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Now May be the Time to Rent an Apartment – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Have you been wondering if now is the time to buy? If so, the first factor to consider is whether or not you can actually afford to buy. Have a good understanding of where you stand financially right now.

That means finding out whether there's enough money for a down payment — a minimum of 5-10% of the home's purchase price. It's also important to look at what other debts you owe and how stable your employment is.

And the down payment is just one cost to consider. Potential home buyers should set aside another 1.5 – 3 % of the purchase price to take care of closing costs.

Once the papers have been signed and the property is yours, it's not just the mortgage payments that you have to worry about after that.

Can you afford property taxes, condo fees, heat, utilities and repairs?

When you own a home, you can't call the landlord. You're the landlord. You have to create a cushion in your monthly budget to provide for these additional costs.

Sometimes it does make sense to rent if you're moving around frequently for work or if the money simply isn't there.

Some renters have a different perspective and they have ditched home ownership in favor of renting — some for lifestyle reasons rather than financial.

Many don’t like to own because they don’t like to feel so disconnected from the cultural and social life in the city and the chores associated with keeping up a home.

For more information on renting an apartment in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove Apartments.

Brandon Sun

Reasons to Rent and Not Buy – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 24, 2015

There are a lot of silver linings to renting. From greater flexibility to surprising financial savings, here are 10 reasons to be glad if you are not a homeowner.

1. No worries about yardwork. If you rent, your yard might be a maintenance-free patio or, if there is a grassy yard, the landscaping might be maintained by the landlord. If you have a green thumb, of course you can make the most of your space with a potted garden or raised veggie beds — but the choice is yours.

2. Live in a more walkable area. When buying a home in a densely populated urban area is financially challenging, renting in the same area can sometimes be within reach. Renting can let you take advantage of the conveniences and rich culture of city life.

3. Get repaid for home improvements. While some landlords are quite strict about making any changes to the space, others are open to positive changes that will appeal to other renters in the future, such as refinished floors, fresh neutral paint and new light fixtures or faucets, and might even reimburse you for materials and labor. You won’t know unless you ask … just make sure you do ask before making a change, or you could lose your deposit when you move out!

4. Enjoy more free time. Along with owning a home comes the responsibility for home maintenance — and all of that lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, deck staining and painting takes time. Renting means you can devote more time to doing the things you really love to do.

5. Excuse yourself from costly updates. When you own a home, pouring money into remodeling projects is tempting, even though you are not likely to recoup that money when you sell. As a renter, there is freedom in knowing you can’t remodel even if you wanted to — and the unspent money can become savings for retirement, travel or a special piece of furniture that you can take along if you move.

6. Upsize more easily when your family grows. Buying a small starter home may seem like a good idea … until a child (or two or more) comes along, and you realize you really need more space. If you rent, moving to a bigger place is a relatively simple endeavor. If you own your home and want to sell your old house and buy a new one at the same time, things get more complicated (and more expensive), especially if you end up carrying two mortgages at once.

7. Invest on your own terms. Whether you would like to start a business or invest more in your retirement accounts, choosing to not buy a home opens up other possibilities for saving and investing. Buying a home can be a smart investment, but it’s not the only option.

8. Keep options open. Got an amazing new job opportunity in a far-flung locale? If you own your home, you’d have to contend with selling or renting it out if you wanted to move, but if you rent, the process is more straightforward. Renting in different neighborhoods is also a great way to get a feel for a new city — keep exploring until you find your ideal spot.

9. Something broke? You don’t have to fix it! Being able to call the landlord when something needs fixing has to be one of the biggest perks of renting. From leaky faucets to appliances that go kaput, it’s nice to know you will never need to cover surprise repair costs.

10. Enjoy being mortgage-free. While some folks are able to purchase their home outright, for many, being a homeowner means signing up for a boatload of debt. And while it sounds as if you’d be saving more by paying off a mortgage (and a home can indeed be a wonderful long-term investment), it’s not all sunshine and roses — there are the closing costs, agent fees, interest payments and property taxes to take into account (to name a few added expenses). A savvy renter can sock away as much (or more) savings as a homeowner, without the debt.

