Jump to content
  • entries
    18
  • comments
    160
  • views
    42,641

Apartment Search Nightmare

joro

1,708 views

I've been looking for an apartment for the past 3 - 4 days. I've searched through craigslist, yelp, rent, forrent, apartments, apartmentratings, and the university's off campus housing website. I still have no idea where I'm going to stay and the places I had an interest in turn out to be completely full. Other places which I thought were decent turned out to be worst than expected (this is all based on pictures).

When I look for an apartment, I look for certain things. The most important thing would be the bathroom. It has to be super clean!! If I spot anything dirty in the pictures, especially on the tiles, it is a definite turn off. There are also apartments which have a shared bathroom for 2 people and that's also a turn off along with a shared kitchen. I don't know these people and my cousin experienced problems with other people eating her food while she was in grad school. I don't mind roommates, but you can't really be sure of people without actually meeting them in person. I'd also like on-site laundry (in the apartment) and off street/garage parking. And all the places which fit my criteria either are already taken, won't know of availability till June, or too far from school.

Am I being too picky here? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to look for places? I don't know if I'll be able to make the trip to look at apartments in person so I've called on the help of yelpers to let me know if these places are nice or not. I've received a few recommendations, but it isn't enough.



19 Comments


Recommended Comments

I do not consider clean to be an unrealistic expectation.

And I'm having problems finding the right spot, too. What area will you be in? My other suggestion is to ask your DGS or department admin if there's a department or grad school listserv. If there is post what you're looking for there. Students who are graduating/moving on/etc. can tell you that before a manager may know. So you would be all lined up when they do give notice.

If there's no such listserv ask if they'd be open to posting a flyer in some communal space. Design it and email it to them.

Share this comment


Link to comment
I do not consider clean to be an unrealistic expectation.

And I'm having problems finding the right spot, too. What area will you be in? My other suggestion is to ask your DGS or department admin if there's a department or grad school listserv. If there is post what you're looking for there. Students who are graduating/moving on/etc. can tell you that before a manager may know. So you would be all lined up when they do give notice.

If there's no such listserv ask if they'd be open to posting a flyer in some communal space. Design it and email it to them.

I wholeheartedly agree with looking into a University listserv. I joined a listserv for my University through the Housing office, and found the perfect living situation with another first year grad student who had already done the legwork, figured out nice places to live, seen units, and was just looking for other like-minded people to fill the lease. I got tons of emails daily from other grads looking for housing or roommates, and if you have to have roommates, you probably want to live with other grads.

You will probably have to sacrifice your dream of not sharing a kitchen, unless you can afford a studio or 1 bedroom on your own. I found a lovely townhouse where I get my own bathroom though, but I got damn lucky, and you may eventually have to sacrifice that one too.

Good luck!

Share this comment


Link to comment

They have a "listserv", but it's more of just a message board part of their off campus housing website. There's 4 messages posted on the board and one of them is mine. I think that the cost of living is pretty cheap in this area compared to where I'm now living. Most of the apartments there cost between $500 - $800. I have actually found a bunch of 1 bedroom apartments, but the only downside would be the lack of a washer/dryer inside the apartment. I'm starting to be rather flexible about that though and I guess I'll just have to bring a huge amount of quarters to use to watch my clothes...

Share this comment


Link to comment
They have a "listserv", but it's more of just a message board part of their off campus housing website. There's 4 messages posted on the board and one of them is mine. I think that the cost of living is pretty cheap in this area compared to where I'm now living. Most of the apartments there cost between $500 - $800. I have actually found a bunch of 1 bedroom apartments, but the only downside would be the lack of a washer/dryer inside the apartment. I'm starting to be rather flexible about that though and I guess I'll just have to bring a huge amount of quarters to use to watch my clothes...

I think the expectation of a washer/dryer inside the apartment is unrealistic. Very few apartments have them (and I've lived in four different apartments with my mom over the last 10 years). You'll probably be able to find something that suits you just fine if you drop the washer/dryer requirement. Good luck.

Share this comment


Link to comment

My solution for quarters is to pick up a $10 roll of them when I'm at the bank. I keep one in my car for parking, and one in my laundry basket.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I think the expectation of a washer/dryer inside the apartment is unrealistic. Very few apartments have them (and I've lived in four different apartments with my mom over the last 10 years). You'll probably be able to find something that suits you just fine if you drop the washer/dryer requirement. Good luck.

I agree with this. I'm older than most of the people on this board :) and of the 12 rental apartments and houses I've lived in since I was out on my own, only 2 have had in-unit W/Ds, and 3 of those places didn't even have a washer on-site. I didn't have a washer/dryer in my building during grad school, but honestly, I got a lot of work done in the laundromat. If there's a washer in the basement, it's really not a big deal. Also, lots of W/Ds these days take special laundry cards instead of quarters.

I do agree, though, that searching online is frustrating and practically useless. It's also pretty early to be looking for the fall. Is there any way you can do an apartment-hunting trip this summer?

Share this comment


Link to comment

I just got back from a whirl-wind hunting trip in my future college-town. I was lucky to have gone when I did. Speaking to several landlords and students, the good places fill up in April and early May. So now is definitely the time to be looking.

Before traveling, I set up apartment viewings of 7 different spots. I think the best way to hunt is to set up your priorities. For me, the list was something like this:

Location

Space (study area separate from living area)

Budget

Kitchen

I found a place with fantastic space in a good location. I sacrificed a bit on the kitchen, and was towards the higher end of my budget, but I am very happy with my place.

