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Apartment Amenities for an Enjoyable Summer

Sacha R - Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Hawthorne Gardens Apartments in Guilderland New York

Summer is one of the best times to be living at Hawthorne Gardens! The grounds are greener than ever, the deck at our club house is open, and we offer numerous amenities to fully enjoy the season. With private balconies and BBQ grills right on the property, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of every last bit of daylight.

Summer at Hawthorne Gardens

Warm weather, outdoor parties, BBQS, iced tea…there is so much to enjoy during the summer! At Hawthorne Gardens we have some great amenities for our residents to enjoy once the temperature heats up.

Our pool opens around Memorial Day weekend and is the perfect spot to get some sun, relax, and read a book. A lifeguard is always on duty to keep residents safe and allow everyone to enjoy themselves.

If swimming isn’t for you, you can still sit back and relax on our large deck. Attached to the clubhouse, the deck has lounge chairs, seating, and tables for residents to use. Catch up with friends over (iced) coffee, enjoy your lunch outdoors, or get some work done at one of the tables.

The majority of our apartments also include a private balcony. A lot of our residents furnish the space with seating and a table before decorating with plants, an outdoor rug, lights, or pillows. Sip on your morning coffee, read your favorite magazine, or hang out with a friend or two!

While we don’t allow residents to have personal gas grills, we do provide a BBQ grill for residents to use. Host a birthday party outside and fire up the grill or get some friends together for a delicious meal and some games. We love seeing our residents make use of the fantastic apartment amenities at Hawthorne Gardens!

Lastly, the location of Hawthorne Gardens is an amenity in and of itself. Located near several parks, golf courses, and walking trails, it’s easy to get outside for a long walk, jog, or hike. Just five minutes away is the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, which includes a fun discovery center for children and over 20 miles of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy.

For more parks in Guilderland, visit our parks and recreation guide.

Make Hawthorne Gardens Home

Make Hawthorne Gardens your home in time to enjoy summer and all of our apartment amenities! We have one and two-bedroom apartments available that are ideal for individuals, couples, and families alike. Look through our floor plans or schedule a tour to view the community for yourself. We can’t wait to show you around!

20 Things You Don’t Need to Own as a Renter

Sacha R - Monday, March 02, 2020

livingroom

It’s true that living in an apartment may not afford you as much storage space as a house would. However, when you live in an apartment you don’t need to own nearly as many things. Tools to complete home repairs or do yard work aren’t necessary when you have a maintenance staff available to address any issues. If you do need a tool from time to time you can likely rent it from your local hardware store.

If you’re moving from a house to an apartment you may be able to downsize by donating items you’ll no longer need. Here are 20 things you should consider getting rid of before moving to Hawthorn Gardens.

For Your Yard

Our 6-acre community is beautifully maintained by our wonderful maintenance team! Go for a walk, enjoy the pool, or relax on your balcony and enjoy the landscape without ever having to maintain it. During the winter, our team also works diligently to plow the snow, clear walkways, and treat for ice.

Thanks to our maintenance staff you’ll no longer need the following:

  • Lawnmower
  • Leaf blower
  • Edge trimmer
  • Gardening tools
  • Ladder
  • Chainsaw
  • Rake
  • Snowblower
  • Pressure washer

Heavy Maintenance and Painting Supplies

As a member of our community you’re not responsible for any major repairs. If a problem arises, simply contact the leasing office, or submit a work order via the online portal. A member or our maintenance staff will bring along the following so you don’t need to own them:

  • Wrenches
  • Drain snakes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Caulking guns
  • Hand saw

Appliances

Our apartments come equipped with all of the large appliances you need. If you’re moving from a house to our community, you won’t be needing to bring along items such as your fridge or oven. This makes moving that much easier!

  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Air conditioning units

When you live at Hawthorne Gardens you have more time to enjoy the things you love! Enjoy a maintenance free home in a beautiful, 6-acre community. Explore our apartments or give us a call today to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to show you around!

