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What San Francisco Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

What San Francisco Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

The City by the Bay is mostly known for its hilly streets, trolleys and Victorian-style homes.

Year-round perfect weather, a scenic coastline, nearby mountains for skiing and hiking, and tech — these are all reasons to live and enjoy the neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Tourists visit the usual hot spots — a stroll down Lombard Street, takeout in Chinatown and a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. But if you’re looking to make a San Francisco neighborhood your new home, there are specific areas with unique characters, flavors and a sense of community.

The most popular San Francisco neighborhoods … and Oakland

You may have already done your research and narrowed down your choices to specific neighborhoods based on family- or pet-friendliness, proximity to parks or greenery, or public transportation. Either way, take our San Francisco neighborhood quiz to find out which suits you best.

Mission Bay

mission bay

Despite the fact that in the 1890s Mission Bay was once called Dumpville due to the garbage that flowed downhill, it has evolved to be one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods.

Located adjacent to the downtown SOMA (South of Market) area, it sits right on the water and is bordered by China Basin on the north. It’s close to the action but offers outdoor recreational activities, such as walking along the water and green parks.

Mission Bay, which is home to newer high rises and developments, are great for young families and professionals who may not want to be so centrally located in SF and away from the hustle and bustle.

Expect to spend about $3,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment here.

North Beach

north beach san francisco neighborhoods

North Beach is known as “Little Italy” and is perfect if you enjoy old school, traditional Italian food and cafes. Despite its name, it’s not close to an actual beach. However, it’s a prime location if you want to be close to the pier and near the Embarcadero, which is just a ferry ride away from the East Bay or Sausalito.

North Beach is a walk-friendly neighborhood, close to restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown where you can get your pizza, gelato and egg noodle soup!

Nob Hill

nob hill san francisco neighborhoods

Who doesn’t want to live in Nob Hill? It’s one of S.F.’s signature neighborhoods, centrally located in the heart of the city and close to shopping at Union Square, a Trader Joe’s and Grace’s Cathedral. Nob Hill is known for its historic mansions, city landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park. However, the neighborhood isn’t pretentious and is influenced by the diverse residents and close proximity to the downtown surrounding areas.

Although it’s close to Lombard Street and can get quite hilly, you can always hop on the cable car to get up the hill.

Dogpatch

dogpatch san francisco neighborhoods

Source: Avalon Dogpatch

This oddly-named neighborhood in S.F. consists of mostly single-family homes and duplexes. It’s an area full of designers, artists, creative entrepreneurs and musicians. Dogpatch has evolved over the years with newer developments, art galleries and a mix of trendy restaurants and has a hip, industrial vibe to it.

The main drag, on Third Street, is full of indy boutiques, local artisans, bakeries and cafes. The area, which is located right next to Potrero Hill, is also relatively flat, so it’s great for riding your bike around town. It has a laid back vibe and feels like a small community tucked away in a big city.

A one-bedroom apartment in Dogpatch will cost an average of $3,670 each month.

Rincon Hill

rincon hill san francisco neighborhoods

Rincon Hill is a part of SOMA and is bordered by Folsom Street, the Embarcadero, Bryant Street and Essex Street. If you look up, you’ll see the Bay Bridge, which connects the city to Oakland.

It’s considered one of S.F.’s best places to live, since it’s a part of the downtown area and easily accessible by public transportation. It’s also home to the infamous Salesforce Tower and at one point, had one of the priciest penthouses in the city, at $42 million.

It’s also one of the most expensive neighborhoods for renters. Your average one-bedroom apartment here only costs $5,700 a month.

Parkmerced

parkmerced

If you’re new to S.F., you’ve probably never heard of Parkmerced. It’s the opposite of what the rest of S.F. looks like, with cookie-cutter high-rises and townhomes. The area is also difficult to get around if you don’t have a car.

Tucked away near San Francisco State University, it’s further out and feels more like a real suburb. Parkmerced is centered around Lake Merced, a freshwater lake located in a 614-acre park that’s adjacent to Daly City, close to the ocean and centered around Lake Merced.

The area was originally conceived by MetLife Insurance Company, which purchased a large plot of land to build a “small city” for middle-income families. While you’ll be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, Parkmerced is a fine choice if you want to be around peaceful surroundings but still close to the heart of S.F.

A one-bedroom apartment in Parkmerced will cost a little under $3,000 a month on average.

Tenderloin

tenderloin san francisco neighborhoods

Situated between S.F.’s famous Union Square shopping area and Civic Center, the Tenderloin can be viewed as a controversial neighborhood. Some might call it dangerous or problematic because of the homelessness, others say it’s full of character and remains one of the most unchanged parts of S.F., and rich with character.

The neighborhood is thriving and full of artists and activists, as well as immigrants. The rental market in this up-and-coming area may still be affordable, which makes it a viable choice for young professionals who are just starting off in their careers.

Living in Tenderloin will set you about $3,800 a month for an average one-bedroom apartment.

Oakland

oakland

Yes, we know, Oakland isn’t part of San Francisco. But it’s just a few miles away across the Bay Bridge. It’s also the third-largest city in the area and has its own Chinatown, man-made lake (Lake Merritt) and an up-and-coming downtown area.

It’s convenient for folks who want to be close to the city, but also live in a house and have a car. Oakland offers a trendy mix of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and even has its conveniently located Redwood Regional Park for a day hike. Some of the trendier areas in Oakland include Temescal, Rockridge, Piedmont, Grand Lake and Uptown.

Certain neighborhoods in Oakland are more expensive than others, but as a whole, you can expect to pay an average of $3,380 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city.

Find the best San Francisco neighborhood for you

Still undecided about your San Francisco neighborhood? Just answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!

Who’s coming with you?

What do you love most about a big city?

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday?

What’s on your wish list for your next place to live?

How would your friends describe you?

How clean are you?

What are your top priorities right now?

What do you want to see when you first wake up in the morning?

What kind of weather best suits you?

Which San Francisco Neighborhood Should You Call Home?

Mission Bay

Mission Bay

Despite the fact that in the 1890s Mission Bay was once called Dumpville due to the garbage that flowed downhill, it has evolved to be one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods.
Located adjacent to the downtown SOMA (South of Market) area, it sits right on the water and is bordered by China Basin on the north. It’s close to the action but offers outdoor recreational activities, such as walking along the water and green parks.
The neighborhood is home to newer high rises and developments and is great for young families and professionals who may want to be away from the hustle and bustle.

Find Apartments in Mission Bay

North Beach

North Beach is known as “Little Italy” and is perfect if you enjoy old school, traditional Italian food and cafes. Despite its name, it’s not close to an actual beach. However, it’s a prime location if you want to be close to the pier and near the Embarcadero, which is just a ferry ride away from the East Bay or Sausalito.
North Beach is a walk-friendly neighborhood, close to restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown where you can get your pizza, gelato and egg noodle soup!

Find Apartments in North Beach

Nob Hill

Nob Hill

Who doesn’t want to live in Nob Hill? It’s one of S.F.’s signature neighborhoods, centrally located in the heart of the city and close to shopping at Union Square. Nob Hill is known for its historic mansions, city landmarks and luxury hotels that border Huntington Park. However, the neighborhood isn’t pretentious and is influenced by the diverse residents and close proximity to the downtown surrounding areas.
Although it’s close to Lombard Street and can get quite hilly, you can always hop on the cable car to get up the hill.

Find Apartments in Nob Hill

Dogpatch

Dogpatch

This oddly-named neighborhood in S.F. consists of mostly single-family homes and duplexes. It’s an area full of designers, artists, creative entrepreneurs and musicians. Dogpatch has evolved over the years with newer developments, art galleries and a mix of trendy restaurants and has a hip, industrial vibe to it.
The main drag, on Third Street, is full of indie boutiques and local artisan and bakeries and cafes. The area is also relatively flat, so it’s great for riding your bike around town. It has a laid back vibe and feels like a small community tucked away in a big city.

Find Apartments in Dogpatch

Rincon Hill

Rincon HIll

Rincon Hill, which is now called the East Cut, is a part of SOMA and is bordered by Folsom Street, the Embarcadero, Bryant Street and Essex Street. If you look up, you’ll see the Bay Bridge, which connects the city to Oakland.
It’s considered one of S.F.’s best places to live, since it’s a part of the downtown area and easily accessible by public transportation. It’s also home to the infamous Salesforce Tower and at one point, had one of the priciest penthouses in the city, at $42 million.

Find Apartments in Rincon Hill

Parkmerced

Park Merced

Tucked away near San Francisco State University, this neighborhood is further out and feels more like a real suburb. Parkmerced is centered around Lake Merced, a freshwater lake located in a 614-acre park that’s adjacent to Daly City, close to the ocean and centered around Lake Merced.
The area was originally conceived by MetLife Insurance Company, which purchased a large plot of land to build a “small city” for middle income families. While you’ll be outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, Parkmerced is a fine choice if you want to be around peaceful surroundings but still close to the heart of S.F.

Find Apartments in Parkmerced

Tenderloin

Situated between S.F.’s famous Union Square shopping area and Civic Center, the Tenderloin can be viewed as a controversial neighborhood. Some might call it dangerous or problematic because of the homelessness, others say it’s full of character and remains one of the most unchanged parts of S.F., and rich with character.
The neighborhood is thriving and full of artists and activists, as well as immigrants. The rental market in this up-and-coming area may still be affordable, which makes it a viable choice for young professionals who are just starting off in their careers.

Find Apartments in the Tenderloin

Oakland

Oakland, a large port city in the East Bay, is just a few miles away from S.F., just across the Bay Bridge. It’s the third largest city and has its own Chinatown, man-made lake (Lake Merritt) and an up-and-coming downtown area.
It’s convenient for folks who want to be close to the city, but also live in a house and have a car. Oakland offers a trendy mix of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and even has its conveniently located Redwood Regional Park for a day hike. Some of the trendier areas in Oakland include Temescal, Rockridge, Piedmont, Grand Lake and Uptown.

Find Apartments in Oakland

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in September 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article 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, 22 Sep 2020 13:00:20 +0000

166 Cities Where You Can’t Afford to Live on the Median Income

City living can be fun, but it can also be expensive.

Although living in a city can provide you unbeatable work opportunities and professional connections, being able to live close to those opportunities is becoming more and more difficult to afford. Incomes have stagnated while rent and general cost of living has increased, which is creating a less than favorable rent-to-income ratio in many areas.

So, if you’re considering a move to a new city, it’s important to know if you’ll be able to afford to live there comfortably. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, here are 166 cities where you can’t afford to live comfortably on the median income, as well as a closer look at the top 25 cities for income to rent disparities.

What percentage of my income should go towards rent?

When apartment-hunting, it’s important to know your budget and stick to it. It’s easy to be led astray by the perfect apartment that ticks all your boxes, causing you to justify going over your limit because you just have to have that breakfast nook or park-view windows. But you also have other essential expenses to consider like utilities, food, transport, entertainment and savings. That’s why there’s a general rule you should follow to make sure you’re setting yourself up for financial success as a renter.

Overall, the rule of thumb when considering the rent-to-income ratio is that you should only spend 30 percent of your gross monthly income on your rent. If you follow this rule, you should be able to budget for all your other necessary expenditures, including accounting for income taxes. But there are many cities where only spending 30 percent on rent is easier said than done.

The 25 most expensive U.S. cities by rent-to-income ratio

It probably won’t be a surprise to see that many of the most expensive cities in the U.S. are located on the coasts. These coastal cities have long been some of the country’s top centers of culture and commerce. But there are still a few that you probably wouldn’t have expected to see on this list, where the rent-to-income ratio has been inching up over the years.

25. Kissimmee, FL

Kissimmee, FL rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $35,574
  • Average rent: $1,424 (monthly), $17,088 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 48.0 percent

Residents of this central Florida city spend nearly half of their income on rent, which is a real surprise considering Kissimmee is located just south of Orlando. But therein lies its appeal. Kissimmee offers fast and easy access to the area’s many top amusement parks like Disney World, as well as outdoor recreation at local lakes and wilderness areas.

24. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, LA

  • Median income: $38,423
  • Average rent: $1,544 (monthly), $18,528 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 48.2 percent

Living in the Big Easy isn’t so easy these days for renters, with almost half of the monthly checks going to rent. But it’s easy to see why people are still drawn to New Orleans, even with the steep cost of living. The city’s vibrant cultural life, diverse history, enthralling music, delicious food, party scene (including the famous Mardi Gras) and sense of community is second to none.

23. Yonkers, NY

Yonkers, NY

  • Median income: $60,436
  • Average rent: $2,439 (monthly), $29,268 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 48.4 percent

Can’t afford New York City prices? Decamp about half an hour up the Hudson to Yonkers. This Westchester County city is popular for its many historical attractions and green areas, as well as being easy commuting distance to N.Y.C. You’re still paying “close to New York City prices” when it comes to rent, but it’s still more affordable than the city itself or closer spots like the next city of the list.

22. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City, NJ

  • Median income: $72,561
  • Average rent: $2,997 (monthly), $35,964 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 49.6 percent

Expect to shell out nearly three grand per month for a one-bedroom in New Jersey’s second-largest city, which faces the island of Manhattan from the west over the Hudson River. But living in Jersey City gives you near-instant access to N.Y.C., as well as plenty of local attractions like the Liberty State Park, great museums like the Ellis Island Museum and dining to rival the food scene across the river.

