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The term “luxury” can mean any number of things depending on who you are, and what standard of living you are accustomed to or expect. When searching for the perfect apartment, there are many things to consider when it comes to living comfortably, with many attributes extending beyond large square footage and bay windows. The phrase “luxury apartment” can encompass a lot of options that you never even thought about, such as extra amenities and more expensive features. A lot of this will depend on personal preference, but here we will examine and compare the costs and benefits associated with different amenities.
Typically, luxury apartments come in “packages.” These units are located in buildings that offer distinctively high-quality features within the apartment unit. They also offer different types of services and amenities outside the confines of the apartment unit that residents of the complex can take advantage of. Renters are also paying for more square footage, floor-to-ceiling windows, and newer kitchen countertops, as part of the luxury aspect which includes the building or complex-wide amenities that are made available..
These days, it is taken for granted that luxury apartments will have the basics: large square footage (750 square feet or more for a one-bedroom), lots of open space and/or sunlight, temperature-controlled rooms (heat and air-conditioning), quality lighting (type and distribution in the space), and enough soundproofing in the walls to insulate you from the everyday noises associated living in close quarters with other people. However, there are different levels of upscaling apartments in terms of what the entire space or its rooms offer. Here are some examples of the things you might find according to each room. The lists are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather aim to give you an idea of what can be available to you, using a one-bedroom/one-bathroom space as a general model:
Living room: High ceilings or room depth; tall or wide windows that offer a nice view and/or lots of sunlight during the day; a fireplace; walls and floors made from authentic and high-quality natural materials or man made substitutes.
Kitchen: Granite, marble, or stainless steel countertops; stainless steel sink; high-quality appliances (microwave, refrigerator, oven); cabinets made from high quality materials (stained if wood); counter space; center island or a bar counter; easy layout and large size. The idea here is spaciousness, convenience, and floors, counters, and appliances that won’t stain or fall into disrepair.
Bedroom or Master Bedroom: Spaciousness; private balcony; walk-in closet; good lighting; private bathroom.
Bathroom: High-quality natural materials for floors, walls, counters, and cabinets; design that helps keep away moisture and mold growth (if tile and grout, look for small and shallow design); large showers and/or tubs, with high water pressure and/or jacuzzi jets; good lighting and fan system and/or heated lights; counter space at the sink; spacious or floor-to-ceiling cabinets. Half-baths (toilet and sink, sometimes with a small shower) off of the common spaces of the apartment are sometimes offered as an amenity.
Other: balconies; in-unit washer and dryer; spacious hallway closet.
Ensure that the basics are all in place for a luxury apartment before looking for the special features. Are the materials, features, and appliances hardy, durable, and stain or damage-resistant? How new or old are they? Do they clean easily? Is there a good temperature control system? Ultimately, this is a matter of personal priority and lifestyle. Whatever you decide, we recommend visiting the unit in person before you make your final decision for what luxury means to you.
One of the attributes that draws renters to apartment luxury living is the amenities that are offered outside of the apartment unit. Are you a social person who likes to host football viewing parties? An apartment building that offers a community lounge with a large TV would be a good choice for you. Do you spend most of your free time at the gym? Many apartment buildings will have a full workout room, sometimes with 24 hour controlled access. A comprehensive list of some of the amenities often available in a luxury complex is listed below:
A pool, hot tub, and/or outdoor lounge areas: Here, quality, size, and regulations can matter. For example, are the chaise lounges made of rubber or do they have fabric cushions? Is there a shaded area where you can take a break from the sun from time to time? Do they allow alcoholic beverages at the pool? Are there particular swim times for children versus adults or seniors? Is the pool guarded? Does the complex provide you with towels, changing rooms, and a restroom?
Some complexes will have a simple gym: a weight room, cardio machines, and a small area for stretching before and after your workout. But gyms, of course, can vary in size. If it is a large complex with several buildings and you like to exercise during the before and after rushes, you might want to consider a complex that has a lot of machines. Alternatively, you can find a building that offers residents 24-hour access to their gym and shift your schedule accordingly.
Fitness Center: other apartment buildings have more comprehensive fitness centers--for example, there is a cardio and weight room, but they also have additional spaces and offer classes such as yoga/Pilates, dance, and spin. If they do, be sure to ask if there are any additional fees for participating in scheduled classes.
Game, TV, and Theater Rooms: A lot of luxury apartments and condos offer one or several common spaces outfitted with recreational amenities. Some include one or several flat screen televisions, WiFi access, a full or catering kitchen, pool and game tables, a bar, and an outdoor patio. Some will require reservations at all times, while others will only require reservations for large parties and some will allow residents and their guests to use the room if no one has made a reservation. A few buildings have small movie theaters, some of them complete with their own movie collections.
Underground or Sheltered Parking and Zipcar: Whether you drive your vehicle regularly or infrequently, this is an amenity that you should consider. Many cities have zoned parking and you should check to see if your apartment comes with a free parking space or a fee that is less or comparable, as it will save you the headache of having to search for the right places to park on the street when you come home from work. This option also helps keep your car safe and in good shape.
Pet-Friendly Buildings or Residential Communities: Some buildings go beyond simply offering apartments where your pet is welcome. Perhaps the complex is near parks, trails, and pet stores. Many also have pet clean-up stations in and around the residential grounds. This amenity usually requires an additional security deposit for your companion and sometimes immunization records.
Additional Luxury Features: A few other luxury features are important depending on the location of your apartment building. Is it in a recently upscaled neighborhood? You might want to seek a building that has on-site 24-hour security staff and safety measures that make you feel as safe as possible. Having a 100% smoke-free and eco-friendly environment may be important to you, or perhaps services that do not cost extra and/or are in operation 24 hours a day.