Insanity in Seattle – An Update

crazy scrabble tiles 300x200The insanity in Seattle is leaving us sleepless. OK, the movie Sleepless in Seattle was 25 years ago (1993)! Terrible having to explain these jokes.

But courts in Washington State aren’t finding it funny that the City of Seattle tried to implement some whacky housing ordinances.

Seattle wanted to require landlord to give chronological priority to applicants applying for apartments. This would require landlords to bypass a better applicant in favor of one that applied sooner. Score a win for the unemployed with time on their hands to look for apartments while busy people like you get stuck. And never mind the bureaucratic morass for landlords of keeping track of who applied first.

Fortunately, the courts see it differently and kicked this bad idea to the curb.

Similarly, Seattle would like to prohibit landlords from considering an applicant’s criminal history unless they have a legitimate business reason for doing so. The wording of the statutes is vague – who’s to say what is a “legitimate business reason?” Sounds like a plaintiff’s lawyers’ delight.

Fortunately, this ill-advised housing ordinance idea looks like it’s headed for the trash heap of the unconstitutional as well.

Car Theft Quiz

bentley continental gt 300x225Here’s a fun little quiz to help you put the brakes on car theft:

1. What months are highest for car thefts?
A. December and January – Got to pay for Christmas somehow!
B. July and August – beat the heat in the five-finger discount ride.
C. April and May – Spring into summer in a fresh set of somebody else’s wheels.
D. October and November – Bring a new dimension to trick or treat.

The correct answer is B, July and August. Continue reading

Still Shining After All These Years

flower bedIt’s cool to be the new kid on the block and get all the attention. It’s great if the property is the latest and greatest in new construction. But hey, that costs money! There’s nothing wrong with having been around for a while if you’re still looking good.

And that’s the case at the Rivercourt Apartments at 5100 N. Lovers Lane Road on the northwest side of Milwaukee. These apartments were built in the 1960s, but pay that no mind. These units feature new kitchens, baths, flooring, windows, boilers and more. They look like new construction, but they’re affordable like no other. Continue reading

Energy Savings Tips

energystar money isnt all youre saving 300x184Before you get an energy bill that looks like it was inspired by the national debt, better consider these ideas:

1. Move to an apartment like Rivercourt in Milwaukee, Mayfair in Waupun, Skyview in Little Chute, the new Wilson Heights in Hartford, Madison Square in Waupun, Diversey Manor in Whitefish Bay, Jarvis Street in Shorewood, 827 Phoenix in Delavan, or 1450 Coachlight in New Berlin where Decker Properties provides the heat.

2. Move to an apartment like Willow Grove in Pewaukee, Riverdale in Little Chute, Rensway in Waupun, Washington Heights and Washington Manor in Horicon, the new City Center in Fond du Lac, Georgetown Square in Racine, or Country Village in Waupun, where the energy efficiency upgrades include new windows, added insulation and maintenance to caulking and weather stripping to make sure your well-maintained home is also energy efficient.

3. Use LED bulbs. They last forever and use little power.
Continue reading

Super Bowl Sunday!

i don t even know how i got back to my crib last night 226x300Hey it’s Super Bowl Sunday, let’s have a party.

Ok, so the Super Bowl was weeks ago, hope your team won. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still take a fresh look at how to have a good time without annoying your neighbors – or getting arrested.

If it’s time to kick your heels up a bit and have an apartment party, give this list a moment of thought to help you stay on good terms with everyone around you:

1. Think guest list. Maybe, based on past experience, it would be better not to invite Booze Hound Bob.
2. Think entertainment. Getting together for the big game? Or is it movie night? Try to have a purpose to your gathering so that it doesn’t degrade into a contest of who can pound down the most beer bongs.
3. Think courtesy. Let the neighbors know you’re having a little gathering. Ask them to call you if it’s getting a little loud and give them your number. Better yet, invite them too.
4. Think clean up. Make sure your party doesn’t spill out onto the lawn or the common hallways that don’t belong exclusively to you. Or if they do, make sure you clean up promptly. It will be as if you and your 500 friends were never even there.
5. Think menu. You don’t have to serve only beer and alcohol. Have other non-impairing refreshments available. And serve food. You know what your mother told you about drinking on an empty stomach.

Heed these warnings and you won’t have your apartment party crashed by men in blue.

You can live a chic urban party lifestyle at the new City Center Lofts, where you can walk to everything that’s happening in Fond du Lac. Or, you can enjoy golf course views and all the good life has to offer, and host a party at The Fairways Apartments also in Fond du Lac. Call (262) 785-0840 and let’s get this party started!

Why You Won’t Get Rich Flipping Houses

white house under reconstruction 300x200So you’ve just moved into your new digs at Catalina Crossing and you’re kicking back and seeing what’s on the flat screen. Why not tune in to one of those house flipper shows?

After all, while you may be living large, a little extra coin can never hurt. What about a house flipping side hustle?

Recently, an article in the Washington Post outlined why this might be harder than it looks. In other words, don’t try this at home. Here’s a summary: Continue reading

Tiny Houses

tiny house 300x182As the cost of housing increases, alternatives like Tiny Houses are cropping up.  But there can be hidden costs to a Tiny House that makes this alternate a questionable move:

1. A tiny house is hard to finance. Is it a trailer?  A house? Lenders are perplexed and not sure how to treat these things.  Plus a tiny house may not hold its value like a conventional home would. See #7 below. Continue reading

Can I Smoke Marijuana in My Apartment?

no smoking icon 300x300More and more states are legalizing recreation marijuana use and others allow it for medicinal purposes, so what are your rights to smoke marijuana in your apartment? What if you live in a smoke free apartment complex, like Diversey Manor, or our new Catalina Crossing and Wilson Heights Apartments? In fact, now all of our locations are smoke free.

Be aware that housing providers are free to govern their housing offering in any matter they may choose to the limit of those regulations provided to shield protected class people within Fair Housing. Continue reading

Design Ideas for Small Spaces

OK, so you blew it. You should have moved into Madison’s newest development, Catalina Crossing, where apartments are as large as 1775 square feet. We call that floorplan the Sequoia. Maybe we should have called it the Shamu. While this townhouse is huge, the garage is too. You can fit three cars in your attached garage.

But I digress. We already said that you blew it. You moved somewhere else, into some cracker jack box tiny apartment and now you’re pressed like a grape for space. As always, we have the answers, with a little help from our friends at Ikea:

patio set 300x300Maybe try this patio set for your dining room:

Ditch the umbrella, but notice how the table can be expanded. In the up position shown, there’s hooks for storage.

mother in law suite bed 300x200No room for a dresser in your bedroom? Once again, at Catalina Crossing, the bedrooms are huge and they have walk-in closets. In fact, we don’t even call them closets. They’re called the mother in law suite. You just stick her in there with a bed like this one and she stores her stuff underneath:

crib bed 300x300Here’s a little something for the younger set, once again designed with efficiency in mind:

murphy bed 300x300Finally, there’s always the Murphy Bed.

murphy bed folded up 300x300I’d say hang a flat screen on the back of this thing under your bed and when you fold it up, it’s TV time.

Or of course, if you lived at Catalina Crossing, you wouldn’t have to be this clever. Hey, it’s only for a year. And then you can call us at (608) 575-4377 and get an apartment with plenty of room.