Baron is a 3BR/3BA luxury apartment in Akron

Floorplan Friday: The Baron

If you are looking for luxury apartment living in the Akron area, you’ll want to place The Baron at the top of your list. The Baron is a two-story apartment spanning 1,951 square feet. It has three bedrooms and three full bathrooms and is part of the newly constructed VC Station apartment community in Green, Ohio, a growing suburb of Akron. Here, you’ll find premium apartment living enhanced by first-class amenities.

The Baron features an open-concept floorplan, where the main living area and kitchen comprise one area. It creates a spacious zone where family, friends, or roommates can unwind, entertain, and dine in comfort. Open the full-sized balcony to expand the living area through outdoor space. In addition to the main living area and kitchen, the ground floor also includes two bedrooms with huge walk-in closets and two full bathrooms. The bathrooms and closets separate the bedrooms from the living room and kitchen, for ultimate privacy.

Baron is a 3BR/3BA luxury apartment in Akron

The focal point of the kitchen is the huge work island with a double sink and bar-style seating. All stainless-steel appliances are ENERGY STAR®-rated and complement the granite countertops. The unit also includes a full-sized washer and dryer and all water features throughout the apartment are low consumption, which underscores Vision’s community to reducing its carbon footprint. When you go upstairs, you will find the third bedroom with an en suite and walk-in closet, along with a roomy loft, which would make an ideal home office or kids’ playroom.

There are plenty of social and recreational opportunities to choose from at VC Station. We have a heated pool, fitness center, pickleball court, and much more. Your pets are welcome here and we offer an on-site dog-wash station. The Baron won’t stay vacant for long, so if you want to schedule a tour, please reach out to us. We look forward to meeting you and hope you’ll become part of the VC Station community.

Other VC Station amenities:

  • Heated pool with sun deck + Tiki bar
  • 24/7 fitness center
  • Energy-efficient appliances and HVAC
  • Coffee bar
  • Vibrant community life + events
  • Online no-touch rent payment
  • 24/7 emergency maintenance
  • Outdoor recreation areas
  • Fire pit
  • Grilling pavilion
  • Sand volleyball
  • Plenty of outdoor seating
  • Car charging stations
  • Smoke-free living
  • On-site property management
The Beacon - 2 Bedroom 2 Bathroom luxury apartment floorplan in Hilliard Ohio at VC Meadows.

Floorplan Friday: The Beacon

For the ultimate experience in apartment living, check out the Beacon. The Beacon is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Hilliard, Ohio, and part of VC Meadows, an upscale apartment community known for its well-appointed apartments, active social life, and prime location. The Beacon is 892 square feet and is ideally suited for two people. Each resident will have plenty of privacy in their own bedroom with a huge walk-in closet, en suite, and best of all, a private balcony.
The main living area separates the bedrooms and features an open-concept floor plan that flows seamlessly into the kitchen. The focal point of the kitchen is a large work island with a double sink and bar-style seating. The kitchen appliances are Energy-Star®-rated with stainless-steel surfaces, which perfectly complements the granite countertops. A full-sized washer and dryer mean no more trips to the laundromat and all water features in the apartment are low consumption.
Your pet is also welcome at VC Meadows. The property has an onsite dog wash station to keep your furry friend clean and healthy. It’s also a great way to meet your pet-loving neighbors. Give The Beacon a look. Reach out to us to schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you.

Other VC Meadows amenities:

  • Heated pool with sun deck + Tiki bar
  • 24/7 fitness center
  • Energy-efficient appliances and HVAC
  • Coffee bar
  • Vibrant community life + events
  • Online no-touch rent payment
  • 24/7 emergency maintenance
  • Outdoor recreation areas
  • Fire pit
  • Grilling pavilion
  • Sand volleyball
  • Plenty of outdoor seating
  • Car charging stations
  • Smoke-free living
  • On-site property management

Floorplan Friday: The Norwich

A 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in Hilliard

The Norwich is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,244-square-foot apartment that is part of the Meadows community in Hilliard, Ohio. Hilliard is a thriving suburb of Columbus, and close to work, nightlife, restaurants, and a lot of other community activities. The Norwich is ideal for two people who cherish their privacy, as the two bedrooms are separated by the main living area. The main living area flows seamlessly into the kitchen, creating a large, inviting, contemporary space that opens to a full balcony. The kitchen features a work island with a double sink and extra seating and is well-appointed with granite countertops and stainless-steel Energy Star®-rated appliances. The unit includes a full-sized washer and dryer and all water features are low-consumption.

2 br - 2 ba apartment in Hilliard | Norwich

 

Each bedroom has an adjoining bathroom and roomy, walk-in closet. The smaller balcony has a balcony, which adds extra charm and space. Your pet will love living at the Meadows community and there is a dog wash station on the property. You will also find a lot of activity as the property has social and recreational events, along with central locations such as a 24/7 fitness center. If you would like to tour The Norwich, please reach out to schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you.

If The Norwich sounds like home to you, reach out to us for a tour. We’d love to have you join the Meadows community where you can live and relax.

The VC Meadows community in Hilliard, a short commute to Downtown Columbus. If you would like to tour the Norwich, reach out and we’ll schedule a tour.

Other amenities:

  •     Sun deck + Tiki bar in the pool area
  •     Coffee bar
  •     Vibrant community life + events
  •     Online no-touch rent payment
  •     24/7 emergency maintenance
  •     Outdoor recreation areas
  •     Fire pit
  •     Grilling pavilion
  •     Sand volleyball
  •     Plenty of outdoor seating
  •     Car charging stations
  •     Smoke-free living
  •     On-site property management

VC Meadows is a luxury apartment community located in Hilliard — close to shopping, entertainment & more. Don’t miss out on all that this area of town and all that Meadows has to offer; reach out today to schedule a tour of the Norwich floor plan. We would love to welcome you to the community!

Add a Coffee Bar to Your Apartment

How to set up a coffee bar in your apartment

There‘s just nothing like a hot cup of coffee to get going in the morning or if you need an afternoon break or need to stay awake to complete a tough work assignment. Enjoying a cup of coffee is also a great way to socialize with friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Sometimes, though, you don’t feel like standing in line or spending big bucks for a bespoke caffeinated beverage, and as far as that swill that passes as “coffee” goes in the office, by mid-afternoon, it’s a hard pass. With all that in mind, for a little money and a touch of creativity, you can create a coffee bar in your apartment for when you want to gently acclimate to the morning, entertain guests, fuel working at home, or simply relax.

Kitchen island coffee bar

If you have a kitchen island, this is easy. At one end of the island, set up your coffeemaker and other small appliances you may use, such as a grinder or toaster. Find a wire holder for coffee pods and a mug rack or place your mugs on a pretty decorative tray. Arrange your sugar, sweetener, honey, spoons, plates, napkins, spoons, and whatever else you may need on the tray as well. Take it a step further by finding some unique canisters and containers to keep the sugar and other items in. This keeps everything organized and adds some interest and color to an otherwise utilitarian space.

Rolling kitchen island

If your apartment doesn’t have a fixed island, then pick up a portable work island online or at most big box or home stores. You can choose from many finishes, such as wood or metal, and even customize it to suit your taste or complement the rest of the décor in your apartment. Organize your coffeemaker, syrups, serveware, and condiments on the shelves in a manner that’s practical for easy use. The beauty is that you can roll the island out of the way when it’s not in use.

Bar cart

This is the same concept as a rolling kitchen island as it’s a portable option for a coffee bar. You can buy bar/coffee carts most anywhere but have some fun with it. Scour thrift shops, vintage stores, and estate sales to find something unique that reflects your personality and will be a guaranteed conversation starter.

Other ideas for small spaces

Find a small tiered standing shelf unit that you can tuck into the corner of a countertop, or use baskets, colanders, or hanging metal produce baskets. Attach an under-the-shelf cup rack to hang coffee mugs or visualize a different use for a common object. Dress up the area with fun signage or a low-maintenance plant.

With a little money and a lot of imagination, you can create a coffee bar in your apartment. You’ll save money, time, and probably a lot of calories. It will also make the experience of enjoying your favorite seasonal beverage at your favorite coffee shop all the more special.

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, we try to make the apartment experience as easy as possible, and we want you to make your apartment your own space. A coffee bar is a great addition to your kitchen, with all of the utensils and ingredients you need to make a great cup of coffee. Our property management teams work hard to create living spaces that are headache-free and places you’ll want to come home to. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Washer/Dryer Maintenance Tips

How to maintain your washer and dryer

Most modern apartments now come with washers and dryers or washer/dryer hookups. It’s a major advancement from older buildings, where residents must haul their laundry to a laundromat, or if they are lucky, down to shared machines in the basement. Whether your washer and dryer come with the apartment, or you need to buy your own, don’t take these timesavers for granted. Like all major appliances, your washer and dryer need a little TLC and routine maintenance to ensure peak performance and even more importantly, to properly clean and preserve your clothes.

Here are some easy tips for keeping your washer and dryer in pristine condition.

Keep the lid or door of the washer open when not in use

Whether your washer is top- or front-loading, leave the lid or door open when you’re not using it. This allows the washer to dry out and can prevent the growth of mold and musty odors.

Clean the washing machine

For normal use, you can clean your washing machine once a month. Fill the machine with hot water and 3-4 cups of white vinegar (or bleach if it’s been a while). Let the machine run for 2 minutes to mix the water and vinegar, then pause the activity for 30-60 minutes. Let the cycle resume after that to drain out all the water/vinegar mixture. The reason why you should regularly clean your washer is because minerals and other deposits from hard water can build up inside the washer. In addition, your washer picks up dirt, bacteria, and other foreign matter from your clothes. Yuck. Enough said!

Clean the lint trap in the dryer

Make a habit of cleaning the lint trap each time you use the dryer. Lint build-up can be flammable. You should also wipe down the drum as well to remove any stray lint.

Clean out the dryer duct

The duct discharges hot air from the dryer outdoors and lint, dust, and other debris can build up and cause a clog, which is also a fire hazard. To clean the duct, dislodge it and clean it with a rotary brush. How often you do this depends on how often you use your dryer or if you’ve just dried items made of fabric that pills or otherwise creates a lot of lint.

Maintaining your washer and dryer will extend their life and can reduce the frequency (and cost) of repair bills, not to mention, it will keep your clothes in pristine condition.  Your property manager will also appreciate your efforts to take care of the appliances you are using in your apartment, which will go a long way to fostering a good relationship with your apartment community’s management and maintenance teams.

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, we try to make the apartment experience as easy as possible, including including washer/dryer hookups in our units. Our property management teams work hard to create living spaces that are headache-free and places you’ll want to come home to. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Floorplan Friday: The Weaver

A Great 1 Bedroom Apartment in Hilliard

The Weaver is a compact one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment that covers 607 square feet and is ideal as a starter apartment or landing space after downsizing. It’s part of the Meadows community in Hillard, Ohio, an up-and-coming suburb of Columbus. The Weaver’s design features a flexible open floor plan that gives you plenty of options for furnishing. It opens into the kitchen which has a huge work island with a double sink and extra seating.  All of the stainless-steel appliances are Energy Star®-rated, including the full-sized washer and dryer.

The Weaver is a 1BR apartment in Hilliard

 

The bedroom has a huge walk-in closet and a full bath with a shower, and double vanity. All water features throughout the apartment are low-consumption, which underscores Meadows’ commitment to green living. Oversized windows let in lots of light and the main living area opens onto a full-sized balcony, offering the best of outdoor living. And, if you have pets, they are welcome in our community; we have a fenced-in dog park and dog washing station on the property.

If The Weaver sounds like home to you, reach out to us for a tour. We’d love to have you join the Meadows community where you can live and relax.

The VC Meadows community in Hilliard, a short commute to Downtown Columbus. If you would like to tour the Weaver, reach out and we’ll schedule a tour.

Other amenities:

  •     Sun deck + Tiki bar in the pool area
  •     Coffee bar
  •     Vibrant community life + events
  •     Online no-touch rent payment
  •     24/7 emergency maintenance
  •     Outdoor recreation areas
  •     Fire pit
  •     Grilling pavilion
  •     Sand volleyball
  •     Plenty of outdoor seating
  •     Car charging stations
  •     Smoke-free living
  •     On-site property management

VC Meadows is a luxury apartment community located in Hilliard — close to shopping, entertainment & more. Don’t miss out on all that this area of town and all that Meadows has to offer; reach out today to schedule a tour of the Weaver floor plan. We would love to welcome you to the community!

Tips for DIY Maintenance

DIY Tips for Your Apartment

One of the many benefits of apartment living is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. It’s pretty easy to submit a maintenance request online and then wait for it to be completed. And sometimes, you do have to wait, especially during the change in seasons when many apartment maintenance crews are spread thin attending to HVAC problems throughout the apartment community. In some cases, maintenance staff is responsible for covering more than one property. Fortunately, there are many minor maintenance problems that you can easily handle yourself. With a few common and inexpensive tools, you can save yourself the wait and frustration by learning a few DIY tasks.

Clogged drains

Hair is the culprit of most bathroom and shower drains. You can unclog those drains yourself with a hair weasel. These are long, thin strips of plastic with one serrated edge. You slip the hair weasel down the drain and the serrated teeth will grab the hair so you can yank it out.

Clogged kitchen sink and garbage disposal

Many times, these problems go hand in hand. A clogged kitchen sink could be caused by debris plugging up the p-trap under the sink and this can be solved by using a plunger to force the clog through the pipe and into the waste disposal system. If the problem is the garbage disposal, press the reset button at the bottom of the unit; if that doesn’t work, use the Allen wrench that came with the disposal to turn the rotor and release the clog. As a note of caution, don’t use a commercial drain cleaner unless it’s OK with your property manager as the harsh chemicals may damage the plumbing.

Clogged toilet

Again, a plunger can usually dislodge clogs. Clogs can be prevented by not flushing anything down the toilet other than toilet paper. This means diapers, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, facial tissue, etc.

Changing light bulbs

Unless your apartment has lighting that requires specialized bulbs, you can easily change these yourself.

