Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Store All Of Your Holiday Decor For Under $100

The holidays are coming to an end, and soon it will be time to pack up the holiday decor. There will be garlands, wreaths, lights, and baubles, to take down and store until next year. I’m sure you’ve heard that the better job you do of storing your holiday decor now, the easier a time you will have setting up for next season. But how can you do this with limited storage space and budget? Below, we list several options to cover all of your basics. And the best news is that they all total up to under $100.

Now that you’ve got all of your decorations packed up and ready for next year, the storage containers can easily be placed in a closet, on a shelf, or under the bed. Happy Storing!

We hope that you have found these suggestions useful. If you or someone you know is looking for an apartment to call home in the coming new year, A Plus Apartments have been leading the way in apartment locating here in Austin for almost 20 years. Our experienced locators answer phones 7 days a week, and would love to help you find a new home. Give us a call at 512 231 1400.

Monday, December 7, 2015

How To Organize A Small Closet On A Budget

If you are currently living in a small apartment, or are in the process of downsizing to one, figuring out a way to make everything fit can be a pretty daunting task. We totally get it, and that is why we have come up with these budget friendly solutions to help the process. These ideas will not only keep your closet organized, but will also enable you to get a bit more storage out of the space you have to work with.

Shelf Dividers - These metal shelf dividers help keep stacks of folded clothes on the shelf from turning into a big piled mess. In a small closet with limited shelf space, this can make a world of difference.

Under-shelf Baskets - In a closet there is always that bit of space under the shelves that is hard to utilize. Well, these under-shelf baskets help solve that problem. When your closet is small, making extra space can be hugely beneficial when trying to stay organized or when you just have a few extra things to fit.

Small Hooks - These hooks are very versatile. You can add them to an already existing hanging rod, on the back of your closet door, or place them on the back wall of the closet a little higher up. These hooks stick right on with a strong glue, so you don’t have to worry about drilling holes into your wall.

Check out our Pinterest board on small closets here

We hope you found these tips useful in getting and staying organized. If you, or someone you know is looking for a new apartment to call home, A Plus Apartment’s have a team of experienced locators who answer phones 7 days a week. We have extensive knowledge of the Austin apartment market and our locating service is free to you! Give us a call at 512 231 1400.

Friday, December 4, 2015

East Riverside Construction At An All Time High

The end of the summer marked the fastest growing quarter for new construction in Austin this year. Roughly 30% of the total number of units currently awaiting permits were added over the third quarter alone. Add that to the 8 new projects that also broke ground over the summer, and we can see that the apartment sector is growing at a tremendous speed.

East Riverside has been one of the hot-spots for this new construction, with developers following the “East Riverside Corridor Master Plan” that was set in place in early 2010. This plan is being implemented with the goal to encourage new construction in all areas, including new units, transportation, restaurants, and shopping centers.

The South Shore District has brought much of this to life already. The ground floor of the apartment building, a building that holds over 500 living units, is dedicated to new restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and more.  

Though East Riverside has seen a good amount of high end units break ground on the market over the last year, one property development in particular stands out from  the rest: the Lenox Boardwalk. This property is currently in development and is unique because it will offer 17 apartments at below market rates for low income families. This is the first of its kind among newly constructed apartment buildings in the area.

A Plus Apartment Locators are proud leaders in the apartment rental industry. We have continued to provide excellent customer service to the Austin, Texas area for almost 20 years. Our seasoned apartment locators answer phones 7 days a week and are the best in the field. If you have further questions regarding this article, or if you are looking for an apartment give us a call at 512 231 1400.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two Decor Trends We Love This Holiday Season

Decorating your home for the holiday’s can be one of the most anticipated activities of the season. Decor magazines, Pinterest boards, and DIY sites are all abuzz with new color schemes and trends to get your home looking charming and stylish. Below, you’ll find our top two choices--that we can’t help but love--with suggestions of where to shop for some of the key pieces that will help you in pulling off these looks at home.

