Not all downtown apartments are created equal. When searching for a new downtown apartment, you must be aware of a specific and unique set of considerations that will impact the apartments’ desirability, cost and livability. The following are a list of factors you should analyze prior to choosing a new apartment.
1. Proximity to the City’s Main Attractions
While you may wish to live in the heart of the city, such a location will often be the busiest and noisiest in comparison to other, outlying neighborhoods. Sporting stadiums, museums, parks and other attractions will bring noise, traffic and possible more crime to your doorstep. Consider, too, the tourists and other visitors attending these attractions; their presence may make your street feel less homey than you’d like.
Instead of living directly in the center of downtown, consider living a few streets or even a neighborhood away from the city’s main attractions. Living a few blocks away from the action will significantly reduce the amount of noise, foot and automobile traffic and increase the privacy of your apartment without completely taking you too far away from the vibrant city.
2. Apartment Amenities
Downtown apartments often do not have the same amenities as suburban apartments simply because of the lack of space. This means that you must specifically ask about the apartment’s appliances, parking availability and other items you might otherwise consider to be standard in any apartment. For example, check to see if the apartment has a dishwasher and washer and dryer. You may be surprised how few downtown apartments have either of these appliances.
Many downtown apartments will be older and not offer the most recent security systems. In fact, it will be difficult to find an apartment that will have an electronic security system unless it is new, recently renovated, or very expensive. Check each apartment’s locks and make sure there is at least one deadbolt on your front door. More locks mean more safety. Additionally, do not overlook the windows and other entryways to your apartment. Bars or gates on the windows and doors are sometimes the only way to prevent break-ins or vandalism. Beware an apartment that does not protect more than the main doorway.
4. Proximity to Undesirable Neighborhoods
A city has good and bad neighborhoods. While it is almost impossible to completely avoid undesirable neighborhoods in your daily life, you can avoid living near an area with a higher crime or violence rate. During your search, do not just check out the individual apartment, but also investigate the surrounding neighborhood. Look at how far away dangerous neighborhoods are from your apartment to gauge its overall safety. If possible, ask the neighborhood’s current residents about their feelings about the neighborhood’s safety.
5. Proximity to Public Transportation
The closer an apartment is to public transportation, the better the apartment. Although such apartments may cost a little more, being near bus or metro stops will make your commute and general life easier and may therefore be worth the expense. Unless you will be driving to work each day, how you will get to and from work, grocery stores and how you will run other errands is one of the most important concerns in living downtown. Do not underestimate your need to travel, and closely consider each apartment’s proximity to public transportation.
Living in a city is fun and exciting, but can make daily life more difficult. Prior to choosing a new downtown apartment, consider the apartment’s amenities, location and security. These considerations will enable you to choose the best apartment for your lifestyle and tastes.