Finding a roommate can be difficult

Tips for Finding Reliable Roommates

How to find a great roommate

Whether you need help in sharing living expenses or just enjoy companionship, finding the right roommate(s) can be tough. Gone are the days when you had instant roommates that blossomed into lifetime friendships from living in campus housing at school or roomed with a group of friends from high school. Even though things are getting a little better with the pandemic and economy, it’s important that you choose reliable, compatible roommates, especially if the relationship is for the long haul. You don’t want somebody who is looking for a place to hang out temporarily until their situation improves and leaves you hanging with unpaid rent or even worse, isn’t taking covid precautions seriously.

So, how to you find reliable roommates?

  1. Make a list. Before you start asking around, make a list of what you are seeking in a roommate. This could include financial stability, smoking, lifestyle (e.g., are they are a night owl, while you turn in at 10 p.m.), pets, food preferences, etc. This doesn’t mean that if you’re a meat and potatoes person that you can’t live with a vegan or vice versa, especially if food shopping and meal prep are done separately. You need to assess what’s important, then prioritize it. If you are a classical music fan but can tolerate EDM, then don’t sweat the small stuff. And last but certainly not least, ask them about their reaction to covid. Have they been vaccinated? Do they plan to get vaccinated? Have they had covid? Do they work in a high-risk job?
  2. Ask family and friends. Word-of-mouth is the best recommendation. Ask around and see if your family and friends know anybody who is looking for a roommate. Maybe they know a person who just left a live-in relationship or is new in town. People you trust and who know you can attest to the person’s character, stability, etc.
  3. Ask at work or school. If you are finishing up school, there are resources for matching roommates. You just need to check out the student resources online or on campus, if you are able to attend any classes in person. You can also ask coworkers. The only downside is if the roommate situation doesn’t work out, it could create an awkward situation with your coworker. 
  4. Social media. If you have a close-knit group of friends on your social media platforms, then ask them. You never know who is a friend of a friend … One advantage to using social media is that it creates a bit of distance. You can subtly gather information, and if it doesn’t sound like a good fit, you can back out before making any type of connection or commitment. Many communities have area specific pages, so if you are feeling adventurous, put some feelers out and see who responds.
  5. Online clearinghouses. There are many websites to match roommates, like Roomster. You just sign up and fill out questionnaires and pay a fee. Similar to a dating app, your specs will be matched against other candidates to see who would be compatible with you. 

 

Your home is where you want to feel, safe, secure, and comfortable. Having the right roommate(s) can make your apartment a peaceful relaxing environment and the wrong ones can create an uncomfortable living arrangement. By identifying qualities you seek in a roommate, doing your homework and asking the right screening questions, hopefully, you will find great people to share your apartment and forge lifelong friendships.

At Vision Communities, we welcome you to explore our floor plans and find the right one for you and your new roommate. Our facilities are top-notch and based on 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 our Central Ohio communities, that you have an outlet when you and your roomate need some space. 

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

Grow an apartment garden for fresh veggies

The Best Vegetables to Grow at Your Apartment

Growing your own apartment garden

With the increasing price of groceries and questionable nutrition value of what you find in the grocery store, growing your own vegetables makes sense. But what if you live in an apartment? There is nothing to stop you from enjoying homegrown vegetables in an apartment garden if you have a patio or balcony; you can grow a crop of vegetables in containers.  All you need is good light, the right containers, water, and plant food. You will also need patience because some plants, like tomatoes, will not yield until later in the summer. Other plants, such as cool weather crops like early lettuce will grow quickly, so you can start enjoying fresh salads shortly after planting.

The most successful vegetable plants are those that are self-contained; in other words, they are a single plant that will grow upward and fill out. While it is possible, you don’t want to try to grow a “viney” spreading plant like squash, pumpkins, or watermelon in containers on your balcony. If you want to attempt a crop like that, try pole beans or a variety that you can “train” to climb a trellis or other supportive structure.

