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Virginia is a Great Place to Retire

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 14, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAWhen the time comes to pick a place to retire, you want to make it a good one. After all, retirement is the prize at the end of a lot of long years of hard work. So what are the factors that go into picking that magical place?

The perfect place will be a little different for everyone depending on finances, family and, of course, preferences. But for the most common factors – cost of living, safety, healthcare, activities and climate – Virginia comes out on top time and again.

BankRate.com, a financial analysis website, made a list of their 10 Best States for Retire, ranking Virginia as #5 in the nation.

Whether you’re looking to be closer to the grand kids or just want a certain lifestyle, Virginia has more than enough options. If you’re retired, or thinking about retiring soon, and would like more information on apartments in Stafford, VA contact Abberly Waterstone.

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onlyinyourstate.com


Why Renting is Better than Buying

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAWhile both renting and buying have their own sets of financial advantages, renting does appear to have an edge when the economy is poor. There are tremendous financial benefits to renting as opposed to buying a house of your own. Here is a look at 10 reasons why renters have the better financial deal over homeowners.

No Maintenance Costs or Repair Bills

A definite advantage that renters have is that they have no maintenance costs or repair bills to pay off. When you rent, your landlord is responsible for all maintenance and repair costs. If an appliance stops working or your roof starts to leak, you do not have any financial responsibility to have these things fixed.

Access to Amenities

Another financial benefit to renting over buying a house of your own is having access to amenities that would otherwise be a huge expense. Luxuries such as an in-ground pool or a fitness center come standard at many midscale to upscale apartment complexes with no additional charge to tenants.

No Real Estate Taxes

An obvious benefit that renters have over homeowners is that they do not have to pay real estate taxes. Real estate taxes can be a hefty burden for homeowners.

No Big Down Payment

Another area where renters have the better financial deal is upon signing. You do not have to have a huge down payment saved up to move into a rental property. While the exact amount you need to move in varies from case to case, the total amount is significantly less than you would need to buy a house.

Shaky Market Creating More Renters

While many experts claim the U.S. Housing market is making a full recovery, others aren't so sure. An article written by International Business Times claims that the market is just now stabilizing and the word 'recovery' is unwarranted.

Decreasing Property Value

Property values go up and down, and while this may affect homeowners in a big way, it does not affect renters. Home value determines the amount of property taxes you pay, the amount of your mortgage and more. In a rocky housing market, renters are not as adversely affected.

Flexibility to Downsize

In today's economy, many people struggle to make ends meet. By renting, you have the option to downgrade into a more affordable living space at the end of the lease. When you are a homeowner, it is much more difficult to break free of an expensive house because of the fees involved with buying and selling a home.

Fixed Rent Amount

Rent amounts are fixed for the span of the lease agreement. This means you are able to budget more efficiently since you know the amount of rent you are required to pay. Mortgages and the amount of the property tax can fluctuate.

Lower Insurance Costs

While homeowners need to maintain a homeowner's insurance policy, renters would be wise to invest in a renter's insurance policy. Luckily for renters, renter's insurance is much cheaper and it covers quite a lot. The average cost of renter's insurance is just $12 per month.

Lower Utility Costs

It is much more affordable to heat and power an apartment or small rental home as opposed to a larger home. Rentals typically have a more compact floor plan, and renters can expect lower utility costs.

The Bottom Line

While owning a home may be beneficial over a long period of time, for many people renting is the better option. There are plenty of examples that show how renting can save consumers a considerable amount of money. The choice of whether to rent or buy is a personal one. Before making a hasty move, make the financial decision that is right for you and your family.

For more information on apartments in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly Southpoint.

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Investopedia.com


Rising Prices and Rates Are Making Renting Attractive

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 03, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VASlowing rents coupled with rising home prices and mortgage rates are pushing many housing markets in the U.S. into rent territory, according to the latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty.

The major drivers for this quarter's scores appear to be slowing rents relative to the costs of ownership and climbing mortgage rates. Thus, on the margin, more potential owners should favor renting and reinvesting in a portfolio of stocks and bonds as opposed to ownership. This shift should slightly lower the demand for ownership and contribute to the slowdown in housing prices.

