Rental Checklist – Infographic

Rental Checklist Infographic

 

This quick infographic will help you through the leasing process. This rental checklist gives you questions that you can ask your leasing agent or the owner of the property.  Happy hunting!

Categories: Apartment Hunting
Vicious Dogs – The Pink’s of NoHo

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When I heard that Vicious Dogs might be as good (or better!) than Pink’s Hot Dogs, I knew that I needed to try it.

I grew up going to Pink’s Hot Dogs. It was always worth waiting in the line that wrapped around the building. It was an experience to choose from their unique combinations and to hear the waitresses rattle off the orders by memory.

However, it is down in Hollywood and not always convenient to get to. But Vicious Dogs is only five minutes away from where I work.

So I jumped on the chance to try Vicious Dogs today.

I beat the lunch rush so I had the place to myself for a few minutes. The walls of the tiny hot dog joint are covered with eccentric art and the smell of veggies grilling and pastrami searing greets you. Yes, you heard that correctly. You can get seared pastrami on your dog.

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The friendly staff shared with me their most popular items. One of those is their “Hot Chick” dog. This distinctive dog is wrapped in bacon and topped with chopped chicken tenders, hot sauce, and ranch dressing.

I opted for the “I Love New York” polish sausage. This hot dog was a juicy, slight spicy mouthful. Covered with grilled onions, pan fried tomatoes, and ranch dressing, it was the perfect combination of flavors.

I washed it down with a half order of their seasoned fries. They were perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with just the right amount of seasoning. And at only $2.50 for a half order, the fries are a must.

But what I was most impressed by was seeing the owner there working alongside the staff.  He was working hard cleaning, taking people’s orders, and greeting customers by name. It added an element of neighborliness.

If you are in the area, I highly recommend that you stop by Vicious Dogs. It is definitely a highlight of the NoHo Arts District. With its offbeat menu and personable staff, it has become a favorite with the locals.

And don’t tell Pink’s, but I think it just might be better!

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Categories: Local Restaurants
Honu Coffee

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The town calls itself “Awesome Town,” but in order to truly be an awesome town you need  to have a specialty coffee shop. And Santa Clarita did not.

Sure, they had their Starbucks, Pete’s Coffee, and other chain coffee stores. But there was no boutique coffee shops. No one was serving house-roasted coffee. No one was searching high and low for the best coffee.

But John and his wife decided to change that. Three months ago they opened Honu Coffee. They were serving Kean coffee; the best coffee in their opinion.

They had randomly discovered this unique coffee several years ago at a restaurant in Lancaster. They had ordered some after dinner coffee with no high expectations. To their surprise, they were blown away by the exquisite coffee.

So John and his wife tracked down the roaster and found that it was called Kean coffee. Kean coffee is personally roasted by coffee connoisseur, Martin Deidrich. He searches all over the globe for the best coffee. He is a firm believer in using coffee that is in season. So the types of coffee change with the season for maximum flavor.

A self-described “serial entrepreneur,” John recognized that the Santa Clarita Valley was lacking in good coffee. He took it upon himself to bring good coffee to SCV.

Honu Coffee is a charming little coffee shop in downtown Newhall. They have a great indoor space as well as a large outdoor patio. But the best part of the coffee shop is their loft space. This cozy loft is the perfect area to study or have a meeting. Complete with comfy couches and plugs for your laptop, it is a great place to hang out.

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But the part that can’t be beat is what Honu Coffee is known for – their coffee. You will definitely want to enjoy a cup of their flavorful coffee!

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 Many thanks to Honu Coffee for letting us stop by and answering our questions! We will definitely be back!

Categories: Local Restaurants
Marie et Cie

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It was a cold, rainy day and I was hungry. To my shame, I was taking a quick lunch break to go get a couple Jack in The Box tacos.

As I drove to get a quick bite, I passed a little cafe. This cafe had always intrigued me. It had a red awning that sported the words, “Home Furnishings – Coffee House.” What kind of place has both home furnishings and coffee? I did not know, but I was willing to find out!

I parked and walked past a lovely outdoor patio into the charming restaurant. The colors were warm and inviting. The conversation was buzzing as guests chatted at bistro tables. And the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling added a whimsical charm.

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I chatted with the employees about the history of Marie et Cie and finally decided to order a french onion soup and a piece of chocolate cheesecake.

While I waited for my food, I browsed their home goods. They had a wide selection of candles, home decor, and furniture. I could have looked around for a long time!

I couldn’t wait for my soup any longer, so I broke the rules and ate my cheesecake first. It was a decadent, creamy cheesecake with a rich chocolate flavor. It was divine!

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I was in a hurry and I started to get impatient for my food. But when it arrived, all my concerns about being late were forgotten. It was probably the best french onion soup that I had ever had! It was served in a darling mini pot and served with a delicious cheese toast.

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We love to find new places that our near our properties and this place quickly became one of our favorites. We are so glad that on an excursion to get tacos, we ended up stumbling across this instead.

