So, it’s time to start the renting process for your first apartment. You’re excited, but overwhelmed, and you don’t know where to start. Here’s a quick guide to get you through the process.
Research Research Research
When renting your first apartment, there are key questions you need to ask yourself. Where do you want to live? What are the housing prices there? Do you have a car or do you need a walkable city? Do you commute via public transit? Where is the closest train station? Will you need parking?
Do the math
What is your budget? Renting your first apartment changes your budget drastically, you may even be writing a budget for the first time during this process. When in doubt, remember the 30% rule. 30%-35% of your household income should be the sweet spot for rent, but don’t forget about utilities! Now is a great time to take a look at your general spending and see where you need to be spending less, in order to afford apartment living!
Knowing your credit score is almost as important as your income. Most apartment communities, and private landlords alike, will have a minimum requirement for your credit score, and will likely run a credit check before approving your application. Credit Karma is a great (and free) resource for monitoring your credit.
Now that you know where you want to live and what rent fits your lifestyle, you can start the search. Lists are helpful to keep you focused and to remind you what filters you’ll be using on rental sites. When searching for your first apartment, make a list of things you absolutely cannot live without so you remember what to look for, and a list of things that might be nice, but you don’t need, so you can remind yourself during your tours.
Take a peak
You’re ready to really dive in! You are officially starting to search for your first apartment! Start with apartment listing sites such as Zillow.com, explore the options in your desired area, and take a tour. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to take a thorough look around.
Don’t skimp on the tours, either. The more apartments you tour (either in person or virtually), the better an idea you’ll have of what is available and what you’re looking for.
Phone a friend
Did you find your dream apartment, and it’s just slightly out of budget? Are you finding that there are no apartments available for your specific income? Don’t panic! You should consider a roommate. This is not a task to be taken lightly, and should not be a rushed decision, but finding the right person to share an apartment with can be the ticket in! It may also be nice to have a friend when renting your first apartment, as you won’t be alone in the learning curves!
If an apartment offer seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Be on the lookout for fake or dishonest listings.
Many scam listings will have very similar verbiage in the listing itself, or in the initial response to your request for tour. Things like being unable to view the unit, or being requested to mail money without a tour, in person meeting, or lease, can be red flags to look out for. When in doubt, call the property management company directly to confirm the available apartment is in fact their listing. Scams depend on people like you, new to renting an apartment, to fall for the trick.
The Tough Stuff
The application has been submitted and you’ve been approved. This is an exciting feat, but there is still a lease to be signed. We all love a good skim when it comes to terms and conditions, but a lease agreement and contract need a closer look. They are legally binding documents and should merit a diligent read through. Familiarize yourself with rules, regulations, fees, and conditions.
Your first apartment experience is exciting, and with these tips and tricks, you can avoid much of the First-Time-Renter-Scaries! Still confused about where to start? Princeton Properties has your back. A leasing agent is just a call away to help you in your search.
As we’re entering the Dog Days of summer, we’ve compiled some tips to keep your apartment cool and comfy all spring and summer long!
- Leave your lights off when possible. While we can’t promise this will drop the temp down to a nice fall day, it can make all the difference when the
outside thermometer is reading 98 in the sun. Just think of it as your eco-friendly act of the day!
- Strategically place your fans. Moving stagnant air will always help your apartment’s vibe, and creating a cross breeze between rooms can be a more efficient way to keep your apartment cool. Plus, it will make your space feel a bit more easy-breezy. (This tip will also work wonders when entertaining in an apartment, stay tuned for more of our entertaining advice)!
- Consider investing in black out curtains. Any sort of window covering will add some insulation, and avoid the Hot Car Affect, but these heavy duty curtains can also help keep things cozier in the winter, and help on those snooze-button-needed-mornings. There’s also something to be said for the placebo of a darker room on hot days.
- Lock your windows. While a good safety practice in general, this simple act during the summer will more thoroughly keep the hot air out, and your newly created cross breeze in!
- Pull out your dehumidifier. Whether it’s for your whole space, or just your work-from-home area, a dehumidifier will help keep the classic New England summer humidity at bay. Talk about breathing room!
If you found this article a helpful guide to keep your apartment cool this summer, and you’d like more tips and life hacks for apartment living, follow us on Instagram and Facebook! Be sure to turn on those post notifications so you never miss out. Interested in joining one of our many welcoming communities? Explore our many options and schedule a tour!
Pretty soon we’ll start seeing those gorgeous fall colors! As the temperatures start dropping and the leaves start changing it’s time to start planning those weekend adventures. Here are ten places to visit in New England to see some awesome fall foliage!
- Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
- Woodstock, VT
- The Kancamagus Highway in NH
- Maine’s Coastal Route 1
- Acadia National Park in Maine
- The Mohawk Trail
- Ocean Drive in Rhode Island
- Boston Common
- Route 6A Cape Cod
- Bethel, Maine
Enjoy the beauty of the season while it’s still here! Don’t forget to stop for cider donuts too because it wouldn’t be fall in New England without them!
The leaves are already changing in New England and now is the perfect time to plan your day trips to see the foliage! Here are some great tips for planning a day trip this October.
1 – Plan your dates based on where you are headed.
Remember that foliage arrives earliest where elevation is the highest. Usually New England hits the peak foliage time during mid-October.
2 – Find the perfect spot.
New England offers lots of beautiful scenery including covered bridges, white churches and barns that look beautiful for foliage photography. Find some great places and snap some great shots for your Instagram!
