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Apartment Living

Top Picks from the Lulu & Georgia Memorial Day Sale

Top Picks from the Lulu & Georgia Memorial Day Sale

I’ve long been a fan of the home furnishings shop Lulu & Georgia. I’ve been sourcing furniture and accessories from them for years. They carry a wide range of styles, their pieces are always great quality and they’ve collaborated with some of my favorites in the design blogging world including Ginny McDonald and Sarah Sherman Samuel.

If you happened to receive the latest Lulu & Georiga catalog you might have thought you were looking at something familiar. I’m so thrilled they were able to showcase their all-new Art Deco Collection in This Old Victorian!

This look is a mix of everything I really love – interesting, elevated pieces that offer a unique blend of styles all combined to create a sophisticated yet inviting vibe. There are clean lines, there are curves, there are nubby wools paired with smooth stone. And also something a little unexpected. A golden-hued sofa, a graphic print rug or a vintage piece of art.

This is juxtaposition at its finest and really showcases how the art of mix and match (rather than same-same) is the secret to creating a space that feels organic, collected and special.

In hindsight, it was probably an unwise move to have Lulu & Georgia at my house, as now I want to change everything around! Occupational hazard.

Also, the light in our house is the entire reason I wanted it. Just sayin’. Natural light is like gold people. Gold.

Thankfully, all this eye candy landed at the perfect time. Now that we’re all staying home so much more (and really should be for the foreseeable future), this is the time to really make your space feel good.

Your environment has a tremendous affect on your mental health, stress levels and overall sense of well being. I’m sure, like me, you’re feeling it directly right now. So if you’ve been sitting on a crummy old couch, are tired of looking at the same stain on the rug, or are sick of that room you always meant to finish but never did (it me!), I would say now is the time invest. Make your home work for you the very best it can. I’m most definitely doing that right now – spoiler alert – more to come on my next big project in an upcoming post.

If these images are not inspirational enough, Lulu & Georgia’s Memorial Day sale just launched. You can now save up to 25% off with the code MDW25 at checkout. I’ve down the searching for you and rounded up my very best picks from their current collection.

Published at Fri, 22 May 2020 16:29:04 +0000

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Apartment Living

Sneak Peek – My Yard Makeover Reveal

Sneak Peek – My Yard Makeover Reveal

yard makeover on apartment 34

If you followed this little ole’ blog nearly eight months ago, you may recall that I started yet another project at This Old Victorian. This time it was tackling a major yard makeover. Thankfully, the massive project’s (near!) completion came in the nick of time. Since shelter-in-place began, we’ve relied on our yard daily. I’m hoping to give you a detailed tour of the entire space and a recap of our whole design process very very soon. The transformation is just as dramatic as our interiors. If you’re feeling impatient – or need something to fill up your SIP hours – definitely check out the before tour of the yard on my IGTV.

Obviously our outdoor spaces are critical now more than ever. No matter if you have a postage-stamp-sized patio or an expansive backyard oasis, you want to make sure it’s living up to its full potential. Since I’m not at liberty fully reveal our yard design juuussst yet, I thought I’d at least offer some inspiration in the form of all my favorite pieces for outdoor spaces. From seating and long-lasting outdoor cushions, to accessories like fire pits and planters, outdoor pizza ovens and lawn games, now is the time to invest in getting your yard in tip top shape.

I have a feeling we’re in for a loooong summer friends. Let’s make the best of it, shall we?

What yard projects are you currently working on??

For more outdoor space inspiration, CLICK HERE.

landscape design and construction by Beth Mullins of Grows Green Landscape Design, photo by moi

Published at Mon, 18 May 2020 23:16:21 +0000

The One Cake You Need to Bake Right Now

I have never been much of a baker – sorry no sourdough or banana bread is happening around here right now – and I wouldn’t even say I have much of a sweet tooth, but quartine starts to get to you after a while.

When I saw this cake by my friend and wonderful chef Amanda Frederickson, I knew I had to give it a go. She’s just come out with a fantastic cookbook called Simple Beautiful Food filled with gorgeous but most importantly easy-to-make dishes that you can whip up quickly.

This beauty of a cake’s primary ingredient is olive oil, but the addition of orange adds a lovely subtle flavor. This is the kind of cake you can eat for breakfast. Trust me, I tried it and I think you should too. Continue to scroll for the complete recipe.

orange cake recipe on apartment 34

Orange Olive Oil Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream
adapted from Food 52 recipe 

For the cake:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 3/4 cups sugar
• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 large eggs, separated
• 1 1/2 Tbs. orange zest
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
• 1/4 cup Grand Marnier

For the topping:
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• 2 Tbs. sugar
• 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, cold

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
In another bowl, combine the olive oil and egg yolks. Whisk well until creamy and emulsified, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg whites, milk, orange zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier and whisk to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. (Cover the top of the cake if it starts to become too brown).
Let the cake cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve the cake, make the mascarpone whipped cream by whipping the cream and sugar (either by hand or using a mixer) until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone cheese and whip until just combined. Place a couple of large dollops of the whipped cream on the center of the cake and garnish with orange zest.
Serve immediately.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

For our entire recipe archive, CLICK HERE. You can see everything I’ve been cooking in quarantine right here.

cake image and recipe courtesy of amanda frederickson, cake slice by moi

Published at Fri, 15 May 2020 20:57:02 +0000

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Apartment Living

How to Get COVID-19 Utility Relief: Three Examples

How to Get COVID-19 Utility Relief: Three Examples

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in massive levels of unemployment, in turn dramatically shrinking the budgets of many apartment dwellers. To save money, some people may change their heating or air conditioning use habits, but if your financial situation requires you to scale back on utility spending more urgently, you may have other options. Many utility companies and state governments have enacted COVID-19 utility relief measures that may make your life significantly less stressful. To give you an idea of the potential options in your area, here are three prominent examples of COVID-19 utility relief.

covid-19 utility relief

1. San Diego Gas & Electric unveils assistance programs

In Southern California, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has rolled out assistance programs that can drastically lower utility bills for people whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. SDG&E is offering many of its newly jobless customers utility bill reductions of 30 percent or more through its CARE program, to which even people receiving unemployment benefits can apply. SDG&E also directs all non-qualifying CARE applicants to its FERA initiative, through which families of at least three people can receive a monthly utility bill discount of at least 18 percent. No formal documentation is required – applying is as simple as going here.

2. Additional California utility companies pledge not to shut off

If your local utility company isn’t taking steps to lower the amounts it charges you given your lessened income, you might still be safe from having your power or gas cut. In California, SDG&E, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, Liberty Utilities, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District have promised not to cut any customers’ utility access during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to gas and electricity providers, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has also pledged not to disconnect water access to any customers who fail to pay during the pandemic. Utility companies in your state may be taking similar measures to keep you fully powered during the pandemic.

3. New York state government bans utility shut-offs

In general, utility companies have proven to be understanding when it comes to the dire financial circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for many people. However, companies are not necessarily required by law to lessen customers’ financial burdens. The New York state government has acknowledged this gap and passed legislation banning utility companies from cutting their services to any customers during the pandemic.

According to the New York City Comptroller website, the New York Department of Public Service has barred the region’s gas and electricity providers (National Grid and Con Edison, respectively) from suspending service to customers unable to pay their bills. Additionally, Con Edison has suspended any new late payment fees, a move that National Grid has not taken. This policy difference demonstrates a key tenet of COVID-19 relief: State legislation does not necessarily outline how a utility company must work to relieve customers of their monthly bills. Be sure to research your state’s utility legislation and read the fine print of whatever you find.

What are some COVID-19 utility relief programs and laws you know of in your area? Share links and other relevant information in the comments!

Published at Thu, 14 May 2020 13:14:14 +0000

How Can You Get COVID-19 Rent or Mortgage Relief?

During the two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders necessary for public health and safety have resulted in massive unemployment, in turn affecting apartment renters’ and owners’ budgets. Rent and mortgage payments become considerably tougher to pay without income, and though there were some federal interventions to delay evictions and foreclosures at the start of the crisis, some temporary laws have since expired. Here’s the latest on how you can get COVID-19 rent or mortgage relief.

covid-19 rent mortgage relief

Federal COVID-19 rent relief regulation

Through the federal CARES Act passed in late March, evictions are banned for 120 days in many forms of housing. Under the CARES Act, tenants in federally-backed housing cannot be given an eviction notice before July 25. Thereafter, these tenants cannot be evicted until August 24.

The CARES Act covers many, but not all, rental situations. If your apartment is covered according to section 41411 of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 or the rural housing voucher program outlined in section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949, the CARES Act applies to you. Likewise, if your landlord has a federally backed or multifamily mortgage on your apartment, the CARES Act protects you from eviction. 

If the CARES Act applies to your apartment, your safety net expands past a ban on evictions. Your landlord is also banned from adding late fees or other penalties for missing rent. Despite these renter protections, the CARES Act does not free tenants of their obligations to pay their rent, meaning that even though this law may provide you with housing stability in the short-term, it might not do so in the long-term.

Federal COVID-19 mortgage relief regulation

The CARES Act also applies to apartment owners unable to pay their mortgages. Under the CARES Act, lenders and loan servicers may not foreclose on apartments and homes for 60 days following March 18. During this 60-day period, lenders and services are banned from starting foreclosure proceedings or finalizing any foreclosures that were pending before the pandemic.

Additionally, you can request a forbearance on your mortgage payments for as long as 180 days, and you can ask for an additional 180-day extension at the end of your first forbearance period. To explore this option, you must directly contact your lender or servicer, who will be banned from implementing penalties or any other extra fees, though all scheduled interest will remain part of your mortgage. 

