Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year's Resolutions for Apartment Hunters

January is commonly known as the best month to make a fresh start. January marks the full rotation of the earth around the sun, it's when the weather hits coldest (at least in Pennsylvania), and it lands shortly after the holiday euphoria. So why not take on something new and find ways to improve your life? If you're in an apartment that hasn't been nice to you over the last year, perhaps its time to make a change. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you make the switch in 2012.

1. Kitchen's Are Important, So Get A Good One
Kitchens are often the most popular hangout areas in apartments. Not only do they grant easy access to food and beverages, but in modern architecture the kitchen is generally the center of the home. People love the smell of cooking food and like hanging out with chefs. Don't skimp on the kitchen.

2. Pay Attention to Your Feet: Flooring 
So it may just be me, but I think hardwood floors make all the difference. You don't have to deal with cat/dog/human hair everywhere, spills don't matter as much, and you have plenty of areas to place your unique Afghan rug.

3. Choose Yards or Outdoor Areas
Ever want a dog? Then get an apartment or rental home with outdoor areas. If you are lucky you can find apartment complexes with a dedicated common yard, and if you're luckier you can find a rental home with its own space out back. Having an outdoor area is not only good for your pets, its good for your soul. No one wants to stay inside 24/7. Go have a BBQ once in a while!

4. Location, Location, Vocation
There are two types of ideal locations for your apartment: the one that's close to where you work, and the one that's 20 subway stations away. A good rule of thumb is to decide which you want. If you want to stay away from work, you have a wider area to choose apartments from, but a longer commute. If you want to be able to ride your bike to work, you generally need to be within the 3 mile radius, on the same side of the river, and with a commute that is walkable. The beauty of living close to your work is that when the weather is nice you can walk or bike, and when its bad you can simply drive or take a bus. Plus who wants to wait in traffic for 45 minutes every morning anyway?

5. Be Near... Things
Do you really want to trek out a few miles to go to the grocery store because you forgot to pick up some green onions? Me either. Try to triangulate your apartment between places you know you will frequent in the future. This includes restaurants, coffee shops, bars, clubs, or whatever else you like to do. This may mean that you will be in the middle of the city, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Walking around the neighborhood is good for you, let's you meet neighbors you otherwise would bump into, and is a great way to tone those abs. Plus you never know what adventures lie just outside your door until you open it and step out into the world.

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