Lake Magdelene.

The facility offers both units with drive-up access and indoor lockers, and there is 24-hour access here. Security is enhanced with surveillance cameras, and an onsite manger is on hand to answer questions. Rates start at $28 for a non-climate-controlled 5’x5’ unit and at $33 for a climate-controlled one of the same size. Larger units include the garage-sized 10’x20’ type for $149 per month (non-climate-controlled) and go up to as large as 15’x30’ and 19’x44’.

This Public Storage facility lies just a short distance north west of Downtown Tampa and is near the city’s airport. It serves the neighborhoods of Drew Park, Plaza Terrace, Wellswood and Oak Park. The premises have gated access with drive-up access to units, and there are also indoor lockers.

Many different unit sizes are available, and a 5’x9’ climate-controlled locker can be rented for $42 per month, for example. At the other end of the range, the largest units cover a floor space of around 350 sq. ft. and cost about $300 a month. In addition, 9’x15’ (135 sq. ft.) parking spaces can be rented here for $70 per month.

StorQuest facility at 3413 West Hillsborough Avenue
StorQuest facility at 3413 West Hillsborough Avenue

StorQuest operate this facility halfway down the peninsula that extends south from Tampa. It not only provides storage solutions for residents of the Sun Bay South and Fair Oak – Manhattan Manor neighborhoods but also for the personnel of the MacDill Air Force Base, which is situated a little further south. Parking space here is plentiful and there are both indoor units and those with drive-up access.

The range of storage options begins with 4’x5’ non-climate-controlled and 3’x5’ climate-controlled lockers, renting at $21 and $49 per month respectively. Garage-sized 10’x20’ units cost from $166-$332, depending on whether climate control and other features are required. The most spacious units on offer cover 248 sq. ft. and cost $229 a month.

CubeSmart, the US’s 4th largest self-storage company, built this facility in the same area as the previous entry in this list, slightly closer to the Air Force base. This facility benefits from a kiosk in which leasing and other transactions can be carried out, and also from an onsite manage and security cameras.

A feature of this storage operation is that all the units are climate controlled, with prices starting at $52 for a 5’x5’ locker. Units measuring 5’x10’, 10’x10’ and 10’x15’ rent for $83, $142, and $203 respectively. Military personnel and others with valuable cars might like to know that a 10’x20’ unit will cost $323, while the largest size available, 10’x25’, rents for $471 per month.

Maybe one of these five properties exactly meets your needs. But if not, you can browse through all the other Tampa self storage properties in order to find one that is exactly right for you.

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Published at Thu, 20 Aug 2020 07:27:08 +0000

15 Expensive Decorating Mistakes Designers Won’t Make Again

15 Expensive Decorating Mistakes Designers Won’t Make Again

Let’s face it: Some lessons in life are learned the hard way. Often, making a mistake is the best way to figure out what not to do in the future. When the stakes are high and the outcome is costly, you tend to remember an experience and grow from it, with the hope (in theory) that you’ll never repeat it again.

Well, this same sentiment applies to decorating your home. Seemingly trivial design decisions can turn into expensive issues fast—and often, these things could have been avoided with a little bit of planning, prep, or research. Curious about what rookie mistakes might cost you major moolah in the long run? Here, a handful of interior designers are sharing their insight on the pricey decorating mistakes they’ve made in the past. Hopefully, you can vicariously learn through them—I know I will!

1. Not checking out big-ticket furniture items in person

It might seem like a hassle or an extra step in the decorating process, but it’s always worth taking the time to visit a furniture showroom or a brick-and-mortar store (once they’re open) to see a piece in real life before buying it, if possible. “Products don’t always look like the pictures online,” says designer Anna Filippova of Hyphen & Co. “Seeing a product in person or requesting a [fabric or finish] sample can prevent this mistake from happening. Samples are specifically helpful in the situation of visualizing the product with the rest of the elements in the space before the purchase.”

Many companies often charge restock fees and won’t pay for return shipping either, so it’s always a good idea to know exactly what you are getting before it shows up on your doorstep. You could save yourself a substantial amount time and money in the long run this way, even if you have to shell out a little cash upfront for a sample or waste an hour window shopping.

