What Locals Love About Their Neighborhoods

When you’re house hunting, style and square footage matter, but don’t get so caught up in those details that you forget about one of the most important considerations: neighborhood personality. Whether you’re looking for a cul-de-sac full of your kids’ future friends or a short walk to your favorite bar, picking the right neighborhood is essential to your homeowner happiness.

Who knows neighborhoods best? The locals. Here’s what residents around the nation love about their own stomping grounds.

  • Atlanta, Georgia

    what locals love about Atlanta

    From Midtown’s friendliness to East Atlanta’s community events, Georgia’s capital is neighborly as can be.

    Saying “Hi” to Neighbors: Midtown

    If you think Atlanta is a friendly place, you should check out Midtown. The residents of this neighborhood are committed to the art of congeniality—an impressive 79.7 percent of them say “hi” to their neighbors when they see them. In addition to strong community connections, this area is a hub for arts and culture. Midtown is home to the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. It also borders Atlanta’s iconic Piedmont Park.

    what locals love about homes in Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood

    Live your friendliest life in this modern Midtown house. See more photos here.


    Sprawling contemporary home


    Offering a rooftop patio, backyard garden, and chef’s kitchen, this spacious townhouse is the perfect home for entertaining—or just taking a break from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.


    Attending Community Events: East Atlanta

    In East Atlanta, you can venture to celebrated music halls, check out vibrant street art, eat at upscale dining hotspots—or you can opt for a little bonding time with your neighbors instead. More than 72 percent of East Atlanta residents say they’ve attended a community event in this area, like a block party or barbecue. Afterward, you can take the family to see the sights at Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park or take a stroll through the gravestones at the famous Oakland Cemetery.

    what locals love about East Atlanta homes

    This East Atlanta home begs for a barbeque. See more photos here.


    Charming three-bedroom craftsman


    This sunny East Atlanta home is roomy inside and out. With an enviable front porch, back deck, and spacious yard, you might just host a few community events of your own.



  • San Francisco, California

    what locals love about San Francisco

    San Franciscans love nature and the holidays. That’s very clear in Bernal Heights and Mission Bay.

    Decorating for the Holidays: Mission Bay

    This sleek, up-and-coming San Francisco neighborhood is full of holiday cheer. More than 70 percent of Mission Bay residents decorate their homes for the holidays, making it a fun spot for the young at heart. Known as a hub for professionals in the science and tech space, Mission Bay has plenty of outdoor activities, too—like kayaking in the bay—that make this area a great time year-round.

    what locals love about San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood

    This Mission Bay condo is in the midst of holiday heaven. See more photos here.


    Light and bright condo


    Love to be in the middle of the action? Location is everything, and this little condo has it. In the heart of Mission Bay, it has plenty of windows to create a spacious feel, despite the low square footage. Perfect for checking out the neighborhood holiday light displays.


    Seeing Nature Outside Your Door: Bernal Heights

    Sitting atop a large hill, Bernal Heights offers a small-town feel in the middle of a big city. Residents even get in touch with nature here, as a whopping 68 percent report they have spotted wild animals outside their door. If a combination of parks and urban boutiques and restaurants sounds like your perfect spot, you might want to hurry—home prices in this area are on the rise as more people discover its charm.

    what locals love about San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhoods

    Love critters? Just look around in Bernal Heights. See more photos here.


    Beautifully updated multi-family home


    Interested in earning a little extra cash? With this updated multi-family unit you can plant your roots and rent out the adjacent unit.




  • Denver, Colorado

    what locals love about Denver

    Whether you’re footloose or have kids in tow, Denver’s Capitol Hill and Montbello are ready for you.

    Having a Walkable Neighborhood: Capitol Hill

    In Denver‘s popular Capitol Hill neighborhood, it’s easy to park your car and forget about it. Or ditch it completely. Not only are there tons of restaurants to walk to (and 93.3 percent of residents do exactly that), but some of the city’s biggest attractions are here—like the Colorado State Capitol, the Denver Art Museum, Colorado History Museum, City Park, and more.

    what locals love about Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood

    Who needs a car with a front stoop in Capitol Hill? See more photos here.


    Hi-rise condo with amenities galore


    With this three-bedroom condo, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and soak up the fun of city life. From restaurants to culture, everything you need is right outside your door. And inside? Luxury amenities like an on-site concierge.


    Being Kid-Friendly: Montbello

    The Denver area is booming, and the community of Montbello is no exception. Considered one of the hottest suburban home markets in the nation, families love Montbello’s close-knit vibe, beautiful views, and abundant open space. Plus, it’s an area where 86.4 percent of residents say they regularly see kids playing outside.

    What locals love about Denver's Montbello neighborhood

    Call the kids in to eat in this Montbello home. See more photos here.


    Four-bedroom gem on a corner lot


    With more than 7,000 square feet of yard space, this Montbello home has plenty of room for the energy of a growing family—and all their neighborhood friends.



  • Austin, Texas

    what locals love about Austin, Texas

    Whether it’s pets or plants, Austinites love caring for living things—especially in Riverside and Bouldin.

    Being Dog-Friendly: Riverside

    Love your pooch? You’ve come to the right place. More than 94 percent of residents in the pet-friendly, up-and-coming Austin neighborhood of Riverside say they see people walking dogs. Close to the University of Texas and a short drive to Downtown Austin, it’s home to young professionals and students. Major redevelopments underway mean new restaurants and attractions are popping up regularly, too.

    what locals love about Austin's Riverside neighborhood

    This Riverside yard is a dog enthusiast’s dream. See more photos here.


    Remodeled home in a quiet spot


    With more than 2,000 square feet of space inside and nearly 8,000 square feet of yard, this Riverside colonial could be home to all dogs as you can handle. And thanks to the quiet street, they won’t even howl at passing cars all day.


