No Comments

Tips for Finding and Hiring Cleaners

As a busy modern person living in Boston, you might find it hard to squeeze home cleaning into your weekly schedule. You manage to keep your place clean somehow, but you know that the results are subpar. You can have more time for the things which are important and keep your home spotlessly clean if you hire a professional cleaning service. Find out how to do this.

Rely on personal references.

It’s easy to find numerous local cleaners online, but how good are they, really? While online customer reviews could be helpful, it’s best if you ask around. You will get genuine advice from friends, coworkers and neighbors. You should also consider asking real estate agents offering Boston luxury condos for sale as they know of local cleaning service providers.

Get effective protection.

You should naturally assess the experience, professional conduct, equipment and cleaning products of the company that you plan to hire. However, you should not forget to check how dependable they are when it comes to protecting your property and interests. Consider hiring a company that runs a background check on employees and has liability insurance designed to compensate customers in case something is damaged, broken or goes missing. The service provider should also cover their workers for injuries on the job.

Define your needs clearly.

It’s up to you to decide whether to have your home cleaned from top to bottom or to have the cleaner perform only specific tasks. Boston owners putting their condos for sale will go for the first option, while people who plan to use the service regularly usually prefer the second one. When making a decision, you should consider which tasks won’t affect your schedule and productivity if you do them yourself.

Just keep in mind the cleaners won’t do some tasks due to safety concerns. Most won’t clean computers or other electronic equipment, for example. Similarly, if you have black mold, you will need to hire a specialist to get rid of it.

Make convenient arrangements.

You can decide whether to be present or not while the cleaner works in your home. If you choose the second option, you can leave a spare key and then have it left inside your place after the job is done. If your front door has an electronic lock like many Boston luxury condos, you can give the professional a unique access code.

Finally, it may sound a bit strange, but you should prepare your home for cleaning by picking up objects from the floor and leaving as few items on the countertops as possible. This will allow the cleaner to focus on getting your place spick and span.

No Comments

Keeping Your Apartment Cool in Summer

It can get very hot in Boston in the summer. The large number of closely packed buildings making things even worse. At the same time, many homes don’t have central air conditioning. This is particularly true for the older apartments in neighborhoods like South Boston, the South End, North End and Back Bay. Is there a way to keep your place cool when the next heatwave strikes? Use a set of techniques which have been proven to work.

Ditching Major Heat Sources

Keep the blinds/shades closed during the day to lower the amount of heat getting in from the outside. If you have curtains too, the results will be even better. Don’t keep windows open during the day unless someone’s at home. If birds get in or a storm starts, your apartment could suffer considerable damage.

Try not to use the oven during the hottest days of the summer. You can prepare food using the microwave or or by utilizing just one or two of the burners. If you have the opportunity to use an outdoor grill in your building or close to it, take full advantage of this opportunity.

Creating a Flow of Cool Air

Open as many windows and doors as possible during the night to create a cool flow in your apartment. Secure them into open position to ensure that you won’t be woken up by a loud bang.

One way to make the flow of air even cooler is to hang long pieces of absorbent cloth over the curtain rods and dip their lower ends in buckets of cold water. You can do this using cheap curtains too. The water will get absorbed into the fabric and when the air passes through it, it will be become a lot cooler.

You can use another classic trick to make the air in their home cooler. Just place a bucket of ice in front of a fan and make sure that the air is blown over the ice. It works wonders.

Staying Cool at Night

You will benefit from bedding made of light breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. Consider a sleeping pillow filled with hulls as it has great breathability. Another simple trick is to place plastic bottles with frozen water around your bed and under it, if possible. Fill the bottles up to three quarters in the morning, put them in the freezer and they will be ready for the evening.

Finally, spend more time outside in the summer.

No Comments

How to Live Frugally Without Feeling Deprived

It’s one thing to be frugal and another to live like a miser. The question is how to stick to a tight budget and save money while enjoying life to the fullest. Here are some tips and ideas to help you with this. As a Bostonian, you shouldn’t find it hard to achieve your goal.

Save on Major Items Reasonably

When you have a limited budget, it makes sense to look for a Boston apartment with a lower rental rate. Even if it isn’t in a prime location, you should find it easy to get to work with the excellent public transportation system in the city. When considering apartments for rent in Boston, you should do the math to see if it’s cheaper to rent a bigger place with one or more roommates. This is usually the more frugal option. It can be more fun too.

With a little DIY you can better insulate your apartment and save on utilities. Thick rugs and darkening curtains make the rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You can opt for energy-saving lightbulbs too.

