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Old 07-01-2009, 10:26 PM
 
332 posts, read 1,163,669 times
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We are looking for a 3 bedroom apartment in Columbia that offers short term leases. We are pretty much going to have to sign the lease sight unseen because we need to move immediately and we will not have a chance to look at apartments prior to moving there. We may be able to stay in a hotel for a few days but it is not ideal with kids. I'm concerned because a lot of the post on apartment review websites are very negative about Columbia apartments (Rats, roaches, burglary, muggings, rape and murder). I do not know if these people are exaggerating or if I should be afraid.

The apartments that seemed to have some availability is Avalon Fairway Hills, The Berkshires, Columbia Town Center, and Columbia Commons. I still have a few more apartments. Thanks for your feedback.

Last edited by SmokeyLisa; 07-01-2009 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:40 AM
 
43 posts, read 177,345 times
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Do a research on crime statistics on those addresses at Howard county police web site: Crime Statistics/Maps
The direct link for 2008 data:
Crime Statistics
The search is quite slow. You have to be patient.
Good luck with your move.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:48 PM
 
14 posts, read 44,583 times
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I'm in the same boat as you are, although I wouldn't take apartmentratings.com as gold.

I found a few that I like, Avalon properties seem decent, Kendall Ridge. Seems hard to find one, if if you are able to spend quite a bit.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:22 PM
 
332 posts, read 1,163,669 times
Reputation: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksmoe View Post
Do a research on crime statistics on those addresses at Howard county police web site: Crime Statistics/Maps
The direct link for 2008 data:
Crime Statistics
The search is quite slow. You have to be patient.
Good luck with your move.
Thanks! This was great. I think I found the site before but I was not patient enough and left before the address information came up. The results were a little different than I thought because it indicated that the town center (which includeds the mall) area has more crime than the area near the Berkshires and Avalon Fairway Hills.Given what people were saying about them on apartments I was surprised. They made it seem like I would not be able to go outside without being assaulted or that my car would be broken into every other week.


Quote:
Originally Posted by winkyeah View Post
I'm in the same boat as you are, although I wouldn't take apartmentratings.com as gold.

I found a few that I like, Avalon properties seem decent, Kendall Ridge. Seems hard to find one, if if you are able to spend quite a bit.
Yeah, it is hard to tell if people are just complainers, exaggerating or if the information is true. I have stayed in Avalon properties in the past and they have been great which is why I was surprised by bad post on their properties. We looked at Avalon Columbia and stopped by Avalon Symphony
Woods. They did not have what we wanted but looked nice. I will check out Kendall Ridge. When are you looking to move? My husband will move into the apt. that we selected during the middle of the month and I will come at the end. I will let you know what we think of the apt. that we choose. Good Luck.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:59 PM
 
30 posts, read 114,852 times
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We lived in Avalon at Fairway hills for a year. It wasn't perfect, but I don't think apartment life is perfect. We could hear the foot traffic above us, so a top floor might be best. Maintenance response is fast usually the same day if you have an issue, but they have a guarantee within 24 hours response time. The nicest thing about Avalon at Fairway hills is, that it has a central location to most everything in Columbia. The mall is within walking distance (but we tend to drive). Target, Walmart are within 5 minutes, and there is a "Giant" grocery store within 2-3 minutes (just across 108). It was voted best apartment community in Howard County this year (Per the Howard county magazine). I am not sure how they tally the votes for that though. Parking was rarely ever a problem. They also have three swimming pools that kids tend to like, and gas grills you can use. You also have access to a small fitness center if you wish to work out. The area where we lived was quiet too. Mostly working professionals.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:28 AM
 
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Thanks for all the info.

