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Apartment Living

Nashville Neighborhoods Where Rent Prices are Increasing the Most

Nashville Neighborhoods Where Rent Prices are Increasing the Most

The Music City is packed with music industry potential, but that’s not the only reason people are flocking to Nashville in record numbers.

Nashville is home to other major employers, like Amazon.com, Bridgestone Americas, Nissan North America and boasts a huge healthcare community, most notably Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The fact that all of Tennessee shuns a state income tax and enjoys super low property taxes makes it extra appealing for those folks who work hard for the money, so hard for the money.

While the suburbs of Nashville are a picturesque, country delight, many people are choosing to live in town to avoid a nasty commute. Because I-24, I-40, I-65 — well, they’re all nightmarish on their very best days.

Some Nashville neighborhoods are seeing extra spikes in rent prices, thanks to their locations and various awesome amenities. Check out this list of the five places in Nashville where rent prices have increased the most over the last year. The whole city is bumping, but these areas are just so hot right now.

5. Music Row

music row nashville

Photo of Millennium Music Row
  • Price increase over the past year: 13.65 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Music Row: $2,022.84

Music isn’t the only thing going on in Nashville proper, but on Music Row, it sure seems that way. That’s because the neighborhood, which is just southwest of downtown, is largely considered the heart of the city’s thriving entertainment industry.

Homes of various sizes and styles are sprinkled throughout the area, which boasts many major record labels and other music-related businesses.

Don’t sign on the dotted lease line in Music Row if major party time is what you’re after, though. The honky-tonks and other bars are down on Broadway (although, that’s not far in an Uber). That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of fun to be had on Music Row, however, it’s just less intense than in other areas of Nashville.

Fun Fact: RCA Studio A, where acclaimed musicians like Elvis Presley and Waylon Jennings recorded music, was saved from demolition in 2015. To aid the preservation effort, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Music Row on the “National Treasure” list, which names threatened sites deemed historically significant.

4. Midtown

midtown nashville

Photo of Olympus Midtown
  • Price increase over the past year: 18.56 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Midtown: $1,935.33

The Midtown area of Nashville has morphed pretty dramatically in recent years, which is likely why rent prices have seen a nearly 20 percent uptick over the last year. No longer just a business-centric area, the neighborhood is now home to some luxe high-rise dwellings, and the change has encouraged the already booming local nightlife to explode even further.

Sandwiched between West End and downtown, midtown is ideally located for people who really want to live, work and play in the comfort of their own neighborhood. Don’t be surprised by the college student presence, however, as Midtown is just next to Vanderbilt University.

Fun Fact: Into mixology? Stop by Midtown favorite The Patterson House to sample any of the dozens of hand-crafted cocktails on the menu. Just be sure to abide by old-school house rules, which include no standing (you have to be seated to order a drink!), no fighting and no use of cell phones for “anything other than texting” in the bar area. Men are also not allowed to introduce themselves to women, “unless invited or introduced by a friendly party.”

3. West End Park

nashville west end park

  • Price increase over the past year: 19.37 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in West End Park: $1,672.00

West End Park is one of those neighborhoods that never goes out of style, which is why it’s still so high in terms of desirability. Residents to the area enjoy swank neighbors (such as those in historic Belle Meade), a pristine green space in the form of Centennial Park and creative dining options on just about every corner.

Both Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and Belle Meade Plantation are situated in West End Park, with the historic properties regularly frequented by both locals and tourists. Many West End Park locals work nearby, but even those that don’t appreciate the area’s easy access to just about every interstate Nashville has to offer.

Fun Fact: Always longed to visit the Parthenon in Greece, but just can’t swing the air fare? Stop by Nashville’s own full-scale replica of the historic site, located in Centennial Park. Is it random? Yes. Still fun to behold? Also yes.

2. East Nashville

east nashville

  • Price increase over the past year: 42.74 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in East Nashville: $1467.73

The largest neighborhood in Nashville has also experienced one of the biggest rent spikes in the area over the last year at nearly 43 percent! East Nashville, which is located on the other side of the Cumberland River from downtown, is comprised of a number of smaller areas, including Five Points, East End and Historic Edgefield.

The eclectic, artsy neighborhood features an impressive mix of both historic properties and brand-new construction, the latter of which is definitely necessary as more and more people of all types are flocking to make East Nashville home.

Fun Fact: East Nashville impressively covers three ZIP Codes. It’s not unusual to see all types of architecture throughout the area, including homes in Victorian and Tudor styles, even log cabins and Spanish-style haciendas!

1. Green Hills

green hills nashville

Photo of Vertis Green Hills
  • Price increase over the past year: 51.82 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Green Hills: $1,967.55

Slightly southwest of downtown Nashville, Green Hills is the very definition of upscale living thanks to the luxe homes, boutique shopping and celebrated dining. It’s also widely considered Nashville’s shopping capital, with the posh Mall at Green Hills, in particular, leading the charge.

Those people who want the lifestyle, as well as the proximity to Nashville’s best haunts, are clearly willing to pay for it, as the price tag for the average one-bedroom rental is up more than 50 percent since last year!

Although Green Hills proper has a decidedly small-town feel about it, residents to the area appreciate being so close to the downtown area and everything it has to offer, including multiple universities, hospitals and major medical centers. Excellent schools and a thriving network of trails and other outdoorsy opportunities are the cherries on top of this neighborhood’s amenities.

Fun Fact: Green Hills is home to the famed Bluebird Cafe, which doesn’t seem like much from the outside (it’s literally in a strip mall), but is where some world-famous entertainers got their start, including Taylor Swift.

Methodology

We looked at all neighborhoods in Nashville with sufficient available multifamily inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and compared the average price from November 2018 to November 2019 to find the neighborhoods with the highest percentage increase in one-bedroom rent prices.

The current rent information included in this article is based on November 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Tue, 03 Dec 2019 15:13:54 +0000

3 Things to Know About Co-Signers

No, this isn’t the same as co-signing for a loan.

An apartment co-signer is a party on the lease who agrees to cover rent costs if the tenant is unable to for any reason. Co-signers for an apartment are usually required when the initial applicant doesn’t meet the credit score or income requirement to rent a particular apartment.