How to successfully grow container vegetables on your balcony or patio

Pots. The easiest container is a large plastic bucket which you can find at any hardware store or lawn and garden center. You will be surprised by how much soil a single plant like a tomato or eggplant needs. There are also “smart pots,” which are made of polypropylene and are breathable, which makes for healthy roots. Plants with shallow roots like lettuce and other greens can be grown in planter boxes. You can also get creative and plant an herb garden in a hanging basket. Basically, if the pot allows for good drainage, is not fired with any toxic glazes, and is large enough to keep the plant from becoming root-bound, anything goes.

Soil. There are so many types of name-brand soil that you can buy at a big box store that this is a no-brainer. Choose a potting soil with good aeration and a neutral pH. What you don’t want to do is to go somewhere and just dig up random soil as you don’t know the composition of minerals and other nutrients. Packaged potting soils, found at your local lawn and garden retailer, contain specially formulated soil mixture for container gardening so you don’t have to mess with adding other elements to get the right balance for optimal growing.

Fertilizer. What you are looking for is a water-soluble or liquid product that is balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which is indicated by the ratio on the package, such as 10:10:10. The fertilizer you choose will depend on what potting soil you use and the type of vegetable. Many commercial fertilizers take the guesswork out of feeding your plants and there are also many resources online if you would like to make your own. You should start feeding your plants about six weeks after you’ve put them out.

Light. Most vegetable plants need at least six hours of direct light a day. If your balcony or patio gets spotty sunlight, you may need to move your plants around to catch the rays.

Water. Keep your vegetable plants watered so the soil remains damp but not saturated. Don’t let the soil dry out between waterings. Once roots are dried out and damaged, it is very difficult for the plant to recover.

Now that you have the basics, what kinds of vegetables successfully grow in containers in Central Ohio (Zone 6)?

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Herbs

 

Don’t let this list limit you and try whatever you like as long as you have the space and light. Gardening is a rewarding hobby and gives you ownership over what you are putting into your body. You grew it and have the peace of mind that your vegetables were not treated with any types of pesticides or preservatives. Now is the perfect time to hit the garden center and soon you will be enjoying the delicious and nutritious rewards of your hard work.

Live the Good Life in a Vision Community

At Vision Communities, our goal is to create the space for you to make it your own. We want you to feel at home when you join one of our Central Ohio apartment communities. Planting a vegetable garden is one way to make that a reality. If you are looking for an apartment, check out our 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom floor plans, many of which offer a balcony space to build your own oasis. 

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

House Plants that Purify the air

Plants that Purify the Air

Find a new plant for your Apartment

Spring is in the air and so are plenty of allergen and toxins. If you are sprucing up your apartment to welcome the new season, how about adding some plants to your décor? Indoor plants are inexpensive and most of them are low maintenance. As well as adding a touch of green to your living space, many houseplants remove toxins from the indoor environment.

Toxic chemicals exist in some of the most seemingly innocuous household items. Cleaning products, air fresheners, cooking utensils, and even some scented candles release harmful elements that can cause health problems. Furniture, paint, and carpeting can include formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and VOCs. Also, during the spring, trees and plants are budding and releasing airborne pollens; springtime rain can increase the outdoor mold count. All of these pollutants can lead to watery eyes, sneezing, and other respiratory problems.

Here are eight houseplants that will brighten up your apartment and clean the air as well.