2. Forgetting to test paint colors in different lighting situations

Whether it’s sunlight streaming into your windows or the color of your light bulbs, designer Rachel Cannon of Rachel Cannon Limited Interiors says lighting can alter the color of your paint. “On one of our projects, after painting the walls of a room a nice gray color, their contractor installed pink LED bulbs throughout,” says Cannon. “The bulbs completely changed the look of the gray paint and made the walls look pink, to which our client expressed great concern and even thought repainting the entire house was necessary!”

Ultimately, Cannon bought the right temperature bulbs, and all was well. For best results, however, you should test paint on all of the walls you plan on painting in a given room or rooms before committing to a color. Remember to look at swatches at different times of day, too, so you can see how the sun and artificial lighting will impact the look of the shade.

3. Using small-scale wallpaper designs in big rooms

Make no mistake about it: designers Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters of Forbes + Masters say that installing wallpaper with a small-scale texture or print in a large room can be a costly mistake. “Beautiful textures and prints wind up getting lost in the space and read as solid color from a distance,” Forbes says. “Small-scale wallpapers are better suited for powder rooms or small entryways,” adds Masters. 

4. Not measuring furniture before buying it

If you ask designer Linda Sullivan of Sullivan Design Studio, nothing is worse than falling in love with a furnishing only to discover that it’s the wrong size for your home. “Take out that measuring tape and blue painter’s tape and map out the exact dimensions of your desired new purchase to help you understand how it will work in your space,” she says. “Informed decisions save money (and the hassle of returns)!” 

Better yet, measure twice just to be sure you have the right dimensions. Consider recording those numbers in a note on your phone to reference later. If you don’t have a specific piece in mind, measure the spot on your floor and wall you’d ideally want to fill. That way, if you’re shopping for a piece at an outdoor tag sale or later at a store, you won’t have to guess at what a proper sized piece would be.

5. Leaving your design plan up in the air

Sure, you may be head-over-heels in love with an expensive sofa, but designer Justin Q. Williams of Trademark Design Co. believes blowing your entire decorating budget on a single piece of furniture isn’t a very smart idea—particularly if you haven’t taken the time to make a design plan before your start shopping. “There’s nothing worse than walking into an empty room with a stunning sofa and nothing else,” he says. “Make a plan and budget for your space before you start decorating.”

Your design plan doesn’t have to include a fancy drawing or mood board. It can be as simple as a Pinterest board, a list of items you need, and a figure that you need to stay under for the entire project that’s itemized out for particular furnishings, give or take a bit.

6. Cheaping out on window treatments

Although it might seem savvy to buy inexpensive window treatments up front,
Haley Weidenbaum, interior designer and founder of Everhem, says it could cost you in the long run. “As a designer, I’ve realized that every window has different dimensions, thus, you can’t buy one size to fit all your windows,” she says. “Investing money in custom window treatments, versus prefabricated panels, ensures you get the perfect look and fit so you won’t have to replace them later.” 

7. Buying white or pale upholstered furniture

If you’re thinking about ordering a sofa or armchair upholstered in very light colored fabric, designer Danielle Fennoy of Revamp Interior Design says you might want to reconsider. “My biggest design mistake to date has been ordering an egg chair in white wool fabric,” she says. “Within a very short period of time, it was a hot mess. Moving happened, then a baby, and eventually the chair was unrecognizable. Save yourself the headache and always go with something with a little color or pattern.” 

8. Overdoing designer goods

If you aren’t mixing both high and low budget furnishings into your decor scheme, designer Erin Hackett of Hackett Interiors says you’re missing out on an opportunity for true variety in your space. “People oftentimes make the mistake of thinking that in order to get a luxurious feel in their homes, they have to splurge on every item within each room,” she says. “The best way to create balance in your home—and your budget—is to purchase one or two statement pieces in each space such as a sofa, bed, or dining set, and then you can add in playful, personal accent details and accessories that won’t break the bank such as art, vases, greenery, and pillows.” 

