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Apartment Living

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

It looks as though social distancing will no longer be the new norm, but the way that we will now be living our lives. It was only 2 months ago that we had never heard of PPE, unless we worked in healthcare or unless you were a scientist, flattening the curve was about weigh loss. Mostly about flattening our stomachs. So here we are all settled at home wondering how to move forward. (Source: NAA)

But what about the folks who were thinking about moving or who were in the middle of a relocation? Any sort of housing transition is stressful enough without having to deal with a national health crisis. But during social distancing it could be additionally stressful.  Take heart, there are many technologies that can help us lease an apartment while keeping you and your apartment community staff safe.

There are many digital advertising sources that you can access from the safety of your living room or kitchen. You can search by typing the word “apartments” into any browser. This will give you a very broad search. After you feel comfortable with user experience with an Internet Listing Service provider, narrow your search by location, price, floorplan size, schools and amenities. Or you use a “long tail search”. For example, a “two-bedroom apartment in Richmond, Virginia with a pool”. This may be more time efficient than a more generic search such as “apartments”. It will provide a short and more refined list of apartment communities that fir those criteria.

Another new aspect to think about during physical and social distancing, is the systems that the community uses to communicate with their residents after you move in. Can you pay your rent on-line? How do they let you know about any community events or repairs? Many communities use Call Assist 24/7. It’s a way that you can send a video or photo of your emergency service request to the on-call maintenance technician.  This will keep you informed via text throughout every step of the process. You will even get a photo of the technician coming out late at night. How cool is that!

Most listings have virtual tours of generic units or their furnished model. Seeing a furnished apartment is always a good way to get a feel for what the space may look like with your own furnishings. (Source: Realtor.com) Many leasing agents are happy to use zoom, skype and Facetime to show you the actual unit that is available if it is currently vacant. Ask the agent to walk through the community as well so you may see the location of your apartment home. Is it close to the pool or does it have a view that you like? Google maps is a great resource for information on shopping, parks and interstates. If you are moving locally, go drive through the apartment community at different times of day to see where the sun sets or where the bark park is located. So there a lot of great resources to help you navigate through finding the perfect new apartment home during Covid-19. Be safe and have fun!

Published at Thu, 23 Apr 2020 12:40:08 +0000

WE ARE MADE OF TOUGH STUFF!

WE ARE MADE OF TOUGH STUFF!

We are made of tough stuff. Now more than ever before, we need to know that we will make it through this unprecedented COVID-19 global health emergency. As an industry multifamily will remain a strong player in the US economy. But what will be the impact of this national health crisis for apartment housing?

As we look for answers in the short term, one thing is clear, no one really knows what may and can happen.  This is the time to pull together as a country and help our residents the best way we know.  First and foremost, communication will be crucial. Some apartment communities have a broadcast text or email system to keep their residents well informed in real time. Message Assist from @CallAssist247 is a simple easy way to message your residents via phone, text or email. Remote messaging is the best way to continue to maintain physical distancing. We need to be social as isolation can lead to depression and sadness for many.

In the short term, The National Apartment Association has given guidelines for their members and has been key in trying to keep pace with an event that changes hour by hour. As rents are at an all-time high and the typical renter is spending close to half of their income on rent, April 1st there will be delinquency. NAA suggests that there is no easy cookie cutter approach for how to handle default rent, but to take each situation on a case by case scenario. Perhaps partial payments? There will be many residents who have never missed a rent payment and may need to choose between food and rent. Local governments may offer some solutions. You can be helpful and keep abreast of these local resources to help your residents. Are there local food banks or state agencies that can offer some financial assistance?

What can we expect moving forward for our industry? Again no one has a crystal ball. Shelter is a basic need. Possible recession is a distinct possibility. Historically the apartment sector overall is likely to weather a recession well. We may see mobility slow as eviction and foreclosure processes evolve. The shortage of work force housing will be exacerbated by job losses from the service sector. And perhaps as more of us are working from home, the demand for commercial real estate will lessen. (Source: Apartmentlist.com)

We survived the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, Black Monday in 1987 and recession in 1975. Often our greatest opportunity lies in our biggest challenges. With the strength of our nation, we will make it through this unprecedented global health crisis. As we pulled together as a country during 9/11, we will make it through Covid-19 as we are made of tough stuff!

Published at Thu, 26 Mar 2020 10:48:45 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

How to Compost in an Apartment 

How to Compost in an Apartment 

If you’re interested to learn how to compost in an apartment, you’d be doing both yourself and the environment a favor. Composting is a natural process in which organic waste turns into a nutrient-rich, decomposed matter which helps plants grow. It happens by itself in nature, but you can replicate it at home with food scraps and other organic waste. The resulting compost is a natural and highly nutritious method to feed your plants and reduce food waste. If you have a home garden, house plants or just want to recycle your food scraps, here are the why, the what and the how of composting in an apartment:

Why You Should Compost in an Apartment 

Organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and paper, makes up 53% of landfills. Out of that waste, we could recycle at least 40% into compost. But why do it? First, you’re protecting the environment. In landfills, this organic waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to the climate crisis. Also, compost is a valuable resource. If you use it in your home garden, your plants will get better nutrition and retain more moisture without chemical fertilizers. And even if you just store your compost and use a collection service, you’re still making sure less methane pollutes the atmosphere.

What You Can Compost in an Apartment 

You can recycle most organic waste in your apartment, but there are a few types of food and plants you should keep out of the composting process. You can compost a large amount of food waste, such as fruits and vegetables, eggshells, tea bags, and coffee grounds. When it comes to your home garden, feel free to recycle all trimmings, cuttings, leaves, and dead houseplants. You can even compost items from your bathroom and home office, such as paper, cardboard, and rags or towels made out of cotton and wool. 

How to compost in an apartment without worms

However, there are a few things you should steer clear of when it comes to composting. Don’t try to recycle dairy products, fats and grease, oil, animal-based scraps (except for fur), and animal feces. At the same time, while a little bit of dairy or oil won’t harm your compost, they will generate unpleasant odors, which can attract pests such as insects and rodents.

How to Compost in an Apartment  

Compost Method #1: Composting with Worms 

When thinking about how to compost in an apartment, worms might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, vermicomposters, as they’re called, are actually easy to set up and maintain. You’ll need a few items you can get at any home supplies store, such as some storage bins, a drill, dirt, and some worms, of course. Worms are easy to purchase online, so you can get started at any time. 

How to compost in an apartment with worms

This indoor method will get you the highest quality compost. If you’re not too squeamish, it’s also the most natural way to go about it. You can find a quick and easy step by step guide on how to set up a vermicomposter on the EPA website, and you can buy a ready-made worm composter online.

