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How to Make Your Home Guest Ready

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, December 05, 2019


The holidays are here and it’s time to turn on the charm and host your friends and family. While space may be at a premium, there are still ways to make room for overnight guests in your apartment. Hosting a dinner or having friends over for coffee? We have some tips on how to be a good host!

Be Our Guest

Tip No 1. Have Some Serving Essentials

Everything looks better when it’s on a fancy cheese board or platter. Invest in a set of matching wine glasses (drinking wine from tumblers should be reserved for college) and pick up a cheese board and a nice knife. Guest will feel more welcome knowing you put some time and effort into preparing for their visit.

If your any of your guests have food allergies, be cognizant of them and prepare accordingly. Not sure of any dietary restrictions? Just ask! No one likes to show up to a party and realize there is nothing for them to eat.

Tip No 2. Create an Instant Guest Room

If your apartment only has one bedroom, or if your second is acting as an office, you can still create a guest room. A pull-out couch will transform your living room into a guest room in just a few seconds. Keep some extra pillows and a set of sheets on hand for a hotel-like experience.

Tip No 3. Decorate Mindfully

While frivolous to some, if you entertain guests frequently you should decorate your space with them in mind. A bar cart is stylish and keeps your liquor, serving ware, and other entertaining necessities all in one place so you always know where they are.

A couple foot stools can act as a coffee table when it’s just you and then as extra seating when you need it. They can also be easily moved aside when it’s time to pull the couch out and go to bed.

Tip No 4. Clean the Bathroom

The least glamorous tip on this list, but also the most useful. A dirty bathroom is unpleasant and could put guests off from visiting you again. Scrub the toilet, wipe down the counters, and clean the mirror. Make sure there is toilet paper and soap in addition to a towel for guests to dry their hands. For an added bonus, light a candle so it smells nice!

Tip No 5. Clean the Kitchen

Equally as important as a clean bathroom is a clean kitchen. The kitchen is often where people gather so you want to ensure the counters are clean, there are no dishes in the sink, and the floors are swept.

Tip No 6. Have Some Games Ready to Play

The majority of people love a good game! Whether it’s a board game or a deck of cards, it’s a good idea to have something available. They can be great icebreakers if a guest brings a friend that is new to the group. They’re also just fun to play once dinner is done and people are having dessert.

Tip No 7. Add Some Final Touches

Lastly, add a few finishing touches so your guests truly feel welcome. Light a candle or turn on your diffuser, make room for coats and shoes, and fluff those pillows. Some good music is also a nice detail to include.

Love to entertain but your current space is too small? We offer one, two, and three-bedroom apartments that will give you the space you need. Explore our floor plans or get in touch today to schedule a tour!

How to Budget As a Couple When Your Significant Other Moves In

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, November 07, 2019

two people sitting on a bed eating pizza

The day has officially arrived. It’s the day when your significant other moves in and the two of you take the next step in your relationship. While picking out furniture and cooking dinner together is exciting, learning how to budget as a couple isn’t.

Chances are one of you makes more than other, has more debt, or likes to shop more. These are all factors that need to be considered when determining a budget and how the two of you are going to split expenses. At the same time, it’s important to remember that you’re two, unmarried individuals with separate incomes and goals. So how do you budget together while keeping things separate?

Budgeting in a Relationship

Determine Your Goals

Now that you’re living together, you need to discuss both short and long-term goals. Do you want to save for a new couch or TV? Are you hoping to get married and buy a house one day? All these things need to be discussed and planned for so you’re financially ready to take the next step.

You should also take some time to discuss personal financial goals. Does one of you want to pay off student loans or a car within the next five years? Or maybe even start a business! Accomplishing these things will require financial sacrifice in other areas of your life.

Know Each Other’s Financial Status

Just as your partner now gets to see you first thing in the morning, they also get to know about your financial health. Discuss credit score, any debt either of you may have, monthly payments, and salary. When the time comes to apply for a different apartment or buy your first home, you don’t want to be caught off guard by unknown information.