Wreaths, Branches, and Berries - A hot new trend is to hang big round wreaths in your windows. You can also get birch-wood style branches, and berries to place on the mantle of your fireplace, and round out the look. Now you have yourself a mini forest wonderland. This idea combines a forest color palette and theme to make one of the most beautiful holiday decor trends ever. It’s at the top of our list, and I’m sure it’s not hard to see why.

Neutral color schemes - In contrast to the previous idea, a neutral color arrangement for holiday decor can seem like the total opposite of what you would expect holiday decorations to look like. However, wooden letters that spell holiday-themed words like “Noel” etc, or using burlap Christmas stockings, large white candles, and strings of Christmas lights can paint a lovely picture that will make your apartment feel warm and cozy inside.

We hope you found this article helpful when getting your home into holiday shape! If you are looking for an apartment to call home this season, A Plus Apartment Locators would love to get you set up! Our service is free of charge and we answer phones 7 days a week. Call today at 512 231 1400.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Organize your Entryway for under $100

Living in an apartment can be challenging when it comes to space. Before you know it, papers have stacked up, shoes are piled by the front door, and you’ve lost your keys somewhere in the clutter. Our solution? Get a setup for your entry way where everything has a place! Below, we list three options to help you get organized and make your life easier.

Cubical storage bench - This bench doubles as a seat and a storage device for shoes. Place it by the entryway of your apartment and you’ve got a spot for your shoes, as well as a place to put them on. This beautiful bench comes in three different colors. Dark cherry is our favorite.

Entryway shelf and hooks - This shelf comes with hooks underneath for your keys and coats. You can place picture frames on a small basket on the shelf for more storage, and it comes in three different colors to match the style of your apartment.

Wall mounted postcard basket - This basket has five slots for organizing different sized papers, and it also has the option to be mounted on the wall. The entrance of your home is an ideal place to put mail, as you can put it in a spot that you won’t forget about, and it won’t reach the table or counter to clutter things up. 

Check out our Pinterest board here on interior design ideas for small entry ways!

We hope you found these suggestions useful to help your apartment stay organized and clutter free. If you are currently looking for an apartment within a certain area and budget, one of our apartment locators can make the search process fast and easy for you. And, our service is free of charge. Call today at 512 231 1400.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Austin: Are we expanding faster than we can absorb?

The summer months in Austin have seen an upward trend in apartment permits and new construction. New apartment permit applications looked to be slowing earlier in the year, yet notably turned around over the summer.  A full 30% of outstanding apartment permit applications were submitted in the last three months. This is double the applications submitted in the previous three months.

This, in addition to the apartment properties that are currently under construction, means a considerable number of new units coming online. There are 66 apartments already under construction, 8 of which broke ground over the summer months. These apartment projects will eventually contribute over 15,000 additional units to the Austin rental inventory in the months to come.

While new construction and construction underway is spread all throughout the city, the Domain and Far North area remain the hot spot for new rentals and apartments. This may be fueled by upscale shopping centers, new restaurants, and the fact that rental rates average half of what they are in the central business district.

The question still remains, can Austin absorb all the new growth it has and will undoubtedly see in the months to come? Are we creating more homes than we can fill, or are we simply keeping up with the supply and demand? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

If you are currently searching for a new home and are interested in renting an apartment, give us a call at 512 231 1400. One of our experienced apartment locators will find you a home that best suits your needs, your budget and your lifestyle. We answer phones 7 days a week and our service is always free to our clients.  Let us make this your easiest and quickest apartment search yet.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Three Options For Under $100 That Will Help Keep Your Porch Organized

Living in an apartment can be demanding on your organization skills. Most people find it challenging when space is limited to make everything fit and this can be a recurring theme throughout your entire home. Today we want to discuss a few ways to make limited space work on your porch or patio. The options below are a great place to start, and best of all, they won’t break the bank!

Option 1. This little number has got you covered in the storage and style department. A dark walnut bench that you can use as a seat when you want to enjoy those cool mornings and evenings, as well as a storage device. All under one hundred bucks too!

