Friday, November 27, 2015

How To Decorate For The Holidays In An Apartment

Tis the season for coziness and festivities!

If you love holiday decorating, but find yourself faced with frustration during the holidays because you feel as an apartment renter you are restricted in your decorating then take a peak at our list of apartment-friendly decor ideas. Take a stab at these fun and festive decorating ideas that are sure to help bring anyone some holiday cheer.

Create a Fake Mantel
Need a cozy place to hang up the stocking this year? No fireplace, well no problem! There are a lot of great DIY faux chimney and mantel projects out there for you. Get creative!

An Alternative Christmas Tree
If you celebrate Christmas and your small apartment isn’t practical for a tree then why not design an alternative.  Consider an outline of a tree in lights on a wall in a common space. Or if you are a bookworm then utilize all those books you already own and stack them in the shape of a Christmas tree.  There are plenty of other ways to create a tasteful Christmas tree in your apartment this holiday season.

Re-purpose Items You Own
Make use of as many items that you already have in your apartment. Just adding some decorative ribbon and festive ornaments in a couple common areas will go a long way. Try to gift-wrap a bedroom door or add a couple pinecones to a kitchen counter vase. Keep it simple, clutter free and festive!

Incorporate Non-Traditional Colors
Everything does not have to bleed red and green in your apartment decor during the holidays. Try incorporating other non-traditional colors such as blue and gold. There are plenty of metallic colors that create a sophisticated holiday look. You don't have to stick to those primary colors and you just might be able to re-use some of those items after the holidays have passed.  

Maximize Space
If you live in a tiny apartment then make sure to utilize your vertical space and permanent apartment fixtures. Focus on decorating the doorways, windows, and lighting fixtures in your apartment. You can add a lot of holiday charm by draping garland and weaving battery operated lights through your main doorway and living room windows.  Add festive ribbon and bows to items you already own like pillows and pillars. Don’t clutter your apartment with more stuff when you have minimal space. Use your space wisely!

Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board Apartment Holiday D├ęcor Ideas for more inexpensive and gorgeous decorating ideas.  

We feel that even the smallest of spaces is worth decorating. Every apartment should feel cozy and festive during the holiday season. Contact our licensed apartment locators and let them help you find that perfect apartment space where you feel comfortable creating your own holiday escape.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Roommate Responsibilities: Renting An Apartment With Others

It doesn’t really matter how you found the roommate, once you enter into a lease agreement you both share in the same legal responsibilities. These three effortless tips will help anyone who is renting an apartment with roommates maintain those mundane details that can make or break a living situation.

Tip 1: Never volunteer to be the sole account holder. 
If your name is on all of the accounts then you are the one who is legally responsible for it all.  Don’t volunteer to put all the utilities under your name. If a roommate were to leave without paying their share of the bills then you would be the one stuck holding the bill.  Play it safe and split up the bills equally. It is extremely helpful if you set up an area in your communal area where you display all the bills and document who owes whom for what bills. Your living environment will run a whole lot smoother if everything related to money remains as transparent as possible.

Tip 2: Have a heart to heart with your roommates and set boundaries. 
Before you move in sit down and communicate with those who you are going to invest into the living arrangement with. It is always a lot less stressful situation if you discuss potential situations before they occur. Set rules and consequences!

Discuss major issues such as:
  • How rent and utilities will be paid. 
  • Who will live in which room? Set up those plus-one rules!
  • Cleaning of the communal areas.
  • Food sharing!
  • Loud noise. Remember to designate quiet times.
Tip 3: Prepare for worst-case scenarios. 
Negative behavior from one roommate can affect everyone.  Become fully informed when it comes to your rental agreement.  Plan for how you will handle moving out before the lease ends as well as any disagreements among roommates.  Remember you are legally bound to a roommate and a judge will enforce any financial agreements.

Renting with roommates takes commitment so you should take the thought of housemates serious. It is very common for two or more people to rent an apartment together as roommates, and our apartment locators are experts in helping roommates find a place together to call home. Contact Apartments Now and let us help you make sure you are renting the right way with roommates so that you are not the one left in the unfavorable situation. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Occupancy In the Alamo City

Apartments continue to remain popular among San Antonians! 

The multi-family market in San Antonio has seen a steady rise in occupancy rates even with apartment construction consistently evolving throughout the city. Although San Antonio experienced a slight drop in occupancy rates during the third quarter, it has still managed to maintain an overall stellar rate compared to this time last year. 

