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Uber is Returning to Auburn

Uber in AuburnThe growth of Uber has been one of the surprise business success stories of the last decade. Nobody could ever have predicted just how much Uber would change the taxi industry when it first launched way back in 2009, expanding from its home in San Francisco to become a worldwide phenomena worth almost $100 billion.

Uber hasn't always been welcome everywhere it went, especially by taxi drivers who felt that this level of private competition was unfair to their business. In 2015 city officials in Auburn created ordinance which required Uber drivers to have commercial insurance, pay licensing fees, for drivers to have background checks, and also to clearly display signage, as was required by every other taxi driver in the city.

In a surprise move Uber announced they would no longer operate in Auburn, leaving the city behind because of what they felt were regulations which flew in the face of their particular business model, making it impossible for the company, and its crowd sourced drivers, to comply with the city's requirements.

There's good news on the horizon though because Uber is returning to Auburn in the very near future now that Auburn City Council has passed new ordinance to make this possible. The new regulations identify the key differences between a traditional taxi company and a ride-sharing company like Uber, so both can now operate independently of each other, but within strict guidelines set out by city officials.

The regulations which made it impossible for Uber to operate in Auburn included commercial licensing, which has now been replaced by a requirement for Uber drivers to have primary automobile liability insurance, Uber can conduct their own background checks, but which are subject to bi-annual audits by the city, and individual signage and licensing is replaced by Uber paying a single licensing fee of $5,000 each year.

Overall the availability of Uber is good news for the citizens of Auburn for a number of reasons, including the availability of alternative forms of transport, and the simple fact that Uber can provide dozens of families in the city with a flexible, part-time way of earning extra money to cover their bills each month.

Another fringe benefit, which is often overlooked, is that Uber can also have a direct impact on the number of DUIs in any area they operate. Surveys have shown that drivers would prefer to use Uber to get themselves home after a night at the bar, rather than run the risk of getting a DUI. Auburn itself had in excess of 300 DUI arrests in 2015, with 20% of those drivers involved in a serious accident.

Are you looking forward to Uber’s return to Auburn? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Auburn, Opelika Populations Continue to Spike

Auburn rentalsThe latest data is in and it shows that Auburn and Opelika are continuing to grow at impressive rates. In fact, the Auburn-Opelika area is one of the three fastest growing metro areas in the state of Alabama.

What’s driving growth in Auburn and Opelika? Let’s take a closer look at our spiking population.

Lee County is the Third Fastest Growing County in Alabama

The latest census data from 2015 shows that Lee County is one of three counties in Alabama driving the majority of growth in our state.

Baldwin County along the Gulf, Madison County on the Tennessee border, and Lee County accounted for 49% of residential growth in Alabama between 2010 and 2015.

Lee County has added thousands of new residents in the past few years. In 2015 alone, the county gained a net total of 2,567 residents – behind only Baldwin and Madison Counties in terms of net population growth.

The next 22 counties in Alabama combined only added up to 50.9% of the state’s population growth.

The majority of that growth occurred around Lee County’s two largest cities, Auburn and Opelika.

Why are so many thousands of people coming to Auburn and Opelika? You’ll find a few reasons below.

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5 Reasons to Move Off Auburn's Campus

Auburn UniversityDuring freshman year, living on-campus is a popular choice for most students. However, as you get older, off-campus housing starts to look more and more attractive.

Should you move off campus in Auburn? Today, we’re explaining 5 reasons to consider moving off-campus.

1) Better, Cheaper, and Healthier Food

There’s a reason so many students gain the infamous “freshman 15”. It’s easy to eat a lot of unhealthy food when you’re living on campus. Some people eat at the fast-food options daily. Others don’t have a kitchen in their dorms, so all their food has to come from the various campus food options or nearby restaurants and fast food places.

Even if you do have a kitchen in your dorm, it’s not always an ideal situation. How many times have you had to wait for roommates to finish cooking? How many times is the kitchen left messy? How many times have you had to wait for your roommate to finish baking cookies for whatever club they joined in their first week?

When you live off-campus, you’ll have your own kitchen. Even if you live with one, two, or three roommates, you’re going to have a better kitchen situation than you would when living on-campus.

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5 Questions to Ask an Auburn Rental Agency Before Renting an Apartment

Auburn rental

Not all rental agencies are equal. That’s why it’s important to do your research before you lock into a contract with an Auburn rental agency.

But which questions are you supposed to ask? How do you determine which rental agencies are better than others? Today, we’re going to provide five questions you should ask before renting an apartment in Auburn, Alabama.

newvan16#1 Do They Have Full-Time Maintenance Staff?

The difference between good apartment rental agencies and average ones often comes down to maintenance staff.

Dedicated rental agencies often employ full-time maintenance staff or have staff on standby. That means if, say, your apartment floods at 6am on a Saturday morning, there’s somebody ready and waiting to fix the damage.

Ask your rental company if they employ maintenance staff, or if each apartment complex has its own staff on standby. It’s about more than just convenience: it’s a safety thing as well.

While you’re at it, ask how long it takes for an average maintenance repair request to go through.

