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Old 06-26-2008, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Greyhound bus to MAdison, WI
24 posts, read 167,072 times
Reputation: 15

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I am currently in the suburds of Dallas, TX and here they include both heat and A/C in the electric bill. Apartments either include all (heat-A/C-elect) or do not. I plan on moving to Madison and I am confused on the billing of utilities. Some apartments include heat in the rent but not A/C or lights or include A/C but not heat or elect.

Can someone help me estimate the cost of bills?
How much does the following cost for 1 person in 1 bedroom apartment=
Heat (i figured this would be the highest elect cost. Not a problem since in N Texas, it's the A/C thats the big one)
A/C
electricty
water

On water, I saw one apt say the cover 'hot water'. Would this mean that cold water is different or is billed?? sounds silly

Also some apts say they include sattelite TV, cable, or internet access.
How much do the Madison local companies cost?

Any help will be appreciated
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:14 PM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,879,957 times
Reputation: 43778
Utility bills in the Midwest can be confusing, particularly for someone moving here from the southern part of the country. Winter heating bills can be horrendous, although I have to say that I have never paid a heating bill that was as high as the summer air conditioning bills we used to pay in the Rio Grande Valley. And summer in the RGV goes from about March to November, which is a lot longer than winter lasts in Wisconsin.

First of all, any time you look at a rental property in Madison that requires you to pay gas, electricity and/or heat, go to this website: Average Energy Use and Cost for Residential Addresses before you sign a lease. You can get the highest, lowest and average cost of utilities for the past year for any address in the city. You should check more than one apartment in a building, too, because there can be a big difference between two seemingly similar units, depending on the residents' habits and preferences.

The city bills for water usage every six months. Most landlords will cover that cost (because if a water bill doesn't get paid, the city will add it to the property tax bill at the end of the year) but some will add a fee per person/per month to cover it. That should be clear in the rental application and in the lease documents; if it isn't, ask. In a smallish home with three adults and a lawn that gets watered when needed, water bills run about $200 or so every 6 months.

What the ads mean by "hot water" is the price of running the water heater, separate from the cost of the actual water from the city's water utility. If the landlord pays, they probably have the water temp set at the lowest possible legal setting. If the tenant pays, you should be able to set it wherever you want it. If you pay, that'll be part of the MG&E average utility cost that you should have looked up before signing the lease.

Satellite TV or cable and internet access included in the rent can be nice, because it means that you have fewer checks to write out each month, but you're still paying for it; the fee is just hidden in your rent. If you are not a television watcher or if you don't particularly care about internet access, look for a place that doesn't include those amenities. A land line plus DSL will run you somewhere from $50 to $75 per month. Cable and satellite vary enormously depending on how many premium channels you want; we have Charter (yecchhh) here for cable, and you can get either Dish or DirecTV for satellite.

One final suggestion, though this relates more to your future landlord than to utilities. The city of Madison is an extremely tenant-friendly place, and there are all sorts of ordinances on the books that protect tenants from predatory landlords. For example, if your security deposit equates to more than half a month's rent, you can get interest on it from your landlord. And if you rent a carpeted apartment, your landlord cannot compel you to do routine carpet cleaning at the end of the lease. Before you sign any lease in the city of Madison, you should go talk to the folks at the Tenant Resource Center to learn about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant here. They also serve as a sort of Better Business Bureau for landlords, and can tell you if the landlord you're working with is a good guy or a slumlord. You can find their website here: Tenant Resource Center

Good luck in your move! It'll be something of a culture shock for you, coming from Texas, but there is much to love about this community. Let us know how things go for you!
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Greyhound bus to MAdison, WI
24 posts, read 167,072 times
Reputation: 15
Default Thank you

Thanks, Bookworm

I've been reading posts here in the Madison forum for a bit, getting a feel for the move. I've seen one of your replies to another post with the link to the Tenet resource center. I have it bookmarked and trying (keyword there LOL) to navigate and understand it.

I am not jumping head first into this move. I've been wanting to move out of Texas since Decemver 2006. After six months of searching websites, filling out questionaires of what I like and researching on the resulting cities I decided that Madison was a good fit. Which was surprising to me, since I never considered the midwestern states But one survey, Best Places to Live: Compare the Best Cities & Small Towns for You!, gave 5 cities in Wisconsin. Therefore, I had to investigate and see wModerator cut: link removed, competitor site
hy my preferances fitted so may cities there when other states had 1-2 cities that matched.

I decided to visit the city before commiting to a move. I ruled out Sheboygan since the airplane would land in Miwalkee and I can't drive to the destination. There wasn't enough to interest me in Green Bay - I am not a sports fan, so home of the Packers isn't apealling at all. I learned that Madison has been reconized as a city that highly freindly for walkers and bicyclists. While I'm no pro or sports biker, I have pedaled (sp? pedeled?) or walked to work since I can't drive. Which is why it's a big plus that there's a bus system in Madison.
There's the University of Wisconsin, Edgewood, ect., I am mid 30's and a returning student so that's a plus.

I visited Madison August 2007 and fell in love with the city. I visted Olbrich and State St and these are areas I would love to visit repeatedly. I've read some posts here that compain about the bus system but compared to Lewisville TX, it's great. Better to have a bus system as big as Madison has than a brnd new system that uses cheap things they call mini-buses (I say vans) in a area that's 1/8th of the city.

