Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apartment Hunting Is Soul-Crushing

I've got around 60ish days until we're going to be officially living in Washington. I've been looking for apartments for quite a few months now but, of course, haven't been able to decide on anywhere because of how far off the move is. I've emailed and talked to quite a few places and spent countless hours researching locations, crime, reviews, floor plans, and matching them against our budget.

One of my biggest gripes: Daily/Hourly Changing Rent

Okay, seriously who came up with this? So... I could be paying more or less than my neighbor who lives in the exact same place?! Apparently, apartment websites generate different rents prices throughout the day. Which, I think, is a terribly deceitful and dishonest practice. I'm telling you, rentals are a real racket! 

And... if you call to move in at a certain time, rent prices don't match what their website says.

Another one of my biggest problems, aptly titled "Pet" Peeves are the extortion-like cost of having a pet. 

After finding one apartment for a reasonable price of $885 for a two bedroom, one bath, I emailed them to find out more information (and I will say, everyone in Washington that I've corresponded through numerous apartments has been extremely polite and helpful). 

Here's some snippets from the emails between me and Lovely Apartments (names changed to protect the guilty):

Lovely Apartments:

This home is currently leasing for only $885.00 per month for a 12 month lease.  I am sure once you see our community, you will love to call Lovely Apartments your new home!

You also inquired about our pet fees.  You will be happy to know that cats do not pay any monthly pet rent. (dogs do)  Our pet fees include a $300.00 pet deposit, along with a $300.00 pet fee, per animal.  You four legged pets will feel right at home with our many other community pets. 


Thanks for getting back to me so soon. 

I also inquired about the utilities and am wondering what, if any, utilities are covered in rent as I have to factor that into my rent decision as well. Also, what is the apartment deposit and do you waive it at times based off of a tenant's good credit? We're currently living in Virginia which has a significant military population so many apartments feature a military discount so I thought I'd just go ahead and ask, do you offer that as well? 

And the pet fees... am I to understand that the deposit is $300 initially PLUS $300 for each animal? So my fee would come to a whopping $900 because I own two cats? I must admit and not to be rude but, it did take a while for me to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw that. I loved Lovely Apartments (and I was happy to find it after weaving through hundreds of terribly reviewed homes) but the pet fees have made me have to significantly reconsider. 

Lovely Apartments:

You will be happy to know that we do offer a military discount.  It is actually a 50% savings of our your security deposit.  

I can see that you are concerned with the pet fees.  I do understand that this is a big expense. The pet fee for 2 cats is actually a total of $1200.00, that is $600 per cat. ($300 deposit, and $300 fee).  By charging this amount, it does allow us to keep our community looking beautiful.  We want you to feel like there has never been a pet living in your home when you move in, even if the previous residents were pet owners.  It also allows us to maintain our grounds and provide pet stations.  Charging fees and deposits allows this to happen, and in turn, keeps our reviews high, as we maintain a higher standard of community here. (Ashley's note: Did that sound a tad uppity to anyone else?...)

I have had some residents offset this cost by perhaps adding a cat to the lease a month or so later, if they are not moving with you initially.  They can be added at any time during the lease term. You just let us know when you need to ad them.  

I have yet to respond to this email because I have only recently awoken from my fainting spell. I probably won't respond because what I want to say is kinda snarky and probably unnecessary...

What Ashley Wants To Write Back:

Thanks for getting back to me! I don't think Lovely Apartments will be working for us as we've decided to save our money and instead rent our two cats, Ian and Zelda, their own condominium complete with their own household staff. 

Thanks so much for your time!


How can these cuties be so expensive?...

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