Compost Method #2: Electric Composters 

Food recyclers are a great option if you don’t want to spend too much time managing your compost bin. They automate the process, which means all you need to do on a regular basis is to add your food scraps and wait for your compost to be ready. However, it comes with a drawback: electric food recyclers do just that — recycle. Technically, what they produce can’t be called compost and doesn’t have as much nutritional value, but will still be healthier for your plants than chemical fertilizers. An electric composter will dry the waste, heat it, grind it down, and then cool the material off. 

The food recycler is quiet and doesn’t take up much space, so if you’d like to avoid the hassle of taking care of a worm-based composter, this solution is right for you.

Compost Method #3: Bokashi 

Bokashi is another easy method to compost at home. The word comes from Japanese and means “fermented organic matter”, which is exactly what it produces. This method requires more maintenance than a food recycler but produces higher-grade fertilizer. How does it work? You use a special airtight bucket to mix in layers of kitchen scraps with an inoculant such as wheat germ and molasses and wait for it to do its magic. After a while, the fermenting waste will start producing a juice that you need to drain to avoid unpleasant odors. However, the juice is highly effective in feeding houseplants.

Bokashi produces higher quality fertilizer than electric recyclers, so if you’d like to learn how to compost in an apartment without worms, this is the best method for you. You can get stared easily with a ready-made Bokashi composting kit and find a great guide on how to set it up and get the most out of your fertilizer here

Compost Method #4: Collection Services 

 Finally, if you don’t have the time or resources to start composting by yourself, check if you can find local collection services. Some local governments provide curbside organic waste collection, and in bigger cities, you can also find non-profits that will either pick up your food scraps or have drop-off boxes around the city. 

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Published at Tue, 21 Apr 2020 06:32:38 +0000

10 Dog Breeds with the Highest Paw-tential for Apartment Living

With so many of us spending more time than ever at home, now seems like a great time to have a furry friend. Navigating pet restrictions and/or making a case to the landlord about your four-legged companion is worth it when you get to enjoy their tail-wagging at the end of the day.

Granted, some apartment complexes have stricter pet restrictions than others. But fortunately, much like apartments, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so you can have your pick. There are the furry energy balls, the cuddlers, the runners, the shedders and the ones who don’t let you out of their sight.

However, as fun and rewarding as it is to have a dog, it’s also important that your living environment suits them, as well, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best dog breeds to keep indoors. In no particular order, here are the best dogs to keep in an apartment:

1. Pomeranian

Yes, brushing and grooming these fluff balls is a must, but it’s worth it! Pomeranians are great if you’re looking for an independent breed that can fare just fine when left to its own devices. These dogs are highly active but do well in smaller spaces due to their tiny stature (about 10 pounds). What’s more, they love to communicate, so expect barking and every sound in between, although good housetraining can sort that out. Pomeranians are also known for being incredibly smart and can quickly pick up on tricks and commands.

2. Boston Terrier

We continue our list with the “American gentleman,” one of the most adaptable and easily trainable breeds. Perfect for apartments and condos due to their compact size (12 to 18 pounds and standing at 1 foot and a half max), Boston Terriers are affectionate and get easily attached. Plus, their short coats and minimal shedding make them ideal for indoors. They’re also not prone to excessive barking. And, even though they are high on energy, they handle small spaces well and are content as long as they get their daily dose of exercise.

3. Dachshund

If you need a small companion with an easygoing temperament and loving nature, look no further than the Doxie. As important as it is for owners to keep their pets happy, “sausage dogs” are one of those breeds that can find happiness in just about everything. Believed to be more on the loud side, they can also be very docile and tend to cling to their owners. Due to their short legs and long spines, they are prone to accidents if they run around too much, so living in smaller spaces suits them just fine. And, because Doxies have short hair, you don’t have to worry about excessive shedding, making this loyal dog perfect for indoor living.

4. Bichon Frise

The perfect dog if you suffer from allergies, the fluffy Bichon Frise is great for apartment living because of how little they shed. Between 12 and 18 pounds and never taller than 1 foot, these cuties make for the perfect companion. Although quiet, they have a lot of energy, so make sure daily walks are always on the table to keep them happy. Take note that these white fur balls get attached very easily and don’t like being alone for too long. So, if you like to play around, take long walks and spend quality time with your pup, there’s no better breed for you.

5. French Bulldog

Frenchies can be the best of both worlds, which is why they are one of the most popular breeds on our list. They love snuggling as much as they love running around, are pretty low-key but in high spirits as long as their owner entertains them, and don’t require lots of exercise but won’t say no to playtime. Around 20 pounds, Frenchies are very good-natured and not very fond of barking — a perfect combo for apartment living. They also tend to overheat, so make sure your unit has AC just in case.

6. Basenji

Barking is often the number one concern when considering whether to own a dog. Known as “the barkless dog,” Basenjis are great if your neighbors love their silence or you have to deal with thin walls. These dogs rarely grow larger than 25 pounds and shed very little. However, beyond their silence, the Basenji is one of the most complex breeds on the list. For instance, they are extremely curious and might be tempted to leave the apartment and go explore. Therefore, it’s important to train them, walk them and make them feel safe at home. Although full of love, this breed is also very stubborn and mischievous, so pay extra care in training them and imposing limits.

7. Greyhound

Yes, really. They might be one of the tallest and fastest breeds out there but, surprisingly, these racing dogs are pretty low-maintenance and don’t require lots of exercise and space. First, make sure the breed is welcome in your apartment complex. Somewhere between 60 and 80 pounds, Greyhounds might not fit the weight limit imposed by some pet regulations. If your heart beats for larger dogs — but you aren’t sure if an apartment is the best environment for them — consider retired racing dogs, who acclimate best to a sedentary lifestyle following their careers. They don’t bark too much, don’t shed too much, are very calm and an absolute pleasure to have around.

8. Scottish Terrier

One of the most dignified breeds there is, and it has the mustache to prove it. Right off the bat, you must know that these dogs are more independent than other terriers, but also fiercely loyal. Alert, energetic and curious, they need a good deal of training to reach their full potential. But, once they do, they’re the perfect companion to share quarters with. Ideal for an active owner who enjoys walks and playtime as much as them, Scotties are also great with children. Although small, they are strong-willed and make for great watchdogs that usually bark only if they must. The breed is also known for not shedding excessively, but you will need to make time for grooming due to their longer coat.

9. Brussels Griffon

Don’t dismiss the Brussels Griffon as just another high-maintenance pooch because of its 7 to 8 pounds and beady eyes. In reality, this sturdy breed is very affectionate and tends to bond with one person. Often in need of its owner’s undivided attention, Griffons are also known as one of the funniest and most intelligent dogs out there. They’re also very agile, but adapt well to living in small spaces. Griffons also love cuddles as much as they love brisk walks. However, training is a must if you don’t want to deal with relentless barking.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

We can’t talk about the best dogs to keep in an apartment without mentioning the Cavalier King Charles. Around 18 pounds, these dogs are the perfect breed for snuggling due to their friendly and affectionate nature. They’re also sociable, which is ideal if you want your pup to be able to interact with other pets. Cavaliers can also adapt to their owner’s personality, so they can lounge all day long inside the smallest of studios, but won’t say no to hikes or long walks through the neighborhood. While you will deal with minimal shedding, despite their long coat, a weekly brushing is enough.

