My wife and I are finishing up our second year at Riverbend now, so we have a pretty good handle on how the apartments rate.
First, let me start with the good aspects:
1) Location! My wife loves the location. Just a short drive to Wal-Mart, Target, Publix, Dollar Tree or Old Navy, 15 minutes to downtown, close to Nashville West, etc etc. It takes no time to get to work!
2) Price. You just can't beat the price. Especially if you are a Vanderbilt employee, since you get a 5% discount. Also, water is paid for. Ideal for couples who are just starting out like we were.
3) Relatively quiet. We didn't have many issues with noise. Our neighbors above us would have parties occasionally, but it never was a major concern. Also, you'll get the occasional bass from a car, but it's rare.
We only had a few problems so far:
1) We had a leaky ceiling twice, once in the bathroom, once in the kitchen. Still don't know where it came from, but maintenance was very quick to respond both times after placing a call. Also, our heat went out one night in the winter, but the maintenance guy on call responded the same night, set up portable space heaters, and they fixed it the next day.
2) Sealing issues in the apartment. There were multiple areas where air escaped, which is crucial in the cold winter months. We took matters into our own hands a few times, doing whatever was necessary to seal up the apartment and keep the heat in. The door was a problem, and we discovered that there was little to no insulation in the crawlspace. A bit of work stapling some insulation down helped out. The electric bills tend to run a little higher than the Tennessee average, but it's not a huge issue.
3) Bugs. When we first moved in, which was in July, we had a few spiders crawling around. I killed the ones I saw and sprayed the apartment down. That seemed to take care of them for last season. Also, I went out in the breezeway and killed every single spider I saw, including eggs, etc. We only saw one roach. After I saw the first one, I killed it, then set out roach motels. Never saw another one. This summer, the spiders came back, but I brought out the spray again. The moral of the story is, if you live here you are going to have to do just a bit of work. Can't say I would depend entirely on the administration to take care of bug spraying and maintenance, even though they do schedule the bug people to come in periodically. I would let them know if you have problems, but still do it yourself as well.
Overall, if you are looking for a decent place to live that's on the cheap, look no further! It's close to about everything, and there are plenty of good people who live there.
Pros: Location! Pretty quiet. Great price.
Cons: Not great insulation, a few bugs