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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.

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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.

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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.

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Money

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.

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NorthNewJersey.com

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.

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Forbes

Going to a New City For Your Summer Internship? – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Being a college student means being active — professionally, educationally, and socially — all year ’round. Summer “breaks” are not what they used to be.

It’s important that we as students use our summer time off from school to the best of our advantage. This means getting ahead professionally and starting to build a resume so that when the time comes, we have something to show for our time.

Internships are a great way to begin building that resume; they allow for a student to explore their interests while gaining experience in a field they might want to work in some day.

Some positions might be close to home, but others may require a commute, or even moving to a different city for the summer, which can be a great experience by itself.

If your position does require you to move to a new city, it will most likely take some adjusting and getting used to.

Here are a few tips for getting acclimated in a new city for your internship.

1. LEARN THE AREA

Upon first arriving, it’s probably a smart idea to pay attention to where you are at all times. This means staying attentive to street names and signs, and even landmarks to help you better understand where you are.

Keep an eye out for public transportation. Learn the bus lines and train lines if you come to the city without a car, or plan on commuting to your internship every morning.

Arriving to the new city where you’ll be living a few days in advance is also advisable so as to ensure you have enough time to get settled into your one bedroom apartment in Raleigh, NC before your internship begins.

Moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone can be extremely intimidating and anxiety inducing, especially if you’ve never been there before. This is why learning the area is essential. You’ll feel better about the new city and more at home in no time.

2. EXPLORE YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Once you learn the streets and a basic gist of where you are in your new city, take some time to look around and explore your new surroundings.

Walk around the neighborhood you’re living in and scout out restaurants that look good, grocery stores, coffee shops, boutiques and whatever else the area has to offer.

You’ll want to become acquainted with your new neighborhood, where you’ll be doing your grocery shopping, getting coffee in the morning, etc. Plus it’s always nice to just walk around and enjoy the outdoors.

3. STOCK UP ON FOOD FOR THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO

In the days leading up to your internship start date, hopefully you’ve explored enough and found a grocery store you like. Stock up on food, whether it consists of frozen meals you can whip up quickly, or ingredients for cooking up something nice.

You probably want to get this chore done early on — before your work week starts — because once you’re working a 9-5 internship, the first thing you’ll want to do when you get home is relax.

4. PLAN FOR YOUR FIRST DAY

After taking some time to get used to the city you’ll be living in for the summer months, make sure you do all you can to prepare for your first day.

As a college student it’s essential to come off as professional as possible in a work environment; this means acting like a professional, not a college student.

Plan out your wardrobe for the upcoming weeks, which should most likely consist of business casual gear, or something along those lines. Every setting has its own rules for dress code.

Last but not least, plan out the route you’ll be taking to work, and how you’ll be commuting. If you’ll be driving, make sure you know how to get there. If you’ll be taking public transportation, be sure to get on the right train or bus!

5. BE SOCIAL

Try to be open and outgoing wherever you are, whether it’s a coffee shop, or the grocery store. Chances are you don’t know anyone yet, so try to meet new people wherever you go.

You could even join a local gym, or sign up for a class at a yoga studio. Do whatever you can to make a conscious effort to be around and meet new people.

6. ENJOY YOURSELF

While taking everything else into consideration, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! You’re in a new city, making new connections and exploring your professional interests while learning about how you do on your own.

Having an internship in another city is a great experience for what the real world will be like post college, so soak it all in. Make the most of your time in this new city, and have some fun too.

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

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USA Today

Finding an Apartment Near a New Job – Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finding a job is hard, but finding an apartment within the vicinity of your new workplace can be a much more challenging task. Nowadays, some jobs will ask you to relocate to some places in order to accommodate the company's changing needs and you will be either left with two choices - find another job or take the offer and find a new place to live in.

If you decide to go with the second option, then it is time to start looking for a new one bedroom apartment in Raleigh, NC within the vicinity of your new workplace. This can be even more difficult when you have time constraints and your company asks you to move in as soon as possible.

How does one go on about looking for an apartment within the vicinity of their workplace?

Trulia cited a five-steps to make things much easier when relocating to a new city after snagging their dream jobs, which could sometimes be miles away from the place they call home.

First, you will need to use your network of friends to your advantage and find out if anyone you know lives within the area where you will be relocating. In case your network of friends is limited to your hometown, then you can ask them if they know anyone who lives within that area.

You will also need to exercise patience when it comes to apartment hunting because sometimes, it's easy to find an apartment, but it's hard to find one that is to your liking.