How to Evict A Roommate from Your Lease

Sacha R - Monday, February 03, 2020


Roommates can be great! They pay a portion of the rent, help with apartment maintenance, and can be fun to live with. However, this isn’t always the case. Occasionally a roommate doesn’t work out for one reason or another. Whether they’re not paying rent or regularly disrespect your property, chances are you no longer want to live with them.

While you’ve both signed a lease agreement, there are several options if you want to remove a roommate from your lease.

How to Evict a Roommate

What Does Your Lease Say?

The first place you should always look is your lease. Read it over and learn what your options are if you want to break your lease. Your agreement may also detail the process of proposing your roommate should be evicted.

Some reasons for eviction include:

  • Damaging the property
  • Neglecting to pay rent
  • Being charged with a serious crime
  • Showing signs of danger to others
  • Bringing an animal into the apartment that isn’t allowed

Your lease may detail more reasons for eviction as well.

Legally Evicting a Roommate

You cannot legally evict your roommate yourself. Instead, you should speak with your property manager and discuss the situation. If your roommate is violating the lease agreement, they may be subject to eviction by the property manager. You may also provide the details of the situation in writing and send them to the property manager. This way they will be able to review the written request without the pressure of an immediate response.

If eviction is not possible, you still have options. The first option is to try and work things out with your roommate. If the issue centers around noise levels, someone’s personal property, or having guests over at inopportune times, you may be able smooth things over. This option is especially advisable if there are only a few months left in your lease.

The second option is to break your lease and move to another apartment. This option can be expensive and complicated and should be your last resort. A documented eviction or a broken lease agreement on your rental record could possibly affect your chances of being approved at another apartment.

If you don’t want to break the lease you can try suggesting your roommate moves out. They may be more than willing to move out, freeing you from the situation for good.

Lastly, if your roommate breaks their lease and moves out you can sublet their room. Not every apartment allows subletting so to make sure you review your lease and talking with the property manager. If subletting isn’t allowed you can still discuss your options for getting a new roommate with the property manager.

If you’re experiencing a roommate issue, the property manager at Hawthorne Gardens is available to talk! We’ll discuss your options for removing a roommate from the lease and help smooth things over. Our rental office is open throughout the week or by appointment.

How Much Should I Spend on Rent?

Sacha R - Monday, January 06, 2020

Woman counting money

If you’re searching for your first apartment or considering moving to a new place, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is “how much can I afford to pay in rent?”. Living beyond your means will quickly become stressful and put you, and your bank account, through a lot of trouble. Thankfully, there are several methods to determine how much you should spend on rent.

Determining a Budget

For many, the cost is the number one factor in deciding whether to rent an apartment or not. This is especially true if you’re on a strict budget. $20 more a month than what you can afford doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s $240 a year that could be spent elsewhere.

A good place to start when trying to create a budget is your lifestyle and how much you’re willing to sacrifice. If you have to have an apartment that is $50 a month more than you can afford, are you ready to spend less in another area of your life? If you’re a homebody and really enjoy nights in with some snacks and a book, it may be worth spending a bit more on your rent. If you often go out with friends, stay the night at a significant other’s, or travel for work, you may want to consider not renting the most expensive place you can afford.

The 30% Threshold

The 30% threshold details that you should spend around 30% of your gross income in rent. To determine what that amount is, multiply your gross salary by 0.3. Divide that number by 12 to know approximately how much you should spend on rent each month.

While this is a good starting place, if you want a lot of amenities and a convenient location, you may want to spend 30-35% of your income on an apartment. If you’re always on the go and those things don’t matter as much to you, you may want to spend as little as 20-25% of your income on an apartment.

The 50/30/20 Budget

Another way to budget your income and determine how much rent you can afford is with the 50/30/20 budget.

The budget gets broken down as follows:

  • 50% of your income goes towards the essentials (rent, utilities, phone bill, any type of insurance, transportation, groceries, etc.)
  • 30% of your income goes towards your lifestyle and non-essentials (movies, concerts, shopping, dining out, etc.)
  • The remaining 20% should be invested or put in a savings account

The 50/30/20 budget is a simple way to categorize your income and see where your money is being spent every month.

