How to Prepare For Getting Your First Apartment

getting your first apartmentWhat a dizzying thought that is to move into your first apartment! Ah, the freedom! Getting your first apartment is a huge milestone, so you have the right to be excited. However, it also means serious business. You’re stepping into an uncharted territory, so we’re here to help with these five tips.

1. Don’t overestimate your income

Before you say “I can afford that”, sit down and go through your budget. The rule of thumb is that your rent shouldn’t go over a third of your income. But it’s far from being the only expense you pay for living in the apartment: there are others that pile up quickly.

One of them is renter’s insurance. Getting coverage is necessary, and you’ll be happy you have it if something happens – fire, flood, burglary, and so on.

Other expenses include utilities (sometimes they’re not included in the rent), parking spot (if applicable), mini-reparations, and of course, food and necessities.

Put all these in your budget calculation to find out how much you can really afford for rent.

2. Getting your first apartment needs money

This may seem obvious, but many first-timers don’t realize just how much money they need in the bank for their application to be approved. You’ll need to have around twice the amount of the rent in your account: one month’s rent plus a security deposit (usually equals to one month’s rent).

It’s also wise to leave a few hundred more to solidify your application, or to pay your real estate agent, the actual moving, and a background credit check.

3. Read the contract before signing

We know there are many pages, but read them all. Signing the lease means that you agree to all terms, and going back on your words won’t be easy – and can be expensive. So read all the fine and big prints.

One of the things you need to check is the term or the duration of the contract. You won’t want to agree to a year term if you only plan to stay 8 months. Other clauses to check include utility expenses, quiet hours policy, included appliances, building maintenance, and so on. You have to be clear about everything before signing.

Don’t forget to ask for a copy a signed contract, so you have a proof of agreement.

4. Inspect every single detail

Toilets that clog or leaking taps will make your life nightmarish. When visiting apartments, check every little thing. Inspect the walls for holes, the floors for dents, light switches that need to be changed, in short: be critical. There’s no perfect apartment, but it’s important to notice things that need improvement or reparation.

You can either ask your leasing agents to fix them or at least make it known at the beginning, so you don’t get the blame for broken things before your arrival.

5. Don’t overspend on furniture

We understand you want your apartment to look nice. But it’s not an excuse to buy everything new or all at the same time. In the beginning, you can buy what’s necessary: a bed, a dining table, and a couch. Then, you can ask your families and friends for hand-me-down furniture or appliances.

Don’t be ashamed to want to save! Scouring flea markets or the internet for second-handed things are a great way, too. There’s no rush in making your apartment look great; you’ll do it over time. Don’t let the excitement of getting your first apartment cloud your judgment. Start with setting your budget and take everything step by step.

Do you have another tip to share? Leave a comment below!

If you’re ready to visit some apartments, contact us, and we’ll help you find your first.

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Benefits of Living in an Apartment After Downsizing

downsizing to an apartment

Downsizing is never an easy thing to do, especially if you are retiring or moving into your next abode after the children have left the nest. Figuring out where and how to downsize requires some planning and effort that can be frustrating. If you’re not quite sure where your next permanent settlement will be or you want to experience a carefree lifestyle for a while, an apartment is a great option.

Living in an apartment will force you to properly downsize and sell unwanted things while providing you a number of benefits and conveniences that you probably haven’t had for a while.

If this sounds like an interesting prospect, then read on for some of the benefits of apartment living.

Cheaper Living

When you were growing up, you were probably told that buying a home is always a smarter option than renting. While this is true for many people, especially those who are building up their own equity, this isn’t always the case. If you don’t know where to invest your money in a new home or you want to explore your options, apartment living can be the better financial option.

Some rental prices are even less expensive than paying off the monthly mortgage. You have to shop around for the best price and maybe even consider relocating to another city or state to find the best options. It isn’t impossible to find something that will be easier on the wallet while you downsize and make your next step in life.


Compared to having a typical home with the yard and maintenance requirements, apartment living can be very convenient and beneficial on your lifestyle. Even though a smaller size may seem challenging at first, this kind of environment is great for helping you downsize the right way.

If you want a little bit more freedom in your lifestyle, living in an apartment is a great choice. You aren’t tied down to the typical maintenance needs of a home like maintaining a yard.

Even if you aren’t going to be doing any traveling, you can still enjoy the benefits of a smaller space to maintain and a closer community to interact with. Living small means that you can spend your time doing other things that you enjoy.

Limited Leases

If you have no idea what your next move is, a short-term lease apartment can give you a buffer zone to live in for a while. This is a great place to think about and research all the important information before making a final decision.

