Tag Archives: Neighborhood

The Rant’s Guide to Audiophilia

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. Bob Marley once said that one good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain, but sometimes when you’re a fan of metal and your neighbor is an old lady who likes swing and big band, Bob might be wrong. This week we’re talking music and renting, how to be a responsible audiophile.

As a landlord, property owner or manager, be familiar with the sonic qualities of the property in question. The main factors here are thickness of walls, and proximity of neighbors. If you’re renting out a little cabin in the middle of the woods, you probably don’t have to worry about your tenants disturbing anybody. If you’re renting out an apartment in the city, you might want to notify the applicant who lists his occupation as EDM DJ that it might be a problem if he’s practicing his dubstep drops late into the night.

As a tenant, you want to weigh your options when deciding on a property. If you’re a vinyl collector who likes to stay up late, you might not be able to fit you and all your records in a tiny studio apartment next to people who have to work early in the morning. If you’re a college kid that likes to throw parties on the weekends, you probably shouldn’t rent a house for you and your friends in a neighborhood with a lot of families, or if you do, know that you might be getting visits from the boys in blue, and noise complaint tickets add up quick. Obviously, you won’t always be able to make your choice based on its convenience for listening to the music you like, but it should absolutely be a factor in your decision.

If you’re already in a house, apartment, condo or duplex, there are certain measures you can take to ensure that you’re able to play your music at the volume you so desire, without making your neighbors hate you. The easiest way is probably just to go talk to them. You should be on good enough terms with the people next door that they won’t hesitate to call you and ask you nicely to turn it down if they find it too loud. That being said, if your neighbor asks you to turn it down, do it. They could have just as easily called the cops, and they didn’t out of respect for you. Return that respect, or you probably won’t be shown it in the future.

If you know you’re the kind of person who is going to make a lot of noise, don’t worry! There are steps you can take to minimize your natural tendencies. Wikihow has a good guide that includes a range of steps you can take, some of them more permanent than others. Once you’ve got that set up, check out Crutchfield’s guide to creating a proper listening environment in whatever space you have. Happy Listening!


How To Halloween: An All-Hallows Guide

Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. We’re approaching the end of October and with it comes everyone’s favorite costume, prank and candy-centric holiday: Halloween. This year, Halloween falls on a Friday, so you can be sure it’ll be extra crazy, but luckily the Hometown Rant has you covered when it comes to all the tricks and treats.

The word Halloween is actually a contraction of All Hallow’s Eve, an early christian day of feasting and remembrance for the dead, thought to have been based on earlier Celtic harvest festivals. Modern American Halloween is more about indulging in processed sugars and celebrating your favorite brands and celebrities by dressing up like them. But it’s also about communities and trusting your neighbors to give your kids candy and not put razor blades in it. A well-celebrated Halloween is a sign of a healthy neighborhood.

So where do you fit in? Well, as a landlord or property owner, you should probably be aware of neighborhood policies regarding Halloween and trick or treating, since there are usually are some. If the property you rent out is in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, there may be a designated time for trick-or-treating, after which you’ll know the kids out are up to no good. If you have access to any of that information, you might want to send it to your tenants to let them know what’s up.

As a renter, hopefully you’re in good enough standing with your neighbors that you’ve already been given this information, if it exists, but if not don’t worry. You can still get in on the fun. We’ve conveniently posted our guide here with enough time for you to prepare your house, apartment, duplex or condo for any and all comers.

First up is your costume. You have to take some time and think about it. Do people often say you look like a particular famous person? Can you do any good accents? Take everything into consideration, and above all have fun with it. Then look at your rental property. Can you do anything to make it go with your costume? If not just buy a bunch of this stuff and string it around everywhere.


Next, and equally important is your candy. If you want to go all out and be loved by neighborhood children forever, get king sized candy bars only, and bask in your adoration. If you don’t want that kind of attention, at least go with some fun size, and get some chocolate and some non-chocolate for a little variety. Whatever you do though, don’t hand out these or these unless you like cleaning egg off your windows and toilet paper out of your trees.

If you’re a mean-spirited person who doesn’t want to participate at all, that’s ok. We get it, you have to work Saturday morning and you wish everyone would stop having fun. The international code for this is to not decorate, and to turn your lights off so people know not to bother you. Maybe you should dress up as the grinch next year.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We ain’t scared:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

The Backyarder’s Bible

The last few weeks here at the Hometown Rant, we’ve been talking about various obligations of renters and landlords that come with the advent of the Summer season. This week though, we’re shifting gears to talk about the fun stuff that comes with the hot weather. Contained within are the do’s and don’t for Renters and Landlords alike trying to maximize awesomeness in the piece of your rental property that isn’t indoors.

