It's not my intent to bruise any egos. But, I do have opinions and all readers have to decide whether I am informed.......or not.
Apartments seem to be an emotional topic. Some seem to believe that apartments will eventually lead to the downfall of western civilization. Others seem to be concerned about the arrival of more apartments in our town; a town that has never had many. How many is okay, and why?
First, there is a basic misconception about apartment dwellers. A popular concept is that most apartment dwellers are low income, poor, ill raised, folks that can't afford to live anywhere else. It is thought they poach deer out of season and skin the carcass in the parking lot. Of course, that is not true. Most apartment dwellers are young singles, or young families that are just getting started in their new adult lives. Another measurable percentage are Seniors that have neither the desire or the health to live in, and maintain, a house and grounds. Another measurable percentage are people who travel a great deal on their jobs. They have no time to mow grass on a regular basis, and most time at home is spent tending to other duties that could not be done because of heavy travel schedules.
Can there be bad tenants that cause trouble? Yes. However, in a good apartment complex, on-site management promptly throws them out. Probably the "good guys" populate 95% of the apartments.
Can there be too many apartments in one area? Yes, but not necessarily. In a urban setting there can be many projects across the street from one another without any harm. In a suburban setting, like Rowlett, it is best to space them out around town. In a town of 3 million, you can have apartment areas. In a town of 60K, it is best to identify with a neighborhood.
Are apartments bad for a neighborhood? Not necessarily. Apartments can be good neighbors. Good management keeps the grounds clean, noise down, and maintenance up........just like any good neighbor. Can traffic be a problem......yes. Much depends on the infrastructure around the project. Peak traffic times can create problems. That is why good planning is necessary. That is one of the reasons to diversify locations of apartments around a smaller city. Such diversity dilutes traffic problems, and gives a sense of "neighborhood" instead of "apartment area."
Apartments are an inanimate property. They are not alive. They don't make sounds, solicit troublemakers, or pollute the air. Only management can produce those results. If I was Chief of Police, I would visit every new apartment project on the day they opened their doors. I would say that I would give them an acceptable number of police calls a month for free.......say four. Then, on the fifth call, they would really start to hate me. I would have 35 compliance inspectors on their doorstep at 6:00 A M the next day, and they would not leave until they had a list of $35K of compliance requirements. On the 7th call, it would be even worse. That would make apartment projects very nice neighbors rather quickly.
When do you have too many apartments? That is a very academic question. The answer has lots of parts. You have to measure the present and future demand. If you have been following the real estate news in the Dallas Morning News, you should know the whole North Texas area is in dire need of all kinds of housing. The absence of housing is what's adding to the value of your house. It's simply supply and demand. We can, and some do, say we don't want any apartments. When you do that, you are casting your vote to keep out such "riff raff" as newly graduating college people, new families, seniors, policemen, firemen, business managers, teachers, and nurses. Why? Simply because they can't qualify for a loan to purchase a $250,000 and up house. Just who in the hell is the bad neighbor, here?
Apartments don't have to be bad. In fact, most are not. In the second page of the Shooting Off Your Mouth manual, it usually says that the manual is to be used as a guide only. It further states that it is usually best to know what you're talking about before pontificating about something you don't know anything about.
Nearly all towns in North Central Texas needs some apartments. The questions are how fast will inventory be absorbed (to hold down vacancies), and if they begin to overload the infrastructure of the town. Well run and managed apartment projects are not, when standing alone, a substantial influence on lifestyle and real estate values. Most are occupied by people just like us, at varying stages of their life. I remember my apartment days.
I have some other thoughts, too. But, I have a patio to finish building.