Split Expenses Based on a Percentage

If you were living with a roommate, you would probably split all shared expenses 50/50, regardless of who makes with what. With a significant other the situation is different. You’re building a life with them, not fighting over who bought the toilet paper last.

It is highly unlikely that you both make the same amount of money. Instead, decide on a percentage of income you both feel comfortable contributing. You can also decide who is responsible for what bills. One of you pays the Internet while the other pays the energy bill and you both contribute a percentage to the monthly rent.

One thing that’s not recommended is to combine finances or co-sign a line. If things go south, figuring out how to dissolve the joint account could get messy. Apps like Venmo, Facebook Pay, or writing a good, old fashion check make splitting bills easy.

Consider Your Savings

If you do decide to try joining your expenses, start with a savings account you both contribute to. This money can be used for new furniture, a vacation, or even date nights.

If you do decide to save money together, make sure you also save money in an account that is just for you. Building upon your own accounts and assets is important to achieve personal financial goals or to have if the relationship doesn’t go as planned.

Money Problems are not Relationship Problems

The moment you start to nickel and dime each other is the moment problems begin to arise. There is no reason to fight over who bought hand soap last or whose snack is whose if you’re both contributing your fair share to the important stuff.

If your relationship is built on a solid foundation of trust and communication, there is no reason to count pennies. Discuss money regularly so you can avoid fighting about cash flow and who owes who.

Have an Exit Plan

No one wants to think they’re relationship will end, but it is a possibility. Keep bills and accounts in one person’s name only so they’re easier to transfer if necessary. Ensure you have enough saved to pay for an apartment alone if need be. A breakup falls within the category of financial emergency.

Moving in Together

If you and your significant other are ready to move in together, contact us today! Our apartments are perfect for couples. Close to local restaurants, nightlife, parks and more, you’ll be excited to call Stonegate home. 

Tips for When You’re Sick

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, October 10, 2019

Four tips for when you’re sick and living alone.

October is here and so is the start of flu season. Being sick with the flu or a cold is never fun, but it’s even worse when you live alone. There’s no one around to run to the store for you, make a cup of tea, or just hang out while you get your strength back.

Have no fear though, there are ways to survive being sick while living alone.

How to Feel Better 101

Stock up on supplies now

Don’t wait until you can’t breathe and are wearing every sweatshirt you own to run out to the store for medicine. Take note of the state of your medicine cabinet and then make a trip to the closest drug store. Stock up on day and nighttime cold medicine, cough drops, pain reliever, tissues, a Netty Pot, and even some canned soup. The next time you wake up with flu symptoms you’ll be thankful you thought ahead.

Let It Go

Let your weekly chore calendar go, just until you feel better. It’s unlikely you’ll be well enough (or even able) to do any serious cleaning around your home. Take the time to rest and give your body the break it needs, your floors can stand to not be vacuumed for a while. If you are able to get up and move a bit, try to focus on a keeping a few areas of your home clean. This mostly includes changing your sheets and towels and taking the trash out.

Maintain Your Routine

When you’re in the thick of your illness you’ll likely want to lay in bed, in the dark, while watching reruns of Friends all day. This is understandable (and encouraged!), but once you start to feel a bit better try to get back to your routine ASAP. Open the curtains, make your morning cup of coffee, and respond to a few emails. The longer you stay in the “I’m sick” mindset, the longer you actually feel sick.

Ask for Help

Trying to do too much when you’re extremely ill can make matters worse. Don’t be afraid to phone a friend or a family member and ask for help. Put together a list and ask them to run to the grocery store for you. On their way in to your apartment, ask if they can get your mail. A helping hand will give you peace of mind and help you on your road to recovery. 

