Decorating Your Rental on a Budget – Part Two

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So you found an apartment and now you want to make it feel more like a home without spending a fortune. We know that decorating can be a challenge when your options are limited by rental rules.

Apartment Curtains

Make your windows a work of art. There are numerous ways to creatively dress up your windows without it costing a fortune.

  • Before you begin, measure your windows (starting from where you will install the curtain rod). This will help you determine how much fabric you will need (consult with a local fabric store to help you determine how much fabric you will need for this project)
  • Look for a basic medium-weight fabric such as cotton or a cotton-linen blend so it is easy to work with. Bright colors or patterns will give a refreshing contrast to the monotone white walls in your apartment.
  • To make your ceilings seem taller, hang the curtains 6-10 inches above the window.
  • Consult with a DYI website to get easy sewing tips on simple curtains. If you don’t sew, you can always use an adhesive fabric tape.
  • Hang your homemade curtains with inexpensive clip rings which can be purchased at most hardware stores or any Target or Walmart.
  • If you want an even easier window treatment, you can of course purchase inexpensive pre-made curtains at most stores. Fabric shower-curtains are another option, and are easy to install. You can even make a window valance using a scarf or a tablecloth.

Decide on your color scheme and stick...Blending colors that contrast with white walls will make the space feel more open. Cool colors like green, turquoise, blue, and purple can make a room feel more spacious and elegant. Warm colors like orange, yellow, and red can make the space appear cozy and intimate.

 

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photo credit: June:22 via photopin (license)

Apartment Safety 101: 10 Tips to Keep Your Apartment Safe and Secure

Apartment SafetyAt Von Klein Property Management, we do everything that we can do ensure the safety and wellbeing 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 criminals:

1. 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

2. This may seem obvious, but it remains an important tip: NEVER leave your apartment door unlocked, even if you are leaving for a few moments to obtain something from you car, get the mail or take out the trash. Someone lurking nearby could gain access quickly.

3. Never open your door to a stranger. Require all utility/repair men to provide identification before opening the door. If there is no peephole, have the repairman slip the ID under the door so you can check it out. If still uncertain, look up the telephone number, (do not accept one they give you) and call to verify the information.

4. Use a timer (an inexpensive purchase from a hardware store) for radios, televisions and lights so that the home looks occupied. If you will be away for a while, notify a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

5. A well-lit area is one way to deter crime so keep a light on at night if possible. If you notice that a light is out on our property or parking lots, please notify our office.

6. Do not leave valuable items visible in your home or car.  Close your blinds at night and keep your car doors locked and park in well lighted areas if possible.

7. Get to know your neighbors. Introduce yourself to them, get to know who they are and try look out for each other. If your neighbors know who you are, they are more likely to report possible criminal activity and get some help.

8. 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.

9. If there are sliding glass doors, invest in a secondary locking device– it 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.

10. Try to use common area facilities during high-traffic hours. Do not feel compelled to change laundry if your common sense tells you to stay away from an empty laundry room.

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

Duck Spotlight: CommUniversity Assistant Program

The CommUniversity Assistant Program (CAP).
Photo Source: The CommUniversity Assistant Program (CAP) on Facebook.

Living off campus can be an exciting and rewarding time for students where they can experience independence and personal freedom.

But for some students, that increased freedom can come at a cost. It’s confusing and stressful for inexperienced first time renters to learn the ropes, navigate their way through issues with other roommates, neighbors and addressing safety concerns. It’s often hard to know who students can turn to, which is one of the primary reasons why the University of Oregon Office of the Dean of Students launched The CommUniversity Assistant Program (CAP).

CommUniversity Assistants are student leaders (CAPs) hired by the University to live in student-populated neighborhoods and serve as liaisons between students and the greater community. These students know first hand the issues students face and work to create positive off-campus student living where students can study, have fun and thrive.

The organization works to educate students on their rights and responsibilities and the impact of student behavior on residents, business owners, and property owners. They also provide resources to students with scheduled programs throughout the year like the Off-Campus Housing Fair, Move-Out Event, Taking it to the Streets, and Winter Family Weekend. Think of them as the “What To Do and Where To Go” People.

The Goals of CAPs are to:
• To foster positive relationships between edge neighborhoods (residents, business owners, and property owners) and the University (students and employees). Provide value to the University and the community in this relationship.

• To improve quality of life for students who reside off-campus, to advance student learning.

• To increase access to campus and community resources for students who reside off-campus.

To learn more about this program and how it can benefit you, contact the CommUniversity Assistant Program through one of the following channels:

Telephone: 541-346-3216
E-mail: communiversity@uoregon.edu
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UOCommUniversity
Twitter: www.twitter.com/comm_university
Office of the Dean of Students
164 Oregon Hall

Links and Additional Resources:
dailyemerald.com
www.facebook.com/UOCommUniversity

Your Stuff is Worth More than You Think! Get Renters Insurance!

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It doesn’t matter where you live, your personal belongings are important and losing them could be devastating. The responsibility for protecting all your belongings is yours — along with the cost of replacing them if disaster strikes.

If you don’t have renters insurance, you are betting against an unforeseen circumstance happening to you: a fire, theft, vandalism, water damage, a natural disaster, or worse. Is that a wager you can afford to lose?

Too many people forgo renters insurance because they think their stuff isn’t worth much. This is not the wisest choice because

a) renters insurance is usually very affordable
b) you stuff is worth a lot more than you might think

According to USAA.com, “the average renter has more than $20,000 in personal belongings. Just think about how much it would cost to replace your clothing, books, furniture, laptop computer, flat-screen TV, bicycle, smartphone and everything else you’ve accumulated over the years.”

Renters insurance differs from company to company, so make sure you compare benefits before buying.  If you already have insurance for your vehicle, start with that company and request information.

Some key features to look for (source: USAA.com):

Replacement cost coverage. This provides enough money to buy a new item to replace the one you’ve lost. That’s better than a policy that only covers an item’s actual cash value. For example, if your 10-year-old TV is destroyed, a replacement cost policy would cover the price of a brand-new set. An actual cash value plan would only give you what the TV was worth at the time it was destroyed.

Protection against severe weather and other events. Make sure your policy not only covers property damaged or destroyed by fire but also by flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Coverage of items in your car. The policy should pay for personal items if they are stolen from your vehicle.

Living expenses if forced to move. If damage to your apartment or rental property requires you to temporarily live elsewhere, renters insurance will reimburse your living expenses.

Medical expense coverage. This helps reimburse guests for medical expenses related to injuries that happen at your place.

Liability insurance. If an injured guest sues you, liability coverage can help with legal bills and will pay damages if you’re found liable for them.

Visit the U of O’s Off-Campus Student Resources and Programs page for more resources.

photo credit: Sakurako Kitsa via photopin cc