Changing smoke/CO detector batteries

In some jurisdictions, city codes require property managers to provide batteries for residents. Whether they are provided or you buy them yourself, it’s easy to change the batteries and they need to be changed twice a year. Scheduling a battery change during the changes to and from Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time is a good reminder.

These are just a few simple maintenance tasks residents can perform themselves. Leave major repairs such as malfunctioning appliances, major water leaks, electrical concerns, or issues with doors or windows to the maintenance crew. And always double-check your lease or with your property manager before you attempt any DIY maintenance project that extends beyond the simple basics. While they may appreciate you taking care of the small stuff, they won’t be so happy if you transform a simple problem into a major repair.

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, we want try to make the apartment experience as easy as possible. Our property management teams work hard to create living spaces that are headache free and places you’ll want to come home to. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Design Apps For Apartment Decorating Ideas

Design Apps Your Apartment

Moving into a new apartment is exciting, but what if you have little time, interest, or aptitude when it comes to decorating? Watching home DIY shows sends you into a cold sweat and you are too busy to pour through websites and magazines. What do you do? Well, you can create a stunning apartment that you will love to come home to with your phone. That’s right. There are numerous apps available to help you choose furniture, lighting, accessories, and more. Here are a few popular apps that can be used on Android and iOS.

View these Apps for Apartment Design Ideas

Foyr Neo

Foyr Neo is the preferred design app of more than 50,000 interior designers worldwide. You can create floorplans in seconds with 3D drag-and-drop models, so you know exactly what your room will look like. While Neo is targeted toward professionals, design enthusiasts will enjoy the robust features this app has to offer. A 14-day free trial is available, then there are three monthly membership tiers, including one for personal use.

Amikasa

With Amakasa, you can choose a color palette, select furniture, and design a functional layout.  If you don’t like it, then it’s easy to change and you haven’t set foot in one store or spent a dime. This app is available for Android and iOS and costs 99 cents. That’s right. Other perks include a newsletter and space to share ideas with fellow Amikasa users.

IKEA Home Planner 2.0

BEFORE you tote that IKEA furniture home and begin the assembly marathon, it would be helpful to see how it will look in your apartment. This app is free to download on Android or iOS devices, and you can choose any room in your apartment to furnish and design. Next, select items from IKEA’s extensive catalog to try them on for size in your floorplan. This will save you time and energy by eliminating a hike through the store or repacking and returning merchandise that didn’t work out.

Pinterest

You probably have a Pinterest board for your hundreds of recipes and other ideas, but if you enjoy browsing, you will find tons of ideas that you can tweak and make your own. Just keep in mind that these are only ideas and the app doesn’t include features like 3D renderings, etc. Pinterest is free and available for Android and iOS systems.

Apartment design and decoration have some limitations as you probably won’t be able to change the paint colors or flooring, but you can choose furnishings and accessories that reflect your style. If the process seems overwhelming, these apps can simplify the process. If you are into design, then you can polish and perfect your ideas, and then bring them to life.

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, we want you to make the space your own. These design apps can help you create a layout that makes you proud to come home to every night. We also work hard to create a community where you can connect with others and amenities that add value to your living experience. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Floorplan Friday: The Avery

Cozy 1 Bedroom Apartment in Hilliard

Whether it’s your first apartment or your downsizing, you’ll fall in love with The Avery. The Avery is a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment at 660 square feet and is part of the VC Meadows community in Hilliard. Hilliard is an up-and-coming suburb of Columbus, and you’re just a short commute from work and play. If you have a pet, they’ll feel right at home here as the property features a dog wash station where your dog can meet its canine neighbors. And, if you drive a hybrid, you’ll find car-charging stations here.

The Avery is a 1 bedroom apartment in Hilliard

The Avery was designed with an open-concept floor plan, featuring a huge work island with a double sink and room for seating. All kitchen appliances are Energy Star®-rated and have a stainless-steel finish which perfectly complements the granite countertops. The unit includes a full-sized washer and dryer, and all water fixtures are low-consumption, which conserves resources. The bathroom adjoins the bedroom and you’ll be delighted with the huge walk-in closet, as well as the full balcony that opens directly off the bedroom. It’s a great space for enjoying your morning coffee.

If you would like to make The Avery your home, reach out and schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the VC Meadows community.

The VC Meadows community in Hilliard, a short commute to Downtown Columbus. If you would like to tour the Avery, reach out and we’ll schedule a tour.

Other amenities:

  •     Sun deck + Tiki bar in the pool area
  •     Coffee bar
  •     Vibrant community life + events
  •     Online no-touch rent payment
  •     24/7 emergency maintenance
  •     Outdoor recreation areas
  •     Fire pit
  •     Grilling pavilion
  •     Sand volleyball
  •     Plenty of outdoor seating
  •     Car charging stations
  •     Smoke-free living
  •     On-site property management

VC Meadows is a luxury apartment community located in Hilliard — close to shopping, entertainment & more. Don’t miss out on all that this area of town and all that Meadows has to offer; reach out today to schedule a tour of the Avery floor plan. We would love to welcome you to the community!

Creating Workout Space in Your Apartment

Tips for creating a workout space in your apartment

Fitness centers are a popular amenity at apartment complexes, with many of them offering 24/7 access and extras such as CrossFit workouts and yoga classes. The selection of equipment available will vary widely in different communities, which can influence if and when you choose to work out there. If you have a specific fitness regimen, don’t feel like going out in inclement weather, or just prefer to work out solo, then, you can set up a home gym in your apartment.

Your setup can be as bare-bones or as elaborate as you like, but before you hop online to start shopping for gear, first check your lease or with your apartment manager, especially if you live on an upper floor. There may be limits on equipment weight and concerns about possible noise.

Room and storage of workout equipment

If you have a two-bedroom or larger apartment, you may be able to convert one bedroom into a workout room. You can store your equipment in there. If you don’t have that luxury, then you’ll need to get a bit more creative. If you have any furniture, such as an ottoman, that doubles as storage, then you can stash small weights, bands, and yoga straps in there. If your furniture isn’t super-heavy and better yet, on casters or wheels, then you can easily move it out of the way when you want to exercise. You can also stash workout equipment under the bed or in closets.

Standalone workout equipment

If you have the space and budget, you can look into one of those all-in-one machines with an adjustable bench, weights, bars, and more. Other options include a Peloton, elliptical trainer, or other cardio/weight equipment. Before you make the investment, make sure you’ll actually use the equipment, otherwise, you’ll end up with an expensive catch-all for dirty clothes! If you’re uncertain, then think of using the apartment community’s fitness center.

Three pieces are all you need

If you are serious about working out in your apartment, you can get your weight training in by investing in three pieces of equipment. First, you’ll need a collapsible RID (rest, incline, decline) bench. These are specifically designed to fold flat to store under a bed when not in use. Next, you’ll need weights. If you don’t have room for a full rack of weights, try adjustable weights. You can easily move up or down in weight and they are easy to store. Lastly, install a pull-up bar over one of your doorways. (This is another case when you should check with your property manager before installation.)

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, we have an onsite gym at all of our communities. If you prefer to work out alone in your apartment, you’ll have plenty of space to create your own workout space. We work hard to create a community where you feel at home and want you to enjoy your space. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Kitchen Bar Seats For Your Apartment

The best bar-style seating to use with a kitchen island

Work islands are popular in contemporary interior design — especially with open-concept floor plans — and serve as the focal point of the kitchen. Not only are they highly functional for food prep and storage, but they can also serve as an informal eating area. You can use your work island as a coffee nook, breakfast bar, or an actual bar area. But before you can sit down and enjoy a cuppa or glass of wine, you need something to sit on. Here are some tips for selecting bar seating.

You can find bar seating practically anywhere — online, big box stores, and home goods and furniture stores. If your budget is limited or you’re looking for something unique, try scouting thrift stores and estate sales.

Style

This boils down to whether you want stools that have a back or are backless. If you plan to spend a lot of time sitting at your island or you entertain a lot, stools with backs will be more comfortable.

Dimensions

Take careful measurements before you start shopping. Your bar seating should be 12 inches lower than the height of the bar. For example, if your island is 48 inches tall, then the stools should be 36 inches tall. And, a good rule of thumb is that each seat needs about 24 inches per person, which will determine how many seats you can comfortably sit along your island.

Materials

Metal and wood are good choices for the frame, as they are durable and complement most decorating schemes. For fabric, choose something easy to clean, such as vinyl, or splurge on leather. If you prefer fabric, select a color or print that doesn’t easily show stains and if the fabric isn’t already treated with a stain/water-resistant finish, you can spray it yourself with readily available retail products.

A work island is a functional and fun element of any apartment, and you can take advantage of its multiple uses. With the right preparation, you can make the area as casual or formal as you like, with your choice of seating.

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, many of our 1BR, 2BR and 3BR floor plans feature a bar space for you to entertain guests, create a workspace, or like many of us, pile up the mail. Find the perfect bar stool seating to complement your kitchen space at one of our apartment communities.

At Vision Communities, we work hard to create a community where you feel at home. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

The Bradley is a 2 Bedroom apartment in Hilliard

Floorplan Friday: The Bradley

2 Bedroom Apartment in Hilliard

The Bradley is a well-appointed two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment that spans 1,081 square feet. It is part of the upscale Meadows community in Hilliard. You’ll love the spacious open-plan layout with windows that let in a lot of natural light. The kitchen and main living area are one cohesive space which is great for entertaining. Or, with clever placement of furniture, you can transform the space into two cozy areas.

The Bradley is a 2 Bedroom apartment in Hilliard

The kitchen features a large work island with a double sink and EnergyStar®-rated stainless-steel appliances. All water features throughout the apartment are low consumption, including the full-sized washer (with dryer.) The bedrooms are separated by the main living area for optimal privacy and each bedroom features an en suite and walk-in closet. And don’t forget the full-sized balcony or patio which adds extra living space. Don’t forget your pets! The Meadows welcomes your four-legged family members, and we have a dog wash station on the property. If The Bradley sounds like “home sweet home” to you, reach out and schedule a tour. We look forward to having you join our vibrant community at VC Meadows.

The VC Meadows community in Hilliard, a short commute to Downtown Columbus. If you would like to tour the Bradley, reach out and we’ll schedule a tour.

Other amenities:

  •     Sun deck + Tiki bar in the pool area
  •     Coffee bar
  •     Vibrant community life + events
  •     Online no-touch rent payment
  •     24/7 emergency maintenance
  •     Outdoor recreation areas
  •     Fire pit
  •     Grilling pavilion
  •     Sand volleyball
  •     Plenty of outdoor seating
  •     Car charging stations
  •     Smoke-free living
  •     On-site property management



VC Meadows is a luxury apartment community located in Hilliard — close to shopping, entertainment & more. Don’t miss out on all that this area of town and all that Meadows have to offer; reach out today to schedule a tour of the Bradley floor plan. We would love to welcome you to the community!

The Washington is a 3 Bedroom Apartment in Hilliard

Floorplan Friday: The Washington

3 Bedroom & 3 Bathroom Apartment in Hilliard

The Washington is a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment that is part of the Meadows community in Hilliard, a vibrant suburb of Columbus. You won’t be far from work or play when you move into this 1,588-square-foot, two-story unit. Two of the bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor, with the remaining bed and bath on the ground level. The kitchen and main living area feature an open-concept floor plan, which you can further extend onto the full-length patio, which makes this layout ideal for entertaining. There is a full-length balcony on the second floor — ideal for enjoying a morning cup of coffee.

The Washington is a 3 Bedroom Apartment in Hilliard

Each bedroom of The Washington boasts a spacious walk-in closet with en suites on the second floor. The unit includes a full-sized washer and dryer, and all water features are low consumption. Kitchen appliances are Energy Star®-rated with stainless-steel finishes which complement the granite countertops. The focal point of the kitchen is the huge work island with a double sink. Pets are welcome at Meadow and there is a fenced-in dog park and dog wash station on the property. Hybrid owners will be pleased to know that there are car-charging stations on the premises as well. We’d love to welcome you to the Meadows community and if The Washington sounds like home to you, reach out to us to arrange a tour.

The VC Meadows community in Hilliard, a short commute to Downtown Columbus. If you would like to tour the Washington, reach out and we’ll schedule a tour.

Other amenities:

  •     Sun deck + Tiki bar in the pool area
  •     Coffee bar
  •     Vibrant community life + events
  •     Online no-touch rent payment
  •     24/7 emergency maintenance
  •     Outdoor recreation areas
  •     Fire pit
  •     Grilling pavilion
  •     Sand volleyball
  •     Plenty of outdoor seating
  •     Car charging stations
  •     Smoke-free living
  •     On-site property management

VC Meadows is a luxury apartment community located in Hilliard — close to shopping, entertainment & more. Don’t miss out on all that this area of town and all that Meadows have to offer; reach out today to schedule a tour of the Washington floor plan. We would love to welcome you to the community!

Artificial Plants for Apartment Dwellers

Tasteful, realistic artificial houseplants

Once you’ve signed the lease, received your key, and done all the other heavy lifting, now comes the fun part … decorating! Nothing adds a pop of color or a touch of freshness like houseplants. But what if you’re one of those people who can’t even grow an air plant? Well, you are in luck! Gone are the day-glow green plastic plants of the past, that were “rooted” in tacky flimsy planters. The artificial plants you can find today are tasteful and mimic their live counterparts so well that few people can tell the difference. Even better, artificial plants require no maintenance except for an occasional dusting and they come in high-quality planters that will complement any décor. Artificial plants are also ideal for allergy sufferers, parents of small children, and pet owners. Moreover, if you travel frequently, you don’t have to worry about plant care while you’re out of town.

You can find a selection of houseplants practically anywhere — online, big box stores, and even lawn and garden centers.

Here are some popular varieties of artificial plants that are suited for a desk or end table or if you want something that makes a statement when you walk in the door.

Fiddle leaf fig tree

These tall, majestic trees feature slender stalks and abundant dark green leaves. They look great in an entryway.

Golden cane palm

This is another tall plant with sweeping medium-green leaves that mimic palm fronds. Live varieties of this plant tend to shed a lot, which makes their silk cousins a bargain.

Aloe vera

The problem with live aloe vera is that it’s tricky to find the water balance, which is a common issue with succulents. An artificial version removes the guesswork, and you can enjoy the pump stalks which range in color from medium yellow-green to dark green with white dots.