Check out our Pinterest Board on ways to get a little extra privacy on your porch.

Option 2. One of these on either side of your porch, or outside your front door with potted flowers on top would look great! The top comes off for an easy storage device that holds up to 30 gallons. On a side note they come in 8 different colors. What’s not to love!

Take a look at our Pinterest Board for some great ideas on seating for your porch.

Option 3. This coffee table doubles as a storage container and can hold up to 30 gallons! The plastic top makes it easy to clean as well as deal with pesky weather conditions. You can choose from three different colors.

We hope you found these ideas useful when putting together your porch or patio. Or if you are moving and are looking for a place to call your own in Austin, give us a call at 512 231 1400. Our free service will help find the perfect apartment for you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why South Austin Is The New "It" Place To Live

Austin grows rapidly every year. It would take a small book to cover all the changes Austin undergoes each year keep up with its ever growing population. That said, today we are going to focus on South Austin. Unlike decades past, South Austin is quickly becoming one of the most popular areas in the City to live. If we dive in a little deeper, we can see the evidence that South Austin is gaining in popularity and why...

In 1995, the average rent for an apartment in Austin was $.83 / sq ft.  Compare that with $1.31 / sqft in the second quarter of this year and you can see that Austin rents have increased a whopping 57% in the last 10 years.  Even with dramatically climbing rents, Austinites are still willing to pay higher rent for an apartment in South Austin compared to one in North Austin. In that same quarter, on average, the rent for a one bedroom apartment in South Austin was 5.5% higher than a one bedroom apartment in North Austin.

To accommodate this demand and take advantage of higher rents, construction in South Austin is booming.  Take South Lamar for example.  In just the 3 mile stretch between Barton Springs Road and 71, five new luxury apartment complexes have opened recently or are soon to open.  Three of them practically on the same corner!  
Why is this? Well, we’ve got a view ideas…

Unlike North Austin, which grew rapidly in the 80s and 90s, South Austin still has land to offer that  is in close proximity to downtown.  New bars and restaurants have opened up to meet the demand for new hot spots. Live music is plentiful, parks are everywhere and the greenbelt is at your fingertips. Places like Campbell’s Hole, Twin Falls and Barton Springs offer unique opportunities to hike and enjoy nature. Local parks like Butler, Zilker and the newly renovated Auditorium Shores host festivals and outdoor events of almost every kind, practically year-round.

If you would like to get in on the South Austin craze for some of the same reasons we mentioned above, give us a call at 512 231 1400. One of our agents will get you set up with a great place in a great part of the city that you can call home!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Three Points You'll Want To Consider When Choosing A Roommate

There are a lot of great reasons to rent an apartment; location, price, and amenities are fabulous selling points. Add a roommate into the mix and you’ve got a pretty affordable situation that allows you to save money or even just live on a frugal budget. Given Austin’s rising cost of living, having a roommate makes more sense now than ever.

But finding the right roommate isn’t as easy as inviting your friends or family to come live with you. Even though most of us would prefer to live with someone we know, living with someone new doesn’t have to be all bad. Here are several points you should consider first, in order to figure out who would be the best fit for you. Trust us, this could save you a lot of time, heartache and money.

1. Financial stability - The top of our list is making sure your person of choice, or whoever you are considering to fill the spot, has a steady job and is able to uphold their part of the rent and bills, on time! There is nothing worse than depending on someone and having them flake out on you, leaving you with full financial responsibility and possibly even ruining your credit!

2. Habits - Personal habits are no joke, if someone is the complete opposite of you in the ways of hygiene and cleanliness you might find that it gets on your nerves during the hours you spend at home. Or even that you are the one that ends up cleaning up after their mess!

3. Lifestyle - If your potential roommate has a different set of life goals, or less responsibilities than you, this could mean a certain kind of lifestyle, such as late nights, loud music, and friends over every weekend. You might have an easier time choosing someone that has similar life goals and lifestyle to you. 

