We signed a lease yesterday on an apartment. It’s a one bedroom on the sixth floor of a tower-style apartment complex near campus. (No sense burying the lede.)
After seeing 10 places, the decision came down to location. With the great unknown of my job prospects and not wishing the additional expense of two vehicles (or a hassle-y commute for Shawn in any case), we decided to cross out any options not on the LSU bus line. That left five choices (although the ones we crossed off included some really nice ones – you get more for your rental buck farther away from campus).
One that was on the bus line but furthest away was in an unsafe neighborhood. (Thanks to Shawn’s boss for giving us the heads up on that, i.e. avoiding the murderous part of the city!)
We were able to stay in a 3 bedroom apartment that Shawn’s department rents for visiting faculty. The complex is on the busline, so we checked out their one bedrooms. They’re in the older part of the complex and were a little funky and dark. Maybe if we’d had a better leasing agent we would have more seriously considered it, but after staying there it also didn’t seem like security or safety were top priorities and it wasn't within walking distance to Shawn's office, so we crossed that complex off the list.
We saw two places that were in walking distance. One was really close, but really expensive (and a lot of space – 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms) and didn’t have a pool (not a must have, but would be nice, especially for the rent).
The option that came in second was a small Garden District condo on the bus line, but not in walking distance. The neighborhood is great otherwise, and we'll probably look to buy in that area, but to start we decided we wanted to be as close to Shawn's job as possible. Location won out.
The other apartment choice that was within walking distance was the one we chose. A slightly farther walk than the 2 bedroom condo, but with more amenities and a much lower price tag. There’s a pool and hot tub at this complex (only closed when it’s below freezing, which isn’t often).
We only looked at places that included a washer/dryer. We’re ready to leave lugging laundry in our past. The place we chose has a stackable washer/dryer, much like what I had in my Alexandria apartment.
We’ll certainly have more space than our current NYC apartment, with a separate bedroom, a balcony overlooking the pool and a bangin’ open kitchen with granite counters. There’s a ginormous closet, which will easily fit our needs. But if we find ourselves in need of extra storage space the complex has additional storage closets (usually on your same floor) for $1/square foot/month. Convenient and cheap!
A parking garage is included – and it’s connected to the towers. So we’ll be able to drive up to the sixth floor, park our car and walk into the apartment. Our (still to be purchased) vehicle will be in covered parking … and how convenient?!
Everything except electricity is included. We pay that separately. But cable, internet, water, etc. are included. So it really works out to be an affordable choice. Things will be even easier once I secure employment, but that’s another post entirely! (Although if you know anyone in Baton Rouge looking for a communications professional, let me know.)
The one negative of this place is tied to its biggest benefit – location. Because we’re so near campus we’ll be living among students, and in fact it seems like this place may be a little bit student oriented (although on the high end, so these will be entitled rich kids whose parents pay the rent).
The apartment’s walls are concrete, so we’ll have some measure of noise dampening, plus there are rules about noise that might be enforceable. And students can’t be all bad, can they?
We’ll find out August 12, which is our move in date. My end work date seems to be set, so I will have a week in New York to myself to cross off any last items from my bucket list, and to indulge myself in my pseudo-romance with this crazy city.
We have a 10-month lease (oddly), so if we don't like it we can find something else, or maybe find a house to buy in that time. In any case, bring on the Red Stick (I realized the Baton Rouge = Red Stick once we got there).
Here are some photos from our trip, and you can view them directly on Flickr. I expect to write a couple more posts about our trip this week, so stay tuned.
Click thru to see the captions.