(Closed) Is paying more for a nicer apartment worth it?

posted 5 years ago in Home
Post # 31
246 posts
Helper bee

As a property manager there are things that you need to think of:

First is the more expensive place more energy efficient?  If it is factor that cost into it.  New place $100 electric bill vs old place $300 electric bill.  Your are then not saving much. What other bills for utilities will you be paying for?  Are they similar at each property?  your gas and electric provider can give you the average bills for the apartments you are looking at.  Call to ask.

Which is closer to work?  You need to factor in gas spent and time spent.

Finally moving is expensive in general.  Find a place that you will feel comfortable for a while.  If the other apartment is run down you may find yourself moving in a year.  Moving with deposits, trucks, time and buying items to make the new place yours adds up. 

Does the nicer place have a gym that you will use that you can eliminate a gym fee?

Post # 33
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

LauraR:  I live in Brighton. My rent is $1300 for a pretty sizeable 2 bedroom with a yard. We just got really lucky when we found the place- I think 2 bedrooms in Brighton typically go for closer to $1700- $2000.

Post # 34
9544 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would absolutely recommend getting the cheaper apartment. There’s nothing more stressful than having a super tight budget and I think that would be the case with the nicer apartment. With the cheaper apartment you can have greater spending flexibility which can be nice and fun for eating out, going to shows, travel, whatever. But it can also be really helpful if you guys run into unexpected financial hardships. My husband lost his job and we were super grateful that we had picked an apartment that we could afford on my salary alone – moving woudl have made an already stressful time much worse!

Post # 35
1209 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think it depends on your lifestyle/priorities first: are you “homebody” types, do you have important savings goals that you could instead put the $300 towards, etc.

Another thing to consider is upkeep – do the less nice looking apartments seem like they have been maintained as well as the more expensive one? Appearance can sometimes hint at how regular/routine maintenance issues might be handled at the complex. How do their reviews stack up against one another? We have lived in apartments that have been super amazing looking and had the worst management and maintenance *and* apartments that weren’t technically as “nice” and had the best service/staff ever, so there are no guarantees.

We tend to aim for amenities and space more than anything and then try to narrow down the price from there. We prefer to have a washer/dryer in-unit and some type of assigned parking space, for example, and those come with a higher price tag than a unit without those amenities. To us, it is worth it because we spend the majority of our off-hours at home. The upfront costs are also depleted by the fact that we save money on laundry services and parking (rather than paying out of pocket and spending time outside of our home handling such things). That being said, we have friends who are almost never home, so the exact features of their unit are far less important and they go for units with the best value. 

Hope that helps! 


EDIT: Oops, looks like I’m late to the party! I probably would’ve made the same choice. Congrats on the new place!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  indyJEEP.
Post # 36
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

kmartinez:  if I have learned anything from renting, neighbors can make or break an apartment. That $350 extra a month, if you can afford it, will most likely mean better sleep, less stress, and an overall better quality of life. My Fiance and I recently moved and started renting a house, meaning we are paying $300-400 more a month. But that’s way better than insomnia caused by white-trash neighbours staying up all night playing bass music. Really it depends on what you can put up with neighbors-wise. But as for a smaller place, there are some great ideas for making the most out of your space on Pinterest. 

Post # 37
432 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - Country Cottage and Gardens

citysparkle:  Wow! That’s great! I lived in Brighton as well. I got a studio for $1,250 so that’s pretty amazing that you got two bedrooms for that much. I would love to have a yard for my dog. I had to try and find something from Orlando, FL so it was definitely rough. I figured I could find something better after this lease since I’ll be here to search. 

Post # 38
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Congrats! Glad you made a decision. My answer in general is – it depends. I live in NYC so a “not so nice” apartment is sometimes NOT worth the savings, as I learned the hard way. I lived in a “slumlord” situation for 6 years and by the time I moved out the entire building had a horrible cockroach problem and the tenants were not respecting the rules – moving in and out every single weekend (this is supposed to only happen M-F while people are at work), putting up walls and over occupying units, throwing loud parties every night of the week. Darling Husband and I decided to double (yes DOUBLE) our monthly rent and move into a nice building – we never looked back. The savings we were getting in the other place was NOT worth seeing a cockroach in our bedroom every time we got home from work and being woken up at all hours with people moving and throwing parties. 

Anyway, moving to PA we are buying but decided to do so at the bottom of our price range in order to start seriously saving. I guess I don’t know this for sure yet, but I think it will be worth it since we are still able to live in a very nice neighborhood in our ideal school district in a great house that needs no work. Sure it’s not our “dream home” but it meets all our needs and allows us to save up for the future. This is not really possible to do ina a more expensive metropolitan area since you need to use more of your budget towards rent to live in a “normal” apartment!

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