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    How to Turn an Apartment Living Room into a Bedroom

    January 24, 2022 at 12:41 pm · · 0 comments

    How to Turn an Apartment Living Room into a Bedroom

    Apartments are a great living option, but they might not always cater to your needs. Many young couples, small families, and individuals opt for apartment living due to financial reasons. Some may also go for apartments due to their convenient location, safety factors, and overall manageability.

    Of course, there are a few glaring downsides to living in an apartment, with the relatively limited floor space is probably at the top of that list. Apartment dwellers, especially those with a studio apartment, usually have to make do with a small space. Still, there is an ongoing trend of living small, which means making the most of whatever space we have.

    Can We Extend the Living Space in an Apartment? 

    The small spaces in an apartment may not leave much wiggle room, but it’s amazing how much you can tweak to maximize space in an apartment. Some places might consist of just one room, while others may not allow for many furniture pieces. Apartment dwellers usually have to look for ways to save space.

    While storage units and practical home decor can go a long way, why not transform your living room into a whole new bedroom? A living room space is usually large, but it may not always be of use. Plus, turning that room into a bedroom could help you accommodate everyone much more easily.

    How to Turn an Apartment Living Room into a Bedroom

    The living room space of your apartment can be both a bedroom and living room. It might be possible to create separation using a temporary half wall or room divider. However, the outcome might end up looking a bit cluttered if there isn’t some careful planning beforehand.

    Sea view bedroom and living room in luxury beach house, Modern interior of vacation home

    First-time apartment renters may have to start getting creative, but they might be surprised as to what their space could hold! In lieu of hiring an interior designer, here are some tips on getting a whole bedroom out of that small space!

    1. Envision What You Want with the Living Space

    Before breaking out the room dividers or turning any room into a bedroom, stay realistic and envision the required result first. It’s all very well to imagine a giant projection screen in your living room with a load of throw pillows and plenty of snacks, however this is the time to get practical and actually work out what you need for the living room and why.

    Consider the Square Footage You’re Working with

    The area of your living room is the most important factor here. How much square footage do you need for an apartment bedroom? Do you have enough space for a standard twin style bed or will you have to spring for a built-in trundle bed?

    Make a list of all your priorities, such as do you need a home office? Do you need space for your workout equipment? Will there be enough room to have company over if required?

    Your living room can hopefully work for any kind of lifestyle, but planning is essential. Of course, you also want to make sure not to have any changes that might cause problems with what is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment.

    Consider the Intended Layout of the Living Room

    You might be able to do with a living room in the daytime, only converting it to a bedroom in the evening. On the other hand, it may also be possible to combine the bedroom and living room. This way, you can stick with the layout and establish a routine around it. The better choice will depend upon your requirements, lifestyle, and need for either type of room.

    Spacious living room with modern decor

    Consider your Intended Budget

    When you’ve made the decision to have a certain layout and know how much square footage you have, start planning the budget. The change may not cost much at all, but it does help to have a certain amount set aside for room dividers, a wall bed, or some paint to separate one part of the living room for your sleep.

    2. Maximize Your Natural Light

    You don’t want the living room to seem stuffy or cramped. Along with trying to go as minimalistic as possible, it’s good to have the maximum amount of outside light. You don’t necessarily need huge windows for this. Here are some simple steps to start with:

    • Do away with heavy, dark curtains or other draperies that can make the space seem gloomy
    • Go for light curtains or blinds to let the sunshine in and lend an airy look to the whole room
    • Consider having glass or mirror dividers between the living and sleeping areas
    • Make sure that no room divider blocks any area from getting at least some natural light

    3. Go for Light Colors Whenever Possible 

    A light, refreshing color will liven up any space. Since you’re in a small living space, go with what the professionals advise and choose pastel colors for the walls and ceiling. It’s also better to choose the same shade for the whole living room. You may, though, want to have a different color to set a certain space apart.

    Green futon in modern bedroom

    Yellow, light blue, light gray, beige, and white are all good options for making a multifunctional space. They might seem a bit boring at first, but that’s where your designing and detailing come in.

    Choose home decor that showcases your style and taste; hang up colorful rugs from your travels, display your favorite books, etc. There’s nothing like a touch of one’s unique personality to make any living room both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

    4. Change It Up Using Room Dividers

    A room divider will instantly turn that living room into two separate spaces. There are several combinations and choices to work with, so take your time and consider them. Some of these may include:

    • Glass sliding doors for a modern look that won’t compromise on light or space
    • Short bookshelves to have a semi-private space that you can also use as a bedside table
    • Tall bookshelves for proper separation as well as storage area
    • Print screens for saving space and adding an artistic touch to the living room or bedroom
    • Drapes that hang from floor to ceiling; you can choose different designs according to the required theme
    • Sliding doors with curtains on them for proper concealment
    The Modern interior

    No matter what divider you choose, make sure to minimize clutter as much as possible. If you want to make some more permanent changes, ensure that the laws for renters in your state allow for it.

    5. Choose Multi-Purpose Furniture

    Since your living room is now performing a double-duty, it’s wise to invest in furniture that will do the same. There are several pieces of multifunctional furniture on the market now. You can also get customized pieces for any specific needs. Just a few examples of these include:

    • Drop-leaf dining tables or coffee tables
    • A sofa cum bed
    • An inbuilt full-size trundle bed
    • A room divider that also acts as storage space, a whiteboard, or plant organizer

    6. Designate a Relaxing Spot

    It’s essential to have a designated sleeping place in order to get proper and healing rest each day. Ideally, you should have such a place in your apartment as well.

