5 Apartment-Hunting Truths Every City Girl Knows

Photo: Courtesy Gunnar Larson.
As we learned a few weeks ago, we’re currently in the middle of moving season, that restless period between the months of May and September when twentysomethings heed their nomadic instincts. And while apartment-hunting is a hot topic, many of the nitty-gritty details — how we do it, why we do it, and who we do it with — often remain a mystery, even among close friends.

To help shed some light on one of life’s great nuisances, we asked Niccole Schreck, senior brand manager at Rent.com, to give us the down-low on the company’s recent survey of 1,000 U.S. millennial renters. Click through for the unexpected results, and tell us in the comments — what are your surprising apartment-hunting habits?
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Photo: Courtesy Erica Gannet.
Apartment hunting is worse than, well, just about everything.
According to Rent.com’s survey, millennial women would rather cook, clean, go to the DMV, visit the gynecologist, or give birth than search for new digs. Says Schreck: “Apartment hunting is high stakes. When you sign a lease, you’re entering into a long-term agreement, so it’s important to get it right. As annoying as cooking or cleaning can be, there are very few repercussions when it comes to making a mistake. As for the birth statistic, on the other hand, that I can’t explain.”
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Photo: Courtesy Julia Robbs.
Finding a new home is harder than making friends.
Believe it or not, female millennial renters ranked finding an apartment they love more difficult than buying a car or making new friends — which, according to Schreck, makes sense. “Renting an apartment is perhaps one of the biggest commitments that millennials make in a year,” she says. “With money and time on the line, it’s no wonder so much effort is devoted to finding The One.”
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Photo: Courtesy Michelle Drewes.
Turns out, two heads are better than one.
Millennial women are more likely than men to bring their significant others along on an apartment viewing, with 58% opting to include their boyfriends or girlfriends in the decision-making process. Funnily enough, says Schreck, “One of the only things that women ranked as being more difficult than landing an apartment was landing a mate. If they’ve found someone, why not include him or her in the discussion of another important commitment in life?”
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Photo: Courtesy Molly Cranna.
The hunt takes forever (and ever).
The majority of female millennial renters reported taking more than three weeks to find a new apartment. What's more, 35% of those surveyed looked at upwards of 20 online listings, while 24% of men did the same. Another difference: male renters chose to visit more spaces in person. “This may mean that women are more cautious — and more meticulous planners — in the initial phases of the hunt, carefully weeding out the choices that aren’t legit,” Schreck says.
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Photo: Courtesy Maia Harms.
Love don't cost a thing, but your apartment sure as hell does.
“Generally, it’s recommended that you avoid spending more than 30% of your income on rent,” says Schreck. “But with skyrocketing rental rates in cities across the country, it’s not a shock to see millennials paying more.”
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