Moving In With Your Significant Other

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Finding and falling in love with your soul mate is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life.  The more time you begin to spend with one another, the better you get to know each other, but nothing reveals more about a person and your relationship than moving in together.  Before you and your significant other decide to take the plunge, there are a few things that should be discussed.

COMMUNICATION

As with any potential roommatecommunication is key.  When choosing to move in together, you are significantly increasing the amount of time, money and space to be shared.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

EXPENSES

One of the biggest and potentially most uncomfortable topics to broach is money and expenses.  Unlike a typical roommate situation, a couple’s finances have a tendency to become much more entwined.  Before taking things to the next level, decide how all living expenses will be split, and whether or not you will share or maintain separate bank accounts.  Be clear about your expectations to avoid disappointment and frustration.

Moving in with your significant other

Moving in with your significant other

RESPONSIBILITIES

The next order of business is division of household responsibilities.  Couples may choose to assign certain tasks (one handles dishes, the other handles laundry), designate cleaning days or hours, or agree to maintain certain rooms or spaces.  Regardless of how you decide to divide the larger tasks, agree to clean up after yourselves.  Respecting and maintaining your mutual space will help preclude any resentment.  When you commit to someone, changes in work and home life are bound to occur over time; stay open-minded and flexible about adjusting the workload at home accordingly.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Ready to find your next apartment?

SCHEDULES

If you are dating someone seriously enough to move in, you are most likely familiar with each other’s schedules.  If your work or social calendars are not in sync, be clear about what you both need from one another to make it work.  If one of you is up at the crack of dawn to get to the gym before work, the other should be willing to abide by quiet hours after 10pm.  If one of you is committed to night work or activities, be sure to set aside designated time to spend together, such as dinner or breakfast.  Having identical schedules is not realistic, but respecting each other’s needs and desires is crucial.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

FURNISHINGS

When moving in with your significant other, it is likely that you will also be combining and coordinating furnishings and personal belongings.  After assembling a list of your must-keep items, eliminate duplicate items and decide together what stays and what goes.  Compromise on the style of your shared space and collaborate to purchase supplementary items.  Idealists may choose to split the cost of each purchase while prudent individuals may choose to purchase items separately to ease the potential division of assets down the line.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

If you’ve made it through these major discussions unscathed, then you’re off to a great start!  Employing all of these techniques should get you off on the right foot, but maintaining them is easier said than done.  Holding up your end of the bargain is the one thing you have sole control over.  To maintain a happy home, periodically revisit the agreements you’ve made with one another.  As discussed, our lives are constantly changing and evolving and our ability to adapt to both our own and our partners schedules and needs is key.  Keep an open line of communication going to avoid falling into a rut.  Eventually, you’ll fall into a routine that works well for both of you.  Keep things fun and exciting by enjoying date nights and shared activities at home, but allow yourselves some alone time as well.

Moving in together is an exciting step for any relationship.  With a little effort up front and some deliberate maintenance, you’ll be well on your way to happily ever after!

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

How To Not Suck As A Roommate

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A Friendly Guide From Holli And Maddie About How To Not Suck As A Roommate

1. Get A Job
Not only do you have a serious sushi habit to support, but you’ve got to be able to pay your rent and bills on time, too.

2. Clean Up Your Act
-do your dishes
-take out the trash
-clean out the shower drain
-throw away your moldy cheese

3. Hit The Town
Don’t be the guy that never leaves the house.  Get off the couch and go socialize with some real, live people.

4. Quit Over-sharing
Seriously, talking about your rash is not good dinner conversation.  You know better.

5. Stop “Borrowing” Things
You’re a big kid now, time to get your own shampoo and shop for your own food.  Plus, it’s not borrowing if you can’t give it back.

6. Keep It Real 
Nobody like a liar, liar pants on fire.  Own up to your messes and mistakes.

7. Speak Your Mind
When troubles arise, don’t play the passive-aggresive game.  Talk things out as you go to avoid a major blowup down the line.

8. Don’t Invite A +1
If your main squeeze has become a mainstay in your apartment, they ought to be paying rent.  Have a little respect for your real rookie.

9. Check In (And Check Out)
Keep your roomie informed of your schedule, especially any upcoming trips or visitors.  They deserve to know when they can and can’t lounge in their underpants.

