Looking for your first apartment? It’s time to make your necessities vs. amenities list!

The phrase “In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb” may describe April weather, but you don’t want it to describe your apartment search. The beginning of April signifies the beginning of apartment hunting season. Tons of leases end in May and if you want to find a good place, you’ll have to beat out plenty of other contenders. What’s important now, is to decide on the basics.

What do you NEED in your apartment and what do you WANT. What could you settle for and what’s a deal-breaker?

This is my friend Sheila’s list for a her first apartment in Chicago which she hopes to move into this summer, after having lived at home since October.

– Close to work by public transit and by car (in case I get one)
– Dishwasher
– Heating included
– Bedroom large enough to fit queen bed

– Near Yoga Studio
– Washer/Dryer
– Outdoor space/porch
– Fun, busy neighborhood with good restaurants

She hasn’t started actually looking at apartments yet, and I bet both lists will get a lot longer before she’s done. I definitely suggested to her, as I will to you, that she look at a few apartments now BEFORE she needs to, just to get a sense of how much similar apartments cost in different neighborhoods and if there aren’t a few more items to add to her ‘needs’ list. If it were me, I’d definitely need the electric wiring to support an AC in the summer, but that’s just me.

Sigh, it’ll soon be warm enough to need an A.C…,can you imagine? Out of the oven into the frying pan I suppose.

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar Whitney

    This is so true. I was thinking that I needed a one bedroom apt but if a studio apartment is more affordable, I may have to try it, at least until for a year.