My Apartment Search? Tips, and a weird experience.
Hey, everybody! It is Qcknd, and I’m coming to you from my apartment. And I’m coming to you with natural light. So, I wanted to make a video today about, just like, my apartment hunting experience. This is going to be a little more casual not necessarily, like, a step-by-step on how to find apartments in a city, but basically just me sharing my experience and one rather weird experience I had just as a way to, like, talk to you guys and not necessarily, like, wikiHow to find apartments in a city. So, I’m just going to jump right in. It is a little more casual, but, I don’t know, it’s kind of, like, how I would rather be approached if I was looking for apartments. So, I’ll kind of just include some of the things I did, and some of tricks I was mindful of. I guess, tips. There’s no trickery involved. But, I’ll kind of tell you guys how I found my apartment. When I decided concretely that I was having feelings about moving out, the first thing I did was get my finances in order. Ever since I worked at a coffee shop a couple years ago, I started a savings account. And my savings account has always been with emergencies in mind. So, I had a savings account that I was pretty secure of and then with that, I was more mindful of the stuff that drained my everyday expenses, and really just trying to take account for what kind of budget I was working with. I think that a realistic budget is going to be your best friend in all of this. And by “realistic budget”, I don’t mean like “Oh, I could afford that.” I mean like “Oh, I can comfortably afford that.” I used a couple different websites primarily when I was looking for apartments. I didn’t want to, like, solely rely on using the internet. So, I was, you know, keeping my eye open for places in my neighborhood that had, like “for rent” signs or googling places that I always wanted to live. And, basically a lot of that. I had a lot more pitfalls doing that, like, the old-fashioned way, like, looking at the newspaper and stuff versus looking online. Honestly, and not to, like, call myself a millennial, but I think apartments we can afford are listed online. There was kind of a period of time where I had this, like, crazy budget in mind were I was like “I bet I could afford that.” But if you are like me, and you are planning to live alone, you have to account for everything. You have to pay for the internet in its entirety, your phone bill, your grocery bill and then, you know, little things, like if you have a gym membership, if you have other little monthly expenses, Xbox Live — is that expensive? — stuff like that. You can find different websites that, like, allow you to search through budget. This isn’t sponsored, but I primarily use the website Zillow to look for apartments in my area. You can drag the search feature to search by neighborhood or price range. You can select crime rates, and you can also select, like, if you can bring pets or whatever. And I knew I was bringing my cat, and you’d be really surprised that, like, kind of cut my search in half which was, like, kind of disappointing. When I initially was, like, daydreaming about moving out, it was originally just the thought, and then it was like a thought that consumed all of my other thoughts, and then I was just, like, looking at apartments online. And then while I was at work, I was, like, daydreaming that I lived in the apartments. And it just, like, became really obvious to me that, like, searching online and all this stuff, like, had to become, like, a real thing. Originally I wanted to live kind of near the other shampoo girls at my job because I wanted to live, like, in a support system I originally wanted to live in the same exact building as Angela. You may know her. She is in the water club. She’s on my Instagram story every single day. I originally wanted to live in her building, but everything in that price range was about a thousand dollars, and it just wasn’t something that I could, in the long run, sustain. So, that unfortunately was, like, one of my first pitfalls, cause it was like “Could I afford that for, like, more than three months?” Like I don’t think so, because You may be able to afford rent, but then you’re like “What about electric? What about water? What about gas? What about internet?” And all those things pile up. And you have to decide exactly how you want to live, and you need to decide exactly what things you need to live with. When I couldn’t afford to live in Angela’s building, I wanted to live in the same neighborhood, And there was a lot of cool buildings. Like there is a whole, like, loft/studio building that is in, that is kind of close to her. And it was really cool, cause it has a gym. It has, like, a lobby. It has a guy or person, like a lobby person, that way you could get packages, and, you know, someone is always to sign for it. That’s something I really wanted. Like, being a YouTuber, to have packages delivered somewhere safe. But, event though that was, like, kind of pushing my price range, it was a studio apartment. And a studio apartment is kind of one big square room that everything is in, except for your bathroom, which is usually tucked somewhere. I kind of thought, you know, that could be really interesting. I watched other, like, apartment tour videos of bigger YouTubers who lived in these, like, studio/lofty kind of things. But, ultimately I decided, like, I didn’t want my bed to be anywhere near, like, where I prepare food or anything like that. And a lot of that goes back to, and you’ve probably’ve heard me say a thousand times on this channel, my friend