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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at apartments for my upcoming move.<br>
I posted this in TAO, but wanted to get some feedback from my fellow single moms.<br><br>
I'm getting a 2 bedroom, and I've narrowed it down to 2 complexes. Note that I haven't been able to go see them in person, but my dad has, so I'm going to trust him, since we narrowed them down together. Also, just for reference, I'm a single mom, and we co-sleep so the second bedroom will be a playroom.<br>
This is in Vail Valley, Colorado.<br><br>
Complex 1:<br><a href="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c9...um/egapts2.jpg" target="_blank">http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c9...um/egapts2.jpg</a><br><a href="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Kissum/ebapt.jpg" target="_blank">http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Kissum/ebapt.jpg</a><br>
The older, smaller apartment- 736 sq ft I will have a ground floor and a little patio and grassy area out the back to play.<br>
Cheaper, by about $75 a month (this isn't much of a factor, but worth mentioning)<br>
Walking distance to the park, my dad's condo (he doesn't actually live there LOL but they have a pool and are on a lake).<br>
More families.<br>
A lot of immigrants (please don't think I am saying anything bad here, I'm just trying to give a feel for demographics).<br>
Bigger complex, with 4 floors in each building.<br>
They have daycare on the premises, but I don't think I'll use it.<br>
Playground<br>
Outside parking<br><br>
Complex 2:<br><a href="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Kissum/brapts.jpg" target="_blank">http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Kissum/brapts.jpg</a><br><a href="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Kissum/BRapt.gif" target="_blank">http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Kissum/BRapt.gif</a><br>
Brand new, less than 2 years old.<br>
Bigger- 873 square feet<br>
slightly more $$$<br>
I'll have a 2nd floor unit, with a deck- but the slats are "super close together Al so Bella can play out there, no worries" according to my dad, lol.<br>
Smaller complex, 2 floors.<br>
Garage (this will be awesome, since it snows A LOT)<br>
A lot of younger working people, less families.<br>
It's more off the beaten path though, it's about a 5 minute drive to anywhere we'd want to go, so we wouldn't be walking anywhere.<br>
This layout is more Bella- friendly IMO.<br><br><br>
So the question is, do I pick garage and more space over being able to walk everywhere and living right by the playground? I mean, Colorado is cold a lot right so how much of the year will we really be walking?<br>
Or the playground over the nicer place?<br>
Thoughts? I'm really struggling with this and I need to decide by tonight. I really appreciate any advice you might have!
 

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Which one do you get a better feel for?<br><br>
I know I had a similar situation and I chose the one a little farther away and gave up some of the walking, but gained other things. And yes, a garage in a snowy winter is really a great thing!<br><br>
They both sound great and when you move in and really make it your own, you will likely forget about the other one anyway and will focus on all the really great things about your new place.
 

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I'd go look in person but that's just me. Especially to check out noise levels and parking availablilty. THe ground floor grass is awesome for playing, but I think also more security risks of someone breaking in.<br><br>
I don't like having to drive everywhere, I like the first one so far but there's not much info to go on.
 

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I've been through this three times now as a single mom to a toddler, and my first question to you is: are you sure you want a 2nd floor walk-up? (I assume there is no elevator in apt#2.)<br><br>
As you know, as a single mom every single thing that comes in and out of my apartment, including my 1 year old, gets carried by me. Faced with a choice similar to yours, I went with the downstairs unit.<br><br>
The downside of a lower apt is that you hear the elephants (I mean neighbors) dancing or doing step aerobics or whatever it is they do up there during naptime, but for me I couldn't take dealing with a squirming toddler and all my groceries and trash and everything else until my DD is a bit older and ready to a)take the stairs herself and b)be left alone a little longer while I make several trips in and out.<br><br>
I'd love a playground and love walking places...we use our Ergo every day and this spring we've just begun biking and it is really fun (I got her a seat that goes up front on my bike.)<br><br>
The main plus for me on your apt#2 is the garage...a covered garage (I live in the snow-belt of upstate NY) is *huge* to me, not just so you don't have to brush off the car with a baby but so you extra space to put things and a place to do work that you'd rather not do in your apt.<br><br>
Here's my question for you: by 'older' how old do you mean and would lead paint be an issue? (If it was built before 1978, it may be) Is it well updated and maintained? Is there any peeling paint? That is an automatic deal-breaker for me. Since you haven't seen, ask you Dad and be sure about this.<br><br>
Just from what you've posted, I'll say #1, but it's a tough call.
 

