Use checklists to find your perfect place

By Cassie Reichert, Contributing Writer

Finally moving out of the dorms and into an apartment seems like a big step. Every place you’ve ever lived before had everything you needed, and you may have never had to worry about all the choices that come when looking for an apartment. 

But now the time has come to find the place you will call home for a semester, a year or even longer, so you want to make sure it’s the best fit for you. Follow these tips when looking for an apartment to ensure you make the right choice.

Location

The first thing you should consider is where you spend the most time on campus. Are you going to be studying in the Undergraduate Library every night, or will you be visiting Green Street? Are your classes on the North Quad or the South Quad? Be sure to pick a place that won’t be obnoxiously far away from where you often find yourself.

Also think about your location within the building. If you’re easily bothered by noise, try not to live on the first floor of an apartment right next door to a bar. Or, if you have a disability that prevents you from using stairs and there is no elevator, then maybe you need to live on the first floor.

Reviews

You’ve probably heard apartment horror stories (or even experienced them yourself) regarding unfair landlords, bed bugs, broken appliances, a leaking showerhead, you name it. If you want to avoid facing these problems, do your research.

Be it through Reddit, Yelp or word of mouth, find out what people are saying about the apartment or leasing company you are investigating. Try to find someone who has lived in or currently lives in the building. An apartment can look like your dream home on its lessor’s website, but others’ experiences might reveal it will actually be your worst nightmare.

Space

Did you read Marie Kondo’s book and have decide become a minimalist? Or is your closet overflowing and you just ran out of space under your bed? These are things you should reflect on when choosing an apartment. 

If a larger apartment is within your budget and you have a lot of stuff, then be sure to pick a place that will be able to fit everything you’re moving in with. If you end up signing a lease for a smaller apartment, pack accordingly. Sometimes pictures and floorplans on the apartment’s website can be misleading, so always ask if you can tour a unit to see for yourself.

Policies

Property managers often have a long list of things you can and can’t do while living in their apartments. Some may seem like common knowledge, while others may seem unexpected or unfair.

If you have a pet or plan on getting one, be sure to see if pets are allowed or how pets can be approved. If you plan on hosting lots of parties, make sure there’s no “quiet hours” enforced by the landlord. Read over every apartment’s policies so you aren’t blindly walking into fees and penalties for disobeying them.

Rent and Utilities

Many leasing offices advertise deals on rent the earlier you sign. Keep an eye out for these deals and try to make your decision as early as possible to not only pay a lower price, but also ensure there are enough spaces left for you.

When looking at rent, compare the prices with other apartments you are considering. You might be quick to choose the cheapest one, but sometimes the apartment that’s just $15 more a month could be a much greater value for what it offers. Also be sure to see if utilities are included in rent and how much they charge. 

With the help of these tips, you’ll find your dream place.

Cassie is a sophomore in Business

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