The Best Places to Live in South Carolina in 2021

If you are looking for a state with hundreds of miles of coastline, sprawling urban centers and crisp mountain landscapes, then look no further than South Carolina.

The best places to live in South Carolina are cities filled with southern charm like Charleston, accented by pristine beaches like Myrtle Beach and brimming with opportunities like Greenville.

The Palmetto State has something for everyone interested in a chance at a new beginning. Known for their hospitality, South Carolinians will welcome you with open arms.

Here is our list of the best cities in South Carolina:

Fountain in Aiken, SC.

  • Population: 30,869
  • Average age: N/A
  • Median household income: $56,199
  • Average commute time: 23.2 minutes
  • Walk score: 20
  • Studio average rent: N/A
  • One-bedroom rent: $825
  • Two-bedroom rent: $849

Named the “South’s Best Small Town” by Southern Living, Aiken is no longer the best-kept secret in South Carolina. Home to world-class stables and equine training facilities, this fine equestrian town is sure to please.

In addition, Aiken boasts a mild climate that provides a nice break from the rest of the state’s hot summers. It is also far enough inland that residents do not have to worry too much during hurricane season.

Interested in culture? The Aiken Center for the Arts holds events year-round. You will also love exploring the many independent galleries during a quiet stroll through its historic downtown.

Because of its affordable living, Aiken is a perfect spot for young people just getting started on their own. It is also great for retirees looking for a small town with a beautiful landscape that is ideal for travel.

Aerial view of Charleston, SC at sunset.

  • Population: 130,593
  • Average age: 41.9
  • Median household income: $68,438
  • Average commute time: 26.6 minutes
  • Walk score: 63
  • Studio average rent: $1,654
  • One-bedroom rent: $1,495
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,725

There may not be a city in the world more popular with tourists than Charleston. Imagine experiencing the beautiful beaches, historic buildings, rich culture and world-class restaurants as a resident.

The first thing you will notice about Charleston is the stunning landscape highlighted by the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Residents walk or run the bridge for great exercise and exceptional downtown views, including its famous steeples. You can also watch as giant container ships sail to port through Charleston Harbor.

Second only to New Orleans in its southern culinary tradition, Charleston is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants. The steak martini at Halls Chophouse and the collard greens at Rodney Scott’s BBQ are a few of the many local favorites.

The cost of living is higher here than anywhere else in South Carolina, but the value of living in such a special city is priceless.

Aerial view of downtown Columbia, SC.

  • Population: 133,734
  • Average age: 37.2
  • Median household income: $47,286
  • Average commute time: 19.2 minutes
  • Walk score: 35
  • Studio average rent: $1,083
  • One-bedroom rent: $961
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,095

In the heart of South Carolina lies Columbia, the state’s capital city. Columbia is one of the best places to live in South Carolina because it is a fast-paced metropolis that offers affordable living and a small-town feel.

The University of South Carolina is here along with its storied football traditions. As such, Columbia is a great place to catch a college football game.

If you’re a fan of art and culture, Columbia is absolutely brimming with both. The Columbia Museum of Art holds many different annual events along with its year-round displays. And, after a trip to the museum, you can enjoy a southern-inspired lunch at Cola’s Restaurant.

Lake Murray and Congaree National Park also offer Columbia residents a chance to get outside and enjoy more than 200 sunny days a year.

Greenville, SC shopping center.

  • Population: 63,844
  • Average age: 41.4
  • Median household income: $56,609
  • Average commute time: 21.8 minutes
  • Walk score: 39
  • Studio average rent: $1,219
  • One-bedroom rent: $1,146
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,384

Greenville is South Carolina’s fastest-growing city because of its vast economic opportunities and beautiful landscape. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills, Greenville has a higher elevation than most South Carolina cities, which makes for a milder climate.

Greenville’s economy has experienced a boom in the last decade because of major corporations like Michelin and BMW installing factories here. It is also conveniently located near Interstate 85, which makes commuting and travel a breeze.

The river district in downtown Greenville is home to many fine restaurants and world-class shopping. The weekly Saturday farmers market is also a popular event for young families to enjoy with their children.

Greenville’s cost of living is higher than in most South Carolina cities, but that is because of its excellent school system, healthy lifestyle and the many economic opportunities available.

Mount Pleasant, SC.

  • Population: 81,788
  • Average age: 42.9
  • Median household income: $103,232
  • Average commute time: 26.2 minutes
  • Walk score: 29
  • Studio average rent: $1,364
  • One-bedroom rent: $1,459
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,803

Mount Pleasant is one of the best cities in South Carolina because of its beautiful coastal landscape and its sprawling suburbs.

Sharing half of the famous Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge with its sister city, Charleston, Mount Pleasant affords its residents stunning views of Charleston Harbor and access to beach towns like Sullivan’s Island.

Although living costs in Mount Pleasant are higher than almost anywhere else in South Carolina, it also has a six-figure median household income that is higher than any other city on this list.

If you prefer leisure activities and relaxation, Mount Pleasant is a prime choice. A boater’s paradise, the city offers more than 12 miles of beaches and numerous rivers and creeks. And, after a busy day on the water, you can dock at Shem Creek and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner caught by one of the many resident shrimp boats that morning.

The shoreline of Myrtle Beach, SC.

  • Population: 30,390
  • Average age: 45.7
  • Median household income: $43,200
  • Average commute time: 21.1 minutes
  • Walk score: 23
  • Studio average rent: $1,037
  • One-bedroom rent: $983
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,264

Myrtle Beach has perfected the vacation lifestyle. More than 15 million people visit the Grand Strand annually, and the reasons they visit Myrtle Beach are also what makes it one of the best places to live in South Carolina.

With more than 100 golf courses, 60 miles of stunning sandy beaches and a breezy tropical climate, Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. The city’s tourism also means great economic opportunity for its residents. Myrtle Beach has more than 75,000 jobs connected to the tourism industry.

Myrtle Beach is also a popular destination for retirees because of its pleasing climate and excellent healthcare system. The cost of living is surprisingly affordable despite its popularity.

The local southern charm will woo you, as will its laid-back beach-town personality.

Lake in North Augusta, SC.

  • Population: 23,845
  • Average age: N/A
  • Median household income: $59,931
  • Average commute time: 22.7 minutes
  • Walk score: 33
  • Studio average rent: N/A
  • One-bedroom rent: $1,089
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,665

Located across the Savannah River from Augusta, GA., North Augusta is a jewel on the riverfront and one of the best cities in South Carolina. The North Augusta Greenway traverses the city and adds a picturesque landscape to an already beautiful city.

Many events in North Augusta center around the river, including the Nike Peach Jam and the Savannah Riverkeeper’s Paddlefest.

With a population of just over 22,000, North Augusta is a small town with a big heart.

Residents enjoy one of the highest-rated school systems in the state and access to superb healthcare. The city’s proximity to major highways like Interstate 20 makes North Augusta a retired traveler’s dream.

Park in Rock Hill, SC.

  • Population: 69,939
  • Average age: 40.4
  • Median household income: $50,444
  • Average commute time: 28.7 minutes
  • Walk score: 32
  • Studio average rent: $835
  • One-bedroom rent: $914
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,138

Twenty miles south of Charlotte lies the charming and affordable Rock Hill. The average commute time of under 30 minutes allows Rock Hill residents to benefit from the economic opportunities found in Charlotte without having to pay the costs or suffer the hassles of living in a large city.

Home to the Carolina Panthers’ practice facility, Rock Hill is a short drive away from catching a National Football League, National Basketball Association or International Hockey League game or NASCAR race.