    Even if you have a Murphy bed that goes into the wall during the day, an arranged daybed style on the floor could be good enough for an afternoon nap. Here are just a few bed and bedroom styles to consider:

    Check Out Captain’s Beds

    A Captain’s bed has storage space under its mattress. Some models even have shelving in their headboards, so you can do away with bedside tables altogether.

    These beds can be in a daybed style or the standard bed design. Once set up, you can have draperies hanging from the ceiling all around it. When it’s daytime, open up the draperies and arrange your daybed as part of the living room.

    The Benefits of Getting a Loft Bed

    If the apartment has tall ceilings, a loft bed is a fun and practical option. Most models will allow you to get more floor space while also having storage space in their designs.

    Lounge room with stylish interior design at comfortable house

    Some loft bed models might be whole rooms in themselves. You can get a whole dresser, desk, and bookshelves right beside or under this kind of bed. An inbuilt loft bed will give a more sleek and sophisticated look.

    Japanese Inspiration

    If you take a look at some Japanese home interiors, you might notice how they make brilliant use of space. Consider utilizing a whole wall of the living room with inbuilt cabinets, with spaces from a television, a work desk, clothes, and even a whole bed, if viable.

    In case your budget doesn’t allow for customized cabinets, you can probably get together a DIY version of your own.

    The Benefits of a Futon Bed

    A futon bed can be the best space saver. You don’t need to give it a frame; simply fold it up and stow it away or use it as a large floor cushion when you want the space.

    Throw cushions and rugs will make the area more comfortable, but going overboard could make it more difficult to reduce dust in your apartment.

    The Takeaway

    Hiring an interior designer can be an expensive option, but the above tips will hopefully get you excellent results, even without the help of a professional. After all, you know the role of that living room best. From that knowledge, you can decide whether it will work as a bedroom too.

    Spacious grey bedroom interior

    At the end of the day, changing your living room into a bedroom can be an excellent idea. A lot of people can live in a 2-bedroom apartment, but living there on a daily basis may require a third bedroom at times.

    Those with a studio apartment will probably have a permanent setup with a living room and bedroom combined. No matter what the situation is, getting more out of the space you have leads to a great feeling! Try out these tips today and see how it goes.

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    How to Get Rid of Tiny Ants in Apartment

    January 17, 2022 at 10:49 am · · 0 comments

    How to Get Rid of Tiny Ants in Apartment

    Ants are pesky creatures that can invade your home and cause problems in the kitchen or bathroom.

    These little insects can come in droves and make it hard to get rid of them. They will eat anything they find, whether it is sweet or savory, and they will destroy any plants you have.

    They lay their eggs deep in the soil, where the larvae will hatch and live.

    How to Get Rid of Tiny Ants in Apartment

    Ants are one of the most commonly found pests in houses. To put it another way, having them in your apartment and not being able to get rid of them is a major pain. They can cause big issues, so it’s important to act quickly when you see them.

    Tiny Ants in Apartment

    The first thing you want to do is inspect the area where they were spotted for other tell-tale signs of an infestation, such as ants carrying food or eggs. Ants are tiny and hard to spot, but there are a few steps you can take at home to banish them for good.

    Do Thorough Cleaning

    When was the last time you had a deep cleaning of your apartment? If it’s been some time, there are a few things you can do to get rid of all that dust, dirt, and grime.

    Start by grabbing the vacuum cleaner and giving all the floors in your house a good once-over. Then move on to cleaning surfaces like your countertops, cabinets, tables, and dresser tops.

    Let your home be dust-free! Review our guide on how to reduce dust in apartment for more tips.

    Ants are relentless, and they do not discriminate. No matter how clean you keep your home, ants will find a crumb trail to follow, if there is one.

    Make sure all ood is securely sealed to make sure ants stay out of your kitchen. To make this easier, use glass or metal containers instead of plastic ones, which are more porous. Lastly, make sure you sweep the floor regularly.

    Use Lemon Juice

    The solution to your problems is lemon juice, which you can create in your kitchen. You need a few lemons as ingredients.

    Lemon juice is a natural solution for getting rid of ants. If you have an ant problem, make sure to store some lemon in your kitchen cabinets for good measure.

    Squeeze some lemon into a spray bottle and spray it around your home. Be sure to spray into any holes or cracks you might have found. These pesky pests will avoid this acid damaging to their tracking systems and end up migrating to other areas.

    Use Peppermint Essential Oil

    In order to keep ants from staying in your home, you can use essential oils. For example, by putting a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them around the perimeter of your apartment, you are discouraging the ants from entering.

    Most importantly, it contains menthol, which is scientifically proven to be an effective natural repellent for ants. Cayenne pepper is also a good repellent that you can use as a substitute.

    If you have a spray bottle, then that can be useful too. Add 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil into a half cup of water and put it in a spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle to make sure it mixes as it should, then spray their trails and entry points with the peppermint oil mixture.

    For the best effects, you should repeat this practice every few days.

    Cinnamon Lines

    Cinnamon is another option you can use to get rid of ants in your home. Generally, cinnamon can be used to get rid of other pests, like roaches.

    How does cinnamon work? The ants choke and die as soon as they come into contact with cinnamon and inhale it. So, sprinkle ground cinnamon along the ant’s path, forcing them to come into contact.

    Cinnamon essential oil can also be beneficial. Combine a few drops of cinnamon oil in a spray bottle and spray around window and door cracks.

    Chalk Lines

    If you think chalk can only be used in classrooms, then you’re wrong! You can, in fact, fight your ant problem using chalk lines.

    Although it’s a very temporary solution, some chalk can be a solution if you’re struggling to get rid of ants intruding into your home.

    The concept is pretty easy, draw chalk lines around door frames, outside your windows, and other ant entry points. The ant’s scent trail will be disrupted, which will warn them to stay away.

