Categories
Apartment Living

UDR Blog | A Part of Life

UDR Blog | A Part of Life

Apartment living is a lot more fun when you have a furry friend to share the experience with. Dogs can take a decent chunk out of your paycheck, so you need to make sure you budget for everything, including vet costs, food and more, before you bring a new pup home.

Published at

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Published at

Categories
Apartment Living

6 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill When Working From Home

6 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill When Working From Home

In 2018, way before the world opened up to the idea of working from home, the average monthly consumption, per person, of electricity was 914 kWh. Even then, many people took the time to reevaluate their energy usage and make positive changes to cut back on their footprints and save on their energy bills.

Now, many of us are facing much higher rates of consumption because we’re always home.

This has some doubling their electricity bill and stretching their internet usage to the max. The average electricity bill in 2018, in the US, was $117.65. What are you paying today?

You might also like

Working from home can create a huge drain on your utilities, but there are ways to cut back. Remembering these simple steps can help save money on your energy bill.

vampire appliances

1. Control vampire appliances

While the name makes them sound devious, vampire appliances are everyday items that continue to suck electricity even when they’re not in use. Simply keeping them plugged in means they’re stealing away valuable energy and costing you extra. Some of the biggest culprits in this category are:

  • Cell phone and laptop chargers
  • Video game chargers and console plugs
  • Computer printers
  • TVs
  • Stereos
  • Coffee makers
  • Electric toothbrushes

You can unplug most of these items when they’re not in use. It’s easy to keep chargers next to outlets, but not always plugged in at the ready. When you remove your electronics from their charger, even if it’s your toothbrush, simply unplug the charger, as well.

The same goes for your coffee maker and any other appliance that runs a clock or lets you program it. Those are the parts taking your electricity all the time. When you’re done with them, unplug them.

For devices where it’s harder to reach the outlet, like the TV, consider plugging everything into a power strip with a longer cord. This makes it easy for you to reach the on/off switch on the power cord. Turning the strip off when you’re done binge-watching your favorite show means a little extra cash to rent the movie going straight to streaming.

cell phone charger save on energy bill

2. Drain the power

It’s not an irrational fear, especially when working from home, to worry about your laptop or tablet running out of power at a crucial moment. We get busy and don’t always keep an eye on our power levels when finishing up an important project. The safety net, for some, is to keep their devices plugged in at all times. This way, power always stays at 100 percent. This tactic might be OK if you’re only home for part of the day. But working full-time from home, it’s a huge energy drain.

Consider only charging your device in short spurts during the day to give it an energy boost. A perfect time for a recharge is when you walk away for lunch or take a bathroom break. Concentrate on getting it back up to 100 at night, when you’re done working.

Doing this not only helps you save on your energy bill, but it’s also good for your device’s battery. According to TIME, fully charging your battery stresses it out and can wear it down faster. We’re already pushing our devices to the limit as we work from home. Let’s try and keep the battery working as long as possible.

computer being put to sleep

3. Put it to sleep

Does your computer stay on even when you walk away from it? Have you turned off sleep mode to make sure you don’t miss a single notification during working hours? If so, you’re burning up electricity. Engaging power management features or putting your computer to sleep can save you up to $50 per year on your electric bill. That’s huge.

You can also save more by using office equipment with an ENERGY STAR® rating. These computers, monitors and printers all naturally use less energy to perform the same tasks as energy-sucking devices. They’ll also power down automatically when not in use.

After two hours of sleeping, remember to turn your devices off. You’re clearly done with them for the day (hooray).

man at computer save on energy bill

4. Manage your lighting

Whether your home office is at the kitchen table, inside a closet or in a dedicated office space, lighting is key. It’s also expensive. If you haven’t already, convert the bulbs in your office to LEDs. They not help you save on your energy bill, but the average LED bulb lasts about 25,000 hours. An incandescent bulb only makes it 1,200 hours.

After you’ve taken care of the bulbs, seek out sources for natural light. If you’re working in an area with windows, open up the blinds. Rely on natural light, if you can, for at least part of the day, giving your bulbs a break.

Always make sure to turn off all lights when you leave a room.

woman in blanket

5. Control the temperature

Most office buildings are notorious for unregulated temperatures. One office is freezing. You’re wearing a sweater in summer and using a space heater. Another is so hot you dress in layers all winter so you can have short sleeves while at work. Your apartment won’t be so problematic. The issue is that you’re home all the time, so your thermostat is constantly working.

When you’re not home, it’s possible to adjust your thermostat to temps that make it less likely to run as often. It’s important to have a comfortable temperature when working, which means you’re using more electricity to regulate the temperature in your apartment. When you’re not home, you don’t need to maintain that temperature. Just a single degree adjustment can save you money. This slight change isn’t noticeable either, so consider it a way to save a few bucks.

You can also bite the bullet and alter your thermostat by a few additional degrees. You’ll notice this, but you’re working from home where there’s no dress code. If you get cold, you can wrap up in a heavy blanket and still type. If you get hot, you can sit at your desk in clothing fit for the pool. Keep something business-appropriate close by to throw on for those conference calls, but revel in a lower electric bill.

person on cell phone save on energy bill

6. Cut back on data usage

While your router doesn’t technically use a large amount of electricity, having it on all the time, always working for you, drains another essential utility when working from home — data. You need this as much as you need electricity in order to get your work done, but there are limits.

Maxing out your data limits each month not only means your devices are working overtime to raise your electricity bill, but you’re at risk for paying internet overages. Being resourceful with your internet usage can work hand-in-hand with lowering your electric bill. Just remember, even when you’ve put your computer to sleep, it could still drain your data.

To avoid this, make sure to:

  • Turn off location services on your phone while you’re home
  • Download music and videos instead of streaming
  • Use an internet browser that automatically compresses data like Google Chrome
  • Turn off the streaming device on your TV before you turn off the TV. They all keep streaming even when the TV isn’t on.
  • Use some of your phone data instead of your Wi-Fi. This saves electricity too!

If you don’t mind lowering the quality of the video you stream, that also helps save data. However, if you have a 4K TV, you most likely want to use it. Either way, with your devices working less to give you what you want, you’re saving data and some power.

Save on your energy bill

It’s time to stop asking yourself how to save money on utilities, and start taking action. There are a lot of easy ways to make big changes in your electricity bill, and even save some internet data in the process.

The trick is to turn these small actions into regular habits. Put reminders around your office at the start and in no time it will feel like a routine to unplug energy-hungry devices or check that your computer actually fell asleep when you finally get to walk away for that second cup of coffee.

Comments

comments

Published at Fri, 25 Sep 2020 17:40:01 +0000

10 Things to Know About Living in Omaha

Omaha has been called “America’s best-kept secret,” because you may not know a lot about the city before coming here, but once you’ve been to Omaha, you don’t want to leave. With a world-class zoo, impressive museums and a culinary scene that rivals any city, living in Omaha ranks among the best places in the country.

Plus, when one of the richest people in the world — Warren Buffett — calls Omaha home, you know it must be a good place to be. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the Big O.

1. Cost of living is much lower than in other cities

Omaha continually ranks as one of the best cities to love economically. While it’s the 40th largest city in the United States, its economy is among the best in the country. The cost of living is about 7 percent less than the national average, which means groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, housing and miscellaneous goods will be more affordable.

You might also like

Living in Omaha also offers a major rent advantage over other cities. With the national average for a one-bedroom apartment at $1,621, renting an apartment of similar size in Omaha will cost about $945 per month.

With several outstanding neighborhoods to choose from, it may come down to interests or drive time when deciding where to live.

