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4 Reasons It Can Be Better to Rent a Home

Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 15, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VTo some, answering the classic question “is it better to rent or buy?” is easy.

But owning a home isn’t the best move for everyone. For those weighing renting vs. buying, here are a few reasons why renting can be the better choice.

1. You want maximum flexibility

With renting comes the flexibility to stay put for a few months or years without paying much more than a monthly payment. If your job requires you to move every few years or if you’re unsure how long you’ll be in one place, it can make much more sense to rent. The upfront costs of a home purchase can set you back financially if you move too soon after buying.

You might also consider renting if the neighborhood isn’t one you’re set on.

2. Buying is out of reach financially

The price tag on a home can be discouraging, especially if space is important. Some families with kids can’t afford to buy a home in the area they want that’s of similar size and space as the house they rent.

3. You want to avoid maintenance and other added costs

When you rent, your landlord typically has to fix structural defects or other problems such as plumbing or wiring, but once you’re an owner, maintenance and repairs are your responsibility. Shukla in San Jose says upkeep is one of the more surprising things he’s had to invest time and money into since becoming a homeowner.

Many do not factor in the costs of maintaining a home. Maintenance, upgrades, property tax, insurance all add up to additional costs per month beyond the mortgage.

4. Other priorities top homeownership

Location, particularly in relation to work or family, might play a large role in whether you choose to rent instead of buy. Mandel and her husband, for instance, knew they wanted to be close to their extended family in the area.

About 42% of renters believe their housing situation lets them live in a more convenient location, according to a 2012 Fannie Mae survey. Among millennials, most prefer city living, and two-thirds of these young adults are renters, according to a 2014 Nielsen report.

Buying a home is not a rational financial decision. It’s an emotional lifestyle decision that has financial ramifications.

If buying doesn’t fit into your lifestyle and financial situation, renting might be the better choice.

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


Key Factors to Consider When Deciding to Buy vs. Rent a Home

Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 08, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAAs Millennials age (yes, they do!) and start families, many are compelled to own a home instead of rent, but this should not be an automatic response. There are a seemingly overwhelming number of variables at play in making an informed decision on renting versus buying.

Common factors that influence whether you should rent or buy include the length of time before your next move, the difference in cost per square foot between renting and owning comparable properties in your area, mortgage rates, access to credit, and the affordability of a down payment for a home purchase.

Of course, anticipated repairs and maintenance costs are a serious consideration. But there also are smaller factors that can wind up playing a large role in the decision to own a home. What are the neighbors like? Are there homeowners association fees? What has the crime rate been in the neighborhood?

First-time homebuyers often make the dangerous assumption that they will make money on their home when they eventually sell it. The reality is that after all of the costs of home ownership have been factored in, many homeowners do not make out like a bandit. Increasing property taxes are a big reason why. Before committing, always know the annual taxes for your nest, and do not assume that they will remain static.

When it comes to renting, other questions come up, including how often and by how much the rent will increase and whether there is a pet policy. How many parking spots are included in the lease? Proponents of home ownership say renting is like throwing money away, whereas renters will say they have more flexibility and financial independence. Renting often can give individuals an opportunity to live in an area where either they would not be able to afford a home purchase or they wouldn’t want to take on the maintenance required of older neighborhoods.

A soaring housing market the past few years has functioned as a double-edged sword – a good investment for those whose homes have appreciated in value and a barrier for those who cannot buy homes with skyrocketing values. One of the main reasons housing prices have climbed so rapidly is the limited supply of homes available for purchase. Since the recovery from the 2008 housing crisis, there has been a historically tight supply of homes available for purchase, including existing homes or new construction. This has left the homes available for sale priced at a premium. It’s a seller’s market.

Yes, home ownership is exciting and fulfilling, but it should be considered very seriously. It should never be entered into lightly. It can become a nightmare that wrecks your credit or hurts your relationship with your partner.

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


One Bedroom Apartments in Virginia With the Perfect Lifestyle

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 30, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAFredericksburg, VA is an attractive place to live. In fact, the area boasts a mild, four-season climate and many things to do for both the outdoor enthusiast and for those who enjoy more traditional excursions. Located minutes from Spotsylvania and downtown Fredericksburg, the area is bursting with history, nightlife, and entertainment. With great restaurants and shops at your fingertips along with tons of charm, you will be happy with your decision to move to an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA.

If you are looking for a one bedroom apartment in Fredericksburg, VA look no further than Abberly at Southpoint. These apartment homes have distinctive architecture and exclusive amenities. We have five different styles of one-bedroom apartments, ranging from 807 to 1199 sq ft. It all depends on what you need and what you are looking for.

