Picking the Best Air Conditioner for Your Apartment

Looking to cool down your apartment? With spring and summer approaching soon, it’s important to start thinking about how to prepare for those hotter months and stay cool. While many apartments come with built-in air conditioning (AC) units, many do not. So what are your options for cooling down your space? In this article, we’ll go into detail about how to decide what is the best air conditioner for your apartment.

How do air conditioners work to keep your apartment cool?

Air conditioners have been around for a very long time, in fact, the first air conditioning system was developed in 1902.The basics of how air conditioners work are similar to how a fridge works. Air conditioners use an internal refrigerating system to take in hot air and cool it. The hot air, absorbed by the AC unit through various coils and systems, turns into a gas. From there, the unit converts it back into a liquid.

Next, the hot air pushes out the back through vents or a window and the cool air pushes into your apartment. The website HowStuffWorks.com puts it very simply: “Think of it as an endless, elegant cycle: liquid refrigerant, phase conversion to a gas/heat absorption, compression and phase transition back to a liquid again.”

air conditioningair conditioning

Important things to understand when selecting your AC unit

There are a couple of other things to consider when picking which type of AC unit to use for your apartment. You’ll want to consider things such as cooling capacity, BTUs, energy efficiency and costs.

BTUs

BTU or British thermal units is the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool one pound of water. For air conditioners specifically, the BTU refers to the amount of heat your unit can remove in an hour. Some units take more than others. For instance, a window unit takes anywhere from 3,000 to 25,000 BTUs, whereas a portable system can use anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs. Make sure to take the time to research this before deciding on which unit is best for you. Learn Metrics has created a more in-depth chart for understanding different BTUs for different sized apartments.

Cooling capacity

When picking out your AC unit keep in mind its cooling capacity. The size of the area you want to cool will greatly impact your choice. Different units cool different area sizes. Take portable units for example — these are usually only able to cool the area they sit in. Window units on the other hand are a better option if you are looking to cool down an entire apartment.

Energy costs

The cost that it takes to run an AC unit is something else to consider. The price can greatly change depending on how big your unit is and how big of an area you’re trying to cool. On average it can cost anywhere from $14.40 per month to $211.20 to run different types of AC units.

Best air conditioner options for your apartment

Now you know how air conditioners work, how do you know which type is right for your apartment? Here are a couple of different options that you can choose from.

1. Portable air conditioner

Portable units are one option when looking for an AC unit. They come in various sizes and work in many different rooms. Often referred to as “portable swamp coolers” or “evaporated cooling” these two systems work similarly to other AC units but primarily rely on water. Another difference is their setup. For instance, some require their own voltage plug and most require you the ability to vent the hot air out of a window.

Another great question to ask when thinking about portable units is, “Can you use a portable air conditioner in an apartment?” The answer depends on your apartment complex and its rules. In certain apartments they are not allowed, so make sure to check with your apartment before you invest in one. Here are some pros and cons of portable AC units.

Pros:

  • Move room-to-room
  • Cost-efficient
  • Come in various sizes
  • Great if you have a strict HOA or landlord and can’t install a window unit

Cons:

  • Sometimes are less energy efficient
  • Can be noisy

AC unit in a window against a brick wall AC unit in a window against a brick wall

2. Window units

Window units are very popular throughout Europe and make another great option for your apartment AC unit. Set in a window, they function much like other AC units and are capable of cooling medium-sized spaces. Here are some of their pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Inexpensive
  • Come in various sizes to fit your windows
  • Can come with a heating system

Cons:

  • Not portable and stay in the window you place them in
  • Not energy efficient

3. Wall-mounted

Wall-mounted units are a great option for people who are living in older buildings that tend to get very hot during summer. Here are the pros and cons of these AC units.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Don’t take up a window or block the view
  • Energy efficient

Cons:

  • Don’t cool the whole space
  • Must be cleaned and maintained regularly

Happy woman holding a remote under an air conditioning unit Happy woman holding a remote under an air conditioning unit

4. Personal AC unit

Personal AC units are great for cooling down a single person in a smaller space. They are typically very small — meant for bed stands or desks and are not meant to cool the entire space down. These typically only need a plug and water, however, they do not cool as well as bigger units. Here are their pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Great for personal use
  • Move from room-to-room
  • Easy to use and install

