The Gardens at Twin Hickory

4700 The Gardens Drive, Glen Allen, VA 23059
Call: (844) 592-4344 (804) 364-3649 Email View Map

Opens: Monday-Friday: 9A-6P | Saturday: 10A-5P | Sunday: 1P-5P

The Gardens at Twin Hickory Blog

Baby Boomers Are Selling Their Homes

Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 19, 2017

The Gardens at Twin Hickory, Glen Allen, VAU.S. baby boomers are trading their suburban homes for those closer to the city. Real estate data has been showing the switch from suburban to urban living for baby boomers.

An analysis of large cities found that between 2000 and 2010, more than one million baby boomers moved from homes that were between 40 and 80 miles from city centers and a similar number moved to homes within five miles of city center. Apartments in Glen Allen, VA are the perfect solution for baby boomers who want to give up the time and expense involved in owning a home and who would prefer to live closer to the city.

They want a level living area; they're tired of stairs, and they want to be close to the city. Baby boomers looking to move say they're more attracted to cities for health and social reasons.

"The spirit on the streets, there's a kind of vitality, a regeneration," said Harold Closter, 63, who recently moved from a suburb with his wife. "We've made a lot of new friends, and we've found that it's a lot easier for our friends to get to us, because we're right near public transportation. Our adult son and his friends think this is pretty cool as well."

For more information on renting apartments in Glen Allen, VA, contact The Gardens.


Rent vs. Buy Index Moves Closer to Renting

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VARising home prices, interest rates and slowing rent increases are making renting more attractive.

Slowing rents coupled with rising home prices and mortgage rates are pushing many housing markets in the U.S. into rent territory, according to the latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty.

The major drivers for this quarter's scores appear to be slowing rents relative to the costs of ownership and climbing mortgage rates. Thus, on the margin, more potential owners should favor renting and reinvesting in a portfolio of stocks and bonds as opposed to ownership. This shift should slightly lower the demand for ownership and contribute to the slowdown in housing prices.

Based on numbers from the end of the first quarter of 2017, the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index follows recent S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index scores, which find an average annual increase in home prices of 5.78 percent, suggesting that prices, while increasing, are slowing.

Higher BH&J scores favor renting over ownership in terms of wealth accumulation. All of this upward pressure in the trade-off between renting and buying should serve, in general, to slow property price appreciation around most of the country."

The scores show 11 of 23 cities in the index remain in buy territory. Another nine cities hover around a score of zero, suggesting a tossup between buying and renting in terms of wealth accumulation. The remaining three metro areas are in unseen territory in terms of both pricing and scores.

For more information on renting apartments in Glen Allen, VA contact The Gardens.



Questions To Ponder When Apartment Hunting

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VAMoving to a new apartment can be an exciting experience; the thought of starting over again can be refreshing and sometimes nostalgic. But many blissful moments like this are ruined because the important details of the new apartment was not expected and overlooked. The move turns out to be a gloomy ordeal with lots of doubt and discontentment.

One of the unexpected situations you can encounter after a month of stay in your “dream” apartment is to realize that your friendly neighbor can get loud every time he is drunk or it can be your lovely wall paper disrupting your wifi signal or worst, your mobile phone.

Don’t lose hope though. A fast, reliable and easy to follow tips are written below in apartment and rental hunting. By simply following these tips, one may be able to find a house and apartment rental which will perfectly fit your lifestyle.

First priority should be checking the lease. Is there a security deposit? How about move-in fees? Some large houses and apartment buildings have visiting hours which limits the time of new occupants to freely roam around. The purpose is not to disrupt other residents.

How about the utilities, are they included in house or rental apartment. Are the lease terms occupant friendly? Plenty of large houses and building offer good options such as six to twelve months leases. Is the house or rental apartment rent controlled. How about the broker’s fee? Apartment fees in most cities in the US have fees for house or rental apartment.

Next are the amenities. Let us site out some possible issues. The first is: What’s the cell phone reception like? When you are house and rental apartment hunting, be sure to take out your cell phone and walk around the property to test the signal. Another one is: Is there off-street parking available? If so, how much does it cost? On-street parking is another option. This works out cheaper but be sure to check if you need to register your car or if you have to buy a resident parking sticker.

