Friday, January 29, 2016

Organize Your Small Kitchen Minus A Pantry

A small kitchen can be frustrating, but organizing a small kitchen with no pantry can be even tougher. Here are a couple tricks and tips to help you make the most of your kitchen space, while keeping your counter space clutter-free!

Tip: Maximize Your Fridge Space
Organize your fridge space so that you can also store dry goods in any extra space. Items like flour, sugar, or spices can be refrigerated and you soon will become accustomed to the cold flour.

Tip: Use Your Vertical Space
Hang items on the walls to help you with your organizational efforts in the kitchen. Try hanging a spice rack or putting up a pot rack. Make the space decorative and useful at the same time.

Tip: Minimize Appliances
Identify which kitchen appliances you use the least and then find a home for them out of the kitchen. Only those with high priority should remain in the kitchen. Invest in appliances that serve a dual purpose such as a toaster oven or food processor/blender.

Tip: Do Not Over Buy On Groceries
Do not buy what you do not need. Remember you will have to find a place to store it when you get home. Also, think of unlikely storage places in your apartment, such as in a coat closet, to store any non-perishables that do not fit in the kitchen.

Check out some of our favorite space saving kitchen ideas that are sure to help you make the most of the space in your apartment kitchen! 

What tips have worked for you in getting the most out of your limited space? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Just because you are limited on kitchen space does not mean your kitchen cannot be organized or clutter-free. Our apartment finders are experts in working with renters who would like a more spacious kitchen. If you are looking to save money in your next apartment rental then contact our apartment finders, and let them help find you the perfect size apartment for your budget!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Climbing Multi-Family Market In San Antonio

San Antonio might not have the energy industry of Houston or be the music capital of Austin, but it does have over one million people calling it home and that has to stand for something. More and more people are starting to take notice of the perks to live, work, and play in the Alamo City, which is clearly reflected in San Antonio's fast-growing multi-family market.

San Antonio is H-O-T right now! Not only did the Alamo City recently secured a pro soccer team, but it was also featured by Budget Travel as a top vacation destination in 2016. Freshly identified as a ‘city of the future’, Forbes boldly declared San Antonio as one of America’s next boom towns. 

As the seventh fastest growing city in the nation, the Alamo City already has over 30,000 new jobs projected for 2016. It is evident that companies come to San Antonio to do business because of its affordability. Developers have begun to capitalize and are building more multi-family development to meet the city's housing needs. Even though the Alamo City is known for their low cost of living, San Antonians have proven they still prefer to rent. 

Recognized in the top 20 real estate markets to watch in 2016, San Antonio has exhibited a low unemployment rate and low cost of living creating a steady growth in the city. Even as rental prices go on the rise, topping over $1,000 in several submarkets, the multifamily market continues to grow in strides. With over 5,000 new apartment units completed in 2015 and another 10,000 projected in 2016, San Antonians still prefer to rent and have proved that they are will pay more for in-unit amenities.  All in all, a clear indicator of what to expect as we enter 2016. 

San Antonio provides no shortage of places to rent when it comes to choosing where to live. Our apartment finders are familiar with the city’s apartment rental inventory and can help guide you through the entire apartment search process. Give us a call and let us help you find your next home!

Friday, January 22, 2016

What Nobody Tells You About Decorating A Small Space

Smaller apartments have their benefits, lower rent and coziness, but they also lack in space and therefore many renters find it challenging to decorate. Just because you rent a tiny apartment does not mean you have to sacrifice style and decor. Utilize these simple decorating tips to help you maximize square footage while making the most of the space you call "home sweet home". 

Define the space around you.
Get creative with your space, but make sure that everything you have has more than one purpose in your apartment. For example utilize an area rug to separate one big room into a smaller space, while also using it to cover up unattractive flooring. Only use pieces of furniture that are easy to rearrange like an everything tray, which can serve dual purposes.  Flexibility is key in a tiny apartment!