Cons:

  • Not energy efficient
  • Need cleaning after each use to avoid germ growth

Man with his face in front of a fan Man with his face in front of a fan

How to keep your apartment cool without an AC unit

If none of these options work for you, there are other ways to keep yourself cool this summer. Here is a list of other options to consider:

  • Installing fans
  • Purchasing dark blinds to block the sun
  • Putting cooling sheets on your bed
  • Switching out your light bulbs to ones that produce less heat
  • Opening your windows at night
  • Cooking outside

Stay cool as a cucumber

While the summer heat is great for outdoor activities and vacations, it’s not so great for your apartment. Keeping your place cool throughout these hot months is essential. There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable in your own living space. The good news is there are many different options to consider when thinking about the best air conditioner for your apartment.

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How to Improve a Rental Kitchen (for Cheap) | ApartmentSearch

Kitchen filled with essentials with accent brick wall.Most residential rental housing units are required to have a “kitchen,” however, even in jurisdictions where this is the law, the definition of “kitchen” is murky at best! If your apartment’s kitchen is a little too “vintage” for your taste or you’re dealing with an outdated or under-equipped apartment kitchenette, you may be struggling to prep your favorite homemade meals and no-bake desserts. However, with the right appliances and life hacks, you can improve your rental kitchen on the cheap with these apartment kitchen ideas for renters!

Add or Change Lighting

Do you have a dim kitchen? An overhead fixture that you hate? Change it! Switching out an overhead light fixture really isn’t complicated or expensive. Many inexpensive home decor stores have great options. And so many people forget about under-cabinet lighting, which is a mistake. Given that you can’t magically install floor-to-ceiling windows to let light flood in, the next best fix for a dark and dreary kitchen is installing lighting under your cabinets. Whether that’s with puck lights, LED light bars, or fluorescent light bars… LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Make Pots and Pans a Focal Point

While we could be wrong, it’s probably safe to assume that your rental kitchen is lacking in the storage department. If that’s the case, you’re probably looking for the most efficient way to maximize your storage space. The solution? Set up a handy wall-friendly pot rack or install a pegboard on an empty wall. While this works best when your cookware is something that you actually want to show off, regardless of your pots and pans, it saves on storage space while decorating things up a little.

Remove Some Cabinet Doors

Speaking of cabinets and storage, another easy way to makeover your rental kitchen is by temporarily removing your cabinet doors. The best part? It’s basically free to take off the doors, line the insides with pretty paper or paint them an attractive color, and neatly stack your dishes. It adds a bit of vibrancy and that personal touch. Just be sure to save the doors and the screws so you can put them back on when you eventually move out.

Add a Rug

This is so simple you’ll wonder why you never thought of it before — add a rug, especially if you want to hide ugly, crumbling, laminate floors that your landlord won’t let you replace. It not only hides what you don’t want to see but can also brighten up your kitchen and add a bit of personality.

Update the Backsplash

Do you know that space between the counter and cabinet? It’s often a huge focal point, but it’s also probably something your landlord won’t let you completely replace. No problem! Just because you can’t fully commit to the expensive backsplash of your dreams in your rental kitchen doesn’t mean you’re stuck with what you have. If there are ugly tiles, use tile stickers for an upgrade or even velcro to attach a cloth backsplash.

If your landlord allows it, use a bit of paint or removable wallpaper to make it your own. You can always paint it back when you move out.

Change Drawer or Shelf Liners

This is so simple but so effective. Old drawers are not attractive drawers, but you don’t have to live with that insanity any longer! An easy way to upgrade your rental kitchen is to line your drawers and cabinets with a pattern of drawer and shelf liner that you actually like.

While the usual suspect is patterned contact paper, if you don’t want to leave adhesive behind, consider a non-adhesive version or use oilcloth or another thick fabric that can just fit in the bottom of your drawers. If you’d rather not mess with cutting and inserting liners, consider just changing the hardware with stylish pulls and knobs that work with your lifestyle.

