When looking for an apartment, you might often come across some of these terms. While some of them are pretty self explanatory, some of these terms might have a different meaning than you might expect.

Studios, lofts, flats, apartments and townhomes

These are usually available for rent in every area. A studio or a flat is an apartment compressed into a single room. Lofts are like studios with an upper area to sleep, usually smaller than a studio. 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and townhomes are more common. Townhomes or row houses are homes with connected side walls with a private entrance.

Cheap Apartments

Cheap apartments are not always cheap. Cheap apartments or low income apartments usually have additional fees for water, sewer and trash each month. A cheap apartment is not always a low income apartment. The rent on a low income apartment is usually based on income and partially subsidized. The rents on a cheap apartment are slightly cheaper than the surrounding communities by definition.

Luxury Apartments

Luxury apartments usually properties that have all the bells and whistles. Furnished apartments and short-term leases are common at luxury apartment properties. Many luxury apartments offer corporate rates to local businesses. Rent premiums are common with furnished and short term leases.

Downtown apartments

Downtown apartments are the latest trend in all metro areas. In most areas, the rental demand exceeds supply resulting in higher rents. College students and downtown professionals prefer the convenience of living downtown.

Pet friendly, cat friendly and dog friendly

These communities usually have non-refundable deposits, non-refundable cleaning fees, plus a monthly pet rent fee. The average pet friendly fees are approximately $750 on a 12 month lease. Most communities have a breed restrictions policy for aggressive dog breeds.

Apartment Reviews and Ratings

Online apartment reviews and ratings are not always true. Many properties write their own reviews daily to improve their ratings. If you want true reviews, drive the community and ask current tenants for their reviews. The online bad apartment reviews are usually overstated.

Senior Apartments or senior friendly apartments

As the population gets older, senior apartments are becoming popular. Senior Apartments have age requirements usually 55 and are exclusively for seniors. Senior friendly apartments are open to all ages but are friendly to seniors. A typical senior friendly apartment is on a main floor without steps or stairways.

Student Housing

Students housing is common near universities and colleges. A student has two choices; live on campus or live off campus. Student housing on campus tends to have more restrictions than off campus apartments and slightly more expense.

Apartment Finder Services

Apartment finder services are useful services for the most part. Unfortunately, most services promote the properties who pay the referral fee and not necessarily the best community for the tenant.

Apartment Websites

Apartment websites are useful resources but most contain identical pictures and information which is usually outdated. ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ForRent.com, Apartmentlist.com, this site and Craigslist.com are all excellent sources for apartments.

Short Term Apartments

Short term apartments are lease terms less than 12 months by definition. A handful of communities offer short term leases in each area. Lease terms are usually from 3-9 months with a rent premium of $50 to $100 per month.

Section Eight Apartments

Section eight apartments are apartment communities that accept housing vouchers. Some states or counties require all communities to accept housing vouchers. A tenant is still required to qualify under the guidelines of the community.

Subsidized Housing

This is government a sponsored economic assistance aimed towards alleviating housing costs and expenses for people in need with low to moderate incomes. Forms of subsidies include direct housing subsidies, non-profit housing, public housing, rent supplements and some forms of co-operative and private sector housing.

Income Based Apartments

This means your rent is based on your income. Typically, you are required to work full-time hours to qualify because you cannot be low-income by choice.

Corporate Apartments

Corporate apartments are similar to an Extended Stay Hotel but usually less expensive. Furnished apartments and short-term leases are standard with corporate apartments. Corporate apartments have rent premiums of $150 to $500 per month depending on amenities.

Handicapped Apartments

Handicapped apartments are fully accessible by individuals with limitations. It is an apartment that has physical features, such as grab bars or an entrance ramp, that help tenants with mobility impairments gain full use and enjoyment of their apartment

Smoke Free Apartments

Smoke free Apartments are far and few in most areas. A smoke free apartment by definition is free of smoke including all adjacent areas. Non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities or smoke allergies have legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. A building manager is legally free to restrict or prohibit smoking in their building as long as the policy is not used to target a protected class or minority.

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