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5 Best Ways to Make Coffee in your Rental

In honor of National Coffee Day yesterday, we want to share our favorite coffee machines for your apartment! Below are our top 5:

French Press

http://www.target.com/p/-/A-14695670

For only $20, you can purchase a delicious French press coffee machine! You purchase your own coffee beans and flavors according to your likes. Then boil water over the coffee grounds and let it sit for a few minutes. Once you place the filter to the bottom of the coffee maker, then you have your coffee! This is the most common way people in Europe make their coffee.

AeroPress® Coffee and Espresso Maker

http://www.target.com/p/-/A-50486894

According to Target’s website “The AeroPress® Coffee and espresso maker utilizes a breakthrough in coffee press technology to brew the smoothest, richest coffee you will ever taste. Because it uses finely ground coffee and pressure, the brewing process takes about 30 seconds and produces remarkably rich but smooth coffee without bitterness and with very low acidity.” The AeroPress coffee and espresso maker is only $30 to make a delicious rich cup of coffee in your rental space!

Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo Espresso & Coffee Machine with Aeroccino + Milk Frother

http://www.target.com/p/nespresso-vertuoline-evoluo-espresso-coffee-machine-with-aeroccino-milk-frother/-/A-50358628

For the espresso and coffee lovers, this multifunctional machine is a great choice. The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo machine has numerous 5-star reviews and is just under $250.

Keurig

http://www.target.com/p/keurig-2-0-k200-coffee-maker-brewing-system/-/A-17262041

This one is the most predictable, the Keurig. This machine is one of the best known single cup coffee makers in the U.S. One of the con’s about this machine is the cost of the machine at $100 and the K-Cups. Depending on the K-Cup, the coffee may also be less flavorful than coffee grounds.

Mr. Coffee® Café Frappe, BVMC-FM1

http://www.target.com/p/mr-coffee-cafe-frappe-bvmc-fm1/-/A-11295492

If you are looking for a frozen or frappe coffee maker, this Mr. Coffee machine take a look at this machine. Instead of making the coffee, cooling, then putting it in a blender, this Mr. Coffee machine does it all at once and for only $79.99.

For those of you who don’t feel like making coffee in your rental space, Hubbub Coffee has 16 different five-star reviews on Google! Take a look at them here: http://www.hubbubcoffee.com/#about

Top 5 Fall Events in Philadelphia

 

The season of cold weather, apple cider, and pumpkin carving has begun. Philadelphia holds numerous great events for the fall season! Below we will share a few MUST-go-to events:

 

Midtown Village Fall Festival – Saturday, October 1st

The Midtown Village Fall Festival is one of Philadelphia’s largest fall events for the past 11 years. It includes food, beer, live music and more! Arrive on Saturday, October 1st on 13th street to experience this fall block party. Take a look here more information.fall-festival

picture found on: http://midtownvillagephilly.org/

Philadelphia’s First Annual Oktoberfest at 23rd Street Armory – October 7th – 9th

Brauhaus Schmitz is taking over 23rd Street Armory to through what they say will be the biggest Oktoberfest in this area. They are designing the venue to look like an authentic Munich tent festival. Phillymag.com states “There’s going to be food (of course) and beer (of course). Jeremy Nolen and his Brauhaus crew will be handling the grub and the Hofbrauhaus is bringing the beer.” For more information take a look here: http://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/2016/08/03/is-it-time-to-start-thinking-about-oktoberfest-already/

 

Philly’s Cheesesteak and Food Fest – Saturday, October 15th

A whole festival devoted to Philly Cheesesteaks? Yes, there is such a thing! Clear your schedule for Saturday, October 15th to enjoy not only a cheesesteak but pretzels, water ice and more! http://www.cheesesteakfest.com/ shares additional information about the event and how you purchase tickets.

 

South Street’s PumpkinFest – October, 29th

Only a few days away from Halloween, you can enjoy this annual fall event on South Street! Hay rides, crafts, pumpkin carving, and music is just the start of what this event has to offer. Here is more information for the event: https://www.everfest.com/e/south-street-headhouse-district-fall-pumpkin-fest-philadelphia-pa

 

One of the top running events in the Philadelphia area is taking place this fall. The Philadelphia Marathon takes place this November. You can register for the event and find out the best places to be a spectator on http://philadelphiamarathon.com/ .

How Often Should I Clean That? – Infographic

Did you just move into your first rental space and are unsure of how often you need to clean common things around your rental? Our infographic shares the frequency of which you should clean the below items!