Here are three things you need to know about co-signers.

1. Anyone can be an apartment co-signer

Well, almost anyone. We don’t mean to be deceptive. In truth, anyone can technically be a co-signer for an apartment as long as they have a sufficient credit score and level of income to be considered a worthy co-signer.

There isn’t any familial or marital status required for a co-signer to have. In fact, a co-signer could be a total stranger as long as they have good credit and make enough money.

2. Co-signed agreements are permanent for all parties

If you have a co-signer join your lease agreement, they’ll be on there for the duration of the agreement. Even if your financial situation improves enough to be considered as a sole lessee, the original co-signer can’t be removed from the agreement. In some rare instances, a friendly landlord may agree to re-draft a lease with only your name, but this does not happen often.

signing paper

3. You may be better off finding an apartment that doesn’t require a co-signer

If you’re asked to provide a co-signer for a rental apartment, you may be better off finding an apartment that doesn’t require one. Property owners require a level of income because it’s what’s considered necessary to be able to afford that apartment.

If you’re not able to rent the apartment individually, you may find yourself struggling to make payments each month. Granted, there are plenty of variables that can come into play here that would make having a co-signer a good idea for many.

Whether or not you choose to go with a co-signer, make an informed decision

The power is in your hands when it comes to renting. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be informed of what a co-signer is and what burdens it places on both you and the third-party co-signer.

Additional resources

Published at Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:36:17 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

How to Inspect an Apartment You are Going to Rent

If you are in search of apartments for rent Boston, then you
will probably find an apartment that will be suitable for you.However, prior to
making your final decision on a certain apartment, it is highly recommended
that you visit the apartment and inspect certain things.This will help reduce
the potential issues that may arise from renting an apartment.Here are some of
the things that you should be looking at when you inspect an apartment. The
overall cleanliness of the building Take a look at the hallways, lobby, stairs,
elevator, etc.Do they look clean and well maintained? A clean apartment
building is a good sign of an owner or management company that really care about
their renters.Luxury apartments Bostonare generally well maintained and have
cleaning and maintenance staff that are always available on site. The condition
of the apartment Check for the presence of mold, which can pose a health hazard.Inspect
the water faucet, showers and toilet to make sure that they work well.Also take
a look at the various appliances provided like the stove, fridge and the
heaters to make sure they are fully operational and working as they should.Check
for cracks along the windows and baseboards.While they are not a major problem,
it is preferable that they be sealed, as they are a point from which various
pests can enter the apartment.It is also good if a professional pest control
company has been hired by the building management to apply a preventative
treatment prior to you moving in. Make sure the locks were changed Unless the
apartment building you are moving into has an electronic door opening system
such as a magnetic card or proximity card, make sure that the locks on the
doors will be changed prior to you moving in.Otherwise, even if the landlord
has collected all the keys from the previous tenants, you really have no way of
knowing how many keys are out there and who actually has them.Also, make sure
that all doors of the apartment close completely and that the locks work well,
otherwise, ask that they be repaired or replaced before you move in. If renting
a furnished apartment, take a look at the furniture It is not uncommon to find
Apartments for Rent Boston,that are furnished.If you do decide to rent a
furnished apartment, be sure that you have inspected the provided furniture.Check
to make sure that it is clean and that everything works correctly.Also, the
mattress should include a cover which will prevent infestation of bed bugs,
which are a common nuisance in places where there is a relatively high turnover
of residentsFree Reprint Articles, such as in hotel establishments and in short term stay
apartments.

Categories
Apartment Living

How to make the most of your apartment’s fitness center

How to make the most of your apartment’s fitness center

How to make the most of your apartments fitness center

Drinking in fresh air while you workout may be a good motivator, but when the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s not a practical option. You could spend a chunk of your hard-earned paycheck on a membership at a gym, but it’s going to be easy to find an excuse to skip your workout when you have a commute to the treadmill. Since your building boasts its own in-house fitness center, there’s no need to spend any extra money or travel further than a few hundred feet for a workout. Here are a few ways that you can make the most out of a fitness routine in your apartment’s own fitness center.

  1. Begin with just your bodyweight.
    Apartment fitness centers tend to vary in terms of the equipment they offer, but all of them tend to have one thing in common: limited space. So you might not see the wide variety of cardio and strength-training equipment you’d find at your typical gym. This just gives you the opportunity to simplify your workout. When you first embark on a fitness routine at the apartment gym, try skipping the equipment altogether and just using your own bodyweight. Moves like squats, lunges, and burpees torch calories and strengthen muscles, even in a small space.
  2. Strengthen your core.
    One muscle group that’s easy to shred with zero equipment and a small amount of space? Your abs. As long as your apartment fitness center has a mat, you can power through crunches, bicycle kicks, and grueling planks to really take your six-pack to the next level. If one is available, throw a medicine ball into the mix to add an extra challenge to your ab routine.
  3. Get creative with minimal equipment.
    If you do want to incorporate some of the available equipment into your workout, try creating a circuit that hits every part of the body from head to toe. Start with a round of bicep curls and tricep rows using the hand weights. Sink into a dolphin plank for intervals of 30 or 60 seconds. Then start squatting with a medicine ball or kettlebell in hand to strengthen those glutes and legs. Hop on the treadmill or elliptical for a minute in between each strength-training move to keep the heart rate high and the body burning calories.
  4. Try some supersets.
    Have you ever heard of a superset? If not, now’s the time to learn. When you’re working out in a small space, the superset is your best friend. It’s a pairing of two moves performed back-to-back, typically working two antagonistic muscle groups. For instance, you could do a set of deadlifts and then transition swiftly into a round of pushups. So, what’s the benefit of a superset? When you do this, the movement keeps your heart rate elevated, which means your body will continue to burn calories all throughout the workout.