Who knows? You might just have some fun while you’re at it.

Living In An Apartment

It can be difficult to see the benefits of apartment living at first. If it seems like it’s a step back or a short-term solution, give the idea a chance. Do some research and look around at your options. You just might be surprised by what you have to gain from living in an apartment, even for a short time. More convenience, benefits, and freedom are always great additions to anyone’s lifestyle.

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10 Best Fort Wayne Events in May

what to do in fort wayne - may 2017

Happy May! If you’re looking for something fun to do this month, you’ve come to the right place. We have a list of some of the great things to do in Fort Wayne in May.

Cinco de May Margarita Tent

May 5, 2017
Salud Tapas ‘n Tequila will be hosting Cinco de Mayo Margarita Tent. Enjoy tacos, beer, live music, and margaritas.


May 5, 2017
Kick off cycling season at BikeFusion at Turnstone Athletic Center and fellow fitness enthusiasts while enjoying music, festival food, craft beer, a bicycle art show, and other family friendly activities.

Beer & Barre BQ

May 6, 2017
Enjoy Craft beers, BBQ including vegetarian options, live music, and performances by the Fort Wayne Ballet at the University of St. Francis.


May 6-7
SolFest at Fox Island Park is a 2-day celebration of the sun with live music, kids activities, hayrides, food, kayak demonstrations, vendors, and more.

Fort Wayne Music Festival

May 10-14, 2017
Head over to Headwater’s Park for the Fort Wayne Musical Festival which features 4 days of music with a little something for everyone.

Mommie Dearest and Mimosas

May 14, 2017
Celebrate Mother’s Day with your mom at Mommie Dearest and Mimosas at the Cinema Center.

Tears for Fears

May 18, 2017
Tears for Fears, the English alternative rock band from the 80’s will be at the Embassy Theater on May 18th playing some of your favorite tracks such as Shout, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Head Over Heals, Mad World, and more.

Downtown Farmer’s Market

The weather is finally warm enough to take the Farmer’s Market outside. Head out to the YLNI Barr Street Market for fresh produce and more from local farmer’s and crafters.

Pedal for Paws

May 20, 2017
Have fun while supporting H.O.P.E for animals at Pedal for Paws at Pedal City. Enjoy pedal car rides, beer, food, games, music, raffle items and more!

Free Outdoor Movie

May 27, 2017
Enjoy a free outdoor showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Sweets so Geek.


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20 Simple Ways to make every day Earth Day

earth day ideas

Earth Day is April 22. How will you give back to the planet you call home? With its origins as a grassroots movement, Earth Day created public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, and several other environmental laws. The reality is that we should do our part to care for the planet 365 days a year. But Earth Day does serve as a reminder to make sure your priorities are in check.

Here are a few ways to celebrate this year:

  • Host a neighborhood park clean-up
  • Properly dispose of electronic waste at a collection center, like Goodwill
  • Properly dispose of any medications, instead of flushing them down the toilet
  • Recycle whenever possible
  • For short distances, walk or bike
  • Cut back on meat consumption which is the #1 cause of climate change
  • If you have to drive, cluster your trips to cut down on emissions
  • Purchase and use cloth bags for your groceries
  • Put your computer on sleep mode at night to conserve energy
  • Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or washing your face and hands
  • Cut your shower short
  • Shop at thrift stores and garage sales
  • Buy used books
  • Use cloth diapers
  • Install LED bulbs
  • Volunteer for an environmentally-focused organization
  • Cut down on your laundry and dishwasher use
  • Buy recycled paper products
  • Buy local produce. It doesn’t have to travel as far as imported varieties, which cuts down on the environmental footprint
  • Ask the cashier to not print your receipt

You can be the change you wish to see in the world. Your friends and family might be surprised by your dedication and take note.

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Tax Day Deals and Freebies

tax day deals freebies

Poplar Ridge Apartments wants to remind you that today is the last day to file your taxes. And, a few companies in Fort Wayne are offering special discounts to customers to help relieve some of the stress (and possible financial burden) of tax day. Be sure to call ahead to make sure your location is offering the tax day deal or freebie

Bob Evans – save 30% off your meal with this coupon.

Noodles & Company is offering $4 off any $10 purchase placed through using the code TAXDAY17 at checkout.

McDonald’s (in select regions) is offering customers a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder for just 1cent when you purchase one of those sandwiches at the regular price on April 18.