Having a furry friend in your life is incomparable, no matter the size of your apartment. But, there are a lot of things to consider before getting a pet — like the time and effort you’re willing to invest, their noise and energy level, and potential shedding. But, regardless of breed, every dog is different, and that’s what makes it so fun to share your life with one.

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Published at Mon, 20 Apr 2020 07:00:46 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Bryant Park Whole Foods Closes To Become Prime Fulfillment?

Bryant Park Whole Foods Closes To Become Prime Fulfillment?

Most unfortunate and interesting. The closest Whole Foods to RentHop HQ will be closing to public shoppers. Instead, it will “focus more on prime orders” during the Covid-19 shutdowns.

 

 

I’m sure Amazon has smart people who have crunched the numbers, but it seems almost unthinkable only months ago. One of the most central and prime real estate locations in Manhattan will turn away all foot traffic, instead becoming a logistics warehouse for their delivery services?

Why It Makes Sense

Anyone who has been to Whole Foods in the past 4 weeks knows it is a lot busier than in normal times. However, the slight surge is minuscule compared to record-breaking surges in delivery demand. FreshDirect has had no delivery slots most days for weeks, and that’s with many paying customers on Delivery Pass (obviously some get slots, but I’ve refreshed daily and now my subscription has expired, which I will not renew).

So what did the Operations Research geniuses at Amazon conclude? They can serve many more customers by increasing online delivery capacity. They are already near 100% capacity, and must have taken a careful look at the system bottlenecks.

Identifying Growth Bottlenecks

Part of the bottleneck is supply of goods – but even if they are out of Classico Basil and Tomato sauce, there is always someone willing to order Raos. Tech technology is also clearly not the bottleneck – they are already one of the world’s leading cloud providers, and despite the occasional bugs, their site can withstand a lot. It is possible they lack available staff to delivery the goods – but with 16 million newly unemployed, they should getting an influx of new applicants to join the ranks.

Removing Variation

Most likely, the bottleneck is preparing the orders and distributing them to the delivery staff. By converting centrally located stores into exclusive fulfillment hubs, they no longer need to dedicate much of the staff to the cash register, the food bars, and any of the stations that require customer interaction (“how many pounds of ground beef?” “do you want 85% lean or 90% lean?”). Most importantly, it’s about reducing variation. When they need to be ready for customers who might want or need anything, it doesn’t take much to slow down the capacity of the entire system.

Simplifying Product Lines For Higher Capacity

When they slice off the foot traffic arm of the business, what is left? All of the space and personnel can focus on only online orders. The orders are pre-determined AND pre-paid. They can revamp the logistics so orders are already pre-bundled and ready for pickup when the delivery person arrives. They are also no longer confined to working regular store hours. Deliveries and inventory can happen at all hours of the day.

Order packing is more complex – the deliveries can only go out at certain day hours (7am to 11pm), and some items are temperature sensitive down to about 2 hours prior to delivery. But at least they know about the complex orders with enough lead time and can plan for them in special ways.

Will I Order More?

Where does that leave us? Unfortunately, I doubt there will be priority slots for nearby residents and offices. Instead, they might add 1000 new delivery slots per day, but I’ll be fighting for them alongside the 20,000 others reloading their Amazon checkout carts!

Published at Mon, 13 Apr 2020 13:52:12 +0000

Should You Pay Rent During The Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium?

Originally posted on April 09, 2020 11:28 am

Updated on April 13, 2020 9:23 am

If you decided not to pay rent in April 2020, you are in good company. About 31% of renters did not pay on time, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Clearly this is a time of financial hardship for many, and governors everywhere have announced a halting of foreclosures and evictions.

 

 

Ignore The Headlines – Bad But Not So Bad

So far, all of the headlines have said 1/3 of America is not paying their rent. That sounds horrible, but that’s the problem with sensational headlines. Everyone reads it and assumes we dropped instantly from 100% of people paying rent to every third household becoming deadbeats. It’s not true.

Just the month prior, for rent due March 1st, prior to almost all of the USA Covid-19 spread, only 81% of households paid their rent on time according to the same data source, the NMHC. And that was the month following all-time highs for the economy on many fronts (record low unemployment with record high stock markets).

It also helps to look at one year prior, where 82% of households paid rent on time. So 81% to 69% is the number. Yes, it’s a big blow to landlords. An increase from the usual 19% delinquent renters to 31%. More than a 50% increase in late or unpaid rent. But it’s not the mass wave of deadbeats suggested, where an apartment complex has 300 paying tenants and suddenly 100 of them stop.

Any Data Bias?

We are always mindful of any strange bias sources in the data. The 69% number comes from rent-collection and property management software such as Yardi / Appfolio. Who uses these? Mostly large, multi-family property managers who own big apartments complexes. There is a large number of tenant and landlord relationships that use more old-fashioned methods: the monthly check, or monthly cash payment.

Whether or not smaller landlords will see better payment patterns in unclear, but I would lean towards slightly better than the 69%. The relationship is more personal than a big, faceless company, and unfortunately collections is probably more stringent, with tenant rights not always respected.

Published at Thu, 09 Apr 2020 15:28:20 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

9 Apps to Help you Stay Connected While Social Distancing

9 Apps to Help you Stay Connected While Social Distancing

As the coronavirus keeps most of us at home in our apartments, the lack of in-person human contact is less than ideal. Luckily there are many ways to stay connected while social distancing. We have put together a list of nine apps to help you stay-in-touch with family and friends.

Facetime

Facetime is a free app that allows up to 32 people to connect straight from their Apple device. This app is built into every iOS device, so connecting with others is a breeze.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts can be used for messaging or free video or voice calls with one person or a whole group (up to 25 in fact). Hangouts is a free smartphone app or Google Chrome Extension. It can be used on any kind of smartphone and even has fun features like photos, stickers, and emojis.

Facebook

Facebook offers a range of virtual connectivity options. In addition to sharing statuses and commenting on someone’s wall, there is Facebook Messaging, which can be between two people or a whole group, allowing for a chat or texting option. Facebook also has a new feature called Watch Party. With this feature, the host can pick out a queue of Facebook videos and line them up for the party. The host invites friends and they can see and hear each other, as well as comment on the videos. Bring on the goat videos!

Marco Polo

Think of Marco Polo as email, but with videos. This app allows you to exchange video messages at your leisure. The app also stores your content, so they won’t disappear after you open them. Even better, it is ad-free.