21. Deerfield Beach, FL

Deerfield Beach, FL rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $45,172
  • Average rent: $1,870 (monthly), $22,440 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 49.7 percent

It’s a surprise that this neighbor to high-profile South Florida enclaves like Boca Raton and Palm Beach is even more expensive, taking a hefty chunk of change out of your pocket each month for rent. But for those craving the charms of Florida without the crowds that flock to neighboring cities and beaches, Deerfield Beach delivers with its under-the-radar amenities like pristine beaches, lush parks and urban green areas, numerous outdoor activities like golf and cable skiing, laid-back vibes and access to nearby Miami’s cosmopolitan thrills.

20. Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

  • Median income: $57,238
  • Average rent: $2,395 (monthly), $28,740 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 50.2 percent

Chicago blows half of your monthly take-home out of your wallet each month to cover rent, but if you can take the high costs and blustery gales that earned this city its nickname, you’ll be rewarded. Sitting on the edge of Lake Michigan, Illinois’ largest city is home to one of the most happening performing arts scenes in the U.S., fantastic museums and cultural institutions, art-filled outdoor spaces like Millennium Park, diverse architecture and great food — you’ll quickly pick a side in the best deep-dish pizza wars.

19. Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $35,403
  • Average rent: $1,484 (monthly), $17,808 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 50.3 percent

Sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario with Canada just across the border, the city of Rochester may not immediately come to mind as being so expensive, but its world-renowned universities and institutes and tech industry keep it a bustling place to live. Locals get to enjoy a fantastic music scene, intriguing museums and abundant green spaces and easy access to wilderness areas and activities close by.

18. Miami Beach, FL

Miami Beach, FL

  • Median income: $55,058
  • Average rent: $2,356 (monthly), $28,272 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 51.3 percent

Connected to mainland Miami by bridges, the island paradise of Miami Beach costs a pretty penny for renters. Under the fierce Florida sun, the past and the present swirl together, with sleek, ocean-view high-rises setting up shop next to historic Art Deco buildings. Living here, it’s all about the good life, whether that’s chilling at the beach, going to parties and nightclubs, partaking of multicultural cuisine or shopping ’til you drop.

17. Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA

  • Median income: $76,469
  • Average rent: $3,371 (monthly), $40,452 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 52.9 percent

As the cost of living in San Francisco soars, many Bay Area residents and new arrivals are heading across the waters to Oakland, where you can expect more than half of your monthly income to go to rent. But Oakland is a thriving, enthralling city in its own right, with a flourishing food scene, beautiful architecture, innovative art, ample parks and green areas and an entire lake near downtown.

16. Boulder, CO

Boulder, CO rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $62,207
  • Average rent: $2,747 (monthly), $32,964 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 53.0 percent

Nestled among the foothills of the Rockies, Boulder is one of Colorado’s fastest-growing cities, as outdoor recreation and nature lovers ditch Denver to live right next door to their beloved hiking and mountain-biking trails, and entrepreneurs come for the start-up culture. You can go rock climbing, hiking or cycling among the mountains in no time, then head back into town for craft brews, hearty eats and robust entertainment and fun thanks to a thriving arts scene.

15. Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, OH

  • Median income: $29,953
  • Average rent: $1,342 (monthly), $16,104 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 53.8 percent

Home to renowned museums and cultural institutions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a network of protected nature reserves that offers easy access to outdoor fun and more, Cleveland finds the perfect balance between urban and natural fun. While more affordable than other East Coast metropolitan areas, you’re still looking at using mroe than half your monthly income for rent.

14. Hartford, CT

Hartford, CT

  • Median income: $30,444
  • Average rent: $1,410 (monthly), $16,920 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 55.6 percent

Picturesque and rife with history, Hartford was a center for the abolitionist movement of the 19th century and home to legendary writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. Its rich past still shows through its architecture, monuments and museums. Sitting side by side with all that history are bustling modern industries like insurance and education, and plenty in the way of entertainment, dining and fun to keep locals happy.

13. Lawrence, MA

Lawrence, MA rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $41,356
  • Average rent: $1,919 (monthly), $23,028 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 55.7 percent

This diverse, multicultural city full of nature and history is just a short drive from Boston, making it an ideal option for commuters who don’t mind the drive. If you’re looking to avoid the prices in the Boston area, Lawrence is much more affordable but still on the higher end of the scale, with the average rent-to-income ratio being more than 50 percent.

12. Philadelphia, PA

philadelphia

  • Median income: $46,116
  • Average rent: $2,146 (monthly), $25,752 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 55.8 percent

Pennsylvania’s largest city is also one of the most important in early American history. It was in Philadelphia that the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed at Independence Hall, as well as being the home of the Liberty Bell. History buffs will always have a field day here, but there’s plenty else to enjoy, including sports (the city is home to the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and the 76ers for football, baseball, hockey and basketball, respectively) and noshing on famous local foods like hoagies and Philly cheesesteaks.

11. New Haven, CT

New Haven, CT

  • Median income: $41,950
  • Average rent: $2,058 (monthly), $24,696 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 58.9 percent

New Haven is the archetypal image of a quaint New England town, full of historic buildings, leafy trees and sprawling green parks. With history stretching back to the 1600s, it’s best known for being the home of Yale University. As a college town, you’ll find plenty of academic diversions, such as elegant libraries and museums, and the natural beauties of New England’s forests and waterways offer plenty of outdoor activities. But to live in such rarified air doesn’t come cheap, at a rent-to-income ratio of nearly 60 percent.

10. Providence, RI

Providence, RI rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $42,347
  • Average rent: $2,129 (monthly), $25,548 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 60.3 percent

Providence‘s past glory as a center of manufacturing has evolved into a sterling reputation for higher education, thanks for local Ivy League member Brown University and the Rhode Island School for Design, one of the nation’s top art schools. Outside of education, healthcare is also a major player. All this demand for top talent and the transitory nature of college towns keeps rents up.

9. Detroit, MI

Detroit, MI

  • Median income: $31,283
  • Average rent: $1,591 (monthly), $19,092 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 61.0 percent

Although Detroit fell from the lofty heights of being the home of the U.S. auto industry and birthing Motown, through hard work and dedication, it’s slowly starting to rebound, with new industries taking hold, urban revitalization and the renewal and preservation of some of the city’s architectural treasures. With a storied past as a center for music, art and culture, the city is rediscovering its roots and rising from the ashes. But there’s still a long way to go, so even with new jobs and opportunities popping up, the cost of rent is still high compared to income.

8. Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

  • Median income: $62,474
  • Average rent: $3,200 (monthly), $38,400 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 61.5 percent

The scenic California coast. Good weather year-round. The one and only Hollywood. Los Angeles needs no introduction. Everyone with a dream of making it big in the movies comes here, and many come here anyway just for the fine weather, endless art and entertainment and diverse food. But even this sprawling city is packed to bursting, and the average rent prices prove it. Be prepared to pony up over 60 percent of that paycheck for those silver screen dreams.

7. Boston, MA

Boston, MA rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $71,834
  • Average rent: $3,757 (monthly), $45,084 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 62.8 percent

Another giant of education, history and culture, Boston’s prowess in higher education, booming start-up market, thriving industries like finance and IT and world-class arts and culture scenes have kept this legendary city among the top East Coast metro areas since its founding. But it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., and although median incomes are high, so is the rent.

6. Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica, CA

  • Median income: $96,138
  • Average rent: $5,066 (monthly), $60,792 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 63.2 percent

For a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica, you’ll be looking at a sticker-shock price of more than five grand. But for all that, you get to live close to some of California’s most scenic beaches, enjoy famous attractions like the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade, treat yourself to cutting-edge cuisine, max out your credit cards at some of the best shopping anywhere in the world and soak up that SoCal beach lifestyle.

5. Camden, NJ

Camden, NJ

  • Median income: $25,928
  • Average rent: $1,496 (monthly), $17,952 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 69.2 percent

One would assume that Camden — located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia — would be more affordable than its big-city neighbor but not so. The median income is low, and the rents are high, taking nearly 70 percent of monthly income. However, it’s easy to commute back and forth from Philly for work, you can live close to a major cosmopolitan center, and Camden has plenty of undercover charms, like cool museums and lush parks.

4. Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $37,642
  • Average rent: $2,181 (monthly), $26,172 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 69.5 percent

New Jersey’s largest city is also its most expensive in rent-to-income ratio, with one-bedroom apartments taking nearly 70 percent of your monthly earnings. Compared to N.Y.C., which isn’t far away, it’s still a steal, though. In Newark, you’ll find some lovely parks, interesting art and history museums and the famous Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

3. Alhambra, CA

Alhambra, CA

  • Median income: $57,432
  • Average rent: $3,439 (monthly), $41,268 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 71.9 percent

A short drive from downtown L.A., the city of Alhambra probably won’t immediately ring a bell like other more famous parts of Los Angeles County. Flying under the radar has allowed this city to develop a charming small-town atmosphere while being almost in the heart of L.A., with quaint homes and apartments, great eats and a laid-back vibe. But it doesn’t come cheap, at more than 70 percent rent-to-income ratio.

2. Miami, FL

Miami, FL

  • Median income: $41,818
  • Average rent: $2,535 (monthly), $30,420 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 72.7 percent

As Florida’s most happening city for art, culture, entertainment and commerce, Miami holds great appeal. From its famous beaches to vibrant party life, there’s never a dull moment. But it’s not all fun and games when it comes to being able to live in this balmy seafront paradise, as, on average, more than 70 percent of your monthly take-home goes to rent.

1. New York, NY

New York, NY rent to income ratio

  • Median income: $63,799
  • Average rent: $4,333 (monthly), $51,996 (yearly)
  • Rent to income ratio: 81.5 percent

It should come as no surprise that New York itself is the least affordable city for rent-to-income ratio, as residents pay a whopping 81.5 percent of their gross monthly income to cover the rent. But ask any New Yorker, and they’ll swear up and down it’s worth it. They’re at the center of the universe, as many like to call N.Y.C., living in a global epicenter for commerce, art, food and culture.

The 166 most expensive cities in the U.S.

In addition to the top 25 cities we just covered, here’s the full list of the 166 cities around the U.S., where rent will eat up the most of your monthly income.

The key to city living is balance, affordability

Living in an urban environment is always exciting, no matter what city you’re in. But if the income to rent ratio is too high, you won’t have the money to enjoy all the unique activities your city has to offer, as well as to live comfortably and to put away savings. So, it’s important to find a city that allows you to live within your budget, follow the 30 percent rule and still be able to go out and have fun.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in August 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Income data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Mon, 21 Sep 2020 13:00:40 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’ve long had a love affair with wide plank hardwood flooring. I can’t actually pinpoint when the look seeped into my consciousness. I suspect it started when I began voraciously collecting European design magazines, as wide plank hardwood flooring is a mainstay of European and specifically Scandinavian design. Yet for so long wide plank floors were only used in “rustic” design in the United States. But I am the first to say that wide plank hardwood flooring is not only modern but timeless. I so firmly believe this, I made the decision from day one that I would put a wider plank hardwood throughout my own house!

Five years later, I only wish I’d know about Carlisle Wide Plank Floors when we were in the middle of our renovations. Going with a company like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors would have made my life so much simpler. They literally are your one-stop-shop for wide plank hardwood flooring – offering different wood species, various stains, and the ability to customize just about everything – you can find virtually any look you’re going for.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

I’m particularly smitten with white oak. White oak wears incredibly well, can take a variety of stains and will blend seamlessly with the look of any home. The typically lighter hue helps make spaces feel open, brighter and bigger. And while you think light floors would show dirt, dust, dander, pet hair and scratches, that all shows much more on dark floors. Trust me, I’ve had dark floors and it was not so fun.

A wonderful example of white oak wide plank flooring is in the stunning modern kitchen and dining space pictured above. I am obsessed with the idea of a floating kitchen – one that simply exists in the space – rather than being a room unto itself. The wide plank floors from Carlisle offer beautiful sweeping movement across the room without feeling busy or distracting.

I’m also often asked if you can/should mix wood tones in your home. The answer is a resounding yes and that kitchen is another excellent example of why multiple wood tones work so well together. The darker woods used for the cabinetry and storage area add more warmth that plays off the white oak floor while the black accents throughout – chair backs, counters, light fixture, and the stove hood – serve to anchor everything.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

In contrast, the wide plank floor used in this kitchen offers a more casual feel to what would otherwise be a very classic all-white kitchen. The floors selected here are quartersawn, meaning they’re cut to enhance the natural grain and showcase the knots and texture found in the wood. A minimal, matte stain was used, giving the wood a natural look. The wide plank floor is the perfect complement to the modern stools, stretches of classic marble and brass hardware used in the space.

Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34 Why I Love Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring and Why You Should Too on Apt34

If you’re looking to make an update to your home and want an elegant, timeless yet decidedly modern style, I strongly suggest considering wide plank hardwood flooring. I know I’ll put wide plank flooring in any home I do in the future (can you tell I’m itching for a new project!).

This post is in partnership with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

photography courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors and by Seth Smoot for Apartment 34

Published at Wed, 05 Aug 2020 18:58:28 +0000

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Apartment Living

Your Guide to the Best Omaha Neighborhoods

Your Guide to the Best Omaha Neighborhoods

With former towns and areas creating nearly 100 Omaha, NE, neighborhoods, the city is a hodgepodge of history and culture. From the early days of Omaha’s downtown near the current Old Market to Elkhorn on the western edge of the city, the neighborhoods in the nation’s 40th-largest city have unique stories to share. From street days celebrations to music festivals, as Omaha continues to grow, new neighborhoods help create smaller communities, each with their own unique personalities.

Getting to know Omaha’s best neighborhoods

Cities like Florence, Millard and South Omaha were founded during the mid-1800s, when Omaha itself was a small city, with little to no plans for the growth it would experience over the next several decades. Florence, north of downtown Omaha, was home to the winter headquarters for Mormon pioneers on their trek from Nauvoo, IL, to Salt Lake City, UT. Florence was annexed by Omaha in 1917. It’s currently home to the Mormon Trails Center and the Florence Mill, which was founded by a Mormon family. Today, you can enjoy breakfast at Harold’s Koffeehouse or dinner at OJ’s Café or Finicky Frank’s.

