Monthly Archives: December 2014

Resolution Solutions

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. It’s December 31st, we’re on the cusp of a new year, and everyone is hoping, we’d imagine, that next year will be even better than this year. New years in America is a holiday without a huge litany of traditions, but one of the central ideas is the resolution–the commitment to oneself in setting goals for the coming months. It’s also one of the traditions least-often followed through on, which is sad since other new years traditions include dropping a ball of a skyscraper and drinking too much. Luckily, the Hometown Rant has your guide to making good resolutions related to your house, property, apartment, duplex or condo, and sticking to them.

Landlords, property owners and property managers might want to think business when making resolutions. These are what we like to call top-down resolutions–big goals that requrie little steps to complete, things like I want to own and be renting out another property by the end of the year, or I want to complete a much needed-remodel after the current tenant’s lease is up. Top-down resolutions require a lot of work, so instead of just saying that you want to do something, make the goal and then look at what you can do to move toward that goal. For that type of planning you should be thinking about week-to-week and even day-to-day things you can do to get closer to accomplishing what you set out to do.

Tenants might want to think about bottom-up resolutions–things you can do every day to improve your life in a noticeable way. These could range from something as small as I want to do my dishes after every meal, or I want to spend more time every day gardening to something with a bigger scope like I want to set aside money each paycheck to buy my own house. All of these goals are legitimate and achievable if you work them into your routine every day or every week.

Whether you’re going top-down or bottom-up, or you have a strange third category of resolution (which by the way we’d love to hear about,) the real challenge is staying with it. That’s why we recommend the day-by-day approach, where every day you have at least one thing you want to accomplish towards your end goal. Not only will you be getting closer, but you’ll go to sleep each night with a sense of accomplishment, having done something you set out to do. And if you’re going out tonight, watch out for droves of drunk people and balls falling from skyscrapers.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We resolve to answer it all:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Snow Fa-sho

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and managers. December is almost over and we’re quickly advancing into the thick of winter. This mean, among other things, snow might be on the horizon. According to the forecast right now, most of the country is yet uncovered, but for a good deal of you, that won’t be the case all winter. Luckily, Hometown Rant has the guide for you when it comes to houses, apartments, condos, duplexes, and snow.

Like we just said, there are marked regional differences in terms of both the probability of snowfall and the preparedness of the citizens in the region to handle the snow. Geographically, people North of the 40th parallel or so tend to be more acquainted with the stuff than their friends on the South side of the line, though there are certainly exceptions. One general rule that does hold true, however, is that the more snow a place gets, the more equipped they are to deal with it. This equipped-ness can manifest itself in many ways.

One of the main ways snow affects cities is in the flow of traffic and ease of getting around town. Renters looking to live and drive in places where it snows often should make sure that their vehicles are equipped to handle the weather, especially if looking at rental properties in hilly neighborhoods. If it does snow and you don’t think your car can take it, that’s fine, just don’t try to drive anyways. You don’t want to be like these people. Stay inside and get your camera. You could make youtube history.

Another way preparedness for snow manifests itself is in the construction of the buildings themselves. Places with lots of precipitation tend to have homes and buildings with pitched roofs, so accumulation doesn’t damage the structure. This guy argues that you can indeed have a flat roof in a snowy place, but there are a lot of things to take into consideration when doing so. Property owners looking to build or remodel should make sure they’re confident in their architects and contractors to design and implement a solution that’ll withstand the weather. Otherwise you or your tenants could have a metrodome-type situation on your hands, though it’ll probably be less spectacular and more immediately frigid.

If you’re a winter sports enthusiast you’re probably doing strange dances and praying to your pagan snow-gods for it, and if not then you’re probably doing the opposite, but Winter means snow and snow means at least a hundred different things in inuit. Or something.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Get at us:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Decoration Nation

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and managers. As we find ourselves in the thick of the holiday season, we’re all thinking the same thing: how do we make our houses, apartments, condos and duplexes appropriately festive. Well have no fear, the Hometown Rant is here to help you with all your wildest decorative desires.

As a tenant looking to decorate your rental property in a seasonally appropriate fashion, you’ll first have to know which of the many holidays you’re celebrating. You probably already know what you personally celebrate, but if you plan on having guests over, especially recent significant others of your extended family, you may want to ask them so you don’t seem insensitive. Say you’re celebrating Christmas, but your cousin’s new girlfriend comes over expecting a kosher Hanukka meal, complete with latkes and a nice menorah. Could be awkward if you’re unprepared. Be a good host and observe the traditions of your guests.

