"The ship was the pride of the American side / Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin / As the big freighters go / it was bigger than most / With a crew and good captain well seasoned" - (Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald")
West Allis, or Stallis, as locals fondly call it, is a city located on the west side of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. This is where friends remain friends even after a night of intoxication and drama. This is where residents raise their kids just like their parents before them. This is where attending a high school football game is the highlight of mostly everyones week. And this is where most people know everyone in the neighborhood by their first name.The city of 61,000 people started out as a territory with settlements here and there. The development of transportation facilities brought about community growth in the area. Think you can blend in with the lifestyle and culture of good ol Stallis? Time to go home hunting then!
Moving to West Allis
Youve probably heard some worry-inducing stories of moving to a new location enough for you to develop some worries of your own. Lets bust some of that stress with these few tips in looking for an apartment for rent in West Allis.
Economical flats and Polish-style bungalows, anyone? One thing most outsiders would notice straightaway is the abundance of Polish-style bungalows and economical flats in the different neighborhoods of the city. Real estate properties stood testament of the influx of Polish immigrants in the early days of West Allis. For people scrimping on rental money, small and economical flats are the best options; though there are many Polish bungalows rented out as apartment duplexes.
Mind the cost to the last single detail. All bills paid apartments may seem to cost way higher than the usual apartments for rent. But if you factor in the outrageous bill you end up paying during winter, getting those all utilities paid apartments may be a steal.
When should you start looking for an apartment? Unless you dont mind the experience of being homeless for a couple of days, you need to start looking for a rental home in West Allies at least 4 to 6 weeks before you are scheduled to move in. If for some reason, time is not on your side, start looking in neighborhoods with vacancy rates that are stacked in your favor.
Got the cash and paperwork? Fret not. A month's advance rent, deposit fee, proof of income, background/credit history check (charged to you), and a valid photo ID could get the ball rolling for your rental application. Oh, and be agreeable to at least 6-month lease and you'd be fine. If you're bringing along your pet, that wouldnbe another matter. If your landlord's not fickle, you can get away with it by paying the pet deposit fee.
West Allis Neighborhoods
If you care enough about the state of your new apartment to go through the pains of viewing different homes before deciding on one, you should choose your neighborhood with just about the same gusto, if not more. Heres a run-through of the popular neighborhoods of this city.
W Cleveland Ave/S 124thSt: This is an area of mostly established and small studio-type flats, high rise apartments and complexes. This neighborhood is hip, trendy, and walkable; but not exactly the best place to raise a family. Rogers Memorial Hospital, West Allis Center, and Southtown Shopping Center are some of the landmarks in this area. $$$$
W Lincoln Ave/S 84thSt: If you wish to live in a neighborhood of urbane young professionals, this is the place to be. With Aurora West Allis Medical Center in the area, you can expect a good percentage of residents working in the hospital. This is a walkable area and the rents not bad. $$$
Service Rd/W Oklahoma Ave: If youre on a solo flight, with nothing but your pet dog in tow, you will find a lot of things in common with residents of this neighborhood. Most people here are the lone ranger type and are mostly new to the area. So if you feel kind of out of place with a close-knit community, have your roost here. $$$
W Lincoln Ave/S 77thSt: Aside from English, youd hear a deluge of other languages mostly spoken at home in this neighborhood. This is because most residents here came from different cultural backgrounds. If you appreciate a multicultural environment, an apartment in this area is ideal. $$
W Beloit Rd/W Cleveland Ave: This neighborhood is marked with the number of parks within the vicinity. McCarty Park, Arnold Klentz Park, Honey Creek Parkway, and Fred Kirzel Field are the common hang-outs of young ones (and young once). If you like the idea of being surrounded by many parks, one of the areas well-established single family homes could be your future dig. $$
W Washington St/S 116thSt: Majority of the residents in this neighborhood are of European lineage, particularly German, Polish, and Irish roots. Exchanging stories of bloodlines and lineages could be a viable pastime if you have much in common with your neighbors. If striking up a conversation is not your thing, you could hang out, or hide out, in Rainbow Park instead. $$$
City Center: With an abundance of small studio-type dwellings and single family homes in this area, finding home rentals would be a walk in the park. That is, if you dont mind living in homes that looks straight out of the pages of your high school history books. Aside from being a historic area of the city, this neighborhood is a couple minutes away from most conveniences of modern-living. $
W Montana Ave/S 84thSt: A large percentage of residents in this area are employed as laborers in manufacturing industries. If youre employed in more or less similar capacity and you want to live with the same crowd, one of this areas medium-sized family homes could be your new home--if your wallet has the cash to spare for the high rent prices. $$$$$
W National Ave/W Becher St: A mix of young professionals, seniors, families, and college students live in this area. If you welcome diversity like youd welcome a good friend, youd feel right at home in this trendy and walkable neighborhood. $$
W Greenfield St/S 90thSt: With a vacancy rate so miniscule, its almost negligible; prepare to spend considerable time and effort to look for home rentals in this area. Located adjacent to the city center, people in the sales and service industry are drawn to this neighborhood. $
Living in West Allis
Nothing makes work life more convenient than a reliable public transit system. Thank goodness, West Allis is well connected to the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) -- so connected that more than 80% of residents of this city is a short walk away from a bus route. Talk about beating traffic congestion, saving gasoline money, and reducing carbon footprints all at one go. Not to mention, someone else gets to maneuver the steering wheel and deal with traffic hassles while you read, or sleep, or talk the time away.
Though most residents are lifers often committing themselves to a single career and their high school sweetheart, theres a lot of fun to be had in this city. You can ask around and most people know where to get their drinks. The most common answers youd probably get are Magoos, The Dirty Martini, Stacys, and Club Paragon. Also, a trip to the Farmers Market would bombard you with just a little bit of everything vegetables, flowers, fruits, and the chance to grab a quick lunch everything. Additionally, attending the annual State Fair and Western Days are mandatory to become a full-pledged resident.
Think youve got what it takes to live the West Allis lifestyle? Better get here once youre done with that drink.