Chapel Hill is a college town, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find an affordable furnished apartment. One of the few choices is the Northampton Plaza Apartments. Located right on the bus line at 600 Airport Road, this 6 floor building is also within walking distance of downtown. Sadly, like many towns in America, downtown Chapel Hill doesn’t have everything a person needs to live, like a grocery store.
When we moved into Northampton Plaza Apartments, we didn’t know how long we’d stay. We needed something temporary until we were ready to make a big move. The apartment manager was spectacularly nice and advised that we sign a one year lease because it carried the lowest rental payments; we’d sort it out later if we ended up staying longer. We lived there for nearly 18 months.
Northampton Plaza in Chapel Hill contains only one bedroom, furnished apartments. The furniture wasn’t brand new, but it was sufficient. There were two closets, one in the bedroom and one large one in the entryway/kitchen. The kitchen had a normal sized refrigerator with a freezer, an standard sized oven and stove top, a dishwasher, pretty good counter top space and sufficient cupboards. There was one rather decrepit kitchen table with 4 unremarkable chairs. The furnishings in the living room included one sofa, one armchair, a coffee table and a dresser. Each apartment has a balcony accessible with sliding glass doors, or on the ground floor a patio. As there was no visual barrier between neighbor’s balconies, there was little privacy outdoors. The bedroom was furnished with two twin beds and a bedside table; the bathroom’s vanity sink is in the bedroom.
Carpeting is the no-pile type and runs throughout, from the kitchen to the bathroom. The bathroom was small and contained a toilet and a bathtub/shower with sliding doors. The condition of the fixtures was not great, but everything worked. When we first moved in, our sink dripped. We complained and they fixed it rather quickly.
The apartment complex has a pest prevention company come every few months. They would leave a notice under our door giving us several days’ warning. The pest treatment people were quick and quiet and didn’t disturb us. During our time there, we didn’t have any problems with insect pests. We did have a rat. We’re pretty sure that because our apartment was on the ground floor and near the exit door, the rat came in from outside and wasn’t a building-wide problem. When we reported the noises to the building, they came immediately and put poison in the hole the rat had chewed behind the oven. While that’s not my favorite way to handle pests, it’s better than living with a rat. The maintenance man was really good about checking up on things and followed up on the rat several times in the ensuing weeks. We didn’t have any repeat problems.
The laundry room was located in the basement and had around 6 washers and dryers available during reasonable hours. The room was unlocked from about 8am until about 10pm. The room was always clean, as were the elevator, common areas and grounds surrounding the Northampton Plaza building.
The biggest problem we had at the Northampton Plaza Apartments was noise. We had such a problem with our next door neighbors and two downstairs neighbors in the first apartment we rented that we requested a move. The manager was very generous with giving me a week to move our stuff down the hallway. The doors to the common corridors weren’t soundproofed at all. If they had been, it would have solved a lot of annoyances, as the walls were sufficiently thick to block any non-ridiculously loud noise. While there were never any disturbing parties, a neighbor 6 doors down sometimes got really raucous with her visitors and the noise was loud enough to carry down the hall into our apartment and wake us up. The other noise problem we had was that someone 5 floors up had a piano and would play for hours. For some reason, the piano noise carried through the walls into our apartment and drove me batty. With neighbors who observed the normal noise standards of living in an apartment building, we never heard anything.
Overall, I would recommend renting a place in the Northampton Plaza Apartments if you need a furnished one bedroom in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is a good place to stay while you are looking for something better or attending UNC-CH. If you are new to Chapel Hill, the apartment manager is a fantastic source of information. Because the electricity is included in the rent, it’s good for people on a budget. If you are accustomed to luxury living or highly sensitive to noise disturbance, it’s probably not a good place for you.