Luxury Apartment Living in Modern Suburban Communities
Like many of my generation, I left fast pace, aggressive city living for a kinder, gentler lifestyle in South Florida. I sought temporary living accommodations, because I was sure that my housing wants and needs would become more apparent and defined once I settled into the tropical lifestyle, assuming they didn’t change altogether. So, I set out to rent an apartment from among South Florida’s abundant supply of luxury apartment communities.
Once I had made my decision to move I was eager to find a place to live and allotted myself a week in which to accomplish the task. Before leaving for Florida, I started my groundwork and searched online using a variety of websites that cater to the needs of people relocating and seeking housing in Florida. After I arrived in Florida, I picked up a couple of free paperback guides at the local supermarket, which proved more useful than I ever would have imagined. Finding a new home was going to be a snap, I thought.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, YOU WON’T FIND IT HERE. I quickly learned that sometimes too many options can be (almost) as frustrating as too few, and came down with an acute case of “analysis paralysis” trying to sift through the dozens of possibilities I had before me. Initially, all I really knew was that I needed a place to live and that I wanted it to be somewhere on Florida’s Gold Coast, that vast region stretching from West Palm Beach south to the Florida Keys. With the Atlantic Ocean bordering the region to the east and the everglades to the west, I felt fortunate that my region of interest was fairly narrow, even if it had been longer than I would have preferred.
My next move was to buy a map of the region and select some criteria to focus my search and further limit my search area. Some considerations were more obvious than others were. For example, I knew I’d need a job and that, in my field, the prospects for finding one would dramatically increase with my proximity to the larger, denser urban areas of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. However, I also knew that, with my luck, it was more than a possibility I’d land a job in less likely West Palm Beach and probably the day after the ink dried on my apartment lease in a community in the midst of one of those more prominent cities. I decided to hedge my bet and search within the nondescript area of Southern Palm Beach County-Northern Broward County, somewhat equidistant in space and time between the polar extremes of West Palm Beach and Miami.
In an attempt to further minimize my potential commutation time, I figured it might be a good idea to find a place near the region’s two major north-south highways, I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. Seeing still too many options on my list, I knew that further limiting myself to moderately priced communities would be sure to eliminate both the high end and more affordable extremes. I soon discovered that seeking moderate pricing would also narrow the geographic scope of my search, as I would now be looking too cheap to be near the Atlantic Ocean, but expensive enough to avoid sleeping with the gators in the glades.
Although I had done my best to winnow my list, I still had too many communities to evaluate in detail within the week’s deadline I had set for myself. I also knew that the kind of evaluation I needed to do would require more than a seat-of-the-pants review of the various apartment websites and paperback guides that I had at my disposal. It was time to get out in the field and kick a little dirt and wrestle with some bricks and mortar.
YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE. How hard could that be? I wondered. I had limited myself to a mere twenty-mile radius centered somewhere on Military Trail, between Boca Raton and Delray Beach, and I already possessed the complete addresses for all the communities I intended to visit. All I had to do was plan a logistically sensible itinerary, hop in my car and go take a look. As I started to plot each day’s itinerary on my map, I realized that having an address offered little insight into a destination’s location. After all, this was laid back Florida where residents come and go at a leisurely pace and show little concern about how long it takes to find their destination. Sure, South Florida has addresses, but no one abides by them, not even the mailmen. Around these parts, if you want to know where to go, you ask someone for directions, and get accustomed to hearing them in terms of mileage, number of traffic lights, or counting local landmarks like Winn-Dixies or Exxon stations.
I learned quickly that most street addresses are useless, especially those on streets that don’t extend more that a couple of miles, or those on streets that change their names occasionally along the route. Adding to the confusion is the fact that every other town seems to have a road, street, avenue, or boulevard named “Atlantic” or “Ocean,” or has street numbers and directional designations that from the perspective of passersby seem to emanate from some fictitious place. Streets that don’t calibrate evenly like, for example, NE (Northeast) 47th street, followed immediately by NE 52nd street, and then NE 89th street are bad enough. But, when they intersect, say, SW (Southwest) 11th avenue, you start to wonder if you’ve found a new wrinkle in our universe’s space-time continuum.
Many apartment communities just make matters worse by concocting their own “exclusive” street addresses specially designed to give their locations cache, even if they lack a spatial context. In reality, the addresses exist only on their own community site maps and usually relate to nothing more than a long driveway extending from public access roads to their front gates.
