4 Tips for Finding Your Dream Apartment

By Ian Acosta on October 31, 2016

You have decided that you do not want to live in the dorms anymore. You are sick of dealing with RA’s, stale, repetitive dining hall food, and the general inconvenience and hassle of not being able to be truly independent.

You cannot wait to move out, but wait! Where are you going to live? Do you have a budget in mind? Do you know what you would like to have included in your rent? Have you researched the leasing company? Are there certain amenities that might be necessary to you but seem like a nonissue to potential roommates?

There are many questions and factors to keep in mind when dreaming of your ideal apartment. Here are four tips to keep in the back of your mind as you start hunting for your ideal apartment.

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1. Location

Location. Location. Location! You know this. I know this. Everyone knows this. Location is probably the biggest factor in terms of where you want to live in addition to being a major factor in how much you will end up paying.

I could write a whole separate article on tips to follow for apartment locations but this will have to do. Here are a couple questions you will want to ask yourself when determining the ideal location for your dream apartment.

Do you want to be around the hustle and bustle of campus town, i.e. bars, restaurants, and shops; or do you prefer the quiet and quaint setting of an apartment a mile or two away from it all? If you want some peace and quiet to yourself during the week and on weekends, the second option would be better.

Would you prefer to be as close as possible to class and minimize travel time, or away from the cluster of people and students resulting in a lengthier travel time to class? I faced that same question myself and chose option two. However, there was a small caveat. I lived right near the campus transportation bus stop which allowed me the flexibility of avoiding the huge crowds near campus but also making travel time not as big of an issue as it could be.

If figuring out location with potential roommates, this is the biggest factor to include outside of rent. Remember, you might need to make compromises when looking for your ideal apartment with others.

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2. Rent

Money, especially for college students, is a resource that needs to be maximized to its fullest extent especially for living expenses. Some students rule out potential apartments based on just rent limitations alone.

However, do not overlook what is or is not included in rent. A $650 a month apartment with all utilities included might not necessarily be the same as a $550 a month apartment with no utilities. This is where some reflection and projection is needed in terms of utility usage.

Would you be able to plan out your monthly allotment for non-included utilities to make sure it does not exceed a similar apartment with all utilities included? If you are a cautious person and would rather play it safe and not be on a stringent usage, search for apartments with all or most utilities included to maximize enjoyment of your apartment and to minimize stress.

3. Amenities

This is a factor when apartment hunting for a dream apartment that is sometimes overlooked. If you are looking for a more modernized apartment, you might be looking for an attached pool, in-unit washer and dryer, in-complex gym or rec center, modernized appliances, reserved parking, an enclosed outdoor or indoor social area, etc.

If you are more on the reserved side and do not need much more than a bed, kitchen, and bathroom, it might not make too much sense to search for a completely modernized apartment. In addition, more amenities correlates to more cost.

As with location, sacrifices might need to be made when considering what your dream apartment will really consist of in terms of all the amenities that come with it.

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4. Roommates

The age-old question of who you want to live with can play a big role in your apartment hunting and is a big influence on all of the other factors mentioned previously. Do you enjoy the camaraderie and company of a friend or two to live with to help make a new apartment experience more enjoyable? Do you consider yourself your own best friend and prefer to keep it simple and worry about yourself? An important note to remember is that if you go the roommate route, it will most likely mean cheaper costs for all involved in terms or rent, utilities, and parking.

Everyone’s vision of their dream college apartment is obviously different and unique. An even bigger tip not detailed is to make sure you put yourself in the best position to enjoy your year of college and how you spend it.

Following these tips and getting advice from anyone and everyone to prepare yourself for apartment hunting will put you in the best possible position to enjoy not only your dream apartment but also your year of college.

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