Skype

An oldie but a goodie. Skype is one of the original (video) chat apps. It’s a great choice for groups of up to 50 people – you can even call landlines for a small fee.

Airtime

Watch YouTube videos, hand-picked TV shows, and movies, or listen and share music with friends in realtime with Airtime.

Houseparty

Use the Houseparty split-screen feature and enjoy hanging out with seven of your closest friends and chat face-to-face.

Netflix Party

Host long-distance movie nights with Netflix Party. Simply install the Google Chrome Extension to start binge-watching your favorite Netflix movies and shows while video chatting with your friends.

Rave

No, this isn’t an actual party – the Rave app allows you to sync video content from YouTube, Reddit, Google Drive, Dropbox and Viki with friends in real-time via chat and voice calls. Even enjoy an in-home karaoke party!

What other apps are you using to stay connected? Comment below!

Published at Sun, 12 Apr 2020 15:53:38 +0000

Free At-Home Workout Videos to Try During Quarantine

Staying healthy and in shape while quarantined is totally doable. Even if you have no equipment or very little time, there are many great options to help you exercise in your apartment. Here’s a list of some of our favorite at-home workout videos. They include yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, Bootcamp-style classes, kickboxing, and barre exercises.

Yoga with Adriene

Find a yoga practice that suits your mood with Yoga by Adriene. If you’re brand-new to yoga, check out the Yoga For Beginners and Foundations of Yoga series. For those of you experiencing back pain, she also features Yoga For Back Pain practices on her channel.

COREPower Yoga

COREPower Yoga is offering free access to a limited collection of online yoga and meditation classes on their website.

POPSUGAR Fitness

POPSUGAR Fitness offers an extensive library of fitness tutorials, workouts, and exercises with celebrity trainers on their YouTube channel, covering the most buzzed-about workout classes and trends, including the Victoria’s Secret workout, Tabata, P90X, Bar Method, and more.

MadFit

A fitness-focused YouTube channel led by Maddie Lymburner, MadFit features free workout videos on everything from no-equipment workouts to apartment-friendly workouts to low-impact ones. Try a full-body HIIT workout or focus on just one area: Whatever your workout preference, MadFit has a heart-pumping video for you.

STRONG by Zumba

Torch and tone with STRONG by Zumba. This high-intensity workout combines cardio and muscle-conditioning moves to the beat of some fantastic music!

Blogilates

Cassey Ho, the fitness guru behind the hugely popular Blogilates YouTube channel and website
continues to offer a massive library of Pilates-style toning classes. In
response to the outbreak, she also created a 14-day quarantine workout plan, a great option
for those looking to add structure to their at-home workout schedules. 

Orangetheory Fitness

ORANGETHEORY is sharing a new 30-minute workout video each day, featuring some of its most popular coaches from around the world

305 Fitness

305 FITNESS is offering cardio dance live streams twice a day on their YouTube channel. The sessions are held at 12pm and 6pm ET.

YMCA

YMCA launched on-demand exercise and youth programs called YMCA 360, including barre, boot camp, yoga and more to support the health and well-being of everyone staying home

Amazon Prime Video

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you
already have free access to a varied library of fitness videos, including
cardio programs such as 21-Day
Transformation from GymRa
. Just head to
Prime Video and search for “fitness,” then check the
“Prime” box in the left sidebar to see what’s available for
streaming. 

Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 16:51:07 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

What You Need to Know to Get Coronavirus Mortgage Relief

What You Need to Know to Get Coronavirus Mortgage Relief

Mortgage lenders, and the federal agencies that regulate lenders, are putting coronavirus mortgage relief measures in place to ensure homeowners have options if they’re unable to make payments.

Your first stop in the face of financial hardship is your lender or bank.

Just keep in mind lenders are working to figure out and implement the new mortgage relief polices outlined by the regulatory agencies. So you might read one thing from the FHFA, a federal regulator, but your bank might be doing something else.

In addition, due to the number of homeowners affected by the pandemic, lenders are dealing with a crush of calls and online queries. Be patient, persistent, and prepared to spend time on hold.  

Here are the resources you need now.

Your Mortgage

Federally Backed Mortgages
If you have a mortgage backed by Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veteran’s Administration (VA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, your loan servicer must offer you deferred or reduced mortgage payment options – called forbearance — for up to six months. This means you don’t have to pay your mortgage and you won’t be charged late fees, penalties or interest while you can’t pay.

Loan servicers for FHA, Freddie, and Fannie must provide an additional six months of forbearance if you request it. 

Not sure who backs your own loan? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have loan look-up sites where you can find out who owns it, and how to get in touch with them.

In addition, here are direct links to some lenders and banks’ Covid-19 resources:

Mortgages Not Federally Backed
If your mortgage is one of the 5 million in the United States not backed by a federal entity, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes a coronavirus mortgage relief mandate, doesn’t apply. But regulators have encouraged those lenders to work with borrowers who can’t pay their mortgages, and most banks and other lenders are suspending mortgage payments or offering forbearance.

The level of relief you get will depend on who owns your loan. Contact your lender to find out what’s available.

Regardless of the type of loan you have, you must apply for coronavirus mortgage relief through their mortgage servicer. That’s the entity that collects your monthly payments and decides how long the assistance will last. When you reach your mortgage servicer, you’ll need to explain your situation and provide information about your income, expenses and assets. 

Foreclosure and Evictions

Federal officials have imposed a nationwide halt to foreclosures and evictions for more than 36 million Americans with home mortgages backed by the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

The moratorium only affects borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and RHS (Rural Housing Service loans through the USDA). This doesn’t apply to the roughly 35% of mortgages held in bank portfolios and private label securities. But some individual lenders are offering relief.

Some cities, counties, and states, including Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Texas, have placed a moratorium on foreclosures. Check with your city, county and state governments. Find state-by-state tallies online.

Housing Counselors

Another tool in your relief toolbox are housing counselors. Counselors can provide independent advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s look-up tool lets you can find counselors in your state.

Your Credit

The CARES Act forbids lenders from dinging your credit score for missed payments on federally backed mortgages and student loans during your forbearance period. The federal government is also encouraging private lenders to suspend reporting late payments on eligible mortgages. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has more advice about protecting your credit.

By law, you can get a free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Note that these reports don’t include credit scores. Equifax offers six free credit reports every 12 months through December 2026 if you sign up for a myEquifax account

Your Student Loan

The CARES Act includes immediate relief for those who can’t make their monthly payments on federally held loans due to coronavirus. All loan payments (both principal and interest) are suspended through Sept. 30, 2020, with no penalty. You don’t need to apply for this program or contact your lender. It’s automatic.

If you keep making payments, they’ll be applied entirely toward the principal. These suspended payments will count towards any student loan forgiveness already in effect.

Here’s a list of servicers — and their phone numbers — for loans backed by the U.S. Department of Education.

