Beginner’s Guide to: Apartment Hunting 101

Beginner’s Guide to: Apartment Hunting 101

Welcome back! Today I’m delving into the topic of apartment hunting. Within the past year I’ve had to apartment hunt twice, and I feel like there’s definitely stuff I wish I knew going into the process. It can definitely be an overwhelming process, so today I’m sharing all my tips and recommendations if any of you are about to embark on the apartment hunting journey!

Compromising is inevitable

When you’re looking for an apartment, the odds that you find one in the perfect location, under budget, with all the features you want, is unlikely. You will most likely have to compromise on something, so before you start looking you should try to come up with a list of things that are a non negotiable and……

Prioritize

Take that list of things you absolutely cannot live without, and prioritize the rest. Basically ask yourself: what is the most important feature your new place needs to have? A good way to figure this out is to look at your current living situation and think about all the things you do not like, or wish you could change. It’s a great place to start and then you can slowly build your list of features and qualities you need to have, and those you can live without.

Always visit the apartment if possible

Unless you physically cannot visit an apartment, I highly recommend you do so. It is key to helping determine if you like the apartment or not. Anyone can take pretty pictures and make a space look nice, but seeing it in person is often much different. On the other side of that, some apartments may not have great pictures available, so you’d definitely want to visit to get a good feel for the space and amenities you would have.

Take into account potential extra fees

Apartments are notorious for having numerous random fees that you may not initially take into account. That’s another reason why it’s so important to visit the apartment if you can, or at least speak to a leasing consultant on the phone. You may see one price online, and not be aware of fees for parking, trash removal, sewer, water or pets if you have them. These can easily add up and make your rent much higher than you anticipated.

Write down questions you have in advance before you visit the apartment

Before you tour an apartment, it’s always good to have a list of potential questions ready to go. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re touring and not remember something important that you wanted to ask. It’s happened to me before, and it’s one of the most annoying things. If you know you have a pet, make sure you ask about the pet policy. If you’re wondering about parking, make sure you ask how many spots are allotted for guests. These are just a few examples of some things that are always helpful to know, but you may not think to ask.

Take notes/pictures if you’re touring more than two places

If you’re looking at a bunch of different places, it can get confusing trying to keep track of all of them and which ones you liked, and which ones you didn’t. There’s probably going to be pros and cons of all of them, so I found keeping notes/pictures on each place I visited was extremely helpful when it came time to pick which one I wanted to apply to.

Make a checklist of all the necessary paperwork for an application

When you finally decide on an apartment that you love, I’d recommend making a checklist of all the paperwork you’ll need to provide for either your application or your lease. Some places do not take credit cards or cash for an application fee, so you may have to go to your bank to get a certified check, or use a personal check. Most places will also want proof of income so prepare to have two recent paystubs available to provide.

Be aware of the individual policies that apartments have (Pets, income standards, etc)

Again, a lot of places have different policies that can get confusing to keep track of. Some have income standards, (for example, your income may need to be 3 times the amount of rent), so that’s something important to consider. They may also have specific policies when it comes to pets,(a pet fee, extra rent every month for the rent, specific buildings where pets are allowed). The same goes for parking, utilities, cable ( some places have specific providers you have to use), etc. It’s always good to make sure you’re aware of everything you’re getting into before you sign that lease!

And that’s it! I hope these tips and recommendations can help any of you who are currently or will be hunting for a new apartment! Keep it klassy, xo.

2019 Goals: A Check In

2019 Goals: A Check In

So….we’re almost halfway through 2019 (I know, it’s crazy). I think it’s common for most people to set goals at the beginning the year, with the intent of following through with them. But, then life gets in the way, and suddenly you have a bunch of unfinished goals, motivation is left behind in January and you’re right back where you started. WELL, let this serve as an almost-halfway-point check in! Where are you guys with your goals? Have you made progress on them, or did you find yourself losing motivation soon after you started them?

Usually for me, I have this great ideas of what I want to accomplish or become, and I always fall short. It’s easy to stop when things get hard, or uncomfortable, or just not convenient anymore. The trick is to stay motivated, to find what gets you going and to remind yourself of that every day.

One of my main goals for 2019 was to run more, and specifically, be able to run the 5k my high school hosts every April for Alumni weekend. I knew the date ahead of time and I knew I wanted to be able to finish alongside my two best friends who would also be running it with me. It was great motivation, and I was able to accomplish my goal! I never thought I’d be someone who could run more than a mile, but pushing myself past my comfort point has really allowed me to see my own potential.

I recently completed a run and was able to get in 3.5 miles! I was proud to have been able to run the farthest I ever have, and it’s motivating me to create a new goal of running 5 miles. Challenging myself to work out when I don’t feel like it, and push myself far out of my comfort zone has been one of the most personally rewarding experiences of my life.

I challenge all of you to push yourself, find a new motivation, a new inspiration, something that excites you and makes you want to tackle your goals head on! There’s still plenty of time left in 2019, don’t let it go to waste.

As always, keep it klassy, xo.

Travel Diaries: Paris

Travel Diaries: Paris

Welcome back to another travel diaries post! This week is all about Paris. I went to Paris about two years ago, and it was such a magical city. The food alone makes me want to hop on a flight back at any second. Besides the occasionally contemptuous french person, Paris was a beautiful city explore with so many things to do. Check out my favorite things about Paris below!

Food: The food in Paris was amazing. The first thing I tried when I was there was a beignet and I still often dream about it to this day. The second thing I ate was a french baguette sandwich and wow, does it make regular white bread look like the ugly step sister. OH and the macarons. If you go to Paris you HAVE to try the macarons. They make any American made macaron pail in comparison.

History & Culture: In my opinion, one of the best things about Paris is the amount museums, and history there is. The Louvre is arguably the biggest and most well known museum, for good reason, but there is so much more that I wish I had time to explore. Walking around the city made me feel like I was going back in time- there is so much history everywhere you go. It’s really something special, and makes you feel connected to the people who were there before us.

View from the Louvre
In front of the Louvre

Sights: This goes along with the history aspect, but there are so many incredible sights to see when you’re in Paris. Obviously the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are the most notable, but even just walking along the Seine river provides such a beautiful picture of all that Paris has to offer. You could spend days walking the streets of Paris, exploring every scenic building and landscape. I was truly in awe everywhere I went

My two best friends and I in front of the Eiffel Tower

And that’s it! I hope these provided a brief overview of Paris to any of you out there who are considering visiting! I could not recommend it more, and I personally cannot wait to go back, hopefully sometime soon.

As always, keep it klassy, xo.