LOTS OF DATA, BUT NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION. Street address numbers are among the most heavily guarded secrets in Florida. Many places don’t even bother to display them or display them so poorly that even a pair of eagle eyes and x-ray vision can’t spot them modestly displayed behind palm trees, store signs, shopping center marquees and the like. Besides, in my experience, following address numbers are more likely to hinder than help. Sometimes they lull you into a false sense of security as you observe them ascending or descending toward your destination only to find them jump ahead or completely reverse direction when you pass from one town to the next.
After these revelations, I knew that nothing short of some serious old-fashioned dead reckoning was going to be required in order to find my way. That meant picking up a phone, calling leasing offices, and asking for specific driving directions to their apartment communities. In some cases, I literally had to simulate in my mind taking the actual trip by visualizing all its landmarks before ever leaving my driveway. Gone were the days when travel directions were a matter of pinpointing a major intersection near a destination on a map and then leaving the rest up to an organized grid of roads to get there.
As I approached the entrance of the first community on my list, I couldn’t help feeling the sense of accomplishment I imagined Magellan had felt after circumnavigating the globe, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. However, I realized my celebration was pre-mature as I sat in my car outside the property’s heavy metal gates trying to guess the magic words that would get me inside. I followed the instructions posted on the gates’ sophisticated telephone directory system, but was denied access just the same. I ultimately ended up sneaking in behind a resident entering with an electronic key card. I learned during subsequent visits to these so-called secured, gated communities that sneaking in was part of the normal routine, which explains why none of the representatives I met at the various leasing offices I visited ever wondered how I got in without their assistance.
GOOD LEASING FOLKS CAN EASE THE PROCESS. I’m pleased to say that most of the leasing representatives I met at the more than two- dozen communities I visited that week were highly professional and efficient in discharging their obligation to enlighten me about their apartments. The really good ones cut to the chase and sized-up their offerings quickly. Many answered questions before I had asked them and usually with a few well chosen words and the aid of brochures, fact sheets and apartment floor plans and site maps. I was particularly glad when some representatives dispensed with filling out all the pre-application paperwork until after showing me their available units. As far as I was concerned, it was a complete waste of time for both of us unless and until I decided I wanted to live there.
DON’T BE FOOLED BY SMOKE AND MIRRORS. The fun part of the process was actually making inspections of the apartments. It was also the time I felt the need to start paying close attention to what I was doing. Some apartment communities will only show you model apartments they reserve specifically for that purpose, which are designed to help prospective tenants visualize living there. Needless to say, virtually all the models I saw looked brand new, tastefully furnished, and in much better condition than the apartments actually available to rent. And, except for giving a sense of the layout of a floor plan (and some communities have many) and how furniture might be arranged, models give little insight into the finish quality of the apartments actually available to new tenants. They also offer no sense of your neighbors or any other features that relate to the ambience of your apartment, such as its views or its exposure to light, air, and noise.
PRETEND YOU LIVE THERE. I learned quickly that the easiest way to become enthusiastic about or eliminate an apartment was to examine its layout, especially paying particular attention to room configurations, connecting walls and sight lines. If, for example, while standing at the front door, I was able to see all the bedroom and bathroom doors, I knew immediately I was ready to move on to the next apartment and hopefully one that would give the appearance (if not the reality) of more privacy. If layouts flowed logically with, say, kitchens situated near dining areas but separated from other living areas, I was satisfied and moved on to examining the rooms themselves.
During my inspections, I came to appreciate that room quality was not only a matter of size, but also shape and wall space considerations. Large rooms are great, but those with imaginative polygon shapes create odd angled corners that are difficult to utilize. In the same way, wall surfaces that are too encumbered with closets, windows and doors could make even rudimentary furniture placement a frustrating exercise.
The number and placement of doors and how well they separate living spaces was another consideration. For example, some master bathrooms have toilet closets, but no doors separating the shower/bath tub from bedrooms, which won’t suffice if you’re claustrophobic or finicky about not wanting shower humidity spreading throughout your home. Kitchens without doors can be troublesome too, unless adequate care has been taken to prevent cooking odors from wafting throughout the home.
While examining rooms, I took particular note of the number and spacing of electric outlets, and telephone and cable jacks available throughout an apartment. It came as no surprise that older properties do not usually cater well to today’s space-age electrical, entertainment and telecommunications requirements.
SOME PRISONS HAVE MORE WINDOWS. Windows were by far the biggest disappointment I encountered in all apartments across the board. Generally, there aren’t enough of them, they’re small and rarely found in kitchens or bathrooms. To make matters worse, most (if not all) tended to be on one side of apartments. It amazes me that in a place like Florida with all its sunshine, clean air and pleasant climate (at least 6 months a year), more care isn’t taken by architects and builders to optimize the use of windows in residential structures. Suffice it to say that fresh air cross ventilation is hard to come by in Florida, so get used to working your air conditioner hard, because you’ll need it and every ceiling fan you can install to pump air through your home all day long, all year long. Another important factor about windows is simply the direction they face. For example, if you like it cool, you should select a northern exposure, or alternatively, if you’d rather bask in sunshine all day long, then a southern exposure will be to your liking. A preference for cool mornings or cool afternoons will translate into a preference for western and eastern exposures, respectively.
SO MUCH FOR AN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE. Patios were my second biggest disappointment with Florida apartments, and for similar reasons as windows. In general, they’re too small and confining to provide a relaxed, comfortable living experience. Most amazingly, few patios are screened-in to provide adequate protection from all those lower forms of life that seem to outnumber humans by many orders of magnitude, especially during the summer. In addition, surprisingly few have overhanging roofs or eaves to provide that little extra protection from sunshine and rain that at times can enhance the patio living experience. On the other hand, most patios have such poor views and overlook such noisy mechanical equipment that you probably won’t want to spend any quality time out there anyway. Those of you who look forward to napping on the patio will best appreciate the importance of these seemingly nitpicky comments.
Among other factors, don’t overlook the importance of elevation to the overall quality of the apartment living experience. Most of the apartment communities I visited charge a nominal rental premium for an upper floor apartment (approximately $25 per month), probably because upper floor apartments don’t have pesky noisy neighbors overhead throwing cigarette butts off their patios. They are also less likely to be flooded from rainstorms and tend to receive fewer visits from all those critters you’ll find on your unscreened patios (ants, spiders, lizards, etc.) that Floridians have learned to coexist with. However, along with the superior views and access to light and air that upper floors provide is the excessive heat and possibility of leaks (on top floors). Upper floor units sometimes offer the amenity of a vaulted or cathedral ceiling that can enhance the light and air or feeling of spaciousness in an apartment.
DON’T BE TOO IMPRESSED WITH ALL THE SHINY GADGETS. During most of my apartment inspections, the leasing representatives did their best to talk around the aforementioned design flaws and tried to “sell” me on all the gadgets and labor saving conveniences that typically come with luxury apartments. Many apartments come equipped with washers and dryers (which I prefer to be installed in utility closets off the kitchen or outside on the patio, instead of adjacent to carpeted living areas). By the way, if washers and dryers aren’t featured in an apartment, you better get a peek at your apartment community’s on-site laundry facility. Many communities offer dishwashers, garbage disposals, oversized bathtubs, microwave ovens, refrigerators with icemakers, and one or more ceiling fans, in order to enhance the comfort of their apartments.
MAKE IT YOUR BUSINESS TO STRETCH YOUR LEGS. After touring apartments that met my basic criteria, I spent some time walking the communities to get a sense of their residents, a feel for their comfort and ambience and to inspect their amenities. Also, as I strolled I took particular note of how well properties appeared to be maintained. Although most luxury apartments will be up to snuff on the day you move in, even the newest and best built will require routine maintenance and repairs from time to time. Walking around may also give you some insight into the mindset and proficiency of the management and maintenance crew. If the common areas are well maintained (e.g., clean and recently painted, parking lots well paved, landscaping well groomed, and few signs of deferred maintenance), chances are better that the same philosophy and vigilance will apply to the upkeep of your apartment.
The best single place for a maintenance inspection is the pool and its surrounding lounge area, which usually is the most popular common area within a community. Most leasing tours for prospective tenants begin with a tour of the pool area, which is usually centrally located adjacent to the property’s leasing and property management center. As a community’s showcase, these areas are usually better maintained than other less visible areas. So, if the pool area needs a renovation, you should wonder how the rest of the property looks.