Some loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program and some Perkins Loans not owned by the Department of Education aren’t eligible for suspended payments. Nor are private student loans owned by banks, credit unions, schools, or other private entities. If you can’t make payments, contact your loan servicer to find out what options are available. Many are offering ways, like forbearance, to postpone payments.

Not sure who your servicer is? Look on your most recent statement and contact the servicer immediately.

If your student loan is already in default, the relief act immediately suspends wage garnishments or tax refund deductions. They’ll resume after the suspension ends.

Find out more about student loan relief at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Your Taxes

The IRS has pushed back the deadline for filing and payment of federal taxes to July 15, 2020. Many states are following suit. Check with your state tax agency, or see this list from the American Institute of CPAs for details on deadlines.

Related: Tips to Get Filing Ready for (Delayed) Tax Deadline

Your Real Estate Transaction

If you’re going to be buying or selling a home in the near future, find out if your county recording office can complete the deal online.

In addition, more than half of states, many under emergency state directive, allow for remote online notarization of documents. This makes it safe and easy to complete real estate transactions under social distancing orders. The number of states allowing remote notarization could grow as pandemic legislation expands.

Your Appraisal

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided detailed appraisal alternative guidelines, so homeowners and appraisers can practice social distancing on Freddie and Fannie loans through May 17, 2020.

FHA, VA, and RHS are also allowing variations on the usual appraisal protocol. Check with your servicer for details.

Look Out For Scams

Fear breeds scams. And scammers are out in full force during the pandemic. Beware of third parties offering mortgage assistance and other help. Seek help from your lender directly.

For information on circulating scams and guidance on identifying them, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.  

With additional reporting by Christina Hoffmann

Published at Tue, 07 Apr 2020 13:23:42 +0000

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Apartment Living

How to Safely Use Bleach as a Cleaner

How to Safely Use Bleach as a Cleaner

When disinfecting surfaces in your apartment to minimize your chances of spreading or catching COVID-19, you might turn to bleach as your disinfecting product of choice. Bleach is a viable last-resort option if you don’t have disinfecting wipes, disinfecting sprays, isopropyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide on hand – and since most stores haven’t been able to supply enough of these items to meet customer demand, that large jug of bleach you keep with your cleaning supplies might be your only choice. If you need to use bleach as your disinfectant, follow these steps to ensure you safely use bleach as a cleaner.

safely use bleach

Never mix bleach with ammonia – or anything

Bleach’s reputation as a dangerous chemical is largely due to its reactivity with other substances. When mixed with ammonia or toilet bowl cleaners, bleach can produce chlorine gas that can kill you if it comes into contact with your eyes or lungs. Even hot water can react with bleach to produce chlorine gas. Thus, if you’re going to use bleach to disinfect surfaces around your apartment, you can only safely use bleach as a cleaner if you’re using no other substances.

Combine bleach with lukewarm water

Although bleach can produce chlorine gas when combined with hot water, it’s such a potent substance that you’ll need to combine it with lukewarm (room temperature) water before using it. This way, the bleach is diluted enough that it won’t cause serious harm to you while you use it. Leading health agencies recommend that your bleach solution comprise one cup of bleach added to five gallons of water, whereas others recommend a much weaker combination of one part bleach to ten parts water. If you’re concerned about safety, err on the lower side.

Clean, then disinfect

To safely use bleach as a cleaner, you’ll actually want to clean any surfaces you’re planning to bleach before applying your bleach. Though bleach is a powerful disinfectant, the presence of surface contaminants such as dirt and dust can lessen its effectiveness, so instead, make sure to first clean surfaces with soap and water. Then, let these surfaces fully dry before applying your bleach solution. Once you’ve applied your bleach, let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping down the surface with lukewarm water – again, hot water should never be mixed with bleach.

Protect yourself

Although bleach can disinfect your apartment, you should handle it as with any other dangerous substance. Wear gloves whenever you use bleach, whether disposable gloves or reusable gloves dedicated solely to cleaning and disinfecting. You should also open windows near the surfaces you’re cleaning to ensure proper ventilation, as the less bleach you inhale, the healthier you’ll be. Lastly, when you finish using your bleach solution, you should thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

This handwashing technique is the same one you’re likely already using to limit your exposure to COVID-19 – the same reason you’re bleaching your surfaces. When it comes to a pandemic, you’re always better overdoing it on hygiene than winding up sick.

Published at Mon, 06 Apr 2020 13:06:16 +0000

What Do I Do If My Roommate Needs to Quarantine?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take an outsize toll on everyday life, staying at home has grown beyond just sound medical advice. In several states, it’s become the law of the land. With mandatory stay-at-home orders enacted across the country, some people living with roommates or partners may be grateful they’re not alone during this unprecedented ordeal, but others may worry about what happens if their roommates get sick. Here’s what you should do if your roommate needs to quarantine after showing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for the virus.

roommate quarantine

Keep up your usual preventative actions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a primer on everyday preventive actions for limiting the spread of COVID-19. If you’re not already practicing these actions, then you should absolutely do so if your roommate needs to quarantine.

Separate the sick roommate as much as possible

When you share an apartment with people, you’ll be using the same common spaces as them. Some of these spaces, such as the kitchen and bathroom, are vital, so you can’t easily avoid sharing them. That’s why these spaces can be hotbeds for picking up illnesses that your roommates have. Thus, if your roommate needs to quarantine, they should be staying in their room as much as possible and limiting the time they spend in your common spaces. If your apartment has more than one bathroom, sick roommates should be relegated to one bathroom and all other roommates to the other bathrooms.

Don’t share personal items

Even if your roommate spends as much time alone in their room as possible, they simply can’t avoid the kitchen or, in a one-bathroom apartment, the bathroom you all share. In this case, don’t share personal items such as food, kitchen and bathroom supplies, linens, and more. In the kitchen, for example, a sick roommate should only use silverware and kitchenware designated solely for them.

Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces even more often

Viruses are distinctly difficult enemies to fight because they’re invisible. Thus, even if you think your kitchen countertops are sparkling clean, they could be home to virus particles, and if your hands come into contact with your countertops and then your eyes, nose, or mouth, you could be exposed to the virus. It’s thus important to disinfect surfaces regularly if your roommate needs to quarantine. Be sure to use proper disinfecting techniques to ensure a clean, safe household. Additionally, regularly washing your hands can reduce your chances of accidentally transmitting the virus from household surfaces into your body. 

What if I’m the sick roommate?

Conversely, if you’re the roommate showing COVID-19 symptoms, you should take extra care to not accidentally infect your roommates. If possible, cover your nose and mouth whenever you’re in common spaces. Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue, paper towel, or the inner elbow of your sleeve. Wash your hands before and after entering common spaces. If your symptoms are severe enough that you think you might need hospitalization, don’t hesitate to seek it, as this can both increase your chances of recovery and separate you from your roommates, reducing their risk of exposure.