    Having Pretty Front Yards: Bouldin

    Bouldin is both family-friendly and full of all the things that make Austin famously quirky. You’ll find tattoo shops, food trucks, eccentric art galleries, and second-hand shops—as well as plenty of green thumbs. A reported 81.8 percent of residents take pride in their yard, making Bouldin as pretty as it is funky.

    what locals love about Austin, Bouldin

    Gardeners will love this Bouldin front yard. See more photos here.


    Modern home with city views


    Not only is this home colorful and fun, this home is also in a prime spot—just one mile from Lady Bird Lake, two miles from Downtown Austin, and a 10-minute drive to the airport.



Looking for a home in a neighborhood that fits your personality? Find your perfect spot on Trulia.

The post What Locals Love About Their Neighborhoods appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

How to Perfectly Pair Your Décor With Your Home’s Architectural Style

Finding a home requires trade-offs, whether in the house or neighborhood. And though it’s not easy to change your neighborhood, you can certainly change the way your home looks and feels. This is why we’re excited to showcase advice and insights from the Trulia Design Panel, an expert group of interior designers, home stagers, and organizers from across the nation, to help homeowners and renters make their house a home, wherever it is.

America’s Most Popular Architectural Styles

What architectural style do Americans love most, and where are they most likely to find those homes? To find out, a new Trulia survey conducted online by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older asked and found that the top home styles Americans cite as their favorites are craftsman (43%), ranch (41%), and colonial (36%). However, this varies by age. Millennials, age 18–34, were more likely to favor craftsman-style homes (52% vs. 36% of those age 55+), while older adults, age 55+, were more likely favor ranch-style homes (52% vs. 28% of millennials).

Despite the overwhelming popularity of craftsman-style homes, ranch homes are much easier to find on the market. Among all the for-sale home listings on Trulia, the most common architectural styles are colonial, ranch, Cape Cod, Victorian, and mid-century. Though, state by state, it definitely varies.

There are local surprises as well. Although brownstones are practically synonymous with New York City, colonial houses are actually more common in the city. Similarly, although art deco is Miami‘s best-known architectural feature, mid-century homes are by far the most common throughout the city. And if you’re looking for a ranch-style home, Colorado Springs, CO, has the highest proportion of them in the country.

Trulia Design Panel Tips

Given the five most common architectural styles in America, the ones that buyers are more likely to find, the Trulia Design Panel offered their tips on how to decorate for each type of home. Here’s what they suggested:


Layne Brookshire of Ms. Placed suggests augmenting your home’s classic style with textured, woven baskets of natural materials like rattan, sisal, or water hyacinth. Houseplants, including dramatic palms and ferns, are also good options to create this effect.

Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette recommend nodding to the colonial style’s spartan take on neoclassical grandeur. Collect handcrafted wooden bowls and ladles, and seek art that involves the crude human figures of the colonial period.

Hannah Crowell of Crowell & Co. suggests a more counterintuitive approach, pairing modern light fixtures and furniture with your home’s traditional architecture. “I find the juxtaposition between the two styles to be endlessly intriguing and interesting.”

The colonial style emphasizes wood tones and handcrafted elements. Becki Owens says you can keep those features feeling fresh with dramatic bright or dark paint choices on walls or furniture.


Brookshire suggests embracing the rustic inspiration behind the ranch style with Western-flavored elements like cowhide and leather ottomans, rugs, and pillows. Wood elements like floating shelves, trays, and coat racks also help.

Britto and Charette say ranch style emphasizes social space and natural light. To capitalize on those elements, they recommend using neutrals with no heavy patterns and grabbing a bar cart and serve-ware for entertaining.

“I have a 1960s ranch-style home of my own, and I love it!” Crowell says. She enjoys making modern statements on the style with elements like cement floor tiles, light floor stains, and minimalist trim and molding.

“The ranch looks best when you embrace its modern simplicity,” Owens says. She recommends sticking to clean-lined furniture but adding personality through rattan accents and an eclectic mix of metals.


Cape Cod

Brookshire suggests nodding to the Cape Cod style’s East Coast origins with vignettes of nautical items or vintage hardcover books. Accent your home’s cozy simplicity with white or light bedding, sofa slipcovers, and pillows.

Britto and Charette also recommend emulating the simplicity and function of architectural style in your décor. They suggest painting walls in “tried-and-true” neutrals like Benjamin Moore® Decorator’s White.

As always, Crowell embraces the unexpected, suggesting Cape Cod owners keep original moldings and details while adding aesthetic surprises, such as modern tiling, windows, and furnishings.

Owens recommends taking advantage of a Cape Cod’s charming, symmetrical exterior by focusing on curb appeal with floral boxes or large planters.


Brookshire recommends hearkening back to this architectural style’s namesake era by choosing lace, ribbon, or embroidered linens in neutral or white for tablecloths, curtains, and bedding. Mismatched antique furnishings are also a good look.

Britto and Charette recommend painting baseboards dark espresso or high-gloss black to mimic the dark wood elements that were popular in the era. To add personality, follow another Victorian tradition and fill a curio with collectibles.

Victorians enthusiastically embraced patterns, but Owens suggests modernizing by wallpapering one feature wall while keeping others neutral. An ornate furniture piece can also make a nice accent.




Brookshire suggests starting simply and inexpensively by swapping out the legs on your existing furniture for the tapered legs characteristic of the mid-century style. A low-profile sofa or arched floor lamp are other easy ways to achieve this style.

Britto and Charette also say the right furniture is crucial, but price can be an issue. “Don’t go for original,” they warn, suggesting instead to find modern designers and stores whose products mimic the style of the time period.

Crowell says her own style leans toward mid-century, but she likes to balance its modern aesthetic with antique pieces.

