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Tips for Finding Apartments - West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The transition from living at home to moving to college can be difficult on many levels. Getting into the right housing situation smooths several bumps in the road and can help a student gain independence.

The first step is deciding what kind of living arrangement works best.

If you decide to rent a two bedroom apartment in West Columbia, SC, here are ways to save money along the way:

A survey found that when it came to choosing an apartment, 47% of students cited rental rates and price as their leading factor.

Parents, on the other hand, had security (34 percent) as a priority. Rental rates were only third (20 percent) among parents, while location/proximity to campus was second at 29 percent.

Swimming pools and Internet cafes are great, but convenience and safety are very important as compared to whether your apartment complex has a fitness center.

If you can find housing close enough to walk or bike to campus, or along a bus route, consider leaving your car at home. Auto expenses add up quickly — monthly payments, insurance, routine maintenance, parking and gas.

Look for a place within walking distance of a grocery or a convenience store.

"Even buying at an overpriced convenience store is better than eating out every night," Pratt said. "Set aside a certain amount for dining out, grabbing McDonald's on the way home. But don't go over that amount. Make your own meals at home. Peanut butter and jelly isn't expensive."

Before signing a lease, give the apartment a thorough inspection. Document and photograph any damage or flaws and have them written into the lease. That way, when it comes time to move, the landlord can't claim that 1995-era cracked plaster is your fault and keep a chunk of the security deposit.

You might be able to save on the most basic expense: rent. Look for incentives to get more for your money such as a month's free rent or free utilities.

Emphasize characteristics that show you will be a good tenant, will pay on time and not cause any problems.

Landlords might be willing to bargain if you plan to rent for an entire year — working in town or attending summer school — and not just the regular school year.

Make sure everyone signs the lease. Roommates who drop out after a month would then be liable for their share of the rent.

For more information on renting 2 bedroom apartments in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village Apartments.

#HowYouLive
Chicago Tribune

New to the Area? Rent First – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 20, 2015

If you are new to the area and wondering if we should rent or buy there is more to the argument than you may think.

With buying there is pride of ownership and when you buy a home you may feel like you have a place to call your own. But....

On a more practical note, think about the reality of ownership. Unless you pay cash, buying a home results in a big mortgage on the property. You really don't own the home. The bank has a huge lien against the property and can take the house from you if you don't make your payments.

Home ownership comes with a whole bunch of other obligations too. You have the upkeep and maintenance of the property, maybe some homeowner dues, taxes, insurance, and then there are those dreaded household emergencies that cost a fortune. There is never a good time for your hot water heater to go or a tree to fall on the house.

Owning real estate can have some long-term advantages, like appreciation—hopefully. However, you also have to consider how much of a return on your investment you will receive before you have to or want to sell the home. Real estate commission costs add up to big bucks. And speaking of those costs, let's not forget all the closing costs associated with getting the mortgage to begin with.

Renting on the other hand can be significantly less expensive when you consider all the above costs. You should stop thinking of renting as throwing your money away and start thinking of it as possible less expensive housing that gives you flexibility.

When you are new to an area you don't always know the final place you'd like to live. After being there a while you might just find a certain part of town works better for your needs or commute. Spending a little time to get to know the area before you leap into a purchase makes sense.

A general rule of thumb is if you don't plan on living in a place for more than five years then renting might be the best bet financially. But another consideration is to consider how much money you'd lose buying and selling a property in a shorter period of time.

For more information on renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village.

#HowYouLive
Huffington Post

It is Now More Affordable to Rent than Buy – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 07, 2015

With historically low interest rates and affordable home prices, many consumers have been able to save money by purchasing a home rather than renting.

That may still be true in some markets, but RealtyTrac, a real estate marketing service, says that appears to be shifting.

The company constantly analyzes 285 U.S. counties to compare the buy vs. rent equation. In recent months, it says the balance is clearly shifting away from buying and toward renting as home prices rise faster than rents.

Back to bubble levels

While rents are still rising, home prices are rising even faster in some markets. When the National Association of Realtor's reported June's existing home sales, it noted that the median existing-home price for all housing types was $236,400. Not only is that a 6.5% increase over June 2014, it's even higher than the peak median sales price set in July 2006, at the height of the housing bubble.

"Buyers have come back in force, leading to the strongest past two months in sales since early 2007," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "This wave of demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that's giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy."

Fewer homes to buy

There are fewer homes to buy. Inventory fell in June for the fifth straight month, giving sellers the ability to hold out for a higher asking price. The biggest decline in inventory came in entry-level housing, the homes usually sought by first time buyers.

But with available homes shrinking in many markets, more consumers are remaining renters for a while. And according to RealtyTrac's numbers, that might not be such a bad thing.

For more information on renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village.

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Consumer Affairs

Finding an Apartment in West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 30, 2015

Finding an apartment is no walk in the park. If you're getting ready to move, or if you're just hoping to find a new place to live, here are a few tips for your apartment search.

