Thursday, March 29, 2012

281 and 1604: Relief from Congestion is on the Way

Apartments Now San Antonio Card281 and 1604 have long been a nightmare to drive for San Antonio residents.  1604 is always backed up with traffic and 281 is filled with commute-delaying lights.  However, help is on the way in the form of a new plan recently revealed by public officials and reported on by Fox San Antonio.com.

Officials say that the current incarnation was never planned to be a permanent solution.  Now, thanks to funds from TXDot totalling $146 million for the city, Commissioner Keven Wolff presented a resolution to the Metropolitan Planning Organization to remove the traffic lights and put in freeways.  No tolls are proposed and in fact the project is expected to be completed with existing tax money. 

Construction has already began on overpasses connecting 281 and 1604.  The entire project will likely take years to finish, but drivers say they can wait a little longer for something that will make their lives so much easier.  The plans are due in June and the decision as to whether the project will be funded should be announced later this year.  Hopefully the new roads will make the commute to your San Antonio Apartment easier and smoother!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Renting with Children

Apartments Now CardRenting with Children, whether as a single parent or a family, can be a bit trickier than finding a place on your own.  It is against the law for landlords to discriminate against prospective renters just because they have children, but it will make your life easier if you enlist your Austin Apartment Locator's help in finding a place that is welcoming to children.  Hometrader.ca has tips for doing just that.

Be sure to ask if a building has other children or young families in it.  Many complexes welcome families with amenities like onsite daycare and host seasonal parties that the entire family will enjoy, you just need to mention this is something you are looking for.  Know beforehand what schools or daycares you want to be close to, and if you'd like to have a playground either onsite or nearby. 

Once you are moved in, be sure to be respectful of neighbors who may not have children.  Don't leave your large stroller or bikes in the hallway, store the stroller in your apartment or in a storage area and use bike racks on the property to store bicycles.  Don't allow your children to run through the apartment complex or ride elevators alone.  They should be supervised both for their own safety and for the peace of mind of your neighbors.  Finally, never leave young children alone in your apartment, even if it's just to run to the car, and make sure all windows and doors are safely locked. Follow these tips and you can find a new home the entire family will love!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Planting Container Gardens: How to Plant for Success

Planting Container Gardens can be a great way for apartment dwellers or anyone without a yard to still enjoy beautiful plants and even vegetables.  About.com assures the reader that planting a container garden is super simple, all you need are plants, potting soil, fertilizer and containers.  However, if you want those plants to thrive, they go more in-depth with step by step instructions for keeping your new flora alive.
Apartments Now San Antonio
The culprit of most plant deaths is excess water drowning the plant.  Make sure the pot you use has enough drainage.  To do this, you may have to drill additional holes, as many as necessary, to allow excess water to drain out.  You'll also want to cover the holes with something permeable so your water can drain without taking the soil with it.  You can use window screening, coffee filters, paper towels, newspaper or products sold specifically for that purpose. 

Now that you have your pot prepared, it's time to get planting.  Remove your plants from the pots they were sold in carefully.  You'll probably have to squeeze the pot to get the roots loosened up.  Next, make sure you add fertilizer to your soil and then plant your new green beauty at the same level it was at in the pot you bought it in.  Water immediately after planting.  On an ongoing basis, you need to know what conditions each plant prefers as far as water, but a good rule of thumb is to keep the soil moist, not wet, at all times.  Water when your fingertip comes out dry after sticking it into the soil up to the second knuckle.  That's it!  Now get out there and turn your brown thumb green!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pedestrian Safety Initiative Launched by APD

Apartments Now CardPedestrian Safety is the focus of the Austin Police Department's new program, the Pedestrian Safety Initiative.  The department has established a Pedestrian Enforcement Safety Team, or P.E.S.T., which is populated by officers from their Highway Enforcement Command.

KVUE.com reports that the program was launched today on Barton Springs Road, but will move around the city at six different locations.  Officers watched for motorists who did not yield the right of way to pedestrians and pedestrians who crossed in the middle of the road or did not obey crosswalk signals.  Warnings and tickets with a price tag of up to $200 were issued. 

The program is not designed to be a temporary crack down, but an ongoing operation with the goal of changing the culture.  Last year 22 pedestrians and cyclists lost their lives to traffic accidents and already in 2012, there have been eight deaths.  APD hopes their P.E.S.T. program will prevent further deaths and encourage pedestrians and motorists to share the roads safely. 

