My First Apartment: Dream Home & Broker Battle

(Welcome to Justine, who is just out of college, works in our office and is in the process of making her first home in the world. We invited her to journal her experience. Here is her first entry.)

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"Last month I’d finally had it with my parents! After 8 months of living at home after college, I realized that it was time to move out and find my own apartment. I called my friend, Charmian, who felt the same way, and with nervousness and excitement we both decided to head out and look together. Our goal: to find a 2 bedroom under $2400 on the U.E.S...

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Two weeks ago we got serious and called a broker. 4 days later we met Ronnie from Citi-Habitats and he began to show us apartments. After seeing 4 apartments our hopes were beginning to fall until Ronnie showed us our dream first home. First thing we both said when we walked through the door was we love it! Omg we love it!

What we saw was a small living room with open brick on one wall, a small bathroom, kitchen, and a hallway, which led to 2 large bedrooms. We were in heaven. We did not mind that the living room was small, because the bedrooms were so big. I was personally just so happy because I could fit a large bed in it. So long double bed!

After calming down a bit we had to consider the walk-up: did we want to climb 5 flights of stairs everyday to get to our new apartment? We looked at one another and said we probably wouldn’t find such a great deal like this. We could really make this place our home. The apartment was newly painted with an eggshell white on the wall and white trim. The floors looked new and the kitchen and bathroom were brand new, as well.

So that day we told Ronnie we would take it.

Let me just say that getting this apartment was not as easy as you think. Filling out paperwork and showing that we had good credit did not get us this apartment. We had to fight for this apartment.

In order to gain our home, we had to outbid the other applicants and agree to pay more rent ($50 a month more). Then, after we got the apartment, the other broker, who had lost out and had told us earlier not to hand in our application since her client had already handed in her application and “would get” the apartment, came into the Management office fuming mad. She yelled at the people in the management office and yelled at us, and then stormed out!

I couldn’t believe it. I’d never seen someone get so pissy and mean on top of being dishonest - all for a rental apartment. Charmian and I had to laugh when she left over how lucky we’d been not to listen to her. We had only barely left home and yet we already were learning so much.

This week we are moving into our very first apartment! Furnishing comes first and we’re taking photos each week until we’re done. Stay tuned and we’ll do our best to put it together in great apartment therapy style."

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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