Cover the Countertops

Because you rent, you probably think you’re stuck with ugly countertops forever, given your landlord won’t let you make any permanent changes. But have no fear! First, your landlord might be on board with options that include covering them with vinyl or painting them, which would be a bonus. But if he’s not, top a portion of your countertop with a big, pretty cutting board. It’s practical and good-looking!

Hang a Mirror

There’s a reason that smaller restaurants strategically place mirrors throughout their dining area. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book to make the space appear larger! Take a page out of that book and add a statement mirror to your rental kitchen. Not only will it brighten up the room by reflecting the light in your kitchen, but it will also provide that same space-maximizing illusion at an affordable cost and minimal effort.

Ready To Move On From Your Kitchen?

Did your previous apartment’s kitchen leave you with trust issues? Don’t commit to an apartment with underwhelming or outdated features. Instead, look for an apartment that’s equipped for everything from hosting friends to meal prepping!

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Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

The LifeLock Security Risk and Why You Should Care – Lexington Law

LifeLock Security Risk

In an age where data breaches are common, another company’s data has been exposed. It may come as a shock, but Lifelock, the company that millions of consumers turn to in order to protect their identities, has holes in its security that could potentially lead to more phishing scams and identity theft.

Lifelock’s site security hasn’t updated since 2015, which is a huge issue since technology is always changing making it easy for hackers to access sensitive information such as millions of users’ email addresses.

The holes in Lifelock’s security were discovered by security expert and blogger Brian Krebs. He found a vulnerability on the site that allows anyone to index millions of customer accounts on their web browsers when they unsubscribe from Lifelock’s marketing emails. This makes users vulnerable to any identity thieves out there who might be looking for easy prey. This is a huge disappointment for consumers, who seem to be facing the never-ending nightmare of the potential for identity theft.

Aside from causing headaches and costing lots of money, identity theft can destroy your credit. So where do you turn to for help when you trust a company to protect your sensitive information and they fail you? Luckily, there are trustworthy companies out there that can help you who haven’t been breached, and do everything they can to protect your sensitive information.

Who Can I Trust to Protect My Sensitive Information?

Lexington Law Firm offers credit repair services, but we also offer identity theft protection services. And we make every effort to protect our users’ data, because we understand how important it is. Lexington Law Firm is PCI-DSS and EI3PA compliant. PCI-DSS means that we are constantly maintaining and building a secure network, protecting card-holder data, maintaining a Vulnerability Management Program, implementing Strong Access Control Measures, monitoring and testing networks, and maintaining an Information Security Policy.

The EI3PA is Experian’s Independent Third Party Assessment. This means that we use Multi-Factor Authentication and run vulnerability scans on a quarterly basis, keeping us updated on any new security risks. This means that our users’ data is always secure. The EI3PA is performed by a third-party PCI Qualified Security Assessor. We work with theses third parties to make sure everything is secure.

Lexington Law Firm also has firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, file integrity monitoring, and physical access controls. Plus, we encrypt all sensitive client data. Lexington Law will never sell your sensitive data to any other companies and takes users’ security very seriously. Lexington Law will not ask for any sensitive information via text message or email either.

How Else Can Lexington Law Help Me?

On top of all of that, our credit repair services have helped consumers that have already been affected by identity theft. We have a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals that will fight for your right to a fair and accurate credit report. We’ve seen removals of negative information on credit reports that was a result of identity theft.

Our clients are also covered under an identity theft insurance policy for as long as they use our services. Not only that, but some of our products include credit monitoring and protection, as well as identity theft restoration. These products allow users to receive alerts anytime there are changes to their accounts – including those that don’t show up on credit reports, such as checking accounts and savings accounts. If you’re looking for a company you can trust to protect your sensitive information, or are in need of credit repair from identity theft, call us today for your free credit consultation.

How Can I Protect My Identity?

Although the experts at Lexington Law are happy to help you with protecting your identity, there are steps that you can also take to protect yourself as well. Here are some precautions you can take:

  • Change your passwords. The longer and more complex the better.
  • Check your credit reports regularly. Doing so will allow you to keep track of what accounts you have and will help you spot fraudulent ones.
  • Keep important documents such as your social security card someplace safe.

