So I’ve now looked at a total of three apartments in The Great Apartment Search. Though I found a seemingly PERFECT one that both my potential roommate and I are in love with—it’s just too expensive to be worth it right now.
We’re mostly looking at apartment complexes, a thing I’d never considered before. They are highly attractive to us because most important things are included in the rent–such as heat, hot water, and in some cases even internet and cable! Plus on-site fun things like a pool or fitness center or various sporting areas.
When I was living in Boston my list of important apartment features was awfully short. It included: Under $700 per person in rent, Close to a T stop, Somewhere I won’t get stabbed.
Visiting these places has made me mentally prepare a list of what is important to me in an apartment search in Middle-of-Nowhere-College-Town-Massachusetts. A bit longer than my Boston list, it is as follows:
-Cheap. I’m a poor post-grad with large monthly student loan repayments. This is a given.
-Cats allowed. If I’m going to become a crazy cat lady someday I better get started.
-Living room required. You may find this silly, but I recently viewed an apartment sans-living room. I actually looped the apartment twice just to make sure I didn’t miss it. A living room is necessary because I get nothing done in my room and I fear I will become a cat-lady-esque lump (covered in cats, of course) if it was the only space in the house I could occupy… unless watching hours of youtube clips is considered productive. In that case I’ll be a very productive cat lady indeed.
-Halfway between work and where I live now, at LEAST. This 45 minute drive is KILLING me and I cannot for the life of me find a suitable morning radio show now that my favorite morning duo has been let go. Oh, and gas is a factor I guess too.
-All inclusive is a BIG plus. Not just from a cost perspective, but from an organizational standpoint. I am a bit scatterbrained when left to my own devices—I still don’t know how I manage to pay nine different bills each month in my loans alone, let alone my phone and car payments as well. One big bill for my living space and all it includes is IDEAL.
-Pool. Fitness center. Preferably in one of those apartment complexes near Umass where all the grad students live… where I can hang out in my swimsuit or form-fitting exercise clothes and pretend I can swim/know what I’m doing in a fitness setting while flipping my hair flirtatiously… do you see where I’m going with this?… Granted, I’m picturing the men’s crew team all living in a town house and spending their free time in the pool when I know the reality is it will probably be overrun with screaming children from the family half of the complex the managers keep telling me exists (trying to convince me these places are not JUST overrun with rowdy college undergrads)…
-One of the following: Tennis court, volleyball court, basketball court, hiking trails. For the reasons listed above, but also because hey. Maybe I want to learn tennis someday.
-I like to cook things. So a functional kitchen would be nice. Also a dishwasher, because I am lazy.
-No landlord on site, so that I can have friends over and occasionally pretend I’m still a rowdy college student—but then again I’d also not like to be surrounded by rowdy college students because I’d like to be rowdy on my own terms and sleep when the spirit moves me. Ideally, we would be sandwiched between one to two other apartments of similarly-minded 20-something-aged women and, as menstrual cycles can align given enough time together in close quarters, so will our partying/non-partying tendencies.
-Parking. Toto, we’re not in Boston anymore. In middle-of-nowhere-Massachusetts, you need your wheels.
-Laundry. I’m not picky–it doesn’t have to be in the apartment itself. In the building would be nice. Considering my Boston apartment charged $4 to wash and $4 to dry, I’m pleased that though most places we’ve seen do indeed charge for use of the machines at least it’s under $2.
-The complexes on the bus line that go to the center of town are attractive, but only if the bus magically runs until after the bars close. If not, it’s of no use to me.
Odds of finding something that includes all of this? Slim to none. The complexes sound great, in theory, which means they potentially are not. Maybe our perfect apartment will magically become affordable or we’ll both spontaneously get raises and all will be well. But until then, we continue our search.