Think up and not out.
Add some character to your walls and hang up shelving or artwork. Sneak in some storage with an organizational system to keep a room from becoming overly cluttered. Utilize the vertical space in your apartment, and avoid overcrowding a room with extra furniture. Renting a tiny apartment does not mean you cannot do it all with style so add your flare!

Don't overlook the nooks and crannies.
Rethink those spaces that go unused. Think about adding shelves over doorways, or placing hanging racks on the back of doors. Make the lack of space work for your needs, and don't hold yourself to the traditional home.

Keep the room light and bright.
Softer colors reflect light, and that will help make a small space feel less cramped. Allow as much natural light as you can to enter the apartment, and do not opt to cover up your windows with curtains. Sprinkle color all throughout the room and do not be scared to go bold; metallics work great in any room. Remember your space is a reflection of your style so use colors and patterns that you love - no matter how small the space!

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

Our apartment finders are experts in decorating small spaces. Contact us and let us help you find the right apartment in your budget and size to call home!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What Does Utilities Included Actually Mean

One of your highest monthly costs when leasing an apartment is usually the rent. It is also not the only bill associated with renting. With the rising costs in today’s economy, it is always important to find ways to save money. Sometimes apartments where utilities are included are especially appealing to renters on a budget. If you are on the hunt for a new apartment, then it is important you understand what utilities included actually means for you as a renter.

UTILITIES INCLUDED: Another term for all bills paid. It means all or most utilities are included in the rent. If an apartment advertises “all bills paid” or “utilities included” then it means that utilities such as water, sewer, trash, and electricity are included with the rent (but it doesn’t not mean they are all included). 

A “utilities included” apartment usually means that there is only one bill for you as a renter. Your utilities such as water, sewer, trash, and electricity are not paid to a utility company, but to your landlord with your rent. In a utilities included apartment you will not be required to set up utilities with the various service providers. This can be a beneficial to you if you have any unresolved issues with your current utility service providers.

Your lease agreement will detail which utilities are going to be included in the rent. Traditionally garbage and water are included, but this is not always the case. Remember that utilities such as Internet, cable tv, and phone are not always included in the utilities included statement. Every apartment complex is different!

There are pros and cons to renting a utilities included apartment, and it is ultimately up to you to decide what makes financial sense for you. Here are a few:

  • Easier to budget since you know what your exact rent payment is every month.
  • One bill! There is less of a chance that you will forget to write the check.
  • Traditionally, older apartments offer utilities included.
  • There are fewer and fewer “utilities included” apartment communities and therefore sometimes difficult to find a unit in one.
What’s is your thought on apartments that cover all your utilities? We’d love you to comment in the section below!

Our apartment finders have a list of all the “utilities included” apartments in San Antonio to help you make the right decision.  Give us a call and let us help find you the right apartment to call home!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Best Family-Friendly San Antonio Suburbs

Finding the right apartment for you and your family can be very challenging, especially in a large city. The search criteria entails so much more when renting with children, and your list of must-haves are suddenly non-negotiable. If you have been thinking about renting an apartment for your family in San Antonio then check out this list of top ranked family-friendly areas in San Antonio, and see why they are attracting young families.

Two major roadways are easily accessible through the northeast area of San Antonio, Highway 281 and Loop 410. Areas like Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, and Olmos Park are located northeast, which also happens to be just a few miles from downtown San Antonio. Whether you like going to the DoSeum, Kiddie Park, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Witte Museum or the San Antonio Zoo, you do not have to go far if you live in this area of town. With a local business district, you do not have to go far to grocery shop and there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants.

Far Northwest
Two major roadways pass through the Far Northwest part of San Antonio, Loop 1604 and Interstate 10, which makes this area of town every desirable to commuters. What started as vast land owned by oil tycoon Ralph Fair has quickly been tapped into by apartment developers, and it has exploded with tons of new multi-family development. Apartment communities in this area have tons of amenities and recreation centers leaving tons of fun for the family. Only a couple miles away from Boerne, communities like Fair Oaks Ranch are nested in the middle of the far northwest area. Students attend Boerne ISD, and are known to have one of the highest high school graduation rates. You do not even feel like you are about to enter the Texas Hill Country with downtown only a short 15 miles away, and Fiesta Texas in such close proximity.

