By . Apartment. Published at Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 - 10:26:16 AM.
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 didnt change altogether. So, I set out to rent an apartment from among South Floridas 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 DONT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, YOU WONT 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 Floridas 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 Id 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 Id 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 regions 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 weeks 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 CANT 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 days itinerary on my map, I realized that having an address offered little insight into a destinations 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 dont 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 dont 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 youve found a new wrinkle in our universes 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 dont even bother to display them or display them so poorly that even a pair of eagle eyes and x-ray vision cant 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 couldnt 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 propertys 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. Im 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. DONT 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 wont suffice if youre 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 todays 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 arent enough of them, theyre 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 isnt 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 youll 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 youd 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, theyre 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 wont 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, dont 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 dont 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 youll 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. DONT 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 arent featured in an apartment, you better get a peek at your apartment communitys 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 propertys leasing and property management center. As a communitys 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 Id 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. DONT 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 isnt 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 wont have to smell or look at garbage anywhere else within the community and wont have to be bothered by noisy garbage men carting it away in the wee morning hours. However, Im 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 Id 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 Id be more likely to visit on a monthly or annual basis, like Lowes 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 doesnt 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 aint building them like they used to and if you want spacious, well proportioned, logical layouts youre 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 dont 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, youre 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 youll 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 Floridas growth during the past several decades, youll just have to go to the beach!
The Best Apartments in Dallas - How to Find Them! How can you make sure that you are getting the best apartment at the best price in the Dallas area? Searching through the three thousand apartment options in Dallas can be a daunting task. In the end, you are likely to waste a lot of time going and visiting numerous communities that do not even have what you are wanting, and at the same time, passing up the best apartments that you werent even aware existed. In searching for the best apartments in Dallas, its important to understand the framework of the city. Dallas is a Metroplex, which by definition, means that it is composed of a variety of suburbs that are all linked together to form one composite city. Even though each suburb is unique, it still is considered to be located in the city of Dallas. For instance, if you take just one of the suburbs as an example - Carrollton - when you are mailing a letter to the Carrollton area, it doesnt matter if you address the envelope Carrollton, TX or Dallas, TX, because the postal authorities recognize that they are one in the same. So, when we refer to Dallas in this article, we are including all of its components...all suburbs that make up the illustrious city. When individuals are relocating to Dallas and are not very familiar with the city, part of the problem lies in that they do not realize how big the city is, and that it is composed of so many sub-cities. They underestimate the number of apartment options that they will face when they arrive and are very surprised to see when they get here that they are facing thousands of rental homes to choose from, in a number of different areas. How can they possibly find the best rental choice amongst so many choices? Well, before we can answer that question, we must clearly define what is meant by the term the best apartments. This phrase will mean something different to different individuals. For one person who is needing something economical but safe, the best apartment to THEM might be a small efficiency one-room apartment that is located close to their work. For another person the best apartment might mean something with a beautiful view. For still another, it may be a property that has the most luxury amenities. So, really, the key to finding YOUR best apartment comes down to defining what exactly you are looking for, and where. Whether you are relocating to Dallas, or you already live here and just want a change, here are the 4 steps to get started in finding the best apartment for you: FIRST, it is critical that you determine exactly WHERE in the Dallas Metroplex you would like to live. Since Dallas is composed of a mixture of various suburbs, narrow down which area exactly you would want to relocate to. You might decide on an area based on where you work, making sure you are within close proximity. Or perhaps you are more