Renters’ Revenge

You know that new apartment building that went up in your neighborhood not long ago? The “luxury” one with the Wi-Fi, workout room and granite countertops? The one you pass and think “I’d really like to live there, but I bet the rent is insane”?

Even if you’ve checked online to see how much they’re charging, go in and ask what the rent is. Chances are it’s less than you think, and maybe less than you’re paying in an older, smaller place.

I’m finally about to start working again, which means the end of my stay OTP isn’t far off. So, clutching my folder of apartment profiles from Promove, I spent a couple of days last week looking at apartments in Midtown, Buckhead, Downtown and Inman Park. The prices I was quoted by the leasing staff were uniformly at least 29 percent less than what their Web sites or expensive-looking brochures listed.

Those “administrative fees,” “leasing fees” and $300 deposits that used to be so common? Mysteriously absent. Rent concessions abound and application fees are shrinking like a pair of H&M pants in a hot dryer.

Maybe this is old news to ya’ll. But I just spent three years right outside DC, looking forward to annual rent increases on a 521-square foot apartment in a complex that was built when Eisenhower was president. The four violent deaths within 100 yards of my door during that time did nothing to keep the rent from shooting (Ha!) past $900 by the time I moved out. Things really are different “inside the Beltway” I guess.

So, if your lease is about to expire, check out some places that look like they’re out of your price range. Prices will probably go up as the economy improves (whenever that’s going to happen), but in the meantime, enjoy that rooftop pool this summer.

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