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Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously stuck

Which apt.?

  • Apt. 1

    Votes: 17 51.5%
  • Apt. 2

    Votes: 15 45.5%
  • Neither

    Votes: 1 3.0%

  • Total voters
    33

Brown.Eyed.Girl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
6,893
Apartment 1

Cost: when I total up rent ($1532), plus pet rent ($50), and probably utilities (let's say $50) comes out to about $1632.
Security deposit: $1000 ($500 regular, $500 pet)
Sq. ft. + floor: 700, 2nd floor
Amenities: Vaulted ceilings, standard amenities (dishwasher, etc.), washer/dryer in unit. Probably newly renovated but they're not sure about this particular unit yet.
Location in community: Good location towards the front off the courtyard
Parking: Assigned covered parking
Gated: Yes
Location: About 20 min. from my grad program, close to the freeway to get to said grad program
Painting: Accent wall only - they won't let me paint the whole thing, and it is yellow. An ugly yellow. I HATE yellow.
AC/heating: AC yes, I think wall.
Flooring: Carpet, hardwood laminate in bath and kitchen, maybe in dining (depends on how recently renovated)
Neighborhood: Not sure yet - my friend is going to go drive by sometime soon. Apartment Ratings gives it mixed reviews (but that's about on par for every place I looked at on there). Looks like as long as you're not on the expressway side of the complex (which this apartment isn't) it should be quiet. The older reviews (from 2009-2010) are positive.

*I am NOT living in that yellow apt. If I went with this place I would end up painting the whole thing even though I'm not supposed to - however, I am risk averse (I went to law school after all) so breaking the rules makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Apt%201%20Bathroom.jpg

Apt%201%20Bedroom.jpg

Apt%201%20Exterior.jpg

Apt%201%20Kitchen.jpg

Apt%201%20Living%20Room.jpg

Apt%201%20Floorplan.png
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
6,893
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Apartment 2

Cost: when I total up rent ($1525), plus pet rent ($35), and probably utilities (let's say $50) comes out to about $1610. Utilities might be lower, because in the rent is included water, trash, sewer and gas, so I'm guessing just electricity is what I'm paying for. So let's say $1600.
Security deposit: $1000 ($500 regular, $500 pet)
Sq. ft. + floor: 780, 2nd floor
Amenities: Standard amenities (dishwasher, etc.), washer/dryer in unit. Fully renovated.
Location in community: Good location overlooking fountain/rose garden.
Parking: Assigned covered parking
Gated: No
Location: Farther from my grad program than Apt. 1, but closer to the freeway. Travel time should be about the same.
Painting: Yes if repaint on move-out
AC/heating: AC wall, heating central
Flooring: Carpet, vinyl in kitchen and bathroom
Neighborhood: My friend drove by today and said it seemed fine, but not spectacular. For some odd reason there are bars on the bathroom windows (tiny bathroom windows) but not on any of the other windows. The most recent reviews are on Yelp (for this complex) and they are positive.

Apt%202%20Bathroom.png

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Apt%202%20Exterior.png

Apt%202%20Kitchen.png

Apt%202%20Living%20Room.png

Apt%202%20Floorplan.jpg
 

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

How are the surrounding communities? Do either of them have restaurants, bars, bike trails, etc within walkable access? Do you have a sense of the renter demographics of either community?
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,267
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

they can charge you extra rent for a pet??? I hope your pet is a pony or some sheep.
 

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

VapidLapid|1304047547|2907709 said:
they can charge you extra rent for a pet??? I hope your pet is a pony or some sheep.
Around here... $50-75/mo and a NON-REFUNDABLE $300-$500 charge is pretty normal. oh the woes of scruffy lil pets.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,145
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Are you saying you hate the wall color in the first set of pictures? Because I think it looks really nice! I would consider it a rich cream color and not yellow. But I guess computer screens will vary. But the first one looks nicer to me overall, but it may have to do with it being better decorated than the other. It does have a bigger bathroom/dressing area and a nice walk-in closet, too. But yikes, you have very high rent where you live!
 

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,647
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I don't quite see what there is to compare. The rent seems about the same, locations are equidistant from your school, size is roughly the same, amenities roughly the same (w/exception of gated...)

Throw some other bargaining chips in the mix -- otherwise they seem too similar for it to matter.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I think the first one looks great, but then, most of it really is just the staging/furniture.
 

Hera

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,401
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I like the second one. The location sounds nice (by the fountain and rose garden)and you get a washer and dryer in the apartment.
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I chose number two because it looks brighter to me, and I like the grounds a bit more. That's my taste speaking though.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,921
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

#2, primarily due to cost, and secondarily because I like the apt. better than the first. $1k is a big difference, B.E.G.! Save that $1k per month and use it towards something long-lasting (real estate) or travel, or whatever... :wavey:
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
6,893
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Hi guys!