This central location between Washington DC and Richmond Virginia just off Interstate 95 and Jefferson Davis Highway, in Fredericksburg, VA, is just minutes from Spotsylvania, 6 miles from the Spotsylvania VRE Station, 28 miles south of Quantico, and 35 miles from Dahlgren. Absorb the local charm, dine local, play outdoors, or visit Historic Downtown Fredericksburg. Because it's How You Live that matters.

For more information, contact us.


Happy Thanksgiving from Abberly at Southpoint Apartments

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAIt’s Thanksgiving week and a time each year when we reflect upon the blessing within our lives. Today, our warmest Thanksgiving wishes go out to all of you, our residents, friends, and neighbors. Along with this note of thanks to you, this week we offer a special Thanksgiving “shout-out” to one of the more unsung Thanksgiving heroes, Sarah Hale. Historians credit Sara Hale as the originator of the Thanksgiving federal holiday.

Sara Hale undertook a 17-year letter writing campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday observed in all states. Before Hale, Thanksgiving was not a fixed holiday but rather an informal tradition. Presidents would select a day and make it known that it would be a day of thanksgiving and community. Hale lobbied five separate presidents for a set date until finally her request was granted by president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln congratulated her tenacity and immortalized the holiday as part of American culture.

So thanks, Sara, for your 17 years of letter writing, for securing our Day of Thanks on Thursday, and for your part in creating one of the most warm and celebrated day within our American culture!


Questions You Should Ask Before Renting an Apartment

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 17, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAWe’ve all heard the standard apartment-renting advice: Test all the faucets, windows, and appliances. Visit the neighborhood multiple times over several days, at different times of day, so you can gauge the noise level. Hang out in the lobby and ask current tenants if they like living there.

A lot of that advice is unrealistic. I’ve rented eight different apartments over the past ten years, including one that I rented sight-unseen, and none of the rental processes included enough time for me to return to the neighborhood over a period of days, much less sit in the lobby and interview tenants. In many cases, I had to decide whether I wanted the apartment after a five-minute showing—if I didn’t say yes right then, they’d rent it to the next person who did.

So here is a list of questions to ask during that 5-minute showing to get all of the answers you would be looking for during a longer visit. These questions are designed to get the landlords/property managers to share all kinds of information about tenants, maintenance, bugs, and more.

How long have you been managing this building?

This is a great opening question for two reasons:

It gives you and the landlord/property manager something to talk about on the walk from the leasing office (or apartment front door) to the unit. If you remain silent when the landlord/property manager finishes talking, they will likely start talking again to fill the space—and what they say might be very interesting. (“This unit’s been empty for a while because...”)

Consider this question the equivalent of a job interview’s “tell me about yourself”—except this time, you’re the interviewer. Like the “tell me about yourself” question, you can learn a lot from the way the other person responds: are they enthusiastic? Pessimistic? Critical? Evasive?

Are most tenants here long-term?

This question is less about the amount of turnover the apartment gets than the types of people who live in the apartment. Are they mostly students? Young professionals? Families? Senior citizens?

This is also another good way to gauge the landlord’s personality. “We’ve got some great tenants who’ve been here for years” is very different from “Some people, I think they’ll never leave!”

This is a pet-friendly building, right?

This is another open-ended question that’ll give you a lot of information if you just listen. A property manager may tell you that some tenants’ pets are noisy, for example, or may complain about people who don’t pick up after their dogs. Maybe your landlord will talk about the one tenant who lets their cat run up and down the hallways. Whatever they say about pets, make sure it’s okay with you.

Which utilities am I responsible for, and how much do they usually cost per month?

Nearly all landlords will be able to tell you which utilities are their responsibility and which ones are yours. Not all landlords will know how much their tenants are paying out of pocket for their electric bills, though—and that’s a potential red flag.

A good landlord/property manager will understand that you want to know the true cost of living in an apartment, and have utility cost ranges at the ready. If your potential landlord doesn’t have that information—or worse, says something like “I never thought about it”—you’ll know that this person doesn’t spend a lot of time considering their tenants’ day-to-day experiences.

Let’s say the sink starts dripping. How does maintenance work?

You can turn the faucets on and off all you want, but what you really want to know is what happens when the faucets stop working.

All landlords/property managers will have some kind of maintenance setup, but there’s a big difference between “We’ve got this guy named Bob, call him and he’ll get back to you” and “We like to get most problems fixed within 24 hours. Call this number/fill out this online form and we’ll have someone on our maintenance staff take a look right away.”

I know we’re in a [wooded area] [old building]. What kinds of insects should I be aware of?

We all know that communal living occasionally comes with bugs, but you don’t want to ask, “So... does this place have a roach problem?”

