A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Over Someone’s Lease

African American girl with glasses shaking hands with friendApartment hunting is usually a pretty straightforward process. You find a place you like, submit an application, then give the landlord your John Hancock. Sometimes, though, you want to break the mold…or you really, really need short term housing. Whether you’re doing a friend a favor, mixing things up for the summer, or just fell in love with an otherwise unavailable unit, it may be time to break with tradition and consider taking over a lease. There are two way to do this: a sublease or an assignment of the lease.

Sublease vs assignment of the lease: What’s the difference?

Liability and points of contact. With a sublease, you sign a contract directly with the current tenant. While your agreement could involve making payments to the landlord (instead of through the current tenant), all legal matters run through the tenant. Your sublease–not the apartment’s original lease–binds behavior and liability.

When you sign an assignment of the lease agreement, you work directly with the landlord. Although the tenant typically lists the apartment on their own, all paperwork runs through the leasing office. All in all, it’s a regular lease, just for a shorter period of time.

Three tips to know about both lease types

Although details may differ, there are a few things to keep in mind for both types:

  • Have a good contract. Fortunately for all of us non-lawyers out there, the internet makes it very easy to create generic, state-specific model contracts. Then, just add or modify what you need. Be sure to include everything from the cost for damages to rent due dates. No one wants to get caught with nasty surprises or conflicts down the line.
  • Take pictures. It’s important to note any damages to the apartment before the original tenant leaves. If they’re gone before you arrive, make sure to document any problems and contact them ASAP, just like you would when renting a car. You don’t want to wind up paying for damage from their great dog debacle of ‘09 when you only moved in last month.
  • Know the apartment. Like people, no two apartments are the same, and the rules of each complex can be, well, complex. When it comes to taking over a lease, ignorance isn’t bliss. You don’t want to be hit with a major fine when you move out just because you hadn’t thought to check out the pet or smoking rules.

Still have questions about short-term housing?

Now that you get the gist of how some short-term housing contracts work, we can move on to a few other important questions:

How much should subletting cost? They will typically cost 70-80% of the apartment’s regular monthly rent, according to Forbes. That price may increase within busy markets or high-demand seasons.

Where can I find short-term apartment listings? Taking over someone else’s lease is one way to find short term housing, often at the last-minute, but you can also do so on ApartmentSearch.com. ApartmentSearch even pays you to use it! Can other apartment locating services say that? We didn’t think so. When you find a short term apartment with us and let your new landlord know where you found them, you could be rewarded with up to $200!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Why Winter Is the Best Time to Find an Apartment

Young woman in city, enjoying snow and apartment hunting in winterAre you a savvy shopper? Then you probably know when to catch the best sales and biggest discounts. Did you know the same is true when it comes to renting apartments? If finding the cheapest rent is a top priority for you, it’s all about apartment hunting in the winter months when you can get the best deals on apartments and moving costs. Learn about the benefits of searching in the “off-season,” and find out how to use the cold winter months to your advantage when negotiating rent!

There is less competition during the winter.

The busiest season for apartment hunting is between May and September, for several reasons. Students are out of school, graduates are moving home or moving to new cities, and you’re not stuck moving in snow or the bitter cold.

Because so many people are eager to find new apartments mid-year, landlords have it pretty easy. They often have several applicants applying for one apartment, so they can cherry pick tenants who agree to their terms.

In the winter, landlords don’t have it so easy. Fewer people are apartment hunting, and it can be hard to fill a vacant apartment. As a renter, you’re in high demand. The odds are in your favor. Landlords are eager to fill their empty apartments, and they want YOU! That being said, there are also fewer apartments to choose from in the winter. Make sure to prioritize the factors that are really important to you in an apartment, and decide which things you’re willing to compromise on.

Rents tend to be lower during the winter.

Vacant apartments aren’t bringing in any money, and landlords want to get their apartments filled ASAP. However, because there are fewer renters searching for places in the winter, landlords may try to entice you with low rents. This is your major advantage. An apartment that might rent for $1,000 in the summer could go for $900 or even $800 a month in the winter when the demand has slowed down.

Landlords may be more willing to negotiate during the off-season.