    You might also use chalk paint, which is available at your local hardware stores.

    While you wait for the specialists to come up with a more permanent solution, you can keep them at bay using chalk lines.

    Tea Tree Oil

    Tea tree oil is not only good at taking care of your skin, but it’s also efficient at helping get rid of ants.

    A mixture of water and five to ten drops of tea tree oil creates a strong scent to repel ants. Place the mixture around the house for another effective solution.

    Sprinkle Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth Around Your Home

    Diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder used in various products, from pesticides to water filters. It is made from the crushed remains of marine phytoplankton.

    This fine powder that has been used for centuries to kill insects, rodents, and other pests.

    It is completely natural and non-toxic to humans and pets. With that said, it can be harmful to insects if they come in contact with it. Sprinkle it along the ant trail (ants patterns) and leave for some time for effective results.

    Tips for Keeping Ants Away/Repel Ants

    Ant infestation is an unwelcome event. With that stated, prevention is always preferable to cure, so learning how to avoid ant infestation is a good idea.

    Here are a few tips you can use to stay away from ant infestations:

    No Dirty Dishes: Clean Them Up

    Leaving food unattended is a surefire way of inviting ants into your home. Both of these are bad for you and your family, but not to worry!

    There are plenty of simple ways of deterring ants (prevent ants) from settling in your kitchen, but cleaning the dishes, and your kitchen in general, are the major ones.

    Store Food Properly

    When you buy food, make sure you store it in sealed, airtight containers. If you deny ants access to food, you’re starving them, and they won’t stay in your home for long before moving on to locate shelter and food elsewhere.

    Also, mind your pet food; ensure you store them well. Just like you did with your own food, store the food for your pets in plastic containers instead of the usual plastic bags.

    Cracks and Entrance Spots Should Be Sealed

    If cracks near windows or doors could provide an entry point for many ants, consider sealing them off immediately to avoid a possible infestation.

    Use caulking to seal off the holes. The best thing about caulking is that you can buy it at any hardware store and it’s relatively cheap.It comes in a tube that looks like toothpaste and is easy to use. All you have to do is squeeze the tube onto the crack, apply pressure for a minute or two, and then let it dry.

    Make Sure All Surfaces are Clean

    When you cut up fruits on your counters the juice falls on the kitchen surfaces. Many people fail to clean this up because their main worry is eating the fruit, which is a huge mistake.

    Filthy surfaces attract ants quickly, so consider cleaning all of your surfaces immediately. Wiping the surfaces using vinegar instead of water can be a good choice to keep the ants away.

    Take Away Idea

    A mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar can be an efficient way to kill an entire colony of ants. Baking soda absorbs moisture from ants, thus killing them. So placing the mixture around your home will be a good idea.

    Final Thought

    Ants are one of the most troublesome household pests. After finding their way into your home, they can often travel to every room and cause a great deal of damage by consuming food and making a mess.

    Preventing ants from entering your home in the first place is the easiest approach to deal with them.

    If they infest your home, think about natural ways, like using essential oils (i.e. cinnamon oil) to get rid of them before calling in the pest control services for a long-term solution (using harsh chemicals).

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    How to Reduce Dust in Apartment

    January 10, 2022 at 1:13 pm · · 0 comments

    How to Reduce Dust in Apartment

    Fighting against dust can sometimes feel like a losing battle. Even if you don’t live in an area with a lot of dust, your apartment will need some attention in that area every week or so. However, it may feel like the soil particles start gathering again the second you’re done with that chore.

    Can You Keep Dust Out of Your Apartment?

    There are many reasons why some people feel that apartments are better than houses, and dust control is one of them. A house means that you usually have more space to dust and clean. Most houses also have a lot more places where the dust can get in, as opposed to an apartment.

    Young happy couple is cleaning their apartment.

    On the other hand, if your apartment or condo is in an older building, the heaters and air conditioning system might make the air stale and dry. A deep clean will hopefully get everything dust-free and fresh, but you don’t want all your efforts to go to waste.

    Before you set aside a day for that cleaning or break out the vacuum cleaner, check out the steps below. They just might be the answer to reducing the dust in your apartment for the long run.

    How to Reduce Dust in Apartment

    Dust in your apartment isn’t just made up of soil particles or other outside elements. It’s important to keep in mind that indoor dust also includes dead skin cells, pet dander, and many other substances that come in through the air ducts.

    The following tips can help to keep your apartment dust free:

    1. Change the Bedclothes Weekly

    If you have a pet, you’ll definitely look into ways on how to puppy-proof your apartment. However, many people may not consider staving off the various dust components in the same space.

    Even if you have an air purifier in just the right place, dust mites can get into the bedding, mattresses, and sheets. The longer the bedclothes stay there without changes and washes, the more chances you have of dust mites and excessive dust to accumulate.

    The accumulating dust particles on your bedding will not only reduce air quality, but it will also lower the quality of sleep or rest you get in that bed. The mites, dead skin cells, and stray hairs will make for an itchy experience. Plus, when you get out of bed and walk around your apartment, you’ll be spreading that dust and debris everywhere.

    The opposite is also true; if you get into bed without showering first, or at least changing into night clothes, the dust from the rest of your home will get into your sheets.

    At the end of the day, all your bed clothes or bed linen needs a thorough wash at least once a week. If you’ve just returned after a trip (even for the weekend), make sure to change the bedding completely before hopping into bed.

    2. Clear Up the Clutter

    A lot of frugal apartment dwellers might hold on to knickknacks, decoration pieces, and even broken down materials for the long run. These might be difficult to reach, so dusting them is a double chore. At the same time, they’re probably the first places where the dust appears.

    One of the main reasons for excessive dust is holding on to clutter.

