home, sweet home: the apartment post, part 1

30 January 2015

For a little bit of backstory, searching for a place to live in Muncie prior to the move, was not easy. I was primarily limited to just using craigslist, since other sites really didn’t have much. However, one of the main issue in this college town isn’t that there aren’t a lot of rentals, it’s just you sort of need to be here in person to really find them.

When I came down for orientation, my mom drove me around some neighborhoods near campus. It was like every third house had a “for rent” sign in the lawn. My family was so confused by my struggle in finding an apartment, because as you could see just from a quick drive, there were places-a-plenty looking to rent to students. However, my family was unaware of two issues that I was oh so keenly, and frustratedly, aware of:
» 90% of these rentals were multi-roomed homes, generally between 3-6 bedrooms. So that amazing rent of $200/month is just for your room and the ability to share the rest of the house. Yeah, not happening.
» Maybe not all, but again, most of these “for rent” signs were actually advertising for fall rentals, not actually available to rent right now.

Now, I was pretty aware of those because craigslist was littered with these sorts of listings. A home looked great, until I realize it was the pre-room rent. Or that even if it was a single unit, I couldn’t get in until August. Or there was just the whole issue of being a lot further from campus than I realized. That one was really my own fault for not thinking through the whole being in a town without a major transportation system. Or sidewalks.

Anyway. As you obviously know… I found a place. It was the second of three apartments I looked at. While the other two places were closer to campus (by maybe a block and half-ish), this one was a welcomed relief. The other two were small. One was technically a 2-bedroom, but it had virtually no living space or kitchen — just a really wide hallway that was supposed to serve as both. And it was garden level. The other had no windows in the living area other than the front door. Yeah, no. So when the leasing agent of the first place mentioned “oh, we also have another unit in our townhouses down the street, and it’s the same price” I jumped on it. I really wish I had taken pictures of these places so you could see the comparison. But trust me when I say my new place is miles above the others.

So a little preamble before the pictures: these are from various stages of settling in (which is why it looks like I have 2 of the same quilt), and, also, Kaija really wanted to play host/guide. Also, sorry about the inconsistency of proportions, some of these, as you can tell, are from/for instagram.

Photo Jan 03, 10 10 55 AM

Photo Jan 03, 10 11 20 AM

Photo Jan 03, 10 11 35 AM

Photo Jan 03, 10 12 03 AM

Photo Jan 03, 10 13 24 AM

Photo Jan 07, 8 21 11 PM

Photo Jan 11, 2 04 24 PM

I’m still working on setting it up. I lack a dining table, and really there’s a lot I’d like to do with that area at some point. And of course I’m still waiting on Ikea to send replacement screws for my bed.* And I need to get my grandpa’s old desk for my study nook. And… Yeah, there’s still a lot I want to do with the place. That includes some DIY projects I’m working on. My goal is to have at least my current stuff unpacked/put away by the beginning of March, and I’m pretty sure I can meet that goal. It’s constantly feeling more and more like home. Which is good since I’ll be here for the next 18 months.

Anyway, I’ll try to do an update in the next week or so as I finish different areas around the house.

*Did you know if you loose the hardware (aka the screws) to your ikea furniture they will mail you replacements for free?! So happy this is a thing because I had lost everything I need to put my bed frame together. So much easier if you don’t have an easy way out to a local ikea store. Or, you know, trying to resist temptation and can wait 7-10 days for them to arrive.

  • B.

    I’m glad you were able to find a place that worked for you! It looks like a pretty good size from the photos! And how awesome that Ikea will send replacement hardware!

    • Thanks!!! 🙂 It’s definitely a great size! And coming from that last studio apartment… this place feels huge!! I was looking around at all the space and told my mom, “I don’t have enough furniture”….

  • Mindy Nickel

    Your new place looks great! I totally understand rental frustration in college towns. My grad school was in a college town and had so many of those pre-rental and share with a billion people set-ups. Glad to see you found a spot that works for you!

    http://www.thegeekyseamstress.com

    • Thank you! If I was back in my early 20s, those other places might be attractive… but definitely not now! (I actually did the off campus, live with 3 roommate thing in undergrad, and enjoyed it… but after some post-college roommate stuff, I’m happy to be on my own for now!)

  • Kendall Ashley

    The apartment looks great! Congrats on finding a place. It can be so tough to find something good in a college town. And that’s good to know about Ikea. I absolutely lose screws and hardware ALL THE TIME.

    • Thanks!! I think I found that information about ikea on a random forum, then realized they had a form for it on their site. They’ve also got bulk bins of most of their hardware for free* at the actual ikea stores near customer service — but the key there is getting to the store! *Free = they’ve got a suggested price of a few cents per screw and a collection bin mounted on the wall.

  • Craigslist is really the only way to find apartments now. When I looked on Zillow and other sites, they had the same listings that were on craigslist.

    • I think that mostly depends on where you live. Zillow is mainly for property values and actual real estate, not so much rentals. But there sites like Rent.com or Apartments.com Or Apartment Finder or Apartment People… I know in Chicago, at least, there are so many other options for finding an apartment. But here? Sadly craigslist was the “easiest”… If you happened to find a property management group’s site, though, they tend to have more listings and better information. It’s just finding those companies isn’t always easy. (And around here, most places only have a phone number listed by the actual apartments for rent, not their website.)

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