It’s time: To spread your wings, to cut the cord, to roam free. Maybe in a new city and state, or maybe in the familiar environs of your college town or childhood home. Regardless of where you’re looking, apartment shopping is a daunting task.
Railroad-style? One-bedroom convertible? Cottage-cozy? Are these advertisements even in English?
As you wade through the sea of potential new abodes, let us help you out–here’s a few things you might not think to put on your list of apartment notables.
**Five Apartment Features You Didn’t Know You Needed to Look For**
1. Closets. You would think that closet space is a given, right? Bedroom, door, closet. Not all architects would agree. And once you’ve lived out of a Hefty bag for three weeks or had to get dressed in the hallway as you pull your clothes out of the coat closet, you’ll realize how precious that tiny alcove of space really is.
2. Electrical outlets. Have you ever considered the sheer number of things in your bedroom that use plugs? Phone charger. Computer charger. Air conditioner and/or fan. Bedside lamp. Need I go on? Count the outlets in those bedrooms, kids. Daisy-chaining power strips is just never a good idea–we don’t need to be electricians to know that.
3. Carpeting–or lack thereof. Those polished hardwood floors may be mighty fine, but some leases actually mandate that a certain percentage of hardwood flooring be covered by carpeting. The moment you finish arranging your couch, coffee tables, and entertainment unit is not the time to realize that a rug was supposed to go under all of that.
4. Laundry options. If you’re not afforded the luxury of your own washer and dryer, whether in your apartment or in the building, is there a laundromat reasonably close to your apartment? Something tells me that the commuters on your city’s public transportation wouldn’t be too excited about you climbing on board with your mesh bag of dirty gym clothes.
5. Super or landlord. Who handles maintenance or other problems for your building? Is he or she on-site, or does she live elsewhere? What methods do you have to get in contact with her? All of these questions will become supremely important the morning you discover your shower has no hot water and your super lives a half hour’s drive away.
But in spite of all this, remember: home is where you hang your hat!
Tara Powers is a Villanova grad working in publishing in New York City, the black hole of all real estate hopes and dreams (kidding [sort of]). She hopes that all of the doorknobs in your apartment remain attached to their doors, and writes about her fugly oven at Chip Chip Hooray.