Mike King, he does comics. He is amazing. he has, like, taught me everything I know about, like, creative work ethic, and he’s always said that you cannot create your full potential where you sleep. And it’s hard because I’ve been working, like, shooting, working, editing, and sleeping all in the same room for the last three years. And I was, like, with that in mind, I was like I need to change how I live And I need to change my experience, and although, like, I could afford to live in, like, a “studio/lofty” kind of thing, I was, like, what kind of living experience would it be like? You know, like, currently my cat lives in one bedroom, and I was like, you know, for his sake and for my sake, like, I don’t know. So, I saw this like loft kind of studio apartment in West Philly, and I saw it on Craigslist and Zillow And it was, like, kind of in my price range, all new construction, something I was looking forward to. I wanted, like, something nice and clean. And the building said that the whole building came with WiFi. And I was like “Oh, WiFi is going to be one of my bigger expenses. So, I called to make an appointment to look at the apartment, and I went out there one morning to check it out, and it was already such a dud. So, I went there, and I was like “Hey, you know, I’m 27 years old. I’m, like, actually 26 but…” I was like “Hey, I’m 27 years old, like, I noticed this apartment building is new, and it’s near the university.” I was like “I don’t want to live with, like, any frat boys, like, I don’t want any parties. Like, I’m old I am old, and I work from home primarily.” And he was like “Oh, no. Like, no parties. Like, nothing like that.” And I was like “Okay, like, because I don’t want to waste your time before I walk in and take a tour. And, like I said, you have to know what you want. And all that might not be clear until you see what you don’t want. But for me, I was, like, silence! I want silence. And WiFi and laundry. So he was giving me a tour, and the front of the building was really cool, lots of like unique digital upgrades, like a keypad to get in if you didn’t have your key or, like, you wanted to tell your friend the key pad so they could come in. And he said “From your cellphone you could, like, look outside and all this stuff from, like Bluetooth.” And I was like “Cool, cool, cool.” So, we go inside, and it just, like, smells like weed, like 1000% stinks like weed, like. And, like, that’s not, like, that’s whatever to me, but I’m like “Hmm, I smell it in the hallway.” So he showed me the second floor studio, and it had these big windows which was, like, on my list, like, natural light was on my list. And, that was it. It was, like, a room the size of of “here” basically. The size of my living room, and the kitchen was just, like, a little panel right up against the wall with, like, a mini fridge underneath and, then a counter space with, like, a hot plate counter top. And then like a cabinet. And, like, a little sink, and then that was it. And then the rest was just an open floor plan, and then that was it. And then behind the kitchen space was a wall with a shower stall, a shelf and a sink and a toilet. And immediately when I walked in I was just like “I can’t live like this. I can’t live in this one, only bedroom and have friends over which was something I really wanted, have my cat live comfortably, something I really wanted and, you know, like, not be on top of his litter box. And when he showed me the bathroom: big, huge, watermark on the ceiling. And I was like “What’s that?” And he’s like “Oh, I’m having the guy look at it today.” And I was like “What guy, hmm?” So he showed me the hallway and there was a washer and dryer that I guess would just be mine, because there was one on each floor. It just is in the apartment. Like, nothing else can fit in that apartment. So I was thinking like “Mmm, I could get a murphy bed, which is the bed that folds up into the wall.” Then I was like “And then have, like, a livable, tangible space.” Cause I was like “I like the new construction, but what the fuck?” So immediately that’s when I knew, like, I couldn’t live in, like, a studio apartment. So we exit the room, and you hear someone fighting with their boyfriend, like, really loud, like, screaming, like, F-word, and all this stuff. And I’m just like… And the guy showing me the tour’s, like, completely ignoring it. So I’m like”What’s that?” And he’s like “Oh, she’s new. I don’t know what that’s about.” And I was like “Oh, like… She has only lived here for, like, two days, and she’s fighting with her boyfriend? And why did she think her boyfriend could live in, like, 300 square feet?” And he was like “I just want to assure you that we do extensive background checks, and she must has slipped through the cracks.” And I was like “You can be a good person and fight really dramatically with your boyfriend and clearly smoke weed 24 hours a day.” So right then and there, I was like “I can’t live in an environment like this. I’m really sorry.” And he was like “Okay, I have other buildings I can show you.” And I was just like “No. I’m okay.” And he was like “One of the gentlemen, who lives in the other buildings, he works for American Airlines.” And I was like “That’s cool.” My pay checks say ‘Google’ on them. It doesn’t mean I work for Google. Like, he could do anything for American Airlines. He lives in a loft apartment. A studio apartment! Or maybe he’s a minimalist. So, even that was, like, a red flag for me. Like, why is the landlord guy, like, still calling me, trying to, like, convince me that the building didn’t stink like weed and that the girl