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It may sound like it’s some distance from the bustle that is Manhattan, but the town of Montclair in Essex County is an easy commute into the city. With the arrival of new luxury apartments, Montclair is becoming more inviting for commuters.
Montclair is a town of about 38,000 that sits in the northern portion of Essex County, New Jersey, about 30 minutes north of the county seat, Newark, and roughly 40 minutes from Midtown Manhattan’s Penn Station.
Montclarion at Bay Street Station is a new luxury building at 25 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair that has forty 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for rent, to go along with the 7 penthouse apartments. The first floor of the building contains 1,200 square feet of retail space. The complex name is in reference to the proximity of the nearest train station.
The new complex has Jersey City style amenities that are comparable to the likes of The One Jersey City on First Street, including a fitness center, parking garage with bike racks, and a rooftop patio. The interior of each luxury unit includes hardwood floors in the living room, stainless steel kitchen appliances, in-unit washer/dryer sets, 9′ ceilings, and individually controlled central heat and air. This pet-friendly complex has applied for an LEED certification from the USGBC. For the convenience of the tenant, Montclarion II, as it is known in the area, has a resident portal on their website in order to pay your rent online.
Market rate apartments at Montclair II start at $2,250 per month for a one-bedroom unit and $2,650 per month for a two-bedroom unit. There are two units in the complex that have been designated as affordable housing.
The new complex is the second housing project in Montclair to be donned with the Montclarion name. The first, Montclair I, was built just over 30 years ago at 10 Pine Street in Montclair. The original Montclarion complex has 56 recently upgraded rental units, six of which are designated as affordable housing through the year 2048.
One of the most important steps to finding and renting a new apartment (or buying a house, for that matter) is determining how much you can afford to pay. This may seem, to many of you, like common sense. We have all been in situations where we want so badly to move that we forget to stop and be rational.
Recently, while looking for a new place to live, I came across this video from a guy that says his name is Joe Shmoe. His short 2-minute video reminded me of how important it is to create your budget before you go looking for apartments, whether it be out and about in the city or from the comfort of your couch, searching online. As a rule of thumb, your net monthly income should be 2.5 times higher than your monthly rent. In other words, if your rent is $2800 a month, your net income should be $7000. I know that is not the ideal situation for everyone, but it is a good reference point.
Once you have established your price point, then you can go searching for places that you like that fit into your budget. I would recommend doing an online search using Google or Bing, and creating a list of 5-10 places where you would like to live. Remember, you are searching for a place to call home, and hopefully that means for an extended period of time.
After you have your list, then you can go check out the neighborhood of each address. It it recommended to make 3 trips to each location. One in the daytime, Monday through Friday, so you can observe the daily routine. The second trip should be a daytime visit on Saturday. That is when everyone would be home, and you can get a feel of how people in the community hang out, and interact. The third trip should be on a Saturday night between 10pm and 11pm. You are making this trip to make sure the community is a safe place for you and your family.
If you are satisfied with the neighborhood after your three visits, go ahead and schedule an appointment to see the available apartments in the building. As “Joe Shmoe” said in his video, don’t use the word ‘budget’ when talking to the rental agent. They are usually trained to upsell the clients, and get you to spend more money than you have available.
In my recent search, I found a listing for a brand new apartment in New Jersey with a fitness center, swimming pool, movie screening room, and a whole lot more. Apartmentguide.com indicates that a studio apartment at The One Jersey City starts at $2895 per month. Just a little out of my price range.