Most Popular Apartment Amenities List

When it comes to the best apartment amenities, what’s popular in 2017 may surprise you. According to Apartment Guide research, many of those searching for an apartment tend to focus on individual apartment features rather than community features. However, many apartment hunters weigh community features at approximately the same level of importance as how many bedrooms they’re looking for, so community features matter.  Those who want community features, however, tend to weigh them as highly as features of each apartment, so community amenities really matter as well.

apartment amenities list
Data based on searches in June 2017

According to our data, apartment renters love their pets with most of the apartment searches looking for either pet friendly communities or apartments that allow pets. Being able to do the laundry also ranks supreme, with an in-unit washer and dryer at the top of the wish list for many renters. Additionally, keeping cool is also a big concern for renters, with many looking for air conditioning or a community pool as an amenity.

You’re ready to start your search for a new apartment. You’ve selected the neighborhoods you like and made a budget so you know what you can afford. Now it’s time to narrow down your search by determining which apartment amenities you might need.

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As a recap, here’s what recent ApartmentGuide searches show as the most popular amenities:

The Most Popular Apartment Amenities in 2017

  1. In-unit washer and dryer
  2. Air conditioning
  3. Pets allowed
  4. Furnished apartments
  5. Dishwasher
  6. Washer and dryer connections
  7. Some utilities included
  8. Balcony
  9. Cable ready
  10. All utilities included

 The Most Popular Community Amenities in 2017

  1. Pet friendly
  2. Garages
  3. Swimming pool
  4. High speed internet access
  5. Fitness Center
  6. Laundry Facility
  7. Covered Parking
  8. Gated Access
  9. Wireless internet access
  10. Access to public transportation

Growing in popularity

 These lists are never set in stone. What’s important now may not be in the future, and amenities we barely think about now become must-haves in the future. We took a look at some industry trends, and found these amenities, while not yet on this list, are on the way up.

  • More elaborate fitness centers: It’s not enough just to have weights and exercise machines. Everything from adding tennis or basketball courts to having full, complimentary yoga classes are becoming more common.
  • Bike-friendly amenities: More people are getting around on their bikes, so amenities such as bike storage and repair are becoming much more sought after by renters.
  • Online payments and maintenance: Do you really want to call the front office to get something fixed? Does anyone like writing checks for rent? Being able to handle these online is especially attractive to younger renters.
  • Package lockers: We get far more packages than we used to – have you seen how many people buy everything through Amazon? – so having somewhere to keep them other than at your front door is incredibly attractive to renters.
  • Electric car charging stations: More electric cars means more people needing somewhere to plug them in overnight.
  • Hardwood floors: Not all the rising amenities are new things. Having your apartment look good on the inside is a strong desire, and carpet or tile just doesn’t do it for some people.

Related:  When to sign a lease

Video: Most popular words in apartment names 



Apartment Checklist for Finding Your New Place

When searching for a home there are several items on your new apartment checklist. You need a certain number of bedrooms. It can’t be too far from work. You may need a dishwasher and washer dryer hookups. The necessities you need can easily be researched, and a property manager can help you find a unit you like.

But what about less obvious factors? Questions like how well behaved are your new neighbors? Is it safe to go out at night? Is it too noisy or too bright for sleeping? There are many items that don’t pertain to the unit itself that need to go on your apartment checklist. ApartmentGuide walks you through them here.

What to look for in a neighborhood

There are a few things you need to see for yourself in a neighborhood.

What are the kids doing? Are they playing outside or hidden away during the summer? If you’re a social butterfly, you may prefer neighbors who share your social traits.

Is there a visible police activity? If you see the police patrolling your complex day and night, they are needed there. This should be a red flag.

Road maintenance

Are the roads filled with potholes, or are they maintained? Is there trash on the street? Does the city take good care of this neighborhood, and do the residents have pride in where they live? If you’re looking to live in an urban setting, you’re not as likely to see tree-lined streets, but you might think twice about an area that is visibly neglected.

