Metal Key

Five Professional Tips for Better Packing

By | Uncategorized

Moving is stressful; that’s a given! One way to avoid unnecessary stress is by properly packing your belongings and preparing them for the move to your new apartment. So, how do you protect everything from getting destroyed in the moving process, including your sanity? Brittany Waddell, of Allied Van Lines, shared five of her top tips to make sure your next move is well organized and easy to manage. Quality packing materials are important Skimping on the bubble wrap, moving blankets, and packing tape could definitely result in damaged belongings. Make sure you take the time to secure all your belongings, and when in doubt, buy extra! There’s no shame in double-wrapping those precious items. In fact, it gives them a better chance of surviving a move considering the number of bumps and sudden stops there are on the road (and we all know Houston has a lot). Plus, if you buy too many boxes from U-haul, you can return the ones you don’t use! Pack electronics with all cords and cables in the same box Pro tip: Take a photo before unplugging everything so you know which port or outlet each cord or cable goes into. Pack it all in one respective box, then use the photo you took to put everything back in the right connection portals–voila! Bypass spending hours hunting down instruction manuals or looking for tutorials on the internet–you know who you are! Make your labeling system super simple Use different colored markers or stickers to…

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Dog with glasses on

Taking Apartment Pups From Bored to Brilliant

By | Uncategorized

Living with a dog can be similar to having a roommate, except you’re actually the parent and fully in charge of their physical and mental health. Real talk: after a long day at work, this can be way harder than it sounds and those apartment pups need more than a daily game of fetch to tire them out. Fun fact – Dogs actually get more out of physical activity when their brains are exercised as well. You heard it here first, folks! Mental stimulation prevents boredom, increases happiness, and lessens stress and aggression. A dog who is not receiving adequate mental stimulation may resort to entertaining themselves, which comes off as excessive barking or destructive behavior. Definitely not ideal when it comes to that next door neighbor or pet deposit. Here are a few easy ways to combat those behaviors and keep your dog mentally stimulated while you’re gone:    1. Slow Feeders, puzzles, and scent games When feeding your pup, rather than simply placing their bowl down, consider purchasing a food dispensing toy or slow feeder. Your dog will have to “forage” for his or her food, plus these can also improve the digestion process for those pups who eat particularly quickly. While these designs are simple, they provide enough of an obstacle for dogs to feel rewarded. You can also try treat dispensing puzzles, which come in various sizes and can be adjusted to change the difficulty level for your dog. Talk about mental stimulation with a reward!…

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Houston luxury apartment decorating tips

Making your studio feel more spacious – Tips from a pro

By | Uncategorized

According to recent data, “studio” was the second most popular term used in apartment searches on Google last year, and we definitely get it! Renting a studio apartment boasts some great benefits: less furniture needed to fill the space, more opportunity to live in your fav neighborhood while staying in budget, a reason to apply that Marie Kondo method, your bed is also your couch and dining room table – the list goes on and on.  So, what if you want to make that studio-piece of apartment heaven feel a little bit bigger? We asked Houston-based certified interior decorator and party stylist, Chári Herndon for her best tips and tricks to make your studio feel more spacious, and she delivered! Chári gave some amazing tips but if you’re in an hurry, just skim the bits in bold so you can get the message and get to decorating! Top five tips, as told by the pro herself: “Utilize vertical space as much as possible. Incorporate a bookshelf or mounted wall shelves to take up less space.” “Larger heavier furniture will make a small room look cramped and take up way too much space. Instead, add pieces with exposed legs. When you can see the floor in a space, it tricks the eye and gives the space a more open look.” “Don’t be afraid to use pops of color. Adding a bit of color will liven up the room. Adding a colorful area rug, throw pillows, or artwork can bring so much…

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Using a Smart City Locator – The ‘Why’ and ‘How’

