A 5-Step Guide to the Perfect Apartment

Do your days end like this?

Do you, however, want them to end like this?

If you answered yes to either of the above, it simply means it is time to move into an apartment or house. Unfortunately, finding the right apartment is not easy, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Apartment searches are hard and complex, as there are many small things that you need to keep in mind while searching. I used the following guide during my apartment search:

  1. Distance From Campus

    The first thing you should do before beginning your search is decide how far from or how close to campus you want to live. There are IU buses that go around the entire campus and Bloomington Transit, which cover a major part of Bloomington. While deciding the distance, think about the travel time to campus and the mode of transport you are going to take. If you have a car, this shouldn’t be a problem, but look into parking permits and parking spaces on campus.
  2. Your Budget

    After deciding on the approximate location, calculate your budget - how much you would, ideally, like to spend on rent. It is only after this that you should go online and officially start looking at houses and apartments. I suggest going online after you are familiar with locations and distances as well, so your search is more informed. Additionally, you will be able to understand the general price range of the different locations in Bloomington. You may also have to pay additional fees if you have a car (garage fees) or a pet.
  3. Apartment or House

    Next, you should choose between living in a house or an apartment. Each of them have their own pros and cons. For example, in a house, you get loads of empty space, may get bigger bedrooms, and food deliveries would be at your literal doorstep. However, with a house comes a larger responsibilities like cleaning and safety. In an apartment, you get a small, cute, and compact space. They are easier to clean, but no literal doorstep delivery. Also, furniture is an important thing to consider at this time. Many property managers offer furnished apartments.
  4. Roommates +Contract Clauses

    The next step in the process is figuring out who you want to live with. You can live with friends or, if you are adventurous, you can go random and meet new people. While picking roommates, choose people you know you get along with because you will be spending A LOT of time together. It is a good idea to go sign your lease with the people you are planning to room with (if you know them). It is also handy to know that there are two types of leases, joint and individual leases. In a joint lease, irrespective of the number of people actually living in the house, you are responsible for the full amount of rent. In an individual lease, you are signing for your individual room and are only responsible for your share of the rent. Only The Park on Morton offers the individual leases. (They have both houses and apartments.)
  5. Facilities and Management

    It is a good idea to look into the facilities the management offers, like a pool, gym etc. Many property management companies also include thins such as water bills and internet in their rent. Others do not have any inclusions. It's important to look into that and to remember that utilities (gas, electric, water, etc) are usually an additional cost.

I hope this steps make your search easier, and I hope your living experience is like this:

Related WeAreIU Blogs:
Looking for Off-Campus Housing in Bloomington
Adulting is hard: finding the perfect place for your budget
Your Ultimate Guide to Bloomington Apartment Hunting

About The Author
Reena GangulyFinance at Kelley School of Business, Class of 2019

Hey guys! I'm a sophmore currently studying Finance at the Kelley School of Business. I was born in India, but grew up in Dubai. Some of my interests include trekking, swimming, dancing, eating and geeking out on Harry Potter. I believe the best way to capture Bloomington's beauty and peace, is by walking and exploring our little town; in addition to trying out every restaurant it houses.