Tips for Finding the Perfect Apartment

How to Find the Perfect Apartment

Apartment hunting can be stressful, daunting, and just not fun especially if you are looking to move into your first apartment! There are so many things to consider when choosing the perfect place to live. So I decided to lay it all out for you right here! Here are all the things to consider when finding an apartment.

Justin and I recently decided to make the decision to start hunting for our first apartment together. While living together is the next big adventure for us, finding that perfect place to live can actually be really stressful.  I have learned so much about need vs want, budgeting, and ultimately deciding how to make the best choice for our lifestyle.

In my 25 years of life, I have moved over 16 times! My dad is an architect by profession but he also loved to renovate old houses. The only problem with fixing up these houses was when my dad would inevitably fall in love with whatever current project he was on and insist that we move into it as he moved on to the next project. I guess you can say I am an expert in packing and living out of cardboard boxes. On the other hand, it subconsciously taught me to never put roots down. I never made the effort to decorate any room I slept in or complete unpack my life because I figured that I would be packing it all back up anyway. Needless to say, my first real apartment is a really big deal to me. I want to finally get a chance to decorate and make it a home!

Budget

This is probably the #1 determining factor when it comes to deciding where you want to live. In order to live comfortably, it is wise to find a place that suits your needs without being too expensive. Since you’re working on trying to be a real adult, it would make no sense to go back to eating ramen noodles every day like the good old college days.
So how expensive is too expensive? A good rule of thumb that I have been told is to spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. This includes all utilities such as water, sewer, trash, electric/gas, etc. 

Location

Once you’ve decided what your maximum budget is, it’s time to decide what area do you want to live in. There are several factors to think about when picking your location.
  • Lifestyle: Are you someone that loves the hustle and bustle of the city? Then living in a more lively neighborhood with lots of shops and restaurants may be perfect for you! Or you may prefer the peace, quiet, and space that comes with living in the suburbs! Either way, location is key when it comes to choosing the right place to live! I personally prefer the quiet and relative safety of American suburbia. If I want to spend a night out on the town, I don’t mind driving the extra distance downtown to take in the sights before going back home!
  • Commute: Whether its to work or school, consider your commuting time when it comes time to decide where you want to live! I personally hate sitting in traffic, so I’ve learned all of the side roads I need to get where I’m going.
  • Convenience: It’s always a plus to have an apartment close to all of the necessities of life such as the gas station, grocery store, or the nearest Starbucks (if that’s what you need). I have grown so used to living less than five minutes away from everything so I had to find an apartment that was conveniently placed.

Apartment

As for the apartment itself, there are so many things to consider! It’s all just a matter of personal preference.
  • Kitchen: Does your kitchen have a dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave included? Some units require you to bring your own microwave. If that is the case, think about your countertop space. Microwaves are not exactly the most space-friendly. I personally would rather spend money on an apartment with updated kitchen appliances. It gives the place a sleeker look and there is less of a chance of having to call maintenance if appliances are newer.

  • Washer/Dryer: Does your apartment come with an in-unit washer and dryer or does it have a laundry facility on site? My boyfriend has this habit of leaving clean clothes in a laundry basket (we’re working on that) and likes to pick out his clothes each day and place them in the dryer to be un-wrinkled. *eye roll* Needless to say,  for Justin and I, an in-unit washer and dryer is a MUST! I am not about to pay $1.50 every time he decides that he wants to unwrinkle a shirt in the mornings.
  • Patio/Balcony: This detail is more of a perk for us than anything. Justin is wanting to learn how to grill and so a patio or balcony would or perfect for the warmer months. Also, I am a sucker for watching sunrises and sunsets and I would love to have a little place to relax and watch the view.

 

  • Fireplace: I have always wanted a fireplace! While this is not an absolute need in an apartment, it definitely adds to the aesthetic and appeal of the living space.
  • Bedrooms/Bathrooms: This ultimately depends on how many you truly need. Justin and I were initially going to settle on having a 1 bedroom apartment in order to save some money. However, there is a high chance he will be working from home in the future and would require an office. So a 2 bedroom is a must. I think I will add a day bed so that the second bedroom can double as both an office and a guest bedroom. As for the bathrooms, I prefer bathtub style because I am a sucker for bubble baths! I definitely cannot wait for my first bubble bath in my new apartment!
  • Lighting: Does anyone else love having a living area with good lighting?  I am a huge fan of big windows and skylights. As a new blogger, I have found that lighting is absolutely essential for product photography! I honestly never really paid that much attention to lighting until I tried to take photos in my parent’s basement and discovered that my photos were not as bright as I wanted.  So as Justin and I were looking for apartments, I made sure to spend some time checking out the lighting especially in the bedrooms and living room!

 

  • Apartment Complex: The apartment complex your potential home is in is just as important if not more important than the unit itself, in my opinion. I find it appealing if the complex itself is clean, neat, and quiet. I want there to be a pool, fitness center, and tennis courts if possible. A dog park is an added bonus for sure! Also, it is important to get to know the staff in charge of managing the apartments. Get a feel for who they are and how they run things. I have heard too many horror stories of landlords and management staff that were uncooperative or unwilling to work with their tenants on issues. No matter how great an apartment complex is, if the management isn’t professional, prompt, and friendly, I would probably look elsewhere.

 

So there you have it, these were all the things Justin and I have considered while apartment hunting!It really just depends on what you consider a priority. What do you love about where you live? Or, what is absolutely a must have in your place of residence? Let me know, below!

 

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8 thoughts on “How to Find the Perfect Apartment

  1. I live in a one bedroom which includes heat – saves me dollars esp during winter time. Location was my priority – near work, entertainment areas, grocery stores, etc. Good luck on your apartment hunting?

  2. These are all great ideas. I feel like whenever I moved I’ve never had a well thought out list of things to look for. Super helpful for the next time around!

    1. This was my first time seriously looking for an apartment and it was just so overwhelming! I’m glad you liked it!

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