Renters don’t come around often in the winter, and landlords know this. They don’t want to lose their opportunity to rent their apartment and may be much more likely to negotiate with you in the winter than in the summer. Approach the prospective landlord or leasing agent with confidence and see what you can get.

What should you try to negotiate? Some things to negotiate include:

  • Lease terms: If you want a shorter or longer lease term than what they’re offering, ask!
  • Fees: See if they’re willing to waive fees, like a pet deposit or certain utilities.
  • Amenities: Maybe you love the unit but wish there were nicer appliances in the kitchen – see if you can get upgraded appliances before you move in!
  • Rent: Negotiating rent is the holy grail of apartment hunting! During the peak months, landlords probably won’t be willing to negotiate. After all, there are plenty of renters to choose from. During the winter months, they need renters and will likely be more flexible on the details!

Now that you’re in the know, go ahead and strike while the iron is hot – or cold, in this case. Get help finding an apartment you like at a price you can afford on ApartmentSearch, the only apartment site that actually pays you for using it!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

4 Reasons Furnished Apartments Are Better For Short-Term Leases

Person in sweatpants walking around cozy , stylish furnished apartmentIt’s a dilemma many people entering short-term housing situations face: How to make a space feel like home without investing too much time or money. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about being stuck with a sparse or impersonal apartment. Furnished apartments could be the solution to your short-term lease AND decorating needs! Why do we think so?

1. There are only so many hours in a day.

Articles that try to convince you furnishing an apartment can be done on the cheap tend to gloss over a crucial point. You’ll need to run around to many different retailers to get everything you need and likely make multiple trips. But you’re preparing to relocate! THAT’S where you need to focus your energy! You likely don’t have time for full-scale bargain hunting. With the time you save, you can select a few inexpensive yet personal pieces to help your new place feel like home. (See #3.)

2. You only have so much money.

Realtor Magazine asked several designers about the expense associated with decorating spaces. The good news is that the rooms the designers worked on look great. The bad news is that you’ll need about $15,000 for the living room alone! That’s way more than you’ll spend furnishing a short-term apartment during your entire stay!

3. No one wants to make sacrifices … and you won’t have to.

Here’s where you can spend some of the time you saved with reason #1! You’ll probably need a security deposit for your short-term lease, but what you won’t need to sacrifice is your sense of style. There are many ways to personalize your short-term living space by:

  • Decorating with plants
  • Adding curtains to cover window treatments you don’t like
  • Putting up removable wallpaper
  • Using candles or scent sprays

4. It could not be easier.

Thanks to ApartmentSearch, finding a furnished apartment for your own short-term housing needs is amazingly simple. Here’s just how simple:

  1. Select “Short-Term” in the search box at the top of ApartmentSearch.com’s home page.
  2. Enter your search term (a zip code will do).
  3. Once you look at each property, scroll to the bottom of the page and look under the heading “Need It Furnished.”

Setting up a short-term housing situation should be easy, regardless of where and why you’re moving. ApartmentSearch.com makes it easy to search for short-term lease options AND furnished apartments at the same time. Give it a try today!

More Short-Term Housing Help

  • How to Be a Short-Term Housing Pro
  • Tips for Finding Temporary Housing in a Pinch
  • Hotel vs Furnished Apartment: How to Choose

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Home Hunting: Discovering Your Perfect Place

The content on this site is not intended to provide legal, financial or real estate advice. It is for information purposes only, and any links provided are for the user’s convenience. Please seek the services of a legal, accounting or real estate professional prior to any real estate transaction.

Source: zillow.com

Eagles Exodus Continues: QB Carson Wentz Selling NJ Home

Following a trade to the Indianapolis Colts, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is letting go of his New Jersey nest.

The Woodstown, NJ, spread on 11 acres is now available for $1.7 million.

Wentz’s exit follows on the heels of Doug Pederson‘s departure. The fired head coach recently placed his Moorestown, NJ, home on the market for $2.7 million.

The quarterback purchased his place for $950,000, shortly after being picked second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s clearly hoping to net profit on his investment for his stint in South Jersey. The property is marketed as “totally remodeled”—which is probably what justifies the sharp uptick in price.

The listing notes there’s a 23-acre farm adjacent to the property that’s also up for grabs, if a buyer wants to shell out an additional $299,000. The available acreage explains the vast amounts of land surrounding the home, with nary a neighbor in sight.