We are looking to move in December or January. I look forward to your updates. I work in Baltimore so let me know if you want me to take pictures of the communities. I'm happy to help.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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I was hoping you can help me also. I am currently look for apts in the columbia area and have had such mixed reviews from aptratings. that I don't know what to believe. I need to be near rt.29 and have an 8yr old son. So of course safety is a huge concern for me. Im am looking at the different Avalon's and I don't think symphony woods is nice and the management guy was very pushy which I do not like at all. I was thinking about Avalon fairway hills.. It looks and sounds really nice. Please help
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:21 PM
 
332 posts, read 1,163,669 times
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I looked at Symphony Woods but did not get very far because they did not have what we were looking for but the people in the office seemed nice and the office area was well kept. We did see an apartment at Avalon of Columbia and it was a small but nice apartment, it did not fit our needs because we have young kids and it was on the 3rd floor. So you may want to check out Avalon of Columbia, I would think that the neighborhood is quiet and it is across the street from Cedar Lane park which could be a plus with a young child. I think the kids walk to school from their (I'm assuming they go to Longfellow, I saw a group of younger kids walking back to Avalon of Columbia with book bags so I would think that you child should not have a problem finding playmates).

I do not think you are going to find the perfect apartment in Columbia, meaning one with a decent price, very safe, updated, clean, quiet, and good management, at least I could not find one but I had a very limited time to look. You will probably have to decide what you are willing to give up. If safety, being quiet and close to 29 are your top priorities, then definitely try the apartments off of Columbia Road in the Dorsey Search Fairway Hills area. Avalon has 3 properties there and Island Club is there as well. I have seen the Island Club team with people at the interesection of 108 and Columbia road trying to get people to stop in so I would assume they are trying to get net tenants and are probably running rent specials. Some of Avalon's apartments are renovated others are not. Do not take management's word that your apartment was renovated, go see it for yourself (your actual unit) because it may have been renovated along time ago. In my opinion, management is one of the worst things about the local Avalon properties. My guess is that they earn individual commission based on the apartments that they rent, which is why they seem to care so much about you signing the lease. IMO the do not work as a team but please judge for yourself.

You do get a lot of long term residents at Avalon and they like it here, it is quiet and they do have a gym and a pool. You will have bugs, mainly crickets, spiders and ants ... they are annoying but you should be able to handle it.

The closer you are to 108 they better, for convenience to 29, which within a mile and safety. All of Fairway Hills seem safe to me but people complained in the past about the 7-11 area, which I do not believe is in Fairway Hills.

Good Luck. NJ08, are you from New Jersey?
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:39 AM
 
49 posts, read 205,197 times
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Yes, I am from New Jersey. I did look at Avalon Columbia and I liked it a lot and management was not pushy. She was actually nice. However, the unit that she was telling me about was not available for me to see so I am really considering that. It seems like a lot of the units they tell you about are not "available" to see. That makes me worry a lot. My only concern with price is that my son goes to the Columbia Association and IMO they are a rip off. I pay $410.00 a month for his morning and after school care. And considering I don't know anyone and it is very hard to trust people with your kids it is my only option now. If I didn't have that expense of half of it then price wouldn't really be that much of a big deal for me.
I will definately check out Avalon Fairway Hills. Is that where you live now? I currently am staying with a friend at the Gramercy and let me tell you they are EXPENSIVE. Really nice and quiet place but EXPENSIVE as heck.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:04 AM
 
332 posts, read 1,163,669 times
Reputation: 108
There could be someone in the unit, and therefore they can not show it to you. Find out the exact # and location so that you can see the area, see it in the morning, when your kid would get home as well as at night. Tell them you want the apartment but you want to see if first, they can ask the resident or you can wait until they turn it over to management and they are going thru the cleaning process to view it. They may work with you. I'm definitely concern with not seeing the exact apartment (at least in this area).

Finding child care is difficult, the good thing is that I think you will meet a lot of kids and parents in Avalon of Columbia and Fairway Hills so you can probably find out what they do for childcare and try to share resources. Also, try sittercity.com, you may have to pay a fee, not sure how much it is but essentially you have babysitters/nannies searching for work and parents looking for sitters. When I searched a while back (in another state) there were a lot of people on their who offered or took care of kids after school. You can see their schedules when they are free, etc. You can run a background check, ask for references, essentially it is a job interview. It worked for me but it is hard to leave your kid alone.

Yes, I live in Avalon in Fairway Hills. We looked in Town Center but they did not have what we wanted. From where in NJ?
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