The Ultimate Pre Vacation Checklist

You’ve counted down the days and your long-awaited vacation is finally here. But if you’re like most people, it seems every time you head out of town you realize you have missed something on your vacation checklist.

Whether it is a travel essential that went unpacked or a task at home that went undone, nothing spoils a vacation like realizing too late that you forgot something. Why not put your mind at ease with a few pre-vacation tips?

The Complete Vacation Checklist

Some pre-vacation tasks are time-sensitive, so we’ve broken this list up into three timeframes. This way, you can be sure that everything gets done when you need it to be done.

Things to Do the Week of Your Trip

Put a hold on your newspaper subscription, if you have one. Summer is the biggest time of the year for break-ins for a reason. Burglars try to target homes when the owners are away, and nothing says “nobody home” like a pile of uncollected newspapers.

Contact the Post Office and put a hold on your mail. Much like with the newspapers, you don’t want an over-stuffed mailbox signaling that nobody is home. Nor do you want identity thieves stealing sensitive information from uncollected bills or account statements.

If you have pets, arrange for a sitter or a kennel stay.

May sure any bills are paid and current.

Refill any medications as necessary.

Arrange for transport to the airport or reserve and extended stay parking space.

Alert the bank and credit card providers of your travels plans. If your cards are suddenly being used outside the state or in another country without prior notice, most institutions flag them for suspected fraud and put holds on them. Policies differ from one institution to another, but most request at least 48 hours notice.

Things to Do the Day Before Your Trip

Clear out any perishables from your fridge, as well as any open foods in your pantry that might mold or go stale.

Get all the laundry done, including your bedsheets. Your future self will thank you when they come home to a clean bed.

Along those same lines, give your home a good cleaning.

Go online to check-in for your flight and print off your boarding passes.

Confirm your hotel and rental car reservations

Set-up an away message for your company email, if you have one.

Take out cash from the ATM. Be sure to break some bills into fives and singles in case you need to tip valets, shuttle drivers, or any other service people.

Pack everything aside from your toiletries and your travel clothes.

Things to Do the Day of Your Trip

Pack your toiletry bag after getting ready for the day.

Make sure your home is completely locked down.

Make sure the garbage disposal is clear, and take out the last bag of trash.

Unplug all your small electronics to prevent wasting energy or short circuits while you’re away.

Water any house plants.

Double check for passports, boarding passes, and IDs.

And before you leave the house, don’t forget to check everything you’ve done. You never know when you forgot something.

Hit the Road

Customize this vacation checklist to meet your needs, and you’ll be able to set out for your vacation with peace of mind.

Enjoy your trip, and don’t forget to check out our other articles on making the most of your living space.

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Top 5 Free Things to Do in Fort Wayne This Summer

free things to do in fort wayneSummertime is full of exciting events and possibilities to welcome in the warm air and sunshine. And, Indiana is no exception when it comes to fun summer opportunities. If you are planning on moving to or living in Fort Wayne, IN this summer, or you’re already a resident, you won’t want to miss all of the activities that the city has to offer in these warmer months.

Having fun doesn’t have to break the bank though. There are plenty of fun things to do in Fort Wayne that come to you free of charge. Want in on this free and quality summer entertainment? Check out our list of the top five free things to do in Fort Wayne.

1. Live Music

Hoosiers love their music, and Fort Wayne pays homage to that with plenty of free live music. One of the best free things to do in Fort Wayne? Go to a show!

Catch Jazz Jam on Thursday nights, Friday Nites Live on Friday, Rock the Plaza every Saturday night, and many more throughout the summer.

Relax, savor the warm air, and open your eyes to listen to the best music Fort Wayne has to offer, all for free!

Check out our Festival Guide for other chances to enjoy live music.

2. Outdoor Movies

Pick a seat and bring some homemade popcorn to enjoy while you watch a free movie outdoors!

Every Thursday night, Foellinger Theater offers residents in Fort Wayne free movies. Perfect for a romantic date, or a fun night with the family. You get a full evening of entertainment with no extra costs.

