When I moved in to my current apartment, my then-roommate handled everything. Her brother had found the ad in the paper; she and her mother called, went to see it, and spoke to (i.e. schmoozed) the manager; there was another appointment so that I could see it; and within the next week, we'd signed the lease.
Three and a half years--and three and a half roommates--later, I've learned a lot about living with another person. After deciding to part ways with my current roommate at the end of January, embarking on finding a place for just me has been exciting indeed. I admit, however, that there has been a pretty steep curve to climb in regards to apartment searching, and there have been days where I felt on the verge of a major stress rash.
In retrospect, I do regret asking My Supernova to start the serious hunt with me on my birthday. What a tiring--nay, exhausting--day! Though we knew the area we were searching in well, after a while all the addresses and phone numbers blurred together. We looked at nearly a dozen places, with no good leads. In fact, we saw quite a range of apartments and met a variance of personalities in the way of managers and owners. The biggest lesson I learned was that as much as I am trying to prove myself a good tenant in order to "win" the apartment, I also need to make sure that the place fits my needs well beyond the basics of space, location, and budget.
Though I was online obsessively, the physical search took about two weeks. Still, it was a stressful two weeks, in which I felt like I aged a year! In the end, I found a place that I think fits the bill. It's a one-bedroom apartment (I thought I could live in a studio until I saw the ones available), which gives me some room to separate living, sleeping, and eating. Locationally, it's less than a mile from my current place--which means change, but not drastic change: I am still on the same bus line and still within easy reach of my parents' and brothers' homes. Also, the owners are local, and seem both easygoing and attentive.
The lease is signed!
I've been packing and cleaning my apartment (which accounts for by absence from blogging) and doing my best to enjoy my remaining time there. And, I'm getting ready for a spring break trip (planned long ago). Lots to do by month's end!
I am really looking forward to living on my own again, yet I know that I don't always take well to change -- even that of my own doing. So there will be many lessons to learn and many ways in which to grow during this next season. Wishmeluck!