Apartments Living

How Average Rent Has Changed Since the Last Leap Year

How Average Rent Has Changed Since the Last Leap Year

Every four years, we get an extra day on a leap year.

On February 29, about 4.1 million people worldwide celebrate their birthdays after waiting for a while. But here’s another fun fact: If we didn’t add an extra day to February, we would lose almost six hours every year. After a century, the calendar would be off by 24 days.

A lot can change in four years — including how expensive (or affordable) rent can be in a city. From studios to two-bedroom apartments, here are rent trends across the U.S. since the last leap year.

Studio average rent prices

Studios can offer a great affordable option for a single person or couple when no additional rooms or space is needed. The heat map below shows the 25 cities with the most significant increases and 18 cities with the most significant decreases in studios’ monthly rent.


Cities with the greatest studio price increases

Rent for studios has changed dramatically in some cities, so we’ve compiled the top five cities with the largest increases. In these markets, couples are probably more likely to try to make a small space work for them.

5. Tucson, AZ

tucson arizona

  • 2020 average rent price: $580.37
  • 2016 average rent price: $460.85
  • 4-year change: 25.93%

With 350 days of sunshine a year, Tucson is perfect for those that love Vitamin D and the heat. Grab a studio apartment today for $580 a month on average in the Arizona city and enjoy inexpensive yoga classes and fun hikes at Saguaro National Park.

It’s no surprise that rents in the area have increased by nearly 26 percent. Just make sure you pack the SPF in your moving boxes — you’ll need it.

4. Harrison, NJ

harrison nj

Photo courtesy of Steel Works Apartments
  • 2020 average rent price: $2,153.80
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,656.47
  • 4-year change: 30.02%

In 2019, the New York Times called Harrison the next Hoboken, thanks to its brand new PATH station and affordable average rent when compared to New York City. Walking trails and open green spaces bring Harrison’s community together and have continued attracting young families.

The suburb is also a hop and a skip from Newark, resulting in a 30 percent jump in rent for a studio to $2,153 a month on average.

3. Omaha, NE

omaha ne

  • 2020 average rent price: $898.20
  • 2016 average rent price: $654.98
  • 4-year change: 37.13%

Omaha‘s music scene has continued to thrive since the last leap year, with many creatives putting out albums and festivals to keep the spotlight on Nebraska’s biggest city. Thanks to its steady job growth, Omaha has also experienced a 37 percent increase in average rent prices for studio apartments to $898 a month on average.

However, if you’re not a fan of snow or rainfall, Omaha may not be for you, as the city experiences higher than average precipitation throughout the year.

2. North Hollywood, CA

north hollywood ca

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,526.04
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,767.02
  • 4-year change: 42.95%

North Hollywood is nestled in the San Fernando Valley, separated from the L.A. metro area by the Hollywood Hills. NoHo, as the locals know it, hosts a diverse group of residents, with more than 50 percent of them Latino, and skews younger

With its prominent arts district, it’s no surprise that average rent prices in the area have increased as residents see the value of living in NoHo. You can find a studio apartment for $2,526 per month on average — a nearly 43 percent increase since last leap year.

1. Hollywood, CA

hollywood ca

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,762.18
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,665.94
  • 4-year change: 65.80%

Hollywood doesn’t need an introduction — it’s the land of film studios, movie stars and glamour. Located right in the middle of Los Angeles, Hollywood celebrates its Tinseltown history, with recognizable landmarks and architectural buildings seemingly everywhere.

The city has experienced a 66 percent increase in studio apartment rents, as more Hollywood hopefuls move into town to chase their dreams. In 2020, you can find a studio apartment for $2,762 per month on average.

Cities with the greatest studio price decreases

While some cities experienced increases, other cities got good news in the form of studio apartment rental decreases. While you may have to make do with a lack of storage and walls, you can save on square footage and monthly rent.

5. Dallas, TX

dallas tx

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,253.42
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,362.63
  • 4-year change: -8.01%

With its five Super Bowl titles and mild four seasons, Dallas can now add affordable studio rents to its list. The Texas city experienced a decrease of 8 percent in rents, despite penthouses like this one. The average rent for a studio is now $1,253 a month. Enjoy the city’s brisket, the many outdoor opportunities for hiking and water sports, and of course, the sports culture.

4. Seattle, WA


  • 2020 average rent price: $1,737.41
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,900.71
  • 4-year change: -8.59%

It’s hard to believe that Seattle became more affordable since the last leap year, but it’s true. Despite the boom in the city’s tech sector, its thriving seafood scene and misty days are a bit more accessible thanks to its decreased studio apartment average rents to $1,737 a month. Who knows — you may have the Space Needle as part of your apartment view by next leap year.

3. San Jose, CA

san jose ca

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,542.35
  • 2016 average rent price: $2,803.62
  • 4-year change: -9.32%

At the heart of Silicon Valley’s growth, San Jose has become the epicenter of technology, innovation and one of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. That’s why it’s shocking to find that since 2016, San Jose’s studio rents have decreased by more than 9 percent.

You can now find a studio apartment $2,542 per month on average in the city. Its many neighborhoods, like Japantown, Little Portugal and the Alameda, provide a rich cultural background and amenities for residents.