How to Calculate Your Overall Rent

When calculating how much you can spend on rent, there are several things you should ask yourself and the landlord.

  • Are utilities included in the rent?
  • Does the budget you’re calculating include money to put towards utilities or is that a separate expense?

If utilities are included in your rent then that’s great! The 30% will cover the entire expense of living in your apartment. If utilities aren’t included, you’ll have to move some money around. If 30% of your income affords you $1000 a month on rent, approximately $150 of that should go towards your base utilities (gas, water, electric). So really you have $850 to spend on rent a month. 

Once you determine your budget, it’s time to start apartment hunting! At Hawthorne Gardens we offer affordable 1, and 2 bedroom apartments for those looking to move to Guilderland, NY. Schedule a tour today to view your new home!

How to Make the Most of Your Apartments Entryway

Sacha R - Monday, December 02, 2019


The entry way of your apartment is the first spot guests see when they come over. It’s also the first spot you see when you come home! For these reasons, it’s important to designate your entryway as its own space and make it stand out from the rest of your home. Wall hooks, benches, and artwork can all work wonders to transform the space and help you organize your home. Learn how to go from a blank wall to a stunning entryway with the following tips.

Apartment Entryway Ideas

Use Wall Hooks

If you’re tight on space, or just have a lot of coats, wall hooks are the ideal solution. They take up very little space but provide the perfect spot for yourself or guests to leave their jackets and hats.

Add Seating

Any sort of seating is better than none. Find a bench with storage underneath and you’ll have a great place to keep shoes, scarves, hats and more. An accent chair will provide a nice pop of color and is an ideal spot for putting on shoes or plopping down a purse after a long day.

Define the Space with a Table

An entry table with a mirror or painting hanging above is a sure-fire way to signify “this is an entryway!”. Add a bowl or a dish on top of the table and you’ll have a great place to leave your keys. You’ll never lose them again! Bonus points if the table has drawers so you can designate a junk drawer and give the illusion that your apartment is clean.

Hang a Floating Shelf

If a table isn’t your style, try a floating shelf. They come in all different sizes, colors, and shapes so you find one that feels the most “you”. Hang a couple vertically and create a statement piece. Decorate the shelves with knickknacks, picture frames, and baskets to fill the space and display items that are important to you.

Find a Mail Sorter

One of the biggest struggles we all face is what to do with the mail. Hang a mail sorter and this way you at least have an intentional place to put it. Opening and sorting through the mail is a different story…

Include a Plant

Plants are proven to make us happier, so putting one in your entryway will brighten your mood whenever you come home. If you’re limited on space, try hanging one from the ceiling or mounting a planter to the wall. It will breathe new life into the space while adding color and texture. Just don’t forget to water it!

Find Your New Home

In addition to a large entryway with enough room for benches, tables and plants, our apartments feature balconies, large master bedrooms, and a kitchen with a breakfast nook. Choose from 1 or 2 bedrooms and find the apartment of your dreams!

5 Tips for Eco Friendly Living

Sacha R - Monday, November 04, 2019

reusable tote, water bottle, and straw for eco-friendly living

At Hawthorne Gardens, we’re committed to living an eco-friendly lifestyle. The average person generates about 4.6 pounds of trash per day, which includes plastic packaging, food waste, Ziplock bags, and so much more. When you begin to pay attention to how much waste your generating, the result can be shocking.

With a few simple changes, eco-friendly living can become your new normal. With these tips you can feel good about your lifestyle while helping to build a sustainable Earth!

Eco Friendly Living

Use Reusable Grocery and Produce Bags

This is one of the easiest changes to make and it has a big impact! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year. The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in just four trips to the grocery store.

Reusable grocery bags can be purchased online, from farmers markets, and in many boutiques throughout the area. You won’t have to worry about your bag breaking from the weight of groceries either as fabric totes are much stronger than plastic.

