Rent Efficiently: Ways to Save Energy in an Apartment

Responsible apartment renters want to do whatever they can to keep costs down. While apartment living is already more affordable than owning a home, it’s still good to find ways to save energy which will not only help the planet, but it can help you stretch your dollar even more.

Some apartments may come with energy-efficient appliances, but there are plenty of other things you can do on your own to help keep your energy costs down.

Here are 4 simple energy saving solutions you can start utilizing today to keep your costs down.

1. Insulate Your Windows

A surprising amount of energy can escape your house through windows. If you properly insulate your windows, you’ll be amazed at the changes you see in your HVAC bills.

Properly insulating windows can help add extra heat from sunlight, which can help make your apartment much more comfortable as cold weather starts to set in.

You could easily make a DIY plastic cover for your windows or could get a draft stopper for the bottom of your window.

You also shouldn’t under-estimate the power of blackout curtains for the summer. Aside from being a nice and affordable decor statement, they can block out the sun and keep your apartment cooler to save on a/c bills.

2. Unplug Your Devices

Your computer and Xbox may not be on at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t consuming any energy.

Phantom power usage has become a growing concern over the past few years. When appliances and electronics stay plugged in when they’re turned off, they’re still using a small amount of energy. Your smartphone plug is still drawing energy too even though your phone isn’t plugged in.

The easiest way to deal with this problem is to rely on power strips that have an on/off switch. You can keep your devices plugged into it, but switch the entire strip off when you don’t need it.

3. Use Energy Efficient Bulbs

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 5% of all energy costs are associated with lighting. Being smart about the bulbs you put in lamps and light fixtures can help save you money and keep energy costs down.

You may not want to spend an extra dollar on lightbulbs, but that one dollar can end up saving you a lot of money.

Energy-efficient LED lightbulbs last a lot longer than regular light bulbs. They also consume less energy even though they give off a very bright glow.

4. Tightly Pack Your Freezer

When most people think about saving energy around their apartment, their minds don’t immediately turn towards the kitchen. If you take a different approach to the way to stock your freezer, you could end up saving on energy costs.

The tighter you pack your freezer, the colder the space will be.

Every time you open your freezer, it wastes energy trying to chill the warm air that got let in. Bags of ice and newspaper can take up some space and make it easier for your freezer to keep things cool.

Going Beyond Ways To Save Energy

Thinking of ways to save energy isn’t just good for your bank account, it can also help the environment. Share these tips with your other renting friends, to do even more good and to help them save money.

Are you interested in more ways to save? Check out our affordable apartments for rent. Call us today so we can talk about the best way to fit your budget.

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Apartment Tour Checklist: 5 Things to Look Out for When Renting

Are you searching for a new apartment? Whether your current lease is up or you’re hunting for your first apartment, finding the apartment that is right for you can take some time.

Before starting the apartment search, you need to decide what area of town you want to live. Then do some research to see if there are any apartment communities that fit within your budget. Once you narrow down the list, consider things like commute time to your job, family, and other favorite locations.

Now that you have your top apartments narrowed down, create an apartment tour checklist. It’s easy to get caught up with the aesthetics and overlook important details. On this list, outline everything you should look for while touring each community.

Keep reading for our top five items that should be on everyone’s apartment tour checklist.

1. Security Should Top Your Apartment Tour Checklist

When you go for your apartment tour, don’t wait until you get into the unit to check the apartment security. From the moment you approach the community you should be checking to see how safe the area is.

Do you feel comfortable driving to the community or do you feel the need to lock your car doors? If you don’t feel secure driving to the community, you won’t feel secure living in it.

In the community, look around to see if there’s sufficient lighting, especially near apartment entrances.

Once in the apartment make sure that all doors and windows lock properly. Even if a community is safe, you’ll always want to keep everything secure.

2. Are There Signs of Water Damage?

Water damage can be a big problem. Check the ceilings and walls for water damage. The apartment inspection checklist should also include the condition of carpeting.

Flooring tells you a lot about leaks. If the unit you’re considering has loose tiles or deteriorating carpet it could be a sign of a leaking tub, sink, or air conditioner.

3. Do Appliances Work?

Knowing what to look for in an apartment will require more than listening to the leasing agent. Don’t shy away from turning on the stove burners or heating the oven. See if the microwave works and if the refrigerator and freezer are cooling.