2. Oklahoma City, OK

oklahoma city

  • 2020 average rent price: $705.16
  • 2016 average rent price: $868.92
  • 4-year change: -18.85%

Oklahoma City, or OKC, was named one of the 50 best places to travel in 2020, and after visiting the city’s growing dining and arts scene, we have an inkling that many will want to stay. They’re in luck as the city has experienced a nearly 19 percent decrease in rent for studio apartments.

You can find a studio apartment with many amenities for around $700 a month on average.

1. Houston, TX

houston tx

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,079.17
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,409.68
  • 4-year change: -23.45%

Some of the country’s largest companies call Houston home. It’s not only oil but also healthcare, manufacturing and technology that draws them. Your paycheck goes far in Houston as rent prices for a studio apartment decreased 23 percent to $1,079 a month on average since the last leap year.

Sign your lease and enjoy the city’s diverse cuisine — from dumplings to barbecue to Viet-Cajun crawfish.

One-bedroom average rent prices

These are the 50 cities with the largest increases in one-bedroom apartments around the country, as well as the 50 cities that saw the largest decreases. If you’ve been thinking of making a move in this new decade, keep on reading.

heat map with 1-BR prices

Cities with the greatest one-bedroom price increases

From the East to the West Coast, these are the top five cities that saw the largest one-bedroom rent price increases.

5. West Palm Beach, FL

west palm beach fl

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,150.11
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,345.07
  • 4-year change: 59.85%

The beautiful Atlantic Ocean coastline of West Palm Beach has attracted more than retirees. The Florida city has plenty of outdoor activities to entertain your family before and after work — from shopping to festivals to the beach, of course. The city also experienced an increase in average rent prices since the last leap year — close to 60 percent to $2,150 a month on average.

4. San Francisco, CA

san francisco ca

  • 2020 average rent price: $6,622.57
  • 2016 average rent price: $4,125.87
  • 4-year change: 60.51%

Due to a deficit of housing, San Francisco rents have skyrocketed as more people make a move to follow their technology jobs. Since the last leap year, the city has seen a 60 percent increase in one-bedroom apartment rents. After viewing this $50,000 per month apartment, the average rent price of $6,622 a month for a one-bedroom unit will seem like a bargain. Make sure that when you make a move to SF, you’re prepared to shell out a hefty price to be near the hustle and bustle of the city.

3. Plano, TX

plano tx

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,029.02
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,208.17
  • 4-year change: 67.94%

Located about 20 miles outside of Dallas, Plano is home to various major corporations, including Capital One, Frito-Lay and JCPenney. While the city attracts a large number of business travelers due to conferences, Plano still offers great amenities to residents. All of this no doubt contributed to a nearly 68 percent increase in rents for one-bedroom apartments to $2,029 a month on average.

Tree-lined open spaces, excellent schools with a 90-plus percent graduation rate and job security have turned a lot of visitors into permanent residents.

2. Midland, TX

midland tx

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,446.48
  • 2016 average rent price: $836.33
  • 4-year change: 72.95%

The childhood home of former president George W. Bush, Midland hosts one of the state’s major oil centers. The city’s population has increased tremendously over the last few years due to job security in the area, thanks to the oil industry. This has led to increases in one-bedroom rent prices. Since the last leap year, monthly rent prices for a one-bedroom have increased close to 73 percent to $1,446 a month on average.

1. St. Louis, MO

st louis

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,788.42
  • 2016 average rent price: $971.42
  • 4-year change: 84.10%

Beyond the famous Gateway Arch, St. Louis boasts unique neighborhoods and tons of rich history for prospective residents. Since the last leap year, it seems like everyone noticed as the city has experienced a boom of sorts. One-bedroom rents increased 84 percent in the last four years to $1,788 a month on average. The city is increasingly family-friendly with plenty of museums, green spaces like Forest Park and the fun sculptures at Citygarden.

Cities with the greatest one-bedroom price decreases

Whether you are a beach person or are more into Southern food, these are the cities with the greatest one-bedroom price decreases. There really is something for everyone.

5. Norfolk, VA

norfolk va

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,305.15
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,667.08
  • 4-year change: -21.71%

Situated only 19 miles from Virginia Beach, Norfolk lets you experience city life during the week and a little beach tranquility on weekends. The city has experienced a decrease in one-bedroom rent prices of 21 percent to $1,305 a month on average. Enjoy the NEON Arts District or catch a flick at the historic Naro Expanded Cinema on the weekends.

4. Evanston, IL

evanston il

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,843.05
  • 2016 average rent price: $2,374.75
  • 4-year change: -22.39%

Only 12 miles outside Chicago, Evanston has been named one of the best suburbs in the state. It’s home to Northwestern University, so the area skews younger with a mix of families and college students.

The change in rental prices for a one-bedroom has been drastic as you can now rent an apartment for $1,843 per month on average, a 22 percent decrease from 2016.