  • Benson is a must-visit district in Omaha. It’s an older neighborhood, but one of the city’s most eclectic, known for its outstanding restaurants, bars, art galleries and unique shops. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $683 a month.
  • The Aksarben area (Nebraska spelled backward) was once home to one of the best horse racetracks in the United States. Men wore suits and women dresses for a visit to the track, placing bets, as some of the best thoroughbreds ran for trophies. Today, it is a mix of business offices, retail, entertainment and college. With newer apartments and condos centrally located among activities, such as the farmers market, rent in Aksarben-Elmwood Park runs about $1,303 a month.
  • With several major companies located in downtown Omaha, the Old Market is a popular destination. The area is home to old architecture that’s been refurbished to house businesses, retail and entertainment venues. Living in the Old Market adds to its charm, where rent for a one-bedroom apartment averages $1,019 a month.

living in omaha omaha aquarium

2. World-class attractions beckon you

Living in Omaha offers a slew of impressive attractions. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium annually ranks among the best zoos in the world, including being named the top zoo in the world at least once. With about 130 acres of indoor and outdoor attractions to explore, including the world’s largest indoor desert and the largest indoor rainforest in North America, you can easily spend the day roaming the African Grasslands, with elephants, giraffes and lions, as well as the Asian Highlands, home to animals you’d find in Asia’s jungles and mountains, such as the red panda.

The zoo brings a taste of the Pacific Northwest to Omaha with its Sea Lion Shores, a one-acre exhibit with a 275,000-gallon pool and an underground viewing area, where you can watch sea lions swim and dance in the water.

Peek into Omaha’s history with a visit to Durham Museum, once Omaha’s main train depot with 10,000 visitors passing through during its heyday. Today, the museum features permanent exhibits, such as railroad displays, pioneer and Native American exhibits, as well as special exhibits, such as Pulitzer Prize-winning photos.

Art enthusiasts enjoy visiting Joslyn Museum, with works highlighting the classics, as well as pop culture. With free admission, the museum is a fun way to spend a few hours. An outdoor sculpture garden highlights Midwest history. Kaneko Gallery and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts feature contemporary art exhibits with a tinge of social commentary.

Nature lovers enjoy the city’s parks, including Zorinsky and Standing Bear, where you can kayak, canoe, hike, run and enjoy fresh air and open spaces. Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue is home to more than 17 miles of hiking trails in what’s considered Omaha’s urban forest. The forest also features Tree Rush, with about a half-dozen ziplines, along with rope obstacle courses.

3. Omaha is a sports event mecca

Who needs professional sports when you have a top-level college basketball team and attract major events? The Creighton Bluejays have long been a popular college team in Omaha, selling out the CHI Health Center Arena Omaha since moving to the 18,000-seat stadium in the early 2000s.

As a member of the Big East, some of the nation’s best teams – including Villanova – take on the Bluejays each season. Creighton annually challenges for the Big East title, winning it during the 2019-20 season, and competes in the NCAA basketball tournament on a regular basis.

Speaking of the NCAA, March Madness often finds its way to Omaha. From opening-round games, featuring powers such as Oregon, to the Midwest Regional featuring Kansas and Duke, Omaha supports college basketball’s championship tournament.

As the home for the College World Series for more than 50 years, Omaha is the destination for all Division 1 baseball teams. The June classic brings the nation’s final eight teams to town for an 11-day event that attracts more than 300,000 fans and millions of TV viewers. The CWS includes fan activities, such as games and attractions, as well as beer gardens and concerts.

American swimmers have competed at the U.S. Swim Trials in Omaha since 2008 for a spot on the United States summer Olympics team. The nationally-televised competition attracts thousands of fans to the CHI Health Center Arena over eight days.

omaha food

4. Omaha’s culinary scene rocks among the best

Featuring several James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, including Omaha’s only female nominee, the city’s culinary scene challenges the best across the country. From multi-nominee Clayton Chapman’s Grey Plume farm-to-table concept to David Utterbeck’s sushi bar Yoshitomo, Omaha’s chefs challenge your palate.

Au Courant Regional Kitchen in Benson, home to another James Beard nominee, Benjamin Maides, features a “New European” cuisine based on regional ingredients. Jenny Coco, a self-taught chef and James Beard nominee, creates original dishes at J. Coco.

Not to be forgotten are Omaha’s traditional favorites, such as classic steakhouses Cascio’s, Gorat’s and Johnny’s Café. Italian fans will enjoy dinner at Lo Sole Mio, Roma and Malara’s. For a fun dinner, try one of Omaha’s best burgers at Stella’s or Dinker’s.

5. Omaha’s music scene rocks

With major acts, such as Pink, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and Elton John, packing the CHI Health Center Arena, Omaha’s music scene is enjoying a run like it’s never had before. Performers, such as Sir Paul McCartney, have signed up to perform before nearly 20,000 fans.

Indie and small venue fans also enjoy catching acts in Omaha. With bands like 311 calling Omaha home, indie musical acts routinely take the stage at the Slowdown, Sokol Auditorium and Waiting Room. Omaha’s recording studios, including Saddle Creek Records, are also known for producing award-winning albums for indie and pop music icons.

6. The local beer scene is amazing

With more than a dozen craft breweries in the Metro area, Omaha’s beer scene picks up from where it left off when the classics — Storz, Metz and Krug — faded into memory. Kros Strain, Pint Nine, Lucky Bucket Brewing Co., Farnam House Brewing and Nebraska Brewing Company turn out amazing beer.

The Old Market’s Brickway adds whiskey, bourbon and rum to its craft beer. Some of the breweries, including Lucky Bucket and Nebraska Brewing, offer tours of their operations before you enjoy a brew in their taprooms.

Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewing has been growing a variety of grapes in Sarpy County for nearly 20 years, producing award-winning wines since 2004. The winery features local musical acts during the summer, allowing for an enjoyable evening of wine and song. Soaring Wings started its own craft brewery in 2001, adding nine beers to 20 varieties of wine.

7. You can feel safe in Omaha

Omaha’s crime rate is similar to other cities its size. Living in Omaha you can expect pockets of high crime and areas where crime is nearly non-existent. From a high of 50 homicides in 2015, Omaha police have worked to reduce that number by nearly half each year since.

Other violent crimes have dropped about 10 percent since 2017. While most people believe north Omaha has the highest crime rate, it’s not considerably higher than in other areas.

omaha traffic

8. You can get anywhere in 15 minutes

There’s a reason Omaha is nicknamed the “15-minute city.” Truth be known, it’s actually more like 20 minutes. As the city grows and expands its boundaries, commuting becomes more of a challenge, thus resulting in increased traffic times.

With two major interstates running through the Metro, I-29 and I-80, traffic becomes congested during rush hour, which is considered 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. weekdays. Traffic on the major thoroughfares, both interstate and primary streets – Dodge, Pacific, Maple, and Center – can become parking lots at times when traffic overloads the roadways.

Otherwise, getting around Omaha is easy, with all the main streets running in east-west and north-south grids.

9. Omaha has excellent schools

There are six major school districts making up the Omaha Metro area, and each is highly regarded. The Omaha Public School district is the largest, and the most-challenged physically and financially.

Serving a wide range of students, from poorer sections of the city to the wealthier neighborhoods, OPS faces challenges, such as getting more students to graduate. The district’s seven high schools have a graduation rate ranging from 71 to 84 percent.

With that, the district has been recognized for outstanding academic programs, such as its magnet high schools, which focus on specific courses of study, including Omaha North’s science curriculum.

Suburban districts Elkhorn, Westside and Millard Public Schools rank high in national standings. With graduation rates from 87 to 98 percent, these school systems are considered among the best in the state. Papillion-LaVista and Bellevue school districts each enjoy graduation rates in the mid-90 percent.

10. Summer is festival season

Summer is a great time to live in Omaha due to all of the festivals held each year.

Taste of Omaha celebrates the city’s culinary scene over a three-day period on Memorial Day weekend. Normally held along the riverfront in Heartland of America Park, Taste of Omaha includes musical acts, games and vendors hawking all kinds of wares.

The following week, the Omaha Summer Arts Festival takes over a six-block area of downtown, hosting artists and bands from around the country. The festival season spans the area and runs through mid-July with suburban city celebrations, concerts, food and more.

Living in Omaha

Living in Omaha will exceed your expectations and you’ll soon be talking Omahan and celebrating Nebraska Cornhusker and Creighton wins. You’ll head over to Baxter Arena for an Omaha Mavericks college hockey game.

