Remodel Your Home While Staying on Budget

by c21commonweath_ldowling 12. December 2018 11:48

Renovating your home is usually synonymous with spending a lot of money. However, you don’t need to go broke trying to renovate rooms of your house. Planning a home remodel is an exciting time to spruce up your living space. There are plenty of ways to get a new look without tearing down every wall. The cost of materials and labor can creep up quickly, usually skyrocketing your price of renovations over budget. Don’t commit to renovations that can easily be done at a cheaper cost. Here’s our list of the top tips to remodeling on a budget.

Leave the Bathroom Be

When planning a remodel, it’s important to envision the floor plan of the entire house. Don’t forget to consider the cost of moving sinks, bathtubs and toilets. Instead of moving your bathroom to another room entirely, leave the plumbing where it is. There are other great ways you can renovate your bathroom without tearing down the shower. Spend your money on switching up the style of your bathroom and get a new decorative mirror or extra shelving for toiletries. If it's in your budget, consider getting new tile for a fresh, bright look. It’s much less expensive to add new decorative elements to your bathroom than to relocate it entirely. Fresh paint, tile, and décor can give your bathroom the makeover you’re looking for on a budget.

Make Use of What You Have

It’s tempting to want to rip everything out to start over but before you do, look at what you already have. It’s a lot cheaper and feasible to touch up existing features rather than to buy brand new. Chips and dings in your kitchen cabinet are easy to fix without replacing them. If you like the style of your cabinets, update the finish with a fresh coat of paint. They make cabinet paint kits that include paint and a glossy glaze, for usually around $75. Beat the price of installing new cabinets by retouching up your current design. Nicks or scratches in coffee tables or kitchen chairs are easily fixable with a wood scratch repair pen as cheap at $5. You simply draw over the scratch and watch the wood restore to its beautiful original color. When renovating your home, look for ways to repurpose what you already have to save money.

Use a Few Fancy Materials

When renovating, it’s a smart idea to plan ahead of time what big renovations you want to do that will cost the most money. That way you know how much money you have to redecorate each room with the remaining budget. Instead of buying entirely new furniture or remodeling the whole kitchen, try using expensive materials sparingly. A handful of expensive touches can go a long way if done right. For example, instead of splurging on a new granite countertop consider adding new colorful and elegant tile squares for your backsplash. Your guests will still be drawn to the new design and never know how much money you saved. Plan your remodel ahead of time so you know where to add a few new aesthetically pleasing aspects without breaking the bank.

Remodeling your home doesn’t have to leave you crawling around for quarters. There are many ways to renovate your home that can give you a fresh look without an empty wallet. Get creative and look for ways to use what you already have beforehand. Spend some time on the weekends doing DIY projects or repainting and repurposing your favorite elements. Adding a few expensive features will add elegance without going over budget. Transform your home into the space you’ve always wanted, while being financially responsible planning renovations.


Increase Curb Appeal for Cheap

by c21commonweath_ldowling 10. December 2018 14:42

The exterior of your home gives off the first impression to friends, neighbors, and potential buyers. Especially important when selling your home, the outside of your house should be inviting and welcoming to anyone that walks by. Buyers searching for a new home will likely judge the exterior of your house in photos, meaning it could make or break you during the selling process. However, cleaning up your curb appeal doesn’t have to cost you much. Check out our quick tricks to transform your home’s exterior to maximum potential for minimum cash.

Clean like Crazy

It might seem like the most obvious, but cleaning up your yard, bushes, and windows is one of the easiest and most profound ways to get your home looking sharp from the sidewalk. Dedicate a day over the weekend to do a deep cleaning of your exterior. Trim the bushes, mow the lawn, and sweep the leaves to get your beautiful landscape looking lush. Use your garden hose to spray down your driveway, sidewalk, and fence. For maximum shine, wash your windows to get them glimmering and giving off the best impression both inside and outside. Since you typically have the most common cleaning supplies, this task will be cheap to start and have lasting effects once you finish.