Keep an eye on the deals at the local supermarket and take advantage of coupons which are now readily available online as well as in the Sunday paper. Don’t hesitate to bring your lunch to work. There are healthy mouth-watering recipes that you can prepare quickly while spending very little money on the ingredients.

Be Active with Minimal Spending

You can save on a gym membership if you choose to exercise outdoors. There are plenty of Boston parks offering superb opportunities for jogging, walking and cycling. You can also try kayaking which isn’t particularly expensive. When the weather gets cold, you can get a yoga mat, an exercise ball and/or other simple equipment and work out at home. You can easily rearrange the living room to get enough space even in one of the small cheap apartments in Boston.

Have Fun on a Budget

Things like dining out and clubbing, especially in a city like Boston, may not be very good for your wallet, but this doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself of a social life. A local pub may be a great place to relax and have fun every now and then. You can also entertain at home. If you are inventive, you will surely be able to squeeze a good number of friends in your place.

Finally, take advantage of as many of the free events organized in Boston as often as possible for maximum entertainment without dipping into your pockets.

No Comments

What’s It Like Living at Ritz Carlton Boston?

If you’ve always wanted to live in your own home, but to have all the luxury and amenities typical for a five-star hotel, you can get this if you buy or rent one of the Ritz Carlton Boston residences. The recently built 35-story towers in downtown Boston feature spacious modern homes where one can enjoy first class pampering. Prospective residents can select from units with one to four bedrooms and a variety of views. Ready for a taste of what living at Ritz Carlton Boston is like?

Prime Location

The towers are much taller than the surrounding buildings in the prime Midtown area. This gives residents incredible views of the Boston Common, Black Bay and Boston Harbor. Both the city’s skyline and the river are spectacular at any time of the day. You will be able to enjoy them fully whenever you wish thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in all rooms of the Ritz Carlton residences – from the main living space to the bedrooms.

You will be a walking distance away from the most famous theatres and the best restaurants in the city. There are amazing opportunities for shopping too. If you work in the downtown area, you could even afford the luxury of walking to work.

Fantastic Residential Units

When living at the Ritz Carlton Boston, a mahogany door will welcome you to your home. While the views will naturally draw your attention, you will be impressed by the cherry hardwood floors and the ultra-modern and super comfortable designer furniture. The units are more than spacious. This is true even for the children’s and guest bedrooms.

The kitchen has a tile floor, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances from top brands, including a double oven, and even a wine cabinet. The bathrooms have marble finishes. Units with a balconies are optional.

Multiple Amenities

As a resident of the complex, you will have access the amenities and services offered by the hotel. Residents love the gym. It offers a variety of classes, the best modern equipment and a full-service spa. Room service is just a phone call away. Concierge and valet parking services are at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Last, but not least, living at Ritz Carlton Boston as a permanent resident will give you a worldwide discount at all of their hotels.

No Comments

How to Remedy a Peeling Ceiling

The main reason why paint peels off the ceiling is improper initial painting or rather preparation of the surface. Moisture and heat can also help to trigger the process. The good news is that this problem isn’t huge and can be easily fixed. It’s a DIY job, but if you live in a rental unit, you should check whether you are allowed to do it just to be on the safe side.

One word of caution here. If you live in one of the cheap apartments in Boston built before the 1980’s, there is a chance that the ceiling paint could contain lead. If you have even the slightest reason to suspect that this is the case, you should check immediately. Only a qualified professional can remove lead paint.

Proper Preparation

For this job, you will need patching compound, primer, paint, putty knife, fine-grain sandpaper and painting brush or small roller. Consider oil-based primer for the bathroom and latex-based one for the other rooms. Paint with gloss or semi-gloss finish will be the most resistant to damage as it doesn’t absorb moisture easily. Many people who live in cheap apartments in Boston where moisture is not uncommon prefer products which are resistant to mildew.

You must wear a dust mask and clear goggles for protection from the small dust particles which will get released while you are doing the job. Consider putting gloves on too. Another key thing is to cover the floor, so that cleaning will be easy.

Achieving Excellent Results

Begin by peeling off the loosened paint around the affected part of the ceiling using the putty knife. You should stop once you reach paint which sticks firmly to the ceiling. Sand the area where the paint was with the sandpaper to prepare it for the next phase of the repair.

Apply a thin layer of patching compound over the sanded area using the putty knife. Once the compound is dry, add as second layer to make the surface perfectly even. After the second layer dries completely, sand the area and brush off any excess dust.

When the ceiling section is ready, apply primer using the painting brush or roller and wait for it to dry. Then you can apply the paint that you have chosen.