Wentz’s modern mountain-style abode features beamed ceilings, walls of glass, wide-plank flooring, and sliding barn doors.

With 7,408 square feet of living space, the layout includes five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

The open, airy living and dining space features a large entryway, as well as a staircase with custom banisters. It leads to the living area with built-ins, and a large kitchen, with stainless-steel appliances, a copper farmhouse sink, and a big granite island with seating.

A dining area adjoins the kitchen and features a stylish overhead light fixture. A large family room includes a floor-to-ceiling stone-surround fireplace, with access outside.

The owner’s suite opens to a deck, and comes with an attached, spalike bathroom, with a separate rain shower-head and soaking tub. Four more bedrooms offer private bathrooms and closet space.

The layout also includes an office, with built-in shelves and a fireplace.

On the lower level, the space has been tricked out with a custom bar, a lounge area with TV, and billiards area. Also on this level is a gym and a deluxe home theater that seats 10.

An additional garage space has been converted into another fitness area, with an indoor pool, a game room loft, work center, and a bonus hunting room with walk-in safe. If hunting isn’t your passion, this area could be turned back into garage space. In addition, there’s a three-car garage.

The lower level walks out to a terrace, outdoor kitchen, heated pool, and views of the pond.

The energy-efficient space includes geothermal heating, zoned AC, and a southern exposure, which all add up to low utility costs, according to the listing.

For those who commute to the city, the location is 30 minutes to Philadelphia sports centers.

Wentz, 28, had an up-and-down, five-season run in Philly. He was injured late in the season in 2017, which led to the backup Nick Foles taking the reins, and leading the team to an improbable Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

After a disastrous 2020 season, Wentz seems to be hoping to revive his career with the Colts.

Val Nunnenkamp with Keller Williams Realty-Marlton holds the listing.

Source: realtor.com

Dita Von Teese’s Quirky Los Angeles Home is Every Aspiring Diva’s Dream

Even if you’re not a fan of burlesque, or perhaps don’t even know for sure what that is, you’ll still know about Dita Von Teese. The 47-year-old star is credited with bringing burlesque back into the limelight, which also landed her the moniker of Queen of Burlesque. 

But that’s not all she does. Von Teese (Heather Renée Sweet, by her real name) is also a former model, a costume designer, singer, actress, entrepreneur, bestselling book author, and last but not least, an avid vintage and antiques collector. 

Architectural Digest was lucky enough to take a sneak peek into Dita Von Teese’s ultra-glamorous Los Angeles home recently. The diva keeps her personal life off limits, so the video tour offers a rare glimpse of her private sanctuary. 

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Von Teese’s home is dramatically different from other Hollywood celebrity homes. The burlesque star moved into her 1927-built Tudor Revival home five years ago, and has spent most of this time finessing it to match her unique taste. 

Firstly, she made sure she had complete privacy and security, and built a fortress-style wall adorned with spiky vegetation to keep unwanted visitors at bay. Then, she decided to turn a boring pool house into a veritable, English-style pub that she’s filled with quirky memorabilia and souvenirs. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s Tudor Revival Home in L.A. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD
Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s poolside English pub. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

When Dita Von Teese first moved into her 3,200-square-foot four-bedroom home, all interior walls were white, which was naturally way too boring for her unique personality. She tells Architectural Digest that she’s ‘a maximalist, not a minimalist,’ having filled every room and nook in the house with one-of-a-kind antique pieces. 

The living room is like a small-scale taxidermy museum, painted in vivid colors and filled to the brink with unique pieces. Some she’s found at flea markets, some were gifted from friends, and some she’s carried with her for years, taking them with her whenever she’s moved house. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s living room. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

The blue couch in the living room, which Von Teese admits is very uncomfortable, is a reproduction of a French couch bought at her favorite Dallas store, called Deco-Dence. The Chinese rug is an Etsy find, while the working phonograph was bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. 

There’s a lot of taxidermy in Dita Von Teese’s house, but it’s all antique. She tells the folks at ArchDigest that she doesn’t condone hunting or hanging hunting trophies, but that she does enjoy collecting antique taxidermy – some of her most prized possessions are a couple of heart-shaped glass bowls containing rare taxidermy birds, that she keeps above her fireplace. 

