Pro tip: The best way to spot clean your carpet

Spilled drink? No problem! The contractor who cleans the carpets here at Alvern Gardens just offered us the insider’s secret to cleaning your carpet: Dawn dish soap.

If you have a small stain from a food spill, there’s nothing better than the same soap you use for cleaning food off your dishes. Just remember it’s all about technique:

natural cleaning
Just like tried and tru baking soda and vinegar, Dawn dish soap is an excellent gentle but powerful cleaner that’s safet o use around pets. Image attribution: By katerha (http://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/5703151566/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
  1. Take a paper towel or a plain white towel or cleaning rag (nothing colorful, you don’t want the dye to transfer to your carpet) and dampen it with cold water.
  2. Put a couple drops of Dawn dish soap on it and lather it up a bit with your fingers.
  3. Gently press (don’t scrub) the towel onto the stain. Keep dabbing to lift it out of the carpet fibers. Again, gently dab, don’t rub or scrub, as that only pushes the mess deeper into the carpet.

And there you have it: a clean carpet is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Now, if you have a big mess on your hands, it’s time to rent a machine or call in a professional.

Here are a couple bonus pro tips:

  • Never use bleach to clean a carpet: you’ll end up with a bleach stain!
  • A dye stain will never lift out without ruining the color of the carpet, so always use a drop cloth when painting or take your DIY project outside or to the garage.

Remember: keeping your home spic and span while you’re renting it is good for your security deposit.

Apartments near public transportation in Pittsburgh

Last week, we offered advice on how to find an apartment near public transportation in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re featuring the Prudential Realty communities close to bus and T stops. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, one of these might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

pet friendly apartments
Alvern Gardens has all the amenities you need, including a dog park and a T stop close by.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email alverngardens@yahoo.com or call 412-561-4663.

The Brett Apartments

The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Cornell Place

For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.

Place Seville Apartments

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments

From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.

Snow is falling on Pittsburgh, are you prepared?

It’s been a pretty mild winter in the Pittsburgh area so far, but it’s finally gotten cold and snowy this week. If you live in a rental, you probably have the luxury of not needing to shovel or salt your sidewalks, but there are some other things you can—and should—do when snow hits.

  1. Optimize your heat for efficiency. For example,if you have radiator heat, move furniture away from the radiators so
    Prep for snow in Pittsburgh area
    We may not have had a white Christmas, but snow is finally falling on Pittsburgh. Make sure you’re prepared.

    the heat can, well, radiate into the room. Keep your windows closed tight, and if you feel a draft, invest in a window insulating kit. They’re cheap and easy to use. Energy efficient curtains are also a good investment (yes, they exist).

  2. Set your heat at a comfortable temperature, but don’t overdo it. It’s much more energy efficient to put on a sweater than to crank up the heat so you can stay in a t-shirt and shorts. If your heat is included in rent, don’t think of it as free. Instead, keep in mind that your rent pays for it, and if the heating costs are too high, your landlord will raise the rent to cover them.
  3. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you have issues with insulation around your windows and doors, or if your heat is malfunctioning. Rather than opening a window when the heat won’t respond to you turning the thermostat down, contact maintenance to get the heat fixed. On the flip side, don’t endure a cold apartment, let maintenance know if you’re freezing, too.

For extreme cold

It’s not due to get extremely cold yet, but temperatures might still drop at the end of winter. If they do, take precautions to protect your pipes from freezing: keep cabinet doors under sinks open to let warm air in, and let the water drip. This is especially important for kitchens and bathrooms where the plumbing is in an outside wall that doesn’t get much sunlight.

Considerations for your car

  • Is your car parked outside? If yes, now might be the time to invest in a garage. Several Prudential Realty communities rent garages as well as apartments, so residents can keep themselves and their cars warm and dry this winter.
  • Have emergency supplies in your car like a bag of rock salt or kitty litter in case you get stuck on ice and a tow rope for more serious emergencies.
  • If you don’t have a AAA membership already, it’s well worth it, especially since most local police departments, including Castle Shannon and Indiana, PA police, no longer offer assistance when you accidentally lock your keys in your car. Besides getting road-side assistance for a flat tire and towing services if your car breaks down, lots of places also offer AAA discounts if you show your membership card.
  • Perhaps the most important tip: if it looks nasty out, don’t drive anywhere unless you absolutely have to, and wait for the plow to come through your neighborhood before you do. Unless you have a medical emergency or are completely out of food, most things aren’t worth risking life and limb in poor driving conditions.

Adopt a pet

Yes, this seems like weird advice, but have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s a three dog night”? That means it’s so cold, that you need at least 3 pups in your bed to keep you toasty. While most apartments won’t let you have that many pets, places like Alvern Gardens do allow up to 2 pets per apartment: dogs under 40 lbs as well as cats are welcome. Having a fluffy companion to snuggle with warms body and soul.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Not too shabby for our first full year of blogging. Here’s to further success in 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Apartments with covered parking in Pittsburgh

Finding parking in the city can be a hassle (just ask yinzers why they sometimes reserve their spot with a chair), but at a few of Prudential Realty Company’s properties covered parking means you always have a spot for your vehicle.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Alvern Gardens Apartments has the cheapest garages for rent at just $50/month. While uncovered parking on the property is free, there’s nothing like the security of locking up your baby to keep it safely out of the elements.

To find out the current availability at Alvern Gardens and to ask about apartment amenities, call 412-561-4663 or email alverngardens@yahoo.com and be sure to ask about the current special.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

The attached garages are included in the $715/month rent on these 3 bedroom townhouses. Some of these townhouses even have partially covered parking in front of the garage thanks to the front deck. The best part: the garages are accessible through the basement, so you don’t even have to go outside to get to your car.

Call 412-401-9848 or email sleepyhollow@prudentialrealty.com to get more information about townhouse amenities and the current availability.

Place Seville Apartments

For $60/month tenants can rent a spot in Place Seville’s garage.

Details about amenities and availability may be acquired by calling 412-563-7256 or emailing placeseville@prudentialrealty.com

Cornell Place Apartments

Parking spaces in Cornell Place’s garage are $75/month. This is a competitive price considering Mt. Lebanon’s permit parking can get expensive.

For more information on Cornell Place’s amenities and availability, call 412-401-9848 or email cornellplace@prudentialrealty.com

Brett Apartments

Those looking for apartments with covered parking in Shadyside might want to check out Brett Apartments. An additional $100/month gets residents of the building a garage space.

Contact the building manager at 412-722-8546 or brettapts@prudentialrealty.com for information on availability and apartment amenities.

If you’re sick of digging your car out of the snow, contact Prudential Realty Company to inquire about properties with covered parking.