4. Is There Good Water Pressure?

While you’re in the kitchen turn on the water. Make sure the water gets hot and there is enough water pressure. Do the same in each bathroom.

5. Test the HVAC System

Regardless of the season, test both the cooling and heating systems. If the AC or heater isn’t already running, ask the agent to show you how to work the thermostat.

Are You Ready to Rent?

An apartment tour checklist can help you have a positive rental experience. If you uncover a problem, talk with the agent to see if it can be resolved before your move-in date.

Looking for a pet-friendly apartment community in Fort Wayne just got easier. Visit us today to learn more about life at Montrose Square Apartments.

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Paws for a Cause

paws cause

Join us for our Paws for a Cause Grab ‘n go and dinner’s on us!

September 17, 2019
In front of Leasing Office

Stop by to pick up your “Doggie Bag” which includes a hoagie, chips, cookie, & a drink. Donate pet supplies to the Allen County SPCA to be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card.

Items needed by the ACSPCA:

  • kitty litter
  • cat & kitten food (wet or dry)
  • dog & puppy food (wet or dry)
  • box lids from copy paper cases
  • canned tuna, sardines, or mackerel
  • paper towel tubes
  • puppy pads
  • egg cartons (prefer paper
  • Martingdale collars (medium & large sizes)
  • Made in the USA rawhide chews & dog treats
  • disposable cat scratchers
  • peanut butter
  • lint rollers
  • dish detergent
  • tall trash bags or 39-gallon trash bags
  • paper towels
  • gift cards to Petco, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus
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The 5 Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

Thinking of raising a dog in your apartment? Get ready to do some research!

Sure, we all know that size matters — both when it comes to the dog and the apartment. However, there are plenty of other factors to consider. For starters, your new friend shouldn’t be too noisy, active, needy, or a breed that tends to bark a lot.

This is a lot to keep in mind, and most breeds check at least a few of these boxes. Need some help finding the right dog for your space and lifestyle? Here are the 5 best dog breeds for apartments.

1. French Bulldog

For a large percentage of New Yorkers, the French bulldog is the ideal apartment dog — and New York apartments are small so we’ll take their advice! Other than being small and cute, they’re known for their playful disposition, which makes them great with kids. Plus, they don’t bark a lot.

The only notable disadvantage with this breed is that they hate extreme temperatures. This is particularly true for heat, which they despise. If you’re planning on getting a Frenchie, make sure your AC unit is in good shape.

2. Greyhound

Tall and lanky, the greyhound may seem like it’s a lot to handle. Don’t let their build fool you, though, as they’re best known for their mellow demeanor. In most cases, a five-minute run-out is all they’ll need before going back to sleep.

Greyhounds don’t require a lot of grooming, they have a friendly personality, and they’re smart and easy to train. Due to their independent nature, they work best in one-pet families.

Need a smaller version for your apartment? Whippets have a lot of the same characteristics as their larger counterparts but in a smaller package.

3. Basenji

Want a dog who won’t bother your neighbors? Consider the Basenji, a small, short-haired African hunting dog and one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dogs. They’re often referred to as “barkless dogs,” but they do vocalize in other ways.

The Basenji has various cat-like tendencies, such as grooming itself. They’re loyal, protective, and don’t shed a lot. They do have a high activity level, so get ready for frequent walks around the apartment community to keep them happy.

4. Great Dane

If you’re into big apartment-friendly dogs, you can’t go wrong with a Great Dane. Despite their lean stature, they don’t need a lot of exercises. Once they find their favorite couch, they’ll be more than happy to spend the day lounging on it.

Much like greyhounds, Great Danes are gentle giants. Their loving temperament and personality make them a great fit with other pets and children.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are small in size, but big in personality. Originally bred for chasing vermin, they remain as feisty and affectionate as ever. Due to lacking an undercoat of fur, the Yorkie doesn’t shed as much as most other breeds.

The main thing to watch out for with Yorkies is that they think they’re bigger than they are. Given their territorial nature, this often leads to them fighting bigger dogs. Needless to say, that seldom ends well for them.

More on Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

As you can see, you have plenty of options at your disposal. All these breeds are well suited to apartment living, so it’s all about making an educated choice. Before settling for a dog, make sure it’s the right fit for your sensibilities and always check with your apartment community on their accepted pet breeds and sizes.