Give yourself a couple months. Apartment hunting in West Columbia, SC takes time. Most agree that two months is about the right span of time for an apartment search, especially if you're hoping to find a place managed by a company, rather than an independent landlord. Keep in mind that two months before you're ready to move is about the time you should start actively looking; you should already have a general idea of where you want to live before then.

Know your priorities. Before you even start researching apartments, it's a good idea to come up with a budget you need to stick to and a list of priorities you have in an apartment. Are you willing to pay more to live closer to the downtown area? Do you need a pet-friendly apartment?

Do some research.  If you aren't sure where you want to live, the easiest way to figure it out is to do some research, and if you know people who live in the area, ask them for advice. Check out a neighborhood's popularity, cost of living, crime rate and how easy it is to get around. Narrow your search to no more than two or three neighborhoods before you start searching for apartments online.

Choose your location carefully. As you're researching neighborhoods, you'll probably discover something that apartments near public transportation may be more expensive. Also, if you're planning on driving rather than using public transportation, make sure you will have parking.

Think about living with a roommate. Finding a roommate may be a huge money saver for you. Plus, sharing an apartment means you'll be splitting your utilities bills as well.

Come prepared. Apartment hunting is very competitive, which means it's necessary to go into the process fully prepared. Bring your two most recent paystubs, copies of your credit report and a photocopy of your ID. Gather the information of two previous landlords you can use as references. (If this is your first apartment, you can use previous employers – they'll be able to vouch for your responsibility.) If you have low credit or no credit, consider finding a co-signer, like a parent or older sibling.

Don't be a commitment-phobe. If you see an apartment that meets all of your main criteria, don't hesitate. Apartments are first-come, first-served for the most part, which means if you don't apply right away, someone could easily apply within the next few hours.

For more information on apartments in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village.

#HowYouLive
US News - Money

Should you Rent an Apartment? – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 23, 2015

You may be asking yourself: “Should I rent or buy a home?” The answer is personal to your situation. While mortgage rates are low, there is still a lot to be said for renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC.

Based on your financial situation, your job situation and how much time and money you want to spend on home repairs, the answer could be very different for everyone.

There is much to be said about renting. Sudden leaking roofs or a broken appliance can really make a dent in your wallet.  Unforeseen home expenses cannot really be incorporated into any budget. Lawn and yard maintenance can also be a time-sink, especially for those who don’t love these types of tasks.

If there is any possibility that you will not stay in the area, or that your job will relocate you, renting may be a better option. Closing costs and fees can really add up, and the first several years of mortgage payments go to interest rather than the principal.

But often the most practical reason for renting has nothing to do with finances. Many of those who rent just don’t have any interest in home repairs and cutting the lawn. Apartments are the solution to maintenance free living without the condo fees. With so much to do and enjoy around West Columbia, SC your time off should be your time off should be spent however you like.

Contact Abberly Village Apartment Homes for more information on renting in West Columbia, SC.

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Frontdoor.com

Rent v. Buy is Not Only About Money – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

There is no shortage of coverage in the media and on the Internet about the decision to either rent a home or buy one. Most of this coverage is centered on the relative costs of owning versus renting an apartment.

Our lives have become more complicated and the American economy and workplaces have evolved over the past couple of decades. There are valid considerations other than money in the rent or buy decision.

Do you want to be responsible for maintenance and repairs?

You need to take care of your investment in a home, and this requires everything from yardwork to minor and major repairs. Of course you can defer maintenance, but then you're negating some of the value of owning, as the home will likely sell at a lower price after the home inspection turns up problems.

Are you concerned about being forced to move?

Your rights are only guaranteed through your lease expiration. If you are renting a private home, and not in an apartment community, the landlord decides to sell, you're inconvenienced with potential buyers walking around, and you may be forced to move when your lease is over.

How secure are you in your job, or do you want better?

What about your employment? Are you pretty secure in keeping your job or getting another one locally that will support a mortgage for a five year or longer ownership period? If you're actively seeking a better career opportunity, it may present itself far away, even across the country. Can you sell a home and get most or all of your money out of it if you have to do so sooner than planned?

Is family growth possible in the shorter term?

If there may be children coming, you either must overbuy to plan ahead, or you could be stuck with too small of a home until you can sell and get your money out. It isn't just children however. There is a growing trend of older generations moving in with their children for late life care.

The decision of buying  a home versus renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC is not too complicated. But, you want to take every facet into consideration, not just money.

For more information on Abberly Village Apartments, contact us.

#HowYouLive 

Huffington Post

Columbia, SC: One of The Best Places to Retire on Social Security Alone

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The average Social Security benefit for retired workers was $1,294 a month at the end of 2013. A couple who each brought in this amount would have $31,056 in annual Social Security benefits. How far that amount goes largely depends on where you live. U.S. News Money analyzed Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics data to determine that a couple age 65 and older could cover their basic expenses, including typical costs for housing, food, utilities, transportation and health care, with their Social Security income in these cities.

#4 Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina residents age 60 and older who are no longer working are eligible for free tuition at the University of South Carolina. Seniors can also get discount tickets to the Riverbanks Zoo and Columbia Museum of Art. Housing remains affordable, costing retirees $1,074 monthly with a mortgage, $367 with a paid-off house or $801 in monthly rent.

