One might say that right now I’m not so fair and balanced because I’ve obviously decided to move out. That probably does pepper my viewpoint with bias. However, in Libra Rising fashion, I’ll make two lists: the good and the bad. And I promise to be as objective as one can be when feeling as though they’re being released from a minimum-security prison.
Maintenance Crew – they’ve always been nice and trustworthy, and quick to respond. When we said our A/C unit wasn’t working and may need a freon reload, they were right there the next day with a whole new unit.
Quiet – It might be Friday or Saturday night and usually, you’d never know it. Why? It’s quiet. The one military guy (sorry to say) next door had a passion for par-tay and a chip on his shoulder you could palpate to boot, and he was gone within a few months. The ghetto element that moved in over last summer also started dropping like flies by the fall.
Safety – There were indeed some ground-floor break-ins and break-in attempts, but I never did feel unsafe in my apartment or on the grounds. The three people who got arrested (for who-knows-what) on a Saturday were never seen again. Must’ve been evicted once management caught wind that they went to jail.
Floorplan – The deluxe 2-bedroom is OK – the other 2-bedroom floorplans are just strange. But the floorplan made sense and made for a cozy (read: cramped) sense of home.
Cost – I thought we had 901 square feet but looking at the floorplans, I now realize that we might’ve had the 967 square feet version. And they quoted us a promo rate of $650/month ($705 regular price). That’s pretty dang reasonable per square foot, even in affordable San Antonio.
Furnace – The A/C might be iffy but the heater sure works. Responsive and effective, even the vaulted ceilings (second floor) don’t get in the way – the apartment warms up fast!
Management (appears in both lists) – Decent at times, they established a set official “quiet time” during which if you make too much racket, they’ll scold you for it (good!). They also had the philosophy of, make it your home. Put up your pictures, bring in your stove and fridge, etc. You can even paint your walls, just turn them back when you’re done.
Amenities (kinda) – big balconies, washer/dryer hookups, vaulted ceilings, fireplace, storage closet on the deck, basic workout room, tennis court, and pool.
Location – close to work, short commute, close to 410 and Northstar Mall. Getting to Whole Foods (or anywhere else) is convenient and quick. Didn’t matter what time you left the office after work or whether or not you had to go back – traffic was always the same: relatively light! Walking distance to practically everything (the bank – back when we used banks, HEB, Mr Kitty’s barber shop, several fast food joints, Las Palapas, a few convenience stores, etc).
Drivers in the area – although some are stupid (and nobody likes to stay on their side of the road), most are down-to-earth, forgiving, and not jackasses. Most did not speed, tailgate, cop a ‘tude, or anything else.
Long-term residents – apartment complexes always experience turnover, some complexes more than others. We had our share of people coming and going, but overall we had a relatively stable community.
Security – once we got a security officer on our side of the building, our noise level and Bling (oh good, Firefox still underlines that word in red meaning that it doesn’t recognize it!). Factor tanked rapidly (a good thing).
Broadband and TV options – when you live this close in, and in this high a population density, you have plenty of options when it comes to elective utilities because apparently we checked out positively in the companies’ cost-benefit analysis. So we can pick between Time Warner, AT&T Uverse, Clearwire (Smearwire), etc. You’re not relegated to anything in particular.
Ham Radio capability – Not only were we able to bolt several antennae on the outside of the balcony railing without management noticing or caring, but we’re also able to aim and fire at the people we like to talk to – although we’re in a hole (topographically this time), we were able to direct enough power in the direction of our friends and we got decent reception.
The Infestations – Even being on the second floor above the ground doesn’t help. Roaches, ants, and other bugs all took up residence in our apartment, despite all our efforts to keep it clean and use toxic sprays to repel/kill them.
Lack of remodeling – I’m not obsessed with “change” just for the sake of change – my philosophy is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, some things just need fixing. The place is kinda falling apart – balconies are loose, kitchen fixtures are detaching from the ceiling, the flooring isn’t sealed with caulking, the drains are finicky and there are some water leaks, etc.
Overall condition of the property – Lots of scratches, nicks, dents, gouges in the walls, doors, doorframes, and baseboards. The carpet was installed quickly and shoddily, so threads are coming up at the edges by the walls. Did I mention that nobody even sealed the laminate flooring?? And let’s talk about the trash (wrappers, empty water bottles, coke cans, bags, etc) that line our bushes out front…and our parking lot…
Management (appears in both lists) – you mean to tell me 1 guy in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment is permitted to take up 4 spaces with the 4 ugliest, most unsightly vehicles in the complex…and there’s no policy against this?? And I swear they stopped running background checks or criminal records in May 2010. They might’ve resumed doing so since then, though, after witnessing the consequences.
Lack of ambiance – yay – I get to look out onto a large parking lot. With hardly a tree in the whole place. I either stare starkly into the sun or starkly away from it. My apartment is a dark shoebox. Instead, I get to look across the street at the other dilapidated complexes, with their paint peeling and their window blinds destroyed. Oh lovely.
Allergy factor – Did I mention there are roaches? (They give off plenty of allergens, both into the air and onto surfaces – it’s the proteins on their bodies, their egg sacs, and their feces. Hungry yet?) There is also a ton of mold and dust. Vents are filthy, the A/C unit spits out more humidity than cool air, and I’m sure the bare floor never got cleaned before new carpet was put down.
Cutting Corners – Let’s install the cheapest A/C unit we can find, nevermind that it’s too small for the size of unit we’re trying to cool because hey–we don’t pay electricity; the tenants do, and who cares about the humidity it puts out because hey–the tenants can always run a dehumidifier, which they also pay for. And, let’s not caulk the linoleum. The roaches will need a place to hide.