Know what you are willing to sacrifice and what you aren't. If you are willing to pay more, you might want to find your own space. If budget is number one, then you might have to sacrifice a personal kitchen. Be flexible and ask around. Good luck!

Share this comment


Link to comment

I live in a house with a W&D and still occasionally find myself going to the laundromat a few times a year. Sometimes you just have to wash a monsterous comforter or commandeer 4 Washers and Dryers at once to do a huge pile of clothes.

As for me, I'm not looking forward to securing a place from 3000 miles away in one of the most complex rental markets in the US

Share this comment


Link to comment

If you haven't already, consider using an apartment locator service. They are generally free and fairly efficient. You provide them with specifications, they provide you with prospect lists (often for nicer properties that don't advertise on the most commonly used services). Hope this is helpful.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I'm not entirely sure where to find those apartment locator services. I saw one, but some people say it's a bit sketchy.

Share this comment


Link to comment

It's tough to find in-unit washers and dryers for a place that won't cost an arm and a leg. I've lived in a few different apartments, two had W/D on the property but not in the unit; the third forced me to go to a laundromat three blocks away. I cheated during my undergrad by walking down the street and using my fraternity's washers and dryers during off-hours(like between morning and afternoon classes). You might find something with a W/D within, but expect to pay accordingly.

As for cleanliness, a clean unit should be an expectation. When i was looking at apartments, some places were an absolute mess. I was astounded the landlords would even show the place in that condition. One place had "palmetto bugs" (cockroaches) around the shower drain.

In the past I have used a website called "padmapper" that allows me to find places near where I'm going to school or interning, and that's worked out fairly well for me. The last time I had to go through and visit 9 places before I found an acceptable option, but if you're persistent you'll find something that meets your needs (if not your luxuries).

Share this comment


Link to comment

I, like you, had some strict criteria when I was looking for my place. I moved to Baltimore for grad school and had to work with a roommate to find a place (which had its own difficulties in terms of compromise) and I do think some of your criteria is reasonable. The cleanliness thing, yes, can be a turn off but you just have to imagine it clean. Cleaning, painting (we were allowed to paint thankfully), etc. can really change the look of a place. I would not rule a place out based on some dirty tiles or floors. Our row house was supposedly cleaned by the management company before we moved it, but we cleaned it top to bottom before moving in.

The W/D was a big thing for me actually. Being super busy with work and school, I could see myself putting off a trip to the laundromat for months...that's just me though. I guess if the renting market there is tight, you're going to have to sacrifice some things.

I would say the only thing you shouldn't bend on is safety...make sure the neighborhood is safe; check crime maps, drive around the area past dark if you can. And don't give up! I know it is extremely frustrating but if you stay diligent in your search, something great will come along. I felt like settling so many times on places just because I was sick of looking, but I stayed with it, annoying as apartment hunting was, and found my great little place (on craigslist, by the way!).

Good luck!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I'm still looking, but every place still says that it is available this month and I really don't need a place till early August. I am really hoping that I come across a listing that offers July for free so that I can get an apartment sooner.

Share this comment


Link to comment

As for cleanliness, a clean unit should be an expectation. When i was looking at apartments, some places were an absolute mess. I was astounded the landlords would even show the place in that condition. One place had "palmetto bugs" (cockroaches) around the shower drain

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

url=http://www.officechairsuk.com/office_chairs.html] office chair | office chairs

Share this comment


Link to comment
I do not consider clean to be an unrealistic expectation.

And I'm having problems finding the right spot, too. What area will you be in? My other suggestion is to ask your DGS or department admin if there's a department or grad school listserv. If there is post what you're looking for there. Students who are graduating/moving on/etc. can tell you that before a manager may know. So you would be all lined up when they do give notice.

If there's no such listserv ask if they'd be open to posting a flyer in some communal space. Design it and email it to them.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I'm looking for a GA TECH grad student to rent my 1 BR condo across from Piedmont Park in midtown. It features 14' ceilings, original hardwood floors, extensive crown molding and large windows throughout within a secure building. The kitchen includes all stainless appliances (dishwasher, garbage disposal, refrigerator and gas stove) and plentiful cabinetry. A spacious bedroom with large closet, fully tiled bathroom with a shower/tub combination and pedestal sink. This unit also offers a storage room with a stackable washer and dryer, an elegant foyer, and a large sunlit great room with built in bookshelves. Building is occupied by mostly owners - great place to live! Deposit is 1 months rent. Available August 1st. Asking $975/mo. If you or anyone may be interested, please email me at: ansleycondo2000-rental@yahoo.com. thks,

Share this comment


Link to comment

Finding, sight unseen, a super clean apartment, with your own bathroom, an ideal roomate, washer/dryer IN the apartment, off-street parking... You forgot to mention rent-free and across the street from the library ;) (sorry, I couldn't resist... best of luck in your search).

Share this comment


Link to comment

Finding, sight unseen, a super clean apartment, with your own bathroom, an ideal roomate, washer/dryer IN the apartment, off-street parking... You forgot to mention rent-free and across the street from the library ;) (sorry, I couldn't resist... best of luck in your search).

I don't need a roommate, but I have found all the above minus the rent-free bit. :P I just need to see the place in person before I decide on anything.

Share this comment


Link to comment

You may want to see if your university has an off-campus housing site. This helped me enormously because it provided the options I wanted. I also looked through the following sites while researching for apartments & cost of living 3-4 months prior to July. The following websites are: (a) rent.com; (B) sublet.com (if you can't find a place before school starts, or © craigslist. Good luck!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.