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How to Prep Your Home for Your Next Business Trip

How to Prep Your Home for Your Next Business Trip

If you’re leaving your house or apartment unattended during an upcoming business trip, there are a few chores you should do before heading out the door. Experience has taught us that a simple checklist can be the key to ensure you return to your home in the same condition as your left it, without any surprises.

Use or remove food that will spoil.

In the week before you move into your new temporary housing, use up any food that will spoil while you are away. If you can’t get to it in time, donate it or throw it in the trash. Nobody wants to come home to a refrigerator full of rotten produce or unwanted bugs feasting on what you left out.

Turn the heat or A/C down or off.

Smart home technology makes this easier than ever, but even if you have a standard thermostat or climate control, you should turn it down while you’re away on a business trip. Depending on the season and where you live, you can turn them off completely to save energy.

Don’t forget hot water.

Many newer boilers have a vacation mode that can be used to suspend the usual program. Otherwise, turn it off or down to its minimum setting. Heating water requires a lot of energy, so turning it down can save serious cash — especially if you’ll be in corporate housing for a month or longer.

Unplug everything else.

We’re so used to having an automatic standby mode for our electronics that we rarely give them any thought. If you’re working away from home for a while, unplugging all electronic devices completely can save power and minimize fire risk, too.

Tell your neighbors.

If you are friendly with the people living around you, tell them you’re going away. Then they can keep an eye on your property for intruders, take in any mail or packages, and even turn lights on and off for you to make your absence seem less obvious from the street.

Think of all other house services.

If you need to be away for an extended period, it might be helpful to let your alarm company know the house will be empty for a while. The same applies for any regular deliveries or services you receive, such as newspaper or fresh food deliveries. You don’t want to make it obvious you’re not home, and having a pile of newspapers sitting on the front lawn is a sure sign that you’re not!

If you use corporate housing often for business trips, it’s a good idea to create a checklist for each room of your home. List all electrical items that need to be unplugged; the optimal away setting for A/C, heating, and hot water; and any other small preparation steps you might miss. While it might seem a little excessive, it’ll be one less thing to worry about while you’re away on a business trip.

Why Short-Term Housing Beats Vacation Rentals

Why Short-Term Housing Beats Vacation Rentals

Business travelers often get to work the moment they land at their destination. Some business trips involve long days, back-to-back meetings, and a seemingly endless stream of emails. By evening, you’re in dire need of some home comforts. But which type of accommodation is better suited for this: short-term housing or a vacation rental?

I have used both accommodation types in my career. Sometimes a vacation rental was the only option available in a given area. Sometimes it was simply the right place at the right time. More often, though, it fell a little short. Here is why I would take short-term housing over a vacation rental any day of the week.

Location

The vacation rentals I have used were predominantly in vacation areas: close to the beach, cultural hotspots, or theme parks. That’s fine if you’re with family and trying to relax. If you’re trying to work, it isn’t so good.

I prefer my short-term housing to be in downtown areas or at least only a short trip away from the office. Tourist areas will also be surrounded by lots of bars and restaurants, but they often are tourist traps that sell mediocre food and drinks at higher prices.

I’m not saying I need Michelin stars at where I eat, but after a long day of work, I want a nice dinner and glass of wine or craft beer in a relaxing environment. I have yet to come across a vacation rental that lets me do that.

Amenities

Typically, vacation rentals are geared toward vacationers, as you might expect. That means Wi-Fi isn’t a priority, towels are predominantly beach towels, and bed linens aren’t the best. When I was traveling on business, I needed to stay on top of emails and keep in touch with loved ones, both of which demanded reliable internet access.

Mindset

I once read somewhere that having to wear a shirt and tie to work not only affects how you look but also puts you in a work-mode frame of mind. The same works for short-term housing. If I’m downtown amongst thousands of other worker bees, I feel like a worker bee. I go to work, get the job done, relax afterward, and feel like a cog in a well-oiled machine.

When I stayed in a vacation rental, I was the only one in a suit going to work each morning while others around me were sleeping off their hangovers or getting ready for another day at the beach. It sounds like such a small thing, but when your career depends on making the most of every edge you can get, small things quickly add up.

More often than not, Short Term Housing is the right choice for the job. It sets the scene, keeps you in a productive mindset, and provides everything you need to get the job done. After all, the sooner you get done, the sooner you can go home!

Portable gardens to spruce up your temporary home

Portable gardens to spruce up your temporary home

We may offer some of the best quality short term housing around, but we also know that temporary housing isn’t exactly “home”. Anything you can do to make it personal is a good thing. It helps you relax, feel comfortable and anchored while on the move. Which is exactly where portable gardens come in.

