The Westglen Messenger
Summer 2012 Issue
|9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.||Monday-Friday|
|10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.||Saturday|
|12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.||Sunday|
|Kathy Siebert||Property Manager|
|Ruthie Meyer||Leasing Agent|
|Fire · Police · Ambulance||911|
|Emergency After Hours||636-227-6220|
|(Listen to Message)|
|Telephone – New Service||1-800-231-7928|
|Ballwin City Hall||636-227-8580|
|Ballwin Parks & Recreation||636-227-8950|
A mail slot on the outside of our office building is available 24/7 for depositing your rent check after business hours. Please do not ever leave cash cash overnight in the office mailbox. For your records a money order is best. Otherwise, all cash payments must be made in person and a receipt should be requested, so as to avoid any misunderstanding about payment of rent. Late fees are charged on the 4th of the month for any new or recently renewed rental agreements. There will be “no exceptions” to our late fee policy.
As a courtesy to your neighbors and also to keep our grounds looking nice, please curb your pet at all times. In order to keep a pet on the premises, you must have it approved by management. If you are considering a new pet, please notify the office to discuss our specific pet policy, which has a size limitation. All pet deposits and pet rents apply whether a pet is just visiting or living with you. We perform a test on all carpets when our residents move out, and pet damages will be the responsibility of the resident whether their pet was registered or not. Our pet deposit doesn’t come close to the price of new carpet, and we try to make it affordable for pet owners and competitive with other apartment communities so please register your pet.
Please keep a watchful eye on our property to insure our high standards are met. In particular, please watch for illegal trash dumping in our dumpsters, as well as mischief in the pool area or laundry room. Non-resident use of our trash dumpsters is strictly forbidden. Please take down the license plate number if you see people disposing of large items such as couches and appliances, and give this information to our office. The Ballwin police will follow up on this form of vandalism and help us control it. Report any information to our office or call the Ballwin Police if necessary.
As always, if you have a request, please stop at the office or call, so we can respond promptly. Also, please keep in mind that orders are worked on in the order they come in, with the exception being an emergency. An emergency is basically fire or water leaking or HVAC in extreme heat or cold seasons.
Most of you know how important it is to keep tile & grout clean and caulked. If you are experiencing any problems, please let us know. It is easy to do a little caulking, but if mold is left unchecked, it can become expensive to fix. So please, call with any problems.
Please do not use large charcoal grills on your third floor deck. We have been advised by the Ballwin Fire Department that they are a fire hazard by being so close to the overhang of our roof. Small hibachi type grills or gas grills are acceptable.
You can damage your freezer and/or your refrigerator by overloading. Air circulation is part of the mechanism for operation. If you overload and turn the thermostat up to max, you can burn up the motor. Please use discretion in your operation, and leave room for air to circulate. Also, residents should periodically clean behind the refrigerator. If you use a soft brush or rag and clean the dust accumulation off the back of the unit at the change of seasons, you will get optimum service. If you need help pulling your fridge out from the wall, just let the office know, and we will help when changing furnace filters.
We have had several instances where residents didn’t want to bother us with a small leak in their bathroom and let it go. As a result the leak affected their tile and by the time it was brought to our attention we had to replace walls and tile as well as repair the leak. So, PLEASE notify us of any leaks immediately.
As most residents know, not all maintenance items are emergencies. The simplest way to think about an emergency is to ask yourself, “If I were a homeowner, could I get someone to fix the problem during the night or on a weekend?” So we list emergencies as follows:
No hot water (before 10:00 p.m. daily)
No air conditioning when temperature is above 80 degrees
No heat when temperature is below 50 degrees
Water leaking and/or running from any source that is causing damage.
Drain or sewer backup and toilet overflow with water continuing to run out of the toilet.
Toilet backup/stoppage in apartments with one bathroom.Those residents in apartments with a second bathroom are expected to wait until the next workday.
Electrical outage, partial or entire apartment
Property damage, fire, storm/wind damages, and any break-in that requires us to secure your apartment.
