Go Green with These 5 Tips from The Woodlands

The Woodlands - Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Making a few changes in your life and daily routine can help reduce the amount of energy used on a regular basis as well as chemicals which can prove to be harmful to the environment. These 5 quick tips will help you get started down the right path!


Lighting: Incandescent light bulbs may seem like a better purchase since their sticker price is often the cheaper compared to other options. However, they can actually cost you more in the long run. Whereas using light bulbs such as Light Emitting Diode (LED), Halogen Incandescent, or a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) will last longer and save you money on your electricity bill. Many manufacturers will include the average lifespan as well as the average cost for your electric bill. 

Turning lights off in a room while not in use is a simple concept, but, is lost on many. Many of us have a bad habit of leaving lights on when we leave a room. Turning lights off can save you money every month and your light bulbs will last longer. 


Temperature Control: There are a few ways to control and maintain a comfortable temperature in your apartment that won’t make your electricity bill skyrocket and will help you go green! Many home goods stores have a wide selection of insulated curtains which help to keep the temperature in your apartment regulated. So if there are extreme temperatures outside, keeping the curtains closed will help keep you cozy and will help ensure your heat (or air conditioning) isn’t running when it shouldn’t. 

Limiting the use of your oven, especially during summer months, will also help keep the temperature regulated and help in your green efforts. Using an oven for long periods of time builds up heat in the apartment, which makes your air conditioning run longer and work harder. 


Power Down: Using a surge protector for appliances or electronics which use a lot of energy allows you to turn them on and off quickly and efficiently. Appliances and electronics that are left plugged in, even if they aren’t on, actually draw energy. Having items plugged into a surge protector will also help protect them in the event of severe weather and power outages. One such item you should consider using this for is your laptop or desktop computer. 


Green Cleaning Products: Take time to consider the chemical cocktail in your cleaning products. These chemicals can potentially be dangerous to those within your home and the environment. While cleaning, the chemicals are released into the environment and they can be absorbed into your skin. Changing your products will lessen pollution in waterways, air, and minimizes our impact to the ozone layer. 


Recycle: The Woodlands community offers recycling with our amenities and we encourage all of our residents to take advantage of this! Adding a recycling bin in your home allows for you to separate the recycling from the garbage and dispose of each in their proper containers once you take them outside. Recycling isn’t as tedious as it sounds and we encourage all of our residents to partake so that we can help protect our environment. 


What steps are you taking to go green? Share your tips and tricks with us! Or, if you’re ready to make The Woodlands community your new home, contact us to schedule a tour!

6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe and Happy on Halloween

The Woodlands - Friday, October 06, 2017

Trick or treating is an event kids of all ages look forward to every year. As parents, and guardians, there are plenty of factors involved which is cause for concern. We’ve gathered a few tips to help keep kids safe as well as try to alleviate some stress you may face.  


1. Plan a Route in Advance: Trick-or-treating routes can often take you away from your home. Many times it means walking a great distance. This isn’t typically a big deal for adults, but for kids it means sore legs and frustration. Additionally, it is ideal to map out a route before leaving your home. Be sure to stick to areas and roads you are familiar with so that you can avoid getting lost.
2. Wear Comfortable Shoes: Kids as well as adults should wear comfortable, well-fitting footwear. Costumes that would typically require shoes or boots with heels should be substituted for something more comfortable for long walks. Footwear with laces, such as sneakers, should be double-knotted to avoid coming untied and tripping.  
3. Stay Visible: A tip you may have heard is to put your child in a bright colored costume, however, that isn’t always a possibility. You will need to make sure your child is easily visible to drivers. Carrying a flashlight will help keep your path lit as well as aiding drivers. Additionally, you can add reflective tape to the costume to help further aid drivers and make sure the kids can be seen. 
4. Check the Length of the Costume: Longer costumes which drag on the ground can pose as a danger for kids, especially in the evening hours. Whether you purchase or make your child’s costume, make sure it is a safe length. If anything seems to be too long, alter the costume prior to leaving your home for the evening. 
5. Props: Depending on the costume, it is possible that a prop can’t be avoided. If this is the case, the best course of action is to use rubber, plastic or foam props. These materials are safer for kids and are less likely to harm another person. 
6. Check Their Candy: Once you’re home for the night, it’s time to inspect the candy. Anything that isn’t in the original packaging, or if it’s homemade, needs to be thrown away. Wrappers that have rips, tears or holes also need to be tossed. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And if some good pieces make it into your stash, we won’t tell!