Founded in 1870, Millard enjoyed its sovereignty for nearly a century before Omaha annexed it in 1971, following a lengthy court battle against annexation. South Omaha, the city’s melting pot for immigrants through the years, was founded in 1884. “The Magic City,” as it was nicknamed, was home to packing houses that relied on immigrant workers.

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Annexed by Omaha in 1917, South Omaha was once home to the world’s largest stockyards, before they moved away from the area. You can still get a delicious steak at Johnny’s Café, one of Omaha’s oldest restaurants.

Omaha neighborhoods invite you to explore and learn their history. Whether you prefer classic neighborhoods, with their history and charm, or newer districts, created for development and convenience, Omaha has the perfect neighborhood for families, young professionals and singles.

Best neighborhoods in Omaha for families

Good schools, access to parks and plenty of activities help set apart these neighborhoods for families.

Aksarben/Elmwood Park

Aksarben/Elmwood Park

Source: ZAG Apartments

Once home to the Aksarben horse track, the Aksarben/Elmwood Park neighborhood is a mix of classic homes, apartments and condos. Aksarben got its start in 1895 when community organizers sought to create an area to share history and culture. Coining the name Aksarben — Nebraska backwards — it grew into a civic organization that included the race track and an entertainment coliseum.

Today, the race complex has been replaced by Aksarben Village, a mix of business, retail, dining and entertainment options. With the spacious Elmwood Park and University of Nebraska at Omaha north campus on its northside, Aksarben has become one of the best Omaha neighborhoods with its festivals, such as Earth Day, community concerts at Stinson Park and Shakespeare on the Green at UNO.

It hosts a weekend farmers market from April through October, as well being home to a variety of restaurants and bars. The UNO athletic teams, including hockey, volleyball and basketball, play at Baxter Arena — also site to major concerts — on the south side of the neighborhood.

Dundee/Memorial Park/Happy Hollow

Dundee/Memorial Park/Happy Hollow

How would you like to call one of the world’s richest men a neighbor? Living in the same house he purchased after college, billionaire Warren Buffett lives in the Happy Hollow area of Omaha. Although he has made a few modifications to the home over the years, Buffett still comes across as the nice guy Omahans believe him to be.

Designed as Omaha’s original suburb, Dundee is home to vintage houses and a unique downtown featuring classic restaurants and e-Creamery, one of the best ice cream parlors you’ll ever visit. And you may meet a celebrity or two while visiting, as some locals did when Buffett and Sir Paul McCartney enjoyed an ice cream treat near a street corner.

As you stroll along Underwood Avenue, look for the historical marker highlighting the time a Japanese balloon bomb exploded over the area during World War II. Dundee is home to great food, such as Cajun extraordinaire Acadian Grille or great pizza at Pitch Pizzeria. The Dundee area has excellent public parks, including Memorial Park, home to the annual Independence Day weekend concert and fireworks show.

Elkhorn

Elkhorn

Source: Broadmoor Hills

Founded in 1865 and named after the nearby Elkhorn River, Elkhorn grew from a village to a small city of about 6,000 before being annexed by Omaha in 2005. With a classic small-town business district, you’ll find unique shops and restaurants, along with a good park system.

Contemporary businesses and eateries can be found along Maple Street that connects the newer neighborhood to the rest of Omaha. With classic and new houses, as well as apartment and condo communities, Elkhorn is Omaha’s western border.

With its own school district, Elkhorn public schools have grown from one high school to three. The city hosts Elkhorn Days each summer, as well as a renaissance festival. The area’s Indian Creek golf course hosts the Korn Ferry pro golf tournament each summer. While it may be one the newer areas, Elkhorn is considered one of the best Omaha neighborhoods for families.

Best neighborhoods in Omaha for young professionals

These neighborhoods are popular with young professionals for their vibrant mix of restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife.

Midtown Crossing

Midtown Crossing

Located west of downtown Omaha, Midtown Crossing has become one of the best Omaha neighborhoods for young professionals. A retail and entertainment district, Midtown Crossing features a mix of new and vintage housing options.

For young professionals, there are outdoor concerts, including the annual Jazz on the Green, as well as a unique movie theater, and Spielbound, a combination coffeehouse/board game café. With a variety of restaurants, including vegan, farm-to-table and a Buffalo wing sports bar, Midtown Crossing caters to almost any dining preference.

Old Market

Old Market

Omaha’s original downtown is also a perfect area for young professionals to call home. With older buildings converted into homes, as well as condos along the Missouri Riverfront, you’re only minutes away from many of the city’s key employers, such as Union Pacific.

With your choice of restaurants, clubs and bars, Old Market is perfect if you prefer to be in the middle of the action in the heart of the city. It’s a great walking area and pet friendly. The original farmers market takes place on Saturdays from April to October, and then the Old Market transforms into holiday haven with thousands of white lights shining brightly. Carriage rides, outdoor dining and street musicians highlight a day or evening out in the Old Market.

Highlander

Highlander Neighborhood

Source: 1009 N 29th St

Once considered a sketchy area, the 30th and Parker streets area has been transformed into Highlander, a mixed-use neighborhood of new housing, along with older, renovated apartments.

The area along 30th Street is anchored by the Highlander Accelerator, with Hardy Coffee and Big Mama’s soul food restaurant as its best-known residents. Hardy Coffee moved its corporate operations from the Old Market to Highlander, including its coffee roasting and bakery. The expanded coffeehouse is perfect for work and hosting meetings.

Big Mama’s new location offers easier access to one of Omaha’s favorite restaurants. A few blocks to the north is Time Out chicken, considered the best takeout chicken in Omaha. Highlander’s plan is to host outdoor concerts, as well as offering additional restaurants.

Best neighborhoods in Omaha for singles

Singles flock to these neighborhoods, which buzz with activity 24/7.

Blackstone

Blackstone

Source: The Blackstone Apartments

Blackstone is one of Omaha’s newest districts and has quickly become one of the best Omaha neighborhoods for singles with a bevy of dining options. Once one of the city’s richest areas, with mansions lining Farnam Street, the area fell into disrepair after the stock market crash in 1929.

As residents were unable to maintain their homes, many of the mansions became boarding houses and funeral homes. Former mansions that once lined the Gold Coast sat empty and were demolished. The ones that survived became apartment buildings.

Today, those apartments and other mansions surround the Blackstone District, home to about a dozen restaurants offering everything from gourmet meatballs to farm-to-table entrees, as well as an ice cream parlor with homemade treats also caters to vegans.

With several lounges and Farnam House Brewing Company in the district, which runs west of Midtown Crossing to the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus, you can relax with a quality whiskey or enjoy a nice glass of pinot. An artisan coffeehouse, Archetype, serves as a gathering spot for people at all times of the day.

Little Bohemia

Little Bohemia

Source: Facebook/LittleBoNC

With its name derived from Czech immigrants settling the area along 13th Street in the late 1800s, Little Bohemia for years was anchored by the Bohemian Café. Known for its authentic Eastern European dinners, the restaurant was a favorite for family get-togethers. However, after more than 90 years, the restaurant closed in 2016. That move gave way to creating Omaha’s newest district, Little Bohemia.

Quickly establishing itself as a popular area for singles and young couples, Little Bohemia is home to a mix of bars and retail outlets. Infusion Brewery took over the Bohemian Café spot to open its third location Omaha. Beercade 2 is a spinoff of Benson’s Beercade, featuring classic arcade games and beer — the perfect combination for a great time. Along with boutiques and other shops, Little Bohemia’s rise as one of the best Omaha neighborhoods is accentuated by a second Archetype coffee location.

Benson

Benson

Source: Benson Lights Apartments

Founded as its own city, Benson has long been considered among the popular Omaha neighborhoods. Home to art galleries, vintage and antique stores and great restaurants, Benson is a fantastic area to call home. With street festivals, Benson Days and food truck rodeos, the neighborhood is almost non-stop entertainment.

Each October, zombies invade Benson during the annual Zombie Walk to help celebrate the Halloween season. You’ll find national music acts performing intimate shows at the Waiting Room. The neighborhood is home to two craft breweries — Benson Brewery and Infusion Brewing Company. The original Beercade calls Benson home, with a massive array of vintage pinball games and lots of drink options.

Head to Benson’s alleyways and check out the alley art. Make reservations for an upscale dinner at Au Courant or pull up a chair for barbecue at Hartland BBQ. Benson’s First Fridays are a must on the first Friday of each month, as galleries and stores stay open late for visitors, along with some impressive dining options.

Omaha is for everyone

The challenge for anyone moving to a new city is finding the perfect fit for yourself or your family. Interests, as well as needs, such as education, play a key role in deciding where to call home.

With almost 100 neighborhoods in Omaha to choose from, look for the common denominator in what drives your main interest for selecting a new home. Whether it’s a house, apartment or condo village, Omaha has the right place for you to call home.

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Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 13:34:09 +0000

How to Remove Wall Decals

Is there a child in America who hasn’t put a sticker on a piece of furniture despite being advised not to? There’s something about those colorful, tacky little pieces of paper just asking to be settled on a chair arm or desk. As grown-ups, it’s no wonder we still get the sticker bug, and in recent years, there’s been a resurgence of wallpapers and fun decals to deploy on the walls — inspirational quotes, life-sized sports figures, flowers and birds.

Some decals are labeled “repositionable” or “removable” and easily come off when peeled without damaging the wall. Yay! Lucky you. But other decals, particularly older ones, may not give it up so easily. When it’s time for a change, how do you remove wall decals

Decal, sticker, what’s the diff?

First off, the word “decal” has a fancy pedigree, derived as it was from the French décalcomanie (Latin calcare, meaning “to tread on, press”).

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A decal has three parts — a backing paper, the actual sticker art and a transfer surface layer. A sticker, on the other hand, is just an adhesive design that you peel off the backing paper and adhere to a surface. With their three parts, decal designs can be really intricate because the transfer layer allows you to put the sticker on a wall with the same spacing as the original design.

Stickers and decals are usually made from PVC-vinyl for its elasticity. Some eco-conscious companies like Made for Sundays, make stickers from paper with PVC-free backing and decals made of recyclable polyester vinyl.

removing wall decals

Easy ways to remove wall decals

Here are the tools you’ll need to remove decals from your walls:

  • Hairdryer
  • Tweezer
  • Warm, soapy water
  • A residue remover of choice (see below)
  • Patience

Step 1: Use a hairdryer to heat up the decal

Hold the hairdryer about six inches from the decal and blow warm air over it for a minute or two. If it’s a large decal do one area at a time.

Step 2: Using a tweezer, slowly pull away from the wall

Channel your long-lost skills from The Operation game and do this gently. Don’t tug the decal at a 90-degree angle, sort of roll it away. This will keep you from tearing the decal and leaving residue or possibly peeling away paint.

Step 3: Remove leftover residue

Any residue left on the wall should come off with warm soapy water. If that won’t cut it, try Goo Gone, Krud Kutter, WD-40, rubbing alcohol or even nail polish remover — but you might want to test a small area first, like in the back of a closet to make sure your remover of choice doesn’t ruin the paint.

glow in the dark stars

Removing glow-in-the-dark stars

Yes, the constellations were amazing at night as you gazed up at your ceiling from your bed. But now they’ve got to go. You’ll need more than a hairdryer to get rid of these suckers. Aside from a ladder and possibly a friend to hand you materials while you’re trying not to get a crick in your neck, gather the following: cotton balls, white vinegar, a cleaner like Goo Gone or Krud Kutter, nail polish remover, WD-40, rag, dish soap, warm water, scraper (old credit card will do) and possibly an ice cube.

Once you’ve assembled your arsenal, choose one of your liquid attackers, and using a cotton ball, dampen the edges of the star stickers. Wait two to three minutes and test to see if you chose correctly and can peel away the star sticker with your finger.

If not, try another liquid. Hit up the edges with WD-40 for good measure. If you can’t peel the star sticker away with your fingers, scrape it off with the old credit card. Eventually, the stars will come off the ceiling.

Some stars have a kind of putty-like adhesive. Try putting an ice cube to it and then use the credit card to scrape it from the ceiling.

Once the stars have been removed, you’ll likely have to tackle the residue. This should come off with a little scrubbing with your rag dipped in soapy water. Don’t oversaturate the ceiling and scrub so hard that you weaken the drywall.

Decals gone, walls might need some TLC

With the star stickers, in particular, you’ve likely scored yourself a new project — painting. Just make sure the walls or ceiling are dry before you begin and you’ll be able to restore your apartment to its original blank canvas status.

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Published at Mon, 31 Aug 2020 19:20:13 +0000

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Apartment Living

What $2,000 Apartments for Rent Look Like in 10 Major Cities

What $2,000 Apartments for Rent Look Like in 10 Major Cities

It’s no secret that rental prices across the U.S. continue to increase.

In some areas, renters are paying more than 30 percent of their income for an apartment to rent, while others spend more than half, according to a 2020 Harvard University study.

To stay on budget, you have to understand how far your dollar goes in your city. For example, $2,000 in New York City may not get you the same housing as it would in Phoenix.

We took on the task to explore apartments for rent in 10 cities across the U.S. to find out just how much you can get, from square footage to amenities to neighborhood, for $2,000 a month before you plan to move.

Fairfield at Far Rockaway — New York City

apartments for rent Fairfield at Far Rockaway, New York, NY

Source: Fairfield at Far Rockaway

New York City is infamous for its high rent prices, and it’s not surprising to pay in the thousands of dollars for a small apartment in one of the most popular neighborhoods. Broker’s fees, security deposits and moving fees can quickly add up in the Big Apple, so often, people go right outside of it to save in housing costs and be able to commute to the city.