If you’re a traveling professional who is often on the road staying in temporary housing, having something personal with you can make all the difference to how you feel while you’re there. Living out of a suitcase is all well and good, but having a little greenery around can not only remind you of home but also offer some powerful psychological benefits.

Indoor herbs, terrariums, box gardens and houseplants are all portable and can travel with you. They can help with that elusive feeling of home while working away.

Here are a few ideas for some practical indoor gardens.

Herb gardens

We have long used herb gardens as a way of adding a little greenery and fresh herbs for cooking. This coincides nicely with being portable and practical while on the road. A small herb garden can be built from a wooden wine crate or wooden box for just a few dollars. It can then be filled with herbs of your choice. Thyme, rosemary and sage all grow well indoors and don’t mind a bit of traveling so make great herb gardens.

Select herbs that travel well and don’t mind shade as you never know the orientation of your temporary housing. Chervil, chard, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano and parsley are good examples of herbs that don’t need direct sunlight.

Terrariums

Terrariums are the ultimate in portable gardens. They are self-contained gardens that travel well unless you’re flying. They don’t need much care and can survive without direct sunlight or water for long periods of time. Terrariums are making something of a comeback too so there are lots of types to choose from right now.

From simple glass bowls with an exotic moss or air plants that need no looking after whatsoever, there is a plant and terrarium for every taste.

Box gardens

Walk around any European city and look up and you will see window boxes on practically every sill and balcony. They are a great way of taking a bit of home with you wherever you go. Whether moving from apartment to apartment or staying in temporary housing, a small garden in a box is a way to take a little piece of home away with you.

Like the herb garden, get a decent wooden box, fill it with what you need and some plants that remind you of good times. This guide is probably the ultimate for creating box gardens.

Houseplants

If it was good enough for Leon The Professional, it is good enough for us. A well-chosen houseplant can be all you need to bring a bit of greenery or a link to home into a rental apartment. There are literally hundreds of types of houseplant, some large, some small, some simple, some complex.

Some houseplants will travel better than others and as long as it can fit in your trunk or back seat they are a simple but effective way to keep a little greenery in your life.

Is short-term housing for you?

Is short-term housing for you?

Are you looking to transition out of traditional apartment rentals? Are you a traveling professional on a short-term assignment? Or maybe you’re an intern looking for seasonal housing?

Short term housing might be for you.

Temporary, furnished housing is a viable alternative to traditional apartment rentals, as well as home buying and extended-stay hotel stays.

Not only do short-term rentals save you money, they are the perfect lodging solution for many opportunities in our professional and personal lives.

However, finding reliable, affordable short-term housing can be difficult—especially when you’re looking to move to an unfamiliar city. To help, we’ve compiled our best tips on discovering the best short-term housing to fit your needs.

Who you gonna call?

For starters, residential real estate companies. That’s right. You could handle things the old-school way and pick up the phone to inquire about short-term rentals. If you’re located in a major city, it should be fairly easy to find several rental companies to call.

If you do enough shopping around, you should be able to find a unit that fits your budget and specific needs.

Tap into college networks.

For affordable short term housing options, look no further than the neighborhoods surrounding college campuses. Some dorms on campuses even have special short-term rental programs designed for internships.

While this may be a no-brainer for interns and actual college students, professionals of all ages should consider this option. Even if you shudder at the fact of living in close proximity to undergrads, we can almost guarantee you’ll find a suitable option.

If possible, go rural and bring a car.

While living downtown can be a major draw for many professionals, more often than not, a majority of a city’s affordable housing options are situated in surrounding suburbs and subdivisions.

Sure, it may be convenient to be able to walk to work, or live on a major public transit line, but having a car—or other means of transportation—can save renters the hassle of paying downtown prices.

Go furnished.

Sure, this suggestion seems simple. But moving without bulky, cumbersome furniture is a major time- and sanity-saver. Bringing along a favorite piece of furniture may impart a feeling of comfort into your short-term rental. But it’s just as easy to rent storage space and save it for a more permanent stay

And while many travelers may have misconceptions about furnished units, it’s entirely possible to find affordable—even customizable—furnished units

Work with the experts.

Still overwhelmed by the notion of trying to find short-term housing? Save yourself the hassle and leave it the experts. The best short-term housing companies work with individuals, businesses and groups of traveling professionals across the country to secure, manage, and maintain your short-term lodging needs.

From checking availability and sending options based on preferences, to auditing and signing all leases, ShortTermHousing.com works with travelers to facilitate the entire housing process. With automated, on-demand software and dedicated, 24/7 customer support, finding housing has never been easier.