For more information on apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove Apartments.


Raleigh is the Perfect Place to Rent

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 17, 2015

The Raleigh area has won a lot of awards. You want to live in a great city with tons to do, this is most likely one of the reasons why you are apartment hunting in Raleigh, NC.

If you are considering moving here, this is a list some of the accolades the City of Raleigh has been awarded recently! Not that we need to give you any more reasons to check out apartments in Raleigh, NC and move to the area…

  • #2 – “Best Large City to Live In” Wallethub Study, August 2015
  • Top Ten Fastest Growing Cities Wallethub Study, August 2015
  • #2 Among Top 10 Music Cities Other Than Nashville (Raleigh) - Music From The Row, July 2015
  • Among the 20 Best State Fairs in America (N.C. State Fair, Raleigh) - Vacations Made Easy, July 2015
  • #2 Among the Next Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs (Raleigh) - Fast Company, July 2015
  • #4 Among Most Innovative, Pioneering Digital Counties: 500,000 or More Population Category (Wake County) - Center for Digital Government, July 2015
  • Among 17 Most Underrated American Cities (Raleigh) - Urban Insider, July 2015
  • Among Top 100 Cities on Twitter (Greater Raleigh CVB) - Encore Alert, June 2015
  • #3 Among 12 Music Festivals You Should Actually Attend This Summer (Hopscotch, Raleigh) - The Huffington Post, May 2015
  • #3 Among Best Cities to Work - Economic Environment (Raleigh MSA) - WalletHub, May 2015
  • #10 Among Best Cities to Work - Small Business Environment (Raleigh MSA) - WalletHub, May 2015
  • Sports Tourism Organization of the Year (Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance) - National Association of Sports Commissions, April 2015
  • #1 Among Mid-Sized American Cities of the Future (Raleigh) - The Financial Times, April 2015
  • Among 2015 Award of Excellence Winners (Greater Raleigh CVB) - Corporate & Incentive Travel, April 2015
  • #2 Among the Cities Creating The Most Tech Jobs (Raleigh) - Forbes, April 2015
  • Among 29 Cities All Twentysomethings Should Pick Up and Move To (Raleigh) - BuzzFeed, March 2015
  • Among Top 100 Places to Live - RelocateAmerica
  • One of the Coolest Small Cities in America (Raleigh) - GQ
  • Next Big Boom Town (Raleigh-Cary) - Forbes
  • Among Best Places for Business and Careers (Raleigh-Cary) - Forbes
  • Among 2011 Best Cities for Job Growth (Raleigh-Cary) - Forbes
  • Top Metro for Small Business (Raleigh-Cary) -
  • Best Labor Market for Young Adults (Raleigh-Cary) -
  • America’s Cleanest Cities (Raleigh-Cary) - Forbes

And this isn’t even all of them. For more information on renting an apartment in Raleigh, NC, contact Auston Grove Apartments.

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Apartment Living is Perfect for Those in Transition - Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There are many  good reasons to rent. Many people, young and old, debate the question of if they should rent or buy a home. Often it is a financial decision. But renting is often the right decision when your life is in transition. As a college student, a new graduate, if you are newly married or just starting a family, if you are new to the region, divorced, widowed, or retiring are all great reasons to rent an apartment in Raleigh, NC.

If you’re new in town and want to evaluate several different neighborhoods, renting is a smart option. If you’re older and tired of managing a big house and yard, then rent and free yourself of responsibility. Do you want to live near the beach or a golf course? If you live alone and want the security of a high-rise building with garage parking, a concierge and amenities, such as a swimming pool on site, then rent.

It can be a liberating kind of lifestyle that is gathering greater and greater appeal with people of all ages.

For more information on 2 bedroom apartments in Raleigh, NC, contact Auston Grove.


