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5 Apartment Hunting Tips for Finding the Perfect Place in the City

College life comes with a lot of responsibilities and parts to figure out. Housing can be especially difficult to iron out. Sure there are dorms, but there usually comes a point when a lot of students consider moving off campus. If not, then they start apartment hunting for post-grad. When you’re searching for your first real apartment, there’s a lot to consider. Here are some tips for finding the right one.

Do Your Research

Start by looking into areas you want to live in. Look at listings on websites like zillow.com or apartments.com. If you’re interested in living in a high rise building with amenities and security, make sure you look through their website and contact their leasing office for a tour. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a real estate agent. Their job is to help you find the perfect apartment, and they’re an invaluable resource when it comes to negotiating rent prices and making sure you’re getting your money’s worth. 

Decide What You’re Looking For

Do you want the perfect walkable location? Are you willing to sacrifice some extra space for a place in the middle of the city? Or, would you rather somewhere roomier with easy access to public transportation? Decide what your top priorities are when you go in and keep them at the front of your mind. 

Check for the Small Things

It’s important to pay attention to details when you’re touring a place. Look at the number and placement of outlets. Check the vents and paint to make sure everything is clean and in good condition. Test out the lighting and find out where you dispose of trash and recycling. These are all things we use on a daily basis, so it’s a good idea to see what you’re dealing with.  

Imagine Yourself Living and Working There

Given that we’re still in the work-from-home world, you’ll need to think about spending a lot of time in your new place. If you’re just looking for an off-campus place for the school year, you might want to consider the possibility of doing remote classes, or at least remote meetings in your apartment. Picture yourself enjoying the space and where you would sit to get work done. Could you put a desk somewhere? Is there nice natural light to keep you connected to the outside world?

Consider Noise

Since you’ll be in a city, you want to think about how noisy your new spot will be. After going to school there, you might be accustomed to loud, busy streets. However, if you’re not used to this chaos, it can be a difficult adjustment. While street noise can be easier to adjust to, you need to watch out for buildings next to big construction projects. Newer apartment buildings especially tend to pop up where a lot of things are being built, so it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for red flags. 

Apartment hunting can be an exciting and stressful time. Whether it’s an off-campus situation during the school year, or your first post-grad place, it’s a good idea to prepare for your search. Don’t let anyone else convince you to sign a lease if you’re not ready, or if you have doubts about an apartment. It’s a big commitment and it’s best to have it all figured out before you make a decision. 

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Sonja is a senior at Boston University from New Hampshire studying journalism. On campus, Sonja works to promote various brands to the college audience. She has been an ambassador for Razor Scooters, Venmo, Rent the Runway, Comcast Xfinity, and BEARPAW Shoes! When she's not writing or working, she loves exploring restaurants and taking pictures around Boston!
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