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What to Look For in an Apartment: a Short Guide for First-Time Renters

It reaches a point where you no longer have or want to live in your parent’s house.

You now have to choose where to call home – your new home. Choosing your new home can be a daunting process. You have to make a difficult decision considering there are numerous places and factors to consider.

However, you don’t need to get overwhelmed. With a well-formulated plan, it gets easy and fun. As a first time renter, you might not know what to look for in an apartment. Learn the essentials of apartment searching in this short apartment guide.

What to Look for in an Apartment

Are you ready to start looking for your first apartment? This guide will help you know what to look for in an apartment before you embark on apartment shopping.

Set a Budget

When you set your budget, it helps to define your options. The first step is to establish what you can comfortably pay without stretching your budget. To help in setting your budget, allocate 30% of your salary for rent purposes.

It is also essential to know that costs have two aspects. They are divided into short term and long term costs. The former include application fees, initial deposits, and renters insurance. Long term costs are the monthly payments and utility bills.

You will also require some extra cash in your pocket. This will cater for moving expenses and any other unplanned spending that may come up.

Scan Your Neighborhood

Your safety is important. Walkthrough the neighborhood and see the lifestyle of those residing there. Make sure to check the neighborhood life at night as well as during the day. Are there nightclubs and bars around? If yes, will that be comfortable for you, or do you prefer a more peaceful environment?

Also, check for social amenities around the area. Check for clinics, gym, shops, restaurants, and schools. Consider the mode of transportation available and traffic in that area.

Tour the Apartment Community Before Moving

Pay a visit to the apartment community to learn the finer details. Walk around the property. Is this a place that you feel that you could call home?

What Should You Check?

  • Is the property well-kept?
  • Is there ample parking?
  • Is it fairly quiet or noisy?
  • What amenities do they have on-site and nearby?
  • Do you feel safe?

Finding an Apartment

Moving into your new apartment is a rewarding experience. The tips above offer a guide on what to look for in an apartment.

Evaluate your budget, your neighborhood, and tour your soon to be apartment community. Then, you are good to start a more responsible and enjoyable new life.

Next, check out our article about Unique Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your Rented Apartment.

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Breathing It In: 5 Outdoor Activities for Nature Lovers in Fort Wayne

Did you just move to Fort Wayne and you don’t know where to go for a run? Or maybe you made a 2019 resolution to get outside more (and you’re sticking with it!)? Whatever your motivation for seeking out nature, Fort Wayne Indiana has a plethora of outdoor activities for all ages and abilities.

Check out this list to see just five of the many ways you can get outside and enjoy all the nature Fort Wayne has to offer!

1. Take a Trail

Fort Wayne claims over 100 miles of trails. The city is extremely bike-friendly, so grab a helmet and get to exploring those bike trails.

The trails wind their way around the city of Fort Wayne, connecting you to parks, farms, and splash pads.

Biking the trails is a great way to work up a sweat, breathe some fresh air, and see the sights.

2. Splash in a River

Although most people don’t associate Indiana with water activities, Fort Wayne was built on three rivers. With the intersection of the Saint Joseph River, St. Mary’s River, and Maumee River as its backyard, Fort Wayne is definitely a river city.

You can boat, paddle, or splash your way around the three rivers.

Don’t have a kayak? Don’t worry. Fort Wayne has a rental companies that can provide you with paddle boats, boats, and pontoons for a day on the water.

3. Enjoy a Park Day

While you’re biking around the Fort Wayne trails, you’ll likely stumble upon one of the over 80 award-winning parks. There are sculpture parks, nature preserves, and promenades. With such diversity, there is a park for everyone.

Take the kids to Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo at Franke Park. Explore a wetlands preserve at Eagle Marsh. Check out the wildlife at Fox Island. And, the Doggie Beach at Fox Island is a big hit with the four-legged nature lovers!

4. Smell the Roses

Looking for a way to squeeze in some nature without leaving the city? Look no further than the Botanical Gardens.

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is located in the heart of Fort Wayne. With workshops, classes and an annual butterfly exhibit, the Botanical Conservatory is a breath of fresh air.

With indoor and outdoor gardens, this is a year-round escape to nature. Retirees and grandkids alike will find hours worth of entertainment at the Botanical Conservatory.

5. Take in the Farm

Located just north of Fort Wayne, the Saloman Farm is a unique way to commune with 1930s farm life.