Take Advantage of Your Building’s Fitness Center with These Workouts [DNAInfo]

Apartment Gym Workout [The Optimal You]

How to Create a Workout Program for a Small Apartment Gym [The Nest]

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:50:41 +0000

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Apartment Living

Here’s What Twitter Has to Say About Decorating for Christmas over Thanksgiving Weekend

Here’s What Twitter Has to Say About Decorating for Christmas over Thanksgiving Weekend

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which for many people means, along with turkey leftovers and Black Friday/Cyber Monday, time to decorate for Christmas. People have varying opinions about everything to do with Christmas decorations: when to put them up, at what volume, whether a curated, color-themed look is ideal or kind of impersonal. We browsed Twitter to see what people have to say about decorating for Christmas this year.

Here are a few of those who believe Christmas decoration season officially starts after Thanksgiving (whether they look forward to it or dread it):

Plenty of people still love decorating before Thanksgiving. Is it because we need cheering up? What if our friends don’t understand?

Even among families, not everyone feels the same way about Christmas decorations. Often there’s some combo of Grinches and holiday-loving Whos. And which task falls to which family member?

Most of the conversation around Christmas decorations is the same from year to year, but this year, the launch of The Mandalorian on Disney+ brought Baby Yoda into the picture.

Pets don’t always help the decoration process along, but we love to decorate them.

We’re here for the unique decorations that show people’s individual personalities.

Happy decorating, or not decorating—whatever works for you!

Published at Sat, 30 Nov 2019 18:03:27 +0000

How to Style your Fireplace Mantel Like the Pros

Whether you’ve just moved into a home with a fireplace or are looking to spruce things up this winter, we’re here to help, because we know just how challenging it can be to style a mantel. We spoke with six designers and bloggers to gather their top tips, which you can implement in your own space starting now.

It turns out that styling a mantel is a lot like styling any other surface in your home, so don’t become too overwhelmed about this undertaking! “My go-to formula for styling the top of a mantel could also be applied to the top of a dresser, console or nightstand,” says home and interior blogger Alisa Bovino. “I think the key to a well-styled mantel comes down to symmetry and layering various objects of different heights, widths, and shapes.”

Kira Obermeier of Kira David Design shared her three mantel decorating essentials. First, she suggests incorporating a vertical piece, like a glass vase filled with long feathers or greenery. Then, go ahead and add something horizontal. “A simple brass tray, or a set of boxes work well to balance the height of your vertical piece,” she says. The third step, she notes, is to add an organic piece. “A grouping of glass beads or a sculptural object ties the two together.”

Un-match your mantel decor

Alyssa Kapito of Alyssa Kapito Interiors echoes many similar suggestions. “I love to add anything from lamps to vases to candlesticks to the top of my mantel,” says Kapito, who styled the mantel pictured above. “And while I love a room with symmetry, I’ll often leave my mantel a little lopsided because it feels just a touch more bohemian.” Bovino follows a similar formula, noting, “I always add an object of height on one or both sides and to keep things interesting, I won’t use matching objects on either side. For example, I’ll use a lamp on one end and a tall vase with cherry blossoms on the other. Then I work my way inward and usually add a tray, stack of books and a candle along with decorative matches (in a chic little jar) on top of the books. Since I’m all about layering, I’ll prop a smaller piece of art against the mirror or large art.”

Kapito also advocates mixing and matching styles to create a unique look. “If you have a contemporary fireplace mantel, I love to top it with some sort of antique objet, and if you happen to have an antique mantel, it is often fun to go with a modern art piece to give the room balance. A great fire screen and some interesting fireplace tools are  another way to take your styling up a notch. I particularly love vintage screens with a deco influence.”

Display sentimental favorites

Decorative objects don’t have to be expensive, though, and there are many ways to incorporate cheap or free items into your mantel display. “Displaying some favorite books is a nice idea which won’t cost you anything, because you’ll most likely already have them,” stylist and photographer Carole Poirot says. “Create a few piles of varying heights for interest starting with the highest one on the outer edge. Add some fresh flowers or a potted plant to give it some life and some candles for warmth and a ‘homey and bookish’ feel.” Alternatively, Poirot suggests, you can borrow items from other parts of the room and give them new life. “‘Shopping your home’ also has the advantage that it’s zero impact on the environment and you can discover new and creative ways of displaying old pieces,” she notes.

Shop secondhand stores for cheap finds

If you do feel like looking elsewhere, secondhand stores and websites are a great place to start. “My favorite places to find chic decor is the thrift store, on Facebook Marketplace, and on eBay,” Bovino says. “Some of the items I search for are small brass vases, used books, and smaller items of interest like a horn magnifying glass or a bone inlay box.” These resources are also excellent for sourcing artwork, says design blogger Erin Francois. “Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are my go-to for large, but cheap art. For smaller art pieces, I often use printable art. Etsy has some amazing options you can print on your home printer for $10!”

Maddy Evennett of Hutchinson House shared the above photo of her fireplace as well as some of the key pieces she incorporates into her styling, which also happen to be budget-friendly! “Flowers, foliage, leaves or branches picked from your garden or bought from the supermarket breathe so much life into a vignette, it encourages visual movement on the eye with its organic shape and adds an element of texture,” Evennett says.

She’s also a proponent of “sentimental objects that inject personality and unique value, whether it’s a special family trinket or $2 thrifted lacquered box that you fell in love with in a vintage shop.” Pairing investment pieces with more affordable finds is also A-OK. “Invest in the big ticket items that are classic to you and you love, like an oversized mirror or artwork, and incorporate inexpensive smaller items that you can swap out to keep it looking fresh,” Evennett says, citing Target, H&M, Amazon, and Etsy as some of her favorite sources. And of course, DIYs are always encouraged! “Giving new life to a decorative piece is fun, rewarding and inexpensive,” Evennett explains. The candlesticks pictured above were originally silver, but Evennett spray painted them with a $12 black matte hue for a major makeover.

While creating the perfect mantel display should be tons of fun, it’s certainly key to keep safety top of mind when dealing with a working fireplace, as Poirot notes. “Especially if you have an open fire, you will have to be aware that anything hanging off the mantle could pose a serious fire risk,” Poirot says. “If you’re thinking of having a beautiful fir or eucalyptus garland for your festive decorations, make sure it hangs far enough to the sides so that there is no chance of it catching fire. I’d even go as far as occasionally spraying it with some water to make sure it’s not completely dried out.”