  1. Pothos. This plant is also known as “devil’s ivy.” It grows quickly and has heart-shaped greenish-gold leaves. Other varieties have a marbled cream and green appearance. Pothos make beautiful additions to hanging baskets and are literally impossible to kill.
  2. Philodendron. “Philos” look similar to pothos, having heart-shaped leaves, but the leaves of philodendrons are a bit more delicate in shape and are dark green. Like photos, philodendrons as very easy to care for, and even the most hapless gardener can successfully raise them!
  3. Peace lily. Peace lilies are taller plants and do best in a pot or planter that is on the ground. They bear glossy green leaves and waxy white flowers with a prominent golden stamen. Peace lilies are easy to care for and simply need “dead-heading” when the blossoms are spent.
  4. Spider plants. Spider plants grow clusters of long, thin, pointed green leaves with white stripes. As the plant matures, it grows tendrils that will eventually sprout mini-spider plants. These baby plants can be cut off and planted in potting soil to grow new plants. They look great in a hanging basket hung in a sunny corner of your apartment.
  5. Rubber plants. Rubber plants are a variety of the Ficus genus and can grow to great sizes, so you can keep repotting it as it matures. It produces hearty oval-shaped leaves that are dark green with burgundy undertones. As it grows, string some fairy lights through it to create a living light fixture!
  6. Boston fern. Boston ferns grow large medium-green fronds that will fill out the plant as it grows. They are frequently used in hospitality and retail interior design as they are not only beautiful but easy to care for. The only downfall is to make sure the plant is kept watered as dead leaves will shed. This plant is definitely worth the extra bit of TLC.
  7. English ivy. English ivy is a prevalent species and often grows in abundance outdoors and clings to buildings, especially brick, as it can attach itself to mortar. You can grow a more domesticated variety indoors and just keep it trimmed to ensure healthy, lush growth. English ivy leaves have three points and are medium-to-dark green; variegated English ivy is medium-green and ivory.
  8. Aloe vera. This succulent doubles as a medicinal aid. The gel from inside this plant’s long, knobby silvery-green leaves can soothe burns and sunburn. You can also use it as a facial gel. As aloe vera is a succulent, it can go for long periods of time without water. Just don’t let it dry out completely.

If you’d like some healthy flowers, Gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums are good choices. Both are easy-care and long-lasting and will add a pop of color to your apartment. All of the plants mentioned are easily available at any lawn and garden store. You can also find them at big box stores and even some grocery stores. They are also relatively inexpensive and don’t require anything more than light, water, and some varieties like a bit of plant food. So, if you want to bring a touch of nature indoors and purify the air inside of your apartment, houseplants are a healthy, beautiful, and economical choice.

If you are on the hunt for a new apartment, the team at Vision Communities would invite you to pack up your plants and pets and check out one of our Central Ohio apartment communities. Our facilities are top-notch and based on 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. 

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

Apartment Dwelling vs. Home Ownership

If you are getting ready to make a move, whether it is your first place or if you want to relocate, you are probably weighing the differences between leasing an apartment or purchasing a house. It’s a big decision and not one to be taken lightly as you are looking at a long-term financial commitment whichever way you go. You will need to consider your budget, lifestyle and level of responsibility you want to assume for maintaining your living space. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations.

  1. Lease or mortgage. Once you acquire a mortgage, you are locked in for decades unless of course, you sell your house. How quickly you can sell your home and whether you make money or take a hit will all depend on the housing market. Apartment leases usually run 12 months, but some communities have month-to-month options. It can difficult and expensive to break a lease and unless you have a compelling reason, you will be responsible for paying the remaining rent you owe.
  2. Household maintenance. If you are just starting out and want a house, then you will have to work within your budget, which usually means an older home (e.g., fixer-upper). If you have the money and knack for DIY, then this could be a good investment. You also have to pay for all repairs such as plumbing, HVAC, roofing, basement flooding, etc., yourself. If you live in an apartment, all of the maintenance is taking care of for you as it is factored into your monthly rent. The downside is that you may not have a say in what color the walls are or what type of fixtures and finishes are in the unit. Some apartments will let residents add their own fixtures, etc., but they remain in the apartment after you move out.
  3. Outdoor maintenance. If you own a home, you are responsible for all of the yard work such as mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, and shoveling the snow. If you enjoy those types of chores, then great!  If you live in an apartment, property maintenance and snow removal are taken care of for you. The same goes for trash removal. If you are a homeowner, you pay for that service; in an apartment, trash removal fees are usually included as part of the rent.
  4. Children and pets. If you have children, you may feel that it is better to live in a house with ample bedrooms for the kids and a location within a desirable school district. They will also have a yard to play in and other kids in the neighborhood to socialize with. In an apartment complex, opportunities to interact with other kids may be more limited and often, and there aren’t as many options for outdoor play activities at home. Being close to a good school is also important for apartment dwellers, and since many apartment communities are in suburban areas, it should not be an issue. If you own a home, pets are no problem. In an apartment, there may be breed and weight restrictions. Residents will also need to pay a pet deposit and in some cases, monthly rent for the animal, which averages around $25-$30 per month.
  5. Lifestyle. If you are young and single, an apartment community that facilitates an active social life would be a good fit. Larger complexes include amenities such as swimming pools and decks with firepits, clubhouses, movie theatres, coffee bars, and fitness centers. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of sand volleyball courts, dog trails, and bike stations. Some apartment communities also host social events like happy hour, trivia night, or group volunteer activities. However, if you are an introvert and don’t enjoy group events, then you might not be very happy with “forced” social events. Homeowners might have neighborhood swimming pools, walking trails, and parks, but they must rely solely on their own network of friends, relatives, and neighbors for social interaction. Unless the HOA offers planned events, there is no centralized source for planned get-togethers.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to homeownership and apartment living. It all depends on your needs and resources. A young single person who is starting out in their career might be drawn to the hands-off maintenance and active social life an apartment community offers. If you have kids and pets, then owning a home with a yard and close proximity to a good school would be a better fit, especially if you like to host cozy family gatherings or playdates with the neighborhood kids.