Add Shutters and Increase Size

A simple and inexpensive way to increase the size of your house is to accentuate your windows by adding shudders. You’d be surprised how much shudders can liven up the outside of your house. They make your windows look larger and add visual interest by adding depth against the bland exterior. Shutters are relatively cheap and easy to find within your budget. Pick a color for your shudders than contrasts the tone of your siding, paint, or brick. Adding a splash of color with your shudders is a great way to make your home look bigger and adds a pop from the first glance.

Dare to Paint Your Door  

Even if you don’t love your front door, that doesn’t mean you have to throw tons of money into getting a new one. Be bold and choose a new color to paint your front door with. Pick a color that contrasts the rest of your house to make a statement. Dark rich tones will add a sense of elegance while a brighter color could be helpful to add attention and catch the eye. A bucket of paint is cheap, all you have to do is pick the color. You can also think outside the box and add interest with new molding. New molding is a great way to add a decorative frame to your door and make it a welcoming grand entrance for everyone that knocks.

There are lots of ways to increase your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank. Most tricks to clean up your exterior require more effort than money. Spend some time making a few improvements to your exterior and see the difference first hand. You’ll be thankful when it comes time to sell and the front of your house already looks picture perfect.



Creating the Ultimate Playroom

by c21commonweath_ldowling 5. December 2018 14:50

There are many reasons why investing in a playroom for your little one is a fabulous idea. Playrooms inspire creative play, relationship building, cleanliness, and encourage important developmental skills. Having a dedicated space for creativity and play keeps kids’ minds active, an important part of your child’s growth. Plus, all the playing can be done in a designated area so you can keep close tabs on your little one while still providing privacy. Here’s how to create the playroom of your child’s dreams.

Decide on the Room’s Purpose

Playrooms are great for storing toys, but they can be used for so much more than keeping all dinosaurs and dolls safe (although, they do need a nice place to live)! Consider ways in which your children may use the room and interact with it. If they’re old enough, ask how they’d like to use their playroom. They may have some brilliant ideas up their sleeves, and if they have a say in the matter, they’ll develop a stronger connection to their play space. 

Focusing on a theme may be a helpful strategy. For example, did your child express an interest in arts and crafts? Or do they need to burn off some energy by tumbling around on play structures? There are many ways kids play but focus on how your kid plays. Develop their interests by setting up play stations tailored to their unique hobbies.

Playrooms are also perfect for good old-fashioned reading. That’s right. Consider taking away electronic devices and installing several attractive and colorful bookcases by craft stations and jungle gyms. Encouraging reading at an early age is easy by filling bookcases with kids’ favorite books. Just make sure to find a well-lit place with the appropriate lighting so your little one won’t strain his or her eyes. Incorporating comfy seating options helps too – and it never hurt to invite your kiddo’s favorite teddy bear to the reading club.

Focus on Furniture

Deciding on the appropriate furniture is an important part of building a fun yet functional playroom. Adjustable play tables and regular-sized desks are perfect for young and growing children. Swapping out new furniture every couple of years may be burdensome, so consider purchasing pieces your child can grow into. Furniture should also be fun and comfortable, which is why we suggest investing in colorful bean bags, plastic chairs, or poufs. If furniture is light and easy to use, kids can set it up themselves, incorporating a bit of responsibility into their everyday routines.

Storage Is Key

Toys are all fun and games until they’re scattered about the floor in a chaotic mess. You’re going to want several accessible storage bins and drawers to hide toys with many tiny parts. Glitter containers and Legos are neatly stored in tasteful storage bins, while more attractive toys are showcased on top of dressers and desks. Displaying toys like this adds a bit of character to the room.

Pay Attention to Lighting and Flooring

More than entertaining, a playroom needs to be comfortable and safe. Installing the appropriate lighting fixtures and making use of natural light helps. A table lamp placed near a comfy armchair offers a warm glow and works well in conjunction with ceiling and overhead lighting. Placing chairs and worktables by windows is another good strategy. This setting allows for greater visibility while kids work on homework and projects.

And don’t forget to install the appropriate flooring. After all, kiddos spend quite a bit of playtime on the floor. They may even ascend play structures and scale a climbing wall made just for them. It’s important, then, to create a safe landing spot in case someone tumbles. Padded flooring with carpet works well in active settings. Vinyl floors are another good option because they’re easily cleaned with a broom or mop. Adding comfy rugs on top of hard floors still provides comfort for your little one as they build forts and bounce around. If play structures with high access points and bunk beds are a part of the scene, consider opting for carpet. It may be the safer option.

Don’t Go Overboard

It’s easy to get caught up in all the decorations by incorporating your kids’ favorite cartoon characters in the mix of things – but, don’t. Children outgrow their favorite storybook characters quickly. Opting for general characters like farm animals or fairies may be the best bet. If your child must have Woody and all his friends included in the design scheme, consider gluing all characters on one wall in case these characters loose popularity in a couple of years. Opting for a simpler design theme is easier when you don’t have to paint over an entire wall of outdated play characters.

Keeping things simple can assume adopting a minimalist attitude. Periodically go through all toys to determine which ones can be donated. If they’re not being used, why keep them hidden away? Another child will be ecstatic to receive a toy your little one no longer uses. You’ll feel great about donating toys to a deserving kiddo – and your playroom will stay tidy and clean!

Cherish Playtime

Create the ultimate playroom to experience ultimate playtime. Kids are only young for so long, so cherish every moment and have fun while playing with your little one and their friends. Kids will remember all the fun they had in a playroom made just for them.


Everything You Need to Know About Laminate Flooring

by c21commonweath_ldowling 3. December 2018 14:09

Laminate flooring was introduced to markets in the 1970s, providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional wood flooring. Due to its durability and affordability, laminate flooring quickly became a popular choice among homeowners remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms alike. While the quality and appearance of laminate flooring continue to improve, natural wood flooring remains a popular choice. Consider these factors when deciding on a new flooring scheme before the installation begins.

There Are Many Options 

Unlike natural wood, laminate flooring is comprised of several synthetic layers. A core layer rests beneath an image layer containing a digitally enhanced photo of a natural material. It can be designed to mimic exotic hardwoods, concrete, and natural stone and comes in many colors, lengths, widths, and textures. The result is flooring that’s tailored to your unique taste.

You Decide on its Durability

Laminate manufacturers will have an AC (abrasion criteria) rating assigned to each floor, allowing you to decide on its durability in relation to foot-traffic levels. Higher AC ratings are more resilient, while lower AC ratings are less tolerant to external forces. Common AC ratings are as follows:

  • AC1 – moderate residential use (bedrooms & closets)
  • AC2 – general residential use (living rooms & kitchens)
  • AC3 – moderate commercial traffic & heavy residential use
  • AC4 – general commercial traffic
  • AC5 – heavy commercial applications

It’s important to consider the placement of laminate flooring to determine if will see light, moderate, or heavy use. After all, you want to install a floor that’s attractive and stylish but long lasting too.

Laminate Flooring Is Easy to Install and Take Care Of

Laminate flooring is easy to install – a common reason DIYers prefer to work with this material compared to traditional wooden pieces. Instead of being glued to the subfloors, laminate flooring connects to adjacent pieces using with snap-and-lock or tongue-and-groove joinery. No glue is involved in the process, only a bit of effort by handy homeowners.  

It’s also quite easy to take care of. Simply sweep or vacuum and mop lightly. Too much water can warp or stain laminate floors, so be careful when applying cleaning solutions. Commercial laminate cleaners and acetone-based solutions more aggressively combat tough stains from heavy use.

But be careful. Laminate’s synthetic material and piece-by-piece installation process leaves room for damage and wear. Laminate wood is particularly prone to damage during the installation process if not done correctly. The edges of planks can easily become damaged, making the wood susceptible to water seepage. In addition, laminate flooring can’t be refinished like natural wood because its top image layer can’t be sanded down.

