Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: Organizing Your Closet


Ready to get a fresh start for the New Year?  Is getting organized one of your resolutions?  Start with your closet with About.com's help and reap the benefits of not only an organized closet, but being able to get ready faster in the morning because you can find something to wear quickly and easily.  

Before you begin, make sure you have the proper tools:  shopping bags (to take clothes to Goodwill or the dry cleaners), a tape measure (to measure the space in your closet), pen and paper (to record measurements), a full-length mirror (so you can try on clothes and decide if you want to keep them), and a basket (for lose odds and ends that need to be relocated).

Next remove everything from your closet:  clothes, accessories, closet organizers, everything, and give your closet a good cleaning.  Dust the shelves and closet rods, vacuum the floor, and dust all baskets and bins.

Time to make two piles:  toss and keep.  When you try things on, ask yourself three questions:  do you love it, do you wear it, and does it show the world the image you want to project?  If the answer to all three is yes, put it in the keep pile.  If you answer no to any of them, you need to consider whether this piece is worth keeping.  If you're unsure and decide to keep it, when you put it back, put the hanger the opposite way from all your other hangers.  If you wear it, turn the hanger around.  If after six months you haven't turned the hanger around, you can be confident it's time to say goodbye.

Now it's time to put everything back.  Group like objects together and place the pieces you wear most often the front and rarely worn items like formal dresses in the back.  If you find you need additional organizational items like bins and boxes, first examine what you own and explore re-purposing items to control costs.  If you do decide to buy new things, first measure the space 3 times so you don't have to return things.

To maintain your neat space, go through your closet once a month and undertake a full re-organization at least twice a year.

If even after you undertake a reorganization you find your closet is still too small, give Austin Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224 for help finding an apartment with spacious closets with plenty of room for all your stuff!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Organizing Your Apartment the Right Way


With a new year on its way, your thoughts may be turning towards getting your #apartment organized.  Make sure you tackle #organization the right way with Apartment Therapy's list of what NOT to do.

Don't go to the Container Store and furiously throw storage boxes into your cart, only to find out when you get home that they don't fit your belongings or your space.  Instead, sort your things first and determine how many containers and what sizes you need.  Buy just a few to begin with and know you can always go back for more.

Organize in small increments.  Rather than trying to get your entire house in shape in one day, organize one room or area at a time, and only spend two to three hours on it.  That way you will be more motivated and you won't risk burnout. 

Once you've separated all your stuff into keep, toss, and donate piles, go ahead and get the toss and donate stuff out of your house right away.  Don't let the newly purged items suffer in the purgatory of your garage or your car.  Make plans to get your cast-offs to their new homes and do it right away. 

Once everything is organized, resist the temptation to go back to your old ways.  Continue to use your new system so you won't find yourself in disorganized purgatory again. 

Finally, you don't live in a catalog.  If your space is neat, clean and you can find everything, it works for you and it is a good system.  Don't try to live up to an impossible standard; enjoy your space and recognize that you're human.  Now get to work on a clutter-free apartment!

Need help finding a new apartment to go along with your new organized lifestyle?  Give Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224 for help finding a new apartment with plenty of storage.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Inexpensive Gift Wrap Ideas


One of the biggest expenses of Christmas can be wrapping paper, gift bags and all the trimmings.  Add to that the fact that it's all literally thrown away as soon as the gift opening is over and it starts to become obvious why finding alternative ways to make your gifts look festive should be a priority.  About.com helps you save money and use stuff you have around the house while still making your gifts look gorgeous!

Use oatmeal containers as an adorable way to wrap your presents.  Add wrapping paper around the outside to make it look festive and for the cherry on top, add a bow made out of magazine pages.

Gift bags are expensive, but don't forget they're reusable!  Make a point of saving all the bags you get and you'll have bags to use for years to come.  Often others don't want to bother with taking bags home, so you can also get theirs.  

Kids' artwork is an adorable way to wrap presents that will bring a smile to recipients' faces.  Use larger pictures they make from throughout the year, or ask them to make some custom Christmas art just for your packages!

Brown kraft paper, available from office supply stores or hardware stores in the painting section, gives presents an antique look and you can even add stamps, stickers, or other decorations to dress it up.  Looking for a free alternative?  Try brown paper grocery bags!

Take-out containers are another fun way to wrap up gifts.  Wrap your gift in tissue paper so it can't be seen and add some ribbon to dress it up.  This would especially be fun for food or treat gifts.

Resale shops often have large collections of wallpaper, which are another great way to wrap gifts.