Other succulents

You can also choose other artificial succulents such as flowering cacti or non-flowering varieties. Most come in planters with fake sand and pebbles. Artificial succulents look great on a table or countertop.

Pothos

The pothos is a common houseplant that comes in a variety of colors — medium-green, dark green, or white and green marbled. The trailing vines dress up a mantel or can also be displayed in a hanging basket.

This is just a sampling, but you can find artificial houseplants in colors, shapes, and sizes to suit your taste and budget. You’ll enjoy fresh-looking low-maintenance greenery for years to come and no one will be none the wiser!

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

At Vision Communities, we want you to make your Vision apartment your own, and artificial plants can be a great addition to your budding decor. We work hard to create a community where you feel at home. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Vacation Planning for Apartment Dwellers

Vacation is a time for getting away from the stressors of daily life and relaxing. A change of scenery can do wonders for the psyche and half the fun is the anticipation and preparation. There are plenty of online resources for arranging your travel, lodging, sightseeing, and even how and what to pack. However, you can’t just up and leave your apartment unattended for weeks at a time. Here are some steps you need to take before you can truly leave your cares behind and enjoy your vacation.

Let your landlord and neighbors know

This depends on the norms of your apartment community and terms of your lease. Some leases stipulate that you need to inform your landlord if you won’t be occupying your apartment for a designated period of time. At the same time, let one of your nearby neighbors know you’re going to be away and ask them to keep an eye on your place during that time.

Arrange for pet care

Ask a friend, family, or neighbor in your building to look after your pet while you’re on vacation. From feeding fish to walking your dog, your pets will need regular care while you’re away. Doggie hotels are becoming very common, and you can board your canine companion in luxurious surroundings while you’re away; some facilities even have “doggie cams” so you can see live feeds of your best friend being pampered. Cats would be happier staying home with an occasional drop-in by a caretaker but there are extended stay places for felines, too. If your pet of any species needs daily medication, etc., it is then better to board them at a facility where they can receive regular veterinary care.

Adjust the thermostat, unplug unused appliances, and clean out the fridge and freezer

You can keep your apartment a little warmer or cooler while you’re on vacation. Unplug all nonessential appliances as they are an energy drain and why pay for power that you’re not going to be using? As well, clear out the refrigerator and freezer of anything past its shelf life, freezer burned, perishable (like produce), etc. You don’t want to come home to the sight of wilted lettuce, moldy cheese, etc.

Prepare for your return

You will appreciate this step after the fact. Clean up your apartment, change the beds and linens, vacuum, and pick up some easy freezer meals you can just pop in the microwave. You will probably be too tired to grocery shop or cook once you get home. If you have to return to work the day after you return, then plan what to wear and have your backpack or briefcase ready to go.

Enjoy your well-earned vacation. If you put the same amount of energy into getting your apartment prepared for your absence and return, you’ll have peace of mind that you can seamlessly segue back into your regular daily life with as little disruption as possible.

Explore a Vision Community Apartment

Vision Communities has the amenities and facilities to help you leave for vacation with peace of mind. We work hard to create a community where you feel safe, especially when you head out of town. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Meeting People in Your Apartment Community

Finding New Friends at Your Apartment Community

Moving into a new apartment complex is like starting a new job or the first day of school. You’re excited, but at the same time, nervous. There are so many unknowns, like … are the other residents nice? Quiet? What are the community norms? How will you fit in? These are all very real concerns, and you aren’t the only person experiencing them. The other residents in your building will be wondering the same things about you. Getting to know your neighbors is important. There is no unwritten rule you must become besties with everybody on your floor, but having a cordial, casual relationship with a few key people can go a long way in helping you adjust to your new digs. 

Here are some tips on getting to know your new neighbors:

Introduce yourself

You can wait for a chance encounter in the hallway or at a common area like the mailbox, or just be bold and knock on their door. Most people will be happy (and relieved) you took the initiative. It breaks the ice and puts a face to the new name label on the mailbox. If your new neighbor seems receptive, once you get to know them better, you can establish a system where you look out for each other’s place, help each other out in emergencies, etc.

Make small talk in common areas

If you see someone new in the elevator, at the mailbox, pool, or other hangouts, say hello and engage in some light, casual conversation. Asking questions about the complex is a great way to start.

Take advantage of your complex’s amenities

Few people can resist a friendly dog, so taking your canine buddy for a walk on a nearby trail, around the complex, or to the dog park — are all great ways to meet your new neighbors. As a bonus, you may find someone to walk with and you could take care of each other’s dogs during vacations. The fitness center and coffee bar are also great central locations for meeting your new neighbors.

Throw an apartment-warming party

If you’ve exchanged pleasantries with a few friendly folks or just want to throw caution to the wind, hold an apartment-warming party and invite everybody on your floor. It’s kind of a gamble, but usually, one that has a big payout. Few people can resist free food and drinks and welcome a chance to step outside their apartments and mingle. (And some folks are just plain curious and/or nosy!) The worst-case scenario is you’ll have a few people show up with whom you will get to spend more quality time and may result in some new and lasting friendships.

Being the new kid on the block can be anxiety-provoking and stressful. However, if you start slowly and take a little initiative, you will soon feel right at home. As a bonus, you may find your tribe and make some fast friends!

VC Communities Are Designed For Connection

If you are looking for an apartment community that has amenities & activities that are designed for connecting with others, check out Vision Communities. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Floorplan Friday: The Alton

Large 1 Bedroom Apartment in Hilliard

The Alton is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 794-square-foot apartment where you can live large in a small space. The design features an open-concept floor plan where the main living area and kitchen meld into one large, cohesive space. With a deft arrangement of furnishings and décor, you can emphasize the expansive, airy ambiance or create tighter areas for a cozier feeling. Whichever way you go, this space is ideal for entertaining or just relaxing and enjoying your own company. If you need company, the VC Meadows community welcomes pets, so bring your four-legged friend with you or adopt one after you move in.

The kitchen features a huge work island that offers additional seating. Picture a breakfast nook or coffee bar. All appliances in the kitchen are stainless steel, and paired with the granite countertops, the result is a sleek, modern appearance. All appliances are Energy Star®-rated, including a full-sized washer and dryer, and all water features throughout the apartment are low-consumption, which underscores Vision’s commitment to green living.

The bedroom has a spacious walk-in closet and there are large windows to let in lots of natural light. Let more sunshine in through the doors leading to the full-sized balcony or patio, which is perfect for container gardening. It’s also a great spot for enjoying your morning coffee or an after-work drink with a neighbor. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet other VC Meadows residents and their pets. We offer a plethora of recreational and social activities including a heated pool, 24/7 fitness center, and dog wash station.

The VC Meadows community in Hilliard, a short commute to Downtown Columbus. If you would like to tour the Alton, reach out and we’ll schedule a tour.

Other amenities:

  •     Sun deck + Tiki bar in the pool area
  •     Coffee bar
  •     Vibrant community life + events
  •     Online no-touch rent payment
  •     24/7 emergency maintenance
  •     Outdoor recreation areas
  •     Fire pit
  •     Grilling pavilion
  •     Sand volleyball
  •     Plenty of outdoor seating
  •     Car charging stations
  •     Smoke-free living
  •     On-site property management

Meadows is a luxury apartment community located in Hilliard — close to shopping, entertainment & more. Don’t miss out on all that this area of town and all that Meadows have to offer; reach out today to schedule a tour of the Alton floor plan. We would love to welcome you to the community!

Aquariums for Apartment Dwellers

Are you yearning for a pet but don’t have the time and energy for a cat or dog? Or maybe you have allergies to fur or feathers. How about fish? Of course, it will depend on the type of aquarium and fish, but aquariums can be a lot of fun, relaxing, and add a touch of color to your apartment. Before you head online or to your nearest pet shop, there are a few points to consider before you go all in on buying fish and supplies.

Check your lease

While most apartments allow cats and dogs, you should double-check if aquariums are allowed. It’s nothing personal against fish, but mostly about the size of the tank in terms of gallon capacity. No property manager wants to deal with a capsized fish tank and the resulting damage to your, and possibly, your neighbors’ apartments. That’s why some leases restrict fish tanks to first-floor units only.

Size of tank

Your budget, lease, type of water and fish, and your willingness to devote time to ongoing maintenance will determine the size of your tank. It’s wise to go no larger than a 20-gallon tank. That way, if you move or other circumstances change with your living situation, you won’t be tasked with draining a huge tank. Also, if you have a small apartment, you don’t want a huge aquarium.

Location

The aquarium must get natural light, but not direct sunlight. Excess sunlight encourages the growth of algae, which can get very difficult to clean out. Having the tank close to the kitchen sink will make it much easier to drain, clean, and fill the tank.

If aquariums aren’t allowed in your apartment or you’ve figured out that they can be a lot of work, there are alternatives. Betta fish are very popular. These colorful Siamese freshwater fighting fish come in vivid shades that will brighten up any interior and they are active and fun to watch swim around. But DO NOT buy them in pairs. Bettas are solo creatures. Goldfish aren’t just pets for children. You can adopt a school of goldfish at any pet store and enjoy hours of entertainment while expending minimal effort on care.

With creativity and planning, you can reap the benefits of having fish in your apartment. Just remember to abide by the terms of your lease and realize that pet fish, whether in a large aquarium or small fish bowl, require love and care, just like a furry or feathered pet. You’ll enjoy being entertained and relaxed while watching these beautiful aquatic creatures living their best lives.

Bring Your Fish to a VC Community Apartment

If you are looking for a new apartment for you and your fish, schedule a tour of a Vision Community. We have floor plans that provide your personal space and spacious common areas for you to hang out with your roommate and friends. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

furnishing an open concept apartment

Furnishing an Open Concept Apartment

Tips for furnishing an open concept floor plan apartment

Open-concept floor plans have been trending for several years now. These layouts feature one large open space that seamlessly connects the main living area of an apartment to the kitchen. This design scheme conveys the illusion of a much larger space and is ideal for apartment dwellers because they remove that aura of claustrophobia.  The beauty of open-concept floor plans is that they truly are a blank canvas when it comes to arranging furniture and decorating. While in an apartment, you are limited as far as painting, flooring, and finishes go, but there is a lot you can do to transform the space. The only limits are your creativity and budget.

Here are some decorating ideas:

Break up space with area rugs

You can place a colorful area rug on top of a neutral carpet to add a pop of color and design a living space that is separate from the kitchen. Arrange your sofa, chairs, and coffee and end tables around the area rug to create a cozy nook for relaxing and entertaining.

Choose a focal point in the main living area

In most apartments, this will most likely be a fireplace or a TV. If you have both, then mount the TV on the wall above the fireplace mantel. Or, if you don’t use a TV or have it placed elsewhere, then prop a colorful print or canvas on the mantel to instantly draw the eye.

Add a room divider

You can use an accordion screen to break up the space between the kitchen and main living area. Another idea is to place your sofa with the back toward the kitchen to automatically divide the room.

Use rounded sofa furnishings and different textures

Choosing sofas and chairs with rounded edges adds softness and warmth to your main living area. You can also add colorful throws and pillows in smooth and nubby textures (like cashmere, velvet, tweed, or boucle’)  to add interest and comfort. These accents are also easy to swap out during the changes of seasons.

Fill in with accent pieces

This is where you can unleash your creativity. Add your favorite artwork, vases, books, photos, and other small decorative items. Unique floor and table lamps augment existing lighting and add interest. And you can’t go wrong with live plants and floral arrangements.

You can readily source any of these items online or have fun visiting local thrift shops and estate sales. With a little imagination, you can transform your open-concept apartment floor plan into a functional and comfortable space that you will look forward to coming home to.

Vision Communities Offer Open Concept Floor Plans

If you are looking for a new apartment be sure to tour Vision Communities. We have many floor plans to choose from, some of which are open concept, which makes a smaller space feel big. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

Living with a roommate vs. living alone

Roommates vs. Living Alone

Whether you’re starting out in your first apartment or an empty nester ready to downsize, the decision to live with a roommate is a big one. There are many pros and cons to weigh and keep in mind that whatever you decide, you are stuck for the duration of your lease, which is usually 12 months. Before you make a move, it’s important to do some self-reflection on your preferred lifestyle. For example, if you lived with a partner and are divorced or widowed, you may crave companionship. On the other hand, if you are coming from a noisy crowded dorm or Greek setting, you make seek solitude. It’s a very personal choice and one that shouldn’t be made in haste.

Here are some pros and cons of living with a roommate or alone:

Shared living expenses

This is the major benefit of living with a roommate. You can share the cost of rent, utilities, and other household expenses like cleaning supplies or grocery staples. This works well if both parties are financially stable and responsible. Where this arrangement can go south is if one roommate is a financial flake, unreliable, has a history of frequently being in and out of work, or carries a heavy level of debt. The option here is to ask potential roommates detailed questions about their finances (and expect to reciprocate) or if you can afford it, live by yourself.

Shared chores

Having a fastidious roommate paired with a slob made for comedy gold TV back in the ‘70s, but in reality, it rarely works out. The neat roommate will soon resent the slovenly roommate’s habits and vice versa. If you know your potential roommate already, then you should be aware of their housekeeping habits. If they give you pause, then steer clear. Either seek a roommate whose idea of a clean apartment matches yours or consider living solo.

Automatic companionship

One of the benefits of having a compatible roommate is somebody to hang out with. This is an ideal situation if you get along well and are in sync in other areas like fiscal responsibility and tidiness habits. However, if you and your roommate don’t get along, this can make for a tense living situation. The same can be said if your roommate has a boyfriend or girlfriend who is around all the time. Also, if you are an introverted personality who needs a lot of quiet and alone time, you will probably be more comfortable living alone.

By thinking through the situation, honestly assessing your lifestyle and finances, and carefully vetting potential roommates, you can decide whether you want to share an apartment with a roommate or live alone.