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I would worry about you being on the first floor alone with kids and a patio door that somebody could break into. Maybe I am just a scardy cat?<br><br>
Personally, I like the garage idea, especially with it being cold there. I would rather drive them to somewhere to play, etc. than make them sit in a frozen car while I scrape the windshield.
 

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Personally, I live in IL and i'm all about the garage!! I can't imagine what it's like living in CO without a garage! My poor car needs some type of climate control! I've noticed my car just doesn't run as nicely if it's not in the garage. LOL *sigh* I think I have a car problem, it's like it somehow gained emotion during the time i've had it!<br><br>
Oh and I think the 2nd apartment is prettier <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I would probably want to be on the ground floor. I can't imagine trying to lug all my groceries up the stairs with a child. That and I am all about being able to walk places...especially the park!
 

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I would go with 1 because it's on the ground floor.<br><br>
We just looked at apartments last year, and hand-down decided against any complex that was less than a few years old because they reeked of toxic new carpet and paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div style="font-style:italic;">Which one do you get a better feel for?</div>
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I get a better feel for the second one, but I'm pretty sure that's because of my dad. If it were for him, he'd pick that one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>easy_goer</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7888607"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've been through this three times now as a single mom to a toddler, and my first question to you is: are you sure you want a 2nd floor walk-up? (I assume there is no elevator in apt#2.)<br><br>
Here's my question for you: by 'older' how old do you mean and would lead paint be an issue? (If it was built before 1978, it may be) Is it well updated and maintained? Is there any peeling paint? That is an automatic deal-breaker for me. Since you haven't seen, ask you Dad and be sure about this.<br><br>
Just from what you've posted, I'll say #1, but it's a tough call.</div>
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I'm not sure I want the stairs! That's one of my biggest concerns. But I guess that's what carriers are for right?<br><br>
And as far as older, I'm not sure how old. I think about 20 years so not a lead paint issue as far as I know.<br>
My Dad says it's well-maintained, but definately more worn than option 2.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">:<br><br>
I'm having such a tough time with this, I think because I can't go see myself. It's such a big decision to make based on pictures and someone else's impressions.<br>
Thanks so much for your thoughts you guys, it's really helping me think this through!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kissum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7891074"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I'm not sure I want the stairs! That's one of my biggest concerns. But I guess that's what carriers are for right?<br></div>
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I *love* my Ergo, but didn't want to have an upper with a toddler. It looks like neither apts. have a washer/dryer so add laundry to groceries, trash, baby gear and misc. stuff and it's a lot of hauling. I'm totally not trying to talk you out of it, just giving you my thoughts.<br><br>
Another downside to an upper apt (which quite frankly I don't care much about one way or the other) is that you may feel like you need to keep your little one from running/jumping/making too much noise. I've never bothered much about it -- it's just part of renting IMO -- but you don't want to get a crotchety downstairs neighbor complaining to your landlord.<br><br>
Security could be a plus for the upstairs, as others mentioned.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kissum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7891074"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
And as far as older, I'm not sure how old. I think about 20 years so not a lead paint issue as far as I know.<br>
My Dad says it's well-maintained, but definately more worn than option 2.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">:<br></div>
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As long as it's kept up with no paint problems, I totally agree with momma4fun and avoid new construction and the off-gassing that comes from new paint, insulation, carpet, press-wood cabinetry etc. I'd rather have the older place, which is often more solidly constructed (which can mean less neighbor noise.)<br><br>
It sounds like either would be a nice place to live so that's a good problem to have, picking between two nice places. It sounds like you'll be happy with whatever you decide.
 