3. Enjoy the Parks

Fort Wayne has more than 85 different parks to visit and explore. The Rivergreenway trail is a path that is 25 miles long and connects to over 15 other parks! Grab your bike or running shoes and hit the trail for an adventure.

Or, Bring your kids to the playgrounds and splash pads to engage in family time, take a nice evening walk through the park with a friend or significant other, or play a little frisbee golf. Don’t forget to pack your picnic basket!

Fort Wayne parks are a great way to enjoy nature in the city at no cost to you!

4. Farmers Markets

Arguably the most functional free entertainment that Fort Wayne offers, the farmer’s markets that pop up around town give you a fresh taste of great food and products all while visiting with the local farmers and businesses.

There are a total of 14 markets that are open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. While it’s fun to just walk around, there are also plenty of opportunities to spice up your food pantry.

5. Go Stargazing

Head over to the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society’s Star Quest Observatory to get a glimpse of the cosmos. Plan to be there on a clear night about an hour after sunset to gaze upon the natural beauty of the nighttime sky.

It’s a great way to get a little outside the city and enjoy the fresh air and minimal light pollution.

Find the Best Free Things to Do in Fort Wayne

Living in Fort Wayne is an affordable adventure and in addition to the activities listed above, there are plenty of other free things to do in Fort Wayne during the hot season. Take advantage of all that Fort Wayne has to offer and enjoy your Summer without breaking the bank!

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Refresh Your Space With These Great Indoor Plants for Apartments

plants for apartmentsThere’s nothing like coming home after a long day to your own cozy apartment. From having a fully-stocked kitchen to make dinner with to being able to take a bath, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

The same goes for in the morning when you’re waking up and lazy afternoons just hanging out at home. The cozier you can make your space, the better.

One of the best ways to do that is to find good plants for apartments. When you place a succulent here or a flower vase there, the whole space transforms. Inside plants may be just what your apartment is missing to feel complete.

If you’re not sure which plants to buy, check out this list of the five best houseplants for apartments.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe is arguably the easiest plant to take care of. You will barely need to water it and all it needs is a little sunlight in which to thrive. Not to mention, there are many benefits to owning an aloe!

This plant helps purify the air in your apartment. It can also be useful to have fresh aloe sap on-hand when you have a burn or you feel sick. With just one plant, you have many easy at-home treatments at your fingertips.

2. Jade Plant

While there are plenty of reasons to have an aloe in the home, sometimes, you just want something prettier. Look no further than a jade plant.

Jade plants look like itty bitty trees. They have thick stems that lift their many “branches” off the ground. Their leaves tend to be a vibrant green color, which may be the reason jade plants are considered good luck.

Also, they last a very long time.

3. Paddle Plant

If a splash of color is what you’re going for, get a paddle plant.

The paddle plant got its name from the way it’s set up; it looks like a bunch of paddles stacked together. But, what’s really eye-catching about it is all the vibrant colors of these “paddles.” In one plant you can have many tones of green, yellow, orange, and even a bit of red.

4. Rubber Tree

Up next on the list of the best plants for apartments is the rubber tree. This is a beautiful choice if you’re trying to create a bit of length between the floor and the ceiling, considering a rubber tree can be up to eight feet tall.

It’s a creative, simple way of bringing the great outdoors inside. As large and lovely as this plant is, it barely needs any water and just a good spot in the sunlight to survive.

5. Philodendron

While a rubber tree looks beautiful growing up, a philodendron may be your best choice if you prefer plants that grow out. This plant looks like you’ve found a gorgeous green bouquet and placed it in the middle of your home.

It adds a sense of adventure and creativity to your space and it doesn’t require much care either. Be mindful of the direction a philodendron is growing in before choosing which one to buy and where to put it.

Find the Perfect Place for These Plants for Apartments

It’s one thing to know which plants are best for apartments and another to know where you can put the best plants for apartments in your home. This is especially true if you haven’t even moved in yet!

Get your apartment lease and move-in date taken care of first before you start thinking about all the decoration details. For help with these items, contact us today.

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5 Tips For Throwing a Fun Summer Apartment Party

apartment partyWhat’s the most exciting, memorable part of renting your place? Throwing a killer apartment party! Throwing a party in an apartment can be a great time – all you need is the right people, some great snacks, and fun activities. But be sure to be mindful of the noise as not to disturb your neighbors!