The cost of living in Rock Hill pales in comparison to Charlotte and is still among the lowest in the entire state of South Carolina. Residents take advantage of the mild year-round climate and enjoy the many outdoor activities available in Rock Hill, like boating and fishing on nearby Lake Wylie or the Catawba River.

Aerial shot of Spartanburg, SC.

  • Population: 37,164
  • Average age: 42.3
  • Median household income: $40,053
  • Average commute time: 23.0 minutes
  • Walk Score: 29
  • Studio average rent: $727
  • One-bedroom rent: $888
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,047

“Sparkle City,” as Spartanburg is affectionately known, is the smaller sister-city to Greenville. What makes it one of the best cities to live in South Carolina is its small-town charm, quiet neighborhoods and increasing economic opportunities.

Home to the headquarters of national restaurant chain Denny’s and one of the only BMW assembly plants in the United States, Spartanburg offers many employment opportunities to its residents. And, with its low cost of living and highly-rated school system, Spartanburg is a great landing spot for young families and career-minded millennials.

Downtown Spartanburg has enjoyed a renaissance in the last decade that has revitalized its landscape and brought art and culture back to the city. Ballet Spartanburg, one of the most celebrated arts organizations in the state, produces a dozen productions annually, including “The Nutcracker.”

River view of Summerville, SC.

  • Population: 46,612
  • Average age: 40.5
  • Median household income: $59,180
  • Average commute time: 35.4 minutes
  • Walk Score: 19
  • Studio average rent: $1,093
  • One-bedroom rent: $1,098
  • Two-bedroom rent: $1,380

Summerville gives nearby Charleston a run for its money when it comes to history, culture and landscape. A much more affordable option than the nearby No. 1 tourist destination, Summerville is the gateway to the Lowcountry.

With a population of just under 50,000 residents and an average annual income of over $80,000, Summerville is unmatched in the state of South Carolina in terms of cost of living and economic opportunity.

Summerville boasts one of the highest school ratings in the state, making it one of the best cities to live in South Carolina for education. The cost of living is higher than most smaller towns, but the location, beautiful coastal landscape and proximity to opportunity make up for it.

Find your own best place to live in South Carolina

If you are ready to call South Carolina home, we’re here to help. Start your apartment search today.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments in March 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Other demographic data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

Bankruptcy, Not Bailout?

Many are saying that if we don’t come up with a bailout package, that the economy will crash because of the lack of credit available to companies and consumers.  Others are saying that a bailout of struggling companies by taxpayers isn’t a good idea either, and that a plan involving insuring the troubled assets would be better.

I’m beginning to come down more on the side of the bailout not being a good idea.

Today I was reading an article on CNN by Jeffrey A. Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University.  He proposes that bankruptcy, not a bailout, is the best course of action for our current crisis.   He explains the current mess:

This bailout was a terrible idea. Here’s why.

The current mess would never have occurred in the absence of ill-conceived federal policies. The federal government chartered Fannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgage lending institutions are at the center of the crisis. The government implicitly promised these institutions that it would make good on their debts, so Fannie and Freddie took on huge amounts of excessive risk.

Worse, beginning in 1977 and even more in the 1990s and the early part of this century, Congress pushed mortgage lenders and Fannie/Freddie to expand subprime lending. The industry was happy to oblige, given the implicit promise of federal backing, and subprime lending soared.

This subprime lending was more than a minor relaxation of existing credit guidelines. This lending was a wholesale abandonment of reasonable lending practices in which borrowers with poor credit characteristics got mortgages they were ill-equipped to handle.

Once housing prices declined and economic conditions worsened, defaults and delinquencies soared, leaving the industry holding large amounts of severely depreciated mortgage assets.

The fact that government bears such a huge responsibility for the current mess means any response should eliminate the conditions that created this situation in the first place, not attempt to fix bad government with more government.

He goes on to talk about what he would propose instead of a $700 billion bailout:

The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.

Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This “moral hazard” generates enormous distortions in an economy’s allocation of its financial resources.

Thoughtful advocates of the bailout might concede this perspective, but they argue that a bailout is necessary to prevent economic collapse. According to this view, lenders are not making loans, even for worthy projects, because they cannot get capital. This view has a grain of truth; if the bailout does not occur, more bankruptcies are possible and credit conditions may worsen for a time.

Talk of Armageddon, however, is ridiculous scare-mongering. If financial institutions cannot make productive loans, a profit opportunity exists for someone else. This might not happen instantly, but it will happen.

Miron proceeds to explain how if a bailout passes, the chances of companies gaming the system to get as much of their piece of the bailout pie is likely to happen – and that he thinks much of the credit freeze that is happening right now is due to the chances of a bailout. Companies would much rather get 30-50 cents on the dollar for their troubled assets through a bailout as opposed to selling them for 20 cents on the dollar on their own.

He also talks about how he thinks that a bailout will likely benefit those in government and in special interests, solidifying the power of those in Washington, and not benefiting the taxpayers as much as we might think.

He concludes the article:

Eliminate those policies that generated the current mess. This means, at a general level, abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability to pay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that pressure banks into subprime lending.

The right view of the financial mess is that an enormous fraction of subprime lending should never have occurred in the first place. Someone has to pay for that. That someone should not be, and does not need to be, the U.S. taxpayer.

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

Budget-Friendly At-Home Valentine’s Date Ideas

women holding hands at homeMoney can’t buy love, but all the fancy Valentine’s date nights on your social media feeds may lead you to lose sight of this truth. Show your love this year without going over-budget with these at-home Valentine’s Day ideas that are guaranteed to please your main squeeze!

Create an At-Home Spa

Going to a spa is an expensive endeavor. Creating one at home is an affordable way to set a mood and create an environment of relaxation and peace. Opt for a relaxing bath or DIY massage coupled with candles, relaxing tunes, and fragrant essential oils or Epsom salts. Then, pamper your partner with a foot or back rub, and top things off with a sheet mask or facial treatment and a glass of wine. You and your relationship will feel refreshed and reinvigorated the day after!

Valentine’s Dinner Ideas

Food is love, and there’s no better way to show that love than by cooking up a special meal for that special someone. Think outside the box and experiment with a new recipe, an indoor picnic, or even more creative, a fondue for two! There’s just something romantic about chocolate fondue, and when you don’t have to leave home to enjoy it, that’s a bonus.

Borrow this DIY fondue night tutorial from Forkly for a deliciously melty dinner that’s sure to satisfy. To amp up the romance factor, create playlists for each other ahead of time and listen to the songs while you dip into your culinary creations. And pro tip? Make it a tech-free evening, keeping phones and even the TV off-limits for Valentine’s night.

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

A DIY scavenger hunt can take a bit of planning, but it costs next to nothing and practically guarantees a good time! Plus, with some creative thinking, your scavenger hunt can be confined to the four walls of your studio apartment or the four corners of your neighborhood!

Hide meaningful notes and trinkets in a few strategic locations, along with clues to the next treasure — the clues can be brain-teasers, inside jokes, or riddles that your partner has to figure out to get to the last stop — YOU!

Host a Movie Night

Is it a little cliche? Yes, but for good reason — it’s one of the best ways to spend the night when done correctly. Instead of just plopping on the couch with no plan like a typical TV night, make it romantic and fun creating a lineup of your partner’s favorite shows and episodes or a movie that holds special significance in your relationship. Whatever you do, add in those special touches — maybe even prepare your partner’s favorite binge-watching snack — to show just how much you care.