Dining out, theater and concerts are at your fingertips when living in Omaha. Area apple orchards and pumpkin patches will embrace you in the fall. As you decide where to call home, you can find the neighborhood of your choice here.

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

Comments

comments

Published at Thu, 24 Sep 2020 16:23:34 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

Summer months are historically great for real estate. This summer, however, has been a rough one, especially for landlords across New York City. The market has been grappling with high vacancies as New Yorkers flee to suburbs and other metro areas and companies extend their remote-working policies, which further hinders population inflow.

Citywide, median net effective rent in the month of August fell 5.2% year-over-year. Manhattan, specifically, saw a rent drop of 7.5%, from $3,284 in August 2019, to $3,039, as landlords offer more concessions in response to the high vacancies. Meanwhile, the median net effective rent fell 1.9% year-over-year to $2,795 in Brooklyn.

NYC Exodus Continues

As previously reported, this year we’ve noticed an unprecedented number of renters looking to sublet their apartments. The total number of sublet listings1 on RentHop went up 110% from April to May 2020 and has since been trending upward. In August, the total number of sublet listings increased by 9.8% month-over-month and is 158.2% higher than August 2019. This once again broke the record in RentHop’s 11-year history.

In our previous sublet reports, we highlighted that wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan, saw a steeper upward deviation from their 2020 average than other neighborhoods. This time around, the outflow from wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan, such as Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, seems to have reached its peak in July and has since died down slightly. The neighborhoods that saw the largest spike in new sublets in August 2020 vs. the first four months of the year were Yorkville (+643%), East Harlem (+464%), Astoria (+420%), Central Harlem (+327%), and Bedford-Stuyvesant (+300%). Most of these neighborhoods also saw a month-over-month increase in the number of new sublets from July to August 2020.

Brooklyn Replaced Manhattan as the Most Popular Borough

Grand Central was once the busiest hub in New York City. It’s now one of those eerily empty stops that make people wonder if New York City will ever be the same. According to CBRE via WSJ, only 9% of the office workers returned to their office after they were permitted to return to the workplace. This inversely drove rental demand in outer boroughs, as living in the city center and being close to work no longer justifies the rent premium many landlords ask for.

Bushwick was the most inquired neighborhood in August 2020, replacing Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Crown Heights rose to the second from the 8th in the previous year. Yorkville and Upper East Side, both used to be the most popular neighborhoods for rentals, had experienced significant changes in terms of renter inquiries.


1. As used in this study, “sublet listings” are listings created by apartment renters seeking to find a new tenant to take over the remainder of their apartment lease. In NYC, finding a subletter is widely considered the most effective way to get out from under a lease without paying the steep contractual penalties triggered by an outright lease break.

Published at Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:50:11 +0000

Taipei Cracks Down On Airbnb Quarantines

We recently described the Covid-19 home quarantine process for various cities, including New York City and Taiwan. Today, Taipei Times reports that the city will no longer allow short-term quarantine rentals, citing dangers such as increased cross-contamination from large groups, and inadequate cleaning standards. Per usual, the punishment is both a financial fine and a public shaming – they will publish the names and addresses of landlords found to be in violation (sparing the guest it seems).

How Did They Know?

The government used their data analysis powers to identify about 80 or addresses that seemed overly suspicious. Each of these homes supposedly hosted 5 different groups over the past few months, triggering some red flags back at HQ. Also, keep in mind a local CDC official will visit your home early in the quarantine – eventually he or she figures out you are not all relatives or family friends.

What Is The Rule?

The rule is you may stay at an official quarantine hotel, booked accordingly, where each individual must stay in a separate room. The only exception is a parent caring for a young child; a husband and wife still must stay in separate rooms.

You may also stay at home, meeting certain conditions: either you are the owner, or you have a clear family, friendship, or employment relationship with the owner and are not providing compensation (company corporate apartments seem to be allowed – a loophole for sure).

A normal hotel is not allowed, as they do not have adequate procedures in place to enforce safety measures. There are simple things like knowing you need 3 meals a day, lots of extra water delivered straight to your room, and garage taken out regularly. They must also not allow the guests to leave their rooms at all, which means forgoing all of the other hotel amenities: lounge, gym, pool, restaurants, etc.

Worth The Risk?

Still, a search for “Quarantine Taipei Airbnb” still nets quite a few results. I imagine those disappear soon – or at least they do a better job concealing. It’s been a tough year for Superhosts everywhere, and while I don’t blame them for trying, I also agree with the government.

It is understandable that people choose to quarantine in an Airbnb – the entire family can stay together and keep each other company. There is more freedom to choose grocery or food delivery options. You can even have relatives stop by for socially distanced engagement during the 14-days (they shouldn’t use the bathroom apparently, unless you have a spare).

But with the extra freedom, there is much greater temptation to break the rules. Yes, the fine is significant for those who are caught, but in the end most government regulations and technology solutions still require a level of human compliance and good judgement. No one wants to be the cause of a major outbreak and ruin things for millions of others.

Published at Tue, 08 Sep 2020 00:35:46 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

The Best Music for Working from Home

The Best Music for Working from Home

Among the many side effects of physical offices closing during the coronavirus crisis is the massive increase in people working from home.

As of this summer, a whopping 42 percent of everyone in the workforce is telecommuting full time. And both for those who have been working in a home office for a long time and those for whom this is a brand new experience, making your home office a place for productivity is a challenge.

With all the distractions — both physical and emotional — of working from your living room or home office, what better way to make your space your own than creating your own soundtrack to work to. But what’s the best music for working from home? Why is listening to music beneficial to your WFH life, and what genres best promote continued quality work?

person listening to music

The benefits of music while working

Why should you listen to music while working from home? Because music can help you be more productive, more creative or just happier. A silent room can be just as distracting as an over-stimulated environment. It can also drown out the sounds of your partner working in the other room, a cranky baby, a needy puppy, noisy neighbors or the sounds of the city.

Creates positive emotions

A happy worker is a productive worker. For many people, working from home is a new phenomenon and can cause worry about being distanced from co-workers and friends and falling into a poor mood which will affect the work.

It should be no surprise that the right music can make you happy. We all have that one song or one band that puts us in a good mood. And studies predictably confirm that happy employees are more productive and more efficient. In fact, more research shows that people who listen to music are happier than those who don’t. And who doesn’t want to be happy at work, even at home?

Brings the upbeat vibes

Music can also bounce out that 2:30 feeling, those times during the workday where you need a pick me up. In a normal world, that may have been a trip over to the office kitchen for a snack and/or gossip and a few moments away from your desk.

But when working from home, that midday lull can be alleviated with some upbeat tunes to kickstart yourself. Happy, uplifting music can also assuage the boredom of a particularly mundane or repetitive task and turn that project you were dreading into something much more appealing.

Drowns out distracting noises

The most practical use of music for working from home is lessening distractions. Back in the office, you were surrounded by people holding too-loud conversations, clacking away on keyboards or drowning you in the sounds of cold and flu season. Tossing on the earbuds took you away to a different place to concentrate on your tasks at hand.

At home, it’s the same thing, just different distractions. From barking dogs to kids in Zoom school to your neighbors running the vacuum way too often, a solid work-from-home playlist will keep you focused and on task.

Improves memory and cognition

It’s not just productivity that music heightens, but your memory and actual work performance. Sure, a great work-from-home playlist will get you excited and moving on that new project, but music can actually make your work better.

Recent studies have shown that listening to background music enhances episodic memory and improves your cognitive performance. Just imagine what the right background music can do to the quality of your work with better memory and optimizing your executive functions.

classical music

The best music for working from home

There are a lot of choices of music to listen to. Spotify alone defines nearly 2,500 different genres. But not every one of them is the perfect music for working from home for every person. You may be into melodic metalcore or Canadian indie or LGBT hip hop, but some genres promote productivity, creativity and concentration more than others.

Here are some of the best musical genres for working from home and keeping your day up and running between your morning coffee and your end of the day wrap up. And for each, we’ve provided some great work from home playlists to get you started.

