How to Keep Your Stuff Safe While You’re Away for the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and for many of you, that means an extended break from your apartment. We do everything that we can do ensure the safety and well-being of our tenants and their homes. We carefully screen our applicants to ensure that those with criminal records or drug convictions do not obtain a lease with us. Unfortunately, home invasions and burglary traditionally reach their peak during the holidays so we encourage you to be vigilant and follow these tips to deter break-ins while you’re away.

#1 Stop your mail if you’re leaving for more than 5 days.
Other than avoiding the potential frustration of coming home to a pile of mail and newspapers, this tip can protect your home. By keeping your mail from piling up, would be burglars are more likely to be unaware of your absence.

If you haven’t already, get renters insurance!
This one is applicable for the entire year, not just the holidays! Protect yourself in case of the worst. Read more about it here.

Have a friend or neighbor check in.
If you will be away for a while, notify a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Let your trusted confidant know of your travel plans and if you can have them check in on your apartment in your absence. Be sure to get them a nice gift to reward them for their help!

Unplug appliances.
Sure, your toaster may seem harmless,but unexpected electrical accidents can cause a fire that can potentially destroy an unattended apartment. Be safe and unplug all unnecessary appliances.

Use a timer
A indoor timer can be purchased at most hardware stores and be used to make it appear someone is home. You can plug in radios, televisions and lights so that the home looks occupied. A well-lit area is one way to deter crime so keep a light on at night if possible.

Test and examine each latch, lock, window and door.
Look to see if there are solid core doors, peep holes on entry doors, and securely fastened window locks.

If there are sliding glass doors, invest in a secondary locking device
This can be as simple as a broom stick that prevents the door from opening or as complex as “Charley Bars” pin-locking mechanisms or anti-lift measures to prevent the door from being lifted from the tracks.

Never hesitate to report any suspicious activity you may see in and around our properties (or on campus). Program these numbers into your phone and keep them somewhere visible so you can quickly call for help if needed (you can also call 911).
University Police Station – 541-682-8350

After you report any suspicious activity to the police, report it to us by calling the von Klein Emergency # – 541-686-0743

Sources:
10 Tips for Safe and Secure Apartment Living 
5 Apartment Safety Tips to Help You Sleep Easy 
Apartment Safety and Security 

 

 

Three Reasons You Can’t Afford NOT to Have Renters Insurance

Think renter’s insurance is too expensive or not worthwhile? Think again! Too many renters neglect to get renters insurance because they think it’s too expensive or their stuff is not valuable enough to protect. Is this really the case?

According to a Rent.com survey several years ago, 60% of renters they interviewed did not have renters insurance. Many felt that it’s too expensive even though the average premium is under $20 a month. THat is less than what you’d spend on coffee or a night out at the movies!

Infographic: Renters' insurance, room-by-room

Here are 3 Reasons You Can’t Afford NOT to Have Renters Insurance.

#1 Your Belongings Are Worth More Than You Think

According to the USAA, new renters typically have about $20,000 worth of belongings. Look around at the possessions in your apartment: computer, bike, clothes, television, iPhone, clothes, kitchen appliances, etc. Start adding up the value of how much it would cost to replace all these items if they suddently disappeared and you will probably be surprised.

#2 Coverage doesn’t just extend to your home

Depending on your policy, renters insurance can also be extended outside of your home. If someone breaks into your car and steals your bag from inside, it is possible that your renters insurance would cover that too.

#3 It covers your neighbor’s or your roommate’s property

Most Renters insurance policies protect you from being responsible for replacing property of your roommate or neighbors in caser any damage incurred as a result of your mistake. Some policies will cover you against a lawsuit should someone hurt themselves in your apartment. This is not just limited to guests, service providers and repair individuals would be covered too in case of injury in your property.

Is Renting Furniture Right for You?

Is renting furniture right for you?

You’ve signed a lease on a new apartment, congratulations! Now, it’s time to furnish it. With rare exception, it’s a challenge for students to finance an entire household and adequately furnish an apartment with all of the necessities to make it feel like home.

Perhaps family members or friends have gifted you hand-me-down furniture or you’ve found great deals elsewhere. However, all too often, the cost and inconvenience of packing, moving, assembling and storing the big stuff (i.e. couches, beds, bookshelves, desks, dressers, dining room tables, etc.) can really add up!

Unless you have rented a furnished apartment, renting your furniture might be a good alternative for you. Like any option, furniture rental does have it’s share of “Pro’s and Cons”. To decide if renting furniture is a viable option for you, consider the following outlined in the article, Pros and Cons of Renting Furniture:

Pros of Renting Furniture

  • Ideal when you want to use furniture for a short time without investing in the full purchase price.
  • Rental centers often pick up the furniture when you’re ready to move, so you don’t have to. Often it’s less than hiring professional movers.
  • You are paying less money upfront than you would be if you were buying the furniture outright.
  • You will probably have nicer options for furniture (often referred to as “showroom quality”).
  • It may be your only option if you’re having trouble finding cheap or free furniture.

