Thursday, March 31, 2016

How Your Apartment Rent Is Calculated

Knowing what you are seeking in an apartment is the easy part of the search process. Finding one in your budget and location is where it can get a bit more complicated. Before you start contemplating your rental possibilities, you should first know how your apartment rent is calculated.
For over a decade, landlords would set a price every Monday morning for each individual floor plan in their community and that is how rent was set. As the demand for rental housing has increased over time, it has become necessary for landlords to utilize more complex pricing models. While some of the smaller apartment communities still calculate rent using more traditional models, an increasing number of landlords and property management companies now use a more methodical electronic approach.
The Revenue Management System
Today, it has become a lot more common for multifamily landlords and property management companies to utilize a software program, like YieldStar, to calculate the rent rate in their communities. This systematic process is complex and highly customizable, helping landlords maximize revenue on every apartment unit, every lease term, and every move-in date, for 365 days a year. In the most basic form the landlord inputs information about each unit, such as the number of bedrooms and square footage, and the software program establishes the rent. It weighs external factors into the equation such as occupancy, competitors’ rates, market conditions, and trends to calculate the best possible daily rate.
Advantages to Renters
Renters also benefit from a software program calculating their rent rate because it creates flexibility to meet each tenant’s individual unique rental needs. Making it easier to offer a variety of options in pricing based on their move-in date and length of lease, without the risk of over pricing. It manages lease renewals and expirations on a daily basis, and provides a flexible and fair housing rate to tenants. The software program allows leasing agents to focus on delivering excellent customer service, while eliminating subjectivity and human bias.
Rent rates are often calculated on a day-to-day basis, sometimes creating confusion about how your rent rate is determined.  Our apartment finders can help eliminate any confusion about the complex and time-sensitive pricing process. They are up-to-date on inventory levels, often the first to hear about price decreases, and have access to many unadvertised specials. Leverage an expert in your local multi-housing market to help you secure the best rent rate for your budget.

*A version of this article previously appeared on Angie's List.

Friday, March 25, 2016

How to Keep an Apartment Clean with Roommates

Have you thought about how you and your roommates will keep the common areas of your apartment clean and tidy? One of the biggest issues with apartment living with roommates is making sure everyone does their part before things get messy! Organizing chores between roommates is one of the biggest challenges of living with people. Here’s a 4 step process to help you divide up chores between roommates and ultimately keep your apartment clean.

Step 1: Communicate with all your roommates
You must talk it out with your roommates. Decide, with your roommates, what apartment chores need to happen and how often.

Step 2: Set expectations
Establish your definition of what clean means. Make sure everyone knows what light cleaning means and what deep cleaning entails. Discuss what cleaning products will be needed to keep the common areas clean and how often they need to be purchased.

Step 3: Post the chore schedule
It is important to hold everyone accountable. Post a chore wheel or schedule in a common area of the apartment for everyone to see. If you are worried about roommates not following the chore schedule then set up a penalty system. Perhaps if a roommate that misses their chores repeatedly has to pay for a dinner? Get creative.

Need some examples of chore charts then check out our Pinterest board Chores.

Step 4: Give feedback
It is important that you continue communicating with your roommates. If something is not working for you then let your roommates know so that you can make adjustments. It will make your living situation so much better if everyone is happy!

How do you and your roommates organize your chores? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below or on our Facebook.

Whether you live with your fellow renters to help with rent, live in a larger space, or just for the company our licensed apartment locators are experts in helping roommates find a place they would ALL love to call home. Give us a call and let our apartment finders help you find the next place you call home.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Top 4 Signs You Should Rent An Apartment

Homeownership is not for everyone, and we believe that you should do what makes financial sense for you. While owning a home offers some advantages, renting is a sweet deal too!  If you’ve found yourself in a rent versus buy struggle then here are a few questions to help you in the decision making process. Answer yes to any of them and take it as a sign that maybe you are not ready for homeownership and are better off renting --for now!

1. Do you have a hard time saving money?
If you are not ready to write the big fat down payment check then chances are you are not ready for homeownership. There are a lot of costs associated with buying a house and therefore you must be financially prepared. An apartment security deposit can be more affordable than a down payment on a house.

2. Does your life needs flexibility?
Experts recommend that you buy a house if you are not going to move for several years. If you are not sure about the location of your job or what’s next for your future, then it might be a sign to stay clear of buying right now. Buying a house is a long term commitment, while renting has fewer strings attached.