1. Classical

Talk about staying power. Classical music dates back 500 years but remains popular today. Upwards of 35 percent of adults listen to classical, making it the fourth-most-popular genre — and the perfect background noise for your work from home. Classical music is many things at once: uplifting, moody, aural, familiar, mellow, inspiring — sometimes all within the confines of one piece or movement. And it’s a great WFH soundtrack.

The “Mozart Effect” theory says classical music makes you smarter, that it’s good for test-taking, studying and working, particularly creative work. Other studies have shown that classical music can boost your mood, increase productivity and even improve the quality of your work.

But classical music is a very broad genre spanning some 50 decades, so where to begin? One survey found that the Baroque period — think Bach, Vivaldi and Handel — fostered an increase in positive disposition and concentration.

Classical work-from-home playlists

rock concert

2. Epic and anthemic music

Soaring. Moving. Epic. Anthemic music is a style that crosses genres from the biggest arena rock bands and ’90s modern rockers to country storytellers and jock jams. It’s music that gets you on your feet, powerful celebratory songs with memorable choruses that project triumph.

It’s music that makes you feel like you can take on the world and accomplish anything. Even finishing that spreadsheet or submitting that HR project right on time.

Anthemic or epic music can inspire grandiosity and motivate you to get through that tough assignment or meet that goal. It’s sports anthems like “We Will Rock You” or “Takin’ Care of Business.” Soaring contemporary classical pieces like “Fanfare For The Common Man.” Inspiring heart-pumpers like “The Rising” or “Born This Way.” Or genre-defining hip-hop like “Fight The Power” and “It Was a Good Day.”

Like athletes getting off the bus, focused and Beats headphones on, anthemic music makes you feel uplifted, empowered and ready for game time. Is it music you should spend all day listening to while you work? Probably not. But if you’re feeling tired, beaten or simply unmotivated, high-powered anthems might just be the answer to sitting up straight and showing your boss who is boss.

Epic and anthemic work-from-home playlists

3. Ambient music

Ambient music may have a reputation as just elevator music or random soundscapes, but it’s so much more. It could be a colorful house or techno playlist. World music or indie shoegaze. Synths or space rock. But no matter what the subgenre, ambient music makes for a distraction-free backdrop to your workday.

The pioneer of ambient music and the iconic artist-producer Brian Eno, who created the ambient music masterwork “Music for Airports,” described the genre as, “able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular, as ignorable as it is interesting.” Music that won’t steal your attention yet fills the silence while you’re working may be the genre for you.

There are as many exciting artists as there are classifications of ambient music. Sample the spacey sounds of Enya and Enigma, electronica of Aphex Twin, old school prog Pink Floyd and Moody Blues, ambient pop of Talk Talk or Nick Cave, downtempo chillwave of Kygo or Toro y Moi or atmospheric dream pop of Dizzy and The XX.

Ambient work-from-home playlists

4. Feel-good music

Ever walked into a dentist’s office and the local hot adult contemporary station is playing over the intercom? Of course. Because feel-good music makes you… feel good. No one loves the dentist’s office, but maybe you’ll feel a little better if Hall & Oates or Britney Spears is playing. Songs that bring a smile to your face and make you move your feet a little (but not too much).

Pop music designed to make you feel happy even while you’re toiling away at work is perfect for working from home. It’s possible your old office even had this pumping through the hallways or in the kitchen. Because feel-good pop can make the day go by a little faster.

As you’re rushing towards deadlines or unburying yourself from an email avalanche – or even if the boss has just been on your tail all day — sometimes you need to do a little walking on sunshine to bring your motivation back. None of this is meant to be deep and thought-provoking. Feel good music is supposed to be like a snack break or a candy bar, to stimulate the happiness centers of your brain and release that hit of dopamine to get you onto the next task.

But take care to avoid songs with narrative lyrics or story songs, as music that tells a linear story has been shown to be distracting to cognitive work. So, blast the Pharrell or Barenaked Ladies, but stay away from the Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin.

Feel-good work-from-home playlists

chill vibe music

5. Chill vibes music

Not every work situation calls for music that makes you move. Reading heavy text or concentrating on a difficult task might take something to ease the nerves and keep you relaxed. Some chill music — folk rock, smooth country or just good old classic acoustic rock — might be just what you need certain times during the day.

Acoustic or muted guitar, smooth vocals, light instrumentation and an uncomplicated beat is just the soundtrack for a stressful job or project. Cue up indie-folk jammers like Hozier, Dan Mangan, Phoebe Bridgers or Vance Joy, chill crooners including Ed Sheeran, Ingrid Michaelson or John Mayer, acoustic old-schoolers such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens or Rickie Lee Jones or just a great album of acoustic hits like Arkells’ “Campfire Chords” or something moody like “Folklore” from Taylor Swift.

But be wary of playlists heavy with your favorite songs. A study has shown listening to tracks with lyrics you know by heart, or “familiar vocal music,” can decrease your performance through distraction while you fight the urge to sing along, even in your head. Sounds like the perfect time to catch up on some new music you aren’t familiar with.

Chill vibes work-from-home playlists

6. Video game soundtracks

If you’re over a certain age, this category is going to make very little sense. But one of the best choices for music for working at home are video game songs. We’re not talking about 8-bit Atari beebop or Nintendo chiptunes. This is thematic, pointed and often soaring music specifically designed to enhance the video game experience.

Video game music is a marketing tool, designed to enhance your gaming experience. If you’re winding your way through a fantasy landscape or dodging enemy fire as you infiltrate enemy hordes, video game music can help you focus, keep your energy levels up or even just keep you playing. The same can be done with those soundtracks while you work alone in the living room.

These are compositions to encourage you to reach for that next level, whether it be in your first-person shooter, your epic fantasy adventure or your latest work project. It can help you avoid obstacles and collaborate with your friends, in the game or in the work huddle. This is the strategic music you’ll find in games like Bastion, SimCity, Thumper, Doom, Final Fantasy, Journey and Legend of Zelda.

Video game work-from-home playlists

7. Instrumental music

A study by two researchers at Middle Tennessee State University found students who listened to instrumental music scored higher on tests than those that listened to lyrical music. Logically, it makes sense. For some, a song with lyrics is akin to someone standing behind you talking while you’re working. In fact, an NIH paper showed that music needs to be lyric-free for it to promote productivity.

The great thing about instrumental music is it can literally be any music devoid of lyrics or words. Instrumentals exist in every single genre (well, maybe not a cappella or barbershop). No matter what music you enjoy, you can type away and crunch those numbers with soothing or inspiring music-only tracks bereft of those pesky words. Country, indie, classical, power ballads, skiffle, trip-hop — every genre has perfect instrumental music to fit your needs.

Instrumental work-from-home playlists

nature sounds

8. Nature and real-world sounds

Sometimes the soundtrack to your day doesn’t even have to be music. Filling your living room or home office with the sounds of nature can put you in a variety of moods, from motivated and amped to relaxed and attentive. The choices are endless and only limited by your tastes. Choose from classics like waterfalls, an afternoon thunderstorm, rustling leaves, a crashing surf, morning birds chirping or a crackling campfire.

The most useful noises don’t even have to be of the natural variety. Try something out of the box like rain hitting the roof of a car, an oscillating fan, a clacking train or a running washing machine. Are you really missing the office? Why not fill the silence with the actual background sounds of an office.

Is this still too disruptive? Help block out distractions with the neutral sounds of white noise. Just ask your smart speaker to play some.

Nature work-from-home playlists

Picking the right music for you

No one genre or music type is going to be exactly what you need every minute of the day. Take a cue from a music therapy concept called the Iso Principle. This technique calls for starting with music that mirrors your current mood and gradually ramping up to songs that match the mood you want to be in.

Start the morning with something slow that can ease you into your day without forcing you to be productive. Then, transition into some power jams that will increase your performance and get you pumped for finishing that big project or the day’s task.

Looking for a sweet spot to feed your day? One research report concluded that music clocking in at about 121 beats per minute was optimal for productivity. Think songs like “December” by Collective Soul, The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” or “My People” from Missy Elliott.