Owens recommends giving a mid-century home an update with a new paint job. “White always looks fresh, or consider a dramatic, dark tone paired with medium wood accents,” she says.

Methodology: Trulia analyzed all for-sale listing descriptions nationwide and at each state level in all 50 states since 2012 to identify the most common property types that were listed in each location. Property types included: art deco, brownstone, Cape Cod, Colonial, contemporary, craftsman, French Provincial, Georgian, Greek Revival, mid-century, ranch, Tudor, and Victorian.

Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia February 6th–8th, 2018 among 2,079 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact pr@trulia.com.

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How to Tell if You’ll Love a New Neighborhood

When searching for a new place to live, don’t feel confined to your current location. Yes, buying a home is a big commitment, but it’s also an opportunity to make a change and venture out into a new neighborhood or a new town altogether. But how will you know if a new area is really for you or if you’ll end up with buyers’ remorse soon after closing the deal? With a little bit of forethought and exploration, it’s easy to feel confident about your potential new neighborhood. Here’s where to start.

Ask yourself these five questions when choosing a home base.

What do you need to have nearby?

Yoga studio owner Annalisa Berns moved from Los Angeles to Big Bear, California, four years ago because she had an epiphany during her housing search—not only did she want to live in the mountains, but she also wanted a community that came equipped with a health food store and other yogis. “Those two things were critical to me,” she says.

Think about your day-to-day life, brainstorm the things that are important to you, then make a list of the amenities that you can’t do without. If living near a yoga studio or specific type of food store is a must-have, drive around the areas closest to those businesses to find pockets of neighborhoods that meet your needs.

Is walking important to you?

For a lot of people, not having stores or eateries within convenient walking distance is a definite no-go, so you should consider if it’s one for you, too. When scoping out at a potential new address, be sure to check Trulia’s amenity maps which pinpoint grocery stores, cafes, salons, and more to get the lay of the land.

“Walkability index is a biggie for me and my husband,” says avid sailor Dana Greyson. She and her husband factor in commutes when they search for housing back on dry land. “We want to have a place where, when we get home, we don’t have to get back into our car to live our life.”

Are you going for a quiet or lively environment?

You may love to hang out and party with friends in a certain bustling neighborhood every weekend, but would you want to buy a home there? Maybe not. Portland, Oregon, resident and realtor Jenelle Isaacson sees a lot of folks in the young, hipster city drawn to the most happening areas, only to find out they don’t exactly match their priorities—or noise-level preference.

“I’ve worked with many clients who are lured to a neighborhood by popular restaurants and coffee shops,” she says. “They want to hang their hats where they hang out on weekends, but when it comes to living in these areas, they suddenly find they don’t like the nuisance of so many other people coming to their neighborhood parking, making noise at night. Being in the middle of the party isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

The takeaway here? Reconcile the fact that if you love an area for its lively atmosphere, lots of others probably do too. Weigh the importance of having hot spots nearby with the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Do you want to have friends nearby?

Whether your besties are already in the neighborhood or you want to chum it up with your new neighbors, you should take into account the kind of social life you hope to have in your brand new home base. Atlanta, Georgia, veteran Carol Gee knew her new community was the one when a neighbor waved to her from across the street as Gee and her husband moved boxes—and they became longtime friends.

Think about how your new home is situated. If you’re on a cul-de-sac or across the courtyard from another neighbor, there’s going to be some required water cooler talk chat. “Some people really like to be in an area where their friends are nearby or at least close enough so they’ll come visit,” says real estate specialist Kathleen Perkins. Others not so much.

After you’ve done your research, does it seem like a place where you’d want to live?

Once you’ve done your due diligence, visiting your potential neighborhood during different hours of the day to get a real sense of it and checking to ensure all the boxes are checked on your must-have list, trust your gut.

Some say intuition is a gift, so go with it. If a neighborhood just feels right, it probably is. On the flip side, if anything gives you pause—hit the pause button. It may be time to try and reach out to residents (or realtors) who actually live there to get a first-hand perspective of what everyday life is like, or it may be time to move on.


Even moving just a few blocks or miles can make for a totally new neighborhood feel. Do your research, then go with your gut.


Articles that might be useful:

Originally published April 7, 2015; updated February 16, 2018.

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How to Get Acquainted With Your Neighborhood

Moving to a new neighborhood is tough, and it gets harder when the move includes relocating to a new city or neighborhood. Finding your sense of place within a new-to-you community is not always straightforward. Meeting people in your neighborhood can be a bit intimidating, but it’s the most direct route to make a new community feel like your home.

Here are tips to feeling like part of your new neighborhood, whether you’re moving across town or across the country.


Make the first move.

Sure, it can feel daunting to approach a new next-door neighbor and introduce yourself, but they may be equally hesitant to disturb your family, particularly if you seem busy moving boxes and unpacking. So take the initiative and look for an opportunity when the neighbors don’t look rushed or preoccupied either. A wave or hello can open the door without being intrusive, and a simple question about the trash pickup schedule on the block or what local grocery store someone recommends is an easy conversation starter.

Make yourself approachable.

Likewise, create chances for others to welcome you. Sit on the front porch. Take leisurely walks. Or perhaps just focus on being approachable—slow down the usual mad dash to your car every morning and tone down the grumpy expression upon returning from work.

The same rule applies when you’re out and about in the community. At the local diner, pick a bar seat instead of a corner table; there’s something about communal seating that encourages conversation. Take the kids to a nearby playground or park—and don’t keep your face in your phone. Make eye contact, smile, and say hello.

Check out the local hangouts.

Do as the locals do and frequent a local restaurant, farmers market, or shop. Got a dog? Even better. Dog parks practically require you and your pet to make new friends. Soon enough, one of these local hangouts will become a place where at least a few people know your name.

Get involved.

