There’s plenty of choice – and there’s also a pretty high chance you can get the apartment you want…
1. ‘Flats’ are not the same as Apartments. One of the first big lessons we learned. Flats are basically studios, with the bedroom sectioned off by a fake wall or a set of sliding doors. Kind of like this:
2. You’re not fighting to view with 50 other people. Most of the time, it’s just you. You book an appointment, and get your own personal tour. You can even look at a place 2-3 times before you decide!
3. A lot of apartments offer 1 month+ rent free. Especially in the colder season. Some places even offer 2-3 months rent free. And you can find ones giving away Visa gift cards too, like this complex in Belltown/SLU. Talk about a bargain!
4. Apartment blocks have their own ‘concierge’ desk. This is because they are owned by a corporation, but basically you have someone manning an office on the ground floor. Just like a hotel!
5. Gyms and conference rooms are included. Yep, almost every single apartment block here includes a 24-hour gym. Some have pools and saunas. And there’s also a conference or ‘break out’ room and kitchen with free Wi-Fi, which you can also reserve for private parties.
6. You have to pay for Water, Sewage & Garbage. Unlike back home, these costs are all charged to the tenant.
7. Appliances are included. In almost all apartments you get a (huge) fridge, a microwave, a dishwasher and a gigantic washer and dryer included in the unit/rent. No buying necessary!
8. You’re looking at least a 12 month lease. 6 month and rolling leases aren’t common here. Longer leases for 14, 15 or 18 months are also easy to come by and are often preferred.
9. Everywhere is dog friendly. Dogs (and cats) are allowed in almost every apartment we’ve looked at. The downside, though, is that you have to pay a hefty deposit if you want to keep a pet, and most places will charge an additional monthly ‘pet rent.’
10. Storage is king. Even small apartments will come with lots of storage space in the way of cupboards, cavities and shelving. It’s awesome for de-cluttering. Walk-in wardrobes are pretty standard, too. Here’s ours:
11. There are more coming. If you’re worried about missing out, don’t be. The amount of new apartment blocks going up in Seattle is insane.
12. Rooftop decks are the shizzle here. I guess because yards and verandas aren’t that common?! Most rooftops are beautiful or at least done up nicely. You can hang out, cook a BBQ, “walk” your dog or just admire the views.