10. Play Nice
Plan a weekly or monthly roomie night to touch base.  Offering to cook dinner or enjoying a night on the town will help keep the good vibes alive.

So there you have it.  No more excuses for being a crappy roommate.  Now go BE AWESOME!

Ready to find your next apartment?

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Can You Rent an Apartment if You’re Not a U.S. Citizen?

Many Americans are interested in living abroad and experiencing cultures different from their own, so it’s not surprising that many people from elsewhere want to come to America, as well. In fact, according to American Community Survey (ACS) data, more than 43 million immigrants resided in the U.S. in 2016. And many of them rent.

Renting as a non-citizen is absolutely plausible, but just like an American-born renter, you’ll be similarly scrutinized before signing a lease. Read on for a quick rundown of what you’ll likely need to provide and what to expect overall.

Proof of income

That charming accent you bring to the table won’t get you out of paying rent, and your landlord wants to know that you’ll pay on time each month. As such, part of your rental application will ask for information about your job or employment history.

In the United States, the general rule of thumb dictates you should spend about 30 percent of your income on rent. Do the math beforehand to see if you (and your roommate or roommates) can collectively afford the place in which you’re interested, because your landlord’s going to do it for you, as well.

Rent, of course, won’t be your only housing-related expense, so do research (you can even ask the landlord or property manager) to get an estimate of utilities such as water, gas and electricity. Some power companies even have online calculators you can use, plugging in things like square footage to determine what it will cost to heat or cool the place.

Deposits

Most apartment communities will require a security deposit when you sign a lease. If you have a pet, a pet deposit may be required, as well. These fees serve as financial insurance for the landlord should you fail to pay your rent, break your lease or damage the property in any way.

What’s more, when renting as a non-citizen, you may be asked for a larger deposit in the event the property management company is unable to thoroughly check your credit.

Proof of immigration status

While there are federal laws in place that expressly prohibit landlords or property management companies from discriminating against or excluding prospective tenants on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability, familial status or (and for our purposes here, especially) national origin, it is 100 percent legal to ask rental applicants to provide documentation regarding their immigration status.

Why?

Simply put, business is business. Your status is directly connected to whether your landlord can expect you to remain in the United States for the full term of your lease. If your documentation only permits you to stay in the country for another eight months, you won’t be able to fulfill the terms of a 12-month lease. That could be valid grounds for denying your application.

Refusing to rent to a non-citizen solely on the basis of his or her citizenship, however (assuming their citizenship would not prevent them from fulfilling the terms of the lease) is prohibited by law.

[embedded content]

This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Comments

comments

Wants vs. Needs: Which Apartment Amenities are Essential

When you begin apartment hunting, a wish list starts to form in your head. Comprised of all the things you think you want and what you really need, this list can get long, but what do you actually have to have versus what you can do without?

Think about it like this, you want a big kitchen, but you need two bedrooms. You want in-apartment laundry hookups, but you need easy access to public transportation for work. Getting all the wants and needs on your wish list while staying within your budget sometimes presents a challenge.

In fact, 74 percent of renters typically make a sacrifice in amenities in order to rent what they can actually afford. Deciding what to knock off your wish list can be tough. Everything can feel like a “need” when most items are simply “wants.” Here’s a little help deciphering between the two.

Let’s start with the wants

Think of these wishlist items as things it would be great to have, but aren’t a must for you to function.

Aesthetics

These are items that help to create the look you want in your new place. Things like hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances all fit into this category. They’d be great to have, but you could always upgrade later.

Technology

As something we all use every day, having an updated apartment with features like USB charging outlets or app-controlled door locks or thermostats may have made it to your wish list. These are great wants and something you can ask a landlord to consider adding after you’ve signed a lease if they’re not there from the start.

However, access to technology – like internet and cable – is a need.

Outdoor space

Often a popular “want” on the wish list, finding an apartment with either a balcony, shared green space, garden area or rooftop access adds space and luxury to your home, but how often will you really use it?

Appliances

Of course, you’ll need a refrigerator, stove and oven. But other appliances might be more of a want.

If there’s not a washer/dryer in your unit, or hookups to add you own, is there a laundry room in the building? It’s a little less convenient, but not necessarily a deal breaker. Same can be said for central air. A window unit will work just fine.

Services

Looking at these as bonus items for your wish list can help you cross them off if your perfect place is lacking in amenities like a fitness center, pool, concierge or even a shuttle to public transportation.