There’s no better way to meet like-minded people than by participating in activities that are meaningful to you. Finding the right fit may just require a little digging. Check with local schools and universities, park districts, recreation commissions, sports organizations, and—perhaps the greatest reference of all—neighbors and fellow parents. Donating your time to community organizations the improve the neighborhood by cleaning up trash, helping other residents, or clearing park trails will help you meet people and get to know the neighborhood.

Parents, of course, have many ready-made outlets for making new friends, like volunteering at the school, getting involved in carpools, and hosting playdates or a Halloween party for the kids on the block.

Use your network.

Take advantage of organized programs that can help you meet others in your new community. If you were active in a church or place of worship in your previous home, ask for a referral to a similar establishment. Many employers offer programs that connect newly relocated workers with longtime residents.

Most colleges and universities also have local alumni chapters. And don’t forget to mine your online networks. Ask Facebook friends if they know anyone in your new town, or search sites like Meetup.com to find others with similar interests. With a little time, you’ll find that community is wherever you make it.


Articles that might be useful:


Get to know more about the place you’ve chosen to live with Trulia’s maps detailing schools, crime stats, affordability, and more.

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What Is Renters Insurance?

The first thing people think about when they rent a new place is getting renters insurance to protect their belongings, right? No, not really. Almost all homeowners have homeowners insurance—95 percent of them, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Mortgage lenders require it, after all. But only about 40 percent of renters buy renters insurance. If you’re a renter, you may be wondering: What is renters insurance? And how much does it cost? Most policies cost about $15 a month. But the scenarios that renters insurance covers are broader than you might think. Here are some essentials to know when deciding whether to buy a policy.

What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is a type of insurance that covers your personal property. If someone breaks into your rental and steals your belongings, your landlord typically is not responsible … unless you can prove the landlord was negligent by, say, not providing a lock for your doors or windows. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay to replace what was taken or damaged. But renters insurance would cover the cost of replacing the items. It also often covers damage to your belongings from fire, vandalism, and other disasters.

Renters insurance covers your stuff even when it’s not in your home.

Any valuables you keep in your car or that you bring with you, such as on vacation, are covered by most renters insurance policies. Renters insurance will reimburse you the same amount whether your bike is stolen from inside your apartment or while parked outside your favorite coffee shop, but whether your insurance pays what your property is worth (actual cash value) or the cost to replace it (replacement-cost coverage) depends on the details of your policy.

It covers damage to other people’s stuff, too.

Your renters insurance policy sticks with you when you (or, say, your kids) go out into the world, such as to a friend’s house or shopping. “If your kids decide to play around in the china department of a store, can you afford to pay for the damages to the merchandise?” asks Eric Narcisco, CEO of Effective Coverage. “That’s property damage liability, and renters insurance pays for that.”

You could stay in a hotel in case of emergency.

If your rental unit is unlivable for a time because of damages from a fire or a storm, the cost of a temporary hotel stay would likely be covered by renters insurance. Your policy should kick in even if your neighbor has a fire and management has to turn off utilities to your building for a few days to make repairs. “Loss-of-use coverage on your policy could take care of that for you,” says Narcisco.

You’re covered if someone gets hurt on your watch.

What if one of your friends is injured in your apartment? If a friend rolls an ankle because they stepped on your dog’s chew toy in your living room, you’re liable for the medical costs. You’d also be accountable for legal costs if your guest filed a lawsuit. But if you have renters insurance, the liability part of the policy will cover that. It also covers damage to the apartment that you cause, such as water damage from letting a bathtub overflow. The landlord will probably sue you to pay for damages not covered by your security deposit, and that’s when your insurance would kick in.

Third-party property damage? Covered.

Let’s look further into that overflowing-bathtub scenario. What if, in addition to damaging your apartment, the overflowing tub also caused damage to your downstairs neighbor’s unit? Or what if you drove your car into your neighbor’s fence? Renters insurance would typically cover the cost of repairs in both instances.

An important note about property damage: Renters insurance doesn’t typically cover damage done to your rental property by another person. If someone were to break your window, for example, and that person doesn’t have renters insurance, you’d be on your own for working out the costs.

But not everything is covered, so read the fine print.

Note that renters insurance comes with coverage limits, so it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered in the policy you select. It’s up to you to decide how much liability and personal property coverage to buy. For example, you might decide to get $300,000 in liability coverage and $50,000 in personal property coverage.

And there are state-by-state exceptions for disaster coverage: California renters, for instance, are not covered for damages from an earthquake, and Florida tenants are not covered for damages from a natural flood. Those usually require a separate policy. Your policy will spell out in detail which scenarios and disasters are covered.

Articles that might be useful:

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How to Renovate Your Home This Year for Under $10,000

Finding a home requires trade-offs, whether in the house or neighborhood. And though it’s not easy to change your neighborhood, you can certainly change the way your home looks and feels. This is why we’re excited to showcase the Trulia Design Panel, an expert group of interior designers, home stagers and organizers from across the nation who will provide the advice and insights homeowners and renters need to make their house a home, wherever it is.

Everyone loves to personalize their digs. Trulia recently commissioned a survey, conducted online by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older, about their home remodeling plans. We found 76 percent of Americans have plans to renovate or remodel their homes, with bathrooms (48%), kitchens (48%), and bedrooms (27%) top on their agendas. But budgeting is important: On average, Americans who plan to remodel or renovate their home are only willing to spend $8,879 on their projects. So we asked the Trulia Design Panel for their tips on renovating each of those rooms for less than $10,000.

Kitchen Renovation Tips

  • Replace countertops.

    “Nothing dates a kitchen more than an old countertop, and nothing updates a kitchen more than a fresh slab of marble or quartz,” says Hannah Crowell of Crowell & Co.

    To keep costs down, Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette recommend contacting local stone suppliers to see if they’re liquidating any remnants at a low price.

  • Paint the cabinets.

    Skip a pricey custom cabinet installation and have your current cabinets professionally spray painted. You’ll get a fresh and flawless new look and, Crowell jokes, “you don’t have to sell a kidney.”

    Interior designer Becki Owens recommends “a fresh white to brighten your kitchen space and make it feel larger,” adding that if you’re dying to add color, “consider painting your island a different color for two-tone kitchen design.”

  • Replace cabinet hardware.

    Owens suggests brass hardware in clean, modern lines available from budget-friendly retail chains like Target, IKEA, and Lowe’s.

    “There are many affordable options that make a big impact on your kitchen,” Owens says.

  • Create custom pantry storage.

    Designing your own personalized pantry storage solution is a great way to not only improve your own kitchen experience, but to boost your home’s resale value. Layne Brookshire of Ms. Placed Professional Organizing recommends shopping around for companies that offer seasonal or annual discounts on storage solutions and installation.

Bathroom Renovation Tips

  • Integrate tile.

    “The best place to put your money in the bathroom is hands down on tile,” Crowell says.

    To keep your budget under control, try a classic white subway tile—or if you’re going for pricier marble, Jay Britto says, “tile only the floors and wet walls while painting the rest of the room.”

  • Replace plumbing fixtures.

    “I have purchased many an old home with dated, drippy faucets, and simply changing those out for a modern fixture makes a major difference!” Crowell says.

    For affordable and stylish replacements, Crowell suggests the Delta Vero line, and she and Owens both endorse the simple, clean look of Kohler’s Purist faucets.

  • Add storage for a streamlined look.

    Brookshire suggests adding a linen closet to store towels and other regularly used bathroom products. Those who don’t have space or budget to add a new closet can turn to durable, stylish floating shelves to store and display bathroom staples.

  • Replace the cabinets and vanity.

    You’ll redefine your bathroom’s look, and you can do it for surprisingly cheap. Britto and Charette suggest an affordable supplier like Fresca, which offers packages incorporating a vanity, sink, faucet, and mirror for around $1,000.

Bedroom Renovation Tips

  • Incorporate rugs.

    “Layering a new rug in a bedroom can distract the eye from undesirable carpet or tile flooring,” Owens says.

    Crowell recommends a vintage Moroccan or Turkish kilim rug from Etsy, or one from the stylish selection from Lulu and Georgia. Just make sure the rug is big enough to comfortably fit your bed and bedside table.

  • Invest in your bed.

    Crowell suggests treating yourself to professionally made decorative pillows and a great mattress while opting for simple and inexpensive duvet covers and euro shams. For high-quality but cost-effective beds and bedroom furniture, Britto and Charette recommend makers like Camerich, Mobenia Home, or Pianca Furniture.

  • Update lighting.

    Owens and Brookshire both recommend replacing traditional ceiling fixtures with a hanging light that makes a statement, and adding subtler fixtures to tie the room together on either side of the bed. For those who wish to add an affordable fan to their statement lighting, Britto and Charette suggest the Haiku L-Series from the memorably named Big Ass Fans.

  • Create an accent wall.

    You’ve gotten comfortable and you’ve gotten stylish; now it’s time to get bold with your bedroom. Britto and Charette suggest decorating all your walls but one in a neutral, then creating an attention-grabbing accent wall with a colorful or patterned vinyl covering.

BONUS: Find the right person for the job.

  • Now that you’ve got an affordable renovation plan in place, it’s time to execute it—the right way. Britto and Charette say the final and most important step is to find a qualified handyman or general contractor to do the work. If you have a condo or homeowner’s association, check to see if it requires licensed and insured contractors. Then sit back and get ready to enjoy your dream renovation.

Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia from January 3rd – January 5th, 2018 among 2,105 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,567 plan to remodel or renovate their home. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr@trulia.com.

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How to Create Your Apartment Wish List

Before you set out to hunt for an apartment, it helps to make an apartment wish list of your must-haves and like-to-haves. Once you begin looking at units, you’ll probably shift your priorities as price and reality set in, but it’s better to go in with an idea of what you want than to let a building manager talk you into a lease you might regret. If you ask yourself the following questions as you begin your search, you’ll be better able to recognize right away whether a place is really right for you. This will save you time and land you in a place that’s truly a good fit for your lifestyle.

10 Questions to Help You Create a Personalized Apartment Wish List

  1. 1. How big a place do you need?

    Ask yourself if you really need two bedrooms, or if a roomy loft with an open floor plan would be just as good. Can you get by with just one bathroom? Can you fit a workspace into your living room, or do you require a more serious home office (maybe because you work from home full-time)? Most apartments are smaller than houses, but if properly designed they can offer lots of nooks and crannies for creative storage. Look at layouts and visit a few apartments before you set your space requirements in stone.

  2. 2. How well do you sleep?

    If you’re a light sleeper, give careful consideration to the bedroom: Does it share a wall with another apartment—one that could be home to a noisy night owl? Will sunlight pour in at an early hour? If so, can you fix these potential problems with proper furniture placement, heavy blinds or other work-arounds?

  3. 3. Do you entertain at home?

    Is the apartment’s layout conducive to the kind of entertaining you like to do? Or is it so small that you could only invite a couple of friends over at a time? Is the apartment near your friends? Are you working long hours and more likely to socialize outside the home than in it? If so, is your place near the kind of nightlife you like?

  4. 4. How do you feel about overnight guests?

    Do you host a lot? Or as little as possible? Where will guests sleep? If you’re considering a one-bedroom, can you fit a sleeper sofa in the living room? Will that setup work for your guests, or do you really need a second bedroom? Is there ample street parking or a paid lot your guests can use?

