I recently toured Varsity Berkeley Apartments in downtown Berkeley. This is a huge complex. The building runs across an entire block. The building is still under construction, bu they are signing leases now for occupancy in late July. The rent on 2 bedroom apartments ranges from $3,750 to $4,200 a month. Parking is extra. They are advertising these apartments as rentals for college students, hence the name ‘Varsity Berkeley’, but I wonder – how many college students can really afford to pay $4,000 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment?
What is a ‘luxury apartment’? The sales brochure says that you will ‘live in luxury’ at Varsity Berkeley. It seems like every new apartment house in Berkeley uses the word ‘luxury’ to describe their apartments, but what exactly does that mean? ‘Luxury apartment’ could mean almost anything and based on my observations, it usually just means ‘expensive.’ If there is a legal definition of the word ‘luxury’, I would like to know what it is. To be fair, Varsity Berkeley has some very nice amenities, including a spacious rooftop garden. They will also have valet garbage collection. That means they will pick up your garbage at your apartment. You won’t have to carry your garbage to a garbage can or a garbage chute. That is not a service that I provide. I do not pick up my tenants’ garbage and put it in their garbage cans for them.
Varsity Berkeley has some interesting swag at their rental office. They have free bags of gumballs with the name ‘Varsity Berkeley’ printed on the bag, but I wonder if that is enough to get people to sign leases. I always keep my eye on Berkeley landlords who give free candy to their tenants; however, I am not convinced that bags of gumballs are real competition with my free chocolate room. You know, you can buy a lot of gumballs for $4,000 a month!
Mark’s Money Saving Tip: If you want to save even more money on ice cubes, buy an ice cube tray at Dollar Tree and make your own ice cubes. If you don’t know how to make ice cubes, send me an e-mail, and I will send you the recipe. Ice cubes are not hard to make.
You can order Glace luxury ice cubes directly from the company’s web site. The company claims that their ice cubes melt more slowly in cocktails than regular ice cubes. I don’t know if that’s true. It seems to me that the speed at which an ice cube melts in a cocktail is determined by how cold the ice cube is, not by how much it costs, or whether it is hand-carved are machine-made. I rent a house to a bunch of chemistry grad students. This sounds like something they should be able to figure out, so I will ask them.