There are many different types of parties you can throw depending on the size of your place and the number of people you want to invite. In summer, it’s particularly fun to create a summer motif to inspire thoughts of a tropical paradise!

Here are five ways to throw an awesome summer get-together that you and your pals will be talking about for the rest of the year:

1. Use Summer Decor

Who doesn’t love palm trees, sunshine, and other fun tropical elements that are commonly used in summertime party decorations? Feel free to get colorful and incorporate a brighter palette. You can use tablecloths, curtains, streamers, even summer-inspired plates, and napkins.

If your party is being thrown for a specific holiday, it will be easier to plan the aesthetic. You can find plenty of information and inspiration about almost any holiday on the web.

2. Serve Summer-Inspired Food and Drinks

Typical summer meals involve barbecues, fresh fruit, and light, refreshing drinks. You could include a crackers station or get different kinds of vegetables to serve as finger foods. For alcoholic drinks, a good mojito or wine cooler is an excellent choice.

You could also serve tea or your own custom juice creation. If you’re thinking about cooking or mixing something adventurous, it may be helpful to try it out in advance before the actual party!

3. Put Together a Perfect Summer Playlist

Music makes almost everything better – including your summer apartment party! Like the other elements of your get-together, the jams you choose to listen to can be decided based on the tastes of you and your guests.

Some people enjoy pop music, while others are into summer rap anthems or country music. Artists like Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson, Tom Petty, and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the most popular soundtracks for the warmer months of the year.

4. Play Summer Games

Everyone loves to play party games, especially when hanging with their loved ones at a summer gathering! Have a limbo contest or play beach ball volleyball.

5. Go With A Theme!

Theme parties are a great way to add a touch of Summer to your party. Throw a luau or tropical theme. Or have a beach theme.

Enjoy your party and your Summer!

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Fort Wayne Festival Guide 2018

fort wayne festivals 2018

Fort Wayne may be known as the city of churches, but we have our fair share of festivals too! With so many festivals in Fort Wayne, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

June Festivals

Greekfest: June 21 – 24

Celebrate the Greek culture at Greekfest at Headwater’s Park with a variety of Greek cuisine and entertainment including live music, dancing, a raffle drawing and other activities each day.

Sweetwater GearFest: June 22-23

Enjoy two days of the hottest new gear, mind-blowing workshops, and performances by some of the best in the business including Fort Wayne’s own Addison Agen at GearFest at Sweetwater Sound. They’ll also have thousands of dollars of gear giveaways, camping, and GearFest-exclusive gear deals? And it’s all absolutely free.

Buskerfest: June 30

Downtown’s celebration of the street performer, BuskerFest at the intersection of Wayne Street and Calhoun Street in downtown Fort Wayne will feature fantastic local, regional and national acts, free admission and an experience like no other!

July Festivals

Three Rivers Festival: July 13-21

One of Fort Wayne’s favorite and longest running festivals is back July 13-21. Three Rivers Festival offers everything from food to fun. Brings your family and friends and enjoy Food Alley, Art in the Park, the Bed Race, the Three Rivers Festival Parade, the Raft Race, Children’s Fest, and so much more!

Pride Fest: July 27-28

Pride Fest is a two-day event designed to build a stronger LGBTQ community. It features live entertainment, a vendor market, beer tent, food plaza, workshops, tournaments, KidSpace, and fun for the whole community!

August Festivals

Taste of the Arts: August 24-25

The Taste of the Arts festival at the Arts Campus is your place to get a taste of Fort Wayne art, culture, food, drinks and more!

September Festivals

Brewed in the Fort: September 8

Brewed in the Fort is Fort Wayne’s Craft Beer Festival at Headwater’s Park featuring craft beer from breweries, food trucks, and live music from local bands.

Middle Waves: September 14-15

Middle Waves is a two-day destination music festival, held in downtown Fort Wayne, IN at Headwaters Park. Middle Waves features three stages of music, art activities, and food and drink around every corner.