  5. 5. What kind of neighborhood suits you?

    Do you thrive on excitement and want to come home to a vibrant area full of restaurants and nightlife? Or do you like proximity to parks where you can calm down after a busy day? Maybe you fall somewhere between these two and would like to live near the retail hub of a residential area so you can walk to coffee shops and restaurants but still live in peace and quiet. Ask yourself whether the apartments you like are available in the type of neighborhood that suits you.

  6. 6. How much is an in-house gym worth to you?

    Is it worth something to you to live in a building with a gym, a pool and a bit of a social scene? Or would you rather live in a building with basic services and look elsewhere for your workout and social life? Many developers have created complexes packed with amenities—sports facilities, community rooms with big-screen TVs and kitchens, extra storage, covered parking, even wine storage. These upscale buildings typically cost more, so think through whether it’s worth it to you.

  7. 7. How safe is the apartment?

    If you’re concerned about safety, you may want to look for an apartment without easy exterior entry, like a balcony door or ground-floor windows. Or you may feel safer in a building with a 24-hour concierge or a gated entry that makes note of who is coming and going.

  8. 8. Are you free to decorate?

    Many rental apartments feature standard-issue white or beige paint and unobjectionable but uninteresting bathrooms. Are you allowed to paint, hang art and maybe even install carpeting so the place feels more like yours? Depending on your landlord, your handiwork may be seen as a voluntary upgrade—or a nuisance that’ll cost you your deposit.

  9. 9. Which appliances do you use most?

    If you like to host dinner parties, you may want to prioritize an apartment with a dishwasher. If you’re more a cereal-for-dinner type, you may not care so much. Similarly, think about your laundry habits. Will a couple of loads once a week take care of it, or do you tend to run a load of laundry more days than not? Considering your own rhythms will help you decide what’s really important to have in your own unit.

  10. 10. Would your stuff look at home here?

    You generally know you’ve found the right place when you start picturing where your couch would go and you can’t stop thinking about how cool your favorite poster will look above the mantel. If you’ve begun mentally decorating, then you may have found The One….

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These 9 Trendy and Affordable Rental Homes Deserve a Design Award

Style or affordability? We say you can find both. Proof that you needn’t sacrifice your top-shelf taste for a budget-friendly apartment, these nine rental homes with trendy interior design are as eye-catching as they are affordable. Each has a monthly rate that’s less than the median rent for their popular locations. Better still, for many of these you don’t even have to rely on your own good taste, as they come chicly furnished.


rental homes with trendy interior design

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

Pretty, private cottage just blocks from Bourbon Street


If you scooped up this furnished studio cottage in New Orleans, you’d be able to list Cafe Du Monde (renowned for its beignets and chicory coffee), the French Market (the oldest public market in the U.S.), Preservation Hall (a historic venue for live jazz), and countless other famous French Quarter attractions among your regular neighborhood stops. But this renovated cottage offers a stylish retreat from the hustle and bustle just blocks away. It’s slightly off the street and features a lushly landscaped courtyard enclosed by ivy-cloaked walls.

And it just gets better inside. French doors open into a recently renovated studio that features exposed wooden ceiling beams, hardwood floors, and even a rolling ladder leading to a sleeping loft. With the French Quarter’s median rent at $3,125, this charmer’s $1,500 rate is an affordability standout.


rental homes with trendy interior design

2. Charleston, South Carolina

Light-filled loft convenient to downtown Charleston


The floor-to-ceiling windows alone are enough to put this loft-style one-bedroom in Charleston on your must-check-out list. That blast of sunshine is the perfect complement to the unit’s long, narrow layout that has a distinctly urban feel. While you can expect to fork over $2,200 (the median monthly rent) for other apartments in Charleston’s North Central neighborhood, just $1,240 gets you a lease at East Central Lofts. That’ll leave a little cash in your wallet to enjoy the craft brews and free Friday night concerts at Palmetto Brewing right across the street.


rental homes with trendy interior design

3. Chevy Chase, Maryland

Stylish subterranean space with a wood-burning fireplace


Not only are utilities included in the rent of this one-bedroom apartment in Chevy Chase, Maryland, it’s listed for $1,950 per month, which is well below Chevy Chase’s median rent of $3,850. Also worth noting here is the fact that the rental is located on basement level—but you wouldn’t suspect it given the unit’s bright and cheery vibe. It’s also newly constructed, so the fresh look of those granite countertops, stainless appliances, and wood-burning fireplace is genuine.

Follow the private entry stairs up to street level, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of Chevy Chase West, a quiet residential area that’s popular among commuters due to a location central to both Bethesda and D.C. From this one-bedroom apartment, the trendy shops, restaurants, and attractions of Bethesda Row can be reached in just five minutes by foot.

 rental homes with trendy interior design

4. Denver, Colorado

Artist-inspired lofts in a design-driven district


Situated just north of downtown in the larger Five Points neighborhood, Denver’s River North Art District (“RiNo” for short) sports a high concentration of historic warehouses and factories. Nowadays, the buildings host art galleries, art studios, indie boutiques—and apartments that are fittingly artsy. Block 32 at RiNo features colorful, loft-style interiors with modern finishes and an industrial feel. Some even come equipped with dedicated studio space. One-bedroom, one-bathroom units start at $1,396, which is around half the median rent for Five Points.


rental homes with trendy interior design

5. Seattle, Washington

Glass-walled apartment with contemporary flair


With stark white walls and trim alongside dark cupboards and appliances, the monochrome look of this 283-square-foot studio is as modern as they come. And thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, residents of 1404 Boylston in Seattle can take in a bird’s eye view of the surrounding Central Business District.

