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Tips for an Efficient Apartment Search

Are you gearing up to search for a new apartment? Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or are new to the process, knowing how to go about the search the right way will save you time and money.

Tips for having an effective apartment search:

Set a Budget Range

Setting a budget range before you begin you search based off of how much you can afford per month and your day-to-day living expenses, you won’t be devastated when you find an apartment you absolutely love but can’t afford. Setting a range will also allow you a little buffer space for a space that you find and fall in love with.

Consider the Time of Year

The warmer months and fall are extremely busy rental times, which is great because there is more inventory to chose from, but it also means the apartment hunt is much more competitive. If you aren’t on a time constraint for finding an apartment, consider looking for an apartment between October and December or February through March.

Since it’s colder out and the holidays are in full swing, fewer people are looking to move. You will also avoid any of the spiked monthly rentals due to the busy months.

Narrow Down Your Search

Going to view every single apartment you see online can take a lot of time. Instead, narrow down your search to those units you see online and have to see in person. If possible, schedule tours of apartments that are close to one another so you can cross three or four tours off in one day.

Stay Organized

When viewing several apartments, it’s easy to to get them mixed up. To avoid any confusion with the details of each unit (i.e. amenities, features, rent cost, etc.), create a spreadsheet with a quick link to the unit.

Bring Your Roommate(s)

If you’re going to be living alone, you can skip this step! If you’re planning on living with a friend or significant other, make sure to bring them to view the unit to make sure all parties are happy with the space.

Is There Public Transportation Near By?

Having access to public transportation even if you have a car, is a great perk. Whether you’ll be taking it to work or utilizing it to run errands on the weekends, public transportation can save you a lot of money on gas, car insurance, and maintenance.

Ask About Average Utility Costs

When you’re viewing each unit, be sure to ask about average utility costs past residents have paid. This will help you budget better and decide whether you can afford the apartment on a month-to-month basis.

To schedule your tour of our apartments contact our Shrewsbury team at (508) 481-4663 and our Southborough team at (508) 842-3388.

8 Ways to Save Energy in a Small Space

Compared to a large space, saving energy is even easier on a day-to-day basis when you live in a smaller space or apartment. If you’re looking for a weekend project, we highly suggest making these green updates!

Pack Your Freezer Tightly

The tighter you pack your freezer, the colder it will stay! This allows the unit to run less-frequently, saving you money. If you’re going to be taking things out of your freezer, try to be strategic so that you’re not constantly opening the door letting warm air in.

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

By washing your clothes in cold water, you’re limiting energy usage since the water heater is not needed. Plus, cold water helps avoid colors from running!

Air Dry Your Clothes

Not only will your clothes last longer when you forego the dryer, but will also reduce the energy used when running the dryer (which is a lot!). If you need to use the dryer to give your clothes that comfy feeling, air dry them first and give them a quick fluff in the dryer after! Since the dryer will only be on for a few minutes, you’re still saving energy.

Go Sans Plastic

Reducing your use of plastic is one of the best ways to be more eco-friendly and thankfully, there are so many other options for storing food, bringing groceries home, and everything in between.

Head over to Amazon and stock up on reusable shopping bags and sandwich bags and utilize glass organization for your vegetables!

Adjust Your Thermostat

There’s a couple ways to save energy and money thanks to your thermostat. If you can, program your thermostat to run at a warmer temperature when no one is home during the day. Another way to save energy is to turn do the heat or air conditioning by 10 degrees, which can save you 5% to 15% on your yearly bill if it runs at these decreased temperatures for at least eight hours a day.

Pull Down the Shades/Purchase Black Out Curtains

Pulling down your shades (or closing your blinds!) and purchasing black out curtains that you can close during the day will help the cool (or warm) air in your apartment from escaping and decrease the heat from the suns UV rays from entering into your space. This helps avoid your HVAC system from turning on, thus saving energy!

Switch Out Your Lightbulbs

Switching to CFL or LED bulbs only use a fraction of the wattage of old light bulbs and can save you a lot of money.

How to Personalize a Rental Apartment on a Budget

One of the most exciting parts of moving into a new home is having a blank canvas to decorate and express your personality. With a rental, it’s a little bit more difficult to customize your home to your exact preferences but with a little creativity, your new space will be personalized in no time!

Utilize Removable Wallpaper

Removable wallpaper is a fun way to add personality to any room, hallway, or closet in your new space! From florals to geometric prints, removable wallpaper is design magic and can be installed quickly and removed without a trace.

Update Your Rugs

Even if your new apartment has carpeted floors, layering thin, patterned rugs on top will add warmth and personality in a heartbeat. If you’re keeping your overall design simple, consider a fun, colorful rug!

Decorate Your Walls

Removable wallpaper isn’t the only way to spruce up the walls in your apartment! From gallery walls to hanging personal items collected while traveling, adding texture to the walls adds a design element that won’t leave any damage.

Treat Your Windows

Let’s face it: bare windows are boring. Dress up your space by updating your window treatments! From light and airy to room darkening, there are so many different patterns and colors you can utilize to breathe life into your space.

Add in Plants

Plants have a way of making a house feel like a home. Not to mention, they’re great for indoor air quality! Some of our favorite house plants are monsters, cactus, succulents, and flowering plants.

Switch Out Your Hardware

Have a dresser or side table with boring knobs or pulls? Switch them out funky new ones from Wayfair, CB2, or Anthropologie!

Tips for Downsizing to a Smaller Home

Downsizing to a smaller home can be stressful, especially once you start packing your belongings and realize how much stuff you actually have. No matter what the reason for downsizing is, as long as you have a plan in place, the process will be easier than you think!

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your move. Make sure everyone is on the same page about the move, if you’re going to hire movers, do it as soon as possible, and set goals for when tasks will be completed.

Minimize Duplicate Items

With a smaller home, you’ll have less storage space so going through your belongings and getting rid of duplicates before you move is crucial. One area of the home that tends to have a lot of duplicates is the kitchen. In this case, keep the newer items or the ones you like best and donate or toss the rest!

Make the Most of Storage Space

As we mentioned above, a smaller home means less storage space. In your apartment or condo, you’ll want to be creative with the space you do have and utilize shelving, organizers, and the like.