Under the CARES Act, you technically do not need to provide documentation of any financial hardship you face due to COVID-19. If you remain able to pay your mortgage, do not exploit this documentation gap to receive unnecessary mortgage relief. Loan servicers and providers are currently inundated with unprecedented volumes of phone calls from apartment owners in desperate need of mortgage relief.

State COVID-19 rent and mortgage relief regulation

In addition to federal COVID-19 rent and mortgage relief regulation, individual states (as well as Washington, D.C.) have implemented their own guidelines regarding evictions, foreclosures, and other housing concerns. For a state-by-state list of eviction and foreclosure bans and other relevant regulations, click here.

Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 13:12:32 +0000

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Apartment Living

This Water Bottle Has a Hidden Coffee Cup Inside, So You Can be Hydrated and Caffeinated

This Water Bottle Has a Hidden Coffee Cup Inside, So You Can be Hydrated and Caffeinated

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

Exciting news for those of us who prioritize consistent hydration and routine caffeine fixes: a water bottle-coffee cup combo. Better known as Hitch, the efficient bottle and coffee cup combo is a sustainable solution that consists of an 18-ounce, vacuum-insulated water container and a 12-ounce, vacuum-insulated coffee compartment. The patent-pending design is equipped with a crossbar that you can twist to release the cup from the bottle.

The Hitch container encourages people to adopt a zero waste approach by eliminating the need for plastic water bottles and single-use cups for sipping coffee on the go. Plus, since they stack, you don’t have to have separate containers for hot and cold beverages taking up space in your bag. The container can be used in three different ways: as a full bottle with the empty coffee cup concealed; the full bottle and full cup separated; and the full cup can be attached to the top of the full bottle. Each Hitch comes with a weatherproof cap that fits on the top or bottom of the bottle.

The 9.5″ tall bottle fits into most cup holders and has a tapered shape that’s easy to hold to help reduce spilling. Hitch comes in four shades: natural white, pale blush, charcoal gray and forest green.

Hitch has currently exceeded its fundraising goal, though the campaign is still running. For a pledge of $49 or more, supporters will receive the vacuum-insulated bottle and cup combo, along with the bottle protector and the leak-proof cup lid. Additionally, Hitch will plant a tree on your behalf and also remove 1 kg of ocean-bound plastic waste so that shipping the product is carbon neutral. Products are expected to begin shipping in October 2020.

Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 14:45:00 +0000

4 Things that Define an “Adult” Pantry, According to Home Stagers

I don’t know about you, but once I started working from home, I found myself spending way more time in my kitchen. Daily check-ins with my boss… while perusing the fridge. Muting a Zoom chat to respond to the microwave’s siren call. And with fresh perspectives comes new questions. “What does my pantry say about me?” “Is this what an adult pantry even looks like?” “Did I really eat half a jar of peanut butter last night?”

I spoke (in between bites) with designers and home stagers to get their take on what defines an “adult” pantry, and their ideas will inspire you. 

Eye-catching organization

There’s one item everyone I spoke with shared immediately: Labeled glass jars. Krisztina Bell, founder of No Vacancy Home Staging in Atlanta, says that the Kardashian’s impeccably styled cookie jars inspire her storage. She uses them for pastas, legumes, and grains, and says, “You can also show off the different types of baking supplies—the chocolate chips, the brown sugar, and different flours.” 

Daniela Benloulou and Nicole Graff, co-owners and principal designers for Los Angeles-based interior design firm Hamsa Home, agree. “I think anything that helps you with better organization—that’s definitely something I would say is related to adulting,” Graff says. “The clear bins with labeling, whether it’s a decal label or even a label maker, that helps.” Whenever possible, removing products from their original packaging and placing them in airtight glass containers streamlines the pantry’s look. 

While repackaging food creates a cohesive pantry, a grown-up pantry’s organization is really key. Shirin Sarikhani, the founder and CEO of Seattle Staged to Sell, says, “If everything has a place of its own, then you keep [the pantry] organized.” To do this, go for grouping. “For my pantry, I have a basket that has all of my cookie cutters, my baking [ingredients]—all baking essentials in one place so I can just pull it out and use them,” says Sarikhani. 

Sarikhani also simplifies her kitchen by keeping recipes on hand in the pantry. “If you have an index card, have [your] recipe on the back of it and have all the ingredients in case you want to make that dish. You just take out the index card to the grocery store.” This is especially helpful for dishes that are a part of a household’s weekly rotation. It’s so easy to forget one key ingredient, but having a visual reminder in the grocery store prevents forgotten items.

When I think of pantry staples, I think of my 100-year-old Italian great-grandmother whose cellar “cantina” was never without rows and rows of supplies. Be like Josephine—prepared for anything. Sarikhani says, “It’s good to have the essentials. Have birthday candles. Have everything that, if someone comes to your home, you can make [something] from scratch. Have a box of brownie mix. Those things, just have in your pantry, [because] you never know.”

The types of staples you keep on hand also speaks to whether a pantry is “adult” enough. Benloulou says, “Having real foods that take a really long time to make but are healthier. I think that’s another sign that you’re taking care of yourself and looking out for your long-term body health.” Broth, canned tomatoes, beans, grains, oils, and spices all lend themselves to improvised, well-balanced meals.

The pantry is an oft-forgotten place for self-expression. Says Graff, “A lot of the time people think that your personality can really only be shown through your furniture or through your accessories in your home or your wallpaper and your artwork… but a lot of people come up with a lot of fun in their pantry as well.” Introducing paint or wallpaper into your pantry can supply a pop of personality. 

Bell recommends opening up the cabinetry, as she’s styled in some homes. “They want to show off more of their dishes, plates, and their cute collections of festive entertaining dinnerware.” Don’t be afraid to display your spices from a trip abroad, your collection of thrifted teacups, or your eight unique bottles of olive oil. Own it!

In many cases, folks who don’t have a dedicated pantry can improvise. “If you don’t have a pantry, it’s possible there could be another little nook in the kitchen somewhere where you can fit a baker’s rack,” Bell says. “You can do the baker’s rack and do the same thing with the cookie jars and the baskets and have it however they want to arrange it.” A few adjustments can produce the same storage and aesthetic opportunities that a pantry provides.

Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 14:00:00 +0000

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Apartment Living

Nine Tips for Safely Moving During Coronavirus

Nine Tips for Safely Moving During Coronavirus

Social distancing measures for limiting the spread of COVID-19 have drastically changed the shape of everyday life. Restaurants, bars, offices, and other businesses in which people regularly tend to come within six feet of each other have been closed, with essential businesses remaining open under strict social distancing guidelines. Moving into a new apartment looks different now too, as both apartment hunting and the moving process itself tend to bring people closer than six feet apart. That said, safely moving during coronavirus is possible  – here’s how.

moving during coronavirus

1. Know whether movers are essential businesses

In most regions of the U.S., movers are essential businesses according to government pandemic regulations. However, this classification may vary by city and state. Be sure to check whether your state and city consider movers essential businesses – if not, you could face challenges safely moving during coronavirus and may want to consider postponing your move, if possible.

2. Decide whether you actually need to move

COVID-19 can be spread between two people less than six feet apart from each other by simply breathing or speaking, and if you hire movers to help you move, then all of you will be breathing and speaking in each other’s presence. You might thus want to postpone your move if possible. If you still decide to move, you can do so safely if you stick to the following steps.

3. Never tour apartments in person

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should conduct all apartment showings virtually. Many companies have implemented virtual showing tools that can easily be used in place of traditional in-person visits. Once you’ve relied on these tools to find your new apartment and sign your lease, then you can begin making the right steps for your move.

4. Contact movers – and ask questions

Ask any movers you’re considering about the steps they’re taking to minimize the potential for coronavirus to spread during moving. Be sure to inquire about their disinfecting and social distancing practices and ask how you can make their work easier. Additionally, just as with apartment showings, if your movers need to give you a quote for their work, set up a virtual estimate.

5. Start as early as possible

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply shortages and shipping delays. You should thus order all your moving supplies, such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and mattress bags as early as possible. Make sure to have these items home-delivered, as in-store visits should be minimized to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

When your packages arrive, resist the temptation to use these boxes in your move. Instead, since COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for 24 hours, isolate your packages for that long, then unpack your deliveries outside if possible. For the same reason, using secondhand or recycling packing materials (other than those you accumulated long before the pandemic) may be dangerous. If you run out of packing supplies, consider packing your belongings inside your other belongings (for example, storing mugs and silverware in large kitchen pots).

You should begin your move by packing non-essential items such as decorations. This packing approach can help after your move, as you should isolate your boxes for 24 hours following your move before unpacking them. Doing so is much easier when your boxes don’t contain essential items.

6. Designate a staging space

During your move, you should minimize the number of trips your movers make in and out of your house. This way, you reduce the number of potential opportunities for COVID-19 to spread between you and your movers. 

To achieve this goal, designate one portion of your apartment as a staging space where you can place boxes after they’re taped shut and ready to move. On moving day, have your movers take out these boxes first, in as few trips as possible, and stay at least six feet away from them. Then, wait outside your apartment as your movers haul out your larger belongings such as beds, dressers, and tables.

7. Clean and disinfect before, during, and after

It’s common courtesy to clean your apartment once you’ve moved out. You should take extra care to clean and disinfect your apartment while you pack, during your move, and, if possible, after you’ve unloaded all your belongings. Do the same at your new apartment before your move and while you’re unpacking, too. Keep plenty of disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and hand soap available, and don’t forget to quarantine boxes for at least 24 hours when possible.

8. Don’t involve friends

Often, moving involves gathering a couple of friends and paying them for their help with pizza and beer. Since COVID-19 spreads through speaking and breathing, having your friends in such close proximity during your move could increase your chances of transmission (remember, COVID-19 can be transmitted by asymptomatic people). 