Looking for an Austin Apartment that's walkable?  Contact Apartments Now today for help finding your next home!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SAWS/BexarMet Merger applauded by Moody

Apartments Now San Antonio CardSAWS/BexarMet's merger was lauded by Moody's Credit rating agency Thursday, My San Antonio.com reports.  Moody's said that the oversight by the San Antonio Water System and the city of San Antonio should resolve Bexar Metropolitan Water District's financial and management problems.  

Moody's was also happy to see that SAWS acquired BexarMet's water rights to the Edwards Aquifer and the Guadalupe River.  The rights to Medina Lake aren't as valuable, however, as the reservoir is less than 20 percent full. 

San Antonio Water System thinks that the merger of the two water systems will result in savings of more than $90 million.  Hopefully some of those savings will be passed along to the consumers in San Antonio Apartments!
photo by Hash Milhan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Decorating your Apartment: Tips for Small Spaces

Apartments Now CardDecorating your Apartment can feel daunting, especially since most landlords won't allow you to paint the walls or make other major changes.  But Better Homes and Gardens.com has a list of 19 innovative ideas that will help you make your new apartment truly your space.

Choose lightweight furniture to maintain a sense of openness in your cozy nest.  For example, a small-scale, armless sofa will leave lots of space to move around in your living room, especially if you let it float in the middle of the room, anchored by a rug.  An advantage apartments often have is lots of wall space.  Transform a pair of bookshelves into an attractive storage wall by placing them side by side and covering them with curtains that match or complement your window treatments.  If you want to make the room seem taller, hang curtains in rich, textured fabrics from the ceiling instead of the top of the bookshelf.

Kitchens can often be small in apartments, but make the most of yours with these space-saving secrets.  Use a magnetic strip to hang your knives on the wall, hooks close to the ceiling to organize pots and pans, and line rarely used kitchen appliances or pots on top of the cabinets.  With these tips and more from BHG.com, you'll be feeling right at home in your new place in no time!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

San Antonio Rental Market Booming

San Antonio Apartments Now CardSan Antonio's Rental Market is booming, according to My San Antonio.com.  After years of losing customers to homeownership during the national housing boom, renting is having its day in the sun.  Due to many factors such as rising gas prices and demographic trends such as younger people looking for housing and relocating employees wanting to try out a city before they buy, apartments are in demand. 

This demand is leading to higher rents.  In the last quarter of 2011, rent in the San Antonio area averaged 89 cents per square foot, up about 4.3 percent from the year before.  It also leads to more apartment projects being built.  10,000 new apartment units are expected to open in the San Antonio area in the next two years.

Developers of San Antonio Apartments are also including nicer amenities to set their properties apart from competitors. These amenities include everything from the expected, like fitness centers, to the unheard of, like car washes, and high-end decorating touches such as black appliances, stainless steel, tile or wood floors rather than carpet and resort-style pools.  All of which adds to your chances of being able to rent the perfect home, in the perfect location, for the perfect price!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Austin Energy Rate Hike Work Sessions Begin

Austin Energy rate work sessions begin this afternoon, KVUE.com reports. There will be eleven in all between Austin Energy representatives and City Council. The council is asking Austin Energy to present evidence showing how much money it needs to continue to function without asking customers to overpay.

Austin Energy's reserves, which in part determine what their credit rating is, are dangerously low. Austin Energy wants to raise enough revenue by raising rates to bring the level of reserves to $30 million. They have proposed rolling out the increase over a couple of years to help ease the burden on customers. The utility company will also review debt service coverage, or how well they can pay their debts while still paying for new improvements, and its debt equity ratio, which determines the cost of debt. Austin Energy is recommending a 50/50 debt equity ratio.

The work sessions will continue through April and City Council expects to make a final decision on rates on May 24th, so you can know how the new rates will affect your utility bill and the cost of your Austin Texas Apartment.
Apartments Now CardPhoto by Cycling Octopus

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bandera ISD Names a New Superintendent

San Antonio Apartments Now CardBandera ISD named a new superintendent yesterday. KSAT.com reports that her name is Regina Howell and she has been working in various positions for the school district for the last 16 years, including assistant principal at Hill Country Elementary, principal at Alkek Elementary and since 2000, personnel director/assistant superintendent.

In early February, Mrs. Howell was named the sole finalist by trustees for the position from among 20 applicants. She'd been serving as Interim superintendent since Kevin Dyes resigned in May. The job pays about $120,000, which includes benefits.

When named the sole finalist, Ms. Howell told My San Antonio that she was excited about working with the district and students and about what they would be achieving together in the future.

Bandera, the self-proclaimed "Cowboy Capitol of the World", is 40 miles Northwest of San Antonio, so an easy drive from your San Antonio Apartment.