Apartment Perks That Make A Difference

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, June 20, 2019


When you begin apartment hunting you probably have a list of things you have to have. Two bedrooms, pet friendly, and close to your office are all requirements if you’re going to sign the lease on a new apartment. What about the little things, though? While not necessary, there are amenities and perks that can make one apartment community more appealing than another.

A Dishwasher

You’ve had a long day at work, and after coming home and cooking dinner, the last thing you want to do is wash all of the dishes by hand. You could wait until tomorrow, but they’ll have to be washed at one point or another. You don’t realize how helpful dishwashers truly are until you don’t have one.

Walk-In Closets

There is something about walk-in closets that seems luxurious. Apart from a feeling of luxury, walk-in closets are more spacious, allowing for more storage. Your clothing is easier to see and there’s more room for shoes, purses, and other accessories. Oh and there’s even room for your partners clothing…well, maybe.

Fitness Center

Having a fitness center in your apartment complex is convenient and will save you money. With a gym so close it’s hard to make excuses for not going. You’ll be able to stick to your fitness goals and meet people who live in your complex! You’ll also won’t have to pay $30 a month for a gym membership as many apartment complexes don’t charge a membership fee.

Swimming Pool

If you’ve always wanted a swimming pool of your own, now is your chance! Finding an apartment with a pool gives you all the relaxation benefits without having to maintain it. It’s a win-win for you. Instead of cranking the AC on hot summer days, you can go relax poolside with your favorite book.

A Wall Mounted Microwave

This one may seem odd, but we have a good reason for making it a perk. A wall mounted microwave frees up counter space for either prepping food or fun kitchen gadgets. A wall mounted microwave also means you won’t have to put yours someplace inconvenient, i.e a cabinet or on top of the fridge.

These perks and amenities are just the beginning for Stonegate. Check out all of the amenities we offer and schedule your tour today!

How to Put Together An A+ Rental Application

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, June 06, 2019


Congratulations on finding the perfect apartment! The next step is to submit your rental application to secure your new home. Rental applications help landlords make informed decisions on who to rent to. This is also your chance to showcase why you’re the perfect candidate to rent the apartment. Filling out the application may seem self-explanatory, but there are a few tips to make your application stand out.

Follow All Directions

Think of a rental application as a test – landlords and property managers use them to see if you pay attention to detail or if you’re careless. Read over all the sections of the application before you begin to fill it out. Make sure you complete all sections of the application as well; failure to do so can result in processing delays.

Be Honest

Lying, and having someone find out the truth, looks a lot worse than just telling the truth about your past. If you’ve been evicted or asked to move out, be honest about the reason why. The same goes for if you’ve declared bankruptcy or been fired from job.

If you have pets, plan on getting a pet, or will be living with roommates you need to state that as well. Many communities require an application from each person who plans on living in the apartment. Trying to hide a pet or roommate will result in major consequences.

Provide References

Unless the application specifically states “no references”, providing a few references provides a potential landlord the opportunity to get to know you. Attach your reference contact to the application and submit it via email or mail. Provide a mix of personal and professional references and always ask the reference first before listing them!

Clean Up Your Social Media

Before you submit your application, take some time to clean up your social media accounts. Any photos or posts that don’t portray your personality in the most positive light should be removed or made as private as possible. Most landlords will search your name to learn more about you – don’t let that one photo from your Freshmen year of college deter them.

With these tips in mind you’re ready to submit an A+ rental application!

Getting Involved in Your New Community

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, May 23, 2019


Welcome to the neighborhood! Whether you moved to the area for work, family, friends, or a relationship, you’re probably feeling excited and a little nervous. It can be difficult to leave your home town for a new city that is unfamiliar. Instead of getting down about your situation, take the opportunity to get involved in your new community to make friends and feel connected to your new city.

Volunteer

Volunteering is an excellent way to meet new people and bond over something you have in common. Find a local animal shelter, food pantry, church, boys and girls club and find out about their volunteer opportunities. You may have to complete some training, but it will be worth it!

Attend A Farmer’s Market

We’re incredibly lucky to live in the Capital Region where there are multiple farmer’s markets every week. Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga all host farmer’s markets featuring local farmers, artists, and other businesses. Introduce yourself to the vendors and ask for recommendations on things to do. They’ll be happy to help!

Attend Town Events

There is always something going on in the Capital Region, especially now that the warmer months are upon us. Check out this Troy calendar of events and this one for Albany and find a few events that peak your interest. Ask your new friends you met while volunteering to go with your or just go alone! You never know who you’ll meet while you’re enjoying your new city.