Head to Queens to get a bit more space for your $2,000 a month budget. At Fairfield at Far Rockaway, you can rent a pet-friendly studio within your budget and choose different layouts.

You get a washer/dryer in your unit, dishwasher, hardwood flooring and air conditioning for those hot New York days. On the weekends, head to Atlantic Beach or Long Beach only a few minutes away to soak up the sun.

O&M Dogpatch — San Francisco

apartments for rent O&M Dogpatch, San Francisco, CA

Source: O&M Dogpatch

San Francisco‘s proximity to Silicon Valley has made rent prices skyrocket, thanks to demand from local tech companies and startups. Your money doesn’t go as far in the area, unfortunately. But for $2,000 a month, you can get a pet-friendly studio apartment at O&M Dogpatch — available furnished or unfurnished with a shared outdoor area for grilling

Right in the Dogpatch neighborhood, this 391-square-feet studio apartment is only five minutes from the MUNI station and boasts a walking score of 93, thanks to all the nearby restaurants, breweries and farmers markets.

NCT Lofts — Los Angeles

apartments for rent NCT Lofts, Los Angeles, CA

Source: NCT Lofts

Live in trendy downtown Los Angeles for a budget of $2,000 per month at NCT Lofts. This one-bedroom, one-bathroom loft offers an open layout, a balcony, high ceilings, stainless steel appliances, fitness center and central air. Don’t miss the rooftop lounge and vintage game room.

You’ll get all of the benefits of living right downtown with Whole Foods and several restaurants only a few minutes by foot. Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the Arts District are easily accessible from this location with plenty of dining and entertainment options.

915 Glenwood — Atlanta

915 Glenwood, Atlanta, GA

Source: 915 Glenwood

Atlanta‘s rent prices have increased significantly in the past five years — including a 4.8 percent jump between 2018 and 2019. But you can still get a lot of space for your buck, depending on the neighborhood. If you’re looking for an affordable apartment with tons of amenities and proximity to the Atlanta BeltLine, head to the east side of town.

Right near East Atlanta, you can find a dog-friendly, two-bedroom apartment at 915 Glenwood within the $2,000 per month budget. You get access to the fitness center and a pool, along with beautiful finishes in the apartment. It’s also near bars, restaurants and venues just down the street, easily reachable via the bike lane.

Alexan 100 — Seattle

Alexan 100, Seattle, WA

Source: Alexan 100

Right in the popular Seattle neighborhood of Lower Queen Anne, you can find Alexan 100 at the corner of Denny Way. Near the Space Needle, the pet-friendly building has more than 32-floor plans available. Within your $2,000 per month budget, you can grab one of their studios with stainless steel appliances, loft layout, vaulted ceiling, in-unit laundry and a fitness and recreation room.

While Seattle offers more affordable neighborhoods on the outer bands of the city, Lower Queen Anne takes the 10th spot as the most walkable neighborhood in the city at 92 points. You have restaurants, trails, dog parks and more at your fingertips.

Belmont Tower Apartments — Chicago

Belmont Tower Apartments, Chicago, IL

Source: Belmont Tower Apartments

You can find apartments for rent in Chicago across the budget spectrum, depending on the neighborhood. In East Lakeview, near Lincoln Park, you can find a beautiful two-bedroom home at Belmont Tower Apartments for $2,000 per month. The apartment has stainless steel appliances, gated access, a clubhouse and a stunning view from above.

East Lakeview has access to shopping, bars, small neighborhood restaurants and several music venues. As a resident, you can comfortably ride your bike to Lake Michigan and enjoy the shoreline on a warm day.

Mosaic Apartments — Dallas

Mosaic Apartments, Dallas, TX

Source: Mosaic Apartments

There’s a neighborhood in Dallas for every budget and your dollar goes far in the Texan city. You can grab a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Mosaic Apartments for just less than $2,000 per month. At around 1,200 square feet, your pet-friendly apartment has a concierge service, access to the pool and fitness center, a dedicated garage and a DART Station right outside your door.

Catch a movie outside in the shared outdoor space or hop on the DART to explore downtown Dallas for a night on the town with the surrounding bars and restaurants.

The Angela — Phoenix

apartments for rent The Angela, Phoenix, AZ

Source: The Angela

In Phoenix, $2,000 per month can take you a long way, especially if you’re looking for a bit of luxury. At The Angela, you can find a luxury one-bedroom apartment for right around this budget with walk-in closets, Energy Star stainless steel appliances, SONOS built-in speakers, in-home laundry and private balcony.

You’ll have access to the pool, the billiards lounge, dog park and spa, bocce court, fitness area and more amenities. The surrounding Camelback East neighborhood is home to the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, several shopping centers and parks.

Savannah at Park Central — Orlando

apartments for rent Savannah at Park Central, Orlando, FL

Source: Savannah at Park Central

Beyond Disney World, Orlando has a lot to offer when it comes to jobs and affordable housing. Only 15 minutes from downtown Orlando, you can grab a beautiful three-bedroom apartment at Savannah At Park Central. In the Park Central neighborhood, it’s well within your $2,000 monthly budget.

The 1,400-square-foot apartment comes with granite countertops, laundry in-unit, a patio deck, stainless steel appliances, swimming pool and various fitness courts. The neighborhood displays a true balance between the suburbs and city life, plus it’s only minutes away from Universal Studios.

i5 Union Market— Washington, DC

i5 Union Market, Washington, D.C.

Source: i5 Union Market

The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., has more to offer when it comes to $2,000 per month. You’ll want to be close to public transportation to avoid the rush hour around the nation’s capital. You can rent a pet-friendly studio apartment at i5 Union Market within that budget, with the red subway line just across the street.

The apartment also boasts some great amenities like assigned parking, extra storage, stainless steel appliances, a balcony and a private 10-person chef’s kitchen. The Ivy City neighborhood has some of the best restaurants in the city, including Michelin-starred Gravitas. You’ll also find distilleries and breweries that have revitalized the area.

Find the perfect apartments for rent

Having a tight budget can make your apartment search stressful, but with enough research and time to carefully consider the options, you can find some gems in your city.

Think about your must-haves (neighborhood, size) and what you’ve been willing to give up (space, amenities) when you look at apartment rentals, it will help you narrow down the list and find the one perfect for you

Published at Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:00:03 +0000

7 Reasons Your Rental Application was Denied

You’re in the market for a new apartment. You’ve found the perfect place, submitted an application, waited patiently to hear back from the property and then found out your rental application was denied. Now what?

There are a variety of reasons rental applications get denied. Here are some reasons rental applications get denied — whether valid and invalid — and steps you can take to improve your odds of being accepted.

How am I legally protected as a renter from discrimination?

While there are valid reasons to deny a tenant’s rental application, property owners must abide by federal law, avoid discrimination and hold everyone accountable to the same standards when denying or accepting an application.

Before we discuss valid reasons to deny a rental application, let’s quickly review invalid (and illegal) reasons. Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot reject applications based on an applicant’s:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Familial status

While applicants are protected from discrimination under this law, there are other reasons you may be denied housing.

Valid reasons to deny a rental application

Your rental application has been denied and you’re curious why. These are the most common roadblocks renters face when trying to rent an apartment and some very common reasons applications are denied by landlords:

1. Inadequate income

Landlords want to rent to people who are a safe bet — meaning they’ll pay their rent on time, keep the apartment clean and in good shape and be easy to work with. If a landlord is reviewing a rental application and notices that the applicant does not make enough money to reasonably pay for the apartment at hand, they may deny the application.

As a general rule of thumb, rent should account for 30 percent of one’s income. If someone makes $50,000 a year, they should budget $15,000 a year for rent or roughly $1,250 a month. In this case, if you’re applying for a place where the rent is $2,000 a month, a landlord may feel like your income is inadequate and deny your rental application.

credit score

2. Lack of or poor credit history

Your credit score can make or break you, especially when it comes to renting an apartment. Because your credit score is a tangible way for landlords to assess your financial history, if you have no credit history or a poor score, you may be rejected.

A fair credit score is 620, but if you’re trying to rent in a top-tier market, you’re going to need a 740 or higher. If your credit score is below this range, there’s a good chance your application may be denied. Also, if you have a bankruptcy in your financial history, that may negatively impact your ability to rent, too.

3. Rental history and evictions

From evictions to run-ins with past property managers, your rental past may impact your rental future. Prospective renters must consider their rental history when submitting a new rental application. Landlords use rental history to gauge whether a tenant will be a good fit in the apartment complex, and if a previous landlord speaks negatively about you, you may be facing a denied rental application.

If you do have an eviction on your rental history, you may want to discuss it upfront and explain your side of the situation on the application.

4. Insufficient references

When applying for an apartment, you’ll likely be asked to list references — people who can speak favorably about you as a future renter. If your rental application either lacks references or the references themselves aren’t impressive, a landlord may reject you. Make sure to choose your reference wisely.

background check

5. Suspicious background check

Background checks give landlords a look into your past and allow them to make decisions about whether to rent to you or not. If you refuse a background check, this could be a red flag to landlords and they may deny your rental application.

Likewise, if a felony or other past conviction or something else suspicious shows up on your background check, you may be denied, too.

6. Incomplete information

When it comes to submitting a rental application, following the rules step-by-step is exactly what you need to do to qualify for an apartment. If you leave part of your application blank, forget to include pertinent information or simply fail to complete the form in full, you may be denied. And this is a valid reason to deny rental applications. Make sure you dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” when filling out a rental application.

7. Lots of applicants

Supply and demand means when a lot of people want something, it increases in value. The same concept applies to the rental market. When a lot of people are vying for one apartment, the demand is high and the supply is low. Your rental application may be denied if you’re competing with multiple people for the same space.

How often do rental applications get denied?

Having a rental application denied isn’t uncommon, but it’s frustrating when it happens to you. You may have incompletely filled out the form, have poor credit or been among 10 people applying for the same apartment, in which case, nine out of 10 applicants were denied. Whatever the reason, knowing how often this may happen can be helpful in understanding why your rental application was denied.

rental application

My rental application was denied. Now what?

Here are some things you can do to better prepare for future applications and improve your rental resume:

Review what could have gone wrong

Once you understand all of the reasons your application could have been denied, you can reassess it and determine why. This will give you information about what to improve for next time.

Ask the landlord for feedback on the application

If you’re confused about why you were rejected, you may want to ask the landlord for feedback on your application. While they aren’t obligated to let you know, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Review your credit score

Chances are you had to undergo a credit check when you submitted your rental application. If you’ve been rejected, now is a good time to read the credit statement and see where you can improve your score.

Find a co-signer

If you were denied because of inadequate income, lack of rental history or a poor credit score, you may consider finding a co-signer for the future to improve your odds of being accepted.

Avoid your rental application being denied

Ideally, you’d apply for an apartment and qualify right away. However, things don’t always work out that smoothly. If you understand all the valid reasons why your rental application was denied, you can make sure your application is solid beforehand and save time and money on a rejected application.

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.

Published at Thu, 27 Aug 2020 14:45:43 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

What $2,000 Apartments for Rent Look Like in 10 Major Cities

What $2,000 Apartments for Rent Look Like in 10 Major Cities

It’s no secret that rental prices across the U.S. continue to increase.

In some areas, renters are paying more than 30 percent of their income for an apartment to rent, while others spend more than half, according to a 2020 Harvard University study.

To stay on budget, you have to understand how far your dollar goes in your city. For example, $2,000 in New York City may not get you the same housing as it would in Phoenix.

We took on the task to explore apartments for rent in 10 cities across the U.S. to find out just how much you can get, from square footage to amenities to neighborhood, for $2,000 a month before you plan to move.

Fairfield at Far Rockaway — New York City

apartments for rent Fairfield at Far Rockaway, New York, NY

Source: Fairfield at Far Rockaway

New York City is infamous for its high rent prices, and it’s not surprising to pay in the thousands of dollars for a small apartment in one of the most popular neighborhoods. Broker’s fees, security deposits and moving fees can quickly add up in the Big Apple, so often, people go right outside of it to save in housing costs and be able to commute to the city.

Head to Queens to get a bit more space for your $2,000 a month budget. At Fairfield at Far Rockaway, you can rent a pet-friendly studio within your budget and choose different layouts.

You get a washer/dryer in your unit, dishwasher, hardwood flooring and air conditioning for those hot New York days. On the weekends, head to Atlantic Beach or Long Beach only a few minutes away to soak up the sun.

O&M Dogpatch — San Francisco

apartments for rent O&M Dogpatch, San Francisco, CA

Source: O&M Dogpatch

San Francisco‘s proximity to Silicon Valley has made rent prices skyrocket, thanks to demand from local tech companies and startups. Your money doesn’t go as far in the area, unfortunately. But for $2,000 a month, you can get a pet-friendly studio apartment at O&M Dogpatch — available furnished or unfurnished with a shared outdoor area for grilling

Right in the Dogpatch neighborhood, this 391-square-feet studio apartment is only five minutes from the MUNI station and boasts a walking score of 93, thanks to all the nearby restaurants, breweries and farmers markets.

NCT Lofts — Los Angeles

apartments for rent NCT Lofts, Los Angeles, CA

Source: NCT Lofts

Live in trendy downtown Los Angeles for a budget of $2,000 per month at NCT Lofts. This one-bedroom, one-bathroom loft offers an open layout, a balcony, high ceilings, stainless steel appliances, fitness center and central air. Don’t miss the rooftop lounge and vintage game room.