concerned about being located close to a particular school, or a particular family member. You may want to stay within so many miles of these destinations, or within so many minutes drive time. You also may want to research and investigate what each sub-city of Dallas has to offer before you make your choice. In general, the further North you go from the downtown area, the newer and nicer the city of Dallas becomes. Try to avoid the areas South of Downtown Dallas. Here are some of the many options in Dallas to choose from: Plano - Great destination for families. Located 20 miles North of Downtown Dallas. Great school districts and youth sports leagues. The population now exceeds 250,000. It was recognized as the 8th safest place to live by the FBIs most recent crime statistics. Plano is also a great place to do business. Addison - Popular area for those seeking entertainment and nightlife. Addison is located 13 miles north of downtown Dallas and is connected to downtown by the Dallas North Tollway. With more than 150 restaurants, Addison has one of the highest restaurant per capital ratings in the nation. The main Street in Addison (known as Beltline) is also called restaurant row, because you can find ANY restaurant that you have ever imagined on this street. Addison is also home to a world class mall called The Galleria. Addison is also known for its frequent annual outdoor festivals, such as Oktoberfest, Taste of Addison, and the Shakespeare Festival. In addition to entertainment and nightlife, Addison is also a major hub for leading businesses. Lewisville - Has an atmosphere similar to a small town, but functions and offers the amenities of a big city. Lewisville is located 20 miles north of downtown Dallas. Its also only a 10 minute drive to DFW International Airport, the 3rd busiest airport in the world. Shoppers can shop till they drop at Vista Ridge Mall, which offers more than a million square feet of retail shopping among 160 specialty retailers. For those who enjoy the outdoor life, Lewisville is known for its many golf courses and has close proximity to 2 large lakes, including Lake Lewsiville. Carrollton - Residents are drawn to the City of Carrollton for its high quality of life, abundant parks, schools and safe neighborhoods. In 2008, MONEY Magazine ranked Carrollton 15th in the country as the Best Place to Live. Carrollton is located 20 miles north of downtown Dallas and just 10 miles away from the DFW International Airport. Entertainment is nearby as Addison is only a few miles South of Carrollton for access to over 150 restaurants and the upscale Galleria Mall, and Lewisville is only a few miles North of Carrollton with access to Lewisville Lake and the Vista Ridge Mall. Carrollton residents enjoy more than 1,200 acres of developed park land, numerous playgrounds, biking trails and tennis courts. Two 18-hole golf courses in Carrollton have been rated among the top municipal golf courses in the state. Carrollton is also a great place to do business with over 5,200 businesses. It was also named recently as Texas safest city. The Carrollton School District is Recognized and offers a high quality of education. Irving - entrally located in between Dallas and Fort Worth and directly adjacent to the DFW International Airport, you have access to many areas of the Metroplex, whether you love sports, shopping, art or the outdoors. With a population of around 200,000, Irving is a vibrant city known for its cultural diversity. Irving children enjoy a high quality education. Home to thousands of corporations and the global headquarters of five Fortune-500 companies, youll discover gleaming skyscrapers, two spectacular master-planned communities (Las Colinas & Valley Ranch) and the states only five-diamond rated resort, the Four Seasons. It is here that you can catch the Byron Nelson Championship. Uptown Dallas - Located within only 1 or 2 miles from Downtown Dallas, an apartment or loft in Uptown Dallas is your window to a vibrant world filled with a Metro-attitude. From your Uptown Dallas apartment, you can explore the city of Dallas and enjoy comfortable modern urban living. You can define this area as a conglomeration of contemporary, urban, metro and old-world retro charm. Neighboring stores are filled with eclectic galleries and interesting and unique modernized antiques. From old restored historic buildings turned into modern contemporary lofts and apartments, to the most newly built urban communities, uptown Dallas has everything you are looking for, including a very diverse selection of restaurants on every corner located just outside your front door. Many residents of Uptown Dallas do not even have or use a car. They can access practically everything by just walking around the corner. Downtown Dallas - its been said that the only thing that rivals the restaurant scene in downtown Dallas is the arts scene. The Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the country, stretching 17 square blocks. A downtown Dallas apartment puts you within steps of museums, theaters and other artistic arenas. Not to be outdone, there are an eclectic array of restaurants that rival NYC and shopping for every taste and price point. From contemporary historic lofts that renovate existing spaces to modern newly built luxury resort apartments, your urban living choices dot the landscape and capture the skyline. Besides the Dallas suburbs mentioned above, you have many others to consider as options such as: Frisco, McKinney, Allen, The Colony, Denton, Arlington, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Grapevine, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, and more - all of which are considered to be in the city of Dallas. SECOND of all, once you have narrowed down the area where you would like to live in Dallas, the next step is to decide what KIND of rental home you would like to live in. Do you prefer a loft? Or a flat? How about a split level (townhome)? A highrise building or a historic building that has been converted to rental units? You may just prefer a regular, but nice apartment community. In addition to deciding what type or types of properties you are willing to consider, also decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms your new apartment needs to offer. Most properties in Dallas have certain occupancy rules that only allow no more than 2 adults per bedroom. So, for example, if you have a family of 4, you would need a 2 bedroom minimum. You