Being sick is never fun, but just remember that you’ll be back to your normal self in a week or two. It’s also a perfect time to binge watch that new show without feeling guilty. Oh, and don’t forget to replace your old toothbrush once your cold or flu has run its course.

September Events in Albany

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, September 05, 2019

September events in Albany, New York

Summer may be winding down, but the events happening in Albany are not! September’s event calendar is full of exciting activities, cultural events, and food and drink festivals that you won’t want to miss. For a quick rundown of the September events in Albany, check out the list we put together down below.

Albany Events

Retro Video Game Night

Visit City Beer Hall every Thursday night from 8-10 PM for Retro Video Game Night! Two screens are available at the bar for casual play, no quarters required! The City Beer Hall also has a large selection of board games. Old school video games and craft beer – it’s the best of both worlds for adults!

Hudson River Sightseeing Cruise of Albany

If you’re new to the Albany area this is a great activity to get to know the Capital Region. Enjoy a narrated scenic trip on the Hudson River from 1 – 2:30 PM on Friday, September 6th. A Hudson River Historian will be on board to narrate the cruise while you enjoy drinks and snacks!

Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival

Jazz lover or not, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival is an annual event you won’t want to miss. Enjoy acclaimed musical guests, great food, vendors, kids activities and more all for free! The event takes place on Saturday, September 7th at the Corning Preserve Boat launch. The festival is rain or shine so come prepared!

New York State Hops and Harvest Festival

The Hops and Harvest Festival features the best of fall in Upstate New York! Enjoy an impressive line-up of craft beer, fall activities including a pie-eating contest, lawn games, hope presentations, and glass etching. The Dawg Trio will be at the event playing a signature mix of bluegrass, gypsy jazz, Latin rhythms, and klezmer music. Oh, did we mention the event is free?!

Adirondack Balloon Festival

Thousands of people travel to Glens Falls and Queensbury for the Adirondack Balloon Festival every year. From September 19th through September 22nd, you can attend festival and enjoy seeing hundreds of hot air balloons take flight. Admission is free and activities include breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, kids activities, hot air balloon rides, a craft fair, music performances, and so much more! Arrive early on Saturday or Sunday to see the flight of up to 100 balloons!

Antique Truck Show

Car enthusiast won’t want to miss the 30th annual Hudson Mohawk Antique Truck Show on September 21st and 22nd. Each year nearly 300 antique trucks arrive from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Canada for spectators to enjoy. Gates open at 8AM and admission is only one dollar. During the truck show there is also a large flea market and swap meet.

Thomas Rhett at the Times Union Center

See country superstar Thomas Rhett at the Times Union Center on September 21st at 7 PM. Rhett will be joined by Dustin Lynch, Russel Dickerson, and Rhett Akins for a spectacular night of country music. Bring the family or gather a group of friends for an evening you won’t forget!

September isn’t the only month for exciting events and festivals! There is always something happening in the Capital Region, making it impossible to be bored. Looking to move to the Capital Region? Set up a tour today, we’d love to show you around Stonegate Apartments.

7 Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, August 22, 2019

women extinguishing a kitchen fire

Between trying not to burn the chicken and making sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot, cooking can be a stressful activity! While trying to manage several things at once, it’s easy to put a hand towel or food too close to the stove and not even realize what you’ve done. The next thing you know the smoke alarm is going off and your stove top is on fire.

While accidents do happen, there are several things to be mindful while cooking to prevent kitchen fires.

How to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Stay in the Kitchen

According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen for whatever reason, turn the stove off and move any pots and pans to a cool burner.

Keep the Stove Top Clear

Move anything that can catch fire away from the stove top. That means oven mitts, towels, napkins, dry pasta, and other dry food items.

Put on Your Cooking Clothes

Okay, not really, but make sure you’re wearing close-fitting clothes and roll up your sleeves. Loose clothing can come into contact with burners and open flames easier than you think. If you have long hair put it in a pony tail or up in a bun.

