Apartment Hunting

Here we go.  I've been looking online for apartments for rent in Valparaiso.  This is the first time I've really gone apartment hunting.  Jeff has done it for us and the other times I subletted or rented with a friend without ever having seen the place.  This time I know we'll be here for a while so I want to find a good place.
I have a list of priorities. First and foremost we must live close to where I'll be working. When I drove around a bit after my interview I thought the downtown area was very cute. It's near where Valpo University is and it has a lot of charm. The library and farmers' market are both on the main street which in this case is called Lincolnway. As in part of old highway 30, which runs across the Midwest and comes right through Ames, Iowa where I am currently living. So I'd like to find an apartment down town or between down town and the arboretum which is south and west a couple miles. We'd also like to keep the cost under $700. We are willing to go a little higher if the utilities are included.
Our Apartment must be:
  • Within 15 miles of the garden, near downtown or between downtown and the gardens
  • Under $800 a month once the utilities are included
Our Apartment would be nice if it had
  • Hard wood floors
  • High ceilings
  • Charm - built ins, arches, or other fun architectural features
  • Bathtub
  • Big kitchen with gas stove
  • Washer and dryer in unit
  • Yard or balcony
  • Lots of windows with good sunlight
  • Allow a cat - my mom really likes our cat, Zeus, and we may let her keep him if we can't find a place that allows him.  He's finally getting settled and he actually sits with her and lies on her lap.  He never did that for me. 
I spent a bunch of time emailing around and calling to set up appointments. 
And here are the front runners:

Apartment A on Jefferson Street
  • Apartment building
  • $775 with all utilities included
  • 2 bedroom
  • 7.9 miles from garden - between downtown and gardens
  • Large kitchen
  • No hardwood
  • Allows cats 
  • Laundry Room (I'm not sure if it is shared or in unit)
Apartment B on Michigan
  • $590 only part of utilities included
  • 1 bedroom
  • You can see the library from the window, two block north of downtown, It's only 8.4 miles from the garden
  • Old divided Victorian has bay window and cool architecture
  • Nice medium sized kitchen with gas stove recently redone
  • High ceilings and wood floors
  • Recently redone bathroom with wood floors
  • Washer and Dryer in basement, shared
  • Big bedroom with walk in closet
  • No cat allowed
  • We won't be able to move in until the 3rd of March so we'll have to work that out somehow.

 Apartment C on Firestone
  • $695 plus utilities
  • 9.5 miles from garden, east of down town
  • Apartment complex
  • Cat allowed cost extra $250 deposit and $25 extra a month
  • Fireplace and whirlpool tub
  • Decent kitchen
  • Lots of space
Apartment D on Sturdy
  • $689 everything is included except internet
  • 9.5 miles from the garden, east of down town
  • 2 bedroom
  • Spacious
  • Part of a Complex
Right now I'm leaning towards the Victorian house on Michigan Street.  It's a good price and the location is excellent plus it is pretty.  We have appointments to see some of these this week.  So I'll get some good pictures so I can share what these places look like.


  1. All very good requirements for apartments. Don't forget a top floor corner is gaurnteed to be the quitest from neighbors.

    Also be sure to ask why the last tennant moved out.

    Good luck!

  2. Anonymous2/15/2010

    hunting for an apartment is such a pain but a lot of fun at the same time. good luck in finding the perfect place!

  3. Good luck.
    Don't forget duplexes - they can be super private and allow great yards. I lived in one of those clone condo places once - zero charm, but quite spacious for the price. I agree with top floor - plus you'll get exercise walking up the stairs.
    My main requirements have always been: kitchen, top floor, not too much afternoon sun to avoid AC use, absence of parking light directly outside of bedroom window! (yeah, i've failed on that last point pretty much everywhere i've lived, including my house)

  4. Apartment B! It's very "Foy and Jeff".

    Maybe the landlord can be talked into letting you have a cat, tell 'em it's young so it won't loose it's bladder and it's fixed so it won't spray. Doesn't look like there's any carpet to hold hair or dander. Or just leave him with Mom.

    Gas stove + hardwoods + adorable windows + location + decent price = awesome apartment! Don't worry about only having one bedroom, I'll sleep on the couch!

  5. How exciting! Good Luck!