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Gazebos, Awnings, and Canopies

Posted on July 05, 2018 by Genet Group

It’s summertime, I’ve got my hat on backwards, and it’s time to have a get-together under a gazebo. If you live in a warm and sunny place like South Florida, you know to search for all of the shade you can get. When it’s hot, it gets really hot—having a gazebo, an awning, or a canopy attached to your property can give you a space to enjoy the outdoors in the summer and springtime. If you’ve ever been interested, here’s the rundown on the different options you have for shaded settings on your property.


What’s the difference between a gazebo, awning, and a canopy? A gazebo is most like a house—”a roofed structure that offers an open view of the surrounding area, typically used for relaxation or entertainment.” An awning is most like a shade—”a sheet of canvas or other material stretched on a frame and used to keep the sun or rain off a storefront, window, doorway, or deck.” A canopy is perhaps the most vague, and could technically describe either a gazebo or awning, but is usually just a simpler version of the two—”a rooflike projection or shelter.”


What are the benefits of having a gazebo, awning, or canopy? They’re not just for summer—with outdoor structures like these, you can get year-long protection from the elements, whether it be rain or snow or sun. They make great sites for get togethers and hosting guests.  Set up a few outdoor seats (wicker furniture, lawn chairs, etc.) and chill in the shade with a glass of lemonade in hand.


How can you get one? The question is usually build or buy. While some fixtures like awnings are best bought—think of electronic retractable ones—you can easily DIY your own canopy or gazebo, with varying levels of fanciness and decor depending on your affinity for construction.  If you’re renting property, remember to speak with your landlord about any additions to the property before you make any decisions or purchases.

On-Site Gyms

Posted on July 05, 2018 by Genet Group

More and more these days, people are valuing physical health and exercise above leisure. And because of that, they are willing to pay a pretty penny to keep a gym membership or attend fitness classes like yoga, Zumba, and pilates. That’s also why one of the biggest concerns when looking for a rental property is location—how close is it to the LA Fitness you’ve got a membership at? To the YMCA? And the million dollar question (or rather, the roughly $40/month plus towel fee question): does the rental property have an on-site gym?

There are certainly plenty of benefits to renting a property that includes an on-site gym. The biggest plus? You likely won’t need an expensive membership elsewhere. If you’re in search of office space in a larger building with amenities, choosing a space with a gym can greatly improve the happiness and productivity of your employees. If you’re looking for an apartment, choosing a space with a gym can shave off the time it takes to travel to your regular off-site gym. It’s a little funny to think of how valuable convenience can be, especially when we’re talking about exercise—an activity that’s intended to push you past your comfort and into achieving goals. But the comfort of a close-by place for working out can benefit your workout as well.


There is, of course, a risk to adding an on-site gym to your list of preferences as you search for a rental property: finding the right one. On-site facilities don’t often employ a dedicated gym staff, and the “gym” could simply be a couple of cardio machines stuffed into an old room. But that’s where research and visits come into play. Find the right space for you and always know your options.

Online Reviews

Posted on June 06, 2018 by Genet Group

Any good online shopper knows the value of the product review section. It’s one of the benefits of being able to buy and sell things online versus in person—when you’re online, you potentially have access to hundreds of other people who have already bought the thing you want. In person? You’ve have to put it all on faith. That new sprinkler system you purchased at The Home Depot to spruce up your property’s curb appeal? On the box it says “Guarunteed to work!” and “Strongest pipes in the business!” That same item on Amazon? Peggy A. in Manitowoc, Wisconsin wrote a review that says the hose erodes after a week’s use. Gerald B. in Austin, Texas says he opened the box and it was missing a few parts. Two stars out of five. It’s easy to see the value in taking stock of other peoples’ stories and opinions before you write a check for the thing. So why should it be any different when you’re looking to lease a property?


That’s right—though you might not have realized it, property management companies and the properties they lease out are often extensively reviewed by past and current lessees. Websites like Yelp and Google Reviews aren’t just for restaurants. They allow anyone to share their experiences good or bad with buildings and facilities and offices. So, always make sure to do a little digging online before you even consider signing a lease. It can mean the difference between a One Star and a Five Star experience.


It’s also helpful to solicit in-person reviews. If you are in contact with the current tenants of a space that will soon be free, schedule a meeting with them to hear their thoughts. At the very least you can discover how management works and issues you might want to look out for if you decide to move in.

Teaming Up

Posted on May 05, 2018 by Genet Group

Not everyone can afford the luxury of leasing a place all on their own. Especially with the high cost of real estate in many urban areas, young adults are living together as roommates more and more often. They’re also continuing to do so later into life. Even in business situations—say when you’re starting a venture with a partner—it’s common to co-sign on an office property lease with your entrepreneurial other half.


Some of us like the company of a roommate or cosigner. But some of us dream of an apartment all to ourselves. You know, a spot where you can (just for example) walk around in your underwear without fear of anyone bursting in on you. But for the time you have to do so, maintaining a proper relationship with a roommate or cosigner is key to keeping your shared space stress free.


What’s the number one tip for building a successful roommate relationship? Same as a real-deal lovey-dovey relationship: Communication. One of the biggest barriers to that? It’s incredibly easy to use passive aggression to deal with disagreements or confrontations with a roommate/cosigner. You’re comfortable enough in your space not to mince words, but you want to avoid any big disturbance in the peace. Cue the sly comments and side-eyed glances.


Let’s look at an example. If a roommate isn’t doing the dishes as often as they should, talk to them about it. Don’t leave a suggestive Post-It that reads,  “Wash the dishes please :) .”

If a cosigner is a little late on the rent, have a frank discussion and ask if there’s anything wrong—don’t just let the situation fester and become a problem for the both of you.


The best thing you can do is treat your co-lessee with respect and approach every situation with a helpful attitude. The smoother the path to your own lease, the easier it is to get there.