Downtown Austin – High-end Living in the Heart of the Action

Downtown Austin – High-end Living in the Heart of the Action

If you’re looking for a combination of high-tech industry, exciting dining and entertainment options, and a sprinkling of the great outdoors, you can’t do better than living downtown Austin. This vibrant city center has it all — shopping, live music, great food and plenty of outdoor space. And it all comes with 300 days of sun each year. 

Where is Downtown Austin? 

Located at the heart of a sprawling (and growing!) metropolitan area, downtown Austin has all the amenities of a large city in a tidy little package. 

This 1.8 square mile neighborhood is nestled between Lamar Blvd to the west and I-35 to the east — two major north/south arteries. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd to the north separates downtown from the UT campus. And Lady Bird Lake creates a natural tree-lined southern border. 

History

Although Austin has been Texas’ capital for over 180 years, it wasn’t always the buzzing city it is today. The first hundred years saw slow growth for the city, despite the booming university and local government.

Things changed in the 1950s when a group of locals sought to attract high-tech companies, citing the lower cost of living and quality of life in the area. Their campaign worked, luring companies like IBM, Motorola and Dell into the Lone Star State. And with those companies came bright young people and cultural diversity that still influence Austin to this day. 

Life in Downtown Austin 

The real reason to pay for downtown Austin rents is for the downtown Austin lifestyle. The city center is surrounded by entertainment districts, live music venues, restaurants and bars. 

On the west side of downtown, Whole Foods’ flagship store provides residents with all their grocery needs. Brunch goers can visit Irene’s for Instagram-worthy eats and gallons of frosé. Then take in a film at the Violet Crown, an indie arthouse movie theater. 

Connect with “old Austin” by touring the state capitol located right at the city center. It was billed as the 7th largest building in the world when it was built in 1888. Or visit the Romanesque Driskill Hotel on East 6th St. This historic hotel has been the site of gubernatorial inaugural balls, and it’s where Lyndon B. Johnson had his first date with his future wife, Lady Bird.

Just down the street from the capitol building, Fareground redefines the food hall concept. Satellites of some of Austin’s best restaurants like Dai Due, Ni-Kome, and Contigo are all available here in one luxe, modern space. Sit inside or on the patio, and get a glass of wine from the bar to accompany your meal. 

Walk off that lunch with a tour down the scenic hike-and-bike trail along Lady Bird Lake, downtown Austin’s southern border. This loop offers unparalleled views of the downtown stretch of the Colorado River and the city skyline. 

Austin’s stunning 6-story library is a recent addition to the downtown attractions. Located on the lake’s shores, the rooftop garden offers a peaceful place to read or sip a cup of coffee from the on-site café. This ultra-modern space is welcoming to children, students and adults who just want a little peace and quiet.

But if it’s noise you want, look no further than the Red River Entertainment District. Dive bars and music venues line this street, welcoming both local and national acts to the Live Music Capital of the World. 

For a nightcap, head over to Midnight Cowboy on the infamous 6th Street. This reservation-only speakeasy makes cocktails table-side, on a rolling cart, for a delicious and visual experience. 

Moving to Downtown Austin

Real Estate Snapshot

The perks of living in this central, vibrant area come at a cost, as the average rent for apartments in downtown Austin ($2,668) is higher than the national average.

Also, if you want to rent a high-end unit in one of the district’s more upscale communities, you’re going to have to shell out a pretty penny since these apartments go for $2,736 on average. Almost half (45%) of the neighborhood’s residents are renters. 

Transportation

Austin is a driving city, with north/south and east/west highways connecting the downtown area with the outer city. While downtown parking can be limited, most apartment buildings include parking garages for residents.

For a night on the town, Uber, Lyft and local rideshare RideAustin are all available for travel. There’s also a commuter rail system that connects the downtown area to northern suburbs like Pflugerville and Cedar Park.

Schools & Employment

There are no public schools within the 1.8 square miles of downtown Austin, but residents don’t have to go far to find them. Mathews Elementary School to the west and Zavala Elementary to the east are each minutes away from the downtown neighborhood. 

For older students, Austin High School is just southwest of downtown, located on the banks of Lady Bird Lake. 

There are also private schools in the area, like Headwaters School that serves pre-k through high school students. 

As the local government’s seat, the city, county and state are all significant employers in this area. Other significant employers include software companies like Facebook, Google and Indeed. 

Looking for the perfect new place in this diverse and vibrant neighborhood? Browse through thousands of verified apartments in downtown Austin and find your ideal home in a snap.

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Published at Fri, 23 Oct 2020 09:47:28 +0000

9 Things to Know About Living in New York

9 Things to Know About Living in New York

There’s a lot to love about living in New York.

There’s art and culture. There’s the allure of making your way in a city of 8 million. There are the bagels, pizza, calzones, pastries — basically, if you eat carbs, New York is a city for you.

Don’t worry. You’ll get all the exercise you need walking the streets of the largest metropolis in the country.

