The most expensive one was dirty AF!
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
I'm looking for a Florida apartment to rent, and boy is it an uphill battle. I'm on a budget for $1,700 or less, but it's been such a struggle, I made some wiggle room and decided to see one that's a bit more money... and it was shocking.
My budget seems to be on-brand with what the average millennial makes a year and what they can afford, so I got a realtor to help me on my quest to move out of my parent's house.
It's widely known the market is outrageously high, so I toured six different places to show you what you can really get for an "affordable" monthly rental in South Florida, and I got it all on video for you to see!
Florida apartment tours video.Narcity USA
Showing 1 — $1,850/month
This first showing was 850 square feet, and I was excited to see it. Upon pulling up to the complex, it looked like a run-down motel. However, trying not to judge a book by its cover, I took a peek inside.
After all, the listing looked really nice, and I didn't think a building could catfish you, but I also was very wrong.
The kitchen was renovated, but the refrigerator had old food in it that looked like it was leftover for days.
The bathroom, although with new renovations, was absolutely disgusting. There was a huge dirt mound in the toilet. It was almost NSFW, I couldn't even get it on camera.
Only kidding... or am I?
The shared balcony of the listing.Jenna Kelley | Narcity
Showing 2 — $1,650/month
Not everything is as it appears online. This neighborhood seemed completely unsafe, which is so odd considering one street over is a nice shopping center and brewery.
However, we did not get out of our cars to see this one as it just wasn't a place I wanted to live at.
Showing 3 — $1,650/month
I fell in love with this third listing. It was a little more north than I'd like but it was the happy medium between where I live now and the downtown of Fort Lauderdale. This spot was also super clean with all new amenities.
It was so new, that even the refrigerator wrapping was still on it. This space was 650 square feet, but it looked as big as the first showing because of its open floor plan.
To top it off, the outside of the place was in a nice neighborhood and the building didn't look like an old motel.
An apartment in Fort Lauderdale.Jenna Kelley | Narcity
I put an offer down for this apartment.
They required my credit score, two or three pay stubs and my ID.
I had great credit, and everything was sent in when it needed to be. However, I got denied because another applicant offered more money.
A text message thread between Jenna Kelley and her realtor.Jenna Kelley | Narcity
I did my own research and checked back at the listing. The applicant offered to pay $200 more dollars monthly, taking that 650-square-foot apartment to $1,800.
Showing 4 — $1,600/month
The fourth showing was worth the waterfront views and gorgeous pool deck, but that's about it. The place was on the second floor, which I liked, though it was 580 square feet.
It came furnished, and, call me picky, but I can't picture the place as my own when I see all of someone's stuff stuffed into a small space. The owner's closet was filled with all of his clothes and his hats, so I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have my things here.
There was interesting wall decoration to boot, such as these art pieces that said "Raunchy Butthole".
Decoration in a South Florida apartment.Jenna Kelley | Narcity
Nonetheless, it wasn't the place for me. Plus, there were larger places I saw that met the price point of this rental.
Showing 5 — $1,600/month
The fifth place I searched was fairly close to my current house. It was on the opposite side of town from where I normally searched, but with my recent luck, I decided to give it a try.
It was outside hallways with cute plants to spruce up the place. However, the inside was extremely old school. So much so, there was a huge mirror in the middle of the living room!
Jenna Kelley taking a picture by the huge mirror.Jenna Kelley | Narcity
The floors were dirty, and I was getting restless. All I could think was, why show a dirty place?
Alas, we were back to look for just one more spot!
Showing 6 — $1,600/month
This last listing I went to go see was in Wilton Manors, which is a pretty popular spot, and I love how 2SLGBTQIA+-friendly the town is. There is so much to do in this area, and it was the perfect location for me to move.
The area itself was in a quiet neighborhood and located next to an apartment that is gated with security, so it made me feel quite safe. There was also a pool and on-site washer/dryer.
The apartment felt like it had a massive living room. The floors looked different than they did In the listing, but I figured carpet and furniture could cover it. It had a cute antique lamp for a dining table, a quaint kitchen and bathroom.
My only concern was how small the room was because they used most of the space for the living room. It didn't say how many square feet it was, but I would estimate it to be in the 700s range.
The inside dining room area and kitchen.Jenna Kelley | Narcity
I went to see it a second time to make sure it wasn't an emotional decision and decided to put an offer down.
I really thought I found my new bachelorette pad and I was so excited!
I got denied, this time for the amount of applicants. There were 16 people, according to my realtor, who applied for this apartment.
Talk about a saturated market! Maybe this is why sellers don't keep their apartments as clean as they could, they have so much demand!
The search continues, but if my journey shows anything, I hope it puts some renters' minds at ease that there is a place for you out there... it's just going to take time and patience.