Home Properties Offers Real Life Lessons For Students

Jan 20, 2010, 11:38 ET from Home Properties

VIENNA, Va., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Don't you wish you could have taken a class in high school called Real Life 101? Well, students at Potomac High School in the D.C. area did just that as part of a unique educational program run by the School. Each student learned first hand what it might feel like to be out on his own when he had the opportunity to visit Home Properties' Mt. Vernon Square Apartments.

"This is the first time we have ever been involved in this type of education program," said Lisa Fitterer, Property Manager. "We were glad to collaborate with the teaching staff at Potomac High School."

Recently, a team of six students (grades 9-12) and three teachers visited the Home Properties apartment community. Students were treated to a 90-minute presentation by the Mt. Vernon Square Apartments leasing staff where they learned some real life lessons about choosing an apartment for rent.

Monica Veizaga, Leasing Manager, explained the application process to the students and gave them a personal tour of the apartments.

"I have never seen a group of students so excited to learn," said Veizaga. "We brought them through both a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom model here at Mt. Vernon Square Apartments. We pointed out some of the apartment amenities that they'll want to be aware of when they decide to look for an apartment for rent.  For the most part, it's a personal choice; but we wanted them to start thinking about the features that are important to them, features like whether they prefer to cook with a gas or an electric stove and whether they would want to live on an upper or lower floor."

The staff walked the students through the rental process, as well, and showed them what to expect when filling out an application.  They learned about application fees, credit and criminal background checks, and specific tenant agreements and responsibilities.

"It was an eye-opening experience for most of the students, especially the financial aspects," added Veizaga. "Many of the students had never heard of a credit background check; so in our presentation, we emphasized just how important a strong credit history is when securing an apartment."

The students were extremely grateful for the chance to learn more about the rental process. They asked some great questions, and a few of them decided to become roommates someday.

"It's great to be involved with a program that helps prepare students for the future," added Fitterer. "We would certainly welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge of property management with other students."

Home Properties (NYSE: HME) is a publicly traded apartment real estate investment trust that owns, operates, develops, acquires and rehabilitates apartment communities primarily in selected Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Florida markets. Currently, Home Properties operates 108 communities containing 37,107 apartment units. Of these, 35,957 units in 106 communities are owned directly by the Company; 868 units are partially owned and managed by the Company as general partner, and 282 units are managed for other owners. For more information, visit Home Properties' Web site at homeproperties.com.

SOURCE Home Properties