3. Franklin, TN

franklin tn

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,739.73
  • 2016 average rent price: $2,441.93
  • 4-year change: -28.76%

A suburb of Nashville, Franklin has a complicated Civil War history and a charming downtown area. The main street has boutique stores, art galleries and beautiful Victorian architecture to be enjoyed. The town has seen a decrease in one-bedroom rents of 28 percent in the past four years for an average rent of nearly $1,739 a month.

2. Morristown, NJ

morristown nj

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,241.48
  • 2016 average rent price: $3,348.36
  • 4-year change:-33.06%

As an alternative to more expensive Hoboken, Morristown has been attracting millennials with its affordable one-bedroom apartments and community-centric neighborhood. Its downtown offers a thriving dining scene along with fairs and Colonial architecture. You’re in luck too — as the area has experienced a 33 percent decrease in one-bedroom rents since last leap year to $2,241 a month on average.

1. Montgomery, AL

montgomery al

  • 2020 average rent price: $578.61
  • 2016 average rent price: $964.11
  • 4-year change: -39.98%

The capital of Alabama is both the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and most recently, the renaissance of its downtown area as startups and other mid-size businesses have moved in. Montgomery remains affordable after all of these years, with a significant drop in one-bedroom rent prices of 40 percent to about $579 a month on average. Embrace the South and place your roots here.

Two-bedroom average rent prices

Who doesn’t need a little more square footage? If you need a two-bedroom, these are the 50 cities across the country that experienced two-bedroom rent increases and decreases. You get to pick the right budget for you as they’re across the spectrum.

rent prices for two-bedroom

Cities with the greatest two-bedroom price increases

You’ll see some surprises in these top 5 cities that saw two-bedroom apartment price increases.

5. Sacramento, CA

sacramento ca

  • 2020 average rent price: $2,095.10
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,172.71
  • 4-year change: 78.65%

Sacramento often tops the list for best places to live in California, and it’s hard not to see why. Its tree-lined streets and great food and beer scenes have attracted young families.

People are starting to see the hype as in 2020, the average rent price for a two-bedroom apartment has increased 78 percent, with an average rent price of $2,095 per month.

4. Odessa, TX

odessa tx

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,806.41
  • 2016 average rent price: $976.76
  • 4-year change: 84.94%

Did you know that Odessa has a meteor crater site? It’s more than 50,000 years old. Odessa is also home to the Presidential Archives and Leadership Library and the set of “Friday Night Lights.” The small town at the center of the Permian Basin oil boom has seen an increase in interest since the last leap year with a nearly 85 percent increase in two-bedroom rents to $1,806 a month on average. Something to keep in mind as you think of moving closer to the cowboys.

3. Cleveland, OH

cleveland oh

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,837.53
  • 2016 average rent price: $991.76
  • 4-year change: 85.36%

Cleveland is all about rock ‘n’ roll — the Hall of Fame is one of its biggest attractions. The city’s aquarium, museums and botanical gardens round out its cultural activities that entertain more than just tourists. Whether you’re a fan of the Cleveland Indians or the Cavaliers, keep an eye for higher rent in Cleveland. The city experienced an 85 percent increase since 2016 to nearly $1,838 a month on average.

2. Speedway, IN

speedway in

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,234.31
  • 2016 average rent price: $659.13
  • 4-year change: 87.26%

Speedway is home to the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The town’s population hovers around 11,000 residents, making it a tight-knit community. In the last four years, the small town has seen a big increase in average rent prices for two-bedrooms — 87 percent — for an average rent of about $1,234 a month.

1. Bellevue, WA

bellevue wa

  • 2020 average rent price: $4,955.66
  • 2016 average rent price: $2,495.33
  • 4-year change: 98.60%

As the more upscale sister to Seattle, it’s no surprise that Bellevue took our top spot for the highest increase in two-bedroom prices. At a staggering 98 percent, Bellevue’s average rent now nears $5,000. The city has been named one of the best cities to live in Washington, with its top-rated schools and closeness to downtown Seattle.

Cities with the greatest two-bedroom price decreases

Need to save a little while renting for your ultimate dream home? These five cities saw a decrease in two-bedroom average rents of at least 28 percent.

5. Chapel Hill, NC

chapel hill nc

  • 2020 average rent price: $944.21
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,324.01
  • 4-year change: -28.69%

Home to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has beautiful murals throughout the town, as well as an award-winning dining scene. If that sounds good, you’re in luck as the small town saw a 28 percent decrease in average rent prices in 2020. You can grab a two-bedroom apartment for less than $1,000 per month on average.

4. Oxford, MS

oxford ms

  • 2020 average rent price: $879.24
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,242.25
  • 4-year change: -29.22%

Oxford‘s small-town charm will captivate you as much as its affordable two-bedroom apartment rent prices in 2020. Since the last leap year, the city has seen a 29 percent decrease in average rent prices to $879 a month on average. With a major state university, delicious Southern and Cajun cuisine and rich history of the blues, you’ll feel right at home (with some savings).

3. Montgomery, AL

montgomery al

  • 2020 average rent price: $757.11
  • 2016 average rent price: 1,137.32
  • 4-year change: -33.43%

Your extra square footage can come with a side of delicious Southern cuisine in Montgomery. The city saw a 33 percent decrease in two-bedroom rents, which were $757 on average. When you’re all moved in, check out the Vintage Cafe, a restored mid-century bank, for breakfast and immerse yourself in the Civil Rights history displayed all over town.

