Tips For Moving With Pets

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If you’ve just found a new apartment in Gainesville and you’re starting the moving process, you might be wondering about how to successfully relocate your pets. Dogs and cats are sensitive to change and can be challenging to move with. Like everything about moving, you can make a few plans to help alleviate your pets’ anxiety and have an easier time moving.

First, help familiarize your animals with all the moving supplies gradually. They might not be used to so many new things coming in the house all at once, so regularly bring in some packing materials over a week or so until it becomes commonplace. Try not to pack all your belongings in one day either, to minimize the shock to your pets.

If you’re moving from somewhere far from Gainesville, you may want to check with your vet about how to travel successfully with your pet over that distance. Generally, stopping frequently for water, bathroom breaks, and a little leg-stretching is key. If you need to crate them in the car over the trip, make sure they’re used to being crated for that long of a time before the day of the trip. On the day of the move, if you have someone who can keep your dog or cat in a comfortable and familiar place that may be best while you or hired movers are taking care of business.

Once you’re in your new place, make sure it’s pet-proof and safe! Then for a day or so it’s a good idea to keep animals confined to a smaller space rather than allowed to run all over the new apartment. Having free reign can actually increase a pet’s anxiety, while keeping them in a smaller space helps them feel secure. When you’re all moved in, you and your furry friend can relax and have fun!

Using the Gainesville Apartment & Condo Guide to Get What You Want!

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Are you hunting for an apartment for the new school year? Or did you just score a great job in the Gainesville area? For whatever reason you’re looking, finding your next apartment in Gainesville can be simple. Using the Gainesville Apartment Guide allows you to search a specific list of features and amenities to help you pick the perfect new place.

Starting on the homepage, take a look at featured apartment communities in the slideshow. Or you can start by selecting how many bedrooms you need and a price range to suit your budget from the drop menus. After the broad search loads, take a quick look to see if anything catches your eye. Or if you want to narrow down your search a little more, go to the “Narrow Your Search” tab at the top and take a peek at all the different ways to get specific results.

What are your priorities for your new apartment? Are you looking for one with a pool? Or is it important to you to have a shorter lease term? It’s a good idea to make a list of your priorities in order. Then starting with the top priority, narrow down your search results one by one, taking into consideration the results each time. You can check all the requirements at once, but you’ll have more options (and you can rate the options in order) if you tackle it with a methodical approach. You can even narrow the search by distances to UF and Santa Fe College!

Once you’ve found your choices, you can check out photos of the communities, look through floorplans and prices, and even directly contact the property from the listing to let them know you’re interested!  Let the apartment staff know you found them through the Gainesville Apartment and Condo Guide.

Do We Live in a Disposable Culture?

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Over the past number of years there’s been a great movement to cut back on waste, recycle more, and be more environmentally-conscious.   As a collective society, we pile up landfills at an alarming rate, so thankfully many individuals make a real effort to combat the production of trash. Even with recycling in my household, it startles me to see how many bags of recycling we take to the recycling center each week. It’s amazing how much packaging we run through on a regular basis.

But the disposable culture extends beyond plastic water bottles and aluminum cans. What about appliances and clothing? Do stores like Walmart and Target encourage us to live a life of “it’s cheap so I’ll just buy another”? I grew up in a house where, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was the accepted philosophy. When we still primarily used landline phones in the 90’s, the phones were from the 70’s, my parents kept the same tv’s for years (and still have a couple of them), and we only got things like new backpacks every few years. If something broke, you tried to repair it because you originally invested in a worthwhile product. If you bought something new, you followed the same line of thought: quality over quantity.

I think it’s important to invest in good quality. While my motives are both financial and environmental, I think anyone can gladly hop on the financial part of this bandwagon. Why spend more on a regular basis, when you can spend a little bit more on something and get extra years of use out of it? It’s difficult with clothing for me because trends come and go and I like to look nice. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. But I have found that I can satisfy most of my shopping needs by buying more classic and simple looking pieces and filling in every now and then with something a little trendier. Buying appliances shouldn’t happen all the time either. Do a little research before you get a new appliance for your apartment. While it’s difficult buying a lot of things when you’re just starting out in a first or new apartment, consider talking to your friends who are moving and see if you can get something secondhand.

Another forgotten habit is learning how to fix things. Sometimes all you need to do is tighten a screw or glue something back together. Try learning how things are put together so you can possibly fix them later. Remember to keep your manuals when you purchase an item, too. You also might be surprised how many manuals are available online if you decided not to keep the paper copy. When it comes to mechanical objects having problems, it’s not so much a question of “if”, but rather “when”.

I may sound like a curmudgeon here, but I simply think that as a society, we should consider how we value and take care of our things. Object-worshipping is not the point here, but if you take care of your possessions, it will pay off in the long run!

