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The Stages of Home Buying

Tips For Choosing An Apartment In A Green Rental Community

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you an eco-conscious person who wishes to live in a green rental community? If so, there are certain criteria you can look for when touring various apartment complexes. Review the following guide to learn how to easily identify the visible signs of green living that are usually present in environmentally friendly rental properties. 1. Water-Saving Appliances And Fixtures Did you know Canada has the second-highest water usage per capita in the world? According to Public Works and Government Services Canada, Canadians use approximately 326 liters of water per day. Although Canada is home to 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply, this high level of water consumption places a great amount of strain on the country’s fresh water resources. To help combat this problem, many landlords are installing water-saving appliances and fixtures in their rental properties. When searching for a green rental home, examine the apartment for high-efficiency features such as: Shower heads Faucets Toilets Washing machines Dishwashers A high-efficiency toilet uses less than half the amount of water of a conventional toilet. Over time, this becomes a substantial amount of water saved. While viewing a rental, if you cannot determine whether or not there are high-efficiency appliances and fixtures in the apartment, talk about it with the building’s landlord or maintenance person before you make a rental decision.   2. Recycling Program Any green apartment building should have an on-site recycling program that makes it easy for tenants to recycle. If you’re unsure whether or not a particular rental community has an on-site recycling program, the easiest way to find out is by simply asking. However, if you’re viewing an apartment alone and there is no one available to ask, look for signs of recycling like: Recycling containers near dumpsters and other trash receptacles Posted signs instructing tenants where to place recyclables Newsletters about recycling in common areas of the rental community Recycling is one of the easiest ways to transition to a greener lifestyle. If you do happen to move into an apartment building without an established recycling program, why not start one yourself? You may be surprised by the high level of interest and positive feedback you receive from the other tenants. 3. Energy-Efficient Features If a landlord is serious about maintaining an environmentally friendly rental community, there are plenty of things he can do to accomplish this goal. Different types of home improvements and upgrades can be implemented to save energy and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions released in the environment. While viewing each rental apartment, look for energy-efficient features like: Motion-sensor lights in hallways, stairwells and other common areas of the apartment complex Newer, energy-efficient windows and doors Programmable thermostat LED lights and modern energy-saving light fixtures Appliances and fixtures that display the Energy Star symbol Even if an apartment doesn’t have all of these energy-saving features, the landlord may be in the process of transitioning to a greener building. Replacing things like old windows and doors takes money, so many landlords can only make a few upgrades each year. The bottom line is, you shouldn’t necessarily rule out an apartment that seems perfect for you just because it has older fixtures or less-efficient appliances without first discussing the issue with the landlord. These three basic criteria for green living only...

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6 Ways To Give Your New Apartment Some Color Without Painting The Walls

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re like most apartment dwellers, your landlord probably doesn’t want you to paint the walls or make structural changes during the process of decorating. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your new home pop with color! To create a vibrant living space no matter how big or small your new apartment for rent is, try your hand at one or more of these tips and tricks: Give the Walls Some Depth A great way to give the walls some depth without having to use paint is to implement wall-sized tapestries on them. To create a tight fit so the tapestries do not sag or hang off the walls, use double-sided tape along their edges and at various points in the middle of them to hang them up. Your tapestries will give the walls a soft look that adds elegance to any room. If you want a sleeker look, consider using vinyl material instead. Decorate Your Windows Windows often get overlooked when it comes to decorating a home, but any window is the perfect canvas for color and design. Brighten things up in your living room by applying colorful insulating window film to the space’s interior panes. This will help keep your home warm during cold days and cool during hot days. You can also spice up your bedroom or bathroom by using film that clings to the windows and makes it look like they are made of stained glass.   Dress Up Your Furniture It’s easy to add a splash of color to any room in your home simply by dressing up the furniture within it. Your couch can be turned into a fashion statement by sewing large, soft, and colorful buttons to the back cushions. You can make your dining room luxurious by covering the seats with satin pillowcases and securing them at the bottom with a staple gun. And why not update your end tables by installing colorfully designed glass tiles on them? Cover Your Floors Up Whether your new apartment comes with carpeting or hardwood flooring, adding a few area rugs to the mix is a good décor idea. This design method can give your home an upbeat feel and save you some money on your monthly electricity bills by providing extra insulation – not to mention, your feet are sure to stay cozier on those extra chilly days spent lounging at home. Opt for rugs with a high stitch count for optimal insulation. Wool, cotton, and acrylic rugs are durable options that come in a variety of style options. Paint Your Appliances It can be tough to add a punch of color to the kitchen without painting the walls or the ceilings, but what you can paint are your appliances. With the help of epoxy appliance spray paint, you can give your kitchen a retro look by painting your coffee pot, microwave, toaster, and other small appliances bright, shiny colors. Focus on Centerpieces Centerpieces on your coffee, dining, and end tables can make a huge impact on the color scheme of your apartment. A large vase filled with at least a dozen flowers of your choice works as both a colorful centerpiece and a natural air freshener. A big glass bowl filled with marbles, a tray of regularly refilled fresh fruit, and a series...