SWIMMING POOLS OR CEMENT PONDS? Even if the pool area is well maintained, you may not be all that impressed with the scale and scope of those facilities. Before I started my search it was inconceivable that I would find such woefully inadequate pool facilities in a place where sun bathing and swimming take place more than 300 days per year. In general, pools are small and shallow (barely 5 feet deep in some cases), not very well maintained and surrounded with only enough lounge chairs to accommodate 5% of their tenant population. Most of the places I visited had whirlpool spas, but some are barely larger than bath tubs, are not particularly well maintained, and are as likely to be out of service as they are to be operating on any given day of the week. Even more surprising is the fact that some brand new apartment communities I visited, which typically pride themselves on being loaded with recreational amenities, are not even bothering to build these all-popular whirlpool spas into their otherwise state-of-the-art properties.
DO-IT-YOURSELF TORTURE CHAMBERS. In most cases, health clubs are small, dark unfriendly spaces that suffer from a serious lack of cable TV entertainment and exterior light and views. If I had to use such facilities, I know I’d be even more eager than usual to finish my workout. Except for basic treadmills, stationary bicycles and free weights, the other equipment in some of these facilities looks as though it is borrowed from The Smithsonian. As for other forms of recreation, some apartment communities provide tennis courts, bicycle paths, basketball courts and kiddy playgrounds, but not necessarily in a state of repair you might consider inviting.
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. After one inspection, I started to pay attention to some of the amenities I would normally take for granted, such as where and how tenants go about retrieving mail or disposing of garbage. Tenant mail facilities range from the expected (i.e., located near apartments, sheltered from the elements by a breeze way or some other structure) to the ridiculous (i.e., all huddled together in the middle of a parking lot completely unprotected from the rain and sunshine, and dangerously close to moving vehicles). You may not mind waiting for the rain to stop to pick up your mail, but you can rest assured the mailman isn’t going to wait when he/she delivers it. If you live in one of those unfortunate places, you better have your mail delivered to a post office box, or get used to opening soggy mail.
As for the trash disposal, I resigned myself to the fact that the best I could expect would be having one large compactor and storage facility located near the exit of my community, regardless of how large an area that might be. The obvious advantage of such an arrangement is that tenants won’t have to smell or look at garbage anywhere else within the community and won’t have to be bothered by noisy garbage men carting it away in the wee morning hours. However, I’m still getting used to a routine of hopping in my car every time I need to dispose of trash or coordinating garbage runs with my daily travel schedule.
PEEK OVER THAT SECURITY GATE BEFORE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE. Before registering a community on my short list of acceptable options, I made sure I drove completely around its periphery, and noted its proximity to public utility plants, highway interchanges, or some other equally undesirable land uses. In the process, I was sure to check out its neighborhood amenities, especially within a five-minute drive. Most appealing community locales were off main drags but near most of the daily conveniences I’d likely need, including supermarkets, restaurants, drug stores, banks, movies, etc.
Communities within 15 minutes of shopping centers, entertainment hubs and other desirable landmarks were placed high on my short list. As a contrast, some of the communities I visited were long hauls from commercial activity of any kind, and some were near special facilities I’d be more likely to visit on a monthly or annual basis, like Lowe’s Home Improvements, Home Depot, furniture outlets, vacuum cleaner distributors, and so on.
FINAL OBSERVATIONS. I am pleased to report that I live in a community that provides a reasonable blend of the four major features I had sought from the outset: decent living accommodations (spacious, functional layout, with a view); basic community amenities (good swimming pool and safe, convenient access to personal mail boxes and trash disposal facilities); abundant neighborhood shopping opportunities; and good accessibility to major highways and regional employment centers. Best of all, I reside near the intersection of two important road arteries, which means visitors can find me on a map even using the most schematic maps of the region.
Over the course of my inspections, certain facts emerged as apparent truths. And, you should be aware that some of the foregoing comments apply to other areas of Florida and other types of housing (like condominiums and single family homes) as well as luxury apartment rentals. Readers are encouraged to verify similarities and differences across geographic areas and housing types based on their own experience.
Some general comments are worth noting. Notwithstanding the extreme volatility in residential real estate markets recently, Luxury garden-apartment-style communities in this area of South Florida still rent for $1.00 (give or take) per square foot per month. That means a 900 square foot apartment will rent for approximately $900 per month. Not surprisingly, one bedroom units have the highest per square foot rents; three bedroom units the lowest. Some communities charge extra for water, sewer and trash removal. Most charge a rental premium for certain apartment views (especially golf course or lake views), upper floor apartments and pets.
