Budget: Obviously I want to live within my means. But, I've also made the decision to live on my own after two years of cohabitation. Keeping in mind my salary and monthly expenses (especially my dreaded student loan), this might be tricky. I'm hoping to save by finding a place where utility bills are included. I also don't mind downsizing which will keep the price lower.
Pet-friendly: I have a big, loveable chocolate lab. He's my best pal (and snuggle-bunny) so his happiness is a priority for me. Since he's a larger dog, finding a pet-friendly place can be hard. In the past if a listing says no pets or dogs under 25 lbs only, I've called and offered a recommendation from my landlord about his behavior. And since he's a big dog, do I sacrifice a safer neighborhood with less square footage for more space in a less safe area? Bringing me to...
Safety: I don't mess around with safety. If something doesn't feel right, I'm outta there. As I look at apartments and new neighborhoods, I make sure to check out the crime statistics on the LAPD crime map. Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Neighborhood: My current neighborhood is amazing: fantastic coffee shops, beautiful views, it's walkable and very dog-friendly. I'm hoping to stay here, but with my limited budget in mind, it might not be possible. Do I uproot and try a new neighborhood that might not be as safe and lack designated parking? It seems I could get more bang for my buck in a less desirable neighborhood, but is it worth it?
Parking: Oh LA I love you. But, pardon my French, parking can be a b*tch! If I move to a new neighborhood like Koreatown, parking is nearly impossible so finding a place with a designated spot is imperative. I don't have a fancy car so a little nick here and there doesn't bother me--but I don't want to deal with a busted window, multiple parking tickets, or a missing car!
Distance to daily necessities: I've been in my current apartment for a year. I've got a nice routine. I have my local haunts. I know what times to avoid a crazed Trader Joe's and what side streets take you around Silverlake Blvd. traffic. If I move to a new neighborhood, I'm going to have to figure all this out again...
I definitely have a lot to think about as this new chapter of my life begins. How did you decide on your first place post-break up?
Image credit: Flying Junction