Renters, If you’ve been following our advice from the beginning, your garden should already have some tasty produce that’s ready to eat, so it’s time to get your grillin’ game on! You can skewer your Zucchini and Peppers and throw them right on grill, or top your burgers with hearty home-grown Kale instead of the crunchy water that passes for lettuce at the grocery store.

Landlords of houses with a yard might even consider providing a basic charcoal grill with the rental to sweeten the pot, and to make sure that if renters do want to grill, they’re using something that won’t burn the house down. Renters, this would be a good point to mention that grilling on a wooden deck is illegal in some states, so make sure you’re abiding by all local laws (and laws of common sense) when cooking outdoors. All this information should be in your lease, by the way, so look there first.

Now that you’re grillin’ hard, you’ll probably want to invite the neighbors over for a good time, but what are they going to sit on? You could drag over that couch that somebody down the street is throwing away, but do you really want to have to get rid of it once it rains a few times and the mildew moves in for good? No, you don’t. Invest in some lawn furniture that won’t begin to decay in a matter of weeks.

Landlords, you might consider doing this before you rent the property out, if only to dissuade tenants from using whatever they can find, eyesore or not. Plasti-rondacks are a cheap, relatively classy solution for your seating needs, though depending on how rural your rental property is and how high the expectations of your guests are, you might even get away with some nice stumps arranged in a circle.

Ideally, there’d be a fire in the center of your stump-circle, but once again renters, check your local legislation and your lease to see if that’s something you’re allowed to do. Most cities require a fire to be in a contained, raised pit, which is another good thing to invest in if you don’t have one already. I know it seems cheaper renters, but don’t just dig a hole and line it with rocks. You’ll only have to fill it in later, and getting the grass to grow there again is going to take longer than you want. Also, be careful of low-hanging trees and drunk friends. Both can cause big problems if they catch on fire.

Finally, don’t forget to have a good time out there! For Property Owners and Landlords, enjoy the yards of your own homes, and make sure that the yards of your rental properties are enjoyable too–it’s the part of the house that’ll make the first impression, and it should be a large factor in renters picking your property over all the other ones out there. For renters, sometimes maintaining a property can seem like a lot of work, and we forget to sit back and enjoy the space that we live in, but nothing beats a great backyard for taking a load off.

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


Meet Thy Neighbors

It’s the first commandment of owning or renting a house or apartment, and not abiding by it can be disastrous for both renters and landlords alike. Luckily for all you awkward internetroverts out there, the Hometown Rant has you covered. It will involve leaving the safety of your computer chair, but you could probably use the Vitamin D anyways.

As a landlord, you should know who lives around the house or apartment, since it’ll affect who you rent the place to. If you know your rental property is next to a family with young kids, you probably don’t want to rent that property to the college-age party bros or the nudist art collective. If you know that the primary demographic of your apartment complex is up and coming twentysomethings, you’ll be able to filter your applicants to find a renter who’ll fit into the community

As a renter, you should be concerned with who your neighbors are because like it or not you’re going to have to interact with one another. This goes double for renters of duplexes, apartments or condos who literally share walls with other people. The only way to facilitate a healthy and enjoyable living situation is to be able to trust the people around you, and to be able to talk to them if you have an issue. If you wait until you have a problem to bring it up, you might find that they react like this.

But how do you go about meeting these strangers living all around you? The easiest way is to walk up to their door, knock on it, and introduce yourself. Maybe bring them some sort of baked good or alcoholic beverage, depending on how old they are. If that seems too awkward to you, you could try a different approach. Spend time in that yard you’ve been meaning to do some work in, and wave in a friendly manner at people walking by. Then you’ll at least be the guy or gal who waves all the time instead of the weird Boo Radley impersonator that the neighborhood kids make up stories about.

Another good way to meet people is with a dog. It’s probably not advisable to go out and get a dog simply for that purpose, but if you already have one lying around, it’s a great way to put that lazy freeloader to work. Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or at the local park and let the pooch make the introductions. Dress him up. Let people pet him or rub her belly, and introduce the dog before yourself. Boom. Instant conversation starter and focal point of ensuing discussion (oh you have a dog too? What a coincidence! etc…) This will work for meeting all types of people, but it’s especially good for introducing yourself to that hot guy or cute gal who lives down the street.