By | Apartment Locators, Apartments, Houston

Looking for an apartment can be stressful and it’s important to set your search expectations early on in the process, which means answering a ton of questions. What’s achievable within my budget? What’s most important – budget, location or unit finishes? Where are the best deals? Can I afford washer and dryer in-unit, or what about hardwood floors? Where can me and my huge dog live? The list goes on and on! Today we’ve set out to answer one specific question you might be asking as you prepare to move: Why use a Smart City locator? Well, you wouldn’t go to an eye doctor for a foot examination would you?! Heck no, you would go to a specialist! That’s us- we’re the apartment specialists, and we’re FREE! **Want the spark-noted version? Just skim the bold bits (no offense taken).** We’re real people! No computer-generated search options here! Instead, you’re connected to a real person who lives, works and plays in Houston! Our agents are some serious neighborhood and market experts who deliver unique apartment searches based on your needs and your priorities! “Real” also means we keep it absolutely 100 with you. We aren’t about setting fake expectations. Plus, we collaborate like crazy – If you ask your agent something, you ask the table of 10+ other agents sitting with them. Nothing is done in a vacuum, so you’re always receiving optimal information. Photo Cred We’ve got the 4-1-1!! Apartment Possible, what’s the sitch? We WANT to know what’s most important to you! Have…

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4 Brand New Properties Hitting Houston This Summer

By | Uncategorized

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Houston’s housing market is booming! Properties are going up left and right, making more than 20k new apartment units available in the last year alone. Things aren’t slowing down and we’ve got details on four Houston neighborhoods gaining some hot (think: Houston summers-hot) commodities to their already-spiffy property portfolios. As if the amenities and neighborhood perks aren’t enticing enough, these new kids on the block are also ALL running move-in specials; we’re talkin’ 1-2 months of free rent here, people! The Drewery Place in Midtown Inspired by the streets of Melbourne, Midtown’s first-ever high-rise is the talk of the town, and for good reason! Conceptualized and brought to life by Caydon Property Group as the initial component of an exciting mixed-use urban development, The Drewery Place boasts a handful of high-end amenities: yoga studio and outdoor yoga lawn, pool and swim-up bar with unobstructed views of the city, and Smart home technology, including an Alexa gifted to every tenant. Located in the heart of Midtown and walkable to dozens of local restaurants, retail and parks, monthly rates for units here start at $1,735 for studios and go up from there. Starting rates for 1 bed/1 bath are $1,790; 2 bed/2 baths start at $3,530, and 2 bed/ 2 baths/ den start at $4,215. This property is currently pre-leasing for their July opening and is offering move-in specials that won’t be around for long! Want to learn more? Click here to get…

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The ‘Renting with a Roomie’ Rundown

By | Uncategorized

Renting with a roomie definitely boasts some big-time financial, social and group Netflix binge sesh benefits. But, what should you know before becoming contractually bound to another human for an extended period of time? Get out your notepads, folks; school’s in session… Running a search for roomies Honestly, we got you (for free)! Only one of you needs to slide into our DMs on Instagram or Facebook, or call/text (713-482-1323) us on the household’s behalf and our agents are good to go. Most of the Houston properties that work with us have rates for 2 bed/ 2 baths starting at $1400 and going up from there. When it comes to the apartment triangle (location, finishes and price), you typically can’t get the best of all three. So come to an agreement on which two are most important to both/all of you. Your Smart City agent will side text you to gather deets, find ALL the specials and provide a hyper-personalized list, and then help get you and your roomie(s) touring ASAP. Photo Cred Applying + getting approved Renters are typically required to show that their monthly income is at least three times the rent. Luckily for roomies, that sum is split amongst incomes of all the names on the lease! If you’re hooked on a gorgeous unit that is tied to a special or concession (aka a DEAL, aka our forte), just confirm whether you’ll be approved on what the rate typically is (market rent), or if you’ll be approved…

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Catch Some Sun at These Awesome Houston Beaches

By | Houston

Let’s face it — there isn’t much not to love about the Houston area. With Houston being the fourth most populated city in the United States — boasting more than 2.3 million people — it’s obvious that millions of people are intimately familiar with the things that make Houston such a cool place to live and work. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it when it comes to Houston’s cool factor. GQ Magazine dubbed Houston the “New Capital of Southern Cool” just last year and Thrillist included Houston in its shortlist of the nation’s most impressive cities just two years ago. WalletHub also named Houston as one of America’s most fun cities in 2018. If Houston’s long-standing reputation for fun doesn’t already have you dying to visit the Bayou City this summer, this list of awesome Houston beaches surely will. While the Houston area is home to more than 1,100 square miles of water, the city doesn’t call any oceanfront real estate its own. With many popular beaches located within an hour’s drive of the city, though, not having any oceanfront property within its borders is hardly a knock against the metropolis. Instead, it’s simply a reason to get behind the wheel of your car and go for a pleasant drive to enjoy a day working on your tan and enjoying the waves! About Houston Area Beaches Given its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is within a short drive of a wide variety of…

