Today we spent most of our time looking at apartments. At the first apartment complex we had an exceptionally nice man who showed us around the grounds. This place has four open studio apartments right now, so we got to see a variety. They were all the same in terms of layout, but definitely had different feels to them. The first one was on the ground level but a little below grade, so the window looked out into the window well. Granted it had plants in it, but it gave the unit a bit of a claustrophic feel. The second one was on the third floor and had a nice view of the hills. The only problem was that you have to look through a bunch of thick electrical wires to see them. It had much better lighting than the first apartment. The third unit had a patio, and I use the term loosely. You had the main door to enter the apartment, and then a second door (French style but a single door instead of double) that opened onto the patio. You could put a door mat on it, and that was about it. Definitely no patio furniture. It was also on the first floor. The fourth apartment, again on the first floor, actually had the main door and next to it a sliding patio door which opened onto a concrete patio, albeit a smallish one. They had one additional unit that is being renovated, which he also showed us. We didn't feel that for the additional money the few upgrades were worth the extra monthly rent.
We felt like we were on House Hunters. What, you call that a patio? Where are the stainless appliances? What about hardwood floors? Granite countertops? It was kind of funny. The second apartment building we looked at was right next door to the first, which was great since driving is a bear here and parking is next to impossible to find. This complex has only a one bedroom unit available and a loft unit. We quickly dismissed the one bedroom due to its location looking out over multiple units with tons of kids toys on the patios. But the loft unit...oh my goodness. It was nearly 200 square feet larger than the studios we looked at in the other complex. The windows look out again to the hills sans all the wires. It is in the back of the complex and the mounted police have their stables next door so you can see the horses. (Didn't smell them however, which is great.) The rent is comparable to the studios, but it feels so much more spacious. So this seems like a no brainer, right? Well, no utilities are included and it doesn't come with a refrigerator! What!
So we have made our list of pros and cons and don't have a clear winner. We will see a different complex Wednesday morning. It is more expensive, but it is a true one bedroom and has all the upgrades in it. It is also only ten minutes from Katie's potential employer, which is amazing.