Excerpts- Herald Tribune

Raleigh, NC: Ranked #2 “Best Large City to Live In”

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Chances are, if you ask people what they think of Charlotte, reviews are favorable. It's a great place. Not too big, not too small.

But, the latest Wallethub study however, finds Charlotte isn't quite up to par with neighboring Raleigh.

Raleigh is ranked No. 2 as the "Best Large City to Live In." Charlotte, comes in at No.19.

The study compares US cities in terms of livability, education, health, and economic growth and tax rates.

The two North Carolina cities are also ranked among the fastest growing cities in the US by Forbes magazine. Once again, Raleigh outranks Charlotte in terms of growth.

In Raleigh, colleges, and universities are all around. UNCC is growing, and uptown is too. You get a feel of a major city.

For more information on renting an apartment in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove.


Rent an Apartment if You Are Moving Within 5 Years – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

If you're planning on moving in the next five years, rent

If you think you want to buy a home, you should first consider how long you plan to stay in the area. If you think you might move again in the next few years, it's a better plan financially to simply rent an apartment in Raleigh, NC, as the first five years are the hardest for building up equity.

Why is that? There are several reasons.

First, the first five years of the mortgage are the worst years for building equity. The large majority of each mortgage payment goes straight toward interest. On a thirty year mortgage, you build approximately 5% of your home’s value in equity during the first five years of the mortgage.

Second, much of that small amount that you do build in equity will be eaten by realtors when you sell. The FSBO route has challenges and expenses involved as well.

Third, what equity isn’t devoured by the realtors will be devoured by the bank. Closing costs can add up to be a large portion of your mortgage, particularly when you’re really only concerned about the small amount of equity you’d build during that time.

Finally, the housing market isn’t the same as it was seven or eight years ago. At best, home prices are stable. In many areas, they’re still drifting downward. You’re not going to make a mint by buying a house and then flipping it.

If you are interested in renting a 1-bedroom apartment in Raleigh, NC Contact Auston Grove Apartment Homes.

The Christian Science Monitor

Apartment Hunting, How to Avoid Scams – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Millennials are delaying purchasing homes and instead are renting 1 or 2 bedroom apartments until later in life.

In cities with competitive renting markets, renters may want to move quickly to snag a seemingly excellent deal. It’s important, however, to do sufficient research beforehand to ensure that you aren’t stepping into a scam that actually is too good to be true. Come up with an apartment hunting checklist to ensure you're covering all of your bases before you even start looking.

Avoid these rental scams

No pictures? This might be a bad sign, or it could stem from safety concerns of the current tenants.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides information on its website about rental scams and how to avoid them. According to the FTC, scammers may “hijack ads,” by reposting real listings with their contact info instead of the contact info of the actual landlord. Scammers may also create listings for places that don’t exist, or that aren’t for rent. If the price of the place you found online is much lower than anything else in the surrounding area, this may be cause for concern.

Other signs that you may be walking into a rental scam, according to the FTC, include landlords asking you to wire money, landlords requiring a security deposit or rent payments before you’ve met them or signed a lease, and landlords claiming to be out of the country.

Scammers may not necessarily be after your money; rather, they may be collecting personal information for the purposes of identity theft. Be wary of giving your social security number, driver’s license, etc. out to someone you haven’t met for a listing you haven’t seen.

There’s no substitute for an in-person visit from you or a trusted friend if necessary. Not unlike dating profiles, posturing is the name of the game when presenting real estate, and a picture taken ten years ago might not reflect the current reality.

What to have handy when renting

In cities with highly competitive rental markets, renters may need to have documents like a renter’s resume and proof of income (bank account statements or an offer of employment) on hand for open houses and viewing appointments. Landlords often charge an application fee to run a credit check on applicants. Printing out your credit report and score might save the landlord’s time or give your application a boost, but landlords may want to run their own credit check regardless.