Newer doesn’t always mean better and be aware that down here 10 years is considered old, if not a lifetime. Unlike other more traditional regions of the US, old residences down here are not considered classic, vintage, or quaint, but rather just plain obsolete and undesirable. However, as the expression goes, “they ain’t building them like they used to” and if you want spacious, well proportioned, logical layouts you’re going to have to look at the old stuff. The best compromise is to find an old unit that has recently been completely renovated and refurbished.
Age 55 plus communities cater to the seniors, but those without such designations don’t necessarily cater to the young single adult population. In my experience, the only tangible difference between the tenancies of the two types is the existence of lots of toddlers and teenagers in the latter.
Like everything else in life, tradeoffs do exist in trying to find that perfect blend of apartment features. In South Florida, within a given price range, if you want to be near the Ocean, you’re going to accept older, lesser accommodations. Newer properties tend to have more and better site amenities, such as pools, health clubs and tennis courts, but tend to be located farther away from regional employment centers and shops and facilities you’ll need to visit daily, such as food stores, restaurants, drug stores, banks, etc.
Finally, if you want to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and truly experience the lifestyle that has fostered Florida’s growth during the past several decades, you’ll just have to go to the beach!
Tips for an Efficient Rental Apartment Search
When you are finding an apartment, there are several amenities that you certainly look for such as:
• A dishwasher
• An in-unit dryer/washer
• Being near to public transport.
A checklist of such things eventually means that you might have to go through numerous apartments before finding the perfect one.
However, if you perform your apartment search in the right manner, you can save plenty of time, energy & money. Here are some quick tips to have the most effective and efficient apartment search:
Determine Your Budget:
It can be quite easy to overlook the leasing price, when you see a nice apartment with spacious living room, lovely window views and ideal neighborhood. This is why its vital to determine your budget before you even initiate your search.
Just take a moment and figure out the expenses that you can actually afford per month, taking into consideration all other expenditures such as:
• Social activities
• Gym membership etc.
When you have a determined figure in mind, you won’t put yourself in a situation of renting an apartment that’s far beyond what you can actually afford.
Apartment Search Time:
The time of year when you search for a rental apartment can have a directly impact on what you end up paying for rent.
During the summer months there may be a plenty of apartment rentals available, but rent will be quite high because that’s the time when many individuals look for a house.
Narrow Down Your Search:
It’s totally crucial to visit the apartment you are considering renting. Searching apartment online will certainly save plenty of time.
A great thing about searching apartments online is that you can do the most of your apartment search without even leaving comfort of your house. Choose 3 or 4 apartments that are worth the trip and then plan a personal visit.
Once you have looked at numerous apartments, they can all start to combine together & trying to keep track of all of the specifics (rental rates, amenities, contact information & security deposit amounts etc.) can get stressful. So do yourself a favor by making a quick spreadsheet.
By preparing a data you can easily get necessary details immediately, like when you need to contact the landlord (to enquire something), then you will have all the info right where you require it and you can save yourself from wasting time to track it down.
On the spreadsheet you can also keep side notes that you may want to remember about the apartment.
Bring Your Roommate(s):
In case you are planning to share apartment with your friends, it’s ideal to bring them along when you go to look a place.
Viewing together at a rental apartment will certainly save lots of time. After viewing the apartment place, you can discuss about what you like & don’t like.
Even if you do plan on having a car, utilizing public transport to run errands or to work can save you plenty of money in the long run.
It is always ideal to consider proximity to public transport when looking for an apartment. Saving money on car maintenance, insurance and gas/fuel leaves more in your budget to dedicate to monthly lease and other expenditures.
Before signing any leasing agreement, ask the landlord about the average utility costs for the apartment. It’s something that’s certainly worth looking into, as this is an expenditure that can truly sneak-up on you.
Ask for Special Discounts:
Depending on the apartments you are seeing, there may be definite move-in discounts or special offers you can take benefit of.
For example, if you decide to sign a longer lease then some landowners may offer your first month rent-free. Even if there are not any offers or discounts, it never hurts to enquire.
Be Prepared to Negotiate:
Once you have visited your top two or three apartments, you may try negotiating with the landowner of the place you are most heavily considering.
