About Steve Harper

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.

Table for One: How to Dine Alone (and Love It!)

There's an Art to Dining AloneAll right, let’s get this out of the way, right up front.

Dining alone in a restaurant is neither a shameful thing nor an experience to avoid.

Maybe you’ve had an experience like Jason Segel in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Sometimes a server does make a fuss, but, really, most are happy you’re there — if you are happy to be there, yourself.

There’s an art to the solo dine. In the right frame of mind and with reasonable expectations, a solo diner can have a delicious experience.

It helps if you like to eat, of course.

These tidbits should help the reluctant learn from my own mistakes. Know thyself, dear diner, and feel free to enjoy a great meal, regardless of situational solitude!

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Top Cities for College Grads

Click the image to view the full infographic!

Click the image to view the full infographic!

For college seniors, the spring season means looking forward to graduation – and life beyond the college campus.

To help college graduates as they look both for work and a new place to live, Apartment Guide consulted with Indeed, the number one job site worldwide, to bring together information to match the perfect apartment with the right job.

Together, Indeed and Apartment Guide have researched the top cities with the most entry-level job openings, along with average rents for one and two bedroom apartments in these cities.

Here’s the list.

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A “Lovely” Addition to the RentPath Family

A Lovely Addition to the RentPath FamilyRentPath Acquires Lovely

Acquisition Positions RentPath to Continue to Revolutionize the Rental Industry

ATLANTA and SAN FRANCISCO (April 2, 2014) – RentPath, the premier vertical search company for apartment and home renters, announced today that it has acquired Lovely (www.livelovely.com), a San Francisco-based start-up whose mission is to provide the most comprehensive and transparent rental experience for renters, property owners and managers nationwide, for $13 million in cash.

Lovely is the first mobile-powered end-to-end rental marketplace where renters can search, apply and pay rent directly from their mobile device and the web.

“Lovely has done an amazing job at designing products for desktop and mobile devices that simplify the renting process and offer innovative solutions for renters and property managers,” according to Charles Stubbs, CEO of RentPath. “This acquisition illustrates RentPath’s commitment to delivering the best consumer experience and redefining how renters find the perfect place to live. We are excited to welcome Lovely to the RentPath family.”

Blake Pierson, CEO and co-founder of Lovely, said, “We are thrilled to join RentPath. With their help and support, we look forward to expanding the mission of Lovely to the rest of the RentPath family of sites and easing the pain points for millions of renters nationwide.” Pierson added, “With Lovely’s long-term strategic vision completely aligned with RentPath’s – to help renters find the perfect place to live – we are excited to work with Charles and his team to create products that transform and redefine the rental space.”

Lovely co-founder Doug Wormhoudt added, “I could not be more proud of what my team has accomplished and what we have built together. After meeting another amazing team at RentPath I became convinced that the combination of our two organizations would be unstoppable. Today marks a new chapter in our shared vision for the future of apartment rentals.”

Lovely will continue to operate out of San Francisco under the leadership of Pierson and Wormhoudt.

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About RentPath
RentPath, a leading digital media company and a TPG portfolio company, has a long-standing heritage in the real estate industry to empower millions of people nationwide to find apartments, houses for rent and new homes for sale.  RentPath’s category-leading brands include Apartment Guide, Rent.com, Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com, and New Home Guide. All total, its network of websites reaches over 7 million unduplicated unique visitors monthly.

The company’s flagship brand, Apartment Guide, is the most trusted rental resource that connects apartment consumers to their ideal place to live. With an unmatched search capability, amplified by constantly refined tools and industry insights, Apartment Guide provides consumers with a clear and simple guide to apartment living through content-rich apartment listings in a user-friendly format with Internet, mobile and social media solutions. Leading the industry with first-to-market mobile introductions of iPad™, iPhone® and Android™ applications, as well as Reputation Monitor and SocialMedia Manager, Apartment Guide’s multi-platform search capability allows renters and property managers to connect wherever they are, whenever they want, in the medium that works best for them. The brand’s commitment to maximizing owner and manager value makes Apartment Guide a leading multi-family housing industry partner.

RentPath, Inc. has its headquarters in Norcross, Georgia (outside of Atlanta).  For more information, visit www.rentpath.com or www.apartmentguide.com. For additional insight on moving and more, visit Apartment Guide’s blog and connect with Apartment Guide on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Google+.

