apartment hunters, episode I: a bright beginning

get excited. this blog post starts something big here on blooming branch. not only will it begin my short-and-sweet hunt for an apartment (there aren't too many options here that meet my standards) but will also start all the posts about decorating the apartment once i move in. not only am i excited to finally be getting my own space to fill with the boxes of things sitting in my parents' garage, but i'm excited to have a space to make truly my own (well, as much as you can a rental, anyway). luckily, i'm in a position to rent at a really great time, which gives me options and the ability to negotiate (thanks to my friend blair over at the other sister, i am no longer afraid to ask for reduced prices and free things everywhere).

so here's where you come in: i've been without most cable channels for a while now (an unnecessary luxury) but one of my favorite shows to watch for hours at a time (along with what not to wear and basically any wedding show) is hgtv's house hunters. if you've never watched the show (which you can do online), it follows an individual/couple in the hunt to find the perfect home. each show gives a tour, pros and cons, and prices to each of three properties, and the viewer has the opportunity to guess which property the buyer chooses before their actual decision is revealed. as i have already narrowed my search to three wonderful little places, i figure i would involve you all in my very own apartment hunters and reveal the pros and cons on each one before i choose. input and suggestions would be good as well, especially from those of you that have been through this before!

before i start, all three apartments are in a prime location and are in a few hundred yards of one another. location was one of my non-negotiables as i feel it is as important as the actual apartment. you should also know that i'm kind of a snob about architecture, natural light, and character of a building. i don't like big new-fangled complexes and prefer smaller, older buildings with a new-york-city walk-up feel to them. i'm also a cheap-skate and refuse to pay more than $600/month for an apartment for myself. as i don't live in new york city (thankfully - i don't think i could live in an alleyway for $600 there), this narrowed my search rather quickly.

with that said, here's the deal on apartment #1:
- 2BR, 1BA
- i went expecting less, and was actually extremely impressed.
- the apartment is being renovated at the moment (it's not quite move-in ready), which explains the tools and random paint cans lying around in the pictures that follow.
brand new kitchen! new cabinets, new appliances, new paint job! (the sink is nice too, even though it wasn't installed yet). this window has a great view and even has a cute little flower box on the outside.hi, dad. (the main entrance would be to the left of the fridge. how do i feel about guests entering in my kitchen?)the other side of the kitchen. hellooo new range. the space on the far left is meant to be a pantry, but will most likely be extra closet space. there's so much cabinet space i don't think i'll have to worry as much about where to put my rice and my cans of soup versus where to put my purses, sweaters and shoes. the would-be living room off the kitchen. sorry for the poor photo quality(and the worker guy in the picture)...my camera battery was dying. look at the cute radiators in every room! they really work! love them.
my room! how GORGEOUS are the hardwood floors?
the largest room and by default the guest/storage/crafting room. i love this one...it's so bright! (the door that you see on the far left is the pantry/closet seen in the kitchen.)
bathroom, with all new fixtures. (they're going to be installing cute subway tile in the shower/tub to the left.)
more bathroom and more dad. the room seen here is the living room. though the bathroom is small, there is a decent amount of space beside/across from the toilet. i also just realized that there is no door on the bathroom. perhaps they have been removed for the renovation? i really hope so because that would be weird.one of three tiny closets in the entire apartment (it's a walk-through between the bedroom and the living room). i'm going to have to make like carrie bradshaw and store my manolos in the oven.

so, with the mini tour out of the way, here's my pro/con list:

- lots of natural light
- good windows, nicely insulated, well-kept
- standard blinds on each window (good for privacy behind curtains)
- big, open kitchen
- fantastic hardwood floors
- cute radiators in every room (that really work!)
- new appliances
- nice views out the windows
- utilities included in rent price

- minor security concerns
- very little storage space
- window ac units (ew)
- strange lay-out (it’s kind of a u-shape)
- weird wall colors (not sure if i’m allowed to paint yet? i forgot to ask)
- very little parking
- low door jams - this apartment was not made for tall girls!
- no fireplace or built-in shelves (my two favorite things)
- no dishwasher. boo.

so there's apartment #1 for you. let me know what you think and stay tuned for #2 and 3 in the next few weeks!
image via rodney smith photography

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