Johnny Appleseed Festival: September 15-16

The Johnny Appleseed Festival celebrates the life and times of John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed through period crafts, food, demonstrations, and more.

October Festivals

Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest: October 6

Fort Wayne’s newest festival, the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest, is a one-day festival at Headwater’s Park celebrating compassion for animals, health, and the environment through a plant-based lifestyle. They’ll feature food from local and regional restaurants & bakeries, cooking demonstrations,  vendors, kids activities, and live music from local bands, as well as beer and other drinks! Admission is free.

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Why Two Bedroom Apartments for Rent Are Ideal for Newly Married Couples

If you’re a newlywed, chances are, you’re trying to cut back on expenses after spending so much on your wedding and honeymoon. But, learning how to combine finances and establish a joint budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life.

You and your partner can still enjoy date nights, weekend outings with friends, and of course, a comfortable place to live. When you’re looking for new places to move into, don’t search for just one bedroom apartments. Expand your search to two bedroom apartments for rent as well.

Here are all the reasons why two is better than one.

To Host Friends and Family

Do you think mom and dad (or your in-laws) are going to pay a visit to your new place soon? Are you expecting your sister or old roommate to continue their tradition of being the third wheel?

These are people you care about, who deserve more than sleeping on the couch. Give them a comfortable place to stay by searching for apartment rentals with an extra bedroom. This ensures everyone is always as comfortable as possible, whether it’s just the two of you or if you’re hosting people for the weekend.

As Office Space, a Room for Exercise, and More

Maybe you don’t plan on hosting much, but the thought of two bedroom apartments for rent is still appealing. Many couples use this room as an office space, an exercise room, a gaming area, or a lounging space.

The possibilities depend on your lifestyle and the setup of the apartment as a whole. If one of you works from home, the second room can turn into the ideal workspace. If the two of you share a hobby like playing music or making puzzles, this room becomes the perfect area to engage in such activities together.

For New Additions to the Family

As great as it is to enjoy your new life together as newlyweds, at some point, you may start to think about parenthood. This is one of the best reasons to look for new apartments to rent with two bedrooms.

When you have two bedrooms, you don’t have to worry about relocating once you start talking about having a baby. Instead of figuring out where to go next, planning a move, and getting settled all over again, you can focus your attention on the baby itself and on learning about parenthood.

This goes for all aspects of creating a family. From setting up the nursery’s design to gathering baby essentials and bringing your new child back from the hospital, you’ll be glad to begin a family in a place that already feels like home.

Find the Perfect Two Bedroom Apartments for Rent

It’s one thing to understand the benefits of having a two bedroom apartment and another to find the best two bedroom apartments for rent out there. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

Montrose Square Apartments has plenty of lovely two bedroom options. But, it’s best to act fast before they get grabbed by other couples!

Click here to discover our apartments for rent.

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4 Tips to Help You Find Affordable Apartments for Rent

Are you searching for a new apartment? Not sure how to find an apartment you love at an affordable price? In this article, we’ll cover affordable apartments for rents, and how you can score a place you love at a price you can afford.

4 Tips to Help You Find Affordable Apartments for Rent

When it comes to finding affordable apartments, you don’t need to compromise location and quality for price. Here are 4 tips to help you find an affordable apartment you’ll love living in.

Explore Ways to Lower Rental Costs

Have you found a place you absolutely love but can’t afford, or are you struggling to find any place that meets your needs (and budget)? If so, explore the different ways you can lower your monthly rent

If you want a bigger space, check out options outside of downtown, as those are generally cheaper. If you want a space that’s out of your budget, consider finding a roommate you can split rent costs with.

Multi-bedroom apartments are cheaper and easier to find than one-bedroom or studio options, so unless you want to live alone, consider taking on roommates to ease any financial burden and find the best apartment faster.

Consider All Potential Costs

The cost of living involves more than just rent. It’s about picking a space you can afford that can still meet your specific lifestyle needs. So when looking at apartment options, make sure to think about any additional costs you may incur because of your apartment selection.

