How Apartment Hunting Is Different From Shoes Shopping

What becomes immediately obvious, when you start apartment hunting, is that there are no apartments.

Brokers I Have Known

We found out where the closest laundromat was because after waiting half an hour, my roommate had to pee so badly that we went in a frantic search of the closest public restroom.

The Hunt for a Place of My Own

“You have six months to find your own place,” my godmother, Kimmie, says.

Better(ish) Living With Roommates

I have only lived alone once, and it was not by choice. When I was a senior in college, my boyfriend broke up with me over the phone from San Diego, saddling me with a lovely studio apartment with an eat-in kitchen, lots of sun, and a rent payment that I couldn’t really afford. I paid my rent using a loan that I am still most likely paying off, and spent a lot of that long winter marooned on my bed eating frozen grapes and watching the Food Network, since I refused to cancel the expensive cable. I lived there for the whole year, alone, but was too sulky to appreciate what I had.

House of Squirrels

I could hear a scratching sound as I moved some of my things into my bedroom from the living room. Matthea nodded. “Yeah, there are squirrels that live in the storage closets.” She gestured to two small doors facing each other on opposite sides of the living room. “Just don’t ever open those doors because then they’ll run out.” I nodded. It was my first apartment and I didn’t know anything about squirrels yet.

On Seattle and Small Apartments

That’s my apartment.

The whole thing.

Reconsidering a Living Situation

I mulled over the fact that I had just dropped off a rent check for an apartment in Manhattan that I hadn’t even lived in for half of the month.

AirBnb Ruined Our Lives and Turned Us Into Entitled City Dwellers

If you live in New York, you’ve probably seen the subway ads for AirBnb. They display hosts who have made serious money through the tech company—the king of the “sharing economy.” AirBnb has recently won significant legal battle by proving its own legality. It was ruled that AirBnb hosts who live in the apartment or house they are renting out are within the boundaries of the law. Well, that’s us. We’re legal. And yet, if I’m honest with myself, AirBnb has basically ruined my life. And it can ruin yours, too.

What I Learned About Renting While Living in Canada

When I moved halfway across the country to go to university at 17 it was my first time being away from my parents for more than a week. This was definitely not a problem; I had been focused on “getting out” for years. Unfortunately for me, my parents had no idea what they were doing, and neither did I. I’ve now lived in five different apartments of varying degrees of crappiness in three different Canadian cities with 10 different people. I would like to share with you some themes of my experience in the rental housing market, namely all the basic ways you can hopefully avoid similarly crappy experiences as much as possible.

What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

When Roommates Figure Out How to Split the Rent

Three bedrooms, three different sizes.

How Much Would You Need to Earn to Afford a One-bedroom in Your County?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition looked at fair market rents (according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development), and calculated how much a worker would need to earn per hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment in their county (the “housing wage”).

The High Cost of Renting in Los Angeles (and Nationwide)

Southern California Public Radio station 89.3 KPCC is doing a project on the “rent crunch” in Los Angeles.

The Bait-and-switch Apartment Listing

It goes like this: You see a listing for an apartment on Craigslist (or a realty site) that sounds like it might be a great fit for you, but after contacting the broker you learn that it’s already been rented. The broker convinces you to look at similar apartments, but none of them have the same qualities of the apartment you were initially interested in.

Help! I’m Breaking My Lease

I have six months left on my lease (I live in D.C.), and I just have to move for personal reasons.