Learn a New Craft Together

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in a relationship for years or you’re spending your first Valentine’s Day together. Learning something new is a great way to connect. Whether it’s knitting or wine-and-watercolor painting, you’re guaranteed to find a tutorial online that will guide you through this adventure and provide a Valentine’s Day full of crafting. The best part is that if you make a mistake, you’re both in it together.

Ready to Fall In Love with Your Home?

Does spending time at home feel more like a feat than a treat? In that case, you may want to consider moving into a different apartment that you can feel proud of! Find a place with plenty of room to entertain, make dinner, and enjoy with ApartmentSearch.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Working From Your Apartment? Top Amenities to Look For

Man sitting at office desk sipping from a mug and looking at a computerWorking from home was still considered a bit taboo and somewhat of a privilege for many people until recently. According to this Gartner survey, at least 80% of surveyed company leaders plan to allow employees to continue remote work — at least part-time. Research has shown us that employee happiness and productivity seem to be highest when workers are allowed to stay at home rather than commute to an office. This trend isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon.

Alongside this, many people are relocating since they now have the flexibility to work from almost anywhere. Apartment communities are paying close attention to this boom and have begun offering additional incentives to potential tenants for choosing to rent a space within their community. So, what are some of the most popular amenities being offered to those who find themselves working from an apartment?

Enhanced Concierge Services

These add-on services are not necessarily a new thing for some higher-end properties. But now that more people are working from home, concierge services are quickly becoming more of an essential rather than a luxury. Having a service dedicated to tenants for things like fetching food orders, laundry, dog walking, and package retrieval is a perk that apartment communities may offer to accommodate their WFH tenants further.

Built-in Nooks

Many apartment complexes now offer work areas or small alcoves within the apartments themselves that can be used for a dedicated home office setup. These nooks sometimes come already equipped with a built-in desktop space or a collapsible desk shelf. They’re usually furnished with power outlets and added extras like USB plug-ins so that you can keep your devices charged and ready to go at all times.

Co-Working Spaces

Apartments with coworking spaces are already pretty commonplace in most newer apartment complexes. Still, some are offering computers, printers, larger open areas with desks, comfy couches, and conference-style rooms for tenants to work privately. This trend started as a way to encourage human interaction between people who work from home. It may still be offered in some communities, taking into account social distancing and health guidelines.

Garden-Style Apartments

Working from home may be less stressful than going to an office every day, but we all need to take time out for relaxation. Garden apartments are unique compared to concrete highrise apartments and may allow for a more zen-like work from home experience. They’re typically surrounded by lush greenery and sometimes genuine gardens that can provide a sense of calm after a long day of work.

Pre-Furnished Apartments

If you’re looking for the ideal pad for a digital nomad-lifestyle, finding furnished apartments or temporary furniture for your next short-term destination is a must! After all, without quality furniture, you won’t be comfortable in your temporary space, and buying new furniture after each move is a quick way to put a dent in your savings account!

Turn to CORT for help decking out your new, temporary digs with whole-apartment furniture rental. We’ll turn any place into a furnished space, setting up your stuff before you move in and picking it up at the end of the lease.

Upgrade Your WFH Lifestyle

Whether you’re working from home in a small apartment part-time or full-time, it’s essential to have a relaxing and comfortable living space. From built-in office nooks to dedicated co-working spaces, apartment complexes are finding new ways to get remote workers’ business. Find available apartment units that fit your needs with ApartmentSearch. Check out our free search tool today!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Evening Routine Ideas That Can Lead to a More Productive Workday

What do you typically do after work? If you’re like many people, you probably eat dinner and then watch some television. According to Nielsen’s 2020 Total Audience report, Americans spent over 12 hours per day interacting with media during the first part of that year.

There’s nothing wrong with chilling on the couch watching Netflix, playing video games, and browsing social media. But 2019 research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that if you want to have a better day tomorrow, you need to do something different tonight.

Changing up your evening routine can improve your reputation at work, help you think more creatively or be more productive, or give you the initiative to ask for a raise or apply for a promotion. And taking a few small, actionable steps can help you achieve peak performance at work the following day.

How Your Evening Routine Can Influence Your Productivity

The Journal of Applied Psychology study looked at the evening routines of 183 employees over 10 workdays. The purpose of the study was simple: Researchers wanted to explore how various activities influence the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors people experienced the next day.

These workers filled out a questionnaire three times per day. In the morning, they described how they were feeling. Midday, they described what types of proactive behaviors they were doing, such as taking the initiative on a project, doing something to create positive change in the workplace, or taking control of a situation.

In the evening, employees described what they did after work. For their evening activities, the employees were asked whether each activity gave them a sense of proficiency, such as learning a new language or playing a sport, as well as how that activity made them feel. They were also asked how well the activity helped them relieve stress and detach from work.

Researchers discovered that the employees who engaged in activities that gave them a sense of proficiency were more motivated to create positive change at work the next day. They also reported feeling more relaxed, inspired, and joyful than the other employees.

The employees who engaged in activities that helped distance them from work, such as meditation or listening to music, felt relaxed but didn’t experience the same take-charge feelings, such as excitement and inspiration, at work the next day.

Researchers also discovered that having the freedom to choose what you do in the evening can lead to more proactive behaviors and positive feelings the next day. For example, people who have many obligations to meet after work, such as caring for an aging parent or young children, are less likely to feel proactive the next day simply because they have less freedom to choose what they do in the evening.


How to Create a More Productive Workday This Evening

The study illustrates a critical point: Vegging out in front of the TV isn’t likely to make you feel positive and inspired at work the next day, but doing something productive or physically engaging probably will.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do tonight to have a better workday tomorrow.

1. Start a Hobby

Engaging in a hobby at the end of the day is one of the best ways to create a more productive day at work tomorrow. Some hobbies can even help you earn more money. But too many of us don’t have a hobby at all.

We go to work, come home, do chores, and perhaps take care of our kids or work a side hustle like DoorDash driver or online teaching. And then we hit the sack, where we wake up and start the whole soul-sucking cycle all over again in the morning. It’s an exhausting daily routine.

But hobbies are something we do simply because we love doing them. There’s no sense of obligation. Hobbies are relaxing, fun, and stimulating.

They also provide several significant health benefits. A 2009 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine analyzed the leisure activities of 1,399 study participants. It found that those who participated in more activities had lower cortisol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index and waist circumference, lower levels of depression, and higher levels of positive psychological states.

The COVID-19 pandemic compelled more people to pursue hobbies they previously didn’t have time for. James C. Kaufman is a professor of educational psychology at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. He tells the American Heart Association that a pandemic hobby can help take your mind off negative news and fears.

When you’re creative, you can slip into a state of “flow” in which you’re completely caught up in what you’re doing. This positive disconnect can be valuable whether you’re experiencing stress at work or in your personal life.

Hobbies can influence your career too. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg tells CNBC that hobbies show prospective employers you have passion and drive. If you’re ready for a career change, you might even be able to turn your hobby into a business.

Think about what you’ve always wanted to do but never made time to learn. Some popular hobbies include:

Outdoor Activities Craftsmanship Sports
  • Restoring old furniture
  • Metalsmithing
  • Leatherworking
  • Pyrography (wood burning)
  • Woodworking
  • Bookbinding
  • Building dollhouses or room boxes
  • Fixing classic cars
  • Running
  • Golfing
  • Dancing
  • Skiing or snowboarding
  • Yoga
  • Tennis
  • Martial arts
  • Archery
  • Rock climbing
  • Cycling
Arts & Crafts Mental Challenges Life Skills
  • Gourmet cooking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Embroidery, crochet, or knitting
  • Journaling
  • Photography
  • Drawing and painting
  • Pottery
  • Calligraphy
  • Writing
  • Origami
  • Sewing
  • Canning
  • Baking
  • Home renovation
  • Candle or soap making
  • Basket weaving
  • Homebrewing or winemaking
  • Auto repair
  • Volunteering

This list is by no means exhaustive. Any activity that excites and interests you can make a worthwhile hobby. But set a budget for hobby expenses so you don’t end up spending more than you can afford.

