Apartment decorating ideas

Apartment Decorating Ideas

Walls are meant for decorating. In apartments they are a great way to make your place truly your own. Unfortunately, turning the walls of an apartment into Swiss cheese with a bunch of nail holes is a great way to not receive a security deposit back. Not everything that ends up on your walls needs a nail, however. There are a number of ways you can spruce up your place with a unique look without leaving a ton of marks on the walls.

Use a Pegboard

Pegboards come in a variety of sizes with dozens of holes that can be used to hang almost anything. You can even get a pegboard big enough to cover an entire wall! Whether you leave a pegboard the color you find it in or paint it ahead of time, it is a great way to make a place truly your own. With various hooks and other methods of hanging things a pegboard can also double as a storage space.

Try Velcro

Velcro is a great way of hanging small items with no mess and no holes in the wall. Just get a lengthy strip and put one side of it on the wall and the other side on your artwork. Not only will you be able to easily hang each piece this way, it makes it easy to move things around. Things can even stay more securely on the walls as well.

Strategically Use Bookshelves

Bookshelves can be used for more than just books. If you only have a limited amount of books the rest of the shelf space is a great place to display artwork, knick-knacks, and more. Inexpensive shelving is available from several retailers. Make your place unique by purchasing some and displaying models and more. You can find small items at dollar stores that work well as accent pieces.

Use Decorative Tape

Decorative tape is a great way to add accents to rooms without messing up the walls. It can come with a variety of patterns and is available for less than $5 per roll. You can even get solid colors and make your own patterns to create your own designs that will truly stand out. Best of all, when it comes time to move out, decorative tapes easily peel off the wall. It makes for less stress and no mess.

These are just a few of the ideas that keep your walls free of holes and help you make your space truly your own.

Self storage summer

What to Move to Self Storage in Summer

Warmer weather is just around the corner and that can mean it is time to reduce clutter around your home. If you have a self storage unit it can also mean it is time to switch up what gets stored there. Summer patio furniture and more can come out and winter items like that snowblower can go in. The flexibility that self-storage units offer can be very helpful with the change of seasons. Seasonal items are great for that, and as summer approaches here are some items you can consider moving to self-storage so they are not in the way.

Holiday Decorations

Are the Christmas tree and lights taking up space that is needed in the garage? Put them in a storage unit! You’re not going to need them until November anyway.

Winter Clothing

If you already have a storage unit you can put away bulky winter coats and blankets. Just make sure to protect them properly with plastic bins and vacuum sealed bags.

Snow Removal Items

This includes snowshovels, snowblowers, and more. For snowblowers, be sure to drain the tank of any fuel and disconnect the battery. That way it will be ready to go next winter with little maintenance.

Vehicle and Patio Covers

Summer is the time to be outdoors, so don’t let the bulky covers for your outdoor furniture get in the way. Put them in storage with the rest of the cold weather gear.

Snowmobiles

Many people like to store their motorcycles in the winter, and if you have a snowmobile it is a great trade-off. You can bring out the bike while you put the snowmobile away for the summer. Just be sure to drain the gas tank and disconnect the battery before storing.

Space Heaters and Snow Tires

These are both specialty items that just get in the way during warmer weather if you have them. Safely store them in a storage unit and they will be ready to go next winter.

As always, if you have any questions about what can and cannot be stored, feel free to contact your storage professional. They are there to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

renter resume

Completing a Renter Resume

You may not think of having a renter resume or even know what one is, but it can be a critical part of renting any new apartment. It is considered to be the starting point of the rental process and it is a useful tool that landlords and property managers use to screen potential tenants. If you find an apartment unit that you really want, but might be hard to get, a well-made rental resume can be the difference in getting the apartment you want. Here is how you can make sure your rental resume elevates you to the top of the rental applicant list.

What Goes in A Rental Resume?

A rental resume is only part of the screening process along with credit and background checks. It is much like a resume for employment, but just includes different information. It is important to include the number of people that will be living in the apartment, a statement on why you want to live in the unit, your background (including education and employment), and your rental history.

The rental history is one of the most important pieces of information that property managers use to evaluate prospective tenants. Property managers and landlords want to know that you will be a reliable tenant with great behavior. In this section you should include all of your rental history with addresses as well as contact information so that managers can confirm you were a good tenant. It is also a good idea to include the reason why you are moving.

What About References?

Much like a job resume, references are important for a rental resume. Again, you want to make sure that you stand out and that you have people that will vouch for your character. This helps property managers determine if you will be a good tenant. If you can get someone to write you a letter of recommendation that is even better. Your references should include your name, relation, phone number, and e-mail address.

Additional Documents

You should have additional documents available upon request. This includes income verification, any other letters of recommendation, and proof of financial reserves. These are all types of documents that would be part of a standard rental applications. Make sure that you state on the resume that you have these documents available upon request. Bring them with you when you have an appointment with the leasing agent, as well.

Much like finding a job, getting a lease on an apartment take preparation and presentation. Be sure you dress to impress, have your resume in order, and ask plenty of questions. When you show that you have your information in order it will help you land the apartment you desire.

Section 8 Housing

What You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing

The Section 8 Act of 1937 is a landmark piece of legislation that has helped millions of Americans find affordable housing for more than 80 years. Currently, it offers rental housing assistance for almost 5 million Americans, but the ins and outs of it can be tricky to navigate. It is still an incredibly helpful government program that helps millions of people afford housing every year.

What is Section 8 For?

Section 8 is intended for individuals who are forced to pay an above-average amount of their income for rent. It basically boils down to individuals that the need for a place to live means sacrificing other basic amenities such as food and clothing. These subsidies help such individuals afford housing units.