Have a lot of fabric scraps that you're just saving for a rainy day?  Use them to wrap gifts!  Cut to size and just tie with some pretty ribbon and you are done!  Scarves from a thrift store or ones you don't wear anymore are another great source of materials for this project.

Finally, reusable containers, from tins to old suitcases, are all great ways to give a gift.  Think creatively and frequent thrift stores and garage sales, and you'll find a substantial stockpile cheaply.

After the Christmas hoopla is over, is it time for you to find a new apartment as a belated Christmas gift to yourself?  Let San Antonio Apartments Now help make your Christmas dreams come true!  Give us a call today at 210-255-3074!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Protecting Your Pets During the Holidays


There are lot of things associated with the holidays that are hazardous to our little four-legged friends.  Plus the fact that they will be spending more time alone while we go to holiday gatherings or get shopping and other errands done means they may be more likely to get into things they would have ignored otherwise.  Follow Apartment Therapy's guidelines and keep your furry loved one happy and safe this Christmas.

Mistletoe and Holly are both poisonous to cats and dogs, so don't use it or use artificial versions if you really want to decorate with these holiday staples.

If you have cats, it's best to have a fake tree.  The toxicity levels in most Christmas trees can cause an upset stomach and vomiting in cats.  (Dogs won't have a problem with fir trees.)

If you do use a real tree, cover the water where dogs can't get to it.  The pesticides and fertilizers in the water that have come off the tree can have deadly consequences for dogs.

Cover electrical cords that go to lights with tape and attach them to the floor so your curious cat or dog won't chew on them.

If you are going to be leaving your pets with a sitter, make sure they are on the lookout for signs that your pet has ingested something dangerous, like broken bulbs or chewed cords.  Leave your emergency vet's number just in case and make sure your pet sitter knows what to do in an emergency.

Need help finding a new apartment for you and Fido for 2015?  Give Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meal Planning During the Holidays


Meal planning is sometimes hard to keep up with this time of year.  However, you will save money, eat healthier, and retain some sanity if you follow The Kitchn's meal planning tips!

Mark your calendar or planner to show when you have events that will keep you away from home for dinner.  That way you won't accidentally buy food for that meal that goes to waste.  

Always go to the store with a shopping list so you don't forget anything or wind up getting a bunch of stuff you don't need.  However, don't plan too far in advance because a lot of events can pop up last minute.

Make sure your pantry has a lot of cooking staples you can go to in a pinch and use it rather than picking up fast food.  Another way to save time during the week is to  do prep work for weeknight meals on the weekend so you can cook more quickly during the week.  This can include chopping vegetables or cooking a pot of rice that can be heated up later.

Keep healthy snacks easily accessible so that you reach for a piece of fruit rather than a sugar cookie.  Another way to keep up healthy eating habits is to prepare breakfast the night before so you can be sure to get your busy days off to a good start.  

Keep your meals simple to save your sanity.  A slow cooker is a great way to make meals quickly and simply.  Plus you can get last minute holiday chores done while dinner cooks.

Finally, leftovers are your friend  Repurpose what you already have to turn into a new meal or at least use them for lunch.

What's your biggest time saving tip during the holidays?  How do you prevent holiday burnout?

Ready to find a new apartment for the new year?  Give San Antonio Apartments Now a call today at 210-255-3074!

Austin the 5th Least Affordable City for Millennials


Austin is the 5th Least Affordable City for Millennials to buy a house in, according to a report by Trulia, shared by the Washington Post.  The study found that many Millennials are living in cities where they can't afford to purchase a home.

In Austin, 20-34 year olds (the millennial age range), comprise at least 23.5% of the population, putting it in the top ten of cities in the country for millennial population.  However, only about 20% of the houses for sale in Austin are affordable for millennial buyers (payments including taxes and insurance are equal to 31% or less of their income).  Many millennials rent, but 93% of them say that they want to own a home one day.

There are many other cities across the nation with much more affordable housing, but millennials have a different set of wants in housing, and these cities aren't where they want to be.  If you're happy in Austin, Texas, you probably don't want to pick up stakes and move to Akron, Ohio just because it is the most affordable city for your age group.  Many young people face a difficult choice about living in the city they love or moving to one they can afford.  Luckily, Austin has lots of beautiful suburbs and areas just outside the urban core where one can still find good deals on houses and apartments. Also, as most people get older, than earnings increase, so home ownership may eventually be within the millennials' grasp.

Renting is a great alternative to the current high prices of home ownership in Austin.  Austin Apartments Now can help you find an apartment that fits in your budget and where you want to be!  Give us a call today at 512-258-8224.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Return of Application Fee and Deposit


Clients often ask if they will get their application fee and deposit back if they change their mind or are not approved for an apartment.  This is a complex issue with a few different answers, so read on for an thorough investigation.

The application fee and application deposit are two separate things.  The application fee is what you pay the landlord to process your application and generally covers things like a background and credit check.  The application deposit is the amount the landlord requires to take the apartment off the market and hold the unit while they process your application.  
Generally, if you change your mind on the unit, then the landlord will keep the application deposit.  If your application is rejected, then the landlord should return the deposit.

On the other hand, application fees are almost never returned, whether you are rejected or change your mind, unless the landlord doesn't post the eligibility criteria and then you are rejected. 

Texas Law doesn't specifically address whether you get your application deposit back if you change your mind, so it's up to the individual agreement you signed. Some application agreements state that if the applicant doesn't sign the lease within 3 days after the application is approved, then the landlord can keep the entire application deposit.  Even if it is not addressed in the agreement, landlords often keep the application deposit if the applicant later decides not to lease from the landlord.  

It's always worth talking to the landlord and seeing if they will be reasonable about returning at least part of your deposit if you change your mind, especially if they are able to rent the apartment again quickly.

Need help making sure you find the perfect place before you sign an application?  Want to be sure you'll be approved for an apartment before you plunk down cash?  San Antonio Apartments Now can help by showing you all the apartments that meet your criteria and only showing you those where you will be approved.  Give us a call today at 210-255-3074.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What Guests Do and Don't Care About



When putting together a party, it's easy to let perfectionism take over.  Relax, there are some things your guests just won't care about.  Instead, focus your energy on the few that actually do matter at a party with Apartment Therapy's helpful tips.

Guests don't care if your apartment is in perfect shape.  Focus on a clean bathroom, mostly dusted surfaces, a clutter-free living room, and if you have time, a quick vacuum and you will be good to go.  Things not perfect?  Turn down the lights and use candles so no one can see the dirt!

Visitors aren't bothered by where the food came from.  So feel free to buy pre-made dishes at the grocery store or dessert at the bakery and enjoy yourself!

Partygoers won't have their time ruined by whether or not you have assembled the perfect super-group of friends.  They're all friends with you, so they should all have more in common than not.  Relax and let the conversation take care of itself.

Now that you've saved energy in those areas, focus on presentation.  Place food, even if it's from the store, in pretty bowls and add flowers, lights, candles and even place cards to make things look put together.

Make sure you have plenty of whatever you serve.  It's always better to have extra food than to run out. Go ahead and send guests home with to-go containers if you have a lot of remaining dishes at the end of the night.

Finally, enjoy yourself!  No one wants to be at a party where the host is unhappy.  Smile, have a good time, and let things go.  Your guests are there to see you, not to experience the perfect party.

Need help finding an apartment where hosting is a breeze?  Give Austin Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Property Management Style is Right for You?


One thing you may not consider when renting an apartment, condo or home is the management structure of who you are renting from.  However, whether you rent from a property management company, a single investor/landlord, or an apartment with onsite management can greatly affect your experience.  

When you rent from a property management company, you are working with a team of professionals who have processes in place to handle all the parts of renting.  From applications, to viewing apartments, to handling maintenance requests in a timely manner, property management companies have personnel who specialize in fulfilling the needs of renters.  On the other hand, if you are dealing with a badly managed property management company or one that has to go to the landlord for every single little question, there may be a lot of waiting to have your requests fulfilled.

If you are renting a home, condo, or apartment from an individual owner, you have the benefit of actually having a personal relationship with the person you rent from.  Your landlord may even be your neighbor or roommate. This may provide more flexibility in making requests such as asking for a shorter term or month-to-month lease.  An individual owner also may be more likely to allow you to make changes to an apartment, such as painting the walls.  By renting the unit themselves, a property owner will save money and will most likely pass those savings on to you.  On the other hand, an individual owner may be overwhelmed by trying to do it all themselves and so you may have to wait longer to get back to you. They also may see your unit as simply an investment and may not prioritize your needs.

Onsite management combines the best of both worlds in many ways.  You have professionals whose job is dealing with renters, like a property management company, and someone with whom you can have a personal relationship, as with an individual investor/landlord.  Maintenance requests should be dealt with in a timely manner, as there is someone onsite both to process the requests and usually to complete them, and you know your rent will be marked as on time because you can directly hand it to a real person.  They will also be able to handle the application, viewing and leasing process easily because they are pros.