Categories: Local Restaurants
The Benefits of Dual-Paned Windows

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It’s 3:00am. You should be dreaming of sugar plum fairies and what Santa is bringing you for Christmas, but instead you are up listening to your neighbors argue outside your apartment window. This seems to be a weekly occurrence from your neighbors living across the way. You have had enough of this. You are ready to move.

The next place that you live is going to have dual-paned windows. It is a necessity for you – not only because of the noise reduction but because of the four other features that these windows provide.

First of all, dual-paned windows save you money by helping to better insulate your home. This means that you will use less energy heating and cooling your apartment which is in turn more eco-friendly. Anything that helps the environment is important to you.

Furthermore, the thickness of dual-paned windows helps reduce moisture. Moisture reduction is beneficial because it helps reduce the chances of mold and actually makes your home a healthier place to live.

Also, these windows are easy to clean. They are a solid pane of glass so there are no nooks and crannies that need to be meticulously cleaned.

Finally, the two panes of glass make the windows harder to break. So you increase your safety by having dual-paned windows. This is an added benefit to having these in your home.

This Christmas you are going to give yourself the gift of having dual-paned windows. You will either find an apartment that has them or you are going to get them installed in your apartment. They are economical, environmentally conscious, effective for your health and safety, and easier to clean.

And the only Christmas you will hear will be your own!

Check out our website to see which apartments have new dual-paned windows! Click here.

Categories: Apartment Hunting, Apartment Living
The Orange Tree Juice Bar

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Pictured left to right: Carrot Cake, Green Machine, Pink Lady

Once upon a time, there was a group of entrepreneurs who owned a juice bar. They served delicious, fresh juices every day to the residents of Hollywood. But in an unfortunate turn of events, the juice bar burnt down.

It was a tragic story. But it has a happy ending!

Twenty years later, those entrepreneurs started another juice bar. They still kept making their fresh juices, but this time it was in Studio City.

This juice bar is our neighbor, the Orange Tree Juice Bar! The Orange Tree is (literally) the new kid on the block. There are coffee shops, pizza places, boutique shops, but nothing like this juice bar.  All of us at PAC Properties are so excited to welcome them to the Tujunga Village shopping center.

Everything in the juice bar is vibrant – the colors of the decor, the flavors, and the fresh fruits and vegetables, ready to juice.

I enjoyed sampling their Pink Lady juice. It was made fresh with tangy grapefruit, crisp apple, a hint of mint, and aloe vera. Some of my coworkers sampled the Carrot Cake, Apple Pie, and Green Machine juices. They said that the juices tasted remarkably like the desserts that they were named after!

The Orange Tree has a beautiful outdoor patio that guests can enjoy. They also offer free Wifi! It is the perfect hidden spot to study or to have a casual date.

The juice bar also serves a variety of savory menu items. They have salads and paninis if you are in the mood for something more than juice.

The Orange Tree is owned by one of our favorite tacos stands in Studio City, Cactus Tacqueria, so we were very excited to visit and try some of their juices. We definitely were not disappointed! We recommend that you head over there and give it a try!

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Categories: Local Restaurants
Inexpensive Ways to Keep Your Apartment Smelling Fresh

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Sometimes living in close proximity to your neighbors can be a bit, well, fragrant. Candles and air fresheners can get a bit expensive, so here are several ways to keep your apartment smelling fresh on a budget.

Baking Soda

Most of us know to keep baking soda in our fridge to keep things fresh, but did you know that you could use it in your crockpot? Fill a crockpot with water and some baking soda and let it boil on low for a couple hours. It will clear away bad odors. You can also sprinkle it on your carpet and let it sit for fifteen minutes before vacuuming to remove odor.

Keep a Separate Bag for Food

Getting rid of bad odors is the biggest step in keeping your apartment fresh. Put old food in a separate, smaller bag and get rid of that immediately after a meal. That way the leftovers are not sitting in your trash causing a bad smell.

DIY Natural Room Scent

Monica at The Yummy Life blog has a great DIY for natural room scents. She puts a pot of water on her stove and boils various herbs and spices to create aromatic combinations. Not only is this an economical way of keeping your apartment smelling fresh, it is natural also.

Keep Your Garage Disposal Clean

Don’t throw away your old orange and lemon peels. Keep them and throw them down your garbage disposal. They will help keep your kitchen from smelling and help keep your garbage disposal working.

Read more information on how to keep your garbage disposal working here.

Scented Wood Cubes 

Alex from Northstory  stumbled across away to make these scented wood blocks. Very simple to make, she just brushes the wood blocks with aromatherapy oils. She places these throughout her house. She also has made her own car air fresheners.

Using these simple and inexpensive tips will help keep your apartment smelling clean and fragrant, in a good way!

Categories: Apartment Living
Space Saving Solutions for Apartments

Apartments are a wonderful place to live. Usually, they are within walking distance of shops and restaurants. They require less maintenance and less upkeep than a house or condo.

The downside of living in an apartment is that is can have a lack of storage space. While vintage apartments are charming and full of character, these apartments can especially have a lack of storage. Or if you are living in a studio apartment, you might find yourself wondering where to put everything.

Here are some space saving ideas to help you maximize your storage.