Published at Sat, 30 Nov 2019 17:00:55 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Can Your Landlord Legally Control Your Heat?

Can Your Landlord Legally Control Your Heat?

As a renter, you may have compromised some of your apartment “wants,” like a pool and clubhouse, for the more basic apartment “needs” like proximity to work, two bedrooms or affordability.

While some sacrifices can reasonably be made when choosing an apartment, basic needs like fair treatment, a secure door, leak-free roof and access to heating and hot water should be non-negotiable. Whether you live in an apartment, flat or duplex, you want your space to have livable conditions and feel like home. And you also want to have a reasonable amount of control to make that happen.

So, you may be wondering if your landlord can control the utilities, such as your heat. While it may seem like a no-brainer, the answer is complicated and depends on where you live. Let’s take a look at the rules and regulations for landlords and tenant rights when it comes to things like heat and hot water in apartment buildings.

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What is my landlord required to provide?

Property owners are held accountable for the implied warranty of habitability. Simply put, this means that landlords are required to provide safe and livable conditions for their tenants, and renters have the right to a livable property.

While requirements can vary by city and state, landlords are generally responsible for:

  • Maintaining the structure of the building’s interior and exterior
  • Keeping hallways, stairways and common areas clean and well-maintained
  • Operating plumbing, sewage and ventilation
  • Checking for environmental hazards
  • Exterminating rodents and insects
  • Supplying cold and hot water in appropriate quantities and at reasonable times
  • Providing heat in appropriate quantities and during reasonable times

The “landlord must provide heat and hot water to tenants,” said Samuel Evan Goldberg of Goldberg & Lindenberg. “The hot water must be a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Landlords are required to provide heat during the months of October 31 through May 31. If the outside temperature is 55 degrees or below between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM it must be at least 68 degrees in the apartment building and between 10:00 PM. and 6 AM the inside temperature must be 62 degrees,” Goldberg explained.

Can my landlord control the heat?

thermostat

So, under the implied warranty of habitability, landlords must provide access to heat. However, they can control it and they aren’t obligated to pay for it. Now that we’ve covered what landlords are required to provide, let’s discuss if they can control the heat.

David Resischer, Real Estate Attorney & CEO of LegalAdvice.com said, “Some multiple dwelling units only have a single thermostat and state laws typically do not restrict the ability of a landlord to control the heat in any of the tenant units. However, most state laws do require a landlord to provide and also to maintain heat at a designated temperature, typically at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.”

What are the laws?

There are regulations and laws in place nation-wide to protect both landlords and tenants. But, since climate and temperature changes so drastically from one region to another, laws can vary by city and state. For instance, landlords are required to provide heat, but they’re not required to provide air conditioning in all states.

Arizona laws require landlords to provide, “reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions.” Because Arizona can reach dangerous temperatures in the summer, landlords are required to provide access to AC for tenant’s safety.

While that may be true in Arizona, it’s not the case in New York. Scott Stevensen, a New York City renter said, “Because there is no AC in some buildings, the tenant is left to buy an AC unit that fits in the old window frames where one lifts the window frame up and down — not sideways. The whole cost of electricity is almost always borne the tenant.”

To see what laws your state has in place, check out your state’s laws and regulations to see what landlords can and cannot do.

What to do if the landlord doesn’t follow through?

So, what happens if your landlord fails to provide heat, or controls it in such a way that isn’t livable? You have a few options:

  • Schedule a meeting with the landlord and try to discuss the problem in person
  • Write a formal complaint, make a copy and give it to your landlord to read
  • Contact your local code enforcement officer

“If the landlord fails to provide heat or hot water, the tenant should call 311 and schedule an inspection date for an HPD inspector to inspect,” Goldberg said. “Once HPD issues a heat and hot water violation, which would be considered a C violation, it must be repaired immediately. Any other C violations, the Landlord has 24 hours to make the repair. If the landlord still fails to bring back the heat and hot water, the tenant should bring an HPD proceeding in housing court. The proceeding is predicated upon the HPD violation report and the judge will tell the landlord to repair the defective conditions in the tenant’s apartment. If the landlord fails to make the repairs, the judge could order civil penalties and in some cases, even hold the landlord in contempt of court.”

Know your rights

Ideally, you’ll have great landlords who meet your basic needs (and more). While that’s the dream, it doesn’t always happen that way. So, it’s smart to know your rights and fully understand your lease as a renter and know what you’re entitled to.

At a minimum, renters should have a clean, safe, well-maintained apartment that meets their basic human needs.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional financial or legal advice as they may deem it necessary.

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Published at Fri, 29 Nov 2019 13:00:01 +0000

10 Ways to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

The vast majority of Americans — around 96 percent — now own a cell phone, reports the Pew Research Center.

If you’re one of the growing numbers of people who have ditched their landline, you’re probably looking to save money on your cell phone bill. Really, who isn’t? The good news is that wireless service is getting a lot less costly. You could even say cheap. But if you’re not feeling the discount just yet, get ready to.

Carriers and cities make a big difference

Did you know that some cities are cheaper than others for cell phone plans? It could be part of your decision-making process if you’re looking to relocate, on the job market and looking for a new apartment.

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Today, the average monthly cell phone bill runs in the $180 range for a family plan. But if you want to spend $10 or less a month, it’s plausible if you switch from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon to one of the smaller carriers that run on the bigger carriers networks.

These smaller carriers might cap their internet speeds but could be perfect as an emergency phone or starter phone for kids.

If you’re looking for other ways to cut your cell phone costs, consider these 10 tips.

1. Check your coverage

cell phone tower

Look into the Root Metrics coverage map. Plug in your zip code to see which carrier has the best network technologies (essentially, the strongest signal) where you live, work and play. And, always remember to check the strength of your cell service while you’re apartment hunting.

Network coverage could help you decide which carrier to choose with the best cost-savings plan. It could also help you determine which apartment to choose based on testing your cell signal inside.

But if the signal is not ideal, you could always use signal boosters and microcells. Or, alternatively, you could hang on to your landline. It’s crucial if you’re in a bad location and have trouble getting service indoors.