The Woodlands values the safety of all of our residents. We hope you found these tips helpful and they keep your family safe while trick-or-treating! Have a happy and safe Halloween! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Roommate

The Woodlands - Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Roomate Contract

You may find yourself in a situation where you need a roommate, or perhaps you don’t want to live alone. Either case is fine, however what isn’t fine is making a rush decision on the matter. This decision is almost as important as finding the right apartment for you and your life style. Continue reading for our 5 tips to help you find the perfect roommate. 


1. Become Habituated: Before making the big decision, find out how your prospective roommate lives. Do they like staying in and watching TV? Perhaps they like spending most of their time out of the apartment. Getting as much information about the person beforehand helps to prevent issues down the road.

2. Notice the Details:
Whether this is a friend you’ve known for a long time or someone you’re interviewing as a potential roommate, pay close attention to the details. These details can lead to potential red flags, which of course, you want to avoid. If you’re interviewing a potential roommate at their current residence, take a closer look. Does it look like the clean regularly or does it look like they tried stuffing clutter under the couch? 

3. Talk Finances: It can be an awkward discussion, but, it needs to happen. Come forward with your prospective roommate about each bill and each anticipated monthly expense. You need to get assurance from them that they will be able to contribute their portion of the bill each month. 

4. Friends: You like your friends, and you get along pretty well. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should be roommates. If you are considering living with a friend, evaluate them like you would any other potential roommate. Evaluate their current living situation, cleaning habits, as well as their finances. 

5. Put it in Writing: Protect yourself as well as your roommate by putting everything in writing, including both names on the lease. Putting terms and conditions in writing will help ease any potential tension or issues from arising in the future. When it is made clear what is expected of each roommate, it is easier to hold each other accountable.


Contact The Woodlands
It is our hope that this helps in your roommate selecting process! Once you’ve found the perfect candidate contact The Woodlands to schedule your tour of our apartments!

5 Tips Every First Time Renter Needs

The Woodlands - Friday, September 15, 2017
First time apartment renters getting their keys

Renting an apartment doesn’t have to as confusing or stressful as many people tend to make it. If you’re a first time renter, consider these 5 tips before making your decision.


1. Set a Budget: Most apartments do not include utilities with their rent. This is very important and something to keep in mind while you look further into your finances. As you will need to pay rent and utilities monthly, but you also want to ensure you are not spending more than you can afford. To make it easier on yourself, look at your after-tax income and then subtract any reoccurring expenses you may have. This will help you to find a reasonable amount for you to spend on your rent. 

2. Determine Necessities:
Think about what you need versus what you want. These two may seem to be the same, but, they’re actually quite different. Amenities such as in-unit washer and dryers are a definite plus, but, having a laundry room in each building will do just as well. Create a check list and find an apartment that may fulfill your wants and needs without blowing your budget.

3. Take a Tour:
Pictures speak a thousand words, but, it doesn’t compare to seeing something in person. Tours also allow for one-on-one time with someone who runs the property. Often times it’s the office manager and they have the ability to answer any question you may have about the property and what’s located in the surrounding area.

4. Understand the Lease: Once you’ve found a place you’re likely to be very excited and ready to sign the lease so you can move in. You’re urged to slow down, take a minute and really read over the lease agreement they’ve given you to sign. Prior to signing, if you have a question or are confused by any aspect you are encouraged to ask. It’s better to be clear about what you’re signing than not understand it.
 
5. Renters Insurance: You may think that insurance is just for homeowners, but, renters should also get an insurance policy. Even if your apartment does not require renters insurance, it is something to consider. Many times it can be combined with your car insurance payment and will protect your valuables if something were to happen to your apartment. 


Contact The Woodlands
Now that you’ve read our tips, contact The Woodlands today to schedule your tour of our apartments!

Consider Donating Your Gently Used Items While Moving

The Woodlands - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Often times moving means new furniture or appliances; even cleaning out your closet of clothes that no longer fit or you simply won’t wear again. Chances are the furniture, clothing, and appliances still have plenty of life left in them. So, what do you do with all of your unwanted items? 


Donate Your Unwanted Items
Rather than tossing the items you plan to replace, consider donating them so that someone else can use and enjoy them. There are many ways you can donate locally and help the members of your community. A few places will even come to you and pick up your items!


Habitat for Humanity 
Habitat for Humanity will come to you and pick up your items for donation; they service Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. However, if you or someone you know lives in an area outside of those counties they will do their best so that you are able to donate your items. They accept furniture, appliances, lighting fixtures and many other home goods! 


Grace’s Closet
A nonprofit organization that began out of a woman’s home and has since expanded, Grace’s Closet works with local churches, schools, and agencies to help families in need of clothing, children’s toys, household items and many other necessities. 


Donating items not only lightens your load when moving, but, it can make a big difference for someone else. If your items have been gently used and are still in good condition, consider donating them when you’re ready to make a change!   


Are you ready to make The Woodlands your new home? Contact us to schedule your tour of our apartments!


Become Better Organized Before Starting the Moving Process

The Woodlands - Thursday, August 17, 2017
Older couple on the couch in their apartment unpacking a box
While living in your home, you may not realize exactly how much stuff you accumulate until it is time to move. Becoming organized and packing it all can be overwhelming, exhausting, even frustrating at times. Before attempting to pack up your belongings, get organized with our tips!


Sort Your Belongings into Categories
In order to make your move as easy as possible, you will need to get organized. If this isn’t your forte, recruit a friend or two who are masters of organization. Start with one area, or room, once you’ve gone through every item, move on to the next space.


- Essential:  These items are either practical, used daily, or they may hold sentimental value. Whatever the item may be, you won’t part with it no matter what. 
- Value: This doesn’t necessarily only refer to monetary value, but, it may also refer to what value the item brings to your life. A book, for example, when was the last time you read it? Will you read it again? If you don’t see yourself reading it again, it’s time to donate the book so someone else can find enjoyment. The same can be said for DVDs or CDs, if they haven’t been used in quite a while, it’s time to donate them!
- Useful vs. Useless: This category may be the most difficult, but, it needs to happen. Items that you haven’t used since the last time you moved, should get tossed or donated. Kids, for example, accumulate a lot of possessions – toys, clothing, etc. It may be difficult to part with some of their old things, but, you also need to ask yourself if the item is useful or if it holds a special place in your heart. Unless you’re having more kids, their highchair can be donated, whereas their first pair of baby shoes holds sentimental value. 


Now that you’ve made your piles and you know what’s coming with you, the entire process will run much smoother. It may seem difficult to part with certain items, but in the end lightening your load will be more than worth it. 


Are you ready to make The Woodlands your new home? Contact us to schedule your tour of our apartments!

Finding the Right Size Apartment for You at The Woodlands

The Woodlands - Wednesday, July 19, 2017
couple moving into their new apartment

Moving and apartment hunting can be a daunting task with many factors that shouldn’t be overlooked. But, it doesn’t have to be if you predetermine the size apartment you’re looking for. This will help narrow down your list of potentials. 


Number of Bedrooms
Many complexes will tell you the rule of thumb is one bedroom per occupant. There are exceptions to this rule; however, couples and children are typically able to share a bedroom. Perhaps you’re a couple who is looking to turn a bedroom into an office space, in which case, you will need at least a two bedroom apartment. 


Number of Bathrooms
The next aspect you will need to consider are the number of bathrooms you need, or want. A guest bathroom, or bathroom for the kids, is nice and certainly has its perks. However, you will need to consider if it is practical for your needs, or even your budget. 


Living Space
Do you have larger sized items you’re bringing with you? Perhaps you live a minimalist lifestyle and don’t require a lot of extra space. While touring apartments, don’t be afraid to bring your measuring tape so you can take exact measurements. This will help you when measuring your items to decide whether it will fit nicely, or, if more space is a necessity.  


Amenities and Location
Lastly, consider the location and amenities that are important to you. Do you prefer a more active area as opposed to a quieter location? Do you want a shorter commute, or, do you enjoy your drive time? There’s not a single correct answer, as these are personal preferences. While apartment hunting, you will need to keep these questions in mind in addition to the location of schools and healthcare facilities. 


Are you ready to make The Woodlands your new home? Contact us to schedule your tour of our apartments!


10 Items You Aren’t Responsible for While Renting at The Woodlands

The Woodlands - Thursday, July 06, 2017
The Woodlands Apartment Complex

A major perk for renters is having fewer responsibilities than that of homeowners. Be the envy of your home-owning friends with these major perks from The Woodlands. 


1. Maintenance Repairs
While renting, we understand that things do happen, and replacements will need to be made. Renters won’t be responsible for repairs or replacement, unless there has been gross neglect. You are responsible, however, for notifying our Maintenance Staff of the repair request.  


2. Snow Removal
The great northeast is no stranger to snow storms and snow removal. Luckily for you, snow removal is left to us to handle! 


3. School Taxes
Homeowners are required to pay school taxes whether they have children or not. Renters are lucky enough to avoid paying this tax.


4. Lawn Maintenance 
Spend the warmer months enjoying what you love doing as opposed to yard work. Spring clean-up, planting, and mowing are all part of our maintenance plan. 


5. Property Updates
Need a new roof or siding replaced? Not something you need to worry about taking care of while renting with The Woodlands!


6. Replace Flooring
Having new flooring installed can be quite costly for homeowners, making it a wonderful perk for renters. Replacement of flooring, unless there has been gross neglect, is up to The Woodlands for replacement.


7. Pest Control

As winter comes to an end; pests begin to appear again in the lawn. They can be quite the nuisance, but, not one that renters need to handle. 


8. Pavement Upkeep 
Pavement upkeep is another costly expense homeowners are faced with. This is not the case for renters though! Pavement upkeep falls to the responsibility of The Woodlands.


9. Garbage
While renting, you are responsible for ridding your apartment of garbage and waste. Luckily, you are not responsible for the garbage being hauled away. 


10. Property Taxes
Yet another cost associated with home-ownership are property taxes, and depending on the area, they can be quite costly. This is an expense incurred by homeowners, and not renters, making it a valuable perk for renters. 



Are you ready to make The Woodlands your new home? Contact us to schedule your tour of our apartments!

How to be a Good Tenant That Every Apartment Complex Will Love

The Woodlands - Thursday, June 22, 2017
Father combing and blow drying his daughters hair

When it comes to being a tenant, you, of course, want to be the ideal renter, the one that doesn’t raise any eyebrows or cause any issues. In order to maintain the ‘ideal renter’ status, there are rules to follow and tips to keep in mind.

Rental History

While filling out a rental application, complexes may ask you for your rental history and references. While calling your previous complex managers, or references, they will try to gain as much information about you as possible. Did you maintain your property? Were you ever late in paying the rent? These questions, and more, are all taken into consideration while your application is looked over. 

Read Your Lease

During the signing you will be given your lease to look over and sign. Once it is signed you are stating that you have read, and understand the lease. Prior to signing your acknowledgment, read the lease line by line. If you have any questions, or something is unclear, you are encouraged to ask questions.

Be Respectful

In addition to maintaining your apartment, alerting the management team if there is an issue that needs addressing in a timely fashion makes for a respectful tenant. This is something that can potentially come up with your rental history. Late rental payments, noise complaints, and property damages also have the potential of raising a red flag.

 

Honesty

We’ve heard for most of our lives that ‘honesty is the best policy’ which is true for renters as well. Being upfront and forthcoming during the application process will put everyone in the ideal situation. Falsifying documentation will only hurt you in the long-run.

Cleanliness

While renting, it is your responsibility to maintain the living space. Leaving behind food remnants and splatters can create an issue for the building, apartment, and neighbors. Ensuring your hall is clear of debris and using the proper trash receptacles also helps to make you a clean and respectful tenant.

Following these tips will help to make you the ideal tenant. If you’re looking for a new place to call home, contact us to schedule your tour!


Tips for Successful Apartment Hunting

The Woodlands - Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Apartment renters moving in their couch

Searching for the right apartment can be both exciting and exhausting. As with any search, you will have questions and concerns that need to be addressed. You want to find the best place for you to call home, but, without breaking your budget and in a neighborhood that has what you’re looking for.  

Check the Neighborhood
A top priority when looking for a new place to call home is where to relocate. To determine the best location, examine your priorities. Do you prefer to be close to your workplace? Perhaps a little bit of a commute doesn’t bother you and is preferred. Do you prefer parking your car in a parking lot as opposed to street parking? Perhaps you’d like to be within a short distance to grocery stores or shopping centers.

Inspect the Apartment

When viewing potential apartments, you are encouraged to remove your rose-colored glasses and take out your magnifying glass. Walkthroughs can be exciting and overwhelming with much to take in. This is the time to take everything in and make note of anything that stands out. Is everything in good condition? Signs of proper upkeep can be found by looking at the floors, ceilings, closets, even cupboards. 

Does it Meet Your Budget

Now that you’ve found the apartment you want to call home, before you sign your lease and start planning your big move, make sure it doesn’t exceed your budget. Ask about any possible expenses outside of the rent cost. Are utilities, hot water, or gas included in the rent or are they up to the renter? Expenses can quickly add up each month, knowing you’re in an apartment that won’t break the bank is sure to help relieve stress.

Understand the Lease

We live in a fast-paced world, but, when given paperwork or contracts, it is imperative to slow down and read each line carefully. Leases contain important rules that tenants are expected to abide by. When the rent is due and if there is a grace period, also when you are to give renewal notice are both items that are included in many leases. If something is unclear, make sure to ask prior to signing.

Be Prepared

There are sure to be expenses to come up prior to moving in to your new home. Many apartments require a deposit in addition to first and last month’s rent when signing a lease. Even the process of moving could potentially end up costing you. While budgeting your expenses, take into consideration the potential cost of renting a moving truck or hiring movers.

With these tips in mind, we hope to make your next move a bit smoother. At The Woodlands of Latham, we want our residents to feel comfort in their choice of living in our apartments. For more information, or to schedule a tour, contact us today!

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