You can be creative and enjoy these benefits without going the rental route, but you have to decide what’s best for your personal and financial circumstances.

Cons of Renting Furniture

  • You may have to pay for it anyway the furniture gets stained or damaged (so check the fine print!).
  • In addition to the monthly cost, you are subject to miscellaneous fees upfront like delivery/setup fee, along with a damage deposit or credit check fee, insurance, etc.
  • Depending on your contract, interest rates, etc, you could be paying more in the long run than you would if you were to buy the furniture outright.
  • You may not be allowed to terminate a contract early if you change your mind.
  • Late payments can affect your credit history, which can impact future apartment rental applications and the amount you’ll pay to turn on utilities.
  • While some furniture rental companies offer month-to-month rent, some will require you to sign a lease.

Here’s the takeaway. If you decide that the pros of renting furniture outweigh the cons, shop around and visit multiple rental companies and compare final costs. Some companies may offer lower monthly prices but higher upfront fees, while others may have higher monthly prices but no upfront fees. Before you sign a contract, make sure you read “the fine print” to avoid getting stuck with extra fees or an early termination clause.

To learn more about local furniture rental companies or your best options, give us a call during regular business hours (541.485.7776) or visit our office at 1301 Ferry Street, Eugene, OR 97401.

Sources

www.realtor.com
www.ohmyapt.apartmentratings.com

 

College Campus Safety 101 (An Info Graphic)

Your college years should be a time to grow and learn within the confines of a safe and accepting environment. You have the right to feel safe and secure in your academic community and campus crime is not to be taken lightly. A little advanced preparation and awareness can go a long way to help prevent crime happening to you.

This printable how-to guide for campus safety we found on simplisafe.com offers simple tips that could go a long way to help prevent the unthinkable happening to you.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the The UO Police Department (UOPD) and remember they are on call 24/7. There are yellow emergency call boxes around campus that students may use should you ever feel unsafe. Familiarize yourself with the locations of these systems and use them should a situation arise. For your convenience please find attached a map of Emergency Phone Locations

Also, we advise plugging 541-346-2919 in your emergency contacts on your phone. This is the number to The University of Oregon campus escort service should you ever find yourself in need of a safe ride or escort to where you need to go.

In non-emergency situations you can call your campus security office. If you’re a University of Oregon student the non-emergency number to save is 541-346-2919. If you’re on campus then dial 6-2919.

 

Seven Ways to Feel Like You’re Getting Away (Without Having to Go Very Far)

Don’t know about you, but we’re pretty happy Spring is here! It could not have gotten here soon enough and you’re probably eager to get away and take a break.  If travel is not in your budget this spring, fret not. Here are seven “must-do” local activities this spring. Consider this your Spring in Eugene “bucket” list!

✓ Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon strolling through Hendrick’s Park

With 80 acres of stunning gardens and incredible views, Hendricks Park is a must for any nature lover. It’s the oldest park in Eugene and it’s never quite as noticeable (or incredible) as when you’re walking beneath the branches of 200-year old fir trees.

✓ Take a quick roadtrip to Florence, Oregon

Florence may be a bit of a drive at 60 miles west of Eugene, but it’s absolutely worth it for the stunning beach! Grab some friends and enjoy surfing, biking, fishing, dune buggy riding, and kayaking. When you’re done, why not spend some time and explore Florence’s unique charms?

✓ Spend some time people watching at Amazon Park

With so much to do in this 99-acre park, there is ample opportunity for people watching as you unwind, relax and take in the scene. There’s tennis courts, soccer fields, a skate-park, baseball diamonds, ball fields, a community garden, concerts, picnic tables, recreation centers, bike paths, a dog park, and exercise stations. It also contains Eugene’s only outdoor pool in its recreation facilities.

✓ Embracing your wild side at the Cascades Raptor Center

No, not those kind of raptors… though that would be cool.

The Cascades Raptor Center houses one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest collections of birds of prey (over 50 species)! Eagles, Hawks, and Owls are just some of the usual suspects you’ll find in the center’s aviaries.

Tending to these beautiful creatures is a lot of work, so if you’re an animal lover looking for a way to become involved and make a difference why not volunteer and lend a hand?

✓ Enjoy a concert at WOW Hall

With shows ongoing throughout the year, there is no doubt you’ll find something to rock out to at WOW hall! Be sure to check out their Events Calendar!