9. Failing to pad a wallpaper order

When it comes time to dress up the walls of your home, designer Anne Carr says not ordering enough wallpaper can be a simple but expensive mistake. “Even if you order more of the exact same wallpaper, sometimes the colorways won’t match,” she says. “Always have the installer give you an estimate, as they typically do this for free.”

In addition, a good rule of thumb is to order about 10 to 20 percent more wallpaper than you actually need to complete your job. That way, your dye lots will definitely match should you have measured wrong, and you’ll have extra paper should a mistake be made in install. If all goes perfectly, having an extra roll or so means you’ll also have the ability to replace a panel or two, if need be, in the future.

10. Ignoring your room’s scale

When investing in quality furniture, designer Liles Dunnigan of The Warehouse Interiors says it’s essential to make sure the scale of a piece is proportionate to the size of the room. “A huge sectional in a small room will feel cramped, no matter how luxurious or beautiful the piece of furniture may be,” she explains. “On the other hand, if you have a spacious room, do not skimp out on a small sofa or loveseat. It will feel as if it’s floating in a sea of emptiness. Furniture pieces need to be proportional as they relate to one another.”

11. Not measuring the legs of your dining chairs

Nothing ruins a dinner party faster than a dining chair that won’t fit at the table. “Always measure to make sure the legs of your dining chairs fit between the legs of your table,” says designer Marika Meyer. “In my rookie days, I neglected to measure for the ‘extra’ chair that would be added when a client’s dining table was fully extended. We got a call on Christmas Eve from the client because the extra chairs wouldn’t fit—now I always remember to measure twice!”

While you’re at it, be sure that the chairs you are picking are also high enough for the table—and not too high either. Generally, chairs fall into a standard range, but sometimes there are outliers. Measure twice here, too, since it’s better to be safe than sorry.

12. Filling up a space quickly just to “finish” it

No matter how enticing the price tag on an inexpensive piece of furniture may be, Sullivan says investing in a bunch of poorly made furnishings just to complete your room almost always ends in regret. “We suggest pausing on the cheap chair or lamp if it is not absolutely necessary for your space and waiting to save up for the dream one you want to carry with you to all your future homes,” she says. “This will not only save you money, but you will start to curate a collection of items you adore.”

13. Using “postage stamp” sized rugs

If you thought buying a bunch of small rugs—instead of one large area rug—was a smart way to save money when decorating a room, designer Kendall Wilkinson says you’re mistaken. “Rugs serve to anchor the entire room’s design and unify the overall aesthetic,” she explains. “When the rug is too small, it feels like a postage stamp, and the scale as a whole and proportion of the space will suffer.”

According to Wilkinson, a cluster of too-small rug screams “mistake” and is often a costly fix. Typically, the only option is to purchase an entirely new rug in the proper size, since it’s also tough to layer similar smaller rugs without a larger anchor rug underneath them. You’d be better off buying a cheaper, less fancy large rug than trying to make something more decorative but smaller work in your space, even if you have multiples.

14. Not double-checking natural materials before installing them

If you plan on using any natural finishes in your home, such as stone tile or countertops, designer Ashley Moore of Moore House Interiors says to make sure to inspect everything prior to installation. That way, you are sure that materials you have received are what you actually had in mind. 

“For one project, we installed natural stone in the shower without checking the tile beforehand,” she explains. “Since natural stone varies, as opposed to man-made materials, there can be major differences in color and detail [of individual pieces]. It ended up having so much variation that it didn’t look cohesive and had to be completely redone. That’s a mistake we won’t be making again—it’s always better to send back or reorder before something is installed!”

15. Not measuring your elevator—or doorways

While you may have double checked the dimensions of the sofa you ordered to ensure it’s the right size for your living room, designer Megan Hopp advises you to measure your doorway and elevator (if applicable), too. “Early on in my career, I ordered not one but two oversized velvet sofas for a loft space I was working on in Manhattan—no question the sofas would fit the space perfectly—but did I think about the elevator ride up?” she says. “No, and it wasn’t even a close fit: There was no way I was getting those sofas in and up. They immediately needed to be loaded back on the truck and returned to the vendor with a steep restocking fee.”