If you can’t do your move alone, keep your friends out of your move and hire professional movers. Make sure you’re all wearing face masks, minimizing the time you spend within six feet of one another, and disinfecting often. If anything, since your movers are professionals who complete multiple moves a day, they’ll be as diligent in these regards as you are. 

9. Don’t move if you’re feeling sick

If you’re showing any COVID-19 symptoms, then do everything you can to cancel your move. Symptomatic people are far more contagious than asymptomatic people and can easily spread the virus to people in their vicinity. This consideration may require you to structure your move with extra flexibility regarding dates and moving companies, but these additional steps shouldn’t stop you from moving if you need to. Safely moving during coronavirus is possible – you just need to be careful.

Published at Tue, 05 May 2020 15:01:46 +0000

Three Easy, Safe Ways To Get Groceries During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyday life. As people follow shelter-in-place orders and stay inside their apartments, once-thriving cultural institutions such as bars, restaurants, venues, and other entertainment spots have shuttered their doors (and some of these spaces may never reopen). Essential businesses, on the other hand, have remained open, but their inner workings and rules now differ, perhaps most noticeably in grocery stores. There, long lines, depleted shelves, and new rules intended to maintain social distancing and protect both customers and workers have caused some people to consider other easy, safe ways to get groceries during COVID-19. Here are some of those options.

easy ways to get groceries

1. Online grocery delivery services

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery delivery services have seen such sharp rises in usage that providers have struggled to keep up. The dramatic uptick in online grocery delivery service usage may stem from how easy getting groceries is through these platforms: After using a website or app to stock a virtual cart with your groceries, someone who works for the app does your grocery shopping for you and delivers your groceries to your doorstep. 

Not only does easy online grocery shopping save you a trip to the supermarket and thereby lessen your potential for COVID-19 exposure, but it also ensures social distancing. During the pandemic, grocery shoppers are dropping off bags of groceries at customers’ doorsteps, then leaving while alerting customers of their deliveries. This method eliminates face-to-face interaction and thereby drastically minimizes the chance of COVID-19 transmission. 

That said, online grocery delivery might not be right for you, and at times, it actually might not be easy. Since online grocery delivery is in such high demand, you may need to wait several days for delivery, and you might face challenges in even finding an open delivery window. Additionally, delivery fees tend to be high, and if you’re ordering produce, you might be frustrated that you can’t personally pick and choose fruits and vegetables of the exact quality or ripeness you want. Other options may suit you better.

2. Curbside pickup

Curbside pickup has emerged as a viable midpoint between traditional grocery shopping and online grocery delivery. With curbside pickup, you’ll still travel to the grocery store, and as with online delivery, you’ll pre-order your entire cart. However, with curbside pickup, you’ll neither enter the grocery store nor wait for delivery at home. Instead, when you arrive at your grocery store, someone will bring your groceries to the curbside, and after they depart, you’ll have enough social distance to retrieve your groceries with minimal potential for COVID-19 exposure.

3. Restaurants

Restaurants unable to host patrons for traditional dining have gotten creative during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to offering standard takeout options (though with strict social distancing measures), some restaurants have added grocery services. Restaurants unable to use all their bulk ingredients given the decline in patrons have repurposed them as traditional groceries and sold them to local residents. 

Some restaurants have gone a step farther and fashioned the ingredients for some of their most popular menu items into meal kits you can buy to make these staples yourself at home. You might not be able to visit your favorite restaurants right now, but making their food at home might be the next best thing – and it certainly keeps you out of the supermarket.

How have you been getting your groceries during COVID-19? Share your methods in the comments – other readers might find your ideas useful!

Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 13:01:36 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Evictions Dropped Thanks to Cuomo, and Gravesend Is Now One of the Most Livable Places in NYC

Evictions Dropped Thanks to Cuomo, and Gravesend Is Now One of the Most Livable Places in NYC

Finding the right apartment is never easy, especially in the City of New York.

To find the right apartment, we need to first identify the right neighborhood. But how do we do that? Well, this is where data science comes in handy. Instead of blindly recommending neighborhoods based on how “hip” they are, the Data Science team at RentHop crunched the numbers and ranked the NYC neighborhoods by livability. We understand that each person values different things. For some, finding an apartment in a quiet neighborhood is of the highest priority, while for others the number of subway stops in the area is just as important. We believe, by analyzing the pros and cons of each neighborhood, we can help renters make an informed decision.

Our findings this quarter include:

  • Battery Park City-Lower Manhattan ranks the best neighborhood among 150+ NYC neighborhoods for the second straight quarter. The NTA, which includes FiDi and Battery Park City, has 14 subway stops, or 20.5 per sq mi, with a renter-friendliness score of 93.6. However, its quiet score went down 21%, from 91.2 to 72.9 this quarter, possibly related to COVID and the State’s stay-home order. [Neighborhood Livability Infographic]
  • Upper East Side-Carnegie Hill replaced Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill as the second most livable neighborhood in NYC with a high cleanliness score of 93.1, which means that the residents experience fewer poop complaints and rodent sightings. With median 1BR rent at $3,050, it is more affordable than Lower Manhattan. [Neighborhood Livability Map]
  • Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill continues to be the most livable neighborhood in the Brooklyn Borough. However, its overall ranking dropped from #2 to #3 this quarter due to lower cleanliness and noise scores. The noise score dropped 11.3 points to 78.6 this quarter. [Top 5 Neighborhoods in Brooklyn]
  • Erasmus remains one of the least livable neighborhoods in New York City. The neighborhood suffered in categories including quiet score and renter friendliness in the past three months. From January 14h to April 13th, Erasmus received in total 492 noise complaints (or 481.3/10k households) and 418 heat complaints (or 521.0/10k renter-occupied units).
  • Many neighborhoods experienced a significant drop in their quiet score due to noise complaints, including Manhattanville (-36.4 points), Washington Heights North (-34.8 points), and Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate (-25.1 points), which could be related to people staying at home and practicing self-isolation.
  • As the most livable neighborhood in Queens, Ft. Totten-Bay Terrace-Clearview improved its overall ranking from #12 to #5 in our Q2 index, thanks to its perfect cleanliness score and outstanding quiet score (94.6). Meanwhile, Oakland Gardens improved its ranking from #38 to #9 with a 10-point increase in the cleanliness score. [Top 5 Neighborhoods in Queens]
  • The average score among neighborhoods in the Bronx is 60.3, 1.4 points lower than the previous quarter. This is mainly due to the growing noise complaints. [Top 5 Neighborhoods in the Bronx]

NYC Neighborhood Livability Map

The map below illustrates the livability of each NYC neighborhood. The darker the shade, the higher the score. You can click on the neighborhoods to learn more about the score breakdown as well as the median 1BR rent.

Thanks to Gov. Cuomo’s mandate, evictions were down in most NYC neighborhoods, including Crown Heights North (-26) in Brooklyn, Crotona Park East (-20) in the Bronx, and Central Harlem South (-18) in Manhattan. However, most neighborhoods saw an increase in the number of noise complaints in the past 90 days due to the COVID pandemic and the New York State “stay-home” order. In fact, over 85% of the neighborhoods in our index experienced a surge in noise complaints, which resulted in city-wide changes in the quiet score category.

Generally speaking, Manhattan neighborhoods enjoy higher base scores thanks to the comprehensive MTA subway lines. Compared to the other three boroughs, Manhattan neighborhoods also have relatively higher renter-friendliness scores (average 83.2). The average quiet score in Manhattan is down from 75.1 to 63.0 this quarter, which translates to a 16.1% dip. Specifically, Central Harlem North-Polo Grounds and Washington Heights South had seen over 2000 noise complaints respectively in the past 90 days.

In Queens, the average cleanliness score went down 6.7 points, from 91.6 to 84.9, only 0.1 higher than Manhattan. Brooklyn neighborhoods scored an average of 83.7 in terms of safety, 1.1 points lower than the previous quarter. But the borough is a lot noisier these days – Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate and Bushwick South saw 903 and 821 more complaints respectively in the past 90 days. The neighborhoods in the Bronx improved slightly in the renter friendliness category thanks to the warmer weather and fewer heat complaints. The borough also saw some positive changes in terms of cleanliness. The score went up 19.2 points (27%) in Spuyten Duyvil-Kingsbridge and 10.9 points (14%) in Pelham Parkway.

Here are the Top 10 Neighborhoods in New York City

How We Did It

To determine the most renter-friendly and best neighborhoods in New York City, we compared over 190 Neighborhood Tabulation Areas (NTAs) across six key categories, including (1) Neighborhood Greenness, (2) Transportation, (3) Quality of Life, (4) Renter Friendliness, and (5) Safety, using in total 13 relevant metrics.

The following metrics were used for this neighborhood livability index:

Base Score [25 points]

  • Population Density — NTA Population / Land Size (sq mi) [2.5 points]
  • Transportation — MTA Subway Stops / Land Size (sq mi) [10 points]
  • Neighborhood Greenness: Tree Data — Street Tree Count / Land Size (sq mi) [6.25 points]
  • Neighborhood Greenness: Park Coverage — Park Area / Land Size (sq mi) [6.25 points]

Cleanliness [15 points]

  • Poop Complaints — 311 Canine Violations / 10k Households [7.5 points]
  • Rodent — 311 Rat Sightings / 10k Households [7.5 points]

Quietness [20 points]

  • Noise Complaints — 311 Residential Noise Complaints / 10k Households [16 points]
  • Potential Construction Noise — DOB Permits Issued / Total Housing Units [2 points]

Renter Friendliness [30 points]

  • Landlord Level of Responsibility: Heat Season — 311 Heat Complaints / Renter-Occupied Units [9 points]
  • Landlord Level of Responsibility: HMV — Housing Maintenance Code Violations / Renter-Occupied Units [3 points]
  • Percentage of Renter-Occupied Units — Renter-Occupied Units / Total Occupied Units [3 points]
  • Evictions — Evictions / Renter-Occupied Units [15 points]

Safety [10 points]

  • Motor Vehicle Collisions — Collisions / 10k Population [10 points]

We also adjusted the curve based on rental unit availability since that it’d be easier for renters to find an apartment in a given neighborhood if it has more available units on market. The rental rates were calculated using RentHop listings from January 14, 2020, to April 13, 2020.