It’s a city with almost as many clichés as people. But this isn’t a town for the faint of heart. It takes a special kind of person to make a life for themselves in a city like New York. It takes an understanding of how to navigate the city, figuratively and literally.

1. It’s more expensive than you think…way more expensive

You already knew this when you clicked on the article. You can build a happy and deeply satisfying life for yourself in New York City, but you need money to do it. On average, the cost of living here is about 145 percent higher than the national average.

That includes groceries, which are 44 percent higher. And housing is almost five times the average rent for the rest of the country. So, unless you’re making a comfortable salary with multiple commas, you should probably start looking for roommates before you start loading up the moving van.

new york in spring

2. It’s a city with four distinct seasons, and one can be brutal

There are few things greater than spring in New York, except maybe autumn in New York. Summers in the city can be pretty great, too (especially when everyone leaves for the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore).

But winters in New York can be especially difficult. Depending on the year, you can experience Chicago-level wind chill, the snowfall totals of Boston and the snowplow response times of Atlanta. In short, winters in New York are notoriously difficult, especially when you don’t have the amenities you’d have living in other cities.

Odds are, you won’t have a car and you’ll rely on public transportation. That means the money you’d otherwise spend on gas for your truck will instead go towards gloves, scarves, heavy coats, thermal underwear and anything else you’ll need to brave the elements to get to your bus stop or subway station.

And if you like to spend so much time outdoors, as in you like to think of yourself as “solar-powered,” you’ll also need to stock up on smart light bulbs and Vitamin D supplements. The greatest city in the world is also one of the grayest cities in the world, averaging only about 107 days of sunshine a year.

3. You have plenty of top-notch sports options…and the Jets

You may pay a premium for living here, but if you’re a sports fan, this city is second to none. The Mets and Yankees, The Giants and Jets, The Knicks and the Nets, Rangers and Islanders, the Red Bulls and the New York City Football Club are all a train ride away. If you live for the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, you’ll never be bored living in New York.

And each team’s home has a different appeal to fans of all stripes. Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is a monument to history, while CitiField in Queens has a more neighborhood ballpark feel to it. The legendary Madison Square Garden is home to the New York Knicks and the Rangers, but head down to the LIRR terminal and you can hop on a train to Nassau Coliseum to catch an Islanders game (until their new Belmont Park digs opens in 2021-2022) or head across the river to Brooklyn to catch the Nets.

But while there’s no greater city (and no greater fans) for sports in The Big Apple, you may want to sit in the cheap seats. Because if you enjoy a tall frosty beverage while you root root root for the home team, expect to spend more than you would elsewhere. A 12-ounce beer at Barclay’s Arena, home of the Brooklyn Nets, live music and more will set you back 10 bucks.

4. You can feel crowded and isolated at the same time

It sounds weird to say that the largest city in America can start to feel small, but it’s the truth. If you’re living here, odds are you’ll have roommates. And if you’re lucky enough to live alone, your apartment will be a little cramped. And outside your apartment, the constant crush of people everywhere can not only lose its luster rather quickly, but it can start to feel claustrophobic.

It can also be isolating for the same reasons. It sounds counterintuitive to say you can feel lonely when you’re surrounded by people every hour of every day.

Luckily, the answer to both concerns is one and the same. Think about the things you enjoy and actively seek them out. Do you like playing pickup basketball on the weekends? Maybe you’re more into museum tours? Stand up or improv comedy? One of the greatest things about New York is that there’s something to appeal to everyone.

Friends are the family we choose, so find your New York family and start feeling at home. Long-term happiness is as much about finding a good support system as it is about your career or financial security or any of the other things that concern us when we’re first starting out.

subway in new york city

5. No car? No problem

You’ll never need a car living in New York City. In fact, after just a couple of weeks here, you’ll question whether you’ll ever want a car again. Either above ground or below ground, uptown or down, there will always be a bus or train or cab or rideshare heading in your direction.

And if there isn’t, you can rent a Citibike almost anywhere in the city to help get you where you need to go. But once you get your Metrocard and get comfortable navigating the subways, you’ll be unstoppable — unless your train stops randomly in the tunnel. That can happen sometimes.

Important things to remember: download the MTA app on your phone, so you’ll always know how far away you are from your stop and how long you’ll have to wait for your train to arrive. Once you’re on the train, don’t be afraid to look at the maps. You won’t look like an out-of-towner. Everyone uses them. It’s what they’re there for.

If you’re in Manhattan, don’t try to hail a green taxi if you’re staying on the island. Green taxis are exclusively to bring riders from Manhattan to the outer boroughs. If you’re staying in Manhattan, get a yellow cab. You don’t need cash to take a cab now, as all TLC taxis are now outfitted with credit card readers, as well as digital NFC payment like Apple and Google Pay.

And depending on the time of day and where you’re headed, taking the bus will save you steps, but not necessarily time. Remember, busses have their own lanes, but can still get stuck in the same traffic as everyone else. And if you do decide to get a Citibike to get to your destination, remember to wear a helmet!

6. You’ll never go hungry

It’s almost irrelevant what you’re in the mood for. Far and away the best thing about New York is the food. Your favorite food. Your new favorite food. Every kind of food, from every ethnicity, from almost every country on the planet.