You don’t have to be best friends with everyone on your block, but you do want to be known in the neighborhood as an all round good dude/dudette, or at least a reasonable individual who isn’t a shut-in freak-show, which is what people will probably assume if you don’t get out there and say hello. What are you waiting for? Get out there!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Don’t be a stranger:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com


Those Noisy Neighbors

We’ve all had them, and at some point or another, usually around 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, most of us have considered going office space all over their stereo. As cathartic as this may sound, it’s a good way to find yourself on the receiving end of legal action, and the old but they just wouldn’t shut the f**k up! defence doesn’t really hold up in court anymore. Here are some ways you can try to get a little peace of mind without all of the messy altercations.

A good landlord will know the general demographic of the neighborhood that their property is in, and should try to rent to people that fit the bill. A family with a newborn is probably going to have issues with noise if they move into a cheap apartment near a college campus. Likewise, a house full of frat bros is probably going to cause problems in the quiet residential area near the elementary school. Tenants should also be aware of where they lie on the spectrum of expecting mother–party animal, and try to get a house or apartment around people with similar music taste and sleep schedules.

When moving into a new house or apartment, try to befriend the neighbors. This technique works best if you do it before you have problems, and it’s generally a good idea regardless of whether or not you anticipate having any. Who knows? You might even develop a lasting friendship. Go over and introduce yourself. Maybe bring some beers and/or some cookies. This way you establish yourself as that cool dude who brought beers and/or cookies instead of that dick from next door. If you’re the cool dude asking them to turn it down, they’ll probably listen. If you’re the dick from next door, chances are they’ll turn up the music just to spite you.

Here’s a plot twist: What if you are the noisy neighbor? To determine whether or not you are, ask yourself a few questions: Do you usually shout at your dog to get it to stop barking? Do you choose your music based on what ‘bumps the hardest’? Do you usually get your days off in the middle of the week? Did your stereo system cost you more than a month’s rent? Do you never have problems with neighbors being louder than you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may in fact be the noisy neighbor yourself, but don’t worry there’s hope.

Try this as an experiment: get a friend and have them slowly turn up the stereo while you stand on the edge of your yard if you have a house, or out in the hall if you have an apartment. Have your friend stop when you can hear the music. Mark that point on your volume knob and know if you go above that after, say, 10 p.m. you might get complaints. You could also expand your music tastes. We all love DMX, but is the Ruff Ryder’s Anthem really the best lullaby? Try some jazz, maybe Thelonious Monk or Django Reinhardt. You’ll wake up more relaxed, though you’ll probably have less dreams about doing wheelies on crotch-rockets. Also, if your neighbors ask you to turn it down, be courteous and do it. It would have been less work for them to just call the cops, and Johnny Law really doesn’t appreciate the N.W.A. you’re blasting.

Take a Walk in Your Neighborhood

Walking every day, either casually or rigorously, is proven to be a healthy form of exercise. It is free and accessible to everyone. Explore your neighborhood – whether you rent or own your home. Here are some of the everyday benefits of walking:

  • It helps your heart to be stronger.
  • Walking everyday helps get rid of diseases.
  • It helps control your weight.
  • It helps improve brain function and lowers the risk of dementia.
  • Walking helps you have healthy joins and lowers the risk of osteoporosis in women.
  • It helps shaping your legs, your bum region, your stomach, arms, shoulders and your upper back region.
  • Walking outside in sunlight helps you get your vitamin D that you do not otherwise get from food.
  • It is a means to get lots of energy and helps keep you happy and uplifted.
  • And, last it helps you meet your neighbors and make new friends in your hometown.

This information was taken from this article: http://www.tescomagazine.com/health/fitness/top-10-health-benefits-of-walking-every-day-.html

Characteristics of a Great Neighborhood

HTR090713Almost everyone would agree that the best places to dwell in are those that are appealing and convenient in a number of ways (a few you might not even think about on average).

Below are some characteristics that you should look for when thinking about moving into a locale to make sure you get a chance to live in a great neighborhood.

ü  Accessibility matters – people always prefer living in a neighborhood that’s well-equipped with an adequate network of roads and alternate transportation methods.

ü  Culture & Entertainment – living in a great neighborhood would mean that you’ll never have to run out of stuff to do. For instance, if you’re bored or have family or friends coming over from another town, you can easily take them to a new restaurant or catch a concert or play or go to the museum or even grab a beer and have fun.

ü  Visually Pleasant – try looking for a home that’s located in a peaceful and clean locale. This includes clean streets with trees and flowers and good lighting (and intriguing storefronts).

ü  Socially Sound – walkable sidewalks, patio dining, benches on the corner of the streets along with other social areas where interaction can easily take place make a neighborhood quite attractive.

A great neighborhood will always stand out from rest of the surroundings of the city, providing you with a sense of moral calm and pride. Thus, you’ll always have something to look forward to every time you head home.