Worried about what management style is best for you?  Austin Apartments Now's team of experienced apartment locators can tell you the management situation at all the prospective properties you view and help you make a decision on what is right for you.  Give us a call today at 512-258-8224.

Monday, November 24, 2014

How Can Apartment Locators Work for Free?


We are often asked how we can help you find an apartment for free.  The answer is that we are paid by the apartment communities when you sign a lease.  Apartment Communities have spend a lot of money on advertising to reach potential renters, but these television, internet, radio and print ads all cost a lot of money and don't guarantee that the potential renters they reach will be qualified to rent in the community.

When we meet with you, we both vet apartments for you and vet you for the apartment complex.  We discuss your needs in an apartment and any roadblocks you may have to getting an apartment, such as a low credit score or past broken lease, and will only take you to communities where we know they will work with these limitations.  When you walk into an apartment complex with an apartment locator, the leasing agent at the complex knows that you at least meet their minimum qualifying guidelines to lease an apartment.  You have already seen pictures, know the amenities offered at the complex and basically you have narrowed this down to a stop on your list.  So the leasing agent can focus on really showing you around, and showing the amenities of their community.

An apartment locator can narrow down the choices to what works for you and will only show you apartments that have units that meet your criteria.  If you want wood floors and a garden tub, you may waste two days worth of gas and time going to 15 apartment complexes that have wood floors, but they don't all have garden tubs.  With an apartment locator, we can rule out complexes that don't fit your criteria right in our office and spend our time only visiting in person those complexes that have what you want.  We also know which complexes have vacancies, so we won't waste your time showing you apartments where there's not an available unit that meets your needs.

Ready to meet with an apartment locator to help you find the perfect apartment?  Give San Antonio Apartments Now a call today at 210-255-3074!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One vs. Two Year Lease


After you've been approved to lease an apartment, the landlord or leasing agent will offer you a choice of lease terms, usually one or two years, although some complexes offer shorter 6 month terms as well.  Think through what lease length makes most sense for you withAbout.com's questions.

One year is the term that most renters choose because it's long enough to make a decision as to whether you like a place enough to continue living there, but also short enough that you aren't stuck there forever if you don't like your living situation.  At that point you should have the option to renew your lease if you do like where you are.

There are advantages to a two-year lease, however.  For one, if your landlord wants to raise the rent when it's time to renew, you'll save money by being locked in for two years rather than one.  If you live in a market where rents are on an upward trend, this can add up to substantial savings.  You'll also be able to relax knowing that you don't have to move for 24 months and your landlord can't rent your apartment to another tenant.

Need help deciding what lease term is for you?  Give Austin Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224 for help with the particulars of leases and renting.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Create an Emergency Cleanup Kit


The holidays are coming up fast, and if you like to throw parties, you're going to have spills and accidents.  Handle the inevitable without breaking a sweat with Apartment Therapy's Emergency Cleanup Kit.

Throw these items in a portable caddy so you'll be ready for anything:  a sponge or microfiber cloth, a small handheld broom and dustbin, countertop cleaner, soda water (for stains and in case you run out at a gathering), salt (use with soda water as a stain remover), laundry stain stick or wipes for spills on clothes, and masking tape for picking up tiny bits of broken glass.

Now that you're ready for anything, want to find a larger apartment so you can host family and friends during the holidays?  Give San Antonio Apartments Now a call today at 210-255-3074.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Renting to Millennials



Millennials, the generation following Generation X, are the newest renters and are different in many ways from past generations.  Slideshare reports on how Millennials are unique and what they are looking for in apartments.

First of all, over 76% of Millennials have cats or dogs.  By being a pet-friendly apartment complex, you can ensure they will consider your community when looking for housing.

The average Millennial drove 23% less in 2009 than in 2001, which was the biggest drop for any age group.  By providing bike storage to your renters, you can attract this group that doesn't feel tied to their car.

10.8 million Millennials have kids and need rentals to fit that lifestyle.  Amenities geared towards children like playgrounds and green spaces can go a long way towards attracting this segment of the apartment hunting population.
38% of Millennials would rather pay online and 22% of them have never written a physical check.  So providing the option to pay rent online will appeal to their digital payment lifestyle.

Millennials consider safe streets to be the highest priority when searching for a place to live.  By focusing on security conveniences like security cameras and alarm systems, you can reach the 76% percent of this age group who consider safety their top priority.

Millennials are highly likely to use reviews and ratings to make decisions on where they live and what businesses they frequent.  They are also more likely to share bad experiences than good.  So be sure to keep your renters happy so they are more likely to share their good experiences on review sites.

