Tag Archives: Duplex

Cool it down!

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This time we’ll talk about how to keep our houses, apartment or duplexes cool.

If you have enough money you can hire a slave who is fanning you while you eat grapes, however if you are a mortal more like us, you can follow some of the following tips.

Stop modeling for your neighbor: All windows must be covered, put thin fabrics in the windows facing north and south, and for the rest use heavy fabrics that cover sunlight. So you have all the light without all the heat.

Do not be stingy and turn on the air: Fans are great because they help with moisture and cool the house, however, if the temperature is higher than 77 ° F, better turn them off, because they’ll only be moving hot air. Fans will work better after sunset.

Shake it off!: If you use air conditioning make sure it’s clean. If dust accumulates in the filters, the machine has to work harder, therefore it will use much more electricity. Besides that, you can prevent several diseases caused by bacteria accumulated in dust.

Go for a walk and close your house: Throughout the hours of extreme heat close your house. Close any place where hot air can enter. Once the temperature drops you can open everything and turn on the fans.

Don’t turn it off!: When you have the air conditioning on and the room is cooled, it may seem like the most reasonable thing to turn it off, however, you’ll only be spending more electricity. It’s better to mantain a steady temperature so the machines are not working overtime.

Read a book: The appliances radically increase the temperature of your house or apartment. You may not feel it, but television radiates heat. Unplug all appliances you are not using and go read a book.

With these simple steps, we guarantee that you’ll keep your house cooler. If not, at least you will entertain yourself closing windows and turning on fans.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. The holiday seasons are upon us, and with them have come the cold weather. Depending on where you live in the country, this will mean more or less to you, but most of us will be impacted by the weather in the winter, at least a little bit. Lucky for you, the hometown rant has the guide to keeping you warm and cozy inside your house, apartment, condo or duplex all season long.

If the weather does get cold enough to make it uncomfortable inside your rental property, you’ve probably already got some coping strategies, ranging from wearing a lot of layers to burning your possessions in a little pile on the floor. Hopefully you haven’t got to that point yet, although it is the last step before sucking it up and actually turning on your heat.

Once you’ve given in though, you’re going to want to take some steps to conserve the heat, so you get the most bang for your buck. A big part of this process depends on the age of your rental property, specifically as it impacts the seals around the doors and windows. Older places tend to have more gaps and cracks, making any attempts to heat the interior more and more futile. If you do plan on running the heat in an old house, we suggest you get some easily removable rubber seals, something like these, which, if applied correctly, can make a big difference in the heat retention of older houses, apartments, condos or duplexes.

If your rental property doesn’t have central heating, you could consider using space heaters in the rooms you’ll be occupying most frequently, but keep in mind that multiple space heaters will quickly run up your electric bill, and can even blow a fuse if used at the same time as a few other electronic devices. If you have central heating, it’s probably going to be more efficient to run that and take measures to keep that heat in.

As a landlord, property owner or property manager, you probably have a general idea of how your properties fare in terms of winterization, so let your tenants know how to best seal in that warmth. They’ll probably appreciate the advice, and if not, hey, it’s their loss. Above all, stay warm and have fun!

 

A Full Plate

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. Sometimes you may think to yourself, man, I’ve got too much stuff on my plate! We know we have. Sometimes we also find ourselves thinking, man, I’ve got too many plates on my stuff! The ratio of plates to stuff is an important one to maintain in a rental property, and one that is often overlooked by tenants all over. Lucky for you, this week on the rant, we’re talking dishware–everything from salad forks to serving bowls, when to use what, and how to store it so it doesn’t clutter up your precious space.

The first thing to consider as a tenant looking to move into a house, apartment, condo or duplex, is whether or not you plan on entertaining often. With thanksgiving just past, it may be another year before you have to host a massive dinner, but many of you out there are bound to have another big family get together in about a month’s time, and many of you will probably have friends or family over even sooner than that.

Most of the time when entertaining company, you’ll think about how much food you need, but an important and oft-overlooked aspect, especially among you twenty-somethings is thinking about how many plates and utensils you need. Your friends may pretend that they’re cool with eating out of frisbees and dog bowls, but part of being an adult is having dishware to serve your food on when you have company. You don’t necessarily need your grandmother’s silver and fine china, but at least a set of matching plates and bowls is a great thing to own, especially if you host people at your rental property fairly regularly.