✓ Hike up and enjoying the view at Spencer Butte

Spencer’s Butte is a favorite destination for students, couples, even families to recharge and reconnect with nature. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better spot to spend a day. You can typically expect to spend anywhere from 1-6 hours to reach Spencer Butte’s summit depending on which trail and pace you wish to take.

The Main Trail is a 700 foot climb over 1.08 miles, whereas the West Route is a 700 foot climb over 0.6 miles. How you decide to head up is up to you. Mountain bikes are not permitted but dogs are so bring your furry buddy with you just as long as you keep them on a leash.

✓ Find your moment of zen at Cougar Hot Springs

Located 50 miles east of Eugene is Cougar Hot Springs, a local favorite to get in some relaxation in the water. Take a dip in one five pools in springs that range from 85° to 112°! For just $6 you can enjoy an entire day! Heads up- swimsuits are optional.

Of course, there’s always the local staples of museums, movie theaters, cafes, parks, great shopping, and restaurants to enjoy.  So get out there and enjoy our city!

 

How did the U of O Duck Become so Famous?

Ducks

Unless you’re living under a rock, you have probably seen the famous U of O Duck mascot just about everywhere on campus! It’s hard to miss him, but how much do you really know about him?

In 1876, when the University of Oregon was founded, an unusual mascot that went by the nickname “Webfoots” emerged when a local sports editor by the name of L.H. Gregory coined the phrase.  The nickname was to remain for around 60 years until it took on a very different form.

The Duck mascot first took shape in the 1930s in the form of a white duck, a duck by the name of Puddles. Puddles made many appearances at big games and became a huge hit throughout campus and in the community.

Inspired by the popularity of cartoons in the 1940s, the mascot took on its first cartoon form. Over time, however, this form became more and more inspired by perhaps the most famous cartoon duck of all time, Donald Duck.

EvolutionofDuck

In what now may be considered a very fortunate and quite unique deal, an agreement was reached with Disney to continue using the likeness of Donald Duck. This manner of agreement would be near impossible to reach in present day, but a stroke of luck had Oregon Athletic Director Leo Harris sit down with Walt Disney himself to cement the verbal deal. It was later set down to paper and now U of O has the only Disney approved mascot of any sports team around!

Did you now that  The Duck is that it has never been displayed on a team helmet? The U of O helmets have either been blank, displayed a number, an interlocking U & O, or just the Oregon O.

Though the mascot may have once been “Webfoot”, these days the U of O Duck goes by many names such as Donald Duck, The Fighting Duck, and simply The Duck. Needless to say, no one has called it Puddles in a long time.

We’re proud of our Fighting Duck and look forward to seeing it proudly displayed on all our local teams for many more years to come. Go Ducks!!!

Winter Health Tips

UoEd

Winter’s a few weeks away and that can only mean one thing; no, not the holidays, we’re unfortunately speaking winter illnesses. If you’re not careful you may find yourself on the receiving end of an unwanted “gift.”

Of course, there are things you can do to protect yourself this winter to ensure that nothing stands in your way this holiday season. These tips are good ones to adopt throughout the year but even more so in winter.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

The easiest way to not get infected is to limit your exposure to disease. It may seem a bit callous but two sick people are not better than one.

Don’t share food or drink with anyone.

As with the previous tip, the name of the game is limiting your exposure to viruses and bacteria.

Get plenty of sleep.

Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Eat a well balanced diet.

A balanced diet should include a foods rich in carbohydrates and low in salts and sugar, as well as fruits and vegetables, fish, and plenty of fluids.

Take vitamin D.

With overcast skies and grey days, it’s easy to become a bit lethargic in the absence of sunlight. Vitamin D will help give you the extra boost you may be lacking in the sun’s absence.

Stay active and exercise.

It’s amazing what a little exercise will do, especially if you’re trying to work off an abundant holiday feast or two. Get your moving a little bit every day.

Get your shots.

Make sure you are up to date with your flu shots! University of Oregon often offers special days to get your flu shot. If you’ve missed it then your local doctor will be happy to provide one.

Wash your hands

Remember throughout the day with soap and hot water. If you are away from a sink then hand sanitizer will do.

If despite all these tips you find yourself feeling sick, be sure to stay home! There’s no need to pass your disease along to others. If your symptoms worsen be sure to consult with your doctor! There’s no need to spend the holiday season stuck in bed, after all!

photo credit: uoeducation 2013 09 26 COE orientation 679 via photopin (license)

Give it the Old College Try With These Back-to-School Tips

Photo Source - Scholar Advisor

Yeah, we know; heading back to college after summer break can be tough. You’re probably still enjoying your time off and avoiding thinking about classes and registration, right?