Get to know the neighbors

Your property manager or landlord has a financial incentive to get you into the home. However, the neighbors are an impartial party. Talk with people in the apartment community before you take a tour. Ask the cashier at a nearby grocery or convenience store about the complex. Check with online sources, like Next Door. This will provide you with outside opinions of the neighborhood (and the management). If you hear something negative, be sure to ask when it happened. It may be old information.


This is a huge priority when it comes to places to live. It’s up to you to determine if you’re looking in a safe neighborhood. There are a few things to check that will help you gauge if a neighborhood is safe.

Street lights

Are there plenty of working lights? Do they cover your mailbox, parking lot and the walk to your door or fitness center? You want your walk outside to be completely lit by streetlights at night.

Crime statistics

Be sure to check out the crime rates in a neighborhood. Look into the registered sex offender list too, which shows where they live, and their previous crimes (especially important if you have children). If the rent price seems too good to be true, this may be why.


A map may tell you work is only 5 minutes from the apartment you have your eye on. However, traffic can add more time to that number. Try taking your work commute from your prospective apartment during rush hour. How much time does it really take to get to and from work? Do a bit of research: are there back roads you can easily take to avoid traffic, and commute quickly?
Next, determine the nearest grocery, and don’t just drive by. Go inside and see if you like it. Ditto for the pharmacy, the dry cleaners, restaurants, the library … any type of business or service that you use regularly. These will be your neighborhood places, so you better like them!

Personal preferences

Your personal preferences for what you want in a neighborhood should make the apartment checklist. Take a walk around at night. It’s important to ask yourself a few questions to know what neighborhood is right for you.

  1. Are there wild parties in your neighborhood? If so, is this a problem for you?
  2. Are there lots of loud barking dogs? What about fences for those dogs? And are there leash laws for the county? If you like to take a nightly walk, these are things to consider.
  3. Do you want to be walking distance to grocery stores and restaurants? Or, do you prefer a neighborhood that is more secluded?
  4. Can you sleep in a room that’s not completely dark? Will you have to spend extra to block out light sited right outside your bedroom window?

Apartment hunting can be a gamble if you don’t have a well-thought-out plan. Do your research, and know what things you value in a neighborhood, and you can find a home you will be happy in for years to come.



DC Studio Apartments Offering One or Two Months Free

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If you are in the market for a new apartment, this is the absolute best time to secure a new place. Apartments and neighborhoods where you never were able to get concessions are now giving away up to two months free. This is of course due to the fact that while many people were able to work from home, they took that opportunity to leave their Washington, D.C. apartments and move out to the suburbs or home with mom and dad or become digital nomads. That left many apartment buildings with vacancies to fill and that’s where your luck begins!

Last month we highlighted apartments with move-in specials. This week, we are highlighting DC Studio Apartments offering two months free. You’ll see there is a wide range of offerings from rent control apartments in Northwest DC to brand new luxury apartments in SE neighborhoods like Capitol Riverfront.

Act quickly, as soon as the summer heats up and there are more signs of movement in the District, you will see prices start to rise and rent specials dry up.


Hilltop House

1475 Euclid Street NW Washington, DC.


Studios starting at $1350


Hilltop House is in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in NW Washington, D.C. The building has mostly studios, but on occasion, a one or two-bedroom apartment comes available. The building is within walking distance of Safeway and Harris Teeter and many restaurants. All utilities are included in your rent price.

The Shawmut

2200 19th Street NW, Washington DC


Studios starting at $1350

Get TWO MONTHS FREE on Studios

The Shawmut is a pet-friendly community in the Adams-Morgan | Kalorama Neighborhod. The building is in walking distance of many restaurants, grocery stores, and shops.