If you're looking for an apartment with enough room to split costs with a roommate or two, give us a call at 512 231 1400. We would love to get you set up and the best part is that it comes at no cost to you!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Top 5 Races You Should Know About

October is fast approaching and if you’re anything like us, the thought of Fall weather brings pumpkin spiced lattes, evenings on the patio, and trendy fashions to mind. Turns out though, October is also a great month to get involved in something active as well! Austin holds several city run/races that are fun, family-friendly, and for good causes.

We thought we would make it easy for ourselves, and you by compiling the list below.

October 10th - Crowns Of Hope 5K
This run is not just for adults, kids of all ages are welcome too, so make it a family event! You can walk, run or do both. Crowns Of Hope holds this event every year to help trafficking survivors get back on their feet. http://crownsofhopetexas.org/

October 24th - Austin Halloween Half Marathon and 5K
What something big to shoot for? Sign up for the half marathon or the 5K, bring the kids to support you from the sidelines, and afterwards enjoy live music, breakfast, and family-friendly activities. http://www.austinhalloweenhalf.com/

October 24th - The ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk 5K
This run/walk is for the whole family to enjoy and helps support a great cause. The proceeds help provide research for new treatments, free prostate cancer testing, and helps educate men and family about prostate cancer. http://www.kintera.org/faf/home/ccp.asp?ievent=1141973&lis=1&kntae1141973=0412D2BFCBBE4A019C90715789B99A6C&ccp=666881

October 30th - Running The Rock 5K and Kids 1K
Come for a walk/run in your Halloween costume and enjoy the many activities that include, but are not limited to, face painting, bouncy houses, costume contests, pumpkin carving, and a pumpkin patch! The funds raised for this event will go towards helping support four different non profit organizations!  http://www.sisterstriing.com/runningtherock/

October 31st - Blacklight Run - 3 miles
All ages are welcome, whether you want to walk or run, you will get “glowed”. This run takes place in the evening, with cool weather and lots of fun to boot! Definitely an experience you won’t forget! http://www.blacklightrun.com/

Are you a runner looking for a place in Austin to call home just in time for these outdoor Fall activities? Contact us at 512 231 1400 and let us help you get set up for free!

Friday, September 4, 2015

7 Ways To Decorate Your Walls

Apartment living can sometimes mean smaller living spaces, low ceilings, and/or layouts that can be hard to work with when it comes to picking out furniture and decor. When your place is small, it’s easy to wonder how decorating can make much of a difference. You might find yourself asking ‘what’s the point?’

The good news is that regardless of a limited floor plan and space, one thing universal to all homes no matter the size…..are walls! Using walls to add a decorating style that is unique to you can actually be a lot of fun. 
It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in your apartment for awhile, or just moved in. Here are some ideas that you can get started on at any time, which we guarantee will make your house feel more like a home!

1. Add a fresh coat of paint! The quickest way to add your personal mark to your living space is to paint your walls anything other than the regular shade of ‘off white’ that they will most likely come in. Using the brighter spectrum of neutral colors can actually give the illusion that your home has more light than it actually does.

2. Paint an accent wall. If you aren’t feeling up to the amount of work that it would take to repaint your entire place, a simpler solution would be to just paint one wall. Pick a wall that you want to be more visually striking from the rest, and then paint it all one solid color of your choosing. If you’re the DIY kind, this should only take an afternoon. But even if you’re pressed for time, consider outsourcing the task through Task Rabbit or other tech service platforms.

Check out our ‘Time To Paint!’ Pintrest board for a few ideas on using bold paint colors.

For 1, 2, or 3, make sure you check with your landlord before you paint! Many property managers don’t allow you to paint the walls. If that’s the case…

4. Make your own gallery wall. This can be a beautiful and simple way to create a story. Add pictures to frames of your travels, spouse, kids, family, pets, your children’s artwork, or favorite quotes and paintings. A rule of thumb is to either have all your frames be different shapes, or all one shape.

