Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New City, New Apartment

I know I promised a job hunt update. More on that later.

But an important factor in my job hunt is in fact, my apartment. You see I'm moving across the country, and even though I'm eager to start working, I don't want to sleep in the company parking lot.

After a series of summer sublets, I've become a bit of a remote apartment hunting master. As a result, many of my still-in-college friends have asked me for advice on the hunt.

Below are my tips:

1) Figure out your transportation situation.
Particularly for those of you going from a New York to a LA or a part of DC without a metro stop (Georgetown anyone?). It's the first question I ask. I can't recommend neighborhoods where you'll need a car when you don't have a car.

When I subletted, I never had a car so a major factor was walking distance to and from work and if there was public transportation nearby.

Also, is it reliable public transportation? If there is limited or no service after certain hours or on the weekends--that might not work for you.

2) Who is your ideal roommate? Do you even want a roommate?
Are you a night owl? A smoker? Partier? Studier? Whatever you are, figure it out now and make sure you spell it out so everyone is on the same page. Don't think that you can just "figure it out" or "handle it later." Some lifestyle changes are non-negotiable and some people won't change for you. It stinks to be in a new place with a new person and have one thing become a big problem.

3) Write your story.
I think of remote apartment hunting as a little like pitching a business idea, you've got to sell yourself. So write it out beforehand. Tell you them your little story, why you are moving to XYZ and what you are looking for in an apartment or sublet.

4) Hit up the CL
That's right. Time to scour Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Google. Don't be too picky. Send your story to anything that looks reasonable based on your living/location factors. And don't be afraid to use the "Housing Wanted" section too.

5) Once you're done, get an agreement.
Draft an agreement between yourself and your subletter or landlord. Be sure to define security deposit and return and what the move in/move out process. Don't assume that the terms are the same in LA and NYC....because they're not.


Post a Comment