How To Rent An Apartment Without Completely Botching It

How To Rent An Apartment Without Completely Botching It

Renting an apartment that doesn’t feel like an absolute hell hole is a big part of being a kid fresh out of college. You’re looking for something that has a landlord over the age of 22 who knows how to fix a toilet. You’re looking for amenities. Basically the polar opposite of anywhere you lived during those booze fueled college years.


The first rule of real estate is “Location, Location, Location”. This holds especially true when it comes to finding a place to live. Certain people, and their middle aged dad alter egos (Dorn) would have you believe that would be in “the ‘burbs.” These people are wrong. I mean come on, look at the words themselves. Sub (meaning below or inferior) urban. It literally means the suburbs are inferior to the urban center. I’m not saying this because my name is Downtown Steve Brown, that’s just science.

Urban living is the best. Pick an area close to the local bar scene. Ideally within stumbling distance. Never mind the price. You can’t put a price on proximity (though places like San Francisco seem to think they can). Have to cram a roommate or seven into your one bedroom to make rent? Perfectly acceptable. You’ll rarely be there to deal with all those roommates’ various terrible habits since…you know…you’ll be out all the time. Sure it might be awkward if you bring someone home, but hey, bunk beds can be sexy if you make it.


Now if you correctly followed the advice in the previous section you’ll be giving a good chunk of cash to your landlord every month. This can be a major sticking point for most people. They seem to think that spending 50% of your take-home salary and paying the minimum on all loans is not smart. Those people are lame and don’t want you to have fun. So you won’t have money to turn on the heat, or lights and are unable to afford furniture. Luckily, the latest trends in home décor are perfect for young millennials. You’re not poor, you lay your mattress on old wood pallets because it’s minimalist. And rustic. #trendy

All you need is a couch, a coffee table and some eclectic artwork from the heroin addict living in the alley adjacent to your building. Really all that is necessary is enough stuff to occasionally ‘gram some sepia filtered pics. You’ll get hella likes. Trust me, I was a doctor for Halloween once.


In most large cities, the downtown Urban area tends to have multiple neighborhoods. This depends greatly the city in which you reside, so I will do what I do best: make sweeping generalizations. All cities have an arts district, a bar district, and an old, now decrepit and run down industrial section. All things being equal, the bar district is obviously the best place to be centrally located. You can pregame and head out, minimizing the cost spent at said bars on covers and drinks, especially with the nice chunk of change spent on your place. Also, due to its proximity, it makes for prime after-hours hangout. Unfortunately, bar districts are highly sought after so they tend to be super tough to get.

Arts districts are fun. Due to the high density of liberal arts majors, it tends to be on the cheaper end of the spectrum so dive bars and cheap pub food are a plenty. Sadly, what the arts district provides in cheap(er) fun and good eats, you do have to put up with a high number of insufferable hipsters. They’ll be wearing their lumbersexual inspired clothes with ridiculous facial hair and glasses they don’t actually need. I for one cannot stand being there more than a few hours and tend to get into some…disagreements…with the locals after making fun of the locally sourced artisanal cheeses and their similarity to the store bought stuff.

The old industrial area has its charms. The old brick buildings, warehouse doors, multitude of bums…. If you can get used to stepping over passed out bums in the alleyway or in the entryway to your building, its great and can even be super fun. It also lets you channel your inner Patrick Bateman (*DISCLAIMER* PLEASE DO NOT KILL BUMS) and flaunt your success. Moving to the section is more of a long term investment. They tend to be very downtrodden right now, but with the resurgence of many city centers and the recent trend of gentrification, soon there will be more coffee shops and organic markets than homeless in a few years.

Don’t be a bitch and head out to the suburbs to squander your valuable postgrad life. Unless you happen to be tied down by with a significant other or some such nonsense, plan on staying in the same place for years, or feel a real need to buy a house and make a bad financial decision, head downtown. Trust me, I’m an engineer.

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