Vision Communities Offer Modern Apartment Amenities

If you are looking for a new apartment for yourself or for you and a potential roommate, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

Modern Apartment Amenities

How would you like to be able to go to the gym, hang out at a coffee bar, walk your dog, and charge your hybrid without leaving home? Well, with modern apartment amenities, you can do all of that and more. In recent years, apartment community developers have stepped up their game to meet the needs of today’s renters. They have taken notice of the need for work-life balance and responded accordingly with upscale amenities. And while yes, you are paying for these perks as part of your monthly rent, if you weigh the cost and benefits of time saved, you will see they are well worth it. 

Here are some modern apartment amenities you should be taking advantage of in your community:

Online lease management and rent payment

No more trips to the leasing office or post office to sign your lease or mail your rent check. (Does anybody write checks anymore?) Review and sign your lease electronically every term and pay your rent online. You can have your rent payment automatically deducted from your bank account to make things even easier.

Onsite fitness center

Cancel your gym membership. Many modern apartment communities have fitness centers and some are open 24/7. You are no longer locked into specific hours when your gym is open or long-term membership contracts. Work out whenever you want. Some apartment communities also offer walking trails or access to parks and recreation areas.

Pool and cookout area

Most municipalities prohibit any type of grills on apartment patios or balconies. No problem. Your apartment community will have a designated grilling area and firepit for grilling or making s’mores. And while swimming pools are standard fare at most apartment complexes, these days, you will find a heated pool, often with a poolside bar area. You can do all of your swimming, sunning, cooking out, and socializing in one area. 

Special amenities for dogs 

Now you have a place to take your dog for exercising and socializing with other dogs. Many apartment communities have fenced-in dog parks and dog stations on the property for disposing of waste.  Tired of the mess and frustration of trying to bathe your dog in the bathtub? Many apartment complexes have dog wash areas that are more comfortable for you and your dog.

Other popular apartment amenities include online maintenance requests, full-sized washers and dryers in apartments, a coffee bar, community centers for hosting events, on-site recreation, hybrid car charging stations, and much more. By using the perks that are available to you, you will get the most out of apartment living and reap the benefits and rewards to enhance your work-life balance.

Vision Communities Offer Modern Apartment Amenities

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

Adding a Pop of Color to Your Apartment Without Painting

When apartment living comes to mind, do you think of a sea of white, off-white, or other bland, boring color? It’s true that apartments are painted in neutral colors to appeal to the broadest range of potential residents, but that doesn’t mean you are resigned to staring at four lifeless walls. Since most leases don’t allow residents to paint the walls, there are plenty of ways to liven up tepid décor with some easy and inexpensive pops of color. Here are some designer tips that won’t wreck your budget.

Colorful artwork

You can choose bright, bold artwork in your favorite colors to adorn your apartment walls. Support local artists by shopping at neighborhood galleries or scouring thrift shops, estate sales, and flea markets for unique finds. You can even find great reproductions, movie posters, and pop art prints online that can even be framed and shipped directly to you. Hang them with no-mark wall hooks. How easy is that?

Pillows, throws, and area rugs

Choose pillows and throws in your preferred hues to place on your sofa or chairs. Area rugs can go a long way in waking up beige or gray carpeting. A bonus: by choosing these types of soft furnishings, you can easily switch them out during the change of seasons and holidays.

Colorful sofa or chairs

Make a statement in your living room with a bold, colorful sofa or side chairs. Choose a solid color or pattern. You will be surprised how much this will elevate your mood when you come home after a long day at work or running errands.

Tapestries or temporary wallpaper

Another way to dress up a room such as your bedroom is to hang a tapestry on the wall or add temporary wallpaper. It adds interest to the room, and you can choose colors to soothe and relax you before going to sleep. Temporary wallpaper goes up easily without difficult bubbles to smooth out and peels off without leaving residue on the walls. 

You don’t need to be stuck in a boring vanilla apartment. With a little creativity and smart shopping, you can personalize your space with your favorite colors, creating an oasis you look forward to hanging out in. Say goodbye to dull walls once and for all!

Vision Communities Apartments

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to stop by Vision Communities for a tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

Apartment Community Dog Park Responsibilities

Sometimes, dog owners are hesitant to move into an apartment because they don’t know how or where to take their dog out for walks and to relieve themselves. Well, the good news is that most modern apartment communities have fenced-in dog parks. Apartment dog parks are a great way to get your canine companion out and about for exercise and to socialize with other dogs residing in the complex. It’s also a great way to meet new neighbors who are also dog lovers.

Before you unleash your dog and let them freely roam the apartment dog park, here are some etiquette tips to remember:

  1. Bring a leash. Although that sounds counterintuitive, you’ll need a leash to walk your dog to and from the dog park. A leash is also essential if a fight breaks out or other situations arise where you need to quickly corral your canine. It’s a safety precaution for you, your dog, other dogs, and humans.
  2. Pay attention to your dog. Sure. It’s easy to start chatting with your neighbors and get distracted but do occasionally check on your dog. You want to be alert to any signs of aggression or bullying by your dog or others. Head off any possible attacks or fights by being attuned to canine body language.
  3. Make sure your dog is spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated. Most apartment communities require residents to be current on their pets’ vaccinations as a provision in their leases. It’s easy to spread highly contagious diseases like kennel cough, and you don’t want the embarrassment or even potential liability of an “amorous” dog hooking up at the dog park; resulting in a litter of puppies to deal with.
  4. Clean up after your dog. Not only do you or other residents not want to step in smelly dog poop, but dogs eat other dogs’ poop. This is another mode of disease and parasite transmission. Some dog parks have plastic bag dispensers; if they don’t, bring your own. Use the waste containers in the dog park or on the property.

Having access to a fenced-in apartment dog park without having to leave the premises is a great perk of apartment living. By practicing good dog park etiquette, you and your furry friend can get some exercise and enjoy relaxing and socializing with your human and canine neighbors.

Vision Communities Welcomes Dogs

At Vision Communities, we know that pets are family too. That’s why we provide pet-friendly communities with amenities that cater to our furry friends. Our dog parks offer plenty of space for playtime and socialization, so your pup can enjoy life just as much as you do. With spacious studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom floor plans and luxurious amenities, living at Vision Communities is the perfect way to enhance your work-life balance. Schedule a tour today and discover why our communities are the ideal place to call home.

Minimalist apartment living tips for spring cleaning and decluttering.

Tips for Downsizing, Decluttering, and Minimalism

Whether it’s mid-winter cabin fever, spring cleaning, call it what you like, but eventually, you’ll find yourself wanting to just get rid of stuff. You might be moving, downsizing in general, or adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Whatever the reason, getting rid of unused stuff in your apartment can make a huge difference in your mood as being surrounded by clutter can make you feel anxious and claustrophobic without you even realizing it. There are several approaches you can take to shedding clutter. You don’t have to go all “Marie Kondo” and thank your belongings for their service, but taking a thoughtful approach to what’s causing your closets and cabinets to burst at the seams can make the process less painless.

There are many, many apps and blogs that go into specific details about how to declutter; there are specific formulas to follow and even entire books written on the topic. In simplest terms, a foolproof method is “keep, discard, donate.” You can set your own timeframe to determine how long an item must be out of commission to be considered, for example, if you haven’t worn a specific item for one year, or if that kitchen gadget you had to have was used only once. You get the idea. 

Keep. These are items that you frequently use, are your favorites, and are in the regular rotation in your wardrobe, kitchen, home office, etc. While you are looking at them, it’s a good time to inspect them for any signs of wear and tear and actually take them in for repair or fix them yourself, like sewing on a missing button from a shirt. This is also a great opportunity to reorganize your apartment and invest in space savers like a rack to hang pots in your kitchen, or stacking clothes hangers.

Donate. Choose a charity to take your donated items to. Before you start filling boxes and garbage bags, take a moment to carefully inspect each item. Ask yourself if you would wear or use the garment/gadget. If you no longer want torn and stained clothing or scratched, battered cookware, nobody else will. Be mindful of what you donate. If you are having trouble letting go of a specific item, take a photo of it. You can also think of your property being used and enjoyed by somebody else. 

Discard. This is for stuff you absolutely don’t want any longer. Don’t hang on to clothing that you think will eventually come back in style or will fit once you lose weight. Don’t keep condiments or spices that you infrequently use. They are probably expired or lost their potency anyway. Once you’ve made the decision, release the item. 

Getting rid of stuff is so therapeutic. So if it’s downsizing, decluttering, minimalizing — whatever you call it — will clear the path for more space in your home and you will feel a lot more relaxed in your own apartment. During these stressful times, you deserve it! 

Explore Vision Communities Spacious Floorplans

If you are looking to downsize from a house to an apartment, find a great apartment at one of our Vision Communities. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Check out our newest property Meadows, opening in Hilliard this spring, and get a great apartment in a great area.

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

How to Interview Potential Roommates

Choosing a roommate to share an apartment with is a little different than college days. In college, you either already had a buddy to share a dorm room with or you were at the mercy of the school’s housing department to assign you a random roommate. Sometimes it worked, and other times … ugh. But at least you knew that it would be short-term. When you share an apartment, you are bound by a lease, usually for 12 months, which can seem like an eternity if you’re saddled with a person who is either incompatible or irresponsible. Worst-case scenario is when your roommate just flakes out and splits, leaving you with 100% of the rent and other expenses. And, unlike college days, you can’t simply pack up and move back home.

Luckily, there is an easy way to screen potential roommates. Will you find a person who is 100% compatible? No. But you can stack the odds in your favor by conducting roommate interviews. Develop a series of questions that address: lifestyle, job/income stability, shared resources/responsibilities, and references from previous landlords or roommates. By developing a set of consistent screening questions, you can easily compare candidates’ responses. Yep. It’s just like a job interview. Here are some sample questions:

Lifestyle

Do you have a pet? Would you object to living with a pet?

How often do you have friends/family over?

Are you in a romantic relationship? How often would that person be staying over? (AWKWARD!)

What hours do you keep? Work, getting up, going to bed, etc.

Do you smoke/drink/use legal recreational drugs?

How do you spend your weekends?

Job Income/Stability

How long have you been at your present job?

How frequently do you get paid? 

How much do you currently pay for rent?

How long did you live there? Why do you want to move?

Shared Expenses/Responsibilities?

What do you believe is the best way to divide the rent and utilities?

Do you cook? Do you like to cook and eat alone or share cooking and meals?

Do you like to clean and do chores? How should we divide those duties?

Are you OK with sharing items? (e.g., vacuum, TV, etc.)

References

Feel free to ask potential roommates candidates for the names and contact info of previous landlords and roommates. Whether you call them or not is up to you. If you feel good about a person, you might go with your gut. However, it would be worth taking a deeper dive if a person speaks negatively about former roommates and apartment managers.

Sure, it seems a bit extreme, but in the end, it will be worth it. The result will be a roommate(s) who has a compatible lifestyle and values and will uphold their end of the bargain when it comes to honoring their financial and apartment upkeep obligations. You respect each other and have established healthy boundaries and who knows? You may end up with a new friend for life.

Roommates Welcome at Vision Communities

At Vision Communities, we understand that living alone isn’t for everyone and a roommate helps divide and conquer when it comes to rent, dishes, housework and more. When you find the roommate you’ve been looking for, find a great apartment at one of our Vision Communities. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Check out our newest property Meadows, opening in Hilliard this spring, and get a great apartment in a great area.

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

How to Find Bargains at Thrift Shops

Part of the fun of moving into a new apartment is furnishing it. But if you’re on a budget, then Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel excursions might need to be put on pause. But, you can source some great pieces to mix with your IKEA builds at thrift and consignment shops. No longer the graveyard for obsolete items (read: junk), second-hand stores are a treasure trove of perfectly good home furnishings and household items that with a little TLC, can be nice additions to your new home. While it’s true that discards at the end of their lifecycle are among the inventory in thrift stores and consignment shops, oftentimes, pieces are donated because the previous owners are redecorating or downsizing. Unsold items from estate and garage sales often end up at second-hand stores and flea markets.

Here are some pointers for finding bargains at second-hand stores:

Identify your decorating vibe before hitting the shops

If you have a particular aesthetic in mind, then find sources that cater to your style. In other words, don’t hit up a farmhouse-themed vendor if urban minimalism is your thing. Get to know the proprietors and vendors so they can alert you to new stock or work with you to lower their prices.

Look for real wood

A LOT of moderately priced contemporary furniture is made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) overlaid with veneer. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with such pieces, they aren’t known for their longevity. Natural solid wood products are more durable and retain their value longer than manufactured wood products. Don’t be turned off by scratches or chipped paint. If you like a challenge, you can strip wood furniture and stain or paint it however you like.

Check upholstered components

With a sofa or chair, inspect the upholstery for stains, tears, and signs of excessive wear. If the seat cushions have zippers, check those along with nail heads, trim, tufted buttons, etc., to make sure they are securely attached and that none of them are missing. Give a hard “no” to any furniture that smells like mold or mildew or shows any signs of pest infiltration. If you have a knack for reupholstering or replacing buttons or nail heads, go for it if the bones of the piece are viable.

Miscellaneous household goods

You can find some great sets of dishware, glasses, cutlery, and cooking gear at thrift stores. If you’re lucky, you can find entire sets, or mix and match to curate a bespoke tableware collection. The same goes for decorative items. If you’re buying a small appliance or lamp, make sure that the cords and plugs are secure and you can ask the shop owner to plug the item in to test it. Steer clear of anything with frayed cords or if it would be cheaper to buy a new product than taking a risk on a used one. (Remember the used Crockpot that caused the fatal fire in “This Is Us.”)

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

Vendors are often eager to move inventory so they can bring in new merchandise. If something has been sitting around for a while, make an offer.

With an open mind, an eye for an item’s potential, patience, and a little elbow grease, you can find some great bargains at thrift stores and consignment shops. Who knows? You might just find that gently used posh leather Pottery Barn sofa that somebody donated, and save a bundle. It’s worth a look and a fun way to get to know your new city.

Decorating your new VC Apartment

The great thing about living in a Vision Community is the space is yours to decorate and make it your own. So whether you decide to buy new or hit the local thrift shop, your apartment is yours to create, decorate, and furnish with whatever fits your style.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Planning a Spring Patio/Balcony Garden

A great way to pull yourself out of the winter slump is to start thinking about container gardening for your patio or balcony when spring arrives. Central Ohio is in zone 6, which means you can start planting after the last frost, which occurs around mid-March. It’s safe to keep plants outdoors until mid-November; however, given unpredictable Midwest weather, you’ll want to play it by ear. You can use practically anything as a planter as long as you allow for proper drainage, which in some cases, may mean drilling holes in the bottom of the vessel, or adding a special medium to allow excess water to escape.