While moving can be a hassle, Vision Communities features and locations that will meet your needs. Our facilities are top of the line, supported by our awesome property management staff.  If you weighing homeownership and apartment living, check out what Vision Communities has to offer. We have apartment communities throughout 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.

Advantages of Apartment Living

Advantages to Apartment Living

Choosing where to live is a big decision. Whether you are a new college graduate, recently relocated to a new city or are just ready for a change, the decision of where to live is one that should not be taken lightly. The big question is … do you want to live in a house or an apartment?

Home ownership has its advantages, such as tax deductions and complete decorating autonomy, having a yard and privacy. On the other hand, somebody (you) has to take care of that yard and shovel the driveway, as well as pay for home repairs – both major and minor.  If you have the skills, then a fixer-upper with plenty of DIY projects awaiting, might work. If you don’t have a green thumb and can barely screw in a lightbulb, an apartment would be a better fit.

While it is assumed that apartments attract a younger crowd, many older people gravitate to the size and low (no) maintenance apartment living offers, especially if they are empty nesters who are ready to downsize. It is not uncommon to find a mix of residents of all ages and ethnicities in today’s apartment complexes.

If you are still on the fence, here are some advantages to apartment living:

  1. Cost of Living. In most cases, monthly rent for an apartment is less than your typical mortgage. Utilities are also much less as they are consumed in a smaller space. In an apartment, the resident is usually responsible for electricity, gas and internet/cable service, while the complex pays for water and trash removal, but this will vary by property management company. Another benefit is that some apartments have month-to-month of short-term leases, so you are not stuck in a long-term commitment.

  2. Maintenance. This is a huge advantage when it comes to apartment living. If the toilet backs up or the A/C goes out, it is not your responsibility to have it fixed. It is the property manager’s responsibility, as well as a condition of your lease, to make any necessary repairs to your unit. Most apartment communities have a dedicated maintenance staff which make scheduled repairs that can be performed in a timely manner. Of course, you can attempt some minor repairs on your own, such as using a plunger on a stubborn sink, but if you choose not to, then just pick up the phone or submit a maintenance request online. Bonus: No lawn mowing or snow shoveling.

  3. Security. Most apartment complexes have some type of security system in place. Some are gated communities that require a passcode and some larger properties even have full-time security guards. Other means of security include locked security doors and cameras. Having neighbors in your building can add an extra layer of protection as you can look out for each other. Depending on your lease, you may be able to add your own personal security system, such as a doorbell/camera.

  4. Amenities. Today’s apartment complexes offer a variety of amenities to attract residents. The most common include swimming pools, community rooms and fitness centers. You can also find coffee bars, dog parks, valet trash service and housekeeping services. This allows you to save money on a separate gym or pool membership by taking advantage of the facilities offered at your apartment complex.

  5. Social. Even the most introverted person in the world craves company now and then! Living in apartment comes with built-in neighbors and like everything else, some will suit you while you may prefer to not interact with others. Living in close proximity means that residents look out for each other. Additionally, swimming pools, coffee bars and clubhouses draw people together and more and more apartment communities have planned social events like happy hour or volunteer days. (During safer times, of course.)