Additionally, be sure to counter your physical isolation with digital communication with friends and family, as isolation can be detrimental to your mental health. Even if you can’t be in physical proximity with your roommates, you can still be in touch with your other loved ones, and their support – in addition to proper hydration, nutrition, and rest – can help you get through your illness.

Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 13:03:04 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

10 Stylish Coffee Tables You Can Buy Now For Under $300

10 Stylish Coffee Tables You Can Buy Now For Under $300

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Upgrading your living room doesn’t have to mean spending all your money on a fancy sofa or new wall decor. Train your eye on your table—coffee table, that is. This small, practical piece is often situated at the center of your living room, making it a natural spot to add some style. And you can do just that without breaking the budget. We rounded up 10 coffee tables under $300 that bring character and style to any room in one functional piece. 

Carbon Loft Morse Coffee Table

Get a lot of bang for your buck with this pretty, practical $70 open-shelf coffee table. The laminate wood keeps it simple, but black legs add a sleek touch of industrial style. Plus, the slotted open shelves give you room for storing your favorite reads. 

Buy: Carbon Loft Morse Coffee Table, $69.99 from Overstock

Carson Carrington Telsiai Coffee Table

For a classic look with just a touch of shine, go for this round walnut table. The natural wood frame is made more distinctive thanks to the three legs, giving this classic mid-century modern piece a twist that’s equal parts fun and sophisticated.

Buy: Carson Carrington Telsiai Coffee Table, $209 $139.99 from Overstock

Project 62 Sayer Coffee Table

Yes, you can find something unique on a budget! The narrow frame, thin legs, and wide space between the tiers make this piece a great addition to an airy, minimalist room. Gold, sled-like legs add a bit of shine to take the table from simple to elegant. 

Buy: Project 62 Sayer Coffee Table, $149.99 from Target

Golden Geo Coffee Table by Elisabeth Fredriksson

Published at Thu, 02 Apr 2020 19:00:00 +0000

You Can Check Out How Famous Artworks Would Look In Your Own House with This Google App

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Now that you’re spending the majority of your time at home (as you should be!), you may be realizing just how much blank space you have on your walls. Or perhaps you’ve fallen out of love with your current art and feel the need for a refresh.

If you have the Google Arts & Culture app downloaded, then you need to take advantage of the Art Projector feature. It allows you to see how famous artworks would look in your space.

“Using the camera on your smartphone or tablet, Art Projector allows you to transport life-size artworks in front of you,” the Google Arts & Culture website reads. “You can even move up close to each artwork and study every stunning detail in super high resolution.”

Check out how one user placed Leonardo da Vinci’s  “Mona Lisa” in their living room:

You can scroll through a variety of different artworks done by famous painters like Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, and Picasso to name just a few. Then, drag and drop the piece into your space and enjoy just as you would at a museum.

Google Arts & Culture even supplies you with all the details of the piece so you can brush up on your art history while enjoying the view.

Once you’ve tracked down a piece you’d like to bring into your home, you can find the piece you like on Fine Art America and purchase a print in whatever size you need. You can also choose a frame, mat, paper style, and finish to totally customize the appearance of your print.

Published at Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:45:00 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Coronavirus Cleaning Tips for Your Apartment

Coronavirus Cleaning Tips for Your Apartment

Staying home, practicing social distancing and cleaning frequently are the current recommendations from experts to help combat COVID-19.

So, that begs the question, “How do I clean to protect against coronavirus?”

Knowing what to do to protect yourself and your family can be challenging and stressful, but we’ve compiled a list of coronavirus cleaning tips to help give you some peace of mind and allow you to deep clean your apartment.

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Before you start wiping down every surface and object you can think of, it’s important to know which type of coronavirus cleaning products to use and how to safely use them.

Purchase the right cleaning supplies

When it comes to coronavirus cleaning, not all products are created equal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided a list of approved disinfectants to help fight coronavirus and we’ve briefly outlined them below, as well.

  • Disinfectant wipes and sprays: It’s recommended that any disinfectant wipes or sprays have at least 70 percent alcohol in them to be effective. Disinfectant wipes made by brands like Lysol or Clorox are effective.
  • Bleach: Bleach is another cleaning supply that can be used on countertops, plastic cutting boards, sinks, tile floors, toilets and toys. While it’s an effective cleaning product on its own, it should never be mixed with any product other than water. When using bleach, wear gloves and a mask and make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. To ventilate in a smaller apartment, try opening the window or turning on a fan when cleaning with bleach. Because bleach is a strong cleaning agent, proper precautions need to be taken when using it.
  • Soap and hot water: Soap and hot water are cleaning supplies that can be used to help kill coronavirus. When possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend cleaning with alcohol-based products, but soap and water will work, too.

Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting

Often, people confuse cleaning with disinfecting. While both leave the home feeling more organized and tidier, there’s a difference between the two that’s important to know to keep your apartment safe from coronavirus.

  • Cleaning removes clutter, germs and dust from a surface, but doesn’t necessarily kill the harmful pathogen
  • Disinfecting kills dangerous viruses, germs and pathogens on surfaces using chemicals and prevents them from spreading

To get the best results, you should always clean before disinfecting. The combination of both coronavirus cleaning techniques helps better your odds to stay safe and healthy.

washing hands

Wash your hands frequently

It may seem obvious, but washing your hands, even if you’ve been at home all day, is crucial. Everyone’s known since kindergarten that it’s smart to wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or use the restroom, but it’s more important now than ever to follow these guidelines. Also, it’s important to wash your hands after cleaning, disinfecting, doing laundry and dishes.

Clean household items frequently

Before the coronavirus outbreak, apartment dwellers frequently cleaned their apartments as part of weekly chores. In addition to the regular tasks like sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, people need to sanitize household objects daily, as well. So, which household items need to be wiped down?

Here are our recommendations:

1. Cellphones and tablets

Your smartphone and tablet might be the only things keeping you sane right now. Not only are they how we stay connected with loved ones, they’re also a huge source of our daily entertainment. Because we’re frequently picking them up and down, we may be placing them on objects that are less than sanitary. There’s no point in washing your hands just to pick up a dirty phone or tablet.

Cell phones and tablets need to be disinfected at least once a day. It’s wise to disinfect them before and after other people use them, too. Apple has said that it’s safe to use Clorox wipes on your phone, tablet and keyboard. While Clorox wipes are OK to use on such products, bleach is not. Avoid getting any liquid in any of the openings of your phone and try to clean the case and back of the phone daily, as well.

cleaning cell phone

2. Remotes and gaming consoles

Chances are you’re getting your money’s worth on your gaming and streaming services right now. But whether you live alone or with family, you should still be cleaning your remotes or gaming consoles daily, as well. Use a disinfectant wipe to scrub the controller, buttons, on/off buttons and console itself.

