Vermont Ave. to be paved

All residents of Alvern Gardens apartments are likely aware by now that Vermont Ave. is due to be paved next week. Written notices were hand delivered to each apartment today, and as soon as the leasing office is notified by the Castle Shannon Police Department, they will post a second written notice in advance of the exact date of paving. The second notice will be posted on the front door of each building.

Paving will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the TBD date. During these hours, absolutely no vehicles will be allowed to park on Vermont Ave. Cars will be allowed back on the street after 5 p.m. but must be removed again by 7 a.m. the following day for paving to continue. Any vehicles parked on Vermont Ave. during the paving construction hours will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Anyone interested in renting a garage before paving begins, is welcome to stop by the leasing office or contact us at 412-561-4663. We do have garages available throughout the property and on Vermont Ave., so if you want to have a guaranteed parking spot during construction, inquire at your earliest convenience.

Residents who live in buildings with permit-only parking lots but have not yet picked up their permit at the leasing office, please do so before paving begins. If you have an old blue permit, please come in to upgrade to our new orange permits. Permits are provided free of charge. To receive a permit, you must provide your license and registration. If you can’t make it to the leasing office in person, please notify us. We can deliver a permit to your apartment if you fax or email us copies of the required paperwork.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank all of our residents for their patience and cooperation in this matter.

Looking for a new home? Check out Alvern Gardens!

Alvern Gardens is currently offering a special on pet friendly three bedroom apartments: second month’s free rent and no pet fee! There are only a few three bedroom apartments available, so if you’re interested, call 412-561-4663 today for a tour.

Alvern Gardens
Residents of Alvern Gardens have access to green space around the property for planting their own small gardens.

The on-site leasing office is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fridays. Walk-ins are welcome during these hours. If you’d like to schedule a tour outside of these hours, agents are available by appointment on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.

The rent for the 822 sq ft three bedrooms is $815/month plus electric, all other utilities are included in rent, including heat, cooking gas, and hot water. All apartments are cable and internet ready (Comcast is the provider).

The spacious layout features separate living and dining rooms, a coat closet by the front door, and a linen closet by the bathroom. The apartments are equipped with brand new wall-to-wall carpeting, a full-size gas stove and refrigerator, ample cabinet space in the kitchen, and a ceiling fan in the dining room. Additional storage is included with each apartment.

Residents have full control over the radiator heat and are welcome to install as many window air conditioning units as they desire. All windows come with screens, locks, and stays, and are designed for easy ac installation.

Coin-operated laundry facilities are located in the basement. Four apartments share one facility, and there is a change machine in the on-site leasing office for the convenience of our residents.

The on-site dog park is open to residents and their pups during daylight hours. Plus, with pool season fast approaching, it’s worth noting that Alvern Gardens has a pool.

pool

Parking is on street, first come, first serve, with permit-only off street parking included with certain units. Garages are available for rent for $55/month.

Alvern Gardens is situated just a five minute walk from the St. Anne’s T stop, where both the Red and Blue Lines stop every five to twenty minutes. This quiet residential neighborhood is just minutes from shopping, restaurants and recreational areas such as the Ice Castle skating rink and South Park.

If Alvern Gardens sounds like the place for you, please call us at 412-561-4663 to inquire about the application process.

Apartments near public transportation in Pittsburgh

Last week, we offered advice on how to find an apartment near public transportation in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re featuring the Prudential Realty communities close to bus and T stops. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, one of these might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

pet friendly apartments
Alvern Gardens has all the amenities you need, including a dog park and a T stop close by.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email alverngardens@yahoo.com or call 412-561-4663.

The Brett Apartments

The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.

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

Cornell Place

For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.

Place Seville Apartments

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments

From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.

Snow is falling on Pittsburgh, are you prepared?

It’s been a pretty mild winter in the Pittsburgh area so far, but it’s finally gotten cold and snowy this week. If you live in a rental, you probably have the luxury of not needing to shovel or salt your sidewalks, but there are some other things you can—and should—do when snow hits.

  1. Optimize your heat for efficiency. For example,if you have radiator heat, move furniture away from the radiators so
    Prep for snow in Pittsburgh area
    We may not have had a white Christmas, but snow is finally falling on Pittsburgh. Make sure you’re prepared.

    the heat can, well, radiate into the room. Keep your windows closed tight, and if you feel a draft, invest in a window insulating kit. They’re cheap and easy to use. Energy efficient curtains are also a good investment (yes, they exist).

  2. Set your heat at a comfortable temperature, but don’t overdo it. It’s much more energy efficient to put on a sweater than to crank up the heat so you can stay in a t-shirt and shorts. If your heat is included in rent, don’t think of it as free. Instead, keep in mind that your rent pays for it, and if the heating costs are too high, your landlord will raise the rent to cover them.
  3. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you have issues with insulation around your windows and doors, or if your heat is malfunctioning. Rather than opening a window when the heat won’t respond to you turning the thermostat down, contact maintenance to get the heat fixed. On the flip side, don’t endure a cold apartment, let maintenance know if you’re freezing, too.

For extreme cold

It’s not due to get extremely cold yet, but temperatures might still drop at the end of winter. If they do, take precautions to protect your pipes from freezing: keep cabinet doors under sinks open to let warm air in, and let the water drip. This is especially important for kitchens and bathrooms where the plumbing is in an outside wall that doesn’t get much sunlight.

