Location, Location…Okay, but Which Location?

Author: Alecia Pirulis  

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Find an apartment that fits like comfortable shoes

Common sense is probably telling you not to choose an apartment in the middle of a crime-ridden neighborhood. And you don’t want to live next door to that power plant or those railroad tracks. A neighborhood that is depressing and depressed-looking? Pass on that one.

And common sense probably gives you a good idea of what to look for – top-rated school districts (even if you don’t have kids, this is a sure sign of a strong, vibrant community), parks, plenty of stores, and not too far from your job.

But beyond the basics, where do you want to live?

The Outdoor Adventurer:

– Don’t be fenced in. Look for an apartment with a balcony or a small patio so you can enjoy the great outdoors even when you are relaxing at home.

–Look for a place in a rural setting with plenty of green space to choose from.

– Find a place near what you enjoy most. If you are a boater, rent near the water. If on the weekends you are backpacking through the mountains, be sure to find an apartment near a mountainous state or national park. Bird-watchers will want to live near a nature preserve or bird sanctuary. Snowboarders shouldn’t choose the tropical paradise of Miami – but surfers should.

– Look for an apartment community with amenities such as a pool, tennis courts, and a fitness track. If you enjoy being outside, you won’t want to be cooped up in an apartment that doesn’t offer outdoor living space.

–You’ll need supplies for your outdoor excursions. Find a place that offers your favorite sporting goods store nearby.

The Shopping Diva:

– Live to shop? If you spend all of your free time with bags in each hand, don’t rent in a rural area. Driving 20 minutes to the nearest shopping center will get old, fast.

– Look for variety. A downtown area with smart little boutiques and gift stores or a super-sleek, upscale mall? Your dream place would probably be near both.

– Find an apartment with tons of closet space. You’ll need it.

– An apartment community with an annual garage sale? Snap that one up – not only can you get rid of old stuff to make room for new, you can rummage through other people’s treasures.

– Find a place that is walker-friendly with a defined downtown. The best place will also have farmer’s markets, antique stores, and flea markets nearby.

The Coffee-House Bohemian:

– If you like poetry readings, coffee shops, and new-age stores, don’t rent in suburbia. Find a funky downtown apartment – better yet, a converted loft – and enjoy.

– Nightlife in the form of comedy clubs, theaters, and bars.

– Look for a place near a vibrant art center, museums, and community theaters.

– Find a college town. A younger, hip population will fit you better than an upscale, business-oriented community.

The Mover and Shaker:

– Your goal in life is to skyrocket to the top of your field. If this is you, then rent as close to work as possible. If you can’t rent close to work, then find a place near mass transit so you can use the travel time to get ahead via your laptop computer.

– Rent in a high-rise — the higher the floor the better. You want to make it to the top, inspire yourself by living up there. Besides, you can gaze out the window at the world you intend to conquer.

– Find a place in the city, right where the action is. A sleek, glass building right in the heart of downtown will keep your energy up and your finger on the pulse of your community.

The Quiet Intellectual:

– Don’t rent in a college town. Rent just outside of it, or in the next community over. The well-educated will have populated this area – the professors and administrators tend to gather in the outer neighborhoods, close to work but not so close to the students.

– Find a place with plenty of book stores, a nearby library, and several coffee shops.

– You’ll want to be near museums, theaters, ballet, and the opera.

– Look for an apartment community with a stable population – ask about the turnover rate. You want neighbors with longevity because they tend to be good renters. If there are a lot of transient residents, they could be college students or noisy neighbors.

– Find an established neighborhood with quiet streets. These tend to house settled residents who prefer a good book club to a rowdy night club.

The Tree-Hugging Environmentalist:

– First things first – an apartment complex with a recycling program.

– Ask about environmentally-friendly options in your apartment: low-flow shower heads, high-efficiency appliances, aerators on the faucets, fluorescent bulbs, double-pane windows.

– Get an apartment with a balcony or patio so you’ll have room for your composter.

– Look for a community that is bicycle and walker-friendly. A good mass-transit system is also helpful.

– Some apartments now have community gardens. These are great for growing your own organic vegetables.

–Find a neighborhood with an organic farmer’s market so you can easily purchase fresh, local produce.