The Apartment Search

I did it - I went ahead and got myself a place to live that's all my own! For awhile now, I had found myself venturing over to online apartment listings "just to see what's available." That quickly turned into making myself a budget and researching areas to live. The more I considered, the more I realized that it was time. So I took the plunge, and began calling places that were advertised.

It certainly wasn't all roses and sunshine, though. I saw some - shall we say - questionable places. Some that I didn't want to step in to let alone walk around in. But I also saw some gorgeous places that I certainly couldn't afford after the first six months.

In the few short weeks that I was looking, I learned some valuable lessons on what to watch out for when looking for a rental.

Think about the amount of noise level that's happening in the middle during the time of day that you're there. It can give a lot of hints as to what kind of people are occupying the other apartment units. I took a quick look at an apartment in the early afternoon of a weekday where, when I stepped off the elevator, I could immediately hear blasting televisions and music from neighbouring apartments. Not something I wanted to deal with in the middle of the afternoon, let alone in the evening when more people would be home.

Don't be afraid to really get in there and turn the taps. When I searched for apartments in previous years, I would kind of be (unnecessarily) wary about turning taps and stuff in the bathroom and kitchen because it wasn't actually my apartment yet. You know where that got me? In an apartment that needed to have a new shower head and a dripping tap fixed right off the bat.

Be honest when you consider your space needs. I had the opportunity to live in an excellent, dream building. But it was going to be a bachelor apartment that ended up costing about equal to the one bedroom that I have now. As much as I loved the building and its amenities, I had to be honest with myself: I just have too much stuff and would feel far too confined in that small of a space. If you can live comfortably in a studio apartment, go for it - but if you talk yourself into it, don't be surprised to discover that you won't be happy later on.

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