If you want to live in a certain area, consider any transportation costs you may incur because of that. If you live a walkable distance from work you won’t have to pay for a car or public transportation, but if you live far away you’ll have to consider those additional costs. If you want a bigger space, ask the realtor what the potential utility bills could be, and determine how much that would raise your overall rent.

By doing these things, you can determine the total cost associated with your new place. The last thing you want is to rent an apartment above your means, and then be unable to pay for any other additional costs like transportation.

Explore Short Term or Furnished Options

Not sure what you need in your next apartment? Why not try out a short term lease to get a better sense of what kind of apartment you need? Short term leases are becoming more popular every day, and cut back on the stress of having to commit to an apartment for a long period of time.

You can also cut back on costs by finding furnished apartments. These options will save you time (and money) by taking care of all your furniture and decor needs.

Act Fast

Rent prices can change. So, if you find a place you love at a price that works for you, consider filling out the application then and there. You can avoid the rent price increases and enjoy peace of mind knowing your new living arrangements are all set.

4 Tips to Help You Find Affordable Apartments for Rent: Final Thoughts

Finding the best apartment for you can be difficult, but it’s not impossible! By utilizing these money-saving tips, you can find a place you love at a price you can afford.

Are you looking for affordable apartments in Fort Wayne? Not sure where to start?

Contact us to learn more about the best apartments!

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5 Creative Storage Ideas For Your Living Room

creative storage ideas

Most of us struggle with having too much stuff, and not enough space. If you’ve chosen to live in an apartment instead of buying a home, you’ll enjoy a great amount of independence, but also might find yourself a little tight on space.

One simple solution for that is to just get rid of stuff that you don’t need, but nobody likes getting rid of things. So what’s the next logical solution? Creative storage ideas.

We have a few surefire ways to stash your excess stuff while making your living room look great in the process.

Storage Ottoman

Having an ottoman with storage inside is one of the best ways to creatively store things in your living room. Not only does it hide your clutter, but it provides a lovely place to sit. Ottomans come in all shapes and sizes, and if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of ways to make your own ottoman!

Dressers

A dresser may not seem like an example of creative storage ideas, but utilizing one in the living room is an often overlooked storage solution. Many TV stands lack storage space, especially hidden space to stash things you don’t want out in the open. Using a dresser as a TV stand provides a place for your television, as well as a place to store plenty of things in a hidden fashion.

Built-In Storage

This may seem obvious, but using your existing space is one of the best ways to provide storage, especially when space is tight. Instead of bringing in extra cabinets, build shelves into the walls. Space is already there, why not use it? Just be sure to check with your apartment community before hanging any shelves.

In addition to being smart on space, built in storage can make for a beautiful addition to the living room. Instead of worrying about filling those empty walls with artwork, you can fill those walls with all of your possessions.

Nesting Tables

If you have a small space but enjoy playing games or entertaining guests, nesting tables are a great way to pack a lot of table surface area into a small space. These tables stack into each other when not in use, and can be pulled out to provide extra table space. If the short tables are sturdy enough, they can even be utilized as extra seating! The utility is key when planning your creative storage ideas.

Use a Chest as a Coffee Table

A coffee table is a necessary part of any living room, but it also takes up a decent amount of space. While nesting tables are one way to cut down on space, another solution is to turn that coffee table into storage!

Using a large flat chest as a coffee table allows for plenty of storage space inside the chest and makes for a unique look to your living room!

Other Great Apartment Ideas!

Now that you have some creative storage ideas to make the most out of your space, it’s time to move on to other ways to make your apartment pop! Keep reading here for consistently great ideas for apartment living.

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The Top 5 Advantages of Living in an Apartment

Between 2006 and 2014, the number of renters grew from 39% to 43%. Although buying has always been associated with the American Dream, more people are choosing to rent.

There are a number of reasons why living in an apartment may be advantageous. Read on to learn more.

The Advantages of Living in an Apartment

Did your parents teach you that one of the main goals in life should be to buy a home? In theory, buying may seem best. In reality, it’s not always the best option and renting has many advantages.

Location

If the location you want is in a hot market, the cost of buying may be prohibitive. It’s often easier to find an apartment in the location you want with a rent that’s less than a monthly mortgage payment. And, You won’t have to put down a hefty 20% to get the monthly rate either!

Safety

In urban areas, apartments are often a safer option. Single-family homes in gated communities are expensive. However, most apartment communities offer security around the living and parking areas.

Because you’re living so close to your neighbors, the community environment also provides a layer of protection.

Low Maintenance

Low maintenance is a huge benefit to apartment living. If you buy a house, be prepared to spend weekends cleaning gutters, doing yard work, and fixing leaky faucets.

Home maintenance costs a significant amount of money per year, but apartment living means you’re not responsible for that leaky roof or the clogged sink. Pick up the phone and call maintenance when you have a problem!

If your goal is to eventually buy a home, the money you save on maintenance and utilities can be put toward saving for a down payment.

Lower Utility Costs

Apartments are smaller than houses which means less space to heat and cool. This translates into lower utility costs.

Lifestyle

Apartment living facilitates a minimalist lifestyle. If experiences are more important to you than things, living in an apartment is the way to go.

You may not have as much space, but there are ways to maximize what you have. The small space forces you to decide what’s important to you.

Apartment living also gives you flexibility. It’s important to have mobility in today’s work world. If you need to relocate in a hurry for your job, you don’t have to worry about selling your place in a down market.

Most apartment communities also offer a number of different types of floor plans. You can pick the one that best suits your needs.

Ready to Make the Leap?

Are you ready for low-maintenance, safety, and a great location? Living in an apartment is a great choice.

Are you ready for your renting adventure? Check out our floor plans here!

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Is it Cheaper to Own a Home or Rent an Apartment?

If you’re looking for a great new place to live, you’re likely debating the pros and cons of either investing in a house or finding apartments to rent. It can be a hard decision, after all, as both have their own distinct advantages. But which can ultimately save you more money?

Read on for a detailed examination as we answer once and for all whether it’s cheaper to own a home or rent an apartment.

Amenities Matter

It’s no secret that millennials are flocking to apartment complexes in droves, but did you know that baby boomers are, as well? An article recently published by CNBC states that more than five million baby boomers are expected to rent within the next two years.

But why are they choosing apartment complexes instead of the suburbs? In short, because they want better amenities at a lower cost.

When investing in a home, you’ll need to pay for renovations, as well as extras like washers and dryers. Typically, a washer/dryer combo can cost at least a few hundred dollars.

In contrast, many complexes have their own laundry facilities on-site for a low-cost or even free.

Upfront Costs: Homes vs. Apartments to Rent

It’s clear that apartments are a better choice for those who want new, top of the line amenities for less money. But which will cost you more upfront?

Let’s start by examining the upfront cost of purchasing a home. Typically, a new homeowner is expected to pay anywhere from 3.5 percent to 20 percent of the home’s total cost.

Let’s be generous and say you’re buying a $200,000 home and are expected to pay 10 percent upfront. That’s $20,000 expected immediately.

But we’re not done yet. You’ll also have to pay realtor fees, closing costs, and home inspection fees, which add another few thousand to your upfront cost.

So what about the upfront cost of an apartment? Aside from a security deposit, application fee, and your first month’s rent (sometimes rolled into your security deposit), you’ll likely pay less than $1,500 in total.

That’s less than 1/10th of what a down payment on a home costs.

Cost of Upkeep

Anyone who has owned a home can tell you that there’s always something to repair. And those repairs can begin to add up quite fast.

It costs an average of $1,204 a month to maintain a standard home. Additionally, you’ll have to wait for contractors and repair workers to show up or pay for materials yourself and possible damage your home.

Needless to say, you’re not going to pay anything near that when looking for apartments to rent. When you lease an apartment, you get access to 24-hour maintenance.

Which is Cheaper: Finding Apartments to Rent or Buying a Home?

Ultimately, you can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a home, and that’s without repairs and new amenities. With an apartment, you get far more for your money, including great amenities, friendly service, and on-demand maintenance.

If you’re looking to save, there’s no doubt about it, renting is the way to go.

Are you in the market for a new apartment? If so, contact us today and schedule a tour. Montrose Square Apartments is Fort Wayne’s choice for affordable apartments with a warm atmosphere.

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