A Business Card Multi-tool

Posted by JHarper on February 25, 2012

A few years back, I had new business cards made.  I wanted a unique card that would stand out from the others (doesn’t everyone?).  On the front of the card is an image from NASA called Earth’s City Lights.  Unfortunately, it is rather dark and difficult to make out.  On the back side is my contact information and that turned out ok.

 I was not too happy with these cards at first but, I started thinking about their unique characteristics.  For some time now, I have wanted to tell everyone about the many different uses that I have found for my business card.

The card is made from a plastic similar to that used for credit cards.  Because of the plastic construction, it is waterproof and very durable.  It can even survive multiple trips through the washer and dryer.  Your average business card just can’t do that.

Here is a list of uses that I have discovered so far:

  1. light-duty scraper
  2. letter opener
  3. beverage coaster
  4. straight-edge
  5. bookmark
  6. A light-duty staple puller (standard staples, only)
  7. A reminder of who to call for a great place to live!
  8. As a money-making tool!

 You may be wondering how my card could make money for you.  Well, at Cornerstone Apartments and Pine Lake Park, we have a referral program.  If you refer someone to us and they move into one of our communities, we will pay you a referral bonus (currently, $100.00).  Please note that the person(s) being referred must name you as the reference and, we will only pay out one referral bonus per tenant.  In other words, our new tenant cannot name you and also claim an internet referral.

 If you would like one of my business cards, by all means, let me know.  I’ll make sure that you get at least 2 of these money-making multi-tools.  (The extra one will be for you to give to someone else.)

 Can you think of any other uses for my card?  If so, please leave a comment so others can make better use of this free tool that can even make money.

Thanks for stopping by!  This post is brought to you by Cornerstone Apartment Communities .

Rent Vs Buy – The Great Debate

Posted by JHarper on February 12, 2012

Last year the National Association of Realtors (REALTORS) put out a booklet entitled the Field Guide to the Benefits of Home Ownership. It seems a lot of real estate agents were crying to the REALTORS to do something about the implosion of home-ownership in the US.


Now, I don’t blame the REALTORS for trying to help their members (who pay their salaries) but, the booklet seems to insult those that choose to rent over buying a house. Is that how you convince someone to buy a house?


The booklet lists 5 benefits of homeownership and explains each by citing some statistics. Number 1 is the assertion that home-ownership leads to higher academic achievement. I’ll just give that one to them so we can jump on the next one.


Benefit Number 2 is that homeownership results in “More Cohesive Communities” by asserting that homeowners are “28% more likely to repair or improve their home” than renters. Since when did we expect a tenant to repair the landlord’s property? Isn’t that what renting is all about? The tenant pays rent and the landlord keeps the place up, pays the taxes, etc.

I believe a better interpretation of this “statistic” is that 72% of homeowners do not repair or improve their home. Over time that leads to “run-down” neighborhoods. And, I’ll bet that the reason nearly 3 times as many homeowners do not repair or improve their home (vs. those who do) is because they can barely make their mortgage payment!


Some other statements that amuse me are that homeowners:


  • “Are 10% more likely to report that they have worked to solve local problems”. Huh?
  • “Are 9% more likely to know who their school board representatives are”. Given that many renters are single or childless, is this really a surprise? What harm does it cause when 1 out of 11 people do not know who their school board representatives are?
  • Home-owners are 1.3 times more likely to read newspapers. Wow. Maybe the renters are getting their news online (more environmentally-friendly).


The most recent survey cited in the “Field Guide” is from 2007 and three are from 2001 to 2003. Three more of the surveys were done between 1994 and 1997. Yet, this booklet was copyrighted in 2011. I guess you just pick and choose where you get your information these days. In any event, all of the surveys were done prior to the collapse of the housing market in 2008.


Now before anyone gets any ideas, I am not bashing homeownership. What I am trying to stop (it’s hopeless, I know) is the notion that everyone must own a home. And, because someone chooses renting over owning a house does not make them stupid or a criminal. However, after reading the Field Guide to the Benefits of Home Ownership, you might be left with that impression of renters. You can check it out for yourself by downloading a free copy of the Field Guide at: http://www.arkansasrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/5.25x7_FieldGuide.1711.FINAL_HLandRO+1.pdf


I will be posting more on the rent vs. buy debate, soon. This post is brought to you by Cornerstone Apartment Communities . Thanks for stopping by. – Jeff H.

Care and feeding of the munchkin under your kitchen sink

Posted by JHarper on December 8, 2011

(Or, How to use your food waste/garbage disposal)


Look closely and you will see a few of the things we have removed from disposals over the years. Yes, those are rocks, along with bottle caps, coins and, of course, silverware. We do not recommend trying to put these things down the drain!


Some landlords do not put disposals in their apartments because they can lead to maintenance problems. While that is true, we believe our residents are smart enough to know how to use them. However, if you are a little unsure about the growling, grumbling gremlin under the sink, have no fear. We are going to give you the low-down on how to keep the little guy happy (and growling).


First and foremost, NEVER, EVER put your fingers in the disposal! The whirling blades can easily grind up bones and skin. And, if you can easily put food waste in the trash, we recommend doing that instead of using your disposal. We have a saying “when in doubt, throw it out” (in the trash, that is). Sticky or gooey foods (think macaroni and cheese) can be particularly difficult to pass through the disposal and are best put into the trash can.


Begin by running the cold water into the side of your sink where the disposal “resides” and then turn on the disposal. Slowly, feed the food waste that you are discarding in the disposal, down the opening in the sink. Do not put your hands or fingers into the opening.


If you have a faucet with a spray, use the spray to “wash” the waste down the opening. Keep the water running throughout this process and for at least 5 seconds after all the waste has been put through the disposal.


Someday you may still end up with a disposal that is blocked or locked-up. If you live at Cornerstone Apartments in Springfield, OH do not dismay. We will send a maintenance staffer to the rescue. Call our office number and just let us know that your disposal is not working and we will put someone on it within 24 hours (weekdays). Most of the time, we can respond on the same day that you call.


Did you know that you can now submit your maintenance request online. Go to www.2rent1.com and click on the “Residents” link. The form is simple to complete and we will receive your request immediately upon submission.

You should periodically put some ice cubes (a tray full) down the disposal and turn it on. This will help clean out some of the gunk that builds up in the disposal and causes odors. Grinding some orange peelings in the disposal also helps give it a citrus fragrance.


Do you have any questions about maintenance at Cornerstone Apartments? We would be happy to address them for you.


Thanks for stopping by! This post is brought to you by Cornerstone Apartment Communities . - Jeff H.