Tag Archives: Apartment

How to Find a New Place to Live: A Guide for the Clueless

-Sam Bouchat

That time of year has come around—it’s time to reserve your fall living situation. This will be my fourth time moving in as many years, and through hardship, annoyances, and difficultly learned lessons, I have become something of an expert at finding new places to live. Here is a simple guide to make finding your next home less stressful.

1. Determine Your Priorities

Every person has different needs in a living situation. For me, I don’t mind a long commute to campus; but I cannot, under any circumstances, live in a loud environment. Quiet and tranquility (along with price) are my highest priorities. As such, this limits my living arrangement options—this is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because I can narrow down where I want to live (areas around frats are out of the question), but bad because it gives me less options to choose from. You must figure out what is important to you, and use that structure when finding places you want to live.

2. Research Your Landlords

Utilize websites like Yelp and Google reviews to determine if your future property manager is responsible or god-awful. For instance, there must be a reason Von Klein Property Management has 17 reviews on Google, every single one of which is 1 star. But you don’t have to stop at the internet.

When I was living in my sophomore quarters, the landlord showed my place while I was there. The entire time, I was astounded that the groups to whom the place was being shown did not once ask us, the current tenants, about the rental. Talk to people who live there! You will never get a more honest opinion. And people LOVE to talk about their homes.

3. Read the Fine Print

READ. THE. LEASE. The whole lease. Every last word. Because you might end up being screwed, and you would have been warned if you had just read that last, 8 point clause. Ask questions about everything. What does “common area” imply? Who do I call for noise complaints? What’s the emergency number?

And make copies of EVERYTHING. Your lease, your checks. Write down who you talked with on the phone that promised that August rent would be half off. Keep documents, because they might be the only thing between you and a miserable year.

4. Talk to Friends

Your friends have great and awful living experiences—ask them for advice. Oh, you love where you live? How do I apply? Oh, your landlord never came to fix your dryer? I’ll be sure to avoid him.

5. Start Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to begin looking for and applying for fall apartments or houses. You’ll end up with the dregs. Find a place that you love now, and cut your stressing short. You’ll be thankful come September.

How To Deal with Noisy Neighbors

-Callie Gisler

Apartment life can suck. This is especially true when you live below people who seem to be hosting a party every Friday night. If you’ve never dealt with a scenario like that, you can take my word for it. Eventually, apartment living will introduce you to problems with neighbors. How do you deal with the problems when they arise?

The adult solution.

By this point in our lives, we college kids have learned to solve our own problems. Adult conversations and discussions are possible without screaming and fighting…Right? Approach your neighbors during a calmer and quiet time, maybe the day after a loud night filled with partying. Remember your manners. Avoid accusations and incriminating tones, especially if you don’t know these people well. Remind them that apartment living can be loud and you’re having some difficulty dealing with the noise levels. More than likely, he or she will be happy to take your honest and civil requests to heart.

The landlord solution.

If your attempts to deal with the problem aren’t helping, don’t be afraid to turn to your landlord or complex manager for assistance. This is one of the perks of being a renter – these people exist to help solve your living problems. Let your manager know that you’re having problems with your neighbors’ noise levels. If the situation is more serious, consider calling the non-emergency line to file a noise complaint.

The college kid solution.

When all else fails, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Turn your music up a little, talk a little louder, and remind them that apartment walls are thinner than they appear. If you can hear them, they can certainly hear you. Though this solution does come with a disclaimer – you could easily piss people off. Be careful.

Apartment living is one more necessity to the college experience. And some would claim that so are the noisy neighbors that often come with it. The thumping base, the window-shaking music, and thundering footsteps will add up to cultivate that first-apartment experience. Approach the situation with a little understanding – we’ve all been “that” neighbor at some point.

Follow Callie at @calliegisler