    Clutter will Collect Dust

    While you can control the buildup of dust particles by regular dusting and investing in air purifiers, all the air filters in the world wouldn’t make this job easier. The fewer items you have out on display, the easier it will be to clean and maintain cleanliness.

    This is especially true of textiles and fabrics as they tend to collect dust in spite of having an air purifier in the room. They’ll also produce dust as textiles fibers attract dust particles and human skin flakes.

    When you’re choosing a new home, it might be difficult to decide between a mobile home vs. apartment. Do consider the space issue when making your final decision; even a few extra items in a small space will add to a cluttered look.

    3. Go for Hardwood Flooring or Tiles

    If you’ve ever swept a carpet with a broom, you know that these things trap dust like nothing else. No matter how attractive a carpet might be, do your air purifier a favor and get hardwood flooring or simple tiles. You’ll be thanking yourself when it’s time to sweep up any debris, clean up spills, or perform a deep clean of the home.

    Consider Area Rugs

    There are people who want the feel of a carpet or rug under their feet in their own homes. Instead of wall-to-wall carpeting, which could trap dust and trigger dust allergies, consider a compromise with area rugs.

    Fortunately, area rugs are easier to lift up, vacuum under, and generally deal with to avoid dust buildup. This way, you don’t have to live with dust mites or dust particles daily.

    4. Choose a Damp Cloth for Dusting

    As opposed to a feather duster, a damp cloth is much more effective at getting rid of dust from your surfaces.

    Dry dusting tools will only move the dust mites and dust particles around. If you want to dust effectively, soak a cloth in water and wring it out before starting on the dusty items. This way, you’ll actually reduce dust since the cloth will absorb it.

    Other Advantages of Using a Damp Cloth

    Other than dealing with dust particles effectively, here are some additional benefits of using a wet or damp cloth for dusting:

    • It will save some vacuuming sessions, which is a great way to help keep utility bills low in an apartment
    • Helps to keep the apartment dust free for a long time
    • Easier to remove pet dander and avoid dust allergies
    • Easier to improve air quality

    When you’re renting an apartment, dust may not be a very common problem. However, it’s still a fact of life and needs the proper precautions.

    5. Invest in an Air Purifier

    An air filtration system can transform that stale and stuffy air in your apartment into a much more pleasant atmosphere for breathing. Many modern air purifiers now have an HEPA filter inside their design. Not only will these trap dust from floating around your home, but they’ll also release a nice scent to mask any mustiness in the air and make your apartment smell good.

    You can also pair air purifiers and air filters with essential oil diffusers or humidifiers. This will enhance the air quality in any apartment fairly quickly. Since the air purifier will collect dust, as well as hair and skin cells, you won’t feel the need to deep clean your home every single day.

    6. Perform a Daily Quick Clean

    Speaking of cleaning your apartment, you can help out your air purifier by preventing dust accumulation as much as possible.

    Even a HEPA filter can only do so much, so lighten the load by working on the household dust each day. This doesn’t have to take long; simply grab some damp cloths and start removing dust from the various dust magnets around your home.

    Just a few minutes with that cloth can prevent dust, lighten the burden of your HEPA filter, and control how much dust stays on your surfaces.

    7. Use the Right Vacuum and Cloths

    We’ve already discussed using damp cloths, but switching to microfiber cloths is also a logical step. Microfiber cloths will trap dust and debris, which you can then rinse out after the dusting chore. This also means less residue and streaking, leaving behind a cleaner surface without much effort.

    Vacuums are also good for getting rid of dust, but the best choice is a model with a HEPA filter. These filters are not just for an air purifier; they might be essential for those who suffer from dust allergies.

    These air filters trap the particles that come inside the vacuum and don’t let them go out again. In spite of any air purifier you may have, do make sure to thoroughly vacuum your whole apartment at least once a week.

    8. Get Rid of Your Blinds

    Slatted blinds may look nice in a room, but they’re veritable dust magnets and a pain to clean. Instead of these, consider getting lightweight window treatments. This option will be much easier to clean and less likely to accumulate a lot of dust.

    You can opt for plastic roller shades, that one can easily wipe clean, or go for synthetic washable curtains. However, if the blinds have to stay, vacuum them each week and wipe them down on a regular basis.

    The Takeaway

    Particles of soil and dust affect people with allergies, little kids, and small pets around your home. Plus, that dusty layer on top of everything doesn’t do anything for the general comfort and ambiance of your living space.

    Since we can all agree that reducing dust is an essential step, try out the steps above on your apartment today. Even a little effort can save you a lot of hassle and worry in the near future!

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    Websites to Search Apartments for Rent: Top 5

    January 3, 2022 at 11:40 am · · 0 comments

    Websites to Search Apartments for Rent: Top 5

     Living in an apartment is usually the most convenient and cost-effective option for those who are searching for a new home. Apartment seekers do have to go through a lot though as the search isn’t an easy one.

    The apartment listings can be confusing or leave out details. That’s why it’s important to know about the top websites that can help you find your dream apartment.

    Whether it is your first time hunting for an apartment or you’re used to this process, there is no doubt that the best apartment rental sites can help out. These have several rental listings according to your needs, keyword search options, and can even tell you how much rent to plan for. Many large management companies even post listings directly on rental websites and their mobile apps, if any.

    What do Apartment Rental Sites do for Apartment Seekers?

    An apartment search may have many requirements. You may need close proximity to grocery stores, air conditioning, affordable student housing, or income restricted housing in the rentals you’re considering.

    To save time, the apartment search should ideally not have duplicate listings, have similar apartments to the keywords you typed in, and a lot of other criteria. Fortunately, there are quite a few apartment search sites that can fit the bill.

    Let’s have a look at these now:

    Best Websites to Search Apartments for Rent

    There are a lot of online resources and tools available for every single need, and an apartment search is no different.

    However, one does have to be careful about what kind of resources they use. Not all apartment finders or apartment search sites are reliable or even safe.

    looking at apartments for rent

    When you’re looking at apartments for rent, you need to know a lot of details. Specific information, such as how long an apartment tour takes or the unique rules of an apartment complex, is usually not available on a listing page in the newspaper.

    While we don’t have to rely on apartments for rent listings in the paper anymore, there is the issue of an information bombardment.

    Wondering how to streamline your apartment search so you can find the best rentals? Start off with these apartment search sites before anything else:

    1. Rent Jungle: A Unique Comparison Tool

    The prices and rates for most rentals seem to be quite random at times. What seems like a good deal in your apartment search today might be a dud after waiting for some time.

    This is where this website comes in. It offers a reliable Rent Comparison tool to clear up such confusions.

    When you enter the information on specific rentals here, you get a quick and fairly accurate analysis on whether the deal is a beneficial one or not. It will also let you know if the deal is at least fair.

    With these results, you can make a more informed decision about signing the lease or moving on with your apartment search.

    Of course, apartment hunters will have to get some basic knowledge about renting a place in order to use this tool to its full potential. They’ll have to know what a security deposit is and other similar information. This might be a good time to read up on such information.

    What else does Rent Jungle Offer?

    Another great feature of this site is the distinguishing between multiple and single occupancy rentals. The graphics are straightforward and easy to read, with the icons turning gray after the user clicks them.

    The search options are quite varied and even include the choice to search for any military housing in a certain area.

    Overall, this website provides all that you need in a usual apartment search. The comparison tool sets it apart from the rest.

    2. Zillow Rentals: Taking Over Other Apartment Finder Sites

    Zillow is a giant apartment finder site that has several branches. It probably has more listings and data about apartments for rent than any other known real estate sites.

    You can technically use Zillow for renting, selling, or even buying apartments and other forms of housing. What makes it work so well is the algorithm that takes your interests and preferences into account.

    We even have the option of the Zestimate tool here. This tool allows users to compare different apartment rentals.

    At present, Zillow is a brand that should be in your apartment search. It provides data in no less than 110 million homes.

    If you type in a certain zip code, Zestimate will give you an estimated rent rate, selling price, and other information about apartments in that area. Other than this, there are other tools that allow users to apply for several apartments using just one application.

    The iOS and Android apps for Zillow both have 4+ star ratings, which is quite impressive.

    What Sites has Zillow Taken Over?

    Zillow has bought several other real estate or apartment search sites, with two of the most notable names being Trulia Rentals and Hotpads.

    Trulia has some highly useful guides for both renters and buyers. One of the most striking features here is the partnership with SpotCrime, CrimeReports, and other tools that help to determine the safety of an area.

    Other Informational results include details about local schools, commute times, and various amenities. The intuitive interface allows users to get their search results in the form of a map, list, or grid.

    Hotpads is a dynamic type of search engine, which could be very useful when searching apartments for rent. It has an easy-to-use map, with overlays for showing how close an apartment is to bike lanes, public transport spots, etc. This makes it a worthwhile website, especially for those who prefer cost-effective commuting options.

    If an apartment hunter wants photos in their listings, Hotpads is where they go. This platform will let you set a filter that only allows listings with several photos.

    3. Rent.com: Could Help You Save Money

    Rent.com has a relatively smaller selection of listings than larger names, like Zillow. However, it does have several extra resources.

    To be more specific, these resources could come in handy if you’re looking to save some money along the way.

    One of the money-saving tools is the Moving Center. With this, renters can get moving quotes free of charge. You’ll have to enter your apartment size, location, and your destination. The results will save you a lot of time as well. That’s because the only other option is to get in touch with different companies in turn.

    There’s also a useful blog on Rent.com that gives you precious insights on the housing market trends.

    Moving is a hassle anyway, and the expenses are major, no matter what you do. With Rent.com, you might be able to save money in at least a few ways. There may even be a virtual tour option for a likely apartment, which will save on travel costs.

    It’s essential to keep in mind here that most of the Rent.com listings are for apartment buildings that have several units. Individual apartments or rooms are a rare sight here, but you can always try your luck with a filter.

    The Android app for Rent.com has four stars, while the iOS app has 4.7. Both of these ratings are decent, but it seems like their app may work better on an iPhone.

    4. Realtor.com: A Trusted Resource for Rentals

    This resource is under the management of the National Association of Realtors. It will only have listings from property managers and owners, so one can be fairly sure of having a safe experience.

    The best thing about Realtor.com is the great filter range. The renters can curate their searches and give results according to the amenities, prices, and neighborhoods that will suit your needs.

    The listing page here is also useful for details about the various neighborhoods, school data, and comparison of prices.

    Relator is also a fast resource, so you can get a personalized search in a short period of time. There’s even a map that shows various coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores in different places.

    Both the Android and iOS apps linked to this site have around 4.5 stars ratings. This is good news for those who prefer using mobile apps for their apartment search.

    5. Apartments.com: The Go-To for Apartment Renters

    This site is known for offering millions of great listings. It also has a wide selection of filters and quite a trustworthy standing in the housing market.

    It’s not just first-time renters who love this platform; anyone who is on an apartment search will probably do well to utilize its tools and resources.

    The handy tool on Apartments.com is the one that allows users to draw borders for searching specific areas. You can also go with the more conventional way of entering keywords to get the best apartment listings.

    The Local Guide on Apartments.com tells renters some useful details about the areas they’re interested in. That way, you can get to know about the top schools in the vicinity, along with the latest trend in the nearby markets and the most popular apartment complexes.

