It seems as though there are apartment complexes popping up just about everywhere, after all, apartments offer high-density living in a relatively small footprint. Apartments also offer many options and benefits.
For example, with an apartment, it is possible to sign a lease and then move a year, two years, or even five years later, at will. With a home, it needs to be sold. Remodeling and other improvements, such as carpet and air conditioner maintenance are typically not the responsibility of a renter. Typically, apartment complexes come equipped with various amenities such as a pool, tennis court, basketball court, fitness center and community building.
When looking for somewhere to live, there are many factors that go into the decision. Children, pets, schools, proximity to special venues, distance from work, transportation, and of course, rent, are just a few things to consider. Timing, in South Florida, is also important.
For instance, many individuals, often retiree’s, come down to South Florida during the winter time. They are called snowbirds, and tend to flock to the area. Many own condos or rent for a short period of time. In and around Wellington, equestrians, their horses, groomers, veterinarians and their teams, come to Florida to compete. Wellington, the “Winter Equestrian Capital of the World,” sees a population influx that ebbs and flows. If possible, avoid the winter season, when demand is high and availability might be low.
Then, there is the method. Is it more efficient to search through pamphlets? Use a Realtor? Ask friend and family for advice? Check social media? Search websites like www.Zillow.com, www.Trulia.com, www.Apartments.com, www.Rent.com and whatever lesser-known subgroups show up in a search engine?
The Internet is a great starting point, allowing potential renters to plot possible locations and begin to get a sense of rent, amenities, animal friendly properties and apartment sizes. Many rental websites offer the flexibility to search by category, select preferences, and sort by price and size.
When it comes time to pound the pavement and check out apartments or condominiums, there are many things unique to Florida to keep in mind. Some places offer covered parking, or garage parking, for an additional fee. Even though Florida doesn’t get salt and sand thrown onto the roads to provide traction and melt snow, the sun can be a force to be reckoned with. For specialty vehicles, parking is something important to consider. Though the weather is typically warm and sunny, rainstorms, particularly in the summer, can often drop an inch or more of water. If parking is far from the apartment, considering the weather is important. Storage in Florida is different because of the sun and humidity. Movies, photographs and electronics do not do well with outside storage, so plan on keeping those things indoors.
More and more apartment complexes are adding dog parks and other animal-friendly areas. Furry friends need their exercise, too. Palm Beach County has plenty of dog parks to accommodate canine family members.
When it is time to sign the dotted line, many different rental agreements are often offered, though shorter agreements come at a premium price. One advantage to an apartment is that once the lease is up, there is nothing keeping a tenant there. Renting is a great way to explore an area before committing to purchasing a condominium or a house.
The Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches recently found that less townhouses and condos are available for sale, those that sell have higher prices, and closing is fast. Be ready to move when a hidden gem is found.