Setting realistic expectations for apartment hunters
When your list of “must haves” becomes half a mile long, it’s time to reconsider your dream rental necessities.
You’re the renter that wants it all but there is one pesky thing that prevents you from realizing your dreams: reality. Budget, location, size, details—something always seems to fall out of place when you’re searching for apartments in Phoenix.
Many renters take the advice of seasoned apartment hunters and create lists of features they “must have” in the apartment, those that they’d “like to have,” and features they simply “can’t stand.” The longer the list of “must haves,” the more likely they are to face disappointment.
Reconsider your “must haves” to create a list that reflects realistic expectations. Here are a few points to consider:
Common Sense Real Estate
The odds of finding an inexpensive rental in Phoenix with ample square footage in a hip and happening location is rarer than ice cubes in hell. That’s the skinny on just about any metropolitan area. Square footage costs cash in areas that people want to live in. Period. Be prepared to adjust your space expectations or location if you’re on a budget.
Duration of Your Lease
During the excitement of the apartment search, it’s easy to lose sight of a timeline. Remember how long you plan to stay in the selected location to make the best compromises; can you tolerate a lack of natural light for the four years it will take to finish your degree? Will the lack of stainless steel really degrade your living conditions for the duration of your one year lease? Time frames help to frame realistic grounds for compromises.
Short Term and Long Term Budgets
When you’re looking at a property that isn’t perfect right away, don’t give up on the property. Try to consider the amount of time you’d need to make improvements, particularly regarding cosmetic changes that are nothing more than eyesores. You may not have the excess cash to refinish the cabinets and decks when you first move in but what about in the first three months? Could you live with the outdated appliances for six months while saving cash for new ones?
Conversely, you may have an excess of cash from a student grant or inheritance but unless you’ve got residual income that will continue to flow, those sources will soon dry out. Is the home of your choice sustainable when those funds run low?
Compromises happen every day. The key is to make the wisest, most painless compromises in order to find the Phoenix rental that’s right for you.