Your first apartment is going to be shit. Let’s just get that fact out of the way now. Everyone will, at some point in their young adult life, live in a place that would make 2Pac put bars on the windows and draw the blinds. The best thing you can do is look for the signs that it might be less of a liveable domicile than the actual streets outside of it, currently occupied by a homeless man calling himself “Popeye.”
The Bugs Are The Size Of Cats
In my old house, we had a bathroom with a spider living in the shower curtain. That spider was fucking huge. Like, I usually just crush the bastards, but this thing would have grabbed my shoe and tossed me across the room, Matrix-style. One fine morning, it decided to leave the agreed upon location between shower curtains and hide behind my bath towel, so upon getting out of the shower, I grabbed my towel, screamed, and burnt the fucking house down.
Moral of the story: if you walk in and there are large bugs in the house on the preview day, just remember that they’re actually double that size because the landlord killed all the big ones before you showed up. Spiders and roaches don’t make good roommates. They don’t pay rent, and they fucking suck at cuddling.
It Looks Like It Was Brand New In The 90s…The 1890s
Old houses can have charm, elegance and style. Your house might have had those once, but like a high-class call girl that has seen one too many close encounters of the bukkake kind, it’s covered in the grime of ages and looks like a lot of drugs have been done around it. You may as well never touch any surface not parallel to the ground, because you’re liable to simultaneously get HIV, mesothelioma and lead poisoning, all at the same time. If the creaks and groans of your potential place’s structure could easily be mistaken for your grandparents having sex, your house might need to be passed over for something built after the Confederacy surrendered.
The Rent Is Inexplicably Expensive
You live five miles from the nearest metro or subway stop, three miles from a bus stop and the neighborhood’s primary form of employment is either “liquor store cashier” or “crack dealer”. When your parents came with you to look at the place, you dodged active gunfire. The facades of every building for a 20 block radius looks like something out of Fallujah circa 2004. This is not a place any upstanding person would want to live, but you’re young and you’re broke as shit. Strangely enough, it’s almost more expensive to live here than in the center of the city though, as if the landlords went, “well, they can’t afford downtown, and don’t want to live in the burbs. We’ve got them right where we want them.” Actually, that’s probably exactly what they did.
Your Neighbors Make Serial Killers Seem Preferable
It’s not a shitty rental until you have a neighbor whose advanced age and perplexing vitality are only outshined by their impressive disdain for all life and fun everywhere. You haven’t lived until a neighbor has called the police because you “took out the trash too loud”. I’m sorry, I thought this was America, but this bitch apparently decided we’re living in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany where fun is strictly verboten. Not that taking out the trash is fun, it isn’t, but she apparently considers it so, if her more extreme reaction to low volume music is any indicator. I would rather have Charles Manson next door, at least I’d know what to expect. With her, it’s a Russian roulette of complaints that I couldn’t give a fuck about.
It’s The Size Of An Airline Overhead Storage Space
There’s this crazy tiny house movement that’s sweeping the nation. You didn’t want to be part of it, but you inadvertently are, because your place being called an “apartment” is like calling Monaco a country: technically correct, but it’s too small to fucking matter. If you have a bathrichen (bathroom bedroom kitchen), you should find a new place to live, because one room apartments with <200 square feet should be reserved for people living in poverty in third world countries. You didn’t get a degree in engineering to live in cramped squalor, damn it.