The kitchen is equally stunning, painted in dark green and copper throughout. Von Teese says she wanted a ‘sexy, womanly, grown-up kitchen.’ She made the switch to green after having a much-photographed, all-pink kitchen in her previous home. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s kitchen. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

The dining room is, again, a stunner, colored in red and blue, in a nod to the bottle design of one of her favorite perfumes, Lou Lou by Cacharel. The dining room table and chairs were another flea market find, to which she added her own touches like custom fabrics inspired by those seen in a French hotel. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s dining room. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Dita Von Teese also has her own version of a man cave, a red library room that also serves as a TV room – though the TV is hidden behind a piece of pin-up art, as to not disturb the vintage vibe of the room. This is where she chills out, perhaps flipping through some vintage men’s magazines and sipping cocktails from martini glasses in her unique Art Deco bar. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese in her ‘woman cave’. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

The bedroom was designed in what Von Teese calls her own version of minimalism, painted all gray and silver. The bed was designed after a Mae West bed with mirrors, while the room was inspired by Jean Harlow’s bedroom in Dinner at Eight. This is where we also catch up with her cat Alistair, who was sleeping peacefully on the bed before ArchDigest reporters woke him up. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s master bedroom. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Von Teese is the proud owner of an authentic 1930s vanity that she keeps in her bedroom, but she also turned a former closet into a hairdressing room. She likes to do her own hair, and this is probably our favorite room in the house, adorned with small antiques and a beautiful, light pink vanity bench with tassels. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s hairdressing room. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Last but certainly not least, Von Teese turned a former children’s room into a giant walk-in closet, where she keeps her shoe, hat, and brooch collections. She’s good friends with iconic shoe designer Christian Louboutin, so she’s got a lot – and we mean a lot – of red-soled shoes. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s shoe closet. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Outside, Von Teese also enjoys a quiet backyard surrounded by lush vegetation, as well as a large swimming pool and plenty of reupholstered, vintage patio furniture. She also designed her own ‘Snow White garden’ featuring tall pine trees and rolling baby tears moss. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s garden. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Dita Von Teese is definitely not done decorating her home. She’s always adding things, for instance, she’s still got a remaining white wall that she’s planning to have covered in feathers. Whether you’re an antique or taxidermy fan or not, you can’t deny that Von Teese’s lovely English Tudor home is a cozy, stylish retreat fit for an elegant and classy diva. 

All images courtesy of Architectural Digest

More unique celebrity homes

Jeffree Star Takes Fans on Tour of Hidden Hills Mansion
The Mysterious Allure of Stephen King’s House, the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine
Shaquille O’Neal’s Longtime Home — and Shaq-apulco Paradise
“Neverland” No More! The Sycamore Valley Ranch is Much More than Michael Jackson’s Former Home

Source: fancypantshomes.com

6 Clever Hacks for Landing Your Dream Apartment

Outsmart the rental-search woes with these techy tips and tricks.

Finding a new apartment is a time-consuming process. It takes an average of 2 ½ months and includes plenty of paperwork, research and calls. In fact, according to a 2016 study, 82 percent of adults say moving is somewhat stressful or very stressful — more stressful than getting a root canal, being trapped in an elevator or doing taxes.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Savvy renters are finding inventive ways to automate the most onerous parts of their apartment search — from outsourcing listing research to setting up automatic new-listing notifications.

Here are six easy ways to streamline your next apartment search.

1. Create notifications

Timing is everything — especially when it comes to landing your dream apartment. Zillow’s listing database is updated daily, so save your search, and sign up for real-time notifications or daily emails whenever new listings match your criteria.

In addition to timely Zillow notifications, this IFTTT recipe will text you whenever a new Craigslist post matches your search.

2. Organize your search with Trello

Apartment hunting involves many moving parts, and Trello is an easy-to-use tool that will help streamline your search and track your progress.

You add information to “cards,” which you can move to different columns, share with family or friends, and even automate. Here’s a house-hunting Trello board, and this one helps you organize moving tasks after you sign your lease.

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, this IFTTT recipe automatically adds relevant Craigslist listings to your Trello board.

