Apartment Hunting Tips

Apartment hunting tips to get the most out of your time and effort.

Yes, it can be classified as a "chore" and yet another "traumatic" event on life's long list. Moving is a definite stressor and the search that preceeds it is can be time consuming and expensive, not to mention tricky. If an apartment is where you want to reside in, then, take a quick look at these insights and organization tips that will assist you in finding the right one suited especially toyou.

Brainstorming Comes First

If you are asking yourself: What do I look for in an apartment? I am new to this and I don't even know the first thing to be looking for...what counts? What do I need? What can I sacrifice if I have to? What will suit my personality? What can I live with and what can't I live with? These are very common questions that people experience when they are looking for a place to live. Beginners will be even more confused than this, and this is where organization, common sense, and some good advice comes in. We all know that good advice doesn't always come for free or come at all sometimes...so:

Begin the Physical Search

Start by looking in the local newspapers. I say local, because sometimes looking in major newspapers can become overwhelming. There are also phone scams that list apartments as "available" that have actually already been taken months ago. Another alternative is networking with people that you know are helpful, who may find you the right place. But, if you have few friends and aquintances, this is not an option. Try to avoid expensive "apartment guides" or housing services that charge a flat fee to look for you.

Make Important Lists

Make a list of your needs in an apartment and your most strong personality traits. Try to keep it realistic. Sample lists may look like this:


1. my own entrance

2. washer/dryer facilities

3. cable TV hookup

4. avoid basements

5. ample closet space

6. price: under $700 per month

7. utilities included


1. extremely independent

2. low profile personality

3. not overly friendly

4. easily annoyed

5. requires space

6. requires quiet

7. tendency to be frugal

Analyze Your Lists

Now, take a step back from the lists and ask yourself what you MUST live with and what you can do without (because there always has to be something that you have to do without--no place is perfect). For example, on your first list, choose something that you cannot live with and something that you would be willing to sacrifice in your day-to-day living situation. Do the same thing with the second list, and put more emphasis on the second list than the first one, because this is the list that will help you the most in your search.

Your personality has a lot to do with where you're going to live. Yes, money plays a big part in your search and sometimes your options are limited and your hands are tied. But, even the most inexpensive places can possess precisely what you need to suit your most pronounced personality traits, which cannot be avoided.

Worst Case Decisions

As a worse case scenario, if you forgo the fact that you want your own entrance, and you are a fiercely independent person, you are going to have a lot of trouble in your day to day life. Interruptions, dealing with other people, and privacy (especially in an apartment/house situation) would be too close for comfort for an independent soul. This is a worse-case scenario. The scenarios may be reversed, as well, to work in your favor and serve your personality and needs.

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