If you’re in any way, shape, or form an adult, there’s a good chance that you’ve been apartment hunting. And, if you’ve been apartment hunting, you know that it’s basically like entering into the 7th layer of hell.
First and foremost, there’s probably no shot that you can actually afford what you want, so you’ll end up living in an apartment the size of a shoe box. On top of that, it’s endless scrolling through Zillow or whatever other bullshit website there is to find apartments that look like a dump when you get there. And, the cherry on top is the brokers relentlessly calling you trying to sell you something.
In general, it’s a fucking nightmare.
Thankfully, I’ve been through this hellish ordeal recently and I’ve complied a list of sort that may actually help you retain your sanity if you’re in the same position.
Bring a friend
The only salvation you get when apartment hunting is going with your friend. Why? Because it’s always better to have someone you trust to give you an honest opinion, and there’s someone their to hold your hand when you start to break down in tears and the shit storm your broker is showing you. Plus, everything is better with friends, right?
Know your budget
And stick to it. Don’t let someone convince you that “spending a little more money” can get you something a lot nicer. Sure, it probably can, but there’s no point if you don’t have money to buy toilet paper. Figure out your budget and only stick to places that fall within it.
Don’t click on things that say “pre-qualify”
I made that mistake once because I wanted to see how good my credit was in order to know if I could actually rent something. To make a long story short, I spent the next three days getting 97 emails and calls a day from brokers and banks about what to do. It was misery. The management company will check your credit for you so don’t worry about it.
If you like a certain neighborhood, go there, hit up a local bar and ask around. Ask about the neighborhood, the people there, even the building. It’s always better to get the perspective of someone who’s actually in that area all the time.
Look before you call someone
Go outside (remember what that is?) and see the building you actually like before calling a broker. If you call a broker and say something like “some me what you have” you’re going to be glued to their hip for the next month. Instead, narrow down the buildings you actually want to live in, then go from there.
Do your research
Don’t put all the trust in your broker. You’ll regret it. Before this devil (the broker) schleps you to 50 apartments an hour, do some research and figure out where you actually want to live. Know the details of the building, the neighborhood, etc. That way nobody can actually bullshit you.
Learn to negotiate
Every management company is going to try to up sell you. They’re going to create some nonsense image of what this apartment could look like that really makes no sense at all because there’s no way you should be paying $3,000 for 400 square feet. Bottom line is, learn to negotiate. If you can’t get the rent price down, figure out a way to have them throw in something for free like a 6 month gym membership or free parking.
Throw your phone in a river
Because even when you finally find an apartment you semi-like, the broker will keep calling and hunting you down like cattle. So throw that shit in the river. Trust me, you’re better off going off the grid.