We will be releasing the RentHop Neighborhood Livability Index on a quarterly basis, and we’d love to hear from you! Think we missed something? Any specific 311 complaints or dataset you’d like us to include? Or, would you like to work on an urban planning project using our underlying dataset? Email us at press@renthop.com.
 
You can also check out our previous quarterly report here.

Published at Mon, 20 Apr 2020 14:20:31 +0000

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Apartment Living

The Best Cities for Fishing

The Best Cities for Fishing

What better way to be socially distant than with fishing?

The early morning wakeup, the drive to the lake and the many hours of quietly waiting for a bite — it’s all worth it when you get your first catch. Fishing as a hobby has steadily remained a popular outdoor activity through generations.

In fact, in 2017, 49 million Americans took to the water to wait for their next catch. That’s more than those going golfing every year.

These are the best cities for fishing

If you’re looking to relocate to one of the best cities for fishing, whether it’s freshwater, saltwater or fly fishing, we found the 10 cities with the most fishing businesses per capita.

There’s one state here that’s really a catch, showing up four times in our list, but the number one spot is truly a keeper for fishermen.

10. Duluth, MN

duluth minnesota

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 12.8
  • Water area: 19.64 sq. miles

Duluth’s Lake Superior makes up most of the city’s fishing access. The lake offers several tributary streams with seasonal trout and surrounding lakes, bass, catfish and walleye. Not even the cold winter can stop you from fishing as ice fishing is popular in the area. Just keep an eye on the state’s strict regulations surrounding catch-and-release and possession limits for trout.

Catch a big fish and a good deal for a one-bedroom in Duluth, they go for $1,232 a month on average.

9. Lake Charles, LA

lake charles la

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 12.8
  • Water area: 2.74 sq. miles

Outfitted with your valid fishing license, Lake Charles offers excellent redfish, trout and flounder fishing. Freshwater, brackish and saltwater fishing can be accessed around Lake Charles, with not all fishing requiring a boat. There are a couple of fishing bait stores and fishing stations for your use.

The local lake also has many inland beaches with white sand and mild temperatures for the whole family to enjoy. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for $1,045 a month on average in Lake Charles.

8. Casper, WY

casper wy

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 13.9
  • Water area: 0.34 sq. miles

Casper’s North Platte River attracts many anglers with its abundance of rainbow and brown trout, especially when the water is clear. Many in the area fly fish and there’s plenty of support in Casper as there are many fly fishing stores and fishing tackle dealers.

Another great spot to fish close to the city? Bryan Stock Trail Pond. Stocked with a variety of fish year over year, the lake is calm as gas motorboats are not allowed.

Casper’s one-bedroom apartments rent for $649 a month on average.

7. Bonita Springs, FL

bonita springs fl

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 13.9
  • Water area: 7.77 sq. miles

What’s better than Florida weather and a good day of fishing? Bonita Springs offers plenty of opportunities for fishing, especially around Estero Bay. The bay is fed by more than 10 rivers and streams with sea trout, redfish, snapper and grouper available for the catch. The salty water spot can even surprise you with a barracuda or two.

There are several boat rental places and bait shops in the area to help you get on your way and outfit yourself with the right gear. On average, you can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,371 a month in Bonita Springs.

6. Missoula, MT

missoula mt

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 14.8
  • Water area: 0.16 sq. miles

Fly fishing rules in Missoula — there’s even a movie about it, “A River Runs Through It.” The community lives and breathes fly fishing around these parts, with three rivers for anglers to choose from. Lake fishing is also available at Flathead Lake, Georgetown Lake and a few others.

Applying for a fishing license can quickly be done online, too. The views of the mountains and the fresh air will urge you to rent a one-bedroom in Missoula, which goes for $1,558 a month on average.

5. New Bedford, MA

new bedford ma

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 16.8
  • Water area: 4.13 sq. miles

For 19 years straight, the New Bedford port has been named as the nation’s most valuable port, since it’s a vital part of the global seafood economy and supply chain. It’s no surprise that the city made it to the top five on our list of best cities for fishing. The area has many lakes and streams that are primed for recreational fishing.

Among the catches, keep an eye out for striped bass, tautog, halibut, pollock and cod. A fishing enthusiast can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,445 a month on average in New Bedford.

4. Jupiter, FL

jupiter florida

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 18.3
  • Water area: 1.79 sq. miles

The sleepy beach town of Jupiter is the perfect getaway as a fishing enthusiast. Here, your line is most likely to catch a blue marlin in saltwater. Other fish in the area include sailfish, tarpon and grouper. You have a few bait shops and fishing tackle dealers to choose from.

There’s plenty to do outdoors in the area, including a visit to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and the Blowing Rocks Preserve. A one-bedroom apartment in Jupiter rents for $1,704 a month on average.

3. Pensacola, FL

pensacola fl

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 20.9
  • Water area: 18.16 sq. miles

In the spring, Pensacola sees a surge of cobia, pompano and Spanish mackerel catches just went it gets hot outside. You have your pick for location in Pensacola. You can head to the Miraflores Park Pier, Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge or Civitan Fishing Pier. It’s best to go in the evening to get a chance to grab those catches in the springtime.

Fishing is available year-round in the area, though, with spring and fall being the best times for getting lucky. Anglers that feel at home in Pensacola can rent a one-bedroom for $1,009 a month on average.

2. Sarasota, FL

sarasota florida

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 26.0
  • Water area: 10.53 sq. miles

With 15 total fishing establishments, Sarasota rises to the No. 2 spot for best cities for fishing. Here, you have the usual catches, such as speckled trout, black drum, mangrove snapper and grouper. You can fish right off the beach in Sarasota, with Lido Key and Siesta Key beaches being the best.

If you choose to fish from a dock, grab live bait at one of the local bait shops for the most success. As far as rentals, a one-bedroom rent for $1,465 a month on average if you need a home base in Sarasota.

1. Galveston, TX

galveston tx

  • Fishing businesses per capita: 39.6
  • Water area: 168.12 sq. miles

With the most significant water area available (168 square miles!), Galveston takes the top spot on our list for the best cities for fishing. With 20 total fishing establishments and lots of places to drop a line, this Texas city is a fisherman’s paradise.

The city has plenty of spots for families and professionals alike, like the Galveston 61 Pier, where you can rent all of the equipment and grab frozen bait. Catches include everything from redfish to black drum.

With fishing being excellent year-round, Galveston can be especially luring to fishing enthusiasts. You can find a one-bedroom apartment in Galveston for $1,064 a month on average.

50 best cities for fishing

And now for the 50 best cities for fishing. Factors like fishing bait stores, water area, fishing lakes, repair centers and fishing clubs are all essential for a good fishing experience.

Methodology

To determine the best cities for fishing, we looked at every city in the U.S. with a population of over 50,000 and at least one fishing-related business (bait stores, fishing stations, tackle dealers, tackle repair stores, public fishing lakes, fishing piers and fishing clubs).

We then divided the total number of fishing establishments by the total population and multiplied that number by 100,000 to determine the number of establishments per 100,000 people. The cities with the highest per capita rating were determined to be the best cities for fishing in our quantitative report.

Data sources:

  • The population is based on 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Water area is based on demographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Total live music establishment counts are from a database of 8 million commercially available business listings. These listings may not reflect recent openings or closings.
  • Rent prices are based on a weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory from April 2020 to April 2019. We use a weighted average formula to more accurately represent price availability for each individual unit type and reduce the influence of seasonality on rent prices.

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 Fri, 01 May 2020 13:34:27 +0000

Apartment Living During Coronavirus Daily Checklist

This checklist will help you keep some sort of quarantine routine.

As staying at home — except for essential errands — slowly becomes the new normal, it’s important to adapt and create a new routine for apartment living during coronavirus that’ll make this unprecedented time feel more stable.

While our old patterns may be halted for now, you can still develop a routine that’ll help you maintain sanity and feel productive on a daily basis. We’ve created a daily to-do list for your reference to help the long days go by a little quicker.

Daily to-do list

During the times of coronavirus, it may seem like you can’t accomplish your to-do list because most businesses are closed and people have been advised or required to stay at home.

While that may be the case, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a daily to-do list. To keep your apartment in order and your mind calm, here are some things to consider doing every single day.

make the bed

1. Make your bed

By waking up and making your bed immediately, you accomplish something at the beginning of your day. This small act can help set the tone for the rest of the day as it makes you feel productive and organized right away. Now more than ever, it’s essential to feel accomplished and making your bed each day is a small but important thing to do each day.

2. Shower and get ready

It’s easy to get out of bed and stay in your cozy outfit because you have nowhere to go and no one to see. But, during quarantine, it’s really important to stick to a routine where you get up, shower and get dressed for the day. It may seem silly to add “shower and get ready” to your to-do list, but each time you do this, you’ll likely have a better, more productive day.

3. Eat breakfast

It’s easy to develop bad habits during the coronavirus isolation, but make sure you’re eating a full breakfast each day. It will give you the energy to make it through the day. Plus, it’s the most important meal of the day.

4. Scan news headlines

Too much news consumption can be detrimental, but take some time each day to catch up on the news, whether local or national, to stay informed. Once you’ve caught up on the news, avoid checking apps repeatedly as it can become a downward spiral and time suck.

