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Auston Chase Apartment Homes
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You recently graduated from college and maybe you have your first real job. After living with your parents a few months and saving a little money, you’re ready to strike out on your own and find your first apartment. But with student loan debt, staying within your budget can be a challenge and navigating the rental market can be daunting. Here are a few things you need to know before renting your first apartment: • You will need to know what your budget will be. Make sure you know whether the bottom-line rent payment includes — or does not include — utilities. If it does not, you will need to find out approximately how much utilities are so you’ll know whether you can afford the unit. • If you find you can’t afford the rent, consider finding a roommate or roommates. Make sure that the person or people you are considering as roommates will be reliable. If you are signing a lease with other people, you want to make sure you can count on them to pay their portion of the rent and utilities. Another way to find a more reasonably priced rental home is to be willing to go a bit farther from the center of the city. If you rely on public transportation, sometimes considering taking the bus to Metro or commuting fully by bus can give you more choices, including less-expensive rents and ways to get you more items on your wish list, such as a nicer kitchen. • Make a list of your needs in order of priority. You should have a list of mandatory items, among them, perhaps, walking distance to the Metro; a parking spot; laundry on the premises; the number of bedrooms you need; and a dishwasher. Make a list of items you don’t need but would consider a bonus to have — a pet-friendly building, a balcony, an on-site fitness center and wood floors, perhaps. Determine what you can and cannot be flexible on. • Be prepared for when you find the apartment you like best. You should have all the information you will need to put on an application at your fingertips. If you have never had a credit card or paid any bills in your name, you might not have a credit history. A landlord will want to have some history of bill payment, so you may need to ask a parent or a relative to act as a guarantor on the lease. Know who that person is and have them ready to submit an application with you as a co-applicant. • You should also be prepared to have up to two months’ rent for a security deposit and the first month’s rent. A security deposit may be less than one month’s rent, but it is better to be prepared just in case. You should also be prepared with application fees. • Have a copy of current pay stubs or an offer letter from your employer stating your salary and a contact who can confirm your salary. • Have one or two personal references available for a landlord to contact. • Be cautious. Rental scams abound. If you cannot personally view the home you are considering renting, make sure a friend or a family member can see it on your behalf. • Once you are approved to move forward on the lease, take time to review it carefully. Know what you are responsible for and what the landlord is responsible for concerning maintenance and utilities. Make sure there is an emergency number in case something breaks and needs to be fixed, such as plumbing issues. • Know how much notice will be given to you as a tenant for an increase in rent; the landlord to enter the property; and other like scenarios. Know any fees in addition to your rent. Make sure all people who are to be on the lease are on the lease. Find out what is included in the rent and what is not. If you’re moving into a condo or a co-op, learn about any rules and regulations you need to abide by, and make sure you have a copy of them. Once the lease is signed by all parties, make sure you know if you need to transfer utilities into your name and which utility companies to contact. If you are moving into an apartment, condo or co-op building, check to see if you need to schedule your move-in date with the building. For more information on apartments in Ridgeland, SC contact Auston Chase. #HowYouLive washingtonpost.com

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You recently graduated from college and maybe you have your first real job. After living with your parents a few months and saving a little money, you’re ready to strike out on your own and find your first apartment. But with student loan debt, staying within your budget can be a challenge and navigating the rental market can be daunting.

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Where to retire is a deeply personal decision that no one else can make for you. However, if you haven't already settled on a destination, a comprehensive analysis of your options can help narrow your search. We rated all 50 states based on quantifiable factors that are important to many retirees. Our rankings favored states that are affordable—especially in terms of lower taxes on retirees and lower health care costs. Then we took health into account—both the economic health of each state and the overall health of the population. Finally, we rewarded states with relatively prosperous populations of residents age 65 and up. We ranked 10 states in the top rankings for retirement destinations. They offer a wide diversity of climates and lifestyles, so you're likely to find one that suits your tastes. Of course, states are big places, so we narrowed the search even more for you. Within each, we identified a city or two that should hold particular appeal to retirees. #6 South Carolina Population: 4.7 million Share of population 65+: 14.7% Cost of living: 12% below the U.S. average Average income for 65+ households: $39,985 Average health care costs for a retired couple: Below average at $373,631 South Carolina's tax rating for retirees: Tax Friendly If the mild weather and southern charm of the Palmetto State isn't enough of a retirement draw for you, surely the affordability can tempt you. On top of well-below-average living costs, the tax situation goes easy on a fixed income, too. South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security benefits and offers generous exemptions on other types of retirement income. It also does not levy an inheritance or estate tax. Property taxes tend to be very low. Hilton Head Island is a popular retirement spot, but Myrtle Beach is generally more affordable. Both places offer ample amounts of golfing, beach bumming and water activities. For more information on apartments in Ridgeland, SC, contact Auston Chase. #HowYouLive Kiplinger

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Where to retire is a deeply personal decision that no one else can make for you. However, if you haven't already settled on a destination, a comprehensive analysis of your options can help narrow your search.