    What does this Site Tell Us About the Apartments Themselves?

    When you find a likely listing on this platform, you get full details about all that it offers. There’s the usual information on the number of beds and baths, of course, but you can also get to know the kind of neighborhood to expect, public transport options, etc.

    Overall, this site offers a comprehensive sort of search engine. There are even the more uncommon filters available, such as searching for income restricted housing, military housing, etc.

    The default view of Apartments.com is laid out like a map, and you can map out the borders according to your needs. You can also search for 3D or video tour options. There’s even a filter for different commute times using various transportation modes.

    Both the iOS and Android app for this site have great ratings, which means they are quite useful. We will especially recommend this website and its apps for those who will be new to the city or neighborhood.

    Bonus Option: Facebook Groups

    While obviously not a site that’s specific for locating apartments for rent, Facebook is still a valuable tool for those seeking such rentals.

    Facebook Marketplace does have apartments for rent listings, but this particular service doesn’t offer much more than what you get with regular apartment finder sites. With that said, Facebook Groups is what will take your apartment search to the next level.

    In the Groups tab on Facebook, conduct a search for the groups that are specific to rentals in your desired area. You may also want to conduct a more specific search for cheap rentals.

    The best perk, though, is that you get to talk directly to real people who might be subletting a room, renting out a property, or are in need of a roommate. First-time apartment seekers can also ask burning questions here. For instance, they might ask what exactly is prorated rent, amongst similar questions.

    In case you already have a certain apartment in mind, you can ask when apartment hunting about that peculiar apartment complex or the property manager in charge of it. Chances are that you can locate someone who is already living in that area or has lived there at some point. They could also know someone who can give you firsthand feedback. This is one invaluable benefit that you may not find on any of the established apartment finder sites.

    The Takeaway

    Many people are of the opinion that apartments are better than houses in several ways. While that may not be true for everyone, you can make apartment living comfortable and convenient by making the right choices.

    Finding the perfect apartments for rent online has many hurdles, with technology sometimes contributing to these issues instead of helping with them. On the bright side, the apartment finder sites above could be the best answer to your struggles.

    Go on and utilize the various tools, filters, and other resources in these sites to find your next dream home.

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    Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Apartment Lease?

    December 27, 2021 at 11:44 am · · Comments Off on Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Apartment Lease?

    Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Apartment Lease?

    Getting a residential or commercial lease might be common now., but there are still a lot of aspects we might not know about them. If your lease for any rental property, like an apartment, has enough value, a legal review is in order.

    Yes, your broker or their firm might be on hand, but it is important to get a review of your own.

    Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Review Your Residential Lease?

    This is not to say that you shouldn’t trust your broker or real estate agent, but they can’t fulfill all your legal needs. A broker cannot take the place of an attorney, especially one who is experienced in property issues.

    Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Apartment Lease?

    The short answer to this question is: you probably should. A real estate attorney is useful for both commercial leases and residential leases. They might even be available for a free consultation, after which they will review your residential lease agreement.

    Here are some solid reasons to have an attorney review your lease when becoming a residential tenant:

    1. Making Sure of an Accurate Lease

    A lease for commercial real estate could be a large document with loads of information. A residential lease will probably be much simpler, but it might still have a lot of problematic ideas hidden inside all that jargon.

    Overall, an attorney will be much more likely to catch possible issues in the lease agreement. They’ll also be able to guide you about your rights.

    For instance, a landlord has to give proper notice to a tenant before incurring fees or increasing rent. This should give the tenant time to check out a new apartment before their lease expires.

    An attorney is also useful for making tenants aware of the laws regarding renters in your area. Some states’ laws are better for renters than others, so you have to check according to where you plan to live.

    What Should Residential Lease Agreements Contain?

    Unlike commercial leases, a residential lease gives tenants the assurance that the property has habitable conditions and that the landlord won’t interfere with the basic rights of the tenant living there. These terms might be subject to necessity, so having an attorney to review it is the best way for making them benefit the tenant as well.

    A lawyer who is well-versed in real estate will also ensure that you won’t be signing a residential lease containing unfair terms. They’ll ensure that the lease isn’t a fraudulent or forged document, too. Plus, in the case of a future dispute or other issue over any clauses, your lawyer will be better able to represent you in court.

    2. Catching Out Bias

    There are certain times or chances when a landlord can increase your rent. Your lease agreement should not be making you pay rent at higher rates than is reasonable.

    Most lease agreements are in favor of the landlord anyway. With a real estate attorney by your side, you can better understand many of the conditions in the lease.

    With their law school and specialized knowledge, your attorney may also help you in negotiating certain clauses. You might even be able to avoid late fees and easily get your security deposit back when it’s time to move on.

    3. Getting the Best Terms Possible

    Lawyers are known for their negotiating skills. So, your attorney should be able to get some better terms for your lease agreement.

    For instance, you might want to ensure that the commercial real estate next door doesn’t go to your direct competition. You may also want assurance that the security deposit for the apartment is refundable. While it usually is, you don’t want to sign a lease agreement that cancels out that seemingly obvious term.

    4. Double-Checking Every Term

    Even if you’ve been to law school yourself, the terms and clauses for real estate might not be perfectly clear.

    An attorney who actually deals with landlord-tenant cases is used to checking and double-checking various lease agreements. They know what to look for, what should be there, and what could be problematic in the future.

    5. Determining the Length of a Lease

    A residential agreement is a legal contract between the landlord and tenant. Lease agreements like these are applicable when you rent a place for living purposes.

    Along with the other terms and conditions, one important term to decide upon is the length of the lease.

    How Long Does a Lease Run?

