Gloria Queen has lived at the Westgate of Laurel apartments with her husband for about 11 years. And the living, she said, couldn't be better.
"It's quiet and there are real nice people around," said Queen, 69. " . . . Frankly, I wouldn't care if I never moved."
The Westgate of Laurel, a garden-style apartment complex just off Route 198 in Prince George's County, attracts residents of all ages. Some, such as Queen, have lived there for years. Others, such as Al Castellanos, 26, have spent only a few years in the complex but still enjoy calling it home.
Castellanos has lived at Westgate of Laurel for two years with his wife and daughter, 21/2. All three, he said, are happy to be there.
For the adults, the apartment complex is close to their jobs, Castellanos said. Stores and restaurants are nearby, and access to I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is less than half a mile away. For his daughter, the fenced-in outdoor pool and a playground tucked away in a shaded, grassy corner are fun places to play.
"It's very convenient," Castellanos said.
"It's a great location," agreed George Ingraham, 33, who has lived at the Westgate of Laurel for about a year. "It's great if you want to go to D.C., or if you want to go to Baltimore."
The complex, which has a picnic area and a child-care center, is well-groomed and landscaped, and is quiet even though it is next to a major road.
Yellow signs along the road sometimes advertise special deals on rent.
The complex often has specials, which is what initially encouraged Castellanos and his wife to rent their two-bedroom unit. They decided to stay because of what else the complex offers.
"They enforce the towing, which is nice," Castellanos said, adding that certain spots in the parking lot are marked specifically for visitors. "And the apartments are pretty big, and all utilities are included except electric. They do have washers and dryers in all the units, which is also great."
Apartments are also large, Castellanos added.
"People don't believe these sizes."
Ingraham agreed the size of the apartments at Westgate of Laurel is a plus.
"Mine's big for a one-bedroom, one-den. And the bedroom is pretty big for the cost of it."
Queen said the oversize apartments have been wonderful for her and her husband, 73, who live in a two-bedroom unit; she also likes having a washer and dryer of her own. "I wouldn't get along without a washer and dryer. I wash every day. We looked at other places, but nobody had their own washers and dryers and the price was the same. I would say that is the number one feature."
Ingraham said that if he wasn't hoping to buy his own place soon, he would remain at Westgate of Laurel. Ingraham moved to the complex a year ago because it was close to where he worked then.
And, he said, after hearing the cost to rent a unit and learning that grocery stores, a dry cleaner and shopping centers were nearby, he was sold.
"The cost of living is great, particularly for the location," he said.
Ingraham also agreed with Castellanos that parking is ample, though he added that sometimes it can be hard for guests to find parking; they could be towed if they park somewhere besides a space designated for visitors.
Also, maintenance is quick to respond if something in his unit breaks, Ingraham said.
"When we have a problem with something, they do take care of it," Castellanos agreed.
Once, when there was a leak in his unit, he called the apartment's maintenance workers and they were able to fix the problem almost immediately, Castellanos said.
The complex is "well-maintained, well-kept, with nice people and nice residents," Queen said.
It's also safe, Ingraham said.
"Since I've been here, I've only heard of one car getting broken into," Queen said. "And mind you, that was just one time in 11 years. People here are very nice and I am very happy. We've enjoyed it. And if we didn't enjoy it, we would not have stayed here."