5 Reasons Why Looking for Your First Apartment is Not like House Hunters

If you’re as addicted to HGTV’s House Hunters as I am, you probably actually look forward to moving, because it just looks like so much fun to find a new place!  Unfortunately, this reality show is just like the rest of them: not reality.  And on top of that, many people on the show aren’t looking for first apartments, or even rentals at all, and their budgets are much, much higher.

This is TV– no one wants to watch a struggling recent grad find a shoebox just over their price limit.  Or do they?  Because I would totally watch that show.

Here’s a reality check to keep your house hunting dreams separate from that terribly addictive TV show…

  • You will probably look at more than three apartments.  And it will take more than half an hour to decide on your new home.  TV editing is only so helpful in real life.
  • Forget your wish list.  Want a dishwasher?  You may have to install it.  New architecture? Nah.  Your first apartment is mainly about two things: budget and location.  Primarily, budget.
  • House Hunters usually features a married couple looking for a home.  If you’re not married, your finances are probably independent from your roomates’, which just adds another level of complication.  Plus, if you’re young, you will probably need a guarantor or co-signer, as you may not meet rent requirements.
  • If you’re using a realtor, know that he/she isn’t just working with you.  If you’re too difficult, complaining about everything like some of those House Hunters divas, she’ll find a new client.
  • You don’t just “get” your new apartment.  This part is sad.  Even if you fall in love with a place, you still need to apply.  And your application may or may not succeed.  House Hunters never shows anyone who doesn’t get the home they decided on…

The good news is that even though life isn’t like TV, there are many more experiences– funny and horrifying and educational– that you’ll have by looking for your new rental off-camera.



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Author My First Apartment

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While being New York’s most fabulous resident consumes most of her time, Melissa Kravitz enjoys excessive amounts of reading, crafting, shopping, cooking five meals a day, and befriending puppies. Melissa considers herself NYC’s ultimate pasta expert; a good part of her apartment is dedicated to her thriving pasta collection.

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar Kenyetta

    I have actually seen episodes where people didn’t get the home they originally wanted. I can tell it won’t happen if there’s too much time left in the episode. haha But most people do have a home by the end of the episode. There have only been a handful of times when a person or couple didn’t, and usually it was because they were insanely picky. I’m amazed at the patience of those realtors. People really should research what their budget will get them in a certain neighborhood before getting excited to live there. A lot of episodes start off with people’s hopes being dashed when they find out their ideal neighborhood is waaaaaaay over their budget.