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What Recourse Do You Have If Your Apartment Is Unhabitable?

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Renting an apartment provides many advantages over ownership — flexibility, freedom from routine maintenance and repairs, and limited liability for injuries or damage that occurs on the property. However, if the landlord fails to properly maintain the unit, rendering it uninhabitable, renting can quickly go from a dream to a nightmare. Read on to learn about your legal options if your landlord is failing to perform needed repairs or maintenance to your apartment and your quality of life is suffering as a result. What are your maintenance responsibilities as a tenant? Although your landlord is primarily responsible for the maintenance of your apartment (as well as the building itself), there are still a few responsibilities that fall upon your shoulders. You’re responsible for keeping your apartment reasonably clean. For example, if a pipe bursts  and the maintenance crew is unable to access the burst pipe because of clutter within your apartment, you may be financially responsible for any additional damage. You’re also responsible for the cost of repairing any damage that you (or guests in your apartment) have caused. Be sure to check your lease before repairing this damage yourself — some leases require all repairs to be scheduled and paid by the landlord or owner, who will then add the repair cost to your monthly rent. Finally, you’re responsible for reporting any maintenance, health, or safety issues you notice within your apartment or the building (such as exposed wires, broken stairs, or a roach infestation) to your landlord as soon as possible. What are your options if your landlord fails to perform maintenance or repairs? Once you’ve reported a health, safety, or habitability issue to your landlord, he or she should schedule repair of the problem as soon as possible. You may be asked to give the repair person access to your apartment. Unfortunately, landlords will occasionally fail to timely schedule these repairs. Depending upon the severity of the problem, this can quickly snowball — in some cases even rendering your apartment unlivable. What options do you have to compel the landlord to make repairs? Are you authorized to schedule the repairs yourself and deduct the cost of repairs from rent (or withhold rent altogether)? Read your lease The most important step to take when faced with this type of problem is to carefully review your lease. Some leases provide a “self-help” clause which gives you a course of action to take if the landlord fails to live up to his or her obligations. Your lease may also prohibit certain actions (like scheduling repairs yourself or reducing the amount of rent you pay). Even if your landlord is not living up to his or her obligations under the lease, this doesn’t give you the right to break your obligations as well. Keep paying rent Canadian law does not permit you to reduce or withhold rent, even if your apartment is uninhabitable. Contact your province’s Landlord And Tenant Board (LTB) These organizations govern disputes between landlords and tenants. In some provinces, the LTB will allow you (upon application) to make your ongoing rent payments to the LTB, rather than to your landlord. This ensures that you are complying with your lease while giving your landlord some extra incentive to make these repairs. File a Tenant Application About Maintenance with...