Reusable produce bags can also be found online and are just the thing to put apples, green beans, and peppers in. They’re washable and come in various sizes and materials. Say goodbye to those flimsy bags you find in the produce section!

Worried about forgetting your reusable bags? Keep some in the trunk of your car so you always them with you. Eventually it will become habit to use them.

Reusable Straws

Reusable metal straws have increased in popularity recently. Many are forgoing the straw in their drink at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or local coffee shop in favor of this more environmentally friendly option. They’re small enough to keep in your handbag and often come in a little case so they won’t get your other belongings dirty.

Blackout Curtains

Not only are blackout curtains great for blocking out the sun, they have the ability to reduce your energy bill. During the winter, blackout curtains will help keep the heat in the room while in the summer, they have the ability to reflect heat out of the room. With blackout curtains you could reduce your energy bill up to 25%!

Go Digital

These days, almost every company gives the option to go paperless. The next time you’re at your doctor’s office, ask if they have an online portal to pay bills and receive updates. You can also do the same with credit cards and bank statements.

You can also eliminate your paper usage by asking companies to not send you catalogs or coupons in the mail. This is a slightly more time-consuming task but one that is well worth the effort. Many companies offer digital versions of catalogs and send coupons by email so there is no reason to receive physical versions.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

As you run out of your current cleaning products, make the switch to natural ones or make your own! When you use chemical in your toilets, sinks, dishwashers, or other appliances, the chemicals are eventually rinsed down the drain. The water then heads to the waste water treatment facilities where the majority of contaminants are removed before the water makes its way back to rivers and lakes. However, not all the contaminants from these chemical products are removed, and over time, they can build up to have a substantial and negative effect on the wildlife. Some compounds actually accelerate plant growth, which can lead to dense vegetation that interferes with animal life and eventually decays in equally massive quantities.

Mass-produced cleaning products also have an impact on greenhouse gases, fuel consumption, and requires disposable packaging. Making your own or reading the labels to buy environmentally friendly alternatives is simple and beneficial.

Going green doesn’t have to be difficult and has countless environmental benefits. Making small changes over time will help the whole family transition to a happier, ecofriendly way of living!

Tips for When You’re Sick

Sacha R - Monday, October 07, 2019

Four tips for when you’re sick and living alone

October is here and so is the start of flu season. Being sick with the flu or a cold is never fun, but it’s even worse when you live alone. There’s no one around to run to the store for you, make a cup of tea, or just hang out while you get your strength back.

Have no fear though, there are ways to survive being sick while living alone.

How to Feel Better 101

Stock up on supplies now

Don’t wait until you can’t breathe and are wearing every sweatshirt you own to run out to the store for medicine. Take note of the state of your medicine cabinet and then make a trip to the closest drug store. Stock up on day and nighttime cold medicine, cough drops, pain reliever, tissues, a Netty Pot, and even some canned soup. The next time you wake up with flu symptoms you’ll be thankful you thought ahead.

Let It Go

Let your weekly chore calendar go, just until you feel better. It’s unlikely you’ll be well enough (or even able) to do any serious cleaning around your home. Take the time to rest and give your body the break it needs, your floors can stand to not be vacuumed for a while. If you are able to get up and move a bit, try to focus on a keeping a few areas of your home clean. This mostly includes changing your sheets and towels and taking the trash out.

Maintain Your Routine

When you’re in the thick of your illness you’ll likely want to lay in bed, in the dark, while watching reruns of Friends all day. This is understandable (and encouraged!), but once you start to feel a bit better try to get back to your routine ASAP. Open the curtains, make your morning cup of coffee, and respond to a few emails. The longer you stay in the “I’m sick” mindset, the longer you actually feel sick.

Ask for Help

Trying to do too much when you’re extremely ill can make matters worse. Don’t be afraid to phone a friend or a family member and ask for help. Put together a list and ask them to run to the grocery store for you. On their way in to your apartment, ask if they can get your mail. A helping hand will give you peace of mind and help you on your road to recovery. 