Now onto the needs

Needs vary from person to person, but there are standard items most people require in their home.

Location

Sure, you may want to live in a specific area of town because you like the vibe and what’s close by. However, you need to live in a certain neighborhood in order to get to work easily or be in the right school district.

Parking

You’ve got to put that car somewhere. While you need a spot, try being flexible on whether it’s a covered spot, one in a garage or out in the open.

Pet-friendly

There’s no way you’re getting rid of Fido. So, if you have a pet, you’ll need to find pet-friendly apartments to bring your animals with you.

We all make compromises when on the hunt for our next home, but knowing what you really need in your new place versus what you’d like to have can make the search easier and less stressful.

Comments

comments

How Important Should Parking Be in Your Apartment Search?

Parking can be key to your apartment search, especially if you’re expecting a commute. A good parking situation can be a huge bonus when you finally nab the right apartment. The last thing you want is to circle your block hunting for a spot every day. And even if you do get designated parking, it can sometimes be pricey.

At the same time, your lifestyle, location and budget might make parking less relevant. If you’re moving to a new place, how will you figure out if you even need to worry about it? To determine the importance of parking in your search, answer the following questions.

1. Do you own a car?

This is easy. If you own a car, parking should absolutely factor into your apartment search.

Want some less obvious advice? If you don’t have one yet, consider if you might ever own a car. Your set of circumstances is liable to change from year to year. If you stay in the same place long enough, you may just have to purchase your own vehicle.

At the very least, parking is something to consider, even if you currently depend on public transportation. You might end up taking a new job in the middle of your lease at an office located an hour outside the city, for instance. Take stock of your present plans and goals and be considerate of your future needs.

2. Will you pay extra?

Some apartments charge a rent premium for parking garages, an additional cost to consider when weighing your options. You’ll pay more for these residential properties than those without the same amenities, so if you don’t need a space, you should look elsewhere.

The U.S. is a car-friendly nation, and that puts parking costs at a bit of a premium. That means apartments without solid options are likely to charge less. If you’re willing to sacrifice convenience, you might add more flexibility to your monthly budget.

If parking is a premium amenity for you, you can still make sure you know what you’ll pay. Meet with the landlord and have a discussion over what they charge for a space, what kind of security is available and any other concerns you have before you sign a lease.

3. Are there other options?

You have choices in how you get from place to place, and while car ownership is attractive, there are alternatives you can turn to. Dockless bike-sharing programs have seen increasing popularity in many cities, with bicycle commuting up more than 60 percent since the turn of the century.

Many of these cyclists don’t want the additional responsibilities associated with vehicle maintenance, and city traffic is often challenging to navigate. Bike sharing, scooter sharing and ride sharing options provide freedom from these anxieties, and these are friendly on both the environment and the wallet.

These alternatives are usually located in bustling cities, so they might not be available in your area. If they do catch your interest, research different properties and browse around. If living without a car seems freeing, it may even change up where you decide to focus your apartment search.

Parking is always going to be a major concern for most renters, but your situation might be unique. Things are always changing, too, and the next time you’re looking for a place to live, there might be even more transportation options out there. Rethinking your priorities can help you find the apartment that meets all your needs.

Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

Comments

comments

Ask The Apartment Experts: What Is Rent Control?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ask The Apartment Experts: What Is Rent Control?

Rent control is a term that technically applies to all rental housing in DC, but apartments built before 1975 are subject to controls, while those built after that year are exempt. The ‘controls’ that apply to the rental housing built before 1975 limit the amount a landlord can increase your rent year-over-year.

How do I qualify for a rent control apartment?

Rent controlled apartments are available to anyone regardless of income. There are no extra steps for you to take during the application process to qualify. At the time of lease signing, there may be a couple of extra documents/disclosures required.

How does DC rent control work?

The defining characteristic of rent control is that annual increases in your rent may not exceed an allowable increase set by the city government. Considering market rents in the District can increase between 10%-20% depending on demand, having a cap on your rent increase is ideal.

The actual increase is often MUCH less than you would receive at a market rate apartment building. The annual adjustment follows the Consumer Price Index CPI plus somewhere between 2%-10% of your rent. The combination of CPI + the % increase can never exceed 10% total.

