be a wallflower! jump
on over to the discussion boards
and get decorating help.
finding the perfect pad
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1
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continued from page 2
boards | Coffeeshops, bookstores, record stores and the like often
have handy bulletin boards where people can post their ads; you'll often
find "apartment for rent" signs pinned up amidst the
car-for-sale and massage-therapy ads.
| If you're dead-set on a living in a specific neighborhood, take a
morning to canvas the area. Grab a notebook and a pen, and go on
bicycle/foot so you don't have to worry about holding up traffic. Head
up and down each and every street of the area in which you're interested
as you hunt down "for rent" signs.
Word of mouth| Let
everyone you know that you're on the hunt for new digs. You never know
who might have a lead on a great place that's about to be vacated.
When you see an ad
that looks promising, don't dawdle: pick up the phone and set up a
viewing as soon as possible. In a competitive housing market, apartments
go fast. Trust me, there's nothing more disheartening than spending a
whole day circling newspaper rental ads, only to find that when you
start making calls a day or two later, all the apartments have already
been snatched up by folks way more on-the-ball than you. My boy still
occasionally moans about the fabulous river-view apartment we missed out
on when we were living in Australia. We let the three little Malaysian
girls who were at the university housing office at the same time as us
use the phone first -- which is how they were able to lay claim to the
apartment that the boy continues to feel rightfully belonged to us.
viewing is an interview of sorts -- both for you and for your
prospective landlord. Show up on time, and make an effort not to
look like too much a slob/freak/miscreant. At the same time, bring
a notebook and paper along and take the opportunity to ask the
landlord whatever questions you might have. A few things you might
want to throw out there: How long is the lease for? Is there the
option to renew? Are there any additional housing-associated fees
besides the rent that you should know about? (This is especially
true if you're moving to another city/country, as I recently
discovered when I learned that in addition to the monthly heap I'd
have to pay to my landlord in Edinburgh, I'd also be shelling an
additional couple hundred per month to cover city taxes.) Are
utilities included, and if so, which ones (water, gas, electric)?
Does the apartment building have laundry facilities? What's the
apartment hunter's essentials
Don't head out sans
-- a notebook and pen
-- a good map
-- a checkbook (so you can make the deposit if you decide for
certain you want the place)
-- enough money in your bank account to cover a deposit and first
-- credit report (check out ehow.com's
guide on how to do this)
-- names of references (if you've never rented an apartment
before, get character references and a pay stub/tax
return/something that proves you have money coming in)
lounge . nourish .
. laze . home.