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The top link for the first one didn't open for me, but still I lean towards the first one. Being able to walk right out to your own grassy area is really great, especially the older your child gets. Little wading pools, etc! My only two concerns about being on the first floor are yes, security, and also, not sure how thick the walls/ceilings are but I don't like people traipsing overhead. It totally depends on the sort of neighbors you have. But like the PP said, it also means your own kid can run around and you don't have to worry about what your neighbors are hearing.<br><br>
If you did go with the second-floor one, though - I've lived on the second floor since my son was born, in both apartments - and our old place had very high, steep stairs which I thought would be a pain, but honestly, it was no big deal! I quickly got used to it. I kept his stroller in the trunk of my car so I never had to lug it up and down. After about two weeks there I never thought twice about the stairs.
 

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Vail valley has a lot of resources and great public transportation system. The in-town buses in Vail and Beaver Creek are free. The eco-transit is reasonably priced and runs a lot if you didn't want to drive anywhere.<br><br>
I'd go for the garage. With a little one you are not going to want the hassle of cleaning off your car almost every day in the winter. If you have to go out more than once, it will be each time you go out. You will also then have a place to store bikes and the like. There are great shelving systems that you can get that won't interfere with getting a car into the garage so the extra storage would be great.<br><br>
We have a condo in Vail and there are a ton of playgrounds around. From our condo there are 4 within walking distance. There is also a great rec center in Avon with a wonderful swimming pool. The same is true in Avon, etc.<br><br>
We hardly ever swim outside up there as it is usually fairly cool even in the summer so we always use the indoor pools.<br><br>
Another thought to the 2nd floor is that heat rises so you will get the benefit of that and lower your heating utilities. In our condo, we spend about $60-70 less than most people on the ground floor.
 

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I'd go ground floor b/c of all the hauling issues. And the access to the patio and playground. As for walking in CO, I was born and lived there for 30 years, so I may be biased, or just plain <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: , but snow and cold never stopped me. Get a stroller with big wheels (easier to manuever in the snow), lots of fleece, and head out! (Oh yeah, don't forget the goggles/glasses!) I think you'll be more likely to get out and walk when it's cold than you will be to sit out on that little deck, which may well be in the shade for hours a day in the winter.<br><br>
I know that living downstairs you hear the people above you, and that can be a pain. On the flip side, I recently lived in an upstairs apt. with DS (7yo) and we were, ahem, asked to leave, b/c the guy below us had complained. I could hear him yelling one day b/c I stepped into a pose during a sun salutation, so he was, shall we say, a bit sensitive. I don't know that there's a perfect solution there. And it was rather stressful trying to shush my kid all the time when really, he was just being a kid.<br><br>
As for cleaning off the car in the winter, you get an engine block heater and plug the car in at least two hours before you need to start it. That way, when you do start it, it's warm, the heater instantly blows hot air and defrosts the windshield while you use your long handled brush to get the snow off. And it's not like this is something you'll have to do every single day. Another trick is to put a blanket across the windshield with the doors open. Let the ends of the blanket hang down, then secure them by shutting the doors. When you get up in the morning, remove the blanket from your frost free windshield.<br><br>
Or, maybe you shouldn't listen to me. I may just be <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WatermelonSnow</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7892660"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">think you'll be more likely to get out and walk when it's cold than you will be to sit out on that little deck, which may well be in the shade for hours a day in the winter.<br></div>
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This would be a biggie for me -- finding out how the windows were oriented. I go crazy inside without sunlight. I NEED some south or west facing windows to get through long CO winters (I just moved from there!)
 

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I live in one of the coldest parts of Colorado and we still enjoy walking places more than half the year. I also don't have a usable garage and it's totally doable. I'd go with option #1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just wanted to update you guys- I saw pictures of the insides of both apartments, and it was an easy decision. I chose number 2- it was significantly nicer.<br>
Thanks so much for your input ladies!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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