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Friday, September 19, 2014

Housing Review: Choose Callahan and Galloway for hassle-free East Campus living

Jan. 29, 2014

Finding an East Campus landlord who doesn’t suck is roughly analogous to finding Moby Dick. It’s a long, often-fruitless journey that leaves people obsessed and comes with the very real possibility of losing a limb.

Kidding. Kind of.

For its lack of amenities compared to basically every big housing complex ever and its reputation for being owned by a bunch of crazy people, East Campus housing goes quickly.

There are three basic strategies to getting a place on East Campus: You can have lucky connections (a lot of properties are handed down between friends, siblings or Greek houses), do a ton of research (to avoid the crazy people that own almost every property), or skip the research and risk signing on with a slumlord. I advise against the third option.

I went for the research, and it paid off. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have East Campus aspirations and want a (gasp!) positive rental experience, try Callahan and Galloway.

Callahan and Galloway aren’t technically landlords. Rather, they’re property managers, meaning that actual landlords pay them to handle maintenance, leasing and all general day-to-day landlord duties. The distinction doesn’t really matter for the average tenant, but I’ll count it as a plus because with Callahan and Galloway, I’ve never had any randos show up in my apartment unannounced.

A lot of East Campus living is about making compromises. I opted to live slightly farther from campus (closer to Broadway than Rollins), but in exchange I have a place with central air, a washer/dryer, a dishwasher and extremely low rent. An added bonus? It’s also a little quieter on weekend nights.

My place isn’t perfect. It has rather unfortunate ’80s shag carpeting, and I share a bathroom, but it came to me reasonably clean, it has a full kitchen, and it’s bigger than most of the options right on top of campus.

It might help that I pay my rent on time and am generally a quiet tenant, but dealing with Callahan and Galloway’s management has been hassle-free. Calling maintenance in the morning usually means same-day service. I had a spraying sink faucet fixed just as quickly as the time my hot water heater started leaking everywhere and had to be replaced. When it comes to paying rent, dropping off my check at the Locust Street office takes me just a few blocks from campus.

Unfortunately, being that rare appealing landlord means that Callahan and Galloway’s properties had a waitlist and were filling up by December. There might still be a few properties left, but if not, keep them on your to-rent list for 2015.

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