The Most Expensive Apartment in New York City

If you’ve got $16,000 a month to spare, then you’re the lucky renter that can afford to live the penthouse life in the most expensive apartment in the most expensive city in America.

Living in New York City is expensive in every facet of life. Not only is it the most expensive U.S. city overall, but with an average of $6,499 a month for a two-bedroom unit, it has the most expensive apartments in the nation, as well.

Some people just have their hearts set on fancy, expensive apartments in Manhattan with every convenience and amenity imaginable. But there is an elite group of renters who are on the hunt for the most expensive apartment. And that honor goes to a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath penthouse in Chelsea that will run you nearly 16 grand a month.

Meet Penthouse D at the Beatrice Apartments in Midtown, the most expensive apartment in New York City. Here’s what makes this grand “ultimate space for comfort, luxury and leisure” 54 stories above Manhattan worth so much.

The perfectly convenient Midtown South neighborhood

Outdoor dining in Koreatown, New York

Outdoor dining in Koreatown, New York

The Beatrice Apartments could not be more convenient. The building is located at the corner of 29th Street and Sixth Avenue. The complex is set inside the 12-square-block swath where the North Chelsea neighborhood overlaps Midtown South. Other Midtown neighborhoods, including the Garment District, NoMad, Koreatown, Flatiron and Rose Hill, are all steps away.

Nearly everything you could desire is just a short walk away. Every variety of restaurant, boutique, café, bodega and bar is nearby. Greeley Square Park is just two blocks away and Madison Square Park is four. The Empire State Building is a four-minute walk, and the Theater District and Times Square are just 15.

The building’s block rates a perfect Transit Score of 100, a “Rider’s Paradise.” Stops for the 1, 2, 3, B, D, F, M, N, Q, R and W subways and PATH trains are within a few-minute walk. And Penn Station is just four short blocks away for access to Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit.

In addition, the location earns a Walk Score of 99, a “Walker’s Paradise,” and a “Very Bikeble” Bike Score of 84. And the property charges no broker fee.

A deluxe apartment in the sky with stunning views

Interior living room from the Beatrice, New York

Interior living room from the Beatrice, New York

The most expensive listed apartment in New York City is Penthouse D, one of the building’s four penthouses. It occupies the southeast quadrant of the building’s top floor, the 53rd just under the rooftop lounge. The unit features wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows above 6th Avenue, which is officially Avenue of the Americas. The spot offers direct views of the Empire State Building. But if interest in seeing out over Brooklyn and Long Island wanes, the entire unit offers blackout shades.

The three-bedroom and three-and-a-half bath unit stretches over 1,673 square feet in total. Its 10-foot ceilings hover over oak hardwood and porcelain tile floors. Every room has heat and air conditioning with its own controls.

The master suite features a 14-by-18 foot bedroom, a massive walk-in closet and two linen closets. The master bath offers a separate stand-up glass shower and soaking tub and a double-sink vanity. Both the 11-by-12 foot second bedroom and 12-by-12 foot third bedroom feature reach-in closets and their own full en suite bathrooms. All three bedrooms have eastern views out towards the Empire State Building.

The compact kitchen includes high-end stainless steel appliances from Sub-Zero, Viking and Miele and Italian marble and granite countertops. The kitchen island looks out over the spacious 21-by-21 foot living and dining area. And across from the second bedroom is a half bath.

Exclusive facilities 50 stories above New York

Common room at the Beatrice, New York

Common room at the Beatrice, New York

The “sleek, sophisticated and ultra-luxurious” Beatrice Apartments occupy 29 floors of a much taller building. The Beatrice begins on the 24th floor of the 54-story building, with the remainder occupied by the posh Kimpton Hotel Eventi. In all, the 620,000-square-foot building, completed in 2010, tops out at 614 feet in architectural height. That makes the structure the 92nd tallest in New York and 375th in the country.

Community facilities include a private catering kitchen, conference meeting room and fitness center with Peloton bicycles and a yoga studio. But the most prominent amenity is the Beatrice’s exclusive Cloud Lounge on the 54th-floor rooftop just one floor up from the apartment. The combined indoor/outdoor space is perfect for personal or party pleasure, with stunning eastern views all the way out to Brooklyn. Relax on the terrace, or play in the recreation lounge with two 60″ LCD televisions and a Brunswick billiards table.

The entire apartment building is fully pet friendly and smoke free. It offers 24-hour staff, including a round-the-clock concierge desk. Services include in-house valet dry cleaning and monthly parking. And the staff host annual Independence Day and winter holiday parties for residents and guests.

What else you could get for that money

New York subway train

New York subway train

Even for a jaded New Yorker, spending nearly $16,000 a month on a Manhattan apartment is a little crazy. But how do you put that kind of expense into perspective? Here are a few other things you can buy each month for the price of this penthouse at the Beatrice.

  • 5,814 rides on the MTA subway
  • 89 pairs of Vagabond shoes that are longing to stray
  • Thirty pounds of USDA Prime dry-aged strip steak from Peter Luger’s Steak House
  • 139 tickets to see the New York Giants, but 170 tickets to see the New York Jets who play at the same stadium
  • Ten medium-sized Louis Vuitton handbags from Saks Fifth Avenue, or 320 knockoff medium-sized Louis Vuitton handbags from a table at the corner of Broadway and Canal

More affordable but still expensive units

Make no mistake, even a lousy apartment in New York City will still cost you a pretty penny. But if money is no object, what is one to do if you wish to live in the lap of luxury but this penthouse just isn’t your cup of high tea? Here are five other pricey Manhattan apartments that are slightly more affordable.

  • 170 Amsterdam, 170 Amsterdam Ave. (Lincoln Square): $15,352 for three bedrooms
  • Prism at Park Avenue South, 50 E. 28th St.(Rose Hill): $10,480 for two bedrooms
  • West 96th, 750 Columbus Ave. (Manhattan Valley): $8,482 for two bedrooms
  • 300 East 39th, 300 E. 39th St. (Murray Hill): $8,021 for two bedrooms
  • Parc East, 240 E. 27th St. (Kips Bay): $7,500 for two bedrooms

Enjoy it if you can afford it

Living in a swank penthouse apartment in Chelsea is the stuff of a rom-com or heist movie. That’s what you’d expect from the most expensive apartment in New York City. It’s a pipe dream for New Yorkers not named Icahn or Bloomberg. So, maybe a walk-up in the Village or a brownstone on the Upper West Side are more your speed.

But if your budget is a little less, head on over to rent.com and find a slew of apartments in Manhattan or elsewhere in New York that won’t break the bank.

Methodology

The rent information included in this article is accurate as of September 2021 and 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

Mold in Your Apartment? Problems, Solutions and Prevention

Mold in your apartment is not only distressing, it’s a health concern. But in most cases, you can prevent little problems from becoming big ones.

If you suspect (or know) you have mold in your apartment, you may worry that your home sweet home has become a hazard to your health. What can you do, and whose responsibility is it to solve the problem?

Mold that concentrates on surfaces indoors can cause health problems, especially if you have a sensitivity like allergies or asthma. That’s why it’s smart to be alert for signs of mold, address mold problems quickly if you find them and take steps to prevent mold growth in the first place.

Signs of mold in apartment

This may surprise you: there are mold spores in your apartment already! The tiny spores float through the air both indoors and out. They can get into your apartment through open windows or by hitching a ride on your or your pet.

Fortunately, mold spores only grow indoors when they land on surfaces that provide the right environment for them.

The symptoms of mold in your apartment can be subtle if the affected area is small or dramatic if the mold has spread. Here are a few telltale signs to look for:

  • Your apartment smells like mildew or has an earthy, musty odor.
  • You notice signs of water damage like stains or bulging drywall.
  • You have physical symptoms of sensitivity to mold (especially when you’re in your apartment) like a stuffy nose, watery eyes, coughing or trouble breathing.
  • Your apartment has visible signs of mold growing on surfaces.

Woman holding her nose because she smells mold

Woman holding her nose because she smells mold

What does mold look like?

Most people think of mold indoors as the nefarious-looking black, yellow or greenish splotches that grow on walls and window frames, but mold can appear in a variety of colors and forms. It can have a slimy, fuzzy or suede-like texture (but don’t touch it with your bare hands; some mold can cause skin irritation.).

Contrary to what you might have heard, the color of mold doesn’t determine how dangerous it is.

How to test for mold in your apartment

The only sure way to identify what type of mold is present in your apartment is to have it tested by a professional. This is particularly true if you smell mold or have other symptoms of a mold problem but you can’t actually see signs of mold growth.

However, if you’re already convinced you have mold growth, testing for mold in your apartment isn’t necessary. The CDC suggests that all mold should be treated as a potential health hazard and removed. Instead of wasting precious time finding out what kind of mold you have, follow the removal steps below to get rid of it as soon as possible.

5 common places where mold hides

Mold needs two things to thrive: moisture and some amount of darkness. Places where moisture is frequent or excessive are prime spots for mold growth, especially if those places don’t have a lot of exposure to light.

Here are a few places where mold can lurk. But keep in mind that mold can grow anywhere indoors given the right conditions.

Someone looking at mold under a magnifying glass

Someone looking at mold under a magnifying glass

1. Where leaks are present

Mold often appears when there’s a leak causing a moisture problem. You may find mold on ceilings or walls if structural problems allowed moisture to enter. Leaks around window frames are another common culprit.

2. In your bathroom

Mold can also hide on shower walls and curtains or around the trim in your bathroom. You might discover it under sinks or any place where leaky pipes or condensation create a damp environment.

3. Where you do laundry

If your clothes dryer isn’t properly vented to the outside, your laundry area can become humid. That excess moisture could promote mold growth. You may also find mold on damp towels that have been stored too long in a laundry hamper or on the surrounding walls of your laundry room.

4. Around windows

If you often have condensation on your apartment windows, check for signs of mold around the window frame. Mold can also grow in curtains, blinds or on the carpeting below windows where there’s a moisture problem.

5. On organic materials

Mold especially loves to grow on damp cellulose. That means cardboard, stacks of paper, books or magazines, ceiling tiles, wood and anything made from organic materials. You may also find mold on (or behind) wallpaper and on upholstery and carpet.

Can you live in an apartment with mold?

If you’ve found mold growing in your apartment, take steps to remove it quickly and prevent the problem from spreading.