When the landowner recognizes that you have other options available, they may be more eager to work with you on the monthly lease.
I hope these quick tips will assist you with your rental apartment search.
An Overview of Choosing Serviced Apartments
There are many people who move to a new city or plan to stay there for some time, but can’t find a good and affordable accommodation. Usually, people stay in hotels, which can be quite formal with a lot of restrictions. However, there is another option where you can enjoy your privacy with complete freedom during your stay. A serviced apartment offers much more than a hotel. In this article, we will tell you why serviced apartments are better than hotels. We will also tell you how to choose a serviced apartment suitable to your needs and requirements.
In order to tell you how these apartments are better than hotels, you should first understand what they are. These apartments come in many different sizes, ranging from studio apartments to three or four bedrooms. Moreover, they are fully furnished. Most of the serviced apartments include a dining area, kitchen, bathroom and living room. The best part is that this type of apartment offers many different services including stereo, television, wireless internet, refrigerator, maid service, telephone connection and so on. While living in a fully apartment, you never feel far from your home. These apartments are very comfortable and offer you the luxury of enjoying complete privacy with freedom. Moreover, leasing terms of most of the apartments are flexible according to your specific needs.
Why Are Serviced Apartments Better Than Hotels
There are many reasons why you should choose an apartment over a luxurious hotel. While living in an apartment, you will enjoy all the services offered by hotels. However, you will also have your own kitchen, dining area, living room and more. You will have a lot of amenities in your apartment. The best part is that all this will be way cheaper than staying in a hotel. You will just have to pay for what you use. In case you are on a tight budget, you can choose a more economical apartment with fewer amenities. In simple words, serviced apartments give your more privacy, security, space and freedom.
How to Choose
While choosing an apartment, there are many different things you should keep in mind. First of all, you need to choose an apartment which is closer to where you work. Location plays a very important role in making this choice. A serviced apartment should be well connected to mediums of public transportation. Moreover, you should look for safe parking in case you own a car.
Some other important things that you should keep in mind include security of the apartment, payment on the apartment, deposit you need to make, contractual obligations and additional services.
You should remember that a serviced and furnished apartment is not just used by people who are on a vacation. It is also used by businessmen who are planning to stay in an area for work. These apartments are very convenient and comfortable for such people as they don’t have to move their belongings for a short period of time. Renting an ordinary apartment means you have to carry your belongings and arrange them. However, serviced apartments are well furnished and you can simply move in whenever you want.
Holiday Apartments to Rent
These days, holiday apartments have become the most popular choice for accommodation. How are these apartments better than hotels, and why should you look for an apartment instead of a hotel? Let’s discuss.
Holiday apartments offer homely comforts which hotels cannot provide. Plus they also have additional luxuries, like gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas, barbeque areas, and gaming rooms. Some holiday apartments to rent even have mini playgrounds where children can play and stay busy.
Holiday apartments are great for families because most apartments offer a relaxing afternoon by the pool for parents and entertaining activities for children. Most apartments are situated in areas that are close to entertainment venues like theme parks and multiplexes.
That’s not the only reason why holiday apartments are so famous. While hotel rooms consist mostly of a single room with an attached bathroom, holiday apartments to rent come in different sizes depending upon your needs. There can be one, two, or three bedroom apartments. This allows your family to have enough space, and if you are traveling as a group, you can split the cost and have a comfortable stay in your own personal space.
While you can find holiday apartments all around the world, the ones available in major cities are more expensive. So if you don’t mind traveling a few extra miles, you can get an apartment on the outskirts of the city and travel to the city for some leisure and fun.
One thing lacking from these apartments is that they don’t have a rating system like hotels do. But you will find all types of holiday apartments to suit your needs. Whatever your budget may be, you will find an apartment to fit your requirements. There are special resorts that have different types of apartments. Cheaper ones are single bedroom apartments, while there are more expensive multi bedroom suites as well. If you have enough money, you can rent a three or four bedroom apartment that has balconies that would offer you beautiful views.
And if you are looking for last minute bookings, it is best to go online and search for the right apartment. Apartments in the city are popular among all types of people. There are many young people who like to have freedom and comfort as they travel to different cities. If you are a tourist who doesn’t want a hectic lifestyle, you can stay in an apartment and experience the local style of living.