Head to the Park

Bring your favorite book or your dog to the park and enjoy spending time outdoors. You can meet other dog owners and members of the community while relaxing outdoors.

Visit Local Restaurants and Coffee Shops

Skip the chain restaurants and coffee joints and visit ones run by local owners. Introduce yourself and ask for recommendations on other restaurants or activities to go to. They’ll probably have some great recommendations or know of people who you could join up with.

If you’re moving to Rensselaer and need an apartment, contact us today! Stonegate is only 7 minutes from Albany and 16 from Troy, both of which are wonderful communities. Moving to a new community can push you outside of your comfort zone; take the time to embrace it and enjoy the Capital Region!

9 Things in Your Closet to Get Rid Of

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, May 09, 2019


One of the great things about living at Stonegate is the spacious closet in each master bedroom. They’re perfect for storing all the shoes, purses, and clothing that you’ve acquired and love. However, the bigger the closet the easier it is to keep things that you no longer need. To help you declutter, we’ve put together a list of 9 things in your closet it’s time to get rid of.

Old Costumes

When was the last time you wore that Crayola crayon costume? Probably not since you bought it five years ago. Donate it to a friend who needs a costume or get rid of it. We guarantee you’re not going to miss it. The same thing goes for all of those dance and theater costumes from high school. While they may be sentimental, they’re not benefiting you by staying in your closet. Time to say goodbye!

Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid dresses are expensive, which makes them hard to part with. You know you won’t ever wear that orange, floor-length gown again though. Into the donation pile it goes.

Stretched Out Clothing

It’s stretched out, old, and doesn’t look right on your body. Let it go.

Uncomfortable Shoes

Boots, flats, high-heels, dress shoes, sneakers, it doesn’t matter. If the shoes leave you limping, give your feet blisters, or are collecting dust because they don’t even fit, let them go. You’re literally hurting yourself by wearing them.

Items You’re Keeping because You Spent A lot of Money on Them

You know that one thing in your closet that you splurged on? Maybe it’s a pair of shoes you saw your favorite celeb wearing, or a jacket that you told yourself you would wear every day. If the item still has the tag on it 8 years later, or you can count on one hand hoe many times you’ve worn it, let it go. You’ve already spent the money, keeping the item will only make you feel guilty.

Cheap Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry is fun when we’re in high school and college. It’s a cheap and easy way to keep up on trends and refresh our closets. Those necklaces are probably more green than silver now. Throw them out and spend some money on timeless, higher quality pieces you’ll actually wear.

Free T-Shirts

What we wouldn’t do for a free T-Shirt back in college. Keep a few for painting, to wear to the gym, or to sleep in and then let the rest go. You didn’t wear them back then, you’re not going to wear them now.

Free Tote Bags

Just as free t-shirts were “the thing” in college, free tote bags are the popular SWAG to receive now. Put some in your trunk to use at the grocery store and when you run errands and get rid of the rest. You’ll never use them all.

The Fix it Pile

Somewhere in your closet, probably in a deep dark corner, lurks the fix it pile. You know the one. The one you put that ill-fitting dress in, shoes that need to be resoled, and the purse that needs a new strap. If those items meant that much to you, you would’ve fixed them by now. Either fix them in the next two weeks or say goodbye!

Fingers crossed that after going through this list you now have a beautiful, organized closet! If you’re still in need of a bigger closet, contact us today to schedule a tour. Our 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments all include spacious closets for you to store your most beloved items.

5 Ways to Welcome New Neighbors

Stonegate Apartments - Monday, April 15, 2019


Even if you never intend to be best friends with your new neighbor, it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself and make them feel welcome. You never know when you’ll need a helping hand or someone to water your plants when you go on vacation.

Start the relationship with your new neighbors off on the right foot by welcoming them in one of the following ways.

Apartment Introduction

While an apartment tour is informative while looking for a new home, having a current resident show you around once you’re moved in is even better! You can tell your new neighbors about any insider tips and tricks and introduce them to other residents. This also provides your neighbors an opportunity to ask any remaining questions they may have.

Write a Handwritten Note

In a time of short text messages and phone calls, a handwritten note goes a long way. Introduce yourself, let them know what apartment you’re in, and offer to answer any questions they have. They’ll be happy to know they have someone to go to if they need any help.

Give the Gift of Greenery

A plant is a low-cost gift that will breathe some new life into your neighbor’s apartment. Do some research on low maintenance plants in case your neighbor doesn’t have a green thumb. Send along a note with care instructions for the plant so the recipient isn’t left wondering how often to water it.