Exposure to mold can cause serious health problems for some and few or no issues for others. But whether you’re allergic or not, mold can cause irritation to your eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin. There are also studies linking mold exposure to an increased likelihood of childhood asthma, so if you have children living in your home, it’s important to be extra diligent with mold removal.

Mold allergies are common. If you’re allergic, you can expect hay fever-like symptoms. In asthmatic people, mold sensitivity can trigger asthma attacks. Similarly, mold may cause breathing problems for those with respiratory diseases. You should also be vigilant for mold if you’re immunosuppressed.

Someone having allergies from mold in their apartment

Someone having allergies from mold in their apartment

What’s the difference between mold and mildew?

According to the EPA, mildew refers to certain types of mold or fungus, but it’s often used as a catch-all term. The science gets a bit technical, but here’s a simple way to think of it:

  • Mold: Mold thrives on organic (high cellulose) materials such as cardboard, wood, drywall, upholstery (including leather) and fabrics.
  • Mildew: Mildew is found on hard surfaces such as shower walls or vinyl window frames.

Both mold and mildew grow wherever moisture is present and both can create the same health risks.

Someone cleaning mold off their shower tiles

Someone cleaning mold off their shower tiles

How dangerous is black mold?

You may have heard the phrase “toxic black mold” in the news and on social media, which makes this greenish-black splotchy mold sound particularly scary. But is it really more dangerous than other types of mold?

“Toxic black mold” is a term often used to refer to Stachybotrys chartarum. Stachybotrys belongs to a class of molds that are toxigenic, meaning they produce a toxic substance called mycotoxins.

Science hasn’t found a causal link between black mold and certain serious health issues, so Stachybotrys isn’t necessarily more dangerous than other types of molds. According to the CDC, all mold problems should be addressed quickly, especially since the presence of mold in your apartment could be a sign of a long-term moisture problem.

What to do if you find mold in your apartment

When you encounter mold in your apartment, it’s time to act quickly. Mold that’s left untreated can spread. It can also damage whatever it’s growing on.

1. Consider the source of the problem

First, consider whether whatever has caused the mold to grow is something you can manage yourself. If you find mold in your shower, for instance, the solution could be as simple as cleaning it up and then cleaning your shower more frequently. But if the mold growth is the result of a problem like water damage, you’ll need to get your property manager involved.

2. Clean up mold on hard surfaces

You can remove the mold in your apartment yourself if it’s:

  • On a hard surface (such as your shower walls)
  • Not related to moisture problems that are outside your control (such as leaks)
  • Commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a mixture of no more than one cup of household bleach to one gallon of water are all effective ways to remove mold from hard surfaces. There are also some natural ways to get rid of mold.

Never mix bleach with other household cleaners or ammonia. Doing so can create poisonous fumes. Always wear gloves and keep your room well ventilated when you use cleaning products.

Someone wearing gloves and removing mold from their window

Someone wearing gloves and removing mold from their window

3.  Clean up small mold patches on organic surfaces

According to the EPA, you can clean mold from organic surfaces yourself if the affected area is smaller than 10 square feet (about a 3×3 foot area). Cleanup techniques will vary by surface type.

Mold on fabrics and other soft surfaces may be hard to remove completely, so consider replacing the damaged item. For example, if your bathroom throw rug has significant mold growth, it makes sense to replace it with something you can wash and dry regularly.

4.  Notify your property manager of larger problems

If the mold is the result of a moisture problem or water damage that you can’t control, it’s time to get your property manager involved. They should take the underlying problems that cause mold seriously and act quickly.

It can be helpful to take photos of the mold problem and present them to your property manager. Be sure to document any conversations you have for future reference. If the problem isn’t addressed, check with your state’s landlord-tenant resources for guidance. Additionally, if there’s existing or upcoming legislation related to mold it will be cited by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

5.  Check your renters insurance policy

If structural problems beyond your control resulted in mold damage to your personal property, check with your renters insurance agency. You may have coverage that would help you get damaged items like furniture, rugs or clothing replaced.

Is mold the landlord’s responsibility?

There aren’t many laws that specifically govern a landlord’s responsibility when it comes to mold in rentals.

Some property managers require renters to sign a separate waiver or document related to mold on the premises when they move in. Make sure you review it along with your lease agreement to get a better understanding of your rights and responsibilities.

Even though there aren’t many mold-specific laws in the books, in most states your property manager is legally required to provide a habitable premises. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you determine who’s responsible.

Woman concerned and looking at mold from water damage

Woman concerned and looking at mold from water damage

Did your behavior cause the mold?

If something you did resulted in mold in your apartment, then it’s your responsibility. If you’ve created excess moisture, failed to clean up and dry a spill or your cleanliness routine needs an upgrade, it will be up to you to take care of the mold problem. You could be liable for damage if you don’t.

Did your property manager’s failure to act cause the mold?

Leaky pipes, a leaky roof or poorly sealed windows are your property manager’s responsibility. If a problem with your apartment’s fixtures or structure wasn’t fixed promptly and caused mold to grow, your property manager may be liable.