You will also need to factor in the daily sun exposure your patio or balcony gets each day and plan accordingly. Fortunately, the selection of shade-loving plants continues to increase each season as new varieties are introduced. For even more incentive to become a container gardener, there are recommendations for planting a pollinator container garden. Do double duty; enjoy the beauty of flowering plants while simultaneously fostering the bee population. Another tip is that bright pink and red flowers attract hummingbirds if you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a special hummingbird feeder.

Vegetables

You can enjoy tender, leafy baby greens without having to pay supermarket prices. Plant lettuce, arugula, and kale, along with radishes in the early spring and harvest them in just a few weeks. Unless you start seedlings in your apartment, most nurseries and other stores don’t start putting out herb plants until April. Basil, mint, parsley, chives, and lavender all do well outdoors in zone 6. However, don’t bother with cilantro. It’s fiddly and difficult to grow in this climate. You can grow all of the other ingredients for a salsa garden in containers, though – bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

Flowers

There are plenty of flowers that do well in containers in Central Ohio. Choose petunias, marigolds, dahlias, dianthus, salvia, and begonias. All of these varieties thrive in varying degrees of sunlight, are low maintenance, and also fare quite well in hanging baskets. Just mix in some trailing ivy, dusty miller, coleus, or sweet potato vines to create a balanced, eye-catching arrangement.

Pollinator plants

Some flowering plants mentioned above, such as lavender and salvia attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. When choosing flowering plants specifically for pollination, choose varieties that are nectar-rich, such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, lantana, and verbena. You can consult with gardening center staff, your local conservation society, or search online for suggestions.

Thinking about reactivating your green thumb can brighten up dreary winter days and give you something to look forward to. In the meantime, you can scour flea markets and thrift shops for interesting containers and start planning your floral color scheme or edible harvest. Growing plants gives you a sense of accomplishment, especially if you can give back to nature by nurturing vulnerable species such as bees.

Gardening in your new VC Apartment

One of the perks of our apartment plans is the spacious balcony to house all of your plants. Make this year the best year yet in a Vision Community apartment and bring your pets and plants with you.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Safety Tips for Winter

Being in the throes of winter means that it’s a good time to review your winter safety plan. It’s reassuring to know that you can stay warm and cozy in your apartment once you’re in for the night, but getting to and from home, as well as being safe once you get there are worth considering. Some of the benefits of apartment living are that the maintenance team is supposed to stay on top of issues like carbon monoxide (CO) monitors and furnace filters, but there are still steps you should take to make their job easier and your daily life during the cold months safer and more comfortable.

CO monitors

In some complexes, the maintenance department is responsible for taking care of these, in others, it’s the responsibility of the resident. Make sure your CO is positioned in the right area of your apartment and that you maintain the batteries. Always pay attention when your CO monitor alerts you and take it seriously. In many cases, the beeping means the battery needs to be replaced or the monitor was triggered by excess humidity. If it continues to beep, call your emergency maintenance department or 911, open the windows, and go outdoors until the situation can be assessed.

Space heaters

Spaces heaters are a major contributor to fatal house fires each winter. If you use a space heater, spend a little more money to buy a reputable brand that has a UL rating. Don’t place the space heater close to furniture, window treatments, or other flammable objects. Likewise, don’t cover the space heater or store objects on top of it, and never leave a space heater unattended.

Driving

The “3 Ps” of winter driving are: prepare, protect, and prevent. Make sure your car is well-maintained; that means fuel levels, brakes, head and tail lights, tire tread, wiper blades, and fluid. Maintain and safe distance between your car and the ones around it and stick to a consistent, safe speed limit. However, don’t drive so slowly that you impede other vehicles such as buses. Leave plenty of room for snowplows and emergency responders. If you start to slide or skid, turn into the skid and lightly tap your brakes instead of slamming on them swerving.

Commuting

If you take a form of public transportation to work, expect delays and be patient. If you’re an infrequent or first-time commuter, plan your route and know the stops and transfer points for your arrival and departure trips. Have your bus fare ready in cash. Dress in layers as you may find yourself standing in the cold for long periods and doing more walking than usual; wear warm, waterproof boots with a deep tread and carry an extra pair of socks with you in case your feet get wet.

While few people will declare winter as their favorite season, know that it will soon pass, especially if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow on February 2!  Common sense and taking extra precautions will keep you safe during inclement weather – both indoors and out.

Coming Home to Your VC Apartment

Your VC apartment should be your refuge, and we encourage our tenants to find ways to create all of the comforts of home in their apartments. So whether you are commuting or working from home, you’ll find the comfort of home in your Vision Communities apartment.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Christmas Tree disposal tips

Green Ways to Dispose of Live Christmas Trees

Christmas is over. The halls are undecked.  So what do you do with your Christmas tree? If it’s artificial, then simply pack it back up and store it until next season. Disposing of a live tree is a little more complicated. First, burning your Christmas tree can be problematic, since the sap is highly flammable.  Throwing your tree in the dumpster and let the municipal or private trash service deal with it may be an issue because your trash service may not pick up Christmas trees with the regular trash pickup. Check with your building support staff to see if there are special pickup days for Christmas trees. 

Here are some environmentally friendly ideas for disposing of your Christmas tree:

Donate the tree to a nature habitat. Wildlife and birds can use the discarded tree as shelter and the tree will biodegrade in its natural surroundings, thus enriching the soil around it.

Donate the tree to an area lake. Leftover Christmas trees can be submerged in lakes or ponds. They provide shelter and safety for fish and any algae that grow will serve as a food source for underwater life.

Donate the tree to your town or city. In some cities, the public works department will collect discarded Christmas trees. The trees are mulched and used in municipal parks, gardens, and median planters.

Donate the tree to a community garden. This is a great way to get rid of your tree and help feed your community. At the public allotment, the trees will be mulched and used to feed herb, fruit, and vegetable crops that can feed those living in food deserts.

Consider purchasing a live potted fir tree. You can find these at nurseries. Simply take care of the tree like you would any plant. After the season, you can donate it to a Christmas tree farm, park, or forestry service for replanting.

You can still enjoy the splendor and delightful fragrance of a fresh Christmas tree during the holidays, especially if you have a plan on what to do with it after all the festivities have concluded. By being sensitive about live Christmas tree disposal, you can complete the cycle by giving back to nature.

Celebrate This Christmas in a new VC Apartment

Whether you choose a real or artificial tree, where you place it is what really matters. When you live in a Vision Community, you have the freedom to make your space your own, and that includes decorating your apartment to celebrate the holidays.  

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

The Importance of Knowing Your Neighbors

One of the advantages of apartment living is that you have an automatic built-in network of neighbors, and possibly, friends. Where to begin? Many times, the ice is broken for you, as your new neighbors may reach out to introduce themselves and welcome you. You can also reach out to people you encounter in common areas like by the mailbox, in the elevator, or in other shared spaces like the coffee bar or fitness center. Simply greet the person, introduce themselves, and if you have questions about the apartment community, ask them. Most people enjoy an informal chat and you can pick up valuable information about your new surroundings; as a bonus, you may make a new friend.

Even if you crave privacy, it’s still a good idea to get to know the people who live around you. Here are a few reasons why:

Safety in numbers. Having trusted allies in your building can be helpful if there is a problem tenant whose actions are disturbing the peace of several residents. That way, you have a unified front to present to the apartment manager. As well, just having somebody looking out for you and vice versa goes a long way in promoting safety.

Source of assistance and support. Have you run out of a key ingredient for a recipe or need something simple like a Band-aid? It may sound clichéd, but it happens. It’s nice to know that you can pop next door or across the hall to borrow what you need and save a trip to the store for a single item. Or maybe you need a hand in assembling a piece of IKEA furniture with 1,000+ parts. That’s what a good neighbor is for.

Pet care and package pickup. It’s great to have a trusted neighbor to look after your pet if you go out of town. They can also take care of your houseplants and pick up any online deliveries that arrive while you’re away.

Companionship. It’s nice to have a close friend who’s next door or on the floor above you. You have built-in companionship to watch a big game, binge-watch your favorite show together, or go out to dinner.

Obviously, use good judgment, but give people the benefit of the doubt. If you pick up uncomfortable vibes from someone or they seem standoffish to you, that doesn’t mean they are a bad person or dangerous. They could be having a bad day or just not interested in making new friends at the moment. Meeting your neighbors and making new friends in an apartment complex takes a bit of work and ingenuity, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

We are Vision Communities

Community is in our name. At Vision Communities, we work hard to create the space and amenities to give you community spaces to connect with others. Your apartment is your own cozy space, but our coffee bars, gyms, dog parks and other common areas are designed to help you meet and make friends within the complex.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Moving From a House to an Apartment

There are a number of reasons why you may be moving from a house to an apartment. Perhaps you’re an empty nester. Maybe you’re downsizing. You could be a recent college graduate who shared a house with roommates. Regardless of the reason, it is a big adjustment. What you may be giving up in space and privacy, you will recoup with no maintenance hassles, a smaller space to keep clean and organized, and the numerous perks that go with apartment living. On the other hand, you’ll need to adjust or readjust to communal living with shared spaces and in some instances, a higher noise level, especially if you’re relocating from a suburb to an apartment in the city. If you’ve decided to make the transition, here are some steps to getting prepared.

Measure the floor space in your new apartment. If possible, see if your new landlord will let you get into the unit or an empty one with an identical layout, so you can take photos and measurements. This intel will be invaluable in helping you decide what you need to pack, purge, or purchase.

Get organized. Take inventory of what you own and if/how it will fit into the floor plan of your new apartment. Be intentional. If you haven’t worn it or used it for a long time, get rid of it. If the item is broken beyond reasonable repair, stained, ripped, outdated, etc., then throw it away. The rest? Have a garage sale, and what you don’t sell, you can donate to charity. If you’re not in a hurry to move, you can sell belongings that you no longer need or want online.

Think about storage. One downside of apartment living is that you don’t have an attic, basement, or garage for storage. Most apartments have some type of onsite storage units, but those are limited in size. When shopping for furniture and décor, choose items that can double as storage, such as a cool antique trunk that can double as a coffee table or ottomans that you can open and stash stuff inside of.

Once you’ve completed the move, you can settle into your new apartment and take advantage of all it has to offer. Check out the pool area, clubhouse, fitness center, and other amenities. A bonus is that you may meet some of your new neighbors in the process. Since you won’t be spending your free time mowing the yard, raking leaves, or shoveling snow, you can enjoy all of the benefits apartment living has to offer.

Explore Vision Communities in Central Ohio

If you are looking to make a move to a new apartment, Vision Communities has floor plans and amenities that you will enjoy. Our state of the art communities provide luxury apartments that give you space to make your own.

If you are exploring apartment options, be sure to put a Vision Community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Renter’s Insurance 101

If you’re apartment hunting or getting ready to sign a lease, you have probably discovered that landlords require you to carry renter’s insurance and it’s usually non-negotiable. Renter’s insurance covers the contents of your apartment in the event of fire, water damage, vandalism, theft, etc., along with personal liability and medical expenses if someone is injured while in your apartment. Renter’s insurance does not cover the actual building or other parts of the property — that is the responsibility of the property management company. Just keep in mind that the insurance coverage for the overall property does not cover the personal contents of your apartment or storage unit (if you have one.) It’s also important to understand that if you have roommates, each occupant of your apartment needs a separate renters insurance policy.

Specifics of coverage will vary depending on your insurance company, your zip code, your deductible, and other factors. Renters insurance is a lot less expensive than homeowners’ insurance and you can usually get a good deal if you bundle your renter’s insurance with your auto insurance policy. There may be some restrictions or higher costs if you live in specific areas. For example, if your apartment is located in a flood plain or area that is prone to earthquakes, these incidents might be exempt from coverage or you may have to pay a lot more.

Keep in mind that filing a claim and getting reimbursed can take some time. That’s why it’s important that you keep an inventory of your belongings. Take photos or make a video on your phone to document what you own and make sure to keep your receipts or other documentation of what you paid for your belongings. That will make it much easier to prove what you lost when filing a claim.

While renters insurance may seem like a hassle or something that “you’ll never need,” don’t fool yourself. Anything can happen. As well, it will make it much easier for you to rent an apartment, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if the unexpected occurs.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we are committed to providing apartment communities that you’ll be proud of. If you are looking for a new adventure, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

How to Not Lose Your Deposit When You Move

Probably the biggest concern of renters when moving out of an apartment is if they will get their security deposit back. You pay your security deposit when you move in and the amount is typically the first (and last) month’s rent, along with any other charges, such as an application fee, credit check, and extra deposit if you have a pet. The purpose of the deposit is to hold the money in case it needs to be used to make any repairs to the unit after a tenant has vacated.

Getting your security deposit back shouldn’t be an issue if you follow the language in your lease and have done your best to be a responsible tenant and keep the apartment in good shape while you lived there. However, some landlords can be extremely picky or downright dishonest and explore every angle to avoid returning your security deposit.

Here are some tips to increase the odds that you’ll be paid back:

  1. Read the terms of your lease. Your lease should spell out the expectations for moving out, including giving notice, cleaning, returning keys, etc. Follow them to the letter.
  2. Clean. Clean. Clean. That means everything, including the nooks and crannies of appliances and the bathrooms. If you need to, patch any holes in the walls from hanging pictures. Don’t assume that the maintenance crew will fix these when renovating the apartment. Little oversights can ding your deposit.
  3. Refer to your copy of your move-in checklist. If your property manager used a checklist when you moved in, you should have a copy of it. Use this as your punch list when cleaning and doing minor repairs. Normal wear and tear is expected and doesn’t count against your deposit. However, major damage, especially from pets, will cost you. If possible, accompany the apartment manager when they do the final walk-through.
  4. Remove EVERYTHING. If you aren’t taking something with you to your next apartment, dispose of it. Sell it, donate it, re-gift it, or throw it away. What you do NOT want to do is overload all the dumpsters in the complex on moving day. Not only will you piss off other residents but you can expect the landlord to deduct the cost of large-item disposal from your security deposit.