2. Learn a New Skill

The Journal of Applied Psychology study found that any activity that helps give you a sense of proficiency increases the likelihood you’ll take charge at work the next day.

Hobbies fit the bill here. But so does learning any new skill or technique that can better your life and career and give you a greater sense of control over your destiny — whether or not it becomes something you enjoy and do regularly.

So think about the knowledge and skills you regularly use in your career. Which of these skills do you need to work on to do your job better? Which would help further your career down the road?

For example, effective communication skills are a must in every profession, and that includes business writing skills. If your communication skills are lacking, strengthening them could pay off significantly. You could take a writing class or read a book like “4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication” by Bento C. Leal III.

If it’s your foreign language skills that need work, you can learn a new language with Babbel. You can also master a new language quickly through courses offered at Udemy.

If you’re unsure which skills would help in your current role, talk to your boss or a trusted colleague. Ask which of your skills — or weaknesses — they think could use some work.

It can also help to think about the important tasks or responsibilities you struggle with at work. These challenges often point to a knowledge or skill gap. For example, if giving the weekly presentation makes you break out in a cold sweat, work on your public speaking skills. If you have trouble working with others, learn how to be a better listener or collaborate more effectively. Conflict-resolution skills are also vital for working effectively as a team.

Learning skills that benefit your professional life pays off in two key ways: It provides a sense of proficiency that results in positive feelings and a take-charge attitude the next day, and it gives you the tools you need for long-term success. That’s true whether you work with a team at a large corporation, you’re working from home, or you own a small business.

3. Go to Bed Early

This one’s a no-brainer. Getting enough sleep is essential to having a productive, energized work life. Yet the United Kingdom’s National Health Service reports that 1 in 3 people don’t get enough sleep, which the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) defines as seven or more hours per night.

Persistently poor sleep and sleep deprivation also negatively affect your health. According to the CDC, poor sleep has been linked to obesity, heart disease, lowered immune function, decreased fertility, decreased brain functioning, and diabetes. Frequent sleep deprivation might also shorten your life expectancy.

So if you’re having trouble getting a full night’s sleep, how can you get better sleep and wake up refreshed the next morning? Start by changing your bedtime routine.

Turn Off Your Devices & Dim the Lights

To get the best sleep, doctors recommend avoiding screens and dimming the overhead lights in your home two hours before bedtime.

The blue light emitted from phones, tablets, and TVs tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daylight. That reduces the amount of melatonin, the sleep hormone that helps you get deep sleep, your brain releases.

Your home’s overhead lights have the same effect. A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that exposure to room light suppressed melatonin production in 99% of study participants and shortened melatonin duration by 90 minutes compared with dim light.

You’ll likely get better sleep if you dim the lights in the evening. Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic recommends avoiding screens one hour before bed.

Cut the Caffeine

According to a 2018 study published in Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 90% of American adults consume caffeine daily. To sleep better, limit your caffeine intake to no more than three 6-ounce cups per day.

It’s also important to time your caffeine consumption to avoid disrupting sleep. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that consuming caffeine six hours and three hours before bedtime both significantly contribute to sleep disruption. So if you want to be in bed by 9pm, don’t consume any caffeine past 3pm for a better night’s sleep.

And remember: Coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine. Foods and drinks like chocolate, black tea, and energy drinks also contain caffeine.

Get Outside

Exposure to bright outdoor light helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. It can also help reduce feelings of depression and seasonal affective disorder.

If you work all day indoors, make time to get outdoors during or after work. Eat lunch outside or go for a walk as soon as your workday is over.

The type of lighting in your workplace can also affect how well you sleep at night. A 2008 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health found that blue-enriched white light improved alertness, mood, performance, and sleep quality compared with regular white light. Including this type of light in your workspace, whether it’s the overhead light in your office or a lamp on your desk, could lead to higher productivity and better sleep at night. If you can’t influence the overhead lights in your office, invest in the Miroco light therapy lamp from Amazon.

Exercise

One of the best ways to ensure you sleep long and well is to get enough exercise. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise improved sleep in older adults.

But don’t exercise right before bed. For some people, exercise is so stimulating it can actually make it harder for them to fall asleep. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Sports Medicine, engaging in vigorous exercise one hour before bed can make it harder to fall asleep and reduce your total sleep time for the night.

Pro Tip: If you’re struggling to find a workout that gets you motivated, try Aaptiv. They have thousands of workouts and add more than 30 new classes each week.

Fight Insomnia Naturally

If you still have trouble sleeping, try using some natural sleep aids to fight insomnia. For example, taking melatonin right before bed might be all you need to sleep better at night. You might also sleep better by sprinkling some lavender essential oil on your pillow or mixing it with water in an aromatherapy diffuser in your bedroom. Lavender is well-known as a natural sleep aid.

You can also try drinking some herbal tea at the end of the day to aid relaxation and promote sleep. Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night tea contains passionflower, catnip, chamomile, and linden flower — all herbs that help your body relax and allow you to drift to sleep.

4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

How many times have you lain awake at night thinking about everything you need to do the next day? This type of worry is unproductive, and according to The American Institute of Stress, it can cause stress and anxiety.

Instead of keeping your to-do list in your head, take some time to plan your day right before bed. Identify the top three priorities for tomorrow and make a list of your commitments, such as meetings or school pickups. Jot them down in your planner so you don’t forget. It gives you a sense of control over your responsibilities and relieves the worry you’ll forget something important.

5. Journal

In a column for Inc., organizational psychologist Benjamin Hardy calls writing in a journal nightly a keystone habit — that is, a habit so powerful it leads to numerous positive, transformative behaviors.

Throughout history, many extraordinary people have used journaling to transform their lives.

  • Founding father Benjamin Franklin journaled throughout his life and used his journals to reflect on his strengths and weaknesses and improve.
  • Leonardo da Vinci used his journals to sketch the first underwater breathing apparatus and figure out how to use concave mirrors to generate heat.
  • Celebrated literary blog Brain Pickings lists Anias Nin, Virginia Woolf, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Oscar Wilde as just some of the famous writers who regularly wrote in a journal throughout their lives and careers.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, nightly journaling can help you detach from work and deal with the stresses and frustrations of the day. That can help you sleep better because you’re not stewing about all these feelings during the night.

It can also help you identify thoughts and feelings you weren’t consciously aware you had. Use it to identify meaningful goals and create a plan to make them a reality. It might also influence you to look at your life from another perspective and identify things that need to change.

You can boost the positive effects of journaling by taking a few minutes to write about what you’re grateful for. According to Harvard Health, gratitude can increase your happiness and help you realize how abundant your life really is. At the end of your nightly entry, write down three things you’re grateful for. You might be surprised how life-changing this simple practice can be.

6. Streamline Your Routine

If you have a long commute or multiple kids to get out the door, streamlining your morning routine is essential. Anything you can do in the evening to prepare for the next day will be well worth the time you spend.

For example, try taking your shower in the evening instead of first thing in the morning. Prepare your brown-bag lunch, work with your kids to get everything they need for school into their backpacks, and put your work bag in your car. Transitioning to a capsule wardrobe also makes getting dressed a cinch.