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Minimizing The Emotional Impact Of Moving During The Holidays

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Moving to a new location can be emotionally taxing any time of the year, but changing locations during the holiday season can be particularly difficult. Not only do you have to deal with the cold weather and snow, you may also have to struggle with feelings of loneliness and longing, especially if you move far away from your family. Here are a few tips for reducing the emotional impact of moving during the holidays. Minimize The Stress Of Moving Stress in small doses is not harmful. In fact, it can be very beneficial under certain circumstances. However, chronic and acute stress has been linked to a number of physiological and psychological disorders including anxiety and depression. The stress of moving coupled with emotional ups and downs associated with the holidays can lead to the onset of mental health complications or exacerbate existing disorders. Therefore, it’s important to look for ways to streamline the moving process and make things easier on yourself. One way is to hire experienced movers to pack your home and transfer your belongings to your new abode. Another option is to hire a maid service to help you clean and make the house ready for the next tenants. Unpack The Familiar First Place pictures, keepsakes, holiday decorations, and other sentimental items into a box that you will unpack first when you get to your new place of residence. The idea is to quickly add something familiar to your surroundings to chase away the strangeness of the new place and make it feel more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to unpack the boxes in an order that helps you get back into a normal routine as soon as possible. For instance, you may want to unpack kitchen items first so you can cook a meal rather than emphasize the newness of your situation by ordering takeout food. Putting up holiday decorations can also create a more festive atmosphere that minimizes negative feelings. It may also help to play music that makes you feel good while you unpack. Music can have a significant impact on your mood, so playing something upbeat or soothing can make the change more enjoyable. Get Out Into The Community The faster you put down roots in your new home, the easier it will be to make the transition. Although you may not be able to spend the holidays with your friends or family because of the move, getting out into the community and making new connections is a good way to combat the loneliness you may feel. Most communities have an assortment of holiday programs and activities going on during that time of the year. You can find out about these activities by checking online or contacting community centers in your area. You can even use this as an excuse to introduce yourself to your neighbors. It can be particularly beneficial to you mentally and socially to see how other people celebrate the holidays and start developing new traditions. Use Technology To Stay Connected Don’t be afraid to use technology to bridge the physical divide between you and your loved ones. Services like video telephony, social media and instant messaging can make it easy to have conversations with the people you love as if they were in the same room with you....

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Decorating Tips For Condo Renters—Adding Color & Space Without Permanency

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Condominiums are a wonderful place to live. You can rent your property without having to worry about the hassle of having a large home or yard to maintain. The small space can come with its challenges. If you are decorating, but your lack of space and ownership is a challenge, here are some tips for decorating a condo and making your space appear larger. Create an Entryway Most condos and apartments lack an entryway. When you walk in, you’re in the front room. Create an entry space for your guests. You can use a coat hanger or even a wooden bookshelf. Buy a bookshelf with removable shelves. Leave one or two bottom shelves on for shoes and remove the rest. Install hooks a couple of inches from the top of the bookshelf for coats. Buy a couple of decorative baskets. Either put them on one of the lower shelves, or on top of the bookshelf. Use one basket for hats and gloves and another for scarves. Use Open Storage Closed storage gives you privacy, but open storage makes your space appear larger. Use open storage around your home. Anything that doesn’t stand upright can be corralled in an inexpensive decorative basket. You can use several types of open storage. Inexpensive metal shelves may seem like they won’t look good. However, once you put them up, you’ll find that they make a kitchen look modern and professional. Stainless steel and metal are the standard in professional kitchens everywhere. They work well in the bathroom as well because you don’t have to worry about the steam from your showers rotting wood. Mirrors, Mirrors Everywhere Using mirrors as a decoration is always a great idea in a small space. Mirrors reflect the natural light through your house, which creates the illusion of a larger space. Hanging a mirror in every room across from a window will reflect the natural light off your window and into the room. You have the best lighting in your neighborhood. Hang Wall-To-Wall Curtains If you are renting and can’t paint, or just don’t want to, there are more ways to add color. Hanging wall-to-wall curtains will not only give you non-permanent color, it will give you texture and depth too. You can extend curtains past a window to the end of the wall, or even hang them where there is no window. Add multiple layers if you want to incorporate solid colors with patterns, or have thin curtains in the back and heavier in the front to shut out the weather when needed. Paint Furniture Another way to add color without painting your walls is by painting your furniture. If you like bright colors, you can paint your dresser and bed frame a bright blue, pink, or green. If you prefer a light and subtle feel, you can opt for a light grey or baby blue. You can even go white and just stencil some designs on your furniture. Zone Your Furniture The open floor plan is hot right now. Having an open floor plan doesn’t mean that your whole condo has to serve as one room. If your room seems less functional because it feels like one big space, rearrange your furniture to divide your spaces into zones. Block off your living room with a sectional...