Framing the question by acknowledging that you understand that apartments sometimes have insects is a good way to build empathy with a landlord/property manager, who will in turn be more open about the insects the apartment may or may not have.

How do trash and recycling work? What about compost?

Some apartment complexes make it very easy for you to dispose of your trash and recyclables. Others make it very difficult. Are the dumpsters, recycling bins and compost bins located near your building, or will you be carrying your trash bags to another part of the apartment complex?

How does parking work?

This is like the trash/recycling question. You’re trying to figure out whether you’ll have to park half a mile from the building, or whether you’ll be parking close by. (Bonus points if the landlord takes the time to show you where tenants park. Most don’t.)

What happens when tenants receive packages in the mail?

If you’re the kind of person who orders a lot of stuff online, you want to make sure that your packages are both secure and accessible. Are you going to have to pick up your packages from an office that is only open during business hours? Do all packages get left in a big pile under the mailboxes for tenants to sort through? There’s no perfect solution to the package situation, but make sure you’re happy with the solution that’s presented.

If you have additional questions that are important to your apartment hunt, add them to your must-ask list. Try to frame them as open-ended questions, and give the landlord the opportunity to keep talking. That way, you’ll find out everything you need to know.

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


Veterans will Soon Shop Tax-Free

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 09, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAHey veterans, you can soon shop tax free.

Starting later this year, all honorably discharged veterans, no matter their branch of service, will be eligible to shop tax-free online at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service with the same discounts they enjoyed on base while in the military. It’s the latest way in which the organization is trying to keep its customers as the armed forces shrink and airmen and soldiers buy more for delivery.

Adding 13 million potential new customers will give extra ammunition to the group that runs the stores on U.S. Army and Air Force bases worldwide as it fights Amazon and other retailers for veterans’ online shopping dollars.

Since hiring its first civilian CEO five years ago, the Exchange has upgraded the brands at base stores to include items like Disney toys, Michael Kors fashions and other top names. Like private stores, it’s also imposed tighter cost controls, reduced the number of employees and improved people’s experience on the website.

“The intent is to really beat Amazon at their game because we have locations literally on the installations,” said CEO Tom Shull. “We’re leaning toward not just ship-from-store but pick-up-from-store and eventually deliver-from-store.”

The Exchange is adding shipping centers within its stores to allow it to send products directly from those locations more cheaply and quickly. Twenty-six stores now ship orders, and that will expand to 55 by the end of the year.

Within the next three years, Shull said the goal is to deliver something on base within two hours of when it is ordered. That’s possible partly because the Exchanges are already on base, cleared by security.

The Exchange delivers most orders on the second day now. Shull said shipping from stores will make a big difference in regions around bases, which are often in more rural areas.

Expanding online shopping to all honorably discharged veterans is expected to add about $200 million annually within three years to the $8.3 billion in sales the Exchanges generated last year.

Adding those shoppers, what Shull called “the foundation of our growth,” is critical to help offset the 13 percent decline in the number of active-duty Army and Air Force soldiers since 2011 when the Exchange generated $10.3 billion revenue.

“It’s a modest benefit, but it can save you thousands of dollars a year,” said Shull, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who served in the Army for a decade before starting a retail career at chains including Macy’s.

Former Marine Forrest Cornelius was among the first to sign up at the verification website when it launched in June, and got a chance to start shopping early to test it out. The 51-year-old was impressed by the site and a deal he found on Ray-Ban sunglasses.

“The biggest thing is price. They’re always going to be a little bit cheaper,” said Cornelius, who lives in Dallas.

But competing on price in today’s retail environment is increasingly difficult, said Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough. Just look at how much trouble Walmart has competing with Amazon, he said, because Walmart has the fixed costs associated with its stores.

“To think you’re going to compete on price, you’re going to have a hard time there,” he said.

Under Shull’s leadership, the Exchange stores have traded their industrial feel and reliance on off-brand merchandise for a more modern look featuring well-known labels.

Two-thirds of the main Exchange store at Offutt Air Force Base resembles any department store, with prominent displays of name-brand makeup, Nike fitness gear and Carter’s clothes for kids. The rest is filled with the kind of electronics, appliances, housewares and toys found at Walmart or Sears, with major brands in every section.

The Exchanges don’t pay rent for their military base locations, and the government transports some of their supplies and goods to far-flung locations, but otherwise they operate mostly like an independent retailer. Roughly two-thirds of the employees are family members of soldiers or airmen.

The Exchange, which is part of the Defense Department, reported earnings of $384 million last year. That’s a sharp contrast from five years ago when Shull arrived to projections of $180 million in losses.