5.Set up a collection of mirrors. This is the same concept as the gallery wall mentioned above, except you use mirrors of all different shapes and sizes. This can also give the illusion that your place has more natural light to it.3. Add a mural. Know any friends that are artists? Or, want to give it a try yourself? Add a painting of a tree, a design, or whatever goes a-long with the theme you are trying to create. You can find stencil patterns online. Print them out, cut out the designs, and then just fill in the blanks!

6. Hang maps. If you have a love for travel this can be a perfect way to show it off creatively. Or this can simply remind you of the places you would love to go, or the places you have already been!

7. Set up floating bookshelves. If you happen to collect books on any topic; whether it’s fiction, cooking, yoga, best sellers, philosophy, or whatever hobby or interest you have, why not hang them on individual shelves on your wall? If you really want to make things look aesthetically pleasing , you can them them according to color.

Finding an apartment with the flexibility and layout to fit your personal style doesn’t have to be a challenge. Our apartment locators know all the apartments that will let you paint, hang your TV, and give you the wall space you need to personalize! Call us today at 512-231-1400 to get your Austin apartment search underway!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dog and Duck to Reopen in East Austin

The beloved Dog and Duck pub, which closed its longtime location on Guadalupe near UT last fall, will reopen in East Austin, Community Impact reports.

The old location was a longtime favorite of Austinites.  The owner, Jeff McKillop, said that finding affordable property for a restaurant or bar near downtown was almost impossible.  The old Dog and Duck will be turned into apartments.

The new location is at 2400 Webberville Road, Ste. A, near 7th Street, and it will have both indoor and outdoor seating.  There will also be 40 beers on tap and a revamped menu full of traditional British food.

The new Dog and Duck will look very familiar, however.  Crews were able to salvage almost every piece of the old building, including the floor, ceiling, fireplace, bar, tables and chairs.  They will also be bringing back most of staff from the old location.  The new Dog and Duck is set to reopen by late next month.  We can all raise a glass to that!

Looking for an #apartment in east Austin?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400.

Friday, July 3, 2015

How to Share With Roommates

Sharing a space with roommates means you have to figure out how to negotiate whether food is shared, how you differentiate between each other's food, and what household goods are shared.  Read Apartment Therapy's tips and make sure you have good ground rules set for a successful roommate relationship.

Before you start living together, set out the ground rules for your relationship.  If you hate sharing, make sure your roommate is clear that your shampoo and your guacamole are off limits. An easy way to do this is to designate certain shelves for each person.

Label your stuff so that visitors know that the food they are eating doesn't belong to their friend, but to the roommate.  Labeling every single thing may foster some resentment, so proceed wisely.

Use tightly sealed containers for leftovers to avoid spills, a stinky fridge, and food going faster bad than you'd like.  No roommate wants to deal with someone else's smelly mess.

Make sure you fully close bottles, especially in the shower.  Otherwise, they could fall over and cause a huge mess for your roomie, plus waste a lot of your precious product.

Do you love reorganizing and cleaning?  Most roommates won't stop you, but make sure you ask permission before touching and moving your roommate's stuff.  

Finally, be respectful and clean up your mess!  Keep your portions of your #apartment clean and tidy and hopefully your roommate will respond in kind.

Looking for an apartment in #Austin with a great roommate floor plan?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rents Continue to Rise, Despite New Construction

I was recently interviewed by KVUE for an article about rising rents in #Austin.  Rents continue to arise despite lots of #apartment construction.  In fact, 12,000 new units are expected to open in the next year.

However, since almost all the construction is in hot, trendy areas around downtown, it isn't causing a relief in prices.  If we did see more new construction outside of those areas, prices might go down.

Downtown, renters would be very lucky to find a studio apartment for $1500.  Across Austin, if anything is below $800, you'll have to be on a wait list for something to open up.

Prices do go down in the Fall and Spring, so if you can wait, you may be rewarded with lower prices.  