Arby’s – Get a free curly fries at select locations

Planet Fitness – Get a free HydroMassage at Planet Fitness with a coupon available starting on April 15 on their website.

Sonic – Cheeseburgers are half off at Sonic on Tax Day

Firehouse Subs is offering a free medium sub from April 18 to 20 with the purchase of another medium or large sub, chips and drink.

Chili’s – Participating Chili’s will have $6 blueberry and pineapple margaritas on Tax Day.

Staples – Get up to 2 pounds of documents shredded for free through April 22.

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Things to do in Fort Wayne in April

things to do in fort wayne april 2016

April’s here and it’s to shake off the cabin fever and get out and enjoy some of the great events going on around Fort Wayne this month.

Opening Night at Tincaps Baseball

After a long winter, Fort Wayne Tincaps baseball is back for a highly anticipated Opening Night on April 8th! A night with the Fort Wayne Tincaps will bring you more than just exciting baseball action! You’ll also experience lots of between-innings fun, great food, and not to mention, the beautiful, award-winning Parkview Field. Tickets start at just $5!

Easter Bone Hunt

Grab your favorite pooch and head out to the 9th annual Easter Bone Hunt on Sunday, April 9th at Franke Park to enjoy a fun with your dog. There will dog-friendly games, crafts & even tattoos. Prize baskets will be given away to the lucky pups who find prize eggs! All dogs admitted for a $15 donation & proceeds will go toward FWACC’s Adoption & Volunteer programs. Bring some extra dough and get your photo taken with the Easter Bunny!

Spring Haute Gathering Market

April 9 at The Shiloh, come visit the Spring installment of the Haute Gathering Market. You’ll find lots of unique vintage decorations, upcycled antiques, jewelry, barn finds, boutique chic clothing and more!

Fort Wayne Indoor Farmer’s Market

You know the saying – April showers bring May flowers! So, just in case, Fort Wayne has an amazing, weekly farmer’s market, rain or shine! Come on out to get the freshest local produce, most delicious baked goods, and more! The Indoor Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday from 9-1 in the Lincoln Financial Event Center.

Hike the Trails of Fox Island

Spend a couple of hours hiking the trails of Fox Island with Naturalist Jeff Ormiston and the wildlife of the park.

Stargazing at Riverfront Fort Wayne

The third Wednesday of every month, come on out to the Historic Wells Street Bridge for a night walk along the Fort Wayne Riverbanks. On this walk, you’ll also have a chance to see some rare star formations and learn about what’s going on in the universe from some friends from Science Central. This is a great, FREE opportunity for some fun for the whole family!

Record Store Day

Live music from 16 area bands, food trucks, goodie bags, and free coffee and cookies await you at Wooden Nickel’s 10th annual Record Store Day on April 22nd at their North Anthony location.

Little Shop of Horrors

What do you get when you cross a quirky flower shop assistant and a cannibalistic plant? Little Shop of Horrors! For over 30 years, Little Shop of Horrors has been a delight for theater lovers across the country. April 21-29, IPFW is excited to host Little Shop of Horrors live and on stage! Come be a part of the magic and sing along with Seymour, Audrey, and the rest of the gang!

Vera Bradley Annual Sale

April 19-23, come visit the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale for some amazing deals! Vera Bradley is taking over the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for the weekend, offering you up to 60% off retail pricing of Vera Bradley handbags, luggage, totes, and more! Register online at Vera Bradley’s website.

Michiana Wine Festival

Wine lovers rejoice! On April 29, Headwaters Park will be transformed into the Michiana Wine Festival, one of the best wine tasting headquarters in the tri-state area. Enjoy samples from over 150 wines from countless wineries across Indiana and Michigan.

As you can see, there will be more than enough great, entertaining things to do in Fort Wayne this month!

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Ways to say goodbye to apartment cabin fever

apartment cabin fever

By now most people in Fort Wayne are tired of the cold, wet, dreary weather and wishing for warmer days. Cabin fever has set in for many. If you’re in need of a few diversions to help shake off apartment cabin fever, here are few suggestions:

Around Fort Wayne:

  • Exercise your mind and body. Fort Wayne Escape Room offers multiple rooms available to search for hidden clues, solve puzzles, and escape—all under an hour. Grab a few friends (and comfortable shoes) and let the fun begin.
  • Release the crazy at Crazy Pinz. This place is fun for everyone! Choose from traditional arcade games, bowling, laser tag, mini golf, bumper cars, etc. Check their website for specials.
  • Get rid of some energy. SkyZone is the place to be. This indoor trampoline park is open six days and promises fun for kids and adults alike.
  • Get crafty. Stores like Knitting Off Broadway, JoAnn Fabrics, and Michael’s offer beginning classes in many areas including sewing, crocheting, knitting, and other craft projects. Check stores for details on classes offered, times, and fees.
  • Trace your roots. Did you know the Allen County Public Library has a world-class genealogical center? The Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center is the largest public genealogy collection in the country and boasts a collection of more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche.

