Surviving the hunt

VanCity Apartment Hunting

I’ll admit, I have never really had to endure the whole apartment hunting saga in all my years. I was fortunate enough to have lived with my parents until I was 22, and when I had finally decided it was time to leave I actually picked up and left to another province.
Again, being fortunate I had a friend who just so happened to have an empty basement suite which she so graciously offered to me.

Now, having moved back to Vancouver, S and I would love to experience downtown living, and so the apartment hunt has begun. Not everyone would be in our considerably lucky situation where we actually have a place to live while searing, therefore allowing us to be picky. And thank goodness for that!!
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In the last week we have viewed 8 or so apartments. There has definitely been some nice places (& possibly a winner!!) but there has also been some real pieces of work… literally. If you want to be living in Vancouver, especially right in the downtown core, you have to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, you WILL be paying an inflated price. I am talking $1500-$1900 for a 1 bedroom 500 to 600 sq. ft. apartment. The first place we looked at is actually comparable to a shoe box. The layout was horrible, all foot traffic into and out of the bedroom, and the living room and kitchen were smaller than my old bedroom. No thank you. We promptly said our goodbyes and left laughing. We also realized for a $200 difference, which to some could seem like a lot, you can go from the perfect, safe neighborhood of Yaletown, to the scuzzy, sketchy area near the Granville street bridge.

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Some tips if you ever find yourself apartment hunting in the wonderful city of Vancouver!
1) If you can be patient, do it. Look at everything, and still compare. Remember how much money you are paying, and that you have to sign a one year lease. Be happy with the building and the area.
2) In a lot of cases, if you find a place you are happy with, jump on it! There is so much competition for rental units, everyone is wanting exactly what you want as well.
3) Remember if you have a pet, you are going to have a significantly harder time finding a place. Don’t be discouraged though, there are places out there but it will take a little more digging.
4) The place the we found and have fallen inlove with is actually a rental building with property managers. This is actually fantastic, as there is always someone there to help you & their units come available monthly.
5) If you find a rental building, you can always apply and be pre-approved so any of the following months a unit comes available, you are already approved and just tell them if you want that unit.
6) Remember you are in a competitive market, and every second counts! Many applications require a credit report, why not have yours ready to go?
7) Set a budget!! Don’t bankrupt yourself because you found this gorgeous place that is just a measly $500 (?!!??) out of your price range. Please, be smart.
8) Last but not least – Do NOT set unrealistic expectations. I know we all dream of the beautiful penthouse with the closet the size of most of these apartments, or the amazing rooftop patio. Don’t waste your time and be unrealistic. Take a quick step back down to reality with us normal foke and save your dreams for when you are sleeping (atleast for now hehe).

I know it can be easy to be discouraged when looking, but keep your head up! This is an amazing city, and to me [for now, atleast] it is worth the wait and the cost!

Have you ever looked for a place in Vancouver? How long did it take, and do you still love your place now? What are your apartment hunting tips?

Katiexx

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2 thoughts on “Surviving the hunt

  1. I realized in my recent house hunt Vancouver edition that you have to set reasonable expectations. I compromised on some things but I knew what was absolutely necessary for me to be happy and functional in my home. I said no hot plates, and I want a bath tub. But that meant I had to live in an area where those were possible and affordable.

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