wasn’t, like, yelling with her boyfriend at nine o’clock in the morning? I saw the apartment before work. So I was just like “If I had to live in a coffin, and it was, like, really loud in there and smelling like a party at nine o’clock in the morning. No. And, like, even now, like, this building smells like weed, like 100%, but she had her apartment door open. Like, that’s a little weird. This isn’t, you know, sorority house. This is adults participating in whatever they want to, you know. So after, like, I felt really defeated after seeing an apartment, like, I was like “I wasted my time. This guy won’t stop calling me, whatever.” It was a good trial run to, like, see an apartment and see exactly what I didn’t want. And even that apartment was out of my budget realistically anyway. And it was so small. So, I kind of knew that if I lived in West Philly again, it would really kind of put me in a situation where I was really far from my support system, far away from work. And I felt like it would kind of isolate me, especially if it seemed like I wasn’t going to get along with the people in my building. And it, like, all the people I used to live with in West Philly don’t live there anymore. So I went back to look at stuff in more central Philadelphia, and, you know, you look at the apartments nonstop, and they have things you like, and they have things that you don’t like. And you have to consider what you want. And, like, I saw a really cool apartment downtown that had awesome views, the whole apartment was white, something I liked I was allowed to bring Ethan. It had a lobby, so it had a desk person to receive packages. But the entire apartment didn’t have storage. It didn’t have any closets. I would have to get all dressers, all bureaus, stuff like that, like, come up with some really unique storage situations. And then there were just like apartments where it was just your bedroom and there was no living room, and that kind of led me to… Oh, and then one girl I worked with was giving up her apartment, which, you know, I had really planned on moving into that apartment, but she said that she had some trouble with mice and that her bathroom, it was like her bathroom and you had to walk through it and then it was her bedroom, which really isn’t a problem to me. That’s how I was living anyway, but I was kind of just thinking with the mice and stuff I’m not really sure, and then that rent was just like a touch out of my range as well. So then I found the apartment I saw before this one, and I was like really geared up. I really liked the neighborhood, and it was right below my price range So I was like “Nice.” I can rent this apartment, have WiFi, have a phone, and take Ethan out for a nice dinner. So, the first — so the guy had three apartments. The one I saw was right underneath public transportation. We have an elevated train line — the El. It’s like a subway above ground. And that was right by the El. And I looked up the address and did, like, Google view, and it was like “Open the window, and you could throw your trash on the train tracks.” Um, that close. So, And then that was, like, a little bit above my price range as well. So then, he had one that was below, and then I didn’t know about this one. So I went and saw the first apartment, and it just, like, broke my heart. It was a ground floor apartment which I didn’t want, just because, you know, I am living alone, and it is my first time living alone, and I didn’t just really want to be on the ground floor You know, there’s a lot of benefits to having the ground floor. Some ground floor apartments have access to the basement. The ground floor means you can make all the noise you want. You can play DDR, like, but ground floor also means that the windows are street level. And I was just like “With this neighborhood, girl?” So, when he showed me the ground floor apartment, it had really tall ceilings, stuff I liked. It had a nice little “kitchenette” kind of thing, just right up against the wall. And then it had a bedroom which you could walk through a door to get to, no hallway, you just open the door from the living room and it was the bedroom. And you close the door, you’re in it. And then it had a stall shower and a sink and a toilet. So, you know, I don’t know if he noticed, but I just, in my mind, I was like “Great. This is what I can afford. This is awful. I hate this, but This is what I can afford. This sucks.” And it makes you think about, like, I have friends who live in New York City, who live really expensively In really, really, really small spaces, and they’re thankful because they can live in New York. And I was like “If this is what it takes for me to stay in Philadelphia and live here without roommates, then this is what it is. Cause I just figured, like, living with roommates and having my YouTube schedule might be hard because I like having access to the house and doing, like, cool things on YouTube, and I just, like, know that this is what I want to pursue. And I felt like it’s kind of selfish or, like, a leap of faith, like “I’m gonna live by myself so I can make Youtube videos!” But that’s what it was So, After that apartment, I was like “Sorry, I can’t live in this space.” And he was like “Well, I have two more apartments.” And I was like “Yeah, I saw the one under the El. I can’t live in that apartment.” And he was like “The El doesn’t run 24 hours a day.” And I was like “Good joke.” And he was like “Well, I have one more apartment that I haven’t listed yet. I can show it to you, but one other person is interested.” So I was like “Please, fucking show me that apartment.” And it was this