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Monthly Archives

July 2017

30 Jul 2017
Entertaining in Small Spaces (and on a budget)

Living in New York has tons of perks. It’s easy to go out with friends and have the time of your life every night — but what if you want to have people over at your home? Entertaining in a small apartment may seem like a challenge, but it’s actually possible to have a great time in your small space — without having to put a ton of effort (or cash) into doing it.

Here are some great tips for entertaining in small spaces (and on a budget), so you can welcome friends and loved ones into your space — and have a party that’s comfortable, festive and fun!

Be Inventive With Seating

Only have a couch and two dining chairs? Fear not. You can still have a party where everyone can sit comfortably. Get creative with seating options — use a stool, ottoman or even small end tables for people to sit on and converse. You can add throw pillows onto them to make them even more comfortable.

Do it Potluck Style

If you want to host a dinner party for friends, your tiny apartment kitchen might be too small to cook a full meal that will feed everyone. Instead, do it potluck style. Assign everyone a dish or course to bring, and then everyone gets to taste what everyone else made. This is a great way to save money on a dinner party — and ensure you don’t have too many dishes to wash at the end!

Don’t Forget Temperature Control

Packing people into a small space means there’s a lot of body heat in one place, and a small apartment can get really hot during a party. Before the party starts, open all of the windows you can, and turn on your air conditioning window units and fans. This will ensure the apartment is comfortable while everyone socializes.

Move the Couch

Do you have a couch that sections off your living room from the rest of the apartment, or chairs that are in the middle of your living for lounging? If so, push it (and any other furniture floating in the middle of the room) against the walls. This gives people more room to move about and mingle. This is especially important if you’re planning to host a dance party in your space!

Designate a Spot for Peoples’ Belongings

Don’t have people’s coats, hats, purses, shoes and other items taking up precious socializing space. Instead, designate a place where people can stash their stuff while they’re at your home. Try picking somewhere like your bed or a linen closet where they are out of the way. That way, you can have more space to sit and move about — and everyone will remember where their stuff is when it’s time to leave (and after they’ve had a glass of wine or two).

Now that you know how you can entertain your friends in a small city apartment, it’s time to find the apartment that’s right for you. Check out the apartments available on No Fee Rentals to see if you can find the perfect living space. One of the perks of renting from No Fee Rentals? You don’t have to pay a pesky real estate broker’s fee, so you can have more money to enjoy the city and throw great parties for your friends.

26 Jul 2017

5 Tips for Renting an Apartment Sight Unseen

Moving to a new apartment in the city can be an extremely exciting venture — but it can also be overwhelming and stressful, particularly if you don’t have a chance to visit and look at apartments before you have to move. Sometimes school or work can get in the way of actually being able to check out apartments in person — but that doesn’t mean that you can’t rent one. In fact, there are lots of easy ways you can look at and rent an apartment in the city, even from afar. Here are some of the best tips for renting an apartment sight unseen.

1. Use Google Maps

One of the best features of Google Maps is its Street View feature. Street View allows you to see what an area actually looks like on the street (using pictures it has captured of nearly every block in New York City!) When you see an apartment you’re interested in listen online, go to Google Maps, type in the address and check out the street view around it. You can check out how the building looks on the outside, as well as what establishments are in the neighborhood and if you like how the area looks and feels.

2. Ask a Friend to Visit For You

If you have friends or family in the city, they can be a great resource if you are trying to rent an apartment from afar. Have them go and meet with building management or landlords and walk through the apartment for you. Have them send you pictures or videos and get them to ask the questions you would ask before you rent an apartment. If you send a friend you trust, you should be able to get a good idea of whether the apartment is the right fit for you.

3. Take Advantage of Facetime

If you are sending a friend to look at an apartment for you, or a realtor or management company representative is looking at an apartment for you, have them use Facetime or other video chatting software to walk you through the apartment in real time. Using video chatting software can make it feel like you’re taking a tour of the place yourself, and it can give you a better idea of what it feels like to be in the space.

4. Try a Short-Term Lease

We have an entire section on our website dedicated to short-term rentals, meaning less than a year. You’ll find different sized apartments in a variety of great neighborhoods. If you’re commitment shy, they’re a great way to get comfortable.

Whether for school, work or just to try out being a New Yorker, many of our tenants come from great distances and rent sight unseen. We understand that renting in the city has its challenges, particularly if you’re remote. However, renting sight unseen isn’t impossible and we’re here to help. By keeping a few tricks up your sleeve, you can get the feel of your new digs from afar — and end up with a place that you love.

12 Jul 2017

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway destination in New York City that has an easy, slow pace and charm to spare, look no further than Sunnyside, Queens. This hidden gem is off the beaten path of most New York City residents, but don’t let its low-key name fool you; this area is one of the Five Boroughs’ best-kept secrets for an easy, car-free escape that’s pretty far removed from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.

The neighborhood’s name dates all the way back to 1713, when the original French purchasers of the land named it “Sunnyside Hill.” The name stuck, and once the Queensboro Bridge was built, it became a haven for immigrants that even today feels a world away from the skyscrapers of the big city.