3. Do you have shaky credit?
If you are working on building up your credit score or still have a substantial amount of debt that you are trying to pay off then buying a house right now might not be for you. When you apply for a home loan the bank will review all of your financials and use it to determine your mortgage conditions and interest rate. While it might be difficult to rent an apartment with bad credit, it isn't impossible. A licensed apartment locator can guide you and make the process as smooth as possible.

4. Do you need a hassle-free life?
If you do not like to deal with maintenance then homeownership might not be for you. In an apartment the landlord takes care of any repairs, but with homeownership comes a lot of responsibilities. You must be financially prepared to pay for house improvements, repairs, taxes, and insurance. Owning a house will bring added expenses that renting an apartment does not.

Whether you are interested in renting or buying a home our agents can help. All of our experts are knowledgeable with the tools needed to help you find the perfect place to live in San Antonio - whether buying a house or renting an apartment!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How to Fit an Eat-In Area into a Small Kitchen

You don't need a traditional dining room in your apartment to have nice dining. Living in an apartment without a separate dining room is a reality for many renters. If you've found yourself faced with creating an eat in area in your small apartment kitchen, here are three space saving ideas to help it fit as seamless as possible.

1. Add A Breakfast Bar
When a full size table just isn’t an option due to space, adding a bar to your kitchen is a great way to create a dining area in your apartment. It can be as simple as a couple bar stools, a few brackets, and a piece of shelving. Here are some of our favorites.
Source: StyleMePretty
Source: HGTV
2. Use A Dual Purpose Counter
For those teeny tiny kitchens it is vital that you utilize every inch.We recommend using furniture that has multiple functions. Here are a couple of examples.
Source: Homedit
Source: HouseBeautiful
3. The Cafe Combo
Adding a bistro set or efficiency set to your kitchen when there isn’t ample seating is the perfect dining addition for any kitchen. Check out some of our ideas.
Source:Skona Hem
Source: StyleatHome
4. Go Round
A round table can usually seat more people than a rectangular one and it is easier to push into tight corners. Go for armless chairs and save yourself a little more room.
Source: Decoist
Source: GlitterGuide

Even a tiny dining room can serve up big style! Our apartment finders are experts in helping renters find an apartment that serves up their style. Contact us today and let us help you find your next home!

The Big Benefits to Renting a Tiny Apartment

There is a love affair going on with tiny houses, and the small space living trend just keeps growing. The phenomenon is sweeping across America with shows like Tiny House, Big Living, Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunter growing in popularity, and sites like Pinterest housing over 900 boards on tiny houses alone. 

With all the craze in tiny houses we thought it was only fair that we also shine a spotlight on tiny apartments. Here are 6 big benefits that a tiny apartment and tiny house both share, just incase you are interested in jumping into the tiny living movement as a renter.

Both tiny houses and tiny apartments share the same mortgage free advantage. Living "tiny" will lower your monthly housing costs versus a traditional home mortgage - saving you money!

Most tiny houses are built on a trailer giving owners the opportunity to relocate fairly quickly. Renting a tiny apartment also gives you the same no strings attached flexibility, of course once your lease is up. 

Both a tiny apartment and tiny house do not have much space, leaving you the opportunity to get creative with furniture and decorating. Not only does it cost less to decorate a small space, but both a tiny apartment and tiny house let you see just how little you actually need.

Tiny apartments and tiny houses both take less time to clean. Less space to get dirty means less time you will spend cleaning floors. Leaving you free to do more with your precious time!

Less room for clutter, more opportunity for organization. There simply isn’t the room in a small space so you must reduce the clutter, and only keep the stuff you absolutely love. In both a tiny apartment and tiny house you will have to minimize your belongings and learn how to organize what you keep. 

When your home is small it does not cost much to run it. Tiny apartments much like tiny houses do not take much to heat and cool, leaving you with a "tiny" utility bill. 

If you are inspired to live the tiny living movement then our experts can help! Our apartment finders work daily with renters who are interested in the tiny apartment way of life. Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect place to call home - no matter the size!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Are Millennials So Attracted To San Antonio?

San Antonio has worked hard to develop its urban lifestyle (minus a big price tag) which has become an appealing factor to many millennials. While they have been priced out of some U.S. cities, that simply isn't the case in San Antonio. The Alamo City experienced over a 9% population increase in millennials alone, which is why it's no surprise that it was recognized as one of the best mid-sized cities for millennials.

Why San Antonio? Well it is simple.