2. Know your data limits

Concerns about gigabytes or the lack thereof are no joke. But seriously, do you really need unlimited data? If the answer is “no,” then do your research. Get into a less expensive plan.

It’s a smart move if your expectation is to use less than 2-3GB monthly. The average smartphone owner uses 2GB to 5GB of data each month, according to Nerdwallet.

3. Lose the contract, go for a prepaid plan

man texting

Are you worried about contracts? Don’t be. Most carriers have done away with them, anyway. And don’t worry about an early termination fee, either. Your carrier will likely help by paying it for you.

You can also budget your cell phone bill for the long term with a prepaid plan. That lets you wipe out unexpected costs. With prepaid plans, your charges reflect a specific amount at the start of the month. This amount is for your agreed-upon volume of talk, text and data.

AT&T has basic prepaid plans. They run between $35 and $85 a month. Autopay and you can save even more. You could be looking at cutting between $5 and $15 monthly. Cheaper plans offer 1GB and 8GB of data. They roll over and include a mobile hot spot.

4. Keep your current phone

There’s always lots of attention when a new phone iteration comes to market. You want to be a part of the elite club. Some sage advice: Keep your phone longer. It will save you money.

There’s no need to upgrade every year or two, writes TJ McCue on Forbes.com. Stay with what you’ve got, especially if it still works.

5. Shop rival plans

man comparing phones

Consider smaller and prepaid carriers. Look at Cricket, Boost and Metro PCS, for example, as options that save bucks.

Carriers list their plans in plain sight. See how they stack up to what you’re paying now, suggests CNBC. And, don’t forget to ask your employer if there’s a company-wide discount for a wireless carrier, too.

6. Use Wi-Fi

No matter where you go, use available Wi-Fi to save data usage. Did you know that your social media apps like Facebook let videos in your feed play automatically? That eats up a lot of data.

Stop it by going to your App Settings on Facebook and choose Never Autoplay Videos. Or, simply connect to Wi-Fi to save data.

7. Cut out background data

app on phone

Your email is background data in cell phone lingo. Save on your data allowance to save money.

Restrict background data usage in your network settings menu. Only check email when you’re on Wi-Fi. Consider this when you near the limit of your monthly data allowance.

8. Stream music and videos on Wi-Fi only

Data hungry content can cost you. Avoid using mobile data to stream music and videos and high-quality images. Instead, store music and videos in your storage or download when connected to Wi-Fi.

9. Opt for family share plans

family using cell phones

Do you have a family or a sibling you could share a plan with? Sharing data allowance is less of an issue if you’re using Wi-Fi when possible.

And, if you’ve used your data allowance wisely, savings will add up. Anywhere from $15 to $25 per month over a comparable individual plan.

10. Research promotions

The deals are definitely out there. You might have to act fast to take advantage of them. Since no one wants to pay more than they have to for decent cell service, consider an unlimited data plan for $25 a month from a carrier like Sprint.

For a limited time only means, well, just that. With a plan that’s less, you might have to buy a new phone upfront or bring in a compatible one.

Cut costs on your cell phone bill

It’s possible to save money on your cell phone bill when you follow these tips. Just think, even if you cut $20 a month from your bill, that’s an extra $240 a year that you’ll have in your pocket. Even if you have to make a few compromises with coverage, the savings might be worth it.

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Published at Thu, 28 Nov 2019 13:00:19 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

8 DIY Holiday Decorations for Your Apartment

8 DIY Holiday Decorations for Your Apartment

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Festive decorations are as much a part of the holiday season as the jolly, fat man coming down the chimney delivering presents. Decorating is especially fun for apartment dwellers.

But before you start picking out decorations and creating your own winter wonderland, it hits you — you have to pay for your own decorations? Well, fear not. Here are some inexpensive DIY decorations even the Grinch would love.

1. Mason jar snow globes

mason jar snow globe
Source: Mason Jar Crafts

Sometimes, the small details are the best. This DIY snow globe from Mason Jar Crafts is easy-to-make and adorable. You likely have the main component, a mason jar, in your cupboards already. And the other elements are easy to find and won’t break the bank.

Go to a toy or craft store, get a selection of small toy cars, buy some fake snow, mini pine trees, twine and you’re set! Once you’ve made your mini snow globes, place them on the window sills, kitchen counter or coffee table. These decorations are trendy, cute, and can fit anywhere inside your apartment!

2. Popsicle stick snowflakes

popsicle stick snowflake
Source: Simple MOM Project

Do you live in a city where you hardly ever see snow? Are you missing out on a traditional white Christmas? If so, these DIY snowflakes are the perfect craft to create a white winter wonderland, no matter the weather outside.

All you need is glue, white paint and some popsicle sticks. Make as many as you’d like and create the perfect snowy apartment for this holiday season.

3. Pinecone Christmas trees

pinecone Christmas trees
Source: Lauren J Photography on Babble

Have you ever wondered how to use a pinecone as a decoration? Sure, they smell good and can be used as potpourri, but can you make them festive? Yes, you can. Next time you’re out for a nature walk, pick up some pinecones to transform them into miniature Christmas trees for your apartment.

While a big Christmas tree is great, it’s sometimes not feasible for the size of your apartment. So, these DIY pinecone trees come in handy. Gather your pine cones, spray paint them green and glue them to corks for a base. Scatter them throughout your apartment and you’ve got yourself a whole forest of Christmas trees.

4. Coffee filter wreaths

coffee filter Christmas tree wreath
Source: How to Make a Burlap Wreath

Mauldin apartments come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter the size, they all have front doors (if they don’t, you should probably move). While you may have limited space to decorate inside, you can always spice up your front door with a festive wreath. If you’re looking for a fun DIY project, consider making this wreath out of coffee filters.

All you need is coffee filters and a foam core center and you’ll bring Christmas cheer to your apartment complex’s hallway. It’ll have all your neighbors knocking on your door asking where you got it. The best part is that you can get everything you need from your local grocery store. It’s just as fun to make as it is cute.