Vacation Rental vs Hotel

Vacation Rental vs Hotel

A vacation rental is a great way of spending time away. If you’re planning a longer stay, of 30 days or more, let ShortTermHousing.com find that perfect spot.

A great vacation rental in the perfect location makes a great vacation into something truly special. Is isn’t often you can genuinely get more for less, but by working with us, you can.

On average, a vacation rental from ShortTermHousing.com will save you 50 percent over a hotel room. When taking the family away for a well-earned break, that makes a real difference, especially if you need more than one room, that being said there are times when you just want a vacation that is 100% pure rest and relaxtion and that can only be found in a hotel, in a vacation rental you have to still make your own beds, cook your own foods, yes it’s a home away from home but that’s not always the kind of vacation that everyone wants, sometimes you just need to relax, unwind and be waited on which is one thing that you will get if you go to the Devasom Khao Lak Luxury Resort. The Devasom resort is situated at one of Asia’s top beach destinations, the views are stunning both in the resort and around it, it’s definitely the place to go when you want a luxurious relaxing vacation.

If you’re planning a holiday of 30 days or more, contact ShortTermHousing.com today!

You work hard for your money, so make the most of it by spending it wisely. Why settle for a box in a hotel? A vacation rental from ShortTermHousing.com offers so much more for so much less.

Types of Vacation Rentals

The most popular vacation rental is the apartment. They are a good size, convenient, easy to manage and offer exceptional value for money. There are always apartment blocks in good areas of any city. Vacation by the sea and that’s even more true.

ShortTermHousing.com can also secure condos, single family homes, estate homes or even town houses. Whatever type of property is in your destination of choice, we can find a vacation rental to suit.

Want to stay downtown? An apartment or condo could be perfect. There are likely to be town houses too if you have a large family. Want to stay by the ocean? An apartment or condo with a view would make all the difference.

Why Use a Vacation Rental Rather Than Hotel

If you’re planning a short stay, anything up to 30 days, a hotel is ideal. They have everything you need and will look after you well.

However, for stays of over 30 days, for longer vacations a hotel will soon lose its appeal. Not only do they cost much more, they are also restrictive, expect you to eat at a certain time, get up at a certain time and stay out of the way.

Not so with a vacation rental. You pay the rent and live how you like. Get up when you want, eat when you want, do what you want. It’s that simple!

The average vacation rental will also have much more space to move around than a hotel, unless you upgrade to a suite. No more tripping over each other to get ready, no more scheduling the bathroom between the whole family and no more having to eat in the same room as hundreds of other people unless you choose to.

ShortTermHousing.com is a specialist in rented accommodation. We work with individuals, corporations and government to provide high quality, low cost rented accommodation for any reason.

Vacation Rentals from ShortTermHousing.com will make your holidays truly special. Contact us today to find out more!

Top Neighborhoods to Live in San Diego

Top Neighborhoods to Live in San Diego

Like any large city, San Diego has plenty of nice to live neighborhoods and some not so nice. If you’re planning to move to the city either as a renter or as a buyer, it’s important to know where to live. This list of the nicest places to live in the city.

This isn’t a scientific list, or one compiled from mathematical data. Just opinions from someone who has live in San Diego all their life.

Kensington is an upscale neighborhood on the edge of Mission Valley. It’s full of Spanish-style villas and larger family homes. It’s an expensive area to live, but worth the investment if you can afford it. There is a small commercial district and a few leisure outlets nearby if you don’t want to venture too far.

Hillcrest is San Diego’s version of Greenwich Village. It’s cool, trendy and a lively place to live. Ideal for younger visitors or residents who like the arty, music scene. It’s colorful, gay-friendly and sits a little north of Balboa Park. It includes a range of apartments and villas.

Mission Hills is on the end of Hillcrest and is a very mature and prestigious address. You need serious cash to live here, but in return you get luxurious homes, nice landscaped areas, pleasant neighbors and a great zip code.

University Heights is a middle income neighborhood on the edge of Hillcrest and just before North Park. It’s an average neighborhood with some nice homes and pleasant public areas. There is also a small retail district. This area is more affordable than the previous neighborhoods.

North Park is one of the city’s largest neighborhoods, a sprawling mass of suburbia with a wide variety of property types. There are apartments aplenty, as well as single family homes. It’s a nice enough area for normal working people, although not as affordable as in many cities, it is very popular in San Diego.

Little Italy is another cool neighborhood that has recently become even cooler. The building of some nice new high rise condo buildings has elevated the entire district. The presence of its own business district helps keep the area interesting.

