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House-Hunting College Students: The Prey of Luxury Apartments

Most people want to live a life of luxury, especially for a not-so-luxury price. Apartment landlords know this and use it as an opportunity to reel in first time apartment owners and college students into not-so-luxurious living spaces.

All around metro Atlanta there are apartments labeled “luxury,” even when lacking luxurious amenities such as hardwood floors, granite countertops, spectacular views. Does this mean that regular apartments can call themselves “luxury” even if all they offer are stainless steel appliances?

However, there is no testing apartments have to go through to be considered luxury. The term is identified only by the landlord. Therefore, in many cases the term luxury is a strategy used to raise rent and attract high-paying tenants.  The main group of people falling into this trap are first time apartment tenants and college students.

“People also use the area that they are located in to determine what is ‘luxurious’ to the surrounding population. Luxurious in a lower class community might mean a gated community or a washer and dryer included because they can sell that idea to people who don’t have much,” said Camille Lobos, a journalism major at the Dunwoody campus, who has experienced similar rip offs.

Kingsboro Luxury Apartments in Atlanta, Georgia is an example of a complex that doesn’t offer much beyond conventional apartment amenities. Although amenities and recreations such as a pool, a gym, gated access, a business center, they aren’t much of a luxury in comparison to legitimate luxury apartments.

Eric Hudson of the Dunwoody Campus admits how easy it can be to be fooled by one word. He said, “I would probably be so wrapped up in the excitement of having an apartment or personal space that I would dodge questions of how luxurious it is. Those type of words seem to be used to tend to the feeling of own or having something nice that is yours.”

The issue is  in many situations the quality of such amenities. Many times the gates don’t work, the fitness centers are merely small rooms that consist of a treadmill and a few other basic workout equipment sets, the business centers are simply a single office room, and the apartment amenities are poor quality.

The Flats at Perimeter place, on the other hand offer amenities such as a Resort-style swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga studio, cardio theatre, free weights, and fitness classes, a rooftop terrace with lighted tennis court and outdoor lounge area with grills and scenic views, floor plans with variety of finishes to choose from, exposed ceiling, gourmet kitchens with granite, quartz or tile countertops and cherry or maple cabinetry, black Whirlpool kitchen appliance package, and a Full size washer and dryer in every home, flooring options include ceramic tile, hardwood and berber carpet, 10 or 14 foot ceilings with crown molding, bathrooms with cultured marble vanities and soaking tubs, stand-up showers, private balconies, all for between $1249 and $2044.

Although The Flats don’t even contain the name “luxury” in the name but significantly offer many more indulgences and options, one can still be easily fooled by the places that claim they are. “I think that the apartment landlords are going under the assumption that these young people are uneducated in terms of apartment hunting. They assume that they don’t know what to look out for and proper terminology that would make a prospective place seem more appealing than it actually is,” said Demetrius Williamson, an art major at GPC.

The best way to avoid this pitfall is to do proper research on the neighborhood and the apartments. If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. “It’s easier to rip off people who can’t afford real luxuries but still want to live comfortably, but that doesn’t make it right nor fair,” said Lobos.

 

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