You’re Looking for Your Dream Apartment All Wrong—Here’s Why

updated Oct 3, 2023
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We all know someone with an objectively amazing apartment. It’s light and airy, remarkably spacious for its size, in a great location, and somehow costs less than your dark, cramped, inconvenient shoebox. Though you may think your friend is just incredible lucky at real estate, here’s the hard truth: Chances are, they just did a better job during the apartment search than you did. Though that might seem harsh, there is a little glimmer of hope in it for you—it’s not that your dream apartment isn’t out there at the price you want it, it’s just that you’re not looking long enough.

This all comes courtesy of a new report from Apartment Guide that finds that the number one regret of renters is not viewing more units during the apartment search. Three studies involving close to 4,000 renters between 2017 and 2018 were analyzed. They found that, when asked what they regretted about their previous apartment search, 31 percent of renters said they wish they toured more apartments before deciding on one.

While you might say, “Good riddance! These people probably only saw one or two apartments before they signed!” Well, that’s not exactly fair. According to the study, most people toured an average of three to four properties before saying yes to a unit.

While three to four sounds like enough during an apartment hunt, maybe that number needs to be closer to how many places you tour when buying a home. Though “House Hunters” may have you thinking that you only really need to tour three, that’s a huge misconception, as the average homebuyer looks at between 10 and 12 (and still has regrets!). Though that may sound excessive for apartment hunting, remember that you still live in your apartment while you’re renting. Isn’t your happiness worth dragging your feet to a few more units?

“But wait!” You’re probably saying,”These people are probably only seeing four apartments at most because they’re afraid if they don’t act soon, they’re not going to have any apartment!” While it’s true that 40 percent of people apply to an apartment within one day of seeing it (says the study), you probably can see one or two more apartments after you think you’ve found “the one” just to make sure—though you might not change your mind, you’ll be happier knowing that your apartment actually is perfect for you.

Not seeing what else is on the market is not the only regret renters have. According to the study, renters also wish they knew more about their neighbors, inspected the property more fully, and found out more about their property management before signing. Thankfully, all four of these regrets are totally fixable if you think about them before you sign the lease. So leave with this: Slow down while looking for your new apartment and ask a couple more questions—it just may just be the the key to finding your dream apartment.