Of last year’s profit, $225 million was returned to the defense department to help pay for quality-of-life programs on bases like child development and fitness centers. Besides the main stores, the Exchanges also operate more than 70 movie theaters and bring in franchise restaurants and other vendors for the shopping malls it operates on bases.

Shull feels those are good reasons for the new online shopping privileges to draw veterans to do their shopping there.

“Veterans value the cost savings and what they can do to support the military,” he said.


Fredericksburg is a Top VA Community for Retirees

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 02, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VASmartAsset has once again named Fredericksburg a best place to live in Virginia, this time for retirees.

The personal finance research website reports on the livability of communities across the U.S. SmartAsset looked at state and local tax rates; the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each area; and the number of seniors in each area as a percentage of the total population.

Fredericksburg ranked sixth in Virginia for retirees. The city has 8.2 doctors’ offices per 1,000 residents, 2 recreation centers for the same number of locals, and 0.4 retirement centers per 1,000.

The percentage of seniors in the city’s overall population is 10.3 percent.

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


Reasons to Move Your Family to Virginia

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 26, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAWhen you are moving your family, you want to move to a place where your children will get the best education, from primary to secondary, through high school and college. When it comes to educating students, state governments play a vital role - from the allocation of funding to passing laws on school choice and basic curriculum. Among the Best States For Education, the Eastern Seaboard stands out. This education ranking was determined by performance in Pre K-12 and higher education.

Metrics considered include the percentage of the population that is college educated - with an Associate's degree or higher - and average undergraduates tuition and fees for in-state students at public institutions.

#10 on the list: Virginia

College Educated: 45%
Average undergraduate tuition and fees: $11.057
Public High School Graduation Rate: 85.3%
Best Overall Rank: 11

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



Looking for Apartment Homes in Fredericksburg, VA?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 20, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VA If you are looking for an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA bordered by history and nightlife look no further than Abberly Southpoint Apartments. Attractive and convenient, we are minutes to shopping, dining, recreation, and centrally located between Washington DC and Richmond Virginia. Abberly Southpoint Apartments is a community which offers expansive floor plans and luxurious amenities. They are the perfect choice for the family, professional, retiree, and you!

Take advantage of our spacious apartments with a community offering and numerous amenities. Living here means you can enjoy all of Fredericksburg’s hidden treasures, and the town’s best dining and entertainment venues , historic sites and outdoor recreational activities.

We have various apartment floor plans with luxurious apartment amenities. Our one bedroom apartments range from 807 to 1199 sq ft, and we have three bedroom apartments with a spacious 1,496 sq ft plan. We encourage you to make an appointment, and see what Abberly Southpoint Apartments and Fredericksburg have to offer.

Considered a Great Place to Retire and a Great State to Live In, and surrounded by natural beauty, Fredericksburg, VA is home to restaurants, dynamic nightlife, historic landmarks, cultural entertainment, and recreational opportunities. We boast beautiful weather as well as local events and happenings throughout the year.

Contact us for an appointment to view our apartment homes.

You are Better Off Renting If…

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 13, 2017

Abberly at Southpoint, Fredericksburg, VAYou're better off renting an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA if:

You are indecisive. Buying a home is a big decision. It will likely be the biggest purchase you ever make. And before you spend that kind of money, it's good to know what you want. But if you find yourself singing the praises of hardwood floors one week and then talking up the benefits of wall-to-wall carpet the next, you might not be ready. Is a dishwasher a must? What about a second bathroom? Before you hand over a large down payment, you should be able to prioritize and have a good idea of what will make you happy.

You want to phone it in. For repairs and maintenance of any kind, sometimes it's nice to be able to phone a a landlord. Of course, when you own a home, you can phone an expert to fix a problem, but you have to pay them. When you rent, the majority of that responsibility falls to your landlord.

You like to keep your options open. Whether you want to be able to move down the block or across the country, it's nice to know you can. Living through the recent recession, many people weren't able to find buyers for their homes when they were transferred to new locations or when they simply couldn't afford to pay the mortgage. If you want the flexibility to switch careers and/or coasts, renting may be the better option for you.

You want your cash elsewhere. Maybe you want to invest in the stock market, start a business or have some cash on hand for an emergency. You may not feel like tying up your money in a home. Buying a home usually requires a large sum upfront and then a percentage of your money for the life of your mortgage. If you want the flexibility to choose where your money goes, buying a home might not be right for you.

You don't understand (or you don't want to). Owning a home can feel like it has its own language. Between mortgages and taxes, there's lots to learn. There are resources to help it all make sense. But if you want to remain blissfully ignorant, you can keep renting. You might even be a renter for life. If you are interested in renting an apartment in Fredericksburg, VA, contact Abberly at Southpoint.


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