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Etxe (ech-ay) curates experiences that enlighten the soul and deepen human connection. This blog shares our adventures, focused on place, culture, community and creativity. 

Contact us if you are in need of: Curatorial Services, Creative Direction, Community Engagement, Creative Placemaking, Pop-Ups or Experience Design. We can also connect you to the creative makers/doers/shakers in Washington DC and beyond. 

a home creative: apartment shopping

Finding an apartment in any city is hard. Finding something affordable in an up-and-coming city is super hard. Luckily with a vision in mind and a lot of phone calls, my sister and I found something we love. 

It's not this place shown above - this one bedroom, den was gorgeous and had a balcony. But it wasn't for us. And we're so much happier with what we've found!

Tips for finding an apartment/home share:

  • Know what you want and what you're willing to give up. You can't expect to find something if you have no idea what you are looking for. 

  • Be open. This seems a little counter #1, but you really have to be open to all possibilities. You're dream place probably isn't what you think it will be (or should be) so be open to anything that fits your criteria, even if it isn't in the way you thought it would. 

  • Call everyone and anyone. The secret of finding housing is knowing someone that knows someone that knows someone. The more people you call and talk to about what you are looking for, the more likely you will find options and eventually something that you'll really love. I talk to all landlords, all house mates and call all those numbers on the side of buildings because you never know who knows of something else. And don't let price scare you -- chances are landlords have multiple properties and they can keep an eye out for you. 

  • Be persistent. Don't just wait for them to run your application. Call them and make sure they ran your application. Don't just wait for an email, call them and double check they got your acceptance. I know this seems really annoying, but if you found a great apartment, someone else wants it. And the owners want it filled.  

  • Be prepared. Ask the person doing the showing what you would need to apply before you show up. This applies to house shares too! One time I put in an application for a place in San Francisco literally right after I went to the showing and I was 20 people too late. You snooze, you lose. If you are serious about finding something, you should bring all your documents with you. 

  • Don't trust anyone. Just today I overheard someone saying there are people in the city that will show you a place, take your deposit, and then disappear. Obviously this totally freaked me out. But the moral of the story is -- do you research, make sure if you are leasing with a company they are legit, and if you are renting from an individual he/she is legit. 

  • Speak up. There is not enough affordable housing in DC. If you are not ok with this fact, then say something to your local government. If you don't speak up, you can't expect it to change. Let's see what we can do together!

  • Be insanely optimistic. You will not find anything if you think you won't find anything. You just won't. 

I really believe if you can envision it you can make it happen! 

Happy hunting!

Stephanie

p.s. I intend to keep on doing a home creative posts about my move and the making of my new home! Stay tuned!

What are your tips for finding an apartment?