#2 Does the Property Management Company Actually Own the Property?

There are two types of Auburn rental agencies: those that own the properties and those that manage it for someone else.

Typically, the rental agencies that own their own properties are more dedicated to upkeep, maintenance, and high-quality standards.

The reason is simple: you care more about something when you actually own it. It’s the rental agency’s job to fix all of the problems on the site and maintain adequate upkeep.

Meanwhile, property management companies often handle rentals for owners that live out of state or don’t have the time to dedicate towards adequate upkeep.

When you work with a property management company that actually owns its properties, you’ll typically experience a better level of service.

0191-lg#3 What’s the Parking Situation?

If you own a car in Auburn, then it’s critical that you ask your rental agency about the parking situation.

You don’t want to fight for street parking every time you drive home. You don’t want to carry your groceries down three blocks just to unload them from your car.

It’s also important to ask about the price of parking. Some apartment complexes include one or two spots with the monthly rent. Others can charge $100 per month or even more for parking spots – which can significantly raise your monthly overall costs.

Are the parking spaces covered? Are they directly in front of your unit? Are there visitor parking spaces for when you have friends over? Ask all of these questions to figure out exactly how parking works.

#4 Can I Modify or Decorate the Apartment in Any Way?

If you’re going to college at Auburn University, then you may want to decorate your room by hanging various items or even painting.

Typically, most leases stipulate that the apartment needs to be restored to the same condition it was in when you moved in. Leases may also say that you need written permission before painting or decorating.

That written permission might cover something as simple as putting up a poster or driving one thumbtack into the wall. Make sure you understand this policy before you move in.

#5 What’s Your Damage Deposit and Damage Policy?

Some rental companies are infamous for taking away your damage deposits. If there’s one little bit of extra cleaning that needs to be done, or if there’s any sign of a problem with the unit, then your damage deposit might disappear.

With that in mind, ask your rental agency about their damage deposit return policy. Will the entire security deposit be taken away if there are any signs of damage? Does one little hole in the wall give the company grounds to remove your entire deposit?

Of course, most rental agencies will happily tell you that they’re flexible about security deposits. Look up reviews online for Auburn property management companies or rental agencies to get a better idea of the real situation.

Looking for rentals in Auburn, AL? Liberty Properties is a boutique property management company that owns all of its properties. The company prides itself on offering high-quality, affordable accommodations while being extremely responsive with on-site maintenance.

Auburn Events to Put On Your Calendar for January & February 2016

Auburn al events

Looking for fun and exciting events in Auburn this winter? Here are some of the city’s upcoming events taking place in January and February 2016.

4th Annual Auburn Polar Plunge

Taking place at Auburn Samford Pool, the Auburn Polar Plunge supports the Lee County Special Olympics for the fourth year in a row.

You can register to take the plunge here. The cool dip takes place on January 30th.

After registering for the event, your goal is to get as many people as possible to sponsor your pledge. Prizes will be awarded to the people who raise the most money. You can also win prizes for having the best costume.

Dress up, jump in, and join the Auburn Samford Pool for a fun day in support of a good cause.

Learn more about the annual Auburn Polar Plunge by visiting the official Facebook page for the event here!

Auburn vs. Alabama Basketball:

In one of the biggest games of the year, Auburn will take on Alabama on the basketball court.

The game starts at Auburn Arena at 8pm. Find out more information at http://www.auburntigers.com/

Only standing room tickets remain for the big game! Standing room tickets are priced at $30. When you purchase standing room tickets, you’ll stand around the rails near the 100 and 200 level concourses. Standing room is filled on a first come, first served basis. It’s not glamorous, but it gets you in the door.

Empty Bowls to Benefit the East Alabama Food Bank

Taking place on February 13, 2016 from 10am to 2pm, the Empty Bowls to Benefit the East Alabama Food Bank event requires a minimum donation of $10 per person to the Food Bank of East Alabama.

That donation entitles each ticket holder to their choice of a handmade bowl.

These handmade bowls are created by local potters. Then, you fill up your bowl with soup and bread donated by local restaurants.

The event takes place on Monday, January 11 at the Denson Drive Recreation Studio in Opelika.

Auburn Women’s Basketball

The Auburn Women’s Basketball team is taking on South Carolina on Thursday, January 21st at 6pm at Auburn Arena.

The next home date after that is on January 24th, when the team takes on Arkansas at 3pm.

Alabama Oyster Social

Put together by Dr. Bill Walton’s crew at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, the Alabama Oyster Social puts some of the South’s most influential chefs in the same room as they create a variety of tasty oyster dishes.

This year’s event features refreshments provided by Back Forty Beer, Sazerac Bourbon, Grassroots Wholesale, International Wine, and Pinnacle Imports.

Come out to the Alabama Oyster Social and celebrate an important part of Alabama history while also supporting southern fishermen, farmers, foragers, butchers, brewers, distillers, and vintners!

 

That’s your roundup of upcoming events this month and next month. If you’re looking for an Auburn apartment rental, don’t hesitate to call our personal and friendly staff: 334-821-1600