That’s a mistake in the world of elevators that Hopp will never make again, but even if you don’t live in on a high floor of an apartment building, something like this could happen with your doorways. To cover all of your bases, it’s best to think about the process of physically getting items into your space as much as their fit in the spots that will ultimately be their final destinations.

Caroline Biggs

Contributor

Caroline is a writer living in New York City. When she’s not covering art, interiors, and celebrity lifestyles, she’s usually buying sneakers, eating cupcakes, or hanging with her rescue bunnies, Daisy and Daffodil.

Published at Mon, 17 Aug 2020 23:15:00 +0000

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now

While it can feel a bit odd to get excited about any kind of shopping during these intense times, it’s clear we’re going to continue to need to stay home for the foreseeable future – I’m about to start homeschooling a kindergartner woohoo – and so there’s no better time to upgrade your space however you can. Thankfully, a couple of new furniture collections are making that much, much easier. I’m officially drooling! Scroll to get some much needed inspiration right now.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

First up is the stunning new collection that launched on Anthropologie late last week. Called the Artisinal Modern Collection by Lemieux Et Ciethis truly chic mix of everything from chairs, sofas and coffee tables to accessories, rugs, art, and even wallpaper is the brainchild of one of my longtime favorite designers in the home furnishings space, Christiane Lemieux.

Lemieux was the founder of DwellStudio – a collection that launched an iconic bird print bedding set – among a number of other items. DwellStudio was sold in 2013 and Lemieux has continued to have a hand in the home furnishings space – but I am so excited to see this comprehensive collection take a store like Anthropologie in a more elevated, elegant and design-savvy direction. As I scrolled through, I wanted virtually every single piece. I’m sure that was influenced by the beautiful editorial images you see here – I just want to dive right into this home. But that also doesn’t surprise, as Lemieux tapped my favorite stylist Colin King to style this beautiful shoot.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

I was just sitting in my dining room last night thinking I need to add a rug to anchor and soften the room. This dining room has officially convinced me. I think this handwoven Tukar rug would be perfect!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

The rounded sofa trend is here to stay and I am so happy about it. The look is the easiest way to elevate a room. This sofa is a beautiful option. I’m coveting that vintage-looking vase as well!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34 Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Her sculptural pieces in this collection are reminiscent of Brancusi – and I am completely smitten.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

While I would gladly add virtually any piece from this collection to my house, I’ve picked a handful of my favorites for you to shop below.

It appears Zara Home has also gotten the timeless modern design memo, as their newest collection has equally lovely neutral pieces photographed in yet another stunning space.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

I’m particularly loving the warmth of this space. The creamy walls, mix of wood tones and natural materials transports me to the countryside of Spain or France.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Obsessed with this chunky kitchen counter – and the accessories from Zara are cute too!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Did you notice the arched doorways throughout this house, painted with a black accent? Officially banking this idea for a future dream project.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

This is an absolute dream bathroom situation!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

If I could add a piece or two to my house that would make me feel transported to a space like this, well sign me up! Here are a few of my favorite finds.

images courtesy of anthropologie and zara home

Published at Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:59:26 +0000

No-Credit-Check Apartments: How to Land a Lease Without a Credit History

No-Credit-Check Apartments: How to Land a Lease Without a Credit History

Good credit is essential not only when buying a home, but also when applying for a small loan, buying a car, and even leasing an apartment. That’s because a credit score is an indicator of how likely a person is to make their payments on time.

In particular, when it comes to renting an apartment, your credit history will show your potential landlord your ability to pay your monthly rent on time and whether certain precautions are necessary to ensure that you will do so, like requiring a higher security deposit.

But, it’s also common not to have credit established yet if you’re renting while you are still in college or if you’re moving into a place on your own for the first time. Fortunately, there are solutions if you’re in this situation.

How to Rent an Apartment with No Credit

Whether you’re renting from a private landlord or a large property management company, it’s rare to find apartments for rent with no credit check required. Virtually all landlords need to ensure that you are financially responsible and able to pay your rent according to the terms of your lease. So, even if you lack a credit history, here are 7 ways you can still get the apartment you want.