But no matter what genre you decide on, the only goal is to find what’s best for you. Studies show that while listening to music does aid in completing tasks quicker and improving cognitive thinking, how much it actually helps you concentrate depends on how much you actually like the music being played. So, find your jam, and get it done.

Published at Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:00:05 +0000

5 Apartment Gadgets That Will Make Your Life Better

It’s your home of tomorrow…today!

You always fantasized about all the cool stuff you’d finally get to have when you moved into your new place. And now, that day is finally here. But in an era of robot vacuum cleaners and digital AI assistants, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options when selecting your apartment gadgets.

Which ones would make your life easier? Which ones would just be fun to have? And how much can you reasonably expect to spend?

The best apartment gadgets for your home

Anyone setting a household budget for the first time will tell you the cost of something isn’t the same as the price. The price is how much you spend on it. The cost is where that money can’t go because you just spent it.

The good news is all of these items will save you time and money in the long run. There are budget-friendly options and more deluxe versions of each, so shop around and see what you like. After all, it’s your apartment. You get to make the decisions.

These are the five apartment gadgets we recommend for your home.

1. Digital thermostat

apartment gadgets Digital thermostat

These gadgets will automatically learn your daily routine and automatically adjust to your preferred temperature based on the time of day. They come in different options from different manufacturers. They can be programmed and adjusted from your phone. Turn off the air conditioner when you’re out of town and turn it back on when you’re on your way home from the airport.

They come in a range of different options and price points, but some electricity and utility companies will give these away to customers for free. And it’s easy to see why. A smart thermostat will not only help you get smarter about the electricity you use, but it’ll help you consume less. And if everyone uses less power, that’s less of a strain on the power grid, especially at a time when air conditions are running 24/7.

They’re super easy to install and connect to your Wi-Fi and cell phone. Just remember to save the old thermostat so you can reconnect it when you move out.

2. Smart appliances

Smart appliances

Smart plugs are the perfect way to make your home a smart home on the cheap. Plug your coffee maker into one and boom — instant smart appliance. Do you forget to unplug your curling iron when you’re getting ready in the morning? Turn it off from your phone. Connect one to your crockpot so you can program it while you’re at work. Coming home late and don’t want your beef stew to overcook? Turn it off and then back on again so you have a piping hot meal ready when you walk in the door.

These are also a great solution if you want programmable smart lights but you’re on a budget. Set any lamp to an automatic timer so you never have to walk into a dark apartment again. Set them to turn on at night while you’re out so your pets aren’t stumbling around in the dark.

3. Lights so smart, they can mimic the sun

apartment gadgets smart light bulbs

But if you’re looking for a full upgrade to your lighting in your apartment, smart bulbs are the way to go. They come in a variety of different styles, features, connectivity and sizes for any room, even the kitchen. Bulbs like these from IKEA are inexpensive options that can be linked up with more expensive hub options like these from Philips.

And, as fun as it is to turn your living room into a disco, the best feature of many of these bulbs is the ability to mimic sunlight. Look for bulbs that burn at 5,400 Kelvin or 6,500K. Those lights can produce light the same wavelength of natural sunlight in the morning or at noon, depending on the bulb. These can be especially useful during those long stretches of gray skies and cold weather during the winter months. Lights that can recreate sunlight are often recommended as a way of helping alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

Another benefit of investing in some smart lighting is that will make your Zoom calls look better. You could invest in one of those trendy ring lights everyone is using, or you can improve the quality of your video calls by screwing a $5 smart bulb into your desk lamp and setting it up right behind your computer. The result is an inexpensive, customizable and programmable solution that will make your video chat look studio-quality.

4. Virtual white noise

virtual white noise

OK, this one isn’t quite as smart as the other gadgets, but it’s still a lifesaver. White noise will help you get to sleep at night. It’s science. And the best part is that you can do this one for free! There are dozens of apps that recreate white noise, rainforest sounds, thunderstorms, anything you want. If you have a small box fan, you can leave that in your room. Or, if you’re serious about silence, you can invest in this model.

And white noise isn’t just helpful for sleeping. Do you have loud neighbors and thin walls? What about a roommate that’s up all night playing video games? Drown out the sounds of blasting armies of zombies with something more relaxing, like ocean waves or the rain.

5. Charging while chilling

apartment gadgets wireless charging

Odds are right now, you’re in arm’s reach of two or three devices that need to be plugged in or charged up. And at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, carrying all of the necessary cables and cords and adapters is a hassle. Simplify your charging time with a wireless charging pad.

Many newer model cell phones already have this feature, along with the Bluetooth earbuds you love so much. Just put your compatible phone on the induction charging pad and it’ll juice up. No cables required. Invest in a larger model like this, and charge your phone and earbuds at the same time.

You want to be able to power up your devices no matter where you are, but leaving cables sticking out of walls is an ugly and unsafe solution. Pads like these are sleeker and disappear into your décor when not in use.

Welcome to the future with smart apartment gadgets

There are hundreds of web-enabled smart apartment gadgets aimed at making our lives easier. So, shop around and see what’s out there. Not everything out there might be perfect for your new home, but you’re bound to find something.

If you know what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find something that can save you time, hassle and if you’re lucky, a little bit of money.

Published at Wed, 02 Sep 2020 13:00:24 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Trader Joe’s is Selling $8 Coffee Plants—Here’s How to Take Care of Them

Trader Joe’s is Selling $8 Coffee Plants—Here’s How to Take Care of Them

Move over, Starbucks: Trader Joe’s latest collection of houseplants includes a very popular coffee plant. Available for $8, the plant’s deep-green leaves make a refreshing addition to your home. And, if you have a green thumb, ideal conditions, and lots of patience, you could maybe even start to grow your own beans.

Here are some things to consider when you go out to get your first coffee plant:

Can a coffee plant actually grow beans?

In theory, yes. But, in practice, it’s a lot harder (shout out to coffee farmers everywhere). In ideal indoor conditions, a coffee plant would need three to four years to sprout flowers. And, even after you pollinate the flowers by hand, you might only get a few berries.

How do I take care of a coffee plant?

The great thing about coffee plants is that, unlike many succulents, they’re easy to care of!

For sunlight, they should be kept under bright but indirect light. As for temperature, stay consistently above 65 F (18 C), and shield them from any harsh drafts during winter.

They’ll also droop when they’re parched, so it’s not hard to guess when to water. And, just like humans after a sip of coffee, the coffee plants will look alive once again a few hours after watering. Don’t forget to keep the soil moist and damp, but not soaking wet.

According to Real Simple, if you really want to grow your coffee plant—up to six feet tall—you can apply a balanced fertilizer once every two to three months in the spring and summer, as well as do regular pruning during early spring.

Once it has tripled in size, repot and repeat the process until it flowers.

What are common coffee plant problems?

Keep your coffee plant out of direct sunlight and be careful not to overwater. Doing so could lead to problems such as leaf drop and root rot.

How do I harvest my coffee plant’s beans?

After years of nurturing your coffee plant, it will have grown to six feet and enter its flowering phase. Depending on the variety that Trader Joe’s is selling, you may or may not have to hand-pollinate—the plant should self-pollinate if it’s Arabica, and should need cross-pollination if it’s Robusta. A coffee cherry will then grow six months after pollination, each berry able to yield one to two coffee beans. You can start picking once the colors shift from green to red.

How many of these coffee plants do I need to be self-sufficient?

Better Coffee at Home says that the average coffee drinker would need about 33 coffee plants to be self-sufficient. If that’s the case, you might need a bigger place.

Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 13:47:05 +0000

All-Clad’s 7-Piece Set Is More than 60 Percent Off—But Only for a Limited Time

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

All-Clad has long been one of our favorite high-end cookware brands. Their robust lineup of shiny stainless steel, nonstick, and hard-anodized pieces are a favorite among professional chefs, restaurants, and even Kitchn editors! That’s why every time we spot a deal on their products, we’re quick to let you know. And right now, Macy’s is offering All-Clad’s classic 7-piece stainless steel set for just $300 (normally $840) as part of its huge Labor Day sale event.

