Hunting for the Perfect Apartment

July 25, 2021

Photo taken during my visit to San Francisco

In recent years, I have daydreamed of living in a place of my own. At this point in my life, I know that I am ready to move out, however there are certain circumstances that prevents me from doing this. I have always told myself that in the case that I would be moving out, I want my destination to be abroad, for work and for settling down eventually.

I'm starting to plan little things here and there, and part of the preparation is doing intensive online research. The tricky part with my arrangement is that I would be going to an unfamiliar territory, so it is my task to really do my homework and find reliable information on the internet.

Because of conversations with a colleague, I have entertained the idea of choosing New York City as a place where I can move in. I know it's a bit of a far-fetched idea, but who knows - life might surprise me and the next thing I know, I would really end up staying there. Reality check, apartments in NYC can be pricey, and it would really be a huge adjustment coming from the lifestyle of living in the Philippines. 😅 But of course, my goal is to get a job that would allow me to afford the lifestyle of a New Yorker. 

The most crucial part of moving out is finding the right place for you. But how do I do it when I am not physically present in the area to do the inspection of the place myself? Good thing there are useful resources online that enables me to inspect the place remotely.

For sure, you would have a lot of things in consideration when choosing the right apartment for you. For me, it becomes easier if I group these criteria and prioritize them accordingly. These are the learnings I have earned during my solo trip in Japan. Of course I recognize that planning to stay as a tourist is a whole different scenario compared to actually living there for months and years. But they still have overlaps, and for sure my travels abroad have given me ideas on what I prefer to have in my own space.

Essentials
Good location. I need my place to be strategically located in the city area. Pre-pandemic, I would have said that I want my place to be near my work. But since there's option to do remote work for sure, I guess I would revise my criteria such that my place has easy access to the main transportation lines / main roads and other points of interests (i.e. malls, hospitals).

Price is within budget. Even though I would want the most glamorous place, it will not be within my reach if the price is not within my budget plan. Good thing it's a standard now with apartment hunting sites like Zumper  to display the prices upfront. You can also check if the price already includes the utilities. I would definitely discuss this with the landlord because I would especially need reliable internet in my place.

Elevator. Even in the case that I will be situated in the lower floors, if it's higher than the second floor, I would require to have an elevator or I would risk the fitness of my knees every time I go up or down the building. 😅

Nice to Have
Allows pets. During the pandemic, I realized that having a pet improves my  overall mental well-being. Although it's not a deal breaker, if possible, I want a place wherein they would allow pet dogs or cats. I'm already thinking of adopting first a cat from a local animal rescue center. And then after several months, once I have settled down, I would want to adopt a dog so I could get my exercise by walking the dog regularly.

Allows short-term lease. This is a good perk to have, in case I suddenly decide that this is not the best place for me and I would want to move somewhere else.

Balcony. It's part of my vision board to have a place with a little balcony wherein I can sit there every morning to drink some tea or coffee. ☕

Concierge Service. Since I will be in a totally new location, I would prefer to have contact persons in case I would need assistance with anything during my stay.

Swimming Pool. Since this a low-impact exercise that is best for me, I would prefer that my place has access to one, so that I could have some swimming workout whenever I wanted.

These are just the initial list that I have, as a total beginner on apartment-hunting. There might be other criteria that I need to add on the essentials list, but it's a totally great advantage to have apartment hunting sites to narrow down my choices based on the criteria above. I guess I will learn more about the process as I do baby steps along the way. ✨

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