Tag Archives: renting

My Other Writing: A Way for You To Support My Travels Without One Penny!

It’s that time again! Coming up on the end of my quarter as a writer for BuildDirect. You can financially support me in my upcoming travels by reading my BuildDirect content and sharing it socially off the blog page.

Look for the social share buttons at the bottom and click the blue “F” to share it on your Facebook, or share it on Twitter or Google Plus. Even commenting on the blogpost itself will pay me money. (But not commenting on this post!)

YouRock1_answer_1_xlargeWhatever you can do, I appreciate! Thank you for all your support and help. It means a lot.

Here’s some of the most popular posts so far this quarter, but you can see all my work going back to April 1 (the start of my bonus period) by clicking HERE.


A Simple Wedding Might Save Your Marriage

Far and away my most popular post this quarter. It shares stats and anecdotes that show how folks getting married with simple weddings are more likely to not divorce! Read it here.

My Childhood Home: The House that Built Me

A simple, personal post about my childhood home and how it’s changed in the years since it was bought by its new family, and how it shaped me in my youth. That’s right here.

How Pork & Cork Are Saving An Entire Ecosystem

A story about how pig farmers and cork plantations are working together to keep an arid ecosystem functioning. Cork oaks can live 600 years and stewardship of these mighty trees is considered a privilege and calling in Portugal and Spain. Read more about this interesting symbiotic relationship. (Seeing this first-hand is a bucket list travel item that will come true in 2016.)

9 Ways to Protect Your Home While On Vacation

This has been popular this week since I guess some of these tips aren’t ones folks have read that much. If you’re going away for a weekend or longer this summer, here’s how to sleep easy knowing you’ve protected your home the best you can. Go here.

How to Stay Sane While Packing for a Move

From fighting dust allergies to protecting your hands and avoiding bugs, I’ve got little-shared moving tips I learned from what was the Move From Hell in 2012. Since then, I’m way smarter, and I pass my Jedi ways to you right here.

The Not-So-Tiny House: Simplifying for Families

My successful realtor friend Matt lives in a 3-bedroom apartment with three kids, and wouldn’t change it for the world. What tiny-living families give up in the home, they get back in an exciting urban lifestyle at their doorstep. Read more here.

Hoarding: Not Just a Bad Habit

Severe clutter can debilitate people and damage their lives and relationships. Why is it so insidious, and what can people look for in identifying whether their friends or family are living in these conditions? How can they help? Read on. 

The Book-Lover’s Guide to Purging Books

I was so sad to get rid of all my books but now that they’re gone, my clutter is reduced, my home is bigger, and my allergies are doing better. Here are ways to help cull the chaos and off-load your books. Click here.

How to Change Your Life by Working from Home

It’s not for everyone, but working from home changed my life. Commuting less, I work for myself more, and I’ve paid off tons of debt and I’m just under 4 months from taking the show on the road and travelling the world for 5 years. Here are ways to make the adjustment to being a work-from-home type, and why it’s such life-changing thing to do. Read on!

How to Be a Good Neighbour in Tough Times

I’m proud this was popular because I think it’s so important that we help each other through difficult times. Whether your neighbour’s lost their job, lost a loved one, or is just really facing a tough illness, I’ve compiled a bunch of ways you can be of help, and even how to offer said help. Learn more here.

How to Hire a Contractor without Getting Conned

People are far too lenient when trusting contractors with their homes. It’s no wonder so many folks face terrible con-jobs and shoddy work as a result. I scoured the web and found all the ways you can do background checks, and why it’s critical, and stuck ’em all in this handy article.

Should You Rent or Should You Buy?

Buying a home is quickly becoming a less solid idea in some areas, like where I just moved from. What are considerations for you? Have no fear! I’ve done my research and here’s what to know before you make that decision.