Considerations for your car

  • Is your car parked outside? If yes, now might be the time to invest in a garage. Several Prudential Realty communities rent garages as well as apartments, so residents can keep themselves and their cars warm and dry this winter.
  • Have emergency supplies in your car like a bag of rock salt or kitty litter in case you get stuck on ice and a tow rope for more serious emergencies.
  • If you don’t have a AAA membership already, it’s well worth it, especially since most local police departments, including Castle Shannon and Indiana, PA police, no longer offer assistance when you accidentally lock your keys in your car. Besides getting road-side assistance for a flat tire and towing services if your car breaks down, lots of places also offer AAA discounts if you show your membership card.
  • Perhaps the most important tip: if it looks nasty out, don’t drive anywhere unless you absolutely have to, and wait for the plow to come through your neighborhood before you do. Unless you have a medical emergency or are completely out of food, most things aren’t worth risking life and limb in poor driving conditions.

Adopt a pet

Yes, this seems like weird advice, but have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s a three dog night”? That means it’s so cold, that you need at least 3 pups in your bed to keep you toasty. While most apartments won’t let you have that many pets, places like Alvern Gardens do allow up to 2 pets per apartment: dogs under 40 lbs as well as cats are welcome. Having a fluffy companion to snuggle with warms body and soul.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Not too shabby for our first full year of blogging. Here’s to further success in 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Where should I park? A guide to parking from the apartment hunt to coming home

Finding parking in the city can be challenging and expensive, and if you’re new in town, the old Pittsburgh trick of reserving your spot with a chair looks downright outlandish. So what’s an apartment hunter to do?

First things first, when you schedule an appointment to tour an apartment or house, ask where you should park when you get there. While large complexes with private parking lots might have “Future Resident” parking, plenty of places don’t have the space to offer that convenience. So unless you’re visiting a gated community, you’ll probably have to park on the street.

Be warned: rules for street parking vary from one municipality to the next. Mt. Lebanon, for example, has permit parking zones, and violators will be ticketed. In adjacent Castle Shannon, however, street parking tends to be less restricted. While all of Sleepy Hollow Road is no parking, Vermont Avenue and Greenridge Road are fair game.

Find a place to park before winter hits
Steel City will be covered in a blanket of white soon enough. Do you have covered parking?

So this is why you ask where to park when you schedule your tour, to let the local experts steer you in the right direction.

If you arrive at your destination and feel confused about how the parking works, read any signs carefully and follow your gut. If a curb is yellow or you see a hydrant,  don’t park there. If you read a sign that says “Permit Parking Only,” don’t park there. Don’t be afraid to ask when you meet up with your appointment, “I parked over there, is that OK?” That’s always a good question to ask.

Questions about parking are among the most important to ask when looking for a new home. You might be dazzled by low rent, but don’t forget to consider any additional costs for a parking permit or covered parking. Survey the area and ask how hard it is to find a spot on the street. Ask where your guests are allowed to park. You might find that comparing parking situations can help you choose between prospective apartments. It’s also a good idea at this time to ask where you’d be allowed to park a moving van and for how long. In Castle Shannon, for example, street parking of trailers is prohibited.

Once you’re officially a resident in your new home, your landlord will most likely give you instructions for where to park. If not, be sure to ask for clarification. Always remember to follow the parking guidelines set out by your landlord and municipality. Breaking the rules could lead to tickets, tow trucks, and angry neighbors. Here are a few no-no’s to keep in mind:

  • Never block a dumpster
  • Don’t let your guests park in permit only spots
  • Never take a neighbor’s assigned spot
  • Don’t block in another car
  • Don’t block a driveway or garage

Additionally, if your landlord issued you a parking permit—even if it was free—keep it up-to-date. If you replace your car, make sure your landlord updates their records and gives you a new permit if necessary. If you get an additional vehicle, get that on file and permitted as well. If your landlord only issues one permit per apartment, find alternate parking for your second vehicle to avoid inconveniencing your neighbors and getting ticketed, or worse, towed.

Winter is around the corner: are you ready?

Mid-September might seem a bit early to discuss prepping for winter, but according to the Farmers’ Almanac, we’re in for a cold, snowy one as well as a white Thanksgiving. Here are some tips to help you get ready.

  • Take out window ac units. Lots of cold air seeps in around an ac, so remove it before it gets cold to cut back on energy costs. Plus, if you like a tidy home, time is running out to clean your windows inside and out, so why not tackle it all at once.

    Prep before snow falls on Pittsburgh
    Steel City will be covered in a blanket of white soon enough. Is your home ready?
  • Insulate windows. We’ve mentioned window insulating kits before as a means of saving energy, but it can’t be repeated enough that the cheap, easy to use kits are well worth it. Even if heat and other utilities are included in your rent, rising energy costs lead to rising rent, so it still pays to insulate.
  • Sweep out your garage. Those fallen leaves are accumulating and you  won’t want to deal with them once there’s snow on the ground. Remember to keep the door shut so animals looking for a cozy spot don’t get any ideas.
  • Rent a garage. For those of you who aren’t already taking advantage of covered parking opportunities, now is the time to look into it. You’ll be thankful come November that you’re not stuck outside scraping ice off the windshield.
  • Make any necessary calls to maintenance. You probably have a small thing or two that needs attention: a drain that’s not clogged but running slowly, a sticky door handle, or something else that isn’t an immediate concern. The sooner you call maintenance the better because with the first snow fall, even a robust crew will be busy.
  • Buy rock salt and a shovel. Even if you rent and don’t have to worry about clearing sidewalks or driveways, it’s smart to have a bag of rock salt in the trunk of your car in case you get stuck somewhere. And that shovel will come in handy if the plow piles snow against your car as it clears the road. (That garage sure is sounding nice, isn’t it?)

Fall is a nice time to move: beat the heat of summer AND the chill of winter. Contact Prudential Realty Company for our current availability.