City Heights is a real mix of the old and new. The area is made up largely of ethnic groups and newcomers to the city. It has a large Hispanic and Asian contingent, with a heady mix of African and Caribbean thrown in. It’s a lively, colorful area to live.

These are just a few of the notable neighborhoods in San Diego. Each is slightly different, with a varied demographic mix of people and cultures. They are a great way to see how San Diego works and great places to live too.

Planning a trip to San Diego or perhaps someplace else in California? We have the best furnished rentals across California and the U.S.

Top Ten Things to do while in Los Angeles

Top Ten Things to do while in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is an amazing place to live, work and play. There are a million and one things to do here, so as part of our exceptional service to all our landlords and clients, we’re offering the top ten things to do while in LA.

Venice Beach

Venice beach is the place to hang out, whether you’re a skater, artist, musician or just want to soak up the sights, sun and sounds of the beach. It’s an eccentric area of town that has everything from bodybuilders, surfers, tortured poets and everything in-between.

No visit to LA would be complete without a cruise down Venice Beach.

Hollywood

As famous a neighborhood as it’s possible to be. Hollywood is where celebrities come to play. Take the Walk of Fame, a celebrity house tour, visit the Chinese Theater, stroll along Rodeo Drive and count the stars of stage and screen.

Celebrity spotting and the feeling of exclusivity doesn’t come any better than Hollywood.

Disneyland

You’re never too old for make-believe, so you’re never too old for Disneyland. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world and literally has something for everyone. Whether you have children, or you don’t, Disneyland has to be see to be believed.

Universal Studios

See how magic is made by visiting Universal Studios. Go backstage to see how movies are made and explore everything one of the most famous movie lots in the world has to offer. Take a studio tour, enjoy a live action show and experience movieland at its best.

Getty Center

The Getty Center is a huge venue with more art than just about anywhere else in the world. What began as the J. Paul Getty Museum, has grown into 750 acres of culture, art and amazement covering four pavilions. You could spend days here and never see the same thing twice!

Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific showcases submarine life at its best. With a wide range of interactive experiences, shows, and things to see and do, this is one of the most interesting and educational attractions for people of all ages.

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary was the pride of the British Royal family and now lives in Long Beach. It is now a hotel and tourist attraction that enjoys over 1.5 million visitors a year. As well as a hotel, the ship also has restaurants, bars, cabarets, nightspots and tours. It also plays host to regular special events.

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

No visit to LA or Hollywood would be complete without a visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. One of the most spectacular cinemas ever built, it plays host to many movie premiers and red carpet events.

Sid Graumann allegedly stepped into wet concrete during the construction and came up with the idea of asking celebrities to leave their own imprint on wet concrete and the Walk of Fame was born.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

If you like rollercoasters, you’ll love Six Flags Magic Mountain. The park has two of the ten fastest rollercoasters in the world and everyone has to try them before they die. The park has recently been upgraded, refurbished and now has some of the best thrill rides in the country.

Griffith Observatory

If looking at the stars is more your style, visit the Griffith Observatory. It is a public observatory owned and run by the city of Los Angeles and is well worth a visit. Find it at Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park and enjoy the planetarium telescopes, café and bookstore.

Need short-term housing for your stay in L.A.? Check out what we have to offer!

Kansas City Real Estate Market

Kansas City Real Estate Market

Kansas City is an excellent place to live and work. It is a vibrant city with heaps of culture, a thriving downtown district and enough employers to handle everyone. However, we have also been caught in the financial difficulties of the past five years, so as good as it might be, we haven’t come through completely unscathed.

As with many American cities, growth is slow in coming but it’s definitely on its way. With foreclosures down across the board and inventory running much lower than the  highs of 2010, things are looking good for sellers.

The shortage of buyers is still keeping the market, and prices in check.

City Overview

The median household income in Kansas City is $44,682, which is slightly lower than the surrounding area. The median household income for the whole county is $45,944 compared to the national median of $50,935. While not a lot of difference, it has a bearing on real estate prices.

The median age of people living in Kansas City is 34.6 years, with fewer families than average living here. There are 25.81% of households that are married families with children. The county average for households married with children is 26.28%.

Residential Real Estate

June saw an increase in properties sold, but a decrease in the prices they sold for. We saw 105,000 homes sold throughout the metro area in June, compared to 92,000 in June 2011.

The median sales price was $72,860, which is down 4.2% over this time last year. Average home prices around KC is $170,406, which is up only 0.1% on this time last month.