Based on numbers from the end of the first quarter of 2017, the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index follows recent S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index scores, which find an average annual increase in home prices of 5.78 percent, suggesting that prices, while increasing, are slowing.

Higher BH&J scores favor renting over ownership in terms of wealth accumulation. All of this upward pressure in the trade-off between renting and buying should serve, in general, to slow property price appreciation around most of the country."

The scores show 11 of 23 cities in the index remain in buy territory. Another nine cities hover around a score of zero, suggesting a tossup between buying and renting in terms of wealth accumulation. The remaining three metro areas are in unseen territory in terms of both pricing and scores.

For more information on renting apartments in Fredericksburg, VA contact Abberly at Southpoint.

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Builder


Baby Boomers Are Selling Their Homes

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 27, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAU.S. baby boomers are trading their suburban homes for those closer to the city. Real estate data has been showing the switch from suburban to urban living for baby boomers.

An analysis large cities found that between 2000 and 2010, more than one million baby boomers moved from homes that were between 40 and 80 miles from city centers and a similar number moved to homes within five miles of city center. Apartments in Columbia, SC are the perfect solution for baby boomers who want to give up the time and expense involved in owning a home and who would prefer to live closer to the city.

They want a level living area; they're tired of stairs, and they want to be close to the city. Baby boomers looking to move say they're more attracted to cities for health and social reasons.

"The spirit on the streets, there's a kind of vitality, a regeneration," said Harold Closter, 63, who recently moved from a suburb with his wife. "We've made a lot of new friends, and we've found that it's a lot easier for our friends to get to us, because we're right near public transportation. Our adult son and his friends think this is pretty cool as well."

For more information on renting apartments in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly at Southpoint.

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upi.com


Virginia isTops in Best States Rankings

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 20, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VA#11 Virginia

Some states shine in health care. Some soar in education. Some excel in both – or in much more. The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, the opportunity it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety and the integrity and health of state government.

More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came the opportunity states offer their citizens, their crime & corrections and infrastructure. State economies followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of government administration.

OVERALL RANK OUT OF 50: Virginia is #11
HEALTH CARE #25
EDUCATION #10
CRIME & CORRECTIONS #6
INFRASTRUCTURE #24
OPPORTUNITY #11
ECONOMY #27
GOVERNMENT #2

For more information on apartments in Fredericksburg, VA contact Abberly Southpoint.

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US News


Is Owning or Renting Better for Your Wallet?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 13, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAPart of being smart with your money means managing how much you buy. And while that might be as simple as not buying goods you don’t need, it might also mean considering alternatives to buying — like renting or leasing — to save money.

Opting to rent something has its own set of benefits. For example, you rarely have to make a large upfront payment the way you would with a purchase and you likely won’t need to worry about the ongoing cost of maintenance. However, rental costs can add up to more than you’d ever pay for an item in the first place, so it’s important to consider whether renting truly saves you money.

To help, we talked to the experts to find out when renting is the better option and when it’s better to buy.

Home vs. apartment

The decision to rent or buy a home usually isn’t purely financial. You might also crave the stability and pride of owning or the freedom to renovate and landscape how you want. But there are a few factors that make renting the better financial choice — namely, location.

Renting usually makes sense unless you are pretty sure you will stay in one home for at least five years. This is because there are several thousand dollars of transaction costs that come with buying, financing and, eventually, selling a home.

For more information on apartments in Fredericksburg, VA contact Abberly at Southpoint.

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The Citizens’ Voice


Looking for an Apartment? What you Should Know

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 07, 2017

Abberly Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAIf you are interested in renting an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA here are some things you should know.

1. Be prepared: Do your research and make sure you have all of your paperwork in order when applying for a rental property. Educating yourself about the rental process and the property itself can prove invaluable in your search.

2. Budget wisely: Financial experts suggest that renters shouldn’t spend more than 25%-30% of their monthly income on rent. There are other costs associated with renting, like daily commuting costs or lifestyle amenities, to consider as well.