Accessible by bike or car, the Farm offers the chance to learn from a real-life farming community with a historical perspective. Attend the Farm Camp or wander the property looking for rare bird species.

Endless Outdoor Activities

Whether you like to walk, bike, paddle, or explore, Fort Wayne has all the outdoor activities a nature lover could ask for.

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7 Best Budgeting Books to Help You Save for Your Ultimate Vacation

best budgeting books

When we think about the best way to save money it is easy to think about having to struggle inside our homes, either shivering with the heating turned off or boiling alive with the no air conditioning. But in fact, saving money is as much about the way you think about money and your life as it is restricting your finances.

Perhaps you want to take a dream vacation or you’re contemplating setting up a business, or maybe you want money to spend on a bigger apartment. There are thousands of money management books which can help you get a handle on your finances. But with so many choices, which do you choose? Here are 3 of the best budgeting books to help you save.

1. The Richest Man in Babylon (George S. Clayson)

This book was first published in 1928. Whilst that might seem like an eternity ago – indeed this was before the Wall Street Crash or the decade long depression that defined the way future generations would think about economics – it’s lessons are timeless. It is considered one of the best personal finance books of all time.

It’s written in the style of a biblical lesson from the era of Babylon, the middle eastern city at the center of the ancient world, in modern day Iraq. The lessons are simple. Try to increase the opportunities you have to increase your money, roll back on the spending and try to find a way to get some compound interest on your savings.

2.  The Simple Path to Wealth (J.L. Collins)

This book says what it does on the cover. It sets out simply what you need to earn a lot of money. It centers around letters Collins wrote to his daughter about how she can make the most from her investments.

Ultimately the book serves as a case study or life lesson that can be implemented in real life. The book is not just about financial freedom though, it’s also about how getting better at saving money can help make your life, in general, feel freer.

3. A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Burton G.Malkiel)

This book is great if you are looking to make some investment decisions but don’t know where to begin. Malkiel explains an efficient market hypothesis and offers some useful advice on how to play the Wall Street game.

The book is an investment strategy with some tried and tested techniques. Malkiel tells you how to create a strong portfolio that – over a number of years – might make you rich.

The Best Budgeting Books Will Change How You Think About Money

The best budgeting books are not the ones that give you straight up advice or a list of companies in which to invest. In fact, the most powerful books are the ones which change your mindset.

Money affects so much of our daily lives and is often the reason for our behavior in regards to budgeting and the amount we spend and earn comes down to decisions we make without thinking about it.

Want more tips? Read this article to learn how clearing out clutter can be a great way of earning some extra cash and freeing up some space.

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Your Label-Maker’s Dream: 4 Tips for Organizing Small Apartments

Whether you’re living in a large or small apartment, it can be hard to keep it organized if you’ve got a decent amount of stuff. It is integral, however, to keep things in order if you’re going to live in a clutter-free environment. In this post, we’re going to give you 4 tips for organizing small apartments. It may not be fun, but it’s necessary.

1. Purge Occasionally

Okay, let’s start here. Instead of hanging on to things that you don’t need, do some occasional purges. If you haven’t put a sweater on in 3 years or if you’ve never read that one book you’ve been meaning to read, just get rid of them. If you haven’t used it by now, there’s a good chance you never will.

It’s hard to decide what needs to go, but that’s the best way to minimize clutter in your small apartment without renting a storage space.

2. Multi-Functional Furniture, Etc.

Having furniture and accessories that do more than one thing is a good organizational tactic. Things like antique chests will work as a coffee table, but you can put whatever you want in it.

Some couches have pullout beds in them, some even have storage units built in. It’ll streamline your apartment to keep items you don’t typically use tucked away in these things so you can use your floor space for living in.

3. Use Surfaces You Normally Wouldn’t

Using the backs of cabinet doors and the sides of shelves to hang things will save you a lot of space. And, your stuff will be out in the open, so you’ll be able to see where everything is at all times.

Make use of your wall space. Put shelves up everywhere. If you’ve got a lot of books, this is important so that you don’t have to have clunky bookcases taking up valuable floor space.

4. Hide Things in Plain Sight

Hidden storage is all the rage nowadays. Most places will sell small storage units in different sizes that can fit underneath things. This way, you can hide your clothes, shoes, old documents, and toys (if you’ve got kids) in plain sight.