You’ll get all of the benefits of living right downtown with Whole Foods and several restaurants only a few minutes by foot. Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the Arts District are easily accessible from this location with plenty of dining and entertainment options.

915 Glenwood — Atlanta

915 Glenwood, Atlanta, GA

Source: 915 Glenwood

Atlanta‘s rent prices have increased significantly in the past five years — including a 4.8 percent jump between 2018 and 2019. But you can still get a lot of space for your buck, depending on the neighborhood. If you’re looking for an affordable apartment with tons of amenities and proximity to the Atlanta BeltLine, head to the east side of town.

Right near East Atlanta, you can find a dog-friendly, two-bedroom apartment at 915 Glenwood within the $2,000 per month budget. You get access to the fitness center and a pool, along with beautiful finishes in the apartment. It’s also near bars, restaurants and venues just down the street, easily reachable via the bike lane.

Alexan 100 — Seattle

Alexan 100, Seattle, WA

Source: Alexan 100

Right in the popular Seattle neighborhood of Lower Queen Anne, you can find Alexan 100 at the corner of Denny Way. Near the Space Needle, the pet-friendly building has more than 32-floor plans available. Within your $2,000 per month budget, you can grab one of their studios with stainless steel appliances, loft layout, vaulted ceiling, in-unit laundry and a fitness and recreation room.

While Seattle offers more affordable neighborhoods on the outer bands of the city, Lower Queen Anne takes the 10th spot as the most walkable neighborhood in the city at 92 points. You have restaurants, trails, dog parks and more at your fingertips.

Belmont Tower Apartments — Chicago

Belmont Tower Apartments, Chicago, IL

Source: Belmont Tower Apartments

You can find apartments for rent in Chicago across the budget spectrum, depending on the neighborhood. In East Lakeview, near Lincoln Park, you can find a beautiful two-bedroom home at Belmont Tower Apartments for $2,000 per month. The apartment has stainless steel appliances, gated access, a clubhouse and a stunning view from above.

East Lakeview has access to shopping, bars, small neighborhood restaurants and several music venues. As a resident, you can comfortably ride your bike to Lake Michigan and enjoy the shoreline on a warm day.

Mosaic Apartments — Dallas

Mosaic Apartments, Dallas, TX

Source: Mosaic Apartments

There’s a neighborhood in Dallas for every budget and your dollar goes far in the Texan city. You can grab a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Mosaic Apartments for just less than $2,000 per month. At around 1,200 square feet, your pet-friendly apartment has a concierge service, access to the pool and fitness center, a dedicated garage and a DART Station right outside your door.

Catch a movie outside in the shared outdoor space or hop on the DART to explore downtown Dallas for a night on the town with the surrounding bars and restaurants.

The Angela — Phoenix

apartments for rent The Angela, Phoenix, AZ

Source: The Angela

In Phoenix, $2,000 per month can take you a long way, especially if you’re looking for a bit of luxury. At The Angela, you can find a luxury one-bedroom apartment for right around this budget with walk-in closets, Energy Star stainless steel appliances, SONOS built-in speakers, in-home laundry and private balcony.

You’ll have access to the pool, the billiards lounge, dog park and spa, bocce court, fitness area and more amenities. The surrounding Camelback East neighborhood is home to the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, several shopping centers and parks.

Savannah at Park Central — Orlando

apartments for rent Savannah at Park Central, Orlando, FL

Source: Savannah at Park Central

Beyond Disney World, Orlando has a lot to offer when it comes to jobs and affordable housing. Only 15 minutes from downtown Orlando, you can grab a beautiful three-bedroom apartment at Savannah At Park Central. In the Park Central neighborhood, it’s well within your $2,000 monthly budget.

The 1,400-square-foot apartment comes with granite countertops, laundry in-unit, a patio deck, stainless steel appliances, swimming pool and various fitness courts. The neighborhood displays a true balance between the suburbs and city life, plus it’s only minutes away from Universal Studios.

i5 Union Market— Washington, DC

i5 Union Market, Washington, D.C.

Source: i5 Union Market

The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., has more to offer when it comes to $2,000 per month. You’ll want to be close to public transportation to avoid the rush hour around the nation’s capital. You can rent a pet-friendly studio apartment at i5 Union Market within that budget, with the red subway line just across the street.

The apartment also boasts some great amenities like assigned parking, extra storage, stainless steel appliances, a balcony and a private 10-person chef’s kitchen. The Ivy City neighborhood has some of the best restaurants in the city, including Michelin-starred Gravitas. You’ll also find distilleries and breweries that have revitalized the area.

Find the perfect apartments for rent

Having a tight budget can make your apartment search stressful, but with enough research and time to carefully consider the options, you can find some gems in your city.

Think about your must-haves (neighborhood, size) and what you’ve been willing to give up (space, amenities) when you look at apartment rentals, it will help you narrow down the list and find the one perfect for you

Published at Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:00:03 +0000

7 Reasons Your Rental Application was Denied

You’re in the market for a new apartment. You’ve found the perfect place, submitted an application, waited patiently to hear back from the property and then found out your rental application was denied. Now what?

There are a variety of reasons rental applications get denied. Here are some reasons rental applications get denied — whether valid and invalid — and steps you can take to improve your odds of being accepted.

How am I legally protected as a renter from discrimination?

While there are valid reasons to deny a tenant’s rental application, property owners must abide by federal law, avoid discrimination and hold everyone accountable to the same standards when denying or accepting an application.

Before we discuss valid reasons to deny a rental application, let’s quickly review invalid (and illegal) reasons. Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot reject applications based on an applicant’s:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Familial status

While applicants are protected from discrimination under this law, there are other reasons you may be denied housing.

Valid reasons to deny a rental application

Your rental application has been denied and you’re curious why. These are the most common roadblocks renters face when trying to rent an apartment and some very common reasons applications are denied by landlords:

1. Inadequate income

Landlords want to rent to people who are a safe bet — meaning they’ll pay their rent on time, keep the apartment clean and in good shape and be easy to work with. If a landlord is reviewing a rental application and notices that the applicant does not make enough money to reasonably pay for the apartment at hand, they may deny the application.

As a general rule of thumb, rent should account for 30 percent of one’s income. If someone makes $50,000 a year, they should budget $15,000 a year for rent or roughly $1,250 a month. In this case, if you’re applying for a place where the rent is $2,000 a month, a landlord may feel like your income is inadequate and deny your rental application.

credit score

2. Lack of or poor credit history

Your credit score can make or break you, especially when it comes to renting an apartment. Because your credit score is a tangible way for landlords to assess your financial history, if you have no credit history or a poor score, you may be rejected.

A fair credit score is 620, but if you’re trying to rent in a top-tier market, you’re going to need a 740 or higher. If your credit score is below this range, there’s a good chance your application may be denied. Also, if you have a bankruptcy in your financial history, that may negatively impact your ability to rent, too.

3. Rental history and evictions

From evictions to run-ins with past property managers, your rental past may impact your rental future. Prospective renters must consider their rental history when submitting a new rental application. Landlords use rental history to gauge whether a tenant will be a good fit in the apartment complex, and if a previous landlord speaks negatively about you, you may be facing a denied rental application.

If you do have an eviction on your rental history, you may want to discuss it upfront and explain your side of the situation on the application.

4. Insufficient references

When applying for an apartment, you’ll likely be asked to list references — people who can speak favorably about you as a future renter. If your rental application either lacks references or the references themselves aren’t impressive, a landlord may reject you. Make sure to choose your reference wisely.

background check

5. Suspicious background check

Background checks give landlords a look into your past and allow them to make decisions about whether to rent to you or not. If you refuse a background check, this could be a red flag to landlords and they may deny your rental application.

Likewise, if a felony or other past conviction or something else suspicious shows up on your background check, you may be denied, too.

6. Incomplete information

When it comes to submitting a rental application, following the rules step-by-step is exactly what you need to do to qualify for an apartment. If you leave part of your application blank, forget to include pertinent information or simply fail to complete the form in full, you may be denied. And this is a valid reason to deny rental applications. Make sure you dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” when filling out a rental application.

7. Lots of applicants

Supply and demand means when a lot of people want something, it increases in value. The same concept applies to the rental market. When a lot of people are vying for one apartment, the demand is high and the supply is low. Your rental application may be denied if you’re competing with multiple people for the same space.

How often do rental applications get denied?

Having a rental application denied isn’t uncommon, but it’s frustrating when it happens to you. You may have incompletely filled out the form, have poor credit or been among 10 people applying for the same apartment, in which case, nine out of 10 applicants were denied. Whatever the reason, knowing how often this may happen can be helpful in understanding why your rental application was denied.

rental application

My rental application was denied. Now what?

Here are some things you can do to better prepare for future applications and improve your rental resume:

Review what could have gone wrong

Once you understand all of the reasons your application could have been denied, you can reassess it and determine why. This will give you information about what to improve for next time.

Ask the landlord for feedback on the application

If you’re confused about why you were rejected, you may want to ask the landlord for feedback on your application. While they aren’t obligated to let you know, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Review your credit score

Chances are you had to undergo a credit check when you submitted your rental application. If you’ve been rejected, now is a good time to read the credit statement and see where you can improve your score.

Find a co-signer

If you were denied because of inadequate income, lack of rental history or a poor credit score, you may consider finding a co-signer for the future to improve your odds of being accepted.

Avoid your rental application being denied

Ideally, you’d apply for an apartment and qualify right away. However, things don’t always work out that smoothly. If you understand all the valid reasons why your rental application was denied, you can make sure your application is solid beforehand and save time and money on a rejected application.

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.

Published at Thu, 27 Aug 2020 14:45:43 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

As I stare down the barrel of facilitating online kindergarten (lawd help me), my mind is wandering to any and all escapes. While I sadly cannot exit our current reality, I can dream about a far-flung destination. At some point during a mindless scrolling session, idyllic images of a beautiful sun-soaked location kept cropping up in my feed and I had to know more.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

These incredible pictures are of a townhouse nestled in the village of Sóller on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Designed by Berrow Projects, the Canoneta Townhouse was built in 1910 by Parisian architects and Berrow has painstakingly updated the property to meld beautiful old-world bones with contemporary details and finishes that make this home feel both timeless and contemporary. All I know is that I’m totally smitten.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

Every detail of this island home is picture perfect. This custom kitchen features cement floors with radiant heating and a beautiful mix of custom oak cabinetry and honed stone countertops. The views out of those french doors have me swooning. I can see myself enjoying a morning matcha at that island right now.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The house’s dining room offers a perfect indoor/outdoor feel with those large picture window french doors and oodles of natural light. I spy built-in bench seating at the end of the space. And I’m always a sucker for built-in shelving too.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

This townhouse has six bedrooms and six bathrooms! A main bedroom features a cast concrete soaking tub and a beautiful mix of concrete and geometric tiles to mimic carpeting. The continued use of warm oak softens the space. And again the views! What a dream.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

I love the cross hatch caning on the custom wardrobe cabinets.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The bathroom is a beautiful, smooth homage to minimalism. I love the single basin for the double sink.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34 Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

But let’s talk about this home’s incredibly garden. It features a lap pool and spa, sunken seating area and covered outdoor dining table along with an expanse of yard and established orchards of orange, lemon and other fruit trees. The townhouse gets its name, Canoneta, from the native orange variety that grows here and brought prosperity to the region in the late 19th century.

I think I could stomach homeschooling and a really uncertain future if I was sitting next to that pool, a Spritz in hand.

How about you?? Did I mention this house is for sale?!!! I have officially found my exit strategy.

For more Daydream Destination inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images courtesy of berrow project

Published at Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:28:40 +0000

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now

While it can feel a bit odd to get excited about any kind of shopping during these intense times, it’s clear we’re going to continue to need to stay home for the foreseeable future – I’m about to start homeschooling a kindergartner woohoo – and so there’s no better time to upgrade your space however you can. Thankfully, a couple of new furniture collections are making that much, much easier. I’m officially drooling! Scroll to get some much needed inspiration right now.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

First up is the stunning new collection that launched on Anthropologie late last week. Called the Artisinal Modern Collection by Lemieux Et Ciethis truly chic mix of everything from chairs, sofas and coffee tables to accessories, rugs, art, and even wallpaper is the brainchild of one of my longtime favorite designers in the home furnishings space, Christiane Lemieux.

Lemieux was the founder of DwellStudio – a collection that launched an iconic bird print bedding set – among a number of other items. DwellStudio was sold in 2013 and Lemieux has continued to have a hand in the home furnishings space – but I am so excited to see this comprehensive collection take a store like Anthropologie in a more elevated, elegant and design-savvy direction. As I scrolled through, I wanted virtually every single piece. I’m sure that was influenced by the beautiful editorial images you see here – I just want to dive right into this home. But that also doesn’t surprise, as Lemieux tapped my favorite stylist Colin King to style this beautiful shoot.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

I was just sitting in my dining room last night thinking I need to add a rug to anchor and soften the room. This dining room has officially convinced me. I think this handwoven Tukar rug would be perfect!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

The rounded sofa trend is here to stay and I am so happy about it. The look is the easiest way to elevate a room. This sofa is a beautiful option. I’m coveting that vintage-looking vase as well!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34 Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Her sculptural pieces in this collection are reminiscent of Brancusi – and I am completely smitten.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

While I would gladly add virtually any piece from this collection to my house, I’ve picked a handful of my favorites for you to shop below.