3. Choose which amenities are important to you: Most people want a beautiful view, but that usually comes with a price. Is having a fitness center more important to you than an infinity pool? Choose the things that are most important to you and don’t worry about the rest.

4. Decide on your ideal location: As the old saying goes, location, location, location. Is the rental in a good school district? Is the surrounding neighborhood conducive to your lifestyle? Do you want an urban environment or something a little more laid back? Narrowing down your search to specific areas will make your search much easier.

5. Looking to cut costs? Consider a roommate.

6. Never sign a lease without visiting the property first: It’s critical to see the actual unit you’d be renting, not just the model unit. Check the fixtures, faucets and other features of the unit to make sure everything works. Perk your ears up and listen to your neighbors. You don’t want to be surprised by neighbors who enjoy playing loud music every night at 2 a.m.

7. Review the lease agreement thoroughly: Read all the fine print and make sure that there aren’t any provisions in the lease agreement that would inhibit your lifestyle. Pay attention to the effective date of commencement and duration, security deposit amount paid, and the circumstances that make the deposit refundable. Additionally, consider rent escalation, grounds for termination, and the notice period required for termination of the lease. All of these may be important during your lease term.

8. Purchase renters insurance: What happens if there’s a fire or other catastrophic damage in your home? The landlord’s insurance policy will take care of the building itself but not your stuff. Make sure you get a renter's insurance policy to protect your stuff in case of any catastrophic event, theft or anything else that may happen.

9. Take the steps necessary to get your security deposit back: Make sure you take pictures of the space before you move in and after you move out. Having that protection will help to ensure that you get your deposit back. When your lease term has ended, insist on completing a final walk-through with the property owner. That way, both parties can compare the space before and after your occupancy.

10. Be efficient with space: It’s your home for the life of your lease term, so make the space your own. Embrace your interior decorator and learn about Feng Shui. Reduce your clutter and live a clean, peaceful life.

For more information on apartments in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly at Southpoint.

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housingwire.com


Reasons to Keep Renting an Apartment

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 29, 2017

Abberly Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAWhile there are pros and cons to renting and buying , the decision is ultimately personal. Here are some signs you should keep renting your apartment in Fredericksburg, VA.

1. Not Much Savings

Sometimes it’s tempting when you hear of low down payment options for buying a home. But if you don’t have an emergency fund yet, or if purchasing a home would drain all of your savings, you probably aren’t ready. Homeownership comes with expenses so you want to make sure you have money set aside for home repairs on top of the usual living expenses.

2. Uncertain Job Situation

Signing a mortgage means you are agreeing to pay money every month to own that home. If you have a stable job that you love, this can be great. But if you are unsure whether you will have your job for the next few years, you may want to wait. Even if you’ve just gotten a new job and you are very excited, it may be wise to get a feel for the company before you jump into homeownership. You’ll want to know whether the company is hiring or laying people off and what its financial outlook is to determine your own job security.

If you aren’t certain where you will be in a few years, or perhaps even months, you might want to keep renting for now.

3. No Time for Research

Buying a home is a big decision. You’ll want to learn what you can about the local housing market, including the pricing trends, the school district and the property taxes. Another thing to consider is how well you know the home itself. Sure, that roof looks good, but an expert may tell you it needs to be replaced soon. That’s not the kind of surprise you want after you’ve spent a lot on a down payment. Don’t rush into homeownership without doing your research.

4. Fear

If the thought of buying a home makes you so nervous that you are making yourself sick or having trouble sleeping, you need to explore the reasons before you move forward. Perhaps you aren’t sure this is the right time or the right house. Maybe you don’t want to take on a long-term loan like a mortgage or you worry about being tied to one location. Before you take on a mortgage, it might be best to determine what is truly bothering you.

For more information on renting an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly at Southpoint.

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Credit.com


Buying a Home is NOT a Good Investment

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 22, 2017

Abberly Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VASome Americans believe that buying their own house is the best and smartest investment they'll ever make.