As the first American city for millions of immigrants from every corner of the world for hundreds of years, this city will never lack options. In fact, there are so many restaurants in New York you could eat out once a day, every day for 22 years and never eat at the same spot twice.

Spend more than a week here and it’ll only be a matter of time before you too develop your own VERY strong opinions about where to find the best bagel in the city, or the best pizza in Bensonhurst, the best bahn mi in Queens, or the only place to go in The Bronx if you’re in the mood for a chopped cheese. Don’t know what a chopped cheese is? You will.

7. You’ll quickly find your favorite neighborhood

One thing you’ll learn to love about the city (that’s what we call it, just “the city”) is how you’ll stumble upon these fun little neighborhoods and parts of town you never knew existed. It’s more than areas with good restaurants. You won’t have trouble finding those, remember?

Get out of your apartment often enough and you’ll find yourself in parts of the city you don’t normally go to. Maybe you’ll find a coffee shop or a small indie record store. These places and the memories of discovering them will make your time starting here much more pleasant. And it will take a lot of the pressure and stress out of your early years here.

So, go ahead. Savor the moment. You may never find yourself in that part of town again. Seriously.

times square

8. Live music! Live comedy! Live everything!

One of the greatest and most famous symphony orchestras in the world. Ballet. Rock clubs. Dance clubs. Jazz clubs. Comedy clubs. Talk shows. And of course, Broadway. No, not everything you’ll see onstage here is “Hamilton.” But with ticket prices like those, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.

New York is a premier destination for comedians and bands and anyone else you’ve ever wanted to see live. But limiting yourself to the marquee names will severely limit the fun you’ll have at indie band shows or open mics. It’s a big city with a ton of talent if you’re willing to go out and look for it. And the best part is you won’t have to look that hard.

9. It’s OK to leave

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. And that’s also true of life in The Big Apple. So, as much as you’ll enjoy living in New York, remember the world doesn’t begin at the West Side Highway and end at FDR Drive. We have two airports. One of them is pretty good. The other is LaGuardia. Either one will get you to different places across the country or on the other side of the world.

Yes, New York is special. But at the end of the day, it’s a city like any other. And if your life here is no longer serving you, you have the option to leave and go somewhere else. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or you couldn’t hack it.

If you have the chance to get ahead in life, but it means getting away from New York, that’s OK. But don’t stay here just because you think you have to in order to be happy or feel fulfilled. Allow yourself to be open to different paths. If one of them leads you to New York, follow it. And if another path offers you something more, take that one.

Because if you can make it here…

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Published at Fri, 23 Oct 2020 13:00:18 +0000

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC $7.5K Giveaway

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC $7.5K Giveaway

After six months of cooking nearly every meal at home, I’m the first to admit that my rotation of go-to recipes have gotten a little….tired to say the least. I can’t actually tell if my family is more tired of eating them or I’m more tired of making them. But with Covid showing no signs of taking leave and a new season upon us, it’s the ideal time to kick your home cooking repertoire up a notch. I think trying to make even the smallest moments a bit more special is going to help us ride this out.

To assist you in doing that, I have an incredible giveaway all about entertaining. The Weston Table $7.5K Social Grilling Giveaway features the incredible wood-fired OFYR Grill, a bevy of cooking tools and six months of insane goodies – like lobster and wagyu beef – delivered right to your front door. You’re going to want to enter, I promise.

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

When experiencing a real life version of Groundhog’s Day, it can be a little challenging to differentiate one moment from another. But I’ve realized if you take a little time to make the effort, you can create joyous memories even in the darkest of times.

Case in point, I don’t know why I waited so long to enjoy oysters during Stay At Home. I won’t be making the same mistake again. So go now, get whatever special treat food you love and enjoy it this instant. There’s a Youtube video on how to do virtually anything (although I won’t sugar coat it – it took more than a hot second to get the hang of shucking oysters). But all good things are truly worth the effort.

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

But let’s have a convo about the OFYR Grill. Cooking on the OFYR Grill is entirely new experience – but oh so fun. Since it is wood fired, the OFYR is the perfect addition to your outdoor space as we move into colder weather. It’s a fire pit and grill all rolled into one. And with a grill plate that measures a full 39″ in diameter, it has social distancing built right in! So go ahead, invite members of your pandemic pod over and enjoy an evening outside (with masks of course!).

Inspired by the historically communal nature of cooking, the grill itself has this amazing, deep flat rim that allows for cooking at different temperatures all at once – so you really can whip up a feast. I got really ambitious and made a pot of clams, grilled both oysters and lobster, steak, smashed potatoes, corn on the cob and at the last second threw on other veggies just for fun. I even cooked an eggplant in the open flame! Pro-tip: watch the newest season of Chef’s Table that just came out. It is all about BBQ and fire-based cooking – it’s the ultimate motivator.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Weston Table has been kind enough to offer Apartment34 readers an exclusive $100 OFF the OFYR Grill with the code WTAPT34 at checkout. CLICK HERE to shop.