3. Doorknobs, toilet handles and light switches

It’s recommended that people should be disinfecting their handles, doorknobs and light switches at least once daily as part of coronavirus cleaning. These household features are the most used surfaces in your apartment and are often touched after you’ve been in a public, potentially exposed place.

For example, you go to the grocery store, return home, open the door, flip on the light switch and go wash your hands. While your hands are now clean, you’ve put all the germs you touched when out and about on the surfaces of your home now. So, it’s essential to wipe down these areas daily to stay safe and clean.

4. Laundry

Doing laundry may seem like the cleanest activity out there. But, this is not an area to skimp on when it comes to cleaning. When doing laundry, it’s recommended that you wear disposable gloves while touching the dirty laundry and then washing your hands when you’re finished. If you don’t have access to gloves, wash your hands after touching the dirty clothes. By washing your clothing at the warmest temperature, you’re reducing the chance of germ spread.

If someone in your apartment is sick, it’s OK to wash their clothing along with other items of laundry. But, you’ll want to make sure they get dried all the way. After you’ve finished the wash, wipe down the washing and drying machine handles, too. This is especially important if you’re using communal washing machines.

Lastly, make sure you’re washing your bedspread, blankets, pillows, couch cushions and hamper liner, too.

cleaning countertop

5. Countertops and hard surfaces

This may seem obvious, but you should be wiping down your countertops several times a day with disinfectant wipes, soap and water or bleach. A tip from the CDC is to clean the area first with soap and water to remove, dust, dirt or germs and then go over it again with disinfectant to kill the germs entirely. Don’t wipe down the counter afterward immediately, let it sit for at least 10 minutes and then if you wish you can wipe it down again with water.

6. Soft surfaces

To clean things like carpet, rugs and drapes, you can use soap and water. Another solution is to launder them if that service is available in your neighborhood.

7. Packages

Coronavirus can live on surfaces, however, the duration it lives on different surfaces does vary. For example, it can live on plastic and stainless steel for two to three days and can live on cardboard packages for 24 hours.

So, before bringing in your packages from the online shopping you’ve done, make sure you use the proper precautions. You can either let it sit in a confined room for 24 hours or wipe it down with wipes and wash your hands after disposing of it.

Staying safe, clean and sane

Let’s be honest, it’s a crazy time right now with everything going on in the world. Keeping your apartment safe with these coronavirus cleaning tips will help you feel more in control and protected, plus you’re doing your part to flatten the curve.

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Published at Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:38:13 +0000

How to Pay Off Debt Right Now Even if You’re Feeling Unsure

Everyone begins their adult life intending to handle their finances wisely.

Maybe you started building a savings account when you were young or avoided getting a credit card until you were well past your college years.

Even if you make all the best financial choices possible, everyone still deals with debt at some point. It could relate to your college education, your home, your latest car or charging fees to credit cards because you don’t have the funds to pay them upfront. Even things like emergency medical bills can lead to years of debt.

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The good news is that there’s always something you can do to be proactive about getting out of debt. Read about how to pay it off right now, even if you’re feeling unsure. A new perspective and a few tips could be all you need to start climbing back to financial stability.

1. List your debts

You may know who mails your bills every month and where you need to send your money. That isn’t the same as knowing how much each debt amounts to. When you have free time, make a list of everything you owe.

Organize things by company name, debt amount, due dates or whichever way makes sense to you. Seeing the numbers listed in front of you will give you a specific idea of what you need to accomplish.

grocery receipt

2. Examine your budget

Next, it’s time to examine your budget. What do you spend money on every month, and how much of it is necessary? If you don’t already have one, make a quick budget based on your spending habits. Write down how much you spend on those order-in dinners and what it costs to fill up your gas tank every week.

Your budget will show you where you can cut down on your spending to direct more money toward paying off debts.

3. Decide what to pay first

It’s exhausting to feel like you’re throwing money at debt that never seems to decrease. You may feel like you could never pay it off, which leads to lazy financial habits. Instead of repeating this cycle, use the debt snowball method to make short-term progress and find encouragement.

The snowball method means that in addition to paying your monthly bills, you put a little extra toward your smallest debt or whatever you’re behind on. Once you pay that off, you put a bit more extra money toward the next smallest loan. This repeats until you’re knocking out debt left and right, leaving yourself with more free cash to pay off more substantial loans.

4. Set up an amortization schedule

There’s an easier way to pay your car, mortgage and personal loans with fixed interest rates. Set up a loan amortization schedule to automatically pay borrowers every month for the entire duration of your loan term.

Once these scheduled payments begin, you’ll get an exact timeline showing when you’ll pay the debt off. You’ll never need to worry about not paying enough because the schedule will guide you.

work calendar

5. Look into refinancing

If your main concerns are student loans and credit card debt, refinancing is always an option. It means you’ll take out a new loan with lower interest, then use that loan to pay off any debt with higher rates. Your monthly fees will be much smaller and easier to handle.

You could also consolidate debts through refinancing. Instead of making three credit card and two student loan payments every month, you could make a single one for each.

Do your research

Everyone’s financial situation looks a bit different, so you’ll need to do your research to find out what your best choices are. Check out refinancing options and amortization schedules, and make a budget to guide your decisions. You’ll conquer your debt in no time so you can spend your hard-earned money on what you love.

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Published at Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:56:46 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

What If I Can’t Pay My Rent or Mortgage Due to Coronavirus?

What If I Can’t Pay My Rent or Mortgage Due to Coronavirus?

Over the past two weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has at least temporarily shuttered a wide variety of small businesses, especially those in the restaurant, nightlife, hospitality, beauty, and entertainment industries. In turn, millions of people have been left with no source of income, and if you’re one of these people, you might be struggling to afford typical monthly expenses such as your rent or mortgage. The idea of not having a roof over your head might be scary, but there are steps you can take if you can’t pay your rent or mortgage due to the coronavirus – here’s what to do.

pay rent mortgage coronavirus

Don’t panic – you may be safe (for now)

If you can’t pay your rent or mortgage due to coronavirus, you may have at least temporary relief. Last week, President Trump said that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will ban evictions and foreclosures through the end of April. In the event your landlord threatens to evict you or the bank threatens to foreclose on your apartment, you can attempt to contact HUD and have the department interfere on your behalf. It remains unclear whether HUD will require tenants and homeowners to eventually make postponed payments.

What to do if you own your apartment

If you own your apartment, begin by contacting your loan servicer. You may qualify for a special COVID-19 waiver. Once you get in touch, if your lender fails to cooperate with you and disobeys any obligations outlined in your mortgage contract, you can report your lender to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and your state attorney general’s office.

Next, reach out to your bank. Many leading banks have introduced programs to address their customers’ COVID-19 needs. As you contact your bank, keep in mind that, just as with lenders, these organizations may eventually require you to pay your mortgage even if you’re granted temporary payment delays. 