Does the apartment have extra storage? Sometimes if the closet or storage space is small, some buildings have extra storage for a fee. Is the laundry on site or in the house or rental apartment unit? Do the washing machines look new or look worn out? What kind of system do they use, a card system or coins? Does the rental apartment have air conditioning? If not, is it allowed to install air con units? Also check the kitchen. Does it have appliances like garbage disposal, a stove, a refrigerator or a dishwasher? Are they new? Are pets allowed in the building? If so, are there any fees to be paid. You may end up in a smaller apartment or rental house, and you’re going to need storage space to store your extra belongings. Some of the apartment have small or little storage; see if the management can provide a storeroom for a fee. Find out if laundry amenities are onsite or not, if washing machines are new or worn out. Also know whether the laundry system uses card or coins. Check if air conditioning is available, if not; ask the management if they allow their tenants to install air con units. Inspect the kitchen, see if the garbage disposal unit, stove, refrigerator or a dishwasher are available and in good working order. Also ask if pets are allowed inside the apartment, if so; determine if there are fees to be paid or not.

The third factor to check is the neighborhood. What is the access to public transportation like? Sometimes an ad might say that the rental apartment or house is “close to the subway/bus”, so it is better to walk it yourself to see exactly how far it is. Also check if the apartment is near grocery stores, restaurants, gym, drugstores and bars. Ads will say the apartment is “close to the subway/bus”, don’t easily believe it. Investigate the neighborhood; try taking a walk to see what the public transportation is like. Also check if the apartment is accessible to any grocery store, restaurants, gym, drugstore and bars.

You should also investigate the inhabitants living in the building where you plan to rent, know what types of people that live there. Recognize if they are students or middle class workers of a nearby establishment. Take time to visit the apartment at night to see if the noise level is tolerable. Also know how fast the landlord responds to repairs and maintenance in case you need something work done.

You might see some of these questions to be unnecessary but these should be answered to determine that the rental apartment perfectly suits you and your lifestyle.

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA contact The Gardens.


Good Herald

More Boomers are Renting Apartments – Glen Allen, VA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VABaby boomers are altering the American Dream.

After having the home in the suburbs, the kids, the two cars, and maybe even the picket fence, a growing number now want to ride elevators to rental apartments and walk out the door to restaurants. When the kids are grown, an increasing number of empty nesters are selling homes and aspiring to live like urban millennials — in rental buildings full of amenities and free of lawn mowing, shoveling, mortgages and property taxes.

It's not unusual for empty nesters to consider downsizing and avoiding tasks such as yard work. But typically downsizing has meant buying smaller homes or condos. Now, for a generation with a reputation for setting trends and yearning for freedom, an increasing number want to rent rather than own.

“It's nice to have freedom," said one man, who moved into an apartment with his wife after selling their home about three years ago. He now walks to work, and his wife says she feels like she's on vacation every day. Apartment living frees up time spent on maintenance and they walk to restaurants, plays, movies and musical events.

"We both feel like we are in our 20s."

The number of boomer renters is still small. But there were just 10 million in their 50s and 60s in 2005, and in 2015 there were 15 million. They account for more than half of the nation's renter growth in the last 10 years.

It is a "dramatic increase," and a trend that's likely to continue as the giant generation of 77 million people, born between 1946 and 1964, ages and seeks easy living.

At a National Multifamily Housing Conference, "landlord after landlord mentioning the surprising surge in older renters." Many of the boomers have sold homes and have been looking for luxury apartments in walking distance to stores and entertainment.

In many metro areas, older renters are driving demand. There is an increase in people "who don't see their primary residence as an investment" and don't want their retirement money tied up in a home.

Renting is a unique twist for many boomers, who began their adult lives when the sheer size of their generation starting households drove a sharp climb in home prices in the '70s and '80s. For years many assumed renting was a waste of money and a home an essential investment. But after living through the recent housing crash, that assumption has been tarnished and renting now seems fine.

You aren't going to get equity quickly any longer. As empty nesters, couples can sell their three-bedroom home and renting can be a short-term experiment that would allow them to move easily, and without selling costs, if they changed their minds. Many have no urge to move.

Homeownership among people 50 to 64 slipped 5 percentage points between 2005 and 2013. Part was driven by foreclosures and job loss in the recession. Others are transitioning to renting as a choice. They want "cost-effective options that demand less time, physical effort and money to maintain." As people enter their 70s, it is expected that the desire for ease and safety will intensify.