How to prevent any future mold

You can often prevent mold from growing in your apartment in the first place. Here are a few tips to keep it from gaining a foothold:

  • Keep the air moving. Open windows when weather permits. Use portable or ceiling fans to keep air circulating.
  • Use ventilation fans. Always use the fan in your bathroom and above your stove to vent moisture out of your apartment.
  • Keep humidity low. Air conditioners and heaters can help control humidity. You can also use a dehumidifier if necessary.
  • Clean up any moisture problems quickly. If something like a spill or an open window during a rainstorm drenched part of your apartment, use fans and ventilation to dry everything thoroughly.
  • Use mold-killing cleaners and clean regularly. Keeping your bathroom clean and dry is the best way to prevent mildew growth.
  • Don’t store wet towels or clothing. Hang damp items up to dry before putting them into a hamper.

As worrisome as mold seems, in most cases, it’s possible to avoid mold growth. When searching for a new place, be sure to read Rent.com apartment reviews to find the perfect rental and avoid any problematic properties. Before you move into a new apartment, inspect it carefully for signs of damage that could lead to mold.

Once you’re moved into a new place, keep it well maintained. A clean, dry and well-ventilated apartment is usually a mold-free apartment.

Source: rent.com

Everything You Need to Know About Tezos (XTZ)

While Tezos (XYZ) may sound like the name of a rare gem or a hotel in Santa Fe, it’s yet another crypto that investors can add to their wallets. Below, we’ll cover the basics of Tezos and what you’ll need to know if you’re considering adding it to your crypto portfolio.

What is Tezos (XTZ)?

Like some other common types of cryptos (Ethereum, for instance) Tezos is not only a currency, but also a platform. Technically speaking, Tezos is a decentralized, open-source blockchain network. More specifically, it’s a network that allows for peer-to-peer transactions, and on which users can deploy assets, applications, and smart contracts. The “tez”, or XTZ, is the native cryptocurrency for the Tezos blockchain.

Like other, similar networks, Tezos utilizes blockchain to produce a decentralized computing platform. As such, users verify the code and data on the blockchain, and through that process, receive XTZ tokens. This process, “baking,” is similar to Bitcoin mining. Tezos coin uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which means there is no need for miners to produce new tokens.

History of Tezos (XTZ) Crypto

Like most other cryptocurrencies, XTZ Tezos has a relatively short history.

Husband and wife team Arthur and Kathleen Breitman first proposed Tezos XTC in a 2014 whitepaper . In 2017, they raised more than $230 million during an initial coin offering (ICO) , the biggest-ever initial public coin offering at the time. The currency launched the following year.

The Tezos ICO, however, faced controversy from the start. The Breitmans got into a spat with the head of the Tezos Foundation (a non-profit organization created to promote Tezos), which led to a court battle, which took three years to settle.

It’s a pretty long, intricate story, and one that’s worth reading if you plan on investing in Tezos cryptocurrency. But for traders and investors, the important takeaway is that Tezos is now on the market, and has been for a few years.

How Does Tezos Work?

Tezos doesn’t exist on a single central server or computer somewhere—instead, it exists on the blockchain, on users’ computers all around the world.

The Breitmans envisioned the platform itself as a self-amending blockchain network, which means that anyone who owns XTZ crypto could vote on changes to its rules. So, participants actively have control over the network, which sets it apart from many other networks where control remains with the developers. Its ongoing evolution gives it a flexibility that some other crypto currencies might not have.

XTZ holders can stake, or “bake,” their coins to earn more. That also allows those with a large balance to take a role in actively managing the network.

XTZ Coin Price

XTZ’s coin price has had an up-and-down ride over its short existence. When it debuted back in late 2017, XTZ’s value topped out at more than $12. It hasn’t seen such lofty heights since, unfortunately. In the following months, XTZ prices fell, and bottomed-out at below $0.40.

After more volatility over the next several years, XTZ rose in value through most of 2020, reaching $8.42 on May 6 before falling back down to $3.13 in early August.

Like any commodity, digital or otherwise, Tezos’ value reflects supply and demand. And like other cryptos, XTZ doesn’t have much on-the-ground application.

Instead, it derives value from its utility on the Tezos blockchain network. Other than that, users can trade it as a commodity or hold it as an investment, much like Bitcoin or other cryptos.

Is XTZ A Good Investment?

While cryptocurrency can add another dimension to your portfolio, it also has significant risks. As noted by looking at XTZ’s price history, it’s a volatile asset, and could lose significant value in the future.

That said, it could also gain value, too. Proponents of the cryptocurrency believe that its strict governance rules could lead to market-leading technology solutions, which could make it more valuable.

But there’s always the chance that the government could change crypto rules and regulations. All told, there are a lot of things to consider before taking the leap. Do your due diligence, or talk to a professional if you feel like you’re in over your head.

Recommended: Cryptocurrency Guide for Beginners

How to Buy and Sell XTZ Cryptocurrency

If you’re an experienced crypto investor, you know the drill. Buying XTZ requires following a few basic steps. If you have any experience buying cryptocurrency online, this should amount to a review:

Step 1: Choose an exchange, and fund your account.

Much like choosing a stock broker, you’ll need to choose a crypto exchange and fund your account before you can buy, sell, or otherwise trade crypto like XTZ. If need be, do a little homework to learn about how crypto exchanges work.

Step 2: Have a place to store your assets.

If you don’t already have one, look up what options are available for crypto wallets. There are many different types, each with their own pros and cons. Your digital wallet is what you’ll use for crypto storage going forward.

Step 3: Trade!