Community Spotlight: The Reserve at Kanapaha Apartments

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Between the University of Florida and the beautiful Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, sits the Reserve at Kanapaha, a picturesque community. Bright, attractive apartment buildings grace the green lawns at the Reserve, overlooking the pool and recreation areas. The Reserve’s apartments offer spacious, airy floorplans in one to four bedroom configurations. So whether you’re a student looking to live with roommates, a single young professional, or part of a family, you can find the right apartment to call home.

Inside the apartments, you will notice a particular attention to style and detail. Large windows let in lots of natural light and if you like to recline outside you can do so from the comfort of your own balcony. Architectural details like vaulted ceilings and decorative columns add flair to the already attractive apartments at the Reserve.

The Reserve at Kanapaha’s many amenities are another reason you may want to call this community home- with basic cable included, washers and dryers or washer and dryer hookups, dishwashers in units, and optional storage and garage units, and much more, the list of perks goes on. The community at the Reserve includes many amenities as well. A basketball court, fitness center, tennis court, and outdoor spa are just some of the places you can exercise or spend some time relaxing after a hard workout. And whether you like to swim in the pool or just read a book by the side, the Reserve has what you’re looking for.

Pets are allowed at the Reserve with a pet fee, so don’t feel like you have to relocate your cat or dog when you move. Lease terms range between seven and twelve months, so you can pick what suits your needs best. With deposits starting at only $150, you won’t have to put a whole month’s rent on the line to secure your new spot. Schedule a tour today to see how you can find your new home at the Reserve at Kanapaha!

Keep Your Apartment Mosquito-Free

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It’s just barely the beginning of the summer months and I’m already clawing furiously at a leg full of mosquito bites. There’s a few on my arms too. Oh, and that one on my foot. Oh yeah, that’s right, I’ve gotten at least 10 already. Surprisingly, I wasn’t hanging out in a swamp all day. Nope, I just spent about 30, I repeat, 30 minutes on my friend’s deck having a drink a few nights ago.

Mosquitoes are a real problem and not just because they leave you itchy and uncomfortable, but because of mosquito borne illnesses like Malaria and Zika. Adopting certain apartment-keeping habits can thankfully help you keep some of the pesky mosquitoes away and reduce your risk of illness. You might be conjuring up images of mosquito nets and safari hats, but there are relatively simple things you can do around your apartment and on your patio to help keep these little bloodsuckers away.

  1. Don’t leave any standing containers of water around on your porch or deck. Still water is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes! After a heavy rain, empty out any containers that may be sitting around on your balcony, waiting to house thousands of mosquito eggs.
  2. Citronella candles or other candles with essential oils in them like Lemongrass and Eucalyptus help keep mosquitoes away. Keep a few candles on hand if you’re going to have an outdoor gathering or if you want to eat a meal on your patio one evening.
  3. Grow mosquito-repelling plants. This is a more devoted step to take to keep the bugs away, but if you’re a plant person to begin with it will be a cinch. Peppermint, lavender, catnip, and basil plants all act as natural mosquito repellents. Most of them are pretty easy to grow, too!
  4. Make your own mosquito repellent device. This little DIY is non-toxic and will help you keep your apartment free of mosquitoes, inside and out!

Smart Apartment Safety 101

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Safety first! Right? It really might be something that gets put on the backburner more than it should. Ok, so it’s likely that you’re good about turning off the oven or flat iron before you leave the apartment and you know where your fire exits are. But what about the fact that you might live alone? Living alone isn’t necessarily a reason to sound the alarm, but it does come with a few risks – and that goes for any city and any apartment building.

Thankfully, many Gainesville apartments are located in gated communities or have security guards – and you can find these easily by narrowing your search on our website when you look for an apartment. This is a great way to provide some peace of mind if you have any security concerns. But some other good practices come to mind when I think about living alone in an apartment.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings Especially if you come home after dark, just be aware of what’s going on around you when you’re walking to your door. I really think this is the most important of all of these tips!

Don’t Go Into a Dark Apartment Leave at least one light on while you’re away if you think you’ll be coming home after the sun sets.

Keep Your Windows Covered Cut down on the possibility of a break-in by not tempting someone who could otherwise see in your window – and see your belongings. This isn’t the only advantage to keeping the windows covered up, though. Not only does it keep your apartment cooler on hot days, but it prevents people from being able to see in for any reason.

Keep Doors and Windows Locked Seems like a complete no-brainer, but you might as well not invite trouble. Check to make sure doors and ground floor windows are securely locked before you go to bed or before you leave the apartment.

 Check in With a Friend or Relative Regularly Keeping in touch with someone regularly is mutually beneficial. It means someone will be aware of your well-being and you can do the same for them.

Protect Yourself If for any reason you feel like you should have something on hand to keep yourself safe and you’re not comfortable ideologically or with the responsibility of a weapon, consider getting pepper spray or even wasp spray (it can spray up to 15 feet and will sting the eyes like pepper spray!) to keep in your apartment. Both can be effective ways of deterring an assailant if it came down to it. If you want to be prepared physically, consider a self defense course at your local martial arts studio.

Showdown! Gas vs Electric!