The combination of 8 million foreclosures and a 10 percent unemployment rate during the housing crash and Great Recession sparked a surge in rentals among all age groups during the last few years. There are 19 million renters who previously owned homes. But older boomers were not as hard-hit in the housing crash as people ages 36 to 55, because people in their 50s and 60s tended to have purchased homes before the housing peak and therefore had more equity to absorb losses.

The interest in potential boomer renters is coming from developers seeing opportunity in the luxury market.

Boomer parents are also being tempted to rent as they see the housing their children are considering in new luxury buildings.

"They see the light and the view, and they are jealous," said one developer. "They want a vibrant life" instead of isolation in empty homes in quiet suburban neighborhoods. "They are busy with their phones and iPads, and can live in a new building for less than a mortgage and stop writing checks to the handyman and the landscaper. They don't have to worry about the snow."

Although luxury buildings have been especially popular with empty nesters craving activity, boomers are also renting near suburban areas where they raised families. They want to continue ties with churches and communities.

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA contact The Gardens


Chicago Tribune

Apartment Hunting Can Be Fun – Glen Allen, VA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VAUp until college graduation, you probably had little say in where you lived. For most of your life, you stayed with your parents. When you left for college, the school may have offered you a limited selection of dorm rooms.

Now that you are on your own, where you live is up to you, which is both scary and exciting.

Finding your first apartment can be challenging. Here are six steps to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford. This will determine everything. You may want to live downtown in a brand-new building with fabulous amenities, but that might not be realistic on your entry-level salary. An older building in the suburbs might be more within your budget.

The standard rule is to spend no more than 30 percent of your gross monthly income on housing. But if you are in an expensive city expect to spend more than that. Keep in mind rent is not the only cost you will have. Utilities may or may not be included. And paper towels and toilet paper don’t magically appear when you need them.

You will also need to pay an application fee (usually to cover a credit report), a security deposit (possibly first and last month’s rent) and moving costs (boxes, supplies, movers). Before you splurge on a smart TV, be sure you have enough money for lamps, rugs, dishes, silverware and towels. And don’t buy that overstuffed sofa until you have measured to make sure it fits. Parking could cost you, too. Don’t forget renters insurance.

After adding up the numbers, you may come to the realization that you can’t afford your own apartment. To cut costs, consider roommates or a group house. In either case, before entering cohabitation, decide how you will split expenses and divide cleaning tasks. It’s also good to find out whether your roommates are morning people or night owls, whether they have dietary restrictions and what their pet peeves are early in the process.

Be careful who you live with. Each of you is responsible for paying the rent, and each of you is liable for the other’s actions. Choose your roommates very carefully because you and the roommate will have equal rights to live in the place, and if things go sour, you can’t simply kick them out.

Landlords will want to verify that you can pay your rent. Be prepared to provide your financial records. Bring a form of identification and proof of income. (Pay stubs, usually.) If you haven’t started your job yet, an offer letter that lists your salary will suffice.

Step 2: Set your search parameters. How far are you willing to commute to work? What features and amenities are important to you? Keep in mind that you are probably going to have to compromise on a few of your requirements, but they will help focus your search. Craigslist is the starting place for many apartment hunters, but its reliability can be hit or miss. Watch out for scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There has been an uptick in apartment-rental scams in some areas. When renting a privately owned property, she recommends asking for the landlord’s name and searching the public tax record to make sure the names match. Before sending money or personal information, confirm that the property is available for rent and does exist by viewing it in person or by having someone you trust see it.

Taking these extra steps will be well worth the effort to be sure all is well. You want to be certain everything is in order before moving forward on an application and submitting security deposits to ensure you will have a legitimate lease and keys in hand on moving day.

Real estate agents can be helpful if you are struggling to find a place or new to a city. Another option is to walk around the neighborhood where you want to live. Go into buildings and ask about their availability. As a bonus, you’ll discover how close the nearest grocery store, dry cleaners and coffee shop are.

Step 3: Know what questions to ask. When you meet the landlord or building manager, you should try to find out:

What is the turnover rate in the building? How long has the apartment been empty? How long did the last tenant stay? If it has been empty for months or the last tenant lasted less than a year, that’s a red flag.