5. Tidy up your apartment

Do you feel like your house is even more cluttered than usual during coronavirus? If so, you’re not alone. You may go to bed with a tidy home and by noon the next day, realize everything is out of sorts.

Take some time each day to tidy up and declutter your apartment. Whether that’s walking around each room and putting things in their proper place, or tackling your junk drawer and organizing it, make the time.

6. Exercise

Your gym or workout class may be suspended right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take time to work out and get some fresh air each day. Whether you do an at-home workout or simply take a walk around your apartment complex, add exercise to your to-do list every day. It’ll help you feel physically and mentally better and take up some time in your day.

7. Meditate

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Taking as little as five minutes to meditate each day will do wonders for your well-being. Download a meditation app or simply listen to your breath every single day.

8. Journal

Whether you journal daily or scribble your thoughts on a post-it note, journaling can be an incredibly powerful tool during scary times. Take some time each day to write down what you’re grateful for or to document something good that happened that day. Or, write down your frustrations and anxieties as a way to cope with them. By taking time to journal every day, you’ll likely feel a little better day by day.

Bi-weekly to-do list

Some things, like brushing your teeth, need to be done daily. However, not all tasks need to be done as often. Some can be accomplished two or three times a week. Here are some things to add to your to-do list during coronavirus on a bi-weekly basis.

woman on phone

1. Call a family member or friend

We all have friends and family members we see on a regular basis. If you can’t see them in person right now, make it a point to connect via phone or video conferencing on a regular basis. It’s also a good time to make a list of people you’ve fallen out of touch with and connect with them again. Choose someone new each week to reach out to and you’ll likely find yourself with a long list of people to connect with.

2. Sanitize and sterilize your apartment

You’ve tidied your apartment on a daily basis, but have you cleaned and sanitized it? While you don’t want to waste precious resources like Clorox wipes, you do want to sanitize and sterilize your apartment a few times a week to stay safe. This is essential when you’ve run an errand or left your apartment complex and returned home.

3. Get your mail

Because the mailroom is a common area, it’s exposed to lots of people and germs and can be a high-risk area of your apartment complex. Unless you’re expecting important documents, you probably don’t need to get your mail daily. Make a mail run part of your bi-weekly to-do list. When you return to your apartment and have opened your mail and packages, make sure to wipe down the counter and wash your hands.

Weekly to-do list

Depending on the size of your family, you might need to complete these tasks more or less frequently. Strive to knock them out at least once a week.

1. Grocery shop

Grocery shopping is an essential to-do as everyone needs to eat. But now is the time to reduce the number of trips you make to the store to avoid contact with other people. If you can, limit grocery shopping to once a week or longer, if you can. Online shopping is a great option, too.

If you go into the store, go prepared with a list, maintain social distancing and try to get everything you need for the upcoming week in one haul.

2. Update budget and pay bills

Because the economy has taken a hit, it’s essential to stay in tune with your budget and see how you’re doing week-over-week. Make time each week to check and update your budget, pay your bills and plan for upcoming expenses.

laundry

3. Laundry

In a lot of apartment complexes, the laundry facility is a communal space. If that’s the case for you, try to limit your laundry trips to once a week.

4. Deep clean your house

You’ve decluttered and sanitized throughout the week, but a deep, weekly clean should be on your to-do list. This can include things like:

  • Sweeping
  • Vacuuming
  • Mopping
  • Changing sheets
  • Wiping down counters, light switches and doorknobs
  • Scrubbing the bathroom and kitchen
  • Dusting

Maintaining a routine during the coronavirus pandemic

Having a daily to-do list during coronavirus will give you purpose, help you feel organized and stable and provide some normalcy during these unknown times. Download a to-do list app or write a hand-written list each day, check items off the list and go to bed feeling like life is a little more normal.

Published at Thu, 30 Apr 2020 12:00:43 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods With the Most Expensive Rent

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods With the Most Expensive Rent

There’s a lot of cultural and economic diversity among Washington’s 125 or so historic neighborhoods.

The city is a wonderful place to live, whether you be a D.C. native, an urban upgrader from Maryland or Virginia, a politician or staffer, college student, tech, government or hospitality worker, Beltway commuter, museum-goer, young family or music or sports fan.

Each distinct neighborhood, no matter your quadrant from Northwest to Southeast, has its own charm, amenities and housing benefits.

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But of all those neighborhoods, which are the ones just right for your budget?

We surveyed rental prices for an average one-bedroom apartment in every single neighborhood in D.C. with at least 20 available units (on Apartment Guide or Rent.com) with a rolling weighted average of prices from now and a year ago. From this list, we derived the top five Washington, D.C., neighborhoods in three categories: The most expensive, the most affordable and the ones closest to the citywide rent average.

Most expensive neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

West End Washington DC

If money is no option, here are the five Washington, D.C. neighborhoods for you.

5. Logan Circle-Shaw

The western end of Logan Circle-Shaw is a booming residential neighborhood of young professionals and hipsters centered on its namesake traffic circle, while the Shaw portion features the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the upscale retail hub north of it.

The commercial corridor runs along 14th Street, including shops, galleries, theaters and restaurants, many catering to the district’s growing LGBT populace. Getting in on this rising neighborhood will run you $3,518 a month for an average one-bedroom.

4. West End

Situated between Georgetown, DuPont Circle, Downtown and Foggy Bottom, D.C.’s West End is dotted with luxury hotels, high-end restaurants and upscale apartments and condos.

The area’s proximity to in-demand neighborhoods and upscale blocks, as well as easy access to the riverfront and Rock Creek Trail, pushes average rent for a one-bedroom apartment to $3,661 a month.

3. Woodley Park

Tucked between Embassy Row and the National Zoo, Woodley Park is a leafy residential neighborhood filled with quiet streets and townhouses, with a stretch of D.C. high-rise apartments along Connecticut Avenue and Calvert Street.

Its commercial district lies on the southern end of Connecticut, featuring a number of international cuisine restaurants, with the Marriott Wardman Park, the second-largest condo hotel in D.C., around the corner on Woodley. Easy access to sites like Rock Creek Park keeps rents up, with $3,754 a month for an average one-bedroom.

2. Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown

It’s no surprise the real estate conglomeration of Downtown, Penn Quarter and Chinatown, from the White House to the Capitol between the Mall to Massachusetts Avenue, is so pricey.

This district includes some of the nation’s most famous landmarks, including Ford’s Theatre, Hoover FBI Building, National Portrait Gallery, The Washington Post and Capital One Arena. But to take up residence so close to the seats of power, it costs a lot of dead presidents, with a one-bedroom apartment average rent of $4,326 a month.

1. U-Street

Located in Northwest Washington, U Street is the neighborhood built around the historic namesake street that was once the heart of America’s black culture, teeming with jazz clubs, soul food and so-called “Black Broadway” theaters.

Today, U Street offers trendy shops, music clubs, including the 9:30 Club and DC9, legendary restaurants like Ben’s Chili Bowl and the century-old Lincoln Theatre. To live within D.C.’s coolest — and most expensive — neighborhood, a one-bedroom will run you $4,892 each month on average.

Most affordable neighborhoods in Washington D.C.

Congress Heights Washington DC

Photo courtesy of Meadowbrook Run

We can’t all be career politicians and CEOs. If you’re looking for a place to live on a budget, these are the most affordable neighborhoods in the District.

4-tie. Edgewood

Founded as the estate of Salmon Chase, Abraham Lincoln’s treasury secretary, then a Supreme Court chief justice, the Northeast neighborhood of Edgewood is a small district in between Howard and Catholic universities. The latter redeveloped the estate’s mansion as an orphanage before it was razed and rebuilt as the Edgewood Commons apartments.

The neighborhood, also featuring Trinity Washington University and historic Glenwood Cemetery, is an affordable locale for students and families with an average one-bedroom apartment renting for $1,847 a month.

4-tie. Glover Park

The vice president himself might not even know that he lives in one of Washington’s most affordable neighborhoods. The official vice-presidential mansion tops the Naval Observatory within the Glover Park neighborhood, also home to several foreign embassies, including the famous Russian Embassy and its underground tunnels.

The remainder of Glover Park is filled with rowhouses and apartment buildings, lined by Glover Archibold and Whitehaven parks, with a commercial corridor along Wisconsin Avenue. Despite all the amenities, a one-bedroom apartment leases for just $1,847 a month on average.

3. Mount Pleasant

Lodged in between Adams Morgan (one of the top 10 most expensive D.C. neighborhoods) and sprawling Rock Creek Park, Mount Pleasant is, indeed, surprisingly affordable.

Blocks of rowhouses populate the neighborhood’s wooded western enclave, once home to Washington luminaries like Senators’ pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson and actress Helen Hayes. With a number of D.C. high-rise apartment buildings along the 16th and Mount Pleasant Streets wedge, the average rent is $1,751 for a one-bedroom.

2. Fort Dupont

Fort Circle Park houses a series of Civil War-era mounts that were built by the Union to defend the capital against Confederate advancement. Several of these battlements dot the Fort Dupont neighborhood, including the large Fort Dupont Park.

Surrounding the parks is a wooded residential neighborhood across the Anacostia River from RFK Stadium, former home of the Redskins. The closure of RFK has helped keep rents down, with an average one-bedroom listing for just $1,239 a month.

1. Congress Heights

The neighborhood with the lowest rent in D.C. might actually be a bit of a surprise. Congress Heights, on the southern bank of the Anacostia, is not only just across the freeway from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling but has also been the target of a bevy of commercial redevelopment.

In the last decade or so, the neighborhood has seen projects around St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the Metro station, plus a much-needed supermarket plaza and the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. The most affordable neighborhood in Washington is the only one under a grand for a one-bedroom, averaging just $992 a month.

