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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:

Going Hard in the Garden

Spring is upon us, and at Hometown Rant, that means getting our hands dirty. With like, actual dirt. Growing things is a great way to pass the time, and improving your yard can improve the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential renters, or make you more appealing to that cutie next door. Trust us, people doing yard work look unbelievably sexy.

As a landlord or property owner, take a look at your house and the yard outside. A good place to start might be a few raised beds. They’re usually no more expensive than the wood to build them, and plans are easy to come by. You can fill these with dirt from the rest of the yard, or let renters get their own more fertile soil.

As a renter, it’s probably best to check with your landlord before taking the spade to the lawn, but as long as you come at them with a plan beyond I just wanted to dig, man, they’ll probably be reasonable. Go to your local nursery and see what they recommend for your climate and your growing situation. A good list to start could be:

green beans -  fresh or cooked.

tomatoes – Fresh salsa? Home-grown pasta sauce? What more do I need to say.

peppers - You can go as sweet or spicy as you want. Where are you on the scoville scale?

arugula – the workhorse of the salad that grows like nobody’s business.

basil – get yourself a bit of garlic and some olive oil and you’ll have the pesto that’s the best, yo!

If you live in an apartment, condo, loft, house-boat or any other dwelling without access to a patch of dirt, you could look into growing some herbs indoor. Settle down Cheech, not that kind of herbs. That’s definitely a violation of your lease. Your setup can be as fancy as this, or as simple as this. As long as they get light and water, they’ll do their thing, and if you get in any iron chef challenges, you’ll kick the taste-buds off anyone using their old, shriveled store-bought herbs.

Get your grown on and then get your home cooking on and invite the neighbors over to your house or apartment. Nothing is more baller than eating something that you actually made from start to finish, and people will think you’re some sort of magician if you can literally make something out of nothing. What are you waiting for? Get out there!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Holla at us, we’ll holla back:


Spring Cleaning


It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when you’re traditionally supposed to go around your house or apartment and sweep behind all the stuff that you never sweep behind? We know it sucks, and there’s no worse justification for doing sucky things than because it’s tradition, so we’ve compiled a list of actually good reasons to do a deep clean.

1. Because you don’t want to look like a lazy slob when you bring that special someone home after a first date. You’re trying to find someone who you might one day share a house with. The last thing you want is for your house to scream I can’t maintain a household. You’re setting yourself up for failure.

2. Because you don’t want to look like a lazy slob when you bring anyone home after going anywhere. People judge you, especially if you have pizza boxes and used tissues lying around the loft. Who wants to hang out with that guy?

3. Because you want good rental references, and you want to see your security deposit again. That was a lot of scratch you put up to say I won’t trash the place. Don’t trash the place. Nobody is going to rent a house or apartment to a known trasher-of-places.

4. Because you want people to actually rent your house, apartment or loft. Who wants to move into a place that’s already dirty? People with low standards. You want renters with high standards. Renters that won’t fill your apartment with pizza boxes and used tissues.

5. Because you could use the space. Turn your garage into a workshop or studio. Turn your basement into a brewery. As a landlord, it’ll make your property more attractive to potential renters. As a renter, it’ll help you get as much value as you can out of the space you’re paying for, and you can better yourself via an interesting hobby or pastime

6. Because it just feels good. Entropy is the natural state of the universe, and to be human is to impose your own tiny bubble of order upon it. As the philosopher Rene Descartes  once said: my apartment is clean, therefore I am. Or something like that.


The internet loves them, or at least loves pictures of them. This may be because unlike real cats, you don’t have to feed the pictures and they don’t pee in your house or apartment. In order to take pictures of cats for the internet though, you are going to need a real cat or two, and with great cats come great responsibilities for both renters and landlords.

If you’re a property owner, at some point you’ll probably have cat owners who want to rent your house, apartment or loft. You may be thinking sure, I’m a chill guy/gal, who am I to deny a poor little kitten? But before you make a decision you want to know what you’re getting into, because cat pee is forever. Until you get the floors redone. Speaking of floors, you might want to save your freshly carpeted townhouse for people who aren’t cat owners, and let the people who are take the apartment with the hardwood and tile floors. Trust us, they’d rather wipe piss of the floor than try to dab it up out of the rug.

If you have the luxury, try to meet the cat that’s going to be living in your rental property. Seeing someone’s pet is often better than any background check. If it’s clear that someone can’t even take care of a cat, how are they going to take care of your house or apartment, especially if it’s going to have a mangy cat living in it now too? They probably aren’t. Don’t rent to those people. They’ll probably ruin your property.

