Make Your Commute Easier!

Do you currently live far from work? Driving for hours each day to and from work not only causes you more stress and frustration, but it also takes up valuable time that you could otherwise spend on your hobbies or with your friends and family! The solution – move somewhere close to work or somewhere near public transportation so that you can utilize your commute hours engrossed in a good book or knitting your latest creation rather than navigating heavy traffic in frustration.

RentalRoost’s proprietary public transit search function can help you find a home within walking distance to public transportation! First, go to the Find Properties tab and select the city in which you want to search for a rental. Next, select the Public Transit dropdown menu and pick the train line that is closest to your work. The map will highlight available rental properties near each stop on the line. You can zoom into a particular location to focus your search or browse all stops to widen your search to different cities along the train line. Say goodbye to lengthy boring drives!

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On the off chance that you cannot move into a more commute-friendly location, here are a few ideas to make your daily drive a bit easier:

  • Subscribe to some fun new podcasts. You can learn new languages, discover amazing scientific facts, or just listen to some incredible stories. A few favorites: Coffee Break Spanish, Stuff You Should Know, and This American Life.
  • Invest in a nice Bluetooth device to catch up on your calls. Between work and afterwork events, it seems like you don’t have enough time in the day to catch up with all the important people in your life – your college friends, your siblings, your parents, your buddies from yoga class, and your high school besties. You can use this time to check in with your friends. But remember – DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE! And even if you use a Bluetooth device, pay attention to the road and not your conversation!
  • Catch up on your music. Build a great playlist of new artists you’ve been meaning to listen to or just create a great playlist of your perennial favorites. This will help you start to unwind from the moment you get into your car.
  • Play the alphabet game by yourself. Or the license plate game. This will not only entertain you, but it will also help you pay more attention to everything happening on the road.
  • Create a carpool. Find co-workers who live nearby and form a carpool. This will give you some friends to connect with on the road, and it will also give you a much-needed break from behind the wheel, at least a few times weekly.

Finding Your Perfect Neighborhood

New to town? Have no idea where to start looking? Or has your lifestyle or needs changed? Perhaps your family is expanding. Or maybe you want to live in an urban environment with a younger demographic. The best way to find a home in a neighborhood that meets your lifestyle needs is to start exploring neighborhoods.

After signing in to Rental Roost, go to the Explore Neighborhoods tab. From the drop-down menu, select the city you’re search in and what criteria is the most important to you. If you are living in a big city like San Francisco, I would suggest starting with the Walkscore® option to help you find the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. If you eschew the idea of cooking and you prefer to dine out, try selecting the Fine Dining option.

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The results will be sorted according to your selection. For example, if you selected Walkscore, then the neighborhoods will be sorted by the highest Walkscore. Play around with different search options to find the neighborhoods which have everything you’re looking for.  And this can help narrow down your search for your perfect home!

Assessing the Security of a New Apartment

An important step in searching for a new apartment is to evaluate its security. From high-tech security cameras to armed security guards, there are clear indicators of how secure an apartment building is from potential burglars and other criminals. factors in the crime rate when calculating how kid-friendly a neighborhood is. Otherwise, use the following tips in making your own assessment:

  1. First, search online for the apartment building or complex’s website. Many apartment complexes now have websites with detailed information on the apartments themselves, and some even have comments from past and present tenants. See if they also give any information regarding the security features of the building.
  2. Drive around the apartment complex to see for yourself what kind of security measures there are. Visit the building at different times of the day to see how quiet (or loud) the neighborhood is, check out the amount of light available in the building’s parking lot, see if the windows are barred (indicating a rougher neighborhood or trouble with break-ins), and keep an eye out on the amount of garbage on the street.
  3. Keep a list of questions to ask the landlord when you call or visit the apartment. For example, ask if they have security cameras, security staff, deadbolts and locks on all the doors, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and adequate lighting in hallways, the parking lot and any covered walkways. Also make sure to ask if there are sprinklers in all of the apartments.
  4. If there is a garage for tenants, make sure it is safe and secure just as the apartment complex should be. Ensure that the parking garage is well-lit, features a security guard or some other form of precaution to keep non-residents out, security cameras, sprinklers, fire alarms, and an alarm system.
  5. Does the lobby have safety measures to make sure someone off the street cannot access the apartments? This is very important and a tenant should definitely ask the landlord this question before renting the apartment; make sure the lobby can be accessed only via a key or access code, or that it has a guard on duty at all times.


Making moving easier on your kids

Moving inevitably means a lot of change – new home, new neighbors, maybe even new furniture. You can minimize the stress of moving on your kids by finding a home either within their current school district or close to another great school.

Start by entering the neighborhood, city or zip code where you’re looking for a new home, and click on “Search Properties”.

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You will be directed to a page that shows properties in the location where you are looking for homes. Under the Schools tab, locate the school that you are looking for.  You have the option of looking for both public schools and private schools. You can even check multiple schools to expand your search!

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When you finally do find your perfect home near the schools where you want your kids to attend, you can make the move fun for your children by taking them to meet your new neighbors or inviting a few of their friends over for a small pizza party in your new place!