A Brief Introduction to Native, Exotic, and Invasive Plants

This is an important read for anyone planting a garden or doing some landscape. Planting the wrong stuff can have terrible consequences to the local ecosystem, and you don’t want that! Learn more right here.

Brewing a Solution: Alternatives to the K-Cup Coffee Conundrum

Coffee courses through my veins. From my cold dead hands will you pry my cup! But here are enviro-friendly alternatives to the biggest commercial issue facing landfills today: Single-serving coffee pods. Get your java knowledge here.


 

And so much more! There are more than 30 other articles I’ve written since April 1st. Have a look right here if you’re wanting to read my stuff (and like it and share it and make me money).

Thank you so much! :)

internet_high_five-s580x537-140830

 

Apartment Hunting Just Got Easy: Padmapper

Well, it’s all coming down. Another 10 days, and I can start looking in earnest for March 1st rentals in Victoria.

Holy choices-to-make, Batman!

Here’s what I know. I know roughly where I want to live. And while I’m working from home, I want to be less than 15 minutes’ walk to my local gym, which I’ve chosen downtown. A similar walk to great parks, shops, and the beach would also work. So, that narrows things down.

But finding apartments exactly where I want them, well, that’s the challenge. I’ve been researching the shit out of apartment management companies, neighbourhoods, different listing sources, and it really makes the head spin.

Dude, all the squinting to read neighbourhoods and trying to imagine where places are when I barely know the main street names, it’s killing me!

Now, with Google Street View, it makes plugging an apartment’s address in really worth your while, since you can do a 360-view look at the places around it.

That’s all a hell of a lot of work, though, even for a smart and determined cookie like myself.

So, enter Padmapper.com.

Sure, it’s not NEW, but it’s new to me and probably to anyone who hasn’t rented a new place in the last few years.

A reader turned me onto it yesterday, and, oh, lord, do I love this. You can set lots of parameters, and it’s in your interest to be more thorough. What kind of parameters?

  • Price
  • Location
  • Set radius for a walking distance to X-location (work / gym / school, etc)
  • Bedroom/bathroom count
  • Pet-friendliness
  • Terms of lease/rent

Blah, blah, blah.  Use it all! More means less crap to search through for your shiny new home.

There’s a few apartment-listing sources it combs through, and you select the maximum age of the listing, and it’ll search, say, rent.com, craigslist.org, and more.

You plug your deets in, and boom-shaka-laka, your Google map fills with markers for every single available apartment, and you can click each marker and a pop-up dialogue shows you a photo of the place, where the source listing is, and all the basic details. You can “save to favourites” and all the standard modes of sharing via email and such apply.

And think about the awesomeness that Google Street View offers you — the chance to take a look at what the neighbourhood looks like around your home. Well, Padmapper.com also has the ability to click the “Walkscore” button, and if you’ve never tried Walkscore,* it gives you an idea of what’s in walking distance of your home and how convenient it is.

The only shortfall in Padmapper is that it doesn’t currently integrate with the Bedbug Registry, and if you’ve had any close calls, you’ll appreciate how much you’d like to know who’s had problems and how often.

As I’ll be working from home, I’m really keen to find the best location and a good hardwood floor space with balconies, maybe even a second bedroom for my office, if I can find the right mix at the right budget.

Looking for a place to live has always been a real challenge. With a tool like this, it seems the playing field’s getting a little more level for the savvy home-renter looking for the ideal place to cool their heels.

With a few minutes’ digging, I can find more viable listings for rentals that fit the budget, space, and location needs I have than I could find in hours, before.

And, let’s face it, in a 30-days-notice kind of world, you really do need a more efficient means of finding great places. Padmapper might just be a rental agency’s worst nightmare, because finding a new apartment just got a whole lot less intimidating.

*WALKSCORE: My present home is dubiously high on there, and they’re wrong, since most of the so-called restaurants are sushi joints and I don’t eat it, and the shops kind of suck, so don’t get too invested in Walkscore without knowing the hood well, just use it because you can.