When you return your keys, make sure to leave your forwarding address with your landlord, so they can mail back your security deposit. When you leave, assume positive intent that you will get your money back. However, if there are issues with the property management company and they string you along or refuse to return your deposit. make sure you have all of your documentation and consult an attorney. You can attempt to recoup your deposit through small claims court.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

Put your security deposit to use on a new Vision Community apartment. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Pros and Cons of Virtual Leasing

During the height of the pandemic, it was challenging for both renters and landlords to lease new apartments. Lockdowns, quarantines, and other deterrents prevented the typical apartment tour, so property managers had to get creative. Thus, virtual leasing was born. With virtual leasing, prospective tenants can see an apartment online to get a feel if it would be a good fit or not. To streamline the process even further, many property management companies across the country also adopted online leasing applications.

While virtual leasing definitely solved the problem of not blindly renting an apartment, it offers other advantages, such as saving time, but it is also not without its drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of virtual leasing.

Pros

Saving time. Now you can curl up on the sofa in your PJs at any time and tour apartments in any neighborhood you choose. No more having to drive around and search for locations or make appointments for a showing.

Getting the complete picture. Instead of static photos, virtual tours are often 360. You get a panoramic view of the apartment, the grounds, and amenities such as a pool and clubhouse. But what you won’t see in most virtual tours are the less-attractive aspects of the property, such as the parking lot, dumpsters/trash disposal area, and mailboxes.

Look anywhere you like. With a virtual tour, you can explore other areas of town or even apartments in different states entirely. This is particularly useful if you received an out-of-town job offer or simply need a change of scenery. The online search can significantly narrow your options before you schedule an in-person trip.

Cons

Not seeing the finer details. Most photos and videos used in virtual tours are of a brand-new unit that’s move-in ready or staged. The goal is to entice you to sign a lease ASAP. What you won’t see are details such as the condition of the doors, locks, and windows, and building security. You also don’t see a complete picture of the property.

Not seeing the neighborhood. Unless you are familiar with the area you want to move to, virtual tours are pretty limited about the area outside the apartment complex. For example, is there a parking lot for residents or is it going to be a constant headache to find on-street parking? How safe is the neighborhood? What types of stores are close by?

Not meeting the apartment manager. Anybody can be charming over the phone or via chat. With virtual leasing, you don’t get to meet the property manager face to face. That may not necessarily always be a bad thing but being able to put a face with a name is more beneficial over the long term. Most humans still prefer the personal touch.

If you are looking for a new apartment, virtual leasing is a good starting point. You can find some options then schedule an appointment for an in-person tour now that most pandemic restrictions have been lifted. It’s better to see the place in person as you don’t want to get locked into an online lease — sight unseen — and be stuck in an apartment or location you hate. Combine the pros of virtual leasing with on-site visits to find your perfect new home.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Tips for Moving to a New Apartment

If you’ve been living in your apartment community for a while, you might decide it’s time for a change. Maybe one of your roommates is moving out or you’ve discovered that that coveted apartment with the view of the pool is about to become available. Or it could be that you’ve accepted a job out of town. In any case, it’s time to move. Whether you’re moving across the hall or across the country, moving is moving. Here are some pointers to ponder as you get ready to move into your next apartment.

  1. Contact the landlord. Whether you’re giving notice to vacate the entire apartment community or want to move into a different unit at the same location, give the notice as outlined in your lease. If you have your eye on another apartment in the complex, ask about getting on a waiting list.
  2. Transfer the utilities. Even if you’re just moving next door, you must alert your utility providers so they can switch your account over to your new address. If you’re just changing units within the same complex, you probably won’t need to pay a deposit. It’s another story if you are moving to a different state and you will have to pay deposits. If you have an apartment rented in your new city, ask your future leasing manager for guidance.
  3. Change of address. It’s the same concept. You will need to submit a change of address form to the post office. Even if you conduct all of your business online, there are still documents like voter registration/ID cards and driver’s licenses that are dispatched via snail mail. Don’t overlook this step.
  4. Insurance. Regardless of where you’re relocating to, you’ll need to notify your insurance agent of the change for both your auto and renter’s coverage. If you’re going out of state, you can usually stick with the same insurance company if it’s a major national carrier.
  5. Plan your move. If you’re doing an intra-complex relocation, ask the property manager if you can start moving your stuff early. That will save a lot of time. Get creative and use items like laundry baskets to transport your belongings. Hang your clothes inside of a trash bag (think dry cleaners) and they will be ready to immediately hang up in your new closets. You can also move room by room to keep things organized and minimize packing.
  6. Get help moving the heavy stuff. You can probably get by with using family and friends to do a short move, otherwise, you’ll need to hire a moving company. If you’re making a long-distance move, you’ll need movers that transport throughout the U.S. Make sure you get a bid that covers all expenses. For yourself, you’ll need gas, lodging, and food. If you’re moving with a pet, you’ll need to find places to stay that will allow them.
  7. Other considerations for an out-of-state move:
  • Voter registration
  • Driver’s license/Vehicle Registration
  • Medical/dental/veterinary records
  • Transferring prescriptions

“Moving is fun,” said nobody ever. But, if you’re organized and proactive, you can lessen the pain points of moving. It can be a great opportunity to get rid of stuff you no longer need or use (sell, discard or donate), and having a fresh, new apartment is always exciting, even if it’s just in the next building. Your cross-country move is an adventure and in either scenario, it’s the prologue to a new chapter in your life.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit

Life happens. Many potential tenants are in a situation where they are trying to rent an apartment but have bad credit. The pandemic has been a major source of financial hardship for plenty of well-meaning renters who are still trying to dig their way out of the aftermath. Maybe you lost your job or had your hours cut. Perhaps you lost your health insurance and have major medical debt or incurred unexpected massive car repair expenses. Or you just got way out of hand with pandemic-boredom online shopping. To add insult to injury, most property management companies will charge you to perform a credit check before you are even considered for an application. Why pay good money (around $50) just to get rejected? Regardless of the reason why it happened, bad credit can stand in the way of renting an apartment, or can it? Here are some strategies to help you get approved, even if your credit score stinks.

  1. Check your credit score. This initial step can be scary, but it’s important. You can get a free credit report that lists your TransUnion and Equifax (the two major credit reporting agencies) scores. Check the report carefully for any errors. If you find any, contact TransUnion and Equifax to get them resolved. What you can then do is get a letter from these agencies that explains the error and correction to your score.
  2. Find an apartment with no credit check. These opportunities are few and far between. However, if you are renting from an individual instead of a corporation, you might stand a better chance of being accepted as a tenant.
  3. Gather references and proof of income. Get a letter from your workplace verifying your employment. Back this up with copies of pay stubs and bank statements. If you successfully rented an apartment in the past, get a reference letter from your former landlord(s).
  4. Offer to pay more upfront. If the property manager is willing to negotiate, offer to pay a higher security deposit than what is required and/or pay several months’ rent in advance.

Explain your situation to the apartment manager, if your reasons for having bad credit make sense and you are demonstrating a good-faith effort to pay down your debt, you will have a much better chance of being approved. Landlords are human, but they are also business people, but in today’s economy and facing a lot of empty units, they may be more willing to take a chance on a higher-risk tenant. Once you’ve been approved, make sure you pay your rent on time, while at the same time, continuing to pay down your debt. As you work towards improving your track record and credit score as a responsible tenant and debtor, more doors will (literally) open to you in the future!

Get a fresh start at a Vision Community

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space  Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

 

Find out about your rights as a tenant in the state of Ohio on the Vision Communities blog.

Tenants’ Rights in Ohio

If you are getting ready to rent an apartment in Central Ohio, congratulations! There are many fun and functional communities to choose from that will suit any lifestyle. However, before you sign that lease and start packing, there are a few things you need to know that will pave the way for a congenial tenant-landlord relationship. The following are the highlights of tenant-landlord rights and obligations in the state of Ohio, from the American Association of Apartment Owners and the Ohio State Bar Association.

  1. Security deposits

This is probably the biggest point of contention between tenants and landlords. In Ohio, a landlord has the right to request a security deposit to hold the apartment until you are ready to move in. It is your obligation as a tenant to pay the security deposit. It is the landlord’s obligation to repay your security deposit after you move out. The landlord has the right to withhold any portion of all of your security deposit to compensate any damages incurred to the unit beyond “normal wear and tear” or to apply to any unpaid rent. When you give your notice to vacate, you must provide your landlord with a mailing address to return your deposit to. The landlord must return any or all of your security deposit within 30 days. If any amount was withheld for damages, you must receive an itemized statement of deductions.

  1. General tenants’ rights

Tenants are required to pay their rent on time and keep their apartments clean and sanitary. You must not also damage the property or allow your guests to damage or deface the property. In addition, you (and your guests) should conduct yourselves in a manner that will not create a disturbance or be disruptive to other residents in the building. Some examples include excessive noise, loud music or TV, using illicit drugs, etc. You must also give proper notice (usually 30 days) when you plan to move out.

  1. General landlords’ rights

Landlords are required to keep the property in good working condition and safe and sanitary. They must also supply basic needs such as running water, electricity, trash removal, etc., Landlords are also expected to keep all appliances and fixtures in good working order and make any requested repairs in a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable” is subjective, depending on the circumstances, but general estimation is within 30 days. Some leases allow tenants to pay for their own repairs and deduct the costs from their rent.

  1. Entering the premises

This is another hot-button topic with tenants and landlords. Landlords must give tenants 24 hours’ notice if they plan to enter your apartment and do so during appropriate times of the day. As a tenant, you must comply with these requests. If a landlord enters your apartment without proper notice, you may have a legal right to recover damages.

  1. Rent increases and Evictions

Landlords have the right to increase rent by any amount to any tenant(s) on a month-to-month lease..However, they must give tenants 30 days’ notice. A tenant can be evicted for reasons such as non-payment of rent or violating the terms of your lease. Evictions are complicated and beyond the scope of this post. In the case of a pending eviction, you would be best served to consult with an attorney. However, a landlord cannot evict you or increase your rent for retaliatory reasons, such as reporting health and safety violations to city agencies.

At Vision Communities, our goal is to provide the best living experience for our tenants and the reviews that we’ve received from current and past tenants demonstrate our commitment to you. If you are looking for a new apartment and want to experience luxury apartment living, check out our Vision Communities and learn what it means to Live the VC. 

 

Apartment Hunting with a List

Choosing the Right Apartment Location

How to Choose a Community that Fits Your Needs

Looking for an apartment is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming as there are so many decisions to make. After you’ve established your rental budget, the next box to check is the location. While the first inclination usually is to find a place close to your job, take a step back and reassess. With so many people now working permanently from home, there are other factors to consider when choosing where to live. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, especially as you will most likely be stuck there for at least a year before you can more.

  • Shopping

As we’ve learned during the pandemic, grocery delivery is expensive, so at the very least, make sure there is a neighborhood grocery store or market. Think about other businesses you patronize regularly, such as a drug store, hardware store, UPS/FedEx, gas stations, your doctors and dentist, pet supplies, and a big box store. It’s not until you find yourself suddenly needing a particular store and having to drive to the next county, that you facepalm and realize your new neighborhood might not be so convenient after all. If you need to be near clothing stores, shoe stores, or a mall, then factor that into your location decision.

  • Family

If you are from a close-knit family, then you might want to live close to them (or the opposite!) Perhaps if you like to visit your family frequently or rely on them for support, it makes sense to live nearby. Aging parents can also be a concern, so talk to them to figure out mutually agreed-upon needs and expectations and plan accordingly.

  • Friends

Just like with family, maybe you want to live close to your friends. There is no sense living close to your job if you work a lot from home and have to drive a long distance to get together with your friends during the evenings and weekends. As a bonus, if your friends live in a specific area, then they have done all of the legwork and you can just find an apartment and move.

  • Amenities

An apartment community’s amenities can influence whether you decide to live there or not. If there are washer and dryer hookups or on-site laundry, that would eliminate the need to live close to a laundromat. If you have a dog and the apartment has a dog park, then you don’t need to live near a park or other areas where you can take your dog to walk and play. The same goes if you like to swim or work out. If you can at home, then strike those needs off your list.

  • Kids

If you have kids, safety of the neighborhood and apartment community will be paramount. You’ll want to choose an apartment that’s in your preferred school district. After that, you’ll want an area where there are recreational and social activities for the kids, such as a park or playground, or library. It will also be helpful to be close to basic stores like a grocery store and pharmacy.

  • Crime rate

If you are interested in a particular area, do some research on the crime rate; most municipalities keep a crime stats database you can access online. If a higher-than-average percentage of occurrences in the neighborhood don’t deter you, then pay close attention to the security of the apartment community you want to move to.

  • Parking and Commuting

These are important but often overlooked factors. Many apartment communities have their own parking lots. However, lack of assigned parking can be a huge issue and a headache for both residents and management. If you don’t mind parking anywhere, then no problem. You also don’t want to be in that situation where your charming rehabbed apartment in a dicey neighborhood only has parking several blocks away. If you don’t work at home or live close to your job, then you’ll need to have a plan (and some “plans B-Z”) on how to get to work which should entail alternate routes and public transportation.

If you are still convinced that you must live close to your job, these points still make sense. Your goal is to find the best apartment in the most suitable location so that you can enjoy living your life in your new digs and not stressing over logistics.

At Vision Communities, we welcome you to explore our communities, floor plans and amenities to find the right fit for you and your family. Our facilities are top-notch and based on some of our resident reviews, we think you’ll love the atmosphere, amenities, and our property management staff, all designed to give you a place you are proud to call home. There are so many amenities and things to do in and around our Central Ohio communities

Schedule an appointment to check out our spacious floor plans, and our friendly property management staff will be happy to show you around. 

 

Questions to ask before renting an apartment

What to Know Before Renting an Apartment

Important questions to ask when renting an apartment

If you have recently graduated and are ready to start a new job and get your own place, now is a great time to be looking at apartments. The same can be said if you want to buy a house or have sold your home and are waiting to move into a new one. Currently, it’s a seller’s market in the housing industry and mortgage rates are predicted to increase, so if home ownership is your goal, it might be best to wait it out.  An apartment offers many amenities that you won’t find in a house, like a swimming pool or fully equipped fitness center. And if you’re new to the area, apartment living is a great way to meet people and get acclimated to your new community.

