Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Looking for an apartment; need advice.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Exclamation Looking for an apartment; need advice.

    I am looking for an apartment to rent in the Highlands area of Louisville, Kentucky. It's a really nice area with lots of shops, bars, restaurants and the like; access to several beautiful parks; and it's close to downtown, where I work. Another compelling reason I want to live there: it's safe and I'll be living alone, at least for a few months.

    I've lived in an apartment before but I've never really gone through the whole process by myself. I'm pretty overwhelmed by all the options right now, though I keep reminding myself that I only just started looking and that I need to really give myself lots of time to explore the opportunities, see what's available and really hammer out what I want/need out of a living space. (At the same time, real estate is a hot commodity in the Highlands, so I feel pressured to pounce when I see something suitable, arg!)

    Does anyone have any good tips about looking -- any helpful resources or the like? (FTR: I've been surfing craiglist.org and apartments.com so far, as well as a few local companies' websites.) In particular, I'd really like others' input on how to figure out my rent budget. One rental company I like requires proof that your monthly income is 3x the amount of rent; is that a good formula? What are all the "add-ons" I should consider: utilities, water, electric, trash -- what else?

    I'm still trying to figure out things I really want (2 bedrooms would be nice; so would off-street parking; and not to mention utilities+ and appliances included! *keeps dreaming*) but the one thing I absolutely know for sure is that I need to find a place with an open pet policy.

    I'm just... my brain's exploding and I need to hash things out and get a grip on this whole process. Any insights are appreciated!
    Please call me Kat!
    0.3.1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus: Toothless, deadmau5, Cake Batter & Mallo Cup
    1.0.0 Mainland Rhacodactylus chahoua: Dr. Zoidberg
    Rest in peace, Junk Drawer (06/10/2009 - 11/19/2011)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,313
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Ha, I feel the same exact way about planning my wedding. I feel ya!

    I've only shopped for an apartment once, but I've face-palmed myself in the 3.5 years we've lived here for things I should have noticed, but didn't.

    One thing I would ask about is bugs. Have they had previous renters get infestations?

    This may sound petty, but I'd consider the windows and how the sun will come through them at certain times of the day. Specifically the morning

    Insulation!

    That's all I can think of right now. Oh, one thing with our apartment, which isn't common, our bathroom doesn't have a window. It's got a fan, but we're not even sure if it really works effectively. Because it doesn't have a window, I should have asked about this sooner.
    Can you imagine a world where they would blur out our middle finger to protect a "consumer" over blurring out an innocent child to protect their integrity and privacy? - Pink
    My Boys!
    1.0 Flame w/Dalmatian Spots - Maynard
    1.0 Halloween w/Dalmatian Spots - Zero
    1.0 Betta fish - Mr. Red Balloon Hands

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    798
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    Sometimes looking at a family with a duplex is nice. You have your own apartment but, sometimes the family kind of adopts you and it is just a safe feeling. And since they live there it is usually more quiet then an apartment building. Just my 2 cents.
    4.11.10 Crested Gecko (Flash,Nemo,Pip, Addie,Flip,Summer,Chip,FB,Teal, Sweetie, Slice, Star, Scuba, Brinx, Peach )
    2.0 Golden Retrievers (Dreamer,Catcher)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank-you. That's exactly what I need: tips on what to look for or what questions to ask, etc.

    I'm trying to write down my current + potential future expenses to sort of start keeping track of and managing my budget, so could someone point out anything that I'm missing from this list?

    - rent
    - possible: utilities, water, electric, trash, Internet, cable
    - car + insurance + gas
    - school loan
    - phone
    - food
    Please call me Kat!
    0.3.1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus: Toothless, deadmau5, Cake Batter & Mallo Cup
    1.0.0 Mainland Rhacodactylus chahoua: Dr. Zoidberg
    Rest in peace, Junk Drawer (06/10/2009 - 11/19/2011)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    4,639
    Thanks
    468
    Thanked 251 Times in 151 Posts

    Default

    It might be worth your while to get a real estate agent to help you sort through your options. You wouldn't pay them, they generally get a finder's fee type of thing from the landlord.

    A good real estate agent who really knows the area you want to live in should be able to help you prioritize your wish list and figure out exactly what is and is not within your budget.

    Don't forget to ask about HOA/maintenance fees, extra storage (garages/sheds, etc), and parking situations.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Westchester, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    433
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Don't forget security deposit money and possibly pet deposit.
    Something else to think of is what you're going to need to buy when you move in. We moved into our current apartment almost a year ago [second apt for us] and though we had a lot already, storage situations are different. We needed to buy different shelves, new cookware, etc.

    We rent two garages and they leak ridiculously so we had to get cinderblocks and more shelves to put on top of those.

    That's something else you'll want to ask.... water leakage! The landlord may not give you all the details but tenants will! We live in a large complex so you could probably walk around and ask people what they think. Definitely check out parking situations too. Thank god I park in the garage, because parking is ridiculous. You can never come back after 7pm on Sunday, you will not get parking!

