Last time, I mentioned my girlfriend and I had our eyes set on The River Club in Edgewater, NJ. We saw that apartment this weekend, and this is what we learned.
The price for this one-bedroom apartment seems to be going up daily. An internet listing that was several months old stated the monthly rent was $1,599. A more recent listing said $1,700. When I called last week, I was quoted $1,779. And finally, when visiting the complex, the least expensive apartment was $1,799. We felt like we were being scammed.
The River Club wasn’t great. Some units had a nice view of New York City across the river, but we weren’t impressed with anything substantial. IThe only benefit would be that no security deposit would be needed, because my current apartment is owned by the same corporation.
Additionally, the “word around town” is despite the River Club’s attempts at security, there have been numerous break-ins recently. The girl who was showing us around avoided our questions about security. Thankfully, the River Club wasn’t our only visit. It was a good thing we also took the time to see another apartment.
Last week, I followed up with a listing for a one bedroom apartment for $1,540. This was the least expensive we’ve been able to find in the location we needed. With my expectations low, I asked for more information from the listing agent.
The apartment is above a store. I was immediately reminded of one time I lived above a bodega. It was a horrible place, with roaches and other insects as the primary tenants who only allowed me to share their space. Nevertheless, we decided it would be worth it just to see.
At 855 square feet, this apartment is significantly larger than the one at the River Club. It includes underground parking for one car and parking lot spaces for any others. It includes wall-to-wall carpeting, which I like better than hardwood floors, and a huge walk-in closet in the large bedroom. The kitchen is about twice as large as my current kitchen, and the appliances are new.
The dining room/living room area is a little smaller than my current apartment.
We will also have to pay no realtor’s fee and the first month’s rent is waived. That’s a significant money saver. There is a downside. Although they originally told us the apartment would be available July 1, we later found out — when we were ready to complete the application — that the current tenants would be moving out on July 1 and the apartment wouldn’t be ready for several weeks after that.
I felt scammed yet again. Still, the apartment is the best we’ve seen at a great price, so I’ll have to adjust my move-out date in my current apartment. As far as being above stores, the apartment is in a 64-unit building whose ground floor contains a Men’s Wearhouse, Annie Sez, and similar non-food-related retail spaces. Within the apartment, everything was very clean. I’d be surprised if we’d find any bugs at all.
Staying in my current apartment beyond the extent of my lease will carry a penalty charge. I’m not looking forward to that.
Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published June 5, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.