I've been looking for an apt and found a lot. Between loking at their amienties and checking them out at Apartment Ratings - Apartments for Rent with Ratings and Reviews from Actual Renters, I've elimated a lot of them. There are a few that I couldn't find on the website though.
Do you (or anyone else reading this) know about the following=

The Trafalger 2802 Dryden Dr 53704
Hilldale Towers 4817 Sheboygan Ave 53705
Mendota Lakeshore 620 N Carroll st 53703
Monona Lakeview 3819 Mnona Dr 53714
Brighton Square 354 Kent Ln 52713
Bristol Apts 2506 Mcdivitt Rd 53713

I have about eight other apts I'm also considering, the above are in the top though. I first thought the Trafalgar was too expensive but it includes heat, water, cable, internet and has w/d in apartment. Those separate from rent and rent at $550 to $600, it would be higher cost to me.

You're right about the heat here in Texas. I usually pay $75-100 on the electric in the summer. Although July-August has seen it as high $170. The catch is that I do not live in a house, leave the lights on, or have kids that run in and out. I live alone in a 650 sq ft apt and its A/C that costs so much.

Last edited by Yac; 09-10-2018 at 06:40 AM..
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:08 PM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,879,957 times
Reputation: 43778
I don't know the actual apartment complexes you mention, but can give you some clues about some of the neighborhoods.

2802 Dryden Drive is questionable. There are some nice middle-class neighborhoods fairly near by, but there are also some pretty run-down apartments. I would not recommend renting by mail or internet there; go in person and check it out. Nearest grocery store is within half a mile.

4817 Sheboygan Ave is a fairly nice part of town. Hilldale Mall, which is nearby, is a pretty upscale place, and there are plenty of fancy homes nearby. Nearest grocery store is within half a mile.

620 North Carroll is right downtown and would be in the heart of the student area. That is not a bad thing per se, but if you do not enjoy being in close proximity to 40,000 or so 18-22 year olds, you may wish to look elsewhere. No grocery stores close by; there's a small overpriced student-oriented food store about a mile away, but you'd have to bus several miles to find a decent grocery store.

3819 Monona Drive is not a bad area at all. You'd have some blue-collar neighbors and some really, really wealthy lakeside condo-owning neighbors. The nearest grocery store is about a mile away.

The Kent Lane address is way on the opposite side of town from where I live, and I don't have any real knowledge of the neighborhood there.

The one on McDivitt Road could be fine, or it could be a real dive. I work near there, and there are some really mixed neighborhoods nearby; there are some decent blue-collar areas, and then there are some really nasty spots.

If you're willing to consider downtown living and if you have a particular need for affordable housing, you may try checking out Quisling Terrace, right on the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and West Gorham. At least when they built the place, they had some subsidized-rent apartments there, and I believe that they are more geared to adult tenants than students. The building looks kind of cool from the outside at least, though I have no idea what the units are like.

Sorry not to have more specific info for you; I worked for about 5 years for a campus-area landlord, which is where I learned a bit about rental housing and rental ordinances here, but I am by no means expert on all apartments in town. Good luck to you in any case; moving cross-country is a challenge on a whole lot of levels, but I can attest to the fact that living in a community you love is a wonderful thing indeed. I hope you find a place that you love!
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:30 AM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,549,446 times
Reputation: 903
Don't tell anyone that you're not a football fan...even in Madison, people don't take Packer football lightly.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:45 AM
 
Location: Greyhound bus to MAdison, WI
24 posts, read 167,072 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by radraja View Post
Don't tell anyone that you're not a football fan...even in Madison, people don't take Packer football lightly.
the same can be said about where I currently live. The subburbs of Dallas are thick with Cowboy fans. Their response is "This is Dallas, how can you NOT love the Cowboys?"

I tell them it's easy, I don't watch any games
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
7 posts, read 79,934 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzztar View Post
I am currently in the suburds of Dallas, TX and here they include both heat and A/C in the electric bill. Apartments either include all (heat-A/C-elect) or do not. I plan on moving to Madison and I am confused on the billing of utilities. Some apartments include heat in the rent but not A/C or lights or include A/C but not heat or elect.

Can someone help me estimate the cost of bills?
How much does the following cost for 1 person in 1 bedroom apartment=
Heat (i figured this would be the highest elect cost. Not a problem since in N Texas, it's the A/C thats the big one)
A/C
electricty
water

On water, I saw one apt say the cover 'hot water'. Would this mean that cold water is different or is billed?? sounds silly

Also some apts say they include sattelite TV, cable, or internet access.
How much do the Madison local companies cost?

Any help will be appreciated
I live in a duplex (don't remember the square feet) but it has 3 bedrooms (one master and 2 smaller ones), one kitchen, 2 nice size living rooms and 2 full bathrooms. We pay $1100/month and we live right across the East Town Mall just to give you an idea of the location compared to the cost. We have Charter for cable and internet and our bill is $113/month, our water bill is every six months which has been running about $250-300, our MG&E bill which includes gas and electric is $100-200 depending on if you use heat or air conditioning (our bill was $161 this month). So that is what we pay. We have garbage pick up every week which doesn't cost us a thing and our landlord cuts our grass so no other expense there. Depending on the apartment you choose, you will have to check with the landlord to see what is included and what isn't. Hope that helps somewhat.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:28 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,813 times
Reputation: 10
Another great place to find out how much it will cost you in utilities every month is [url]http://monthlyutilities.com/[/url]. You can find local utility companies and contact them to find out the average costs every month for a particular property for gas, electric, water, and other expenses. Hope that helps!
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