5. Flat Christmas tree

flat Christmas tree
Source: Hildur.K.O

Some apartments won’t have enough space for a large Christmas tree. However, being that it’s one of the most iconic decorations, there has to be an alternate solution. Luckily Hildur.K.O has the perfect solution — the flat Christmas tree.

It’s a great way to save space in your apartment and have a tree to decorate and put gifts under. It’s easy to make and requires minimal items that you can purchase at your local craft store. Spend a December evening decorating the tree with ornaments without feeling cramped in your living space.

6. Decorated letters

decorated christmas letters

Block letters are always cute decorations. Luckily, Christmas has great phrases you can spell out and display to make your apartment more festive. From simple phrases like “Joy” to “Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” you’ll have plenty of options for this block letter craft. They’re fun to make and also inexpensive.

All you need for this DIY decoration is the block letters to spell out the word you wish to write, and what you want to decorate them with. You could decorate with candy-like peppermints or really do whatever your imagination wants. Whatever you end up with, you can rest assured you’ll end up with great decorations your neighbors will be envious of.

7. Mittens Christmas garland

mitten garland
Source: Craft Create Cook

If it’s not cold enough where you live to wear your mittens, repurpose them into an adorable garland to hang. Craft Create Cook has you covered with all the steps to make your perfect, unique garland.

This garland will make you want to cozy up in your apartment with a cup of cocoa and a great Christmas movie.

8. Christmas Tree advent calendar

advent calendar
Source: Michael’s

Advent calendars are a holiday favorite for many with the anticipation of waking up every day in the month of December to find a little surprise. Whether it’s waxy chocolate or little gifts from your mom, it’s exciting nevertheless.

If you miss this childhood favorite Michael’s has your back. Their Christmas tree advent calendar is every DIYer’s dream. It comes plain leaving it up to you to decorate it however you want. Think of all the possibilities you could put in those drawers. It could be fun to do with your roommate or if you live alone, to treat yourself for the 24 days leading up to Christmas.

Decorate for the holidays on a budget

Each of these eight ideas is simple, festive and inexpensive. You can have a beautifully decorated apartment without feeling guilty about spending too much money on decor. They’re also small so your apartment won’t be overcrowded and instead, it’ll feel like Santa’s workshop.

All of these DIY ideas are sure to make your apartment have a little more Christmas cheer.

Published at Fri, 29 Nov 2019 13:00:53 +0000

10 Things to Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is the dedicated day each year where you’re guaranteed a cornucopia of food with bounteous amounts of leftovers to enjoy afterward.

Whether you spend the holiday with family or opt for a Friendsgiving instead, it’s impossible not to have a ton of leftovers after turkey day.

So, what do you do with all those leftovers? Sure, you can enjoy another traditional Thanksgiving feast. But there are plenty of other recipes out there that’ll put a unique twist on the classics. Here are 10 things to do with your leftover Thanksgiving food.

1. Turkey pot pies

turkey pot pies
Source: AllRecipes

The rich, buttery flavors of Thanksgiving food are what make this once-a-year meal so appealing. If you’re looking to make another comfort meal, repurpose your leftover turkey, green beans and vegetables and make a large turkey pot pie.

Made with leftover Thanksgiving food, this is the perfect winter meal. In under 90 minutes, you’ll have a delicious dinner ready to serve, and the best part is that it was made entirely from leftover food!

2. Turkey roll-ups

Turkey roll-ups

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, turkey roll-ups are your go-to option. All you’ll need is leftover stuffing, turkey and gravy and you’ve got a complete dinner.

Simply take pieces of turkey and put a portion of stuffing in the center. Then, roll the turkey like a wrap, bake until hot and drizzle with gravy. This leftover meal can be served with any side dish.

3. Monte Cristo sandwiches

Monte Cristo sandwiches
Source: The Tasty Bite

If you’re looking for a way to spice up the traditional leftover turkey sandwich, the Monte Cristo is your answer. A scrumptious mix of sweet and savory, this sandwich is grilled and layered with turkey and brie cheese then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with cranberry sauce on the side for dipping.

And for those vegetarians out there, you can skip the turkey but still enjoy this not-so-classic grilled cheese.

4. Loaded mashed potato bites

Loaded mashed potato bites
Source: The Cookie Rookie

Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving menu item, but there are so many additional ways to use those leftovers. Try making deep-fried loaded mashed potato bites accompanied with all your favorite mixings (think bacon, chives, sour cream, cheese).

Host a small dinner party and serve this finger food as an appetizer while your guests mingle.

5. Turkey fried rice

Turkey fried rice
Source: Sweet C’s Designs

Thanksgiving weekend is made for eating, napping, shopping and watching football. If you’re looking for an easy meal to make while lounging around, turkey fried rice is a great option.

Simply add turkey, vegetables, fried egg and rice or cauliflower rice to a pan, stir fry and voila, you’ve got yourself a yummy meal.

6. Sweet potato bisque

Sweet potato bisque
Source: Farm Flavor

There’s nothing quite like hot soup on a cold winter day. If you’re looking for an easy slow-cooker recipe, consider making sweet potato bisque with your leftover sweet potatoes.

All you’ll need is sweet potatoes and some seasonings and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal.

7. Turkey stock

Turkey stock

Thanksgiving dinner can be expensive, but if you’re strategic with your leftover food, you can get a lot out of it. You may think that the turkey bones and leftover vegetables are garbage, but they can all be used to make homemade turkey stock.

Then, the turkey stock can be used for future meals to enrich the flavor. Now, you’ve even made use of the scraps.

8. Pie milkshakes

pie milkshakes

Everyone likes pie a la mode, right? Well, this idea combines them both.

Simply take a piece of apple or pumpkin pie, add some vanilla ice cream and blend them together. You’ll be left with a creamy, sugary treat.

9. Cranberry oatmeal

Cranberry oatmeal
Source: Dessert Now, Dinner Later

Cranberries at Thanksgiving are like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. They’re subtle but essential. With this leftover Thanksgiving recipe, cranberries take center stage.

Take any oatmeal recipe but add a dollop of cranberry sauce to it. You’ll enjoy a sweet and delicious breakfast with the tangy taste of cranberries mixed in.

