Resources for Renting Apartments
Basic questions to ask when touring apartments 1. What is Your Renewal Rate?
Renewal rate refers to how many renters resign the lease at the end of their agreement. A high renewal rate generally indicates that the residents enjoyed their experience enough to stay for another year.
A low renewal rate, on the other hand, is a red flag. Low retention could be caused by numerous factors, including noisy neighbors, poor management, constant maintenance issues and high rent—none of which are fun to deal with. Also ask how long the unit has been empty (it may have some issues if it’s been awhile) and how much rent goes up each year.
2. How Old is the Building and Have There Been Renovations?
An old or historic apartment building should have had some renovations since it was first built. Know what exactly they were and when they took place. For example, cabinets that were renovated last year are a different story than a 15-year-old project.
Also ask if any repairs are planned in the coming months. You may not want to live in a construction zone, while getting new appliances could make the place more enticing. To that end, don’t be afraid to ask for repairs if the unit needs them.
3. What (If Any) Utilities Are Included?
Advertisements should have told you if any of the utilities were included, but you should still confirm the information with the landlord. You don’t want to go through the apartment tour assuming you wouldn’t have to pay water and get a bill for it after you’ve signed the lease. Asking about utilities also helps clear up gray areas.
4. How Do Maintenance and Emergencies Work?
You want to know if you’ll have one maintenance guy for a whole building or a team of repairmen. You should also know who to get in touch with should your ceiling start dripping water. Know what you’re getting yourself into before your sign the lease.
Entertainment in Montgomery If you need to know what's cool to do in Montgomery check out this great website:
Establishing your new Montgomery address You can arrange with the U.S. Postal Service to forward your mail to your new Montgomery address but it will only provide this service for a limited time. Therefore, somewhere on your moving list you should make a note to contact anyone who sends you mail and provide your new address. Billing statements like your credit card, your bank, insurance companies, magazine subscriptions and of course your friends should be included.
The USPS recommends that you give it at least two weeks notice about your address change. You can do this either by internet, by mail, or by simply going to the post office and handling it directly. For $1 you can handle the change on the internet or by telephone; you will need a credit card. Or you can go to the post office and fill out the forms in person. You will receive a confirmation by mail or e-mail.
Flying into Montgomery Check out the website for the Montgomery Regional Airport for local flights in and out of Montgomery.
Montgomery Public Schools http://www.mps.k12.al.us/
MPS has a variety of academic programs and services to meet the diverse needs and interests of our students. We offer traditional schools with a full range of curriculum complemented by cultural arts, music, foreign languages, technology, career-technical education, and athletic programs.
Seven career academies in our traditional high schools equip students with skills for high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing, health occupations, information technology, culinary arts and hospitality, and business marketing. We have nine magnet schools that cover all grade levels and themes ranging from science, performing arts, technology, accelerated academics to international studies. Plus, in the fall of 2012, MPS opened Montgomery Technical Education Center for high school students interested in skilled trades.
Throughout the district, there are programs for children with special needs, including two special education centers and services for gifted students. There are also early childhood education programs and a host of supplemental education services. Our schools offer stimulating environments led by qualified and dedicated teachers. Simply put, Montgomery Public Schools has one focus...preparing students for life.
Interesting Facts About MPS
•Three MPS high schools are ranked among the best schools in the nation by Newsweek Magazine in 2012
•Three MPS high schools ranked among the top schools for 2012 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Loveless Academic Magnet Program was named the best magnet school in the nation and No. 1# in the state; Brew Tech Magnet was ranked eigth best in the state; BTW Magnet was ranked ninth best school in the state.
•MPS graduating seniors earned more than $23 million in scholarship offers in 2012.
•MPS has four U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.
•Twenty-three MPS students were named National Merit and National Achievement Semifinalists for 2012-2013
Montgomery Realtor Low mortgage rates and the increasing cost of renting an apartment have many renters now looking seriously at making the commitment to single family living. There obviously are pros and cons for both, and a renter's decision comes down to a personal situation. Personal financial condition, future plans, and the local real estate market are just three of the factors that may influence a renter's decision. The ownership versus renting equation has been in serious flux in recent years. While renters don't build equity, they have greater flexibility in relocating. Also, housing equities are not rising like they once were. So the decision has fewer right or wrong answers than maybe it once did. A renter basically must ask, “How appealing is the idea of ownership?”