Neighborhoods with rent prices closest to the Washington, D.C. citywide average

Navy Yards Washington DC

If you’re looking for a good neighborhood at a good value, consider these five areas where rent prices are relatively similar to the city-wide average.

5. McLean Gardens

Quaint McLean Gardens is a Northeast neighborhood that’s nearly all residential. Built during World War II as temporary housing for defense workers, the neighborhood is populated by condominium and apartment towers and complexes, with a large community garden, a smattering of restaurants and cafes along Wisconsin Avenue NW and a retail building at Newark Street anchored by a Giant supermarket.

Many diplomats and political staffers live within historically upscale McLean Gardens, where rents are just $141 less than the citywide average, with monthly rents for a one-bedroom running $2,626.

4. Southwest Waterfront

As the name suggests, Southwest Waterfront sits in the Southwest section of D.C., at the confluence of the Anacostia River and the Washington Channel just north of Fort McNair. Birthplace of both Al Jolson and Marvin Gaye, the neighborhood has experienced two major urban revitalization periods, the most recent over the last two decades. Apartment and condo conversions led an overhaul which included retail development around Waterfront Station and an expansion of the Arena Stage at the Mead Center.

The Wharf is a waterfront destination, which includes residences, offices and hotels, retail shops, seafood restaurants, yacht clubs and the 6,000-capacity Anthem music hall. Despite revitalization, Southwest remains affordable, only about 70 bucks more than the D.C. average for a one-bedroom at $2,839 monthly.

3. Navy Yard

Talk about great value. With an average one-bedroom leasing for $2,706 a month, 60 bucks less than the citywide average, an apartment in Navy Yard offers so much. Nationals Park, home of baseball’s World Champions, is the centerpiece of an up-and-coming pre- and post-game entertainment and dining district. Well-maintained infrastructure and federal jobs proliferate at the site of the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters. And the neighborhood is the location of the namesake Washington Navy Yard, featuring the Naval District Washington headquarters and Navy Museum.

Redevelopment is centered on a plan to add 15 million square feet of office space, 800,000 square feet of retail, 9,000 housing and rental units, 1,200 hotel rooms and four new parks, plus the riverfront Yards Park and a section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.

2. H Street-NoMa

The real estate subdivision of H Street-NoMa is part of the Near Northeast neighborhood. As the name implies, it’s a Northeast Washington district north of Massachusetts Avenue and along the H Street corridor. The neighborhood is divided down the middle by Union Station, Amtrak’s second-busiest in the nation, and its track spread and sidings.

But the heart of the neighborhood is diverse H Street and the growing Atlas District arts hub that experienced revitalization over the last 15 years. The street between 3rd and 15th, ranked the sixth “Most Hipster Neighborhood” by Forbes, is one of D.C.’s top nightlife and entertainment destinations, featuring unique shopping and retail, trendy dining and drinking spots, jazz and rock clubs and, of course, the legendary Atlas Performing Arts Center.

But in total from NoMa in the west to H in the east, it’s a very average-priced neighborhood, at $2,733 a month for a one-bedroom, $34 above the D.C. average.

1. Lanier Heights

While nightlife neighborhood Adams Morgan is one of the most expensive in all of Washington, its Lanier Heights subdivision comes in at number one as the most-averaged priced rental region in D.C.

One of the first developed districts outside the planned city, Lanier Heights consists of non-gridded streets of rowhomes and medium-rise apartments, many in a distinct Art Deco style.

The diverse district is home to young professionals and families, city workers and Smithsonian intellectuals, and a mix of cultural and economic classes. It’s a place of social change and integration as the most average rental district in the District, just a dollar below the citywide price at $2,766 a month for a one-bedroom.

Methodology

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory from March 2019 to March 2020. 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. Neighbors with less than 20 average available units were excluded.

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.

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Published at Tue, 28 Apr 2020 12:58:26 +0000

Coronavirus Apartment Living Convenience Tips

It’s no secret that the world is operating a little differently right now due to the coronavirus. Places are closed, people are working from home and apartment living during coronavirus feels very different.

Everyone staying at home can cause a few convenience issues and roadblocks. We’ve got some tips to make coronavirus apartment living a little more convenient for everyone during these unknown times.

Ordering takeout

Apps like Uber Eats, Postmates and Grubhub have never been so helpful as they are right now.

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If you can’t cook one more half-decent meal, then you need to download these apps right now. They have almost every type of food available for delivery and you’ll feel good about giving business to some of your favorite restaurants right now.

Getting groceries

If you don’t want to go to the grocery store right now, ordering groceries online is going to be extremely convenient for you. Not only does it save you from going out it’s also incredibly easy to do.

Services like Instacart or even local grocery stores are delivering right now. All you have to do is go online and pick out what you want. While you’re grocery shopping it’s a good idea to stock up on non-perishables so you don’t have to shop as often. Plus, you’ll always have your favorite snacks around.

laundry

Doing laundry

Snagging a washing machine in a large apartment complex is tough enough as it is without everyone in the building being there the whole day. Most people want to get their laundry done first thing in the morning, so it’s a good idea to use the laundry room during off-hours usually between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. to avoid large crowds.

Also, try going one or two weeks in between laundry loads so you’re not visiting as frequently and exposing yourself to other people.

Mail and packages

The mailroom in an apartment building can become a crowded place, so try to grab your mail at times when most people wouldn’t. This could be the first thing in the morning or late at night. Also, you could get your mail one or two times a week instead of daily to make things more convenient.

For packages, it’s a good idea to set aside a specific “package area” in your apartment. This way, you don’t have to worry about germs spreading, making it a convenient way to feel safe in your apartment.

Showering

Showering is essential, but since there really isn’t anywhere to go, it’s one of the few times you don’t have to shower first thing when you get up. Similar to laundry, it’s a good idea to shower during off times like the middle of the afternoon or late at night to ensure you have enough hot water. There’s nothing worse than starting a shower, getting in and realizing it’s freezing.

internet router

Wi-Fi

Most people are staying at home, which means that more and more people are using Wi-Fi in your area. This can lead to slower internet or buffering issues when streaming. However, there are a few things you can do to make your internet work better and be more convenient. If you’re a night owl or an early riser and your work allows you to work during odd hours, this is a great time to get on the internet since most people will be off.

If not, you can always use ethernet by plugging your device directly into your router. If you can’t plug directly into your router, there are a couple of other tricks you can use. For example, put your router up higher in the center of your home instead of tucked away, and make sure it isn’t blocked by thick walls.

Keeping busy during the coronavirus

Staying busy can help you stay sane during this time. It’s a good idea to go on morning walks or take an afternoon stroll when fewer people are out and about. Another idea is to order puzzles or games to keep you and your family entertained.

The world is functioning a little differently right now, however, there are a few things here and there that everyone can do to make coronavirus apartment living a little easier.

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Published at Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:53:06 +0000

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Apartment Living

New York City – Quiet Outside, Noisy Inside

New York City – Quiet Outside, Noisy Inside

Under normal circumstances, noise is bad. For many renters and homeowners, noise is their #1 enemy when it comes to living in the City of New York, whether it’s street noise, construction noise, loud music from the bar downstairs, or banging noises from your next-door neighbor.

But things have changed in the past few weeks. Noise is now a good thing, especially in the epicenter. Ever since Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a state-wide “stay at home” executive order on March 20 (and later launched on March 23) to fight COVID-19, most New Yorkers have chosen to abide by the order and self-isolate in their homes. Of course, it’s not easy to physically distance yourself from others for a long period, especially if you are used to the party scene in Lower Manhattan or morning walks in Prospect Park, and so sometimes, you sing on the balcony. Some other times, New Yorkers fight with their roommates or partner for more fridge space to accommodate the dozen bags of food they get from Whole Foods.

Regardless of the types of complaints, noise reflects the current state of New York City – most New Yorkers are practicing social distancing and staying at home. To better understand how lives have changed since the battle against the coronavirus and if people follow the self-isolation recommendations, we took a look at the 311 noise complaints.

 
Here are our key findings:

  • NYC 311 received 11,687 noise complaints from March 20 to March 28, 2020, 23.2% more than the year 2019.
  • The number of noise complaints increased in all boroughs. From March 20 to March 28, the Bronx saw 2,567 complaints, 45.6% higher than the same time period in 2019. Both Brooklyn and Manhattan had over 3,000 complaints, with an annual change of 28.6% and 17.2% respectively. [Figure 1]
  • Most neighborhoods experienced growth in the number of noise complaints are farther away from the city center. [Heat Map]
  • Residents in Kingsbridge Heights, Bronx seemed to embrace the self-isolation better than many other places. The neighborhood received 213 noise complaints, or 201/10k households, an 73.2% increase from the same period in 2019. [Top 10 Table]
  • Hamilton Heights, Central Harlem South, and Washington Heights Noth, among others in Manhattan, saw the most number of noise complaints, with well over 140 complaints/10k households. [Map]
  • The number of noise complaints filed during the day increased significantly, indicating that more New Yorkers are staying at home during work hours than before. [Figure 4]

Noise Complaints by NYC Borough

We started our research by looking at the number of noise complaints reported in each NYC borough from March 20 to March 28, 2020. As shown in Figure 1, all boroughs experienced an increase in noise complaints. In the Bronx, the count jumped by 45.6%, from 1,763 to 2,567. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, the number went up by 28.6% to 3,430.

Figure 1

 

Noise Complaints Concentrated in Neighborhoods Farther Away from the City Center

Now that we know the complaints went up in all five boroughs, we’d like to know where these complaints were concentrated. Is there a relationship between the number of noise complaints and the city center? Does it relate to where people live versus where they work?

