Friday, March 27, 2015

Living Alone Without Feeling Lonely

There are a lot of positive things to be said for living alone, but loneliness certainly isn't one of them.  Apartment Therapy has some tips for fighting off loneliness when you are the only inhabitant of your #apartment.

Don't become a recluse and physically hole yourself up in your apartment.  Make sure to say hello to your neighbors.  If you have an outdoor area, make it a welcoming place to spend time and observe the world around you.

There are lots of things you may enjoy doing that you can't do when you live with roommates or a significant other.  Celebrate those!  Whatever activity it is you love that you can't do around other people, take time for it and revel in it.

Pets are great companions, especially if you live alone.  Even if a dog or cat isn't possible, small pets like fish or even just putting bird feeders outside by a window can provide interaction with a living thing and prevent loneliness.

Inviting friends over is a great way to make you feel less alone.  It needn't be fancy, just hosting a game night or movie night is a low stress way to bring people into your home.

Fill your time with a new endeavor, whether it's trying a new recipe, playing an instrument, or learning to knit.  Whatever you choose, figuring out how to do something new is a great way to fill your time and prevent loneliness.

Figure out what bothers you about living alone and figure out ways to prevent it.  For example, if you feel sad when you get home from work or school because there's no one there to talk to about your day, arrange to call a friend and share your days or call your mom.  Does boredom result in loneliness?  Make sure you've got a hobby or a good book to sink into and take your mind off of being alone.

Ready to find a new apartment that's cozy for one now that you know how to combat loneliness?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Austin Rental Rates Higher than National Average

I was recently interviewed by KVUE for an piece about how local Austin rental rates compare to the national average.  Austin's rental rates are higher than the average for the entire country.

Rates vary across the city, but when I was helping Jayson Housson, a San Antonio resident who will be moving to Austin to go to UT this Fall, we were looking for apartments close to campus.  Housson was finding that most of the one bedrooms in that area are $1,000 to $1,200.  By looking just east of 35, where students will have to take a short bus ride rather than walk or bike to campus, I was able to find Housson a one bedroom in a student community for $450.

The main factors in the high prices are the proximity to downtown and the high apartment occupancy rate.  It is extremely difficult to get an  apartment in Austin for less than $750 because those prime apartments are 98 to 99 percent occupied.

A recent national survey by Apartment List found that Austin's average rent is $940 for a one bedroom, while the national average is $890 and the Texas average is $830.  For two-bedrooms, Austin's average rent is $1,210, while the US average is $960 and the Texas average is $940.

In Dallas and Houston, you can get a nicer, bigger apartment for the same price as something smaller and older in Austin.  Our availability just isn't as large as some of the other big cities, which is what keeps their rents lower.  

Need help navigating Austin's tight rental market?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and use our expert knowledge to help you find the perfect #apartment!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fining Renters for Bad Reviews

A Florida apartment complex has inserted a "Social Media Addendum" into their lease that bans renters from writing bad reviews on the internet and fines them $10,000 if they violate the policy, Ars Technica reports.

The far-reaching clause also says that any bad reviews and "any and all written or photographic works regarding the Owner, the Unit, the property, or the apartments" becomes the property of the landlord.  So if you take a few photos of your friends enjoying dinner at your apartment, it's the property of the landlord.

The property manager of the complex, Windermere Cay, says that the clause is void, but it is still being given to residents as part of their lease contract.  One resident, who supplied the contract and said he has no intention of writing negative reviews, asked for the clause to be removed from his lease, but it wasn't.

Legal experts say not only is the Social Media Addendum unenforceable, it probably opens the apartment up to legal action just for including it in their contract.  Court precedent is to rule against any action by a business that attempts to control customer reviews, often ordering the businesses to pay large settlements to the affected customers.

Looking for a new #apartment that will have you doing nothing but singing its praises on social media?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ways to Get Out of a Cooking Rut

We all get into the habit of cooking tried and true recipes over and over.  What if you're getting bored and want to try some new ingredients in your cooking?  Check out The Kitchn's suggestions for breaking out of your comfort zone and cooking in all new ways.

Take a trip to your grocery store when you aren't in a rush and take time to look at the shelves carefully. If you see something that intrigues you, don't be afraid to pick it up and see if you can use it in a brand new recipe.  

Go to an ethnic market you don't normally visit, rather than your usual neighborhood grocery store.  See what attracts your attention, watch what other people buy, and ask the store proprietors for suggestions.  There are so many options, you can visit a new market every month:  Middle Eastern this month, Japanese the next, etc.

Joining a CSA is a great way to get new vegetables you might not be used to.  Not a big vegetable lover?  There are also meat, grain and seafood shares that will send you those other food staples in much the same way as a CSA.

A new cookbook can shake you out of your old habits by introducing you to new recipes and techniques.  There's one for anything under the sun so take a trip to your local library, bookstore, or Amazon and find something that piques your taste buds.

Finally, when you travel, buying ingredients from your destination is a great way to bring the tastes of your vacation home.  Add a cookbook, and you can be instantly transported back to your holiday in your home kitchen.

Need help finding a new #apartment with a fantastic kitchen to take your culinary adventures?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400!