Memorial Day Pool Openings in Pittsburgh

Memorial Day weekend is, of course, America’s unofficial pool opening weekend, and there are some great options available around Pittsburgh.

pool
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, and it’s a great way to stay cool on a hot day. (Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.)

Sandcastle is opening its gates for the 2016 season at 11 a.m. on Saturday. There are a variety of ticket options, so check their website for details.

The Mt. Lebanon Swim Center opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday for an hour long adult swim before opening to the general public for the season. Season passes are available, but admission at the gate is also an option.

The Dormont Pool is slightly less expensive than the Mt. Lebanon Swim Center, and people living in the Keystone Oaks School District enjoy resident pricing. The Dormont Pool opens at noon on Saturday. Daily hours start on June 11, after school lets out for the summer.

The Alvern Gardens pool will open for the season at noon on June 11. Season passes for residents are available now at the leasing office.

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Country Living’s tips for downsizing

We came across this Country Living article earlier this week and decided it’s a must-share. We’ve given lots of advice in the past about moving and how to make a smooth transition to a new home, but we’ve never shared anything about what to keep when you’re downsizing.

Alvern Gardens
Residents of Alvern Gardens have access to green space around the property for grilling, setting out patio furniture, and even planting their own small gardens, so moving here hardly feels like downsizing at all.

A fair number of our new residents are moving to apartments after living in houses for several years, and although they’re relieved that Alvern Gardens Apartments feature spacious layouts and included extra storage, there’s usually some stuff that has to go. Country Living advises putting special mementos, family heirlooms, and collections amassed over the years in storage rather than throwing them away. These are things that are important to you and your family, so they’re worth keeping in a safe space. For our part, we recommend buying plastic bins with tightly sealing lids to store those things securely. The article also notes the importance of wiping all personal information from electronics before getting rid of them, a key step that many people forget.

We also agree one hundred percent that important documents must be kept safe through a move. A small filing cabinet or even a filing box doesn’t take up much space and will help you keep your life organized.

Are you downsizing? Consider making Alvern Gardens your new home! We have a couple of three bedroom apartments available right now, and at 822 square feet with additional storage included in rent, we’re confident that you won’t have to compromise much on space. Call us at 412-561-4663 or email us at alverngardens@yahoo.com and be sure to ask about our move-in special.

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.

FAQ: Do you have a gym?

Here at Alvern Gardens, visitors frequently ask if we have a gym. We don’t, but we do have a pool and a dog park. We’re also close to several gyms and yoga studios. So for the convenience of current and prospective residents, we’ve rounded up a list of places close by where our residents can get their exercise.

Gyms

fitness
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, but if you’re looking for something more, there are plenty of gyms and yoga studios to choose from in the area. (Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.)

Fitness 19 seems to be one of the most affordable gyms in the area, and Alvern Gardens residents frequently receive mailers with special offers.

Healthtrax is an affordable gym in Bethel Park, and based on their website, a friendly place for people of all  fitness levels who are looking to get healthy and stay healthy.

We have not one, but two LA Fitness clubs close by. One is in Bethel Park, and the other is in Bridgeville. Both offer a variety of amenities for about $30/month.

Club One Fitness, reportedly the best gym in Pittsburgh, has a South Hills location on Castle Shannon Blvd. They’re pricier but it looks like they might be worth it.

If you’re looking for a 24-hour gym, consider Snap Fitness in South Park. If you join before the end of the month, you’ll get 50% off!

Yoga

Because there are quite a few places to do yoga around here, we thought we’d round up some of the most affordable, convenient options.

The Mt. Lebanon Public Library hosts a free weekly yoga class Wednesday evenings. Participants don’t have to register, but they do have to bring all their own equipment.

Health Thru Yoga is the closest studio to Alvern Gardens (walking distance!). There are discounts for seniors and T riders as well as free classes for military families. You can even schedule a private session if you’d like.

Yoga Innovations is a little yoga studio in Bethel Park. They offer kids yoga and Mommy and Me Yoga, as well as a pay what you can class for adults every Wednesday evening. The studio welcomes walk-ins, and they even rent mats if you don’t have your own.

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.

Day trips and weekend getaways around Pittsburgh

One of the coolest things about Pittsburgh is that it’s close to all sorts of destinations for day trips and weekend getaways. Here are four destinations to enjoy for a day—or longer.