Once you’ve selected and funded the exchange, you can start trading. The details might vary, but it typically involves looking up XTZ in a search bar, and then exchanging your U.S. dollars or other cryptocurrency for XTZ. Once you’ve executed the trade, you can transfer your holdings to your wallet, unless your exchange provides you with one.

Recommended: Crypto Taxes (2021): How to Pay Taxes on Cryptocurrency

The Takeaway

Tezos has quickly become a fixture on the markets. And though it has a fairly interesting past, throngs of users across the world use its network for various assets.

If you feel that XTZ would make a good fit for your portfolio, you can take the next steps by purchasing cryptocurrency with the SoFi Invest® brokerage platform. You can use it to build a portfolio that includes more than 20 different types of crypto, as well as stocks and exchange-traded funds.

Photo credit: iStock/PeopleImages


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).

2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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Source: sofi.com

What Is a Paper Wallet? How Paper Wallets Work

A paper wallet is just what it sounds like – a crypto wallet made from a piece of paper. It contains a private and public key pair for making crypto transactions. Typically, a key generator program creates the key and prints it on paper in the form of two QR codes and two strings of alphanumeric characters.

A paper wallet is among the oldest kinds of noncustodial, cold crypto wallets, but it is an outdated method that has security flaws.

History of Paper Wallets

In the early days of Bitcoin, paper wallets may have been the most secure form of Bitcoin storage. There was no other mechanism to take coins offline and put them into cold crypto storage.

Still, investors realized that having a safe method of holding onto their crypto was a necessity for crypto investing. Over time, as crypto exchanges, institutional-grade custody solutions, hardware wallets, multi-signature wallets, and other secure forms of storing crypto became more commonplace, crypto paper wallets became less popular.

How Does a Paper Wallet Work?

When created correctly, a paper wallet is immune to hacking. There’s no way to access a piece of paper via the Internet. But certain parts of the process could still make users vulnerable.

The problem is that users have to be very careful when creating paper wallets. The process requires using a computer, and there could be traces of evidence left behind that a sophisticated attacker might be able to access.

How to Keep a Paper Wallet Secure

There are several steps that investors can take to protect their paper wallet. For starters, create the wallet entirely offline, but following these steps:

• Download the wallet generator software to a USB drive

• Plug the USB drive into a new device that has never been connected to the internet

• Create the wallet keys and print them out using a wired connection to a printer

What about when you want to take funds off of a paper wallet and spend them? Things can get a little tricky here, and users who don’t know exactly what they’re doing could lose most or all of their funds.

Recommended: 6 Crypto Debit Cards to Consider in 2021

Taking coins out of a cryptocurrency paper wallet requires either sweeping or importing the private keys into a software wallet. Sweeping keys and importing keys don’t result in the same outcome, however.

Importing Keys

Users who import their crypto private keys, essentially creating a copy of them, could lose funds if they fail to first set up something called a “change output.”

A change output, or change address, is the destination where the remaining funds on a paper wallet will go when a user only spends a portion of the wallet’s balance. If this address hasn’t been set up beforehand, the unspent portion of a paper wallet will disappear forever after the first transaction from that wallet.

For example, if a user has 0.1 BTC on a paper wallet and decides to spend just 0.01 BTC, the remaining 0.09 BTC would automatically go to a change address. If no change address has been established before the transaction, the Bitcoins would simply be lost.

Sweeping Keys

“Sweeping” the private keys from a paper wallet into a software or mobile wallet avoids this problem, as the keys are transferred to a new location in their entirety.

How Do You Use Paper Wallets?

Using a paper wallet doesn’t involve a lot of hassle. Users simply have to:

• Create the wallet addresses

• Print out the paper wallet

• Deposit coins to the public key address

Paper wallets typically include addresses in both QR code and alphanumeric format.

When a user wants to spend the funds stored on a paper wallet, they import or sweep the private key. To do this, a user must install a digital wallet on their desktop or mobile device that allows private keys to be imported (Electrum would be one example).

Crypto exchanges generally do not support this function.

Pros and Cons of Paper Wallets

Paper wallets represent a simple and inexpensive way to put small amounts of crypto into cold storage. But the cons outweigh the pros.

A paper wallet is, of course, made of paper, which means that water, fire, or the family pet could damage or destroy it. This could result in total loss of funds.

Pros of paper wallets Cons of paper wallets
Inexpensive Not suitable for holding large amounts of coin
Easy to create User error can result in total loss of funds
Secure cold storage If someone gets hold of the wallet, they will have the private keys and can steal the coins
It can be difficult to bring the funds back online
Vulnerable to water or fire damage

Alternatives to Paper Wallets

In addition to paper wallets, there are several other, more common types of virtual vaults to store different types of crypto.

Web Wallets

Web wallets are hosted online in a web browser. These wallets can be convenient but are among the least secure types of hot wallets. They can be easily hacked and if something goes wrong with the web browser, the wallet could be lost.

Wallets like these have great utility value in that they are easy to use and can enable users to participate in different crypto applications.

Software Wallets

Software wallets are basically desktop applications that come with a simple graphic user interface for sending and receiving transactions. While somewhat more secure than web wallets, software wallets are generally not considered good options for long-term storage of large amounts of crypto.