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large plants by window

Apartment Plants: Tips From Bravo’s ‘Backyard Envy’ Star, Garrett Magee

By | Apartment tips and tricks, Apartments, Decorating, FYI, house plants

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that plants make all the difference in our environment. They reduce carbon dioxide levels, reduce levels of certain pollutants, regulate air temps–the list goes on! Having plants in your apartment yield similar benefits, with the added benefit of style and a kind of living feel. If you weren’t born with a “green thumb,” incorporating plants into your space can be kind of intimidating. Don’t know where to start? Not to worry, we’ve got a Smart City exclusive with Bravo TV’s star “gardenista” himself! Garrett Magee (pictured left) is the self-proclaimed “muscle” of Backyard Envy’s dynamic and hilarious landscaping trio. If you haven’t watched the show, you’re seriously missing out on the untapped, comical drama of the landscaping world! A Texas native, Garrett and his two besties have established themselves as New York City’s most sought-after landscapers, or better known as,  Manscapers. When it comes to taking squeezed New York terraces and turning them into green-space utopias, there’s nobody better! We got to interview Garrett and snag his top tips to turn your apartment into a living, breathing (and growing) Pinterest board! What are your top three plant recommendations to liven up an apartment? “For dramatic effect, dracaeana marginata – They come in so many sizes and offer a really dramatic, modern look! For variety, asparagus setaceus (Lace Fern) – Ferns are great for bathrooms because of all the moisture. This is one of my fave apartment plants! For hanging, staghorn fern…

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Houston apartments with exposed brick

Houston Apartments With Exposed Brick Wall That Pinterest Would Love

By | Uncategorized

Who doesn’t love a good exposed brick wall as backdrop for your carefully planned yet totally natural looking selfies? It’s hip, it’s cozy, it packs tons of character and can inspire all sorts of decor styles! They are a welcomed change from bland white walls that can either make you feel chic and modern, or funky with a rustic loft styling vibe. Coupled that brick wall goodness with high ceilings for a truly iconic Houston look, So get your favorite Instagram filters ready. Invite all your friends over. Add that person you’ve been gawking over for weeks on Snapchat. You’re going to want to throw a house party, get together for Game of Thrones last season, or even host your cousin’s coworker’s personal trainer’s sister’s birthday just to show these apartments off. Galleria Tate At Tanglewood – starts at $1,163 The accent brick arches at this property are subtle, yet badass. We can appreciate a dash of rustic and industrial vibe incorporated with a modern look. That’s not the only bit of luxury here, though. This complex has a state-of-the-art fitness center and yoga/spin room. Plus they decided to be extra AF and added a golf simulator to the mix. You’ll be Galleria livin’ without the Galleria chaos here. Chateux DiJon – starts at $720 Sticking with the same ‘hood, the next property could not be more ideally located. Only a few blocks separate it from all the shopping in the Galleria and the property has extremely convenient access to…

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hurricane harvey

How Hurricane Harvey Changed Renting in Houston

By | Apartments, Houston, Hurricane Harvey, Rent Increase, Rental Market

Houston – A southern concrete jungle stretched out over hundreds of square miles, and home to more than 2.3 million Houstonians and expats. Everyone here knows that when it comes to weather, watch out for what you wish for! It will be sunny and 70 degrees one day and completely iced over the next. But, hey – that’s Houston! *cue every Houstonians slow head-nod and nonchalant “mmhmm”* When the rain of Harvey storms met Houston in 2017, the weather wasn’t the only thing that surprised the entire city! The increase of rent prices did as well. Catastrophic flooding throughout the state displaced a recorded 13 million people from their homes, leaving renting as many people’s temporary solution. Compared to the housing boom of 2014 when apartments were offering 2-3 months free just to get people in their doors, renters were met with the stifling reality of supply and demand — less apartments and higher costs. Those enticing renters specials came to a screeching halt and the rental market sharply rose. Photo by Alamy/Reuters via The Guardian The areas inside the loop that experienced a blast in pricing after Hurricane Harvey are:   Uptown – 8% increase West University – 10% increase Heights – 14% increase EaDo (East Downtown) – 19% increase River Oaks – 21% increase Museum District – 21% increase Greenway/Upper Kirby – 26% increase Downtown – 45% increase Bellaire – 52% increase   Shapefile Source by City of Houston Geographic Information System (COHGIS) via RentHop   The renting…

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