As you see, there are many benefits to apartment living versus home ownership. It really boils down to your personal preferences and what you can afford. Apartment living is great if you are just starting out living on your own and want to save money for a down payment on a house. It also is beneficial if you have a job where you travel a lot and don’t want to have to worry about an unattended house. Retirees can enjoy their golden years free from the responsibilities of home ownership.  

Live Your Best Life in a Vision Community

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 Clintonville, Westerville, and downtown Columbus. For more information about our communities, contact our team to get started.

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.

Apartment living with cats

The Best Cats for Apartment Living

Bringing Your Feline Friends to Your Apartment

There has been a surge of pet adoptions since the pandemic hit last year. People who were stuck at home decided that a new fur baby would be the perfect companion to shelter in place and ride out the pandemic. Cats are great pets, and most cats are ideally suited for apartment living. They can adapt to the smaller environment of an apartment and most breeds are perfectly content to live indoors all the time.

Some traits to look for when choosing a cat include:

  • Content to be left along for long periods of time
  • Easy-going
  • Not overly territorial
  • Quiet
  • Sociable
  • Can entertain itself

If you are adopting a cat, there might not be a great selection of purebreds. It is more important to look for personality traits and you should spend some time with the cats you are interested in. Most animal shelters have socialization areas where cats and prospective owners can meet and check each other out.

Domestic shorthair. This is the most common breed of cat and they are solid color, striped (tabby) or have a mottled coat (tortie). Some of these cats also have medium or long hair. They have a friendly disposition and many like to cuddle.

Maine coon. These are large cats (up to 20 lbs.) that have long, thick, extravagant coats. They are known for their gentle and docile behavior. The only downside is to expect to spend a lot of time vacuuming cat hair off the floors and furniture when these cats shed.

Persian. Like Maine coons, Persians have long luxurious hair, and a characteristic “smushed up” face. Persians are very laid back, calm and low energy, but you have to be dedicated to frequent grooming and cleaning up cat hair.

Siamese. Siamese cats are known for their piercing blue eyes. They have a short-haired coat and distinctive markings on their ears, tails and paws. Siamese cats tend to be very loyal to one special family member. The only drawback is that these cats are very vocal and their meows are loud.

Apartment living with a cat

There are pros and cons to having a cat. For example, dogs need to be walked several times a day. You don’t have to walk your cat, although some cats like to wear a leash and harness and go for walks outside. On the downside, with a cat comes a litterbox. Fortunately, the quality of cat litter keeps improving, so you can choose a brand that doesn’t stir up a lot of dust and has enhanced odor absorbing additives. You can also buy covered litterboxes or self-cleaning models.  Remember to keep your cat’s litterbox in a quiet private place where they can do their business undisturbed.

Cats also like to claw on the furniture, carpet and any other surface they can use to sharpen their claws. There are several ways to curtail that behavior and one is to buy your cat a scratching pad that they can claw away at. You can also use special double-sided sticky tape to put on your furniture to discourage clawing. The tape is transparent so it isn’t too visible. You should also get in the habit of trimming your cat’s claws at least once a month. Get them used to it gradually.  Ask your vet tech to show you how to do it safely at home with special trimmers specially designed for cats. If your cat won’t go for that, you can always take them to a groomer for a claw trim, which is inexpensive.

Also provide your cat with some toys so you can interact with them or they can entertain themselves during the day. Cats also love windows, so if you apartment has wide windowsills, your cat will happily spend their time sunning and watching birds, squirrels and other wildlife.  

Lastly, consider the age of the cat. Kittens are adorable, but very energetic and destructive. They require a lot of time and attention. You might consider an older cat that is more sedate and better behaved.

No matter what type of cat you adopt, you will find the purr-fect companion to keep you company and show you unconditional love. Many shelters have adoption specials during the holidays, so it would be a great time to look for your new best friend.