Be careful who you provide sensitive information to – if you’re not sure who you’re speaking with, either find a brick and mortar location you can go to or find the correct phone number for the company you’re speaking with on the BBB’s website to call back

Source: lexingtonlaw.com

The LifeLock Security Risk and Why You Should Care

LifeLock Security Risk

In an age where data breaches are common, another company’s data has been exposed. It may come as a shock, but Lifelock, the company that millions of consumers turn to in order to protect their identities, has holes in its security that could potentially lead to more phishing scams and identity theft.

Lifelock’s site security hasn’t updated since 2015, which is a huge issue since technology is always changing making it easy for hackers to access sensitive information such as millions of users’ email addresses.

The holes in Lifelock’s security were discovered by security expert and blogger Brian Krebs. He found a vulnerability on the site that allows anyone to index millions of customer accounts on their web browsers when they unsubscribe from Lifelock’s marketing emails. This makes users vulnerable to any identity thieves out there who might be looking for easy prey. This is a huge disappointment for consumers, who seem to be facing the never-ending nightmare of the potential for identity theft.

Aside from causing headaches and costing lots of money, identity theft can destroy your credit. So where do you turn to for help when you trust a company to protect your sensitive information and they fail you? Luckily, there are trustworthy companies out there that can help you who haven’t been breached, and do everything they can to protect your sensitive information.

Who Can I Trust to Protect My Sensitive Information?

Lexington Law Firm offers credit repair services, but we also offer identity theft protection services. And we make every effort to protect our users’ data, because we understand how important it is. Lexington Law Firm is PCI-DSS and EI3PA compliant. PCI-DSS means that we are constantly maintaining and building a secure network, protecting card-holder data, maintaining a Vulnerability Management Program, implementing Strong Access Control Measures, monitoring and testing networks, and maintaining an Information Security Policy.

The EI3PA is Experian’s Independent Third Party Assessment. This means that we use Multi-Factor Authentication and run vulnerability scans on a quarterly basis, keeping us updated on any new security risks. This means that our users’ data is always secure. The EI3PA is performed by a third-party PCI Qualified Security Assessor. We work with theses third parties to make sure everything is secure.

Lexington Law Firm also has firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, file integrity monitoring, and physical access controls. Plus, we encrypt all sensitive client data. Lexington Law will never sell your sensitive data to any other companies and takes users’ security very seriously. Lexington Law will not ask for any sensitive information via text message or email either.

How Else Can Lexington Law Help Me?

On top of all of that, our credit repair services have helped consumers that have already been affected by identity theft. We have a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals that will fight for your right to a fair and accurate credit report. We’ve seen removals of negative information on credit reports that was a result of identity theft.

Our clients are also covered under an identity theft insurance policy for as long as they use our services. Not only that, but some of our products include credit monitoring and protection, as well as identity theft restoration. These products allow users to receive alerts anytime there are changes to their accounts – including those that don’t show up on credit reports, such as checking accounts and savings accounts. If you’re looking for a company you can trust to protect your sensitive information, or are in need of credit repair from identity theft, call us today for your free credit consultation.

How Can I Protect My Identity?

Although the experts at Lexington Law are happy to help you with protecting your identity, there are steps that you can also take to protect yourself as well. Here are some precautions you can take:

  • Change your passwords. The longer and more complex the better.
  • Check your credit reports regularly. Doing so will allow you to keep track of what accounts you have and will help you spot fraudulent ones.
  • Keep important documents such as your social security card someplace safe.

Be careful who you provide sensitive information to – if you’re not sure who you’re speaking with, either find a brick and mortar location you can go to or find the correct phone number for the company you’re speaking with on the BBB’s website to call back

Source: lexingtonlaw.com

5 Simple Steps to Set-Up a Fast and Secure Wireless Network

You just moved into your new apartment; time to unpack boxes, arrange your furniture and put everything in its proper place. It’s usually about this time that you decide to setup your Wi-Fi, after all, unpacking is a lot more fun when you can listen a Pandora or Spotify playlist instead of just the thuds of moving boxes around. By now, you probably know how to set-up a wireless router. Take it out of the box, plug the cords into the appropriate port, follow the on-screen instructions and you’re done!

