One thing is for sure, if there’s ever been a way to save money, eat healthier and recover just a bit of your sanity, having your own garden is the way to do it. Unfortunately, in New York, there is not a ton of space to have your own greenery. Fortunately, many plants don’t need a large amount of soil to thrive, meaning all it takes is a bit of creativity to work around the lack of space.
1.) Use a shoe-organizer. Filling a show organizer with dirt provides a perfect place for plants to grow. Be sure to hang it where it can get plenty of sunlight and you’re good to go!
2.) Take advantage of your rooftop. Many New York apartments and homes list a rooftop patio as one of their amenities, so why not put it to good use? Fill a few pots with soil and seedlings and set them on the roof for some time in the sun.
3.) Attach a gutter to your siding. "Gutter Gardening" is a great way to take advantage of the sunny side of your home where you may not have a yard. Be sure to drill some holes in the bottom for the appropriate drainage, and viola! You’ve got yourself a substantial little garden that takes up virtually no square footage at all!
4.) Window boxes. Window boxes are completely underrated. The fact is, many plants, including an incredibly large variety of herbs can be grown in a simple window box. Plant a few of your favorites (I’d have to go with basil, chives and thyme, for starters) and enjoy them year round!
5.) Hanging plant holders. If you can plant a flower in it, you can probably plant something else (lettuce, spinach, kale) in it too. So take a look at those plant holders you though were only for Petunia’s and consider filling them with something a little more useful.
6.) Consider a mini-terrarium. Terrariums are a fantastic way to grown plants, mainly because they are works of art at the same time. While this may not be the best option for edible gardens, air plants (plants that require no soil and little maintenance) provide a beautiful pop of nature in a dreary apartment.
7.) Think verticle. Verticle gardens are being used by countless people refusing to give up gardening regardless of the constraints of their apartment. Simply stack your seedlings at an angle that allows them to grow up and out without interferring with the plant above it. Here is a great example from Jill Bert.
8.) Use your ceiling space. If you’ve got extra space up there (have somewhere in your house with extra high ceilings?), you can take advantage of it by creating an “upside-down hanging garden”. Tomatoes seem to be the most popular upside-down crop of the moment.
9.) Use each nook and cranny. Got a little corner of your living room that goes unused? An awkwardly shaped space you’re not sure what to do with? Install some heat lights and some drainage, and you’ve got yourself a little garden spot!
10.) Go basic. When it comes down to it, all you need is a tiny little spot. Just a simple pot on the counter with some soil, drainage, and sunlight from a nearby window should be able to get you started.
What are some ways you keep your green thumb in a tiny apartment?
When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, both for buying or selling a home, we’ve all heard horror stories; specifically, agents that were more concerned about the size of their commission than providing you with the best possible services. The truth is the ocean of potential real estate agents can be tricky waters to navigate, so here are a few things you should make sure to look into beforehand:
1.) What are their credentials? First and foremost, the amount of training and certifications a proper real estate agent must complete is actually quite daunting. Agents who are trying to cut corners in their field requirements will no doubt be looking to cut corners in other areas of their job, meaning there is definitely an increased chance of them selling you a shoddy home and leaving you high and dry. Make sure they have all the proper licensing and credentials required in your state.
2.) What is their experience? An important question to ask your agent is not how long they’ve been in the business, but how many buyers or sellers they represent. Many agents rely on the “I’ve been doing this for 20 years so I can assure you I know what I’m doing” line, when in reality they could have very well spent the first 19 years as an administrative assistant.
3.) How many first time home-buyers (or sellers) have they worked with? People buying or selling a home for the first time often take up more time and resources than those that are more experienced. Simply put, they just don’t know what they’re doing yet, so they often need someone to metaphorically (and sometimes quite literally) hold their hand throughout the process. An agent that has worked with first-timers in the past will probably have a better understanding of how to make it easier for them, and it also less likely to become impatient or frustrated with explaining things he wouldn’t have to spend time on with other clients.
4.) What are their connections? One of the main reasons of using a real estate agent at all is because they know people. A good agent should be able to point you in the direction of a credible home inspector, insurance agent, mortgage lender, and other professionals in the field. An agent that is clueless about this part of the process most likely has less experience than they lay claim to.
5.) What are their previous clients saying about them? And not the ones on their website. Of course an agent is going to post glowing reviews, but what about the not-so-positive feedback? That’s where sites like Yelp come in handy. Yelp allows customers to post all reviews, good or bad, so you get an idea of an agent from straight from the clients they have represented. Go through the reviews and see if you can notice any patterns. Was the service prompt but clients were consistently shown properties out of their price range? Is the agent knowledgeable, yet pushy? Were they a dream to work with in every category? Do your research! You can read Yelp reviews about Ardor Real Estate here.