About Lovely
Lovely is the first real rental marketplace that allows renters to search, apply, and pay rent directly from their mobile devices while helping property owners and managers find the best, most qualified tenants. We know from personal experience just how painful it can be to rent an apartment, and we think it should be faster, easier and more transparent for both sides. Lovely was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. The Lovely team is growing; please visit the website to browse job openings and apply online: www.livelovely.com.

How Long ‘Til These Planets Become the Next Rental Hot Spots?

Click the image to view the full infographic!

Click the image to view the full infographic!

In the future, the hottest rentals in the coolest neighborhoods may be found a little further out than you’re accustomed to looking.

We’re imagining a time when Earth will no longer be such an exclusive place to live. It may be a while, of course, until that becomes a reality, but we like to think that the dream of interplanetary life is possible.

What would that look like? How would you choose where to live?

Each planet in our solar system just might offer its own perks and special neighborhoods. People with shared interests might come together to share new worlds.

Join us as we here at Apartment Guide boldly predict the future: apartment living off-planet!

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How to Remember to Pay the Rent on Time

How NOT to Forget to Pay Your Rent

Remember… remember… remember the rent! We offer tips to help you jog your own memory and keep up with your primary first-of-the-month responsibility!

The first of the month means it’s time, once again, to pay the rent.

While there’s a powerful incentive to remember — and some fairly painful consequences if you forget – you can set yourself up for success with a few suggestions.

When you forget…
The rent is generally due the first day of the month, for most renters – and the typical landlord holds hard and fast to that requirement. If you’re late, then extra fees and a certified or cashier’s check, which carries yet another fee, just might be in your future.

Luckily, there are ways to help yourself remember to pay the rent on time.

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Upgrading to a 2BR Apartment? Here’s Where It’ll Cost You the Most

Considering a move to a larger apartment? Wondering if you can afford a second bedroom?

We wondered the same thing and decided to look at our data to see what metro areas had the biggest percentage rent increase from one bedroom to two bedrooms.

For March 2014 in metros with at least 50 apartment listings, we looked at the lowest-price one bedroom and two bedroom apartment units to determine the average percentage increase between the two inside the same community. We included only apartment listings for which there were both one and two bedroom offerings located on the same property.

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What If Justin Bieber Moved in Next Door?

How would you feel if a celebrity became your neighbor?

How would you feel if a celebrity like Justin Bieber flew in to your neighborhood?

How would you feel if a celebrity like Justin Bieber moved in nearby?

Would you be worried about noise, traffic, or unwanted media attention?

Mr. Bieber has engaged in some questionable activities, suggesting — for some, at least – a possibility of less than neighborly behavior. There was the report of an alleged egging of a neighbor’s home in Los Angeles, and also claims that Bieber has allegedly driven a car unsafely. A petition to deport Bieber from the United States has received over 269,000 signatures.

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How to Take Your Home Inventory

Your Apartment Insurance Inventory

In the event of a disaster or other unforeseen event, having an up-to-date inventory of the contents of your apartment is key to making an insurance claim. It is this inventory which will help establish the replacement value of your possessions. Your renter’s insurance policy may require a listing and valuation, as well, when you sign up. The list should also bring some peace of mind as a record of your most valuable things.

What do you need to list?
How do you get a handle on a big inventory list? One approach is to start with large items and move progressively smaller. You might also compile your list room by room.

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The State of Renting: ‘Realty’ Check 2014

If your instinct is that the rent is, well, “too damn high,” check out some possible reasons why!

By Steve Harper and Elizabeth Beasley, Apartment Guide contributor

Renting — while never really out of style — is trendy again!

The National Association of Home Builders predicts that a preference for renting among young people is driving the building of many more new apartment buildings in the next couple of years. The state of the housing market, among other factors, seems to be leading more people to choose renting in the near future.

Are you ready for a reality check on the state of renting?

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Plan a Perfectly Romantic Dinner Experience for Valentine’s Day

When romance is on the menu for Valentine's Day, a perfect dinner can express those feelings of love.  If food be the music of love, play on. (Sorry, Will!)

When romance is on the menu for Valentine’s Day, a perfect dinner can express those feelings of love. If food be the music of love, play on. (Sorry, Will!)

Want to share an amazing and romantic dinner with your partner at home in your apartment this year on Valentine’s Day?

You have fantasies of all the perfect details, right down to imagining your significant other swept off his or her feet.

But how do you pull off the ideal night without it being a cookie-cutter version of everyone else’s? How do you share something new?

Read on for ideas about how to celebrate your special someone.

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