Millennials are heavy texters, so as a property manager, if you are easy to reach via text, you are more likely to keep them happy.

Finally, Millennials see outdoor living spaces of equal importance to indoor ones.  So make sure to have lots of outdoor areas where your inhabitants can get together and enjoy the sunshine.

Are you a Millennial looking for an apartment that checks all your unique boxes?  Give Austin Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224.  We can help you find an apartment community that provides convenience that fits with your lifestyle.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Keeping Up with Laundry


Most people don't love doing laundry, but it's a necessary evil and it seems never-ending, especially if you have kids.  Apartment Therapy's tips  will help you find sanity in a world where laundry always needs to be done.

Do a load of laundry a day. Of course, some people may not have enough dirty clothes to do laundry every day, but if you have children, you'll probably find this necessary to keep up.

Follow through with each load of laundry from start to finish.  In other words, you put a load in the washer, then you put it in the dryer or hang it to dry, then you fold it or hang it, and put all the laundry away.  Otherwise you wind up getting backlogged at some point in the process and suddenly your couch is covered in unfolded towels.  A helpful tip is to set a timer for how long your washer and dryer take so you remove your loads promptly.

Figure out where you always break down in the process and concentrate on fixing it.  Maybe you never get your laundry out of the dryer, or maybe you get it folded, but you never put it away.  Whatever it is, meet that sticking point head one and make sure you follow through!

Make a process that works logically.  In other words, think about how you will put the laundry away before you put them away.  Group like items together by destination so you can simply put them up once they are ready.

Finally, make laundry fun, or at least as fun as possible.  Play some music, watch a favorite tv show while you are doing it or reward yourself when you're done to give you something to look forward to!

Need help finding an apartment where you have your own washer and dryer to make laundry that much easier?  Give San Antonio Apartments Now a call today at 210-255-3074.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Apartments Across America Annual Conference



The Apartments Across America Annual Conference was recently held on October 23rd and 24th in Washington, DC.  Austin Apartments Now is a member of this organization, which brings together the leading apartment finding agencies and brokerages focused on rentals from across the country.  At the conference, rental industry professionals are able to share their knowledge on marketing, acquiring and retaining talent, and technology with one another.

Some highlights from the conference specific to the Texas Apartment Market were that Austin sees the most rentals each year, but Houston has seen the most growth in development.  In Houston, there will another 12,000 luxury apartments added by the end of the year across the city.

Natalie Young, from our sister office A Plus Apartments, attended the conference and their website won best website.  

The next Apartments Across America Annual Conference will be in October of next year in Chicago.
  
Ready to find your own apartment in Austin's hot rental market?  Give Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What to Do After a Cold


Prepare now for those winter colds that lie ahead.  Apartment Therapy has 4 things to do after you've been sick, plus one that you don't need to.

First off, after you're finally feeling well, change your sheets.  When you're sick, your sheets get sweaty and funky.  Change them when the sickness passes so you can enjoy a long, restful sleep.

Quickly clean your house of all those discarded tissues, glasses, and everything else that winds up all over the place when you're sick.  

Clean shared household items with a disinfectant to hopefully prevent your family or roommates from getting sick.  From the tv remote to door handles, light switches, etc, take time to wipe them down so you won't pass your sickness onto others.

Odds are that your cold medicine stash has been depleted while you've been sick. Take a little time to restock your medicine cabinet so you'll be prepared should sickness strike again in the future.

As for something you don't need to do?  Replace your toothbrush.  Since you're the only one using it, and you've built up an immunity to the germs that just infected you, there's no need to replace it.

Ready to find a comfy apartment to hole up in if you get sick over the winter?  Give San Antonio Apartments Now a call today at 210-558-7377.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Abundance of Apartment Construction May Lead to Rent Relief


Austin's apartment market is still super hot, but with nearly 18,000 units under construction, rents could start to cool off soon.  It could also mean the return of incentives to get renters into apartments, as the Austin Business Journal reports.

The large number of apartments that will be flooding the market in the next two quarters, which are usually slow for the apartment business, will create some market competition leading to price adjustments, concessions, and locator incentives.

Market analysts are especially concerned about the 8,000 units that are going to begin construction in the next 180 days.

The most expensive sub-market in town is Austin's Central Business District with rent averaging $2.46 per square foot.  That's expected to go even higher when The Bowie opens, where rent is more than $9,100 a month for 3 bedroom units.  448 square foot studios start at $1,545 per month.

Occupancy rates are currently at 94.8 percent, down a percentage point from a year ago.  Average rent is up to $1,070, compared to $1,007 in 2013 and rental rates are $1.26 per square foot versus $1.18 last year.  