  • Are utilities included? Is heating/cooling individually controlled?
  • How long is the lease?
  • How much is the rent and when is it due each month?
  • How much is the security deposit?
  • What is the typical rent increase? How often are rents increased?
  • Under what conditions is breaking a lease acceptable? Can you sublease?
  • What are the fees/penalties for late payment and returned checks?
  • Is there an on-site maintenance person? How quickly do they respond to maintenance requests?
  • Is the landlord required to give notice before entering your apartment? If so, how much notice is given?
  • Where’s the laundry and how much does it cost?
  • What Internet providers are in the building?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Can I paint the apartment?

After you are done questioning the landlord or building manager, find a resident or two. Ask them what they think about living there.

Step 4: You’ve found a place. Now what? Read the lease. Then read it again, thoroughly. Ask questions about anything that’s not clear. When you are signing a lease, you are obligating yourself. It’s a contract to rent the place, typically for 12 months. That means you can’t break the lease unless you have a legally justifiable reason to do so.

Read the rules. Does the building allow you to move in only during certain days or hours? How are furniture deliveries handled? Do you have to reserve the freight elevator?

Step 5: Document the apartment’s condition on move-in day. Before you bring a box in the door, inspect everything and take pictures of any damage. Bring it to the attention of the landlord or building manager immediately to avoid losing your security deposit when you move out.

Step 6: Be a good tenant. Living in a community involves sharing space with other people. Don’t blast your music. Open the windows when you cook your grandma’s onion and curry dish. Keep your apartment clean and sanitary. Develop a good relationship with the landlord or building manager. If you have a problem with a neighbor, try to address it yourself.

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA contact The Gardens.


Washington Post

One of the Most Affordable Cities in Viginia is Richmond, VA!

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 08, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VAModest housing costs in Virginia’s biggest and best cities make the Commonwealth especially attractive to prospective residents

The Commonwealth of Virginia is nicknamed the "Mother of Presidents" as eight U.S. presidents have been born there, more than any other state. And though the state may be relatively small—it’s the thirty-fifth largest and twelfth most populous—it features five distinct geographic regions, giving the state broad appeal across a wide range of demographics. In other words, whether you want to live in a big city or rural area, or prefer the beach or the mountains, there’s something for everyone in Virginia.

The most affordable cities are not necessarily the cheapest cities in Virginia, but are carefully chosen based upon budget-friendly and quality-of-life data points, in order to offer residents the best possible combination of livability and affordability.

4. Richmond

Like Roanoke, residents of the capital of Virginia enjoy reasonable housing costs, not to mention below average transportation costs. The median home value is $195,000, which is lower than the state average and something of a revelation, especially when one considers that Richmond is home to eight Fortune 500 companies and countless other major employers.

For more information on apartments near Richmond, VA in Glen Allen, contact The Gardens.


Virginia: One of the Best States for Retirement - Glen Allen, VA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 01, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VAMany of us long for a retirement that will feel like going on a permanent vacation. But before we buy that beach bungalow, box up our stuff and break out the Costco-sized wine spritzers, a reality check may be in order.

Bankrate’s latest ranking of the best and worst states to retire finds the fun-in-the-sun places often associated with retirement may have drawbacks as we face aging issues and our savings dwindle. Retiree meccas like Florida and Arizona don’t come close to cracking our top 10.

#6. Virginia

Many do want to retire somewhere else - It’s no myth that many people dream of moving in retirement. A new Bankrate survey shows that 47% of Americans would consider relocating when they retire. Higher-earning households and younger people are more likely to say so than everyone else.

According to our poll, Americans’ priorities for a retirement haven suggest they’re giving a lot of thought to practical considerations like cost of living and health care.

How we rate the states

To rank the states according to what people say they want in retirement, we pull together data on these eight criteria:

  • Cost of living
  • Healthcare quality
  • Crime
  • Cultural vitality
  • Weather
  • Taxes
  • Senior citizens’ overall well-being
  • The prevalence of other seniors

Two of our categories are new: cultural vitality (whether residents can find fun stuff to do) and the prevalence of other seniors (whether it would be easy to find other retirees to hang out with).

We weight the factors based on the importance they were given in our survey.

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA, contact The Gardens.