There are several valid reasons for buying a home. But buying as an investment or as the cornerstone of your long-range financial plan should not be one of your primary motivators. If your home doubles in value over the next few years, then great! Consider it a bonus. There are several reasons you shouldn't look at your home as an investment, especially in today's economy.

An inefficient investment

The main reason not to buy a bigger or fancier home simply because "it's an investment" is that there are much better ways to put your extra dollars to work.

Real estate has generally appreciated around 4% to 5% per year on average, and this can be higher or lower depending on your specific location. Depending on what statistic you look at, home prices have historically appreciated at 3.4% to 5.4% annually over the past 20 years.

Compare this with an average annual return of 9.1% for an S&P index fund, 7.2% for the average mutual fund, and 7.16% for the ultra-safe 30-year Treasury, although it pays less these days, around 3.65%.

Simply put, the risks are not worth the rewards.

Don't forget about mortgages

Your mortgage will cause you to pay much more for your home than the agreed-upon price, which also will eat away at your returns. Let's say you buy a $300,000 home and put 20% down, so you finance the remaining $240,000 at 4.5% (about today's rate for a 30-year mortgage). If your home appreciates at 5% annually, by the time your mortgage is paid off, it should be worth around $1,296,583.

However, because you are paying interest on your mortgage, when you add up all of the payments, you're really "paying" a total of $497,794 for the house. This implies a total return of $798,809 after 30 years, or just 3.2% per year on an annualized basis.

Poor risk/reward ratio

When you consider the risks involved with owning a home, it is not really a prudent long-term investment. In fact, the risks associated with owning a home are quite comparable to the level of risk associated with investing in an index fund. From top to bottom, the S&P lost 58% of its value before bottoming out. It has since recovered to a level that is 13% above its pre-crisis peak.

In contrast, the U.S. real estate market fell about 35% from its peak and is currently well below its pre-crisis peak.

There are good investments in real estate, but your home isn't one of them

If you really want to "invest" in real estate, the only worthwhile way to do it is to buy an actual investment/rental property. These can be very lucrative if done correctly. In theory, an investment property should be a house (or apartment building, commercial space, etc.) that you buy and someone else pays for over time.

To sum it up, there are several ways of putting your investment dollars to work that simply make more sense than buying your own home. It just doesn't make sense for "investment" to be the reason to spend more on a house in the hopes of producing long-term gains.

For more information on apartments in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly  at Southpoint Apartments.

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Daily Finance


Many Enjoy Renting in an Apartment Community

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 08, 2017

Abberly Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAHome ownership may still be the American dream, but it is not necessarily for everyone. But There are many factors as to why people choose to rent. One of the biggest reasons is the economy.

With the economy the way it is, a lot of people are moving from homes to apartments because of the convenience and the price point. By living in an apartment community with all of the amenities renters are looking for without having to pay the premium prices of a home, is exactly why more people are renting.

The key word there: amenities. Those are the perks of renting at a particular property provided by apartment communities. Laundry, pools, fitness centers, and 24 hour maintenance and security, are just some of the features of different apartment homes. But the list doesn't stop there.

Some of the apartment communities will come with garages, other provide social events for their residents. Many are located in downtown areas or in areas where homes are not affordable.

Location and amenities are definitely important concerns when you are deciding where to rent, but when it all comes down to it your new apartment has to fit your budget.

There are varying floor plans to fit into many budgets. Whether the renter wants a studio, a 1 bedroom, a 2 bedroom, a 3 bedroom or even a townhouse there are styles to fit their needs and more importantly, their budget.

Another additional cost to keep in mind is renter's insurance, which may or may not be required by the apartment community, but is still a very good idea. Renter’s insurance is very inexpensive to get. Renter's insurance protects the renters belongings so if something like a fire does happen, they are protected, they're belongings are protected.

One last thing to look for when renting, especially when it comes to living in an apartment community, is to make sure the property is owned and operated by the same company. That helps ensure someone will be there for you, should the need arise.

For more information on renting an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly Southpoint.

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