What’s it like to live in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is a pretty cool place, but it doesn’t have the prestigious reputation of the country’s bigger cities. So Chi Quach, assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens Apartments and resident of Pittsburgh for over 35 years, took some time to sing Steel City’s praises.

Prudential Realty: What’s your favorite thing about the city?

Chi Quach: The view of the city coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, and going to all of the sporting events.

PR: What are some advantages of living in the south hills?

Bridges: That's what it's like to live in Pittsburgh.
The Smithfield Street Bridge crosses the Monongahela River, connecting the historic South Side to downtown Pittsburgh.

CQ: Having access of the “T” [Pittsburgh’s light rail system]. Having that easy commute to the South Hills Village [Mall] and downtown by the “T” is a bonus because you save time and money on finding parking spaces.

PR: Pittsburgh was recently named the next big food town, and you’re a foodie yourself. Where do you like to eat?

CQ: Wow, that’s a hard question there. I have to say Pittsburgh has the best eateries around from the north, south, east, west. I mostly stick around the south hills when I go out for dinner. Here are some of my favorite spots in the south hills:

PR: What do you like to do for fun in the city?

CQ: I enjoy going down to the Strip District. You can find a lot of great places just by walking up and down Penn Avenue. There’s a lot of restaurants, grocery stores, and a few historical landmarks on every block.

PR: Do you have any advice for people who are new to the area?

CQ: Definitely grab the local magazine and read through it. It has a lot of information on current events, entertainment, and places to eat.

PR: Do you have any pointers for renters looking for an apartment in Pittsburgh?

CQ: Yes, make sure you find a place that is close to public transportation.

Contact Prudential Realty Company to find out about our current availability of apartments close to public transportation, restaurants, and fun in the Pittsburgh area.

Apartments with free parking in Pittsburgh

Back in February, when Pittsburgh was still locked in winter, we told you about covered parking options at a few Prudential Realty Communities, so now that spring is officially here, it’s time to explore our properties with free parking.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

The street parking is free, first come, first serve along Vermont Avenue and Greenridge Road, so when you have guests, they’ll have no trouble finding a spot. Some of the buildings in the community have free permit-only parking lots reserved for the residents of those buildings.

To find out the current availability at Alvern Gardens and to ask about apartment amenities, call 412-561-4663 or email alverngardens@yahoo.com and be sure to ask about the current special.

Cornell Place

Parking in Mount Lebanon is expensive and hard to find, so anyone looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment will be happy to know that parking in the lot behind Cornell Place is free, permit only for residents of the building.

For more information on Cornell Place’s amenities and availability, call 412-401-9848 or email cornellplace@prudentialrealty.com

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Place Seville

The parking lot of Place Seville is free, first come, first serve for the residents of the 1 and 2 bedrooms there.

Details about amenities and availability may be acquired by calling 412-563-7256 or emailing placeseville@prudentialrealty.com

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses

While parking isn’t allowed along Sleepy Hollow Road, the 3 bedroom townhouses have driveways long enough for at least 2 cars to park in front of the included garage.

Call 412-401-9848 or email sleepyhollow@prudentialrealty.com to get more information about townhouse amenities and the current availability.

Spring cleaning tips: good for your security deposit

March 20th is the first official day of spring, so this is a good time to share some spring cleaning tips. Keeping your apartment in ship shape throughout your residence there can make moving out and getting your full security deposit back a lot easier.

A key part of moving out of an apartment is cleaning it top to bottom, including shampooing the carpet and wiping down surfaces that perhaps haven’t seen a dampened rag in years. Spring cleaning makes this process much easier by ensuring those otherwise untouched spots get a nice scrubbing at least annually, preventing all that nasty buildup.

You’ve never used the top shelves in your cupboards because you can’t reach them? Now is the time to pull out a step ladder and wipe them down anyway. Your landlord has no way of knowing that you never used them so if they’re dirty when you move out, it’ll be on you regardless. Same goes for the top of your refrigerator.

It’s too bad refrigerators don’t have a self-cleaning setting like ovens do. You’ll have to pull out your crisper drawers and shelves and employ good old-fashioned elbow grease. For the microwave, loosen grime with steam.