Neighborhood Cheat Sheet

Put together a list of helpful information you can give to your neighbor along with the handwritten note or house plant. Include the best places to get delivery from, where the good coffee shops are located, and reminders like when garbage and recycle pickup days are. The small effort on your end will make the transition into a new home and area easier on your neighbor.

Neighborhood Introduction

Discovering all the best places to go in a neighborhood can take months or even years. Invite your new neighbor to a restaurant in town and tell them about the best places to go. They’ll appreciate learning about the best parks, coffee shops and bars from someone who knows the area well.

Know someone who would love to move in to Stonegate? Have them schedule a tour today!

Seven Spring Cleaning Hacks You Need to Know About Now

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, April 02, 2019


The season for cleaning is upon us once again! While your list of items and places to deep clean may seem endless, it’s an important thing to do (hopefully) every year. We’ve put together a list of seven hacks to make the process a little less painful, get your apartment sparkling clean, and remind you of a few things that you forgot may need cleaning.

    1. Set A Timer

Set a timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes and see if you can beat the clock while still doing a thorough job. Turning cleaning into a game can make it seem more fun, or at least not like the most awful thing in the world. This is a great way to get kids to participate in the cleaning as well.

2. Steam-Clean the Microwave

If you can’t even recall the last time you cleaned your microwave, chances are high that it’s a mess inside. To remove caked on food and stains, steam the inside of the microwave before you start scrubbing. The steam will loosen everything up, requiring less elbow grease from you.

Fill a microwave-safe container with 1 to 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Heat the mixture in the microwave for five minutes and you’ll have a clean microwave in no time.

3. Sort Through the Medicine Cabinet

This isn’t a hack necessarily, but it is an area of the home that often gets forgotten about. Go through your medicine cabinet, cosmetics and toiletries and toss out anything that is expired. Everything from Advil to makeup has an expiration date, you just have to know where to look for it. Check out this list to learn when to get rid of things.

4. Clean Your Dishwasher

You can’t clean dishes in a dirty dishwasher! Place a cup of vinegar on the top shelf and run the hottest cycle your dishwasher has. Once the cycle is complete, sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom and run a short cycle using hot water.

5. Put A Lazy Susan in the Fridge

After you’ve cleaned the shelves and thrown out any expired food in the fridge, add a lazy Susan to one or two shelves before putting everything back inside. A lazy Susan will make condiments and frequently used items more accessible. It will also prevent food from being pushed to the back of the fridge and your mind. Say goodbye to spoiled food!

6. Wax Your Stove top

One of the worst things to clean is the stove top, as it’s a frequent offender of cooked on food. After giving your stove top a good cleaning, apply a thin layer of car wax, and then buff it off with a microfiber cloth. Future spills and cooked on food will be much easier to clean up!

7. Clean Your Shower head

If you have a detachable shower head, put it on the top rack of the dishwasher to give it a deep cleaning. If that’s not an option, fill a sandwich bag with vinegar before securing it around the shower head with a rubber band or hair tie. Let the shower head soak overnight.

Armed with these tips and tricks, you’re sure to have the cleanest apartment at Stonegate!

How to Have An Apartment That Cleans Itself

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, March 21, 2019


For many of us, the weekends are our time to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. The weekend is also when we run errands and clean our homes. If all the cleaning is left for Saturday or Sunday it can be time consuming, taking away from time we could be using for other, more fun things.

One way of cutting down on weekend cleaning is to create a cleaning schedule. Cleaning a little bit each day frees up time on the weekend and will have your apartment looking cleaner overall. Depending on how organized/clean you are in general, this schedule may have to be tweaked for your own preferences.

Monday

Vacuum floors
Mop floors

Tuesday

Clean bathrooms

Wednesday

Dust surfaces
Clean glass doors and windows

Thursday

Clean kitchen appliances
Clear out fridge of old food
Vacuum

Friday

Tidy up bedrooms

Saturday

Wash sheets
Wash towels

There are also a few rules you should keep in mind to make the schedule work best!

Don’t be Too Rigorous

Keep each task to under 15 minutes. You don’t have to get every surface spotless as you’ll be cleaning it again next week. As long as it’s cleaner than before you’re good!

Keep Cleaning Supplies in One Place

If your cleaning supplies are all in one place it won’t take long to gather them together. Better yet, keep them in a caddy that you can easily bring from one room to another. A good cleaning kit should have some rags or paper towels, a glass cleaner, a multi surface cleaner and wood polish. Keep supplies that are only used in one room (like toilet bowl cleaner or stainless-steel cleaner) in that room; i.e. toilet cleaner is kept in the bathroom.

Be Strategic

Vacuum and mop the floors all in one day so you’re not hauling the vacuum out multiple times a week. The same goes for cleaning bathrooms and dusting. It’s easiest to dust the whole apartment at once than breaking it up into multiple days.

