Finding a rental apartment is not always easy. Depending on occupancy rates in a particular area, it actually might be quite difficult to find available apartments that are also within your price range and meet all of your pre-determined requirements. However, even in areas where there is not a great deal of competition for the available apartments, renters may still have some difficulty finding the perfect apartment. This article will offer some tips for finding a rental apartment that suits all of your needs.

Figure Out Your Needs

The first step of any apartment search should begin with the potential renter carefully identifying all of their needs in an apartment. This list of needs will be different for every renter. While some renters are simply looking for a place to eat, bathe and sleep other renters may be looking for a living space which will serve a number of purposes including working, entertaining and participating in leisure activities or hobbies. When making this list of needs the renter should consider the options they cannot live without as well as the options they want to have but can live without. It is important to make this distinction because the renter will want to ensure the apartment they choose has all of the features they need and ideally a few features they want. However, an apartment which does not have all the required features may become an uncomfortable living situation very quickly.

Do Your Research

Once a renter has a good idea of the basic features he is looking for in an apartment, he should begin researching his options. Researching apartments can be done on the Internet, through the newspaper or through rental magazines. Renters may use one of these research methods exclusively or may combine a few of the methods to form a customized strategy for researching apartments. The research phase will give the renter an idea of the types of properties available for rent in the area.

Comparison Shop

The next step is the process of comparison shopping. This basically entails visiting several different rental properties and touring these facilities. During the tour the renter will get a good idea of available options as well as the costs associated with these options. This is helpful for two very important reasons. First it gives the renter a good idea of the types of apartments available within their budget. Second it gives the renter the ability to bargain regarding price. Renters who have proof of other apartment complexes offering more favorable rental terms, may be able to entice another complex to lower their prices slightly.

Ask for Recommendations

Renters can also help themselves in their search for an apartment by seeking recommendations from trusted friends and family members. These recommendations can be taken to be much more worthwhile than recommendations offered by the apartment complex from previously satisfied tenants. It is important to note the apartment complex is likely to only offer testimony from tenants who were happy with their rental agreement. For this reason, opinions offered by friends and family members are much more valuable because they do not have a vested interest in the rental property and simply offer their honest opinion. Friends or family members who share your interests and personality traits can be very helpful in offering recommendations for apartments because it is very likely you will be happy with the apartment they recommend.

Consult the Better Business Bureau

Finally, renters should consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before making a final decision and choosing an apartment complex. This can be very helpful especially if the renter finds a particular apartment complex has a number of unresolved complaints against them. While a lack of complaints is not necessarily an endorsement, it is a good sign if the complex has been in business for number of years without a slew of unresolved complaints.

Renting an apartment is a very serious decision which warrants a great deal of attention before a final decision is made. When choosing an apartment to rent, renters have a variety of factors to consider including, but not limited to, price, size, location, amenities, whether or not they want a roommate and how long they want to stay in the apartment. Those who plan to rent an apartment should consider all of their options before making a decision to ensure they are making the best possible decision. This article will discuss the importance of considering all of the possible options as well as the possibility of having roommates and the importance of reading contracts carefully.

Consider All the Possible Options

When renting an apartment, the renter should first investigate all of the options available to him to ensure he is able to make an informed decision. This is important because the renter may not even be aware of all of the available options until he starts to for an apartment. The best way to find out what type of apartments are available is to do some research on the Internet and in newspapers and rental magazines and then start visiting apartments which seem interesting. In visiting the apartments the renter will get a better idea of the size and types of amenities which are available in his price range. He will also begin to learn more about the types of amenities available. This is important because not all apartments will offer the same amenities. Renters may not find what they are looking for unless they visit a few places before making a decision.

Consider the Possibility of Roommates

Deciding whether or not to have a roommate or multiple roommates is one of the important decisions a renter will have to make. This is an important decision because roommates can make a living situation either significantly better or significantly worse depending on a number of factors. These factors may include compatibility of the roommates, ability to pay the rent and ability to assist in the household activities.

Having roommates can make an apartment more affordable. Often larger apartments may be more affordable for two people than a smaller apartment would be for one renter. Additionally, apartments designed for two or more people often have a larger overall living space with a larger kitchen, dining room and family room. This makes the possibility of roommates very appealing to some renters.

However, there are some caveats to making the decision to live with a roommate. Care should be taken to carefully screen potential roommates to ensure they are not potentially harmful. Strangers do not present the only potential roommate problems. Problems may even occur when the roommate is a trusted friend. In these cases, compatible living styles may be the issue. For example, if one roommate likes to stay up late and listen to music or watch television and the other roommate likes to go to sleep early there can be some conflicts if compromises are not made. Also, if one of the roommates is particularly neat and the other rather messy, conflicts may arise.

Read the Contract Carefully

Whether a renter opts to have a roommate or not and regardless of the type of apartment they select, the renter should be careful to read the contract before signing it. This is important because a rental agreement is a legal document and the renter should understand this document before they sign the agreement. Many renters may never need to know the exact information in their contract document but if a dispute arises, the renter should be aware of his rights. Additionally, the renter should pay special attention to any sections of the contract which specify the landlord’s ability to evict the tenant. Contract sections specifying the requirements of the renter are also very important. This may include requirements for breaking the lease agreement in the event that the renter has to move before the lease period ends.

For the past several years I have seen the emergence of a new trend called ‘Life-styling’. Life-styling encompasses many elements on gracious living, extravagant and memorable entertaining, architecture, home design, and tips on where to live comfortably in spaces large and small, with less effort or clutter than you can imagine. In fact, this trend has effectively blurred the lines of traditional titles and professions. New ideas and new inspiration have created new sales to the tune of over 70 million dollars for one large company.

But haven’t good ideas for living always been around? The answer is yes. Certainly there have been people in the past that shared tips and ideas through books and magazine articles on how to entertain, or make a special recipe; they were mostly focused on one area. Lifestyling gurus help you capture all the pieces and put them together graciously and quickly. Collectively, they promote ideas on living, entertaining, decorating, gardening, fashion and design. The focus of some of the ideas is glamorous while others are much more practical. In fact, some of the ideas are not really “new” at all, just regenerated information with a twist. Today, Lifestyling books contain the complete picture. Add to that the convenience aspect. We can obtain many of these ideas in articles, books, websites, TV and video. Product endorsements and specialized lines are also available to top Lifestylists. Can you see why the opportunities are endless?

Who are the Life stylists?

Unless you’ve been whisked away to an island without TV, Internet access or a newspaper, you can’t escape the ideas and publicity generated by Ms. Martha Stewart. Hands down, Martha is the most well known Life stylist out there. Whatever your take on her style, or where her career is currently headed, she has created a multi-million dollar industry all to herself.

You may also be familiar with other Life stylists like Susie Coelho, Carolyne Roehm, Sheila Bridges, Katie Brown and Colin Cowie to name a few. These Life stylists were former fashion models and business owners, interior or furniture designers, caterers or event planners. Whatever their background, the ideas and information contribute in large ways to this new industry. In an era when fast food and fast pace reign supreme, and etiquette and formal parties have fallen off, they have brought the idea of homemaking and fabulous entertaining back into style.

Standing out within a proven trend

All of the ideas are not perfect for everyone. In a world where we are embracing our diversity and individual contributions, there is no doubt that the current crop of Lifestylists can stand a few more ideas. We are all becoming conditioned to receiving large amounts of information at a time. Think about how a consumer might question the value of a cookbook with just recipes over a book that explains how to shop, prepare, serve, decorate and entertain all in one book. Which do you think might capture more interest? Are your services just as interesting?

Are you capitalizing on this trend?

We are all guilty of focusing on our core competencies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But once you’ve become efficient or obtained expert status in one area, it’s time to expand your offerings. If you want to expand your offerings by turning what you do into a lifestyle brand – think big and think differently. Thinking of yourself as a complete brand is worthwhile to you, your clients, and your current revenue.

Look at ways you can naturally and effortlessly expand what you do. For example, I hired a caterer recently to provide food for a shower I was throwing. It would have made my life much easier if he had offered to provide complete event-planning services as well. It is a natural expansion. Even If he doesn’t know a thing about planning those events or did not have the staff to do so he can easily team up with event planners that do.

Riding the trend requires a different way of thinking. Caterers are not just providing food; they become consultants in entertaining. Decorators don’t just decorate; they style a room around a style of life.

Can you do it too?