10. Dog treats

dog treats

Now that you’ve enjoyed a variety of leftover Thanksgiving food, let’s look at some pet-friendly options for your furry friend.

Made with leftover turkey, veggies, potatoes and flour, you can give Fido a homemade Thanksgiving bone.

Keep these expiration dates for leftover Thanksgiving food in mind

While we all want to savor the flavor of Thanksgiving food, we don’t want to get food poisoning from old food. All of your leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of coming out of the oven.

Here are some quick guidelines to keep in mind when preparing leftovers to stay safe and healthy.

  • Turkey can last four days in the fridge and four months in the freezer
  • Veggies can last three to four days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer
  • Pies can last three to four days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer

Enjoy the holiday weekend

These 10 recipes and food ideas will help keep the holiday alive throughout the whole weekend. Enjoy a variety of meals all while saving money and making use of your leftover Thanksgiving food.

Published at Thu, 28 Nov 2019 13:00:48 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

In a world that moves at a breakneck pace, finding time to slow down and quiet your mind is difficult—and it’s also essential. Many people turn to meditation to help. The practice guides the mind to a calmer place using breathing techniques, mantras, and imagery. It can be as simple as breathing deeply and repeating a phrase or as complicated as traveling to a different plane tucked away in the recesses of your imagination. Either way, you need a quiet, calm space to do it in order to really reap the benefits of meditation. Here’s how to make your apartment feel bigger when you meditate.

  1. Oust any clutter.
    One of the most obvious ways to make your space feel larger is to rid it of any stuff that’s non-essential. Purging extra clutter is a good habit to get into, whether you meditate or not. Donate any knick-knacks, furnishings, and decor that you don’t really need in order to open up some space for your meditative practice. This will make it even easier to get into the zen zone.
  2. Welcome natural light.
    When sunshine comes streaming into your home, it makes your world a bit brighter and bigger. Harness the power of natural light and pick a corner for meditation with ample windows. The sunny rays, and the view visible through the windows, will make your meditation nook feel instantly more spacious.
  3. Enlist neutral hues.
    While dark colors tend to make a room feel smaller, light and neutral tones do just the opposite. Whites, creams, and shades of beige create the illusion of extra space. So when you pick furnishings for your meditation area (or for any room in your home, really), opt for these lighter colors instead of dark, bold hues. If you already have darker furniture in the area where you intend to meditate, there’s no need for a full makeover. Just add some lighter elements, like a whitewashed throw blanket or set of pillows.
  4. Just add mirrors.
    Mirrors instantly add square footage to your home, almost in the same way that a window does. The reflection seemingly doubles the size of any space. Affix a mirror to your wall or find a small stand-alone mirror that you can incorporate into your meditation nook.
  5. Strategically place your pillow.
    One essential that every meditation space must have is a cushy pillow for you to perch on. Pick your pillow and then arrange it strategically to make your space feel larger. Instead of pushing it up against the wall, pull it out at least six inches. This is an old trick for arranging furniture. When you let your furnishings float, the room feels bigger. When they connect with the wall, that seems to suck up space—or, at least, make a room look smaller. You can use this tip with any piece of furniture or decor in your meditation area.

How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger: 25 Tips That Work [StyleCaster]

5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Home Meditation Space [Yoga Journal]

10 Sneaky Ways to Make a Small Space Look Bigger [The Nest]

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:53:45 +0000

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

If there’s ever a time to indulge, it’s the holiday season. The nonstop family gatherings, workplace celebrations, and get-togethers with friends certainly provide ample temptations in the form of festive treats. And while it’s fine to nibble on something sweet at the occasional soiree, when you make a habit of it, you could enter the new year carrying some additional weight. Here’s how to avoid going overboard with the holiday snacks.

  1. Preemptively eat a healthy snack.
    When you grab a healthy snack before you head out to a holiday party, you won’t be ravenous by the time you show up. This will make it easier to stay away from the festive spread, or at least to keep yourself from overdoing it. So nibble on some fruit or veggies the next time you’re getting ready for a holiday party.
  2. BYO noshes.
    If you don’t think pre-gaming with healthy snacks will be enough to keep you away from the buffet table, here’s another way to avoid temptation: bring your own bites. Instead of chowing down on holiday cookies, chips, and other unhealthy snacks, bring along veggies and hummus, fruit and yogurt, or low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers to share with the crowd. Other health-minded partygoers will probably thank you!
  3. Focus on balanced snacks.
    If you do intend to partake in the provided nibbles at a holiday bash, make smarter selections. Opt for a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates, ideally with a small amount of fat. This combination will help to keep you full and avoid overeating.
  4. Sip on tea or coffee.
    When you’re at the family holiday party, do you devour snacks because you’re actually hungry, or simply because they’re sitting on the table next to you? Many people will absentmindedly snack just for something to do. Distract yourself with a hot cup of peppermint tea or black coffee instead. Sipping on the warming beverage will keep your hands busy, but it won’t add any calories to your daily intake.
  5. Chew gum.
    Another way to distract yourself from the snack spread is to chew gum. Most gums contain only a few calories, and they help to trick your brain into thinking you’re snacking freely. If you’re not actually hungry, just looking for a way to keep your teeth busy, pop a stick of gum instead of snacks.
  6. Keep treats out of sight, out of mind.
    When you go to a party hosted by someone else, you don’t have control over the menu. That’s when the previous tips may come in handy. But when it comes to your own home, you can choose what you bring into it—and how you display (or don’t display) holiday treats. Try to avoid bringing candy, cookies, and other desserts into your apartment altogether. When you can’t, at least keep them stowed away in the cabinet and showcase fruit and other healthy snacks on the counter. This makes it more likely that you’ll choose a light and healthy bite over a calorie-dense treat.

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:52:20 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

My Next Dream Kitchen

My Next Dream Kitchen

If you don’t follow Apartment 34 on Instagram, than you might have missed the exciting announcement that official This Old Victorian – aka my five year renovation saga – is about to come its close. Domino Magazine announced its first ever Renovation Issue and I’m thrilled to announce that office tour of our house is included. If you want your first sneak peak into the our before & afters (and they’re rather dramatic), click here.