    Renter's insurance too!! It shouldn't be too expensive, but worthwhile to have in case anything happens, because landlords write in the leases that they aren't liable for such and such. Hmm what else...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Westchester, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    433
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Something I wish we paid attention to was the layout of our apt and the location of the wall unit a/c. We're not allowed to put one in any other window.... the a/c is in the small bedroom (which thankfully we moved to when there got to be a lot of pets) but it doesn't circulate well, we have to have a system of fans to work the air out.

    Counterspace! we literally have room for a knife set and a dish drainer. DRIVES ME UP A WALL! Don't let empty counters fool you.

    Check out the neighbors before you commit. Had I known that we had some wanna-be musician upstairs, I would have requested to be moved somewhere else.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,874
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    My first apartment was a bit of a nightmare. Found it on CL, immediately signed the lease same day I viewed. Didn't meet the downstairs neighbor (was a 2-family house) until later on, but the overview seemed decent - 35 y/o man with a 6y/o son, recently separated. I think, perfect, should be very laid back and quiet. Boy was I wrong.

    He was every bit the part of what I truly consider White Trash. He stole electricity from me (ran extension cord from my washer outlet to his apt.), used my washer/dryer (we each had our own), stole tools from me (we had shared basement storage), and partied like NO OTHER for the first year I was there (locked into my lease). The worst part was, is that my landlord spoke to him several times and raised his rent in an attempt to get him to vacate, to no avail.

    At any rate, I stayed there for 3 years and put up with his bs. Just recently moved with the use of a realtor (landlord paid the fee). Boy what a different experience. Background checks and her knowledge of the area were CLUTCH. I live on a dead-end in a duplex, with 6 neighbors total. Quiet street living is the way to go.

    Personally I've never liked complexes, I LOVE to grill and enjoy using my backyard to entertain.

    If you have a basement ask about water leaks.

    Things to consider:
    Rent
    utilities - water/sewer, cable, trash, gas, electric
    Security deposit & 1st month's rent all up front
    Parking, storage, use of yard
    Maintenance - i.e. snow removal, landscaping

    The only bad part about using the realtor was not being able to meet the landlord, but he ended up being the neighboring duplex tenant, so it ended up working out for me.

    Good luck with your search!
    Rosario's Reptiles: Project Creamy Things...target 2012 season
    3.8 Ciliatus, 1.2 Guttata, and 1.2 Felis Catus.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    3,436
    Thanks
    109
    Thanked 163 Times in 99 Posts

    Default

    My mother is a real estate agent and she's suggested a few things for me:

    Drive by at various hours during the night in the week and on the weekend. It lets you know if you're moving into a party area or not. People that are quiet during the day often bring friends home.

    When you do move in- photograph EVERYTHING. All damages you find. That way they can't pin them on you if it ever came up.

    Definatly (as someone else mentioned) look for storage space. The more closets, pantries, cabinets you have the better. Consider counter top space especially if you have a lot of pots and pans that will take up the cabinets. You have to think, where will all my pots, pans, dishes and silverware go- and then where will your food go.
    The name Stella fills me with dread.
    Mondegreen Geckos
    >iHerp >Facebook

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    383
    Thanks
    21
    Thanked 95 Times in 62 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stellarawesome View Post
    When you do move in- photograph EVERYTHING. All damages you find. That way they can't pin them on you if it ever came up.
    This is HUGE!! Make sure to note anything damaged, dirty or out of place that is there within 24 hours of moving in. Photographs are great, but if you have a video camera I highly, highly recommend that. It's harder to edit video than a photograph.

    Also, I know this one bothers the crap out of me: Check water pressure. Turn on the shower, make sure it is not just a trickle.

    I know at school most places they would require the carpets to be shampooed before moving in. One landlord did not do this...and our feet turned black when we walked barefoot. Needless to say we complained immediately and they cleaned everything right away. (Campus apartment...they are filthy.)

    Make sure to get the lease and review it before hand. Take some time and look it over very carefully. You can even mark it up with things you would like to change. Example: Random walk-ins from the landlord. Clearly you might not want that to happen...so you can note on the lease that they have to give you 24-hour notice before doing so. Make sure the landlord signs that altered section with his initials and get two copies made of it.

    If I come up with anything else, I'll try to post it... I know we had to watch our backs when looking for apartments at school. Landlords were evil.

Similar Threads

  1. In need of advice
    By ZeeTwii in forum RHACODACTYLUS CAGING & TERRARIUMS
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-12-2011, 03:31 AM
  2. Advice needed for first time breeder
    By Midland in forum RHACODACTYLUS HEALTH AND BREEDING
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-19-2009, 03:55 PM
  3. Website advice..
    By renzema in forum OFF TOPIC
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-07-2009, 10:21 PM
  4. Experienced Fat Tail owners, help and advice?!
    By Saille in forum GECKOS AND OTHER LIZARDS
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-21-2008, 02:39 PM
  5. Breeding advice....
    By SharpExotics in forum CRESTED GECKOS
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-23-2006, 12:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •