Winter Reminders

Keep your home warm and safe with the following winter reminders.

Change your furnace filter

Furnace filters should be changed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis especially if you live in a newer home. If you’re furnace filter gets dirty, it will not heat your unit properly. For instructions on how to change your furnace filter, visit our FAQs page.

Shovel your balcony or deck

Don’t forget to shovel your balcony or deck. If it gets too heavy, it could cause structural damage to the building.

Keep your garage door shut

Don’t leave garage doors open as it could cause pipes to freeze, which could end up costing you greatly if there is a water break.

Clear snow from garage door area

It is important to keep your garage door area clear of snow and ice. If snow or ice is present, it could cause your garage door to stick and stop it from opening. If you garage door does freeze to the ground, it could ruin the rubber weather stripping that is along the bottom of your garage door.

Shovel 2 feet out from your garage door

If you live at a property that includes snow removal, be sure to shovel the 2 feet in front of your garage door. The snow removers will not clear this area as it could cause damage to the building or your garage door.

Make sure all windows are closed tightly and correctly

Keep all the heat inside your home by making sure all your windows are closed. Check for other gaps, specifically under your entry doors, that could let in cold air around your apartment and seal those with a towel or door sweep.

Park your car in the garage

In order for snow plows to clear snow from the lots and parking spots, park your car in your garage as frequently as possible. This is important especially after a large snow fall.

Keep your heat on when you leave

Keep your heat on when you leave for a weekend or for vacation. If your heat is turned off, it could cause a pipe to freeze and potentially burst. If you do leave and want to drop the temperature, set it between 60-68 degrees, it will still save you money and will prevent frozen pipes.

Use sand instead of salt

If you live at a property that was built in the last year or two, it is important that you use sand instead of salt on your driveway and walkways. Salt could cause the new concrete to weaken and cause damage.

Insulate electrical outlets

Surprisingly, electrical outlets can let in cold air. To prevent them from doing so, purchase foam outlet insulators for each outlet.

9 winter preparation tips you should know

Winter Guide: 9 Tips You Should Know

As the temperatures get more frigid and the snow falls, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind when preparing for the season.

Change your furnace filter

Furnace filters should be changed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis especially if you live in a newer home. If you’re furnace filter gets dirty, it will not heat your unit properly. For instructions on how to change your furnace filter, visit our FAQs page.

Clear snow from garage door area

It is important to keep your garage door area clear of snow and ice. If snow or ice is present, it could cause your garage door to stick and stop it from opening. If you garage door does freeze to the ground, it could ruin the rubber weather stripping that is along the bottom of your garage door.

Shovel 2 feet out from your garage door

If you live at a property that includes snow removal, be sure to shovel the 2 feet in front of your garage door. The snow removers will not clear this area as it could cause damage to the building or your garage door.

Make sure all windows are closed tightly and correctly

Keep all the heat inside your home by making sure all your windows are closed. Check for other gaps, specifically under your entry doors, that could let in cold air around your apartment and seal those with a towel or door sweep.

Park your car in the garage

In order for snow plows to clear snow from the lots and parking spots, park your car in your garage as frequently as possible. This is important especially after a large snow fall.

Keep your heat on when you leave

Keep your heat on when you leave for a weekend or for vacation. If your heat is turned off, it could cause a pipe to freeze and potentially burst. If you do leave and want to drop the temperature, set it between 60-68 degrees, it will still save you money and will prevent frozen pipes.

Use sand instead of salt

If you live at a property that was built in the last year or two, it is important that you use sand instead of salt on your driveway and walkways. Salt could cause the new concrete to weaken and cause damage.

Store patio furniture

Put all of your patio furniture away so that they don’t get damaged.

Insulate electrical outlets

Surprisingly, electrical outlets can let in cold air. To prevent them from doing so, purchase foam outlet insulators for each outlet.

 

Visit our FAQs page or our YouTube channel for more tips and tricks.

If you have any questions or are in need of maintenance, fill out a maintenance request or call our office at 701-356-3085. If you are in need of maintenance and it is an emergency, please call 866-955-2337.

 

11 things to know as a first time renter

11 things to know as a first time renter

Moving into your first apartment is exciting. You have a new sense of freedom, but also a lot more responsibility. When you are looking for your first apartment, there are a lot of pieces to consider. You will have to look at neighborhood, budget, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, utilities, and amenities.  If it is your first time renting, do some research and see what is going to be the best fit for you. To start, we have put together a guide of 11 things you should know and do as a first time renter.

Budget

Before looking at apartments, budget how much you are willing to spend and understand that more expenses are involved than just the monthly rental rate. Other expenses include utilities (electric, heat, water, sewer, garbage), cable/internet, pet rent or deposits, application fees, and rental deposits. Some of these items may be included in your monthly rent, while others may not. You may also want to budget for furniture, kitchenware, and decorations.

It is important to set a budget so that you never get yourself into a situation where you can’t pay rent. If you are unable to pay rent, you may be evicted, which can hurt your chances of renting at certain properties in the future.

Utilities

As mentioned previously, some utilities may be included in your monthly rent, while others may not. When you are apartment shopping, ask about what is included. This will hep you figure out what is in your budget.

Additionally, you will want to set up the utilities you are responsible for in your name before moving in. If you are unsure which company to reach out to, contact your property manager or leasing agent.

Tour the Community

Before signing your lease, it is a good idea to schedule a tour to get a better sense of what the property and community is like. When you go on a tour, you can get a better feel for what the dimensions of the space are, plan out what furniture you want where, and scope out the amenities.

Application Process

Usually the application process involves a check of your background, credit, and rental history. Many rental agencies will have qualifications you have to meet regarding these areas in order to rent from them. There may be a fee that goes along with the application, so ask what the requirements are before applying and then determine whether it is worth it to apply or not.

Mailing Address

While you are setting up the big move, update your mailing address. You can do this by stopping at a postal office or by filling out an online application.

Deposit

When you sign your lease, your property manager may require a security deposit in case the lease is broken or damage is done to the property.  To get your security deposit back, pay attention to the rules and be sure not to damage your apartment or the property. To read through our ten tips for receiving your deposit back, click here.

Read your Lease

Before signing your lease, read through it carefully. It is legally binding, so you want to be sure you understand what is and is not allowed.

Know the Rules

Read and follow the rules for the community. The rules could include information regarding where guests can park, where you can park, if there are quiet hours, whether smoking is allowed, and what the pet policy is.

Purchase Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance can save you in the event your apartment gets broken into, a fire occurs, a pipe bursts, or something similar happens. Many rental companies will require you to have renter’s insurance, but even if they don’t, it is a good idea to purchase it, as it could save you in the long run.

For more information on renter’s insurance, read our blog post about it here.

Roommates

There is a lot of benefit to having a roommate, including always having someone around to chat, watch movies with, and share the rent with. But sometimes things go awry and one or both of you ends up feeling upset, mad, or annoyed. To avoid this, it is important to be careful when picking who you live with and making sure you communicate expectations prior to moving in together. If you choose to move in with a roommate or significant other, communicate early and often about who is responsible for what so that you can avoid dramatic situations. Here is our guide to solving roommate drama.

Document Everything

While you are moving in, document the state of your apartment. Take photos and videos of what appears to be in bad condition. This will help you make sure that you get your full deposit back since you have proof of what the conditions were. As you are moving out, take additional photos and videos to show what conditions were like on the day you moved out.

If you have any questions about the rental process, our team of qualified experts would be happy to help you through the rental process.

Seven Apartment Workout Tips

Seven Apartment Workout Tips

When you don’t have time in your schedule to go to the gym or don’t want to pay a membership fee, get your sweat on in the comfort of your apartment or townhome. There are a lot of great exercises you can do that require no extra equipment and that won’t annoy your neighbors. Here are a couple of tips to get your started on your workout journey:

1. Choose a Space

Find a space in your apartment or townhome that you feel has enough room to move around in. If you have an extra room in your apartment or townhome, consider dedicating the room entirely to your workout. If you have a garage, consider making it a dual purpose space by creating it into a workout zone.

2. Pick Your Exercise

Test out different exercise routines on YouTube. There are a lot of great (& free!) videos out there that offer everything from yoga and pilates to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) circuits.

3. Try Something New

Try a new workout video collection or test out one of the many workout apps.

4. Set a Schedule

Set up a calendar and block out some dedicated time for your workout.

5. Find a Friend

Have your friends join you! Share your workout and you can help keep each other accountable.

6. Add Equipment

Use use yoga mats, resistance bands, dumbbells, jump ropes, medicine balls, and kettle bells to help enhance your workout.

7. Push Yourself

It is easy to give up when no one is around pushing you to do your best, so push yourself! Now that you have the tips to get your apartment workout started, start finding what workout routine works best for you. Leave a comment and let us know what your routine is like.

When searching for a new home, consider finding one that offers an onsite fitness center. Prairie Property Management has several properties that have onsite gym. Check out the complete list.

Ask These Questions Before Renting Your Next Apartment

Ask These Questions Before Renting Your Next Apartment

Looking for your new apartment is an exciting time, but it is also a big decision and you want to be sure you know all the facts before entering into a lease. Other than the standard credit requirements and application fees, it is important to note a couple of things before making your decision. Before you sign your lease, ask your agent these questions:

What utilities are included with rent?

Some properties will include heat, water, sewer, garbage, electric, lawn care, snow removal, or internet with rent while others may not offer anything. It is important to know what your monthly and annual expenses will be in addition to your monthly rent.

How does maintenance get done? What sort of maintenance am I responsible for?

Management companies may require you to do small maintenance tasks such as changing your furnace filters, switching the batteries on the smoke detector, and changing reachable light bulbs. If the maintenance team has to fix these things, you may be charged a small fee, so it is important for you to know what you are responsible for.

If you are unsure how to change your furnace filter, change the batteries on your smoke detector, or reset a GFCI electrical outlet, or any similar task, check out our Resident FAQs page or YouTube channel.

What are the policies I should be aware of?

Most companies will have pet, smoking, guest, parking, grill, pool, and/or noise policies in place.

What happens if I have to terminate my lease early?

In case you need to get out of your lease early, you will want to know what the consequences are. Depending on what the company’s policy is, they may take your deposit and/or require you to pay rent for the unit until a new lessee is found or until the lease ends.

Am I allowed to sublet?

Some property management companies will not allow you to sublet or rent out your apartment on site likes Airbnb. If you are considering subletting, be sure to talk with your manager or landlord beforehand to see if it is against the rental policy.

Where do I pay rent? What are the late fees?

You never want to miss paying rent, so be sure you know where you have to pay. Can you pay online? Do you have to pay with a check? Are there processing fees? You will also want to be aware of late fees in the event that you don’t get your rent in on time.

What happens when my lease ends?

Your lease may end up going month to month or the company will require you to sign another lease to extend your stay.

What sorts of things will keep me from getting my rental deposit back?

It is important for you to know what could keep you from getting your rental deposit back so that you can be aware of those items during your time at the property.

Can I make changes to the apartment?

In some instances, you may be allowed to make changes, but other times you may not. Don’t start a project on your apartment before knowing the rules.

If you are looking for your new home, contact us and we will happily answer all of your rental questions!