All non-emergency maintenance items will be handled during normal working hours. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Any resident that installs satellite services on our property will be responsible for all damages to our building. We will continue to work with Charter Cable to provide cable networks. We continue to work with AT&T to add their new product Uverse to our community. Although we do not have a specific date when Uverse will be accessible to our residents, we will keep you informed and coordinate efforts to bring this service to you as soon as it is available. We think it will be available in the next 12 months. Satellite TV providers have made unauthorized installations on our roofs and siding, causing leaks and damage. They do not stand behind their installer’s work nor do they remove their equipment when a resident moves out. We simply cannot control their installation people and Direct TV will not respond to our claims. We are asking all residents to notify our office when they get a cable installation that affects our exteriors or additional work inside on our interior walls. Your cooperation is appreciated.
3 cups fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chunks
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
3 kiwi, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
Arrange pineapple, kiwi, and strawberries on 6 small plates.
Honey Lime Sauce
8 ounces vanilla yogurt
4 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
In medium mixing bowl stir together, yogurt, honey, lime zest and lime juice.
Spoon Honey Lime Sauce over each serving of fruit. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings
Recipe by Lisa Grasse
Do you remember Smokey the Bear commercials from long ago? Well, it has never been more pertinent than this summer. We have had an exceptionally dry period in the Midwest. Our winter was without much snowfall which gives us a deep watering for plants and grasses and now this unbelievable summer heat without much rain. Please be especially careful disposing of cigarette butts and charcoal grill briquettes. We have a beautiful setting to protect – and Smokey thanks you for protecting it.
Renting Versus Owning Myth
Every year, thousands of Americans jump into homeownership for the wrong reason, usually pressure from friends or family. It turns out a lot of them could actually save money by renting.
As the Wall Street Journal wrote in a 2001 article, “Contrary to popular opinion, renting can often be the better alternative, especially if there’s a chance you’ll stay put less than five years.”
This article is designed to help you make an educated decision about your housing choice. There are many good reasons to buy a house, but most of them are not financial. The investment potential and the tax savings associated with homeownership are often overstated, while the costs of homeownership are frequently understated.
Instead of feeling pressured to buy, you should choose the housing that best suits your lifestyle. If you value convenience, amenities, flexibility and superior locations, you probably ought to rent. This brochure explains why you can do so with the knowledge that you are not “throwing your money away.”
The biggest home ownership myth in the country is that owning a house is a huge tax break. If your mortgage interest and other qualifying expenses aren’t more than the standard deduction ($9,500 for joint filers, $4750 for singles in 2003), there is no tax advantage to owning. That’s one reason why only 34% of all taxpayers itemize.
Assume you buy a $200,000 house with a 5% down payment at a 6% interest rate. Your total net tax savings, assuming you are in the 28% tax bracket, is a mere $514.
That’s right. You will be able to deduct $11,336 in mortgage interest, but you would have gotten a $9,500 standard deduction without buying. So your tax savings are $11,336 minus $9,500 times 28% tax rate, which equals $514.
Once you factor in the standard deduction and maintenance costs, you could end up spending thousands just to save a few hundred dollars in taxes.
Even if you are able to deduct your mortgage interest and property taxes, remember that depending on your tax bracket, you are still only saving no more than 10 cents to 35 cents in taxes for every dollar you pay in mortgage interest.
Once you factor in your maintenance and repair expenses, your tax savings could quickly disappear. Maintenance costs often run between 1% and 2% of your house’s value annually, depending on the house’s age.
Assuming a conservative 1% maintenance cost, you may have to spend $2,000 to save $514 in taxes..
Reality: A majority of owners reap no annual tax benefits from owning a house.
When you rent, instead of tying all your wealth up in a single investment, you can invest in a variety of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. In fact, you can still invest in real estate through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), either individually or in REIT mutual funds.
Today’s apartments offer amenity packages that rival and often surpass – single-family houses as well as access to new technologies that may be unaffordable in single-family house. Apartments often are located in neighborhoods with convenient access to transportation, employment, retail and entertainment.
Renting allows you to use your “down payment money” for other investments, to start a small business, to travel, or even to change careers.
Source: Fannie Mae Housing Survey, 2000
“We wanted to be free of the responsibility of a homeowner and to be able to invest all of our money in the business. Apartment living is ideal because it is maintenance-free, convenient and worry-free.“
Rose and Gary Trousdale
Sports Management Business Owners