Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.
It is no surprise to Bethesda residents that DC metro area apartment prices are some of the highest in the nation. However, there are some relative bargains in the Bethesda rental market. The only catch is that renters may have to concede something in one area to get the best deal overall.
“Give something up?” What!? Yes, renters may have to sacrifice the dream of a luxury apartment in the heart of downtown Bethesda if they want a 1 bedroom for $1600 per month. So what kinds of concessions should a potential renter in Bethesda consider without having to trade too much comfort?
Location – Many 1 bedroom units in the area are running right around $2000+ per month for buildings with ideal locations. Maybe living two blocks from the Red Line in downtown Bethesda isn’t an absolute necessity. If renters would consider moving a little farther outside of downtown, to North Bethesda, or closer to the Friendship Heights area, they can save a bundle.
A nicely renovated 1 bedroom apartment (nearly 800 sq. feet) about a mile and a half from Friendship Heights Metro station is starting around $1525 per month; amenities include a concierge, fitness center and some units have a washer/dryer.
Quality – When we talk about compromising on quality, we don’t mean living in a rundown property. It just means giving up the high-end finishes, such as stainless-steel appliances and granite counters. These touches look nice, no doubt, but at the end of the day a white refrigerator and Corian (or laminate) floor may be acceptable if they save a couple hundred bucks a month. Look for a condo leased by an independent landlord in a slightly older building nearby and you may get that location — and even some of the amenities!
While there is always going to be that one place that “has it all,” most people don’t have the luxury of time or patience to look or wait for it. So modifying expectations and opening yourself up to alternative possibilities may save a bundle (and give you more money in your pocket for a nice dinner out at one of the wonderful restaurants nearby).
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.
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