2800 Woodley

2800 Woodley NW, Washington DC


Get One and a Half Months Free

Studios starting at $1495

2800 Woodley is a gorgeous building set back in a tree-lined residential neighborhood just four blocks from the Woodley Park Metro. The apartments have shining parquet floors, energy efficient appliances, and all utilities are included with your rent.


Brunswick House

1414 17th Street NW, Washington DC


Get Two Months Free on Studios

Studios starting at $1395

Brunswick House is conveniently located near the Dupont Circle Metro. It is also within a few blocks of Whole Foods Market and a number of restaurants. Brunswick House Apartments have hardwood floors and all utilities are included with the rent.

apartments-with one-month-free-DC-Meridian-Park-Apartments

Meridian Park

2445 15th Street NW, Washington DC


Get Two Months Free on Studios

Studios starting at $1390

Meridian Park Apartments have a fantastic location between Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. The apartment community is located right next to Meridian Park, walking distance to multiple metro stops and just blocks from two grocery stores.


Avec on H

901 H Street NE, Washington DC


Get Two Months Free on Studios

Studios starting at $1541

Avec on H is a brand new apartment community on H Street. The building has a two-block long rooftop with a pool, grilling areas, community garden, dog park and outdoor living rooms. The community also has a fitness center and clubroom. Right now they are offering two months free on studio apartments.

That’s our round-up of studio apartments in DC offering up to two months free. Want to see more options? Do a free search at and sign up for the mailing list to get notified as more specials come available!

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Moving In With Your Significant Other

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Finding and falling in love with your soul mate is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life.  The more time you begin to spend with one another, the better you get to know each other, but nothing reveals more about a person and your relationship than moving in together.  Before you and your significant other decide to take the plunge, there are a few things that should be discussed.


As with any potential roommatecommunication is key.  When choosing to move in together, you are significantly increasing the amount of time, money and space to be shared.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To


One of the biggest and potentially most uncomfortable topics to broach is money and expenses.  Unlike a typical roommate situation, a couple’s finances have a tendency to become much more entwined.  Before taking things to the next level, decide how all living expenses will be split, and whether or not you will share or maintain separate bank accounts.  Be clear about your expectations to avoid disappointment and frustration.

Moving in with your significant other

Moving in with your significant other


The next order of business is division of household responsibilities.  Couples may choose to assign certain tasks (one handles dishes, the other handles laundry), designate cleaning days or hours, or agree to maintain certain rooms or spaces.  Regardless of how you decide to divide the larger tasks, agree to clean up after yourselves.  Respecting and maintaining your mutual space will help preclude any resentment.  When you commit to someone, changes in work and home life are bound to occur over time; stay open-minded and flexible about adjusting the workload at home accordingly.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Ready to find your next apartment?


If you are dating someone seriously enough to move in, you are most likely familiar with each other’s schedules.  If your work or social calendars are not in sync, be clear about what you both need from one another to make it work.  If one of you is up at the crack of dawn to get to the gym before work, the other should be willing to abide by quiet hours after 10pm.  If one of you is committed to night work or activities, be sure to set aside designated time to spend together, such as dinner or breakfast.  Having identical schedules is not realistic, but respecting each other’s needs and desires is crucial.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To


When moving in with your significant other, it is likely that you will also be combining and coordinating furnishings and personal belongings.  After assembling a list of your must-keep items, eliminate duplicate items and decide together what stays and what goes.  Compromise on the style of your shared space and collaborate to purchase supplementary items.  Idealists may choose to split the cost of each purchase while prudent individuals may choose to purchase items separately to ease the potential division of assets down the line.

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

Moving In With Your Significant Other | How-To

If you’ve made it through these major discussions unscathed, then you’re off to a great start!  Employing all of these techniques should get you off on the right foot, but maintaining them is easier said than done.  Holding up your end of the bargain is the one thing you have sole control over.  To maintain a happy home, periodically revisit the agreements you’ve made with one another.  As discussed, our lives are constantly changing and evolving and our ability to adapt to both our own and our partners schedules and needs is key.  Keep an open line of communication going to avoid falling into a rut.  Eventually, you’ll fall into a routine that works well for both of you.  Keep things fun and exciting by enjoying date nights and shared activities at home, but allow yourselves some alone time as well.

