There’s more to choosing an apartment than just moving into the first building you see. Living in a place that doesn’t fit your personality or lifestyle can spell annoyance or even misery.
I learned this years ago when I settled on a corporate apartment complex on the outskirts of my city despite really longing to inhabit a smaller, historic building downtown. I hadn’t asked myself what I really wanted. I was only concentrating on what would be most “practical.”
Sure, the high-rise was slightly cheaper and had a pool and a security guard. But soon after I moved in I knew it was a mistake. It wasn’t living the vibrant, urban life of my dreams. Instead I was dependent on a car, and surrounded by families playing water polo and older people living quietly with cats.
I’m sure the families and my aged neighbors were happy, but it wasn’t right for me. I relocated to a ten-unit building downtown and felt my entire attitude change. Where you live really makes a difference!
So which type of apartment is right for you? There are many factors, so consider carefully and be honest with yourself.
High-rises are often close to the joys of urban life. The location factor means they’re often more expensive, but it also might mean a short commute that can save you money on transportation. On the down side, these big buildings sometimes feel impersonal and operate bureaucratically.
Smaller, boutique buildings
These more charming and personal dwellings can be found nestled in cities big and small. Even if a big company owns your place, you’re more likely to be chummy with the superintendent. Warning, though: these can be expensive and tend to be older then their towering counterparts.
Apartment communities are often found on the edges of cities and are sometimes gated for exclusivity and security. You might get swimming pools, playgrounds, fitness centers, and attractive landscaping. But you might feel like you’re in a bleak suburban no-man’s land.
Since the 1960s, many old industrial spaces have been converted into loft apartments that appeal to certain urban dwellers. They’re not for everyone, as these places keep some of the aesthetic of the buildings’ industrial past. But some will like the open, light-filled living space.
It’s a good idea to tour several options before you make a choice. Think carefully about how the space would mesh with the details of your life.
How do you like the apartment you live in? What type of person would be best suited for your building? Would you recommend a certain apartment type over another?