Vision Communities is Pet Friendly

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

Living with a COVID positive roommate

Tips for Dealing with a COVID Positive Roommate

What to Do if a Roommate Tests Positive for COVID-19

Despite everybody’s best efforts, it happened. One of your roommates has tested positive for COVID-19. The first thing to do is not panic. By employing safety measures and following the rules for your city, state or county can help you and the rest of your household stay safe.  First of all, there are two terms related to COVID-19 exposure that frequently get confused because there is some overlap. Isolation is when a person has been infected and is sick and must stay away from others in the residence.  Quarantine is for anybody who believes they have been exposed or have been in contact with someone who may be infected or have been exposed.  So, if one of your roommates has COVID, then you need to quarantine, while they need to isolate.

CDC guidelines recommend that quarantine periods last for at least 14 days after you believe you have been exposed, and the caveat is that if no symptoms appear. If you start showing symptoms, then go get tested. If you test positive and become ill, you should remain in isolation for at least 10 days after the symptoms first appeared and 24 hours after there is no incidence of fever — without taking OTC medication.

The person who has tested positive should stay isolated from their other roommates as much as possible, which usually means that they need to stay in their bedroom. It doesn’t matter if they feel just fine; they are still highly contagious. If you must have contact with your sick roommate, both of you must wear masks. Limit interaction and maintain a distance of at least six feet, if at all possible.

While this may be difficult in an apartment, reserve one bathroom solely for the sick person to use. If your apartment only has one bathroom, then it needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after the person with COVID uses it. Do not share towels, drinking cups, eating utensils or dishware. Take food and snacks to your ailing roommate on a tray and leave it outside their bedroom door. Clean, clean and clean all common surfaces in the apartment to prevent spread of the virus.

Keep track of your sick roommate’s symptoms and watch for them in household members who have been exposed and haven’t gotten sick (yet). The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, dry cough, extreme fatigue and loss of taste and smell. More severe symptoms include shortness of breath, confusion and bluish tint to the face and lips, in which case, you should call 911.  There are many symptom checkers online that will assess symptoms and recommend whether you need testing or to contact your doctor. Many doctors are now offering telehealth visits so you can avoid going to the doctor’s office and increasing risk for yourself and others.

In the meantime, while everybody in your apartment is in some stage of COVID, do the best that you can. Reach out for support online. You can connect with family and friends or community sites where you can share your feelings and get advice. Take advantage of food delivery by restaurants and grocery stores. 

Remember, you can’t help others if you aren’t feeling well yourself. Wear a mask, social distance and take good care of yourself — mentally and physically. 

During this season of COVID-19, the property management teams at Vision Communities are committed to keeping our residence healthy and safe. We have instituted social distancing and masks guidelines throughout the Vision communities, and we are looking forward to launching a full calendar of events for our residents when things return to normal.

If you are looking for an apartment in the Columbus area or in Akron/Canton, contact our team for availability.

Soundproof Decorating Tips

Decorating That Doubles as Soundproofing

One of the few drawbacks about apartment living is that it can be noisy, whether it’s from a crying baby, barking dog or neighbors who are playing their music too loud. On the flip side, despite your best efforts to keep noise levels down, other residents can also hear you.  So without alienating your neighbors, there are some easy decorating tips you can try that will spruce up your living area and double as soundproofing. As a plus, many of these ideas will also help you keep your apartment warm during the rapidly approaching winter months.

Window Treatments

Heavy lined drapes will provide a wall of protection against outdoor sounds as well as provide a layer of insulation. You will need to choose a heavy fabric like velvet or a thick polyester blend; lightweight cotton or linen just won’t work. If you won’t want to spring for brand new drapes, you can trim and hang a shower curtain behind your drapes. The plastic or vinyl will provide some noise reduction. Another idea is to choose pleated drapes as the folds will offer some depth and dimension to block sound. Many of the Vision Communities 1BR, 2BR and 3BR apartment layouts feature lots of natural light, so be sure to plan out your window treatments for the floorplan you choose.

Area Rugs

Your apartment is probably already carpeted, but adding area rugs will help block noise, especially if you live above another apartment. Get creative and choose rugs that reflect your personality — patterned, solid, Oriental, or a blast from the past with shag! Having a cozy rug underfoot will be enjoyed during the winter when you need to ward off the chill. You can add throw rugs to every room of your apartment to add a touch of color and minimize sound.