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3 Holiday Activities To Look Forward To When You Move To Canada

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether you seek a chic apartment in one of Toronto’s bustling neighborhoods or a temporary vacation retreat in a luxurious cottage on Prince Edward Island, you’re bound to enjoy the holiday season in Canada no matter where you live. Canada is one of the most festive holiday destinations to live, work and play in. Here are three must-see holiday activities and festivities to look forward to once you do move to the country to a place like Heathview Rental Centre. Find the Perfect Holiday Tree in Prince Edward Island Although Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s most beautiful places to live, it’s also a prime destination to spend the holidays. After you rent your lovely cottage on the island, take a moment to look for your holiday tree. Prince Edward Island is well-known for its lovely Balsam fir trees, which make perfect seasonal additions to your cottage. You can find your tree in Queens County. Christmas tree farms in this quaint location let you choose the tree you want for the season. While you search for your tree, take a moment to enjoy a free cup of hot apple cider. Once you find your holiday tree, the farms will cut, load and tie it to your vehicle to make the journey back to your cottage easier. But if Prince Edward Island’s Balsam fir trees aren’t good enough reasons to live in Canada, maybe the bright holiday lights and sounds of Toronto are. Experience the Bright Lights and Sounds of Toronto Celebrating the holidays in Toronto isn’t going to be a boring experience. This bustling city loves the holidays and isn’t afraid to show it. Once you move to Toronto, you can enjoy the bright lights and sounds of Christmas all season long, especially in the historic Distillery District of the province. The district shines when it comes to seasonal fun. Every year, carolers, Santa and his reindeer come out to entertain the kids with personal photos, holiday music and seasonal keepsakes. If you have little ones, be sure to participate in these nightly activities. For couples and single adults, there are festive parties to attend throughout the Christmas season. If this is you, take a break from your apartment and visit the market for a musical stage show. Afterward, take a stroll through the market’s streets and admire the colorful string lights meticulously placed on every venue in the market. On your walk, don’t be surprised if you come across a beer garden. Beer gardens come to life during the season. You can sample mulled wines, Canadian beers and European cocktail specialties like organic lager all in one place. If you want to experience more holiday activities, choose a rental in Newfoundland and Labrador. Celebrate the Season in Newfoundland Located in eastern Canada, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a rich history that spans back to the vikings. You can see this history when you visit the museums, art galleries and other places of interest in the province. Additionally, the province celebrates the holiday season beginning in mid-November. This gives you plenty of options for going out in the daytime, evening or night if you decide to move to the province. The Newfoundland and Labrador province offers numerous seasonal activities to couples, families and individuals. You can participate...

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Staging For A Sublet: What Your Pantry Needs To Make Your Apartment More Inviting

