Grapevine: about to sign lease, need resident feedback on Camden Riveralk and Marquis Silver Oaks (Dallas: apartment complexes, rental)
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Grapevine: about to sign lease, need resident feedback on Camden Riveralk and Marquis Silver Oaks
I'm going to be committing to a lease in Grapevine in a few weeks and need some help.
I have two choices: the Camden Riverwalk and The Marquis at Silver Oaks.
I like both; they have apartments available but they're going quick and I need to make a decision on which to hold. We made a visit to DFW a few months ago to take a look and we liked what we saw in both complexes.
So I could really use some feedback from tenants, or those who might have friends/family in those places whom they visit.
Marquis has lower prices, while I know they don't have the high end finishes of Camden (and some of the amenities), the apartments are still very nice. But the prices are so much lower that I am a little suspicious. Is the vacancy at the Marquis going up because they're not "new" or "high end" anymore? Or are there other reasons?
Camden is pricier, but the amenities and granite aren't deal breakers for us. We like living a bit below our means if the price difference is big enough- and it is, by $300 for an identically sized apartment with similar amenities.
This is a tough decision. I'm leaning towards a lower priced apartment- marquis-, but second guessing the reasons for the price difference. On the other hand Marquis might be nice and the difference could just be the difference in the bells and whistles. I'm on the other side of the continent, so I can't make another trip to decide (and the apartments might be gone by then).
Well I didn't get any responses as I hoped on this thread, but I just returned from my trip to Grapevine and wanted to report back in case anyone else moving to DFW could use the info on the apartment complexes.
The apartments at the Marquis are of varying condition- all pretty decent but the cheapest ones we looked at seemed a bit lived in and had dated appliances (which were going to be replaced, but it seems like the prices have a lot to do with the upgrades in the different apartments). We opted for paying more for a better apartment at the Marquis with newer appliances and finishes. So in the end there was nothing suspicious about the Marquis' Grapevine location at all, they just had some UN-renovated units that were moving slowly and they were priced accordingly. The better units were priced more in line with the average for the nicer gated apartment complexes in Grapevine offering attached garages.
We went back to the Camden several times and noticed a lot of things that bothered us. First, the gates were always open- this was on the weekends and weekdays even at night (we drove by 6 times, and drove through the complex 3 times during our visit). Why would we pay a premium to live in a gated complex when a "hi! Don't live here? Come on in and rob us!!!" signal is announced by leaving the gates wide open? We asked the rental agents about this and they claimed they only have it open during specific times for "convenience" but our repeat returns to inspect the property said otherwise. There were also a glut of gas/charcoal grills on patios, some being operated by the tenants while we were driving around to take a look. So it seems the local law about BBQing on patios is not enforced here (you can store the grill on the patio, but you can't use it). We asked the agents about this as well, and we got the impression that while they advise tenants on the local law, they don't enforce it and leave it up to the city to issue citations for anyone caught in the act of firing the grill up. Now I love BBQ as much as the next person and I understand why people don't like the rules, but from a fire code standpoint I completely agree with the law and feel it should be enforced by the management. This left other questions open, if they don't enforce the "no grilling on your patio" rule, what ELSE aren't they enforcing? IF we have trouble with our neighbors breaking other rules which might impact our safety or right to quietly enjoy our apartment, will the management turn a blind eye to that as well? For example, if I repeatedly complained about my neighbor walking their aggressive dog off the leash would they do something about it? Or wait until I've been mauled? By that point I'd have lawyered-up and shown both parties what "contract" means, but that's beside the point. There was more than enough doubt that Camden doesn't enforce their rules, enough where we took Camden off the list of contenders.
They push a social atmosphere at the Camden, and the management does a lot of work organizing social events for the residents. That's nice if you want to socialize and party, but we just want a nice and quiet apartment and not a frat-house. We also got the impression that there were a lot of apartments containing several roommates; we observed many people pacing around on cell phones in the stairwells- since it was 109 outside I can only assume they were chatting outside the apartment for lack of privacy indoors. Camden's apartments were very nice, and the upgraded ones come with granite, but the prices were a bit to high considering they weren't *that* much different from or better than their competitors. But even if it weren't for the prices we'd already decided that Camden wasn't a place we'd enjoy living in.
On the other hand, the Marquis always had their gates closed so we could not drive through the complex to take a look around, with the exception of rush hour on Monday night when we stopped by. There were far less BBQ grills on people's patios, and when we asked whether the "no grilling" rule was enforced and the answer was yes, they do cite people for such infractions against their lease rather than just leaving it to the city to deal with.
Both complexes were nice, clean and well kept. There was NO garbage anywhere on either properties, no weird smells or neglected areas needing repair. Both seemed to have starkly different atmospheres.
I think Camden is ideal for those who want to socialize, love having lots of people around, need a younger crowd, but don't mind some riff-raff entering the property whom do not reside there, and slack enforcement of property rules. The renovated units in the east half of the complex had very nice finishes (granite kitchens), a center island, and higher-end appliances like double-door stainless refrigerators. They have more ordinary units as well with mica counter-tops. The prices were higher than the Marquis.
Marquis apartments were comparable to the Camden's, but the kitchen layouts weren't as modern since it's an older complex. Some of Marquis units have granite, but not all do and the prices vary depending on how upgraded an apartment is. However, it's very well-kept and clean, it doesn't look older on the outside. They seem to enforce rules more seriously, and they show care with keeping the gates shut to keep intruders out.
For a 2br 2 bath apartment with an *attached* private 1 car garage, the range was $1080-$1400 for the marquis. Small 2br models were around 1100-1250, the larger ones were around 1250-1400. Camden was charging on average 200-500 more than Marquis for similar apartments.
If you don't want a private attached garage, the prices go waaaay down- probably because 2br/2ba without garages tend to be on the 3rd floors, no one likes stairs and on top of that everyone wants a private garage to protect their car from the elements. All apartment complexes seemed to have an abundance of those types of units because of lower demand.
Thanks for the reviews! I live in Grapevine so I usually draw a blank when I'm asked about apartments.
I will say those rents are outrageous! That's as much as my mortgage payment on a 3/2/2 house! When we rented a house in the Bellaire neighborhood, it was only $1000 monthly!
And there's not much "riff raff" to worry about in Grapevine. The few car burglaries tend to be at the Mall.
Good to hear Grapevine is a safe place, so far everyone we met who lives there is VERY happy and love the neighborhood.
Believe it or not there were places almost twice as expensive as those two complexes! 925 Main was charging about $2,200+ for a 2/2, and Stonelege was charging $1500-$1900! Don't get me wrong, both of those were brand new lux apartments and were probably nice places to live but we weren't willing to pay that much.
There were apartment complexes charging much less than Camden and Marquis, but they weren't as nice in terms of interior quality and didn't have private attached garages (some didn't offer covered parking either). We were willing to pay a little more for those extras, but anything over $1400 is really burning more money than we thought necessary.
925 Main at least has the awesome location going for it. Looking at Stonelege's website, they sound nice, but no real photos...?
Be sure and come to Grapefest Sept 13-16!!!
I agree! We drove past 925 several times and remarked on what an fantastic location it had, so we looked up their website with enthusiasm but then noted the high prices. We'd have loved to live in downtown GV and be able to walk to the shops and restaurants (loved main street bakery, amazing crepes!).
I'd love to come to Grapefest but my move in date is for October-ish so I feel bad about missing it this year. Any other events in GV coming up for the fall?
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