As an absolute resort, you can put your loan in forbearance. However, the immediate relief this option provides may not be worth the long-term interest that still builds on your loan. If you do pursue forbearance, no two forbearance options have the exact same terms, so ask your lender for details first before committing.

What to do if you rent your apartment

If you rent your apartment, contact your landlord as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Some landlords will be sympathetic to your situation – for example, a landlord in Maine went viral on social media for pledging not to collect rent in April. If you’re lucky, your landlord may take the same step, especially if you have a good relationship with them

If your landlord sympathizes with your situation but still needs to collect some amount of rent, you can try to discuss a reduced payment plan. For example, if your rent is $800, you can ask your landlord whether you can pay just $400 this month (or however much you can afford). If you worry that you can’t afford any rent, discuss a repayment plan instead. In this setup, you could take the $800 you owe for April and pay $100 more on eight future months of rent, whether those eight months begin in May or some other time after the pandemic passes.

If you’re exhausted all these options and your landlord still demands that you pay your full amount of rent, you can contact your bank for financial assistance. You can also call 211 to be connected with services that can potentially help you pay. You should also be sure to research new regulations that your municipality or state has enacted in the wake of the pandemic, as rules regarding rent payment during the pandemic may differ by region. You may even be able to find relief funds for workers that the pandemic has displaced from your industry.

Do you know of any additional resources for people who can’t pay rent or mortgage due to coronavirus? If so, please leave them in the comments for other readers to find. What you share may prove the make-or-break factor for many people facing immense obstacles that could completely alter their quality of life.

Published at Wed, 25 Mar 2020 13:25:30 +0000

Four Fresh Spring Decor Ideas for Your First Apartment

It’s one thing to get your spring cleaning done, but a sparkling, dust-free apartment isn’t necessarily a home with character. That’s where spring decor comes in. As you open your windows for the first time in months and the sun starts to shine in for more hours per day, the environment in your apartment will change, and there’s no better time to start putting up new decor. Here are four fresh spring decor ideas for your apartment. 

1. Go yellow, not mellow

As the sun stays out longer and the days get warmer, some flowers will finally begin to bloom. For many people, this transition evokes the color yellow, so consider focusing on this color when decorating your apartment. You can go for yellow lamp shades or use fresh lemons or tulips as interior decorations. You should probably avoid painting any interior walls yellow unless your lease allows it, as this may produce too bright an effect.

Brightness, though, is key for your fresh spring decor. If you don’t care for yellow, you can opt for other bright colors including baby blue, orange, or even a lighter shade of green. Fruits including oranges and limes and flowers including blue roses and purple tulips can help you to achieve a bright decor palette without relying on yellow.

2. Taste the rainbow

They say April showers bring May flowers, but what they often forget to mention is that April showers often bring rainbows, too. Prepare your apartment for the upcoming months with rainbow decor, but be sure to do so in ways that are charming and relaxing rather than tacky. Instead of putting up a rainbow print or decal (with the exception of an often-welcome Pride flag), buy related decor items in the colors of the rainbow and arrange them appropriately. This example using glassware is a great reference point, and you can also emulate it with multi-color cutlery, dishware, and silverware sets. String lights can also help you out on this one.

3. Let your blankets and tablecloths bloom

Winter can be a good time for plain, dark colors in your apartment. Your throw blankets and pillows might be black or an inviting shade of grey in the winter, just as your tablecloth on your kitchen table or dining room table might also be a deeper, less bright hue than you’re looking for now. Swap out your winter tablecloths for not just brighter colors, but flowery patterns that can last you all the way through the end of the summer. Tablecloths, blankets, and throw pillows (or pillowcases) with floral patterns are usually easy to find at any department store or home improvement store.

4. Houseplants galore

Houseplants are among the most popular apartment decorations, and spring is the perfect time to get more of them. As more (and warmer) sunlight comes through your west-facing windows, your houseplants will have more than enough sun to thrive. If you’re a hands-off person, you can count on succulents to survive no matter your apartment’s light and temperature conditions, but you have plenty of other options for introducing new houseplants to your apartment for the spring.What are your spring decor ideas for this year? Sound off in the comments!

Published at Mon, 23 Mar 2020 13:23:45 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

5 Things to Consider When looking for Apartments

How will you possibly find the apartment that is right for you when there are several to choose from? Allow me to share five things to consider that should assistance with this process.

What part of town is most attractive to you?

This kind of sounds like a no brainer, but it is imperative to know the town or city that you are planning to live in. Be sure you research the area thoroughly and then select the part of town where you prefer to live. By simply doing the research on a particular place in advance of time, you become acquainted with the area and find the section that is merely right for you.

Couple of areas more prone to crime than others? You would naturally want to avoid these.

Are some areas more pedestrian friendly? Where is the offered?

Where are shopping and entertainment options?

Where are parks located?

Are some regions of town cheaper to are in than others?

The set of things to consider can seem to be endless, but knowing the answers to questions will help you distinguish in which the exact part of town is that best matches your lifestyle.

Installment repayments on your Where can you afford to have?

Much more goes into your living costs than just what is needed for rent every month. Along with this preset expense, things like electricity, water, heat, internet, and cable must be considered in as well. Many apartment complexes will also charge an additional every month payment on top of your rent if you have a dog or a cat.

 It is recommended that you spend only 20 to twenty-five percent of your online income on housing. In the event that you discover beforehand that you cannot afford to are in a particular place, it makes it that much easier to cross it off of your list.

 What types of amenities are you interested in?

Apartments for lease are typical over the place when it comes to the types of amenities they offer. Some stadiums have pools. Some do not. Some have exercise facilities along with field hockey and tennis courts. A few do not. Incidents where provide car washing bays, game rooms, clubhouses, saunas, and racquetball courts. Upon the flip side, there are other apartments that may well not even provide you with a free car parking space. You have to decide what you need in conditions of amenities and what you can live without.

See the latest listing Sunset Terrace Apartments for Rent at Van Nuys

 What sort of building do you want to call home?

Apartments for hire come in all size and shapes. There are massive processes that house hundreds of tenants, small houses that are home to a single family, and fairly much everything in between. Larger complexes generally provide more amenities, nonetheless they also tend to could prove costly money. Smaller homes and duplexes tend to offer more private outdoor space. The question is, so what do you want your living environment to be like over a day in, day out basis?

How long of a time commitment do you want to make?

At the time you get started the process of renting your brand-new home, you will most likely have to sign a lease contract with the landlord. Several landlords only use one year leases while some may offer three or six month obligations. Other folks may even allow you to rent on a month to month most basic, simply needing you to give an one month notice before you plan on moving out. In the event that you know that you would like to stay in your apartment for some time, then the one year lease may be fine for you. In the event, on the other side, you may have to move quicklyFree Web Content, a month to month option is probably the best choice.