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Before You Lease A Luxury Rental

Boston is such a big city - in apartment terms, that is. There are all these neighborhoods to choose from ranging from the collegiate undergrad pad to the preppy yuppie with a yard, to the four bedroom family, and finally the lofty luxurious dwellings. And with the apartment and condo marketing slowly tightening over spring and summer, there's sure to be less and less available listings out there as fall (and students) flocks back in.

So what choices does one really have in such a congested market? Well, a lot if you know where to look. But for those who have an acquired taste for the opulent (and it seems in Boston there are a lot of them!), luxury listings abound. Used loosely, luxury doesn't necessarily translate to unaffordable rates, but are priced according to the cut and size of the place and the amenities and services within the building. This might include a heated indoor lap pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a private theater screening room, entertainment lounge, a game room, catering kitchen and in some cases, a pet spa. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Well you would be surprised to know that all these amenities are available within the city! More surprisingly, they're quite affordable too! But before you rush over to our office to schedule a showing of these studio and one bedroom units, take a moment to think of what questions you'd want answers to signing on the dotted line.

Particularly, here are ten questions to ask before renting in a luxury building:

Do you have to pay extra for the gym?

Sure, the building's fitness center rivals your local Equinox--with a lap pool, elliptical machines a-plenty and round-the-clock spin classes--but if it isn't included in the rent, you might end up paying more than you would otherwise for a gym just because it's on premises.

If you already use the gym at work for a nominal fee, or if you'll have to pay a hefty penalty to quit your current gym--or if you've never ever worked out in the past--don't allow yourself to be won over by the impressive exercise facility.

If, on the other hand, having a gym just an elevator ride away from home sounds perfect to you, check it out at the time of day you would normally want to use it to see if there's a wait for your favorite excercise equipment.

How's the cell-service in those sky-high apartments?

Spotty cell service can be a problem for those who dwell several dozen stories above the earth. Find out if the building offers a technological workaround, like a cellular base station that connects calls through a broadband network. Most likely than not, the buildings in downtown Boston area like 45 Province, The Ritz, Millennium Place, and others have in-unit antennae to prevent this, but there's really no harm in asking.

45 Province Financial District Downtown Boston International real estate condominiums back bay apartments condoIs the location convenient enough?

In the classic craziness and razzle-dazzle of Boston real-estate, landlords and management companies often compensate for an awkward location -- say, three streets away from the nearest T stop -- by piling on amenities and charging luxury rents.

Our recommendation, once you're almost set to sign a luxury lease, is to practice your commute -- and remain focused on what you are looking for. Often, people get excited about amenities that they rarely end up using. These times, it's extremely important to stay practical. Don't allow yourself to be swayed by amenities you won't use anyway. If you've never stepped foot in a gym before, you probably won't start now. And if you don't have a pooch to pamper, the pet spa is useless.

Keep in mind that you have to have location as your top priority. You'll use the screening room and roofdeck a fraction of times you'll commute...twice a day, five days a week, all year round. If you decide a long commute is worth it, and the building runs a shuttle bus to the nearest T station, find out how frequently it runs -- and whether it will be convenient to take even on weekends.

Are guarantors accepted?

Luxury buildings don't come cheap. If your annual income (or your and your roommates' income combined) doesn't add up to 20-25 times the monthly rent--and if putting down a larger security deposit (say, 2 to 4 months rent) isn't possible -- will you be allowed to call in some reinforcements? Many landlords will accept a guarantor who makes at least 20 times the monthly rent and lives in the Northeast region.

If you're short on wealthy nearby relatives, see if the building is one of the hundreds in Boston and other major cities that accepts some form of renter's lease and security insurance. Chances are, they'd be willing to rent it out to someone rather than wait perennially to find a "proper" person to fill the property.

What's the story with storage space?

Your luxury building is more likely than other types of rentals to offer storage space, bike spaces, stroller storage and even wine storage, but is there a wait list? Is the price included in the rent? Space is a commodity you do not want to run short of, especially in luxury units since you're most likely to have socials and events that would require constant storage of party or guest needs.

Are you guaranteed a spot in the garage?

If you're one of the lucky/unlucky Bostonians who owns a car, you may be sick of playing the alternate side parking game every morning. But even if your new building has a garage, don't just assume that you're guaranteed a spot. Many places offer guaranteed parking spots for residents. Parking space is most abundant in the Cambridge condo market, but Boston also has its fair share of basement parking spaces. Some even have free valet service for those who are always in a rush to home, though of course tipping will be a must so better count that in to your budget.

Are dogs allowed?

Luxury rentals tend to be more dog-friendly than many rental buildings (at least if your dog is under 50 pounds). You will probably need to sign a pet rider--an addendum to your lease that lists the number and type of pets you own--and pay a pet deposit. You may also have to ride the service elevator when you're walking your dog, so ask about any special rules that apply. Many luxury buildings permit smaller pets (under 50 pounds), but prohibit larger animals or exotic pets that might frighten other residents.

Do they take credit cards?

Many large buildings owned and professionally managed by . Before you hand yours over, ask whether you will be charged a "convenience fee" for the pleasure and points of putting your rent on plastic. There's also the big chance that if you're renting a luxury unit, the property managers are in-house and would have a website payment portal that would allow you to use your credit card and debit card for rent transactions.

Call us now to find out what luxury apartments are available to you! We'll find you the best suitable place that matches your preferences! Call us at (617) 505-1781 now!

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