By: Sarah Chelli – Global Health
So you committed to Emory and you decided you’re moving to Atlanta. Now what? Moving to a new city can be extremely overwhelming in figuring out where to live, where to get groceries, how to budget, etc. Here are some tips and tricks that helped me in my housing search.
#1 First things first, research
When I was figuring out where to live, I did A LOT of research. The first thing I did was make a list of factors that were important for me. I knew I wanted to live close to campus because I did not have a car. I also wanted to live somewhere that was close to a grocery store. I knew that I could not afford to live by myself so I wanted to find an apartment with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Safety was important to me too so I wanted to find a gated complex if possible.
#2 Get organized
I created an excel sheet where I made different categories.
I found about 20 different apartments, houses, or complexes that I liked from my initial research. I added them to my excel sheet and filled in whatever information I could. One of the most important categories on this list was the reviews. I looked up so many reviews about each potential location and wrote down anything that stood out (pest issues, lack of transparency, hidden fees, etc).I started narrowing the list down if the apartment was out of my price range or if it did not meet my deciding factors.
#3 Ask Questions
Once I had about 5 apartments that met all of my requirements, I made a list of questions that I had about the apartments. Were utilities included? If not, how much would they cost per month? Is maintenance provided? Is there a package room? Is there a washer/dryer in-unit? I took this list of questions and called the leasing offices of each apartment complex. Most leasing managers were very willing to talk and answer my questions on the phone or by email. This also gave me an idea of how cooperative and transparent the leasing office is. If I was going to live there I wanted to make sure that the leasing managers were easily accessible and easy to talk to. Unfortunately some leasing managers were unhelpful, unorganized, or just plain rude which turned me away from several otherwise decent options.
#4 Go on a tour
Last year, when I was looking for an apartment, I wasn’t able to visit in-person and actually go on a tour. That’s why I’m so thankful for technology! I was able to get a live virtual tour of a few of the apartments I was interested in. Many apartment complex websites have virtual tours as
well. One of the tours gave a great tour of the complex itself and each room of the apartment. The leasing manager walked around each room and showed us the closets, the locks on the doors, and even showed us how many outlets there were. He was very willing to answer our questions or to show us something again. The virtual tour gave me an actual idea of what my potential home looks like.
These are just a few tips that helped me find an apartment here in Atlanta. Just a reminder that these tips worked for me and that you might find other ideas that work better for you. Start looking now, take the time to do research, and get excited to find your future home in Atlanta!