Studio Apartments for Rent

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Studio Apartments: What To Look For

A studio apartment might be a smaller space, but there are many big factors to take into consideration when you are deciding which one is right for you. Many, if not most, people choose to take a studio in order to save money, but it is not just the listed price of rent that you want to pay attention to. For example, you may be required to commute to and from work, so this adds a layer of additional expense to your monthly budget. It may instead be a better move to find a studio that has a higher listed price, but which is more centrally located and allows you to walk to work.

There are other facets of comparison that you want to consider as well, and which relate more directly to the space you will be living in once you decide on what kind of studio is right for you. Is it important to you to have a partition between your sleeping area and the rest of the space? Will you want to have enough counter and cabinet space to put more than a few kitchen appliances away? These are the kinds of things we tend to think about when we are looking for an appropriately-sized and laid out studio apartment.

“Studio” Versus “Efficiency”

Some apartment buildings use the term “efficiency” instead of “studio," and while studio apartments are not always small, efficiencies are. Like a studio, the living and sleeping areas are one, but you will often have a kitchenette with a wall of space and appliances instead of a full kitchen. Some apartment rental companies do not distinguish between the two, a point which makes it worth taking the time to figure out what apartment features are available in the space and whether it is worth the cost for you. Again, the median size-feature-cost ratio all depends on the city and neighborhood you are exploring.

Studio Lofts

Studio lofts are especially large and open spaces ranging on the greater side of the square footage scale. Some typical features you will generally find in a loft are high ceilings with exposed beams and other industrial markers, tall or floor-to-ceiling windows, an alcove, a separate bath, and a full kitchen. Many studio lofts are converted spaces - for example, you will find them in formerly industrial areas in buildings that were once warehouses and/or used for storage. The cost of a loft will depend on neighborhood location and median real estate, so in neighborhoods that are in the initial stages of becoming residential areas, you can often find lofts that are commensurate, or even lower, in cost than studios located in city hot spots. On the other hand, there are luxury studio loft apartments in centrally-located areas that have less square footage than a one bedroom, but which are greater in cost. In this case, it is usually a specific type of preferred living style that creates the draw for people to seek out luxury lofts.

Some mid- to large-size studios will have some sort of wall or partition constructed to mark off a sleeping area and may, but not always, impact cost. If maintaining a separate sleeping area is important to you, there are always ways of creatively using the space and/or items like rods and curtains.

What You Can Expect in a Typical Studio Apartment

A studio apartment combines the living and sleeping areas into one space and for people who are starting out on a budget and who want to live in an upscale or centrally located city neighborhood, it is often a great choice. Here is a quick guide to understanding what you can expect when it comes to studios.

Size and Square Footage

Studios are typically smaller in square footage than one bedrooms and this is a big reason for their lower cost. The range in size, median size, and square-footage-to-cost ratio will vary according to where you live - both in terms of the city and the particular neighborhood of that city. Generally, you can expect a studio to be anywhere from 350-800 square feet. Most people can live comfortably in a 500 square foot space, as you can fit the essential furniture in and still have enough room to feel like you are not the old woman who lived in her shoe, to borrow from the popular nursery rhyme.

If you are looking on the smaller side of this square footage range, it is worth exploring ideas for multi-purpose storage and whether there is any dead space that you can use strategically. Do keep in mind that an apartment’s listed square footage also includes the bathroom and kitchen spaces, so make sure you are okay with having a limited amount of counter space for cooking appliances and food prep so that you can have a larger living area. As as result, finding the right studio is always a matter of balance and often strategic decision-making when you are deciding what you will ultimately be comfortable with long-term.

The Bathroom and the Kitchen

What you will find in terms of a bathroom and kitchen in studio apartments will vary. In almost all cases, the bathroom will be a separate room and contain the essentials such as a toilet, shower area, and sink. The showering facilities and available sink and storage spaces will vary most greatly, as some studio bathrooms have a full bathtub while others will have a shower stall with standing room only. You might have a sink with a mirrored storage cabinet installed above, but in other studio spaces, you might also have a bit of counter space or, perhaps, a cabinet built around the sink’s pipes for additional storage.

Kitchens are quite variable in a studio in terms of size and also what appliances and other features they have, as the kitchen is not always separate or marked off from the rest of the room. You can generally expect to find a stove, refrigerator, sink, and some cabinets and counter space, even though these might be limited compared to 1-plus bedroom and baths. Stoves can be 2 or 4 burners, and refrigerator size can also vary (half or full). While it may not always be possible to prepare and host a 20-person sit-down dinner in your studio apartment, in most cases, you will likely be able to comfortably prep and cook most meals for yourself. If you find yourself limited in this regard, procuring a small rolling island with drawers for storage is a great investment.

Studio Apartments in Spokane

Spokane is unofficially divided into two districts - the North side and the South side - and you will commonly find studio units in the Spokane neighborhoods of Brownes Addition, Cliff Cannon, and Riverside, with no particular concentration or cost bias on either the north or south end of the city. The median price range is roughly $400-550, with the most significant factor being square footage, and most studios are about 385-600 square feet.

Another significant factor for the price of a studio is location. For example, Riverside is the most costly neighborhood, as it is an area that has recently and very quickly experienced revitalization, with many business, retail, and residential projects underway. Here, you can expect to find high rises and luxury units. Many of the other Spokane neighborhoods will have more modest-appearing buildings tailored to the needs of a college student and young professional market because many of the city’s young people attend Gonzaga University or Whitworth University.

The neighborhoods of Brownes Addition and Cliff Cannon both have studio apartments that fall into the median price and square footage ratio/range. For example, at Riverton Terrace in Brownes Addition, you will find an incredibly affordable studio price range, but the square footage is fairly small--$495 for 630 square feet. In this building, other amenities might compensate for the small size, as it is a secured building, there are on-site laundry facilities, it is pet-friendly (with a size restriction), and it is within 1-4 blocks of several cafes and restaurants, as well as a grocery store and Gonzaga University. Meadow Ridge is also an option in Brownes Addition, offering 500 square feet for $495 per month. Air conditioning, a microwave, and view of the river are listed among the apartment’s features, and the building also has secure access and laundry facilities, off-street parking, and additional storage as building amenities.

Riverton Terrace in Cliff Cannon offers two studio floor models: 630 square feet for $495 per month and 650 square feet for $505 per month. This building is also pet friendly and is near Gonzaga University, several cafes, and a few natural/gourmet grocery stores. Walkscore.com calls it a “Walker’s Paradise” if you plan to do your major commuting on foot.

There are other neighborhoods in Spokane that fall towards the greater price point for the median range. Affinity at Mill Roadnear Minnehaha, known for its outdoorsy and rock scrambling crowds, offers a 496 square foot studio starting at $1000 a month. The reason it is more expensive is because it is less centrally located than either Brownes Addition or Cliff Cannon and provides more seclusion and outdoor recreation possibilities. By contrast Affinity at South Hill, located on a scenic hill in the Thorpe neighborhood, offers a 496 square foot luxury studio model starting at $1050. Here, you will see that location can influence price more so than square footage, as this property is on a scenic hill off of the Latah Valley in a subdivision-rich residential neighborhood.

As mentioned above, Riverside is the up-and-coming commercial and residential district in Spokane where you can expect to find studios or luxury lofts at slightly lower prices. Appleway Rosewood Apartments, a multi-building complex, offers a 690 square-foot model for a price range of around $620 per month, a slight bit lower than the average square-footage-to-price ratio.

Finally, Garland and North Trail are both heavily residential, so you may not find as many apartment buildings or complexes in these neighborhoods. But like many other neighborhoods in Spokane, they will offer studio apartments that are leased by private owners. It is worth checking Craigslist for these offerings, as many private owners are willing to offer both short and long-term leases.

Whether you decide to go with an apartment building or a private owner, Spokane’s pricing is not only consistent, it is also incredibly affordable. The fact that it is home to two universities makes it a great place for young people in particular to start off with a first apartment that does not break the bank.

Spokane offers studios in most of its neighborhoods and many of the buildings are located within walking distance of grocery stores, cafes, and other commercially rich parts of the city. One of the great benefits is that you do not necessarily have to sacrifice much in terms of price according to location, as it is primarily square footage that drives the cost of rent per month.

Whether you find yourself wanting a studio near one of the local universities, shopping areas, or in a neighborhood that is somewhat distant from the hustle and bustle of the busier streets, Spokane is an incredibly affordable city to live in once you have decided to make it your new place. What makes it even more appealing is that it is a city that values green, eco-friendly, and second-hand or vintage living styles and there are plenty of people, retailers, and shops that you are bound to encounter who can give you tips on how to repurpose, use multi-functional storage, and upcycle so that you have the trendy place you want.