I love looking at real estate and property when I’m in a new place so I was already checking out the area when I was on my interview for my new job. I begin looking at the cost of living, apartments, popular areas etc. right away to get a little knowledge about the area. This became a practice of mine as soon as I realized I was going to move away from home to pursue my career path.
I’m pretty bad at figuring out or accepting money for work so I try to get as many facts as possible so I can put together a reasonable payment/salary. Otherwise, I’d offer to work for something ridiculous, like corn.
The area around Hanover, NH is pretty pricey. Especially right in town. The nice thing about New Hampshire is though that there is NO INCOME TAX OR SALES TAX! Property taxes are higher to make up for it which in turn makes rent higher.
After I received my job offer, I really delved into to finding a place. I’m not afraid of a commute and honestly, Mitch and I would love to be out in countryside more so we were able to expand our search perimeters.
Another huge issue with our search for an apartment was the fact we probably weren’t going to see if before signing a lease. I currently live in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s about a ten hour drive to New Hampshire and although we entertained the idea of making the trip and instead of a hotel room, saving money by camping out on the Appalachian Trail (it runs through Hanover) we decided to save the money and do all our searching remotely.
We had set the bar pretty high for ourselves. We wanted a place that was $1,000 or under a month at the end of the day (this means all utilities etc. factored in) within thirty minutes of Dartmouth AND we couldn’t physically see it beforehand…Yikes.
Here’s my advice if you’re ever in a similar situation:
- At all costs, try and see the place. Or have someone see it for you. We contemplated asking Mitch’s dad and stepmom to check it out (they live four hours away).
- If you can’t see it, ask for pictures. Lots of them. We found that these interactions immediately gave us a better feel into what the the landlord was like. Were they super accommodating? Did we annoy them? Did they pay attention? Did they get angry that we couldn’t see it in person (that happened once)? We got a really good vibe from people just based on how they responded to this slight inconvenience.
- Have A LOT of conversations with your potential landlord. Especially if you’re leasing not in a complex. People who rent out basements of their houses or above their garages are a lot harder to do research on. They don’t always have reviews done on them like complexes or management places.
- Remember that they’re people too! Don’t demand every little detail about the place. For instance, our potential future landlord gave us measurements and everything (she really likes us!) without hesitation but I would never ask someone to do that for me, aside from maybe a door frame so we could know if our couch would fit.
So did we find a place? WE THINK SO! We sent a deposit in via snail mail which is absolutely terrifying but we’re trusting our guts with this one.
The price, location and our landlord are just the right amount of perfect for us. Once things are confirmed, there will be a post!