    You need to know the length of your residential lease. This depends on the terms that both parties agree upon before signing, as well as the laws in their jurisdiction. The residential lease type that was the basis of this agreement is also a major factor influencing the lease length.

    Most apartment lease agreements say that the lease will run for at least 12 months or a whole year. Still, the exact length of time can be flexible according to what residential tenants and landlords agree upon.

    If your lease term is for a year or longer, that’s quite a major commitment. With an attorney on your side, the other party knows that you’re serious and will not overreach the terms without a serious reason.

    6. Understanding Landlord Duties

    While most lease agreements do benefit the landlord more, a real estate attorney knows the benefits you are entitled to.

    The basic duties of a landlord include:

    • Not breaching the lease
    • Keeping every unit in a habitable, livable condition
    • Respecting tenants’ privacy, with a few very limited exceptions
    • Return all security deposits in a fixed amount of time (the lease should specify this) after the lease ends

    If the landlord doesn’t fulfill one or more of these duties, your lawyer will be able to take them up on it. Many times, though, just the presence or inclusion of an attorney will be enough to deter landlords from taking advantage of their residential tenants.

    How Do You Find the Best Attorney for Renting Apartments?

    If you’ve made the decision to rent an apartment and get a lawyer to review your lease, it’s time to get active.

    It’s rare to find a credible real estate lawyer without proper research. Simply looking them up in a phone book or going through advertisements wouldn’t give you a lot of effort.

    Instead, try asking people you know who have rented apartments and signed leases. It’s best if they live in or near the area where you plan to rent your apartment. Those who have gone through the experience of having an attorney review their lease will be able to guide you in the most useful manner.

    Also, keep in mind that most attorneys may not know much about real estate, especially when it comes to dealings between tenants and landlords. Some may only specialize in commercial real estate issues, since these are often worth more for each party. Others may only be able to help you figure out which month is best for apartment searching.

    This is why you need to get an attorney who knows about residential lease negotiations and how to handle them well.

    The Takeaway

    Before signing a lease for any apartment, seeking legal advice from an attorney is a logical step. You can approach several experts who will happily review your apartment lease.

    Residential lease agreements might be confusing for a new tenant, so an attorney is the best choice for your legal concerns. While looking for an attorney, you should also check out the other things first-time apartment renters should know.

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    How to Break a Lease Without Penalty

    December 20, 2021 at 12:01 pm · · Comments Off on How to Break a Lease Without Penalty

    How to Break a Lease Without Penalty

    A lease is a legally binding agreement between a tenant and landlord. It outlines the main lease terms, which include things like an early termination clause and the lease end date. When a tenant signs a lease, it is believed that they have good intentions and plan to occupy the apartment or home until the fixed term lease expires.

    With that said, sometimes things happen that might force you to break your lease. For instance, you might move home to take care of a close family member, join the military, or get a new job elsewhere.

    Several reasons might force you to move sooner than expected and break your lease. Since the lease is legally binding, if the tenant breaks it, there might be undesirable consequences.

    Here, we focus on steps you might take to mitigate the potential consequences of breaking your lease.

    How to Break a Lease Without Penalty

    Happy customers ending contract and breaking it

    Let’s consider how you can legally break the lease agreement without consequences under Michigan law:

    Tenant Responsibilities and Rights while Signing a Lease

    A lease agreement obligates both you and your landlord for a certain period, typically one year.

    Under a normal lease, a landlord isn’t allowed to charge extra rent or bring up other terms until the lease runs out. A landlord can only change the terms within the lease period if the lease provides for it.

    A landlord cannot force you out of the apartment before the lease expires unless you violate a significant term, such as throwing noisy parties or failing to pay rent. In such cases, a landlord or property manager in Michigan should follow certain procedures to end the tenancy.

    For instance, the landlord has to serve you with a 7-days written notice to either pay rent or leave their unit. However, a tenant is allowed to challenge the move in court.

    As a tenant, you’re bound to pay the agreed rent throughout the remaining lease term, no matter if you continue to live in the rental unit or not.

    Check the Lease for an Early Termination Clause

    Even before starting the lease-breaking process, you need to understand your rights. Most rental agreements outline the valid procedures and reasons for breaking your rental lease in a separate clause.

    For instance, contracts might let you get out of your lease agreement under special life-changing events and circumstances, such as the death of a spouse or divorce.

    Some contracts have a rent-responsible clause, which implies that a tenant is responsible for paying their monthly rent until the property manager finds another tenant.

    State law, such as Michigan law, requires the property manager to make reasonable efforts to re-rent the unit rather than charge tenants for the remaining rent under the lease. It’s, therefore, your responsibility to ensure your landlord is putting in enough effort, as prescribed by the local legislation.

    Another critical stipulation is the buy-out clause, which requires a tenant to pay extra rent payments or a certain fee. You’ll have to provide a proper written notice of intent to vacate the unit in such a case.

    Evaluating the Consequences of Early Termination

    Before we focus on the specifics of lease termination, we need to warn you that breaking it presents certain consequences, especially if you lack the legal justification to do so.

    Some possible ramifications include:

    Potential Lawsuit

    If you stop paying rent or break a lease agreement, the landlord might decide to take you to court. They can file a lawsuit to have you pay the lease rent balance. If the judge makes a ruling against you, you’ll have to pay the balance.

    Lowered Credit Score

    If the judge makes a ruling that you’ve broken your lease agreement, they could issue a credit judgement, which is an order to have you pay your debt. The judgement will show up as a public record separate from your credit score on your credit report.

    You can avoid this judgement by agreeing on payment with the property manager or repaying your debt. If the judge finds you guilty of breaking a lease without any legal cause, it can harm your credit score.

    The judgment can remain on your credit report for up to 7years. Therefore, you must pay all the rent owed to your landlord.