The 7-piece set (exclusive to Macy’s) includes a 10-inch fry pan with sloped sides for easy tossing and flipping; a 2-quart covered saucepan with lid for preparing grains or hot cocoa; a 3-quart covered sauté pan with straight sides for one-pan meals or deglazing; and a 6-quart stockpot with lid for sauces and soups — basically everything you could possibly need to whip up a feast.

Each piece is crafted with mirror-polished stainless steel and has a three-ply bonded design with an aluminum center core that leads to fast, even heating on an induction stove. It’s also dishwasher-safe, but we recommend keeping a container of Bar Keeper’s Friend on hand for those hard-to-scrub spots.

“The pans heat quickly and evenly, with no hot or burn spots, and really are a pleasure to use,” said one happy customer who spent time researching sets before settling on All-Clad. Another reviewer was thrilled at the cookware’s high quality and durability: “Have been married for almost 35 years and needed a replacement cookware set. This set should take me well beyond my Golden Wedding Anniversary! Really like it!”

While you’ll probably want this set for yourself, it also makes a very thoughtful present, as noted by several reviewers who gifted the cookware. “The best money can buy. Got them as a wedding gift for my grandson and his bride to be,” said one generous grandma.

Whether you gift the set or keep it, you definitely can’t go wrong. In the words of one enthusiastic reviewer, “All-Clad is all that!”

Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 13:45:00 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

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

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

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

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

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

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Methodology

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


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

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

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

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

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

3. How is the party majority calculated?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Methodology

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


Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies

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

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

2. Why should we care about unique donors?

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

3. How is the party majority calculated?

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

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

Categories
Apartment Living

How Can You Get Rent or Mortgage Relief Despite the CARES Act Expiring?

How Can You Get Rent or Mortgage Relief Despite the CARES Act Expiring?

Starting Aug. 24, the CARES Act will stop shielding millions of renters from eviction. On July 31, jobless workers stopped receiving $600 weekly enhancement benefits. President Trump has issued a memorandum lowering the unemployment benefit to $400 a week, but some people may not receive the payments for weeks. Additionally, underfunded states may not have enough money to provide these payments in full.

COVID-19 Rent Relief, Coronavirus Mortgage Relief

Trump’s directive states that the federal government will provide $300 and the states will contribute another $100. Some governors have responded that the $100 per-person contribution is not enough. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York called it “impossible” because the novel coronavirus has had severe negative impacts on states’ economies.

Meanwhile, renters and homeowners have found it more challenging to pay their monthly bills on time given their decreased unemployment payments. If you’re in the same boat, here are several resources you can potentially use to avoid eviction.

Find out your state’s eviction protections

If the CARES Act covers your property, your landlord can legally file an eviction notice as early as Aug. 24. Federally funded rental properties, which make up about one-fourth of rental properties in the US, are protected by the CARES Act. The soon-to-expire eviction moratorium does not protect tenants of single-family homes, apartments with four or fewer units, and landlord-owned buildings. 

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has created a tool designed for people to see if the CARES Act covers their property. Enter your zip code and scroll through the addresses to see if your property is temporarily protected.

Ask your landlord for an extension or reduction

It may be worth asking your landlord if you can negotiate your rent. Your landlord or leasing agency may prefer to work out an arrangement instead of not receiving any rent at all. Some landlords can be receptive to this approach so they avoid problems and prevent their tenants from starting a rent strike.

Some landlords may offer a payment plan for missing payments. If you’re able to start a payment plan, make sure to reconnect with your landlord about their expectations when your payments return to normal. If your landlord or leasing agency is unable to give you a payment plan, consider asking if they can take you off your lease so you can relocate to a more affordable apartment.

Contact local community services and organizations

Many states have local organizations that help people who need assistance with paying rent, bills, and food. The National Low Income Housing Association provides an interactive map for people to see local programs available to them. Another organization named Just Shelter has created a database of local organizations that can help people stay in their homes and find emergency housing. The nonprofit 211.org offers a pandemic assistance portal for people struggling to afford food and other necessities.

Currently, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development are claiming to help fund tenants who need financial assistance, but there isn’t an executive order that bans evictions. Various local organizations and services have instead taken the responsibility to provide resources to people who require financial help. If you need help beyond the options listed here, you may find what you need by looking within your community.

Published at Wed, 19 Aug 2020 19:22:55 +0000

How to Safely Buy Furniture on Online Marketplaces

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

Research the item

Online Shopping Safely Buy Furniture on Online Marketplaces

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

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

Check the seller’s profile

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

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

Inspect the product before purchasing

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

Safely meet the seller in public

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

Use a secure payment method directly from the seller

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

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

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

Categories
Apartment Living

What Portland Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

What Portland Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

With its walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, renowned multicultural dining scene, clusters of hops-heavy breweries, hip bars, urban green areas and endless options for shopping and entertainment, Portland packs big-city amenities and comforts into a quirky, small-town package.

Sitting on the banks of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, hemmed in by forested hills and rolling valleys, Portland‘s diverse neighborhoods offer something for every type of personality, from chic, trend-driven careerists to chill artists and creatives who love the laid-back lifestyle and everyone in between.

The most popular Portland neighborhoods for renters

So, hop on your bike (or rent one from the fast-and-easy bicycle rental places around town) and hit the streets to learn about the best areas of the city, and then take our Portland neighborhoods quiz to find which one is right for you!

Downtown Portland

downtown portland

Full of history and culture, Downtown Portland offers the perfect blend of work and fun, contemporary and historic. Walk from your office in the business district to home, passing local landmarks like Pioneer Place along the way.

For a taste of the outdoors, go for a stroll in the riverfront park or head to the verdant hills of Washington Park. With ample shopping and dining options to boot, downtown is the best of all worlds.

A one-bedroom apartment will cost you about $1,700 on average in this neighborhood.

South Waterfront

south waterfront

This revitalized district on the southwestern bank of the Willamette River is easily Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, with sleek condos and apartment buildings, trendy eateries and manicured riverfront parks and outdoor areas populated by joggers and cyclists.

Affluent and innovative, South Waterfront is perfect for the career-oriented, with its fast-and-easy access to the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University, the downtown area and public transit.

Be prepared to spend about $1,750 on average for a one-bedroom apartment in South Waterfront.

Pearl

pearl portland

Once the site of train yards and warehouses, the Pearl is now one of Portland’s most happening districts, perfect for those who like to live at the heart of things.

With endless restaurants, bars and breweries, cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings that have been renovated into upscale dining, retail, living and gallery spaces (the Pearl is one of the best places for art in Portland), you’re never more than a few feet from the action.

Pearl is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, and rent prices reflect that. A one-bedroom apartment here averages about $2,320 a month.

Goose Hollow

goose hollow

Goose Hollow’s hidden charm offers fantastic value and location. For sports fans, there’s nowhere better, thanks to being the home of the Providence Park stadium, and nature lovers will enjoy being close to Washington Park, the Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.

With all the attractions of downtown and Nob Hill at your fingertips, Goose Hollow offers a leisurely respite from the hustle and bustle at the heart of the city.

You’ll spend an average of $1,830 for a one-bedroom apartment in Goose Hollow.

Nob Hill

nob hill portland

For a taste of classic Portland, Nob Hill is among the best. Located on the northwestern banks of the Willamette, not far from the Pearl and downtown, this sunny neighborhood is full of beautiful Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as some of the best dining in the city.

Stroll from your house or apartment up to 23rd Street (or “Trendy Third”) to shop at cool boutiques or relax with a local craft brew.

An average one-bedroom apartment here will set you back about $2,030 a month.

Buckman

buckman

Bring on the brews and good eats: Buckman serves up some of the best in town! This east-bank neighborhood is hopping with cool breweries, as well as many of Portland’s top restaurants like Tusk and Canard.

Coffee lovers will also enjoy the wide variety of roasters and coffee houses. Easily walkable, vibrant and funky, this blended-area of old-school Portland houses and contemporary outfits is always exciting.

You’ll spend about $1,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment in Buckman.