There are various cities around the world that have buildings of both new and old architectures and traditions. If you want to experience the taste of local culture and ethnicity, you should opt for an apartment instead of a hotel.
Given all these reasons, it is not difficult to see why holiday apartments on rent have become the favorite choice of most travelers, especially the ones traveling with families. They offer an economic, comfortable, and relaxed way to enjoy during holidays. If you want to go on a weekend break or for a longer stay, make sure you check out local apartments before you book a hotel.
Benefits of Serviced Apartments
Planning to go to another country for a long period of time? Well, then staying in a hotel would not be the ideal choice for you. Although a hotel can provide all the luxuries, comfort and security, a long term stay in a hotel would not be economical at all. The best alternative to a hotel can be a serviced apartment. These apartments are not only more economical, they offer amenities that can be better than some hotels. Previously, these apartments only offered basic services such as housekeeping and security. However, in order to meet the changing needs of customer, one can now find serviced apartments with amenities such as pools, saunas, parking, gyms and fitness centers.
As these apartments are more economical for a long stay, many companies are switching from hotels to serviced apartments to house their employees. Guests can also experience a more private stay with more freedom. Couples, families or people traveling in groups would find these apartments ideal for their stay. Fully furnished with daily laundry services and 24 hour security are just some of the services such apartments provide. Not only do they allow a guest to save cost on the hotel bill, but on food as well. The apartments come equipped with a kitchen where the guests can cook their food themselves. So if you are hungry in the middle of the night but too lazy to go out and eat, want to save money or want to experiment cooking the local food of the place you are visiting, it would be an ideal place for you to stay. However, not all serviced apartments come with a kitchen attached so be sure to have done your research before booking an apartment.
Advantages of Serviced apartments
· Many apartments come equipped with appliances and household utilities. An example can be the kitchen. Some even have appliances such as washing machines and home theatre systems with televisions sets and water heaters in the toilets. If you are not in the mood to wash your own clothes you can always send your clothes to the laundry service that these apartments offer.
· The biggest advantage of staying in these apartments is that they provide you with the ‘home-like’ feel so you do not need to worry about missing home during your stay away from home.
· Many hotel guests would have one common frustration- slow internet connection. Well, living in the serviced apartment allows you access to your own personal internet connection so you would never have to worry about slow or bad internet.
· Just like hotels, these apartments provide security for their guests so you would never have to worry about your belongings left in the apartment.
· Many of these apartments are located in the heart of city centers; therefore you would never have to worry about not being able to go shopping!
If you do not want an apartment which is in the midst of city centre, you can also search for apartments in a more solitude location. Basic apartments can also be a choice if you want a simple stay and are not looking on spending too much.
The Apartment Search
When you are apartment hunting, prepare a rental search plan. Be sure to know in advance what you want in an apartment and what you can live without. Decide in advance what areas of the city you could consider living in and make a list of apartment buildings within that perimeter.
Be sure to consider how far and how convenient it will be for you to travel to your job or your school or your family and friends. Also, how far is the apartment from stores, banks, hospitals, Church (if you attend) etc. If you have a car, make sure that there is adequate and convenient parking space 24/7. If you don’t drive make sure that there is close by public transportation.
Narrow your apartment locating to the size of rental unit you need. Studio apartment or one bedroom apartment or 2 BR apartment or more. Are you considering a furnished apartment or do you possible need a short term rental. If you are renting an apartment with a cat, dog, or other pet, you need to find out which apartments allow renting with pets and which do not. And, if they do allow pets, is there an additional security deposit required and if so, how much it is. Do you need an apartment complex with an exercise room or tennis courts or a pool or a recreation room, etc. or do you simply need and desire a nice clean and quiet pad.
Be realistic about what you can afford. Most apartment renting guides suggest that your rent should not be more than 25% to 30% of your income. This can vary depending on the income bracket, but be sure to be “real world” when budgeting additional apartment expenses such as heating and air conditioning and other utilities. If you fall short of affording the apartment of your choice, you might consider sharing an apartment with a roommate or roommates. Keep in mind that living with roommates can help you afford an upscale apartment or even, in some cases, luxury apartments, but it also has extreme restrictions to your privacy.
If you are familiar with the area and its neighborhoods, that gives you a distinct advantage for your apartment search. If, however, you are relocating to a new city or are not particularly knowledgeable about the city, you may want to contact an Apartment Locator or an Apartment Finder.