may even have in mind a certain amount of squarefeet that you dont want to go under. The area that you choose will have a bearing on which kind of rental homes are available. For instance, if you want to live in a contemporary loft or an urban highrise or historical building that has been converted, you will likely have to stick to the Downtown and Uptown areas of Dallas. You will not find many of these options anywhere else in Dallas. But the further North you go, the more you will find of nice, newly built 2 and 3 story apartment complexes with individual attached garages, as well as newly built townhome communities. THIRDLY, now that you have a general idea WHERE you want to live, and WHAT kind and size of apartment you need, the next step is to decide HOW MUCH you are willing to pay. What amount do you not want to go over? Most apartments in Dallas require that you earn approximately 3 times the rental amount. So, for instance, if your income is $3000 a month, then you probably would only qualify for an apartment that is about $1000 a month in rent. Keep these requirements in mind when you are deciding what rent amount you are willing to pay. Apartment communities in Dallas do verify your income as well. You must show evidence, such as paycheck stubs, that you earn 3 times the rent amount. If you are being transferred here to Dallas or you are relocating and starting a brand new job (you wouldnt have paycheck stubs yet in that case), then you can present a Hire Letter to the apartment community as proof of your income. The Hire Letter should be on Company Letterhead and clearly state what day you will begin your employment and what your income will be. It should be signed and have contact information. The apartments will usually call to verify the letter. If you provide paycheck stubs, they will likely also call your current employer and verify the paycheck stubs. LASTLY, now that you have in mind a good general idea of what you are looking for, the fourth and most important step in finding YOUR perfect apartment is to call a reputable DALLAS Apartment Locating company to assist you in providing a free custom list of all the properties in the Metroplex that are the closest match to your specific criteria. The first thing they will do is ask you is for a detailed description of where you want to live (which suburbs are you willing to consider), how much you want to pay and can qualify to pay in rent, and what kind/size of property you want. Since you have already narrowed down this information, you will be ready to give it to the Locator and this will make the process much smoother. Using a good, experienced Apartment Locator who is located in the Dallas area and has an in depth knowledge of all the 3000 rental properties in Dallas, is the quickest and easiest way for you to find the apartments that best match your criteria. They will not only save you a ton of wasted time exploring properties that are NOT a good match for you, but they also will make sure you are informed about the best specials and deals that are being offered in Dallas. Most renters end up saving an average of $500-$600 by using an Apartment Locator. This is because the Locator guides them to all the great deals that they would have otherwise not known about. The list that your Apartment Locator gives you will provide information such as pictures, floorplans, maps and details for every property in Dallas that they feel represents the BEST matches in the Metroplex for YOU.
How to Find the Perfect Buenos Aires Rental Apartment - And What to Avoid Luckily, Buenos Aires is a city full of temporary rental apartments. This is great for the tourist because you can rent an apartment for a week for the price of one night at a hotel. Also, apartments have full kitchens so you can save money by cooking your own meals. In addition, the apartments are much larger than hotel rooms, and you have more privacy then staying in a hotel. However, finding that perfect tourist apartment in Buenos Aires can be challenging. At first you might be saying to yourself, well as long as it had a bed and it is clean what do I care? While that may be true for some people, if you are planning on staying in Buenos Aires for more than a few days you will want to avoid some of the mistakes I have made in the past when renting an apartment there. After renting several apartment in Buenos Aires I now know what to look for and what to avoid. Below are some tips that will help you find that ideal apartment and make your stay in Buenos Aires more enjoyable. Neighborhood - Make sure to ask exactly where the apartment is located. This might sound strange but many people renting out their apartments market their apartments as being in the desirable neighborhoods of Recoleta and Palmero when they actually are not. In fact at first glance you might think that those are only the two neighborhoods in Buenos Aires! But this is just real estate agents and apartment brokers tricky efforts to falsely expand the borders of the most desired neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Recoleta and Barrio Norte (these two neighborhoods are usually used to denote the same area, with Barrio Norte being closer to subway stops) is the best place to stay while in Buenos Aires. Palermo is also nice with cool new restaurants and hip bars, but for me the barrio still has a way to go before it is as nice and established as Recoleta/Barrio Norte. There is too much graffiti and dog crap (watch your step while walking on Palermo sidewalks!) for me to suggest staying there over Recoleta. While some parts of Palermo can be quite charming it is just too big of a neighborhood to recommend it as a whole. Unless you know the specific location in Palermo is what you are looking for, it is best just to stick to Recoleta. Noise - I read once that Buenos Aires is the noisiest city in the world. After a night trying to sleep in an apartment on the street side of a busy avenue you will agree. Loud buses and scooters with no mufflers will keep you up at night or annoy you during the day if you arent careful about your apartment choice. The most important factor is make sure the apartment is not located on the street side of a building. For more quiet you want an apartment in the back side of the building or contrafrente as it is sometimes listed in spanish. Secondly, it is preferable to be on a low traffic street. But, I have stayed in apartments on a busy street before but