Three Tips For Finding the Perfect Apartment

By Thomas Hart on February 16, 2020

Living off-campus brings an interesting set of daily challenges for a student to face, especially when planning for the future. Finding off-campus housing can be quite the trial, especially for students who have never had to go apartment hunting before. Thankfully for them, I’ve compiled a few tips as someone who has been in the off-campus housing game in Tallahassee for most of his college career.

A beautiful example of a very ordinary apartment. With these tips, you could find the perfect apartment in no time! (Wikipedia)

Tip one: Roommate?

Figuring out who exactly you’ll be living with for the future is the most important step. No matter how great your apartment may be, the wrong roommates can make living there a real ordeal. In a roommate, you’ll want to find at least one person who you are at least acquainted with and have some commonality with in your habits and personality. That is likely a given, and it is easier said than done, but it helps immensely with making living with them not be the worst thing imaginable. For example, if you are a quiet person, make sure to room with other quiet people. Also, be careful with random roommates. Sometimes it works out, but other times it will leave you with three roommates who are all really good friends with each other and don’t have a lick in common with you, leaving you to third wheel it most of the time. I may have some experience with that.

Tip two: Understand your lifestyle and pick your apartment based around that.

If you’re a college student, then picking an apartment with an easy way to campus is a natural choice. This is an example of choosing an apartment based around your lifestyle. If you have to be somewhere a lot, such as going to campus, then figure out what kind of commute works for you and pick your apartment based around that. For example, I don’t really like to drive to campus every day, instead preferring to walk or take public transit. So, when I pick an apartment, I need to make sure it is either close enough for a decent walk or there are bus lines close by. There are all sorts of lifestyle questions you need to ask yourself when looking for the perfect apartment. How much time do you spend at home? How will you get to school? Do you prefer a quiet and secluded neighborhood or something more akin to the apartments in Collegetown? Do you need a lot of storage space? A lot of living space? Do you have pets, or want pets? Answering these questions will help make sure that when you’re living in your shiny new apartment, you won’t find anything lacking.

Tip three: Do your homework.

This is the tip full of all of the not-fun parts of looking at a place. If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: start early and do as much research as you can. In a town as saturated with college students as Tallahassee, there are a lot of off-campus houses that are not all they claim to be, and even the ones that are can fill up fairly quick. There are a couple of warning signs that you can be on the lookout for while doing research, and most of them have to do with an apartment’s reviews. Sometimes, you will find a single bad review on an apartment that may have otherwise good reviews. Here’s something to consider: how often to college students review anything? Don’t discount a good or bad review, though pay more attention to the negative ones even if they are few and far between. Often, they have at least a sliver of truth behind them. If they report bad management or bug infestations or parking issues, there’s a good chance those are real issues that you might have to face. The key word is might. It is a bit of a risk. Choosing early while still doing as much research as you can will help to minimize the risk that your apartment will have any issues.

This is one of the reviews off of my current apartment. Another good tip is to be wary of things like a brand new apartment or if a place is getting new management… I have fallen for this trap twice. (Google Reviews, screenshot by Thomas Hart)

And there you have it, your three-step process for success! Take these tips to heart and you can help make sure that your apartment becomes the perfect home away from home.

By Thomas Hart

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Hi, my name is Thomas Hart, and I'm a junior creative writing student at Florida State University. Escapist by nature, I love to write about all things geek and fantasy, video games, technology, and funny stories of just the daily shenanigans I see on my college campus. I'm a natural storyteller, which makes my job here at Uloop all the more easy.

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