That gets it set up, but is only the bare minimum. You want speed and security, right? That takes some extra work but is worth it.

Consider buying your own router

Just about every Internet Service Provider (ISP) will give you the option of renting a modem/router combo from them. They work fine, but usually aren’t the best hardware. Buying your own dedicated router can be expensive, but they’re usually faster, better built, and more reliable than what you’ll get from your ISP. This can also save you some money every month, as you have to pay a rental fee for the router from your ISP but won’t with your own dedicated router/modem. The rental fee is normally in the $10/month range, so even if you spend $200 on a router/modem, it will have paid for itself in a couple years.

Dont use the preset network name

Every wireless router comes with a preset factory name: Linksys001, Netgear233, etc. You want it to just work, so why have to change it?

There are several reasons. The default network tells anyone trying to connect some information about your network. It might seem harmless for your neighbor to have an easier time leeching off your Wi-Fi, but that could slow down your network, or even cost you money if you have a bandwidth cap and your neighbor makes you go over.

The most serious reason is that the more you know about a router, the easier it is to break in. It’ll be easier to guess what vulnerabilities exist there. According to Paul Cucu from Heimdal Security . “If a cyber criminal knows the manufacturer of your router, they will know what vulnerabilities that model has and then exploit them.” Don’t think you’ll change the name later – take the extra step and change the name right away.

Change the password

An even bigger vulnerability is the password. If you leave the password as its default, you’ll make it much easier for anyone who wants to break in – like leaving your door unlocked. Default passwords are easy to guess and often follow predictable patterns. Create a unique, strong password that’s at least 10 characters long and contains a mix of numbers and special characters. You’ll be tempted to make it something really easy to remember, but the easier a password is to remember, the easier it will be to guess. Creating good passwords is hard, but worth it for the security you gain.

Note: Follow these password recommendations for all of your online accounts. You may also want to setup two-factor authentication, which requires a code or pin to login, for any accounts with personal data (like bank or credit card information).

Set up a good security protocol

All of this security is useless if you don’t have encryption enabled. There are three types that you’ll find on most routers, but only one you should ever use. Look for a section called something like “Encryption” and enable WPA2. There will also be WEP and WPA options available, but those should only be used if you can’t use WPA2 for some reason. If you have an older router that doesn’t have WPA2, buy a newer router. WEP and WPA are better than nothing, but WPA2 is so much better than either that there’s no reason not to use it.

Don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy, you can call tech support to walk you through the process or follow these step-by-step directions to encrypt your wireless network .

Upgrade your routers firmware

To finally get your router up to date, you’re going to need to make sure it’s running updated software. There are flows in router security found all the time, and updates are the way you deal with that. Look through the manual to find how to update it and run through the update process. You’re going to have to spend a while without internet access while it updates and restarts, but when it comes back online, you’ll have the most secure version of your specific router that you can get.

Now that you have security, let’s talk about speed. There are a lot of things that can cause problems with internet speed, and not all of them are going to be under your control. There are some, so let’s look at those.

Put your router in a central, open location

Routers are incredibly smart radios, but still limited by the physics of radio. If you want to reach devices throughout your apartment, you’re going to want the router as close to the center as you can get it. If you tried to put it off in a closet in the corner, most of the range would go to covering your neighbor, rather than your entire apartment.

The other problem with putting it in a closet is that surfaces and objects can get in the way. Walls (especially plaster, brick, or concrete), windows, mirrors, or any other surface can mess with the signal. You don’t have to put it on the floor in the middle of a room, but having it close to the center and away from most walls is the best way to get the best signal across your entire living space.

Change to 5GHz

Most routers use the same wavelength for communication: 2.4 GHz. This means that if you live somewhere with a lot of neighbors, all of whom have their own wireless networks, you’re going to get a lot of interference. By changing to a different channel, your router will run into less interference. You’ll need to access your router’s settings, like you did when setting it up in the first place. If you’ve never done it before, contact your ISP, ask a tech-savvy friend or follow these directions which will show you how to find a less-crowded channel that will help your network run faster.