Around the Apartment:

  • Get a jump on Spring cleaning. Grab a box, a broom, and a dustpan and get some Spring cleaning done. Now’s the best time to do it so when the warm temps arrive you can get out and enjoy them.
  • Redecorate the apartment. A new, colorful rug, curtains, plants, or accessories can add new life to the apartment.
  • Learn something new. Have you always wanted to play guitar, learn a new language, or learn to cook or crochet? YouTube has millions of videos that can help you scratch something off your bucket list.

With these activities to keep you busy, the warm weather will be here before you know it!

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5 Advantages of Living In An Apartment

advantages of renting an apartment

For many people, apartment living is the preferred choice. Apartments can be affordable and without the long-term commitment of a house. These are the obvious benefits, but you might not be aware of other lesser-known advantages of living in an apartment. Here are a few:

  1.  Community: Because of the nature of apartment living, you get to know your neighbors pretty well. There is a tight-knit atmosphere, especially at Poplar Ridge Apartments. You might even make a friend or two! It’s also nice to know that there’s someone nearby who can watch over your place when you’re not home.
  2.  Resident activities: Speaking of community, many apartment complexes (including Poplar Ridge) organize regular events. Take, for example, resident appreciation parties, BINGO, and food grab-n-go’s. There’s no excuse to be bored or hungry when there are opportunities like these available. It’s a great way to meet some of your neighbors and enjoy all that the apartment community has to offer!
  3.  Flexible terms: Unlike buying a home where you have a 15-30 year mortgage, apartments have more flexible terms that allow you to easily move for a new job, to be closer to family, head to college, or whenever your life changes. Most apartment communities offer three-month, six-month and twelve-month lease options.
  4. Worry-free living: When something goes wrong in your apartment you can notify our office and one of our expert maintenance people will tend to the issue. We’re just a call away if something goes wrong. There’s no need to worry about budgeting for expensive appliances repairs. You also have more free time to enjoy your life instead of taking care of the lawn and landscaping or shoveling snow.
  5.  Location: Location is key when deciding where to live. Whether you want a place close to work, family, or school, there’s an apartment community nearby as well as a host of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

    There are so many more advantages to living in an apartment. If you’re considering apartment living, visit Poplar Ridge Apartments today for our tour of our community.

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Think Outside the Box for Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

creative valentine's day date ideas

Valetine’s Day….a day to spend with the one(s) you love. Whether you’re planning a day with the spouse and kids, girlfriend or boyfriend, best friend or pet, ditch the same ol’ dinner out and think outside the chocolate box for ways to woo your significant other. Here are a few non-traditional ideas:

  • Go ice skating. Dress warmly and get ready to burn some calories! The rink downtown at Headwaters Park is a popular spot. Admission is just $5 and skate rental is $2.
  • Get artsy. Wine & Canvas or Painting with a Twist both offer on-site painting classes as well as wine and beer for sale to make it interesting. The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is also a great way to take in some culture.
  • Browse a bookstore. Check out titles at Barnes & Noble and locally-owned and operated favorite, Hyde Brothers. Is there anything better than curling up with a good book?
  • Cook together. They way to your significant other’s heart is through their stomach. Impress your date with your culinary skills. Be sure to account for any dietary restrictions. And don’t forget to pick up some wine!
  • Act like a kid. Crazy Pinz is an indoor entertainment center that will keep children and children at heart busy for hours. They offer everything from arcade games, to laser tag, to bowling. Tokens-N-Tickets is another option to get your indoor fun on.
  • Catch a movie. Cinema Center is known for showing artsy, independent films. Or if you’d rather go mainstream, Carmike Jefferson Pointe shows first-run titles. Or, curl up in the apartment with a romantic movie on Netflix.
  • Go for a walk. It’s not very often that we get a 50-degree day on Valentine’s Day, get out and hit the trails!
  • Spa Day. Whether it’s an evening with your significant other or best girl friends, pamper yourself with a mani-pedi at your favorite spa.
  • Scavenger Hunt. Hide small gifts (or treats for your furry friend) around the apartment and send your loved one around to find them. Gift ideas could be flowers, candy, jewelry, homemade coupons, or trinkets.

