One of the many things Laura and I have realized since moving in together: corporate apartment complexes are designed to rob you of every possible cent you could be saving for a house.
We went apartment shopping today because our current complex decided to raise our rent by $100 per month for the next year. One hundred… seriously?
During our shopping, we found some very depressing numbers.
Most of the apartments we looked at were going to charge us $50 per person for the application, plus $150 in administrative fees. That’s on top of the $100 to $500 refundable deposit.
Since we have two cats, most complexes charge $125 to $200 as a pet deposit… plus $125 to $200 per pet in “fees.” Plus, they charge anywhere from $15 to $40 per pet, per month in pet “rent.” I know, for a fact, that it only costs $150 to $300 to have a professional cleaning company come in and clean an apartment after people with pets move out. Why should I pay up to $800 to cover $300 of work? Even more, why should I pay month “rent” for my pets?
If you add all of that up, they could charge us up to $1550 just to move into their complex… that doesn’t include the first month’s rent. These fees are for apartments between $800 and $900 a month for rent. Yeah, no thanks. I’m not the kind of person that says, “Rob me.” I like to know where my money goes.
Our whole goal with renting is to make our payments low enough to put money towards a down payment on a house. An apartment complex that increases rent by $100 per month in a year… that’s just not okay. A complex that charges you almost double a month’s rent to move in (not including the first month’s rent)… that’s not okay either.
In fact, comparing all the places we’ve looked at, it would be cheaper for us to just take the $100 per month hit at this complex. For lack of a better way to put it: what the hell?
I realize that the cost of living here in Denver is higher than a lot of places around the US, but that should mean that the monthly rent is higher… not that they can rob us with pointless fees.
What I’ve realized from all of this… it may be better just to take the $170,000 the mortgage company offered me and buy a condominium or a townhouse. What do you think?