The truth is, it’s better to be prepared and to start thinking about it now rather than be blindsided later on. So whether you’re a returning student or a brand new enrollee, consider these Back-To-School tips to make your life easier down the road!

1. Registration and Paperwork are done, right?

This is a biggie so we’ll go ahead and make it number one. Be sure to fill out all necessary paperwork for your classes, meal plan, parking permits, and any other steps required to be a functioning student. There won’t be much of a back-to-school if you aren’t enrolled in any classes, after all.

2. Establish Healthy Habits

These are helpful to stick to all year round, but doubly so when heading back to class after a long break. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep a day and drink plenty of water. Try to get exercise when you can and rest when you’re sick. Stick with these tips and you’ll be in good shape.

Roommates

3. Get to know your roomie

You two are going to be living together for a while! Get to know one another, establish rules for cohabitation, and treat each other with mutual respect. You’ll have enough on your mind without having to worry about roommate troubles.

4. Be Safe

We could devote a whole post just to this (and we have) but the important thing to take away is to always be aware of your surroundings and careful when traveling at night. The buddy system is your friend!

5. Warm Up Your Brain Before College

Heading back to class, you’ll be expected to do a lot of critical thinking, assignments, and test taking. Like any good muscle, you should warm up your brain before putting it to work. Lead up to your term start by engaging in some brain activities, such as sudoku or crossword puzzles.

Stick to these tips and you’ll be ready to face anything your classes have in store for you!

Local Spotlight – Eugene Sunday Streets

Photo Source Eugene-Or.gov

Get ready to hit the pavement! Eugene’s Sunday Streets are back for another day of fitness classes, biking, live music, vendors, food, yoga, dancing, and much more! The event will be taking place on September 25th in the South University neighborhood from Noon to 4PM. Best of all, these community driven events are all free!

Eugene’s Sunday Streets was launched back in 2011 as an initiative to promote healthy active living and car-less transportation. Through the years, it’s grown in popularity and is now expected to attract 4,000+ attendees this year!

Be mindful that Eugene’s Sunday Streets will be closing miles of traffic to accommodate the festivities, so be sure to plan accordingly when you’re getting around!

Photo Source Eugene-Or.govHave that route down? Great! Here are some pictures from previous years’ Sunday Streets to get you ready for the festivities.

Photo Source Eugene-Or.gov

Photo Source Eugene-Or.govSunday Streets

Of course, it can’t be stressed enough that Sunday Streets would not be possible without help of its talented volunteers. Interested in helping out? Register here to join the team!

Sunday Streets is a terrific opportunity to intermingle with your neighbors and the greater community while adopting a couple of healthy lifestyle choices. Let’s make this year’s Sunday Streets its biggest yet! See you on September 25th!

Photo Sources: Eugene-Or.gov

Even the Score with UO $CORE

UO$CORE

 

How much do you spend on electricity a month? What about water? Is it higher than you’d like to be spending? What if we told you that you could be helped with your bills and do your part to help the greater good in the process? That’s exactly the case with UO $CORE, a student run program to help students save money on their utility bills for environmentally-responsible practices.

$CORE stands for “Student and Community Outreach for Renter efficiency” and was started in 2012 by James Walton, a senior business major who secured a grant from Eugene Water and Electric Board to create the program. Through $CORE, student staff perform free audits and install upgrades in older, off-campus student rental housing while also helping student tenants by providing information, materials, and skills to help lower their carbon footprint and utility bills.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how $CORE can help you save money then you should register for a free energy assessment!

Energy Assessment

What does this assessment include? Simply put, two Energy Evaluators will come to your house and assess your energy needs. Over the course of an hour they will install low use devices such as CFL lightbulbs and weather stripping, while also give you some information on how to lower your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Not only will your bills be lower and your house better for the environment, you’ll even get a free pizza from TrackTown Pizza if more than half the household is present!

CFLBulbs
Say hello to your new best friend.

Tips for Reducing Energy Use

$CORE’s Facebook page is constantly updated with handy tips to reduce your utility bills and carbon footprint. We’ve selected a few here to share.

  • Wrap your water tank with jacket insulation to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • When cooking on a stovetop, match the pan size to the heating surface to prevent heat loss to the surrounding air.
  • Put your computer and monitor to sleep mode (or off) when you’re not using them.
  • Replace your bulbs with Energy Star® efficient light bulbs.
  • Keep your freezer full to minimize energy used. For maximum savings fill the freezer with gallons of water.

A quick session with UO $CORE and you’ll have lower bills, a diminished carbon footprint, and free pizza!!! That’s what we call a win-win!

photo credit: CFL bulbs via photopin (license)