Finding that Perfect First Apartment

Finding that Perfect First Apartment

Finding that very first apartment can be difficult and stressful! Online apartment hunting has changed drastically in the past few years and it is getting tougher and tougher to figure out what you actually need. How many bedrooms? Do you need a pet-friendly place? Are you actually going to do your laundry in a common area or do you want a washing machine to yourself? All these questions and more come up when you start looking and it is important to break it down and make sure you are getting everything that you need and that you are not paying for amenities that you will never get around to using. Although it is tough to get all the features you might want, we here at The Millennial Optimist are here to help! More importantly, to help make sure that you have rental scams and higher than expected rents!

Know Your Limits

To begin, before even looking at apartments, it is important to make sure that you know how much you are willing to spend per month. Just like when that first paycheck hit your bank account, it is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and start spending money you might not have, especially when you have a variety of options available to you. Therefore, the first question you must ask yourself is: How much rent can I truly afford? Once you have figured out how much money you are ready to pay monthly, you can start figuring out what is important and not important to you. After all, your budget is the foundation of your search because it will dictate what you can afford and make sure that you don’t end up losing money.

I Want This and That

This is probably the easiest place to start, everybody has a dream apartment in their minds but not everyone is willing to settle for less than this ideal. But when you see the price attached to this dream apartment, the compromising begins! To begin, first make a list highlight the features and amenities that are necessary to you, the items that you are necessities. For me personally, I did not mind having a communal washing machine and dryer as I only wash my clothes once every two weeks. But I could not live without a big fridge! I love cooking and especially eating so I needed to make sure I had a fridge that could fit my lifestyle. But everyone is different and it’s important to decide what you need and what you don’t mind compromising on.

Using the Tools for Success – Location, Location, Location

Now that you have figured out what amenities you need, it’s important to think about the location of where you will be living. Depending on where you work, go to school, or hangout, commuting to your new place will be something that you will do on a regular basis. By searching for apartments in your sweet spot, meaning those that are close to where you plan on spending your time, you can be sure that wherever you decide to live is the ideal location that fits your lifestyle. Also, depending on if you have a car or not, it is important to make sure that there is plenty of public transportation so that you can get around, nobody has time to walk everywhere! 

Not only Finding a Good Apartment but a Great Landlord

So now that you have found your perfect location, with a good price that fits in your budget and with the proper amenities, you can begin calling up the available apartments and begin visiting! Before visiting the apartment, take some time and walk around the area early in the morning or late at night, do you find its noisy? Are the neighbours loud or is it a quiet neighbourhood? DO you feel safe going for a run at night? Although you might not expect it, your gut feeling about a certain location is very important, especially if you might live there for a couple of years!

When you finally go to visit the apartment, its important to make sure that it is big enough for you, make sure you ask questions about the building, are other tenants staying for years or are they staying for months? If people are coming and going yearly, ask why, the answer might make you rethink this apartment. I also find its important to make sure that you ask about the landlord and make sure that they are available. There is nothing worse than having an issue after you move into a new apartment and trying to call your landlord and it going right to voicemail. Make sure that the person you are going into an agreement with will be there to assist if there are any issues. Although a great apartment is important, you want to make sure that it is covered and taken care of by someone who will put the time in and make sure that you are happy.


Congrats! You have finally found an apartment that you like, the landlord is trustworthy and the price and extras work for you. When going over a lease, it is important to read all of the information as this will give you an understanding of what you are responsible for and what your landlord is responsible for. When I had first moved into my apartment, my shower head had stopped working unexpectedly, as I did not want to bother my landlord, I went out to buy another one but was not able to install it myself. After speaking to my landlord, it was actually in my lease that any reparations to the washroom were expected to be paid for and fixed by the landlord and not me. The benefit of having a trustworthy landlord was that he had explained this to me rather than letting me pay for it myself and just assuming that it was my duty to fix it.

How to Spot a Scam

Rental scams are becoming more and more popular as people are able to steal large amounts of money and personal information quickly without any fear of being caught. This is done by asking you for a security deposit or first month’s rent and than disappearing before you realize that there is either already a tenant in the apartment or the scammer never owned the apartment building in the first place.

Some tips for spotting a scam, if the landlord asks you to wire money or if they do not want to meet in person or if the price is very low compared to the area that you are looking, you might be looking at a scammer.


If you need help with making a budget, please take a look at our other blog posts. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let us know and it will be our pleasure to respond! Stay safe renters!


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