Intro to College Moving: 101 »
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
640 E Ryan RdOak Creek, WI 53154
From Business: Welcome to Oak Creek Plumbing! We've been providing Southeastern Wisconsin with plumbing services for more than 35 years. Our experienced technicians are factory …
3287 N Oakland AveMilwaukee, WI 53211
From Business: About Our Business A local, family-owned business, Eastmore Real Estate has provided quality apartment living to the Milwaukee area for more than 60 years. While …
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
I lived here for a year. The apartment was very nice, and the underground parking was a big plus. That said, the management was terrible. They were rarely in the office during their scheduled hours and didn't respond to my calls or emails about broken appliances until over a week after the fact. Like broken AC during a 90 degree finals week. They made billing mistakes and charged me for other people's missed rent, when none of my roommates had these charges. I worked for every penny of my rent checks and paid them before the deadlines. That's a lot of money to a college student trying to pay her way through private school. And no, management never corrected their mistakes. Overall, Renee Row is in great physical condition, but their management sucks. You can take the chance that they won't bill you for things outside of your control, but chances are they will write you off because come September there's always a line of unknowing students waiting to sign a lease. They don't know what they're getting into.
Last fall, I contacted Karen at Schulhof Properties. She answered the phone! No other properties even bothered to return messages or e-mails. I set an appointment, she confirmed the morning of, and she was on time. We had discussed the properties beforehand and narrowed it down to three. The first one we looked at was perfect. I was ready to sign the lease. Karen had another appointment so she showed me where the office was. It took about 2 minutes to walk there. She had already called in the information and the paperwork was ready. I looked at a lot of places and had nothing but stress. I was so relieved that I didn't sign somewhere else. This whole experience was so enjoyable. I had a question this week and texted Karen. Although she is no longer employed there, she returned my text within minutes (before 8 am) with the information I needed. She was such a great "first impression" of Schulhof. I will miss knowing that she is there.
We had no issues with the rental. We took care of the apartment and got our security deposit back minus a blind that we broke which was fair. The apartment was old, but when the hot water heater went out we called and they fixed it. No one was rude to us. I wanted to post our experience because they have gotten very poor ratings and that wasn't our experience. I think if you take care of your apartment and pay your rent on time, you won't have any issues. I will say the apartments are not super well maintained. We had an old thermostat with no clear plastic cover when my son moved in which to me is a fire hazard, but we didn't ask for a new one. The air conditioner was circa 1975. The filter was so plugged and filthy that I also found it to be a fire hazard. They offered to replace it for my son, but he didn't care. All and all an adequate first apartment experience for my son. We cosigned for him.
I have no idea where anyone else is coming from with all of them being 1 star reviews. Maybe it was based on which property they lived in and the issue was the on-site manager. I lived in their Greenfield Park property from June 2001 to August 2011 and couldn't have been happier. Any issues I ever had were dealt with quickly and the one time they said they didn't receive my rent check they didn't charge me fees as clearly it had to be an issue with the mail (they gave me the benefit of the doubt). I'm back looking them up as I'm looking to move back to the Milwaukee area from Chicago. I lived in their 2 bedroom 1900 sq foot loft which I see is currently priced at $1140. Here in suburban Chicago I pay $1156 for a 2 bedroom 990 sq foot apt in a bad area with no underground parking. They are a great deal and great people. Loved Kellie, Carol, and Johnnie
I disagree with these bad reviews, I have problems taken care of in an orderly fashion and as for Kathy she has been nothing but polite to me. I have not seen any bugs in the basements here, the one thing about the washers and dryers is there is not enough. The heat is always warm, I have had winter days where I was hot even with my thermostat turned off. Yes the so called gym is not realy great and the outdoor pool isnt open as much as it says it should be, however there is also an indoor pool, it is a quiet wooded area, the grounds are kept up pretty well except for Southridge Dr. that is battered with pot holes at times. The rent is cheaper then most apartments in this area and thier are appliences in the apartments that again most places in this area do not offer. As for bees, sure if your windows are open in the summer they may fly in!
This place is ok...I live in Glenbrook apts...which is still apart of Harbor Pointe just under a different name. I have to say this building is pretty nice...just don't like seeing bugs...but that is normal for any place( its the normal like spiders, etc). I especially like how quiet this building is but from time to time you hear kids running around, but like I said before that's very common anywhere. One thing I don't like is the fact we pay for everything except the heat. I do like having underground parking, I feel a little safer coming in and out of the building. You're going to have problems everywhere you go, whether its a small or big problem...it will always be something. I say look into it and really see if you like this place...but I would recommend the glenbrook apts over harbor pointe any day...this side of the area is quiet.
Suzanne Powers and her team were so effective, they sold our house twice--two years apart! Why did she sell our house twice? After the first sale, we weren't clear about where we wanted to go. We were also overwhelmed by the process of downsizing. The second time, Suzanne referred us to a company that helped us sort, donate, and pack our household. It was a godsend. Suzanne and her team were consistently encouraging, professional, and patient. Other professionals in the field spoke unsolicited of her high level of integrity, professionalism and commitment to her clients. Selling a house is an emotional, sometimes draining experience. Suzanne and Powers Realty made it as seamless a transition for us as it could possibly be. And, most people only have to sell their house once. :)
we are first time home buyers so we really didnt know what we were getting ourselves into. we started working with a family friend at shorewest and he didnt do anything for us. we were the ones driving around and looking for properties and we were the ones going and finding open houses to go to on the weekends. so i was referred to nina by my mom and i am so glad i listened. the very next day after talking to nina she made us 5 appointments to go see condos! and she kept her patience as we went out 3 more times looking at a ton more. the very last condo we looked at is the one we wrote an offer on. during this whole process nina has been on the ball. i trust her judgement, and she has made this whole process very easy for us. i would recommend her to anyone!
My first encounter with Powers Realty happened when I was driving down Lake Dr. on a Sunday and noticed these purple Powers Realty signs all over the place, where previously there was nothing. I wondered who this Powers person was that was taking over the North Shore. A couple years later, I had the pleasure of working with one of her agents (Mike Lu) to purchase a home and was very impressed wit h his level of professionalism and knowledge of the transaction process. I was more impressed to learn that he had only been working with Suzanne for a few months. The level of detail and care put into my own transaction gave me the confidence to refer others to Mike Lu, and the Suzanne Powers Realty Group; knowing they would all experience the highest level of care.
I went to every local realtors' open houses before i decided to list with Powers Realty. Gretchen and Suzanne were by far the most welcoming and helpful. They were straight forward about what buyers want in Shorewood and helped me with what I needed to do to get my house to that point. I decided to take their advice and I spent $2,300. in refinishing floors, painting, cleaning, etc. They did a great job at staging my house and even cleaned areas I missed. I was impressed by the amount of time they dedicated. They were very professional and had a Powers agent present at every showing. They sold my house in three weeks for more than I thought they could. They charged the same as other realtors who do not include staging. I would use them again.
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.