Wipe up Spills

Grease fires are incredibly common and hard to control! Clean your stove every time you cook and wipe up any spills as soon as possible.

Don’t Overheat Oil

Oil that is too hot can start to smoke and bubble up, causing it to spill out of the pan and ignite. As a quick reference, butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees F, canola at 400 F, olive oil at 410 F, and peanut oil at 450 F. Want to know more? Check out this helpful guide.

Wait for Grease to Cool

Pouring hot grease into your trashcan can quickly become a disaster. Wait for it to cool before tossing it in the garbage. You can also pour it in an old food can or container and harden it in the freezer.

Keep Your Smoke Detector Working

If a kitchen fire does occur, a smoke detector is your first line of defense. At Partridge Hill, we recommend testing the smoke detectors twice a year to make sure they’re functioning properly. If your smoke detector is not working properly, call the maintenance staff to schedule an appointment for service.

Dreaming of a new kitchen to cook in? Our apartments feature large kitchens perfect for cooking up your favorite meal or baking a delicious dessert. Contact us today to schedule your tour.

Clean Your Apartment with Natural Cleaning Products

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, August 08, 2019

natural cleaning products

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t start and end with the food we put into our bodies; it also includes the products we use to clean our homes. Many cleaning products found in stores contain chemicals that can be harmful to our overall health and wellness. Even products that are labeled “organic”, “natural”, or “pure” can include some questionable ingredients.

Learn how to clean your apartment with natural cleaning products and say goodbye to harmful chemicals.

Vinegar is King

Did you know that basic vinegar can be used to clean almost every surface in your apartment? A bucket of warm water and a splash of vinegar can clean cabinets, walls, mirrors, glass, the inside of your refrigerator, and many other hard surfaces.

You can also clean you floors with vinegar by adding a big splash to a bucket along with warm water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The vinegar smell will go away as it dries, and you’ll be left with clean floors!

If you don’t want to mix up a solution every time you clean, you can keep a spray bottle of your natural cleaner nearby. Simply fill your spray bottle with one-part vinegar and two parts water.

To clean your microwave with vinegar put 1 cup in a glass microwaveable bowl and microwave it on high until it’s boiling and has covered the walls of the microwave in condensation. This will take about 5 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before removing the bowl of vinegar. With a cloth or paper towel wipe the microwave clean. Voila, that tomato sauce is gone!

Wondering how to clean your toilet with natural cleaners? Put straight vinegar in a spray bottle and set the nozzle to stream instead of mist. Squirt the vinegar right under the rim and then scrub the bowl with your toilet brush as usual.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking soda is great at eliminating odors and using on hard to clean surfaces. For smelly drains, sprinkle some baking soda down the drain and follow with a couple cups of warm vinegar.

In the bathroom, sprinkle the tub, sink, or grout with baking soda. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to spray over the area and then let sit for a minute or two. Scrub the area clean with a brush and then rinse with water. If you prefer a foaming scrub you can spray the baking soda with hydrogen peroxide instead.

For baked on messes, mix some baking soda in small bowl with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Use a sponge to scrub at the mess until it’s gone. This also works on rust stains, soap scum and dirty grout.

Making a Natural Disinfectant

If raw meat gets on your counter while cooking, you’re certainly going to need to disinfect the area. Tea tree oil, or Melaleuca oil has antibacterial qualities. Place some in a spray bottle and use when you need to disinfect an area.

One thing to keep in mind is that tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. While it’s still safe to use in the home, you should keep it away from children or pets. You should also keep other cleaning products away from little hands, whether they’re natural or not.

Want more cleaning tips? Read about some our favorite cleaning hacks and how to organize your cabinets.

Long Distance Apartment Hunting

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, July 25, 2019

Long Distance Apartment Hunting

As if apartment hunting isn’t hard enough, throw in moving to a new city and suddenly the task seems impossible. Without knowing your way around your new city, how are you supposed to find an apartment you like enough to call home? You may have to spend a bit more time and effort hunting for the perfect place, but long-distance apartment hunting is possible!