Need help navigating Austin's tight rental market?  Austin Apartments Now can help you find the perfect apartment.  Give us a call today at 512-258-8224 to take advantage of our up to the minute knowledge of vacancies, amenities, and rates at all the best complexes in town!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Signs You Don't Make Enough Money


If you constantly don't have enough money to cover your expenses, you can be overspending, or maybe you need to consider that you are not making enough money.  About.com will help you pinpoint what the root of your problem is so you can start to improve your situation.

If you find yourself having to use your credit cards to pay for things towards the end of the month, or if you are just consistently running out of money as the last day of the month nears, your income is probably not keeping up with your expenses.

If you find yourself running out of money at the beginning of the month, then you are almost definitely facing an income crisis.  If you can just cover your bills with nothing left over to pay for food, you need to earn more money.

If you find yourself having to make difficult choices about which bills to pay, then you definitely are in a very serious situation.  You have to find a solution immediately, which might mean getting a second job or trying to reduce your bills by moving to an apartment that has lower rent or selling your car.  Look at both solutions you can enact right away and ones for the future to get back on track.

If you look at your budget and find that there are no extras to cut, then you have a serious income issue.  You should never have to choose between paying the electrical bill and buying groceries.  If you find yourself having to make those tough decisions, then your income is woefully inadequate.

Also, if you have no extra money for an emergency fund, then you don't make enough money.  Constantly worrying about money is another sign that you don't make enough money.  Use that worry to fuel your plan for getting back on your feet.

Finally, if you just barely make it each month without reaching your financial goals like getting out of debt or saving for emergencies, then you need to look at ways to make more money.

Ready to find an apartment with a more affordable rent that will help you reach your goals?  Give San Antonio Apartments Now a call today at 210-558-7377.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brightening Small, Windowless Bathrooms


Small bathrooms without windows can be a bummer for renters, however there are tricks you can use to make the room more welcoming.  Check out Apartment Therapy's suggestions for turning your apartment bathroom into a lighter, brighter space.

Even in a windowless bathroom, an air plant or shade-loving plant can work if they don't need much light.  You may need to occassionally move them around to a window to sneak a little bit of light now and then.  Another non light-dependent option is to add fresh flowers.

Usually one over the mirror light isn't going to be enough to illuminate the space.  So add sconces, wall lights, or even a hanging light to make things a lot more bright.

If you have room, a piece of furniture like a stool, chair, or small chest can really make your bathroom unique.

If painting's an option, use a bright white or other light color to imbue as much light as possible into your space.  Even if you can't paint, add mirrors to reflect whatever light is available in your space.

Use color and pattern through a bold shower curtain or temporary wall paper, to distract from the lack of mirrors.
Ready to find an apartment with a great bathroom?  Give Austin Apartments Now a call today at 512-258-8224.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Minimum Commute, Maximum Lifestyle: Where To Rent When You Work at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas



San Antonio is number 20 on Forbes' annual top 20 fastest-growing American cities with 1.83 percent population growth for 2013 and that translates into increased traffic, which is the number one complaint we hear.  The majority of the renters we see are hoping to find an apartment that fits their lifestyle and allows for a reasonable commute to their place of work.  With that in mind, we wanted to give some insight into San Antonio's largest employers and the rental options that surround them.  This is the twentieth in a series called ‘Minimum Commute, Maximum Lifestyle’ and it focuses on Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, Inc. (TMMTX) is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation and manufactures and assembles the Tundra full-size pickup truck and the Tacoma mid-size pickup truck in San Antonio, Texas.  The San Antonio Express News reports that suppliers will be building new facilities near the plant to keep up with high demand for Toyota pickups.

TMMTX employs a variety of people in a variety of positions at their San Antonio plant, including Paint Engineering Specialists (Median Annual Salary $95,169 for a Process Engineering Manager), Skilled Maintenance Team Members (Median Annual Salary $37,036 for a General Maintenance Worker II), Skilled Tool and Die Maintenance Team Member (Median Annual Salary $41,779 for a Tool and Die Maker I) and many more.  All salary information from Salary.com for 78264, TMMTX's zip code.

For lunch breaks, there are many nearby options, including Bill Miller BBQ, which is popular for quick lunches of brisket and sides like potato salad and pinto beans.  For a healthier alternative, Subway is also close and serves sandwiches made to order on fresh-baked bread.

For after work drinks with coworkers, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar has tasty wings, beer, and sports on tv so you don’t have to miss the game.  Longhorn Steakhouse has happy hour from 4-7pm Monday-Friday with great prices on drinks and select snacks and appetizers. 