Moving in together is an exciting step for any relationship.  With a little effort up front and some deliberate maintenance, you’ll be well on your way to happily ever after!

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How To Not Suck As A Roommate

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A Friendly Guide From Holli And Maddie About How To Not Suck As A Roommate

1. Get A Job
Not only do you have a serious sushi habit to support, but you’ve got to be able to pay your rent and bills on time, too.

2. Clean Up Your Act
-do your dishes
-take out the trash
-clean out the shower drain
-throw away your moldy cheese

3. Hit The Town
Don’t be the guy that never leaves the house.  Get off the couch and go socialize with some real, live people.

4. Quit Over-sharing
Seriously, talking about your rash is not good dinner conversation.  You know better.

5. Stop “Borrowing” Things
You’re a big kid now, time to get your own shampoo and shop for your own food.  Plus, it’s not borrowing if you can’t give it back.

6. Keep It Real 
Nobody like a liar, liar pants on fire.  Own up to your messes and mistakes.

7. Speak Your Mind
When troubles arise, don’t play the passive-aggresive game.  Talk things out as you go to avoid a major blowup down the line.

8. Don’t Invite A +1
If your main squeeze has become a mainstay in your apartment, they ought to be paying rent.  Have a little respect for your real rookie.

9. Check In (And Check Out)
Keep your roomie informed of your schedule, especially any upcoming trips or visitors.  They deserve to know when they can and can’t lounge in their underpants.

10. Play Nice
Plan a weekly or monthly roomie night to touch base.  Offering to cook dinner or enjoying a night on the town will help keep the good vibes alive.

So there you have it.  No more excuses for being a crappy roommate.  Now go BE AWESOME!

Ready to find your next apartment?

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The Seven Deadly Sins of the First-Time Renter

When it comes to renting your first apartment, mistakes can be deadly to your bank account and your relationships. Many first-time renters make the same type of mistakes, so here are some that people run into frequently, and some help for how to avoid them:

Not adding up the expenses

Your monthly rent is just one number; there are a lot more that go into your actual cost of living. Talk to your landlord and prospective neighbors to get an idea of what other things, such as electricity, water, and internet will cost. Some paces require renter’s insurance, which is a small cost, but one you could easily never think about.

Also be careful about how you pay for these expenses. There are a lot of upfront costs, and putting too much of them on credit is tempting but can end up costing you dearly down the road.

Not prioritizing well

There are a lot of options in the hunt for an apartment, and not all of them are things you absolutely need. There are critical things, like not taking an eternity to get to work, and things that are nice if not necessary, like a tennis court on the roof. Everyone’s priorities are different, but what you need to do is make a list of those things and follow it. If you set your priorities right at the beginning, it’ll be much easier, not only to get through all the options you come across in your search, but also to making sure that you’ve moved into the right place.

Not getting a broad perspective on where youre moving

What is your neighborhood like at other times of day? If you’ve only been able to make it there during the afternoon on weekends, does that really resemble what it’ll be like during rush hour on Wednesday? Start thinking about all the little things you have to do every day or week and think about how they’re going to work. See how dark it gets at night, how noisy it is, where the bus stops, and what your cell phone reception is like. Think about these now so you don’t end up stuck somewhere you’re going to end up resenting for dumb little reasons like that.

You should also start planning the move. You don’t want to have to, say, move a piano up to the fifth floor of a building with no elevator. Everything you want to put in your apartment has to get in there somehow, so start seeing how that will work. If you have to strap a couch to the roof of your car and drive it up the parking garage, then do that – you just don’t want to be caught off-guard by it.

