Apartments, renter's fees and security deposits: oh my!

So I'm entering the Holy Crap Where Am I Going To Live Next Year? phase of my life. Meaning: I'm no longer going to be living on campus. Meaning: I'm going to have to be living elsewhere. Meaning: I'm APARTMENT SEARCHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(By the way: all those exclamation points? Sarcasm, my friends.)

It's the week before spring break and midterms are slamming themselves on me and I've worked twice the number of hours I normally have the past two weeks and slept half the time and I'm trying to be a full-time reporter and a full-time student a part-time employee and a friend and a daughter and a sister and oh wait, that's due tomorrow?!?!? and we're seeing dozens of apartments and trying to sign a lease BY FRIDAY and yes: 'sfun.

So this morning one of my roommates and I traipsed across town to meet with a realtor to start seeing apartments. Start. Start seeing apartments. We have less than a week to see, find, and pay four months' rent on an apartment.

And it didn't go so well because the realtor was 30 minutes late and she had a broken finger and keys weren't working and apartments were messy and drama, BUT ZOMG YOU GUYS: it made it all worth it when we walked into the 72nd apartment of the day and there was a CAT.

A cat on the floor. Playing with a ball of yarn. A CAT ON THE FLOOR PLAYING WITH A BALL OF YARN.

I cried when the realtor said the cat wasn't included with the apartment.

But now my priorities in apartment searching have shifted: it's no longer 1) price 2) location 3) everything else. It's 1) CAT-FRIENDLY and 2) everything else.

And now I'm rereading this post and realizing that I've gone in 14 different directions but I don't have time to fix it because I have an interview to conduct and then 114 more apartments to see. So, basically, I LOVE YOU if you got through this, and also, I'm sorry.

OH, and also: I realize now that I probably should have a list of questions to ask realtors about apartments. Like "Where is the closest liquor store?" (KIDDING, MOTHER) and "Who do I call if my dishwasher won't work?" Right?

Um, intranets? What questions do I want to ask about apartments?


Anonymous said...

How exciting!

I would definitely ask the following:

1) If utilities are not included, how much are the monthly utility bills - do not ask for an average - summer gas may only be $40 but it could be $400 over the winter;
2) I would maybe do a drive and sit - i.e. park out front for a few hours at different times of the day and night to see how the neighbors are;
3) Make sure the lease is friendly as to the following: repairs, getting your security deposit back (they should be required to give you an itemized list of items they would deduct for at the end of the lease term and do a walk-through with you at the end the term to list those items out); and security - make sure the doors and windows lock properly and that you would have the ability to add extra security measures if you so desire; and
4) Google, investigate, ask other tenants about the reputation of the landlord to make sure they are responsible.

Good luck!!!

Jes said...

Good Luck! Good Luck! and Good Luck!
Wow, What a day!

The Nanny said...

Meinsideout - Thank you!!! Great questions. We are planning to ask about utilities. And since it's in the middle of the city, we don't have cars - we take the subway or buses. But the tip about the itemized list is great!!!

Jes, thank you!

Kara said...

Just catching up. Good luck with the apartment hunting! If you find a cat friendly apartment, feel free to take our sweet little gato with you!