How often Should I clean that- (3)

5 Philadelphia Food Trucks for your Sweet Tooth

Looking for a delicious mid-day snack or dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth? These 5 Philadelphia food trucks can fulfill your craving:

Sugar Philly Truck

Sugar Philly had a wide variety of desserts from Vanilla Crème Brulee to French Macarons. They also have many seasonal favorites for the fall and winter months. The food truck is usually located on 38th St b/w Walnut & Sansom St, but to make sure you can get your hands on these sweet treats, check out their twitter page for updates!  http://www.sugarphillytruck.com/

Foolish Waffles

This award-winning food truck has roughly ten different types of waffles you can purchase. Not only can you catch where their food truck is located on their website. What better way to celebrate an event than with a delicious Caramel Apple Crisp Waffle! http://www.foolishwaffles.com/

Undrgrnd Donuts

The Vendy award winner of 2015, Undrgrnd Donuts, is the only gourmet food truck in the Philadelphia area that specializes in handmade donuts. Their Black Forest donut which is a donut in a raspberry dunk covered in Coconut and chips of chocolate is sure to make anyone’s day better! Their primary truck location is in LOVE park, but take a look at their website for an updated locations list: http://www.undrgrnddonuts.com/

Zsa’s Ice Cream

Sweet Cinnamon, Black Magic, Peppermint Bark, Rich Chocolate Sorbet, and more the possibilities are endless! For those of you, that like the traditional flavors of ice cream don’t worry you’re in luck too. You have a choice of a regular scoop of ice cream or an enjoyable ice cream sandwich. Their website shares what local events they will be at http://www.zsasicecream.com/

Lil Pop Shop

According to their website, Lil Pop Shop is a “Small batch artisan ice pops handcrafted from fresh, local ingredients.” They have flavors such as Green Tea with Mochi, Key West, Chocolate with Salted Caramel Brownies and more! Lil Pop Shop was recently featured on the show, “The Chew”. They not only have a food truck, but they also have a shop location in the West Philadelphia area. Take a look: http://www.lilpopshop.com/

4 Ways To Keep Your Rental Cool This Summer

When the outside feels like 100 degrees, you do not want your rental feeling the same way. Besides having air conditioning, what are ways to keep your rental cool? Below we have a few ideas for you!

Close all drapes, blinds, etc.:

Keep the cold air in and hot air out. The use of window treatments or blinds are an extremely cost-efficient way to block out unwanted heat. Our suggestion, keep your blinds closed during the sunny day time hours.

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(Click to purchase the drapes in the picture)

Change the direction of your ceiling fan:

Did you know changing the direction of your ceiling fan can keep your room cooler? About.com suggests “During warmer months, you should run your fan in a “forward” (counter-clockwise) direction so that it fans the air, making you feel cool. When it gets cold outside, switch the fan to the “reverse” setting so that it runs in a clockwise direction.”

Open your doors:

Opening your doors from room to room can encourage air flow throughout your home. Make sure to keep doors leading to outside areas or un-air-conditioned rooms closed and tightly sealed.

Turn off and unplug not used electronics:

Not only can turning off electronics and lights can save you money, but it can also keep your rental cooler. Most electronics whether in use or not produce heat. Depending on how many electronics or lights you consistently have on in your home, the heat can add up.

Things You MUST do this Summer in Philadelphia

Summer is filled with lots of adventures and vacations, but what about things to do in the city when you’re not away?  Take a look at our things you MUST do this summer in Philadelphia.

 

Attend an Outdoor Summer Movie Screening:

Sometimes you need a relaxing night out to the movies. What better way to enjoy the summer night time weather than watching the movie outside! Visit Philly shares a ton of places to go for summertime outdoor movie screenings for movies such as “Inside Out”, “Star Wars – The Force Awakens”, and more.

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BBQ Fest, Saturday July 30th:

Want to attend a Philadelphia Phillies game this summer? Take a look at the Philly BBQ Fest where you not only get two vouchers for a Philadelphia Phillies game, but also 40+ BBQ vendors to sample their dishes. This link shares pricing and additional information: http://www.phillybbqfest.com/

bbq fest

 

Spruce Street Harbor Park:

“The beloved pop-up park will continue to invite visitors to lounge on its signature hammocks, enjoy food on its floating restaurant, cool off with drafts from the beer garden and hang out and play games – ping pong, shuffleboard and more – along its waterfront boardwalk.” according to visitphilly.com. This temporary village is located on Penn’s Landing and has returned for its third year in a row!

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Center City District Sips: (for the 21 years and older crowd)

What are your plans every Wednesday at 5-7pm until September 28th? Well, if your 21 years and older, enjoy $5 cocktails, $4 wine, and $3 beer at these participating Center City District Sips locations! Enjoy drinks and try out a new local bar or restaurant. Take a look here:  http://www.centercityphila.org/life/SipsPartic.php

 

Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia, August 3 – October 29, 2016:

Last year, Longwood Gardens brought “Nightscape- A Light and Sound Experience” to Kennett Square, Chester County. The information for this year’s Longwood Gardens experience is still top secret. Until more information is available, check out last year’s event and we will keep you updated!