2. Minot, ND

minot nd

Photo courtesy of North Highlands Corporate Housing
  • 2020 average rent price: $861.92
  • 2016 average rent price: $1,501.30
  • 4-year change: -42.59%

North Dakota’s Minot has a robust aviation history — nearby, you can see the Minot Air Force Base and the Dakota Territory Air Museum. The city also has a long relationship with its Scandinavian immigrant community, and you can see it in the traditional houses built in the Scandinavian Heritage Park.

Freezing winters may be overwhelming, but the area saw a more than 42 percent decrease in average rent prices since the last leap year. You can find a two-bedroom for about $862 per month on average.

1. Franklin, TN

franklin tn

  • 2020 average rent price: $1,973.04
  • 2016 average rent price: $3,455.24
  • 4-year change: -42.90%

South of Nashville, Franklin, has successfully attracted young families to its historically preserved downtown, its good schools and its nearby Masters & Makers Trail to sample brews and wine of all kinds. It also takes our top spot of most affordable two-bedroom apartments with a nearly 43 percent decrease in average rent prices to $1,973 a month. Now it’s the time to make a move to Williamson County.


Cities with the largest rent increases and decreases were calculated by comparing weighted average rent prices for one week in February 2020 to one week of weighted average rent prices in February 2016. We used a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type.

Cities with less than 20 average available units in either 2020 or 2016 were excluded from this report.

The rent information included in this article is based on multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Thu, 27 Feb 2020 23:01:10 +0000

Apartments Living

Curtains, Blinds, or Shades: Which Is Right for You?

Curtains, Blinds, or Shades: Which Is Right for You?

When it comes to covering your windows, your options might seem limitless, if not confusing and a bit overwhelming. Why would you opt for blinds when curtains seem so much easier to install? Is it worthwhile to install shades if you’re worried that curtains will far too far below the window frame? Below, learn about the differences among curtains, blinds, and shades to see which is right for you.


Curtains are pairs of fabric panels (it’s rare to see individual curtains sold instead of pairs) that come in all manner of colors, sizes, materials, and patterns. They may come with metal rings, pockets, or hooks that enable you to connect them to curtain rods for hanging. The metal ring option can be especially easy to install – if you find a tension rod wide enough for your windows and narrow enough to fit through your curtain rings while stably holding the curtain, setup should take just a few minutes and no extra tools. 

Additionally, some curtains are known as drapes. Like curtains, drapes are usually sold in pairs and always hang from a rod. However, drapes are lined with additional fabric that often gives them additional light-blocking capabilities. And whereas only some curtains touch your floors, drapes almost certainly “puddle” at floor level. Generally, drapes appear more formal and luxurious than curtains, which can often be simple, basic sheets of fabric that accommodate rod hanging.

Given their ease of setup and versatility of appearance, curtains might be best for you if you’re looking for a quick way to cover your window while matching your apartment’s aesthetic. However, curtains tend not to block all incoming light (though blackout curtains can help to address this problem), so if you’re really looking to keep your room dark for uninterrupted sleep, you might want to consider shades, too.


When you purchase curtains or drapes to cover your window, you buy fabrics that extend past your window. Shades, however, stay within your window frame. And the name shades gives away a major feature of these window coverings: They’re designed to block as much sunlight as possible.

Shades, like curtains, hang from a rod, though they tend to come with their own thin rod for hanging (whereas, with curtains, you’ll likely need to buy the rod and, if applicable, rod holders separately). You’ll need to use a cord, roller, or another cable-like mechanism to raise the shades and let light in. They can be slightly difficult to hang, so they might be best used in conjunction with curtains rather than standalone if you’re trying to block as much light as possible.


Blinds resemble shades in one way: You can raise or lower them using a cord-like mechanism. Where they differ is in their composition. Shades are single sheets of fabric, whereas blinds are distinct rows of solid material stacked together. Since there are gaps between these solid rows, you can rotate the rows to allow more or less light to enter your apartment. This light-filtering function allows you to change your apartment’s lighting levels without sacrificing the decorative qualities that your blinds bring to the room.

That said, blinds can actively detract from your apartment’s decorative setup if you’re not careful. Although blinds have become popular due to their affordability, they can easily be damaged and discolored, thereby becoming a blight on your apartment. If you’re serious about making sure that your window treatments add to your apartment’s decor scheme, opt for woven or wood blinds – or just go for shades (which are somewhat more expensive, but require similar hanging processes to blinds).

Which do you think is right for you: curtains, blinds, or shades? Share your opinion in the comments!

Published at Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:24:55 +0000

Apartments Living

Six Fresh, New 2020 Decorating Trends

Six Fresh, New 2020 Decorating Trends

You’ve heard about new year, new you – now, get ready for new year, new apartment decor. After all, the way you decorate your apartment is an extension of your personality and interests! If you’re feeling sparse on decor inspiration, check out these six fresh, new 2020 decorating trends to get a jumpstart on sprucing up your apartment.