At Stonegate we offer dishwashers, large closets and additional storage to keep your home clean and tidy. Paired with a great cleaning schedule you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying life at Stonegate! Schedule your tour today.

Apartment Gym Etiquette

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, March 07, 2019


One of the many perks of living at Stonegate is that there’s a fitness center right in our community! Having a gym on site means you can workout whenever is best for you, whether that’s before work, on your lunch break or after dinner! Just like any gym, you should always keep good gym etiquette in mind so you don’t make the wrong impression or upset other residents. 

Here are some etiquette tips to make sure you get the most of your workout and the fitness center!

Wear the Right Clothing

You should always wear sneakers when working out, not sandals, boots or flats. You should also wear moisture wicking clothing that will keep you comfortable while you’re at the gym.

Limit Your Time on Machines

If the gym is particularly busy, keep your time on cardio equipment to 30 minutes. In addition, don’t place a towel on a machine to save it while you use another. You never know who is wanting to use the same machine or piece of equipment as you.

Rerack Your Weights

Along the same line, make sure you rerack your weights. If you leave weights on the floor someone may not know that you’re done with them. It also keeps the gym looking neat and ensures that no one will trip over dumbbells. 

Keep the Noise Down

Whether it’s loud conversations or unnecessary grunting, chances are that other residents don’t want to hear it. Keep your conversations short and the noises to a minimum. It’s also considered rude by many people to play your music out loud. Make sure you bring a pair of headphones so you can listen to your music without bothering others.

Wishing you had a gym in your apartment complex? Schedule a tour with us today and move into a community that supports your healthy lifestyle!

3 Ways to Get More Bathroom Storage

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, February 21, 2019


It seems that no matter how big our bathrooms are, we always need more storage! Between hair products, styling tools, cleaning supplies and makeup, there’s a lot that we store in our bathroom. If you’re looking for ways to create more space and organize your items, keep reading for our favorite tips!

Install A Tension Rod

Tension rods aren’t just for the shower! Install a short tension rod under the sink cabinet to make space for hanging cleaning products. This clears up space to place baskets under the rod for more storage! You can also use S hooks to hang storage baskets from the rod. 

Make Use of Cabinet Doors

There’s a lot of unused real estate on the back of cabinet doors. If you’re constantly wondering where to keep styling tools or small items like nail clippers combs, head to your local dollar store and pick up a few plastic baskets. Use adhesive hooks to attach the baskets to the doors and instantly create more space. No more wondering where to keep your blow dryer!

Add Shelves Above the Toilet

You can either hang a few shelves or purchase a shelving unit made specifically for this purpose. Whichever method you choose, the shelves will provide the perfect space for extra toilet paper, towels, lotion and perfumes! Bonus: the shelves will make a great statement piece and bring visual interest in to your bathroom.

Is your bathroom too small for even a few DIY enhancements? Contact us today to schedule a tour at Hawthorne Gardens and find your new home!

How to Start an Herb Garden

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, February 07, 2019


If you’re up to a challenge and enjoy saving money on your grocery bill, consider creating an indoor herb garden! In addition to being functional and environmentally friendly, herb gardens also add a pop of color to any kitchen. They can be as easy or complicated to build as you’d like and will provide fresh herbs for years to come! We’ve got some tips for you on how to get started.

Decide How Many and What Herbs You Want to Grow

Are you looking to grow only 3 or 4 herbs or are you hoping to fill an entire wall with them? Also think about what herbs you want to grow depending on what you plan to use them for. This will determine where you start your garden and what you put the herbs in. 

Choose the Best Spot

Once you know how many herbs you want to grow you can pick a spot! A window or large wall are usually the best two options, however there are some things to consider. Low temperatures are not good for plants, so if it gets too cold at night a window sill may not be the best spot. If you choose to use a wall, make sure it still receives enough sunlight. 

Decide on the Best Containers

Some herbs do best in small pots while others need larger ones. It’s also important to pick containers or pots that allow water to drain out the bottom. If there’s no way for the water to drain you could risk over watering your plants and killing them.

Set Up Your Garden

Once you know what herbs you want to plant and where you’re going to make your indoor garden, it’s time to get started! Use a couple of tension rods to hang baskets off of in front of the window. You can also buy a bar cart to fill with your herbs, watering can, extra soil and scissors for when your herbs are ready to be used! 

The possibilities with an herb garden are truly endless, and the result is something beautiful and useful. Need a bigger space before you can start growing your own? Our 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments have plenty of space (and light!) that will make growing herbs simple and fun. Schedule your tour today!

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