The interactive heat map below demonstrates the magnitude of noise complaints by location. You can hit the “play” button or drag the slider to explore. As we can see from the map, generally speaking, for the period from March 20 to March 28, noise complaints occurred in places farther away from the city center. Could it be that as non-essential businesses temporarily closed down and adopted the WFH (work-from-home) policy, the city was just less crowded, which resulted in fewer complaints? Or, maybe tenants of luxury apartments rely on building management when it comes to noise, instead of resorting to 311.

Is Your Neighborhood Doing a Good Job?

Simply knowing where the noise complaints occurred isn’t enough. For us to measure if people are truly abiding by the “stay at home” order and practicing self-quarantine, we have to compare this year’s data with last year’s. The interactive map below highlights the number of complaints each neighborhood received from March 20 to March 28, 2020, and from March 20 to March 28, 2019. Darker yellow indicates an increase in the number of noise complaints, whereas lighter yellow indicates fewer noise complaints in 2020 than in 2019. You can click on the neighborhoods to learn more about the total number of complaints, the number of noise complaints/10k households, as well as year-over-year change.

 
Manhattan
 

While most neighborhoods in Manhattan experienced a drop in the number of noise complaints, Gramercy, a neighborhood filled with residents looking for peace and privacy, saw a 70% jump in complaints, from 56 to 95 this year, or 63.9/10k households. But that’s nowhere near what Lower East Side experienced. Lower East Side saw a 100% increase, from 181 in 2019 to 363 in 2020, or 120.1 complaints/10k households. But generally speaking, the increase concentrated in areas above 96th street.

 
Bronx
 

In the Bronx, 73.7% of the neighborhoods saw more noise complaints during the time frame of our research, including University Heights-Morris Heights (+20%), East Concourse-Concourse Village (+60%), and Eastchester-Edenwald-Baychester (+140%). In Westchester-Unionpoint, the number of complaints more than doubled, from 23 to 49, or 55.8/10k households. For those who self isolate in Parkchester (+650%), while the act is highly appreciated and right, maybe it’d be nice to slightly lower the volume of your TV and speakers.

 
Brooklyn
 

Meanwhile, residents in 25 of the Brooklyn neighborhoods (or 49%) felt the externality of self-isolation. Noise complaints went up in places including Fort Greene (+60%), Bushwich North (+20%), Flatbush (+70%), and Bath Beach (+100%). In Crown Heights South, 121 noise complaints were filed between March 20 and March 28 this year, or 82.5 complaints/10k households. This number is 80% more than the number of complaints filed during the same period in 2019. Williamsburg, on the other hand, saw a decrease of 40%, which might not at all be surprising considering the number of bars and night clubs that were forced to close down temporarily.

 
Queens
 

While noise complaints only went up by 2.8% in Queens, it doesn’t mean residents there are doing a bad job fighting the coronavirus. The noise complaint count still went up in densely populated neighborhoods, such as Astoria and Hunters Point-Sunnyside-West Maspeth. From March 20 to March 28, Astoria received in total 170 noise complaints or 50 complaints/10k households, 20% more than the same period in 2019.

 
Staten Island
 

Meanwhile, people living in Staten Island are really feeling the burden. While only 52% of the neighborhoods saw an increase in the number of noise complaints (lower than the Bronx), the number more than tripled in some places, such as Arden Heights (18.2 complaints/10k households) and Oakwood-Oakwood Beach (12.2 complaints/10k households). These were once the quietest neighborhoods in the City of New York.

Top 10 Neighborhoods with the Most Number of Complaints
 

 
Noise Complaints Soared in these Neighborhoods
 

Is It Purely a Coincidence?

Of course, one can argue that the growing noise complaints have nothing to do with COVID. To explore this possibility, we looked at both the number of complaints by day from March 20 to March 28, as well as the addresses being reported daily. Figure 3 shows the number of complaints per day in 2020 compared to that in 2019 and 2018. As we can see clearly, 2020 is somewhat an abnormal year. NYC collectively received more noise complaints in seven out of the nine days in our research time frame. On the day March 20 when the “stay at home” order mentioned in the state briefing to the public, the city saw 1,750 complaints, 781 more than in 2019. Perhaps people partied harder that weekend as they knew soon they’d have to stay inside their tiny NYC apartment for a while?

Figure 2

We also looked at the addresses being reported. Here again, we can conclude that the year 2020 is not like previous years. While we did not group complaints on the same building within the same day (since the noise incident could last for a while and affect multiple residents), we did notice that more unique addresses were reported as the state and city launched aggressive measures to combat the coronavirus. On March 20, in total 1,730 unique addresses were reported, compared to 853 the previous year. This means that of the 1,750 complaints reported, only 20 of them were duplicates, indicating a surge in noise complaints. On March 27, the number reached close to 1,800, more than doubled the amount received on March 27, 2019.

Figure 3

When Are New Yorkers Most Troubled by Noise?

To find out how life in New York might be changing due to the “stay at home” order, we also took a look at the time when complaints were filed. Figure 4 below breaks down the noise complaints by the hour. The orange bars represent the number of complaints by the hour from Mar 20 to Mar 28, 2020, and as one can see, the number of complaints filed during the day increased drastically compared to 2019 and 2018. This will most likely continue until the state lifts the restrictions.

Figure 4

Remember, the New York Tough is about compassion, unity, and love. While noise is good as it shows that people do stay at home, perhaps it is also a great opportunity for us to reflect on our behavior and be more considerate of our neighbors. Besides, just because the number of deaths seems to be slowing down, it does not mean New York has won the battle. The virus could come back (as seen in places such as Hong Kong), and we will have to stay strong and continue with social distancing until we fully stop the spread.


Methodology

Each year, we at RentHop look into NYC 311 noise complaints with the hope of providing renters with useful information. This year, things are different, and so instead of identifying the quiet neighborhoods, we focused instead on the relationship between noise and COVID-19 and the neighborhoods received the most complaints.

The data was retrieved from the NYC Open Data portal. For this study, we limited the research time frame to March 20 to March 28. This allows us to properly examine the relationship between the state’s “stay at home” order and noise, as well as eliminating potential data loss/updates from the portal. We then geocoded the complaints using the Neighborhood Tabulation Areas Shapefile. Note that some areas were renamed to be more recognized, such as Hell’s Kitchen, which is commonly known as the NTA “Clinton”, and Williamsburg, which is commonly known as the “North Side-South Side” NTA. We also renamed the “Williamsburg” NTA to South Williamsburg. Unlike last year’s study, this year we normalized the data by the number of households in each neighborhood, but the end goal is the same. By normalizing the data by the size of the neighborhoods, we could rank each neighborhood fairly and provide better insights.

Published at Tue, 07 Apr 2020 13:15:01 +0000

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What to Do if You Can’t Afford Rent Payments Due to Coronavirus?

What to Do if You Can’t Afford Rent Payments Due to Coronavirus?

For the 36 percent of Americans that are renters, the virtual national business shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is hitting hard.

With an estimated 10 to 20 million people out of work, innumerable citizens are or will soon be struggling to pay their rent on the first or 15th of the month.

Housing is the No. 1 monthly expense for most people. So, amid the spread of this novel coronavirus, rent payments may be difficult to come by.

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If you’re having trouble paying your rent — or fear you soon will be — you can follow these steps to meet your lease obligations.

Communicate with your landlord if you can’t pay your rent

For many, even the combination of unemployment compensation and government assistance isn’t enough to cover the rent along with other bills. The best plan is to discuss your situation with your landlord or property manager and come to an agreement together. And regardless of what you need or the solution you may be able to come to with them, the first step is to be honest, open and upfront with them.

“[No landlord] wants to just get a text or email saying times are tough and we need help. What is your runway on finances? When do you think you might need help if it’s not right away? Be as honest and open as you can, because this will help your landlord plan too,” Portland, OR, landlord Colin Cook told CNBC.

And your best course of action is to get ahead of the problem. Don’t wait until your rent is due to spring your need for help. Give your landlord or property manager as much notice as you can, which gives them more time to put a plan into place and also shows your willingness to follow any agreement and that you’re acting in good faith.

Of course, if possible, do all this by email or phone. Don’t make an unnecessary trip to the property manager’s office if you can avoid it, for your safety and theirs. Chances are, they are working remotely anyway.

signing lease

Ask if you can restructure your payments

The most feasible arrangement to offer your property manager is a reasonable payment plan. Present them directly with a plan based on your current needs and limitations.

  • Show your need by providing documentation or proof of the severity of your financial situation. The more you have the better, whether it’s a memo from your employer indicating the length of your layoff or a copy of your unemployment compensation application. Don’t be ashamed of needing help. Millions of Americans are in the same exact situation as you are right now.
  • Let your landlord or property manager know how much you can reasonably pay now and how much you’ll be able to pay over the next month or two. Unless you’re in dire straits, you should offer to pay at least some of your rent. If you offer something, they’re more likely to agree to your plan.
  • Give them a specific date when you’ll be paying back the remainder, along with full payment of that month. Stick to that date. If you can’t, discuss an extension with your landlord as early as you can.
  • Provide all of this in writing, signed and awaiting their countersignature. Make it as easy for them as possible.
  • Assure them that this is only temporary until the crisis is over and that you do not anticipate this happening again.

There’s a chance the landlord will request a late fee to be paid at the time of settlement. Feel free to ask that it be waived if you’re a good tenant who has previously always paid on time. Your landlord might also present a counteroffer.

Know before you go in exactly how much you can afford and be clear about your limits. And if they’re not open to rent restructuring, ask them what solutions they may be willing to offer. All apartment communities will be handling this situation in a slightly different way, so don’t assume that this your only option or demand that your property manager accommodate you.

Have empathy for your landlord

We might think of our landlords as giant corporations getting rich off of our rents. But the truth is, almost half of rental properties are individually owned, mom and pop landlords and people just like us investing in real estate.

They’re also under stress from the coronavirus crisis with property taxes, insurance and mortgages coming due, repairs and upkeep to make and property managers and maintenance staff salaries to pay, with rent their only source of income. Even large rental companies will feel the pinch as they have difficulty covering expenses, utilities and mortgages.

Most landlords want to help you in this time of need, but they aren’t immune to the economy themselves. Be kind, have empathy and be patient with your landlord or property manager. Absolutely avoid making demands because you are asking them for help.

And don’t take advantage of the situation. If you can afford your rent, keep paying it. That will only lead to them being able to assist other tenants and staff.

stressed person

What if your landlord can’t or won’t help?

If your landlord is not willing or not able to help restructure your payments or offer any rent relief, you do have some other options.

1. Apply for rental assistance

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website offers links to a number of helpful resources for rental assistance, such as state or local financial assistance programs.

As well, the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities may also be sources of rental support. You can also contact the United Way by dialing 2-1-1 to be connected to local organizations that may be able to help.

And if you or anyone in your household is a veteran, HUD and the U.S. Veterans Administration has programs that can help with rent.

2. Take out a loan

If you have solid credit and can prove that despite the current crisis you’re a trusted recipient, you can turn to your bank and apply for a short-term loan. Banks will take into account your financial history and may be willing to loan you enough money to take care of rent and expenses.

Do you own a small business? Then you can apply for a Small Business Administration Disaster Loan. These loans are not only available for you to help keep your business afloat or pay employees but to keep your home and bills paid, as well. And through the Paycheck Protection Program portion of the federal government’s stimulus package, additional types of businesses can qualify for small business loans.

3. Take advantage of the CARES Act

The CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed last month, is offering a cash payment to most every American. The majority of those individuals making under $75,000 (or $112,500 as head of household) will receive a stimulus check of $1,200, plus an additional $500 per household with a dependent (a bit less for those making up to $99,000 individually or $146,000 as head of household). These payments have already started appearing in some bank accounts.

And for Americans who have lost their job due to the coronavirus crisis, the CARES Act is also providing an additional $600 a week for those receiving unemployment compensation through their state during the shutdown, on top of their regular payment, for up to 39 weeks.

Some states are also offering even more assistance to their citizens who lease. For example, Delaware is providing a payment of up to $1,500 for renters who have lost their income. Be sure to check if your state or city is offering similar programs.

The federal and state governments are encouraging Americans to use this stimulus money to help pay bills, including rent.

What shouldn’t you do?

It’s understandable that desperate times call for desperate measures. And for many people, this may be their first time in this sort of situation. Even if you can’t figure out other options, don’t put yourself in a situation where you kick the can down the road that will only make things worse.

  • Don’t send your landlord a check you know will bounce. You won’t accomplish anything but angering your landlord and possibly setting yourself up for future eviction. And worse, you’ll still owe the money.
  • Don’t just ignore the problem in hopes that it will go away. No one knows how this crisis will play out and the last thing you want to do is have unpaid bills and no recourse for how to resolve them. Your rent isn’t going anywhere, even if you ignore it.
  • Avoid turning to payday lenders and car title loan companies to find quick cash. In the end, you’ll be paying much more in the long run and putting yourself at risk of damaging your credit.
  • We’ve mentioned this a few times already, but don’t demand that your landlord or property manager needs to help you. They do want to work with you, but they aren’t going to let you live rent-free.
  • Lastly, and hopefully it goes without saying, absolutely don’t skip out on your rent. If you need assistance, speak up sooner than later.

Are you going to be evicted if you can’t pay?

If you can’t pay your rent on time due to income loss related to the coronavirus shutdown, are you in danger of being evicted? Most likely, no.

The CARES Act includes a freeze on evictions of tenants for non-payment in buildings financed by federally-backed mortgages (like those subsidized by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and HUD). However, this protection only applies to about a quarter of all renters, with the rest funded by banks and private lenders.

For those not covered in the stimulus, most states and a number of individual municipalities have issued their own stays of eviction, many in place between one and three months. Keep in mind, a few locales do require some type of proof you have suffered a loss of income due to the shutdown.

But just because your city or state has passed a moratorium on eviction doesn’t mean all landlords are aware of the new rules. If your landlord does attempt an eviction and you believe you’re protected, check with the local sheriff, who in most cities is the one that carries out evictions and knows the temporary restrictions.

Eventually, you have to pay

Be aware: Just because you’re a beneficiary of an eviction moratorium, doesn’t mean you never have to pay. These provisions are deferments, not cancellations. Just because you can’t be evicted now, doesn’t mean you can’t after the crisis has ended. If you didn’t pay knowing you couldn’t be evicted, plan to pay back any months you didn’t pay once the situation has normalized.

“A moratorium isn’t a pass to skip paying rent. It means that your landlord cannot sue you for nonpayment or pursue the eviction process while the moratorium is in place,” debt resolution attorney and author Leslie Tayne told The Huffington Post.

However, there are a number of housing rights groups advocating a movement to end rental obligations during the crisis, most notably under the #CancelRent banner. The effort is requesting the federal government subsidize property owners so rent can be exempted. While unlikely, renters should keep an eye on the story.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional financial or legal advice as they may deem it necessary.

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Published at Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:07:58 +0000

What To Do if You Run Out of Toilet Paper?

Don’t wait until you’re running low to consider toilet paper alternatives. Shoppers hoarding toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic have forced us all to examine our bathroom habits. Suddenly, a private matter has become a very public conversation.

While there really aren’t any true toilet paper alternatives (that can be safely flushed, anyway), there are other options. With a little planning, conservation and creative thinking, you can handle toilet paper shortages with confidence, minimize shopping trips and help keep your apartment community safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shop smart and plan ahead

Stock up the best you can. Add toilet paper to your grocery pick-up or delivery order and look for it every single time you shop. Be reasonable about what you purchase, or you become part of the panic buying problem. You just need enough to get you through two weeks, the amount of time you’ll need to self-isolate if you become ill.

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If toilet paper is missing on the shelves, try ordering it and other staples online. You can also call ahead to check availability at local stores to minimize the amount of time you spend in the building.

In a pinch, you can grab toilet paper alternatives like tissues, paper towels or wipes. These aren’t flushable, no matter what the packages say (more on that later), but they’ll get you through until your next shopping trip.

toilet paper

Conserve what you have

Save toilet paper for using the toilet only. If you’re in the habit of reaching for the roll to wipe your nose, dab at shaving nicks or clean up small spills, now is the time to switch to more appropriate materials, like tissues, napkins or paper towels.

Since these paper products are also in high demand, try using dishrags or towels for spills or a handkerchief for runny noses instead. Just make sure you’re washing them often.

Once you actually need to use the toilet, consider if you really need to use as much toilet paper as you normally would. When supplies are plentiful, it’s easy to mindlessly use a lot of toilet paper. Kids are the most common culprits, gleefully grabbing handfuls at a time, but adults can be surprisingly wasteful, too. So, monitor your own habits during times of scarcity.

Toilet paper alternatives

OK, so you’ve shopped smart and conserved toilet paper and you still ran out. Now what?

First of all, don’t panic. Toilet paper was only invented in 1857, so people have been making do without it for centuries.

Reach for the toilet paper alternatives you’ve already purchased. The most logical and readily available options are tissues, napkins, paper towels, personal cleansing wipes and baby wipes.

Anything other than toilet paper should be discarded in a small wastepaper basket lined with a plastic bag. A scented bag or the addition of a dryer sheet or air freshener will mask odors if you’re squeamish. Take the garbage out more often, just to keep things smelling fresh.

This solution seems strange to many Americans, but a wastepaper basket is common in Europe, where historic buildings and aging pipes mean any toilet paper at all is a strain to the system. If you can handle it on vacation, you can manage during your unexpected staycation.

You can also upgrade your toilet with another European solution — the bidet. A bidet gently rinses the area in question with water, reducing or eliminating the need for toilet paper altogether. Hand-held bidets are an affordable solution for apartment dwellers.

plumber

The consequences of flushing

It can be tempting to flush tissues, paper towels and wipes. But even though they feel like toilet paper, they don’t break down like toilet paper, explains Tom Bigley, Director of Plumbing Services for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters. And that creates big problems when they enter the pipes.

“Anything other than toilet paper is going to be a problem because when they design the toilets, they base the engineering on how much water is needed to flush biodegradable paper and solids,” says Bigley. “If it’s not biodegradable, it’s going to leave it behind. It won’t transport the sewage to the sewer effectively. The water goes by and leaves the solids behind, so what happens is we start having stoppages.”

A flood of waste and water in your apartment isn’t ideal under any circumstances. But it’s even worse when you’re sheltering in place. Plus, you might have to wait longer than usual, because plumbers are in high demand.

“They’re getting more (calls) than normal because people are flushing things down. What I’ve been hearing is that people have been using baby wipes, Kleenex, paper towels.” – Tom Bigley, Director of Plumbing Services for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters

Personal cleansing wipes often say that they’re flushable on the package. But Bigley says they don’t break down properly and are responsible for many stoppages. That stoppage might not just affect your apartment — it can affect your neighbors, too.

“Let’s use the scenario of a six-story building with, let’s say, 12 units,” says Bigley. “If somebody on the sixth floor is flushing something down that they shouldn’t be, it’s going to have consequences for everyone in the building. The stoppage is going to back up into the first floor. You’re not going to be able to use your water until it’s repaired.”

Plan, conserve and deal with toilet paper alternatives

Since many of your neighbors are working from home and most people are spending more time indoors, this is definitely not the time to flood their apartments and inconvenience the whole building.

A little planning, conservation and toilet paper alternatives will help you navigate a toilet paper shortage until the shelves are fully stocked again.

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Published at Thu, 16 Apr 2020 20:12:23 +0000