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Luxury Apartments: A Look Into the True Meaning of Luxury

The term “luxury” can mean any number of things depending on who you are and what standards of living to which you are accustomed. In terms of searching for the perfect apartment, there are many things to consider when it comes to living not just comfortably, but with many things beyond large square footage and bay windows. If you are moving into your first big place, the phrase “luxury apartment” can mean a lot of options that you never even thought about, such as what kinds of features and amenities are involved with having a luxury apartment as well as the kinds of things you think you can or would want to do without. A lot of this will depend on personal preference, but this article will guide you along the way by introducing you to some of the general features of luxury apartment living. It compares the costs and benefits associated with different amenities and lets you know what’s available in terms of luxury apartment living in the Baltimore-Towson area.

What Does It Mean to Live in the Lap of Luxury (Apartments)?

Typically, luxury apartments come in “packages,” so to speak, which are units located in buildings that offer distinctively high-quality features within the apartment unit. They also offer different types of services and amenities outside the confines of the apartment that you can take advantage of as a resident of your building or larger complex. You are not only paying for more square footage, floor-to-ceiling windows, and newer kitchen countertops, as part of the luxury aspect includes building or complex-wide amenities that are made available to you and which we will list for you. First, let’s talk about the kinds of things that mean luxury inside your own living space.

Luxury in Your Apartment

These days, it is taken for granted that luxury apartments will have the basics: large square footage (750 square feet or more for a one-bedroom), lots of open space and/or sunlight, temperature-controlled rooms (heat and air-conditioning), quality lighting (type and distribution in the space), and enough soundproofing in the walls to insulate you from the everyday noises associated living in close quarters with other people. However, there are different levels of upscaling apartments in terms of what the entire space or its rooms offer. Here are some examples of the things you might find according to each room. The lists are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather aim to give you an idea of what can be available to you, using a one-bedroom/one-bathroom space as a general model:

  • Living room: High ceilings or room depth; tall or wide windows that offer a nice view and/or lots of sunlight during the day; a fireplace; walls and floors made from authentic and high-quality natural materials or man made substitutes.
  • Kitchen: Granite, marble, or stainless steel countertops; stainless steel sink; high-quality appliances (microwave, refrigerator, oven); cabinets made from good materials (stained if wood); counter space; center island or a bar counter; easy layout and sizeability. The idea here is spaciousness, convenience, and floors, counters, and appliances that won’t stain or fall into disrepair.
  • Bedroom or Master Bedroom: Spaciousness; private balcony; walk-in closet; good lighting; private bathroom.
  • Bathroom: High-quality natural or man made materials for floors, walls, counters, and cabinets; design that helps keep away moisture and mold growth (if tile and grout, look for small and shallow design); large showers and/or tubs, with high water pressure and/or jacuzzi jets; good lighting and fan system and/or heated lights; counter space at the sink; spacious or floor-to-ceiling cabinets. Half-baths (toilet and sink, sometimes with a small shower) off of the common spaces of the apartment are sometimes offered as an amenity.
  • Other Features in the Apartment Itself: balconies; in-unit washer and dryer; spacious hallway closet.

    Generally, we suggest that you ensure that the basics are all in place for a luxury apartment before you go looking for the special “wow” features. Are the materials, features, and appliances hardy, durable, and stain or damage-resistant? How new or old are they? Do they clean easily? Do you have a good temperature control system? And, of course, it is ultimately a matter of priority. You may have to pick and choose what’s most important to you and your lifestyle. Will you be comfortable in a place that has a smaller kitchen because you want that jacuzzi-jetted, oversized tub in the bathroom? Whatever you decide, we recommend visiting the unit in person before you make your final decision for what luxury means to you.

    Luxury Outside Your Apartment

    One of the draws of apartment luxury living is the amenities that are offered outside the walls of your own place. Again, you have a lot of choices and it ultimately depends on what is most important to you. Are you a social person who likes to host football viewing parties? An apartment building that offers a community lounge with a large TV would be a good choice for you. Do you spend most of your free time at the gym? Many apartment buildings will have a full workout room, sometimes with 24 hour controlled access. Briefly, here are some of the amenities you can consider as potentially available to you as part of being a resident of your complex:

  • A pool, hot tub, and/or outdoor lounge areas. Here, quality, size, and regulations can matter. For example, are the chaise lounges made of rubber or do they have fabric cushions? Is there a shaded area where you can take a break from the sun from time to time? Do they allow alcoholic beverages at the pool? Are there particular swim times for children versus adults or seniors? Is the pool guarded? Does the complex provide you with towels, changing rooms, and a restroom?
  • Some complexes will simply have a gym--as in, a weight room, cardio machines, and a small area for stretching before and after your workout. But gyms, of course, can vary in size. If it is a large complex with several buildings and you like to exercise during the before and after rushes, you might want to consider a complex that has a lot of machines. Alternatively, you can find a building that offers residents 24-hour access to their gym and shift your schedule accordingly.
  • Fitness Center. Some apartment buildings have more comprehensive fitness centers--for example, there is a cardio and weight room, but they also have additional spaces and offer classes such as yoga/Pilates, dance, and spin. If they do, be sure to ask if there are any additional fees for participating in scheduled classes.
  • Game, TV, and Theater Rooms. A lot of luxury apartments and condos offer one or several common spaces outfitted with recreational amenities. Some include one or several flat screen televisions, WiFi access, a full or catering kitchen, pool and game tables, a bar, and an outdoor patio. Some will require reservations at all times, while others will only require reservations for large parties and some will allow residents and their guests to use the room if no one has made a reservation. A few buildings have small movie theaters, some of them complete with their own movie collections.
  • Underground or Sheltered Parking and Zipcar. Whether you drive your vehicle regularly or infrequently, this is an amenity that you should consider. Many cities have zoned parking and you should check to see if your apartment comes with a free parking space or a fee that is less or comparable, as it will save you the headache of having to search for the right places to park on the street when you come home from work. This option also helps keep your car safe and in good shape.
  • Pet-Friendly Buildings or Residential Communities. Some buildings go beyond simply offering apartments where your pet is welcome. Perhaps the complex is near parks, trails, and pet stores. Many also have pet clean-up stations in and around the residential grounds. This amenity usually requires an additional security deposit for your companion and sometimes immunization records.
  • Additional Luxury Features. A few other luxury features are important depending on the location of your apartment building. Is it in a recently upscaled neighborhood? You might want to seek a building that has on-site 24-hour security staff and safety measures that make you feel as safe as possible. Having a 100% smoke-free and eco-friendly environment may be important to you, or perhaps services that do not cost extra and/or are in operation 24 hours a day.

    All in all, finding a luxury space that fits your needs will be a matter of balance, priority, and planning ahead. It is also a matter of deciding what is most important to you in terms of your space and lifestyle. Chances are, you will not find a building that has all of these features, amenities, and services that you are seeking or in the right combination. Now that you know what you can look for in luxury apartments, we will review what the neighborhoods and building complexes in your local Baltimore and Towson area have to offer you.

    Luxury Apartments in Baltimore, MD

    Harbor East, Union Wharf, Midtown, and Guilford are neighborhoods in Baltimore where you will find a crop of luxury apartment buildings, as these neighborhoods are among the most urban and developed areas of the city. Harbor East and Union Wharf are located right on the riverfront, which means if a gorgeous view is a top priority of yours, these are the neighborhoods to look. MyNewPlace offers you a great look inside and around many of the luxury buildings in and around Baltimore’s top neighborhoods and list the amenities in a quick reference list when you perform a search for the city and its neighborhoods. Their site prominently features The Zenith, perhaps the cream of the crop when it comes to luxury apartments in Baltimore. Their apartment features include 6-foot tall windows, gourmet-class kitchens with cultured granite and marble countertops, and full-sized washer/dryer sets in the apartment proper. Their building amenities include 24-hour security and private concierge, a heated pool, an elite club room with many of the amenities listed above (“Game, TV, and Theater Rooms” above), a state-of-the-art fitness center with top-quality workout equipment, and controlled-access garage parking. Marketplace at Fells Point, on the other hand, keeps it relatively simple. It features large and open floor plans, a concierge, a fitness/yoga center, and a private courtyard with outdoor fireplace. Charles Towers, located in Midtown, is a good example of a residential community that ranges somewhere in the middle in terms of its apartment features and building amenities. Additional features not listed above include the building is eco-friendly and green and has an on-site food court for the maximum in convenience.

    Luxury Apartments in Towson (Baltimore Metro)

    Towson is a close-in Baltimore suburb and is the home of Towson University and Towson Town Center Mall, a large suburban shopping complex. Colony at Kenilworth is a luxury apartment community that is located close to both the school and the shopping center and additionally, it is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Baltimore. Its central location will likely serve many of your needs in terms of having urban life close at your fingertips, as it also has a modest range of features and amenities at a slightly lower cost than some of the luxury buildings in Baltimore proper. Apartments feature large living spaces, granite kitchen countertops with a bar and top-quality appliances and the amenities for this residential community include a heated pool, internet cafe, theater room, and fitness center. It also has a beautiful lobby and a large, covered outdoor patio with a fireplace and cushioned furniture. Somerset at Towson, which is also located in central Towson, is another option for luxury living. If you prefer a low- to mid-rise building, this is a great option, as this property also features 9 foot ceilings, oversized walk-in cabinets, and cherry cabinets inside the apartment. The complex has a great range of recreational and relaxation-focused amenities: a resort-style pool, yoga and fitness center, a community lounge, movie theater, and a Renaissance library for work and school projects.

    We hope that this is a helpful tool for you as you begin to search for luxury apartments in the Baltimore and Towson area. There are a range of options that residential companies are happy to talk over with you or share in person, and they love answering questions about why their building would be the best place for you. Happy hunting for your new, luxury place!