Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daily Dose: Matt & Kim - Daylight

How to Protect your Security Deposit

We all know that apartments want to make money off of you any way they can. Below are a few tips on how you can protect your deposit. 

Before you move in:
-Make a written list of any damage you see in the apartment.
-Take photographs.
-Outline the exact condition you find the apartment in down to the slightest detail including chips in the pain on a wall or carpet stains.
-Make a copy of your written record as well as the photographs, keep a copy for your records and give one copy to the landlord.
-Ask for a receipt for the deposit and keep a copy of your cancelled check. Don’t pay the security deposit in cash, you need a paper trail.

Living in the Apartment
-Take care of your apartment as if you owned it.
-Make repairs as needed instead of waiting until you move out.
-If a repair is large enough or significant enough to require professional work, speak to your landlord before you do anything. Depending on the type of repair required, it may be covered in your lease.
-Pay your rent in full and on time and keep a record of each payment. If your rent is late, your landlord may charge late fees that may be deducted from your security deposit. This should be detailed in your lease agreement.

Moving Out of the Apartment

Before you pack your stuff and hit the road, if you want to get your security deposit back, you’re going to need to do some work first. Follow these guidelines and you should get back most, if not all, of your security deposit.

In the Bathroom
-Scrub bathtub/shower.
-Scrub inside and outside of toilet 
-Dust and wash the medicine cabinet and mirror.
-Look for any signs of leaking water or mold growth
In the Kitchen
-Clean and wash out cabinets and drawers. If necessary, vacuum crumbs.
-Make sure that the hinges on all cabinets are working properly
-Scrub and use a cleaner with bleach on countertops, backsplash and sinks.
-Clean stove, oven, microwave and broiler.
-Make sure all appliances are working properly.
In the Bedroom and Living Areas
-Thoroughly vacuum. Look for burns or for deep stains in the carpet.
-Check the condition of closet doors and hinges to make sure that they are working.
-If your apartment has a fireplace, make sure that it is clean and working properly.
General Areas
-Check for cracks or stains on walls.
-Remove all tacks and/or nails from the walls and spackle the holes left behind.
-Clean windows and window sills.
-Test ceiling fans, air conditioners and heaters to make sure they are functioning properly.
Don’t Forget To
-Empty all drawers.
-Pack everything that you brought with you to the apartment 
-Vacuum the furniture.

Schedule an appointment with your landlord to walk through your apartment. Have on hand the written record and photographs that you compiled when you first moved in. Refer to your records if any preexisting damages are attributed to you. Create a checklist that you and your landlord can review during the walk through. If everything meets with the approval of the landlord, you and he/she should sign the checklist and both of you should retain a copy. Be sure to leave your landlord your new address if the deposit is not available immediately after your walk through.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Daily Dose: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Home

Lets Make a Deal

Moving is a chance to start fresh, but it’s hard to start over if you are relocating to your new home with boxes that are filled with belongings that you no longer need, use or want. Once you’ve weeded out the items that aren’t heading to your new locale, having a garage sale is the perfect way to send your stuff out the door.The advantages of having a garage sale before your move are threefold: You’ll help yourself to organize and prepare for packing the necessities; you can get rid of things you don’t use and avoid paying to move them; and you’ll make some extra cash that you can spend on new items for your next home.

Here’s a rundown of how to organize a successful garage sale before your big move:

Organize. Before you create the buzz about your garage sale, you will need to know exactly what you are selling. Going from room-to-room sort everything you want sold and organize the items by category such as kitchen mugs, winter clothes, etc. Place these items in one area of your house in order to prevent clutter. You should also make sure that you have enough tables and chairs, and if necessary, borrow some from friends or neighbors.

Advertise. Aim to advertise about one week before your sale. Any earlier and people will likely forget about it, not to mention your sign may be torn down. Post your signs everywhere in your neighborhood and think outside of the box. Ask your local coffee house, library, theater, grocery store or community garden if you can post your sign there. You may also want to place an ad in your local newspaper or on your local community website to get the word out. Make sure your flier or ad includes the time, date and address as well as list of some items that will be sold. If possible, advertise a rain date in case of bad weather.