Situated in between Interstate 10 and 35, Seguin lies approximately 15 miles east of the San Antonio metropolitan area. Due to the close proximity to a military base, areas like Cibolo, have begun to thrive in multi-family development. Once ranked as one of the happiest places to live, Cibolo can be found next door to their sister city Universal City. Attractions like Schlitterbahn and the Natural Bridge Caverns are not far from this area of town, and usually a staple during the Texas summers. With lots of family-friendly parks and excellent high school graduation rates, you couldn't ask for more in an area.

Are you looking for an apartment in a suburb of San Antonio that has good schools and a safe community? Our apartment finders work daily with families to help them find the perfect apartment - for every member in their family - that is located in a great neighborhood to live and play.  Contact us and let us help find the best possible place for your family!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Decor Ideas: Essential Items For A First-Time Renter

Congratulations! You have rented your first apartment. Now comes the task of decorating your newly leased apartment with your personal belongings. At this time you probably do not own all the furniture and items you need to fill up your apartment, but there are a few essentials you just should not live without. As you settle into your new home you will need more things. In the meantime check items off this first-time renter decor checklist, and get by your first year with the minimum.

Bedroom Necessities

It is extremely important that you get the proper rest, and that your bedroom is decorated as your sanctuary. Here is a list of items you absolutely need to include in your bedroom so that you can escape every night and unwind.
  • Bed: If you have a headboard and frame then great. If not, a mattress or air mattress will do just fine. It is vital to your health that you get a good night rest so make sure you have something to sleep on at night (besides the floor).  Invest in a good mattress, you will use it every night!
  • Bedding: Make your bed as inviting as possible. You need to have a pillows, a sheet set, and a blanket for your mattress.  
  • Lamp: Purchase at least one small lamp and move it around your apartment as needed. The extra lighting always comes in handy when trying to set the ambiance in your home.
  • Mirror: You will want to purchase a mirror for your first apartment. It will help the illusion of more space and it will brighten up your home. If you can afford you should place one in every room.
  • Curtains: You will need a set of curtains for privacy, but also for decor. Make sure to remain neutral in color, but not texture. 
  • Framed Art: Since you probably cannot paint the walls in your rental, framed art will add some color and visual interest to your room while helping keep expenses down. 
Bathroom Necessities
Your life just would not the be same without this simple list of bathroom essentials.
  • Towels: You do not need many, but you need to supply yourself with plenty of each size. The softer the better!
  • Candles: They will help create a spa -like atmosphere, as well as help mask bathroom odor.
  • Shower Curtain & Bath Mat: Here is a great way to add some color to the room, and absolutely essential decor items in a bathroom
  • Stylish Storage: Bathrooms usually do not have much storage space. Get rid of the cardboard boxes and into something more stylish like straw baskets. They can store everything from toilet paper to magazines to laundry, plus they make it look better!
  • Personal hygiene products: Because you NEED them! Do not just line them up, but be sure to consider the presentation of these items in your bathroom. Some of those bottles and containers are lovely to look at and can be placed in a decorative manner.
Kitchen Necessities
Eating out can put a big hole in your wallet, and sometimes as a first-time renter you are just getting adjusted to budgeting. Make sure you have all the necessities to cook at home.  Here is a list of decorative items you absolutely should stock in your kitchen.
  • Towels/Sponge: Sure you need this stuff to clean up any mess, but this is a great way to bring some color into your kitchen
  • Pans: You should purchase a simple set of pans so that you can cook your meals at home. Buy a set with color handles and use the colorful pans as decor on your kitchen stove, or simply use a colorful tea kettle.
  • Silverware: Buy a decorative container and place your silverware in it for decor. You do not need to fill up your counters with items you will absolutely never use, instead use your kitchen essentials as decor.
  • Tray: Get yourself an "everything" tray. You can use it to eat on if you do not own a kitchen table or have a bar top in your apartment. It can even serve as a mini bar when you have guests over and a nightstand in your bedroom at night. This is an essential decor item every first-time renter should own!
  • Trashcan: You will need a place to pile up your trash so why not make it a nice one! You will use it everyday and it will probably sit in eye sight so make sure it isn't an eye soar.
Renting an apartment for the first-time can be exciting, yet also very stressful if you are not familiar with the time-sensitive process. Our apartment finders can help make the search process easier on you. They work daily with first-time renters to help them secure the best apartment for their budget! Call them today!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

When Do You Need An Apartment Co-Signer?

