No car? No problem! Here’s how to find a home close to public transportation

Whether you’re moving to Steel City for the first time or you’ve been in Pittsburgh for a while, it pays to familiarize yourself with the Allegheny County Port Authority system and take public transportation into your calculations as you look for an apartment.

Even if you have a car, public transportation is a wonderful thing:

  • It gives people without a car a way to get around, particularly over less than walk-able distances.
  • It’s a safe way to get home after you’ve had a few drinks.
  • If the weather’s bad and you don’t feel comfortable driving, public transportation can get you where you need to go.
  • Not only does it let you avoid traffic (Hello busway!), more people taking public transportation leads to fewer vehicles on the road, which in turn leads to less traffic.
  • It’s good for the environment: using public transportation reduces your carbon footprint.
  • It gives you down time to read, study, browse social media, play games on your phone, etc.
  • Texting and driving is illegal in Pennsylvania, and talking on the phone is dangerous, but you can do both of those things legally and safely while taking public transportation.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Maybe it’s time to move. Consider the following:

  • After reading the above list, do you think public transportation would make your daily commute easier?
  • Would visiting friends and family (and them visiting you) be easier if you lived closer to public transportation?
  • Do you have kids who don’t have licenses or cars but are old enough to strike out on their own?
  • Do you or your spouse ever get stranded because the other person has the car?
  • Do you dread going out on the town because it requires finding parking?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you stand to benefit from moving to a place close to public transportation. Read on to learn how to find your new place.

  1. When you’re on the hunt, include access to public transportation high on your list of desired amenities and consider the various financial pros and cons of potentially paying a little more rent to live that much closer to a stop.
  2. As you scour the web and rental magazines, map each property’s location using Google Maps, which can give you public transportation directions as well as driving directions. Take advantage of satellite view and street view. Make note of the points of interest that appear on the map, such as grocery stores, vet clinics, and anything else important to you.
  3. While touring a property, don’t look just at the house/apartment, look at the neighborhood. How far of a walk is it to the closest bus or “T” stop? Is it a pleasant walk through a nice neighborhood with well maintained sidewalks and ample street lighting? Drive or even walk around a bit to get a feel for the place. If you can, return at night and see how you feel about it then.
  4. Once you’ve seen some of your options in person, it might help your decision making process to get back online. For example, Port Authority’s Trip Planner works beautifully for seeing exactly how to get from A to B in Pittsburgh. But don’t look just at the route you’ll need to get to and from work. Look at the full schedule so you know how late everything runs and how early it starts. Look up how you might get to your best friend’s house or your favorite restaurant. As you map various routes, you’ll get to know the neighborhood and see if it works for you.
  5. Make decision, apply for the place you want, and prepare to move.

Stay tuned for next week’s post highlighting Prudential Realty communities close to public transportation. We might just have the new home you’re looking for!

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Tips for dog owners living in apartments

In the past year, we’ve offered a few posts about owning a dog in an apartment. Because there were among our most popular posts of the year, we thought we’d round them up in one convenient post.

dog care tips
Keeping flea and tick medication up to date is just another part of being a responsible pet owner.
  • Dog park etiquette is an important part of keeping you and your dog safe while playing with other visitors.
  • How to keep your dog from barking is a key concern in an apartment complex. You want your dog to be a good neighbor.
  • Exercising your dog not only keeps him healthy, it also keeps his energy levels manageable. While this can be challenging when you live in an apartment, it’s not impossible.
  • Dog friendly apartments in Pittsburgh can be hard to find, but Alvern Gardens is one place where pooches under 40 lbs. are welcome and even have access to to a free on-site dog park.

Alvern Gardens now offers virtual tours!

If you’re moving from across the country—or even across the globe—to Pittsburgh, finding an apartment can be challenging. How are you supposed to know what you like if you can’t see it in person? Fear not: Alvern Gardens has the solution!

living room
Here’s an example of the living room and dining room of a 2 bedroom at Alvern Gardens. This floor plan goes for $675/month plus electric.

We got a call about a week ago from a future resident looking to move north from the deep south. The only hitch was that she wouldn’t be able to come up north to tour apartments before making a decision. She asked if we had a virtual tour option, so, on the fly, Chi Quach, assistant property manager set up a Skype account for Alvern Gardens. Using his smartphone’s camera, he gave a tour of our 2 bedroom model and then of the available 1 bedroom apartment.

The tour made it possible for our new resident to see everything almost as if she was there in person rather than miles away in Louisiana. She liked what she saw so much that she submitted an application the same day.  And so, through the power of technology, she found her new home without having to leave her old one.

pool
Spending a lazy day pool side is just one way to enjoy summer. Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.

After the first Skype tour was such a success, we have decided to make it available as an option for all those who can’t make it in person but would like to tour our apartments before applying. Virtual tours make it possible for future residents to tour the available apartment(s), as well as the grounds, pool, and dog park all from the comfort of their couch.

Anyone interested in a virtual tour may send a Skype contact request to alvern1000 and call our leasing office at 412-561-4663 to schedule a tour.