Popular business writer and coach Brian Tracy also suggests writing a to-do list the night before. He theorizes that for every minute you spend planning your day, you save 10 minutes in execution.

A streamlined morning routine could make it easier to wake up early and sneak in a workout, meditate, or make a healthy breakfast, which are three activities that can also have a powerfully positive impact on your workday.


Finding Time for a Productive Evening Routine

Taking time to engage in a hobby or learn something new is fantastic when you have some time to set aside.

But as the Journal of Applied Psychology study found, people who have a high degree of external obligations, such as caregivers or those working a second job, often don’t have the freedom to choose what they do in the evening. For example, when you’re a single parent with a mountain of household chores, it’s tough to step away and devote some time to your own needs.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology backs that up, finding that people with lots of responsibilities outside work experienced less vigor and engagement at work the next day than those with fewer obligations.

So if you’ve already got a full plate, what can you do?

One strategy is to team up with someone else in the same situation. For example, if you’re a parent who desperately needs an hour in the evening, team up with another parent and swap kids: They watch your kids for you on Mondays, and you return the favor on Thursdays. This strategy won’t give you an hour each evening, but it’s a start. And the more parents involved, the more evenings each of you has free.

If you have trouble finding others in the same boat, check Meetup. There are parenting groups in most cities, including single-parent Meetup groups.

Another strategy is to look at where you do have an hour free of your daily obligations. For many people, that’s their lunch hour at work. Instead of wasting time going out to lunch, give yourself more time and save money by bringing a healthy lunch from home. Use the extra time to get some exercise or learn something new.

While it might not provide the same benefits you’d receive by doing the activity in the evening, taking the time to do something for yourself can still help you relax and feel fulfilled.


Final Word

The Journal of Applied Psychology research shows that what you do in the evening can significantly affect how well you perform at work the next day and how happy and excited you are in the process. Taking time to engage in a hobby, listen to an inspiring podcast, or learn a career-related skill can give you a sense of proficiency and the feeling you’re in control of your life.

The energy and positive feelings you get from a fulfilling evening can also give you the drive and initiative you need to do your best at work. Over time, that will help strengthen your reputation and possibly open doors to a raise, promotion, or new job.

Source: moneycrashers.com

10 Household Bugs and Natural Remedies For Ridding Them

Regardless of if you can see them, there are bugs in your home.

A study by PeerJ found that the average American home has 100 different species of arthropods inhabiting it. The arthropoda category includes almost every bug you can think of, including spiders, insects, centipedes, mites and butterflies. Arthropods make up 75 percent of life on Earth, so it’s no surprise that they have adapted to living in unison with humans and have taken advantage of our habitats as well.

When it comes to household bugs, these unwanted roommates can vary in visibility and impact on your home. One lone spider in a dusty corner may not harm anyone, but an infestation of bed bugs will definitely leave their mark. While it’s tempting to buy-out the bug spray aisle of your local hardware store if you have a bug infestation, these products can contain toxic chemicals that are unhealthy for you and your family (including your pets), as well as detrimental to the Earth.

Luckily, there are many common household items that can help you deal with your pest problem. These household remedies are easy to create and will help keep bugs out of your apartment in a safe manner. Save our visual for a quick reference on how to get rid of bugs the natural way!

infographic of types of household bugs and remediesinfographic of types of household bugs and remedies

Download the infographic: PDF | JPG

While some landlords are responsible for pest control, they often will take a while to deal with the infestation or may use harmful products. Next time you spot one of these common household bugs, try taking preventative measures with these natural remedies.

Household bugs found in your kitchen

While bugs can be found in all parts of your home, here are a few of the most common pests in your kitchen — plus a few tips to keep them out.

1. Ants

photo of ant with facts about antsphoto of ant with facts about ants

Ants are one of the most common household bugs that are found in every climate. If you’ve ever had an ant infestation, you are familiar with how these tiny creatures are able to get into every nook and cranny in your home.

Not only can ants contaminate food by depositing dirt and feces into it, but they can also pose a threat to your home. For example, carpenter ants are able to tunnel through wood and damage the structure of your home.

Natural ways to get rid of ants

You’ll want to get rid of ants, as soon as you can. There are many ant sprays on the market, but many have chemicals that can be harmful to you and your pets. For a natural ant deterrent and ant trap, try out the following recipes.

  • Vinegar and water spray: Combine a mix of half white vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Spray this on any ants you come across. Then wipe up the area. The vinegar will overwhelm the ant’s sense of smell and they will not return.
  • Cayenne pepper, cornmeal or coffee: Another way to disrupt ant’s sense of smell, without making your home smell like vinegar is by sprinkling cayenne pepper, cornmeal or brewed coffee grounds around the area where the ants are coming from. These items will prevent the ants from smelling the food in your home as well as their fellow ants. The powdery texture of these will also make the ants want to avoid the area.
  • Dish soap spray: If you want a spray that will kill the ants in your home as well as clean up your surfaces, try creating a dish soap and water mixture. Fill the spray bottle three-quarters of the way full and then add 10-20 drops of a natural ingredient dish soap. Shake to mix and then spray your problem areas.

2. Flies

photo of fly with facts about fliesphoto of fly with facts about flies

There are many varieties of flies that you may find in your kitchen, but the two most common are house flies and fruit flies. These flies can easily sneak into your home through cracks in screens or open doors. They are attracted to old food that may be laying around, whether that means your overflowing garbage can or the old fruit sitting on your counter.

In addition to the annoyance of having them buzz around your home, flies can be dangerous because they carry and spread diseases. They have been responsible for the spreading of salmonella, E.coli and food poisoning.

Natural ways to get rid of flies

To reduce the fly population in your apartment and prevent the risk of disease, you’ll want to make a natural, homemade fly trap.

  • Jar fly trap: A good way to kill off these disease-spreading creatures is by creating a trap. Fill a jar with about an inch of apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of floral dish soap. Use plastic wrap to cover the jar. Secure it with a rubber band. Poke holes in the plastic wrap so that the flies have an entry point.
  • Fruit trap: This trap targets fruit flies, but can work with other varieties. Cut a piece of fruit about one inch thick. Place it in a bowl so that the cut side is facing up. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and secure it with tape or a rubber band. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and then let it a secluded area of the kitchen.

3. Indian meal moths

photo of indian meal moth and facts about indian meal mothsphoto of indian meal moth and facts about indian meal moths

Indian meal moths are commonly found in kitchens and pantries. These nocturnal insects creep into your home in the dead of night and lay their microscopic eggs in flours, cereals, grains, seeds, candies and dry pet food.

The main danger of Indian meal moths is that they will spoil your food. If they invade your pantry, they will bring their webs, feces and skin with them, which will contaminate your groceries.

Natural ways to get rid of Indian meal moths

To prevent your well-stocked pantry from becoming waste, you’ll want to take precautions to rid Indian meal moths from your home. Using chemical solutions in your pantry can be dangerous so finding a natural solution is the best way to treat these pests.

  • Wipe down your cans and bags: With the case of meal moths, prevention is the best tactic. These meal moths are commonly found on shipping pallets and can sneak their way into your home through cans and bags of dry food. Wiping down your cans and bags with a hot soapy washcloth will prevent them from spreading to the rest of your food.
  • Sprinkle bay leaves: A natural remedy for deterring Indian meal moths is sprinkling bay leaves throughout your kitchen cabinets. These strong smelling leaves will prevent these insects from setting up camp in your pantry.