St. Johns

st johns

For a taste of small-town life, St. Johns in North Portland enclave of tree-lined streets, local stores and unique restaurants and bars hits the spot.

Discover vintage Portland homes, while away afternoons in Cathedral Park, have a pint with friends at favorite haunts like Occidental Brewing and enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Best of all, one of Portland’s most famous icons, the St. Johns Bridge, is your next-door neighbor here.

East Portland

east portland

If you want to live close to the action but with a bit of breathing room, this quiet, established district is just what the doctor ordered. East Portland is chock-full of charming homes, affordable apartments and neighborhood parks.

Each area, like Hazelwood or Powellhurst-Gilbert, also has plenty in the way of local and national retail and dining. And all the thrills of downtown are just a short drive away.

You’re a little further away from downtown, so it’s most affordable in East Portland. An average one-bedroom apartment is only $1,100 a month.

Find the best Portland neighborhood for you

Still not sure which Portland neighborhood is perfect to call your home? Simply answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!

Who’s coming with you?

Which one neighborhood characteristic can you not live without?

What’s your idea of quality downtime?

Which of these best describes your current life stage?

Your personal style could be best described as:

Which of the following is most important to you in choosing a home?

Which Portland Neighborhood Should You Call Home?

Downtown Portland

Full of history and culture, downtown Portland offers the perfect blend of work and fun, contemporary and historic. Walk from your office in the business district to home, passing local landmarks like Pioneer Place along the way.For a taste of the outdoors, go for a stroll in the riverfront park or head to the verdant hills of Washington Park. With ample shopping and dining options to boot, downtown is the best of all worlds.
Find Apartments in Downtown Portland

South Waterfront

This revitalized district on the southwestern bank of the Willamette River is easily Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, with sleek condos and apartment buildings, trendy eateries and manicured riverfront parks and outdoor areas populated by joggers and cyclists.Affluent and innovative, this area is perfect for the career-oriented, with its fast-and-easy access to the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University, the downtown area and public transit.
Find Apartments in South Waterfront

St. Johns

For a taste of small-town life, this North Portland enclave of tree-lined streets, local stores and unique restaurants and bars hits the spot. Discover vintage Portland homes, while away afternoons in Cathedral Park, have a pint with friends at favorite haunts like Occidental Brewing and enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Best of all, one of Portland’s most famous icons, the St. John’s Bridge, is your next-door neighbor here.
Find Apartments in St. Johns

Pearl

Once the site of train yards and warehouses, the Pearl is now one of Portland’s most happening districts, perfect for those who like to live at the heart of things. With endless restaurants, bars and breweries, cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings that have been renovated into upscale dining, retail, living and gallery spaces (the Pearl is one of the best places for art in Portland), you’re never more than a few feet from the action.
Find Apartments in Pearl

Nob Hill

For a taste of classic Portland, Nob Hill is among the best. Located on the northwestern banks of the Willamette, not far from the Pearl and downtown, this sunny neighborhood is full of beautiful Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as some of the best dining in the city.Stroll from your house or apartment up to 23rd Street (or “Trendy Third”) to shop at cool boutiques or relax with a local craft brew.
Find Apartments in Nob Hill

Goose Hollow

Goose Hollow’s hidden charm offers fantastic value and location. For sports fans, there’s nowhere better, thanks to being the home of the Providence Park stadium, and nature lovers will enjoy being close to Washington Park, the Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.With all the attractions of downtown and Nob Hill at your fingertips, Goose Hollow offers a leisurely respite from the hustle and bustle at the heart of the city.
Find Apartments in Goose Hollow

East Portland

If you want to live close to the action but with a bit of breathing room, this quiet, established district is just what the doctor ordered. East Portland is chock-full of charming homes, affordable apartments and neighborhood parks.Each area, like Hazelwood or Powellhurst-Gilbert, also has plenty in the way of local and national retail and dining. And all the thrills of downtown are just a short drive away.
Find Apartments in East Portland

Buckman

Bring on the brews and good eats: Buckman serves up some of the best in town! This east-bank neighborhood is hopping with cool breweries, as well as many of Portland’s top restaurants like Tusk and Canard. Coffee lovers will also enjoy the wide variety of roasters and coffee houses. Easily walkable, vibrant and funky, this blended-area of old-school Portland houses and contemporary outfits is always exciting.
Find Apartments in Buckman
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in August 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Mon, 17 Aug 2020 12:59:00 +0000

Decorating Ideas in an 800-Square-Foot Apartment

In some places, 800-square feet is still considered small — but it’s one of the biggest you’ll find among the small apartments.

Modest square footage and decorating restrictions don’t help when trying to decorate your 800-square-foot apartment.

If you’re having a tough time creating an orderly and usable apartment that still has style, here are a few ideas for you.

How big is an 800-square-foot apartment?

Eight hundred square feet is about as big as five parking spaces or a room that’s just bigger than 28 by 28 feet. And it’s a little smaller than three school buses put together.

What does an 800-square-foot apartment look like?

An 800-square-foot apartment will get you a simple one- maybe two-bedroom layout. While the rooms may not be huge, they’re usable and will give you plenty of room to move around and live your life comfortably.

You’ll likely get a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom and maybe extra closet space for storage or a dining room if you’re lucky.

Layout of an 800-square-foot apartment

Source: The Grove at One92

5 ways to decorate your 800-square-foot apartment

It can be intimidating to decorate small spaces because we hear about so many things we shouldn’t do and we wonder what we should do to make the most of our living space.

Whatever you do, invite a little bit of luxury and a lot of your personality into your apartment décor and you can’t go wrong.

1. Choose statement pieces

statement pieces

Instead of cramming your apartment full of big pieces of furniture and décor, stick to a limited number of pieces that make a big statement. Choose one or two elements to define each room that really grabs your attention.

Use a bold coffee table or a large piece of wall art and center everything else in the room around it. Or, if your kitchen cabinets are bland and you’re not allowed to paint them, find eccentric peel-and-stick tiles to put on the floor to add interest to the room.

2. Embrace the dark

dark colors

In a space that’s extremely small, too many dark colors are a mistake. But with 800 square feet, you can make good use of the dark. Play with darker tones to add depth to the room — like adding dark navy curtains to contrast a white wall or using a deep gray rug for the floor.

If you’re a little skeptical of using dark colors in your apartment, you can always start small by testing out little elements — try a bold, black frame around artwork and add a few pillows with darker fabrics to your couch. Have fun with it and you’ll be surprised by the results!

3. Add molding

crown moulding

You usually won’t find molding in cheap apartments — it’s often used in luxury settings. To make your apartment look and feel more luxurious, you can add molding. You can buy removable molding that’s actually reusable, so you can take it with you if you move or even change where it is in your current apartment if you decide to mix things up. You’ll be amazed by what a few simple pieces of wooden molding can do for a wall.

4. Mix in metallics

metallic decor

If you’re unsure of what colors to add to an apartment, you can, instead, opt for metallics. Metallics pair well with most colors and the different metals and finishes can easily be mixed and matched.

There are metallic elements that can play into your theme, whatever it may be. If you want a high-end feel, try polished gold or silver. And if you want a rustic or vintage setting, use copper and metals that are tarnished and worn.

5. Go monochromatic

monochromatic decor

When you’ve got a few rooms to decorate, you want them to be different but still flow together. Cue the monochromatic theme. Stick to one color and use various shades and hues of it in each room. Especially if you’re worried the colors you choose might clash, using one color will make it easier on you and it will still have a positive effect on your apartment.

Living in an 800-square-foot apartment

You have a little more room than most other small apartments, so use your freedom and have fun with it! There’s no harm in experimenting with colors, metals and different styles of décor. Use what makes you feel good!