There are various simple additional measures which can be used to prevent ceiling peeling. The main one is to ensure proper ventilation. Keep the bathroom and kitchen vents open and open the windows too, when needed.

No Comments

A Glance at 5 of the World’s Most Expensive Apartments

Unique architecture, breathtaking views and beyond spoiling luxury – these are all things that the most expensive apartments in the world have to offer. Whether you have millions to spare, looking for inspiration to decorate your own place or simply curious, you will surely find the five properties we’ve chosen to present here more than interesting.

La Tour Odeon Penthouse, The Ville, Monaco

With its current market price estimated to be around $335 million, this penthouse apartment with five floors is the most expensive apartment in the world right now. It is at the top of the Odeon Tower located in the posh The Ville neighborhood and offers 360-degree views of the Mediterranean, the spectacular coastal city and the lush hills. With 30,000 square feet of space, it offers practically anything that you could want including a dancefloor. Perhaps its most impressive feature is the waterslide which ends in the infinity pool.

Pierre Hotel Penthouse, New York City, USA

Taking up the entire floor, this apartment offers nearly 5,000 square feet of space including suites for guests and staff members. It boasts of unique antique furniture and high-end technology. Whether you prefer to stay inside or relax on one of the four terraces, you will enjoy spectacular views of the NYC skyline and Central Park. Anyone can rent this penthouse apartment for $500,000 per month, with its estimated purchase price of around $125 million.

One Hyde Park Penthouse, London, UK

The duplex penthouse apartment spreading over 17,000 square feet was sold for $237 million back to an undisclosed buyer back in 2014 and remains the most expensive apartment sold in the British capital to date. Thanks to its prime location in Knightsbridge, residents have quick access to Hyde Park and Harrods, but who’d want to go out when they have an ozone pool, golf stimulator and spa center at their disposal?

Opus Apartment Penthouse, Hong Kong

With an estimated price of $66 million, this apartment takes up an entire floor – nearly 5,500 square feet of space. It offers spectacular views of the city’s skyline and harbor while being set on a green hill. It has its own swimming pool and a private rooftop spreading over 1,500 square feet with a jacuzzi.

Millennium Tower Penthouse, Boston, USA

Recently sold for $33 million, this is the most expensive of all Boston luxury apartments to date. It offers 13,000 square feet of space and a 360-degree view of the city thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows. Among the most spoiling features are the heated marble floors in the bathrooms, 24-hour concierge service and a private club for the residents.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that you can find Boston luxury apartments for sale at very competitive prices if you know where to look.

No Comments

Getting Along With Your Neighbors

Living in a larger city like Boston means you will always have plenty of neighbors living in close proximity. If you get along with them your life will not only be easier, but happier too. The good news is that this isn’t hard to achieve. Feel free to use the essential advice shared here to help you with this.

Keep the noise level down in your apartment.

As a general rule of thumb, loud music and conversations are not acceptable after 9 in the evening. Similarly, you should refrain from using the vacuum cleaner and power tools before 9 in the morning. To reduce the level of noise for your neighbors, you should also consider throwing rugs on the floors. You can hang some on the walls to insulate the noise as well.

If you lease one of the apartments for rent in Boston where pets are allowed and you keep a cat or a dog, make sure that your four-legged friend won’t make noise, especially during the day when you leave her alone. Give her direct access to water, ensure proper feeding and keep her entertained for best results.

Be friendly with everyone.

Say hello to your neighbors when you meet them. If you’ve just moved into the building, don’t forget to introduce yourself briefly. You can also form a habit of greeting new neighbors with a small gift such as a box of homemade cookies.

It’s always a good idea to engage in small talk with your neighbors. Just remember that while it’s fine to discuss matters which are important to the residents refrain from gossiping about the others. This can land you in an awkward position at events when everyone’s present.

Address issues personally.

It’s easier and quicker to leave a note, but you have to remember that 90% of communication is about body language, so you wouldn’t want to be misunderstood. Just go up to your neighbor, greet him politely, explain the issue without expressing frustration or anger and ask him to do what is needed. This may not be the easiest or most pleasant thing in the world, but it is the best approach to solving the problem.

Be mindful of others when using common areas.

You don’t have to have looked at hundreds of apartments for rent in Boston to know that the common areas are usually very small. That is why it’s become part of etiquette not to leave personal belongings such as bikes and strollers there. Similarly, if you have a grill in your building or complex, ensure that smoke won’t go through your neighbors’ windows when using it.

Keep these in mind and you’ll see how easy it is to get along with your neighbors when you have a positive attitude.