Monthly Archives: September 2014

House Plants

Hey there all you renters, landlords and property owners. The season is changing once again. September is almost over, and with it goes the final hurrah of the summer season. The time for growing plants outside is coming to a close, so what better time for us to discuss how you can become more aesthetically floral and or vegetative in your rental property.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. Less sunlight and less time spent outside can be incredibly detrimental to your psychological well being if you aren’t careful. While it isn’t necessarily a cure-all, keeping live plants in an area can help mitigate levels of stress and contribute to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Check out this study done at Kansas State if you don’t believe us.

Besides the potential psychological benefits, keeping well-maintained plants will just outright make your house, apartment or condo look way better. A healthy plant says something about you. It say hey, I care enough about stuff to not let this pretty thing die.  Isn’t that a message that you want to convey about yourself?

Let’s say you’re a renter in a house, apartment, condo, duplex or other rental property, and we’ve convinced you that you should get some plants. Where do you start? Probably with something fairly low maintenance, if you’re just getting into growing things. A quick google search yields a plethora of resources for figuring out what sort of plants you should get. Remember that even though you’re inside, some things may be locationally dependent, so make sure to take that into account if when making a decision.

On the other hand, you might be a landlord or property owner looking for renters, or looking for a way to improve the quality of your renter’s experience. One way to do this might be to better accommodate for house plants, or possibly even to provide some if your property comes already furnished. Consider installing some hooks by sunny windows to allow for hanging plants, and make sure to advertise that your rental property is equipped for tenants to keep plants indoors. Not only will you attract tenants, you’ll likely attract tenants who are motivated and clean enough to maintain house plants. Bonus!


Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Send it on over:


The Long and Short of it

Hey there all you tenants, landlords, landladies, and property owners. This week our dedicated renter/reader/contributor Amanda has returned to share some of her wisdom with us, this time regarding short-term rentals, which may or may not be a good option for all parties involved. Is a short term rental the right option for you? Let’s see what she has to say:

Some people would describe themselves as the type to enjoy getting settled and finding security in residing in the same location and making a long-term home out of it. Other are the complete opposite–they can’t stay in one place for too long without getting antsy to discover a new place to temporarily call home. Still for some of us, moving around is not just a necessity, it’s a part of life. For these folks there is the short-term rental. But are you an ideal candidate?

Short-term rentals operate a little differently than your traditional rental contracts by offering weekly rent payments and even fully furnished layouts for those that don’t attach themselves to too many belongings.

Performer: Are you a performer? Entertainers that travel often find themselves in select cities with limited time engagements attached. In situations like these, temporary housing for a weeks at a time, even months in some cases, are ideal until it’s time to move onto the next location or return to the original point of departure. For performers or traveling artists, short term rentals are perfect.

Contractor: For contractors of all sorts, working on a job site in a location that’s too far to commute daily is an ideal circumstance to opt for temporary rentals. Most contractors find themselves working long hours and need a place closer than their home base, especially for jobs that require several months until completion. In the case of most contracting jobs, short term rentals are the most practical option.

Student: Being a young student without any serious attachments makes it easier to say opt for traveling for your education. Whether you’re traveling cross country for a rotation or looking to travel abroad, short term housing contracts will be the perfect option to leave without any further obligations after only a few months. Or perhaps you’re a returning student who’s a smidge too old or mature for student housing. In cases like these, short-term housing as a student may be just for you!

Teacher: With so many different teaching options and contracts for educators in particular districts and curriculums, some teachers will opt to only work for a semester or a year until they transfer to a new location. Or for teachers that are new to a district or state looking to start laying down some roots, short-term rentals might be the perfect housing option until you see how the community fits your style.

Newlyweds or Newly Single: Are you newly married and looking to upend your life in surprising and fun ways? Or perhaps you’re the complete opposite and newly single looking for a fresh new outlook on life. In cases like these, being ambitious enough to take a new job in new cities just to see how they feel and leaving the idea open to anything else that presents an opportunity could lead you to look into short-term rentals.

Of course there are other occasions where short-term rentals might fit your lifestyle, but these are five possible occurrences. How well does your life fit into any of these molds? HomeTownRent is a great place to begin your short-term rental search!

Thanks Amanda, for the advice and the shout-out! Tenants, if you fit into one of the above categories, or can draw parallels between one of them and your own situation, you should consider a short-term lease as a housing option for you.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Hit us up:

Kickin’ out the Jams


Hey there all you renters, landlords and property owners. This week on the rant, we’re here to talk to those of you with songs in your heart.  The musically inclined individuals among you, from the classical junkies to the deadheads to the crate-diggers and record spinners, should listen well, listen with your eyeballs to this edition of the Hometown Rant, where serenade you with the highs and the lows of playing music in a rented house, apartment, condo, yurt or houseboat.

Any good musician knows you have to practice. Quite a lot, actually, if you want to get to be a good musician. Part of practicing music is playing the same thing over and over again, even if you sound bad the first couple hundred times. Bottom line is, you’re going to be making a lot of noise. This is something you’re going to have to take into account if you’re a musician looking for a rental property. If you’re a landlord, this is something you may want to take into account when deciding between potential tenants and advertising your rental property.

As a renter, you’ll need to think about what instrument it is that you play. Certain instruments will require more planning and foresight than others. If you play the piano, you may want to look for properties that have a piano in them already. By the same token, landlords who have pianos should advertise it when posting about the rental property in question. Wouldn’t you rather have a tenant practicing Thelonious Monk instead of using it as a weird, kitschy quasi-mantlepiece? Pianists/tenants who are looking for an instrument might consider getting a nice electric for ease of transport, as well as the fact that most electric pianos have a headphone jack, eliminating the noise problem altogether.

What if you play the trumpet or another loud brass instrument? These are some of the most difficult instruments to play in a discreet manner–so much so that the military has used them to wake people up for hundreds of years. This means it would probably be wise to keep your practice hours to reasonable times for people to be awake and enjoying brass music, especially if you live in an apartment, condo or duplex, or if your neighbor’s house is close to your own.

If your schedule means you have to get some playing in later, you might want to consider some homemade soundproofing. HowStuffWorks has a nice basic guide to soundproofing rooms both to keep your own sound in and to keep outside sound out in the event that you want to create a home recording studio to lay down your tasty jams. Remember though, certain measures like foam on the walls are pretty easy to put up and remove, but be sure to check with the landlord before building double walls or dropped ceilings–that may very well be a violation of your lease.

If you’re not a musician yourself, but you live within earshot of one, try to enjoy it when they take the time to serenade you every day. And remember that it’s never too late to start playing. Get yourself one of these bad boys and find out where the jam session is at. Who knows, it could be fun.

 Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Hit us up: