How to Keep Pests Away From Your Property

Rachel Davies

There’s no foolproof way to keep pests away, or else nobody would have them, but there are a number of ways to try to divert them from your property. While these methods aren’t always easy or cost neutral, they’re much less costly and time consuming than dealing with the pests once they’re already there.


Often the preventative measure used depends on which type of pest you are most concerned about, which depends on which area your building is located in. In the case of New York, the pests that most often become an issue are cockroaches, mice, and silverfish. It’s hard to avoid them in a city so populous––in such small spaces a neighbor’s negligence could easily affect your space, even if you’re doing your part, which is why landlords and property owners must take care of the preventative measures.


Limit the Access Points

Because all pests are tiny, it’s hard to make sure that all of a pest’s ways in are going to be covered up, but there are a number of ways you can make it harder for pests to enter your space. The most important one is to cover any holes in and outside the property with caulking. This won’t take too long, nor will it be very expensive. On the more costly side, you could buy rocks to create a kind of moat around your property, covering 18-24 inches around the building with pebbles. On the plus side, this will also make your property look better than the average property that is bordered by lacklustre grass.


Make A Guide for Tenants

This doesn’t have to be totally exhaustive, but many people don’t know the first thing about dealing with pests, so giving your tenants a bit of info about what they can do to limit a pest’s attraction is likely to make a big difference. A few things to mention: in the summer, dehumidifiers can be helpful to keep around to repel silverfish, be sure to keep all food in secure containers, and not out in the open, and keep sinks and counters wiped clean so that insects will be kept away. This stuff might seem obvious, but delineating cleanliness’ relationship to pests may make it seem more crucial to a tenant.


Quick Response

The longer you leave mice living in a space before you address them, the more of an issue it’ll become. This goes hand and hand with making sure your tenants know the proper protocol––they may see droppings and not think it’s a big deal, but everyone needs to know that time is of the essence in these scenarios. Once your tenants alert you, be sure to call in an exterminator, or at the very least put down some sticky traps if you can’t get an exterminator in.

Here’s How To Create A Sense of Community In Your Rental Property

Rachel Davies

Building a sense of community in your apartment building is essential to making your tenants feel happy where they live. Along with that, you get the added bonus of keeping one year lease tenants on board once their lease is open, for multiple years, or even decades. It’s hard to make friends as an adult, so who wouldn’t want to make friends in the most convenient place there is?  A lot of rental companies nowadays are using community activities as actively as rent concessions to entice prospective renters in, and there are plenty of ways of going about this.


Make a Facebook Group

A great first step in building community is starting a Facebook group for the residents of your apartment. This way, even the residents who are more shy in person can get to know their neighbors a little bit before having to step outside of their comfort zones. In the group, you can make posts that invite your tenants to comment: good restaurants nearby, where the best gym in the neighborhood is, or even the best parks and playgrounds if you’re in a particularly green area.


You can also share other helpful info about stuff that everybody likes, that may not require everyone to participate in the comments: timely discount codes for Postmates, or Uber Eats, sales at the local grocery store, or info about a good movie playing at the nearby cinema. This’ll all help your residents see you less as a landlord, and more as an accessible person, along with making them feel more interested in living in your building for longer.


Volunteer Dates

A great way of bonding neighbors who may not already be friends is uniting a group of residents with a group volunteer date. There are plenty of organizations looking for groups of volunteers in New York, and you can take this as the perfect opportunity to give your residents a time to get to know each other with something practical to talk about––the task at hand. One great opportunity is through NYC Parks, where groups can volunteer to clean up, and otherwise take care of the parks we all enjoy so much.


Using Communal Space

Many of New York’s new apartment buildings have heaps of community space, whether it be a courtyard, a backyard, or a rec room inside of the building. Since the space is already there, you might as well take advantage of it and show your residents a good time. Movie nights, potlucks, or trivia nights are all fun ways of putting that space to use without making the events feel too juvenile or uncomfortable.

A Guide to Manhattan’s Best Public Art

Rachel Davies

New York City is chock-full of spots to see amazing art on any budget. Some of the best of these showcases may be outdoors, but they’re still carefully curated and masterfully made. Since there is so much captivating work out there, we’re rounded up the best of what’s located in Manhattan alone.


The Bowery Mural Wall

This wall changes seasonally, so you may be surprised on your routine trips to Soho that things don’t look quite the same as they once did. The  beginning of the Bowery Mural Wall was when legendary artist Keith Haring painted a mural on it in 1982, eight years before passing of AIDS. In 2008, a curated program was launched for the wall, and it’s been repainted by a different artist every few months since.


New York Public Parks

The public parks are a great spot to find all kinds of art, whether it be contemporary, or classical, there’s something for everyone. The parks always manage to spotlight issues important to the residents of New York, like with their Christopher Park sculpture “Gay Liberation” by George Segal. Segal first cast this sculpture of two same sex couples in 1982, but the piece didn’t end up being dedicated until 1992 because of public backlash. In the case of NY Parks’ work especially, it’s clear that public art is one of the best way of documenting a community.


The High Line’s Billboards

The High Line has an amazing rotation of public art, but one of our favourite features of the High Line are the curated billboards. A number of notable artists have contributed work for the billboards––John Baldessari, David Shrigley, and Ryan McGinley, for example, but whether or not you know the artist before stepping on the High Line, you’ll be sure to find someone new whose work you adore.


Times Square Midnight Moments

Most New Yorkers do everything they can to keep away from Times Square, but the Midnight Moments on display every night from 11:57 to midnight are a great way to make the most of a visit to the packed place. The art displayed changes monthly, so you can be sure to see something different each time you find yourself in Times Square.

How to make your apartment work-from-home friendly

Becca Schuh

There’s pet friendly and there’s kid friendly, but with the rise of remote working and flex schedules, it’s becoming more and more relevant to make a work space in your apartment.

When you first think about it, it seems simple: get out your laptop and get to work. But if you’re making working from home more of a habit than the occasional finishing up emails, it’s really helpful to put the extra effort into creating a space where you can be in the right mindset to be productive.

Since we live in the city of small spaces, it’s unlikely that you have an entire spare room for a home office. These tips will help you make the most of whatever space you do have available.

Consider a dresser with a fold out desk feature—you get the much needed drawer storage space, and a spot dedicated to working. The Eastman Secretary by Ballard Designs is a great option.

If you have a railroad style apartment, or one with a long wide hallway, consider converting that unused space into a work zone. A standing desk, like this adjustable one from Fully.

Try to keep your study area separated from the sleeping area, even if it’s just by a makeshift partition or a small table. It’s more of a mental thing—bed connotes relaxing rather than focus, and you don’t want to feel agitated by the idea of work when you’re trying to sleep either.

Whether you’re doing a full on conversion like a paint job or just sprucing up an area, adding color helps to keep your brain active. You can do this with home office accessories, artwork, or furniture, whatever suits your personal taste.

There’s no shortage of options for small organizational goods to make a home office functional—we love the store Goods for the Study, an offshoot of the McNally Jackson bookstore. It’s also fun to peruse websites like Zazzle or Etsy, where you can customize organizational goods.





The Best Ways To Give Back in New York City

Rachel Davies

New York City is one of the best cities in the world, and what makes it so wonderful is it’s one-of-a-kind community. If you appreciate New York, the best way to show it is by getting involved, and helping other New Yorkers thrive. We’ve come up with a few of the best ways to give back to your community.


Donate to the Bowery Mission

The Bowery Mission feeds the homeless, provides medical care, shelter, and more, along with having specific programs for at risk youth. It only takes $1.59 to provide a meal for someone through the Bowery Mission, so you can be sure that you’re donation, no matter the amount you’re able to give, is going a long way. 

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The Best Free Cultural Activities in New York

Rachel Davies

We all know that New York City has an endless stream of art, cinema, and comedy but sometimes it can feel like access to this culture is a little too pricey. Today we’ve rounded up some of our favorite free museums, events, and parks in the city that you can enjoy without spending a cent.



Long Island City

Thanks to a generous donation by Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation every New Yorker gets into MoMA PS1 for free––just be sure to bring a proof of address with you. Along with consistently impeccable art on display, MoMA PS1 is housed in an old public school (thus it’s title, PS1) so even if the art on display at the time of your visit isn’t exactly your thing, you can still appreciate the way they’ve adapted the building to be a museum.

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Is It Worth Buying All New Appliances for A Rental Property?

Rachel Davies

In the current rental climate, landlords are doing everything they can to keep renters away from the properties of their competitors, and headed toward signing a lease for their own properties. Because there are so many competitors, landlords are getting crafty, and trying to figure out exactly what attracts a renter to an apartment.


There are innumerable concessions and amenities offered by landlords to try to make moving into a given apartment more enticing. Uber credit, one month’s free rent, free internet, a year’s free Netflix, a flat screen TV, gift cards––all of these deals are offered with the hope that more people will be attracted a property. While many of these are somewhat supplementary, an age old way for landlords to attract renters to their properties is by boasting all new appliances. How much do new appliances really sway a renter when it comes down to it?

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How to avoid a Craigslist scam

Becca Schuh

Even if you’re a seasoned renter, there’s still the fear in the back of your mind that you could be taken in by a scam. That’s how con artists work, after all—no one thinks that they’re going to be a victim. A study done by NYU in 2016 showed that a quarter of Craigslist rental listings had some form of fraudulence and the site doesn’t identify up to half of the scams. New York is a city unfortunately prone to rental scams, due to the heavy pressure on rental market at any given time: it’s easier for crooks to pull one over when everyone is rushing for the perfect deal.

That’s the first thing to remember when avoiding scams online—if something looks too perfect to exist, it probably is. It’s better to save your breath and skip over listings that look too perfect rather than researching or worse, committing to, something that has a high likelihood of fraudulence. When you’re looking at a specific neighborhood, research the average rents—if something is listed as far below market value for an amazing space, it can be a sign that something is amiss.

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Check out these independently owned Brooklyn furniture shops

Becca Schuh

After you’ve signed a new lease and moved into your apartment, you need to fill it with furniture. Of course, you’ve got the mainstays: Ikea, West Elm, ABC Home, and the like—but Brooklyn is also full of independently owned shops with unique and exciting merchandise. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites to help you furnish a new apartment or spruce up an old one.

Brooklyn Reclamation 

“Brooklyn born, family owned and operated,” Brooklyn Reclamation turns old furniture and materials into unique repurposed merchandise. If none of their current offerings fit your needs, they have a Custom service where you give them size specs and pick from their materials to get a one of a kind piece.


Hyper-focused on curating new designers and brands, Beam focuses on mid-century coastal vibes. They’ve got a full furniture selection, as well as excellent home accessories like innovative bar additions and unique mirrors.

Trailer Park 

The owner of Trailer Park, Chris Houghton, aims to bring high quality Amish furniture to the residents of Park Slope and beyond. With an emphasis on affordability, Trailer Park is your spot for farm style tables, kitchen hutches, benches, and other mid century classics, often made from recycled barn wood.

Collyer’s Mansion 

With an artsy and colorful vibe, Collyer’s Mansion focuses on eco-friendly furniture and highlighting new designers. Go old school with the Tulip Chair or shop their extensive collection of artwork.

A&G Merch

You can sense the inspiration of modern art at A&G March—from the Gold Balloon Dog Lamp to the Belmont Media Stand.

Mini Jake

If you’re buying furniture with your small one in mind, Mini Jake may be the spot. They have original designs for everything you need whether you have a newborn or a school age kid.

Mark Jupiter

Hailing from a family of furniture makers, Mark Jupiter focuses on industrial and sustainable design. All custom designs, consult with the store on creating the perfect furniture for your needs.

Big Reuse 

Big Reuse salvages materials and uses them to create new or updated furniture. It’s a great way to be environmentally friendly with your purchasing choices. They also pride themselves on fair employment and community improvement.


Another gem of recycling, RePop “combines the overcrowded charm of an old-fashioned Parisian boutique with the promising clutter of a midwestern junk shop.” Of the current offerings, we love the Brass Double Gooseneck Lamp and this Spun Fiberglass Patio Set.


Our favorite neighborhood centric blogs

Our favorite neighborhood centric blogs

Becca Schuh

If you ever hear someone say New York is too big of a city to find community, you know they probably aren’t from here. The people who live here know that more than anything, New York is a city comprised of tight knit neighborhoods, each with their own vibe and routine. Neighborhood blogs are the chroniclers of these enclaves, and they can help you pick a neighborhood you want to live in or get more involved in the community you’re already a part of. Here’s a selection of our favorites from around the city.


Bowery Boogie

For residents (or fans) of the area surrounding the Bowery on the Lower East Side, you’ll get a hefty helping of daily posts about everything from proposed art installations to local business news to crime reports. Make sure to keep tabs on them for their coverage of the 85 Bowery hunger strike.

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