Apartment Hunting: How-To

So it’s really that time, you’re officially contemplating a change in scenery? In other words- you’re ready to move. But where do you go from here? What neighborhood fits? Are there roommates involved? Can you afford it?

Here are a few tips, brought to you by FreshRent, on starting your hunt for a new home.

Roommates: To have or have not? This is a big question, and one that involves a few factors:

  1. Can you afford to live alone?
  2. Will you enjoy the solitude or end up being that crazy person who talks to their plants?
  3. If roommates are the answer- are you looking for friends, acquaintances or straight up strangers?

Living alone can be nice, especially if you choose to be in a trendy (i.e. 20-something filled) neighborhood where your friends and possible future friends are likely to hang out. However, if a more quiet, family-friendly neighborhood is better suited for you, roommates might just be the answer. You can travel out to the busy parts of town when you want to or have a quiet night at home- but not alone- if desired.

Living alone can be costly- there’s no one helping with rent, electricity, internet, and you really weren’t ready to give up cable. Roommates can help that.  And they’ll probably keep you from talking to your plants, but then you need to decide if you want to take the Craig’s List approach:


  1. You don’t owe them much—had a bad day at work and don’t want to hang out? Escaping to your room with no more than a simple “hey” is acceptable.
  2. Their allergies will stop you from getting that dog/cat/ferret you don’t actually need.
  3.  No risk of destroying a friendship—you weren’t friends to start with, so a fight over who didn’t do what dishes won’t turn into an argument about how you’ve NEVER been a supportive friend.
  4.  You might actually make new friends.


  1. Your roomie-to-be might be a bit more Type A than they let on in the interview and suddenly they’re yelling at you for not keeping the DVDs alphabetized.
  2. There could be a Significant Other in the picture that ends up being the third (non-rent paying) roommate …warning: this can happen with friends too.
  3. Are you vegan? Random-Roommate is not, and just cooked a juicy burger in your cast iron frying pan.

Honesty is always the best policy when picking roommates. If you know doing the dishes in a timely manner isn’t your thing-SAY IT. Maybe add in that you find vacuuming to be stress relieving, but say it. If you’re a night person you probably don’t want to live with a morning person. Making note of these things, prior to signing a lease, can be a lifesaver.

Now that you have all that sorted let FreshRent do the rest!

Top Ten Signs You Have a Roommate From Hell

Apartment living can be a truly easygoing lifestyle. Leaky sink? Call the super. Too noisy next door? A polite tap on the wall usually gets it done. And you never have to wake up on a Saturday to tackle yard work. At best, you tend to your window boxes or a couple potted plants on the balcony.

When you move to a new city, such as our beloved Atlanta, for instance, especially when you’re showing up for school, a new job, or just to shake things up, connecting with others in a similar situation is a smart move. Finding a roommate can be a smart move. Using online connection services, adds in the free local arts weeklies or Craigslist can put you in touch with well-intentioned folks with the same needs as you.

But occasionally, it turns out that you draw interest from someone who doesn’t have both oars in the water. You may be desperate for someone to help share the rent, but it’s worth taking a minute or two to make sure your potential roomie isn’t bat-guano crazy.

How can you tell before you both start sharing floorspace? We reached out to our trusted panel of Atlanta apartment-dwelling veterans, who helped us compile this list of characteristics that they agree would be less than desirable. If you’re prospective roommate shows any of these attributes, we suggest moving on before you move in:

1. Sets up his personal tanning bed and then tells you he wants to split utilities.

2. Has a personal tanning bed.

3. Too busy catching up on Jersey Shore to TiVo Downton Abbey — or vice versa.

4. Tells you his Turkish Oil Wrestling club will meet at your place only like once a month.

5. Keeps asking you to join his Turkish Oil Wrestling Club.

6. Crochets matching “Best Roomies” cup holders for you . . . and her cats.

7. Leaves the toilet seat up because they insist it’s more comfortable.

8. Informs you that she’s writing a “Cooking With Skunk Cabbage” cookbook, and nominates you official taste tester.

9. Labels everything of yours in the refrigerator. Your nickname is Honey Badger.

10. Wants to take just a few minutes of your time to talk about tremendous investment opportunities courtesy of Nigerian wealth management services.

If you happen to find a roommate who doesn’t display these questionable qualities, check out DDA for a great deal on a great place you can both agree on.