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.

Benefits of Renting a Studio Apartment

Eugene Studio Apartments
The need for a simplified, minimalistic lifestyle is growing among college students. Balancing a rigorous class and lab schedule, social pressures, work responsibilities, study groups, travel, campus events and more can be very overwhelming for the average student. More and more young adults are finding it easier to streamline their lives and eliminate  pressures like keeping up with multiple bills, obligations to roommates, keeping up with “stuff”, moving expenses, etc. by opting to live in a  studio apartment.

Source: YouTube

Moving into a studio apartment is a strong motivator to simplify you lifestyle and rid yourself of belongings and responsibilites you may not need at this stage in your life. Many of our tenants enjoy the benefits of living in a studio apartment that are fully furnished, include utilities and have an on site laundry facility.  We can think of many reasons one could benefit from renting a studio apartment instead of a one-bedroom unit.  Here are a few that come to mind.

Saves Money.

This is the most obvious and the top reason renters may opt for a studio apartment.  It’easier to keep utilities cost low when living in a studio apartment than a one-bedroom apartment. If your utilities are included, budgeting becomes easier when you only have to write one check each month. Another perk? Furnishing a studio apartment is simple comparied to larger spaces. All you nned are just a few key pieces, like a bed, desk, small love seat and table. Many of our studio apartments are even furnished. Saving money on rent, utilities, and furnishings is a much more economically appealing choice for renters on a budget.

You are Your Own Roommate.

This can be a “pro” or a “con” depending on your personality type. However, not having the social pressues and obligations of having a roommate can be a refreshing change. There is nobody to clean up for other than yourself, no need to divide costs or be considerate to anyone (except your neighbors). You can be as moody as you need to be, turn the lights off when you want, decorate as you please, watch whatever you want to watch. There are no boyfriends or girlfriends you have to tip toe around. We’re not gonna lie, life without a roommate can be nice and having a studio apartment is an affordable option.

Saves Time and Energy.

Time management is vital to any college student’s success, so the simpler your lifestyle, the better. When you have less space to furnish, few belongings to keep up with, few bills to manage, and no roommate or parties to contend with, you will find this frees up a tremendous amount of time and energy. When everything you own is located in the same room, it is much easier to keep track of and find what you need.

Studios can be Super Stylish.

Minimalism is in. When you have less space and less stuff, you will likely be smarter and more creative about storage and design. Many of our space-savvy tenants have come up with stylish layout and storage solutions to make their studios feel cozy and comfortable. Living in a studio forces you to prioritize what you really need and love so you elimate the rest.

Less Cleaning Required.

A smaller space means you’ll have less square footage and less stuff to keep clean. A simplified living space meants that every cleaning task, from dishes, to sweeping, to vacuuming and dusting is made much easier than even a on or two-bedroom apartment.

Better Location.

As a student, it’s likely you’re going to spend more time away from your apartment than in it. Studios are ideal for someone who is constantly on the go. Most of our studio apartments are close to campus and accessible by walking or biking, this means more excercise and a healthier lifestyle! Studio apartment dwellers are more likely to get out and explore events and places on and off campus.

If you think a studio apartment might be right for you, we can help! Call us at 541.485.7776 so we can help you search for the right place for you to call home.

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

 

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Addressing Roommate Conflict

Max the Brown Tabby and Burt the Grey Kitten: Cat Argument… | Flickr Flickr1024 × 683Search by image ... Max the Brown Tabby and Burt the Grey Kitten: Cat Argument 4 | by Found

A new school year is about to begin and that means many of you will be living with new roommates! For some of you, this may be the first time you’ve lived with people who aren’t family members. Though this is a very exciting time, you should be prepared to deal with roommate conflicts as they happen. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s human nature.

Even if you’ve done everything right, even if you’ve set clear boundaries, even if you & your roommate(s) are considerate and likable and compatible, it’s highly likely that you will find yourselves in situations where you feel at odds with one another at some point during your lease. Might as well equip yourselves now with the appropriate skills to handle any potential conflicts effectively to save you a great deal of time and trouble later on!

Here are five common mistakes to avoid when the dreaded and inevitable conflict comes up.

Common Roommate Conflict Resolution Mistakes:

1. Mistake: Ignoring the conflict or giving it time to work itself out. The odds are the conflict will not get resolved with added time, the issue will just fester until one roommate explodes with emotions.

Solution: Don’t let things simmer. Address the issue as soon as it is brought to your attention. Be honest and upfront, but don’t blow the issue out of proportion. Let your roommate know that you realize it’s something minor, but that it is a pet peeve of yours or that it makes you feel uncomfortable.

“In my first year, I became sick with mono and slept through almost all of my morning alarms. In my heavily unconscious state I had no idea that I kept hitting snooze and my roommates interpreted this as my blatant inconsideration,” writes this blogger. “As a result, one morning I awoke to a roommate throwing pillows and wrathfully yelling at me. I felt horrible because I was not aware of the problem and I could certainly sympathize with their frustration! Had I known sooner, I could have established a better plan for waking up.”

2. Mistake: Failure to acknowledge or to even hear what the other has to say. It’s easy to feel defensive when you are addressing conflict (which most of us avoid at all costs), but take a step back and try not to take it personally.

Solution: We like this tip we found in this post.

Use the active listening technique or “LARA” method in both the conversation and the dialogue.

L stands for Listen. In this stage of LARA, active listening needs to be practiced, by maintaining eye contact (if culturally appropriate), nodding your head, and showing that you are listening.

A stands for Affirm or Acknowledge. Much like active listening, this stage requires that you say something affirming like “I can understand why it’s difficult for you to talk to your roommate about this and why it is also so important to you.” Acknowledge the feelings and needs behind what is being said.

R stands for Respond. This is when you can respond to what was said – address the interests and needs that your roommate brought up.

A stands for Add. This is when you can provide additional information or options about solutions. Do not give advice or force your opinion on anyone, though!

3. Mistake: Using extreme statements such as “You Always..: “You Never..”. This is a surefire way to put your roommate on the defensive and create an impossible situation for you to resolve anything.

Solution: Use “I Statements” as a way to defuse the tendency for your roommate to feel attacked and putting them on the defensive. An “I Statement” makes it about you. It explains HOW the other person’s behavior is making YOU feel. For example, “I feel______ when_____because_____so what I’m hoping is _____.

Instead of saying, “You always leave the lights on late at night and it drives me crazy” perhaps you can try “I feel frustrated when the lights are left on after midnight because it is hard for me to fall asleep and then I don’t do well in my classes, so I’m hoping we can turn the lights off or dim them at a certain time every night, or find another agreeable solution that works for both of us.”

4. Mistake: Holding onto bad habits or having an unwillingness to change. For many of you in your college years, this is a time for learning and growing. Don’t get stuck in old unhealthy patterns and habits that you developed in the past.

Solution: Be flexible with your roommate and adjust your thinking as new situations require. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your roommate and judging them based on what you would do, focus on being a better roommate yourself. “It is very easy to observe your roommate’s actions and think, ‘I would never do that.’ Be careful of expecting your roommate to behave and think just like you,” it advises in this helpful student living piece. “Judging your roommate and determining that your values are right and his or hers are wrong is a very dangerous barrier to cross.”

5.Mistake: Know when to pick your battles. We know, this sounds like a contradiction to Mistake #1. However, sometimes you just gotta let some things go.

Solution: Decide if this is a battle worth fighting before you bring it up. In most situations, it will become very clear to you whether or not something is worth bringing up. Accept that your roommate (and you!) are flawed and you will make mistakes. Sometimes, we all commit minor or ridiculous offenses that irritate others for a brief moment, but it’s unhealthy to hold on to that resentment.

Solution: Although it is good to be honest when something is bothering you, realize when an issue is worth talking about and when something is so minor or ridiculous that your request may come off as extreme.

When in doubt, contact the Office of Student Conflict Resolution for assistance!

Sources for this article

www.huffingtonpost.com
u.osu.edu
oscr.umich.edu

Top Image Source:
Google Images: Max the Brown Tabby and Burt the Grey Kitten: Cat Argument… | Flickr

Creative Storage Solutions for Your Apartment

Photo source Ikea

Storage space and organization will always be an issue renters face when moving into a new apartment—especially if they have roommates! With these creative solutions, you can maximize your available storage space and leave your apartment looking better for it!

Hooks offer a lot of vertical storage space

As seen above, you can make the most of your apartment’s untapped vertical space by using hooks.

Store items under your bed

Use the space under your bed to store linens, blankets, clothes, or more. With sliding compartments access is even easier.

Photo source Life Hacker

A fridge-side rolling storage pantry can offer a lot of extra space

Looking for a place to store your ever growing collection of cooking spices? A rolling storage pantry can take advantage of the untapped space between your fridge and the wall.

Get a shower caddy

Shower caddies offer a convenient storage solution for soap, shampoo, conditioners, and any other must-have items for your cleansing routine. Especially helpful if your sink/bathtub is becoming crowded with cleaning products.

Photo Source Fresh Home

Turn your headboard into a shelving system

Many people neglect the available space that can be found in a bed’s headboard and/or above the bed. A few simple shelves can open a lot of room to store items.

Over-the-door organizers are your best friend

Hanging door organizers can help you store and organize shoes, cleaning products, socks, towels, or anything else you might want to keep close together.

Photo source Pottery Barn

Use baskets

Baskets provide a stylish method to organize and group items throughout your house. A pile of CDs may not especially appealing on their own, but put them in a basket and suddenly it looks like a design choice as opposed to clutter.

A storage chest can double as a coffee table

Just because something gets a lot of use doesn’t mean it can’t also add to your storage space. A cool-looking storage chest can add a lot of style to your apartment and provide an out of sight repository for your things.

With these tips, not only will your space offer all the storage you’ll need—it’ll look amazing in the process.

Eight Benefits Available to U of O Students (You May Not Know About)

There’s no shortage to the excellent benefits and resources U of O has to offer its students: terrific career services department, state of the art facilities, an unparalleled staff, the Ducks (go Ducks!). Still, you may be unaware of some of these less obvious resources.

Zipcar Student Rates

Zipcar has partnered up with University of Oregon to provide affordable prices to the student population, allowing you to join for only $15. Head to our Zipcar post for more info!

LTD Rides for Free

That’s right, flash your student ID badge and you can ride any LTD bus for free. Click here for info regarding their routes and time tables.

Discounted Rates for Enterprise Car Share

Not only is the one-time $20 fee waived if you’re a student, your annual membership is a discounted $35! Visit Enterprise’s Car Share page for a map of available cars and pick up locations.

10% off Whole Foods Purchase

Did you know that as a student you can save 10% of your entire purchase every Tuesday throughout the academic year at Whole Foods? Not a deal to miss!

Deals on Mattresses from American Mattress Manufacturing

A new mattress can be a costly endeavor; American Mattress Manufacturing helps by offering discounts on mattresses and full sets.

Save Money on Software and Hardware

Most major software and tech companies—Adobe, Apple, Autocad, Microsoft—will offer student discounts on software and hardware; in some cases even allow students to use software for free.

Expand Your Mind Without Paying A Cent

Both the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural & Cultural History are free to students! Just bring your student ID with you and you’re good to go!

Get Your Swing on for Less

Like others on this list, Laurelwood Golf Course offers discounted rates to University of Oregon students!

Who knew a student ID could save you so much money? Be sure to follow our blog for the latest in tips and hacks for student living in Eugene!

Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips 2016

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The holiday season is here, and with it many will start considering their future travel plans. The unfortunate truth is that holiday travel can be an oft stressful time if not handled with patience and preparation. To that end, we are sharing our top 10 Holiday Travel Tips to guarantee your holiday is nothing but sleigh bells and egg nog.

Empty Apartment Tips

  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.

2. 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.

3. Have a friend or neighbor check in.

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!

4. Unplug appliances.

Sure, your toaster may seem harmless, but freak and unexpected electrical accidents can cause a fire that can potentially destroy an unattended apartment. Be safe and unplug all unnecessary appliances. You can have your lights plugged in to an automatic timer to give your apartment the illusion of being lived in an attended (see our first tip).

Car Travel Tips

5. Have your car examined before you leave.

The last thing thing anybody wants is to have their car break down when traveling out of town for the holidays. Avoid being stranded from home by having your car examined and ensure it’s winter ready.

6. Pack for the worst!

Sure, gifts and clothes will undoubtedly occupy most of your suitcase space, but you need to have a kit ready for those problematic situations. A car charger, a phone charger, jumper cables, sand for traction on snow, an ice scraper, flashlights, a first aid kit… you get the picture.

7. Take breaks when driving.

When driving for long stretches, be sure to pull over and stretch your legs. It’s important to stay alert when you’re behind the wheel, and more so when driving in the winter time.

Plane Travel Tips

8. Pack light.

By avoiding checking bags you can skip the frustration of potentially losing a suitcase full of gifts and/or clothes. Better yet, you can avoid the checked baggage fees most domestic airlines charge.

9. Travel on off-peak days.

If you’re looking to help your wallet, avoid peak travel days. Not only will you save some dough, you’ll avoid the madness that are the crowds of an airport at full capacity. If you really want to avoid the hassle and save even more money, consider traveling on the holiday itself! Not only is it cheaper but it’s guaranteed to be much calmer.

10. Ship Gifts Ahead of Time

This one applies no matter the method of transportation, but applies to none more so than air travel. Not only do you avoid potentially losing/damaging gifts, but you save yourself the hassle of packing and lugging gift with you on an already chaotic travel day. With a bit of pre-planning your day will be considerably simpler.