You should also check the listed rent against the rent of other, similar units. This will help you make sure that the rent being offered is a fair market price, and it's a particularly important consideration if you're moving to a new city and are unfamiliar with the rental market.

What to look for

There’s no room for deference or gullibility when viewing an apartment. This is the time to ask questions, and then ask more questions. Who pays which utilities? Are pets allowed? Am I allowed to hang pictures up with nail or thumbtacks, and am I allowed to paint? Do I need renter’s insurance? (Some apartment complexes will require renter’s insurance covering a certain amount). Research any and everything else that’s of importance to you: Does the apartment get natural light? How’s your cell phone service? Walk around the neighborhood at night, if you can, to gauge if there’s a marked difference from how the neighborhood seems during the day.

What to ask before signing a lease

Once you have a lease in hand, read it, and don’t hesitate to ask additional questions. Who do I call if something breaks? Are there rules about playing music or having guests over after certain hours? Make sure all appliances work, and take pictures. When you’re moving out and trying to get your security deposit back, these could come in handy if you need to demonstrate that a particular mark or scratch existed prior to you moving in.

In the midst of the stress of trying to find a suitable apartment, it may be tempting to let all such inquiry fall by the wayside. But a yearlong lease, which is the length of many initial leases, is not insignificant—better to find out about any challenges or deal-breakers before you sign a lease, rather than two months in.

Extensive research and preparation will aid in apartment hunting in Raleigh and help protect against scammers.

For more information on apartments in Raleigh, NC, contact Auston Grove.

Excerpts - ATTN:

Looking for a New Apartment to Rent? - Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Looking for a new apartment in Raleigh, NC to rent? Spring and summer are moving season for many renters.

Fortunately, a lot of the problems that plague renters can be avoided just by choosing that apartment in Raleigh, NC a little more carefully. Here are some apartment hunting mistakes to avoid while you’re looking.

Falling in Love Too Soon

These days, apartment hunting usually begins online, where you can browse through photos of apartments for rent in your area. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little previewing before you go out to view these places in person; just keep in mind that in many cases, photos don’t tell it all. Photos lack a lot of detail. If possible, take a tour.

Failing to See the Big Picture

Before you start looking for a new apartment, think about what’s really important to you. Are you looking for a short commute to work? Proximity to certain amenities such as shopping, parks, or public transportation? It’s important to understand the big picture in terms of what you want out of your apartment, to size up each apartment as a whole. Otherwise, you’re likely to zero-in on smaller, less important details, like the size of the unit, the decor, or fantastically cheap rent.

Allowing Yourself to Be Wooed by Fancy Fixtures

Be sure that in addition to apartment amenities that the apartment itself meets your needs in other key ways. If you wouldn’t live in this apartment if it didn’t have fancy fixtures, you probably shouldn’t move in just because it does.

Going Out of Your League

Before you start apartment hunting in Raleigh, you have to decide how much rent you are capable of paying. Most financial experts recommend that you spend no more than 30% of your take-home (after-tax) income on housing. Depending on your other financial obligations — and your personal financial goals — you may want to spend even less. But no matter what price point you decide on, once you have a number in mind, stick to it. And do not, under any circumstances, look at apartments that exceed your budget.

Failing to Read the Rental Agreement

Rental agreements lay out, in legal terms, what you as a renter are responsible for. Read every word carefully and make sure you’re up for it. If you aren’t, move on.

Overlooking Existing Damage

Most rental agreements include a damage deposit. This is money that the landlord holds in order to pay for any damage the tenant may cause during the term of the lease. This can get tricky if you don’t document any damages that were already there when you moved in. On the day you get possession of your apartment, walk through it and document existing damage.

Not Considering Roommates Carefully

Living with other people can be hard. When you share your personal space with someone, you get to know each other on a pretty intimate level. So try to choose your roommates carefully. There are different philosophies on this. Some people think it’s best to choose a roommate who isn’t a friend. Others say it’s best to room with a bestie. Either way, make sure your roommate has a solid history of paying their rent.