Thank you to everyone who has commented so far - I am so torn right now and I appreciate all your comments, insights, and time!

MissPru - I'm not entirely sure. Apt 1 is near a small shopping area (but it's on the other side of an expressway). Apt 2 is right by the major freeway I take to my grad program and there isn't too much by it. Both are fairly close by car (maybe 10 minutes or so each) to a really cute and upscale pedestrian shopping area with restaurants, etc. that I've been to. I want to say both are in residential areas. Bike trails not too worried about - I'm not a city biker and I'll be driving almost everywhere I imagine. I don't think either are super close to the train line I could be taking to my grad program (and it's not a big deal - since I'll be spending my mornings at my student teaching placement, and THEN going to my grad program, I would need to drive). Renter demographics - considering rent and neighborhoods, both are fairly nice I think - I"m not too concerned with safety with either. I would give a slight edge to Apt 1 for being gated.

VapidLapid - Uggggh yes. I have two Bengal cats - I should change my av back actually. In my old Chicago apt. I had to pay a nonrefundable $250 pet deposit but that was it. Here, a pet deposit (but refundable) AND pet rent. One place (not one of these) said it was a $600 security deposit, and a $600 pet deposit PER PET. I nearly said, You have GOT to be F'ing kidding me?!! on the phone.

Diamondseeker - Yes, the wall color. And I'm sure it's not that bad but I loathe yellow. Especially for a place I'll be living in. I'm a blues and greens kind of girl, and I am hoping that I can get a permanent job in one of the communities nearby (where I will be student teaching) so that I can stay (I also hate moving), which is why I'm thinking so hard about this because it may not be a 1 year living situation - I'm hoping for more long-term. But I also can't deal with that color for one year. And yes, super high (sob). Then again a couple summers ago I was paying $1500/month for a 200 sq ft studio that I shared with my now ex BF in the East Village.... :-o

Megumic - I can't decide because they're so similar. Except one will let me paint (important to me), the other one seems nicer, I don't know.

Iota - Yeah, the first one definitely comes off better in photos. I'm waiting for them to send me a video (of an empty unit) - maybe that'll help me make a decision.

Hera - The location on the 2nd does sound nice. Both do come with washer/dryer in unit.

Dragonfly - the grounds do look nicer on the 2nd. It does look brighter - I will also be painting that one if I go with it though (light green in the living room, blue in the bedroom). The white walls help contribute to the brightness on the 2nd's pics versus that of the 1st though.

Monnie - I wish it was a $1K difference! Alas, it's about a $50 difference I think ... :(
 

Hera

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,401
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Oh, I see. I was only looking at the floorplans and the first doesn't show a w/d. I still would choose the second one.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

i prefer the grounds around #2. i like that you can paint it and you won't have to worry about it.

MoZo
 

Sam121

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
42
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

VapidLapid|1304047547|2907709 said:
they can charge you extra rent for a pet??? I hope your pet is a pony or some sheep.
I am sorry, but I find this absolutely hilarious and was laughing out loud!

Do you know if the apartment complexes tend to be filled with families or singles? I ask this because if there are other singles it's easier to socialize, but probably more noise at night (dinner parties etc) as compared to families - the noise from kids are typically during the day time, so it's good if you like to work late at night or if you are a light sleeper.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I like the second one better. The grounds seem nicer, and the aesthetics of the exterior do count for something in my book. Otherwise, they seem pretty similar. I do like the yellow-ish tones just fine though, being a redhead and all - warm colors dontcha know. ;))
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I think both apartments look really nice. But the grounds/outside are nicer for apartment #2. Plus, color is important to your mood! If you really loathe yellow or any variation of it I think you will be unhappy being surrounded by it every day.

I'd choose apartment #2.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
40,545
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Hey BEG,
They both seem nice but with all else being pretty much equal I would choose a gated community unless the neighborhood is ultra safe. Especially if you will be coming back alone at night etc. Gates on the bathroom window make me think that breakins might have been an issue in the past and may still be an issue. Security is peace of mind IMO.

Good luck with your decision!
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I vote #2. 2 main reasons: you can paint it colors you like, important to how your home makes you feel, and the grounds are much nicer looking in the pics at least. #1 kind of gives me a crowded feeling from the outside. Everything else seems fairly equal, but being able to paint to create an ambiance that makes me glad to come in my door is major to me.

--- Laurie
 

GamerGirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
175
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

the floorplans are pretty similar. I kind of like the feel of #2 a little more - plus like others said you can paint as much as you want! I would be concerned about security though so that might be something you can check out? In my area they have this map where you can put in an address and it shows you all the various crimes in the last year actually placed on the map which gives a good idea of whether you are in a nice zone or right in the middle of a crime hot-spot.