Funds held in a software wallet on someone’s personal computer can be vulnerable to hacking, a user could lose their password, or the device could be stolen or damaged.

Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets have been growing in popularity ever since a company called Trezor created the first one back in summer 2014. Later that same year, Ledger also created a hardware wallet. Both companies are still leaders in this space today.

Hardware wallets keep a user’s private keys securely stored offline in cold storage, like paper wallets. The big difference is that a user can easily bring a hardware wallet online and use it to make transactions. Hardware wallets are also much more durable than paper wallets.

Most users will find all of the wallet types listed above much easier to use than paper wallets with Bitcoin.

Exchange Wallets

Some crypto exchanges also have integrated wallets, which allow users to store their crypto on the exchange. Exchange wallets are easy to use, but their security depends on the overall security of the exchange. Ideally, an exchange will offer users the option to use cold storage or multi-signature wallets.

The Takeaway

A Bitcoin paper wallet isn’t recommended in the modern age of hardware wallets and other secure forms of cold storage. Paper wallets with Bitcoin are too vulnerable to human error and other factors to make them risky, especially for investors who want to use them over the long term and HODL their crypto investments.

These types of wallets represent a bygone relic of crypto’s earliest days. Unless someone is on a strict budget with only a small amount of coin to store, it’s hard to justify using a paper wallet to store your private keys.

An easy way to get started trading crypto is by downloading the SoFi Invest® brokerage platform. You can use it to buy several forms of crypto, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Cardano.

Photo credit: iStock/Vladimir Sukhachev


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
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2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments.
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Source: sofi.com

How to Get Your Security Deposit Back After Moving Out of Your Apartment

You can take steps to ensure your landlord returns your security deposit.

It’s impressive to say that 109 million Americans live in rental housing. But this adds up to a lot of security deposits.

Though alternative forms to the traditional security deposit check are gaining in popularity, most people fork over a month or so’s rent for this fee, assuming they’ll get it back in full (some even with interest).

However, there are specific situations where you won’t get your security deposit returned once you move out and move on to a new place. These include leaving without paying all your rent and failing to keep your apartment clean and damage-free.

Often, this money helps you cover the costs of your new home, so don’t risk missing out. Make sure you know how to get your security deposit back and take the proper precautions to protect its return.

Woman cleaning a cabinet!

Woman cleaning a cabinet!

How to get your security deposit back in full

If you’re careful, getting your security deposit back should be easy. Skip worrying about the normal wear and tear since that’s not something your security deposit covers. Instead, concentrate on a few bigger issues to figure out how to get your security deposit back.

1. Don’t break your lease

When you sign your lease, it should stipulate in the document what happens to your security deposit if you move out early. Sometimes it’s used to cover a break-lease fee, but things aren’t always settled after you lose your deposit.

Read your lease carefully since you may incur fees to break your lease. Plus, if there are damages — the deposit will need to cover it.

In both cases, your landlord can pursue legal action to get the remainder of the money you owe if you don’t pay it outright.

2. Pay your rent on time

Security deposits are also often withheld to cover unpaid rent if any, once your lease is up. Again, if you owe more than your deposit or there are also damages in need of repair, you could have to pay even more to get things back to zero.

Leaving with a balance at your previous apartment is never a good idea since you’re already paying the expenses of living somewhere new. It’s hard to pay in both places at the same time, so do your best to stay on top of rent.

3. Give back your keys

Apartment keys are still considered the property of the apartment. Failure to give them back means they must get replaced. It also usually means locks have to get changed for safety reasons. Your security deposit will most likely get used to cover both these expenses.

Sweeping an empty apartment.

Sweeping an empty apartment.

4. Make minor repairs on your own

While general wear-and-tear on your apartment happens and it’s not part of what your security deposit covers, don’t take any chances. Take the time, before you move out, to make minor repairs in your home. The idea is to get it as close to possible to what it looked like when you moved in.

  • Fill in small wall holes with caulk, a little sandpaper and some wall paint
  • Replace any outlet covers or light switch plates that have cracked
  • Fix or replace damaged window screens

You can also let your landlord know about any larger issues that you think fit into the wear-and-tear category but want confirmation on. Things like scuffed walls or baseboards and worn carpet.

Bonus tip: Make sure you take pictures of the state your apartment is in on the day you move in, documenting any existing damage to the unit. Share with your landlord, but keep the photos on file to prevent getting charged for repairs that should have gotten made before you moved in.

5. Clean up after your pet

Having a pet makes it much harder to keep your apartment in good condition. They can’t help the mess they make, but you need to stay on top of it to avoid additional costs when you move out. Make sure you clean up any accidents or pet stains as soon as you find them. You may even want to rent a portable carpet cleaner right before you move out to not only clean but lift that pet smell out of the home.

If you’ve paid an additional pet fee to have your pet, it’s also best to double-check with your landlord that it covers any pet-related fixing-up that takes place once you move out.

Above all else, never sneak in a pet. Not only is it a great way to get evicted, but it almost guarantees you’ll lose your security deposit to repairs and deep cleaning.

6. Keep your apartment clean

Dust, grime and dirt easily build up if left alone too long. Rather than try to clean it all up right before moving out, stay on top of the mess. Then, when it’s time to move, you’ll have less to worry about.