Wall Hangings

Hanging canvas prints or interesting textiles on your walls will add a decorate touch and provide a barrier to sound. Beautiful tribal patterns or geometric prints bring drama to the room and can serve as a focal point. Nostalgic folk art and quilts are popular right now; the layers of the quilt will insulate against sound. If you don’t have any heirloom quilts, you can seek them out at state/county fairs or online. While you’re at it, buy extras to cuddle in during the colder months. Some creative people hang moving blankets over their windows or on the walls to block sound. If your decorate leans towards the eclectic side, this might be a good solution.

Weatherstripping and Door Stoppers

Gaps between the window and frame can leak sound as well as let in cold air. This is an issue that your apartment should address, if not, it is an easy DIY project. You can find weatherstripping at the hardware store; simply cut it and press it into place. You can also apply weatherstripping to the bottom of your front door and to balcony or patio doors. This will keep the noise in and cold air out. You can also opt for a soft door blocker. You’ve seen these. They are made of fabric and you push them up against the bottom of your door. They come in all prints and patterns; some are whimsical in the shape of animals or insects and some have clever sayings on them. Have fun with your sound proofing!

Creating a Place to Come Home to

At Vision Community, we want you to live your best life and enjoy your experience in our apartment communities. With all of the noise of life, we want you to feel comfortable in your Vision Communities home. These tips are just a few ways to make your space your own and create a quiet place that you can retreat to each evening.  If you are in the process of hunting for an apartment, consider the Vision Community floor plans and communities located in Central Ohio.

 

Staying Healthy this Winter

Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Winter has already made its debut in some areas of the country, and there is no time like the present to start planning how you are going to protect yourself and stay healthy. Leading health experts have predicted that the U.S. is going to be in for a tough winter; with the pandemic still peaking in some parts of the country, plus a projected brutal flu season in store. Your exposure may be reduced if you are working at home, but you are still susceptible to the colds and viruses that make the rounds from October through March.  Here are some tips to protect yourself from the ravages of winter and the illnesses that accompany them.

Get a flu shot

This is a no-brainer. Symptoms of the common cold, the flu and COVID all have similarities, and if you want to know the difference, there are plenty of resources online you can refer to. You can get a flu shot practically anywhere and many pharmacies offer a drive-thru option. Most insurance companies will cover the full cost of a flu shot. If you are uninsured, check out your local health department.

Eat properly

Cold weather and the stress of uncertainly trigger our cravings for comfort foods. The holidays are also a time to load up on carbs, sugar and booze. While it’s important to be good to yourself right now and have some fun, strive to maintain a healthy balance. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains and if necessary, take a multivitamin supplement. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially with indoor heating.

Get plenty of sleep

The uncertain times we are in right now can increase stress, anxiety and sleepless nights. Try to maintain a bedtime routine by turning in at the same time every night. Also, avoid reading or watching upsetting news before you go to sleep; your brain will continue to process the information while you are trying to get some shut-eye. Warm milk or soothing herbal teas can help relax you before bed, as well as a warm (not hot) bath. If all of these remedies fair, talk to your doctor about possibly taking a short-term sleeping medication.

Practice good hygiene and take care of yourself

Now more than ever, it’s important to wash your hands as frequently as possible and carry hand sanitizer with you. Wipe down your cellphone, shared surfaces like doorknobs, and the interior of your car. Have a supply of clean masks and keep a spare in your car. Be good to yourself. Meditate, treat yourself to a luxurious body lotion, your favorite snack, a Zoom call with family or friends. If everything gets overwhelming, there are many mental health resources you can tap into for support. You are not alone!

If you follow these simple tips and practice good self-care, you greatly increase your chances of not getting sick during the winter. Continue to follow the guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing and practicing good hygiene to protect yourself and those around you.

Vision Communities Commitment to Health & Safety

At Vision Communities, we are working hard to keep our apartment communities healthy and safe. To learn more about how we are managing around COVID-19, contact our office with questions.