Consider a mesh network

If you have a particularly large apartment or are renting a house, one wireless router might not be enough to cover the whole place with good internet. This has always been possible, but until recently required a lot of work and tweaking to get it all working. In recent years, there’s been a rise in companies selling simple, mesh wireless routers, such as Eero or Orbi (by Netgear). These consist of  multiple routers which talk to each other, but from your perspective, you stay connected to the same wireless network no matter which you’re connected to. This gives you a much stronger signal everywhere, translating to faster internet access wherever you go.

Setting up a fast, secure wireless network doesn’t take long and if you take these initial steps when you move in, you’ll have less to worry about later. To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, use this cheat sheet for apartment Wi-Fi networks when you setup your router.

Photo by Farzad Nazifi on Unsplash

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Source: apartmentguide.com

When Should You Make Big Purchases?

Hunting for deals is a natural precursor to making a large purchase. For most big-ticket items there can be certain seasons or even weekends where you can reliably find great deals. We’re rounding up some of the biggest purchases and a good time to buy each item, so when the time is right, you know exactly what to look for.

Televisions

TVs commonly go on sale . One way to score a deal on a new TV is to follow the release cycle.

Most television manufacturers release new models sometime between February and April every year, and while you could pick up the latest model, you could also find dramatic price cuts on last year’s models since retailers are looking to make room for newer inventory.

You can also find discounts on televisions in advance of events like the big football game in February, during Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Laptops

Buying a laptop can be a very personal choice. The demands you place on your computer may require more processing power than others, so it’s important to determine what you need out of a laptop before you begin browsing different brands and models. Deals may vary depending on the model that you need.

Macbooks and other Apple products usually get an upgrade once a year , though they don’t always follow a consistent release schedule, or release all new products at the same time.

Major PC manufacturers generally release new laptops three times a year —back-to-school season from June to September, holiday season from September to December, and spring from February to April. However, the best deals on laptops tend to appear at the heart of school shopping season from July to August and from November to December, the peak of the holiday shopping season.

Outdoor Furniture

A great time to shop for outdoor furniture is generally when you won’t actually be able to use it. Typically, patio furniture goes on sale from 4th of July to October , as retailers are trying to clear their inventory to make room for fall inventory. Usually the further you are from summer, the bigger the savings.

Mattresses

Finding the perfect mattress means comfort, relaxation, and most importantly a restful sleep. So finding a supremely comfortable mattress and at a low price would be a huge win.

When buying a mattress there are a few times of year you can target to find reliably low prices . May is one of the best months to buy a new mattress. That’s because most sellers launch new models in June, and are eager to make space for the newer inventory.

It’s also worth looking for deals over popular shopping holidays, including but not limited to Memorial Day, Labor Day, and President’s Day. And don’t overlook Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where you can often find reasonable prices and good deals on mattresses.

Furniture

If you’re ready to spruce up your interior design with some new furniture there are two times you can look to find some major sales. The best time to buy furniture is typically either in January or July. Usually, new styles are released twice a year, in February and August.

In January and July, retailers are eager to clear space for those new arrivals, so prices will generally be discounted. Floor models may be included as well, so you could ask about discounts on sample pieces.

And for an even better deal? Don’t be afraid to haggle! Furniture stores may be willing to negotiate, so consider asking them to sweeten the deal with a discount or freebie.

You may also find furniture deals around shopping holidays like President’s Day and Memorial Day.

Engagement Rings

The thrill of falling in love and finally finding your match is invigorating. The cost of buying an engagement ring to make it official? Not as exciting. In 2020, Americans spent an average of $5,500 to buy an engagement ring. If the thought of dropping a few thousand dollars on a ring is less than thrilling, it could be worth planning your purchase so you can wait for the optimal time to buy.

There are a couple of times when you may be able to find a discount on an engagement ring. Jewelry sales can be slow in the summer, so there may be sales to entice customers. There may also be seasonal sales after Christmas or after Valentine’s day. Some jewelers may even be willing to negotiate on price to make the sale.

Household Appliances

discounts on appliances can be found from September to October when manufacturers are releasing their latest product.

Retailers will be trying to make room for newer models so you can often find considerable discounts during these months on new, but last year’s models. When it comes to refrigerators, the best time to purchase is usually in that spring, as that is when manufacturers release new models.