4. Cockroaches

photo of a cockroach and facts about cockraochesphoto of a cockroach and facts about cockraoches

Cockroaches are among the most common unwanted house bugs and can be found all over the world. They are able to find their way into your apartment through small holes and cracks in the walls or through the pipes. Cockroaches seek shelter in narrow spaces so they are often found under sinks and in dark drawers.

Cockroaches don’t bite, but they have been known to cause health problems. Their skin and waste can cause allergy or asthma symptoms.

Natural ways to get rid of cockroaches

Pesticides may rid your house of these pests, but they can also be harmful to human health. Instead, try these natural solutions for ridding your home of cockroaches.

  • Wine bottle trap: Fill the bottom of an old wine bottle with something sticky that will attract cockroaches, like syrup or peanut butter. Then line the inside of the wine bottle top with cooking oil (be sure not to get it on the outside of the bottle). The cockroaches will be drawn towards the sweet contents, but get trapped inside because they can’t climb back up the slippery walls.
  • Catnip: This plant creates a strong smelling oil that cats love, but cockroaches hate. Fill small satchels with fresh catnip or cotton balls that have nepetalactone essential oil on them. Place these satchels in places you’ve seen the roaches.

Household bugs found in your bedroom

A bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation, but you don’t want pests getting too comfortable. There are a few common bedroom bugs that you may encounter that can cause you discomfort and sometimes even harm.

5. Fleas

photo of a flea and facts about fleasphoto of a flea and facts about fleas

Fleas are a common household bug, especially for those who have pets. These tiny creatures that can live for several weeks to several months, but reproduce easily so even one flea can turn into an infestation in your home. Fleas are able to jump nearly a foot, so they are commonly spread by jumping onto people or pets.

Flea bites are more common on pets than they are on people. These bites usually cause excessive itching. On occasion, flea bites can also lead to an infection or allergic reaction from the flea’s saliva.

Natural ways to get rid of fleas

Since pets are the primary target of these pests, it’s important to find a natural way to get rid of them that isn’t going to be harmful to your furry friend.

  • Herbal flea spray: For a non-toxic removal, try creating an herbal flea spray. Start by vacuuming the whole house and washing any items on the hottest washing setting. Then mix together 4 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of water, 4 oz of lemon juice, and 2 oz of witch hazel in a two-liter spray bottle. Spray everything in the apartment, including carpets, furniture and pet beds.
  • Salt: Salt is able to dehydrate the fleas and kill them. Try sprinkling finely ground salt on the carpets. Leave for a day and then vacuum.
  • Rosemary and lemon spray: Begin by boiling 4 cups of water and then remove it from the heat. Add in 6 thinly sliced lemons, chopped rosemary leaves, 3-4 drops of Geranium essential oil. Cover and leave overnight. The next day, strain the water and put in a spray bottle. Spray this natural solution throughout your home to repel fleas.

6. Bed bugs

photo of a bedbug and facts about bedbugsphoto of a bedbug and facts about bedbugs

Bed bugs are an unfortunate and common bug found in the bedroom. They are small enough to tag along in suitcases, boxes and shoes. For this reason, they are commonly found in the summertime when people are more inclined to travel.

Bed bugs do not transmit any diseases, but they do feed on human blood. Their bites don’t usually hurt, but they leave small red, itchy marks on the skin.

Natural ways to get rid of bed bugs

Sometimes it can take a little while to schedule an exterminator, or you may not want the toxic chemicals they use in a place where you sleep. In these situations, household remedies for bed bugs are the answer.

  • Steam clean or use a hairdryer: Bed bugs and their eggs will be killed when exposed to high temperatures. Steam cleaning the areas where your find bed bugs will expose them to temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, try taking a hair dryer to the area.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda will absorb the moisture in the bed bugs, killing them. Sprinkle the area and surrounding spaces with baking soda. Let sit for an hour and then vacuum. Repeat this process every few days to make sure all the bugs are taken care of.

Household bugs found throughout the home

Some common household bugs are in hiding throughout your entire home. Although you don’t often see these pests, you can sometimes hear them or see their effects.

7. Crickets

photo of a cricket and facts about cricketsphoto of a cricket and facts about crickets

House crickets are a popular type of cricket. As the name suggests, they are found in the home and drawn to warm, moist environments. If you have a cricket infestation you’ll either hear their chirping or find chewed fabric.

While crickets aren’t harmful, their loud chirping is enough to drive you crazy. This chirping is a mating call that occurs when male crickets rub their front wings together.

Natural ways to get rid of crickets

If you have male crickets in your apartment, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible to get some peace and quiet. Here are some household remedies for getting rid of crickets in your home.

  • Molasses: Create a trap by filling a jar half-way full with molasses. The sweet smell will lure them in and the sticky texture will trap them.
  • Chili spray: Create a spray by boiling 2 cups of water and adding half a cup of red chilies, red chili powder or chili sauce. Strain the liquid and then add 2 more cups of water. Put in a spray bottle and spray the outside perimeter of your home to keep the crickets away. Do not use this spray inside, as the color may stain the furniture or rugs.

8. Spiders

photo of spider and facts about spidersphoto of spider and facts about spiders

Another common household bug that you probably want to be rid of are spiders. There are almost 4,000 species of spiders, some more likely to be spotted in your home than others. Some common varieties include the American house spider, black widow spider, daddy longlegs and the domestic house spider.

Depending on the species, spiders can be harmless or venomous. The harmless varieties will keep to themselves, but create spiderwebs throughout your home. The more venomous ones will cause spider bites that are at best itchy and at worst, deadly.

Natural ways to get rid of spiders

Spider appearances in the home increase as the weather gets colder. As this happens, you’ll want to find a natural way to keep them out.

  • Citrus: Spiders are repelled by citrus scents. Try rubbing a citrus peel along baseboards, window sills and bookshelves. This will make your home smell good and keep the critters out.
  • DIY spider spray: Create a spider spray by mixing together water and a few drops of essential oils. Spider repelling scents include eucalyptus, citronella, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, cinnamon, citrus and cedar. Spray this in areas you find spiders, especially when there has been rain or cold weather.

9. Termites

photo of termites and facts about termitesphoto of termites and facts about termites

There are more than 40 species of termites that can be found in the United States, but most look similar. These silent bugs eat cellulose-based plant materials, which is what all homes are made of.

These bugs don’t pose a danger to humans, but they are a threat to the structure of your apartment and your furniture. If termites are found in your home, it’s possible that they will need to be disposed of in addition to your house needing some work done.

Natural ways to get rid of termites

It’s important that you try to rid your home of these pests as soon as one is spotted. Here are some home remedies for getting rid of termites.

  • Wet cardboard: Termites love water and cellulose, which is exactly what wet cardboard is. Put pieces of wet cardboard in areas you suspect have termites. When the termites have settled on the cardboard, take the piece and burn it. Repeat this process until the bugs are gone.
  • Sunlight: Not only do termites thrive in dark and damp places, but they can actually die from sunlight and heat. If your furniture has termites and you live in a sunny city, bring it outside on a hot day. If the termites are in your home, try setting up UV lights in the area.

Household bugs found in your bathroom

Many bugs are attracted to damp places, so your bathroom becomes their haven. To prevent bugs from making a home in your bathroom, you’ll want to be sure to wipe down any wet surfaces and keep your fan on when showering. 

10. Silverfish

Silverfish, also known as paramites, carpet sharks or fishmoths, have a metallic appearance and oval shape. They are usually found in humid, moist areas such as bathrooms and basements. Silverfish are good at hiding and sometimes go unnoticed by the inhabitants of the home.