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You might not want to think about heating up an oven right now with the temperatures outside, but if you’re apartment hunting the kitchen might be a top priority on your list! Do you do a lot of cooking? If so, there’s also a chance you have a preference between gas power or electric power for your style of cooking. I know I have a preference, but we’ll get to that momentarily. It’s possible that you like what you grew up with because you’re used to it. Or maybe your preference deals more with your cooking style. Either way, most people who use their kitchens for things other than toaster pastries prefer one over the other!

If you don’t already have a preference, here are some things you might want to know about both:

Electric Ovens

The electric oven variety is powered by a big electric coil on its underside. This coil heats up pretty darn evenly throughout the stove, which makes them a favorite for bakers. Electric ovens also change temperature slowly and emit a dry heat, which equals golden toasty baked goods. Something to keep in mind is that you may want to preheat longer than in a gas stove since the temperature takes longer to change, even if the sensor says it’s preheated. Another great way to keep the temperature under control is by using an over thermometer.

If you’re more into frying food, you may want to skip ahead to the gas oven section. Electric ovens are not ideal in my opinion when it comes to cooking in a skillet. I come from experience on this one – pretty sure “skillet” is my middle name (fried chicken, fried okra, fried potatoes, stir fry…you get the idea). The problem is the heat is not as easily manipulated through electric coils on top of the stove as it is with a gas powered flame. That slow heating and cooling that’s great for baking is not as impressive when you need to make a quick change to the food in your frying pan.

Gas Ovens

Gas ovens are powered by, you guessed it, gas which is ignited and burns to heat the oven compartment. They heat up quickly and work efficiently. However, the heat is less even and is more humid, which makes them slightly less ideal for baking. Thankfully gas ovens are being improved on and if your model is relatively new it may be nearly as good as the electric one.

Things may cook more quickly in a gas powered oven, so beware of dark baking dishes which might promote burning or overly-crisped edges!

As I mentioned before, though, gas stoves are a dream when it comes to frying. I love the amount of control available with a gas powered burner! So depending on your cooking style, you can find your ideal stove to look for!

Community Spotlight: Lake Crossing Apartments

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If your apartment search has you looking for a luxurious spot to call home in the Gainesville area, Lake Crossing Apartments should be on your list to tour. Residents enjoy the comfort of being close enough to downtown Gainesville, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College without being subjected to the noise and traffic there. Lake Crossing apartments are also close to scenic Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, which is a great spot for hiking, picnicking, or watching wildlife. Another short distance away is the shopping and dining district in western Gainesville, which means a fun evening out is right around the corner!

The apartments here are nestled in lush grounds, surrounded by palm trees and Spanish moss, overlooking the lake. The attractive view is made even better when enjoyed from Lake Crossing’s sun deck or by the pool! Spend some time in the sun relaxing in the outdoor spa or get your heart rate up at the basketball court. If you prefer to do your exercising indoors, there is also a 24 hour cardio and weight center for residents.

Residents have a choice of either one or two bedroom layouts at Lake Crossing, all of which are spacious, light, and airy. You also have the choice to get an apartment with a beautiful lakeside view from your very own balcony. Other details, like the option for a fireplace in your apartment, make your new space feel like more like a home.

Amenities at Lake Crossings include cable, laundry facilities, wifi in the clubhouse and by the pool, 24 hour emergency maintenance, an alarm system for security, and a special area to play with pets. Your rent also includes pest control and trash collection, which means you can mark two things off your to-do list!

Contact Lake Crossings apartments today to see how you can find an amazing new place to call home!

Knowing Your Neighbors

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Growing up in the south, we always knew our neighbors. I spent countless hours running back and forth between my parents’ house and my neighbor’s down the street to play. We all took walks in around the block and spoke whenever we saw someone. That’s just what you do in the south – you see someone and you speak to them; you get to know your neighbors.

Things are a little different now, it seems, and even though I was raised that way it’s difficult sometimes to make the acquaintance of neighbors in a new neighborhood or apartment building. It might be a combination of people spending less time out of doors and a lessened sense of trust people have for one another nowadays. I don’t want to wax poetic about “the good ol’ days”, which couldn’t have been that long ago for me, but things just seem a little bit different.

Regardless of how things feel now or how awkward it can be at first, it almost always pays to know your neighbors. Whether or not that means being close friends with your neighbors is another thing, but you learn to look out for one another. Or you might learn that they aren’t people you want to trust with certain responsibilities. Both are real-life possibilities and it’s good to know which is which either way. You can be a good neighbor to someone who’s locked themselves out of their apartment or who needs help carrying groceries in. If you find a trustworthy neighbor, you might have them bring your mail in or check on your place while you’re on vacation. Having friendly eyes and ears nearby can make a big difference in terms of how safe and comfortable you feel at home.

So as hard as it can be sometimes if you’re not outgoing (that’s me), try to say hello and speak to the people around you. You might be surprised at who you meet and what you find out. And if you do make a great friend, there’s nothing better than having someone you can talk to at arm’s reach.