Today I am traveling from Des Moines to Denver to embark on a new adventure...Apartment Scouting. It has been awhile since I have had to do apartment searching. Hunney Pants and I have been living in the house in Des Moines for so long we forgot what it was like (Even though I grew up in California and am more used to the Metro way of life).
Because we are moving to a NEW area neither of us have lived, we decided to sell the house here and get an apartment out in Denver South until we know the area better. We are still keeping our eyes open for condos and homes etc, but apartment life is going to be the way for us for a little while.
Everyone looks for different things when home hunting and some are even refined for apartment hunting. I have a general way of looking at things no matter what. Hunney and I actually put together a Google Sheets with the things and started Ranking them based on the following:
- Look and feel of the apartment/home on its own merits. Does it have the bedrooms we need, the living space we desire and the amenities of the apartment that appeal to us the most being : A good layout, washer and dryer IN the unit itself, and the appliances we desire.
- The look and feel of the complex: Is it in a good neighborhood, what are the surroundings like, are the exterior buildings kept up in good shape, does the property keep it clean and not falling apartment.
- The neighbors: Can I hear a child screaming through the walls, are there tons of college age kids partying around or kids running amuck, and do the neighbors scents and smells exude to the place I am looking at?
- I look at online reviews and take heed to what others rave about or complain about. If it appears that the only reviews came from the community, it is likely they are unreal. If there is a mix of good and bad, does the good outweigh the bad? And what they complain about matters too? Is it BS complaints or are they saying real things about the landlords, community or the leasing company?
- The neighborhood surrounding the community: Is it in a good area? Is the area run down? Am "I" the minority? Would I feel safe? Is it newer or older? What is within walking distance and what do I have to drive to? How hard is it to get to the things I need, use and will want on a regular basis.
- WalkScore: There is a site called www.walkscore.com and this told us how close or far things are. The place we are in now has a Walkscore of 14, the places we are looking at are anywhere from 47 to 76. Meaning, a higher walkscore means things are ready available in walking distance.
- Is the price worthy of all of the above? If I don't feel it is, I won't stay there.
- Parking: Are there garages, carports, how many to each apt, do we have to pay extra for them or does it come with?
- Do they allow pets? For us currently we have three. In a way I am glad because that REALLY narrowed down our search. What are their rules on pets, deposit, monthly pet rents etc.
- Distance to work? This is for Hunney because he has to drive. Close, far, freeway, how long?
- Meeting places for me: Are there business spaces I can use on site or do I have to go off site all the time?
- Smoking or non Smoking: With me having migraines all the time, smoking is a huge issue.
- Psycho Application: Meaning did we have to or do we have to jump through hoops to get in the place?
- Friendliness: Once I DID start talking to people, how kind were they, were they stuffy, was it a call center or did I talk to an ON SITE mgr?
- Budget: For the things they offer is the price worth it in our budget?
We take into consideration MANY things I don't think other renters or buyers are looking at. I honestly think a lot of people just show up and lay the money down.
To my credit, my mother used to be a rental manager so I think of a lot of things others don't. To boot, Hunney and I are VERY picky.
I am looking forward to this excursion and finding a place that will be our new home for the next twelve months.
I also recognize that Hunney Pants has a lot of faith in me. He helped with research but ultimately he is leaving the decision to me and he won't even see the home or surroundings until we arrive to unpack and pick up our keys!
That's another reason why I gave myself enough time. Once I find the place, then I want to REALLY get to know the surroundings so I can help us acclimate.
This is a very exciting time in our lives. For the first time we BOTH will be in an unknown area and get the chance to explore it TOGETHER and once married, as newleyweds!
Huzzah to new adventures!!
Until Next Time,
XoXo Trisha Trixie