Halpine View Apartments
Rating, Personal Opinion, and Critique
A Review of Halpine View Apartments in Rockville, MD
- Overall, Halpine View is a great place to live. You will find additional details, including floor plans, on the Grady Management website, but here is my personal assessment:
The Good Parts
- Foxes, racoons, and deer are delightful co-habitants. Apparently, some folks here complain about the deer, not realizing that they do in fact come right up to the apartment buildings late at night and eat some of the shrubbery. I think it's rather charming, but if you don't like this, don't get a first floor apartment.
- When my garbage disposal broke, Maintenance promptly replaced it with a new one.
- $20/month discount for Federal employees, woo hoo!
- The resident population is ethnically diverse, and largely quiet and respectful to each other.
- It's a 10-15 minute walk from the Twinbrook Metro.
- The mid-rises have laundry rooms on every floor.
- The mid-rises have poured concrete floors and ceilings, making for an exceptionally quiet environment.
- The dumpsters are kept well-away from the buildings, which keeps the insects out of the buildings.
- There is constant ventilation in the bathrooms, which reduces the mold.
- It took several iterations to get my non-working dishwasher replaced, but HV staff was eventually helpful.
- Upkeep is good. The parking lot was repaved in 2007 and re-coated in 2009.
The Not So Good Parts
- With the new electronic key system, they only give you one key which makes it difficult for a single person if they have a guest or if they lock themselves out. I suppose it's okay if there are two residents because they each get one, but if you're alone there is no back up.
- Feral cats roam the premises, enabled by residents who have put shelters out in the woods for them.
- The electric bills were high due to an inefficient central air unit. Here's a graph of my electric bills showing the monthly electricity expense for a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of a mid-rise building. Fahima referred this to the maintenance department and they promptly replaced the entire A/C unit, although with the lowest efficiency unit that is commercially available (according to the energy sticker on it). So while the bills have been reduced, they are still pretty high for 500 square feet of apartment space.
- Gas, water, and sewer are no longer included in the rent. The high cost of this component has been a source of some discontent among the residents. Halpine View's stated position is that they looked into the issue and the charges were correct. Curiously the latest rent increase, only $10/month, was significantly less than in previous years, leading me to suspect that they got a windfall last year when switching over to resident payment of utilities. Possibly this windfall was the impetus for the current project by Grady Management to replace all the windows in the complex. [Editorial: A commitment to only install high efficiency furnaces and air conditioners would be a "greener" thing to do. Admittedly there is little incentive for them to do this.]
This resident has not been convinced that the rates are correct and repeated inquiries to both Halpine View and NWP Services (who manages the billing) resulted in no response from either--despite a stated promise that the basis for the gas/water/sewer calculations would be made available upon request. When accounting for these average utility costs, the Sept. 2008-August 2009 rental increase was 5.9% over the previous year--significantly greater than the 4.4% voluntary guideline.
Last Updated 7 November 2009
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