You may also find benefits from the company, including a housing option for employees to stay in while finding their own place in the city.

Forbes also recommends setting a budget in place before anything else while taking into account the time of the year.

You should also do your research online before going from one house to another to save time, money, and energy.

While your ultimate priority is looking for an apartment within your new workplace, it's also important that you take into account the accessibility of public transportation and basic necessities.

Finally, when you've found the place you'd like to stay in for the next couple of months or so, make sure that you've read all the terms and conditions of the contract before signing it off.

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

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Realty Today

Personalizing Your Apartment in Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Due to the flexibility of renting a one- or two-bedroom apartment in Raleigh, NC, a remarkable number of people choose to rent instead of own. But, just because renting requires a short-term commitment doesn’t mean you can’t personalize your new apartment home. A few expert tips will turn your rental into your very own home.

Don’t forget the dust bunnies. During the moving process, pay extra attention to the baseboards of your new home. The landlord or previous tenants most likely did some cleaning, but baseboards are commonly forgotten. There is nothing better than moving into a clean apartment in Raleigh, NC.

Erase stubborn stains. Previous tenants may have left behind stain and residue, and nothing makes a place feel less homey than someone else’s stains. For carpets, consider renting a carpet cleaner for a few hours to eliminate deep stains. For stubborn stains in bathtubs, on doors and on linoleum floors, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders.

Get creative with DIY projects. There are tons of DIY projects that add a personal touch to your home. Start with a DIY monogrammed piece of art by your front door, as this will be the first thing your guests see. Before getting crafty, lay down a few Bounty paper towels for protection from paint or glue spills.

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Tiimes-Herald Record

One Bedroom Apartments in Raleigh, NC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Relocating to Raleigh, NC lets you live in an exciting city with attractions, restaurants, night life and loads of things to do. But, best of all, Raleigh gives you all of that with the feel of a small town. If you are coming to live here, or relocating within the city, consider Auston Grove. Our one bedroom apartments in Raleigh, NC offer 706 Sq. Ft or 804 Sq. Ft with a gorgeous sunroom and for an affordable monthly rent.

But that is not the only thing that sets us apart. Each luxurious apartment offers:

  • Quality Craftsmanship
  • Sunrooms with full picture windows
  • Expansive 9 foot ceilings with triple-crown molding
  • Cathedral Ceilings available
  • Over-sized walk-in closets
  • Washer/dryer connections
  • Faux granite countertops
  • Signature Kitchens with preferred GE appliances
  • White-on-white kitchen and bath cabinetry with brushed satin hardware

Auston Grove allows you a wonderful place to live, relax and make friends. We’ll take care of the rest.  We mean it when we say that we are an apartment “community”. We want you to enjoy living here; with all the apartment amenities you could ask for, here is a list of just some of what we offer our residents:

  • Pet-friendly apartments with a Bark Park
  • National award-winning customer service
  • Cutting Edge fitness center
  • Internet Café with free wifi
  • Relaxing swimming pool with wireless Internet access
  • Covered car care center
  • Detached garages and storage Units available
  • Short-Term Furnished Apartment for Family and Friends
  • Resident socials
  • Two hour turn around on service requests

Raleigh is known for its museums, Broadway shows, night life, live music, and shopping. In fact, Raleigh is continually ranked as “one of the best places to live”. If you are looking for an apartment in Raleigh, contact Auston Grove. Apartment Homes.

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Durham Blues and Brews Festival - Raleigh/Durham

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If you are looking for something fun and different to do this weekend, then head to the1st annual Durham Blues and Brews Festival which will be held on May 30 2015. If you live in an apartment in Raleigh, NC you don't want to miss it!

This isn’t a Beer Fest with music, or a Blues Fest with Beer, it’s a new type of an event designed to be a unique experience, by offering Great Blues music and only North Carolina Craft Beers.

The Brewers will be on site to tell you about their Breweries and Beers while you sample from their selection. Not the “shots” you get at Beer Fests, but an 8 oz. pour for you to enjoy while learning about their beers, and listening to great blues bands. This eliminates spending excessive time standing in lines and allows you time to enjoy the music, beer, and your friends.

All of this is included in your ticket purchase!

There will be food trucks onsite, so food can be purchased separately and there will be so much variety!

This festival supports local Durham charities, including The Exchange Family Center, and their programs to fight child abuse.

Saturday May 30th, 2015
4:00PM - 9:00PM
Durham Central Park
501 Foster Street
Durham, NC 27701

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More Information - ncbeerguys.com