What’s a Mixed-Use Building & Should You Live in One

Empty table in a downtown cafeAs more Americans move into urban areas, city planners have to get inventive to accommodate them. One solution that’s becoming increasingly popular is mixed-use developments. But just because this is a favorable option for city planners doesn’t mean it will be a good fit for you. Learn what mixed-use buildings are and read up on the pros and cons of living above a cafe or other type of retail space!

Mixed-Use Development Definition

As the name implies, a mixed-use development serves multiple purposes. Often, such buildings offer both commercial and residential spaces for rent or sale.

Typically, the street-level spaces in mixed-use buildings are reserved for businesses such as restaurants, cafes, drugstores, and boutiques. Higher floors may feature office space, apartments, condos, and lofts.

We can expect more mixed-use developments to come about as more renters move into urban areas.

Is a Mixed-Use Building Right for Me?

Having apartments above retail stores and businesses sounds like a cool idea. Imagine living above a cafe—opening your window to the smell of fresh-baked pastries and steamy espresso! But before you get too excited (or hungry), consider whether living in a mixed-use building is right for you.

Here are several pros and cons to consider before signing a lease for an apartment in a mixed-use development.

Pro: Convenience

Living in a mixed-use building can offer remarkable convenience. Living above a cafe, for example, might help ease the stress of cooking all the time.

Con: Cost

Easy and quick access to cafes, coffee shops, boutiques, and more can offer incredible convenience. It can also serve up a temptation to overspend on non-essential items and dining options.

Pro: Walkability

Mixed-use apartment buildings are usually in densely-populated urban areas. Typically, such neighborhoods are better-suited for pedestrians and cyclists since food, entertainment, and recreational destinations are close to each other.

Con: Self-Containment

Having too many conveniences within the building may decrease your desire or need to get out and about. But being confined most of the time indoors isn’t good for your health—no matter how convenient it seems! Time Magazine reports that staying indoors for too long messes with your circadian rhythm, which can increase your risk for obesity, substance abuse, depression, and more.

Pro: Nightlife

Mixed-use buildings are usually in cities’ most-happening neighborhoods. And when the city’s top bars and clubs are within walking distance of your place, you can take part in every party! Plus, you can save yourself the stress (and cash) of designating a driver or hailing a ride. After all, when happy hour is at the bar downstairs, home is just an elevator ride away!

Con: Noise

Living above a cafe sounds great until you hear the sound of their open mic night on a Tuesday at 1 a.m. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure your mixed-use apartment building has strict rules in place concerning allowable noise levels coming from street-level tenants. Ask the property manager or leasing agent about vacancies in the higher-level apartments if you’re concerned about the noise. And if you find yourself waking up to the sound of the dive bar on the ground level, check out these ways to soundproof your apartment!

Mixed-Use Can Mean Great Fun

Mixed-use buildings offer tremendous potential for a fun and engaging lifestyle. However, they have their cons, too! But if the idea of living above a coffee shop or a retail store floats your boat, then ApartmentSearch can help you find the best apartment for your way of life.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

How to Negotiate Salary Increases and Promotions

There are only two ways to get extra money to save. Either you can cut your expenses or start earning extra income. While reducing your expenses is a good first start to sticking to your budget, there’s only so many soy lattes and unused gym membership that you can get rid of. It’s often much more productive to focus your energy on increasing your income. 

There are a couple of different ways to earn more money. You might consider a side hustle or starting your own business. You can look for another job that pays more or try to get more money from your current employer. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to negotiate salary increases and promotions and make sure that you’re getting paid what you’re worth.

The difference between a promotion and a raise

One important distinction to make is the difference between a promotion and a raise. A promotion is usually a change in job title and/or job responsibilities. A raise is just what it sounds like – more money. The two often come together, but not always. Be careful when you get a promotion that it comes with a salary increase commensurate with the added responsibilities you’ll be taking on.

Know how much you’re worth

Knowing how much you’re worth is a key factor in the negotiations for a promotion and salary increase. There are many online sites where you can see the average salaries for just about every type of job out there. Compare several different sites to see where your salary fits in. If you can show data that you’re underpaid for someone with your experience, education and responsibilities, that can be something your manager can take to HR to approve your promotion and raise.

Track your accomplishments

If you’re looking to negotiate a salary increase or promotion, start by acting the part. Promotions and raises generally are backwards-looking. What that means is that you’re likely to get a raise for work that you’ve done or are doing ALREADY. If you’re planning on talking to your supervisor about a salary increase or promotion, it can be helpful to track your accomplishments. 

If you’ve gone above and beyond your job description, or if you’ve received praise from a customer or co-worker, keep notes of when and what. That can be useful ammunition to show why you deserve this raise. Avoid the temptation of comparing yourself to your peers – instead, look at the job responsibilities of the role you’re aiming for. If you have detailed descriptions of how you’ve been doing those responsibilities already, you’ll be well on your way to getting that promotion.

Have regular conversations with your supervisor

Healthy companies have regular conversations between supervisors and the employees that they manage. It is a trait of a good manager to care about the employment and advancement of the employees that they manage. Don’t be afraid to talk with your supervisor regularly – ask her for constructive and timely feedback, and ask for concrete steps on what you would need to do to merit a promotion. Then document those steps and come back in a few months with details of how you’ve met those steps and deserve a promotion and a raise!

Be prepared to come with a backup plan

It’s important to understand the pay and compensation structure of the company you’re at. Many companies have pay “bands” or ranges of compensation for a given role. Knowing where your salary fits within that range can be helpful when you’re preparing to negotiate a salary increase. 

Also, if the company has announced a hiring freeze or layoffs, it might not be the best time to ask for more money. Understanding the bigger situation can help you pick the right time to have the discussion. Be prepared for what you’ll do or say if your supervisor turns your request for a raise down. Is there anything else that would be meaningful to you? Maybe it’s a more flexible working arrangement, deferred compensation like stock options or other types of non-monetary compensation.

Don’t be afraid to leave

At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide how much working at this job is worth it to you. It’s always a bit nerve wracking to quit your job, but it’s generally much harder to get a significant raise without moving to a new company. You don’t want to be hopping around from job to job every few months, but it’s also important to feel like you are getting paid the money that you are worth. 

If you don’t get the promotion you’re looking for, then it may be time to start exploring other options. After all, the best time to look for a new job is while you still have your OLD one (and don’t have to worry about making ends meet)

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Source: mint.intuit.com