How Does Section 8 Work?

The main way that Section 8 works is through a voucher system. The vouchers can work in two ways:

  • A “project-based” voucher that is used only within a specific apartment complex.
  • A “tenant-based” voucher where a tenant may choose any unit in the private sector.

Under this program, individuals or families with vouchers may find and lease a unit and pay a portion of the rent. This portion is based on the adjusted income of the tenants and most pay approximately 30% of their adjusted income on rent.

What is Adjusted Income?

The adjusted income of an individual or family is determined through a formula. It is the households total gross income minus deduction for dependents under 18, full-time students, and disabled persons. Age (if elderly) is also a factor, as well as certain disability assistance and medical expenses. This is determined through an asset test that is administered when looking for a property. After income calculations, most Section 8 allowances will subsidize roughly 70% of a person’s rent, reducing the portion they are responsible for to 30% of the total.

Where Can Section 8 be Used?

Section 8 is a federal program, so most Section 8 vouchers can be accepted anywhere in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Residency requirements are a factor, however, so in most states you must live there for 12 months before you can leave. Local states and municipalities have their own rules as well. Another key factor is that income changes (such as a raise or promotion) or changes in living situation (such as having a child) must be reported or they can result in being expelled from the program.

How Do I Find Section 8 Housing?

Individual states have their own pages through the national HUD websitethat offer a wealth of resources for individuals seeking Section 8 assistance. The HUD also has its own pageof detailed guidelines and regulations on you can obtain or keep any Section 8 benefits.

The bottom line is that Section 8 Housing is designed to assist individuals in finding affordable housing anywhere in the country. Many local offices are also available to help with any additional questions you may have.

Pet Agreement Contract

Signing a Pet Agreement Contract

Pet Agreement Contract

Your new apartment is meant to be a home for all of your immediate family, and that includes your furry family members. Many apartment buildings and complexes are now pet friendly, meaning you can bring your cats and dogs with you when you move. Many times residents have to pay an additional fee up front and their rent may have an extra charge each month, but those are things outlined in the “Pet Agreement” portion of the lease. You may not know what is involved in a Pet Agreement, but here are some of the common parts of a basic Pet agreement contract that is in most leases.

Type of Pets Allowed

Pet agreements are designs to protect both tenants and property managers. It outlines the rules for owning a pet on the property for all tenants, including non-pet owners. It helps state which types of animals are allowed to be pets. Some properties won’t allow “dangerous breeds” of dogs such as pit bulls. These agreements also may set a weight limit on dogs. It is also common to state that the only pets allowed are those owned by the tenant, so guests cannot bring their pets when visiting.

Some landlords and property managers may only allow dogs and cats, while others can allow more exotic animals. Something as simple as a goldfish generally doesn’t apply to a pet policy, but lizards, snakes, and other exotic animals.

Licenses and Vaccinations

A Pet Agreement also outlines that a pet owner should follow proper health and identification processes. This means making sure pets have a proper ID tag on their collars and that they also have all of their vaccinations. There are  local ordinances require concerning regular cat and dog vaccinations and licenses, so property managers will insist on proof of compliance.

Pet Fees

Keeping up after pets is important, so a pet agreement will outline any additional fees necessary as well as the rules for keeping pets under control. Tenants are required to clean up after their pets both inside and outside the apartment. Some may even require pet owners to carry renter’s insurance in order to cover damage caused by pets. If there are additional fees such as a pet deposit or an additional monthly charge on top of rent it will also be outlined in the Pet Agreement Contract.

Finally, a pet agreement contract is often subject to change. Sometimes a landlord will have a “grandfather clause” exempting tenants already in the building from having to comply with the new rules for pets they already had before the changes took place. Typically, property managers will give 30 days’ notice before any changes to the pet policy will take effect.

Apartment decorating ideas

Alternative Wall Coverings for Your Apartment

When you rent an apartment you want to make it your own. It might be your first place that is truly your own, so you want to put your personal stamp on it. Unfortunately, many times landlords have limitations on what you can put on the walls. Some may not allow nail holes to hang artwork or photos, while others may not allow you to paint the walls. There are other options, however. Here are some ideas for alternative wall coverings that can help you truly make your new apartment your own.

Temporary Wallpaper

It can be tricky to put up smoothly, but there are types of wallpaper that are considered strippable or peelable. This is specifically designed to be removed easily with an adhesive that holds it on the wall, but is not very strong. This type of wallpaper can easily be found at moge large hardware stores.

Peel and Stick Tiles

Want to create your own backsplash in the bathroom or kitchen? You can now cover up an existing backsplash with temporary peel-and-stick tiles. They can be removed easily with no residue and be cut to fit your specific space.

Wall Decals

Companies like Fathead have made a name for themselves lately by producing officially licensed large wall decals. You can get life-sized decals of your favorite sports logos or players, licensed characters from your favorite film size, and more.

Fabric or Curtains

There are a couple of options you can use here.  You can stretch your fabric tightly over the wall, then secure it using thumbtacks or small nails, or you can buy inexpensive foam boards that are as tall as your walls, cover them with fabric, then attach the boards to the wall. Curtains may seem a bit odd, but with an ordinary curtain rod you can hang any number of good looking fabrics from ceiling to floor.

Decorative Tape

In recent years there have been hundreds of different designs developed for decorative tape. It comes in several colors and styles and you can make any design you wish. Decorative tape goes on like masking tape and can therefore be easily removed when it comes time for you to move. You can even get creative and use wrapping paper to create larger, more complex designs. Just be forewarned that it may be very fragile.

These are just a few of your options for ways to decorate your walls that won’t leave any damage with alternative wall coverings. You also don’t have to worry about repainting when it comes time to move.