3. Delegate to a virtual assistant

Every apartment search requires hours of researching, scheduling and calling. But many hands make light work, and Fancy Hands can help you do the heavy lifting. This affordable virtual assistant service works by “request” — essentially, tasks that take up to 20 minutes to complete.

Here are three tasks you can outsource immediately to your new assistant: Find listings that match your criteria, research potential neighborhoods and schedule apartment tours.

Plus, Fancy Hands integrates with Trello, so you can delegate new tasks and share information right from your board.

4. Hire out on-the-ground research

While Fancy Hands has the Googling, typing, calling and emailing handled, don’t underestimate the value of analog research.

If you’ve got your heart set on a particular neighborhood (or a handful of them), it’s worth hitting the pavement to spot the for-rent signs that aren’t online yet. Thanks to TaskRabbit, you can hire someone do this research for you.

5. Draft an email template

Mixmax is a Gmail add-on that allows you to create email templates for communicating with landlords and property managers. It also lets you track who opens your emails and when so you know when to follow up.

And don’t worry — Mixmax will do the follow-up outreach for you too. You can create sequences of emails that trigger follow-up emails after a set number of days.

Bonus: Mixmax integrates with Dropbox, so you can share your application materials right there in the body of your email.

6. Store application materials in Dropbox

In addition to creating your Zillow renter profile, which helps you share your qualifications with potential landlords with just one click, try storing your application materials in Dropbox.

With all your application materials in one place, you can quickly and easily share your qualifications with a Dropbox link. Include copies of credit reports, pay stubs, your driver’s license and at least one reference letter.

Top featured image from Offset.


Source: zillow.com

Rent Budget Calculator: How Much Rent Can I Afford?

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Want to know how much rent you can actually afford? Here’s how the rent budget calculator works: Enter your monthly after-tax income and our calculator will tell you how much you can afford to spend on rent. Adjust the slider to see how spending more or less leaves room in your budget for savings and discretionary spending.

Rent Budget Calculator

You can afford to spend up to


on rent

As a general rule, you should spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on rent. This may be higher or lower, depending on the other expenses you have, such as any debt payments you need to make.

Use this slider to see how spending more or less on rent affects your budget:

Rent This should include all housing expenses like your utilities.


Other Expenses This includes other essentials like insurance, groceries, or minimum debt payments you’re required to make.


Discretionary This includes non-essential spending like gym memberships or dining out.


Savings/Extra Debt This includes savings for things like a rainy day fund and any extra debt payments.


According to the 50/30/20 budget rule, necessities like rent, utilities, insurance, and minimum debt payments should take up 50% of your after-tax income, any wants should take up 30%, and savings or paying off any extra debt payments should take up 20%.

How to Determine How Much Rent You Can Truly Afford

Apartment hunting is difficult enough as it is, but our rent budget calculator can help simplify the equation. Whether you’re moving out for the first time or you’re a seasoned pro, knowing how much rent you can afford can make the apartment search a lot easier. 

In general, experts find the average spending on rent and utilities to be around 30 percent of your monthly income. Even though this percentage can vary widely based on income, this rule of thumb was set to ensure most people will not be cost-burdened by their living expenses. If you’re paying down significant debts or are saving for a big purchase, a thrifty budget might put your rent at 20 percent of your total monthly income. On the other hand, if your living space is a huge priority, you might choose to splurge by spending 40 percent of your income on rent. 

There’s ultimately a huge number of factors that go into determining how much you spend on rent. Things like the location, size, and amenities can make all the difference. You’ll have to decide for yourself how much you’re willing to spend and forego in other areas. 

To help you find your dream apartment, we created these helpful printables. There’s an apartment comparison checklist if you’re looking at different options and questions to ask your realtor to make the search easier. To spruce your space up on the cheap, there’s also a printable decor sign. Check them all out below:

Download Apartment Printables

Next Step: Set Up Your Budget

Once you understand how much of your income will go towards your rent, it’s the perfect time to take another look at your budget. An easy place to start is with a 50/30/20 budget, which means you spend 50 percent of your income on necessities, 30 percent on your wants, and 20 percent on your savings or debts. 

After you move to your new apartment, your finances may change. If you find you have a bit more (or less) wiggle room, Mint can help you stay on top of your budget:

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Source: mint.intuit.com