Mice, Management, and Murders

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There are several things you will learn about me by reading my blog. One of my many qualities include my I don’t care-last minute attitude. Needless to say, I need to be out of my apartment by May 20th…I’ve just started looking for apartments.

I have lived in many different apartments in my life all which I have found on my own. My worst apartment can be described as a hallway with four doors. There was one door for the bathroom. one door for my room, one door for my brother’s room, and one door for the kitchen. My best apartment can be described as a three bedroom palace that came with a sleek black flat screen TV.

I currently live with my brother. We are interested in an inexpensive place that is in a decent area that happens to have a washer and dryer in the unit. We are also looking for something that is relatively in between both of our work places. Not much to ask, right?

Since I am in a crunch to find a place I may have sacrifice some of my deal breakers in exchange for a roof over my head. If you have more time than I do here are some tips on finding the perfect apartment.

Location:

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Of course no one wants to live in an area that plays “Bang, Bang” the musical every night. When looking for an apartment most people’s main concern is being in a safe place, but at times we ignore factors like commute. I currently live roughly twenty miles from my office. On the weekend I  can get to my office in 20 minutes. At 8:30AM on a Tuesday morning it could take me over an hour. Do some research on the traffic patterns during prime rush hour times. You don’t want to move some where that could potentially build conflicts with your schedule. Also, keep in mind the places you like to hang out and the possible commute to and from these locations.
Another very important thing to research when considering a specific neighborhood is the National Sex Offender Registry. Especially, if you have children! No one wants to appear in the background of a “To Catch a Predator” episode. That is not cute!

Amenities:

laundry

Last time I went to a laundry mat I left my clothes there for four days straight. They were there for so long someone folded them and put them in bags for me. They were probably going to donate them if I had waited another day.
Anyway, I can’t do laundry mats. I require a washer and dryer in my unit. This way I can leave my clothes in there for an entire year if I wanted to. I wouldn’t get the complementary “fold and bag” that I got at the previous laundry mat, but at least I don’t have to climb up the stairs with a 15lb load. This is one of my deal breakers.

Think of all the things you can’t live with out. Can you live with out a dish washer? Will you weep everyday with wall to wall carpet? Well, I suggest you grab a vacuum and some tissues if you have overlooked this minor detail. What can you live with out?

Note: Here is a cool little link I got from Pinterest on how to maximize your laundry room space: http://blog.hgtvremodels.com/2013/04/15/boost-your-small-laundry-space/?soc=pinterest

Cost:

I went to view an apartment this week that was $1035 for a two bedroom. The leasing associate told me the price could be reduced to $935, but I would have to sacrifice some amenities. The sacrifices were not really any of my deal breakers, but it made me realize the relationship between location/amenities and cost.
I figured out this formula: amenities + location = $$.
As I looked for places that were in not-so-bad areas but not-so-good areas I noticed the rent was cheaper, however; I could possibly be jeopardizing my safety to save money. I also noticed the value of $100.00. Many times the difference between a two bedroom and a three bedroom was $100.00. The difference between having a washer and dryer in the unit was $100.00. You get my drift, right?
Since my brother and I split all of the bills I always look at what I will actually have to pay. So $100.00 is really $50.00 for me. $50.00 to have a washer and dryer in my unit?? I’ll take that! If you don’t split bills this is something you will have to keep in mind.

Staff:

One important thing to look at when meeting with a leasing associate is how you are treated when you arrive. I am spending over $1,000/month to live here. I think I need some respect and attention. Be aware of people that are just looking for a sale and not really concerned with your comfort. A lot of these associates want to get you locked in and get the apartments filled at all cost. I recently visited an apartment complex, and the associate told me he could not show me the apartment until I applied. I kindly shook his hand and advised him that I am not in the business of buying something I haven’t seen. Can’t hustle a hustler!
Although I love the neighborhood I currently live in I hate that there is no enforcement on dog walkers and dog poop. There is dog poop all over my neighborhood. Make sure when you do a tour you ask as many questions as you need to. Look at the environment, is anything shabby? Does anything look dangerous? Is there poop every where!?

Pests:

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My best advice to you is to stay away from online reviews. You’ll never want to move if you look at all of the reviews online. People are never satisfied. I once read a review online that was titled “Mice, Management, and Murders”. It was a pretty funny review, but it could really discourage someone from moving. Your best bet is to ask questions while you are there. One of the things I always ask when I am visiting a site is, “Do you all have pest problems, or have you ever had pest problems?” I also ask, “If I ever have a pest problem, what will you all do to resolve it?” These are important questions that need answers. Stuart Little doesn’t belong in my house. He’ll need a job for that. Before you go make a list of all of the questions you may have before you get there. You can even create a check list!

I really hope this helps anyone looking for an apartment. Let me know some of your experiences when looking for an apartment. Did I leave anything out?

I am hoping to find an apartment soon! Pray for me…

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