As a cat owner and renter, don’t be one of those people. Read up on what the American Humane Society has to say about indoor vs outdoor cats, and make a decision about how much freedom you’ll give your cat, based on the house, apartment or loft you’re renting. There are pros and cons to each. Weigh them heavily. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner and lint rollers if you don’t want to eat, sleep in, and breathe cat hair. This is especially true if your cat is always indoors. Alternatively, get this cat. You’ll also probably want to get a scratching post if you value your furniture or it comes with the house or apartment. Cats are animals, and have an innate need to tear stuff up. Make sure it’s not your landlord’s leather sofa.

The big issue for most negligent cat owners is the litterbox. The Humane Society recommends that you scoop the feces out daily. We know it’s gross, but think about it this way: would you poop in sand and leave it sitting out in your loft for more than a day? Gross. No way. Get it done before your cat decides he wants to crap somewhere new for a change.

Also be warned, if your cat starts hanging out with the feral cats that the old lady down the street keeps feeding, it might start doing drugs, or at the very least pick up some unwanted guests. Make sure Snuffers is up on her shots, and if Patch Adams gets fleas, give him a bath with flea and tick shampoo before the bugs get out in your apartment, and remember to take pictures while he’s all wet and bedraggled. Those are worth big-time internet money.


Decorating Ideas for Your Apartment

Living in a small apartment, especially in one, that you have rented, leaves you with little to do. Sometimes you can’t decorate it to your heart’s content because of your landlord’s rules. Here are a few decorating ideas which can inspire you into making that small space your very own.

  • Avoid making holes n your apartment walls by making use of floating shelves to display your photos or achievements.
  • Paint the walls of your apartment in light colors; this makes it look more inviting.
  • Store your kitchen items over an open shelf, and add a few decorations to make it look trendy.
  • If you have rented out the apartment and the flooring is not too stylish, you can place an attractive rug over it, to make it look cool and cozy.

For more ideas for decorating your apartment, go to the following link;

Innovation at Your Own Home

Coming up with even a tiny bit of innovation for your everyday things at home can make your lives much easier. It is all about planning effectively and efficiently to make those tiny, yet relevant changes all around your apartment or house.

These innovations can be as little as a hanging book racks in order to save book shelf space, or designing an outlet for your USB cable, which is extremely important and popular these days.

These are just two of the innovative things that you can incorporate around your house or apartment to make your lives better. You can find many more here:

How to Furnish Small Rooms

Often times, you might find that apartments can have rather small rooms. Adding furniture without regard to room size can end up back firing since it can look quite cluttered and claustrophobic.

The best thing to do is to be smart about it and decide what you need and don’t need in your apartment. With the help of the following tips, you can learn to shop smartly according to your room size:

Choosing the Essentials

Pick out the furniture items that you think are the most essential pieces that the room must have. This could be the bedroom that has to have a bed, a small bedside table, a closet and a dressing table. Once these pieces have been added, you can add other non-essential items for decorative purposes.

Go for Versatile Functionality

Pick out furniture items that can have two or more functions. For example: a bench that can also be used for storage purposes. A kitchen cart can also have an additional foldable surface area that can be folded away when not in use. Similarly, stackable chairs and desks can also be used. You can keep them stacked in a small place and open them up when you’re entertaining more people.


For more ideas on how to furnish small rooms, have a look at the tips on this link:

Whether You Rent or Own – Make Your Bed!

A clean and made bed is always the best bed. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure your bed is always looking presentable:

  • First, make sure that all the extra junk that you might have accumulated on your bed is put away.
  • Remove all your pillows, blanket, and other accessories from your bed so that you can start with fixing the bottom most layer of your bed.
  • Remove all the dust from your sheets.
  • After assuring yourself the sheets are clean, you can put the comforter on and make it nice and smooth.
  • If you have a quilt as well, fold it properly on your bed.

You can look into more detail here:

How to Get More Out of Your Closet Space

HTR100613Often times, our closet is the last place that we’ll keep organized. It’s messy, confusing and desperately needs to be sorted out but what we always do is sift through the mess as quickly as possible while promising to clear it up the next time.

Nonetheless, once we close our closet doors, that good intention is gone. Until we have to search through it for clothes again. However, when your closet is already small, the mess and clutter can appear too daunting to clean up. Here are a few tips that you can fight the mess and get your closet back in order again:

Sift, Keep, Donate, Throw

When you’re looking through your closet, sort them out into three piles and label them as keep, donate, throw. If it is something that you haven’t worn in ages but is still in good condition, donate it or keep it. However if it’s something that’s worn out, throw it away.

Shoe Organizer

Shoes are the second messiest items in a closet and like socks some have a tendency to miss their partner. To keep that from happening, buy a shoe organizer and tack it on to the closet door. Sort your shoes out and keep them in pairs there.

For more tips on organizing your closet, check out this informative link: