The only thing missing is turndown service

Have I mentioned I’m an impatient person?

No, my house is not even on the market yet. Yes, I know this is not a good seller’s market.

But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about what I want next – and wishing I had it now.

The problem with looking at houses and townhomes is that whatever is available now will likely not be available when it’s actually time to buy.

However, in driving around and doing a little research, Jeff and I discovered something I never thought would happen: We’d be open to living in an apartment again. And not necessarily just temporarily – some of these places seem so nice that once you got in, you wouldn’t want to leave!

In the Southend area of Charlotte, where we want to live, there has been a recent addition of luxury apartments. These aren’t your college apartments, I realized quickly. They more resemble luxury hotels than anything else. And that, my friends, is the perfect living solution for us.

We visited a few yesterday – just to see what was out there. Here’s a review of some of the apartments we checked out – what we liked about them, what we didn’t like …

The first one we visited I fell in love with immediately – Spectrum, apartments recommended by Susan, who also recommended SouthEnd in general. I knew I wanted to live here before I even saw the apartment.

They have a coffee bar in the Internet lounge.


They have a gym that tops any apartment gym I’ve ever seen – no need for a membership elsewhere.

They have two pools, both of them salt water, both of them open year-round, and one of them is a 25m lap pool (did I mention I’ve been training for a triathlon?) Fun common areas with outdoor TVs and gas grills and fire pits. Indoor common area has a billiards table and lots of TVs – meant for watching sports.

Not to mention location – it’s about a block away from the closest LYNX light rail station.

There is a running/walking/cycling path right outside the complex. What’s it missing? That’s right, nothing.

The apartments themselves are great. Granite countertops, floating islands, wood floors, modern lighting and open spaces. At up to 1,422 square feet, that’s plenty of space for us and our dogs and our office space needs. Of course, we’d need a guest room still – because everyone would want to visit us here!

Of course, Spectrum isn’t the only place we looked at. We initially were smitten with the Ashton apartments, and the location of these is just a tiny bit better than Spectrum – they are between Spectrum and the light rail.

Unfortunately, all of the leasing agents were busy, so we didn’t get to see the apartments. We will go back to look later. We did get to poke around in the lobby area, though, and the amenities seem very similar to Spectrum –  free coffee (Ashton’s is 24 hours!), nice workout room, billiards and sports TVs … They also have a theater room. Pretty cool, but I wonder how often I would use it …

Ashton seems to have a more executive slant to it. It has conference rooms available for rental. Also has dry cleaning on site and package delivery.

The difference between the two, from what we can tell, is slight – but Spectrum seems a little more modern, whereas Ashton is a little more luxury. I would probably be very happy living in either, but I have a feeling Spectrum has more residents our age and with similar interests, whereas Ashton seems to attract an older crowd. I’ll tell you more after I see the actual apartment.

The last place we visited was The Circle. The interesting piece to this is that it’s Charlotte’s first green apartment complex (according to them). That definitely is a huge plus. There were similar amenities – swimming pool, outdoor fire place, workout room, billiards and coffee and internet cafe … And this coffee/wifi area did seem to be the one I’d spend the most time in, truthfully:

Something was off, though …

Jeff nailed it when he said “it lacked polish”. It was an okay apartment complex, but it wasn’t blowing me away as a luxury apartment complex. It felt like a rental. And compared to the last two places, that just wasn’t going to work.

I really felt it when we saw the inside of the apartment:

Now, I love the modern, open style, don’t get me wrong. But I recognized the kitchen cabinets – they’re from IKEA. And as much as I love IKEA, I think it has its place – and it doesn’t belong in a luxury apartment home. I also love the open white shelving and I think I could have a blast with decorating – but there’s a lack of other storage, and that’s not okay compared with Spectrum’s endless cabinets.

I will say the location of The Circle was the best of the three. But when you’re on the light rail, any location is a good one, really.

I’ll come out of my dream world now to say that selling our house isn’t the only problem we’d have with any of these places. There’s also this little guy, who really isn’t so little:

Apparently, dobermans – and doberman mixes – are on a naughty list when it comes to apartment living. None of these places will let him live there. I’ve tried to justify it in my mind by saying he’s actually a mutt, and for all we know he could be a miniature pincher mix and that’s where he got his coloring … but at 70 lbs, I doubt he could pass for anything other than a rottweiler or doberman.

So, the bottom line is the chances of us living in any of these apartments anytime soon are slim to none. My solution to this is that perhaps there is a condo that someone owns and wants to rent out, that perhaps has a few of the amenities I’ve decided I need. Or maybe there’s a rental home nearby. No pool or workout room … but at least we’d have the location.  

Kishin must know I love him … I’m giving up a saltwater lap pool and free coffee for him …