  • Of course you can! Begin where you are with what you have.
  • Take note of the new trend and think about what compliments your current services;
  • Think about how to make your client’s life easier by providing more ideas, value and assistance in executing those ideas. If you don’t know how to do something different, seek out the information and learn it, or
  • Team up with other professionals that add something complimentary to your core service;
  • Reinvent your title to match your new service offerings;
  • Educate your client with the information you have, but have not used and;
  • Strive to provide something unique in your market.

A decade ago, shopping for home decor could be a real hassle. In order to assess the range of products that were available, you either had to traipse from store to store or rely on the catalogs that appeared in your mailbox. Thanks to the Internet, though, you can easily shop for kitchen decor, garden decor, or items for other rooms in your house with a few simple clicks of your mouse. Instead of choosing from among dozens or even hundreds of products, you can select from among hundreds of thousands of wonderful items that can infuse your home with whatever mood you choose. Here are some ideas for every room in the house:

Living Room

When it comes to shopping for home decor, your living room is like a canvas upon which you can create any portrait you desire. The best way to approach shopping for accents is to think about how you want to feel when you’re in the room. Do you want a sunny, energizing look, a calm, soothing ambience, or do you want the room to reflect your interests and hobbies? It’s often helpful to look through magazines and clip photographs of rooms that appeal to you.

Before you begin selecting home decor accents, consider the room’s lighting. Choose lamps and sconces that will add to the mood of the room. Next, select window coverings and rugs that express the ambience you’re after. Then, you can select accents that fit that motif.

Bedrooms

When decorating the bedrooms in your home, it’s fun to give each bedroom a different theme. One room might be patriotic, while another might have nautical decor, Egyptian decor, or wildlife decor. For your bedroom, candles, blankets, decorative pillows, and wall art can all bring your theme to life. Be sure to incorporate meaningful items in your bedroom decor, such as family photos, treasured books, religious figurines, things you’ve received as gifts, and so forth.

Dining Room or Kitchen

The heart of the home is wherever families gather to eat. Whether your family utilizes a dining room or a kitchen table, it’s important to select items that are both beautiful and utilitarian. If you don’t want to decorate around a theme, you may consider having your kitchen decor revolve around a certain color palette. You can then select tableware, place mats, tablecloths, and appliances that coordinate with those colors.

In the Garden

Today, an increasing number of people are utilizing their patios and gardens as though they were additional rooms in the house. If you live in a moderate climate, consider bringing the indoors out with furniture, lighting, and accents that you can use virtually year-round. Birdbaths, fountains, wind chimes, statuary, and hammocks can all add a gentle peacefulness to your outdoor space.

Final Shopping Tips

Shopping online for home decor is a great way to get decorating ideas and the perfect way to find a huge selection of products. You’ll also be able to find high-quality items at bargain prices – something that every home decorator will appreciate!

Your living room is the room in your house where most of the living takes place. It’s where your family gathers to watch television, read, and generally unwind and relax after a busy day. It’s also the room where company gathers during parties and holidays. But you’re struggling to come up with decorating ideas and strategies for it, and you worry that your budget isn’t big enough to do the job justice. But with a little planning, creativity, and ingenuity, your living room can be a relaxing environment where you can unwind or entertain with comfort and ease.

Consider pulling pieces you have in other rooms into your living room to use. A short, double-sided dresser can easily become a buffet when a table runner and an arrangement of candles or a colorful flower centerpiece is placed on top.

Use your furniture arrangement to define functional areas. Strategically placed floor rugs, lamps and furniture can create zones in your home. You can arrange your seating to take advantage of a focal point, such as a television, picture window or a fireplace. You can also find affordable component pieces that combine functional storage with fashionable decorating lines. Tables with drawers and shelves add valuable, and a simple desk doubles for homework, household management, bill paying and filing.

When accessorizing your room, remember that less is more. Choose neutral colors and accent with colorful textured throws, rugs, and other decorative and artistic elements. Keep the balance of your room in perspective. You don’t want to overwhelm a small room with large, bold pieces, nor do you want to place smaller, neutral pieces in a large room where they’ll get lost.

If you’re working with used furniture, try distracting from worn upholstery or a faded finish by using colorful toss pillows or table runners. Bright curtains can distract from a faded carpet and breathe new life into an old room.