Deciding Between Laminate and Natural Woods

Laminate is an excellent option for attractive flooring that’s also affordable (it can run about half the price of natural wood flooring). It can be designed to mimic a variety of materials, due to digitalized technologies that comprise its top layers. It’s easy to see why homeowners choose laminate flooring for their DIY projects. However, natural wood is still worth considering if you’re aiming for longevity. Wooden floors can be sanded down and refinished after years of foot traffic. So, if you’re looking for a floor that lasts through generations and grows with the house, consider installing a wooden floor. If laminate’s your final choice, you’ll get a floor that looks just like wood – and for half the price. 



How to Increase Coziness This Winter

by c21commonweath_ldowling 28. November 2018 10:38

As the winter months approach and the cold weather knocks at your door, prepare your house to have the coziest sense of calm. Create a relaxing space that feels extra welcoming and inviting to encourage company throughout the holiday season. Snuggle up together under extra blankets and surrounded by holiday décor. Don’t let the winter months freeze your style, instead increase the coziness of your home this winter with these ideas.

Make the Mood

It's up to you to transform the mood of your house into a winter wonderland. While you don’t have to have holiday décor everywhere, adding an extra touch is always noticed. Hang Christmas or string lights to increase an ambient vibe. Lighting sets the mood and it’s nice to have the option to dim or turn on additional seasonal lights for the dark winter months. Use candles to give your home a hearty smell and an extra flicker of something special. Chose seasonal-scented candles for extra coziness and an increased sense of relaxation. Build a fire inside if you have the ability to. Increase the warmth of your house while simultaneously creating a relaxing utopia to unwind.

Create Comfortability

You want your house to look and feel as comfortable as possible. Especially during the winter months, add extra pillows and throw blankets. Make sure everyone has a place to curl up warmly. Display blankets to add texture to the room and create a cozy space that anyone can relax and dodge the daunting winter weather outside. Create a pre-made playlist to set the mood for the season. It can include holiday favorites or any tunes that fit your taste. It will be great to have an enjoyable background noise as you go about your winter chores or converse with old friends.

Stay Social

Don’t hibernate the winter months home alone. Invite over a friend or two and enjoy each other’s cozy company indoors. Invite friends over for fun seasonal activities such as carving pumpkins, ornament decorating, holiday movie binge-watching, board games or even just to catch up over warm drinks. Have a mixology party and encourage friends to collaborate on who can make the best warm drink for winter. Make the season’s best and newest drink from scratch with friends as your taste-testers.

Bake Festive Flavors

Nothing welcomes winter and guests like the smell of warm cookies or gingerbread baking fresh from the oven. Bake up tasty treats this season to give your house the perfect holiday scent while enjoying the best bite. Bake extra goodies for neighbors, co-workers, friends, or even give back and donate holiday sweets to the local shelter or police station. You’ll feel extra good knowing someone in need got to enjoy your gooey goodness made from the heart of your home. 

Fight back against the cold and mundane months by making sure your home feels warm, welcoming, and ready to celebrate the season. Spice up your décor by adding extra textures, layers, and earthy tones. Invite over friends to tell stories around the fireplace, or even better, a fresh batch of holiday cookies. Stay warm with extra blankets, pillows, and comfy cushions to relax on. Make your space cozy and comfortable this year with extra style combined with special treats and traditions for everyone that enters.


How to Guarantee You Get Your Security Deposit Back

by c21commonweath_ldowling 26. November 2018 10:43

When it comes time to move, the stress of getting your security deposit back can seem like a daunting task. Whether it’s stains in the carpet or a few nicks on the counters, it’s hard to get everything looking as perfect as you found it. Getting your security deposit back upon move out guarantees you’ll have a few extra bucks to alleviate the extra costs that come with moving. Get your cash back with these tips to ensure your move out doesn’t leave you without extra money.

Plan Ahead

An easy way to get things in order before moving out is to plan ahead of time.  Read the lease diligently and take notes of anything relevant to move-out dates and how to get your security deposit back. Take extra precautions when you move in and make sure you follow the rules stated for hanging items, so you don’t get charged a fee for the nail holes later on. It’s important to stay organized and on top of your lease agreement. A helpful way to fuel clarity is to keep all rental-related documents in one place. You’ll be able to know exactly what is expected of you at any time.

Document Damage

A simple way to guarantee you aren’t held responsible for any damage is to take a walkthrough video when you first move in and again when you move out. That way if your landlord tries to keep your security deposit, you can have visual evidence that proves the rental condition. It’s also a good suggestion to take pictures of everything, in the beginning, to ensure you know what it should look like upon moving out. Keep a record and document every time you contact the property manager about maintenance issues. This will also help serve as proof of any damage you might be accused of upon moving out.

Clean and Repair

Cleaning might seem like the most obvious task you must accomplish to get your security deposit back. However, it’s not as easy as just simply sweeping up the dust. Clean thoroughly if you want your money back after moving out. This includes vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and wiping down all appliances and baseboards. It’s also a good idea to fix any small and necessary repairs such as replacing light bulbs, unclogging drains, or fixing chipped paint. Confirm ahead of time if your rental property requires your place to be professionally cleaned before moving out. If that’s the case, you’ll want to hold on to the cleaning receipt as proof for your landlord.

Small things can go a long way when you are preparing to move out. Make sure you get your place looking as clean as it did when you moved in by putting in extra effort to get your security deposit back. The videos you took when you first moved in will help you compare your current state to make sure it looks up-to-par. Friends and neighbors are also a helpful source if you want to do a mock inspection beforehand. Clean extra than usual and with expertly kept documentation of any damages occurred along the way, you’ll certainly get your security deposit back without trouble.


Remodeling Your Fireplace

by c21commonweath_ldowling 21. November 2018 23:28

A decorated hearth makes a living room cozy, especially during the winter months. Folks gather in fire-lit living rooms over a round of hot chocolate (or wine) and treats. It’s the season to indulge yourself and your loved ones in the comfort of your home. If you’re looking to get your fireplace in tip-top shape this holiday season, consider these handy makeover tips. 


Opt for Comfort and Safety

Add glass doors to the front of your fireplace to create a polished look and provide extra safety. By retrofitting your fireplace with standard-sized glass fixtures, you can safely leave a wood fire untended as you move about the house. Glass doors come in standard sizes that fit most firebox openings, so you don’t have to worry about starting a complicated project. Once your glass doors are installed, you can enjoy a stress-free time in front of a beautiful (and contained) fire. 


Fix Broken Bricks

Old fireplaces are full of charm, but not if the mortar is cracked, crumbling, and falling out. Perhaps, the best way to start revamping your fireplace is by examining its current condition. Replace any brick that's missing to fill unseemly gaps and help sturdy the interior. After all, it’s hard to enjoy a fire if the fireplace is falling apart!


Install an Attractive Mantel

Easily change the look of your fireplace by installing a mantel. Detailed models come in kits that are easy to install and only require a Phillips-head and some muscle. With a mantel, you can showcase your favorite pictures, add a creative candle display, or place your drinks atop its surface. Mantels not only make your fireplace look neat and polished but provide space for decorative and personal items too.


To create a more antique look, shop for mantels at architectural salvage yards. Here, you may find the beautiful (and affordable) mantel you’ve been dreaming of. Plus, you’ll get that satisfaction of knowing you reused a charming decorative item that may have otherwise gone to waste.


Decorate the Hearth and Sound

The hearth is an important part of the fireplace that separates hot flames from carpet and other flammable materials. Consider adding tiles to the hearth to create a clean and pretty look. Designer tile and masonry products can be installed to add a bit of flair to your space. As long as they can withstand the heat, tiles are a great decorative option, easily changing the look of any room.


Cover-up art tiles are also perfect for styling the surround. It may take more effort to tile the surround appropriately – but it could be highly worth your while. Redesigning the surround can change the whole style of a room with an eye-catching centerpiece that just can't be ignored.