Set a price. Two or three days before the sale mark every item with your desired price. This will prevent chaos and keep you organized as opposed to having several people haggle you at once. Use bright-colored or neon-colored tags so that your customers can immediately notice how much it costs.

Rest up. The day before your sale make sure that you get sufficient rest. Most likely, you will be on your feet and outside for five or more hours. On the day of your sale have a healthily breakfast and begin setting up your items at least 30-45 minutes before the sale – people will arrive to your garage sale early and they will be ready to spend.

Sell as much as possible. Remember, the more you sell the less you have to pack up - not to mention pay to move. Be willing to accept lower offers for those hard-to-sell items, especially if it is something that will end up collecting dust in your new home.

Consider donating unsold items. If everything you choose for your yard sale doesn’t clear off by the end of the day, consider donating the items to charity. You were willing to sell them, so why not help out a good cause instead?

This article was written by a Relocation.com staff member. Relocation.com is a leading provider of relocation services before, during and after the move

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daily Dose: Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

The NEW site is up!

Not only do we have a new site, but we also have a blog. Things are getting pretty exciting over here at RateMyHousing

We are having a few problems with the site working on Internet Explorer. Hopefully we will have them smoothed out by the end of the day. We are sorry for any inconveniences.

The blog is something we are experimenting with. My brother and I love music so we would like to share a song a day. Also, we are going to do a daily post about college apartments and college life. Hopefully, you will find this somewhat interesting. We are new to this whole blogging thing, if you have any ideas, tips, or songs, be sure to comment.

-Matt & Ryan

Friday, November 19, 2010

Daily Dose: Yelle - Je Veux Te Voir

"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you"

 Most students are not allowed to paint their walls, but there are numerous ways to make a room exciting without the use of paint. If you want to go for a whole wall color minus the paint, you can put fabric on walls with liquid fabric starch for a unique look - this can be removed easily and reused. Another way to attach fabric to the wall is to use tacks or tension rods 

A rug will define your space, make the room homier and cover up dingy old carpets in res rooms and rented apartments

Use multi-purpose furniture. A small table or stool can function as a bedside table, guest seating, night stand, etc


      Make the space your own, attach posters/pictures with removable mounting squares or safe release double sided tape.

Take advantage of limited floor space with tall, narrow bookcases and drawer units. Use shelving to maximize vertical space. If the budget allows, splurge on stainless steel for a reflective surface that will make your space look bigger.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daily Dose: MSTRKRFT - Heartbreaker

Looking for an apartment friendly pet to spice up your life?

Sugar Gliders
Are you looking for a cute little pet that heavily relies on you? You will need to have a good amount of time to devote to spending with your sugar glider or else consider getting two so that they can keep each other company. Lonely sugar gliders may stop eating and die, so make sure you are willing to make a commitment to this animal before adopting them. They are nocturnal and have excellent night vision.

Hermit Crabs
Are you a low maintenance type of person, then the hermit crab is a great choice. These little pets can climb, dig and walk on your shirt. Fill a fish tank with gravel and you’re done. Clean their tank once a month, give them a little food and water, and put water on them daily, they will be happy as a clam. Hermit crabs love to play so allow them to climb on you as often as possible. They do go dormant for approx 2 years so be sure not to throw them away.

Pot-Bellied Pigs
They’re affectionate, extremely intelligent, readily trained, playful, clean and relatively quiet. Pigs can be trained just as easily or possibly easier, than dogs, and many people think they are a great alternative. Pigs can become a very expensive pet requiring high-quality food and numerous vaccinations. More and more pigs are showing up at shelters. Get yourself a shelter piggy.

Ferrets are becoming extremely popular because of their personalities. Ferrets have an extremely loving, friendly nature and they are very intelligent animals. Ferrets are nocturnal, may be an ideal companion for persons that working during the day. Ferrets are hyperactive creatures and need space. Providing toys or tunnels is a great way to keep your ferret busy.

Hamsters are great pets for people living in apartments. Hamsters are neither noisy nor messy pets. Like birds and fishes they do not take much space as they also live in cages. Accessories also exist for hamster cages such as hamster balls, adventure packs and many others. Hamsters can be a bit messy so its important to keep their cage clean. Roborovski Hamsters, Dwarf Campbell’s Russian Hamsters, Chinese hamsters and Golden Hamsters are all cute cuddly friends.

Birds can be ideal for apartment living, as they require little space as they live in a cage. There are so many different bird types that come in a variety of sizes and colors. Some birds types they usually share a set of behaviors, however just have in mind that every bird has its own unique personality. Parrots, Canaries, Cockatiels, Lovebirds and Finches can all make great pets

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily Dose: Dan Black - Symphonies ft Kid Cudi

How to Choose the Right Apartment for Your Budget

- Spend between 30-40% of your income on rent. This will give you more cash to save, invest, or spend on clothing.

- The longer the lease the cheaper the rent. A 1 year lease is generally cheaper than a 3-6 month lease.

- Make sure you understand what the lease covers. Do you have to pay for water, gas, electricity, phone, internet, or cable. All these little costs add up to big bucks. You may want to consider asking the property manager how much you should expect to pay in utilities.

- Does the apartment fit your needs. Is it too big or too small. A larger apartment will cost more. But a smaller apartment can feel cramped. Also, look at the floor plan, do you like the way it "flows." Is it functional for your lifestyle. 

- How close is the apartment to your school/workplace. If you would like to take public transportation, how far is it from the nearest bus/train stop. How long would it take you to walk to campus. Does the apartment have enough parking spots.

- If you’re a pet lover, can your best friend live with you. Sometimes an apartment that states “no pets allowed” will make exceptions for smaller animals

- Location of the apartment. Is it on a first floor where you will hear a lot of foot traffic. Is there someone above you. Does the complex have a reputation of being noise or throwing parties.

- Amenities, do you have a hot tub or pool. Is there a BBQ area where you and your friends can hang out. Is there onsite laundry.

Make your life easy and check out www.RateMyHousing.com. You can read reviews of what others think about 46,000 college area apartments across the Unites States. 

Intel Sued By New Mexico University

Lawsuit claims the microprocessor giant infringed on the school's patented double-patterning lithography used in chip manufacturing.

The licensing arm of the University of New Mexico has sued Intel, claiming the chipmaker has infringed on the school's patented technology for shrinking the size of components in microprocessors. STC.UNM filed the complaint Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, N.M. The alleged infringement covers double-patterning lithography technology that has been used starting with the manufacturing of 32-nanometer processors. The university patented the technology in 2000...The university's technology allows for the manufacture of smaller components within semiconductors. For chipmakers, shrinking transistors within microprocessors makes it possible to embed more of the components in a single piece of silicon, which boosts power while improving energy efficiency.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Daily Dose: Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City

Ohio State University evacuates 4 buildings after bomb threat

(Reuters) - Authorities evacuated four buildings at Ohio State University and closed streets to traffic on Tuesday morning following bomb threats, the university said.

Occupants of a library and three laboratories were evacuated and directed to safe areas, the university said on its website.

The university issued text messages to 32,000 subscribers to its alert service warning them to stay clear of the buildings, which were closed until further notice.

"Avoid these buildings & area," the school said in its Twitter feed.

Authorities also closed three streets to traffic.

"OSU police were alerted by the FBI at 8:19 a.m. that bomb threats were received for The William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library, McPherson Chemical Lab, Smith Laboratory and Scott Laboratory," the school said on the website.

The FBI, university police, university public safety officials, and the Columbus Fire Department were investigating the bomb threats.

The central Ohio school has about 55,000 students, according to the College Board. Ohio State athletes are known as Buckeyes.

(Writing by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Jerry Norton)