Save time on your commute and live in one of the gorgeous apartment communities near Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas.
  • Costa Mirada is a sixteen minute drive from Toyota and was built in 2007.  Apartments range from one bedroom to four bedrooms and 953 to 1,530 square feet and feature full size washer and dryer connections, 9 foot ceilings, ceiling fans, walk-in closets, and private balconies or patios.  This gated community has a clubhouse with a fitness center, a pool, a computer center with internet, a community room, two playgrounds, grills and picnic tables. 
  • Bellaire Apartments are also a sixteen minute drive away and feature studio to 2 bedroom apartments ranging from 404 to 910 square feet.  This community, built in 1984, has two swimming pools, a basketball court, extra storage, a clubhouse, a playground, and is near public transportation.  Apartments feature private patios, and some have ceiling fans and fireplaces. 
  • Brooksfield Apartments are 17 minutes from Toyota Motor Manufacturing and were built in 1987.  1 to 3 bedroom apartments ranging from 500 to 990 square feet are available and feature ceiling fans, fireplaces, lighted outside storage, linen closets, monitored alarms, private patios or balconies, and spacious closets.  The community is close to shopping, restaurants, schools, and downtown, is pet friendly, has a sports court, a swimming pool, and offers six through twenty-four month leases.
  • Sereno Park Apartments are 19 minutes away and floorplans range from one to three bedrooms and 734 to 1,150 square feet.  Built in 2007, apartments have nine-foot ceilings, wood-style flooring, full size washer/dryer connections, intrusion alarms, large walk-in closets, and french doors to the private patio or balcony.  This gated community has a resident clubhouse with billiards and tv lounge, a dog park, covered parking, a picnic area with barbecue grills, and a resident business center with a coffee bar.
These are just a few of the rental options for Toyota Motor Manufacturing employees.  Our database features the most accurate and up-to-date pricing and availability for thousands of apartments across the city.  Finding the perfect balance of minimal commute and maximum lifestyle for your budget can be challenging.  As apartment locators, it is our job to provide you valuable insight into each of your rental options so you choose the best apartment the first time.  Our service is free to our clients and can save you valuable days looking for a rental.  Call 210-558-7377  today to schedule your appointment or visit www.sanantonioapartmentsnow.com/ for more information on our apartment locator services.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget


If you've got a tight budget, eating healthy can be really difficult.  However, the Kitchn has a bunch of great tips for eating healthy without breaking the bank.

Buy produce when it's cheap and in season and freeze it for use later when it will be more expensive.  

Look for sales at your local grocery store using their weekly circular, and use that to make your weekly meal plan.

Try less expensive cuts of meat and cooking methods like the slow cooker which will make even the toughest cuts of meat tender and juicy.

Use whole grains to add bulk and flavor to meals without breaking the bank.

Plan and make your meals ahead of time, then refrigerate or freeze them to eat all week and beyond.

Seek out cuisines like Indian and Mexican food that use a lot of cheap ingredients.  Rice and beans feature heavily in the food of both cultures and are affordable and filling.

Make sure your refrigerator and pantry are organized and leftovers are well-labeled so you don't lose money by allowing food to spoil.

Use leftovers to cook an entirely new meal.  Last night's chicken can become tonight's sandwiches.  

Like to buy produce at the Farmer's Market, but don't want to pay the high prices?  Go at the end of the day when sellers are eager to unload produce so they don't have to take it home with them.

Finally, shopping at ethnic markets will save you money on a lot of ingredients, and you will find interesting ways to switch up your cooking without spending a lot.

Ready to find an apartment that saves you money so you can spend more on food?  Give Austin Apartments Now a call today at 210-558-7377.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Checking Your Fire Extinguisher


Fire Extinguishers can be a lifesaver in an emergency, but they can expire.  Use Apartment Therapy's instructions to check your fire extinguisher monthly to make sure it's in full working order.

Make sure your extinguisher is in a place that makes it easily accessible.  It makes sense to have more than one for different parts of the house.  

As for the inspection, first do a visual check of your extinguisher.  Make sure there are no dents or damage and that the hose is in good shape.  Then check the nozzle to be sure the pin is in place and that the nozzle is clean and dry.  

Check the pressure gauge.  Is it in the green range?  If not, get it serviced right away.  The fire retardant chemicals in the extinguisher can settle to the bottom if left in one place too long.  Flip the extinguisher over regularly to prevent this.