Silverfish are not dangerous to humans but can cause harm to a property. Silverfish feed on polysaccharides which can be found in adhesives, book bindings and carpet. This means they commonly destroy bookshelves, artwork and other household decorations.

Natural ways to get rid of silverfish

It’s possible to keep your bathroom clean, without using toxic chemicals. Here are a few ways to rid your home from silverfish.

  • Cedar shavings: Silverfish don’t like the smell of cedar. Spread cedar chips in areas where you’ve been seeing this pest to scare them away. If the cedar gets damp or old, be sure to vacuum them up and replace them.
  • Jar trap: Cover the outside of a jar with masking tape and place some pieces of bread inside. Put the jar in an area you’ve been seeing the silverfish. Leave it there overnight. The silverfish will be able to climb up the rough texture of the tape but will get stuck inside when it’s unable to climb up the smooth glass inside.

Sources

PestWorld I NHPBS I Business Insider I PestWorld I Get Green Be Well I The Spruce I Holder’s Pest Solutions I Housewife How To’s I PestWorld I Sleep Advisor I Rapid Home Remedies I Common Sense Home I Creature Control I Fantastic Pest Control I NPIC I Organic Lesson I Depestify I Orkin I Varsity Termite Pest Control I Pest World I Home Remedy Hacks

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Source: apartmentguide.com

Former Michigan State Football Coach Mark Dantonio Selling $1.28M Mansion

A year after stepping down as Michigan State’s head football coach Mark Dantonio is walking away from his Michigan home. His luxury estate in East Lansing is available for $1,279,900.

The former Spartans boss purchased the property in 2016 for $1.09 million.

Built in 2002, the “rare offering in Whitehills Lakes” offers a 7,500-square-foot estate on 2 acres—surrounded by nature and privacy in all directions.

The well-maintained residence features seven bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.

Enter via a circle drive to a grand entry with a curved staircase and honed marble floors.

The area opens to a formal dining room with tray ceilings and Brazilian cherry flooring. A double-height living room includes floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, and built-ins with glass shelves.

The designer kitchen features a new, oversized fridge, custom cabinetry, granite counters, a center island, and two bars with seating.

An adjoining sunroom with hardwood floors opens to a spacious deck, patio, and fire pit for outdoor living.
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Watch: Arizona Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins Buys $5.1M Minimalist Mansion

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On the main floor, the primary suite features a two-way fireplace and sitting area that opens to a whirlpool tub, two walk-in closets, a shower, and double vanity, and sinks. An extra room connected to the suite could work as an office, nursery, or private workout area.

A second main-level guest suite opens to the deck, and comes with an en suite bath and walk-in closet.

On the second floor, three more en suite bedrooms open to a catwalk overlook.

The lower-level walkout features slate flooring, walk-in storage, and a wet bar. For relaxation, there’s a family room with a fireplace and a game room. The lower floor also boasts two additional bedrooms, full bathroom, storage space, and an exercise room.

Other perks include a built-in, four-speaker system on the main floor and lower level. An invisible fence is set up in the backyard to keep your pooch safe.

Residents can enjoy lake and park access. Naturally, the location is convenient to Michigan State University, as well as to shopping.

The longtime former coach held his position at MSU from 2007 until 2020. Over that time, he became the winningest coach in the school’s history, with 114 victories.

Although his sudden departure raised questions, because it came amid allegations of recruiting violations, Dantonio posted to his Twitter feed that he planned to continue to be involved with the team.

“My plan is to stay on within the university and athletic department in a role involving special projects, especially transitioning our players, both current and incoming, to their next challenges,” he wrote.

Obviously, he won’t be helming those special projects from this luxurious Michigan residence.

Dantonio also said at the time that the legal issues had “no relevance whatsoever” to his decision to step down, according to the Washington Post.

Thus far, three lawsuits brought against him and other staff members have reportedly been dismissed.  

Lynne VanDeventer with Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood-Okemos holds the listing.

Source: realtor.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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The 25 Most Popular Apartments in Orlando

Did you know Orlando means “famous throughout the land?” It’s definitely one of the most famous cities in Florida and centers around a bustling metropolis and beautiful neighborhoods that more than 280,000 residents call home.

Whether you’re looking to live near great schools or want to find a dog-friendly neighborhood where you walk to everything, there’s an Orlando neighborhood for you. To help you find your ideal home, we’ve created a list of the top 25 most popular Orlando apartments based on internet searches to help make your decision a bit easier.

25. Goldelm at Metro West

Goldelm at Metro WestGoldelm at Metro West

Goldelm at MetroWest is a luxury community featuring one- and two-bedroom apartments minutes from Universal Studios, SeaWorld and downtown Orlando. Units come with hardwood flooring, air conditioning and a balcony.

Residents can also enjoy the fitness center, clubhouse, picnic area, car wash area, kid’s zone and resident activities program, as well as ample shopping and dining options nearby.

24. The Grand Reserve At Kirkman Parke

The Grand Reserve At Kirkman ParkeThe Grand Reserve At Kirkman Parke

The Grand Reserve At Kirkman Parke is in the heart of the MetroWest area between Eagle Nest Park and Turkey Lake. The resort-style community features one to four bedrooms in a variety of floor plans. The spacious accommodations include oversized closets, vaulted ceilings, in-unit washers and dryers and private patios.

Residents can also enjoy a cinema room, baby room, car care center, fitness center and swimming pool. The community is also just off LB McLeod Road, so residents have quick access to lots of dining and entertainment options.

23. Post Lake at Baldwin Park

Post Lake at Baldwin ParkPost Lake at Baldwin Park

Post Lake at Baldwin Park is located near the Orlando Fashion Square Mall and Winter Park’s Park Ave. The complex features luxury lofts, townhomes and apartments in one- to three-bedroom floor plans. Spaces come with large closets, vaulted ceilings and private balconies.

Post Lake at Baldwin Park is pet-friendly and includes access to an onsite fitness center, three pools and business center. Residents can even enjoy a vegetable garden, a recycling center and 450 acres of nearby parks.

22. City West

City WestCity West

City West offers newly renovated lofts, one- and two-bedroom spaces just minutes from downtown. The gated community includes tennis courts, a swimming pool and a fitness center.

And City West is close to just about everything, such as Universal Studios Orlando, Walt Disney World and Valencia College, as well as shopping and dining options. Commuting is also easy with public transportation, I-4 and I-408 nearby.

21. Enclave at Lake Ellenor

Enclave at Lake EllenorEnclave at Lake Ellenor

Enclave at Lake Ellenor features open-concept one- to three-bedroom floor plans with skylights, 20-foot vaulted ceilings and lanais. The community, located south of downtown Orlando, includes a fitness center, business center, extra storage, a pet park and 24-hour security system. Plus, it borders the shores of Lake Ellenor, giving residents water views.

Enclave at Lake Ellenor is also close to the Florida Turnpike and is near Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, The Florida Mall and Mall at Millenia.

20. The Grove Apartments

The GroveThe Grove

The Grove Apartments is a pet-friendly community off Highway 15 near Dixie Belle and Wadeview Park neighborhoods. It offers residents studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom layouts. Accommodations include air conditioning, a balcony, a garden tub, vaulted ceilings, washer and dryer in unit, hardwood flooring and stunning views. Flexible lease terms are also available.

Residents can enjoy hiking, biking and jogging along nearby trails, as well as have access to a swimming pool, clubhouse, business center, media center and recreation room.

