Apartment hunting is difficult, frustrating and just plain annoying. So here’s the question: How do you find an apartment you like enough to live in for the next few years?
Well, it seems like an impossible task which is why a lot of people move every year when their lease is up.
Ok, lets get the obvious stuff out of the way. You need to narrow down certain things like preferred location and a price range. Be honest with yourself when you do this. You can’t have an awesome location with a price range so low you can barely live. So being reasonable, you pick your top locations with a price range you can afford.
When I went apartment hunting, I had two lists:
I can’t live without or with. (i.e. make-it-or-break-it stuff)
Preferred but not needed. (i.e. stuff you want but can live without)
First, for the “I can’t live without or with,” list. Here’s what I had on mine: square footage needs to be big enough for my furniture, washer/dryer hook-up, dishwasher and a spacious kitchen. Cannot be a noisy neighborhood.
Now, let me add this in–if you don’t own a washer and dryer yourself, be prepared to either spend top dollar on your place or bend on having to do the laundry mat thing. (Sorry, folks. Just being honest here–most of the cheaper places just have hook-ups.) There are a lot of complexes that have laundry facilities on site which might be a good option if your budget doesn’t allow for the higher prices.
Preferred but not needed: new carpet, updated kitchen, elevator or first floor apartment, (yes I’m lazy when it comes to groceries…) ceiling fans and really good maintenance.
I found everything on my must-have list but had to sacrifice everything on my preferred list. I ended up getting a nice apartment that fits all my needs with none of the extras. Part of this was determined by my chosen price and location. Oh well.
I’m in my second year of living in the same apartment and don’t plan on moving until the husband graduates school and gets a job. I’d say mission accomplished.
What are some of your must haves and can live with-outs?
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