EXAMPLE: if in 2016 your rent was $1000 upon your anniversary/lease renewal, your rent could have a maximum increase of $25 (because the CPI was .5% and the city allowed an additional 2% increase).

Most people tend to stay in rent control apartments for a looooong time. see: Monica and Rachel’s apartment on Friends

The compromise to living in these apartment units is that they are old. That usually means these apartment buildings are not going to have a ton of the amenities you might see in newer, luxury buildings. Expect that your apartment will probably be pretty basic think: window air conditioner units and no garbage disposals or dishwashers.

If budget is a concern and you can find a rent control apartment with a long-term prior tenant, you could potentially find a one bedroom for less than $1000. Significantly under market rents like this come available further and fewer between, but deals are still available if you are patient, persistent and willing to spend some time searching.

Where do I find rent control apartments?

What’s the best place to find a rent control deal? We definitely like to highlight our favorites. Check out this article to find a few.

Otherwise, the next best method is good old-fashioned shoe leather. Get out and walk the streets of neighborhoods that interest you. Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park, Van Ness and Glover Park all have a substantial inventory of rent control units.

For more information about affordable apartments read our Guide To Washington, DC Affordable Housing Options.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Searching for an apartment can feel overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider, details to discuss, and decisions to be made. To make things a little easier for you, we broke down what we consider to be the five most important criteria when it comes to apartment searching.  Focus on these factors and your apartment search will be more fun than fearful.

Price

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchFor most people, this is going to be the most important factor to consider. To start, use the basic figure of 30% of your gross income to figure out what your price range is and determine what you can and can’t afford. When making your budget, look at the price as a whole, not just the month-by-month breakdown. Determine how long you will be living there and calculate the total cost.  Be sure to take the different utilities that you will have to pay for into consideration: water, gas, Internet, etc.  Anticipating these costs will help you properly budget for each month.  When you begin searching for an apartment, stick to that budget. Be aware of the trade-offs that come with pricing. For example, if you commit to something that is on the upper end of your budget, you leave yourself with less cash for other lifestyle items such as cable, dining out and shopping.  If you find something suitable on the lower end of your budget, you may be compromising on your wish list, but you’ll also be freeing up a little cash flow.

Location

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

Finding an apartment in your dream location is possible if you know exactly what you are looking for.  Before beginning your search, spend a little time exploring the areas you consider desirable.  Walk the streets and visit a few shops, grab a coffee or tea, take in some people watching and enjoy a night out in the neighborhoods you’re considering.  Use this time to get a feel for the personality and lifestyle of the community and its residents.  Once you’ve narrowed your options, determine the maximum distance you are willing to travel for work, groceries, the gym, socializing, etc.  Next, decide which items take priority in the event that you have to compromise for your dream apartment or neighborhood.  If you travel by car, consider which neighborhoods have abundant parking- your dream apartment may not have this amenity.  If you use public transportation, explore the neighborhoods that are convenient to bus, train, or bike share options.

Amenities

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchMany apartment communities offer a variety of amenities for residents to enjoy.  Some popular amenities include pools, fitness centers, on-site parking, furnished units, and laundry facilities.  Before you begin your search, make a list of your must-have items as well as a secondary wish list.  Falling in love with an apartment only to realize it doesn’t come with a washer and dryer could be a major bummer, so save yourself from the disappointment by sticking to the appropriate search terms. Your perceived need for certain amenities may shift as you narrow your search, so try to keep an open mind and remain a little flexible.

Layout

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchThis may not seem like an important factor for everyone, but for most the layout and design of an apartment is a crucial part of creating a happy home.  If you have a roommate, a pet, or limitations of any kind, the layout of your apartment and the greater community can be very important. You want to make sure that the design of your new apartment is conducive to your lifestyle. For example: if you enjoy cooking and entertaining, you might want to make a large kitchen and open floorplan a priority.  If you are a fan of adventure and recreation or have many hobbies, ample storage space may be high on your list. Take some time to reflect and use your current living situation as a guide: what do you love and loathe about your space now?  As you begin to tour apartments, take note of what stands out to you, both good and bad.

Neighbors

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchThis is another factor that may vary in importance for different people.  It can be beneficial to inquire about how many units are in your complex and how closely you will be living with other people.  Ask about shared walls and common areas and if you get the chance, chat with current residents about the building.  If you are looking for a social building, the presence of common space and the level of friendliness among residents will give you some insights into the personality of that community.