In the last couple of months a lot has occurred in the Alamo City to cause a dip in the apartment occupancy rate. Not only did we start to see a rise in homeownership but there was an influx of new apartment units absorbed into the local market. To top it off the hospitality/leisure industry suffered a reduction to their workforce which might have caused renters not to renew their leases. With a projected slow fourth quarter in the horizon occupancy rates are expected to lead with the same trends. 

With higher occupancy come higher rent prices for San Antonio renters. Rent prices have continued to soar, and it is evident in the almost 5% increase from this time last year. It is safe to say that landlords are getting asking rent, while offering even fewer concessions. 

Several communities in San Antonio have seen the most multi-family growth this quarter and continue to see expansion. The Southeast, Kerrville, South Central, and Far Northwest parts of San Antonio have all had an increase in occupancy during third quarter reporting.  Even with absorption of several hundred new units the Far Northwest community has continued to maintain increasing occupancy rates for two quarters in a row.  

Just because apartment rent is on the rise does not mean you have to pay more.  Our licensed apartment locators work daily to secure the best deals for your dollar. Contact us and let us help you find you the apartment in your budget in your desired part of town! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Make Every Inch Count

Studios and one-bedrooms have both their positive and negatives, but what they do share in common is they have minimum square footage. If you have recently rented a small apartment or are thinking about it then check out these small apartment hacks that are sure to help make your apartment feel more like a grand home.

Invest in A Good Storage System
When you have a small space you can spot everything in sight. Hide unpleasant items such as power cords and paper clutter. Storage is key when it comes to small apartment living.

Utilize Mirrors
When you want to add the illusion of square footage to a small space then consider adding a mirror to the room. Mirrors make everything look larger because they reflect the natural light in a room.  Strategically place mirrors in your tiny apartment, and open up the space without breaking down walls.

Give Furniture Some Room
Add the appearance of more space in your living room by not shoving your furniture against the wall. I know you want to utilize every inch, but give some breathing room between your sofa and the apartment walls. For example, try placing a console table behind your living room sofa to lend the appearance of more space while also adding more storage.

Draw Attention To Ceilings
Hang curtain rods up high and draw attention to your ceilings to make the room seem larger than it really is. Better yet, leave windows uncovered to allow more natural light to enter the room also giving the impression of more space. Either way utilize windows in your small space!

Use Rugs
Utilize area rugs and separate one big room into several smaller spaces.  This tactic works great in studio apartments where there is only one big space to work with.

Utilize Unused Spaces
Rethink those spaces that go unused.  Be storage savvy in your kitchen and maximize over cabinet space.  Try adding shelving over doorways or place hanging racks on the back of doors. Other ideas include utilizing corner shelving, and placing storage solutions at entryways.  Continue to think of ways to add functional storage in your small apartment.

Dual Purpose Furniture
Make the most of your small space by investing in furniture pieces that will serve multiple functions in your home. Invest in fold it up furniture and dining tables with drop leaves.  Built-in storage will hide apartment clutter, while creating a great organizational system with purpose.

Need more small space ideas? Check out our Small Space Hacks board on Pinterest.

You do not have to live your life in the apartment the size of a shoebox. If you are looking to save money in your apartment rental then contact our licensed apartment locators and let them help you find you the perfect size apartment for your budget.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Apartment Living With Pets

If you are a mom or dad to a furry child then it is no surprise to you just how many paw-sitives there are to owning a pet. Infact 72%of Americans who rent own a pet and there is something to say for that. For those renters who are interested in adopting a pet here are 4 topics you should know before you commit.  

Pet-Friendly Housing
Moving your furry friend into your apartment without disclosing it to your landlord is considered a breech of contract. You must rent a pet-friendly apartment! 

Pet Deposit
You could be subject to an extra security deposit, higher rent, or even required to purchase renter’s insurance if you are renting with a pet. Most apartment communities will ask for the additional funds in order to offset any damages your pet may cause to the apartment.

Responsible Pet Ownership
Practice responsible pet parenting daily! You are responsible for the behavior of your pet around other rental tenants and their pets. That means making sure you keep your animal on a leash in required areas, staying up-to-date on vaccinations, and cleaning up after your pet.  

Understand Your Pet Agreement Policy
Apartment communities have established limits when it comes to pets since they are required to keep the building’s pet population at a manageable level. Every apartment community is different and has their own unique restrictions on the number, size/weight, and breads permitted. Read the fine print on the pet agreement and know your rights.  