Commercial Real Estate

The commercial real estate market in Kansas City is similar to that of residential, except we have seen a slight rise in asking prices. Currently, office space costs around $86.25 per square foot which is an increase of 1.1% over last quarter. Spread over the year, that price is down 5.8% from the high of February 2008 when prices peaked at $98.94 per square foot.

Industrial property isn’t faring so well, with a 4.8% decrease in the footage price year on year. It’s currently sitting at $49.60 per square foot. The recent peak was in June 2007, when it hit $60.38 per square foot.

The average asking price for retail property in Kansas City is $104.74 per square foot for the month of June. That’s down 4.5% from the previous June. The previous high was in November 2008, when prices hit $122.04 per square foot.

The Kansas City real estate market is surviving, not thriving. The fall in inventory has got things moving again and sales are being made. As with every other city in the country, the recovery will be slow and steady, but it will come.

Need furnished short-term housing while you shop around for property in Kansas City? We have what you need.

Los Angeles Shopping Guide

Los Angeles Shopping Guide

From the boutiques of Beverly Hills to the specialty shops of Sunset Plaza, Los Angeles shopping offers a truly unique experience. While millions of travelers are drawn to the distinct variety of designer merchandise found here, others are attracted by the mere prospect of catching a glimpse of their favorite big-screen stars, often spotted leafing through the racks. Amid the bustling Los Angeles shopping scene, materialistic culture is alive and very well.

The elitist quality of Los Angeles shopping should come as little surprise. This city prides itself as a trendsetter. Los Angeles shopping often provides a preview of American fashion before its
styles migrate inland.

The most famous address for Los Angeles shopping is Rodeo Drive. Located off Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, this street is lined with the exclusive wares of French and Italian designers and prized pieces of world-class jewelers. But buyers beware: Better bring your 401K. Los Angeles shopping of this caliber requires a hefty checking account. Most visitors are content to window-shop along this swanky corridor.

For Los Angeles shopping that doesn’t tug quite so vigorously on your purse strings, a variety of venues abound. Beverly Center is a favorite Los Angeles shopping center of many celebrities. Westwood Village is a staple for neighboring UCLA. Melrose Avenue is a prime site for antiquing, while La Brea and Silver Lake features Los Angeles shopping of vintage variety.

Use this online guide to navigate your way through the dazzling Los Angeles shopping scene. Need a place to stay while visiting L.A.? We’ve got you covered!

Denver’s Rich History

Denver’s Rich History

Denver is a spectacular city in a beautiful position in Colorado. Called the “Mile High City” thanks to its elevation and proximity to the Rocky Mountains, it really is a beautiful place to live.

If you like the outdoors, you’re going to be in heaven in Denver. We have the mountains, several National Parks, thousands of miles of trails and hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and countryside.

History of Denver

Denver began life as part of the Gold Rush. Settlements grew on the banks for the South Platte River to service miners and their families. Over time, these were bought, or abandoned until General William H. Larimer came to town and bought a tract of land beside the river.

He managed to convince residents of local settlements of Montana City, Highland, St. James and Auraria to join him in his new venture. Once the town was established, he named it Denver, after Kansas Governor John Denver, in order to curry favor. Unfortunately, by the time the city was named, Denver was no longer governor.

Denver remained part of the mining landscape and slowly added manufacturing and agriculture to its arsenal. This diversification allowed the city to survive when many around it did not once the miners moved on. Even a silver find to the west didn’t change the city all that much, except by increasing the number of cathouses.

The building of the Denver Pacific railroad cemented the city as a base for the future. The railroad brought immigrants, trade, much-needed supplies and all that is needed by a modern population center. The arrival of the train secured the future of the city.

The modern Denver is a mixture of manufacturing, finance, services and tourism. The city itself is successful and on the up.

What to Do in Denver

Denver is a big city with a lot going on. Whoever you are and whatever you like doing, you can do it here, especially if it involves the outdoors. With hundreds of museums, galleries, shops and restaurants, there is no such thing as nothing to do here!

Arts and Culture

The sheer number of galleries and museums means there is more culture here than many other cities. We have a range of districts that house galleries, organized walks to visit them, more museums that you could see in a year with more exhibits than you could view in a lifetime.

Music and Entertainment

Music is a big part of our lives, so there are plenty of places to enjoy it. We have a range of top flight clubs, music bars, live performance venues and outdoor concert spaces. Whether you like dancing to a beat or in a line, you’ll find more than enough here.

Heritage

Our heritage and history is important to us. Denver has a range of high quality museums and memorials to honor the dead and educate the living. From the Children’s Museum to theHistory Colorado Center, there is millennia of history to be discovered here.

Interested in short-term housing for your stay in Denver? We have many furnished rentals all across the city.

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