Darn pet rent - they have that by me too. $50 per pet at most places. I even looked at a place where they require a "pet interview" before you are cleared to actually have your pet in the apartment!! What the heck that means I have no idea.

I'm getting so excited for you!! :appl:
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Are you in SoCal? That looks exactly like my old neighborhood. Heck, the second complex looks exactly like where we lived at first! If your town is named for the capitol of Liberia, check out the Friday night Farmer's Market!

Pros, as far as I can see, for place #1: vaulted ceilings give a greater sense of space, I'd prefer more hardwood flooring, if you get a recent renovation, and it looks like the bathroom has a tub.

Cons: the view looks like you're looking riiiiiiiiight out on other apartments/walkways. Also, it's yellow. I, too, hate yellow, and would be repainting that ... but even if you repainted, if they were persnickity (i.e., you paint it back slightly the wrong color, or they just get antsy after seeing it halfway through your lease and go by the letter of the law), you might loose $500. I'm not sure if the pros are worth $500 ....

Pros for place #2: Looks like you get a little private garden, which is nice: you can repaint without fear; $50 a month adds up to $600 a year, which, hey - bling!

Cons: Bars on the bathroom windows aren't a dealbreaker for me - a) they could have been installed by a paranoid former tenant, and, hey, you're not in there for the view - but I would check the crime stats for both locations before deciding.

Soooooo ... final vote from Circe is place #2, barring any recent crime-waves.
 

stephbolt

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,072
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Apartment 1 looks to have the much better closet situation and a pantry in the kitchen - that would definitely sway me!

Also, you say you would be on the 2nd floor in both cases - would that be the top or would you have people above you? I'd prefer the top floor to avoid upstairs neighbor noise so that could pull me toward one or the other.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I like the interior of the first apt. better (although, yes, I do realize that the furnishings won't be staying). I like that both units have a washer/dryer. If one didn't, that would be a deal-breaker for me.

Does either complex have a pool? That would be a factor for me.

If you go with #1, will your actual unit face the other units or the outside of (what looks like) the courtyard? As others have mentioned, I do like the grounds of the second place better. Do you have pics of the grounds? (not that you need to post them here, for security reasons, but I'm curious)

I can see why this is a hard decision. #1 has the advantage of being in a gated community. I think I'd still go with #1.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Call the utility companies to see what previous tenants have paid rather than estimate. We couldn't get an answer out of our landlord as to how much we'd be paying and now get a $200+ water/garbage bill EVERY month!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

BEG -- Do you have dimensions of each room for #2?
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
7,788
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

I really like Apt 1. I am a fan of the color and I really like the kitchen from the floors to the cabinets. We have a lighter shade called
parchment painted in our home and I find it goes with every color and is quite cheery. So I am a little biased about that. I also like
the color of the buildings itself. The second apartment has more grass but the first one seems nice as well.

I vote for the first one.
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

#1's living room looks slightly more open & may get more light into the apartment because the railing outside the window is slatted, rather than solid. HOWEVER, you're looking directly into other apartments -- which doesn't seem to be as much of a problem in Apt #2. BUT the balcony wall is solid -- which feels more closed in & darker. GAH, I feel your dilemma.

Can you find out which directions the Apartment's face? I think Southern exposure is best ... and North facing is worst! (my own house faces North & it is a bummer!)
 

Octavia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
2,660
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

Will you be paying your rent out of student loan money? If so, since the apartments are otherwise so similar, I would go with the cheaper one. $50 per month doesn't sound like q huge difference, but over 20 years with interest, it will add up. If the funds come from elsewhere...I'd still choose Apt. 2 because I like the look of the complex and grounds better, and you have the freedom to paint. The lack of gate wouldn't hugely concern me unless research turns up greater crime rates in the area than "normal."
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

This may sound a bit odd, but have you gone to www.greatschools.net???? I've used it in the past to look at various neighborhoods. The site rates schools (obviously) but by looking at it, you can consider that possibly a complex near an elementary school which is highly rated probably has more community involvement, etc.

Just an idea.

ETA - just curious - what grad program are you entering?
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
9,295
Re: Help BEG choose an apartment, because she is seriously s

MC|1304094512|2908014 said:
Call the utility companies to see what previous tenants have paid rather than estimate. We couldn't get an answer out of our landlord as to how much we'd be paying and now get a $200+ water/garbage bill EVERY month!
This.

When I was in a similarly sized apt, I was paying closer to $150/month for electricity + additional for water/garbage


I like the first one better because of the closets and the layout looks a bit better. Gated is also a big plus. You can always negotiate a contract! See if they'll agree to let you paint provided you repaint before you move.

Also, can you get any information about how the rent changes when it comes time to renew? Some places start you out low and then really whack you when it comes time to renew.

What sort of garages and extra storage place do they have available (for a price of course) if you decide you need more storage area?
 
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