A fire extinguisher should last between 5 to 15 years, depending on the model.  If you don't know how old it is or you think it might be time to have it refreshed, take it to the hardware store, who should be able to service your extinguisher and make sure it's in top shape again.

Looking for a new apartment?  Give Apartments Now San Antonio a call today at 210-558-7377.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Minimum Commute, Maximum Lifestyle: Where to Live When You Work at 3M


This is the nineteenth in a series of articles titled ‘Minimum Commute, Maximum Lifestyle’ and will be focused on 3M Co (NYSE:MMM).  This series focuses on area employers and rental options located nearby so employees can reduce their commutes to work.

Thousands of people move to Austin or relocate within Austin every year because of job changes.  In a city growing by 110 people per day, the complaint we hear most often centers around traffic.  The majority of the renters we see are hoping to find an apartment that fits their lifestyle and allows for a reasonable commute to their place of work.  With that in mind, we wanted to give some insight into Austin’s largest employers and the rental options that surround them.

The 3M Company has over 88,000 employees across the globe and makes over 55,000 products, including adhesives, abrasives, laminates, and much more.  They have operations in more than 65 countries.  Yahoo Finance recently reported that 3M isn't likely to break up into smaller companies.  

3M employs people in a variety of positions at its Austin Research and Development Center and its Austin Manufacturing Center, including Technician Senior Masters (Median Annual Salary $48,828 for a Manufacturing Technician III), Co-Generation Power Plant Controls Engineers (Median Annual Salary $127,092 for a Power Plant Operations Manager), Manufacturing Engineering Specialists (Median Salary $58,839 for a Manufacturing Engineering I), Senior Fiber Optic Engineers (Median Salary $83,381 for an Engineer III), and many more.  All salary information from Salary.com for 78726, 3M's Austin zip code.  

For lunch nearby, there are many choices, including Black Walnut Cafe, which serves American fast casual food from burgers to salad and much more.  Hunan Riverplace has great lunch specials and generous portions to keep a large group satisfied when they are looking for Korean and Chinese Food.

For drinks after work with coworkers, Z Tejas has their famous margaritas for just $5.00 for happy hour, plus other drink and food specials.  Eleven Plates and Wine also has a great happy hour with special reduced price plates and craft cocktails and beer.  

Avoid traffic by living in one of the beautiful apartment communities near 3M.
  • Riverlodge Apartments are a 3 minute drive from 3M and have 1-2 bedroom apartments available ranging from 718 to 1,239 square feet.  Built in 1999, this gated community has a leash free dog park, a playscape, walking trails nearby, a community garden, boat parking and is zoned to Leander ISD. Apartments have oversized floorplans, vaulted ceilings, full size washer/dryer connections, ceiling fans in bedrooms, kitchen pantries, garden bath tubs, treelined views, and 8 foot sliding glass doors. 
  • Hyde Park at Ribelin Ranch is also a 3 minute drive or 18 minute walk from 3M.  Built in 2008, they feature 1-2 bedroom apartments ranging from 747 to 1,501 square feet.  Apartments have black on black appliances, expresso cabinets, wood style flooring, large rooms, washer and dryer hookups, balconies, garage options and much more.  This gated community has a 24-hour fitness center, resort-inspired pool, club house and is just minutes from Lake Austin. 
  • Escape at Four Points Apartments were completed in 2013 and are just 3 minutes from 3M.  Apartments range from 1 to 3 bedrooms and 634 to 1,347 square feet and feature granite counters, stainless steel appliances, faux wood floors in select units, large pantries, walk-in closets, linen closets, 9' ceilings and patios or balconies.  This gated community has a lounge area with a coffee bar, state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, a resort-style pool with in-water tanning ledges, and a social calendar with activities.  
  • Promesa Apartments are a 4 minute drive from 3M and were built in 2011.  Floor plans range from 1-3 bedrooms and 673 to 1,488 square feet and feature stained concrete floors, stainless steel appliances, 42 inch upper cabinets, rich cherry vinyl wood flooring, granite counters, and washers and dryers.  The community has a billiards room, a conference room, a fitness center, and a beautiful pool.
These are just a few of the rental options for 3M employees.  Our database features the most accurate and up-to-date pricing and availability for thousands of apartments across the city.  Finding the perfect balance of minimal commute and maximum lifestyle for your budget can be challenging.  As apartment locators, it is our job to provide you valuable insight into each of your rental options so you choose the best apartment the first time.  Our service is free to our clients and can save you valuable days looking for a rental.  Call 512-258-8224 today to schedule your appointment or visit www.austinapartmentsnow.com for more information on our apartment locator services.