1. Vintage vibes

Say goodbye to your folding chairs and hello to non-collapsible seats with spindles, spooled legs, and other decorative flourishes that call older eras to mind. Metal-frame benches, wooden pallet shelves, and recycled side tables are just some of the many other ways you can bring vintage vibes into your apartment – and there’s no shortage of methods for doing it yourself.

2. Floral fun

Flowers die, but flower-patterned decor doesn’t. Whether you’re down for the effort that comes with putting up wallpaper or just want to hang some cute prints of hydrangeas and roses, flower patterns are among the biggest new 2020 decorating trends. Your floral decor options might best suit your bathroom or living room.

3. Canopy beds

Apartment life often means a full bed on a basic wooden frame (or, if you’re economizing for space, a frame with storage). One of the most unexpected new 2020 decorating trends, then, is the resurgence of canopy beds. Though long associated with luxury, these large, tall best frames first originated as frames for ensuring both warmth and privacy. Though they may seem extravagant, this might be one of the new 2020 decorating trends best equipped to keep you comfy at night.

4. Olive trees

Just as with yard sales, you don’t need a yard to grow an olive tree. Plant one in a vase near a west- or south-facing window in your apartment to add a verdant piece of timeless decor to your apartment. Make sure to buy a dwarf olive tree, though, because full-size ones can quickly grow to be taller than your apartment can accommodate. Follow these tips to properly care for your olive tree, and if you do an especially good job, your tree might even grow olives you can use in the kitchen.

5. Antique art

Paintings, prints, and other framed portraits have long been a leading category of decorations, but the art subcategory dominating home decor seems to fluctuate constantly. Trends for 2020 predict that antique art will lead the pack, in large part because its aged look and vague rendering of events quickly fascinate guests in your apartment. You can easily find antique art on e-commerce sites or at art galleries in your area, but keep in mind that antique art can be expensive.

6. Multi-seat bathrooms

If you have space to fit another seat in your bathroom, then 2020 is the year to make it happen. As bath bombs and other bathroom-based self-care treatments have become more prevalent, bathrooms have gradually become more communal spaces (though certainly not for all occasions), so buying small benches, window seats, stools, and other bathroom fixtures is among the freshest new decorating trends for 2020.

What decorative changes do you plan to make in 2020? Share your ideas in the comments!

Published at Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:19:27 +0000

Apartments Living

Studio Photography: Get Perfect Shots for Yourself

There are different elements that you need to remember because it is very much different outdoor shooting. You are the one who is doing the photography and so it is important for you to know about the setting which you want for the photographs to come out great.  Everything is under your control. It is also possible for you to make a false set for a shoot in studio photography.

Types of Studio Photography

Several kinds of shoots can be arranged inside a studio. Studio photography is very much effective for both formal and informal shots. Studio photography Johannesburg is possible for the following shoots.

With the massive use of social media and several messaging apps, everyone wants to look beautiful and cool on the platforms. The need to look good in front of others can be a vital thing for you. If you do really stick to the selfies and pictures, opt for the studio photography to get some of the best shots of your profile.

If you are a businesswoman and the product you are selling is lipstick, then it is a must for you to show some of the best shades that you have in your collection to let other people about them. Apart from the product photography Johannesburg of the lipsticks, you can simply wear them one by one and pose in front of the camera to show how beautiful your customers can look when they buy them from you.

If you love to click pictures of yourself, then it is a must for you to have some inside a studio. It may be for your work or just for posting on your social media handles. Studio photography Johannesburg for your portrait can be great fun. You can take one hour or more depending on your will.

You can also go for studio photography for your entire family. You might want to keep some pictures on the walls of your house which represent the unity among your family members. You can wear color co-ordinated clothes for making it simple and classy.

If you are a makeup artistArticle Search, it is essential for you to showcase some of your best makeup done to get more clients. Studio photography can be done for that matter. Product photography Johannesburg can also be chosen by you to tell what kind of makeup you use. Think of any theme for the makeup shoot to get some of the best pictures. Post the pictures on your social media and see the number of clients calling you!

Apartments Living

Who’s Getting App Fatigue?

Who’s Getting App Fatigue?

Who’s Getting App Fatigue?

There’s an app for that.  There seems to be an app for almost everything these days!  Then why do so many of us feel app weary or fatigued? Are these apps adding value to our lives? Why do we need all these apps?  With Central Media Solution’s new IVR call management system, Call Assist 247, no app needed. There is snap photo or video functionality using the native tools in our smart phones. The apartment resident calls in an after-hours service request and the maintenance tech on call, requests a photo or video getting image showing water coming out of the ceiling of an apartment. Seamless communication without an app. (Source: Vanilla plus)

I am blessed to be of an age where I can recall the excitement of getting a colored television. Soon we were playing “Pong” Pong was a table tennis sports game that was one of the first video games. How exciting it was to see the little white blip bounce along the television screen. Soon Atria and ColecoVision battled it out in the 80’s to bring the arcade experience into our homes. Then……this thing called the Internet. To access the world wide web, you needed to use a dial up router through your phone system. While you were on the internet, you could not make any outgoing or receive incoming telephone calls. But no worries because we had pagers to help us be accessible 24/7.