But I think once you try your hand at renovations, you catch the bug. And so I’m already designing my fictional future dream house in my hand. And I think I already found my dream kitchen.

This epic kitchen is another product of design savant Amber Interiors. She has figured out the magic mix of California casual, old world grandeur, and what I like to call elevated rustic style that combine to create warm, welcoming but also dramatic spaces.

Obviously, the architecture of this space lends itself to its awesome dramatic feel, not to mention all that stunning natural light. But that is probably one of my biggest leanings from our renovation – that a space’s bones are everything. If you happen upon some a home with some good architecture, jump on it! You can be confident that even the ugliest of toads can be transformed.

The use of various both refined and rustic materials offers really beautiful juxtaposition in this kitchen. Honed Calacatta marble counters and backsplash feel sleek and fancy. But then the reclaimed French limestone looks as if you could be in a farmhouse in Burgundy. The mix and match continues with smooth plasters walls abutting a white brick pizza oven. Brass hardware offsets the custom white oak cabinetry, but the cup drawer pulls reinforce the more country, rustic feel. Finally, a rustic beam holds residence above a sophisticated Lacance range. Yet it all works.

This space would feel fitting should it be in middle of wine country, in Europe or in downtown LA. In fact it resides in Malibu, CA but you certainly wouldn’t say it has a beachy feel.

I love how Amber switched the far counter’s top to a dark limestone to anchor the space and mirror the dark range across the room.

If I could get my hands on this space I might have thickened the countertops (I still love that fat look), selected more modern cabinetry hardware and swapped out the antique pendant lights for something more minimalist and refined. But that’s fun thing with renovating. Once you get to play with the details, you just want to play more and more and more and more.

Good thing I have my yard project to keep me busy at the moment, because I’d be rather tempted to start housing hunting again! Don’t tell my hubs.

design by amber interiors, photography by tess neustadt 

Published at Thu, 21 Nov 2019 22:29:54 +0000

Book Report: the Neutral Home

Some people say all-white design is boring. Or easy. But I beg to differ. Using white as your primary color palette actually requires the utmost expertise – so much so that there’s a beautiful new design book dedicated to working with a (nearly) all white palette. And I, for one, am here for it.

I highly doubt you’re bored by neutral interiors either, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to stick around Apt34 for this long, but this new design tome, FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE: THE WHITE AND NEUTRAL HOME by Chrissie Rucker, founder of UK favorite, The White Company, captures pitch perfect use all my favorite soothing hues.

The secret to a compelling neutral interior is contrast. And there is stunning use of that throughout these homes. Deeply hued hardwoods pop against beautiful white walls.

White on white works when you use dramatic proportions. I love how everything in these homes feels big and eye catching – no bright colors required. Note to self, always add a dog that matches your interior.

Yes, I’ve hated on all-white kitchens in the past, but there is a reason why they’ll never go out of style. I do understand their classic appeal.

I love the mix of materials in this dining room. Modern, clean lined chairs mix with a farm style table and a stunning traditional built-in hutch. Definite display goals with that one.

A freestanding tub is also always timeless. This space is truly elegant.

But in my next dream house, I’d like a room dedicated entirely to my tub, thank you very much.

This is only one of the many gorgeous design books that have debuted this fall. I’m going to share sneak peeks of all of my faves through the month of November, just in case you have another design lover on your gift list!

Photography by Chris Everard, © The White Company.

“FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE: THE WHITE AND NEUTRAL HOME by Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company, is available now from HarperDesign, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. For more information, visit hc.com

Published at Wed, 13 Nov 2019 01:33:58 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Tips For Finding Apartments For Rent

Many apartments for rent available are in our city. The standard rent may vary from $400 per month up to $1500 for a luxury suite. This price is for a one-bedroom apartment with a fully fitted kitchen and a full bathroom.

Usually, you have to put a security/damage deposit in as well. Such a deposit normally is equal to half a month rental price. In some cases, utilities are included in the price, and in others, they are not. If paid separately utility costs vary depending on usage.

One of my sisters was very fortunate to find a nice apartment for rent in a very quiet building for only $550 per month. And it is only a few blocks away from where I live. In fact, she’s paying a bit more as there is an additional fee of $35 per month that goes for using the indoor underground parking. In her building, there are also some additional extras like cable TV, air conditioning and an indoor pool, that are available to tenants’ families.

Another popular type of apartment for rent that is widely available are the so-called bachelor apartments or studios. Their rent varies between $250 and $600 per month because they only consist of a large room with a modest kitchenette and bathroom facilities. And as you can guess they are really only suitable for a single person. Usually, the lowest range ones are in fact old damp and dark basement, and most of them are in such a condition that living there is a real danger. All the bugs and vermin they often host create such health hazards that it is not rare at all, the City to close them down and warn the public about such inhuman dwellings.

Unfortunately, there is another type of apartment for rent offered in our town that is even worse. In fact, they are not apartments at all, they are only rooms, usually situated in an old ex-boarding house. Places like these do often attract prostitutes, drug addicts and all types of underground world members. Apart from being very filthy and unsanitary, such dwellings are also extremely dangerous because of the people who stay there. Murders in such types of dwellings do happen on a regular basis.

Of course, there are great apartments for rent too – situated in the most prestigious areas of the city and are often with bigger size than some homes. They do usually offer top quality and of course feature additional facilities like saunas, spas, and gyms available for their tenants. Laundry and dry-cleaning along with concierge services are not a rarity at all. And all that comes at the corresponding price, that’s usually in the $2000+ per month range.

There are also people who do offer apartments for rent situated in their own Houses for Rent in Ocean Springs. In case the house is way too big for one family only there is nothing bad in converting it into a duplex or triplex and renting out. And many people have done so. But the most important downside of those is that being in fact one house they have very thin inner walls that allow noise to spread easily to the other units and no one actually has any privacy there.

So as expected, there is such a wide variety of apartments for rent offered in the CityPsychology Articles, that they can suit any rental range or family situation possible. Actually anybody can find one that suits him.