Once you narrow your search for apartments down to apts which suit your needs and desires you must be well organized & well prepared for your visits to the apartment complexes. When inspecting the rental premises be on the alert for unsafe conditions, excessive noise from traffic or playgrounds or neighbors. Visit the apartment building at night as well as the daytime hours. This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the total space you will be residing in.
When you find the apartment complex that meets your renting needs and desires, you must be ready to put your “best foot forward” when you meet the apartment’s rental agent. This person may be the apartment building manager or a renting agent for the apts. You should prepare for this apartment renting interview in a professional and intelligent manner. Be advised that you are going to be asked to provide proof that you are a reliable prospective tenant. You are most likely going to need references from previous landlords. You may also be required by the apartments to show that you are gainfully employed and can afford the rent. Many landlords may require a credit report. If you are a first time renter and/or you have limited credit history you may be asked for references from family, friends, employer, professionals, etc. Likewise if you are renting with bad credit you will certainly want to come to the interview with a strong selection of references.
You are not necessarily restricted from apartment renting with less than perfect credit, but you may be required to put up an additional security deposit and possibly have a credit worthy person co-sign the apartment lease with you. Don’t unprepared for by requests for any of these things. Be sure to fill out a 100% truthful apartment rental application and come to the interview with references, proof of employment, credit information and any other renting resources at the ready. If you do have a credit history or renting history that might be detrimental, going through an apartment locator or apartment finder may be the best solution. They will present your history to the landlord for you, (make sure they are 100% truthful about it) and they can also be quite helpful and save you a lot of time because they most likely will know which landlords and apartments are more lenient in these circumstances. They can also advise you as to exactly what kinds of references and documents you might need to prove that you can be a responsible tenant.
You Have Located Your “Dream Apartment”
Once you have located your “dream apartment”, or as close to your perfect apartment as possible, now it is necessary to pay extremely close attention to the particulars of the rental agreement. An Apartment Lease is a contract between you and the landlord. Once agreed upon and signed by the tenant and the landlord, the rental lease creates obligations and restrictions for both parties. The most obvious covenants of the apartment lease are the length of the rental, (Six month lease, one year lease, two year lease, etc.) The amount of the security deposit, when the rent is due, who is responsible for what utilities. Also in that apartment lease, however, are stipulations, (sometimes in small print) that can cover a great variety of landlord and tenant obligations and restrictions. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:
o Maintenance of the apartment
o Care of the premises
o Governmental regulations
o Eminent Domain
o Nuisance and noise clauses
o Stipulations as to the circumstances whereby the landlord can enter the premises
o Use of Common Areas
o Keys and locks
o Loss or damage
o What the landlord may do if the rent is in arrears
o What the tenant can do to bring the rent current before any kind of action might be started
o Non performance or breach of the contract by the renter
o Renter’s penalties in the event of early termination
o Circumstances which might cause the tenant or the landlord to break the lease prior to the end of the term
o Heat and other utilities
o Removal of goods
o Surrender or Non-Surrender of the premises
o Waivers of various obligations
o Prohibited reprisals
o Garbage disposal
o And the list goes on and on and on.
Prospective tenants should read an Apartment lease thoroughly. Prospective apartment renters should understand everything that is contained in that lease and make an informed decision to be 100% accepting of all the provisions for both the tenant and the landlord, that you are positive that you can live up to your end of the bargain and that you are comfortable with the provisions on the landlord’s end.
If you do not understand every single clause of that apartment lease then do not sign it until you do understand it. If necessary and if possible, request assistance in interpreting the lease from a trusted source such as a knowledgeable friend or family member or employer or professional, or anyone else who can understand it and explain it to you. If necessary get legal advice. It can cost additional funds if you do not qualify for free legal assistance, but that additional cost might save you a ton of money and save you a ton of heartache and aggravation down the road.
If you do not agree with any of the provisions of that apartment lease and/or you feel that you can’t live up to the tenant’s obligations, or if you are not in agreement with any of the landlord’s rights under the agreement, then do not sign the lease until/or unless it can be changed to your satisfaction. If the apartment rental agreement cannot be amended to meet your needs and desires and comfort level then do not sign the lease and do not rent that apartment. The Apartment Rental agreement that you sign as a prospective tenant will not change once you become the actual tenant of that apartment.