Fast forward to cordless phones that look like a small “brick” and paired with a pager, gave us the ability to be more mobile with our information. We jumped from razor and flip phones to the first Blackberry allowing us to read email and respond immediately. We can work from anywhere now!  But the release of the first iPhone in the UK changed our world forever. Because now we have smart phones and we are so much smarter.  To stay smart, we need lots of apps to help us do stuff better than ever before.

The average person could have over 100 apps on their smart phone. I thought this seemed high, so I checked the settings on my android phone and was shocked to see that I have 91 apps. How the heck did I get so many apps and am I using them all? What the heck is eBay Attribution? It’s even scarier that if I try to remove an app, I get a message effectively saying that “removing this app may disable my data”! Now I am anxious that I could break my phone.

Call Assist 247  understands that technology needs to be intuitive and simple for every generation. Having one less app for us to download makes Call Assist 247 a smart choice for your property management answering service and call management. We were built specifically for multifamily with the goal of helping your leasing and maintenance teams communication seamlessly with your valued residents. Our system allows your residents to send a video or photo of their maintenance issue while your residents receives a photo of the maintenance technician coming to make their repair. No app to download. Out tools work on every mobile phone. So, if you are app weary, we hear you!

Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:48:14 +0000

Apartments Living

10 Things People Never Tell You About Your First Apartment

10 Things People Never Tell You About Your First Apartment

Whether you’re ready to fly the coop from on-campus housing, recently graduated or simply stepping off on your own for the first time, moving into your first apartment can be a wonderful and exciting experience.

It’s an opportunity to carve out and design a home that feels truly yours, and to physically manifest this new step you’ve taken. But because there are more than a few ways to get it wrong, here are 10 things people never tell you about your first apartment that will make you an “adulting” pro.

1. You have to be realistic about what you can afford

One of the most common errors committed by new and eager renters is the underestimation of monthly costs. When hunting for your new home, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking that the maximum price you’re able to spend each month is the amount you’re able to dedicate to rent.

However, renters would be well-advised to subtract their anticipated food, utilities, travel and other incidental costs from their total monthly budget before settling on a price range for an apartment.

2. If you plan to stick around, plan ahead


If you anticipate staying put for longer than one year and don’t want to stomach moving costs again any time soon, it’s helpful to know that your rent will likely go up when you renew.

If you push yourself up against your maximum possible rent in year one, you’ll be hard-pressed in year two. Leave yourself some room on your first lease or sign for longer than one year!

3. Higher rent may be worth included utilities

Like all rules, there are always exceptions and factors to consider. A rent figure which may be prohibitive at first glance may actually be worth it for a host of nonobvious reasons.

Setting aside community amenities, your sticker shock may actually be unwarranted if your rent includes what would otherwise be additional, standalone costs. Ask your property manager if things like cable, water or electricity are included before you dismiss a unit out of hand!

4. Know what’s important to you


More is not always better. Before you hunt, take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you in your new home. Is a pool critical? Do you have a furry friend who needs somewhere to walk?

The answers to questions like these will help you both select and eliminate properties. Just because an amenity is offered doesn’t make the property any more valuable to you in the long run.

5. Tour the unit

When it comes to apartment hunting, pictures are not worth a thousand words. Property managers will always put their best foot forward in digital marketing materials. The rooms will always look well-lit and the facilities will always look well-maintained.

Trust but verify. Remember that this apartment will be your home, and even something as subjective as the “feel” of a room can make a huge difference once you’re moved in.

6. Investing in a tool kit will pay dividends


You’ll be shocked how often this comes in handy. For everything from hanging pictures to measuring for furniture, buying your first real set of tools is absolutely essential in your first month and beyond.

And treat the definition of “tools” loosely. You’ll want to have batteries and mounting hooks on hand to go with your screwdrivers and mallets. The hex wrenches included with furniture sets are woefully insufficient, believe me.

7. So will kitchen trappings

I can’t stress this enough. When you first move in, it will be hard to fight the urge to treat your new living arrangement like a never-ending sleepover. But delivery adds up and the fridge will not stock itself.

Invest in a decent set of utensils, plates and glasses. Outfit yourself with pots and pans, and then learn to use them. What’s more worthy of your time and energy than food? I didn’t think so.

8. Cleaning has a whole new meaning


Alas, the days when a tube of Clorox wipes and a trusty Dust Devil were sufficient are over. It’s time to learn how to clean. Your new apartment will have more types of surfaces and will require more attention than you’re used to.

But it’s remarkable how cathartic cleaning your apartment will be once you accept that dust will remain without your intervention and that glass cannot be cleaned in the same way as your floor. A good vacuum is never a bad idea, and even sinks need a good scrub on occasion.

9. Pest control is a must

Your community may offer pest-control as part of your rent, on request or not at all. If either of the latter two is true for you, get and stay on top of it. Request pest control once each month or make sure you have bug spray and ant traps on hand.

There’s nothing worse than turning a light on in your new, beautiful apartment and watching little critters scurry away. And once it starts, it’s very hard to get under control, so a little prevention goes a long way.