Need help navigating Austin's hot rental market?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to take advantage of our expert knowledge of vacancies, move-in specials, and amenities at all the best properties in town.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Follow Home Decor Trends Without Losing Your Style

It can be easy to get caught up in home decor trends that you see online or in home magazines and lose your own sense of style.  Realty Times has tips on how to avoid making your home look like a model home full of style, but devoid of personality.

Just because the latest and greatest in personal decor is mid-century, doesn't mean you have to throw all your stuff out and start over if you prefer an eclectic, cluttered look.  Focus on color, scale, texture, contrast, and function, but don't worry about adopting the latest fads in home decorating if it doesn't appeal to you.

Defining your home decor style is a great start to decorating your apartment.  Not sure what your style is?  Look to your wardrobe and style of dressing for inspiration, especially when it comes to color and pattern.  Feel free to mix up styles as well.

The "80/20 rule" is a great way to approach decorating.  Choose foundation pieces and on-trend items to decorate 80 percent of every room in your home and keep the other 20 percent for pieces that have meaning for you, whether they are heirlooms, remind you of a happy time or place, or because you just like the way they look.

Above all, go for fun!  When you come home after the end of a long day, you want to live in a space that makes you smile, so don't be afraid to go for filling your home with spaces that you love, even if they don't follow design trends.

Looking for an #apartment you can really make your own?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Be Successful with Houseplants in an Apartment

Just because you live in an apartment doesn't meant you can't exercise your green thumb.  Or become an expert gardener if so far your thumb has been more on the brown side.  Follow About.com's tips to successfully keep plants alive in your#apartment.

Figure out what the humidity level is in your apartment and then find out what type of plant does best in that environment.  Tropical plants will do best in a humid apartment, but even if your home is more arid, you can add moisture by putting gravel in the bottom of the pot and placing the pot in a dish filled with water.  Using a water bottle to spritz leaves also can help plants who need more humidity to grow well.

Over-watering can cause the roots of your plants to rot.  Plants can also die if their roots aren't property drained on a regular basis.  You can use rocks to help keep your plant's pot from becoming too wet.  Also, let the soil dry a little before you pull the watering can out again to prevent drowning your plants.

Light is also absolutely necessary for plants to thrive.  If your apartment doesn't get a lot of natural light, you might be better off avoiding live plants.  If you do get light, look into what sorts of plants would be best and whether they require direct sunlight, partial sunlight, or shade.  Then place them accordingly.

Using the correct amount of fertilizer is important for healthy plants.  Usually, adding a water soluble fertilizer to your plant three times during the growing period will help it grow just the right amount to avoid frequent re-plantings or bugs.
If you really have trouble keeping plants alive, choose more hearty species like snake plants, African violets, and aloe.

Finally, once plants are in a location they are thriving in, don't move them!  Plants like to stay in one place and if you move them around, they may start dying.

Need help finding an apartment with lots of fantastic natural light, perfect for gardening?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Central Austin Schools Losing Students

Central Austin public schools are losing students, Community Impact reports.  Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, AISD started to see decreases in enrollment, a trend which is projected to continue until 2018.

Several factors are affecting the enrollment of central Austin schools, including charter schools, the 2007-2011 recession, which caused people to have less children, and the tendency of adults to wait longer to have children.

The average elementary school enrollment is currently 470, but by 2024, that is projected to be 368.  Families are also being pushed out to the suburbs by the high cost of housing in the core of the city, and the fact that much of the housing stock isn't geared towards what families want today.

Schools are paid per student, so decreases in enrollment makes it difficult for them to fund high quality programming and pay teachers competitive rates.  The district does not want to close any schools, since they are such an important part of neighborhoods and population and demographics could change to where the schools are needed.  Kathie Tovo, a City Council member, wants to see creative solutions like renting out unused portions of schools to banks, afterschool programs, and other compatible renters.

Need help finding an #apartment in central #Austin near a school you'll love?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400.