One of the benefits of living in an apartment is that you aren’t locked into a long-term mortgage. Most leases renew annually and some property management companies offer month-to-month leases. You will be required to put down a security deposit, which will vary by property, and it should be returned to you when you moved out, provided that the apartment didn’t incur any major damage while you were living there. There may also be a pet deposit and if you are just starting out, you may need to pay deposits in order to establish utilities in your name.

Here are seven important questions to ask when renting an apartment:

  1. How much is the security deposit? Most apartment deposits amount to one month’s rent and you may also be asked to pay an application fee. Make sure you understand that upfront and be sure to get clarification on how you get your deposit returned when you move out.
  2. Is there a pet deposit? Many apartments now require pet deposits and some also charge a small monthly rental fee for the pet. The deposit and monthly rent are usually based on the weight of the animal, and most communities have restrictions on how many pets a resident can own. Some cities and apartment communities also have breed restrictions, so be sure that your pet is on the approved list.
  3. What are the terms of the lease? You want to be very clear on this one because it is expensive to break a lease. Are you bound to one year or can you go month-to-month? How much notice are you required to give if you intend to move out?
  4. What utilities are covered in the rent? In some communities, your rent also includes water and trash removal. Be certain to check as you don’t want to be surprised by unexpected utility bills. As an incentive, some properties offer free internet/cable services like Google Fiber. If that is the case, make sure to find out how and when the rates increase, how soon you will be notified, and if you have the option to decline this service.
  5. How are maintenance requests handled? This is important to know in advance so you will not have unrealistic expectations. Find out if there is a dedicated maintenance staff for your property and when they are available. Also, ask if there is after-hours emergency maintenance and what constitutes an “emergency.” Do residents submit maintenance requests online or do they need to call their property manager? Some properties allow residents to perform simple DIY repairs themselves and deduct the cost of any supplies from their rent.
  6. Do residents have dedicated parking spaces? This can be a huge headache for apartment residents — where to park. Are there reserved parking spots or is it a free-for-all? Some complexes charge more for reserved parking spots or carports. In addition, find out where guests are supposed to park. Guests parking in residents’ “usual” spots can get ugly quickly.
  7. What is security like? Every property is different. Some have locked outside security doors, while others have passcodes or gates at the entrance to the complex. High-rise apartments might have a concierge or on-site security guards. Check all of the windows and doors to make sure they close and lock properly. In addition, check for working smoke/CO monitors in the unit and for fire extinguishers in the hallways.

These are some tips to get you started on your apartment search. Your main goal in finding a new place to live is that it is safe, comfortable and fits your lifestyle. By gathering basic information upfront, you will understand your obligations as a resident and the responsibilities of the property management company, so your apartment life will be harmonious and stress-free.

At Vision Communities, we welcome you to explore our floor plans and find the right one for you and your furry friend. Our facilities are top-notch and based on some of our resident reviews, we think you’ll love the atmosphere, amenities, and our property management staff, all designed to give you a place you are proud to call home. There are so many amenities and things to do in and around our Central Ohio communities

Schedule an appointment to check out our spacious floor plans, and our friendly property management staff will be happy to show you around. 

Learn how to find a new apartment safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apartment Hunting During the Pandemic

New year … new season … maybe you are itching to move to a new apartment. The idea of relocating to new digs or to a new part of the city or country sounds exciting, but realistically, how are you going to manage it during a pandemic? Gone are the days when you could just drive around and drop in at the leasing offices of properties that look tempting — at least for the time being. There are ways that you can rent a new apartment without even leaving your home, but it can be challenging.  Keep reading to figure out the best way to find a new home and stay safe during the COVID crisis.

Examine your motives. Why have you decided to move? If you have to relocate because of a new job, then done deal. However, if you are just bored or have pandemic cabin fever, it might be better to wait a bit longer.  If your lease is about to expire, but you are still determined to move, ask your current landlord if a month-to-month lease is an option until it is a safer time for you to relocate. Honestly, they would probably prefer that you stick around for a little longer as opposed to all of the exposure risk associated with bringing in a new resident.

Research. Downtime at home is a great opportunity to perform your due diligence. Take a close look at the neighborhood(s) you are considering. Sure, you can drive by or look via Google maps, but what you need is a comprehensive picture of the area. Many neighborhoods have dedicated Facebook groups or have space on a site like nextdoor.com. These resources really help you drill down into the community and learn about recreation and entertainment, neighborhood groups, traffic conditions, and the crime rate. If you are relocating because of your job, your new company’s HR should be able to put you in touch with a local realtor or leasing agent. If you already know some of your new colleagues, ask them for recommendations.

Virtual tours. Pandemic restrictions will vary by location, which will restrict which properties can offer in-person apartment tours. Most property management companies have virtual tours, so you can view different floorplans online; some companies take this a step further by having 3-D tours where a leasing agent will conduct a more in-depth online walk-through with you. This is a really helpful option if you are in a situation where you will be renting sight unseen.

In-person tours. Common sense prevails here. Wear a mask and maintain social distance. Carry hand sanitizer as you will be touching doorknobs, light switches, etc.  While you are on the property, it is a good opportunity to observe how other residents are reacting to the pandemic. Are people in common areas wearing masks? You get the idea.

The move itself. Moving companies are considered “essential businesses” so they should be available during the pandemic and will have employee and customer safety protocols in place. (If not, swipe left!) If you can, try to move as much of your stuff as you can yourself. While the movers are there, wear your mask and try to stay out of their way as much as possible. They will appreciate not having you underfoot while they do their job, and it will be much faster

While moving to a new apartment during the pandemic isn’t impossible, COVID has definitely added a layer of complication to the process. If you can stand to stay put for a while longer, then do so. However, if you are determined to move, no matter what, the priority needs to be keeping yourself and those you interact with during the process, safe.

Vision Communities is committed to providing a safe environment for all of our community residents. If you are looking for a new 1-bedroom, 2- bedroom, or 3-bedroom apartment, check out one of our Central Ohio communities to learn more. If you have concerns about doing a tour in person, many of our communities feature virtual walkthroughs of our floorplans. 

Packing up your apartment

Tips for Moving Out of Your Apartment

The beauty of living in an apartment is that it is temporary. You can really move more easily than if you home a home, which comes with a mortgage and requires the sale of your house.  When it is time to move on, whether to your first house or upgrading to a new apartment community, there are some things you need to consider. While most renters’ primary concern is getting their security deposit back, they overlook small, but crucial details in the process.

Here are some tips to ensure that your relocation is as smooth as possible.

  1. Give notice. This is the most important step. Review your lease to see how much notice you need to give your apartment manager. The rule of thumb is that residents usually have to give 30 days’ notice, however, this can vary, depending on the terms of your lease. Failure to give adequate notice could result in financial penalties, such as owing the next month’s rent after you move out.

  2. Transfer your utilities. Make sure you close out your account at your apartment and transfer all utilities to your future address. Usually, this is as simple as placing a few phone calls or making the switch online. If you live in an all utilities paid complex, it might be a little more complicated as you may have to open all new accounts in your name at your new residence.

  3. Clean up the place. While it is tempting to just pack up and go, you need to leave your apartment in as close to move-in condition as possible. Even though you know that the unit will be rehabbed before new residents move in, leaving the place a mess can cost you. You might have penalties deducted from your security deposit. Additionally, this can earn you a negative reference from your landlord in the event you need to rent a new place in the future. Splurge on a professional cleaning service if you don’t have time or want to do it yourself.

  4. Change your address. You can do this online at the USPS website and provide updated address information where you mail will be forwarded and where you will receive your new mail. A lot of times, this step gets overlooked and it can be problematic in the long term as the Post Office only forwards mail for 12 months and periodicals for 60 days. If you still receive bills by mail, they could show up late or not at all, which brings on a host of new problems.

  5. Get your security deposit back. This is the time to review your lease one more time to make sure you fulfilled all the conditions to receive all or a portion of your security deposit back. What usually happens is that once your have vacated your apartment, the apartment manager will conduct an inspection of the unit. They should compare it to the punch list from when you moved in, to make sure there is no new damage. Your deposit will be mailed back to you once the inspection has been completed and you will also receive a letter noting any deductions for damages. So, don’t forget to leave your forwarding address with your (former) apartment manager.



Moving also is a great opportunity to donate. As you are packing, separate clothes, shoes, outerwear and any household items you are no longer using and donate them to a local charity. Many places will even come and pick your stuff up. Likewise, when you are packing up the kitchen, any unused canned goods can go to a food bank; many grocery stores have drop-off barrels for non-perishable goods.

While moving can be a hassle, once the process is over, you can settle to your new apartment and turn it into your home. If you are thinking about changing apartments, we would invite you to check out Vision Communities. We have apartment communities through out the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area with floorplans for studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Our communities offer first-class amenities and are conveniently located for an easy commute for work or play. Contact our office to schedule a tour and to inquire about floorplan availability.

Bad Credit and Renting an Apartment

Renting an Apartment With Bad Credit

Renting an Apartment if You Have Bad Credit

Columbus is a fast growing real estate rental market, which means finding an apartment can be challenging and a bad credit score can only complicate the search. Landlords are looking for long-term tenants who will pay their bills and fill their vacancies, so a tenant with a bad credit score may be a red flag for a landlord that pulls a credit report. There are many reasons why your credit score is low, like high credit card debt, falling behind on medical bills, not paying bills on time, etc, and unfortunately, when a prospective landlord pulls your credit, they tend to focus on the score rather than the details. 

If you have a bad credit score, it won’t automatically disqualify you from renting, but it can certainly may make it more difficult. The three major credit services — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — consider “bad” credit as falling below about 620, although that can vary. The first step to repairing your credit is knowing your score and making a habit of paying your bills on time, including your rent payment.

Here are some tips to help sway the odds in your favor:

  1. Offer to pay more upfront. Most apartment rentals require a deposit of some sort (i.e. the first or first and last months’ rent) in advance. If your case, offer to pay more, such as 2-3 months’ rent in advance, to demonstrate to the landlord that you are serious and can be trusted as a potential tenant.
  2. Get a co-signer. This can be a risky venture. A relationship with a co-signer, whether it is a family member or friend, has to be built on trust. Your co-signer will be responsible for paying the full amount of your rent if you are unable to or if you break your lease. Needless to say, if this arrangement goes south, it can seriously jeopardize your relationship as your default could adversely affect your cosigner’s credit rating.
  3. Get a roommate. If you can find a roommate with good credit, you might be able to pull this off. Have your roommate apply for the lease and let the management company run their credit report. Then, when the rent comes due, the roommate pays in full and you reimburse them for your share. 
  4. Plead your situation. You can try to explain your poor credit to the landlord. Oftentimes, they will overlook bad credit that is due to a true hardship, such as a medical emergency, as opposed to somebody who is carrying large credit card balances. 
  5. Find an apartment that doesn’t require a credit check. This one might be pretty difficult as most leasing companies automatically run a credit check on all potential renters. You might have better luck if you rent from an individual owner instead of a corporation.
  6. Show good-faith effort. You can present your potential landlord with pay stubs and a letter from your employer that confirms that you have a steady job and can make the rent. Also, if you have been a successful renter at other properties, get letters of reference from your former landlords. You can also submit any documentation you may have that shows that you are working on repairing your credit (e.g., working with a consumer credit counseling association).

The bottom line is that your potential landlord isn’t approving or rejecting lease applications solely on credit scores.  They want some type of reassurance that you are a good long-term tenant risk, you can and will pay your rent on time, and have a history of fiscal responsibility. Hopefully, these tips will help you secure a new apartment and you will be on your way to increasing your credit score.

Learn what you need to move into an apartment

Preparing For Your New Apartment

A Shopping List For Moving into an Apartment

There’s a little more to it than just selecting cool wall art and must-have barware
Your lease is signed, you’ve unpacked and created some ordered chaos out of your new apartment. That’s awesome. While you’re contemplating the fun stuff like how to fill that blank canvas living room wall, or wineglasses with or without stems, there are a few other more practical purchases you need to work into your budget. You’ll be glad you did when you need to open an aluminum can or add some extra torque when assembling furniture. Here are some suggestions on how to fully furnish and equip your new apartment with the basics for daily living. The good news is that none of these items are abhorrently expensive and can be easily sourced online or in a local store, plus you can be as minimal or extravagant as your tastes and budget will allow.