Just as each holiday has its own decorations, it also has its own hazards that go along with said decorations. Christmas, especially American Christmas, has a lot of focus on exterior lumiation, i.e. lots of lights on and around your house. In some neighborhoods it even becomes a competition to see who can create the most elaborate and brilliant display. By all means, participate in a little friendly neighbor vs neighbor light show, but don’t get carried away. You don’t want to spend your holiday in the hospital because you fell off the roof trying to do the red lights for Rudolph’s nose. Also, don’t use that old set of lights with the exposed wiring, or create a massive outlet with a series of power strips. At best, you’ll be blowing a fuse every few minutes, and at worst you’ll be watching your rental property burn down because of an electrical fire. National Lampoon has a classic guide involving what not to do.

Hanukkah, being a celebration of a miraculous surplus of lamp oil, is also big on lights, but these lights are traditionally not electric, but either oil lamps or candles. Kwanzaa also involves a seven-candle lamp called a kinara. While perhaps less dangerous to set up, the menorah or kinara can still cause issues if it isn’t properly made, of if it isn’t put in a good place. A good metal menorah or kinara should be safe to let the candles burn down in, but it’s never a good idea to leave open flames burning unsupervised in your house, apartment, duplex or condo, especially near flammable things like papers or cloth. Always blow out your candles before leaving home or going to bed, otherwise you could come home or wake up to a burning rental property.

As a landlord or property owner during the holidays, now might be a good time to remind your tenants of a few things, one being any neighborhood regulations having to do with lighting or decoration–some areas are more strict than others. Another thing to mention might be your regulations for guests staying in rental properties, and disposal of decorations, particularly christmas trees. Sometimes the municipal garbage will dispose of them, but it might cost extra–let your tenants know who is responsible for this charge or you might have to pick it up, or deal with decomposing douglas firs outside of your properties for rent. That’s not how you want to spend your new years. Make sure it won’t be.

As for us, we’ll be busy performing feats of strength for festivus. Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Air your grievances:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Bath Math, Shower Power

Hey there all you tenants, landlords and ladies, property managers and owners. We’ve tackled bathrooms once before, but this week we’re taking it specific, getting down and, uh, clean in the showers and baths of all the homes, apartments, condos, duplexes and townhouses out there. Do you want to be cleansed? Hometown Rant has the guide for you.

Everybody knows that there are two types of people in this world–the bathers and the shower-ers, and though it’s really more of a gradient scale than a binary one, everybody has their type. Each has its benefits–the shower is quick, efficient and steamy whereas the bath is long, luxurious and bubbly. As you’re reading this, you’ll probably know which one you are. If you don’t, think about it for a minute. It’ll probably answer a lot of questions for you.

Landlords and property owners should already know this, but both the number and the quality of bathtubs and showers will be a big selling point on any rental property, which if made or maintained improperly can cause major damage. Tenants will appreciate and even pay extra for a good shower or bath that doesn’t leak when they use it.  Water pressure is also important, and a lack of it could be cause by a variety of things. Here’s a good wikihow for tenants or owners on troubleshooting water pressure issues.

For all the tenants reading, you’re the ones who really need to look inside yourself and figure out if you’re a bath or a shower person, since you’re the ones who’ll need to make the decision about where you want to eat, sleep and perhaps most importantly, bathe. It’s what separates us from the animals, people.

Besides your personal preferences, you’ll also have to take into account the number of people you’ll be sharing the space with, and what their likes and habits are. If you all work early and like to take long morning showers, you might want to be looking for a place with a couple bathrooms and a big enough hot water heater to accommodate you all. If you have a dog, particularly a larger one, you want to make sure that you could see yourself washing him or her in the tub or shower, and if you’ve never washed your dog, you probably should get on that.

After you get the practical details hashed out, it pretty much comes down to aesthetic preference. Do you like a tub with lots of room and some natural window light for afternoon baths, or do you like a little sauna-box of a shower with a nice wide showerhead. Head over to our listings and start finding the baths and showers you deserve! Afterwards, you’ll feel like Outkast, we promise.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ll be in the shower:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com