The Myth Of “Luxury” Apartment Living

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You’ve done the math. You are no longer toiling on an entry-level salary. It’s time to upgrade your life and firmly plant yourself in the lap of luxury. You make enough money now. You can’t quite afford a new car or a down payment on a house, but what you can afford is a 12-month lease at a brand spanking new apartment complex with amenities out the ass. The lease is up at your shitty 600-square-foot apartment and you’re ready to drop some major cash on a luxurious, spacious, decently priced apartment. You’ll have hardwood floors, dual sinks, brand new appliances, 10-foot ceilings, the whole smack.

And that’s where I stop you.

You’re not going to be paying for luxury. You’re not going to be living like the one percent lives. “Luxury” has become an overused term, especially when it comes to apartments. You will not be paying for “luxe.” You will be paying for “new and modern.” Do not confuse “recently renovated!” with luxury. Luxury is a studded leather couch that costs more than a nice used car. Luxury is Mercedes-Benz. Luxury is Rolex. Luxury is Louis Vuitton. Luxury does not mean having to lug your groceries up four flights of stairs. Luxury does not mean an on-site gym. Luxury is not a numbered parking space. Luxury does not mean waiting three days for maintenance to come fix your garbage disposal.

Sit down and let ol’ Bri tell you a story. I recently moved out of one of these “luxury” apartment buildings. I was sold on amenities, ample parking, a pool, a gym (that I never use), a rooftop patio that overlooked the city skyline (that I’ve never used or seen anyone else use), a conference room, and an in-unit washer/dryer.

It was soon apparent that while the aesthetics were pleasant, the functionality was anything but. Within the first two months, the place flooded twice and construction on the building was still ongoing. On the surface, I was living in a beautiful complex.

Underneath it, I was living in a hell hole. These “luxury” complexes are cheaply made. They’re overpriced. The resident turnover is massive. It’s obvious that the goal of many of these sprawling corporate apartment complexes is to get people to sign their lives away in a 12-month lease, make them hate it so much that they have no other choice but to decline a renewal, jack up the rent, and let another sucker endure the same disappointment in the next lease cycle.

If an apartment is trying to sell you on any of these things as “amenities,” it is NOT a luxury apartment:

-“Community” anything (community means dirty/never available)
-Washer/dryer hookups (this shit should be standard)
-“Walking distance to _______” (luxury means never having to walk anywhere)
-Yoga studio (dirty hardwood floors)
-Central air
-Business center (What kind of poor conducts business where they live? Work/life balance. Embrace it.)

When I’m paying for luxury, these are the kind of amenities I’m looking for:

-24-hour concierge service, with a British butler who is capable of carrying me up multiple flights of stairs.
-On-demand masseuse service (Swedish AND shiatsu).
-Smart thermostats.
-Viking kitchen.
-A 4K HDTV in every room.
-Subzero refrigerator.
-Handfed pizza parties.
-Private slow dance lessons with Julianne Hough.
-Valet parking.
-A sassy doorman who always talks to you about the weather and says stuff like, “Mr. Brian, when are you gonna get you a woman?” to which I will retort, “Women are expensive, Rodney,” and then he heartily laughs as he opens my car door for me and tells me to have a good day.
-A trash incinerator that I am allowed to play with.
-A fireplace.
-An oil painting of myself draped in an American flag, riding a black stallion into a Revolutionary War battle that is to be matted, framed, and hung over said fireplace no later than 30 days after my move-in date.
-A puppy room, where residents can select a puppy to either keep or just provide temporary joy after a long day.
-A $20,000 resident line of credit at West Elm, Crate & Barrel, and Williams-Sonoma.
-Private steam room complete with Gatorade fountain and endless brunch buffet.
-The phone number of a sitting U.S. senator from the state of your choice.

Now, that’s what I call luxury.

In the end, you’re better off renting a house or a condo in an established complex.

Don’t let yourself get roped in by the apartment-industrial complex. It’ll only end in sorrow, wasted money, and an 800-word one-star Yelp review.

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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