  1. Bathroom. Obviously, you will need to keep a supply of toilet paper and facial tissue handy. You’ll need toilet bowl cleaner and a brush, a plunger and products to clean the sink, tub/shower and other fixtures. A shower curtain in a fun print (don’t forget the liner) can add a nice pop of color to an otherwise tiny and bland room. Most bathrooms don’t have enough storage, so unless your apartment has adequate closet space, you will need to invest in some type of baskets/bins/boxes or shelving units for extra towels, hair styling/grooming products, heat tools, cosmetics, and personal hygiene items. On the topic of bathrooms, it’s also a good idea to stock up on a home first-aid/medicine stash. This will include your OTC pain relief, cough/cold/flu preparations, upset stomach medications, bandages, ointments, thermometer and whatever else you might need.
  2. Kitchen. You probably already have dishware, silverware, drinking glasses and mugs, (and dish soap) so the next thing to think about a set of kitchen knives. You only need three: a paring knife, a chef’s knife and a serrated knife; you can throw in a sharpening steel if you think you’ll use it. For preparing your food, you’ll need a sauté pan, skillet and larger pot for cooking foods like pasta. Round out that collection with some sheet pans for roasting veggies or baking cookies. If you cook or bake a lot, you’ll need measuring cups (both liquid and dry measure), measuring spoons, wooden spoons, and a cutting board. (Your level of culinary interest and expertise can dictate what else you’ll need.) Other miscellaneous items include a dish drainer/board, can opener, bottle opener, a food thermometer and plenty of kitchen/tea towels.
  3. Bedroom. You will need blankets, several sets of sheets, and a laundry basket/hamper for storing dirty items before washing. There are tons of ideas for organizing closets and dresser drawers, but a few “must-haves” include tiers or pouches for storing shoes and some of those multi-tasking hangers that will hold more than one garment. You can also find special hangers that will keep your ties, belts, and scarves easily accessible and tangle-free. If your bedroom closets are dark, you can find really cool motion-detecting LED lights that you can easily install — no tools required. All they need is a periodic recharge.
  4. Cleaning supplies. Starting with the largest items first, you’ll need a good vacuum cleaner. This is not an area to cut back, especially if you have a pet. The initial cost may seem pricey, but over time, you will recoup your investment and more by avoiding repair costs and outright replacement. A high-quality, well-maintained vacuum cleaner will see you through many years of apartments. Next up is a broom and dustpan. There are all types of dustpans available, including those that will clean pet hair out of the broom bristles. For additional floor cleaning, you’ll need cleaning products (based on the type of material used for your flooring) a mop, and possibly, a bucket (having a bucket is just a good idea anyway). Other cleaning products include a surface cleaner that can work in both the bathroom and kitchen, window cleaner, and any other products that you need to clean your furniture and accessories. There’s a plethora of natural-ingredient cleaning formulas out there, as well as good old baking soda and vinegar.
  5. Tools. Every household should have a basic set of tools. This is especially true if you are a DIY-er or much of your newly purchased furnishings and décor requires assembly. You should own a hammer, regular and needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, a level, wall patching medium, self-adhesive hooks/strips for wall hangings, sandpaper or blocks, and a set of screwdrivers. Another good investment is a cordless screwdriver, which can be found at a variety of price points. Most models feature both standard and Phillips-heads and run on a charge or batteries, making furniture assembly much, much easier. If you are putting together a lot of items, consider buying a set of quality Allen wrenches (hex keys) to replace the cheap flimsy ones that come in the box. These sets include wrenches in a selection of diameters, which should be sufficient for almost every need. Again, like with kitchenware, your needs and level of DIY expertise may require you to expand your tool collection.

Moving into a new apartment is a fun and exciting new chapter in your life! Make it a smooth transition by planning ahead. If you follow the guidelines listed above, you can avoid repeated sudden trips to the hardware or big box store and enjoy your new home much sooner!

At Vision Communities, we pride ourselves in the communities that we build. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment, but the cleaning and assembly are up to you! With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 

 

Learn the basics of apartment hunting in Ohio on the Vision Communities blog.

Apartment Hunting 101

What to Look for When Touring Apartments

You’ve narrowed your list down to 2-3 apartment complexes. They look great online and have stellar reviews. Your next step is to schedule appointments with the leasing agent for on-site tours. Before you sign a lease or pay a security deposit, there are many aspects of your potential new residence that you need to check out. Not only can some due diligence help you screen out questionable apartments, but it can also alert you to any safety or maintenance issues that may come back to haunt you down the road.

1. Overall appearance of property. Are the grounds well-maintained? Dying grass, overgrown weeds, and trees indicate that curb appeal isn’t a priority. Look at the building exterior and look for paint peeling or foundation or sidewalks cracked, loose shingles, dangling pipes or gutters. When you arrive, look carefully at the parking lot. Look to see if the asphalt cracked and full of potholes? Are parking spaces well-defined? Check out common areas as well for cleanliness, modernization, and utilization. There is also a flip side to this. Some apartment complexes focus on all the capital improvements on the grounds at the expense of the units.

2. Front door. If security is a concern, you will want to know if the apartment has security doors that are accessed by a buzzer or passkey. Is there a doorman or concierge? Is the door sturdy and in good condition? Does it catch securely after being closed?

3. Odors. It’s impossible for a communal living building to be odor-free, but what you smell can make a huge difference. A stale, musty odor, cigarette smoke, and lingering cooking orders are a big turn-off.

4. Apartment unit. The same advice holds true for front and other exit doors. Are they secure? Is there a peephole and deadbolt locks? Do sliding glass doors on patios and balconies have locks in good working order? Check the windows to make sure they are easy to open and close. Do they lock? Are the screens in good condition?

5. Apartment interior.Most apartments are freshly painted after a tenant moves out. However, check for any scratches to the walls or dings/chips in the trim. If you find any, document them, so you are not charged for damage when you move out. Ask if touch-up paint is available for use after you’ve moved in.

6. Carpet. Carpet should be preferably new or have been thoroughly cleaned after the previous tenant left. Check for stains and signs of wear. Again, document any holes or stains.

7. Kitchen. What type of floor is there? Is it easy to clean? What about the countertops and sink? Look for stains, scorches, chips and cracks. Make note of them and ask the landlord if these surfaces can be replaced before you move in. Are the appliances in good working order? Open and close the doors to the fridge and freezer to make sure they seal properly.

8. Bathroom. Is the toilet new? Are there ugly lime/rust stains in the bowl? The same goes for the shower/bathtub. What kind of shower head is used? Is there enough space on the vanity or in the cabinets?

9. Bedrooms. Is there room for your preferred size of bed? How big is the closet compared to your needs? Is there a cable outlet for a TV (if you need one)?

10. Lighting and electrical outlets. Turn on the lights throughout the apartment to see if the lighting is adequate for your needs. Do the light fixtures accommodate energy-saving lightbulbs? Will you need to augment the lighting with your own lamps? Are there enough electrical outlets in the unit? Same with cable outlets.

11. Closets and storage. How big are the closets? Ask if there is additional storage for residents’ use in the basement or elsewhere on the property. That will be a huge consideration in whether not you’ll need to downsize if you move in.

While this seems like a LOT to consider, it will pay off in the long-run. You want to find an apartment where you’ll feel safe, clean and enjoy your living experience. 

At Vision Communities, we pride ourselves in the communities that we build. With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 

Apartment living with pets

Needs VS Wants in an Apartment

Apartment Amenities: Needs vs Wants

You are getting ready to go apartment hunting and have determined your monthly rent budget and possible locations. The next step is to schedule on site visits. Sure, you want a comfy place that will hold all of your stuff, but what about the extras? “Extras” are known as “amenities” in apartment lingo. Here are a few of the most common and popular amenities that landlords offer to entice renters. Take a look and see which ones are “musts” and which ones you can live without (and not pay for).

In-unit washer and dryer. Being able to do laundry within one’s home has made it the top of the “need” list of practically every apartment seeker. It’s not only convenient, but a lot cheaper plus, you can do your laundry whenever you want and not be restricted by other tenants’ use or specific laundry room hours.

Energy-efficient appliances. Today’s renters are concerned about the environment and demand appliances that don’t waste resources. Look for appliances that have Energy Star ratings, and ask the landlord what the average utility costs are for the unit you’re interested in.

Online rent payment and maintenance requests. Few people write checks these days and even fewer enjoy the process. Most apartments have a website with a tenant portal for paying rent and submitting maintenance requests. This offers the freedom to pay rent at any time of day or night and not have to play phone tag if you need work done in your apartment.

High-speed internet. Which ISP does the apartment complex use? How reliable is it? Use your phone to check connectivity in the unit for speed and hot spots.

Pets allowed. Believe it or not, some apartment complexes do not allow pets of any kind. If you have a pet, you can cross those places off your list. You will find, however, that more communities are pet-friendly and offer amenities such as fenced dog parks and “doggie stations” throughout the property.

Security doors. Look for secured outer doors that are accessible only by code, key or card offer an extra layer of security, as well as provide a barrier against unwelcome solicitors. Be sure to ask if there is a lock-out policy. Some apartments will charge a fee to tenants who find themselves locked out.

Community amenities. Most apartment complexes have a swimming pool, unless it is located in a climate where it would not be practical. Other popular shared amenities include clubhouses, coffee bars and fitness centers.

Other popular wants vs. needs include:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Balcony or patio
  • Granite countertops
  • Covered parking
  • Package acceptance or package lockers
  • Well maintained pool and grounds

While it’s great to have some little extras in your new home, just be mindful of the cost. Many of these amenities are offered in the form of higher rent. While it may be tempting to have some luxuries in your apartment, be realistic about whether or not you really need them and if they offset the added expense.

At Vision Communities, we are committed to creating the best apartment communities for you and your family. We feature communities with great amenities, with multiple bedroom layouts, in desirable areas such as Hilliard, Ashland,Clintonville, and downtown Columbus. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.

Tenants guide to apartment security, pet, and utility deposits.

Guide to Apartment Deposits

You’ve found an apartment that you love, your application was approved and now it’s time to sign the least. Yay! You’re almost there. Before the landlord hands over the keys, there is one more step – cash deposits.

Security deposit. A security deposit is a fee your landlord collects as a guarantee against future payment of rent and/or repairing any damages to the unit after you’ve moved out. Typically, a security deposit is equal to the first month’s rent. In some cases, the landlord may request both the first and last month’s rent in advance. In actuality, a landlord can charge whatever they want as a security deposit, however, most states have limitations. If you break your lease or cause excessive damage to the apartment, you will not get your security deposit back. If the landlord needs to make repairs to the unit and they are less than the amount of your security deposit, they will refund the balance to you.  So taking good care of your apartment while you’re living there is important as is cleaning up and repair any minor damages (like nails holes in the walls) when you move out.

Pet deposit. These days, practically all landlords charge a pet deposit. The amount varies and may be higher if you have more than one pet. The reasoning behind this charge is simple — the money will be applied to fixing any damages caused by your pet. You may also have to pay a monthly rental fee for your pet(s). A rough estimate is approximately $50-$100 a month. Also, regarding pets, most apartments have restrictions on the size of the animal and certain breeds.

Utility deposits. These deposits are usually required by individual utility companies and not a landlord, but they are worth mentioning. If you are renting your first apartment and have no history of paying utilities, you will be asked to pay a deposit for any utilities not included in your monthly rent, such as gas, electricity, water and trash.  The same applies if you have less-than-perfect credit.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and even if you have an established track record with utility companies, you could still be asked to pay a deposit when changing residences.

At Vision Communities, we are committed to creating the best apartment communities for you and your family. We feature multiple, pet-friendly apartment layouts, in desirable communities such as Westerville, Clintonville, and downtown Columbus. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.

 

Finding the Right Apartment Location

Five Key Considerations for an Apartment Location

Maybe you’re looking for your first home away from home or just got a job offer in an exciting new city. How do you choose where to live? While you might be initially tempted to look for an apartment close to where you work, take a step back. Work-life balance is important, so you’ll need to take a look at the big picture of your lifestyle and how your new apartment can fulfill all your needs.

Work. Living close to where you work is a no-brainer. Nobody enjoys a long commute, especially in bad weather. If your job is located in a remote area or in a high rent district, living close to work may not be optimal. If you do have to commute, look for public transportation options, like busing, light rail, or see if there are bike paths between home and work. 

Recreation. If you enjoy an active lifestyle, finding an apartment community that is close to the things you enjoy is important. Sporting events, concerts, and night life are typically located near the city, so an apartment community near downtown may be the best option. If you are a homebody who wants onsite activities, many apartments offer amenities such as CrossFit, movie theaters and onsite happy hours. Finding the right mix for your lifestyle is an important consideration.

Food.  Do you like to eat out a lot or cook at home? Whichever your prefer, it needs to be a consideration when deciding where to live. Make sure that your new apartment is close enough to these eateries that you enjoy or are within the delivery area. If you’re a foodie who likes to cook at home, proximity to a grocery store is important to keep your refrigerator and cupboards stocked.

School. If you’re a student, it makes sense to live near the campus. Choose an apartment that is within easy walking or short commuting distance.  Safety is also a consideration, especially if you are taking night classes. Look for sidewalks in good repair, well-lit walking areas, and dedicated bike paths. Keep these factors in mind if you are taking evening classes or are a full-time student considering living off-campus.

Church. If you are active in your place of worship, then you need to consider this when searching for an apartment. Staying close to your house of worship is important to staying connected to the friends you make. The longer the commute, the less likely you are to stay involved. 

Finding a new place to live can be exciting! Just make sure that you take a holistic view when choosing the best location. Examine all the areas of your life and weigh the pros and cons of how close you live to where you need to go. That way, you can make the best decision about what you need to be close to and where it’s OK to have a little travel time.

At Vision Communities, we are committed to creating the best apartment communities for you and your family. We feature multiple bedroom layouts, in desirable communities such as Westerville, Clintonville, and downtown Columbus. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.

How to Ace an Apartment Application Interview

You’ve narrowed down your search to two or three apartments that seem perfect for you. How do you move your selections from your wish list to keys in hand?  There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up for an appointment with your potential landlord only to discover that you’re missing some crucial pieces of information.  Here are a few tips to help you be prepared for a successful meeting.

Credit score. Your potential landlord will likely pull a background check, including your credit history. You can monitor your credit with services like Credit Karma, Experian® and LifeLock®, which are updated weekly. If you are just starting out in your career or don’t have the best credit, don’t despair. Less-than-perfect or zero credit won’t necessarily disqualify you from renting. You may be asked though, to put down a more sizable deposit.

Proof of income.  Bring along recent pay stubs from your job. If you are a new hire, take along a copy of your letter of engagement/acceptance. Be willing to provide contact information for your employer, should the apartment manager ask. That means name, job title, email and phone number.

References. You’ll need references to rent an apartment to verify that in the past, you paid your rent on time, left the unit in good condition, were a good neighbor, etc.  If you are moving from apartment to apartment, a note from your former landlord will suffice. If this is your first apartment, get creative. For example,if you lived in a dorm or other on-campus lodging, check with a residence hall director for a letter of recommendation. 

Form of payment.  Most apartment complexes will charge potential tenants to run a background and credit check, plus an application fee. The average cost of the background and credit check is about $30. Application fees can cost roughly $25-$50. A lot of places prefer these payments by cash or check, so keep that in mind.

You might be thinking that this sounds an awful lot like a job interview. In a way … it is. You are striving to make a good first impression and prove that you would be a trustworthy and responsible tenant. Being prepared when you go on an apartment interview will go a long way in demonstrating your credibility to a future landlord.

At Vision Communities, we are committed to creating the best apartment communities for you and your family. We feature multiple bedroom layouts, in desirable communities such as Westerville, Clintonville, and downtown Columbus. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.