1. It is cheaper to live here.
The cost of living in San Antonio ranks among some of the lowest. Leaving millennials to feast a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. 

2. The strong job market
The excellent business climate in San Antonio has drawn thousands of new jobs to the city with another 30,000 projected for 2016. San Antonio has a very attractive job market and consistently low unemployment rate.

3. The affordable rent rates

Renting is the new black! Homeownership across multiple groups is down in the last decade, and many millennials have chosen to rent over a mortgage. Renting a one bedroom in San Antonio will cost you around $900, which is relatively low compared to our sister cities where the median starts at $1,300.

4.  You can find a college or university in every area of the city
Whether it is the goal of heading back to college or looking for a new career field, San Antonio makes it easy for millennials to do it.  Today you can find a community college or major university in every area of the Alamo City.

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 search process in a snap. Give us a call, tweet, or email and let us help you find your next home!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

What It Is Really Like To Decorate A Tiny Apartment

We’ve all seen the crazy lately with tiny houses and while they are charming and all there are still many individuals who find it challenging to decorate such a tight space. If you are thinking about jumping on board the tiny living movement,downsizing your apartment, or renting a studio apartment here are our top three small space decorating woes and how you can combat them.  

Not Enough Rooms
One of the issues renters encounter the most when downsizing is that they no longer have this or that room; therefore creating a hodgepodge of decor items. When decorating a small apartment you need to set two goals - be creative and get organized. If you don't love it then don't keep it. Start thinking out of the box by either playing with the existing floor plan, or try to mix-match your decor items. Nobody says your kitchen cannot also double as your office or that your office cannot be in the closet. Here are a few decorating ideas that incorporate multi-purpose furniture that can help you create a multiple room situation.   

Lack of Storage 
Teeny-tiny apartments can lack in storage space, but that does not mean you have to live out of boxes. Take advantage of every inch in your apartment by using corners and vertical space. Here are some creative ways to add storage to any small apartment while also dressing up the space.

Too Cramped
Small apartments tend to have a small and cozy feeling, but once you bring in all your furniture it might begin to feel a little cramped. Try adding a mirror or two or three! Not only does a mirror add the illusion of more space and depth to a room, but it can also help brighten up the small space.
Source: DesignSponge

We feel that no matter the size of the space every apartment is worth decorating. Our apartment finders work daily with renters who are interested in living in a small apartment. Contact us today and let our experts help find you the perfect place to call home!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Avoid A Bad Move: Essential Questions To Ask During Your Apartment Search

Locating the right apartment can be exhausting, and if you do not know the right questions to ask it can also be costly. Ignoring some of those important questions you should be asking about your future home will leave you in a less than ideal living situation down the road. Here are the top questions to consider in your next apartment hunt, so that you get the most value for your money.
What are the lease terms?
Before you fall in love with a space make sure you know the important terms of the lease such as the monthly rent payment, and the lease start and end date. Pay close attention to the date rent is due, and additional fees accrued for late payments. Once you sign the lease you are legally obligated, so make sure you understand all of the conditions and terms.
Make sure you ask the following questions when it comes to your lease:  
  • Am I allowed to modify my apartment?
  • Are there any roommate restrictions?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is there a penalty for breaking my lease?
  • Am I required to purchase renters insurance?
  • Is there a cost associated with parking?
What are all the move-in fees?
Every apartment community handles fees differently, so make sure you know what moving in will look like for you. Most landlords will require an application fee or processing fee, and likely a security deposit to obtain an apartment. Once approved, they will sometimes also require first and last month's rent. Make sure you have an idea of what you will be expected to pay on the day you sign your lease.
What is included in my rent and what is not?
Obviously, the cost of the space is a deciding factor in your new home, but it is also important to know what is covered by your rent payment. Some apartment communities include trash and utilities, while others do not. Make sure you know all monthly costs associated with renting so that you do not end up surprised!
Knowing these answers will make it easier for you to get a clearer picture into your potential apartment community. Other questions to ask your potential landlord include:
·      Is there 24 Hour Emergency Maintenance?
·      Is there security on-site?
·      Do I have access to a gym?
·      Are there communal space hours?
Apartment searches are time-sensitive and can be overwhelming, but you do not have to do it alone. Working with a licensed apartment locator can help you avoid making a bad move. They are knowledgeable with the right questions to help guide your search, while also helping you save you time and money in the process. Give our experts a call!

A version of this article was featured on Angie's List.