It’s Time To Play Apartment Amenities This Or That
As a long-time renter I can say first hand you can't always get what you want. Sometimes you get what you need, and pay more than you should for it.
So I was a little tickled when I saw The Hardest "Would You Rather Poll" For Apartment Renters on Buzzfeed.
Some things are just non-negotiable. Such as being in a neighborhood or an area where my wife and I feel safe. We loved what we call our "best apartment ever" which was in a gated community in Lansing, Michigan. Yet, the neighborhood near us for shopping close to home, or filling up the gas tank in the car, was a little seedy and made my wife feel unsafe. Making sure the neighborhood where we live is one my wife is comfortable in became non-negotiable after that.
Another non-negotiable thing for us is the ability to have pets. No pets allowed, we won't even look at the apartment. At least that's how we've approached it to this point. Will that change in the future? We may re-think this non-negotiable stance if we find ourselves petless in the future while living in the Sedalia-Warrensburg area. Although, I suspect probably not.
So what is negotiable? Well, almost everything else. Buzzfeed's first would you rather question is, luxury high rise or classic brownstone? I'd pick luxury high rise if it was affordable. But, a classic brownstone might have more reasonable rent. Whichever choice, it needs central air, that's not negotiable.
Their next question is, renovated kitchen or renovated bathroom? Can I choose both? I've done my time living in apartments with old appliances, cabinetry that's falling apart, and one place that didn't even have a shower.
Another question revolves around would I rather have a dishwasher or in-unit laundry? I'll tell you what, give me the in-unit laundry. It beats having to go down to the basement, down the hall, or to the laundromat. Of course, our first apartment didn't have either, we solved the dishwasher issue by buying a portable dishwasher.
Then there's a question about living on the top floor with a view and no elevator, or on the first floor but you can hear traffic noise. This one's easy: I once lived in a place with an interstate 50 feet from my window. And I once lived in a place with Chicago's L train going by every three minutes, kind of like in "The Blues Brothers". I'll take the first floor and the noise. You can get used to the noise. My wife deals with some mobility issues so any apartment building with a view means probably walking up at least six or seven flights of stairs, at least. My knees hurt just thinking about that.
And finally... would we rather live in a studio where everything is within walking distance or a spacious place an hour away from everything? Neither. As a single guy I lived in a studio and it was fine. Cozy. As a married couple, we need a little more space. Kathy's a crafter and I'm a record collector. We need space for our stuff. And while I don't mind driving to restaurants and stores, I don't want to have to drive an hour or even 30 minutes to shop for groceries.
There were some questions I skipped, because well at this point in my life they don't apply to me. Like, would I rather move every year, or find a new roommate every year. Or share a bedroom with a roommate or a bathroom with three roommates. These don't really apply if you're married or have a significant other, ya know.
The truth is most of these things are negotiable. I love our duplex in a neighborhood in Warrensburg that comes with a fridge with french doors and an in-door ice maker and water dispenser. Yet, I'll make my own ice cubes and put a pitcher of water in the fridge if it saves me $150 in rent. Or I'd consider buying a washer and dryer if the perfect apartment appeared, yet only came with washer and dryer hookups.
Cause really, when you're a long-term renter like us. It's not about getting what you want. It's about getting what you need with some of your wants included, and hopefully not having to move again before you get everything unpacked and its place.