Holidays and Holiday weekends are another great time to look for sales on household appliances. And if you plan on buying a new appliance from a brick and mortar store, it could be worth going toward the end of the month when salesmen are trying to meet their monthly quotas.

Fitness Equipment

Have your eye on a new treadmill or elliptical? January could be the right time to buy new exercise equipment as stores are eager to take advantage of New Year’s resolutions to get fit or lose weight.

Cars

Dealerships generally offer great deals during year-end sales events. Some dealers anticipate cars as gifts for the holidays. Car dealerships are also looking toward the new year, which means they’ll need to make space for newer models on the lot. For some dealers, December is one of their biggest sale months.

You may also secure a good deal on a new car during holiday weekends when dealerships run promotions. Dealerships are also more likely to offer a deal on older models, anticipating a new release. Typically, new models are released in September and October, so try to look for deals in late August.

The Takeaway

The best time to make a large purchase will depend on the item. There are a few shopping holidays, like Memorial Day or Labor Day, when retailers are known to offer deep discounts on some items. When shopping for a big-ticket item it can be helpful to do your research, shop around, and in some cases, negotiate to secure the best deal.

Even timing your purchase to secure a deal at peak savings can mean a hefty bill. Instead of charging the expense to your credit card, consider applying for an unsecured personal loan with SoFi. With a personal loan, you’ll have access to the money instantly and generally at a lower rate than most high-interest credit cards. At SoFi, there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties and you can apply easily online.

A SoFi personal loan can simplify the payment process for most major purchases. Get a quote in two minutes or less.



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External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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Source: sofi.com

Lily Collins Sells Midcentury Beverly Hills Home for $13.5M

Lily Collins, star of “Emily in Paris,” has a real estate hit on her hands. The actress just sold her Beverly Hills home for $13.5 million.

The English-born performer, a daughter of the legendary musician Phil Collins, purchased the upscale estate back in 2016 for $12.5 million.

Photos and details are scant, but based on descriptions of the property from previous listings, we’ve gleaned some glam details.

The notable estate was designed by John Elgin Woolf, known as “the father of Hollywood Regency.” The 1954 one‐story residence was built for Alva James Vance and his wife, Catherine, at a cost of roughly $40,000, according to a City Landmark Assessment and Evaluation Report.

The deluxe space includes two fireplaces, an arched doorway, lush landscaping, and oval windows.

Upon its completion, the stylish estate with a green copper roof was featured in Town and Country magazine in 1954. It’s set behind a red-brick wall and gates, and a herringbone-pattern brick driveway leads to the entrance of the home.

The eye-catching circular foyer features marble flooring and lush foliage wallpaper, and is topped with a glitzy light fixture.

Lily Collins' home in Beverly Hills
Lily Collins’ home in Beverly Hills

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Circular entrance
Circular entrance

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Living room
Living room

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Tennis court and viewing area
Tennis court and viewing area

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From there, parquet wood flooring leads the way throughout the 5,066-square-foot interior, with four bedrooms and five bathrooms. The high-ceilinged, open floor plan contains a large living room, library, and bar lounge that span the width of the house.

Windows and glass doors open out to a terrace. The home includes a formal dining room and a modern kitchen with a breakfast area that looks out to the backyard. The vast living room includes built-in shelves and a fireplace.

Extensive renovations in 1985 expanded the space and enlarged the master suite to include a fireplace.

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Set on over a half-acre, the grounds include a pool and spa, with steps down to a sunken tennis court and viewing area.

In 2016, the property came up for sale with a list price of $8.85 million. Clearly, Collins had to have the place, and won by paying substantially over ask. And now, she’s reaped the reward of a savvy investment.

The seller may be willing to let go of the architectural gem in order to start a new life and home with her fiancé, the director and writer Charlie McDowell.

Collins has starred in movies such as “Mirror, Mirror,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” and most recently, “Mank.” The 31-year-old starred in and produced the bingeworthy Netflix show “Emily in Paris,” which was nominated for two Golden Globe awards.

Dustin Nicholas with Nicholas Property Group represented the seller. Branden Williams with the Beverly Hills Estates represented the buyer. 

Source: realtor.com