By MyNewPlace Guest Blogger, Ron Leshnower
Not so long ago, people often went about the process of looking for and living in an apartment without reading much on the subject. Today, the same type of people have access to a robust collection of articles, blog posts, e-newsletters, forum discussions, and more on every aspect of apartment living, thanks to the Web.
While these resources may be free, you might wonder if they’re worth your time. After all, before all this online content became available, people somehow managed, right?
As someone who writes about apartment living regularly as the Guide to Apartment / Living Rental for About.com, I’ve found that readers who stay on top of apartment living issues are more likely to have a positive apartment experience.
Adding apartment living resources to your daily or weekly reading can save you both money and time while letting you focus on enjoying your home. If you live in an apartment or are looking for one, here are five ways that reading about apartment living can benefit you:
1) Solve problems. Roommates who don’t pay rent, neighbors who blast music, landlords who don’t respond to repair requests, cockroach infestations… These are just some of the many types of problems apartment dwellers face over the course of their lease term. If you encounter a problem, you no doubt want to resolve it as quickly and easily as possible. Not only will you almost certainly find information online that can help you, but reading about others’ experiences (such as in blog comments and forum postings) tackling the same type of problem may give you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.
2) Prevent problems. You can’t always anticipate problems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Reading about apartment living on a regular basis means you’re taking a proactive approach to problem-solving. For instance, if you learn how to establish good relationships with neighbors or keep your apartment unattractive to pests, you may prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
3) Save money. Recession or not, keeping tight reins on your apartment-related expenses can always be a challenge. Apartment living resources can help you achieve your financial goals by giving you tips for creating a budget, lowering your utility bills, negotiating a lower rent, and more.
4) Learn about your rights. Apartment living resources can help you become educated about your rights, which in turn can enable you to make informed decisions or react with confidence when you believe a landlord may be interfering with your rights. For example, if your lease term is nearing its end, you’ll no doubt want to know how much time your landlord has to return your security deposit and whether your landlord has to return all of it. If you’re planning on having or adopting children, you’ll want to know whether your landlord can require you to rent a larger apartment. If you become disabled and need a dog in your apartment, you’ll need to know if you’re entitled to one despite your landlord’s no-pets policy.
5) Get the most out of your apartment living. Your apartment is your home, and you should be able to enjoy it to the fullest. Apartment living resources on the Web help you do just that, offering ideas on topics such as maximizing space, personalizing your decor, throwing neighbor-friendly parties, dealing with your mail when you go away, and more.