Not Vetting Your Landlord

Some landlords care about their properties and their tenants. They’ll take your calls and fix leaking toilets and send an exterminator in to deal with your ant problem. Other landlords treat their tenants like cash machines; money is withdrawn, never to be seen again. Be sure to run a check on your landlord before you sign a rental agreement. Do a Google search, ask if you can contact previous tenants, and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the landlord or property management company. If you discover serious issues, find another place to rent.

For more information on renting in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove.


Renting is a Great Option – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 06, 2015

Generations of Americans have considered that owning their own home is key to achieving the American Dream. But the lingering effects of the Great Recession have caused many people to rethink that belief. The numbers of renters is rising as more Americans opt to rent an apartment in Raleigh, NC rather than buy a home.

Long gone are the days when Americans assumed home ownership could only have a positive impact on their finances, and that renting was equivalent to throwing money away.

Like any debate, the question of renting versus buying has pros and cons on both sides. Buying a house creates the potential to build equity and provides a sense of stability, while renting affords a level of mobility. In many areas of the country, the gap between lease costs and monthly mortgage payments has narrowed, making both options equally affordable.

While the decision to rent or buy will depend on your personal circumstances, when you're considering the question some facts are universal. Among them: What impact might your credit have on your decision to buy or rent, and what impact will either option have on your credit score?

When you're evaluating whether buying a home or continuing to rent makes sense for you, consider all the facts as well as your lifestyle.

For information on renting in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove Apartments.


Reasons Renting Beats Buying – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Renting has its advantages. And whether you plan to be a renter forever or hope to buy a home one day, there are many long- and short-term financial payoffs to being a renter, especially for those who live in large rental communities. So the next you hear that you’re losing money by renting an apartment in Raleigh, NC, remember these six ways renting pays.

1. Low upfront costs.

You might feel the financial pinch of having to initially pay your first month’s rent and security deposit on top of moving expenditures, but in the grand scheme of things, this upfront cost pales in comparison to the down payment home buyers have to cough up to move in.

2.  You are not responsible for maintenance, you landlord is.

Outside of normal wear and tear, or intentional destructive damage, the landlord is responsible for routine repairs and upkeep. If the air conditioning breaks down, your landlord will fix it. If the refrigerator motor goes out, your landlord will cover the replacement. If the balcony needs resealing or the garage door spring snaps, no money will come out of your pocket for the repair. And that’s certainly worth something.

3. No yard work.

Flowers and shrubs cost money to plant and cultivate. If you’re a renter in an apartment community, you are not directly responsible for landscaping costs. You don’t have to buy flower seeds or sod. You don’t have to worry about sharpening lawn mower blades or buying gas to refill the tank. You can wake up each morning and walk the grounds, see the daffodils or tulips, or enjoy the beauty of a rock garden from your balcony without ever having to lift a finger.

4. Low utility and insurance costs.

Many rentals include the cost of heat or water, so you can crank up the thermostat in winter without having to worry about an increased utility bill. And when it comes to insurance, although many renters opt out of a rental policy, the cost to protect your belongings in case of theft or fire is fairly low — certainly lower than homeowner’s insurance. Even if you don’t get renter’s insurance to safeguard your goods, your landlord has a policy to cover the dwelling if lightning strikes or a tree crashes through the roof.

5. Got a gym?

Finding a rental community that offers a swimming pool, gym, or party room with a big screen TV or billiards table is like finding money in a bag. You can keep your greenbacks and stay in shape without having to shell out for a health club membership or stare at a treadmill coat hanger in the corner of your bedroom.

6. If you need to move, it won’t cost you much.

Provided you’re a fairly decent tenant, you should have your security deposit returned to you. But even if you don’t, the most you’re set to lose is one month’s rent, give or take, once you move out. Your friends in that nice house will have to pay a far greater amount in commission to a real estate agent once they sell.

For more information on 2 bedroom apartments in Raleigh, NC contact Auston Grove.