On moving day, make sure you’ve removed all debris, swept out the unit and gone over all surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. Don’t ignore the inside of cabinets and your baseboards either!

How to get your security deposit back

Once you’ve moved out, it doesn’t hurt to remind your landlord that you expect to get your security deposit back from them. How to get your security back fastest is to ensure it’s top of mind with him or her. Confirm the time frame and method of return as well. If the refund will come in the mail, double-check your landlord has the right forwarding address for you on file.

If your landlord responds immediately with excuses, make it clear you expect it back unless they can show proof of the damage and the cost of the repair. Be kind and let them know you understand that full refunds of security deposits don’t always happen, but that you need to know what the withheld funds are covering.

How long does a landlord have to return a deposit

This is a tricky question because it really varies by state how long you have to wait to get your security deposit back. However, between 30-45 days is the average timeframe. Although, there are quite a few states that work quicker, returning security deposits within 14-21 days.

Some states, like West Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas, take up to 60 days to return the money, while other states, like New York, don’t have a schedule at all. Their policy just requires it happens within a ‘reasonable timeframe.’

There are also a few states where the regulations get particularly tricky. In Illinois, for example, there’s no time limit to return security deposits if a landlord owns a building with four or fewer units. If the building is bigger, security deposits must get returned within 45 days.

Make sure you check on the exact rules for your state before you begin worrying your refund is late.

Sweeping an empty apartment.

Sweeping an empty apartment.

What to do if your landlord is unresponsive

Landlords must return security deposits or provide documentation that shares what costs it covered in repairs. If you don’t hear anything from your landlord, and the window for its return goes past, there is legal action you can take.

The first step is to send a demand letter. This gives your landlord a chance to follow through on returning the security deposit without having to go to court. Because each state has its own regulations around this process, try to find a sample letter applicable to your location. Send the letter via certified mail, with a return receipt requested, to track its delivery.

If you still hear nothing from your landlord, it’s within your rights to take them to court. A case like this would typically go through Small Claims Court. Even though it may not feel worth it to sue for the small sum of your deposit, some states will let you increase the amount up to three times the value of your security deposit.

You can also sue for the interest your deposit accrued if your landlord had to put the money in an interest-bearing account.

Use your security deposit wisely

Hopefully, everything goes well when you move out of your apartment and you get your security deposit returned in full. And on time.

Once that check is back in your possession, go ahead and celebrate. Treat yourself a little bit, but make sure to spend most of this money wisely. You did just move and most likely have a lot of new expenses to cover.

Source: rent.com

The Best Cities for Fall Allergies in 2021

If you suffer from seasonal allergies in the fall, living in these cities will bring you relief.

Living with seasonal allergies is a cross that many of us have to bear. Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergic reactions to pollen from trees and plants throughout the year.

The spring and early summer are usually thought of as the worst time for seasonal allergies. This is because of the abundance of tree pollen from the many different types of trees that are in bloom. Other plants and weeds are also blooming, causing an overload of pollen release.

Different cities, regions and parts of the country also may have worse allergies depending on local flora. But fall is actually also a bad time for dealing with seasonal allergies.

What are the worst fall allergies?

Ragweed is the top culprit for fall allergies. These flowering North American plants are a member of the daisy family. A single plant can produce billions of dry pollen grains, whose small size allows them to be blown hundreds of miles away. So even if ragweed isn’t that common in your city or area, you can still suffer from ragweed allergies. Ragweed is most common in the Midwest, South and North regions of the country.

Along with ragweed, there are many other plants that can cause fall allergies. These include sagebrush, lamb’s-quarters, cocklebur, Russian thistle and pigweed.

The best places to live with allergies in the fall

If ragweed or other pollen-producing plants and trees are the sources of your fall allergies, you may want to live in a part of the country where they’re not as common. Since ragweed is the worst offender for fall allergies, it’s no surprise that most of these cities are on the West Coast.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ran the numbers and found the cities where fall allergies are the best — and worst. Here are the top 10 best places to live with allergies in the fall.

10. Fresno, CA

fresno ca

fresno ca

The city of Fresno is located in California’s bountiful San Joaquin Valley. Situated in the central region of the state, the San Joaquin Valley and Fresno is one of the United States’ most important agricultural areas. Fresno is surrounded by farmland, which primarily produces citrus fruits like oranges and nuts like almonds.

With such a high amount of agricultural trees and plants, irritating tree pollen is kept low. This makes Fresno a top choice for people who suffer from tree pollen allergies. There are sometimes air pollution issues, which can be an issue for asthma sufferers.

9. San Francisco, CA

san francisco ca

san francisco ca

The breezy City by the Bay is good for many things, like art, tech and culture. But it’s also a great place to live with fall allergies.

San Francisco typically has its worst allergy seasons at the beginning of the year. This starts in January with some local trees like mulberry and olive and bushes. Grass pollen starts spiking during the spring. Then summer brings on weed pollen. But fall has a far lower pollen count.

8. Sacramento, CA

sacramento ca

sacramento ca

California’s capital city offers fall allergy sufferers a respite. Allergy season from grass hits hardest in the spring and early summer here. So autumn is a welcome break from sneezing and weepy eyes.

The allergy season here is similar to Fresno because Sacramento is located in an agriculturally rich area. Lots of vegetables, citrus and nuts come from the Central Valley, so there are fewer allergy-causing plants and trees around.