10. Your new home should reflect your stage of life


Finally, remember that this move marks a beginning. This apartment is not a dorm room and it’s not your childhood bedroom. It should reflect who you are right now and who you plan to be.

One need not break the bank to design an apartment that’s both cozy and grown-up. Use online resources like Dwell and garage sales. Invest in durable furniture and accessories that make your new home feel truly yours. As a bonus, if you do it well, you shouldn’t have to re-furnish for many years to come.

Published at Thu, 06 Feb 2020 13:10:15 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

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How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

If you’re struggling with how much space you have in your apartment, you’re not alone. Rentals are getting smaller across the nation, giving us less square footage to work with in new and old buildings.

Fortunately, there are plenty of small bedroom ideas you can use to make the room look bigger. Whether you’re moving to a new place or just want to upgrade your most intimate space, here are eight tiny bedroom ideas to get you started:

Apply light-colored paint

Light colors reflect light, while darker colors absorb it, making the space seem more constricting.


Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 11:32:26 +0000

Apartments Living

Going Dark on Social Media

Going Dark on Social Media

Going Dark on Social Media

Weidner Apartment Homes, the 15th largest owner of apartments in the US, announced in December of 2019 that it will suspend it’s use of Facebook to better protect the privacy and data of its residents and business operations. They will be looking at new in-house options that are safe, secure and easy to use. (Source: Multifamily Press) That’s why Central Media Solution added Call Assist 24/7 to their suite of print solutions for Multifamily.

Many companies are starting to “go dark” with their print marketing in the past few years. They believed that people would prefer using the internet versus reading a magazine. This was another example of a bold decision. Who takes the time to read any more? Lots of folks.  Print does not require another new password or leave a trail of cookies with every page that you turn. It provides a story through content and pictures.  Central Media Solution is a publisher of many targeted magazines such as Apartment Magz and  New Homes Monthly and their latest pub, The Vender Guide. People are craving for print once again. Especially our seniors who prefer print than Internet as the Boomer generation downsizes to look for an apartment home.

Fake news has been an ongoing concern and alternative facts are now accepted as commonplace. (Source: The Guardian) Facebook has suspended about 400 apps associated with developers.  Many people are returning to conventional venues for information such as newsprint, radio and TV. Weidner is looking for simple and easy to use solutions to communicate with their residents. But can we just disconnect from social media? And why are we as consumers so easily addicted to “likes” and “shares”?

Technologies improved our daily living.  It can be used to enhance our lives. Social media gives people a forum to express their opinions and connect with companies, family and friends. At first the multifamily industry was very cautious of social. Then we dipped our big toe in the Facebook ocean to see what would happen. Negative and positive reviews poured into our profile pages. These negative reviews were scary, but we learned that they are an opportunity to show how we respond to our residents and solve their issues. That’s telling a positive story. We focused on increasing our followers, post likes and linked our websites to channel our leads in-house creating SEO. Is Social media a monster to be tamed or another solution in our leasing toolbox?

Each company will have to NAVIGATE their way through the fake news and concerns of data safety. Is Weidner being a visionary by “going dark” on Facebook? Planning to look for simple, safe and easy technology is a very smart decision indeed. That’s why Central Media Solution has created Call Assist 24/7 . Its simple, easy call management platform designed with feedback from on-sites in multifamily. It has no Apps, snap photo feature and uses the native tools our cell phones to communicate in real time. And all info is easily updated and stored in the cloud. Call Assist 24/7 is a game changer for call management… just what you are looking for now!

Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:51:22 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Hire a Real Estate Agent — and Be Their Best Client Ever

How to Hire a Real Estate Agent — and Be Their Best Client Ever

When you buy a home, your agent is effectively a business partner. You’re both working toward the same goal: Closing a real estate deal. That’s why it’s in your best interest to to know both how to hire a real estate agent and how to build a good relationship with them.

Because the better an ally you are, the better an ally your agent will be. Here’s how to pick a real estate agent and work well with them.

1. Know What You Want

A lot of home buyers dive into the house hunt with no idea what
they want, so the first and best way to be a good client is to know exactly
what you’re looking for in a house.

Ask yourself a couple of basic questions. What’s my budget? What type of house do I want, single family or town home? Is there a design style I must have? A neighborhood I need to be in?  

Knowing these specifics – and telling them to your agent – will help him find homes that match your criteria. Because neither you nor your agent wants to waste time looking at dozens of houses that aren’t even close to what you have in mind.

“Over-communicating your intentions and goals is a really good
idea,” says Ashton Gustafson, an agent with the Bishop Group in Wichita Falls,

Knowing exactly what you want can help you know how to pick a real estate agent, too. Some agents specialize in certain neighborhoods, and some specialize in old houses or particular architectural styles.

2. Meet Agents In Person

It’s fine to start off your relationship with an agent via email, text, and phone, but before you hire him to work with you, set up a meeting. Yep, do a face-to-face interview.

It’s a good idea to interview three agents before picking one. Here
are some questions you should ask:

  • How long have
    they been an agent?
  • What
    neighborhoods do they specialize in?
  • How many
    homes they’ve helped people buy in the last year?
  • How many clients are they’re currently working with?