Within Sunnyside is a planned community called Sunnyside Gardens. These picturesque private townhouses, most built between 1924 and 1928, came with their own gardens in the front and the back as well as inclusive terraces. The tree-lined streets and landscaping of this development are typically kept immaculate. Sunnyside Gardens also incorporates one of the city’s only two private parks (the other is Manhattan’s Gramercy Park). Strict rules protecting the garden areas and limiting changes to even the exterior paint colors resulted in the development staying the same for decades, and it now looks like something out of a time capsule, when buildings in the boroughs were larger, more ornate and featured much more green space. You’d be hard-pressed to find an area with more stateliness, placidity, and natural beauty this close to Manhattan. Walking down these serene streets in the northern part of Sunnyside is one of the city’s simpler pleasures. Sunnyside Gardens is now a protected historic district unto itself, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But Sunnyside Gardens is only part of the neighborhood; many of the other attractions in the area are just as unique and come with plenty of character. Unlike other neighborhoods in the city, strong efforts have been made to preserve the tranquility, quaintness and original style of the district that the first developers instituted in the early 20th century. Cute vintage shops, cafés and boutiques give the area a laid-back, small-town feeling that’s simultaneously woven into the fabric of Queens and New York City itself.

The best way to experience Sunnyside is to visit and stroll down the neighborhood’s streets like Skillman Avenue, 43rd Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue. Take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and explore the vicinity for yourself to see a part of New York City that feels like a breath of fresh, unpolluted air.

The 7 train stops at two places in Sunnyside, and the neighborhood is just four short stops from Grand Central Station in Manhattan. The large shopping centers of Woodside and the hip cultural attractions of Long Island City are within walking distance if you want to combine your visit with art viewing or eating, even though the neighborhood has plenty of quality dining establishments of its own, including a number of wine bars and cute little Asian, Latin and Mediterranean bistros. But even with big-city connections, the neighborhood doesn’t feel at all urban or industrial (with the possible exception of Queens Boulevard, which bisects Sunnyside’s center and offers a multitude of appealing eateries).

Come see what Sunnyside has to offer. And while you’re at it, if you’re in the market for a new place to live, is a great place to find a home base that’s not far from quick escapes like Sunnyside. Whether you prefer Uptown, Midtown or Downtown, has something for everyone.

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5 Jul 2017

Hello? Mom? I Have a Question

Moving out is something we all face at some time in our lives. Unless we’re planning to live in our parents’ basement for the rest of our lives – totally not cool – then moving out and living on our own is a step forward in life we all must make.

Fears Are Normal

When you think about moving into your own place, prepare to feel some serious reservations and anxiety over the prospect. You’ll feel certain that you don’t know what you need to know to live on your own. You’ll even worry about what your parents will think about your idea of moving out.

When you do move out, you’ll feel scared, anxious and lost for a while.

These feelings are normal and are not a valid excuse to stay in the basement. Instead, acknowledge your fears, then move out anyway.

Hello? Mom?

Whether you’re moving into an apartment down the street from your parents’ home, or you’re checking apartments in New York City for rent, realize that phone service works in all these places. You can be across the country from mom or dad and still reach her or him in an instant with a phone call.

One of your best resources for learning is your parents. If you have a question about how to cook something, call mom. If you’re uncertain on which water temperature to set on the washer, call mom. The fact that you aren’t in the basement anymore doesn’t mean mom’s no longer a useful resource.

In fact, she’ll probably be happy to hear from you.

There are no set rules on when you should call mom or how often you should check in. There are a few scenarios when mom’s voice may be the best medicine, however.

  • If you feel like your life is a total wreck and will never be right again, call mom. She knows you better than you know yourself.
  • If you need someone to tell you if you’re right or wrong, call mom. If you need a little tough love, or a loving someone to tell you to get over yourself, mom is the best one for the job.
  • When you need to talk about all the ways you’ve messed up during the week – from dropping the ball at work to bouncing a check at the market – mom is the one who won’t judge. She may not agree with your choices, and will probably tell you so, but she loves you too much to be judgmental.

Cutting the Apron Strings

Moving day doesn’t mark the end of your relationship with your parents. It can signal, however, the beginning of the end of your dependence on them. The best way to make certain your move culminates in your true independence is preparation for those times when calling mom should not be your first option.

  1. Compile a list of emergency numbers and have them handy on the fridge or programmed into your phone.
  2. Make certain you have the building super’s number. This is the guy you’ll call when the bathroom door gets stuck.
  3. Is the bathtub not draining, or the washer backing up in the kitchen sink? This isn’t a mom call; this is a plumber call.
  4. Find mouse droppings under the sink? Don’t freak out, and don’t call mom. This is an exterminator job.
  5. First day of subzero temps outside and the car won’t crank. Mechanic call for this one, not mom.
  6. And as happens every year, it’s time to pay the tax man. Definitely not a mom call (you don’t want her in your finances.) Give your accountant a call; that’s what she’s there for.

If you have questions, call your parents. If you just want to talk to someone who loves you, call your parents. You can stay close even when you live across the country.