7. Portland, OR

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portland or

Portland does have a troublesome spring allergy season. This is particularly due to grass pollen, which explodes in the spring and sweeps in on the wind from the Willamette Valley.

But fall brings a blissfully low pollen count, making it one of our top places to live with allergies. With little grass and tree pollen, you can enjoy the cozy fall season Pacific Northwest-style, with lots of rain, coffee and cloudy forest vistas.

6. Salt Lake City, UT

salt lake city ut

salt lake city ut

There are several geographic factors that contribute to Salt Lake City having a low pollen count.

Sitting at 4,226 feet above sea level, the elevation in Sky City creates dry air. Humid air allows pollen particles to travel and drift around for longer. But dry air prevents the pollen from staying airborne for long periods of time.

The long, cold winters also make for a short growing season. So plants have less time to flower and therefore less pollen to produce. All these factors combine to make Salt Lake City a great spot to flee seasonal fall allergies.

5. San Jose, CA

san jose ca

san jose ca

The Silicon Valley hub of San Jose is not just great for entrepreneurs and tech lovers. It’s also great for people looking for relief from ragweed and other fall allergen producers.

There are tree pollen seasons at the beginning of the year and throughout the spring. But for the most part, fall is free of bad seasonal allergies. There is grass and weed pollen from spring to early fall, but the levels can widely vary and the pollen count is generally down at a manageable level.

4. Provo, UT

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Along with Salt Lake City, Provo is another example of how Utah is a safe haven from fall allergies. The city similarly sits at a high elevation of 4,551 feet above sea level. The dry air at a higher altitude prevents airborne pollen from traveling far or staying aloft for extended periods of time.

It’s only about a 45-minute drive to Salt Lake City, so the weather and climate are roughly the same. This keeps the flowering season short for less pollen.

3. Stockton, CA

stockton ca

stockton ca

Stockton is located in California’s San Joaquin and Central valleys. Similar to other Central Valley cities like Sacramento and Fresno, Stockton reaps the benefits of agricultural surroundings, hot summers and mild winters.

Spring allergies from grass and trees are an issue here during the spring. But come fall, as the cooler air and cold weather moves in, pollen counts drop way down. That’s why Stockton ranks third in the best places to live with fall allergies.

2. Seattle, WA

seattle wa

seattle wa

Seattle comes in as the second-best place to live with fall allergies. The long, wet winters and mild summers keep pollen down during the fall. The spring bloom does bring some itchy eyes and runny noses from trees like cedar, ash and oak, as well as grass and weeds.

But typically by September, plants are done releasing pollen. And the oncoming fall rains regularly cleanse the air of irritating pollen grains. So if you enjoy fresh, rain-washed air and an abundance of greenery without the nasty allergy side effects, head to the Emerald City.

1. Durham, NC

durham nc

durham nc

The No. 1 slot for the best places to live with fall allergies is a bit of a surprise. It’s the only city on the list that’s not along the West Coast. Also, as ragweed is very prolific in the South, it’s right smack-dab in the middle of Ragweed Country. And yet, it’s ranked by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation as the best city for escaping fall allergies. It’s Durham.

In addition to ragweed, local trees birch, sweet gum and oak trees are also the source of autumnal allergy sorrow. But there are several reasons that Durham fares better than other parts of North Carolina when it comes to allergies.

Firstly, it rains an average of 46 inches per year. This is over the national average of 38 inches a year. This regularly washes yellow pollen out of the air and therefore out of your lungs.

Secondly, Durham and the overall Research Triangle area is a renowned center for healthcare and medicine. So there are plenty of doctors and allergists who are at the top of their field who can help individuals find any allergy relief they need. Durham is even known as the City of Medicine.

How to relieve fall allergy symptoms

If you don’t live in these low pollen count areas or are still suffering from fall allergies, there are still steps you can take to alleviate your symptoms. Fall is a time for being outdoors, enjoying the changing colors, pumpkin patches and other seasonal festivities. The last thing you need is to deal with runny eyes and sniffles.

Here are some ways you can prepare yourself for pollen spikes, as well as outfit your apartment or home to best deal with seasonal allergies.

  • Keep track of daily and weekly pollen counts by following local news and checking local weather.
  • Avoid going outside in the early morning or when it’s windy, as that’s when pollen counts are usually highest or being blown around the most.
  • Wear a mask on high pollen count days.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed to prevent pollen from blowing in and settling around your home.
  • Keep your home clean and dust-free during allergy season.
  • If applicable, use an air filter. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are the best options for stopping those small pollen grains.
  • Use over-the-counter medication for short-term relief.
  • When coming home, remove your shoes and change clothes to prevent bringing pollen in. Put them in a dirty clothes hamper and change into a fresh outfit.
  • If the pollen count is very high that day, consider taking a shower as well.
  • Use a neti pot or squeeze bottle to rinse out your sinuses and flush out any pollen.
  • If you are still suffering, talk with your doctor about other possible treatments or solutions for allergy relief.

Don’t let fall allergies get you down

When you suffer from seasonal allergies, it can feel like a losing battle against nature. You might feel resigned to having to suffer from allergies each year. But there are plenty of possibilities for relief. And if all else fails, talk with your doctor about your options.

Source: rent.com