1. Get a Co-Signer

The most common solution to securing an apartment without a credit check is to get someone to co-sign for you on your lease. Usually, this is either a parent, a family member or a close friend. Notably, it’s important that your co-signer has good credit, and that they understand that they’ll be liable for your rent payment should you fail to pay it on time. Additionally, in the event that you don’t make your payment, this option gives the landlord a safety net to know that there is someone who has to make it for you.

2. Provide References and Recommendations

If you don’t have anyone who is willing to co-sign your lease, getting a recommendation from employers, professors, and especially previous landlords can be extremely helpful in obtaining an apartment without credit. These references provide assurance to your potential landlord that you have been financially responsible and dependable in the past, therefore, increases your chances of being approved.

3. Get a Roommate with Good Credit

You’re more likely to be approved for a lease if you’re moving in with someone who has good credit and your combined income is good enough to cover your rent. However, just because you don’t have a credit history doesn’t mean you should take advantage of your roommate’s. Rather, hold up your end of the deal and make sure to pay your part of the rent each month. Doing so will help you build credit for the future.

4. Show Proof of Income

Showing proof of income, and a savings balance, if you have one, can convince a future landlord to rent to you even if you have no credit. However, your income also has to demonstrate stability and consistency, which will give the landlord the assurance they need. A general rule of thumb is that your income should be about three times the amount of your monthly rent. Furthermore, if you provide your savings balance, there should be enough to cover several months’ worth of rent. Choosing an apartment that is within your means shows that you’re financially sound and able to afford the rent.

5. Explain Your Financial Situation

It’s often helpful to communicate with the landlord and explain your credit history situation, or lack thereof, as it can greatly influence their decision to enter into a lease with you. As long as the reason is legitimate and you can provide some assurances that you will hold up your end of the deal, you may have a chance.

6. Offer to Move in Immediately or on a Shorter Lease

Vacant apartments are costly for landlords. So, it’s in their best interest to keep them full. For this reason, if you are able to move in right away, you may convince the landlord to allow you to rent without a credit history. Along the same lines, offering to rent month-to-month or with a shorter lease term may also be beneficial to you. This way, you can demonstrate that you are a reliable and responsible tenant and the landlord may eventually extend your lease to a longer term.

7. Pay a Larger Security Deposit

Without being able to check your credit record, having the money in hand for a couple months’ worth of rent will definitely make the landlord more comfortable with having you as a tenant. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have to pay rent for a couple of months. Instead, this money will be in the form of a security deposit that will be held in escrow and returned to you at the end of your lease if all goes well. Just make sure to pay your rent on time each month and that the amount of the security deposit is clearly listed in your leasing contract.

Although landing an apartment without a credit history is possible and paying rent on time every time is a great way to start building great credit, it’s also important to work on building your credit for the future.

How to Turn No Credit into Good Credit

Lacking credit history is not a bad thing and you can start working on your credit whenever you want. In fact, it’s easier to build good credit from scratch than to fix bad credit. Here are some ways to get started:

College Student Credit Card

One of the easiest ways to kick off your credit history is by opening a credit card. Plus, if you’re a student, they’re pretty easy to get even if you don’t have a credit score. The only difference is that the bank will likely give you a lower credit limit at first, which will gradually increase you make your on time payments.

Secured Credit Card

Another option is a secured credit card, which is backed by a security deposit. In this scenario, you’ll still receive a credit limit, but it will be determined in part by the amount of your deposit. You’ll also still need to make your monthly payments on time for the credit you use in order to ensure that your credit history starts off well.

Authorized User

The most low-risk and simple way to build credit is by becoming an authorized user on another person’s credit card, such as your parent’s. If you choose this option, make sure that the other person’s credit score is good. Additionally, if you do use the credit card to make any purchases, be sure to repay that person to avoid ruining both of your credit scores. Even though you have zero liability as an authorized user, it’s still important to be responsible when it comes to credit use.

So, if you’re looking to sign your first lease or buy a car or are planning for a future mortgage and have no credit, take advantage of the clean slate and be smart about your credit.

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Published at Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:27:05 +0000