Hacking Your Way Through Tedious Apartment Searching

In no way am I claiming to be the ultimate apartment-searching guru, but I have witnessed some of the most common mistakes people make when looking for affordable and convenient off-campus apartment options. To save you some time and frustration, whether you are currently in the market to move or are considering apartment living in the future, I am going to propose the best ways to make apartment searching less like a chore and more like something you can look forward to. These tips apply to both on-campus and off-campus students as well as non-students who are looking for an apartment in general.


Proximity to Campus + Parking

If you’re an on-campus student like me, then you know that small details like transportation and proximity to the campus aren’t as critical compared to others who live off-campus. The best way to search for apartments is to decide if you prefer to drive to class and find a parking spot or if walking to class is the better option for your schedule.

Floorplan + Roommates

Another important step to finding the perfect apartment is viewing the floorplan options. Sometimes this can give you the best insight into the set-up of the apartment space and could prompt you to consider having a roommate or multiple roommates. Thinking about this earlier on can make securing roommates you know and trust more attainable, not to say that taking a chance with random roommates doesn’t sometimes pay off.

Hidden or Delayed Charges

When browsing apartment websites, it is useful to keep in mind that they often post rental rates that don’t include additional charges for amenities like electricity, as a common example. Just double-check and make sure that the number they are advertising doesn’t include possible hidden charges that you can’t afford or don’t want to pay for.

Search Rental Websites for Signing Bonuses

Something I found out through asking around was the existence of websites like LoftSmart which will give you a special signing bonus if you sign a leasing contract through their website. This is especially useful when the cost of living in an apartment starts to add up.

Go for Free Tours + Talk to Current Residents

This step is often overlooked but can be the final influencer in deciding to live in one apartment over another. People can be paid to make skewed reviews online. Avoiding this by talking to residents in person and getting to see the place for yourself is the best way to avoid getting tricked by false advertising.

Courtesy: @kellysikkema on Unsplash


Deciding where to live is not something that can be dealt with lightly. Many things like the ones listed above are crucial to your successful future at the apartment of your choice. Everyone has their own preferences, which is exactly why it is so important to research what is available and act in a way that doesn’t make you ultimately regret your decision. A combination of information online and from people related to your apartment search is key to finding your future home.

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