The Travails and Avails of Apartment Hunting

The competition is stiff. Vacancies are few. And strategies as well as some luck are essential if you’re going to locate an apartment – especially a 2-bedroom – in the desirable, employer-dense southern tier of New Hampshire.

Is walkability important to you? Or would you opt for a longer commute and a lower-cost apartment? Research shows that more of us want to live near where we work, and walkability to stores, restaurants and outdoor venues are particularly appealing.

So, let’s talk apartment hunting strategy. It may take time and some determination, but you will find a new place to live. And when you do – if you’ve mapped out your budget and figured out how much you can afford in rent, a deposit, utilities, extras like Internet and TV, and whether or not you need a roommate to help pay housing expenses – you’ll be ready to confidently submit a rental application to a landlord.

Other things you may need to budget for include housewares and furniture, commuting costs, and how much other traveling you expect to do for shopping, visiting friends and family.

Popular Portsmouth
On Market Square in Portsmouth, Berwick teachers Lizzy and her friend Amy talked about their apartment hunting frustrations and strategies – and their determination to remain in the popular Seacoast city.

They’d been living in Portsmouth in less than desirable digs for the past three years. With leases ending, they resolutely tapped Craigslist, their network, and searched for “For Rent” signs for several months before landing their two-bedroom apartment in the West End of the city.

Tip Offs
Intensity and search tactics may vary. Brian and Rayna used realtor listings, Craigslist and persistence to locate their 1-bedroom apartment. Because location, a washer/dryer on-site and having two parking spaces were important to them, they budgeted accordingly.

“Be prepared to sell yourself when you talk to landlords and other tenants,” Brian pointed out. “Apartment hunting is competitive! We went through the process several times before we finally landed our new place.”

Need help in figuring out what your budget can bear in rent? Get on top of your finances at FindFinancialFreedom, a free online program that helps you better manage your money.

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