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sometimes, even the best of intentions aren’t enough for you to be able to ride out your lease agreement. Whether you’re facing relocation for work or you’re moving in with your significant other, your landlord may not agree to let you out of your lease. If you need to sublet the apartment until the lease is up, you’ll want to take some time to stage it and make it look great for potential lessees looking for apartments for rent in your city. Of all the spaces in the apartment, make sure that you don’t overlook the pantry. Here are some tips to create an inviting, organized pantry that will help you secure a sublet tenant. Why It Matters Just as with a house, the kitchen in an apartment is a popular place. Whether entertaining or just preparing daily meals, the kitchen sees a lot of activity. The pantry space in the kitchen is a significant supporting element to that. If a prospective tenant doesn’t see the pantry space as functional, clean and organized, it’s going to be harder to imagine the kitchen space being as functional as it can be. Start With a Clean Out The first thing you need to do is clear the whole pantry out. This may seem daunting, but you can’t clean and organize it properly without knowing exactly what you’re working with. As you take things out of the pantry, check the expiration dates on the packages. Dispose of everything that has expired or that you’ll never use. Place everything you’re keeping in defined spaces in the kitchen so that all similar things are grouped together. For example, use one counter for canned goods, another for spices and another for baking staples. Once you have everything out of the pantry, clean it thoroughly. Scrub all of the shelves, the walls and the floor. If you have contact paper or shelf liner on the pantry shelves, consider replacing it with fresh, new paper for a cleaner appearance. Organize the Contents Invest in large glass jars for your pasta and your baking staples. Canning jars, discount store glass canisters and even old pasta sauce jars make great investments for nuts, beans, flours and pasta. Put decorative adhesive labels on each jar for identification, then position each jar with the labels facing out. Group similar products together on the shelves, and consider placing turntables and baskets on the shelves to help you organize things. Turntables are a great place to organize condiment bottles and vinegars, while baskets make a neat and orderly place for bulky things, like potatoes, storage bags and other items. Finally, organize your cans so that all of the labels are facing out and are even. Think about color as you decide where to put things, because a variety of colors and food types will help make the pantry look more colorful, organized and functional. Make Use of Open Space Since apartment pantry closets are often smaller, it is in your best interest to show a prospective sublet tenant how to maximize that space. Consider adding an over-the-door rack that will hang on the inside of the pantry door. These racks are great for smaller items, including small spice jars. The more organized you can be, the easier it will be for a prospective...

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Finding An Inexpensive Apartment That Fits Your Needs

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are two separate forces at work when you are looking for apartments for rent in your city. The first is your needs as far as space and number of bedrooms, and the second is your budget. There is always a lower limit to what you can spend, but there are some things that you can keep in mind to ensure that you get the lowest price possible for your apartment. Know Your Legal Rights It is always good to know your legal rights as a tenant, but when you are going for a low budget space, it is even more important to separate the good landlords from the bad ones. Knowing the landlord’s responsibilities will allow you to look through the lease and walk away from any apartments that violate these rights. In particular, you should look into how the landlord handles evictions and repairs, as these are the most common issues. There are plenty of housing complexes that will go above and beyond the legal minimums– there is no reason to get yourself wrapped up in a legal tussle with the couple of bad eggs out there. Another reason to know your rights is to keep your own actions on the right side of the law. Being evicted is an expensive process, and if money is tight, it is something you need to avoid at all costs. Of course, if you are in a sticky situation, such as being late on rent, the best thing to do is to talk to your landlord about it. If you are up front and present a plan of action to them, they may give you some leeway, even though you’ve technically violated your lease. Consider What Amenities You Actually Care About If you don’t have a washer and dryer, then a laundry room onsite will be a welcome addition, but maybe you can live without a pool. The more amenities a complex offers, the higher they can drive up the price, even if you never use them. Finding a complex that only offers the amenities you will actually find useful will usually be the best deal, but be careful. Don’t discount a property because it has a few extras. Some amenities, like an onsite gym, could save you money versus keeping a membership elsewhere, so they do need to be considered. Expand Your Search All the complexes in a specific neighborhood will likely set their prices off of each other. This means that the one that recently renovated will be more expensive, but the rest will probably just toe the line. If there are other areas that you can live, look into them. Moving even a half a mile down the road could save you hundreds of dollars each month. If you use public transportation, even better. Every single bus and train stop in your area is now a potential new area you can make your home, and you can leverage that to your advantage. Search Early, Search Often If you can be flexible with your move-in dates you have a lot of power on your side. Most complexes will change their rates on a daily basis, and pricing will change drastically based on the time of year and availability. If you are willing to move when it is freezing...

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