one. So he showed it to me, and immediately I was like “Oh, my God. It’s, like, in my price range, and it has a kitchen. It has a bedroom, it has a bit of a hallway so a little bit of distinction between living spaces.” It had a tub, which is something I really liked. Sometimes I just like to soak in all my tears. So it was just all stuff I really liked. It had a lot of windows. That was one of the things I wanted, and I could bring Ethan, my cat. So I took a week to think about it, and then I told him yes. It was a little bit difficult at first because I do, like — my income is from YouTube. And, YouTubers, not that you’re hearing this for the very first time, but YouTubers are paid based on views. So my pay is really inconsistent from month to month. Some months, you know, around Halloween I made sixteen videos that month. But then, you know, in January I may have only made four or five. So, All of that is really inconsistent. And when he was was like “Oh, I just need some pay stubs and blah, blah, blah.” I was like “Oh, yeah. No pay stubs.” But after talking to him, you know. He was really cool about it. He said, like, him and his wife both watch YouTube videos and that he’s really into ASMR and all that stuff. So, being able to provide him with, like, the little bit of income, like, proof I could all worked out. And then, I got this space!. From then I put the electricity in my name, and then that was pretty easy. I just called the electric company with the address, and they turned it on. And then, I don’t know if this is in every state or city, but the electric company also works with the cable company. So while I was on the same phone call with the electric company, they transferred me to the cable company I didn’t get cable, but they do the WiFi. And then the WiFi guy came the very next week. So I would say that finding my apartment probably took about two months. And that was with a lot of, like, back and forth and finding things that were way above my budget, but they were what I wanted. And then also finding things that were, like, just wouldn’t work for me. And that was really hard. Definitely let me know in the comments, like, what kind of stuff you look for in your living space. If it’s a bathtub. If it’s a living room. You know, if its not being on the ground floor. If it’s windows. Cause, you know, at first I didn’t think I was asking for too much, and then I would see houses, like, full on houses that I could afford. But they were in sketchy neighborhoods. And I was like, “Hmm, well. Do you want to live in a good neighborhood? Do you want to live in a sketchy neighborhood? Or do you want to live like somewhere in between?” Which is, like, where I am. And you kind of just have to decide what that means to you. Cause I’ll talk to people who live in sketchy neighborhoods and who love it But most of the time they have roommates and with roommates, I would live anywhere. But living with roommates is also another kind of full on process. And, You know, in my apartment search I did originally look at, like, a couple houses that had roommates, or, like, situations where I would live on like a certain level of the home. And I looked at that and even those were too — like some of those were out of my price range as well, which I was like “That’s crazy! I have to get to know you and live in your established household and follow your rules for $1300. You’re mad! So, I don’t know. Like, would it have been great if there was a front desk person or a lobby or a gym or WiFi? Like, yeah. That’s — some people can afford that, and that’s awesome. But for me, like, you — on paper — you figure out what you can afford and what you can afford if something goes wrong. And, what you’ll have wiggle-room and how much things cost and how much your food costs, and once you get that realistic number, if it’s 450 if its 7 if its a grand, like, you really have to stick with it, and then really find something in your price range because, you know, if I would have went with the loft with the weed and the crazy girl, like, yeah. The first four or five months, like, yeah… But then, your sixth month, your seventh month, when the quality of your life starts to drain because you’re putting everything into your rent. Yeah, you can afford that rent, but you can’t afford anything else. And that’s kind of just been my, like, little apartment search journey. Let me know in the comments, like, what your apartment search journey has been because this is the very first time I’ve ever lived alone. You know, I was talking to somebody, and they were like “Oh, it’s such a difference with, like, millennials, like It used to be I would show apartments to, like, a single guy or a single girl, and now I show apartments to their parents and they’re 26 years old.” And I was just like “Yeah, what’s wrong with that?” Sometimes, like, we need reassurance. Looking for apartments by myself was really scary, because it was really hard to even tell that guy, like, “I can’t live here cause it’s out of control.” But, yeah. Let me know. Thank you guys so much. I’m so excited to bring you content like this and kind of just talk about my apartment search and everything. My foot’s asleep! But, yeah. Let me know what kind of videos you want to see, because this was definitely a requested video, and I’d love to share my journey so far. I got a little bit of furniture, and I have the WiFi now, and things are pretty cool. So, yeah. Thanks for watching. Give this video a thumbs up, and subscribe if it’s your first time here. I’ll leave my other apartment videos in the description down below. And, until next time. Bye.