    Difficulty in Renting a New Unit or Getting a Loan

    If you break a lease, you might experience a decrease in credit score of up to 50 points. This will affect your ability to get a loan for a down payment, or even secure a new rental apartment.

    Most landlords and property managers will require you to provide references from previous landlords. Breaking a lease will prevent you from getting a stellar recommendation.

    Determining if You Have Legal Reasons to Break Your Lease

    A lease outlines the consequences and process of breaking it, in most cases. However, there are cases where you can break the lease without consequences:

    Illegal Rental Unit

    Some property managers convert basements, commercial structures, or garages into rental units. In some states, including Michigan, breaking a lease is legal if you had no prior knowledge of the rental illegality.

    You might get a portion or all of the rent you have paid back in such a case. It’s, therefore, critical that you understand your local legislation relating to illegal rental units.

    Inability to Maintain Habitable Housing, Lack of Compliance with Local Health and Safety Codes, or Constructive Eviction

    We recognize that every tenant deserves to get the best housing conditions.

    When you rent an apartment, you’re entitled to a safe environment. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that their apartment is habitable.

    Every state law has their health and safety codes that all rentals need to comply with to be habitable. For instance, an apartment should have trash bins, stable walls, a roof over your head, running water, plumbing, and heat.

    If a landlord fails to offer habitable housing, as per the local and state housing codes, a court of law can conclude that you’ve been “constructively evicted.” If the landlord violates Michigan health codes, you have the right to break your residential lease.

    With that said, a small roof leak that is repairable isn’t enough reason to break your lease early. The issue should be big enough to threaten your safety and health.

    Roof Leak Results in Mildew or Mold

    You must inform the landlord or property manager of the problem before you break the lease. Give them enough time to see if they’ll fix the problem.

    Contact the relevant local housing authorities if the landlord fails to correct the issue.

    Landlord Repeatedly Violates Tenant’s Right to Privacy

    According to most state legislation, the landlord or property manager is required to give tenants at least a 24-hour written notice before they visit the property.

    They should also give a good reason behind the visit, it doesn’t matter whether they own the property or it’s subsidized senior citizen housing. As long as there is a legal agreement bounding the tenant and the landlord, a tenant’s permission to enter is necessary because they are entitled to some privacy.

    With that said, a property manager or landlord can visit the rental property to inspect potential issues or do repairs. They can also enter the unit to show it to potential tenants.

    You’re allowed to go to the small claims court if your landlord keeps making unannounced visits. After getting a court order, you can then initiate the early lease termination process.

    If a landlord violates the tenant’s privacy, they are considered “constructively evicted.”

    Active Military Duty

    If you enter active military service after signing a lease, you’re allowed to break it under federal law.

    You are protected under the SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) if you’re a member of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, a member of the National Guard for at least 30 days, or a full-time member of the military (Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Army, or Marine Corps).

    The SCRA will also cover your family. This means that your spouse won’t be responsible for the lease agreement, even if their name appears on the contract. If you want to execute your rights, you must provide your landlord with proper notice of intent to vacate.

    You can send the letter by certified mail or deliver it yourself. Always remember to attach a copy of your orders.

    The lease will be terminated either on the last day of the month, following the month that you delivered the notice, or after the next day your rent is due, depending on whether your lease is a fixed term lease or a month-to-month rental agreement.

    If you make an early termination, your security deposit won’t be withheld as a punitive action.

    Sexual Assault, Stalking, Landlord Harassment, or Domestic Violence

    In most states, sexual harassment and domestic violence victims are allowed to terminate their lease early. However, the victims need to inform the landlord or property manager of a threat of future domestic violence in the rental unit.

    You should inform the landlord of any domestic violence cases in writing. The rental unit, in this case, is defined widely and may involve hallways, inside the apartment, laundry room, parking lot, yard, gym, back and front of the unit. After the incident, you can send the notice to vacate.

    With that said, remember the rules for this notice vary from one state to another.

    For some states, the period is within 90-days after the auction. You also need to accompany the notice with documents proving your allegations. This could be in the form of the tenant securing a personal protection order, court order, police report, medical record, etc.

    The landlord can sue the ‘adverse party’ if they face monetary damages due to the termination. This party is the alleged perpetrator of harassment, stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault.

    The property manager or landlord isn’t allowed to withhold the deposit as punishment. Refer to your state’s legislation to get guidance on your specific situation.

    Getting Out of the Lease with Minimal Losses if You Can’t Legally Break It

    Surrender the Security Deposit as Compensation

    You need to understand that breaking the lease forces your landlord into a significant financial loss. The best approach when you find yourself in a situation that compels you to break the lease would be to compromise with the landlord.

    You can offer the landlord your security deposit as compensation for potential losses or inconveniences caused by breaking the lease. Remember that if there is damage to the rental unit, the landlord will keep the deposit anyway. Therefore, it would be best if you took care of all the painting and repairs needed prior to vacating.

    Try Subletting

    You need to check whether your lease allows subletting. You should talk to the landlord or property manager if it doesn’t.

    With that said, you should take care of the advertising costs to find a new tenant. In such a case, it isn’t the landlord’s duty to find another tenant.

    You’ll also be responsible for collecting rent from the new tenant and delivering it to the landlord.

    Appeal to the Landlord’s Better Nature

    Here, you need to talk to the property manager and explain to them your situation. Property managers are humans, too, and they’re likely to understand your situation.

    Conclusion

    Even though we’ve compiled a list of the common approaches to break a lease agreement without a penalty, every case is unique and details matter. We encourage you to go through your lease carefully and check out the local landlord-tenant laws.

    If you lack options, talk to your landlord and explain your situation as a last resort. Also, always seek legal advice before breaking a lease.

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