If tile’s not your jam, consider using granite or stone to adorn the surround. Each material has its own effect, so you’ll want to think about the style of the room before applying any fancy or rustic materials. Decorating the area just above the fireplace is another easy and effective trick. Paintings, photographs, and wreaths add sentimental value to your setup, helping to personalize the space.  


Consider giving your fireplace a makeover this holiday season. With a bit of thought and a little more muscle, your fireplace will look like new in no time.


Affordable Bathroom Updates

by c21commonweath_ldowling 19. November 2018 15:46


Let the Transformation Begin

It’s true you’ll spend a lot of time in the bathroom – why not design a restroom you absolutely love? Morning routines are more fun in washrooms tailored to your unique style and taking hot baths in new, clean washrooms is luxurious. When creating the ultimate bathroom, whether for yourself or prospective buyers, consider these handy tips and affordable updates.

Start with the Dirty Work

Before the decorating begins, be sure to finish all the necessary cleaning and repairs. Dirty bathrooms are never fun, but they’re even less fun while kneeling on the floor or in the tub to perform repairs. So, make sure to give your restroom a proper scrub down before getting down to the nitty-gritty repairs. Cleaning toilets, faucets, showers, countertops, and floors before starting repairs will make your bathroom-transformation project more doable.  

Now that you’ve put some muscle into making your bathroom shine, you’re ready to begin – dull lighting, rusty towel racks, old vanities, and outdated tile or carpet are all on the list of things to replace or repair.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Poor lighting is an obvious no-no, as everyday grooming requires bright lighting to see your beautiful smile and face. If lighting fixtures just aren’t cutting it, whether in their style or effectiveness, buy something new or used. Plenty of second-hand stores have affordable and stylish lights that will make your bathroom shine.

Replacing old towel racks also gives your bathroom a nice clean feel. If towel racks don’t suit your style, you can easily find fixtures mores suited to your taste in the clearance section of local home improvement stores. Matching all bathroom fixtures (including towel racks, faucets, and knobs) gives your bathroom a cute, cohesive look.

Now, on to the floors – if the tile is old or carpet still covers the floor, allow yourself to invest in something better. You and your guests will appreciate it! Plus, cheap tile and vinyl is readily available and easily covers small spaces. You’ll never have to worry about getting awkward stains out of the carpet with this bathroom update.

Lastly, a clean and organized space should replace the clutter that may or may not currently reside in your washroom. While you may know where everything is in your pile of things, other surely won’t – and it’s unseemly when guests arrive and are directed to use a bathroom full of personal belongings. So, invest in vanities, storage bins, and shelves. They’ll help you stay organized, even if you have a ton of cosmetics and supplies.

It’s Time to Decorate

Congratulations. You’re finished with the cleaning and organizing and can get to the fun part – decorating! Painting your bathroom is probably one of the cheapest and most effective décor strategies, and you have a whole slew of colors to chose from. Now’s your chance to let your personality shine through a little with colors and accent pieces that speak to your unique personality.

Let towels and shower curtains be the focal point of the room. They can be purchased at an affordable price, easily transforming any washroom. Plus, you can design the whole space around a specific print (that’s decorating made easy)! With a little bit of shopping around, you can find the perfect shower curtain and towels for your pleasure. After all, bathing is more fun in a clean, serene, and personalized space.


Top Tasks Not to Forget Before Selling Your Home

by c21commonweath_ldowling 14. November 2018 10:51

Getting ready to put your house on the market while simultaneously finding a new home, usually consists of many different projects that need to get taken care of. It’s easy to put all your effort into searching for a new perfect place to call home. However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore routine maintenance tasks your current home desperately needs. In order to impress potential buyers and increase profits, it’s important to have the house you’re selling in tip-top shape. To prevent small issues from getting bigger and costlier, be sure these aspects are ready for inspection beforehand.

Re-check the Roof

Even though its right above your head, the roof of your house can be easy to forget about and its important functions can be overlooked. Your roof is one thing you want to be sure is undoubtedly in good shape as it’s sure to come up during inspections. It’s a good investment to check before getting too far into the selling process to make sure your roof and gutters are working as they should and will be sustainable even after the sale. Water deterioration, molding, and even structural damage can all be consequences of a dangerous domino effect of your roof and gutters not working well. 