Meeting in person can help both sides determine compatibility and establish
trust. To the agent, meeting them IRL is a sign you’re serious about buying.

“When I ask a question of a buyer, if I can’t see their face
(then) I can’t see their reaction, and I have no idea if I’m really getting the
emotions that are behind their answers,” says Jackie Leavenworth, an agent and
real estate industry coach in Cleveland, Ohio.

3. Set Up Expectations for Communication

Tell your agent how you’d like to stay in touch during the buying process.  Do you do prefer texts? Facebook messenger? Or do you like old-fashioned phone calls (Telephone calls: Still a thing!)

Tell them how often you expect to hear from them, too. Daily? Weekly?
And tell them the best times of day to reach you, too.

“My successful buyers ask what kind of communication they’ll have
with me,” says Thai Hung Nguyen, an agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real
Estate Premier in Washington, D.C. “My answer to them is always, ‘It’s totally
up to you.’” 

4. Be Respectful

Be mindful of an agent’s time. Don’t flake on showings. Be

If you disagree with your agent, respectfully tell them why. 

Resist the urge to freak out if the agent doesn’t immediately respond to a text or phone call. “People hire me because I jump through hoops, but I also need buyers to know that I have a life, too,” says Leavenworth, the Cleveland agent.

5. Get Organized

We told you communicating your wants to your agent was key. Here’s a good way to do it: Write them down. We recommend filling out our first-time buyer’s worksheet.

Give a copy to the agent. He’ll be better able to find homes that match your criteria. 

You should also have your financial records in order. This means getting pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval for a mortgage says you’re serious about buying a house and not just window shopping.

“Anything we do without a loan approval letter is pure
speculation,” says Marki Lemons-Ryhal, an agent and social media strategist for
real estate in Chicago. 

6. Admit What You Don’t Know

Real estate transactions are complicated. Don’t be embarrassed if
you don’t know what all the terms mean, or what to expect from each step of the

If you don’t know what escrow means, ask. If you’re confused about
the terms of an offer, say so. It’s totally normal to ask an agent for a little
hand-holding — that’s what they’re there for. 

Part of knowing how to hire a real estate agent is finding one you trust enough to tell you things you don’t know.

7. Don’t Play The Field With Other Agents

If you’re working with an agent who is hustling for you, don’t dally around with another agent. In real estate, just as in romance, that’s cheating. It can backfire by damaging your relationship with your agent.

If your agent finds out you’ve got other agents showing you houses, he may prioritize other clients. So a big part of knowing how to pick a real estate agent is knowing that you need to stand by your agent once you hire him.

In fact, it’s in both your interest and the agent’s to sign a buyer’s broker agreement for a set period of time. The agreements spell out the rights and duties of both parties, including exclusivity.

Related: Here’s How You’ll Know You Found the Right Agent

Published at Sun, 26 Jan 2020 15:47:42 +0000

Apartments Living

A Gorgeous New Design Spot – The House

A Gorgeous New Design Spot – The House

When I started Apt34 (more than 12 years ago!), the primary purpose was to gather and share inspiration created by people much more talented than I. It’s still my favorite thing to do and the primary reason I’m still here after all these years. Hence why I have a little end of the year gift for you today – a tour of what has to be my new favorite home shop in San Francisco – The House by Tracy Simmons Design. 

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34 A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

You might think that San Francisco is awash in amazing home decor stores, but that’s actually far from the truth. The gems are few and far between which is why The House feels like a breath of fresh air. Chic, swoon-worthy fresh air.

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

Every item in The House is hand selected by owner and highly accomplished interior designer Tracy Simmons. Many of the items she’s carrying are custom designs made exclusively for the shop. There are a variety of lovely ceramic collections speaking to the on going handmade trend, but the pieces in The House are an elevated take on the look. The ceramic fruit bowl by SIN that typically has a rustic or boho vibe in other contexts, feels elegant and refined when paired with FRAMA soaps, Aieul candles and the crisp modern fine art photography collection by my dear friend Bess Friday.

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

Everything from the the yummy cashmere throws by Teixidors to the 100% non toxic fragrances from LA-based Fiele are luxurious but approachable. The custom designs from Sheldon Ceramics and one-of-a-kind vessels created by ANK Ceramics beg to be to touched and admired up close. All of the textures are so warm and inviting.

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

Tracy and her team also use the space as their design studio, which almost makes the environment feel like you’re in someone’s home – where you want to drop by and stay for awhile! They always have a cup of tea or a little bubbly to offer you – and who am I to say no?!

The House is a fantastic addition to the San Francisco design scene and I feel lucky it arrived in time for holiday shopping – even if all the shopping I’m doing is for myself! With a soft opening this month, The House will celebrate its grand opening on January 16, 2020. I have a strong feeling only more gorgeousness is going to be added between now and then and I for one am so excited to have The House on my regular design shopping rotation.

The House by Tracy Simmons Simmons Design is located at 3307 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, California. The store is open from Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For our entire Retail Therapy archive (featuring stores all around the Bay Area and beyond) CLICK HERE.

photography by bess friday

Published at Fri, 20 Dec 2019 17:02:07 +0000