Monday, May 16, 2011

Some exciting news...!

After lots of talks with the boyfriend this weekend, he's decided to think about moving back home when his lease is up and finishing up school (which I am so so so so proud of him for) and I have decided to get my very own apartment (with a roommate).

Remember Kim?

I've known her since we were freshmen in high school at Mercy, and now she is going to be my (our) roommate!! I'm so excited. Kim is one of my best friends, and I can't wait to live on my own. I've never had this experience, and I can't wait to do it with a great friend (and the fur babies, of course!!). 

We looked at one apartment today which was a no go because they have a policy there that states you can't have any rust spots or dents on your car in order to sign a lease there. I counted three dents on my car. HA. This is also funny because the part of town it's in isn't exactly the most upscale.... So we're enlisting the help of Nick and Chris (Kim's fiance) later this week to see some more places. 

Since I've never done this before, can you guys throw out some things I should keep an eye out for other than aesthetics? 

Happy Monday!! <3


  1. things to look for: whether or not the place has new windows and appliances (this will save you a lot of $$), and how much you can hear through the walls (when it comes to your neighbors and your roommate!) you'll find an adorable place i'm sure!

    fun fact, i came thisclose to moving to cinci for grad school at UC! i did some apartment hunting there myself last year! i ended up choosing a different school last minute haha

  2. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Because I have learned this from experience...Once you have picked out a place, and they get it ready for you, don't sign any papers until you have thoroughly inspected the apartment. Make sure it is clean and move in ready. I made the mistake of signing the papers before that and my apartment was not ready and had horrible stains on the floor and the bath tub was peeling ceramic. Unfortunately, since I already signed the papers and decided not to move there because of all of that, I technically broke the lease and lost my $300 deposit.

  3. DrBrianFields9:37 PM

    Don't be afraid to knock on the neighbor's doors and ask if they have complaints about the place. If you're afraid to talk to the neighbors, then do you really want to LIVE there?

    Laundry facilities were a big deal with me. If you have coin-operated laundry you'll be better off hanging around while you run it and that can eat up a lot of time. Unless you just plan on making trips over to friends/parents houses to do it.

    You should be able to look up the Gas/Electric bills from previous tenants for the past year to get an idea of the utilities costs. For two people in a two bedroom apartment, expect utilities to be about $75/Month EACH. Slightly more during winter.

    If the place has a funny stink to it (cigarettes, cat piss, garbage, etc.) Don't assume it will go away. You will move in, get used to it, then you and all of your clothes and your bed and your everything will smell like it.

    Unless you are in a situation where you NEED to move out ASAP, wait for the right place rather than jump into something just to move. A year long lease is a long time when you hate the place.

    Look for signs of bugs and mice. Open all of the cabinets, check in all of the closets, etc. etc.

    If the carpet doesn't look like it was professionally cleaned, ask to have it cleaned before you sign the lease. There's nothing more disgusting than feeling you have to wear shoes all the time in your own apartment so your feet don't come in contact with the carpet.

    When you get the keys, before you move in, take note of any damage and take pictures, notify the landlord before you move anything in that something isn't right. If you don't, they can charge you for the repairs on it when you move out by saying that it wasn't there when you moved in.

    KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A TENANT. Look up Tenant/Landlord laws for the state. Bookmark them and read up anytime there is a hint of a problem. Things like your security deposit can't be more than one month's rent, and when you move out the landlord is required to return it within a month or they owe you twice the amount... most people don't know these things.

    Recognize that living with someone can put a strain on a friendship (or completely ruin it) if both people aren't willing to compromise. Everyone has bad habits, anyone can get on your nerves when you are around them long enough. Learn to get over it and/or work out differences in a civil manner. Don't take it personally if someone points out an annoying habit of yours, take it as an opportunity to improve on yourself.

    Buy renter's insurance. You can get it through just about any insurance agency and it protects your belongings in case of a disaster, or more importantly, theft. The landlord's insurance WILL NOT cover it. It's dirt cheap for the piece of mind... probably about $10-$15/month depending on what part of town you end up in.

    Off Street Parking = Necessary.

    Don't pay more for a place just because it has a pool or exercise equipment on site or something. This is Ohio. Think about it. If you pay $50 extra a month for a place that has a pool, you can only use it for half of the year... and if you only end up going once or twice a month you're essentially paying $25 for each visit to the pool.

  4. DrBrianFields9:47 PM

    Oh yeah, the best apartments are not found through apartment guides or anything... those are just glorified paid ads. Drive around the part(s) of town you want to live in and look for signs.

    Good apartments don't have lots of vacancies. Good apartments stay full because people are happy and don't want to leave.

  5. THANK you, everyone. This is a huge help!!
    Chelsea, curse you for not actually doing it!! <3

  6. The best piece of apartment/roommate related advice I was given and deliberately ignored? No matter how close you are with your roommate (even sisters, in my case!) make sure there is a written agreement. And not just for rent; you won't believe the disagreements two perfectly level headed people can come up with when in close quarters on a constant basis. I once had a roommate chew me out for turning the lights off behind her...and we were good friends, too.


  8. i agree with Kelstahz.
    i watched my cousin go through SEVERAL very ugly roommate situations, not to mention with my own brother. written agreements are a must - no matter how close the friendship. that being said, i think it's really exciting you're getting your own place with a friend :) i always wanted to do so, but was obviously hesitant at the idea [ha ha].
    you know i'm here for anything you may need :D
    xoxo seasterface.

  9. Do not and I repeat DO NOT /settle/ on a place that doesn't feel completely perfect for you. I have rented too many houses where was miserable, simply because I settled. Having a nice place where you're comfortable and happy is WORTH the extra time it takes searching and sometimes a litle extra money.

    Constantly have a pen and paper on you. Things will randomly pop into your head ALL The time that you'll realize you're going to need to buy. Don't get everything all at once or you will stress yourself out and be broke. Buy the most important things first (toilet paper, shower curtain, garbage can, etc.) and buy all the extras that you can live without for a while later. But yes, write EVERYTHING down that you think of. =]

    Good luck, Stephanie! Keep us updated on how everything is going!

  10. GUYS. Thank you all so much. This has really helped a lot! We're going to look at a couple of places tomorrow, so this gives me a lot of great stuff to keep in mind!

    Kate, IT WAS RIDICULOUS. We probably would have considered that place if it weren't for that STUPID rule. That's been one of the first questions I've asked since we ran into that. Dumb.


Thank you, as always, for stopping by! I appreciate you guys SOMUCH. I read and reply to EVERY comment, so leave as many as you like :) xoxo