Analyze Your Air Systems

Heating and cooling are essential to any livable space. Make sure everything is working properly with your air systems before its time to move out. Fire up your furnace to ensure to works properly without any odd smells, so it won’t be something to worry about later on during open houses. Similarly, its good to check that your air filters are cleaned and swapped out. Little things like that can go a long way when trying to impress a potential buyer. You’ll be thankful to know your HVAC systems have been professionally serviced previously to inspection.

Wash Windows and Secure Locks

Squeaky windows help give off the best and cleanest impression of your house. You want to make sure potential buyers can see all you have to offer inside. That means, take out any torn window screens and replace them to have the best view possible. After living in a house for a few years, it’s not uncommon to run into sticky doors or locks that just won’t latch correctly. For you it might not be a monumental problem, however, when trying to sell, a malfunctioning lock can be seen as a major safety issue. Especially on exterior doors, it’s important to fix locks and bolts to ensure security before its noticed by others.

Even with the excitement that comes with buying a new home, it's important to still show you care about the property you are selling. Making a few small improvements and renovations can be vastly rewarding and lucrative when it comes time to sell. Be sure to put your best foot forward ahead of inspections by ensuring the routine maintenance tasks are not overlooked.


How to Find a Pet-Friendly Place

by c21commonweath_ldowling 12. November 2018 10:41

Let’s be honest, pets are a part of the family. A place that welcomes a man’s best friend must be included on the criteria list when searching for new housing. Finding a pet-friendly apartment or rental can sometimes be tricky, especially with big animals. Follow these tips to help your search to find the best place that fits the needs of you and your pet.

Start the Search Soon

Moving to a new place is a big enough hassle on its own. When searching for a pet-friendly place, it’s imperative to give yourself as much time as possible. The more time you have, the more likely you will be able to find a new home that accommodates all your wants and your pets. Start the search before it’s too late and ensure that the places you have in mind are welcoming of your furry friends. It can also be helpful to ask available resources. Your veterinarian or local animal shelter is a great place to start, as they’re sure to have recommendations of pet-friendly places.

Document Your Dog

Another way to guarantee your pet is welcome at your new place is to have up-to-date documentation of your animal. Be able to provide a record of its shots and vaccinations, which can be easily obtained from the vet. A letter or certification that your dog has completed a training class might also be helpful to justify its demeanor or behavior. If possible, even a recommendation letter from your current landlord stating that you are a responsible pet owner and currently adhere to all pet-guidelines can be great evidence to have when trying to find a new place.

Honesty Is the Best Paw-licy

State your case and be able to prove that you are a responsible and considerate pet-owner. You will make a great resident, even with the addition of your dog. Be honest, don’t try to sneak around the rules or live in a community that doesn’t allow pets. It’s likely the property manager will find out eventually and with eviction a possible consequence, you’ll be stuck in an even bigger mess. If a prospective landlord is wary about letting your dog live in the community, offer to set up a time to meet. A cleanly-groomed and well-behaved dog speaks volumes about the kind of owner it has and what the landlord can expect of you and your pets’ personalities once moved in.

Be Prepared to Pay

It’s not unlikely that you will have to pay extra for pet-fees. Be sure to talk about the possible pet-deposit or any pet-related fees in advance of signing the lease. You’ll want to know ahead of time the additional cost for your pets, so you can budget accordingly beforehand. Make sure you have the agreed upon pet-policy in writing stating you are allowed to have your pet. This will ensure no surprise fees or change-of-mind once you’re all settled.

Finding a pet-friendly place doesn’t have to be difficult if you are prepared and give yourself adequate time to find an arrangement that fits your needs. Be honest and open with prospective landlords. Provide as much documentation as possible proving you are a responsible and respectful pet-owner. By taking these extra steps beforehand, you and your pooch will find the perfect place in no time.