Being sick is never fun, but just remember that you’ll be back to your normal self in a week or two. It’s also a perfect time to binge watch that new show without feeling guilty. Oh, and don’t forget to replace your old toothbrush once your cold or flu has run its course.

How to Save Space in Your Apartment

Sacha R - Tuesday, September 03, 2019

wall hooks in a bathroom to create storage and save space

Have a lot of stuff? We get it, we do too. “Stuff”, while not always a bad thing, does require a place to be stored. From kitchen gadgets and clothing, to toys, hobbies, and general clutter, having space and storage is a necessary part of creating an apartment that is relaxing and stress free.

We’ve got some big ideas on how you can maximize the space in your apartment while still keeping all of the items you love. Keep reading to become an organization and storage master!

Space Saving Tricks for Your Apartment

Bench Seating

Bench seating is ideal for an entryway. The bench is the perfect spot to sit to put on shoes, and the available storage underneath is good for shoes, hats, gloves, umbrellas and more. Hang a key rack or mirror above the bench to create a complete foyer right in your apartment.

Put Furniture in Your Bathroom

Your bathroom might not be big enough for a luxurious lounge area, but it is big enough to put some additional shelves, a cabinet, or even a few more hooks. There are units made specifically to fit around a toilet which provide the perfect space for toilet paper, tissues, towels, or hair products.

If you need more room in your shower, hang a second rod in the back of your shower. Now you have a space to hang baskets and store body wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap and more!

Looking for a unique shelving idea? Screw a couple of wicker baskets into the wall on their side! Now you have a creative way to store towels or extra toilet paper.

Use Behind-the-door shoe holders for more than just shoes

It’s time to break all of the organizing rules. Behind the door shoe holders are inexpensive and can be used for much more than just shoes. Use one in the bathroom to keep band-aids, nail clippers, hair brushes, combs and so much more.

Have a coat closet? Put a shoe holder in there and either use it for shoes or as a place for umbrellas, sunglasses, hats, reusable shopping bags, and flashlights. They’re also useful in the kitchen as an extension of your pantry or utensils drawer.

Put Shelves Everywhere

If you can’t think of where to store something, chances are the solution is a shelf. Shelves are easy to install, are visually appealing, and get clutter off of the floor. They’re the ultimate hack to save space in your apartment.

Ikea and Command both make easy to install shelves that won’t break the bank or damage your walls. From there you can purchase baskets to hide clutter or display your favorite pictures and trinkets for friends and family to see.

Finding the Right Apartment for You

Even with the large apartments offered at Hawthorne Gardens, having more storage and space is always a bonus. From baskets and shelves to double duty furniture, there is always a way to save space and store all of your favorite items.

Interested in more organizing tips? Check out some of our most popular articles:

9 Things in your Closet to Get Rid Of

3 Ways to Get more Bathroom Storage

Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Clean Your Apartment with Natural Cleaning Products

Sacha R - Monday, August 19, 2019

natural cleaning products

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t start and end with the food we put into our bodies; it also includes the products we use to clean our homes. Many cleaning products found in stores contain chemicals that can be harmful to our overall health and wellness. Even products that are labeled “organic”, “natural”, or “pure” can include some questionable ingredients.

Learn how to clean your apartment with natural cleaning products and say goodbye to harmful chemicals.

Vinegar is King

Did you know that basic vinegar can be used to clean almost every surface in your apartment? A bucket of warm water and a splash of vinegar can clean cabinets, walls, mirrors, glass, the inside of your refrigerator, and many other hard surfaces.

You can also clean you floors with vinegar by adding a big splash to a bucket along with warm water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The vinegar smell will go away as it dries, and you’ll be left with clean floors!

If you don’t want to mix up a solution every time you clean, you can keep a spray bottle of your natural cleaner nearby. Simply fill your spray bottle with one-part vinegar and two parts water.

To clean your microwave with vinegar put 1 cup in a glass microwaveable bowl and microwave it on high until it’s boiling and has covered the walls of the microwave in condensation. This will take about 5 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before removing the bowl of vinegar. With a cloth or paper towel wipe the microwave clean. Voila, that tomato sauce is gone!

