Harrisburg Apartments: Weekend #1

Wow – January is just FLYING by.  I’ve sold my house, sampled three Harrisburg apartment buildings, made six trips to Goodwill, and given away most of my furniture for free on Craigslist.  My home is about half-packed, but I still have a damaged Ikea computer desk to dismantle.  Today most of my 80s home computer collection went into proper storage.  And right this second, I’m taking a break.

I spent the day dismantling the proceeds from my home sale.  Those of you who saw my home know that it was never anything special, so it should be no surprise that we’re not exactly talking about a seven-figure sale here.  Today I dumped most of the proceeds from the sale into paying off old debt.  I have a tiny sliver of student loans left over from my degree, and a whole lot of my flight training loan left over.  I would love to put a little into the stock market, but even earning a 15% return isn’t that great when I’ve got student loans at 6.9%.

Continue reading Harrisburg Apartments: Weekend #1

Harrisburg Apartments, Day Three: Towne House

I’ve spent the past few days looking at Harrisburg apartments.  My criteria have been pretty straightforward from the beginning:

  • Anywhere downtown or midtown, within a half mile of Restaurant Row, Riverfront Park, and the train station
  • Mid-rise, hi-rise, or townhome
  • Less than $1,000 / month after parking, utilities, and rent

So far I’ve looked at The Grayco and Pennsylvania Place.  Today I’m heading to the opposite side of downtown to visit Towne House.

At 20 stories, Towne House is the second-tallest residential hirise in Harrisburg.  It was built in 1961 and was formerly a mixture of hotel rooms and apartments.  Today the hotel rooms have been converted into studios and the building is entirely residential.

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January 2010 Tweetup

We’re getting together this Wednesday (always the third Wednesday) at 7pm for our monthly Central PA Tweetup.  Since there were no takers on last week’s “choice of venue” survey, we’re meeting at the Abbey Bar (upstairs at Appalachian Brewing Company on Cameron Street in Harrisburg).  We’ll talk a little more about locale then — and hopefully they’ve got their new menu / chef straightened out now.

See you then!

Harrisburg Apartments, Day One: The Grayco

In Monday’s post I mentioned that I have successfully sold my house at about a $9,000 profit, sans realtor.  And I also mentioned that legally, I currently don’t own a home.  With February 1st (my deadline for new occupancy) fast approaching and my moving target of 1/22 – 1/25 just around the corner, I am spending every waking moment this week scouring Harrisburg for decent apartments.

The first place I checked out has the most checkered past out of all of Harrisburg’s complexes.  If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Grayco Associates sometime prior to the early- to mid-2000s, you already know exactly what I’m talking about.  If not, well … put simply, the previous owners let an otherwise-beautiful 1930s-era art-deco midrise decay into a dump.

This week I took a tour of the place just to see if anything had actually, you know, fallen in on itself.  I invited my friend Jamie along for the ride.  “If it’s such a dump, why are you even going to see it?” she asked.  “Same reason you test drive a Hyundai,” I replied.  There was an awkward silence when we were both expecting a clever second part to my reasoning that never came.  The best I could manage was “Look, there’s Firehouse.  We’re here.”

It turns out that back in 2000, a new owner bought the property as a distressed building.  They’ve spent the past ten years fighting to reverse the building’s decay, and they’ve made amazing progress.  I never thought I’d say this, but aside from a few shortcomings, Grayco may actually be the best midrise in downtown Harrisburg.

I know.  Read it again; I said what you thought I said.  I’ll wait while you ponder that.

Continue reading Harrisburg Apartments, Day One: The Grayco

Turkey Tweetup

This month’s Central PA Tweetup is this coming Wednesday (11/18), just more than a week before Thanksgiving.  We’re getting together at The Abbey Bar, which is on the second floor of Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg.  Things get started around 7pm and wrap up when we’re all stuffed and happy.

Everyone with a blog or active social media account living in or around Central PA is welcome to attend!  Our wintertime Tweetups usually have a much smaller crowd than the warm-weather tweetups, so if you’ve wanted to come but have been overwhelmed at the prospect of meeting 30+ new faces at once, now is the perfect time to come out.  ABC is a smoke-free environment with free WiFi, good food, and great drafts, so now you’ve REALLY got no excuse not to show.

See you there!