Check online to find bins and containers that’ll fit underneath beds and couches, and in all the nooks and crannies of the apartment that you don’t use.

Maximizing Small Apartments

If your apartment is small, then you’ve got to keep everything else smaller too. Just keep the essentials and use these tips to keep those things organized; you’ll be living in a clutter-free environment.

To learn more about apartment living, visit the Montrose Square Apartments blog.

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Meet our New Property Manager

meet the apartment fort wayne team

If you’ve been to the leasing office in the past couple of weeks you may have noticed a new face. We’re excited to welcome the new property manager, Michele West. As the property manager, Michele will help address any resident issues and make sure that our community is well maintained and a great place to live.

Michele has been in the apartment industry for over 21 years and is excited to bring her experience to Montrose Square and to get to know our residents.

Learn more about Michele.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was raised in Fort Wayne and attended St. Peter’s, Blackhawk Middle School, and Snider High School. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Akron. I left Fort Wayne and moved around the country with my family. We have lived in Indiana, Alabama, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio.  I have 3 children — 2 daughters and 1 son as well as 4 grandchildren that live in Ohio. In 2010 I moved back to Fort Wayne to be closer to my family.

What’s your personal motto?

Life is too short to not be happy.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

Molly Weasley. She had a large family that would do anything for each other and being a witch with the ability to clean up with a flick of a wand is not bad either.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what one item would you want with you?

Some kind of nut plant that I could grow nuts to make sure I could eat.

What is the happiest moment that you’ve experienced in your life?

When my children were born.

Please join us in welcoming Michele to the Montrose Square Apartments team!

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Delicious Downsizing: How to Expertly Use Your Kitchen Countertop Storage

Moving into a new apartment is an exciting step, but it can be stressful too. There are so many benefits to having an organized space, but that’s not always easy to achieve. When you are first moving in, you are probably desperate to get unpacked and organization is not always the top priority.

The kitchen, in particular, is one of the hardest rooms to keep organized, especially if your kitchen is on the smaller side. But that’s when it’s most important. When your counter space is at a premium, being organized will help you make the most of every inch.

This year, make a commitment to get rid of clutter. If you start off with organized counter spaces, you’ll be more motivated to keep them that way.

Below, we’re sharing five tips on kitchen countertop storage to get you started. Read on!

1. Add Shelves

Trying to fit a lot of appliances, bakeware, and other cooking necessities into a tiny cooking space can be a challenge. There’s not always room to store everything on your counters or in your cabinets.

A kitchen countertop shelf is a good storage solution because it allows you to store things vertically. Placing it on your counters won’t take up a lot of room and the space you gain will be worth it. Use it for things that you reach for all the time, like favorite spices or multi-purpose bowls.

2. Keep It Out in the Open

You don’t have to keep all of your cookware tucked away in cabinets. If you’re working with limited storage space, that may be impossible anyway. Fortunately, pretty cookware doubles as a great kitchen decoration.

If you have a colorful Dutch oven or casserole dish, leave it out on one of your oven burners. It will save you space and look great.

3. Use Your Windowsill

Windows are a great addition to any tiny cooking space. They let in natural light, of course, but they can also save you counter space. Use your windowsill to store stacked up bowls, pots of fresh herbs, or other small items. Be sure to avoid storing oils on your windowsill, as light can cause them to spoil faster.

4. Contain Your Utensils

Having loose cooking utensils–like spatulas, wooden spoons, or whisks–scattered throughout the drawers in your kitchen can be a recipe for disaster. Kitchen drawers get cluttered easily, making it harder for you to find what you need when you need it.

A stylish canister or pitcher on your counter space is a better solution. It’ll keep all your go-to tools within easy reach.

5. Hang It Up

Adding Command hooks to your wall is a good trick for keeping your counter spaces clear of pots and pans and they’re easily removable and won’t damage the walls. Stacking pots and pans on top of each other also makes it hard to get the one you need if it’s not on top.

With Command hooks, you can hang these items by their handles on the wall. Organize them by size, so you can easily identify the one you need at any given time.

Ready to Move Forward with Kitchen Countertop Storage?

The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in any home, and the time you spend there should be enjoyable. The more kitchen countertop storage solutions you can incorporate into your tiny cooking space, the happier you’ll be.

For more tips on moving into a new apartment, please contact us at any time.

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