With these handy tips in mind, nothing will interrupt your travels be they by plane, train, or automobile. Happy holidays!

 

photo credit: alist Denver Airport Security Lines via photopin (license)

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)

Zipcar Around Eugene

Zipcar_Logo.svg

As much as we love biking (and we really, really love biking), there are certain times when you simply need a car. The problem is, if you’re not a car owner this can often amount to the awkward begging of friends for a ride.

Well, say goodbye to unnecessary groveling, because Zipcar is providing students with an affordable way to get around Eugene! Zipcar has partnered up with University of Oregon to provide affordable prices to the student population, allowing you to join for only $15.

Oh, and did we mention gas and insurance are included? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

How does Zipcar work?

  1. Join Zipcar

Once you’ve successfully joined, you’ll receive your Zipcard, the key (both figurative and literal) to unlocking cars, vans, and trucks the country over.

  1. Reserve a Car

Reserving is incredibly simple and can be done either online or on your phone.

  1. Tap your Card

Approach your Zipcar and hold your zipcard to the windshield, thus unlocking the car!

  1. Drive

With that done, you now are free to drive around! When your time is up just return your car to the same reserved parking spot.

Where to Pickup your Zipcar

Zipcar has several accessible locations around campus! Below are the locations you can pick up/drop off your vehicle.

Zipcar LocationsIf you’re planning on moving out (or moving in) in the near future, Zipcar is an excellent option to help lessen your burden come moving day. After all, those boxes aren’t going to carry themselves across town!

A you can see, Zipcar is a simple, affordable, and convenient option to travel around Eugene and beyond. So the next time you’re looking to make a trip to Portland, consider trying a Zipcar!

It’s Party Time! Do You Know About the Social Host Ordinance?

Wild Party

 

4th of July is approaching and you’re no doubt already planning your own party and/or being invited to get-togethers with friends. Before you get too carried away with planning your BBQs and events, however, you should keep the Social Host Ordinance in mind.

Wait, the What?

The Social Host Ordinance (also known as The Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings) is a law that holds individuals responsible for organizing and hosting an unruly event. In other words, if your party gets out of hand, you’re criminally responsible for it.

What Constitutes a Disorderly Gathering?

That’s a fair question, after all one person’s disorderly gathering might be another person’s book club. Here are the telltale signs of a party that will land you in trouble:

  • Over-packed gatherings filling out onto the streets.
  • Under-age drinking.
  • Open alcohol container/consumption in public.
  • Noise pollution that affects neighbors.
  • Interfering with a police officer.
  • Drunk and disorderly conduct.

In other words, if it’s likely to result in a call to the police, it’s considered a disorderly gathering.

What about Fireworks?

Legal Fireworks are permitted to be used between June 23-July 6 and December 31-Jan 1. Your 4th of July party should be fine having them, but you won’t be allowed to use them the rest of the year.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting in Trouble?

Below are some suggestions from the City of Eugene to keep your party safe and acceptable:

Keep a Guest List

Though it’s always tempting to adopt a “come one come all” attitude about your party, this typically ends with a party at max capacity pouring out onto the streets. By knowing ahead of time how many people you’re inviting you’ll limit the party’s capacity to escalate beyond reasonable levels.

Inform Your Neighbors

Let your neighbors know the date and time of your party beforehand. While you’re at it, give them your phone number and contact information should any concerns arise. This step will go along way to avoiding the police being called on your event (and also makes you a better neighbor).

21+ Only

Keep your party legal! If there’s going to be drinking make sure all guests are of the legal drinking age.

Monitor Noise Levels

Keep an eye (an ear?) on the noise levels of your party. Don’t blast your music to the point where people have to yell to one another and keep the hollering to a minimum.

Clean Up After Yourself

Your neighbors are less likely to have any issues with your (or involve the police) if your party is organized and clean.  Pick up after yourself when the event’s over.

Prevent Drunk Driving

Regardless of the Social Host Ordinance, this should be a rule for every party you host or are a part of. Do not allow your friends or you yourself drink and drive, or breaking the law will be the least of your concerns.

Be Polite to the Police

Look we get it, nobody wants the police showing up at their door, but it’s important to remember that they are doing their job. Be courteous and helpful should the authorities come with concerns about your party.

Call The Police if Needed

Call the police to your own party? When it’s getting out of hand or becoming dangerous, absolutely. If things reach the point where you yourself can’t control it, give the authorities a call.

That’s a good starting point on the Social Host Ordinance and should be enough to help you plan your upcoming summer parties. If you want to know more, you can read about the ordinance at Party Safe, Party Responsibly.  Have fun!

photo credit: Kids gone crazy via photopin (license)