  1. Ohiopyle State Park is located southwest of the city and features stunning landscapes, miles of hiking and biking trails, rock climbing areas, and some of the best whitewater rafting around. You can go for a day to have a picnic and check out the natural water slides, or you can camp out for a weekend in a cabin or a yurt.

    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.
  2. Thrill seekers might want to make a day trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, but with so many rides and attractions, you might want to stay for a whole weekend. Especially worth the weekend stay: the new Dinos After Dark runs Friday and Saturday nights until August 16th.
  3. Many readers might be familiar with Seven Springs Mountain Resort as a great destination for skiing and snowboarding, but it’s got  plenty going on in the summer, too. The Rib and Wing Festival is coming up next weekend on July 25th, the Mud in the Dark obstacle course run is taking place on August 16th, and on August 23rd there’s a wine festival. If biking, horseback riding, golfing, shooting, ziplining, and other outdoor adventures aren’t your thing, you can always spend your day at the spa or poolside.
  4. Anyone looking for a more educational trip might consider visiting Washington, D.C. Our nation’s capital has plenty of museums and monuments to check out, and a weekend there is a great way to dust off the cobwebs before sending kids back to school.

Before you can plan a trip, you need a home base to come back to. If you’re looking for a new home, contact Prudential Realty Company for our availability at a number of locations throughout the Pittsburgh area.

 

How to manage your air conditioning costs in the summer

Whether you live in a house or an apartment and no matter what type of air conditioning system you have (forced air, central air, window units, etc.), staying cool and staying within budget are both important. Here are some tips on keeping your electric bill from skyrocketing in the summer.

By strategically placing fans in relation to open windows, you can maximize air circulation. Moving air helps evaporate sweat, so if you live in a 2 story home, close the windows upstairs, open the windows downstairs, and put fans upstairs. In a single floor place, put fans farther away from open windows. The best windows to open are the ones where the most breezes come through.

It’s also a good idea to open windows at night when it’s cooler out, then close them first thing in the morning, trapping cooler air inside and keeping hot air out during the day.

The right window treatments can make a big difference in keeping heat out. You can buy insulating curtains at most retailers that carry window treatments. A properly insulated home is better for retaining internal temperature.

window air conditioning unit
At Alvern Gardens Apartments, residents are allowed to install as many window a/c units as they’d like. For just $35/unit, maintenance will install them for residents.

Humidity is often what makes heat stifling even if it’s not that hot, so consider investing in a dehumidifier, an a/c with humidity control, or an evaporative cooler.

When using air conditioning (central air, window units, portable a/c, whatever you’ve got), keep all your windows shut to avoid losing that nice cool air. Also, use fans to circulate the cool air throughout your home, or shut the door to the room you’re trying to cool down.

Only use the air conditioner while you’re home, and don’t over-do it. Some systems have a self-modulation feature that adjusts the a/c’s output according to the room’s temperature. This way, you can sleep through the night at the perfect temperature, and don’t have to constantly adjust the a/c during the day. If you don’t have one of these snazzy contraptions (though maybe you should invest in one if it’s been a few years since you bought your current a/c… having an efficient machine is key), do the modulating yourself. There’s no need to sleep in an ice box because it cools down outside at night anyway (plus your own body temp lowers while you’re sleeping), so don’t set the temperature quite as low overnight.

Adjust the fan in your a/c according to the humidity: on less humid days, crank it to high; on very humid days, set it to low. The slower fan speed actually lowers the humidity.

Cooking and baking can add a lot of heat to your home, so grill outside instead, eat cold meals, or use the microwave.

Water can work miracles in helping your body cool down. If you have a yard, set up a pool and take a dip. If your apartment community has a pool, go there. Go to a public or country club pool. Go to your bathroom and hop in the shower or splash cool water on yourself at the sink or from a water bottle. The water evaporating off your skin will cause a nice cooling sensation.

Finally, this might sound silly, but if your house is stifling and you don’t want to spend on a/c, just go someplace else for the day. If you have a basement, it’s probably nice and cool down there. Go to any public place with a/c, such as the library (you have that summer reading list to work on, after all).

Looking for a cool place to live? Contact Prudential Realty Company to inquire about our current availability at any of our communities throughout Pittsburgh. Or, contact Alvern Gardens Apartments directly at alverngardens@yahoo.com or 412-561-4663. You’ll have to bring your own a/c, but we’ll provide the pool.