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34 Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

Enjoying a meal in your outside space is one of the easiest ways to shake up a monotonous routine. And it doesn’t matter if you have an expansive backyard or a teeny tiny balcony. You can throw down blankets and enjoy a intimate picnic or set a beautiful table. Whatever feels special to you. I like to bring out some nice dishware – something different from what we use everyday – light a few candles and open a bottle of wine to make everything feel a little more fun. Serving butter-soaked lobster tail also helps!

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34 Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34 Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

While I’ll have to wait to throw my dream backyard BBQ with my OFYR Grill until we can kick this pandemic to the curb, I can already envision the massive party we’re going to have when this is all over. For now, I’m planning on grilling up tasty treats for a few epic at-home date nights. Now for deets on the giveaway!

THE WESTON TABLE SOCIAL GRILLING $7.5K GIVEAWAY PRIZE PACKAGE:
• OFYR Classic 100 Grill. The winner may choose which color they prefer (Corten or Black)
• OFYR Spatula PRO
• Staub Cast Iron Cookware Package curated for the OFYR Grill including an Oval Fish Pan, 7.5” Round Gratin, Rectangular Tray, 4 Quart Round Cocotte, and 13” Double Handled Fry Pan
• Tournant eCookbook Farm to Fire Cooking with the Seasons
• 6-month subscriptions to Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef Subscription Box, the Lobster Shop 6-Month Lobster & Assorted Seafood Subscription Box and Hama Hama 6-Month Oysters Subscription Box (delivered every other month for one year)

ENTER TO WIN: Follow @weston_table on Instagram HERE and sign up HERE to be qualified to win!

And don’t forget, if you can’t wait to find out if you’re the big Weston Table Social Grilling Giveaway winner, I have an exclusive code for $100 off an OFYR Grill and 10% off at WestonTable.com for you. CLICK HERE to shop and be sure to use the code WTAPT34 when you check out.

original photography for apartment34 by andrea posasdas creative

Published at Thu, 01 Oct 2020 16:30:21 +0000

Rodent Crisis is Getting Worse in Major U.S. Cities

Rodent Crisis is Getting Worse in Major U.S. Cities

Have you ever come across rats carrying bits and pieces of leftover food? Or maybe you’ve seen them in your kitchen and gone completely wild trying to kill them? It is known that rats are rampant in the city and live among us, taking refuge and shelter on the streets, and even sometimes in our homes. What’s worse is that rodents are a major public health problem, and more and more resources are invested in rodent inspection and prevention.

Each year, we at RentHop examine the data from major U.S. cities, hoping to help renters and homeowners make an informed decision when it comes to housing. This year, we again reviewed the rat sightings data, and what we discovered isn’t great. Our study this year includes Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., and unfortunately, all three cities saw a drastic increase in the number of rodent complaints.

Figure 1 below illustrates the number of rodent complaints from January through August in the past five years. In Boston, the number went up 33.5% to 3.42 rodent complaints/1,000 population. In D.C., the number is slightly worse. As of August 31, 2020, DC 311 has received 5,848 rodent complaints, or 8.29 complaints/1,000 population. This number is 30.7% higher than in 2019.

Chicago, a.k.a. the rat capital, not surprisingly, has had the greatest number of rat sightings/1,000 population among the cities included. The number reached its lowest in 2018 but has since been rising significantly. From January 2019 through August 2019, the city’s 311 reporting system received 28,249 rodent complaints or 10.5/1,000 population. This number since jumped to 34,501, or 12.8/1,000 population in 2020, a 22.1% increase.

Select one of the cities below to learn more:


Rodent complaints rose 33.5% in Boston

Founded in 1630 by the Puritans, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and played a crucial part in our history. As we all know, old infrastructure often makes perfect habitats for rats. Rodents thrive in outdated subway systems, sewers, parks, and in foundations of old homes and buildings, and pose a threat to humans.

And this summer, Boston has to deal with a serious rodent crisis.

As of August 31, Boston 311 has received 2,368 rodent complaints in 2020, which translates to 3.4 complaints per 1,000 population. Now, while it might seem very few compared to Chicago or DC, this number, however, is 33.5% higher than the same period in 2019.

The CDC attributed such an increase to the coronavirus lockdown. The agency warned that a possible increase in rodent sightings as restaurants and other sources of food shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting, however, that the number had been increasing since January 2020, way before the first confirmed COVID-19 case and lockdown were announced in Boston. The rats were particularly active this past summer. August 2020 marked the worst month in the past five years, with a total of 530 rodent complaints filed to the city’s 311 reporting system. Could it be the warm weather? After all, winter 2019-2020 ended over 2°F above the twentieth-century average, making it one of the warmest winters on record.

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

According to the city’s Inspectional Services Department, it is launching a campaign to reduce the rodent population that has been running wild around neighborhoods. Do you know if your neighborhood will be one of the firsts visited by the agency? Well, let’s find out!

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints in Boston. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rodent complaints in 2020. It is highly possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

The ISD will most likely show up in these neighborhoods
  • Downtown – 312 complaints in 2020, 502.3 complaints/sq mi
  • North End – 55 complaints in 2020, 277.4 complaints /sq mi
  • South End – 153 complaints in 2020, 207.6 complaints /sq mi
  • Beacon Hill – 56 complaints in 2020, 179 complaints /sq mi
  • Back Bay – 107 complaints in 2020, 171.5 complaints /sq mi
Rodent complaints spiked in these neighborhoods
  • South Boston Waterfront – 1 complaints in 2019, 7 in 2020 (+600%)
  • Allston – 75 complaints in 2019, 189 in 2020 (+152%)
  • Brighton – 99 complaints in 2019, 213 in 2020 (+115.2%)
  • Back Bay – 55 complaints in 2019, 107 in 2020 (+94.5%)
  • Mattapan – 23 complaints in 2019, 41 in 2020 (+78.3%)
Rodent complaints dropped in these neighborhoods
  • Longwood – 2 complaints in 2019, 0 in 2020
  • Chinatown – 29 complaints in 2019, 10 in 2020 (-65.5%)
  • Leather District – 8 complaints in 2019, 4 in 2020 (-50%)
  • Mission Hill – 40 complaints in 2019, 20 in 2020 (-50%)
  • West End – 3 complaints in 2019, 2 in 2020 (-33.3%)

Chicago wins the title of “Rat Capital”, yet again.

In our study from last year, Chicago ranked #1 as the “rat capital” in the country. The abundance of garbage and buildings in the Windy City makes it a great location for rats to seek shelter and food for survival. In 2019, Chicago 311 received in total 42,864 rodent complaints, or 15.9 per 1,000 Chicagoans, 10.2% more than in 2018.

And this year, rodents are once again on the rise.

As of August 2020, the Windy City has scored 34,501 rat sighting reports, 22.1% more than the same period in 2019. Indeed, the uptick in rodent sightings might be related to restaurants and other sources of food shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting, however, that the number had been increasing since January 2020, way before the food establishments were forced to close their doors.

May 2020 marked the worst month of May in the past five years, with a total of 5,203 rat sightings reported to the city’s 311 system, 131.7% higher than May 2019. The number continued trending upward throughout the summer, with 6,863 rodent complaints logged in July 2020 – that’s over 200 complaints per day!

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints in Chicago. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rodent complaints. It is possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

Rats are roaming around in these neighborhoods
  • Grand Boulevard – 257 complaints in 2020, 147.8 complaints/sq mi
  • Printers Row – 5 complaints in 2020, 64.5 complaints/sq mi
  • United Center – 124 complaints in 2020, 106.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Sheffield & DePaul – 99 complaints in 2020, 263.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Humboldt Park – 1039 complaints in 2020, 231.7 complaints/sq mi
Rat sightings spiked in these neighborhoods
  • Greektown – 1 complaints in 2019, 12 in 2020 (1100%)
  • West Pullman – 191 complaints in 2019, 793 in 2020 (315.2%)
  • Gold Coast – 15 complaints in 2019, 47 in 2020 (213.3%)
  • Hegewisch – 10 complaints in 2019, 31 in 2020 (210%)
  • O’Hare – 2 complaints in 2019, 6 in 2020 (200%)
Rats are migrating out from these neighborhoods
  • Jackson Park – 2 complaints in 2019, 0 in 2020
  • Grant Park – 6 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-83.3%)
  • Printers Row – 17 complaints in 2019, 5 in 2020 (-70.6%)
  • Burnside – 30 complaints in 2019, 14 in 2020 (-53.3%)
  • Millennium Park – 2 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-50%)

Rodent complaints are up 31% this year in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is known for many things. It is the capital of the United States of America; it is a cultural center with many monuments and museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution; and it is a walkable and bike-friendly city with many bike lanes in the downtown area. What you probably don’t know about D.C. is that not only our president and government officials reside there, many, many rats also call it home, and this year, the District has seen a spike in rat complaints.

The number of rodent complaints has been trending upward in D.C. since 2016, but 2020 is by far the worst year. By the end of August 2020, D.C.’s 311 reporting system has received a total of 5,848 rodent complaints, 30.7% more than the same period in 2019.

The past summer was particularly bad for D.C. June 2020 marked the worst month since January 2016, with a total of 985 unique complaints made to D.C. 311 by Washingtonians. 37.2% more than June 2019. Could it be that people are more likely to spot rats when they are working from home? Or maybe as the restaurants closed due to COVID-19, these furry critters are forced to invade people’s homes? No one knows for sure. But what we do know is that some neighborhoods are seeing more rodents than others, and that’s bad news for the residents. Now, check out the map and see if your neighborhood is one of them.