On the other end of the spectrum, part of maintaining a clean kitchen is not having too many things in it, especially since there’s a tendency to not wash things if you can just grab a new, clean one, until eventually you have a pile of dirty dishes on every surface available. Especially if you live in a smaller apartment, try to figure out what your bare essentials–a few plates and bowls, a nice mug, enough silverware for a few guests, but not much more than that. Otherwise you’re running into clutter territory fast.

As a landlord or property owner, make sure to advertise it if your property has lots of cupboard space and areas for entertaining company, since these can be major draws for potential tenants who plan on hosting events, and don’t worry, people who care about cupboard space probably aren’t the keg and solo cup crowd anyhow.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ve got room on our plate: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

The Long Hall

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re in it for the long hall. Or the short hall. Any and all halls, really. Those rooms that aren’t rooms, that strange in-between space through which you traverse, navigating your beloved house, apartment, condo or duplex. Hallways are one of the most oft-overlooked areas of a rental property, but they can often be the difference between a cozy home and a hellish nightmare.

Landlords, property owners and property managers, when preparing a property for rent, make sure your hallways are clean and looking as nice as the rooms to which they lead. Hallways, being high-traffic areas, often see quite a bit of wear and tear, including wall scuffs and dirty or scratched floors, and this can be a deterrent to potential tenants looking to rent out your property. One thing to consider when looking at remodeling is the type of flooring in your halls. Carpet is cozy, but more difficult to clean. Wood is nice, but requires some care to keep it looking good for years to come. Think about the type of tenant you want to rent to, and make your choice accordingly.

As a tenant, especially if you’re looking to spruce up your house, apartment, condo or duplex, consider doing something to the hall. Obviously, this will depend on how wide your halls are, and how much space there is to navigate, but even something as simple as a few framed pictures can break the visual monotony of a large white expanse. If you want to get fancy, put in a little table, maybe with a plant on it. Little touches like this are what make a living space feel ‘lived in,’ so to speak.

Also, don’t forget to clean your hallways, especially ones on the first floor that lead to outside doors. These are some of the areas in your rental property most likely to get dirty quick, and also some of the least likely to be cleaned regularly. Do yourself a favor and save on deep cleaning in the long run by keeping your hallway free of dirt and debris that could get tracked into the rest of the house later on.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’re in it for the long hall: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Bed Head

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re putting the rumors to bed. Or maybe we’re spreading rumors about beds? We’re not sure. We’re tired. We need to go to bed.

By most conventional metrics, the bed is the most important piece of furniture in the entire rental property–it’s the one you spend the most time in. In fact, you probably spend more time in your bed than in any other place. When you think about that, it becomes abundantly clear that no matter whether you live in a house, apartment, condo, duplex, your bed matters.

For you landlords and property owners, providing the bed probably won’t be your responsibility,  unless your rental property is of the short term or pre-furnished sort. If you do provide a nice bed, you’ll want to advertise that, as well as making sure you’re renting to tenants who are going to take good care of it.

On that note, tenants, if you’ve invested in a nice mattress, make sure you take good care of it. Buy several fitted sheets and a washable cover so cleaning and changing your bedding is easy and you don’t have to wait for the dirty stuff to be finished before re-making it.

When choosing a mattress and bed frame, you have a few things to think about–the size of your living space, your budget, and whether or not you’ll be sharing your bed regularly with a special someone, or maybe a faithful canine.

We’ve found that a full size mattress tends to be the best balance of size, affordability and space occupied,  though if you want more room to relax, you could bump up to a queen, or even a king. If you want to really ball out, you could even go with a Shaq bed, though you’ll have to also spring for the custom circular superman fitted sheets.

Whatever your choice, make sure it’s one that’ll stay comfortable for a long time–bad mattresses can lead to lack of sleep and back pain, both of which will tend to make your life miserable in the long run. Do yourself a favor and get the bed you deserve!

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ll sleep on it: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

The Grocery List

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. What’s for dinner? Unless you’re the type to hit the town on a Wednesday night, you’re probably having whatever is in the pantry, and if there’s nothing there, you’re probably going shopping. This week on the rant, we’re talking groceries, and how to keep the kitchen in your house, apartment, condo or duplex well stocked on whatever your budget allows.