Rearranging things like appliances and furniture will show you just where dirt and dust have collected, so after you finish the usual tour with the vacuum, pull all your furniture to the center of the room to get to all those nooks and crannies. Take all your appliances off the kitchen counters and wipe away the crumbs that have been hiding under them.

If dust bunnies have colonized your ceiling fan, use a spray or damp rag to clean them rather than a dry duster to avoid spreading the particles around. Use the wet dusting method for all your seldom-Swiffered areas.

Just because you’re not moving out, doesn’t mean you don’t need to shampoo your carpet, especially if you’ve been living in the apartment with a pet or two. You don’t have to go the full 9 yards and hire a professional or even rent a shampooer, you can use a can of carpet foam on high traffic areas like around the litter box and front door.

spring cleaning
Baking soda and vinegar is a cheap cleaning solution with a variety of uses. Pittsburgh’s own Heinz sells cleaning vinegar by the gallon. Image attribution: By katerha (http://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/5703151566/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If you like to keep things cheap and environmentally friendly, you can take care of most of the above cleaning projects with solutions of white distilled vinegar and water.

Finally, here’s some things to ask about before tackling it yourself:

  • Check with your landlord or management company as well as the municipality where you live for rules about disposing large items. For example, one of the services maintenance provides at Alvern Gardens Apartments, is curb-side pickup of old furniture, this keeps the dumpsters from overflowing and ensures the property is always looking its best.
  • Read your lease and ask your landlord about unclogging drains, especially if you live in an older building. Acid products like Drano can corrode pipes and might not be OK to use in your rental.
  • Ask about regulations surrounding air conditioners in your apartment before you start installing them. At Alvern Gardens, you can pay maintenance $35 per a/c unit to avoid liability for leaks due to improper installation.

How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget: home office

Last week was all about the master bedroom, so to spare readers the boredom of reading about a second bedroom, we’re going to share how to use that extra bedroom as a home office/guest bedroom.

The second bedroom in our 728 sq. ft. model used to be decorated as a kid’s room with child-size furniture and a Minnie Mouse poster. The curtains were white lace with teddy bears in the pattern (who knew there was such a thing as teddy bear lace!).

guest bedroom/home office
This futon’s black faux leather is just the right look for extra seating in a home office. Plus, it lets the room double as a guest bedroom.

We thought back and forth on whether we should redecorate the room into a bedroom or to transform it completely into a home office. So we compromised: throw a chic futon in a home office, and you’ve got a smart, stylish multipurpose room.

Now, “chic futon” might read as an oxymoron, but Walmart has exactly that in a variety of styles at great prices. The in-store pickup is free, so we had our personal favorite, a black faux leather number, delivered to the nearest store and picked it up at our convenience. A couple of throw pillows and an end table with a lamp make this a cozy retreat, even if you’re just taking a break from the desk across the room.

home office/guest bedroom
Alvern Gardens has plenty of space for a corner desk with a tall hutch for anyone who works from home or just likes to keep an organized home office.

For the desk, we went to IKEA, where we found something that fit our needs, budget, and style. The corner desk with its sizable hutch shows off the size of the space while also filling it comfortably. Its location directly opposite the door gives it maximum visual impact (luckily the fact that no one actually uses it means the impact isn’t one of clutter). The top of the hutch is a great shelf for displaying nicknacks and artwork without damaging walls and risking a lease violation. Once again, we decided on black-brown wood for the desk to keep the

look cohesive throughout the apartment.

If you work from home, or are otherwise in need of a 2  bedroom apartment, contact Alvern Gardens Apartments at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com to ask about our current availability.

Oops: Alvern Gardens March newsletter error

Alvern Gardens’ monthly newsletter came out on Friday, but a key piece of information somehow absconded from the second page: the answers to the March trivia. So for anyone who received the newsletter and wants some answers, here they are (no cheating!):

  1. Pisces
  2. March 15th, the middle of the month, Julius Caesar
  3. Mars, the Roman god of war
  4. Basketball

 

If you didn’t get a newsletter and are curious what the questions for these answers are, stop by the Alvern Gardens Apartments leasing office, located at 1000 Vermont Avenue Apt. 1, Pittsburgh, PA 15234, and pick up a free copy. Our newsletter features announcements about the community, such as garages available for rent; a calendar of important dates; information about our referral bonus; and a form for providing a tenant testimony for this blog.