It appears Zara Home has also gotten the timeless modern design memo, as their newest collection has equally lovely neutral pieces photographed in yet another stunning space.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

I’m particularly loving the warmth of this space. The creamy walls, mix of wood tones and natural materials transports me to the countryside of Spain or France.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Obsessed with this chunky kitchen counter – and the accessories from Zara are cute too!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Did you notice the arched doorways throughout this house, painted with a black accent? Officially banking this idea for a future dream project.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

This is an absolute dream bathroom situation!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

If I could add a piece or two to my house that would make me feel transported to a space like this, well sign me up! Here are a few of my favorite finds.

images courtesy of anthropologie and zara home

Published at Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:59:26 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

The Best Places for Camping Near Portland

The Best Places for Camping Near Portland

In a summer (or year) turned upside down by a novel bug for which there’s currently no reprieve, the notion of traveling to some faraway paradise is more akin to a pipe dream than a plan of action. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for camping near Portland that provide you an opportunity to get away from it all without leaving the Pacific Northwest.

Where to camp near Portland

From state parks near the ocean to campsites nestled in the mountains, these are five of the best places near Portland to go camping — and social distance like a boss.

Silver Falls State Park — Sublimity, OR

Silver Falls State Park

Sitting atop more than 9,000 square miles of pristine, water-splashed greenery, Silver Falls State Park has long been one of Portlanders’ ideal weekend destinations. Complete with 25 miles of hiking trails and 10 waterfalls — nearly half of which allow you to walk behind the spray and catch a dose of cool, refreshing mist — this park is a personal favorite of yours truly. Family-friendly and just 53 miles south of Portland, this is one of Oregon’s most unforgettable state parks.

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L.L. Stub Stewart State Park — Buxton, OR

Whether you’re looking for a simple day-long excursion or a weekend getaway, L.L. Stub Stewart State Park has plenty of escapism on tap for you and yours. Boasting nearly 2,000 square miles of billowing hills, bike trails and rippling streams, L.L. Stub is one of our favorite spots to pitch a tent. The best part: It’s a mere 34 miles west of downtown Portland.

Beacon Rock State Park — Skamania, WA

Beacon Rock State Park

Though the popular trail of the same name is currently closed as a result of the pandemic, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a night or two in Beacon Rock State Park, a sterling, year-round campsite on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.

A favorite among hikers, mountain bikers and intrepid families of all stripes, Beacon Rock is unique in that it offers campers more than 9,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. Need one more reason to visit? Less than an hour from downtown Portland, this veritable utopia is one of the most accessible parks in the region.

Beaver Campground — Carson, WA

Perhaps the most intimate option on this list, Beaver Campground offers an undeniably peaceful experience for those looking to escape the bustle of the Portland Metro Area. Just 63 miles northeast of the Rose City, and offering two dozen campsites, toilets, picnic tables and RV hookups, Beaver Campground is an ideal spot to visit this summer, particularly if you’re interested in exploring additional areas within Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Trillium Lake Campground — Government Camp, OR

Trillium Lake Campground

Just a quick jaunt from Mt. Hood, perhaps the most iconic geographical landmark in all of Oregon, Trillium Lake Campground is an extremely popular destination for folks throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Located 40 miles southeast of downtown Portland, Trillium Lake Campground offers boating, swimming and fishing options for those looking to cool off during the (increasingly) warm summer months. It’s also situated within Mt. Hood National Forest, which spans more than a million miles (!) of green-dappled mountains, streams and hiking trails.

Camping near Portland is everything

In the midst of so much uncertainty, it’s essential to remember that the Pacific Northwest remains one of the most beautiful places on the planet, rich with exotic wildlife, natural resources and campgrounds galore. We’re truly fortunate to live among such a plentiful bounty, and since none of us will be fleeing to Hawaii anytime soon, we may as well grab our tents and make plans for camping near Portland.

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Published at Tue, 25 Aug 2020 05:11:55 +0000

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Apartment Living

Where to Find the Best Cheesesteak in Philadelphia

Where to Find the Best Cheesesteak in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for so many things — the Liberty Bell, the Eagles, Will Smith, Rocky. But standing high above them all is the iconic cheesesteak. A simple concoction of sliced beef, melty cheese and grilled onions on a soft long roll. Put them together and cheesy magic happens.

But not just anyone can make a perfect cheesesteak. An underreported ingredient in a great cheesesteak is (brotherly) love. That’s why a cheesesteak never tastes as good anywhere else in the world as it does in Philly itself.

But where does one find the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia? Out of the hundreds of cheesesteak joints in Philly (one man has eaten at more than 500 of them), what’s the best cheesesteak in Philly? Ask a dozen people, and you’ll get a dozen different answers.

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We’ll break down the 13 best, but first, let’s define exactly what makes an authentic Philly cheesesteak. Or, if you don’t care about the difference between whiz and provolone (how dare you), jump right to our list of the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.

What is an authentic Philly cheesesteak?

First, if you’re going to order, enjoy or even just talk about what makes an authentic Philly cheesesteak, you must first get the name right. The proper terminology is “cheesesteak.” One word and nothing else. No need to start it with “Philly,” that’s understood.

And it’s never followed by “sandwich;” a cheesesteak is a sandwich on its own, you don’t need to qualify it just like you need not say “hamburger sandwich” or “hot dog sandwich.” And it’s certainly not a “steak and cheese,” and, heaven forbid, never a “sub.” The beautiful, simple cheesesteak is all you need.

Any place advertising a “Philly steak and cheese sandwich” is not selling an authentic cheesesteak.

Of course, that’s just the start. Any real Philadelphian worth their weight in whiz knows what goes into an authentic cheesesteak:

  • The meat — the heart of the meal — can actually be one of a variety of griddle-fried beef cuts as long as it’s either sliced thin or chopped, to personal preference. Most cheesesteaks are ribeye, but other cuts like top round (if prepared right) are perfectly acceptable.
  • The other half of the word cheesesteak is cheese, and there are only three proper types: provolone, white American or cheese whiz. Keep in mind that “cheese whiz” refers to a cheddar cheese sauce (processed or store-made), not a pump from a spray can. The best cheeses melt right into the roll creating the glue that holds the sandwich together.
  • Many cheesesteak experts will tell you that the true champion of a cheesesteak is the roll. For the most part, a cheesesteak is to be served on a long Italian or hoagie roll, a solid, untoasted roll, crusty on the outside but soft and slightly chewy inside, not too tough and not too airy. The go-to for the most authentic jawns is Amoroso’s Bakery.
  • And the only other thing that should be on your cheesesteak is grilled or sautéed onions. Period. While there are other cheesesteak variations with other toppings like pizza steaks, mushroom steaks or cheesesteak hoagies, onions are the only acceptable add-on to a traditional authentic Philly cheesesteak. Despite what you may think or have seen elsewhere, neither ketchup, mayonnaise nor green peppers belong on an authentic cheesesteak.

What is the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia?

To most Philadelphians, deciding what the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia is a very personal decision. The cheesesteak shop one frequented while growing up often becomes a later-in-life favorite, and of course, everyone’s favorite is also the best.

Every neighborhood has a steak joint that locals claim is the best. But there’s a handful (OK, more like a few handfuls) of steak places that consistently rank among the top choices of both publications within the city and nationally, as well as by word of mouth by Philadelphians in the know.

Below is our definitive list of 13 places we believe can lay claim to having the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia, authentic Philly cheesesteaks from all corners of the city, according to a real Philadelphian. The list is presented in alphabetical order and not ranked because we like our friends and don’t want a “best cheesesteak in Philly” argument to break out, even though it may be one of Philly people’s favorite pastimes.

Barclay Prime

Barclay Prime Cheesesteak, Philadelphia, PA

Source: Facebook.com/BarclayPrime

This might not be the place to start your cheesesteak quest, but if you just happen to have a couple of hundred bucks burning a hole in your wallet, then you might want to put on your best suit and head to Stephen Starr’s Barclay Prime.

But why wouldn’t you find a great cheesesteak at a high-end steakhouse? Barclay Prime’s version certainly isn’t a late-night beer sponge. It’s made from wagyu ribeye steak, foie gras and a truffle-infused Caciotta al Tartufo cheese whiz that will run you $120 (including a complimentary half-bottle of champagne).

And if for some reason you’re questioning the heritage of your cheesesteak, the Barclay Prime version comes with its own certificate of authenticity.

Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies

Delessandro

Source: Facebook.com/ DalessandrosSteaks

Center City and Passyunk Square may be Philly’s famous cheesesteak hotbeds, but ask a local and many will tell you that you’ll need to drive out to Roxborough in Northwest Philly for the best steaks in town at Dalessandro’s.

Off Henry Avenue at the edge of Wissahickon Valley Park and a couple of minutes from Thomas Jefferson University East Falls (the former Philadelphia University), the narrow 60-year-old neighborhood joint offers a massive steak with finely chopped ribeye and hand-sliced sautéed onions on a fresh hoagie roll.

If you’re not into the Pat’s and Geno’s tourist rivalry, commit your side-by-side comparison up in Roxborough with a steak from Dalessandro’s up against one from Chubby’s across the street.

Donkey’s Place

Donkey

Source: Facebook.com/donkeysplace

Many cheesesteak aficionados would never put Donkey’s Place on a list of best cheesesteaks in Philly. First, it’s not even in Philly — it’s across the Ben Franklin Bridge on Haddon Avenue in Camden. As in New Jersey. Second, they may not even consider it a cheesesteak, as it’s served on — gasp — a round poppy seed Kaiser roll.

But none of that matters a bit when you try it, because it might just be the best cheesesteak anywhere. Don’t believe us? Just ask Anthony Bourdain who famously called it “the best cheesesteak in the area” (or even ABC’s “The Goldbergs” and the New York Post which both said the same).

Even if it doesn’t look like the cheesesteak you’re used to, this small dive bar piles high perfect griddle steak, caramelized onions and melted American cheese on a soft round roll that might change your cheesesteak perspective forever.

Geno’s Steaks

Geno

Source: Facebook.com/genossteaks

Everyone knows the steak sandwich was invented by Pat Olivieri of Pat’s Steaks in 1933. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that the late Joey Vento, who opened Geno’s Steaks right across the corner from Pat’s, added cheese to the famed sandwich to create both the cheesesteak and one of the nation’s oldest and most famous restaurant rivalries.

Like its cross-street rival, neon-bathed Geno’s is open 24/7 so you always have a place to satisfy your munchies. But unlike Pat’s, Geno’s uses thin-sliced ribeye on its steaks as opposed to Pat’s chopped version. So, grab one of each and hold your own Philly steak legends taste test in the heart of “Cheesesteak Vegas.”

Gooey Looie’s Deli

Gooey Looie

Source: Facebook.com/Robert.Clarke.180625

If you’re of the notion that bigger is better, then you’re going to love the cheesesteaks at Gooey Looie’s in South Philly. But fortunately, the steaks here aren’t just super-stuffed with meat and oozing with cheese, they’re really good.

The oversized portions come from an undersized establishment, as Gooey Looie’s isn’t even its own standalone store. It’s a simple lunch counter inside a Pennsport grocery store, serving generous helpings (most of which will wind up on your plate) on a long roll that’s at once crispy and fluffy.

Ishkabibble’s Eatery

Ishkabibble

Source: Facebook.com/Michelle.Maginnis.31

If you’re going to stay in business for more than 40 years across the South Street corner from the legendary Jim’s Steaks, you better have a great cheesesteak. And if you’re going to open a second location that’s just a block and a half away from Jim’s, you have to be doing it right. Ishkabibble’s and Ishkabibble’s II are 740 feet apart on South, one nothing more than a walkup window with a few stools and the other a full dining room.

But behind the iconic pink-and-yellow door they’re crafting tasty chopped beef cheesesteaks with a variety of toppings rivaling those served at Jim’s. And not only does Ishkabibble’s also sling possibly the best cheese fries in the city, but the shop on South also holds claim to inventing the original chicken cheesesteak.

Jim’s South Street

best cheesesteak in philadelphia Jim's

Source: Facebook.com/JimSouthSt

Pat’s, Geno’s and Tony Luke’s are world-famous cheesesteak joints, but most real Philadelphians dismiss them as “just for tourists.” But in the space between tourist traps and hidden neighborhood jawns is Jim’s South Street, a steak shop both known and loved by visitors and also respected for an authentic, flavorsome steak by locals worth the wait in the often-long line.

Located in the heart of South Street, “the hippest street in town, ” Jim’s is the only big name steak place in Philly that uses top round for its meat (as opposed to the more common ribeye), a more tender and less fatty beef.

What Jim’s may be best known for is its association with the Philly Taco, which is a frankenfood consisting of a Jim’s steak wrapped in a giant size-of-your-forearm slice of pizza from Lorenzo and Sons across the street, a dish literally not for the faint of heart.

Jimmy G’s Steaks

Jimmy G

Source: Facebook.com/JimmyGSteaks

A relative newcomer to the Philly cheesesteak wars, Jimmy G’s Steaks has quickly established itself as a steak worthy of the “best of” conversation. Located on North Broad (a relative cheesesteak desert), Jimmy’s has a well-respected traditional steak but may be better known for two of its more original concoctions.

While most steak shops offer a choice between beef and chicken, Jimmy G’s stands out with its unique lamb cheesesteak. And if that’s not enough, Jimmy G’s features the Philadelphia Cream Cheesesteak, a standard cheesesteak but with a roll slathered in Philadelphia Cream Cheese (a product ironically not made in Philadelphia).

No matter which steak you choose, no meal at Jimmy G’s is complete without a side of Eater Philly‘s No. 4 “Must-Try French Fries in Philly.”

Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop Fishtown

Joe

Source: Facebook.com/JoesSteaksSodaShop

While the original Northeast Philly location has been around since the 1940s, Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop‘s Fishtown store is just five or so years old — new enough to have skirted ever having to use the previous incarnation’s questionable name.

Right in the heart of trendy Fishtown, Joe’s is located across the street from Johnny Brenda’s, ideal for a pre-concert meal, and kitty-corner from the Garage sports bar, which is a BYOF making a steak from Joe’s a perfect F to BYO.

Despite being newish, Joe’s Fishtown maintains the traditional style of the original, offering a classic cheesesteak from a seven-decade-old recipe inside a ’50s-era vintage soda fountain serving old-style real milk milkshakes and hand-pumped chocolate Cokes, ice cream sodas, malteds and egg creams. But Joe’s isn’t afraid of the modern, either, serving one of the city’s best vegan cheesesteaks, as well.

John’s Roast Pork

best cheesesteak in philadelphia John

Source: Facebook.com/Roadfood

There are some that claim that it’s the roast pork, not the cheesesteak, that’s the true Philadelphia signature sandwich. Those people are wrong. But the good news is you can have the best of both worlds at John’s Roast Pork. Here you can partake in the undisputed best roast pork sandwich in the city, as well as what some believe to be the best cheesesteak.

John’s cheesesteak features heavily seasoned beef loin cooked to order (as opposed to an ever-steaming pile on a grill like most joints) served on a muffuletta-style hollowed-out seeded Carangi roll with a choice of sharp provolone or white American. No cheese whiz allowed on-premises.

John’s began selling roast pork in 1930 but didn’t add cheesesteaks to the menu until 1978. But the old school jawn’s small cinderblock shack on Snyder Avenue in South Philly belies its culinary bona fides, earning a James Beard Foundation Award for being one of “America’s Classics.”

McNally’s Tavern

McNally

Source: Facebook.com/McNallysCHESTNUTHILL

Sure, McNally’s Tavern has been serving sandwiches since the Roaring ’20s, but the family-owned bar in Chestnut Hill is best known for a cheesesteak-based culinary contribution called “The Schmitter.”

Often misattributed to Phillies legend Mike Schmidt, McNally’s Schmitter sandwich (actually named for Schmidt’s, a customer’s favorite beer) has all the juicy beef, gooey cheese and fried onions of a great cheesesteak, but with the addition of sliced tomato, grilled salami and a Russian dressing-type sauce served on a flash-broiled kaiser roll.

And enjoy it alongside one of the best craft beer selections along the tree-lined cobblestone streets of Chestnut Hill.

Pat’s King of Steaks

Pat

Source: Facebook.com/patssteaks

Lifelong Philadelphians might decry Pat’s King of Steaks as “just for tourists” and claim just because you’re first doesn’t make you best. But even the most adamant corner steak place advocate must admit that Pat’s still makes one heck of a cheesesteak.

If you can tolerate the long queues of tourists unfamiliar with how to order a proper cheesesteak, there’s really nothing more Philadelphia than grabbing a whiz wit from the O.G. steak sandwich inventor and enjoying it on one of the red thatched-wire tables outside on its Passyunk Square corner location.

Open 24/7 like its flashier cross-street rival Geno’s, Pat’s invented the modern steak sandwich back in 1933 when Pat Olivieri, at the behest of a passing cab driver, started selling sliced steak and chopped onions on long rolls from his hot dog cart.

Today, the nearly century-old institution might be the go-to spot for visitors, but even for locals, it’s the best place to grab a steak at midnight after a concert or a night out.

Steve’s Prince of Steaks Bustleton

best cheesesteak in philadelphia Steve's

Source: Facebook.com/StevesPrinceOfSTeaks

When he opened his now-beloved cheesesteak shop on Bustleton Avenue in 1980, not only did Steve Iliescu name it Steve’s Prince of Steaks in honor of Pat’s King of Steaks but because he believes his grill was the heir apparent to the Philly cheesesteak title.

There are many that feel his claim is justified, enough for Steve to open three other locations. But the original cash-only metal-and-neon diner-style trailer in the Northeast is still king — err, prince.

What makes a cheesesteak from Steve’s unique is its heft. Steve’s uses a thick-cut one-eighth-inch slab of ribeye, thicker than most of its competitors. Cooked on a flat grill, the weighty beef has a flavorful slightly chewy texture and is served on thin rolls with whiz, mozzarella, provolone or its signature melted American blanket that creates a juicy drip.

For your ordering ease, Steve’s offers two order windows, one for steaks and another for sides and drinks, including their heavenly chocolate soda.

How to order a Philly cheesesteak

The last thing you need to know before you go out and grab one is how to order a cheesesteak. No matter where you get your steak, one of the best cheesesteaks in Philly or some neighborhood shop, Philly has a cheesesteak language all its own, a shorthand like a short-order cook has in a diner to make ordering more efficient.

Most places have long lines for the best steaks, so knowing not just what you’re going to order before you get to the counter, but how, is important to keep the line moving. Thankfully, it’s very easy and just four steps.

  • First, ask for what kind of steak you want. For a traditional steak, just say “steak.” If it’s a variation, start with that by saying “pizza steak” or “cheesesteak hoagie.” If there are size options like whole or half, say it here as well.
  • Second, pick your cheese. As mentioned previously, there are only three options here: whiz, provolone or American (almost exclusively white). Don’t embarrass yourself like U.S. Sen. John Kerry did.
  • Third, tell the cashier or cook if you want onions or not, and there’s only one way to do it: “wit” or “witout.” There’s no “H” here. Wit means “with onions,” and witout means, well, without. By default, your onions will be grilled or fried. If you want your onions raw, now is the time to say.
  • And last, be sure to specify “here” or “to go.”

For example, if your full order is a cheesesteak with cheese whiz and grilled onions to eat in, just say “steak whiz wit for here.” If it’s a half plain cheesesteak with sharp provolone for takeout, order “half steak provolone witout to go.” It may feel intimidating at the moment when all eyes are on you, but it’s pretty simple.

The real best cheesesteak in Philadelphia is up to you

Philadelphia is full of foods it lays claim to being the capital of — roast pork sandwiches, hoagies, soft pretzels, tomato pie, scrapple, water ice, crab fries, even snapper soup — but none is more iconic than the beauty of the cheesesteak.

And whether you’re a local, out of town visitor or new resident, it’s up to you to decide what the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia is. While this list is not exhaustive, it’s a good place to start. Happy cheesesteaking!

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Published at Thu, 20 Aug 2020 13:05:36 +0000

The Best Way to Find Roommates

Whether you’re ready to save some money or your perfect roommate has moved on, starting the search for a new roommate can be an overwhelming task. You’re not alone, either, as one in three adults are sharing their household with roommates, who are not their romantic partner.

Even though you’re set on your ways, and it’s hard to have an open mind about a stranger, finding the right roommate for you is possible if you know where to look. But, beyond roommate compatibility, how exactly can you find suitable candidates more effectively?

From your network to the latest apps, we break down the best ways to find roommates so you can move right into your dream apartment.

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Is a roommate right for you?

Just because finances and life stages indicate that getting a roommate is a good idea for you, it doesn’t mean that you’re meant to have a roommate.

Your definition of privacy and communication will affect how you interact with potential roommates. Can you be honest vs. passive-aggressive about your needs with strangers? Are you able to compromise with chores and a little chaos in the living room? Are you a Type-A individual that gets easily irritated?

Getting to know yourself and your limitations before starting your search will help you narrow it down. Ask friends you trust about your qualities and what are their best lessons learned with past roommates.

Narrow down your roommate criteria

Once you’ve decided that a roommate is the best scenario for you, narrow down the requirements before reaching out to the world. What’s your budget and preferred location? Do you already have an apartment picked out? How about pets? Overall etiquette and lifestyle? Narrow down these preferences as they will help you find the right fit more quickly.

As you start receiving leads from your network and beyond, make sure you’re asking the right questions, including cleaning habits, income, etc., and a list of personal and past roommate references.

start search

Start the search

Write up your budget, move-in date, pets, preferred location and any other factors that your potential roommate needs to know before meeting with you. Write an email, text and a little graphic that will be shared on social media and to friends and family. Having a template ready to go will make the search a lot easier for you and your network.

Tap into your network

Your friends and co-workers will be the best-untapped source of information when it comes to potential roommates. Once you narrowed down your criteria, including price range and location, reach out to them via email and text to alert them that you’re on the lookout.

Ask them to share your “listing” with any potential leads and have them reach out directly to you. Maybe a friend is moving into town, or someone is going through a life change? After your email, check in with them within a week to see if any leads popped up. People get busy, so it’s on you to follow up with them.

phone app

Use apps

The best thing about the internet is how it makes the world a little smaller, and it helps you reach people that you wouldn’t have before. Be sure to keep an eye for scammers when you start using these apps, never share personal information over messages and only meet if you feel safe. You may want to skip Craigslist as it’s often filled with fake listings.

  • Diggz: You can find roommates that match your lifestyle and chat with potential leads before you meet through the platform. You get matched, similar to dating apps if you both like each other’s profiles.
  • Roomie Match: Your profile is reviewed by humans at Roomie Match, and for a small fee, they’ll match you with top roommate picks when crunched for time.
  • Roomi: Once you’ve created your verified profile and preferences, you can message potential matches through the app without revealing your email.

Post on social media

You’ve spread the word in real life, now it’s time to put those social media accounts to work. Create a quick image (Canva is a great free tool for this) with top requirements to alert folks that you’re looking for a roommate.

Post it on your Facebook feed and Instagram stories for maximum reach and ask your followers to re-share the post. The image will capture more eyes and move it to the top of the feed — you don’t want the algorithm messing with your search.

Facebook and neighborhood groups

Go beyond your feed and look at your Facebook groups. If you’re part of a local group that caters to opportunities like roommates, housing, etc., make sure to take advantage and post your listing. Alumni groups, especially if you’re moving to a new city, are also helpful.

If you already live in an apartment complex, post on the Facebook group for the complex. They may have a few leads for you. Other neighborhood groups can also be helpful as the current members may not be looking for a roommate but may know someone.

Time to move in

Now that you’ve hopefully said yes to a new roommate, it’s time to move in. As you sign the lease with the landlord, we recommend having a roommate agreement, as well, available to sign.

Go over income sources, who covers utilities, what services you’ll use, furniture purchases, any chores you’ll be splitting and a general overview of other tasks or items in the apartment.

This will help avoid passive-aggressive fights as the tasks are on paper, and both parties agreed to them. Once the ink is dry, start packing as you embark on this new adventure.

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Published at Wed, 19 Aug 2020 12:00:04 +0000

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Apartment Living

How to Safely Buy Furniture on Online Marketplaces

How to Safely Buy Furniture on Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are a convenient source for finding a bargain and buying affordable furniture and other home goods. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful during the purchase and exchange process, you might find yourself facing scams and dangerous situations. Here are a few ways to ensure your safety when buying furniture online.

Research the item

Online Shopping Safely Buy Furniture on Online Marketplaces

To prevent getting scammed, research the furniture you want before buying it. Search various e-commerce sites to see the price for a new product, then compare the seller’s price to store prices. If the product you’re eyeing is practically new, it should be discounted at least a few dollars from the regular retail price. Additionally, products depreciate in value depending on the condition.

Review how other sellers are pricing the same item on e-commerce sites. If you have a question about the product, message the seller to ask about its condition. Don’t hesitate to contact the merchant just because they’re likely a total stranger — a trustworthy online seller should be happy to answer your questions.

Check the seller’s profile

If you’re using an online marketplace on which sellers maintain profiles, ask yourself: Does the seller’s profile look legitimate? Are they providing very little information about themselves? Take a note of the seller’s reviews and, if applicable, friends. It is suspicious if they have a small number of friends, and it can also be suspicious if they have very few reviews (or lots of negative reviews).

Beware of any red flags regarding what the seller uploads to their profile. You may be dealing with a scammer if the merchant posts many spam links in public posts. If applicable, do a reverse image search of the seller’s profile picture to see if the person is using a picture of someone else. 

Inspect the product before purchasing

How does the furniture look in pictures? Before authorizing a payment, ask to see the product. The item may have signs of damage that the seller doesn’t show in photos. If the furniture is expensive, bring an expert — or maybe just a friend who buys a lot of secondhand furniture — for a second opinion. If the product is electronic, test whether it operates correctly.

Safely meet the seller in public

The safest way to meet the seller is far from your home and in a populated public space. Some people believe it’s safe to meet at a police station in front of security cameras. Other options include a shopping mall, restaurant, or coffee shops. Bringing a friend while meeting a seller in public adds another layer of security.

Use a secure payment method directly from the seller

Make sure to use a secure payment method. Sellers may ask for an indirect way of paying through a third-party site. The Better Business Bureau suggests purchasing your item using a person-to-person payment method.

Shopping online can help you find a vast selection of stylish furniture at reasonable prices. You can find many different styles of furniture from various eras, and if you’re vigilant with your safety and against fraud, online buying can be an unbeatable way to get a bargain. 

Published at Mon, 17 Aug 2020 13:30:49 +0000

A Five-Step Guide to Organizing Your Closet

Do you have a hard time picking what to wear and often find yourself impatiently rummaging through your clothes to choose the right outfit? A messy wardrobe can add unnecessary stress to your day, especially if your apartment is small without many options for storage. Decluttering and organizing your closet will help speed up the process of picking your next outfit. Save time choosing an outfit and enjoy the clothes you own by following these five helpful closet-organizing tips.

1. Declutter by category

Get rid of unnecessary clothes by following the advice of famed organization expert Marie Kondo. Kondo believes the best way to declutter is to focus on items that “spark joy.” From Kondo’s perspective, joy links to personal and intimate reasons – the “small details” of an item should make you smile. 

Organizing Closet

Kondo’s tidying technique, called the KonMari Closet Method, emphasizes sorting through your clothes by categories such as pants, tops, or dresses. First, empty your closet. Gather all of your clothes from one group in front of you so it’s easier to keep your loved clothes and eliminate other items. After organizing one category, go through the rest of the groups until you sorted through each one. Discard unwanted clothes in a bag for donation or sell them to a consignment store. 