You have found the perfect apartment, and are now ready to seal the deal. Before doing so, here is some information to help you determine whether you will need a co-signer to help secure your next apartment. 

Who is a co-signer?
A co-signer appears on the lease agreement with you, but is not expected to reside with you as a roommate in the apartment. They typically do not live with you, but are fully liable for the lease. A co-signer is a third party, with a favorable credit rating, who is responsible to pay the rent if you are unable.

Why someone uses a co-signer?
Using a co-signer might not be an ideal situation, but there are some benefits for the renter. For example, if you cannot qualify for the lease on your own then a co-signer can help strengthen your chances. Every landlord develops their own renter selection criteria and if you are not approved you might be asked to get a co-signer. Using one does not mean that you cannot pay your rent or will not pay on time, it just means your landlord does not know. First-time renters often find themselves needing a co-signer, and so do renters with limited credit or poor credit ratings.

What can you do if you do not have a co-signer?
Apartment finders are experts in working with customers who do not have access to a co-signer. It might be difficult, but there is an approach to the situation. You might be asked to put a larger security deposit, or look for a more affordable unit. Either way, an apartment finder will work for you and help you put your best foot forward as a rental candidate.

 All of our apartment finders are knowledgeable with the right questions to ask before you sign you lease.  Contact us today, and let us help you determine if you need an apartment co-signer.

Small Space Living With Kids

In a hectic world trying to get a hold on your home can feel like a overwhelming project, especially if you have children. Banish your apartment clutter, and get the whole family organized this year with these three simple tips - no matter how small the home!

Make it kid friendly
Children are full of energy and they will find a way to get into everything, so prepare your home for it. Set up your apartment so that it is kid friendly, and have fun doing it. For example, buy dark furniture to hide any accidental stains and spills.  If you have younger children then try adding a chalkboard wall, and have them write on that versus the walls. Create a space for them on your patio or balcony with outdoor toys so they can play. Even in a small apartment, you can still create space that is kid friendly.

Build it slowly
Build organization into your home slowly so that you can remain present with your children. Your entire apartment is not going to get organized in one day, nor is it going to look like those in the catalogs. Create a daily routine for the whole family, and do not set high expectations. Begin room by room and take it day by day. Eliminate items you do not need first, then figure how you will organize and put away what you are keeping. As long as you start to eliminate the chaos and clutter and you are happy, then you are on the right track! 

Everything has a place
If you live in an apartment with kids, then you should definitely manage what comes in and out of your home since your space is limited. Organize a main place in your home to house everyday items such as shoes, coats, and bags. Your apartment life will be so much easier if you make sure that all the children's items have a place to call home. Whether it is toys, art supplies, or video games; use baskets and shelves to help you organize the clutter. If you are short on closet space and don't have an extra room dedicated to the kid, purchase an organizer and make clean up a whole lot easier. Create smart tricks to help keep your kids items organized.  Make sure to check out our Pinterest board for more kid-friendly organizational ideas.

Make it a family affair
Taking part in chores is a tradition in many families. It helps teach your kids about responsibility while teaching a great lesson. Have a family plan for household organizational tasks. Children love to be included, and this is a great way to get your kids involved in the process. It is good for them to become fully aware of what they own and where it goes in their home. I think you’ll be surprised just how much help the kiddos can be in organizing their own stuff!

Need more small space ideas? Check out how to Make Every Inch Count in a smaller apartment.

Need to find an apartment that is perfect for every member in your family? Our apartment finders work daily with families to help them secure the best home for your budget. Contact us today!