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Gallup and Healthways have released the State of American Well-Being: 2016 Community Well-Being Rankings report, which highlights important trends in health and well-being within communities across the nation. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, tops the rankings for a second consecutive year. Barnstable Town, MA was number two, followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA. Many high well-being communities hail from California (seven in the top 25), Colorado (three), Texas (three), Florida (two) and Virginia (two). Communities are uniquely positioned to promote well-being improvement by transforming policies and environment so that people move naturally, eat wisely, connect, and have the right outlook—all of which can lead to living longer, better. The Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being 2016 Community Rankings was released on Tuesday. The report measures how residents of 189 U.S. cities feel about their physical health, social ties, financial security, community and sense of purpose. Residents report having good physical health, feeling proud about their community, enjoying good relationships and liking what they do each day. You may think that has a lot to do with living in a scenic, affluent beach community, but those factors don't influence the score as much as you’d expect. Income matters, but it doesn’t ensure high well-being. The top 10 U.S. communities with the highest well-being are: * Naples–Immokalee–Marco Island, Florida * Barnstable Town, Massachusetts * Santa Cruz–Watsonville, California * Honolulu, Hawaii * Charlottesville, Virginia * North Port–Sarasota–Bradenton, Florida * San Luis Obispo–Paso Robles, California * Lynchburg, Virginia * Hilton Head Island–Bluffton-Beaufort, South Carolina * Boulder, Colorado For more information on apartments near Bluffton, SC contact Auston Chase. #HowYouLive well-beingindex.com

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Gallup and Healthways have released the State of American Well-Being: 2016 Community Well-Being Rankings report, which highlights important trends in health and well-being within communities across the nation.

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, tops the rankings for a second consecutive year. Barnstable Town, MA was number two, followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA.

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Deciding when to take the home-buying plunge can be tough. For military members and their families, the unique nature of their service often adds a new layer of consideration. Here are a few key things to consider. 1. Frequent relocation Active-duty military personnel move frequently, often once every two to three years. Prospective buyers should be comfortable with the idea of turning around and reselling a property or renting it out—and the possibility of neither of those coming to pass. Talk with real estate agents and other experts to get a feel for the local housing market and near-term trends. You might have no problem selling the home or finding renters in your particular community, but there are no guarantees. Even if your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves you across the country, you’re still on the hook for that new mortgage payment. Short sales and foreclosures can wreck your credit and put home buying out of reach for years. So it’s not a decision to take lightly. 2. Costs of renting vs. buying Do your homework, and get a clear sense of what’s likely to cost more. Paying a mortgage is may be cheaper than renting in some U.S. markets, but every buyer’s situation is different. A good lender can help you get pre-approved and run realistic affordability numbers. Keep in mind homeownership comes with costs that renters don’t typically face, like maintenance, lawn care, appliance repairs, and more. And buying with $0 down means you’ll start life as a homeowner with little to no equity. 3. Wants and needs Homeownership offers a lot of freedom, but it also comes with significant responsibility. Take stock of your priorities to see where you land. How important is it for you to personalize your space? Do you enjoy home and yard maintenance? How do you feel about paying for them? Owning a home means you can’t call the landlord to fix a broken pipe or replace the water heater. Renting means you’re building equity for someone else. In the end, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Buying a home evokes thoughts of long-term stability that are sometimes at odds with the unpredictability of the military lifestyle. Still, there’s something to be said for the sense of pride and independence that come along with homeownership. Think long and hard about what’s right for you, and get good information from real estate and mortgage experts you trust. For more information on apartments in Ridgeland, SC contact Auston Chase. #HowYouLive Realtors.com

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Deciding when to take the home-buying plunge can be tough. For military members and their families, the unique nature of their service often adds a new layer of consideration. 

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When you’re house or apartment hunting, some things just go without saying. Yes, you have to find a place that’s a good location for you at a good price. Yes, you want it to be safe. But what about the other things you should look for before you sign a rental agreement? If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the following four things. 1. Take Your Time Rushing a landlord/ tenant agreement can hurt a potential tenant in the long-run. Make sure you thoroughly check the space out, noting damage that already exists. Also check to see if things work: Does the toilet flush? Do the light fixtures work? How about the stove? If something doesn’t seem right, don’t jump on the agreement without thinking about it. You don’t want to get caught in a lease in a building that’s a real lemon. 2. Tenant Screening Most would-be tenants expect that a landlord will run a background or a credit check. The potential tenant actually might do well to think about what a tenant screening will involve in its entirety. This may include checking to see if they have property insurance or any type of liability insurance. Depending on the screening type, it can even include an in-depth look into their personal record to make sure that he or she is the type of person that the landlord wants to lease to. As having different types of insurances can look attractive, you should get up-to-date on the ones that your rental situation may be asking for. You can also let your landlord know that insurance is a part of the financial package that you bring to the table. 3. What’s Included? Often the ad for the apartment or home that you’re renting will tell you if utilities or trash are included in the price of the rent. Yet, you should still check with your would-be landlord to find out. Don’t just assume. If you live in a building that has a gym downstairs, are you allowed to use it? Can you bring guests? Are there perks like morning coffee in the lobby or a free pass to board public transit? These little extras may make the place exactly what you want. They may also cost you a fortune if they turn out to be hidden costs. 4. Can You Make it Your Own? Another thing that you should do before you move in and sign any lease is to ask what you’re allowed to do with the space. It’s important to know what exactly you’re not allowed to do as well. Are you dying to create a burgundy red accent wall? You should ask if you can paint. What about hanging those gorgeous pictures? Some landlords will be reasonable, and so it is definitely worth asking. Having your own place is a real joy. It’s also a real pain if something goes wrong. Many of the things that cause a tenant heartache are obvious once you know what to look for. Be sure to check out everything beforehand and be prepared to walk away until you find a better space. For more information on apartments in Ridgeland, SC contact Auston Chase. #HowYouLive realtybiznews.com

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When you’re house or apartment hunting, some things just go without saying. Yes, you have to find a place that’s a good location for you at a good price. Yes, you want it to be safe. But what about the other things you should look for before you sign a rental agreement? If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the following four things.
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