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints Washington D.C. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rat sightings. It is possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

These neighborhoods are run by rats this year
  • Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Plains, Park View – 691 complaints in 2020, 526.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Shaw, Logan Circle – 213 complaints in 2020, 376.8 complaints/sq mi
  • Brightwood Park, Crestwood, Petworth – 847 complaints in 2020, 337.6 complaints/sq mi
  • Howard University, Le Droit Park, Cardozo/Shaw – 214 complaints in 2020, 297.9 complaints/sq mi
  • Union Station, Stanton Park, Kingman Park – 461 complaints in 2020, 287.7 complaints/sq mi
Rodent complaints surged in these neighborhoods
  • National Mall, Potomac River – 6 complaints in 2019, 35 in 2020 (+483.3%)
  • Woodland/Fort Stanton, Garfield Heights, Knox Hill – 3 complaints in 2019, 10 in 2020 (+233.3%)
  • Fairfax Village, Naylor Gardens, Hillcrest, Summit Park – 3 complaints in 2019, 9 in 2020 (+200%)
  • Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, Woodland-Normanstone Terrace – 22 complaints in 2019, 62 in 2020 (+181.8%)
  • Colonial Village, Shepherd Park, North Portal Estates – 4 complaints in 2019, 9 in 2020 (+125%)
Rodent complaints dropped in these neighborhoods
  • North Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, Van Ness – 4 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-75%)
  • Eastland Gardens, Kenilworth – 3 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-66.7%)
  • Saint Elizabeths – 10 complaints in 2019, 4 in 2020 (-60%)
  • Downtown, Chinatown, Penn Quarters, Mount Vernon Square, North Capitol Street – 89 complaints in 2019, 50 in 2020 (-43.8%)
  • Douglas, Shipley Terrace – 27 complaints in 2019, 16 in 2020 (-40.7%)

Methodology

This study examines the rodent crisis in major U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. The rodent complaint data was retrieved from each city’s open data portal, and the population data was collected via U.S. Census Bureau. For this study, we limited the research time frame to January 2016 through August 31, 2020. We then geocoded the complaints using each city’s neighborhood shape file and normalized the complaint count by land size. This allows us to fairly rank each neighborhood and provide better insights.

RentHop is all about data and facts. Our data science team does annual studies on rental data as well as 311 complaints across major U.S. cities. To get to know the city you live in, take a look at our previous studies on rodent complaints, human/animal waste complaints, noise complaints, and more.

Published at Wed, 23 Sep 2020 03:41:24 +0000

People are Moving 14% Less in Boston

People are Moving 14% Less in Boston

If you live in Boston, you are probably no stranger to moving truck permits. Aside from packing everything in boxes and contacting the movers, you also need to apply for a moving truck permit and post the “no-parking” sign so you don’t have to stack up everything on the corner of your street on the moving day.

Moving truck permits in some ways reflect the housing demand in the city of Boston. While the number of issued moving truck permits usually surges each year from August through the first couple of days of September in accordance with the college move-in days, generally speaking, the more moving truck permits issued, the more real estate activity there is.

As one of the major cities hit hard by COVID-19, Boston saw a huge decline in renter demand. In our report this year, we examined how the pandemic has affected the Boston housing market, specifically by looking at the number of moving truck permits issued.

The number of moving truck permits issued by the city is down 14.7% this year

Figure 1 below summarizes the number of issued moving truck permits with an expiration date between January and September, from 2015 to 2020. In total, 11,885 permits have been issued so far in 2020, 14.7% less than the same time period in 2019.

Knowing the totals is not good enough. By comparing the number of moving truck permits issued by month in the past six years, we could better understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Figure 2 below breaks down the number of issued moving truck permits by month, covering the period from January 2015 all the way through September 2020.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was reported on January 20, 2020, and on February 1, Boston announced its first confirmed case. As cases soared, the city entered the lockdown in mid-March. Moving came to a halt in April, with the total number of moving truck permits issued fell to 458, the lowest since January 2015 and 47.7% fewer than April 2019. The number continued to stay low through June, putting downward pressure on rents. In Boston, one-bedroom median rent was down in 2.6% year-over-year in June 2020, according to RentHop data.

While August topped all previous months in terms of the number of moving truck permits issued in recent years, mostly because of the college move-ins (for most colleges, the move-ins were twice as long), remember, many students moved into dorms, not rental properties, and the surge might not fully represent the demand in the Boston rental market. Once the move-in madness passed, the rental demand could fall again. Based on the data, it looks like September 2020 is on track to be the worst month of September compared to previous ones. The pandemic has driven down the rental demand across Boston – one-bedroom median rent currently sits at $2,350, 6.0% lower than last year.

West Roxbury, Seaport, and Fenway-Kenmore Experienced Drops in Permits Issued

While overall fewer moving truck permits have been issued so far in 2020, some areas saw more significant drops compared to others. The map below highlights Boston zip codes as well as the number of permits issued in 2020, the year-over-year change, and the difference from the yearly average (2015- 2019). The darker the shades, the fewer permits were issued compared to 2019.

 

Of the 40+ zip codes included in this map, zip code 02132 (West Roxbury) saw the largest drop in the number of issued moving truck permits (22 permits, YoY -53.2%), followed by zip code 02210 (Seaport), which saw a YoY of -46.7%. Table 1 below features the 10 zip codes with the most number of moving truck permits issued so far in 2020. Note how the numbers are all lower compared to the same period in 2019.

Rent Dropped in Some Zip Codes Amid Moving Downtrend

In addition to grouping and analyzing issued moving truck permits by their expiration dates, we also explored the relationship between rental prices and moving truck permits. To assess the correlation between year-over-year median rental price changes and differences from average yearly issued permits, we plotted the two against one another and calculated the correlation coefficient.

We noticed a slight positive correlation (R2 = 11%) between the year-over-year rent change and the difference from the yearly average of permits issued among zip codes, which states that as zip codes experiencing fewer moving activities compared to the yearly average from 2015 to 2019 saw bigger price drops.


Methodology

This report examines how COVID-19 has impacted the Boston rental market, specifically through the number of issued moving truck permits and rental rate changes. The moving truck permit data is made public by Analyze Boston. Median one-bedroom rents and year-over-year median rent growth by zip code were calculated using RentHop’s proprietary listing data. For the regression analysis, we included only zip codes with over 10 moving truck permits issued in 2020.

Our previous Boston Move-In Day studies can be found here:

Published at Wed, 16 Sep 2020 02:57:58 +0000

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

Summer months are historically great for real estate. This summer, however, has been a rough one, especially for landlords across New York City. The market has been grappling with high vacancies as New Yorkers flee to suburbs and other metro areas and companies extend their remote-working policies, which further hinders population inflow.

Citywide, median net effective rent in the month of August fell 5.2% year-over-year. Manhattan, specifically, saw a rent drop of 7.5%, from $3,284 in August 2019, to $3,039, as landlords offer more concessions in response to the high vacancies. Meanwhile, the median net effective rent fell 1.9% year-over-year to $2,795 in Brooklyn.

NYC Exodus Continues

As previously reported, this year we’ve noticed an unprecedented number of renters looking to sublet their apartments. The total number of sublet listings1 on RentHop went up 110% from April to May 2020 and has since been trending upward. In August, the total number of sublet listings increased by 9.8% month-over-month and is 158.2% higher than August 2019. This once again broke the record in RentHop’s 11-year history.

In our previous sublet reports, we highlighted that wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan, saw a steeper upward deviation from their 2020 average than other neighborhoods. This time around, the outflow from wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan, such as Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, seems to have reached its peak in July and has since died down slightly. The neighborhoods that saw the largest spike in new sublets in August 2020 vs. the first four months of the year were Yorkville (+643%), East Harlem (+464%), Astoria (+420%), Central Harlem (+327%), and Bedford-Stuyvesant (+300%). Most of these neighborhoods also saw a month-over-month increase in the number of new sublets from July to August 2020.

Brooklyn Replaced Manhattan as the Most Popular Borough

Grand Central was once the busiest hub in New York City. It’s now one of those eerily empty stops that make people wonder if New York City will ever be the same. According to CBRE via WSJ, only 9% of the office workers returned to their office after they were permitted to return to the workplace. This inversely drove rental demand in outer boroughs, as living in the city center and being close to work no longer justifies the rent premium many landlords ask for.

Bushwick was the most inquired neighborhood in August 2020, replacing Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Crown Heights rose to the second from the 8th in the previous year. Yorkville and Upper East Side, both used to be the most popular neighborhoods for rentals, had experienced significant changes in terms of renter inquiries.


1. As used in this study, “sublet listings” are listings created by apartment renters seeking to find a new tenant to take over the remainder of their apartment lease. In NYC, finding a subletter is widely considered the most effective way to get out from under a lease without paying the steep contractual penalties triggered by an outright lease break.

Published at Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:50:11 +0000

Before and After: This Scandi-Style Breakfast Nook is Practically Irresistible

Before and After: This Scandi-Style Breakfast Nook is Practically Irresistible

Megan Baker

Home Projects Editor

Megan is a writer and editor who specializes in home upgrades, DIY projects, hacks, and design. Before Apartment Therapy, she was an editor at HGTV Magazine and This Old House Magazine. Megan has a degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a self-taught weighted blanket connoisseur.

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Published at Thu, 08 Oct 2020 21:32:06 +0000

Home Tour: A Perfectly Autumnal Oasis in CT

Home Tour: A Perfectly Autumnal Oasis in CT

I know many espouse shopping vintage as the only way to inject “authentic personality” into your home. I wouldn’t say I disagree. I enjoy the vintage scavenger hunt as much as anyone, but sometimes you need more expedient options. And if those options look as good as these fall pieces from Anthropologie do, I’m totally ok with that.

I posted about Anthro’s latest collaboration last month and their hits just keep on coming. I’m the first to admit I’ve often thought of Anthro pieces as overly whimsical, feminine and a touch too cottage chic, but this new editorial shows that it all depends on your context. A beautiful home designed by famed architect Richard Neutra certainly helps. This one is for sale FYI!

But what this home tour really illustrates is that a piece can take on a totally different personality in a different environment – so really you shouldn’t rule an option out at first glance. Really think about how something will look and feel in your space regardless if it’s modern or bohemian-inspired.

I could not be more obsessed with this wood cabinet. It has a really unique a mesh overlay, a travertine top an gorgeous rounded corners.

Also I have to mention that this mix of wood tones is giving me all kinds of inspiration for our new cottage. And since I only have about 10 weeks to renovate and furnish the entire house, I’m fully ok with unearthing some gems – big box store or not.

This entire home is a beautiful study in mixing soothing neutrals, a variety of texture and a feeling of pieces being collected over time. But you didn’t have to wait years to stumble across the perfect treasure. And there’s no shame in that!

As we shift into the new season and really think about making our homes our sanctuary from both the colder temperatures and from Covid, you can think out of the box while still shopping within one.

I spy the gorgeous foraged branch work of Colin King.

photography by Nicole Franzen, styling by Colin King for Anthropologie.

Published at Tue, 06 Oct 2020 05:52:17 +0000

The Real Reason There are Cobwebs in Your House

The Real Reason There are Cobwebs in Your House

And not just the spooky Halloween decorations.

They may have a certain season charm about them this time of year but there’s nothing more annoying, and frankly gross, than seeing cobwebs under your chairs or hanging in your chandeliers or in the high corners of your living room.

You work really hard to keep your place clean, and it’s super annoying to not only see that you missed a spot, but a whole corner of your room looks like a cheap haunted house. It may seem as though they just cropped up out of nowhere, but there’s a real reason you have cobwebs in your house.

cobwebs

What are cobwebs?

To make things easy, think of them as spiderwebs.

Spiders spin webs to catch prey. They secrete a thin, transparent thread known as silk to create intricate patterns used to trap smaller insects. The spiders you may find in your home spin round webs that anchor to corners or light fixtures. Other breeds of spiders will spin tubular-shaped webs at the base of trees. Each variety of spider uses its web differently but the ultimate goal is to catch dinner without having to travel too far.

Or in the case of Spider-Man, to catch bank robbers and evil scientists and stuff.

Cobwebs vs. spiderwebs

As we mentioned, cobwebs and spiderwebs are more or less the same things. A cobweb is a web that was abandoned by the spider that created it. The reason you may find cobwebs in your home depends on whether or not you have a pest problem.

Insects come into your home looking for food. Spiders come into your home looking for insects, which are food. Or, if there have been heavy rains recently, the insects that are outdoors during the day get washed away in the wet weather.

There are a couple of reasons why a spider would abandon its web. Sometimes, other insects will get wise to the web and not travel in that direction as often. Other times, the web simply loses its stickiness. Within the spider’s silk is a chemical produced by the spider giving its web a sticky, tacky feeling similar to glue. When that compound starts to break down, the web remains intact but is less effective in catching prey.

When that happens, spiders have to move elsewhere so they can eat. And spiders will have lots of options as far as where to go. Cobweb spiders, as they’re known, are the most common arthropod found in homes. Odds are, you may have at least a couple of them in your house right now.

cobwebs

How to get rid of cobwebs

Once a spider abandons its web, the only thing it collects is dust. And since a cobweb is just a spiderweb the spider ditched, the solution to removing them is pretty much the same as removing any creepy crawly critters from the premises: With a broom, vacuum hose, extendable duster or even just a long stick. Any one of those will do the job.

Consider doing a deep clean on a rainy Sunday afternoon. You can get rid of all the pests inside your home while the rain takes care of the pests waiting until after dark to let themselves in. When you do clean, be sure to get those hard to reach spots in the upper and lower corners of your home, as well as under the legs of tables or chairs.

Yep, that means getting the space under the sofa, as well. Anyplace you don’t regularly look or access is a prime location for a spider to build its web. If you want to keep your home cobweb-free, there are a couple of things you need to do:

1. Clean regularly

Weekly or bi-weekly cleanings of your space will keep your home free of spiderwebs and the bugs they trap and feast on.

2. Use peppermint essential oil

For added insurance, spritz some peppermint essential oil in all the corners of your home. The intense scent is too overpowering for them and they’ll move to set up shop elsewhere.

3. Don’t just focus on the inside

Walk around your home every once in a while, and check for spiderwebs under eaves and overhangs. Look around the base of pillars or light fixtures. Because even though they’re outside now, it won’t be difficult for them to find their way indoors.

Too many cobwebs?

Spider webs are an important and necessary part of the food chain. They can be helpful in catching all the little bugs and flies that drive you crazy, but an abundance of spider webs or cobwebs in your home could be a sign of a larger insect problem. And that doesn’t mean it’s a strike against your cleanliness or how regularly you clean.

Changes in weather will give all kinds of critters the chance to sneak indoors, especially in the warmer months. When that happens, talk to your landlord or building management office and ask if they can call an exterminator.

If you have a pet, remember to request that they use pet-safe sprays and insecticides. (Those can be purchased online, too, if you want to save some trouble and do it yourself.) This way, you can leave the spider webs where they belong — in scary movies and that spooky old mansion at the end of the block.

Published at Fri, 02 Oct 2020 13:00:08 +0000