One of America’s Cheapest States to Live – Glen Allen, VA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, April 24, 2017

The Gardens, Glen Allen, VACNBC scored all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from a broad and diverse array of business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council and the states themselves. States receive points based on their rankings in each metric. Then we separate those metrics into 10 broad categories, weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

Cost of living is one of the key categories of competitiveness, worth a possible 75 points toward a state's overall Top States score.

This year some states were tied. But Virginia ranked high on the list .

#13 Virginia

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA contact The Gardens.



Smart Reasons to Rent in Retirement – Glen Allen, VA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Gardens at Twin Hickory, Glen Allen, VASometimes it makes sense to sell your house and rent.

You may have long pictured homeownership as a cornerstone of your retirement. But baby boomers are increasingly renting instead. From 2005 to 2015, the number of renters ages 60 to 64 nearly doubled.

Though the longer you live in a home the more likely it is that buying beats renting—if it is paid off, taxes and upkeep are probably lower than the rent you’d pay—there are times when renting is the way to go.

You’re restless

Want to buy a home in your favorite vacation spot? The idyllic weeks you’ve spent there may not give you a realistic sense of what life is like year-round. For example, 70°F winters might not be worth humid 90°F summers.

Trying out your new town by renting will save you money and headaches. Real estate can have huge transaction costs, like the typical 5% brokerage fee. You don’t want to pay it twice.

You want the extra cash

Selling the family home and investing some (or all) of the proceeds can help pad your savings—and provide peace of mind.

Yes, you could tap home equity via a reverse mortgage. But selling would supply more upfront cash. A 65-year-old with a $300,000 mortgage-free home could net $275,000 from a sale; a reverse mortgage would free up only $150,000. You’d have to tap some of your proceeds to rent a new place, but the extra long-term cost of renting might be worth the comfort of more cash on hand.

You want convenience

Sick of raking leaves? Don’t want to deal with peeling paint? Renting lets you off-load such chores. It’s not your problem anymore. A rental in a multiunit building can also include amenities you’ll value more as you age, such as an elevator and a doorman.

Rental property developers have started catering to older customers. The result: buildings that include a greater number of larger two- and three-bedroom units, as well as aging-friendly perks like door-to-door package delivery and trash pickup.

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA, contact The Gardens.


Time – Money

It is Cheaper to Rent than Buy in Every State, Including Virginia! - Glen Allen, VA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, April 10, 2017

The Gardens at Twin Hickory, Glen Allen, VAOwning a home is often considered the American dream — and it’s an expensive one. Homeowners in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., pay from 33% to 93% more for housing each month than do renters living in the same state, according to a new NerdWallet analysis.

But many homeowners reap benefits that you can’t get from renting. The equity you build can be leveraged for loans that can be used to improve the home and boost its value or be used in financial emergencies.

While renting can’t offer those financial benefits, it’s cheaper to rent on a month-to-month basis. If you’re wondering how to save money for a down payment, renting can help you build that nest egg — but in extremely expensive or competitive markets, renting might be better for the long haul.

To determine the monthly homeownership premium — the additional cost of owning instead of renting, expressed as a percentage — NerdWallet compared 2015 American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau for the median gross rent and median homeownership cost in each state and Washington, D.C. Median gross rent includes the costs of monthly rent and utilities for all kinds of rental properties, and median homeownership cost includes monthly mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance and utilities. This comparison doesn’t include the down payment required to buy a home, which is traditionally 20% of the home price for conventional mortgages, but is lower for FHA or VA loans.

Key takeaways

  • Owning is more expensive everywhere. Across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it costs more each month to own a home than to rent. The median cost people pay nationwide to own a home is 54% more than the median cost to rent each month.
  • The smallest difference is still a third more to own.
  • In some states, the cost of owning far eclipses renting.

State: Virginia
Homeownership Premium: 48%
Median Monthly Cost to Own: $1692
Median Monthly Cost to Rent: $1144
Difference: $548

For more information on apartments in Glen Allen, VA, contact The Gardens.


The Gardens at Twin Hickory

4700 The Gardens Drive, Glen Allen, VA 23059

Call: (844) 592-4344
View Map

Opens: Monday-Friday: 9A-6P | Saturday: 10A-5P | Sunday: 1P-5P