Taking these 5 ways to narrow your apartment search into account will not only eliminate some of the stress of apartment hunting, but it will also help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the line.

Ready to find your next apartment?

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Ask The Apartment Experts: What Is A Tax Credit Apartment?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ask The Apartment Experts: What Is A Tax Credit Apartment?

You may have seen the terms tax credit, workforce housing, or income restricted housing during your apartment search and wondered what that meant.

The City of Washington, DC has several different affordable housing types available for its residents. Tax credit sometimes gets confused with subsidy programs or IZ units or other types of housing, but tax credits work a little bit different.

Tax Credit Property Definition: A tax credit property is an apartment building owned by a landlord who participates in the federal low-income housing tax credit program. These landlords get to claim income tax credits for eligible buildings in return for renting some or all of the apartments to low-income tenants at a restricted rent. Also referred to as LITCH Low-income tax credit housing

What are the income restrictions used to qualify for tax credit housing?

Below is the chart that displays the maximum income your household can make and still qualify for tax credit housing.  You’ll see that the number of people making up your household slightly affects the max income your household can make.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits

How Do You Qualify For Tax Credit Apartments?

Tax credit apartment homes sometimes referred to as ‘workforce housing,’ are available for rent by anyone who falls into the income guidelines. BUT the Tax credit applications are long and detailed. Be prepared to provide:

  • Six current pay stubs
  • Most recent bank statement for each account you have open
  • If unemployed – Proof of unemployment compensation or worker compensation
  • If retired – Current proof of pension, retirement compensation, SS, or SSI benefit statement.
  • If disabled – Current proof of social security, SSI, and/or other disability pay if applicable.
  • If you receive income from public assistance – Current print out of your cash assistance benefits
  • If you receive child support, kinship care payments, and/or adoption assistance payments – Proof of such income

As you can see, a number of documents are required to determine your income category, and it’s up to you to collect and have all the information submitted in a timely fashion.

How can I find Tax Credit housing?

If you fall within the income guidelines above, you can now search for tax credit apartments on Apartminty! When you are filling out your search criteria, under the extras section, check the box for “Affordable Housing” and we will highlight available tax credit apartments that match your search criteria.

Find more information about Tax Credit, as well as other types of affordable housing you can find in DC here.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

Apartment Hunting Doesn’t Have to Suck

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Our most recent client Casie is busy celebrating the discovery of her dreamy new apartment in Washington, DC.  Before the celebrating began, we asked her to tell us a little bit about her experience:

“I found Apartminty when I was on Twitter, as most twenty year olds are (my age), and I was tweeting about how I was going to end up living in a box underneath the Key Bridge because apartment hunting sucks in Washington. But Apartminty reached out to me and my experience with them has been so effortless. We found a place in less than a month and we’re signing our lease today, so…apartment hunting doesn’t have to suck!”

We’re so happy for you and your roommate, Casie, and we can’t wait for the housewarming party!

Ready to find your next apartment?

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

10 Horrors of Apartment Hunting

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: apartment hunting sucks (unless you’ve enlisted our help, of course).  Here’s just a few of the horrors of apartment hunting you might encounter on the way to finding your perfect place.

1. Deception

Many a heads have been scratched trying to figure out how the apartment in the photo is the same one your standing in.

2. Poor Timing

It’s a tale as old as time: you think you’ve found the perfect place then poof, the listing disappears before you’re very eyes.

3. Creepy Crawly Critters

Don’t wait until it’s too late for this one: when you’re touring, open cabinets, examine corners and peek under appliances; now is not the time to play it cool.

4. Ill-Defined Spaces

Even those with true vision and talent for decor just can’t get past a kitchen/bathroom combo.

5. Delusional Landlords

“I’ll accept nothing less than $2,900 for this spacious and luxurious 225ft² studio, sink included.”

Ready to find your next apartment?

6. Biohazards

Someone actually lives here? Ugh. Gross. No.

7. Unexpected Roommates

Who invited these guys? Do they even pay rent?

8. Thin Walls

Who needs to catch up on their soaps when the situation in 8b is far more intriguing.

9. Unwanted Amenities

The plunge pool that nobody ever wanted…

10. Questionable Neighborhoods

Battling in the streets at all hours, those neighbors just have no respect.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com