Apartment Hunting 101

We all know that feeling. It happens usually around the beginning of the second semester when you are finally comfortable in your apartment, all your knick knacks are in place and this once vacant 1000 square foot space is actually starting to feel like home. Right at that very moment a sense of relief is in sight. And then it hits you. The questions you are dreading to ask yourself. Where am I going to live next year? Who am I going to live with? Are my roommates going to be mad that I don’t want to live here anymore? Wouldn’t it be really cool to live in the downtown area?

Trust me, I feel your pain. Out of the four years I attended Towson I moved three time. The moving progressed from year-to-year as I started accumulating more “things”, especially furniture.(Ugh!) However, every moving year I learned something along the way. I hope to share with you today “Kristen’s Trial & Error Moving Wisdom”

Location

The most important part of moving is figuring out where you want to live. There are pro’s and con’s to every housing option you are going to choose and you need to consider all your options. Things to look out for when choosing your location are as follows; safety (can you walk alone at night), closest grocery store, high rise area or local neighborhood, distance of the commute you will have to make each day, distance from closest friends house, closest public transportation. Location is unique to the individual. Pick a spot that feels right to you.

Parking

This issue needs a category of its own. If you are looking for an apartment in the downtown area you need to think about parking when looking at the cost for the apartment! Many complexes offer parking but at a very high cost for the average college student. Along with the cost how far do you have to walk to you apartment complex from your parking spot? Will your car be safe in the area that you are going to be parking in? All good things to think about.

Square Footage

Space has been a huge problem for me in my most recent apartment. Some good space tips. Look for closets. All kinds of closets; coat closet, linen closet, walk-in closet, etc. Closets allow you to put your belongings away and out of your everyday sight, which in turn can make your apartment feel a lot bigger.  Bedroom size is also something to look out for. 9 foot by 9 foot sounds like a lot of space, but trust me it’s not! Furniture takes up a lot of space in an apartment so if you like a lot of it, make sure you have the space. If you can’t get in to see a model apartment, make sure you look at the FLOOR PLAN to get a good idea of the room sizes.

Pets

Whether you currently have a furry friend or not it is always good to know what is and what is not allowed in your building! Pets can be a very large additional cost to your rent. I have visited some places that have a $500 NON REFUNDABLE pet deposit. I think that is the extreme case but still be on lookout for the “pesty” regulations. It is also really good to know how large an animal can be to live in your building. This all plays a role in noise and cleanliness!

Amenities

Ah, amenities. There is nothing wrong with great amenities! Actually, if you are choosing to live in a complex this is a very important piece to look at since you are paying for them! Amenities are usual broken up into two categories; unit amenities and community amenities. The top three things I search for when browsing apartment amenities are washer and dryer (in unit), work out facility (community) and a pool! These are just things I would really like to have, I do not NEED them by any stretch. Some apartments have luxury amenities like a concierge service, on-site dry cleaning and much more. The better the amenities the higher the rent so make sure to take your head out of the clouds when analyzing this section.

Obviously, I am not a moving pro, I have just learned from a lot of bad choices. Hopefully these tips will help you on your search for your new home. My last piece of advice is this. Anyone showing you an apartment is in sales. They know how to pitch you and show you only the positives. It is your job to look at all the apartment has to offer with a critical eye.

Luckily you are looking in one of the best cities to live in…Baltimore! Check out the Neighborhood section on our website to help you get a feel for what each are about.

Baltimore Neighborhoods

Welcome Home!

Until next time…CIAO!

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