Choose Decorations that Double as Storage

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Choose decorative items that double as storage solutions. These shelves from Ikea not only look great, but are the perfect way to store things.

Purchase these shelves, here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/kitchen/series/21592/

Utilize the Open Shelving Trend

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Gorgeous and functional, open shelving is a hot trend right now. This trend is perfect for apartment living.

Look Up, Rather than Out

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 Image found here.

When you don’t have a lot of space, focus on decorating up rather than out. This kitchen utilizes several methods of storage that we have talked about. They have made the most of this small space by decorating up rather than out. Open shelving has also been incorporated in this look.

Store Things In and Under

Use the space under your bed or put baskets under your coffee table. You will be amazed at how much space you can find if you put things in or under your furniture.

 Purchase Hanging Storage

There are lots of options for over the door storage or storage that hangs over cabinet doors. This is a great space saving solution.

Use Storage Racks

There are storage racks for plates, shoes, spices, and much more! Visit The Container Store or Ikea for storage racks.

These space saving ideas will help you to increase your storage space. There are lots of resources out there for storage solutions.

What space saving solutions have you found helpful?

Categories: Apartment Living
8 Things to do in LA this Fall

DSC01337There is a crispness in the air and the leaves have started to form a colorful quilt blanketing the streets. People have started wrapping up in blankets and sipping hot cider… Oh wait, this is Southern California. The only thing that has changed is the month. It is still just as hot even though it is October.

So while other people are enjoying pumpkins and sweaters, what is a Southern Californian to do? Here are 8 things to do in Los Angeles this fall to help you pretend that we have seasons.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch 

Even if it does not feel like fall, it can at least look like fall in your house. Pick up some pumpkins at one of these pumpkin patches that CBS has named the best pumpkin patches. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-pumpkin-patches-in-southern-california/

 Attend a Fall Festival

On October 18 & 19, the Kidspace Museum will be hosting its annual pumpkin festival. It is a free event and is very kid friendly. There will be live music, a petting zoo, food, pony rides, and much more. Visit here for more information: http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/contribute/pumpkin.

Also on October 18 & 19, the LA Farmer’s Market has a fall festival. They will have live bluegrass and swing music and special activities for kids. http://www.farmersmarketla.com/events/eventDetail/Fall-Festival/4

 Get Lost in a Corn Maze

From October 4-November 2, you can get lost in the corn maze at Forneris Farms. If that is not your kind of thing, then you can shop at their farmer’s market or take a train ride. For more information: http://www.fornerisfarms.com/corn-maze.html.

Pick Apples

If you are willing to take a short drive, you can pick apples! CBS also put together this list of the best places to pick apples. Check it out: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-apple-picking-near-los-angeles-2/. 

Get Spooked in a Haunted House

About Travel put together this list of haunted houses. If you enjoy a good thrill, you will definitely want to check out their list: http://golosangeles.about.com/od/losangelescalendar/a/HalloweenEvents_2.htm.

Trick or Treat at the Zoo

Not only can you trick or treat at the zoo, but you get to watch the LA Zoo’s Stomp N’ Chomp. Watch lions, tigers, and hippos tear through pumpkins to get their dinner! http://la.mommypoppins.com/lakids/boo-at-the-la-zoo

Experience Shorter Lines at Theme Parks

Locals recommend going to theme parks such as Magic Mountain or Universal studios during the month of October. These theme parks have elaborate mazes and attractions for Halloween. Since everyone is enjoying these special attractions, the lines for the rides are much shorter. 

Go to the Beach 

Where else is it warm enough to go to the beach in October? Enjoy the fact that you live in Southern California and soak up the sun!

Categories: Local Events
Creme Caramel LA

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At PAC Properties, we love to find fun spots that are in close proximity to our apartment buildings. Not only do we want to help you find a great apartment, we want our residents to enjoy the culture of where they live.

Today, we had the privilege of experiencing Creme Caramel LA. It was a pleasure not only trying their delicious food, but to meet the owner and staff. We cannot speak highly enough of this restaurant!

Within walking distance of our building at 15007 Burbank building in Sherman Oaks, this coffee shop and restaurant is a fantastic hang out place. There are tables to sit outside and a cute counter area where you can enjoy a dessert or cup of coffee.

Creme Caramel LA got its start in Farmer’s Markets so they had lots of samples to try. Known for their custards and bread pudding, Creme Caramel has something for everyone. The owner finds inspiration from her Filipino roots and incorporates unique ingredients such as ube, a purple yam. We would recommend their bread pudding with homemade salted caramel sauce!

Pictured above is a custard pie topped with bruleed graham cracker Greek yogurt crumble (description from the Creme Caramel LA website). On the right is the bread pudding with the homemade caramel sauce. To the left, you can see a creme caramel. Everything that we sampled was wonderful! They also have savory menu items and there are vegan options as well.

Every Friday, Creme Caramel La has what they call Food Truck Friday. Different food trucks come to the coffee shop and there is food and drinks from 5:00pm-9:00pm. If you don’t have plans for this Friday, you will definitely want to stop by and check it out!

For more information and menus, you can find Creme Caramel LA here:

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Categories: Local Events, Local Restaurants