Down below, they might spy locals heading toward Elliot Bay Bookstore, Garage (a swanky billiards hall-meets-bowling alley), the 48-acre Volunteer Park, and the dozens of restaurants, breweries, and after-hours clubs that form the framework of this cool and eclectic neighborhood. Rent at the on-trend 1404 Boylston starts at $1,300 for a studio, which is a steal compared to the neighborhood’s median rent of $1,950.


rental homes with trendy interior design

6. Portland, Oregon

Bike-friendly micro studio with built-in furniture


Sure, studios and “micro studios” at The Arthur in Downtown Portland are aesthetically delightful, but they feature another type of design genius as well: efficient use of space. The Murphy bed and built-in folding tables free up floor space and make the tiny units feel surprisingly roomy. The cleverly integrated furniture was added during the building’s transformation from a historic hotel into an apartment building.

Today, the rentals start at $845 per month—way less than the neighborhood’s median $3,495. Their petite size is a perfect fit with Portland’s walkable, bike-friendly culture, as residents can easily make pseudo-living rooms out of the many nearby coffee shops, bars, and other public spaces. The Arthur even features a bicycle parking garage, so you don’t have to figure out where to stash your bike in your efficient living space.


rental homes with trendy interior design

7. Austin, Texas

Soothing, artsy aesthetic on 55 acres


You’d be forgiven for thinking Austin’s West Oak Hill neighborhood was 10 miles from downtown, rather than 10 minutes. Set on 55 rural acres, this 853-square-foot one-bedroom at the Lantana Ridge community is as rustic outside as it is modern inside. The furnished apartment blends mid-century-chic furnishings with contemporary features and colors in a way you’d probably never pull off on your own. And who doesn’t get a small thrill from built-in shelving? West Oak Hill is the home for Austinites who want to stay in touch with nature. Populated by many families, the growing area is one where you can easily find everything you need in nearby strip malls, but also hear the coyotes at night.

rental homes with trendy interior design

8. Saint Pete Beach, Florida

Lovely renovated bungalow just blocks from the beach


If you’ve got your sights set on year-round beach living, do it in style with this two-bedroom bungalow in Saint Pete Beach, Florida. Situated on a barrier island about seven miles west of St. Petersburg, the resort city is revered for its sugar-white sand and turquoise Gulf waters. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach the moment you open your eyes in this bedroom that looks out onto a tropical backyard through two wall-sized windows. That yard includes a sit-here-all-day patio and a covered, wooden bike port, making the outdoors just another room of the beachy home. Plus, plenty of restaurants and tiki bars are accessible from this sunny spot, even though it costs far less than Saint Pete Beach’s median rent of $3,000.


rental homes with trendy interior design

9. Manchester, Connecticut

Converted mill apartments with exposed brick and beams


Historical meets modern at the unique Lofts at the Mills in the quaint New England town of Manchester, Connecticut. Exposed brick and wooden beams are the norm for units inside this former-mill-turned-apartment-community. With 15-foot windows and large, arched windows to match, a studio for $985 per month is a steal in an area where the median rent is $1,400. If you love the classic feel of the building’s original architecture, you’re also going to enjoy the nearby historic Main Street shopping district in Manchester.

Are you looking for a great looking place to live? Check out what’s available in your neighborhood on right here on Trulia.

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Apartment Cleaning Checklist for Before You Unpack

You’ve been thinking about how great your mid-century modern coffee table is going to look in your new apartment since you saw the rental listing.

But here’s a hot tip before you go charging in with all your belongings: Your new apartment will never be easier to clean than when you’re holding the keys for the first time. Take advantage of the empty space and follow this easy cleaning checklist to make your place a tidy home for youself—and all your beloved stuff.

1. Start from the top.

When it comes to giving your new home a deep scrub, it’s best to clean each room from the top down. Because, gravity. Start by dusting the ceiling fan, ceiling corners, and overhead lights. (Globe-shaped light figures are notorious for collecting dust, so be sure to give them a good clean.) Then start working your way down—walls, baseboards, and finally, the floors.

2. Work toward the door.

Here’s another way to order your cleaning in a room: Start at the farthest point from the entryway. This is especially important when it comes to floors. You don’t want to trod over freshly-vacuumed carpet in your dusty house-cleaning shoes!

3. Deep clean the closets.

Once the closets are full of your odds and ends, it’s unlikely you’ll ever take them all back out to clean in there. Dust out the corners, and consider lining shelves with vinyl or decorative paper (just be sure it isn’t permanent). Shelf lining looks good, is easy to clean, and covers up mystery marks and gross stains left by previous tenants. It’s a win-win-win.

4. Replace the toilet seat.

You’re bringing your own recliner and couch, and those aren’t even as hard to keep clean. You’ll spend a lot of time sitting on your apartment’s toilet, and it’s arguably the most important seat in the house. Do yourself (and your guests) a favor by giving your toilet a fresh start.

5. Disinfect the bathtub.

You’re much more likely to enjoy a soak in the tub after you’ve disinfected away all trace of the last person who soaked there. For an easy cleaning hack, use dish soap and a sponge to wipe down the bathtub—though you may need to enlist a more convensional cleaner to fight tougher stains. Prefer a natural method? Equal parts baking soda, borax, and kosher salt make a great cleaning scrub without any impossible-to-pronounce chemicals.

6. Clean your appliances.

Yes, even your dishwasher needs help getting clean. Start by running a cycle with only a cup of white vinegar in the top rack—using the hot water setting if your dishwasher has one. Afterwards, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom rack and run a second hot cycle.

Disinfect the microwave (inside and out), then hit the fridge. Remove all the shelves you can, and wipe them down—you can even let them soak in the sink or bathtub. A solution of vinegar and water works great as a food-safe, all-purpose cleaner.

Finally, the oven. If they fit in your dishwasher, toss the buttons, racks, and drip pans in for a deep clean. If the racks are caked with black grime, you can soak them overnight in a sealed bag of ammonia. And don’t forget about degreasing the oven hood!

