Apartment Choice: Do you pay for location and amenities?

Yesterday, I wrote about how far $3,000 takes you in Dallas, Texas in My $3,000 Budget. I got some great feedback from Michelle at Making Sense of Cents, Joe at Retire by Forty, Daisy from Add-Vodka, and Erica from NewlyWeds on A Budget. Beach & The Budget and Military Income Millionaire have also joined my great support group. Thanks guys! A lot of the comments revolved around my transportation and cable/internet costs. We have really good insurance and it is expensive to insure two 22 year olds. I am, also, hoping to have lower gas expenses. I am going to be working close to work, and my hubby will be the one doing most of the driving. As far as cable/internet options, I am hoping it is lower! This is just an estimate. I am going to be getting rid of HULU PLUS. It’s not worth it. I got it primarily because my grandparents visited me for a week, and HULU PLUS has an awesome Spanish video collection. Way better than Netflix’s collection. I keep Netflix because my little brother uses it.

I was inspired by Joe’s Retire by Forty’s “Prioritize Your Spending” post.ย Rent is one of our biggest expenses in our budget (28-29%). I have been looking at apartments within a 5 to 10 minute driving distance from my work, ranging from $700 to $900. You can see below the breakdown of our budget based on the cost of rent.ย 

All the apartments are within 5 to 15 minutes driving distance of work depending on traffic. The farther away, the cheaper it is. Makes sense right?

We are going to be renting an apartment on the high end of this range. Here are the reasons why:

  • It is within walking distance of dozens of shops, restaurants, and a movie theatre.
  • It is 4 minutes away from my office.
  • The community is full of young professionals and couples.
  • It has that city life in a suburb without the downtown price of an apartment.
  • The community has fitness classes everyday including pilates, yoga, cross fit, kickboxing! All classes I enjoy. Plus, all I have to do is walk downstairs and go to the class. No need to drive to a gym!
  • We already lived in a super cheap, small apartment with no cable. We want a little more.

All the apartments had similar layouts and square footage (698 sq. feet).

We could easily give up location and amenities for an extra $200 in the budget. But we will be living below our means already, and want to splurge a little on our apartment.

Would you pay a little more for location and amenities? How much more?


22 responses to “Apartment Choice: Do you pay for location and amenities?

  1. For me, to some extent yes! In fact I’m doing that now really. I could probably pay about 200 less than I’m paying now if I move inland, but the quality of location goes down dramatically. I have been avoiding this until I absolutely have to because where I live currently is one of the last things that makes me very happy. It’s safe, cute, I have great neighbors, I can walk to shops and restaurants, it has a yard (hard to come by with apartment living in LA), it’s quiet, it’s a great community, and it’s close to the beach. The location is so good, that I even give up having a dishwasher, and still have to go to the laundry mat to do laundry. BUT, in the end if you are sacrificing something else major (like eating-lol), then you might have to sacrifice location. I would say if it is all affordable, and it makes you happy in the least bit, then it’s worth it. But everyone is different.

  2. Definitely! hen we first got married, we setlled on a one bedroom apartment that we thought was nice. Unfortunately we had to downsize, and moved into a shack to save money. But we stayed in the same area. Where we lived was very important to us. We recently moved again, and our costs went up about $800, but we LOVE the new place. It was important to us to have things that we sacrificed before, like a dishwasher, a garage, a nice little yard for our dog. And we are SO happy now. It’s worth it to love where you live and pay a little more.

  3. I would definitely pay more/have a smaller apartment for a better location. For one, I find commuting stressful, whether it’s to work or to other activities and two, rent is a predictable fixed cost (at least for the duration of the lease) while gasoline isn’t. Plus you’ll save money on gas

  4. Yep. We have been living cheap since age 18 so now at the grand old age of 23 are spending a teensy bit more on rent than I’d like but it’s worth it for space, location and garage.

  5. Absolutely. My wife and I lived in Arlington, VA in the early 2000s and we paid an average of $1300/month for rent. We loved all the bars and restaurants right there as well as a 10 minute cab ride into midtown DC. Similar to your area, Arlington area was (and still is) full of young professionals.

    It’s good that you have a short commute, too.

      • We live in Ventura, CA (about 30 miles outside of Santa Barbara). Our rent was between $1200 and $1350 before we bought a place…but we are less than a mile from the beach!

      • Do you frequent the beach a lot? We have cousins who live in South Carolina right by the beach. It’s awesome, such a relaxed life. I am not sure if it’s for me. I am not a very relaxed person LOL

      • Yeah, we head out there a lot but the water is COLD! I only get in the water if it’s a really hot day or I’m surfing in a wetsuit.

  6. 200 is a lot but I don’t think it’s the most important thing. You’ve got to be happy with where you end up living otherwise you’d save the most you could possibly save by living in a cardboard box. Enjoy the apartment!

  7. Personally, I would gladly pay a bit more if only to have the best practical amenities and accessible location. Of course, this means getting a place with a personal dishwasher, washer/dryer, storage facilities and air conditioning unit. It would hurt to have an accessible home either so that when the amenities need fixing, I can easily head out and have my laundry done in the nearest Laundromat.

  8. I am all for location too. You can save so much money by being within walking distance to places. We spent a bit more to buy the house we did so we could be in a great location.

    I think you need to go for what feels right. Where will you be happy with. If you can afford the answer, than you know what to do.

  9. We pay more for our apartment to live in a safer area and to have washer and dryer. I couldn’t imagine having to haul everybody’s laundry to a laundromat all the time, that would suck. I guess it really depends on your lifestyle, income and how much time you spend at home. ๐Ÿ™‚

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