As a landlord or property owner, you should know where the neighborhood grocery stores are. Chances are proximity to a variety of purveyors will raise the amount that people are willing to spend on rent in your area. If you have one or more grocery stores in the area, mention it in your advertisements–it’ll help people envision their life in your rental property.

As a tenant, consider the factors involved in getting and storing your food at home. Are there stores close by? Do you have motorized transportation? How big is your refrigerator? All these are questions worth asking yourself when looking at potential living spots. If you can’t consistently buy and store enough feed yourself, you’ll be hungry all the time. It’s basic animal skills here people.

If your rental property is further out from a population center, you’ll obviously need to store more food. Landlords, consider supplying more rural rental properties with an extra fridge or freezer, and tenants, make use of canned foods and preservation techniques like pickling and drying for preserving those veggies and meat so they’ll keep year round. This is also a good idea for any property, though those of you who rent apartments or duplexes in town will have to rely less on storing food, and less space to store it as well.

Another good way to save money on your grocery bill is to shop for certain items at a cash and carry or discount store, things like rice and other grains, flour and oil, basic items that you can use to provide filler for a meal. If you don’t know already, learn how to cook things like rice and beans in big batches that’ll last you the week to save yourself time, effort, and money. Then, when you shop, you can just get some produce and meat that can go with what you’ve already got prepared, and you’ll be feasting on classically balanced meals before you know it!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Serve it up to us: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Menage a Garage

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re getting down and dirty in that strange middle ground halfway between the road and your house, condo, duplex or apartment building, the garage. Not all properties have them, but many do, some communal and some individual, and one thing all garages have in common is that they’re often underutilized space that could benefit from some organization and planning.

Though designed to hold automobiles, garages often find themselves used for storing all manner of other things, from tools and lawnmowers to ski gear in the offseason, to drum kits and amplifiers for band practice. If you’re a landlord or property owner and your rental property has a garage, make sure to advertise it on property listings, and Include a picture with an example of how one might set up the space to most efficiently hold all their stuff.

If you’re a tenant in a property with a garage and you’re not already using it, think about what you might be able to do with it. Have any artistic hobbies that require a studio space? Always dreamed of starting a lo-fi surf-rock band? The garage is your oyster. We’ve even heard of people converting garages into living spaces, especially in warmer areas of the country, though the legality of cramming an extra roommate into a potentially non-designated living space can be suspect. Alway check with your landlord and your lease to make sure you’re compliant with local fire and safety codes regarding the number of people and quality of living space.

If you’re like most people though, you’ve probably already got a bunch of stuff piled up in your garage. Now might be a good time to go through it, and decide what you want and don’t want. Autumn is upon us and with it comes the fall garage sale season, clearing space for the inevitable accumulation that’ll happen come wintertime. It’s often quite the process, which is why it’s always good to start sooner rather than later.

So what are you waiting for, get out there and get on it!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Park it in our mailbox: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Gorgeous Storage

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re talking stuff. Where do you put stuff? Well, that all depends on what kind of stuff it is. Duh. Still, storage is a big issue in just about every house, apartment, condo, or duplex, especially in those rental properties that aren’t as spacious, and figuring out how to elegantly and efficiently store things will make your life that much easier, and it’ll do wonders for your rental’s general aesthetic of cleanliness. What’s not to like about that?

Landlords, property owners and property managers should always take storage into consideration, especially during renovations. Is there enough cabinet space in your kitchen area? What about some sort of linen closet? Are there any places where you could install shelving that could be selling points for potential tenants? The main caveat here is not to put in things that could limit the usefulness of a room. Make sure, for instance, that if you install a shelf, it’s in a logical place, and doesn’t stand out too much–the best storage solutions are natural, and don’t call too much attention to themselves.

For all you tenants out there, most of the storage solutions will be up to you. After all, it’s your stuff. One thing we’ve learned in our time is that you can never really go wrong with some of these guys. You can get them in different sizes and colors, and the simple boxes look good storing just about anything, from books, to DVDs, to plants, to random odds and ends. For closets, hanging shelves can be a nice alternative to a large, cumbersome dresser as a way to store your clothes in an organized fashion. There are also tons of different plastic storage drawers, carts and boxes that won’t break the bank, and that are great for offices or other work spaces.

