Save BIG this Winter on Heating Bills

Category Archive: Renting Tips

  1. Save BIG this Winter on Heating Bills

    1 Comment

    EnergyBillsJust when we are getting started to save money and spend big on holiday presents, is about the same time our energy bills increase due to the cold. That’s right, we said it: the cold. We live in Wisconsin where we throw boiling water in the air to watch it freeze as a past time.

    We knowing that majority of our energy costs go to heat per year. So we need to take extra steps to put extra back in our pockets. Therefore we have compiled for you a list of ways to help save on heating costs:

    • Keep furniture, carpeting and curtains from blocking heat registers and air return ducts

    • If radiators are located near cold outside walls, place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room

    • Don’t overheat your home and overwork your furnace. Use supplemental heating equipment for hard-to-heat areas

    • When replacing your furnace, look for one that’s at least 90 percent efficient

    • Close your attic, basement, garage and exterior doors to prevent cold drafts and keep in heat

    • Ceiling fans set at slow speed push warm air away from the ceiling and move it around the room without creating a chilling breeze. This spreads the heat more evenly and will make you feel more comfortable

    For additional ideas, check out our previous tip posts: Tip #1 | Tip #2

    Feel free to explore for more resources.

  2. Shrink Energy Bills: Tip #2

    Leave a Comment

    QuickTipImageNo one likes a leak. So seal yours!

    Sealing air leaks saves, on average, 10 percent or more on heating bills. That’s an average of $50-$170 per year.

    Cost: $30-$50 for materials

    Payback time: Starting six months

  3. Shrink Energy Bills: Tip #1

    1 Comment

    QuickTipImageDoes your home or rental have a chimney?

    If so – choke your chimney. A tightly closed damper prevents up to 8 percent of furnace-heated air from going up the chimney and out of your home.

    Cost to complete: FREE
    Payback time: IMMEDIATELY

  4. 3 Common Mistakes Made by Renters

    Leave a Comment

    Renting during college is one of the most exciting aspects of the whole experience! It is a declaration of independence from the rules and regulations of the dorm life and a further extension of independence from one’s parents. This being said, the renting life is fun and exciting. However, there are a few common mistakes that plague college renters. Make sure to not let these happen to you!

    bad-roommates1. Choosing the wrong roommates

    Finding the right roommates sometimes isn’t easy, but it is worth the effort. Make sure to start looking for potential roommates as soon as possible; this is something that cannot wait till last minute—like an online quiz. At the bare minimum, make sure potential roommates are at least financially stable. After that, try to find people who seem like they are a good match for your group and would be a positive renting partner.

    2. Not reading the entire lease

    Not reading the lease is a mistake that can happen from time to time. Sometimes it can even be worth it to hire someone—like a campus provided legal services— to read one’s lease for him or her. It could be the difference from having direct TV or cable, to having a cat or a $200 penalty. Always be thorough when reading a lease and establish clear expectations with the landlord. Having a clear understanding of what is expected will eliminate most problems one can encounter with a lease.

    3. Not establishing clear house duties

    Nobody wants to be seen as the mom of the house, but having clear duties for each individual is important. One has to do what it takes to get everyone involved equally with house chores and duties. Expectations need to be established for everyone. Do what it takes to establish these, have a chore calendar, create individual to do lists, or go to extremes and conduct a blood oath. Whatever it may be, do it right away, perhaps even bring it up before signing a lease.

    Avoiding these common mistakes will only make your renting experience better. Remember, renting is one of the most exciting things to do with friends in college and the memories made will be life-long!

    Have you made any mistakes when renting? Start with the right decision contact us!

  5. How to Find the Right House to Rent


    There isn’t a bachelor’s degree or emphases in how to find the right house to rent, but it is definitely a science! There are a few things one can do to have an advantage and find the best possible renting location for college. Here is a list of the most important things to consider when searching for a dream house to rent.

    Plan ahead – Seems simple right? Having a head start on the entire renting process will allow for the best possible location. A lot of people wait till last second to find a house to rent—that is why they don’t have a very nice place. Being aggressive is key to being able to find an awesome place. Start planning before it seems necessary and the opportunity for better houses will be there when the time comes.

    Research landlords – Be weary of bad landlords. There are a multitude of renters out there and they usually have reviews online. Make sure to research every possible landlord and find the ones with the best reviews. Keep in mind that larger companies tend to have better support systems for maintenance, customer service, etc. compared to landlords who simply have a house or two that they rent as side cash. [We happen to know a fabulous company, click here to contact!]

    Consider the parking situation – Parking is essential, do not neglect thinking about this aspect. Sometimes it can be the perfect five-room house, but there are only four parking spots. This can present a huge problem if every roommate needs constant access to his or her vehicle. Talk to your landlord to figure out possible solutions to the parking situation before signing a lease. Make sure to consider parking heavily when house searching.

    Make a checklist of necessary requirements – Sometimes it can be tough to compare houses and it can lead to subjective judgments. A way around this type of problem is to sit down with future roommates and create a checklist of what is wanted in a potential house. Things such as having more than one bathroom, having two-car garage, or making sure there is a large living room could be necessities for the list. Then, when visiting each location, it is then easier to check what each house has and allows simple factual comparisons to find the perfect home.

    Visit at least 3-4 houses – Making sure to visit more than one location is also very important to find the best possible house to rent. Rushing into a house that seems great at first won’t guarantee the best situation because there won’t be anything to compare to. Imagine only tasting beef flavored ramen noodles and deciding they were the best before experiencing other fabulous flavors like roast chicken or chili lime! The moral of the story is that to decide what is best between things, comparisons need to be made. That is why visiting multiple houses can ensure the best possible renting experience.

    Renting can take some time but it is a fun opportunity to live the college life, make great friends and create memories. Follow these steps to be ahead of the renting game and find a great place to live. Don’t get stuck in a bad renting situation!

    Have you found the perfect house to rent? Contact us to discuss what you are looking for or check out our special property search feature on our website to find your next living space: