Despite the recent homebuying spree-thanks to low mortgage rates-plenty of Americans still live in apartment buildings. According to a survey by the National Apartment Association, as many as 39 million Americans live in apartments across the country. This roughly translates to almost one out of every eight people dwelling in apartments.
If you are moving out of home for the first time and looking for a place to call your own, an apartment is an ideal solution. However, you need to be careful when looking through apartment adverts because they tend to use a lot of buzzwords meant to generate hype and lure you in. Today, explore what some of these common buzzwords could mean.
All apartment hunters are looking for places that are affordable or even well below their price range to save on rent. So it’s not uncommon for landlords and building owners to list their rates as affordable, but naturally, this could mean many things. For example, it could be listed as that price because it means affordable living spaces for students, and you need to be enrolled somewhere to avail the price. Or the price could reflect the lack of amenities in the building. That low rent may let you save a lot of money, but is it worth not having hot water or climbing eight flights of stairs?
Cozy is another word that has been used by real estate agents and apartment building owners so much that it has become notorious if you’re looking for a place to live. Cozy could mean something rustic or actually small and comfortable. Or it could mean cramped and claustrophobic, as is the case most of the time, especially in regard to apartment units in cities. This is because apartments have been shrinking as builders and developers have tried to cram more units inside buildings than is feasible or comfortable. Large apartment suites are sometimes sectioned into smaller units to maximize the rent. Don’t settle for a digital tour if you see an apartment unit advertised as cozy. Visit the site and see if it’s actually small and quaint or if it’s a shoebox in disguise.
Sometimes you may want to poke your head out of your apartment and take a large breath of fresh air. However, for safety reasons, many apartment units don’t have operable windows, and you need to traipse all the way down to the street to get some air. Or you may want to grow plants or just have an area where you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee al fresco. Balconies are the ideal solution to this need, but be wary. Sometimes balconies also help increase the visual appeal of an apartment unit. Landlords know how much people like having a balcony, and the rent on such units will reflect that. You should also inquire about the size of the balcony. Is it large enough for a chair and a coffee table, or is it a narrow strip of a ledge with a railing you can barely stand on?
Corner units tend to be the most desired parts of apartment buildings for a multitude of reasons. First, designers know that buyers love corner units and design them to be the largest. The more floor space an apartment unit has, the higher the rent they can charge, after all. This means you have more room for your belongings and bedrooms but be prepared for much steeper rent. Another reason you may want to look at a corner unit is that they have twice as many windows as other units. This may not be so important, but some apartment units are dreary because they don’t have any way for sunlight to get in them. There is no right to light laws in the United States, so any apartment unit with ample sun is immediately desirable.
Some apartment buildings make a killing by boosting their rent for the views they offer. Beachfront properties are highly valued not just because they have easy access to the ocean but also because they offer sweeping vistas of the beach. Or they may have great views of a park or the city. Unless you are willing to pay steeply for the views, you should be very wary of accepting a high rent in exchange for them. Pick a more affordable unit with adequate window views instead.
Choosing an apartment unit takes skill and determination. Don’t let yourself be blinded by buzzwords on adverts and try to secure a visit to the premises in person. Actually, seeing the premises is the best way to judge if the buzzwords the owners used are a match to what’s actually there.