What do you look for in a good real estate agent?
When designing your apartment, the master bedroom is usually the room many people consider the most important. After all, this is your space to get away and relax, it only makes sense that you would want it to be perfect. Well, one way to do that is to have a custom made headboard.
Now I know, I know, the term “custom-made” can seem scary (read: expensive), but it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is a little creativity and you can have something that is beautiful, unique, and a perfect extension of your personality.
Old boat oars add a charming touch:
Wall art makes a dramatic statement:
This wooden design is both masculine and elegant:
Offset pillows make a modern and unique statement:
A shelf with picture frames supports a floating, tufted headboard:
Elegant and feminine:
Privacy panels come in a variety of shapes and colors, and almost always can be used as a creative headboard:
An old sign makes this headboard quirky and original:
Painted with chalkboard paint, this headboard serves double duty. What a great way to leave messages for your loved ones in the morning!
What do you guys think?
When it comes to cutting costs in the home, taking a look at the amount of energy we use can make a significant difference. From drafty windows to running appliances, there are countless little things within our home that can add up to a substantial amount in monthly bills.
1.) Turn down the thermostat. Granted, you don’t have to be freezing, but even a difference of one degree can add up over time. It’s recommended that you reduce the temperature in your home, one degree at a time, until you hit what can be called the “borderline” temperature; the temperature where at least one member of your house begins to feel cold. Then turn it back up a degree and leave it there. However, if you’re going to be gone all day (off to work, kids are at school) a couple degrees lower will make a difference but won’t be a shock when you get home. Also, consider having it a couple degrees lower at night as well, since everyone is going to be wrapped in a blanket anyway.
Keep in mind that your water heater also has a thermostat, and it takes energy to heat it as well. Anything higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit actually requires the use of cold water to cool it down, meaning it’s a drain on your expenses.
2.) If you aren’t using it, it shouldn’t be on. This goes with appliances, lights, water, heat, anything in your home that isn’t being used. If you’re brushing your teeth, the water shouldn’t be running. If you’re not in the room, the light shouldn’t be on. If you’re not making toast, the toaster shouldn’t be plugged in. Granted, it soundslike a lot of work, but it really isn’t. It takes just seconds to turn a light off, and soon it becomes habit. Personally, I live in a very small house with only one other person, and we tried this for one month. At the end of the month, we ended up saving about $12. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but multiply that by 12 and it comes out to about $144 saved dollars at the end of the year!
3.) Switch to energy efficient appliances. The appliance options that now come in energy efficient models are countless. When your lightbulb dies, replace it with one that uses less energy and lasts longer. Switch out that old washer and dryer for a more economical pair. Did you know there are dryers that sense the humidity of the clothes being dried? Meaning if your clothes are already dry, but there’s 10 minutes left on the timer, the dryer shuts off, using only the minimal amount of energy needed.
4.) Insulate. If you are renting, this seems like one of those tips that you can simply skip. After all, you’re not going to pay to insulate your roof and walls, are you? Of course not. As a fellow renter, all of my money is being saved for a home of my own someday, not being spent on fixing my landlord’s property. However, the amount of heat lost through drafty windows and doorways is staggering, so spending a few extra dollars (and I mean a few) should save you more in the end. Consider purchases draft excluders to fit around drafty doors, or buying a “Door Draft Blocker” at a hardware store. If you’re handy, you can even make one yourself. Otherwise though, even something like a heavy set of closed curtains will help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
5.) Change your habits. One of the largest wastes of energy in the home? Us! Taking long showers, leaving the television on while we fall asleep, and washing dishes with the water running are all habits that add up to extra dollars at the end of the year. Does your shower really need a few minutes to heat up, or have you just always been giving it a few minutes to heat up out of habit? Is it possible your television has a sleep timer that you can set instead of letting it stay on all night? Of course it is!
What are some ways you save energy (and therefore money) in your home?
Thinking of making a move to Harlem? Take a look at this video to get an idea of the food and culture of this historical site. Even the famous Apollo theater makes an appearance!
Living in New York definitely has it’s benefits. If you can afford it, go for a place with instant access to additional amenities. Think about never having to hail a cab to go to the gym….
Or having access to a relaxing rooftop garden? Perfect for entertaining…
And that view…
What do you think? Are the amenities worth it?