Hello, internet void! I’ve returned again after another 10-month hiatus with some more lovely tales of strange misfortune. Currently, I’m relocating to a new city AGAIN. Which means more apartment hunting and let me tell you I have some feelings about this.
can be is a stressful process. You’re usually on limited time, in a new place, with limited funds, all while trying to avoid scams, crime, and creeps! This is my second time searching for an apartment in the past year and I’ve had my share of weirdos, false alarms, and wins. I am certainly no expert but I do have some tips and tricks I’ve used to hold on to what small amount of my sanity I have left.
#1 Make a wishlist……even if your budget is for a tin can.
Working with animals I don’t make very much money at all. When I started looking for apartments I had my budget and I figured I couldn’t afford much anyway so I didn’t make a list of things I wanted in an apartment. I would go to viewing after viewing and walk away uninterested because all the listing had offered me was being in my budget. I became frustrated with myself because I was spending hours meeting landlords and potential roommates, driving all over the city without any leads. I realized I wanted to be close to work, live alone, and have laundry on site or in the apartment. These were things I decided were worth putting my rent towards the top of my budget. Once I realized this I felt more confident with the listings I saw.
#2 Take a buddy or two with ya. Having a second set of eyes to look at things is really helpful. A friend or family member is able to look a little closer at things while you are talking with the leasing agent. They also might pick up on things you didn’t notice. I really liked one apartment until my mom pointed out how badly the hallway smelled of cigarette smoke, being on the second floor all the smoke would rise….right into my apartment. Something I am not interested in. Or how my dad pointed out how overgrown one complex was. This shows maintenance and groundskeeping might not be the most attentive.
#3 Pack snacks.
Most people I know get hangry, without even realizing it. This can be a real hindrance to apartment hunting. You might not ask questions or notice important details if your stomach is growling. Having some fuel to help you get through apartment hunting can keep you going long enough to find your future digs.
#4 Take notes and pictures. Visiting multiple places over a short period of time can get repetitive. At the end of the day all the apartments kind of blur together, taking photos of potential pads can really help in your decision making process. I also like to jot down notes. When Tammy from leasing tells me the monthly average for utilities and then jumps to discussing the parking policy my memory will not keep up. When it comes time to make a decision you can reference pictures and notes in addition to a slew of maps and rental quotes.
#5 Don’t lose hope.
I’ve been experiencing a lot of false alarms-great apartments in my ideal location and within my budget…..then someone else locks it down before I do. This has led to me being rather cynical about the apartment hunting process as a whole. But patience is key, my new apartment and my previous apartments were both some of the last places I looked.
These 5 tips are pretty much all the advice I can offer as a twenty-something who really has no idea what she’s doing. I really lucked out and finally, am done hunting. I no longer have to find character references or let ANYONE know my credit score. Tune in next week where I give advice on how to do your taxes! Just kidding….. 🙂