Finding an apartment in San Antonio that is pet-friendly is not impossible. More and more apartment communities are welcoming pets and our licensed Apartment Locators help renters find pet-friendly apartments regularly.  If you are looking for a pet-friendly apartment in San Antonio give our experts a call, and let us help you find an animal loving community.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The 12 Days Of Holiday Organization

With all the baking, shopping, card sending, office parties, celebrations, and apartment-decorating going on in the month of November and December it is no wonder we get overwhelmed.  As we wind down 2015 it is important that we don’t also wind down our organization efforts, but rev up our planning skills. Follow this simple 12-step process and enjoy the beautiful season while reducing your holiday stress!

Day 1: Countdown
Start at least a month before the holiday season approaches and plan what those couple of weeks will look like for you. Now is the time to dust off the planner and schedule any days off from work or make any travel arrangements.  Also make sure to RSVP to any office parties or holiday celebrations you have been invited to attend.  Most importantly mark these dates down!

Day 2: Take Inventory
Open up those holiday bins and boxes that have been stored away for almost a year and take inventory of your belongings. Chances are you have not seen this stuff in almost a year so make sure it still works and is in a useable condition.  The same goes for your kitchen pantry. Make sure you know what you are going to need in order to make the holidays as stress-free as possible for you.

Day 3: Make A List and Check It Twice
Utilize a holiday organization spreadsheet or a holiday gift planning printable from my Holiday Organization board on Pinterest and keep yourself organized. Make sure to write down what items you are going to need when you finally get to the stores. Finally, keep your lists in a place that you will look at regularly so that you can remember to cross off your to-dos!

Day 4: Shop
Take your gift planning list and grocery list to the store with you and save time in the process. The expectations of the season can make shopping a very stressful time for anyone. Pre-planning your trip to the store with a list will help you stay on task and budget.  

Day 5: Create A Space
If you have the space then carve out a space in your apartment where you can gift-wrap. Keeping the clutter to a minimum will help you make room for guest. Check out our Holiday Organization board on Pinterest for more apartment-friendly ideas!

Day 6: Cards
Remember that holiday cards do not have to be perfect! Sit down one day and knock them all out so you can focus on other duties and events. Organize those cards that you receive and do not clutter up apartment counters or your mail bin with them. Our Holiday Organization board on Pinterest has a lot of great ideas that would look great in any apartment!

Day 7: Decorate
If you have a weekend at home then take advantage of that time and do nothing but decorate your apartment for the season. Get yourself into the mood and put on some music and get creative! We have lots of great apartment-friendly decor ideas on our Holiday Organization board on Pinterest!

Day 8: Gift Wrap
Now comes the fun part! Dive into your wrapping center and have fun doing it. Make sure to remove price tags, include gift receipts, and label every gift.

Day 9: Bake and Crafts
Spend a day in your apartment kitchen and bake all your holiday goodies! This is a perfect day to complete any craft projects you want to complete this season. Tis the day to get your hands a little dirty!

Day 10: Traditions
Make sure to enjoy the holidays and if you have traditions then make time for them.  

Day 11: Last-Minute Trips
Take a day to tie up any loose ends that need to get done, but you haven't found the time to do it. Create a list on a wipe-down white board and keep a running of list. Take a day to just complete them. 

Day 12: Enjoy!
Take the time to spend with those that matter the most and enjoy all your organizational efforts and hard work!

Good organization skills during the holidays can free up must needed time and help you manage holiday stress. The holiday season is also a great time to rent an apartment and staying organized during your apartment search is just as essential. Let us help you in your apartment search and make the holidays that much more stress-free for you! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

San Antonio Under Construction

Over the past several years it has become customary to see big construction cranes throughout the Alamo City from the numerous multi-family development projects. With more construction projects breaking ground this quarter versus last, it is apparent that even though 2015 is winding down the multi-family development in San Antonio is in full force.

The percentage of Americans owning homes has taken a plunge to some of the lowest numbers seen in the past five decades. We can only speculate the reasons for the plunge in homeownership, but what is clear is how it has unequivocally impacted the rental industry.

New Multi-Family Construction by Submarket

With high occupancy rates remaining stable and the influx in new units on the market, San Antonia’s have proven their preference in renting. Economic momentum remains positive and therefore developers continue to meet a need in the rental industry. Several submarkets experiencing this apartment development boom include the Far Northwest, Southwest, Far West, North Central 2, and Central sectors of San Antonio. 

Far Northwest
The success of La Cantera Mall and The Rim Shopping Center has created a desirable place to live in this part of town. Developers quickly have capitalized and over 75% of multi-family construction that broke ground this quarter will be built in this sector of San Antonio. 

