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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Over winter break, I found myself deep, deep down the rabbit hole of scouring the internet for apartments.  Some of you might say, well, “That’s a bit premature.” And you’re right.  I graduate in four months.  What am I doing spending my time, a time meant for relaxation, looking for an apartment I won’t even be able to sign on until May? Well, to answer your question: I have never been relaxed.  Ever.  

So, in this article, I wanted to go over a few things that I was looking for in apartments, as well as a few red flags I noticed when touring.  

First, what makes for my perfect apartment: my must-haves.  

  1. Allows cats.  I am not going anywhere without my cat. And if you know me, you know this.  This is an absolute requirement.  I was not even looking at apartments that do not allow pets.  
  2. In-unit laundry.  This is a hope, but not a requirement.  In fact, the apartment I looked at and fell in love with has laundry in the basement, but a girl can still dream.  
  3. Air conditioning and heating. Self-explanatory. 

Second, my wants.  These are things that are not required, but I do ideally want them.  

  1. Natural light.  I am someone that absolutely hates artificial light, so if the unit has big, open windows, I am sold.  
  2. Kitchen appliances that are younger than me.  I didn’t know I particularly cared about kitchen appliances until I toured a unit that had a white stove that looked like it had not been replaced since the 90s.  
  3. Preferably hardwood floors. 

Some red flags I noticed when touring apartments: 

  1. The apartment hadn’t been cleaned yet.  I know, especially during Covid, that apartments are short-staffed and there might have been a scheduling mishap, but something about touring an apartment that is literally trashed just screamed ‘red flag’ to me. 
  2. They don’t listen to your budget restrictions. This is literally one of my biggest pet peeves when touring apartments.  When you say your budget is a firm $900 a month at max, and then they show you an apartment that is $1,200, it just feels a little yucky.  It feels like when you’re at a salon and they keep pushing you to buy a product you definitely cannot afford.  
  3. The price tag is never accurate. I toured a few apartments over break that were listed around $900. When I got there, they told me about all their special amenities. Trash service, pest control, an open gym – all amazing things, right? What they don’t tell you straight up is that all of these amenities bump up the price $300 a month. Don’t forget about how expensive parking can be per month, but that is never shown on the website.
  4. They literally never call you back. I was so interested in a few apartments, but they never got back to me.  Their loss, I guess.  

I hope this article gave you some insight on what to look for in an apartment and what to avoid.  It certainly helped me to get all of my thoughts out on paper.  Stay tuned for part 2! 

Hi, I'm Katherine! I'm an Anthropology major. I am a member of the Honors Scholar Program, as well as a Bonner Scholar.
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