Of course, sometimes the solution is simpler than you think–just get rid of some stuff. Check out our earlier post on modern asceticism for your house, apartment, condo or duplex, that is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all.

Now get out there and put everything where it goes!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Hate mail? Love letters? We’ll file them away:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

letour

Le Tour du Rental

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and property managers! It’s that special time of year again, that time where skinny, shaven men don skin-tight suits and tear across France on bicycles that cost more than your car. Ok, so maybe you vowed never to watch Le Tour again after that one time you had a few too many drinks and swore solidarity with Lance Armstrong, but it’s summer time, and like it or not, bikes are in the air. Or on the road. You know, whatever.

Even if you aren’t of the speedsuit persuasion, the bicycle is still the most efficient means of human powered transportation, and the best way to get from point a to point b without a car. Some cities and towns are more bike-friendly than others, so Landlords and property owners should consider the location of the house, apartment, condo or duplex in relation to any central bike routes, since that can be a big selling point for the right tenants. Especially in apartment buildings in cities, landlords should provide some sort of secure storage for tenants to keep bikes safe from inclement weather and the prying eyes of would-be bike thieves.

As a tenant, you should consider the bike-ability of the house, apartment, condo or duplex you’re renting. Some important factors include distance to work, downtown areas and grocery stores, as well as the location of any big hills in the area. If you can ride to most of the places you have to go instead of driving, you’ll save your car from the wear of stop-and-go city driving, save money on gas, and get in shape while you do it. What’s not to like about that?

As far as storage goes, the obvious choice for bike owners is probably the garage, that is, if you have one. If not, see if there’s a communal storage rack somewhere in your building, or maybe consider a hook or a wall-mounted rack inside your rental property. As always though, Don’t go installing anything without clearing it with your landlord, and even once you get the go-ahead, make sure you know what you’re doing before trying to install anything. Here’s a hint: use a stud finder when you drill. The last thing you want is a broken bike and/or big hole in the wall of your rental property.

Last but not least, ride safe, wear a helmet, and use lights at night. It’s not you crashing that you should be worried about, it’s the 17 year old on his phone behind the wheel. Think about it this way–if it saves your life once, isn’t it worth wearing every time? Now get out there and join the peloton!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Hate mail? Love letters? Ride ‘em on over: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Little Kitchens

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, property owners and property managers. This week on the rant, we’re talking kitchens, specifically small kitchens, and how to make the most of your space. Of course we all wish our house, apartment, condo or duplex could have a massive, professional kitchen, but for most of us, that simply isn’t the case. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with the Hometown Rant’s guide to four essential things you need to cook great food without a lot of space.

  1. A good chef’s Knife. This tool is actually essential for any kitchen, and there are all sorts of knives for all sorts of jobs, but a good 8 inch chef’s knife is the most basic and essential tool in the arsenal of any cook, and with a few basic knife skills you can be making great looking food in no time at all. Along with your knife, we’d recommend a sharpening steel to keep the edge nice, and some cutting boards so you don’t mess up your countertops or your blade.

  2. A skillet. Every kitchen is going to have a stove of some sort, but you’re going to need something to use on it. We’d recommend a nice stainless steel one for longevity and ease of cleaning. Non-stick is nice, but you have to be careful not to scratch the coating when cooking and cleaning. With a stainless, you can go to town with a steel wool and not worry about messing up the finish.

  3. A rice cooker. There’s a reason that rice is a fundamental part of most developed cuisine–it’s cheap, easily stored, delicious, and can be prepared any number of ways to go with any number of dishes. Of course, you should know how to cook rice in a pot, but with a rice cooker it becomes as easy as pressing a few buttons and waiting for the beep. Not only that, but most rice cookers can also function as a slow cooker and a steamer, which’ll give you a triple bang for your appliance buck, all the better for saving space in your kitchen.

  4. A panini press. The sandwich should be a staple for just about anybody, especially people living and cooking in tight quarters. What better way to take your sandwiches to the next level than pressing them into crispy golden brown paninis, filled with melty, cheesy goodness? Trick question. There isn’t one.

Obviously there’s an endless list of appliances that you can get to fill the kitchen of your house, apartment, condo, or duplex, but with our list, you can’t go wrong. Happy cooking!

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