“Yes!” she said excitedly.
He dusts off his knee as he stands up and slides the ring on her finger. Neither of you can wait for unadulterated movie nights, cuddle sessions and a clean apartment. The countdown has begun. There’s just one problem — you still need to a place to live.
Follow these tips and tricks to find your first decent apartment.
“Finding affordable housing here is just like getting a job,” wrote Amanda Hampton, a BYU-Idaho alumna. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Keep in touch with your married friends, roommates and ward Facebook groups. If you’re getting ready to rent your first apartment, or just want to move, chances are someone in your network has a neighbor moving out.
My husband and I found that swiping for apartments didn’t land an immediate match, but ultimately it’s how we found our first apartment.
Facebook Marketplace is where you’ll usually find current renters trying to sell their contracts. In our case, our manager posted about the vacancy, but I wouldn’t say this is common.
Just as any Facebook Marketplace transaction, you’ll face first bidders and potential back outs, but faithful searching will yield results. Even school-owned housing contracts can be found on Facebook — and the University Village is a competitive place to sign.
They won’t. Seriously. I promise you the complex that charged you $25 to waitlist will not contact you. In October 2019, despite the countless times friends and co-workers advised against it, we wait-listed at one complex just to be sure.
Now eight months later, we still have not heard back.
Don’t bother waitlisting. The couples moving out are selling their contracts on Facebook or to their neighbor’s friends.
BYU-Idaho’s housing website has a list of community housing — use it.
When I first glimpsed through it, I scoffed and decided the school’s housing suggestions were more for single students. I have since learned the list actually contains helpful information.
I recommend you look at it on a laptop — that’s where I first went wrong. Your phone doesn’t have the best view of how the page is organized. It is designed to show complexes in Rexburg and the surrounding area based on standardized or subsidized rent.
While the list doesn’t mention what utilities are included in the rent, that’s information a quick phone call or website visit can resolve.
If the first door you walk through steals your breath and you can see home written on the walls, by all means, follow your heart.
However, I am a big fan of making lists and strongly recommend you and your significant other list out the pros and cons as you look for housing. My husband and I did this, and it helped us choose our apartment.
While some apartments may be listed for $600 a month, check and see if that $600 includes water, Wi-Fi, electricity, gas, a washer and a dryer. In my experience, cheaper rent usually doesn’t, but make sure you investigate it for yourself. This is America, there is usually an exception.
Don’t expect to find many apartments that include all the utilities listed above in the rent. The apartment we found on Facebook Marketplace included a washer and dryer along with Wi-Fi and water in the monthly $750 while paying an additional cost for gas and electricity. Paying for utilities separately is one of the downsides of getting married.
You’ll find that a handful of apartments will include plug-ins for a washer and dryer, but that means you have yet another piece of furniture to add to your registry — and another thing to add to the pros and cons list.
Apartment hunting takes time, so don’t stress if an affordable apartment doesn’t crop up within two weeks. Search daily and talk to everyone. As you do your homework, you’ll find movie nights, cuddle sessions and a clean apartment are just around the corner.