There is a phenomenal growth of multi-family development with military families relocating to Lackland Airforce Base regularly and the increasing student attendance at Palo Alto College. This quarter approximately 17% of multi-family construction that broke ground is located in this sector of town, which will potentially upon completion be adding more than 300 units to the area. 

Far West
Today we can say that 5% of apartment construction that is currently in-progress falls in this section once sparsely populated part of town. Business developments such as Northwest Vista College continue to see an increase in enrollment and therefore demands for apartments should remain on par in this section of San Antonio. 

North Central 2
This submarket is quickly becoming one of the busiest in the city. It is a little more classy and upscale mainly due to local communities such as Stone Oak and Sonterra. Developers have tapped into the upscale nature and approximately 7% of current multi-family construction is concentrated in this stretch of the city.

Central San Antonio is transforming. It is an urban district that houses parks, businesses and downtown livable space. The population has flocked to these parts of town because of the work-and-play communities that have sprung up. It is no wonder that almost 6% of continued multi-family construction is currently focused in this sector of the city. 

Multi-family development in San Antonio remains stronger than ever. With more and more apartment communities emerging all over the city it is even more important that you let an expert help you find your next home. Our licensed Apartment Locators are familiar with the city's apartment rental inventory and can help guide you through the process. Give us a call and let us help you find your next home!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Guide to A Clutter-Free Apartment

Cutting the clutter out of your apartment you will help highlight what matters most to you. Whether you need more space in your apartment or just want to eliminate the chaos, this simple four-step process will help you lessen the clutter and lead a better life.

The thought of organizing your entire life belongings may seem just a little overwhelming at first. Start the process by convincing yourself that what you own already is enough, and then draw up a plan of how you are going to attack your apartment chaos. Decide ahead of time whether you will dedicate 1 hour or 1 day to eliminating the clutter from your apartment. Don’t try to be superman and finish everything all at once. That will only leave you feeling like you want to quit without completing the job you have set out to do.  

Be selective about the items that fill up your space. In this next phase, make a mental list of what items are current and useful to your life and then begin paring down the number of things you own. Make sure to set aside an area in your apartment where you can begin to set aside items you are going to donate/sell from those that are going to be tossed out with the trash.

It’s not always easy to start off, so here are a couple simple tasks to think about as you comb through each room in your apartment.

  • Only put items on your counter tops that get regular use
  • Get rid of duplicate kitchen appliances that you have never used before
  • Empty your junk drawer, often
  • Read your mail as soon as you get it and file important documents in their proper place
  • Purge old cleaning products because they lose their potency if stored for extreme periods
  • Remove old cookware or un-used cookware items
  • Eliminate anything that is broken and not working
Office Nook:
  • Go Electronic! Scan old photos or important paperwork and reduce the paper clutter from your life
  • Clean out your file cabinet and only keep relevant material 
  • Remove programs or files you don’t use anymore on your computer or Ipad
  • Clean out desk drawers and only keep items that used often
  • Make room in the desk for your items and keep the top of your desk clear 
  • Get rid of old electronics you do not use anymore along with their cords and manuals. If you don't use it anymore, lose it!
  • Organize your clothing by seasons and purge items you do not use/fit into 
  • Use it or lose it when it comes to your shoes
  • Keep extra linens and blankets to a minimum
  • All items on your nightstand/dresser should have daily importance in your life
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet and toss out all expired prescriptions
  • Organize drawers so you can clear the countertop or sink
  • Monthly clean out your makeup bag/drawer to avoid bacteria contamination
  • Out of sight is out of mind so use baskets/bins to organize toiletry items under the sink

Once you have purged then your next step is organization. Set up a simple storage solution in key areas of your apartment to help you keep your apartment clutter-free always. Check out our Pinterest board for some easy apartment-friendly solutions. 

Clutter is known to only attract more clutter, and when what you need is space then you must learn how to manage the clutter. Dedicating just 10 minutes a day will help keep the clutter away! Clutter has a way of trying to re-enter into your life, so consider implementing a system for maintaining order in your apartment. We are all tempted at one time or another to just leave the mess until next time, but you must decide now that you will keep up with it. You will be rewarded with a pleasing living environment and a lot less chaos in your life, trust me.

If after you cut the clutter out of your apartment you discover that what matters to you the most is renting a smaller apartment or even an apartment with more storage space then let us help! We will eliminate all the chaos that can come with the apartment search process, leaving you more time to focus on selecting what items should be filling up your livable space.