Let People Know You’re Looking

You know that Facebook feature that allows you to ask friends and family for recommendations? Use it! Let people know you’re moving and in need of apartment recommendations.  You’re bound to be connected to someone who knows your new city and will be able to point you in the right direction.

Let people know what you’re looking for so you can receive quality recommendations. Factors like budget, commute times, demographics, and lifestyle all influence the place you will choose to live in.

Do Your Own Research

After you (hopefully) get some recommendations from friends and family, do a bit of your own research. What types of things would you like to be near? Do you enjoy going downtown for happy hour or is a suburban setting more your style? Maybe your number one priority is to have a short commute. Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews, in addition to looking at apartments on a map, will help you understand a neighborhood.

Think about the amenities you’d like in an apartment as well. In-unit laundry, a pool, on site parking, a fitness center, and spacious layouts are all commonly sought-after features. Make a list of amenities you’d like from most to least important to help inform your final decision.

Visit the City if You Can

While this may not be possible, especially if you’re moving across the country, visiting your new city will make apartment hunting much easier. You’ll have piece of mind knowing exactly what you’re getting in to.

Stonegate is located in Rensselaer, NY, only 7 minutes from Albany, 16 from Troy, and 25 from Schenectady. Public transportation is also readily available, and the train station and airport are close by. Some of the best schools, shopping, and restaurants are also just minutes away, making Stonegate an ideal community.

Ready to move in? Submit your application today!

How Much Does It Cost to Move Out?

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, July 11, 2019

How much does it cost to move

Are you itching to move in to your first apartment? Before you pull the trigger and find yourself in an apartment you can’t afford, take the time to do some planning. There are a lot of upfront costs that makes moving expensive. Save enough money for these five expenses before you sign the lease on a new apartment.

Security Deposit and Rent

Be prepared to pay the first months rent and a security deposit on or before you move in. The security deposit is often equal to your monthly rent but check with your landlord to know exactly how much you’ll owe. In addition to the security deposit and rent, you’ll likely have to pay an application fee. Know how many apartments you plan to apply for so you can save money.

Utility Costs

Your monthly rent is not how much you’ll be paying to live in your apartment. Unless your rent includes utilities, you’ll need to estimate how much you’ll be paying for renters insurance, heat, water, cable, and internet on a monthly basis. If you’re unsure, plan to pay 20% of your rent.

Moving Costs

If you’re renting a truck to make the big move, this is another cost you’ll need to consider. Even if a truck is advertised for $20 a day, that cost does not include all of the fees you’ll need to pay as well. If you’re moving to a new state that will cost more money than a small, in-town move. Get a cost estimate before making your reservation and shop around for the best deal.

Furniture

There’s no way around it, you’re going to need furniture for your new place. To save money, ask family and friends if they have any pieces they’re looking to get rid of. You can also search on Facebook, Craigslist, or visit your local Habitat for Humanity for inexpensive furniture. Before heading out to buy the remaining furniture you need, set a budget is realistic and that you can stick to.

Starter Pantry and Supplies

Be prepared to spend a lot of money on your first trip to the grocery store. You’re starting from nothing, meaning there is a lot to buy. Some important items include:

  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Basic spices
  • Cleaning products
  • Tin foil and/or plastic wrap
  • Coffee filters
  • Sandwich and/or snack bags
  • Cooking oils
  • Sugar
  • Flour

The good news is you won’t be spending that amount every time you go shopping. Many of the items will last you a long time, only requiring you to repurchase every so often. Set aside around $200 for your first trip to the grocery store.

Join Our Community!

Stonegate apartments are large, centrally located in Rensselaer, NY and affordable! Call today to learn more about our community and to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to show you around

Apartment Perks That Make A Difference

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, June 20, 2019

Apartment Amenities and percs

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!

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