Whatever you do, I’m sure your date will love it!

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11 Great Activities to Do in Fort Wayne in February

what to do in fort wayne february 2017

Things to do in Fort Wayne in February

Well, 2017 is off to a great start so far! January was jam-packed full of great events around town and February doesn’t show any signs of slowing down! If you’re looking to brave the cold and get out of the apartment this month, there’s plenty to do. Here are just a few of the great activities going on around Fort Wayne in February.


Ice Skating at Headwaters Park

Lace up your ice skates and head out to Headwaters Park to take a few spins on the ice. You can either bring your own skates or rent theirs for a small fee. Spring is right around the corner, which means you won’t be able to skate for much longer. The ice rink closes March 5th. Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink is great fun for the whole family or even a date night!

The Price is Right Live!

The Price is Right is the longest-running game show in television history and now the beloved game show is coming to Fort Wayne! Join special guest host Jerry Springer in this interactive game show right here in Fort Wayne. COME ON DOWN to the Embassy Theatre on February 9 and you could get a chance to play favorites such as Plinko, Cliffhangers, The Big Wheel and more! Visit TicketMaster to get your tickets before it’s too late!

My Cold Hearted Valentine

February 10, come celebrate Valentine’s Day with Science Central’s 3rd Annual Murder Mystery party, My Cold Hearted Valentine! Science Central’s Adults Only nights have quickly become a hit! What better way to explore Science Central than enjoying a fun, interactive murder mystery show with a drink in your hand! Don’t miss this exciting night of murder, mystery, drinks, food and more! Get your tickets early because this is going to be one of the most exciting Valentine’s Day Date you’ve ever had!

Fort Wayne Indoor Farmer’s Market

Don’t let the cold keep you away from some of the freshest local produce around. Every Saturday from 9-1, lots of great local vendors gather in the Lincoln Financial Event Center (just off the Parkview Field right field concourse). Along with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll also find great coffees, teas, locally made crafts, jewelry and more at the indoor farmer’s market.

Down the Line 11

The Embassy Theatre’s eleventh installment of the Down the Line series happens on February 11. Down the Line features five amazing local bands paying tribute to some of their favorite rockers in history! Come celebrate the music of Bob Dylan, Deep Purple, Prince, Chicago and more!

Fort Wayne Derby Girls Home Opener

On February 11, the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum hosts the Fort Wayne Roller Derby as they take on Gem City. If you’ve never been to a roller derby bout, you’re missing out on some truly exciting action! Visit the Fort Wayne Derby Girls‘ website for tickets and more information.

Weather the Fort

February 11 from 4-7, bundle up and head out to Freimann Square for Fort Wayne’s third annual Weather the Fort Festival. Brave the cold and take part in some of the great activities including: live music, curling demonstrations, ice sculpting, heated beer tents, fire performers and so much more! (Must be 21 to attend)

Northern Indiana Golf Show

February 17-19, Bobick’s Golf Headquarters will be putting on the 8th Annual Northern Indiana Golf Show. See some brand new equipment and technology that can help you kick your golf game up a notch (or down a few strokes!) The Annual Golf Show will feature an indoor driving range, skills challenges, door prizes, and lots of great activities for the whole family!

The Phil Family Series: Star Wars and Superheroes

If you’ve never taken the family to a night at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, now is your chance to go! This special event is one you certainly won’t want to miss! February 19, the Fort Wayne Phil will be at the Rhinehart Music Center for Star Wars and Superheroes. They’ll perform some of your favorite sci-fi movies including: Star Wars, Superman, E.T., Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and more.

The Fort Wayne Civic Theatre Presents: Memphis

Don’t miss Memphis, the award-winning Broadway musical coming to the Civic Theatre this month. Memphis is a tale of fame and forbidden love and features an amazing score combined with thrilling dance numbers and a story that will have you on the edge of your seat.

2017 Bridal Extravaganza

If you or someone you know is getting married this Spring, the Bridal Extravaganza is an absolute MUST. Visit with more than 150 wedding vendors including DJs, dress shops, decorators, planners, and more. The Bridal Extravaganza, at the Grand Wayne Center on February 22nd, is a surefire way to get a majority of your wedding planning done in one day. There will also be door prizes, exciting presentations, a fashion show, and even a special appearance by Say Yes to the Dress star Randy Fenoli.

It’s not hard to find something fun and exciting to do in Fort Wayne this month! Don’t let the cold keep you from getting out and visiting our great city! From all of us at Montrose Square Apartments (, have a great February!

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