19. The Paramount

The ParamountThe Paramount

The Paramount is located on Lake Eola with quick access to I-4 and Highway 408. The tower building features various one- to four-bedroom floor plans with stainless steel appliances, large closet spaces and an in-unit washer and dryer.

Residents have access to ample amenities, including an on-site grocery store, a heated swimming pool with cabanas and fitness center. Lake Eola Park is just steps away, offering lush green spaces for picnics, bike rides and lakeside walks.

18. 55 West

55 West55 West

55 West provides contemporary living in studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. This apartment tower is located in downtown Orlando with quick access to I-4 and Highway 408.

The luxury building features a rooftop swimming pool, sundeck and a state-of-the-art fitness center. And its central location means dining, nightlife and shopping are all within walking distance.

17. Zen Luxury Living Apartments

Zen Luxury Living ApartmentsZen Luxury Living Apartments

Zen Luxury Living Apartments is situated between Walt Disney World and Sea World Orlando off the I-4. It offers one-, two- and three-bedroom spaces in a pet-friendly community.

Amenities include a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a resort style pool, outdoor fire pit with seating areas, lounge and game room for residents to enjoy.

16. River Park Apartments

River Park ApartmentsRiver Park Apartments

River Park Apartments features modern one- to three-bedroom units near the University of Central Florida (UCF). With a private entrance to Blanchard Park, River Park provides residents with access to lush greenery and a large conservation area.

On grounds, there are two clubhouses, a fitness center and a washing area for pets. Short-term leasing is also available.

15. Linden Audubon Park

Linden Audubon Park ApartmentsLinden Audubon Park Apartments

Linden Audubon Park offers spacious one, two and three bedrooms in a variety of floor plans on 19 acres of lush greenery. The units are pet friendly and include spa bathrooms and energy-efficient appliances.

On property, residents have access to a fitness center, a swimming pool and a sundeck. Lake Baldwin and Lake Druid Park are nearby, as well as plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment.

14. The Park at Catania

The Park at CataniaThe Park at Catania

The Park at Catania has one- to three-bedroom newly renovated units with granite countertops and in-unit washer and dryers.

The complex features a dog park, playground, fitness center, tennis court and business room. The gated community is off Highway 435 near Valencia College’s West Campus, so it is ideal for students.

13. Maitland Oaks

Maitland OaksMaitland Oaks

Maitland Oaks is a family-friendly community in a natural wooded setting in the Lake Maitland neighborhood. The community features one- and two-bedroom garden-style apartments and single-story villas with ample storage and a private balcony or patio.

The complex has a playground, pool, community center and computer lab. It’s also minutes away from the Altamonte Mall.

12. Hidden Cove Apartments

Hidden Cove ApartmentsHidden Cove Apartments

Hidden Cove Apartments features affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments with tile floors and fully equipped kitchens just next to Lake Tyler.

Residents can enjoy lake views from the community’s gazebo or spend time at the computer lab, swimming pool or picnic and playground areas. It’s also walking distance to OBT Flea Market where residents can look for unique jewelry, furniture and other goods.

11. West Winds

West WindsWest Winds

West Winds features one- and two-bedroom apartments within walking distance from Universal Studios Orlando and is minutes from Mall at Millenia. The pet-friendly spaces come in a variety of floor plans and include a full kitchen and a breakfast bar.

Residents can also take advantage of valet parking, basketball and tennis courts, a clubhouse, large pool and hot tub.

10. Forest Edge

Forest EdgeForest Edge

Forest Edge is an affordable, family-friendly community that offers two- and three-bedroom apartments and features a playground and free resident activities centered around families and children.

Situated on Forest City Road, residents are near shopping and dining options, including a spa, Walgreens and two Dollar General stores. The LYNX City Bus Line on Forest City Road and Villa Drive is also a short walk away, making it easy to get around town.

9. Hollowbrook

HollowbrookHollowbrook

Located in the Dover Shores area, Hollowbrook is conveniently located between highways 408 and 552, giving residents easy access to downtown and the Orlando International Airport.

The pet-friendly community features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with all utilities included. Amenities include a playground, an Olympic-sized pool and fitness center.

8. Pineview Apartments

Pineview ApartmentsPineview Apartments

Pineview Apartments is a single-story community that offers studio and one-bedroom spaces minutes from downtown Orlando. Each unit has been recently renovated and features new flooring and fenced patios.

There’s a laundry room on site and pets are welcome. Additionally, Pineview’s prime location near I-4 and State Road 50 provides quick access to shopping, dining and activities.

7. Boardwalk at Alafaya Trail

Boardwalk at Alafaya TrailBoardwalk at Alafaya Trail

Boardwalk at Alafaya is student housing near the University of Central Florida (UCF). The community features four-bedroom spaces with individually-leased bedrooms. The Boardwalk at Alafaya also includes all utilities in the rental prices.

The apartments feature a dishwasher, alarm, refrigerator, ceiling fans, are cable ready and can come furnished. Students can also enjoy a pool, business center, basketball courts and a clubhouse.

6. Landon House Lake Nona

Landon House Lake NonaLandon House Lake Nona

Landon House Lake Nona features 280 units that come in studio to three-bedroom floor plans. Residents can enjoy modern, environmentally-conscious designs with 10-foot ceilings, private balconies and stainless steel appliances.

Landon House also offers a clubhouse, game room, a pet spa with grooming area, a resort-style pool and relaxation garden. Located in Lake Nona, the community is near Lake Nona Medical City, home to UCF College of Medicine.

5. Millenia West

Millenia WestMillenia West

Millenia West is a large community in the Millenia area located near the large Mall at Millenia. The pet-friendly complex offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom spaces and features a clubhouse, breakfast and coffee concierge and ample storage space.

Residents also are just minutes away from the Orlando International Airport and I-4.

4. District on Baldwin Park

District on Baldwin ParkDistrict on Baldwin Park

District on Baldwin Park is near Lake Baldwin and features studios through three-bedroom apartments and townhomes with modern designs, private patios and in-unit washer and dryers.

The community is pet-friendly with resort-style amenities, including three pools, an internet café and a clubhouse. The District on Baldwin Park is also minutes away from ample shopping and dining options, including a Walmart across the street.

3. Boca Club Apartments

Boca ClubBoca Club

Boca Club Apartments offers one- to three-bedroom apartments in a family-friendly community. The affordable complex is located just off I-4 between Lake Mann and Lake Sunset and is minutes from Camping World Stadium.

Amenities here include a business center, a playground, a clubhouse and a swimming pool.

2. Island Club

island clubisland club

Island Club is a large pet-friendly community located across from Valencia College. Residents can choose from a variety of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with spacious living rooms, vaulted ceilings, oversized closets and in-unit washer and dryers.

The community, which includes a tennis court, swimming pool, racquetball courts, playground and cyber café, is also close to Central Florida Research Park, Patrick Air Force Base and plenty of dining and shopping options.

1. Seminole Ridge

Seminole RidgeSeminole Ridge

Seminole Ridge is located in Hiawassee and offers two- to four-bedroom units available. The pet-friendly apartments feature walk-in closets and in-unit washers and dryers.

Residents can also take advantage of the sundeck, business center, a pool and basketball and volleyball courts. Ample dining and shopping options, plus Lake Lucy and Lake Stanley, are a short drive away.

Methodology

We took a look at all of the organic entrances from April 2018 to April 2019 to rental property inventory that was listed on ApartmentGuide.com to see which properties with an Orlando mailing address are most searched by people on the internet. The information included in this article is to be used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained does not constitute availability, financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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