Published at Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:00:04 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

A Five-Step Guide to Organizing Your Closet

A Five-Step Guide to Organizing Your Closet

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

1. Declutter by category

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

Organizing Closet

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

2. Clean and wash your empty closet

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

3. Organize your storage space with organizers or bins

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

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

4. Store your clothes and accessories by category

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

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

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

5. Follow the “one in, one out” rule

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

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

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

Five Houseplants Perfect for Your Apartment

Do you want beautiful plants in your apartment but have difficulty keeping them alive? Underwatering, overwatering, and sunlight can greatly affect the appearance and lifespan of a houseplant. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can get low-maintenance plants that require minimal water or sun. Decorate your apartment with a bit of nature and purify your air by getting one of these five houseplants.

Houseplants Perfect for Your Apartment

1. Snake plant

Snake plants are known for their ability to thrive in low sunlight. Coming in many varieties, snake plants often grow slender green leaves with yellow or gray highlights. They are common decorations in apartments and offices, but be careful – direct sunlight burns the leaves. Another quick way to kill this plant is to overwater it, though snake plants are easy to propagate (creating a new plant from cuttings, layering, or dividing the plant) in water.

Snake plants are more than just pretty decorations. They are often considered one of the best air-purifying plants. They can remove household toxins, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, and nitrogen oxide from the air in your apartment.

2. Golden pothos 

Another plant that requires a low amount of watering is the golden pothos plant (or devil’s ivy). These plants thrive in bright environments with indirect sunlight or low sunlight. The pothos plant can grow to be around 10 feet long or sometimes even longer. 

Similarly to the snake plant, the pothos plant can easily propagate in water. According to NASA’s clean air study, pothos plants absorb pollutants such as carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde.

3. Dracaena

Dracaena, also known as the dragon tree, can grow up to 15 feet tall in indirect sunlight. Dracaena’s foliage can be completely green or include stripes of green, red, or yellow. Brighter color varieties do better in bright light

During warmer weather, dracaenas can be watered once a week. Their temperature tolerance is high as well. They filter benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene. 

4. Lucky bamboo

Bring good luck to your apartment with a lucky bamboo plant. Lucky bamboo, a species of dracaena commonly mistaken for a bamboo plant, often grows into spirals and curls in front of a light source. Lucky bamboo requires indirect sunlight. 

What’s unique about this plant is that it can grow in potting soil or with its stems submerged in one inch of water. Despite the low-maintenance of lucky bamboo plants, they require distilled or bottled water. Although this plant does not have toxin-removing qualities, it is believed that lucky bamboo cleanses an environment’s energy.

5. ZZ plant

ZZ, short for Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a type of succulent known for living in low sunlight and water. Native to East Africa, the ZZ plant became a popular houseplant in the 1990s due to its high tolerance to heat and low water needs. ZZ plants can even live off of fluorescent bulbs as its only light source. ZZ plants absorb pollutants such as carbon dioxide, xylene, and toluene.

An easy houseplant can be great for sprucing up your apartment and decorating your space. Great in any corner or centerpiece, a low-maintenance houseplant won’t just beautify your apartment – it will purify it too.

Published at Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:04:01 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

7 Ways to Spruce up a Small Outdoor Space for $75 or Less

7 Ways to Spruce up a Small Outdoor Space for $75 or Less

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

Summer may be winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor space, no matter how small. And whether you have a tiny deck, patio, or backyard, after a few months of use, your space could probably use some love right about now. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton, though! Here, eight ways to give your outdoor space more color, function, and flair, each ringing up at $75 or (much, much) less.

Create railing planter boxes to grow your garden with limited space

On my own small deck, I drilled planters boxes into the existing railings to give me more space to plant. Each planter box was under $30 a piece (similar ones can be picked up at Home Depot). Filled with tomato plants, a bell pepper plant and a jalapeno plant, my railing planters gave me additional space and plenty of veggies to eat throughout the summer. You could fill your own with flowering annuals, like the example above.

Also, be budget-conscious when selecting plants to fill your boxes and choose ones that propagate easily. “They multiply,” says Kori Gervasio, owner of Colly Flowers in Morristown, N.J. “You can replant these in different pots and start growing a whole new plant.” Some of her favorites are Chinese money plants, spider plants and aloe vera. 

Add a DIY bar to make more hangout room 

In addition to plants and relaxation, your tiny space can be a lot of fun. Nicole Peesker, who lives in Alberta, Canada, wanted a bar for her small patio. But the cost of a set and the amount of space it would take up deterred her. 

Winning the brother of the year award, Nicole’s brother surprised her and built her a bar of her own. He used cedar boards, brackets, screws and some good old fashioned elbow grease to create this great addition to her outside living area. Once she added two stools she already had, Nicole was in business. 

Install a trellis for privacy 

A trellis is a great way to grow plants vertically—and it can be a perfect way to add some privacy, too. Hit up a home center to find wood trellis pieces, which you can anchor in soil or by placing each of the feet in a small bucket that you then fill with concrete to keep it stable. Once your trellis is in place, you can use it to train climbing plants like ivy—or you can use twist ties to anchor faux plants to it for instant green.

One of the best parts about summer is being outside, especially in the evening when it’s not wildly hot. String lights add dreamy sparkly to nighttime hangouts, but if you don’t have somewhere to attach the lights, don’t worry: You can easily make renter-friendly poles to hang lights from. You’ll need wood 2x2s—either two or four, depending on the size of your space—as well as one bucket per wood piece. You’ll also need concrete mix, paint of your choice, and screw hooks.

First, mix the concrete in the bucket per the instructions, then stick a wood piece in the center. Repeat for each pole. Then, paint or stain the pole your desired color—black and green paints are both attractive, seamless options—and place in the far corners of your space. Twist the screw hooks into the poles; you’ll likely need to drill a pilot hole first for easy install. Then, string your lights up, hanging them from the hooks on each pole.

To create the look of string lights on a budget, buy a strand of Christmas lights and use ping pong balls to give them a globe effect. For about $10 for the strand plus a few extra dollars for the balls, you’ve got yourself something special and much more inexpensive than a strand of Edison bulb lights. 

Create an awning for shade

To update your outside space and provide a respite from the sun, add some shade with a DIY awning made from outdoor fabric that you can score for as low as $10 per yard. Use removable outdoor Command hooks to attach one side to your home; for the other side, you can use the same rental-friendly concrete poles that work for your string lights.

Depending on what size you decide to add, these tarps can start as low as $10 per yard; I really love this bright yellow one to add some cheer to an outdoor space. In addition to the tarp, all you need is 1x2s, duct tape, and some nails to hold up the wood and attach the tarp to the pieces. For tools, a staple gun and a drill will do the trick. 

Make a concrete garden stool 

To make it, she used a bag of concrete, a concrete form tube, water, and a 5-gallon plastic bucket. If you’re looking to add some extra color to it, you could hit it with a bit of spray paint—but left plain, it’s equally chic, with a cool Scandi-meets-industrial vibe.

Build a hanging chair (or two!)

One of the best parts of being outdoors is kicking back in a lounge chair—and a swinging lounge chair feels doubly relaxing. The Merrythought created this infinitely cozy hanging chair with just a drop cloth, dowels, and rope.

The most important part of this is safely hanging it. Make sure you hang it on a hook that supports at least 300 pounds and hang it from a strong point in the ceiling. If you’re under an overhang, find a ceiling joist and hang from there, as it’ll be the strongest place to do so.

Published at Thu, 13 Aug 2020 17:02:05 +0000

Early Access to Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is Live for All Cardmembers! Here’s What to Shop for the Home

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

Good news: Nordstrom’s iconic Anniversary Sale is officially here, with major deals on top-selling products and plenty of new merchandise for fall. The sale opened up to select cardmembers on Aug. 4, but as of today all cardmembers now have access to shop the sale—and it includes tons of great products for home. If you’re not a cardmember, you’ll be able to shop the sale on Aug. 19, but until then you can preview the entire sale and add your favorite products to a wish list. Below are a few finds for the home from top brands that we’re adding to our own wish lists, but remember that new items are added daily, so keep checking back and get ready to shop!

Nicole Lund

Commerce Editor

Nicole writes about shopping and products for Apartment Therapy, but her specialities are candles, bedding, bath, and pretty much anything homebody-friendly. She has been writing for AT for two years.

Follow Nicole

Published at Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:45:07 +0000