2. Clean and wash your empty closet

After your closet is empty from sorting everything, make sure to clean it. Sweep, scrub or vacuum your closet, and air it out for deep cleaning. If you have storage bins, clean them too. If you want, you can listen to some calming or uplifting music while you clean to make the process go by faster.

3. Organize your storage space with organizers or bins

Use your vertical storage space to your advantage. Use a hanging shoe organizer to store more clothes. Storage bins on built-in shelves will maximize storage for – and organize – one of your item categories. 

Hanging hooks on your wall to organize your jewelry, belts, and scarves can also be useful when you have limited space. If you have extra space for a shoe organizer, rolling dresser, or a small armoire, add it to your closet to store small accessories.

4. Store your clothes and accessories by category

As previously mentioned, you should organize similar items together. Clothes and accessories in each category – pants, shirts, socks – should be with each other. 

Hang formal and structured clothes to prevent wrinkles. Save hanging space by folding thick garments such as jeans and sweaters. To get ready quickly, organize each category in the order you get dressed. If you’re a visual person, go the extra mile to color-code your closet.

Marie Kondo suggests two tips to make your wardrobe look aesthetically pleasing. Hang your clothes to face the same direction, and keep longer items on the left and shorter pieces on the right to create an upward sloping line.

5. Follow the “one in, one out” rule

These organization tips helped you clean your closet, but now what? Keep your closet clean and tidy by not hoarding new clothes (doing so also decreases the need for another massive wardrobe clean-out). Maintain your organized, spacious closet by always removing an item after purchasing a new one. 

With an organized closet, you can spend less time getting ready. Plus, a clean closet helps you maximize your wardrobe through different aesthetic and storage techniques, so you’ll feel happier with your apartment too.

Published at Tue, 11 Aug 2020 21:10:26 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Biden Support Surged in Milwaukee County, Trump Continued to Dominate Rural Wisconsin

Biden Support Surged in Milwaukee County, Trump Continued to Dominate Rural Wisconsin

With less than 100 days until Election Day, multiple polls show that President Donald Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key swing states, including Wisconsin. Another way to figure out if a candidate is performing, in addition to polling data, is by looking at his/her fundraising effort.

Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.

Our key findings this quarter in Wisconsin include:
  • Trump leads in Wisconsin by unique donor count – the President has garnered support from 5,947 unique donors, whereas former Vice President Joe Biden has received donations from 2,393 unique donors as of June 30, 2020.
  • Of all 680 zip codes included in this study, 36.0% of them, or 245, are blue zip codes, including 53711 (Dane County), 53211 (Milwaukee County), 54601 (La Crosse County). [Unique Donor Map]
  • Meanwhile, 45.1%, or 307, are red zip codes, which consist of 54066 (Washington County), 53217 (Milwaukee County), and 53072 (Waukesha County). 18.8% of the zip codes, or 128, are purple, which means that neither parties have more than 55% of unique donors.
  • In Milwaukee County, Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June.
  • In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has.

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

The interactive map below highlights Wisconsin and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.

 

Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.

Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that President Donald Trump has been the fundraising front runner in Wisconsin. As of June 30, 2020, Trump has accumulated 5,947 unique donors. On the Democratic side, while support was split among candidates, more donors have turned to Mr. Biden’s campaign as he seized primary victories in other states and positioned himself as the presumptive party nominee. As of Q2, 2020, the Biden campaign amassed 2,393 unique donors in Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, the largest county in the state by population, Vice President Joe Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June. In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has. Meanwhile, Trump comfortably leads the fundraising game in counties such as Waukesha, Brown, and Racine.

Top 5 Zip Codes in Milwaukee County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53211: Biden’s 81 unique donors vs. Trump’s 25 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53217: Biden’s 89 unique donors vs. Trump’s 72 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53202: Biden’s 58 unique donors vs. Trump’s 27 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53207: Biden’s 12 unique donors vs. Trump’s 22 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53092: Biden’s 31 unique donors vs. Trump’s 69 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Dane County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53711: Biden’s 117 unique donors vs. Trump’s 37 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53705: Biden’s 136 unique donors vs. Trump’s 14 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53703: Biden’s 55 unique donors vs. Trump’s 8 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53704: Biden’s 54 unique donors vs. Trump’s 29 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53562: Biden’s 61 unique donors vs. Trump’s 46 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Waukesha County by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 53045: Biden’s 14 unique donors vs. Trump’s 68 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53072: Biden’s 15 unique donors vs. Trump’s 70 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53188: Biden’s 17 unique donors vs. Trump’s 49 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53186: Biden’s 16 unique donors vs. Trump’s 41 unique donors
  • Zip Code 53189: Biden’s 8 unique donors vs. Trump’s 40 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.

  • Zip Code 53705 (Dane County): 136 unique donors, 90.7 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53711 (Dane County): 117 unique donors, 76 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53217 (Milwaukee County): 89 unique donors, 55.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53211 (Milwaukee County): 81 unique donors, 76.4 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53562 (Dane County): 61 unique donors, 57 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53202 (Milwaukee County): 58 unique donors, 68.2 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53703 (Dane County): 55 unique donors, 87.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53704 (Dane County): 54 unique donors, 65.1 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53717 (Dane County): 45 unique donors, 73.8 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53726 (Dane County): 35 unique donors, 100 % donor share
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Trump received the most support.

  • Zip Code 53066 (Washington County): 79 unique donors, 80.6 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53217 (Milwaukee County): 89 unique donors, 55.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54016 (St. Croix County): 70 unique donors, 75.3 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53072 (Waukesha County): 70 unique donors, 82.4 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53092 (Milwaukee County): 69 unique donors, 69 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54313 (Oconto County): 68 unique donors, 80 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53045 (Waukesha County): 68 unique donors, 82.9 % donor share
  • Zip Code 53029 (Washington County): 63 unique donors, 80.8 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54115 (Outagamie County): 62 unique donors, 81.6 % donor share
  • Zip Code 54956 (Outagamie County): 60 unique donors, 76.9 % donor share

Methodology

The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For President Donald Trump, the following committees are included: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (C00580100), Trump Make America Great Again Committee (C00618371), and Trump Victory (C00618389). For former Vice President Joe Biden, the following committees are included: Biden for President (C00703975), Biden Victory Fund (C00744946), and Biden Action Fund (C00746651). The state, county, and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidates. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers. Unique donor shares are calculated using the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign and the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign. Past Democratic/Republican candidates are excluded from the calculation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

 
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?

This is related to the primaries. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party had 3 candidates running, all the support gravitated towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, we should start seeing some changes.

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.

3. How is the party majority calculated?

The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.

Published at Wed, 05 Aug 2020 13:45:23 +0000

Biden Doubled Unique Donor Count in NYC, Trump Took Over Zip Codes in Outer Boroughs

With less than 100 days until Election Day, former Vice President Joe Biden and his campaign actively look for ways to mobilize voters and garner support across the nation. Meanwhile, President Trump, while grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the BLM movement, and the disappointing economic indicators, has been able to continue to receive campaign donations from individuals in different cities.

Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.

Our key findings in NYC this quarter include:
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden leads New York City with a total of 12,945 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, more than doubled from Q1 2020.
  • Meanwhile, President Trump has amassed 5,788 unique donors at the end of Q2 2020, 55% fewer than Biden.
  • Trump, however, did manage to take over a few zip codes in outer boroughs, including 10309 and 10310 in Staten Island, 11001 and 11428 in Queens, as well as 11214 and 11235 in Brooklyn.
  • Of the 217 zip codes included in this study, 83.9%, or 182, are blue zip codes. 14 of them, or 6.5% are red, and 21, or 9.7%, are purple, which means neither parties have more than 55% of the donors.
  • 6 zip codes became “bluer”, including 10473 (Bronx), 10170 (Manhattan), and 11436 (Queens). This means that the Democratic support is growing in these zip codes.
  • Meanwhile, several zip codes are “redder”, including 11419 (Queens), 11214 (Brooklyn), and 10309 (Staten Island).
  • The flat trend in Brooklyn indicates that it might be challenging for Biden to attract voters in Brooklyn, who historically had responded well to Senator Bernie Sanders’ grassroots campaign.

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

The interactive map below highlights New York City and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.

 

Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.

Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that the majority of NYC zip codes have contributed to Democratic candidates. Vice President Joe Biden started seeing a surge in the number of unique donors by the end of February, thanks to his Super Tuesday Success. As he became the presumptive Democratic candidate, the amount of support he received from New Yorkers continued to grow exponentially. As of June 30, 2020, Trump has accumulated 12,945 unique donors.

Meanwhile, while the growth has been relatively flat for President Trump, he did manage to take over a few zip codes, mostly in outer boroughs. Staten Island continued to be Trump’s strong base, and zip codes 11214 and 11229 in Brooklyn went from light blue to purple. This, along with the aggregated totals in Brooklyn, indicate that Biden might have trouble attracting voters in Brooklyn, especially those who have responded well to Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

While most of Manhattan is dominated by Democratic donors, Trump did manage to raise more than Biden in certain zip codes such as zip codes 10019, 10022, and 10065. For instance, President Trump received in total five contributions with receipt amount equal or over $100,000 in zip code 10019 through the Trump Victory committee, with the largest one being $360,600 from the CEO of a private commercial real estate finance and investment company. Note that, however, in our unique donor analysis, multiple contributions from the same donor to the same candidate (even though different committees) are counted as one.

Top 5 Zip Codes in Manhattan by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 10024: Biden’s 830 unique donors vs. Trump’s 71 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10025: Biden’s 678 unique donors vs. Trump’s 54 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10023: Biden’s 819 unique donors vs. Trump’s 93 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10011: Biden’s 512 unique donors vs. Trump’s 41 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10003: Biden’s 440 unique donors vs. Trump’s 38 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Brooklyn by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 11201: Biden’s 470 unique donors vs. Trump’s 40 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11215: Biden’s 396 unique donors vs. Trump’s 30 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11238: Biden’s 161 unique donors vs. Trump’s 8 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11217: Biden’s 214 unique donors vs. Trump’s 13 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11231: Biden’s 145 unique donors vs. Trump’s 12 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Queens by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 11375: Biden’s 99 unique donors vs. Trump’s 105 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11385: Biden’s 10 unique donors vs. Trump’s 68 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11101: Biden’s 55 unique donors vs. Trump’s 24 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11372: Biden’s 39 unique donors vs. Trump’s 39 unique donors
  • Zip Code 11106: Biden’s 23 unique donors vs. Trump’s 33 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in the Bronx by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 10471: Biden’s 73 unique donors vs. Trump’s 34 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10462: Biden’s 19 unique donors vs. Trump’s 25 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10465: Biden’s 9 unique donors vs. Trump’s 61 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10461: Biden’s 11 unique donors vs. Trump’s 34 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10467: Biden’s 13 unique donors vs. Trump’s 18 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Staten Island by Donor Count
  • Zip Code 10314: Biden’s 26 unique donors vs. Trump’s 145 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10312: Biden’s 25 unique donors vs. Trump’s 126 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10301: Biden’s 34 unique donors vs. Trump’s 48 unique donors
  • Zip Code 10306: Biden’s 15 unique donors vs. unique donors
  • Zip Code 10304: Biden’s 21 unique donors vs. Trump’s 65 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.

  • Zip Code 10024 (Manhattan): 830 unique donors, 92.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 10023 (Manhattan): 819 unique donors, 89.8% donor share
  • Zip Code 10025 (Manhattan): 678 unique donors, 92.6% donor share
  • Zip Code 10128 (Manhattan): 596 unique donors, 84.9% donor share
  • Zip Code 10021 (Manhattan): 569 unique donors, 84.9% donor share
  • Zip Code 10028 (Manhattan): 527 unique donors, 82.7% donor share
  • Zip Code 10011 (Manhattan): 512 unique donors, 92.6% donor share
  • Zip Code 11201 (Brooklyn): 470 unique donors, 92.2% donor share
  • Zip Code 10003 (Manhattan): 440 unique donors, 92.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 10022 (Manhattan): 419 unique donors, 74.4% donor share
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump

Below are the top 10 zip codes where Trump received the most support.

  • Zip Code 10314 (Staten Island): 145 unique donors, 84.8% donor share
  • Zip Code 10022 (Manhattan): 144 unique donors, 25.6% donor share
  • Zip Code 11209 (Brooklyn): 140 unique donors, 71.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 11235 (Brooklyn): 132 unique donors, 86.3% donor share
  • Zip Code 10312 (Staten Island): 126 unique donors, 83.4% donor share
  • Zip Code 10028 (Manhattan): 110 unique donors, 17.3% donor share
  • Zip Code 10128 (Manhattan): 106 unique donors, 15.1% donor share
  • Zip Code 11375 (Queens): 105 unique donors, 51.5% donor share
  • Zip Code 10019 (Manhattan): 102 unique donors, 25.4% donor share
  • Zip Code 10021 (Manhattan): 101 unique donors, 15.1% donor share

Methodology

The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For President Donald Trump, the following committees are included: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (C00580100), Trump Make America Great Again Committee (C00618371), and Trump Victory (C00618389). For former Vice President Joe Biden, the following committees are included: Biden for President (C00703975), Biden Victory Fund (C00744946), and Biden Action Fund (C00746651). The state, county, and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidates. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers. Unique donor shares are calculated using the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign and the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign. Past Democratic/Republican candidates are excluded from the calculation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

 
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?

This is related to the primaries. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party had 3 candidates running, all the support gravitated towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, we should start seeing some changes.

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.

3. How is the party majority calculated?

The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.

Published at Wed, 05 Aug 2020 13:45:02 +0000