Wondering how to clean your toilet with natural cleaners? Put straight vinegar in a spray bottle and set the nozzle to stream instead of mist. Squirt the vinegar right under the rim and then scrub the bowl with your toilet brush as usual.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking soda is great at eliminating odors and using on hard to clean surfaces. For smelly drains, sprinkle some baking soda down the drain and follow with a couple cups of warm vinegar.

In the bathroom, sprinkle the tub, sink, or grout with baking soda. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to spray over the area and then let sit for a minute or two. Scrub the area clean with a brush and then rinse with water. If you prefer a foaming scrub you can spray the baking soda with hydrogen peroxide instead.

For baked on messes, mix some baking soda in small bowl with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Use a sponge to scrub at the mess until it’s gone. This also works on rust stains, soap scum and dirty grout.

Making a Natural Disinfectant

If raw meat gets on your counter while cooking, you’re certainly going to need to disinfect the area. Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil has antibacterial qualities. Place some in a spray bottle and use when you need to disinfect an area.

One thing to keep in mind is that tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. While it’s still safe to use in the home, you should keep it away from children or pets. You should also keep other cleaning products away from little hands, whether they’re natural or not.

Want more cleaning tips? Read about some our favorite cleaning hacks and how to organize your cabinets.

Why Your Credit Score Matters When Renting

Sacha R - Monday, August 05, 2019

Credit score report on a table

So, you’ve found the apartment of your dreams. Congratulations! Now it’s time to complete and submit a rental application, which often includes a credit check.

A question we hear often is “why does my credit score matter?”. The short answer is that good credit will make you stand out while bad credit may prevent you from renting your dream place. Keep reading to find out more!

Credit History Matters as Much as Your Credit Score

You may have a good score now, but has it always been that way? If there is a pattern of weak credit over a long period of time, that’s a red flag that a person isn’t good with money. However, one dip in credit score due to a divorce or illness is less likely to make a negative impact.

The details in a credit report, including late payments, evictions, and bankruptcies paint your financial story. A series of late payments combined with several evictions will raise major red flags in the eyes of a landlord.

A credit report can tell a good story as well! It includes information on on-time payments, social security number, and date of birth.

Own Up to Your Mistakes

Before you submit your rental application, run a credit report yourself. You can order a free credit report from each national consumer credit reporting company (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) once every 12 months. By running a report, you can know exactly what the landlord will be looking at as well.

If there are any red flags you can formulate responses and explain the reasoning behind them. Provide the explanations with the application so the landlord doesn’t have to ask for them. Owning up to your mistakes will show that you can take responsibility for your actions and have learned from them.

Start Working on Your Credit

There are things you can do today that will start to improve your score almost immediately. There are five major factors that influence your credit score. The two most important are your payment history and the amounts you owe. Make a habit of paying bills on time (you can even set up autopay) and try to only use a small portion of the credit that’s available to you. If you have a credit card with a limit of $5,000, try to keep the balance below $1500.

What to Do If You Have A Bad Credit Score

A clean criminal background, job stability, high income, a healthy savings account, and positive references from past landlords can help your case. If you have all of those and a poor credit report, you should still have a good rental application.

If you’re still concerned, a roommate with a good credit score can ease the landlords worries. You can also ask a friend or relative to co-sign the lease. Just remember, whoever you ask is responsible for the rent payment if you’re unable to make it.

There are several financial fixes you can take as well. Put up a larger security deposit, pay several months’ rent in advance, or set up automatic payments so your landlord knows they’ll receive their money. You could also agree to pay slightly more in rent each month if it’s truly your dream apartment.

Yes, Your Credit Matters

Long story short, your credit matters. However, with the right knowledge of your own financial history, it won’t make or break your application. Prepare explanations, start improving your credit score, and ask for recommendations so you can be on your way to moving into a new apartment!

Is Hawthorne Gardens your dream apartment? Start the application process today!


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