Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Finding an Apartment Guide

Mr. H and I flew to Boston for about 3 days to find an apartment.
C came along, as well as my sweet mom to be his babysitter.  C did AWESOME on the flights!!! We couldn't have been happier.  Gold fish and fruit snacks worked wonders. 

Boston was a little overwhelming, and we were on our feet running the entire time. 

But we were able to secure an apartment and we are excited.  So glad to be able to check it off the list.  I thought I would compile a guide for any apartment hunters out there.  These are some things that helped us out, and some of the things we avoided. 

TIP #1
Get very familiar with the area.  We knew we wanted to be fairly close to the school, and so we started Google mapping how far each different neighborhood was.  Google maps became our very best friend.
We tried to network as much as we could to figure out good areas to live.  We called LDS bishops, friends of friends, and fellow BU students.  From talking to so many people, we were able to narrow down a couple of areas to begin our search.

TIP #2
Get to know different apartment finding websites.  We mostly used and  We liked this websites as they gave us a good idea of what we could get for our money.  After perusing those for a month or two, we felt we could comfortably set a budget we wanted to stick to.  It was tricky for us, coming from Salt Lake, because pricing is so different.  But through these websites we were able to get a good idea of what we could get for our money. 

TIP #3
Make a list of Must Haves.  This helped us filter many of the properties.  Some of the things on our list were flexible, so they went to the 'want' list.

TIP #4
Schedule as many viewings as possible.  I think we must have seen around 20 apartments.  Although it was hectic, we were able to get a feel of the different areas.  In our experience, most of the listings we found were associated with realtors, and sometimes each realtor would show us a couple of different listings.  

TIP #5
Ride the public transportation!  We rode every single green line the T had to offer in Boston.  This gave us a much clearer idea of what commutes would be like, as well as where we wanted to live.  

TIP #6
While you are out and about, jot down phone numbers off the apartment buildings you are interested in.  We called on so many, and not all worked out, but some led us to helpful realtors who showed us great listings in their area.  It would also be helpful if you already know the area you want to live and to contact a real estate office in that area directly.  

TIP #7
Do your homework.  Because we have a little boy, our apartment needed to be de-leaded. Which is next to impossible in Boston.  We made sure to let our realtors know this, so we could filter out the apartments.  We also knew that being students, we might have to have a co-signer to get approved.  We filled out all the paperwork beforehand and had it ready to go.  This allowed our application to go through very quickly.  

TIP #8
Be flexible.  We ended up choosing an area we had not planned on.  We had been pretty set on living in Brighton/Allston, as it was close to BU, but after seeing a couple of listings in that area, we quickly realized we did not want to live there.  We fell in love with Newton, and quickly decided that is where we should focus our search.

TIP #9
Listen to your heart! Sounds cheesy, but we really tried to stay close to the spirit. In some apartments, we just felt really down, bad, and stressed. In other apartments, we felt so good and so much better.  

TIP #10
Take time to have little breaks and enjoy yourself.  Apartment hunting is very stressful, and it is easy to fall apart quickly.  Thank to my mom, we were able to meet up every evening and hang out together and enjoy some of what Boston has to offer.  
Carousel in Boston Commons
My mom and I had twinner rain coats.  We were openly laughed at, but it was fun.  :)  We enjoyed going around Boston at night together.  


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