My current lease is up on June 30, and for a wide variety of reasons* I’m not renewing the lease. That means I’ve been apartment hunting for a while, especially over the past few weeks.
Yesterday morning I went and saw some apartments in a building that comes highly recommended by a friend and fellow GTer who lives in the other building in the complex. Almost all of their studio apartments are exactly the same, give or take some closet space, which means that—since the only DC studio I’d actually really been in is the one my friend/GTer lives in—this studio is basically the model I’ve had in my head whenever I’ve thought about my future apartment over the past several months. Friend/GTer says she has no real complaints about the apartment or the management company or the neighborhood.
It has almost everything on my list of things I want, including a lot of things that weren’t requirements but that I’d like to have:
- Utilities included
- Near the metro (5-minute walk to the best line for work)
- Seperate kitchen with cupboard space and a (mini) dishwasher
- AC that’s NOT a window unit
- Hardwood floors (well, parquet)
- Not just laid out as a big square
- Nice big closets (though I think mine are the smallest the offer)
- Gym in the building, plus a sauna and hot tub
- Roof deck
- Very close to but not in the middle of restaurants, bars, etc.
- Groceries 15 minutes’ walk (or one metro stop) away
- Lease that converts to month-to-month after a year
- Rent control
- Dry cleaning/shoe repair in the building (which was not even a thing I knew existed)
- Laundry in the building
- 24-hour reception and a mail room (no more praying that my packages will still be there when I get home!)
And supposedly there’ll be a pool sometime in 2016. They don’t allow pets, but since I don’t actually have a pet, that’s not a big deal.
Yesterday I met with a leasing agent, saw the whole building, and looked at a few units. They were about $120 more than my upper limit, but they offer one month free for new tenants, which means that over the first year it would average out to about my limit, and I’m okay with that since it’s a pretty great building and I know what I’m getting into.
Today, after I saw a place that looked good online but not so much in person, I went online to apply and found that they had a unit that was listed as more expensive but had a special on it, making it $65 less than the other units I’d seen—and thus only $45 above my limit and almost $80 under my limit with the free month. (And realistically, that makes it on the cheaper side of things for the neighborhoods I’m looking at.)
I called the leasing agent and she said she’d missed it when I looked before, but that it’s the same layout as the others. She described the view, as far as she can remember—it’s on a different side of the building, but basically that just means that it’ll look out on a big tree and the apartments across the courtyard instead of on the street and parking lot.
So I applied for it! I usually would never rent a place sight-unseen, but I’m pretty confident that I know what I’m getting. They repaint the walls and clean thoroughly between tenants, and they even rip out the lower cabinets/sink/dishwasher to replaster behind them and make sure everything is in good shape. The leasing agent said that as long as I’m not a serial killer, I should get approved.
AAAAAAAH. I’m so ready to be in a good apartment. Rent is going to eat up a good chunk of my budget, but I’m a shut-in, so I’d much rather spend the money on a place I love than on going out all the time.
*My roommate can’t afford the rent anymore and is moving in with her boyfriend, the neighborhood is inconvient for anything I would ever want to do except go to work, my packages get left out on a busy street, the maintenance is consistently half-assed, my room isn’t big enough for a real-person bed, and we’ve been finding about a roach a month since the week we moved in, among other things.