3 – Bring the right footwear.
Hiking is the best way to see the most color. Wear your comfortable walking/hiking shoes so you can climb to some areas for the best views.
4 – Opt for a printed map rather than GPS.
Sometimes GPS doesn’t work in remote areas where the best foliage is. Also, a printed map is just more fun for a road trip!
5 – Stop for festive snacks.
Did someone say apple cider donuts? Hot apple cider? These are necessities for a foliage trip in New England and you’ll find plenty of farm stands that sell both!
The long, sunny days of summer are dwindling! Before we know it the sun will be setting on our beach days and boat rides and the cooler temperatures will move in. Before summer ends make sure to take a look at this summer bucket list and check off as many items as you can…
1 – Visit a local New England beach
2 – Eat an ice cream from your favorite ice cream stand
3 – Toast marshmallows around a campfire
4 – Ride on a boat
5 – Go on a summery, nature scavenger hunt with your kids
6 – Hike your favorite trail
7 – Float down a river in an inflatable tube
8 – Make homemade popsicles
9 – Flip hamburgers on the grill (eat them with all the best summer fixings)
10 – Go camping under the stars
11 – Watch fireworks
12 – Drink an ice coffee from your favorite local coffee shop
13 – Visit a summer farmer’s market
14 – Water-ski or go tubing in a New England lake
15 – Make a salad with vegetables from your own garden
Sunny, summer days are here and before we know it the crisp, fall weather will be sneaking in. There are still plenty of summer weekends left to take some day trips in Massachusetts. Check out these awesome places you can cross off your bucket list!
1 – Explore the wide-open shoreline of Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA. There are plenty of great seafood restaurants to stop at on your drive home to get a real taste of New England.
2 – Explore a submarine, battleship, and destroyer at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.
3 – Visit a living history museum depicting how life was in New England from 1790 to 1840 at Old Sturbridge Village (advanced registration required at this time.)
4 – Jump on a ferry and sit back to enjoy the ride to Martha’s Vineyard! You can access the ferry in Massachusetts from New Bedford, Hyannis and Falmouth!
5 – Take a beautiful hike at World’s End State Park in Hingham, MA – a beautiful area with wooded, natural beauty.
It may be cold out and we may be advised to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our Earth! Here are 5 ways you can safely celebrate Earth Day while social distancing and staying safe.
1 – Plant something. Remember our post last week about starting an indoor garden? If you haven’t already, today would be a great day to do so.
2 – Setup a recycling system in your home. You probably already have recycling bins but now is a great time to teach your kids about the importance of recycling and have them help you setup a system for recycling plastic and paper in your home.
3 – Receive a lot of catalogs in the mail? You’ve probably thought about cancelling those subscribtions but never had the time. Do it today! 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce catalogs and the majority are tossed in the trash.
4 – Teach your kids about Earth Day and do a fun Earth Day project with them. Have them draw a picture of what Earth Day means to them. You can frame their art work and hang it in your home (maybe above your new recycling center).
5 – Get outside (safely) and enjoy. It is cold today so bundle up! Whether you sit quietly on your porch/balcony or go for a quick walk it’s a great day to get some fresh air and appreciate our Earth.
Whether you’re traveling to Dover this winter or waiting until the weather is warmer, there is plenty to do! Locals of Dover (including our residents at Princeton Dover Apartments) recommend trying these 5 fun things the next time you are visiting.
4 – Tendercrop Farm
5 – Hilton Park
Living at Princeton Westford Apartment Homes just got a bit more electrifying! We are proud to announce the addition of two electric vehicle charging stations. These stations are available to you for a free charge! We appreciate the green movement and we’re trying to do our part with the addition of electric car charging stations!
The Series 6 EV charging stations are sleek, futuristic and have a compact design. Thankfully since we are in New England they are also rugged, weatherproof, and made to withstand the harshest elements for years of worry-free operation. Come check them out, located in front of the Princeton Westford Management Office.
Any of our residents driving an electric vehicle (EV) can pull right up and start charging at our SemaConnect EV charging station – you are not required to join SemaConnect in advance!
We’re so happy to see our residents enjoying this new amenity at Princeton Westford. Interested in learning more about what we have to offer? View floor plans, see additional photos and schedule a tour here!
Summer brings longer days and evenings outdoors. There’s nothing that can ruin a summer cookout more than the itching and scratching of mosquito bites! If you’re planning to spend time outside after dusk, try putting these plants in your garden to keep the bugs away…
1 – Lavender – Not only does it look beautiful, it smells great too! Another thing that lavender does is hinder a mosquito’s ability to smell. The leaves of this plant have natural oils that will keep your garden smelling fresh and the pesky bugs away.
2 – Marigolds – These annuals add beautiful color to your garden and they also deter mosquitoes, aphids, white flies, and squash bugs.
3 – Citronella Grass – Most people have heard of citronella candles but did you know that you can plant citronella grass directly in your garden? This plant is known as the most effective at repelling pests and is low maintenance. A must-have for your outdoor space!
4 – Rosemary – Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with, especially with cooking. Rosemary’s woody scent is what keeps mosquitoes as well as some moths and flies away.
5 – Basil – Another herb we use in our cooking, basil is also great at keeping mosquitoes and other bugs away. The pungent smell of any type of basil is powerful to keep mosquitoes from entering your space. Try planting some in pots on your patio and you can also use some for preparing dinner!