7. Make the floors shine.

Your floor is going to get gross enough under your own feet. You’ll definitely want to clean away the last tenant’s footprints. Steam mops are a quick and easy way to clean hardwoods, laminate, and tile. If you’re using a regular mop on hardwoods, make sure that it’s damp rather than sopping, and use a cleaner that works with the floor’s finish.

For carpeted areas, you can usually rent carpet cleaners from grocery and hardware stores—or you can call in the professionals if it’s a serious job. Depending on your lease agreement and the state of the carpet, you may even be able to talk to your landlord about a reimbursement.

8. Kill all the germs.

Every surface you touch in your new apartment—from the thermostat to the light switch—has been touched thousands of times by the previous tenants. Blast your favorite playlist and spend time disinfecting everything you touch on a regular basis. This includes countertops, knobs, dials, buttons, locks, and anything with a handle.

9. Don’t forget the cabinets.

You’re going to eat off of those plates. Don’t plunk them into the cabinets until you’d eat off their surfaces, too. Wipe them down, scrub away anything suspicious with baking soda and water, and add a liner for good measure.

10. Show your baseboards some respect.

Baseboards are often neglected on monthly cleaning checklists, but if you only do it once, move-in is the time. Kitchens and entryways get hit especially hard by dust and grime, so do the baseboards in these rooms first. Anything from an all-purpose cleaner to baby wipes can make a big difference.

Originally published February 23, 2016; updated January 18, 2018.

What are your favorite home-cleaning methods? Share them in the comments below!

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How to Win Over Your Neighbors During a Renovation

If you’re considering buying a fixer, or a gorgeous one-story home that would be even better with two stories, have fun with the dreaming and designing, but don’t forget the bigger picture in the neighborhood. After all, there’s no point in perfecting your dream house if you have to live surrounded by people who can’t stand you after putting up with months of noisy construction. In the end, the neighborhood vibe may be the most important feature of your new home.

Good news there: A few small gestures of goodwill and cooperation can be very effective in smoothing things over during construction and beyond. Local zoning laws will vary, but these diplomatic gestures are universal.

  1. 1. Hire a considerate crew.

    Hiring a construction team that’s neat and respectful is the first step in maintaining friendly relationships with the neighbors. Make sure your crew understands that you expect them to do what’s reasonable to minimize chaos on the street and keep noise to a minimum.

    “Talk to the contractors about cleaning up each day and keeping the site neat—this should be part of the vetting process,”  advises Nancy Benson-Smith, who recently added a master suite onto the back of her 1920s bungalow in El Cerrito, Calif. “We probably paid a bit more for our builders, but it was a relatively easy process and our neighbors were impressed with our contractors’ cleanliness and minimal impact on the street.”

  2. 2. Make yourself available.

    There’s only so much you can do about the noise and disruption of a renovation, but simply acknowledging that the project affects your neighbors and being sensitive to their requests can go a long way.

    “We gave our cell numbers to all our neighbors in case they needed to get in touch about any issues with our renovation,” says Courtney Flynn, who embarked on a full renovation of her Cambridge, Mass., condo before moving in. “And when they called, we made it clear it was our first priority to get the issue fixed. Luckily our contractor was responsive when anything came up.”

    If you’re not around the house much, ask your contractor if he’s okay sharing his number with the neighbors too, and let them know they should feel free to call with any concerns.

  3. 3. Keep your neighbors in the loop.

    Depending on the zoning laws where you live, you may want to make sure that none of your neighbors oppose your plans before you begin work. If you decide to share your plans ahead of time, try to do it in person so you can talk out any concerns on the spot. Of course, you don’t want to give the impression that you’ll change your plans over any minor objection, but just hearing people out and explaining the logic of your choices can help to iron out any differences.

    If you can, go a step farther and give neighbors an outline of how long you expect each part of the project to take. As the project moves along, update them with any significant news, like when several street-parking places will be needed for a delivery, or how long that big Dumpster will be out front. Letting neighbors know what to expect will lessen the irritation of disruptions.

  4. 4. Take any opportunity to do a favor.

    Is your contractor doing a dump run? Let your neighbors know they’re welcome to throw a few things into the load. Offer up bricks left over from a patio project. Let neighbors know that the Port-a-Potty is open to anyone who’s out for a run or working in the yard.

    When Kevin Ryan of San Francisco was building a bathroom for his daughter, he discovered that he’d bought way too much tile. “It turned out our neighbors were redoing their bathroom and wanted the leftover tile,” he says. “We gave it to them as a gift, and we’ve had a very friendly relationship ever since. It worked out great.”

  5. neighbors renovation

    If noisy work has to happen on the weekend, send around a note apologizing and explaining the urgency.

    5. Stick to working hours.

    This can be a tricky one, but try to minimize the racket. A Trulia report found that 29 percent of Americans cite noise as the biggest pain point with neighbors. Be sure that your crew keeps to normal work hours—nothing beyond 9-to-5 and nothing on the weekends—especially for any ear-splitting work.

    If weekend work can’t be avoided, send a note around in advance apologizing and explaining the urgency. If there’s someone you’re particularly worried about offending, consider throwing in a couple of movie tickets or a bottle of wine. It’s a small investment that will pay off.

  6. 6. Invite the neighbors in.

    People are often curious about a project. If your neighbors express interest, have them over to see how things are coming along. “We invited neighbors to come in regularly to check on the progress so they felt engaged,” says Benson-Smith about her El Cerrito renovation.

    Once the work is finally done, plan to invite your neighbors in for a drink and a tour. They’ll likely to be dying to see inside and it’s a nice way to thank them for their patience throughout the process.

Do you have tips on keeping the peace with neighbors during construction? Share in the comments!

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