the building was so large and the apartment was so far in the back it was actually very quiet. Finally the higher up the apartment the better, so look for an apartment on a high floor. However, I stayed in an apartment once that was on the 11th floor but it was still very noisy because it was on the street side. Therefore, the most important factor in having a quiet stay in Buenos Aires is look for an apartment on the back side of the building. Rooms - In Argentina a one bedroom apartment is called a two room apartment. So dont be shocked when you arrive and the two room apartment you rented is not a two bedroom, but an apartment with a living room and a bedroom. Likewise a studio apartment is called a one room apartment or monoambiente in spanish. Just make sure you are getting the right number of rooms you want when you rent, or ask for a floor plan before you decide to put down that deposit. Bed(s) - The eyes can be deceiving is what I learned when I rented what I thought was a perfect apartment. I even went to see the apartment before I decided to rent it. But I was fooled by the queen sized comforter covering up two single beds pushed together. Now some people might prefer this if you are two people traveling together and you want your own tiny bed, however there were queen sheets on the bed so you would have to ask for two sets of single sheets and more blankets to have two beds anyway (which in Argentina may or may not happen). So make sure your check under the covers or ask what the bed arrangement is before you book the apartment because waking up in the crack produced when the two beds push apart in the night is not a fun experience. Refrigerator - Many Buenos Aires apartments are small and sometimes the kitchen only has space for a small dorm-style refrigerator with a freezer the size of a text book that takes three days to make ice. This might not be a big deal to some, but I prefer to have a full sized fridge to make ice for drinks, and for longer stays to keep frozen food frozen. Internet - Many apartments in Buenos Aires offer high speed Internet. But what that means to some people may be different to you. I rented an apartment once that claimed to have high speed internet and when I arrived it was slower than dial up. The owner was in Spain and wouldnt increase the speed so I had to spend many afternoons at Internet cafes just to check email. Be sure to ask what the speed of the Internet is and if you dont know what is fast and what isnt usually a connection of 512 Kbps will be fine if you are just checking email occasionally, but if you are planning on downloading files and working online while you are in Argentina, then I would recommend at least a 1.0 Mbps connection or faster. English - If you dont speak Spanish, be sure to ask if the representative that will be meeting you at the apartment speaks English. Usually this isnt a problem, but I have had instances where I had to conduct business in Spanish and while it went OK, if you dont speak Spanish it might not go as smoothly for you.
Its Much Easier to Find an Apartment for Rent With the Help of a Professional Apartment Locator These days, the most dependable and convenient way to search for any information, service or product is using the Internet. If you were looking for a rented apartment, you would most likely use the term apartments available for rent or rental apartments to conduct your search on Yahoo or Google. The results displayed by search engines would mostly show: 1. Apartment locators, offering their services from their website or using classified ad postings 2. Other websites, allowing you to use their large database of apartments When facing these two options, you need to decide which suits you best. It all depends on your requirements and needs. Perhaps you are a DIY kind of personality, who would hunt an apartment on his own, or you may like to access an apartment locator to help you in your search. In case you recently moved to an unfamiliar, new city you would not know your neighborhoods, commercial centers, schools, local system of transportation etc. In such circumstances, your best option would be an apartment locator. How does an apartment locator help? The job of an apartment locator is easy and straight. When being approached by a client, the locator searches his/her database for available apartments. Locators are aware of various factors, such as location, prices, amenities provided, availability and information of the kind of people who can stay at a particular location. Armed with such information, the apartment agent forwards you an exhaustive list of available properties that match your requirements. What is the fee charged by an agent? You, as a consumer, are not required to pay towards the services rendered by an agent. In fact, reputed apartment locators do not charge from the renter. Why would an agent provide free services? Its right that the agent would not charge any fee from you, but he has to make a living! He gets paid by the company that owns the apartments after you have signed a lease with the company and you have sent them the name of the apartment agent who located the apartment for you. It is quite a normal practice for rental companies to have marketing budgets for paying agents that help them getting new renters. What are other benefits? When patronizing the services of certain agents, you may get some extra cash in hand as they share with you a part of their commission earned from the apartment company. The amount you get depends on the chosen locator and the commission they get from the rental company. Other advantages of availing the services of apartment locators Youll appreciate that getting the services of locators help saving you a lot of time and labor. Otherwise, youll need to call upon one company after another, detail your requirements and ask if any apartment suiting your requirements is available. For instance, the locator is aware of any apartments that allow the renters to have pets or have some added facilities for pets. When you are involved in a criminal case, the locator may suggest properties that wouldnt mind accommodating you. Furthermore, the locator could suggest properties closer to your workplace. So, you can see that there are many benefits of approaching a professional apartment locator for doing the needful for you. The best part is that they dont charge you for the services rendered.
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