The hunt for an apartment in any major city is no easy feat. There are only so many available units and all the good ones get snatched up immediately — in some cases, literally faster than you can draft up an email expressing interest in taking a tour.
You can diligently peruse real estate sites, shop around on Craigslist and Facebook groups hoping for something appealing to pop up… you can set Google alerts and filters and be the first to know about upcoming available units, but at the end of the day, it’s just… crickets.
And then! One day! You find something that looks promising.
The photos are alluring, and it hits on the majority of your apartment criteria.
Over 500 sq ft.
It’s almost too good to be true.
So you go and check it out and… of course it’s a letdown. Because realtors know how to take deceptively flattering photos of spaces. That fish eye lens does for a studio apartment what an Instagram filter does for single women over the age of 30 😉
You might find yourself weighing the pros and cons.
Like, this unit has a washer/dryer but no dishwasher. That unit is underground and dark but significantly cheaper than other apartments. Some places might be small in terms of square footage but laid out efficiently. Others are technically larger but feel awkward and disorganized with their wasted space and cramped corners.
The apartment hunt is exactly like the hunt for a decent man.
You see photos of guys on dating apps and they seem so appealing. Bright smile, great hair, a degree from an Ivy and solid employment with a DC consulting firm… but then, you meet them in person and they look nothing like their photos. Turns out they went to Harvard for a summer program, but listed it as their alma mater to gain access to The League. And the hair that looked so thick and great in the pictures is clearly starting to recede.
The misrepresentation is rampant.
So, what do you do? Settle?
Do you accept the fact that you may never have your dream home with soaring high ceilings, abundant natural light, and a terrace overlooking the water at an affordable price? Do you come to terms with the fact that there are no men with an Ivy league education and a sense of humor who love dogs, the outdoors, and know the difference between “your” and “you’re”?
Or, do you stay optimistic and hope that your dream home — and man — will come along when you least expect it?
If I’ve learned anything in my hunt for the perfect apartment… it’s that adjusting your criteria and recognizing that what you think you want and what you actually need to be happy can make all the difference.