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http://www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/nightscape-a-light-and-sound-experience-at-longwood-gardens/#sm.0000xu5f4nurlfpizoi18nvpxdjmq

 

 

How to Budget for Your Rental

Budgeting is a tricky task. You want to make sure that you have enough money for the rental, bills, furniture, and enough to save for unexpected costs. Although, how do you know how much you should allocate? Our guide shares how to budget for your rental:

 

Use the 30% Rule:

Many sources state that your rental should only take up 30% of your annual income or monthly housing allowance. This will allow you to pay for other bills and to save for those unexpected costs. Example: If you make $30,000 a year, your rental price yearly should only be 9,000. This would be about $750.00 a month for rent.

 

Find a Roommate:

This is a great tip for those who are not able to afford an apartment on their own or are in school. This way, you can evenly divide the rent between multiple people and end up saving lots of money. If you would like to see how the 30% rule would work in a roommate situation, add up the annual income of your roommate(s) and yourself. Then take 30% of that and you will get a yearly rental price. Again, divide that by 12 and you will get a suggested monthly rent.

 

Assess Added Costs:

Costs of living on your own not only include rent and bills, but also groceries and supplies. If you are currently living with your family, and they do the primary household purchasing, for a month, purchase all of the items you will need. This will give you a more accurate amount of added costs that you will be spending per month.

 

Speak to Potential Neighbors:

Ask potential neighbors on average how much they spend on their cable, water, electricity, and other bills. Some rental properties have specific providers; make sure to ask the property manager who those are and added costs that may be associated with the property. Examples of this could be trash bills, utilities, common area fees, and storage lockers.

 

Accrue Money in a Saving Account:

SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. There are always unexpected costs in renting or purchasing a home especially if you have not done so before. Place as much money in your savings account now, can help with the security deposit, first couple months of rent, and more.

5 Best Ways to Get Around Philadelphia

To know the best ways to travel around Philadelphia can be challenging especially if you are not originally from the city. Because the city is rapidly growing, traffic is a constant strain on the city’s infrastructure. We have a few helpful tips for those who are new to traveling around a city.

  • Take the Train

Septa railways and subways are a great way to travel around the city during the critical rush hour times. If you are unsure which line to take, Google maps can help! If you search on Google Maps for your destination and click on the train icon, it will show where to walk and which connections to take to get your destination.

  • Enterprise CarShare

If you currently do not have a vehicle, Enterprise CarShare may be a good option. You sign up for a plan and pay according to the rates. The company not only pays for liabilities, roadside assistance but also for gas.

  • Lyft and Uber

Lyft and Uber are two similar businesses to a local taxi company. Except, everything from the destination, directions, and payments are all handled through their appropriate apps. Most of the time, their rates are lower, and it is extremely convenient.

  • Rent-a-Bike or Indego

The fastest way to travel around the city may be through bike riding. Philadelphia and its surrounding areas have launched their bike sharing program called Indigo. According to visitphilly.com “cyclists can walk up to any Indego station and check out bikes for quick trips around the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” You pay $8 per hour, and they have two plans for your choosing if you are going to use the bikes consistently. Philadelphia has many dedicated bike lanes in the city.

  • Temple University Shuttle Systems

Temple University Students can use their school’s shuttle system. According to their website, “Shuttles transport students from Main Campus to their off-campus residences and vice versa (Flight) and among Main Campus, the Health Sciences Center (HSC), the Temple Administrative Services Building (TASB), Ambler Campus, and the Ambler train station”. This is a great way for students to travel around campus and beyond for free!

Top 4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Property Management Company

  • They will support direct communication with tenants

No need to stress yourself out with trying to find the best tenants for your rental. Property managers are the ones to communicate with potential tenants, organize the process, and payments. A property management company also has full-time employees who market your properties all day.

  • Avoiding legal problems and issues

Legal matters can be a huge problem when it comes to homeowners renting their properties. It costs roughly $1,917 for landlords to evict a resident. (TransUnion) Also, in Philadelphia County, it could take more than 120 days and up to 9 months in some cases to evict a tenant. This is including the move out process from your property.

The legal documents that Property managers have to be conscience of:

  1. Fair Credit Reporting Act
  2. Fair Housing Act
  3. Leasing disclosures
  4. Security deposit laws
  5. American Disabilities Act
  6. Rent or Late fees
  7. Municipality/Business Licensing
  8. Code enforcement inspections
  • Property maintenance

Maintenance and repairing can be a challenge for a homeowner. Whether it is before the first tenant moves in, during when the residents are living in the rental, or after the tenants move out, there is always something to be fixed or updated. If there is any property maintenance during off hours, the property management company will take care of it.

  • Saving money

Hiring reputable contract workers can be a challenge. Professional property management companies who have been in the business for significant amounts of time know who to contact for contract maintenance work. This can, in turn, save money for the property management company and the homeowner. Figuring out the rental pricing for your property can be tricky, working with a property management company who knows the current housing market can price rent accurately and rent quickly.

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