For information on apartments in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village.

#HowYouLive
Daily Finance

Downsize To an Apartment and Simplify Life – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 25, 2015

You are still living in the home in which you raised the kids. You have lots of memories in that home. The kids moved out decades ago. You do not use or need the other two or three bedrooms anymore. It sure is a lot of work maintaining more than 2,000 square feet of home and the accompanying yard.

You thought you were retired. Taking care of the home is almost a full-time job. There’s the vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms and other regular cleaning. And there always seems that there is something that needs fixing: the roof, electrical, plumbing, furnace or other things. And then there’s the yard work, the lawn and the flower beds.

You can’t do it all anymore. The taxes, insurance and utilities keep on going up. Not only is taking care of the home almost a full-time job, it has been getting more and more costly, and eating into your savings. What to do?

It is time to move. Downsize the home and downsize the expense. Maybe cut the home ownership cord completely and rent a two bedroom apartment in West Columbia, SC. With renting, there are no more taxes or home insurance. Renters’ insurance can insure your stuff, at a much lower cost. Oftentimes, utilities are included in the rent. And if you are a renter, you do not have to worry about having to sell when you are no longer able to live there.

Downsizing your home will assist you with staying in control and being able to enjoy your leisure time while you are alive and well. Our 2 bedroom apartments are perfect for those who are downsizing because you will still have plenty of space with floor plans that range from 1048 sq ft to 1247 sq ft.

For more information on apartments in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village.

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Excerpts - The Times Herald

Looking for the Right Apartment Community in West Columbia, SC?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are you looking for an apartment in West Columbia, SC to love? There is a community that will truly feel like home to you.

Here are a few reasons why you will feel that way.

Convenient location

In real estate, location is king. If your current apartment is located near work or school and offers easy access to highways and many of your favorite haunts, you know just how true that old adage is. A convenient location can make an apartment home feel like a real treasure.

Great neighborhood

The qualities of a neighborhood can also be enough to make you stay in an apartment, long-term. Consider walkability, diversity and the “cool factor.” Do you enjoy the character of your current neighborhood? Would you miss its unique quirks or cultural offerings?

Amazing amenities

Apartment amenities are another point of persuasion. Some apartment communities offer a wide variety of amenities like a pool, outdoor space for play or barbeques, dog runs, a gym or concierge, and laundry services. Take a moment to think about the apartment amenities that make your life easier. When all other factors in an apartment search are equal, amenities can really tip the scale toward “love.”

The people

Good relationships with your neighbors can also factor strongly in a decision to stay in an apartment. Many apartments offer residents a real sense of community. If you enjoy knowing your neighbors and find yourself in an environment where folks are friendly and fun, you may have all the evidence you need to stay put.

Consider your relationship with property managers and staff, as well. Personable, attentive staff who make themselves available to their residents and respond quickly to maintenance issues or other needs are a true asset. If you feel your apartment community staff really takes care of you, consider that a good reason to stay in your current place.

Financial factors

These are just some of the reasons that might convince you to stay in an apartment. There are financial reasons, too. If you enjoy a reasonable rent rate, that can be a very compelling reason to stay put.

And don’t forget that even a short, in-town move comes at a cost. Even if you do everything yourself, moving will still be an expense — on top of all the start-up expenses you’re responsible for to secure a new lease and set up utilities at a new place.

Sure, maybe you’ve daydreamed about moving? We all get an itch to try something new every once in a while, but moving isn’t necessarily something to do on a whim. Consider the reasons above, and you may decide you want to stay put right where you are!

For more information on 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village.

#HowYouLive
Apartmentguide.com

Renting is the American Dream – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is renting a an apartment the new American dream? A new report projects that even after the housing crash is a distant memory, homeownership rates in America will continue to decline.

The report estimates that between 2010 and 2030, the majority (59%) of the 22 million new households will rent, while just 41% will buy.

But even the economic recovery won’t reverse that trend. Here are six reasons:

  1. Wages. Real wages have declined among adults ages 25 to 34 since 1996. “Even for young adults with good jobs, low vacancy rates and high rents make it more difficult to save,” the report says.
  2. Student loan debt. Total outstanding debt was about $300 billion in 2003; now it is over $1.3 trillion. Long-term debt makes additional long-term debt less appealing.
  3. Delayed household formation. Both women and men are waiting four years longer before marriage than in 1980. This means that homeownership is apt to occur later. At a result, people will spend less of their lives as homeowners, placing a drag on the homeownership rate.
  4. Lingering effects of the recession. Roughly 7.5 million Americans lost their homes during the recession; most will have a hard time buying a new one, dragging down the homeownership rate.
  5. They’re not that into home buying. More Americans are consciously choosing to rent a two bedroom apartment in West Columbia, SC over buying a home.
  6. Higher borrowing standards. The report says that lenders are still “historically tight,” particularly among borrowers with lower credit scores.

For more information on renting apartments in West Columbia, SC , contact Abberly Village.

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Credit.com


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