If you purchase a home, you are making a commitment to stay there for at least a few years, so it pays to check out the desirability of neighborhoods carefully and weigh the prospect for getting a return on your investment if you decide to sell later. You don't want a depreciating asset and there are no guarantees. Examine local rental costs versus purchase costs for the local area. What will be your total upfront investment for making a purchase: down payment, closing cost, moving cost, fees for inspections etc., fix-up costs if any, plus any other costs incidental to making the deal. You may face as much as 20% down payment alone. And closing costs could run 5%.
If you rent a property you typically must pay a security deposit and a month or so of upfront rent. This should be totally refundable. So the upfront costs of renting versus owning are significantly unbalanced. But rents have been escalating in many cities and as your lease period terminates, you may face a big surprise. While single-family homes have been depreciating in many areas of the country, renting definitely doesn't build equity and you don't receive any tax benefits. Probably as big as any factor is the emotional feeling
Moving Checklist Helpful moving checklist before your final move-in day. Check out this great moving checklist from Mayflower Movers.
New to the Montgomery Area? Are you new to the Montgomery area and would like to find out more about our beautiful city? Visit www.montgomerychamber.com. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has been the driving force for building a strong economy and vibrant business community since 1873. Governed by a volunteer board of directors and operated by a professional staff, today's agenda is more exciting than ever.
Pet ownership The housing downturn made renting instead of owning a popular choice for many Americans. Many families have turned to smaller spaces to save money. And in terms of roommates, one of the most agreeable cohabitants can be of the canine variety – they don’t steal your groceries or borrow your clothes, and they can be a constant source of companionship and unconditional love! Living in an apartment is possible with a dog, given a little foresight and planning. Here are some considerations when downsizing with your pooch, or adopting a dog into your current apartment situation.
1. Be realistic
There are some breeds and temperaments of dogs that are not well-suited to apartment life. Dogs that are very high energy, such as a Labrador or Border collie, may really struggle being confined to a small space. Often the frustration of being cooped up and bored translates into destructive behaviors like chewing.
Especially large breeds won’t fit well in tiny spaces, either. Take an honest look at your main living areas and map out space for a kennel, dog bed, food dishes and toys. You may discover you’ll be better off with a 20-lb. mutt than the Chesapeake Bay retriever you’ve always wanted.
2. Communicate with your landlord
Always talk to your landlord about existing pets when searching for an apartment or before adopting a pet. Some landlords will have specific requirements about what size and breeds of dogs are acceptable – sometimes for legal reasons. There will most likely be an extra pet deposit for post-move out cleaning or any damage Fido might cause. Whatever you agree upon, read your lease thoroughly before signing.
It’s not realistic to try and sneak a dog into a no-pet apartment. Eventually, the landlord or a neighbor will discover your pup and then you’ll be in a real bind, forced to move or give up your beloved dog.
3. Keep your dog current on vaccinations and parasite preventives
This is really important since most apartment comple
Why get renter's insurance? Why buy renters insurance?
If you're a renter, you may not think you need insurance at all. (Your landlord already has insurance on the building, right?) But you may not realize that your landlord's policy doesn't cover any of your personal property. What would happen if:
Your apartment building burned down
A thief broke into your town house
A guest slipped and injured himself in your kitchen
The home you're renting suffered water damage
Without renters insurance, you've got no coverage for personal property loss or damage. Fortunately, you can get affordable renters insurance (also called apartment insurance) to help protect you in situations like these.
Too often, people think they don't have enough property to make a renters insurance policy worthwhile. But take a minute to think about what you own, and what you've got to lose, including:
A television or entertainment system
Musical or sporting equipment
Renters insurance provides protection if your personal property is damaged, stolen, or destroyed.
When does renters insurance apply to you?
Your renters policy will state exactly what you're insured against. In the insurance world, it's known as "named peril" coverage.
The named perils in your renters policy may include:
Fire or Lightning
Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
Accidental Discharge of Water
Nine other common loss types
Your coverage will also include liability protection, which covers injury to another person on your property. If necessary, your policy can even pay for your legal defense in these circumstances.
Additionally, your policy will include medical payments coverage that pays for medical expenses of people who don't live with you, but who are injured on your property.