Given that I’m about to move in a month, I started looking for apartments in my new home city. One of the difficulties of moving to an area that I’m not familiar with is trying to find a new place to live using only the descriptions that I find on Craigslist. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by the description is that people give of their apartments. As a public service to my readers, if any of you own property and are looking for new tenants, here are some pointers:
1. Include a picture. I know this sounds like a no brainer to most people, but having a picture of the facility is a good way to get perspective tenants to read your ad. If all I see is an outside shot taken from the street, I assume that there’s nothing on the inside worth looking at. And if all I see are bars on the windows, I don’t want to keep my stuff inside. I certainly don’t feel like getting robbed at 4:00 AM when I’m going to the hospital.
2. Give a description. Now that we’ve got the picture out of the way, I then want to know more about the apartment. Is the neighborhood quiet? How close are the neighbors? Are they quiet? Were the previous tenants smokers? Did the previous tenants own pets? Is this apartment pet-friendly? What is the crime rate in this neighborhood? When will the apartment become available? If the only thing that you can tell me is that this is a “hipster” pad, then I’ll assume that you’re an idiot.
3. List the amenities. Is there a washer/dryer included in the unit? Is there dedicated parking? Is there a pool? “Interesting kitchen cabinetry” is not an amenity if I can’t cook my food and later wash my dishes.
4. What is the true cost? I expect you to tell me what the monthly rent will be, as well as the expected utilities, deposit, and additional costs such as parking. Don’t try to sell me on an $800 apartment and then have additional stipulations in the contract such as homeowner association fees.
5. Give the correct number of bedrooms. I’m astounded by the number of people who list the den as a second bedroom, particularly when this second room does not have a closet and access to it requires walking through the first bedroom.