This is it ladies and gentleman, the ultimate guide to finding the perfect apartment for you in the City, where you not only leave your heart but a sizable portion (read:majority) of your paycheck.
First a quick tip, when looking at a post for an apartment keep in mind that the number of bedrooms matter not at all. You must ask for the square footage or you will be enjoying a three bedroom apartment where two of the bedrooms are walk in closets off the original master bedroom.
Second and most important, how to handle an open house. When the post says 12:15-12:30 think Black Friday at WalMart and dress accordingly as the broker is not responsible for injuries. I cannot stress this enough, you must BE PREPARED. Bring a copy of your credit score and a recent pay stub. If you are really serious about getting the apartment just tell the property manager that you will instead deposit your next paycheck directly into their account.
Third, if you have an 80lb Labrador Retriever and are unwilling to hide her (because you are an amateur) you must bring a curriculum vitae for her. It should include shot records, obedience school ranking, level of competence in foreign language and a letter of recommendation which clearly states that your dog only poops fairy dust and barks Italian operettas.
And now here are some helpful definitions:
Landscaped backyard- square of concrete approximately 2×4 feet shared with seven other units.
Dedicated parking spot- choose between the following:
- a) a parking lot six blocks away
- b) tandem parking with your neighbor
- c) a dedicated college student who will refill your meter when it runs out
Charming- Tiny. Synonyms include cozy, snug and vague statements such as ‘the larger of the bedrooms has plenty of room’.
Modern- built after 1932.
With city views- from the fire escape located on the other side of the building.
Eat in kitchen- totally you can eat in the kitchen, standing over the sink perhaps.
State of the art recycling center- three bins located in your landscaped backyard. (See above.)
Dog friendly- dog must be under 4lbs, cannot bark, must not have claws, ideally without fur. Preference given to pets that are in fact imaginary.
Close to public transportation- located above streetcar route. (Earplugs not included.)
“Up and coming neighborhood”- Ten years ago you couldn’t wear red or blue here but now there may or may not be a really great brunch place that under no circumstances takes reservations.
Old world charm- not required to observe fire codes or be ADA compliant. Synonyms: retro, vintage, period details throughout.
Majestic- un-affordable. Synonyms: spacious, massive, delightful.
Easy commute- as compared to the Titanic, certainly.
Decorated with a designers touch- I paid my Aunt Cheryl the ‘feng shui expert’ to do it.
Private deck with access to backyard-just step out on your window sill and jump on down, aim for the compost pile on the right.
I hope this helps some of you navigate the treacherous rental market out there. And if you happen to be a property manager running my background check please ignore everything I just said and enjoy those banana walnut muffins I baked you.