Jumping into the lease too easily

A lease is a legally binding agreement for you to pay a lot of money over the course of the next year/whatever length of time. It’s not something to jump into without thinking through all of it. Do you actually know how much this place is going to cost, and where you’re going to get that money? Do you have someone to live with you, if that’s part of how you’re going to afford it? If you put down deposits or fees for the apartment and then have to back out, you’re probably going to lose all that money.

You also need to see the apartment before signing the lease. Does your balcony have a great view of a dumpster? Are you living next to a construction project that’s been going on for five years already with no sign of progress? Or are there just the typical issues, of not enough water pressure, beat up and barely functioning appliances, and the like? Once you’ve signed, you’re on the hook for paying for this apartment, so you need to make sure it’s somewhere you want to be first.

Not negotiating

When you signed the lease, did you just take the boilerplate lease that they offered you? If so, you’re not alone, but may not have even realized that you could do something differently. While there are standard things in a lease, everything in there can theoretically be negotiated. You don’t have to spend days going over every single paragraph in exhausting detail, but if there are things that make you uneasy, then you’re going to at least want to bring it up. It’s more likely to work in smaller places with less standardized leases, but you never know if you don’t try.

Not knowing the rules

To keep harping on the lease, you need to follow what’s in there – it’s not enough just to read it. You may think you don’t need to know about a lot of the rules – you don’t plan on subletting your apartment – but what you end up doing in the future can surprise you. The worst surprise is to start doing something, then find out that it’s not allowed by your lease once you’ve already started subletting your apartment or adopted a puppy that’ll grow too big to be allowed or bought something you can’t keep in the apartment.

Not thinking about security

Everyone wants peace of mind while in their home, and decent security can give that to you. Look to see what crime statistics are like in the area. Nowhere is going to be completely free of crime, but you want to know what types of crime happen and how they can be prevented. This should also be a part of inspecting the apartment: make sure that all the locks on the doors and windows work, and spend some time trying to think like a thief. How would you try to get into the apartment? You’ll want to pay special attention to those possible weak points.




How Important Should Parking Be in Your Apartment Search?

Parking can be key to your apartment search, especially if you’re expecting a commute. A good parking situation can be a huge bonus when you finally nab the right apartment. The last thing you want is to circle your block hunting for a spot every day. And even if you do get designated parking, it can sometimes be pricey.

At the same time, your lifestyle, location and budget might make parking less relevant. If you’re moving to a new place, how will you figure out if you even need to worry about it? To determine the importance of parking in your search, answer the following questions.

1. Do you own a car?

This is easy. If you own a car, parking should absolutely factor into your apartment search.

Want some less obvious advice? If you don’t have one yet, consider if you might ever own a car. Your set of circumstances is liable to change from year to year. If you stay in the same place long enough, you may just have to purchase your own vehicle.

At the very least, parking is something to consider, even if you currently depend on public transportation. You might end up taking a new job in the middle of your lease at an office located an hour outside the city, for instance. Take stock of your present plans and goals and be considerate of your future needs.

2. Will you pay extra?

Some apartments charge a rent premium for parking garages, an additional cost to consider when weighing your options. You’ll pay more for these residential properties than those without the same amenities, so if you don’t need a space, you should look elsewhere.

The U.S. is a car-friendly nation, and that puts parking costs at a bit of a premium. That means apartments without solid options are likely to charge less. If you’re willing to sacrifice convenience, you might add more flexibility to your monthly budget.

If parking is a premium amenity for you, you can still make sure you know what you’ll pay. Meet with the landlord and have a discussion over what they charge for a space, what kind of security is available and any other concerns you have before you sign a lease.

3. Are there other options?

You have choices in how you get from place to place, and while car ownership is attractive, there are alternatives you can turn to. Dockless bike-sharing programs have seen increasing popularity in many cities, with bicycle commuting up more than 60 percent since the turn of the century.

Many of these cyclists don’t want the additional responsibilities associated with vehicle maintenance, and city traffic is often challenging to navigate. Bike sharing, scooter sharing and ride sharing options provide freedom from these anxieties, and these are friendly on both the environment and the wallet.

These alternatives are usually located in bustling cities, so they might not be available in your area. If they do catch your interest, research different properties and browse around. If living without a car seems freeing, it may even change up where you decide to focus your apartment search.

Parking is always going to be a major concern for most renters, but your situation might be unique. Things are always changing, too, and the next time you’re looking for a place to live, there might be even more transportation options out there. Rethinking your priorities can help you find the apartment that meets all your needs.

Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash



Can You Rent an Apartment if You’re Not a U.S. Citizen?

Many Americans are interested in living abroad and experiencing cultures different from their own, so it’s not surprising that many people from elsewhere want to come to America, as well. In fact, according to American Community Survey (ACS) data, more than 43 million immigrants resided in the U.S. in 2016. And many of them rent.

Renting as a non-citizen is absolutely plausible, but just like an American-born renter, you’ll be similarly scrutinized before signing a lease. Read on for a quick rundown of what you’ll likely need to provide and what to expect overall.

Proof of income

That charming accent you bring to the table won’t get you out of paying rent, and your landlord wants to know that you’ll pay on time each month. As such, part of your rental application will ask for information about your job or employment history.

In the United States, the general rule of thumb dictates you should spend about 30 percent of your income on rent. Do the math beforehand to see if you (and your roommate or roommates) can collectively afford the place in which you’re interested, because your landlord’s going to do it for you, as well.

Rent, of course, won’t be your only housing-related expense, so do research (you can even ask the landlord or property manager) to get an estimate of utilities such as water, gas and electricity. Some power companies even have online calculators you can use, plugging in things like square footage to determine what it will cost to heat or cool the place.


Most apartment communities will require a security deposit when you sign a lease. If you have a pet, a pet deposit may be required, as well. These fees serve as financial insurance for the landlord should you fail to pay your rent, break your lease or damage the property in any way.

What’s more, when renting as a non-citizen, you may be asked for a larger deposit in the event the property management company is unable to thoroughly check your credit.

Proof of immigration status

While there are federal laws in place that expressly prohibit landlords or property management companies from discriminating against or excluding prospective tenants on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability, familial status or (and for our purposes here, especially) national origin, it is 100 percent legal to ask rental applicants to provide documentation regarding their immigration status.


Simply put, business is business. Your status is directly connected to whether your landlord can expect you to remain in the United States for the full term of your lease. If your documentation only permits you to stay in the country for another eight months, you won’t be able to fulfill the terms of a 12-month lease. That could be valid grounds for denying your application.

Refusing to rent to a non-citizen solely on the basis of his or her citizenship, however (assuming their citizenship would not prevent them from fulfilling the terms of the lease) is prohibited by law.

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This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.



Wants vs. Needs: Which Apartment Amenities are Essential

When you begin apartment hunting, a wish list starts to form in your head. Comprised of all the things you think you want and what you really need, this list can get long, but what do you actually have to have versus what you can do without?

Think about it like this, you want a big kitchen, but you need two bedrooms. You want in-apartment laundry hookups, but you need easy access to public transportation for work. Getting all the wants and needs on your wish list while staying within your budget sometimes presents a challenge.

In fact, 74 percent of renters typically make a sacrifice in amenities in order to rent what they can actually afford. Deciding what to knock off your wish list can be tough. Everything can feel like a “need” when most items are simply “wants.” Here’s a little help deciphering between the two.

Let’s start with the wants

Think of these wishlist items as things it would be great to have, but aren’t a must for you to function.


These are items that help to create the look you want in your new place. Things like hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances all fit into this category. They’d be great to have, but you could always upgrade later.


As something we all use every day, having an updated apartment with features like USB charging outlets or app-controlled door locks or thermostats may have made it to your wish list. These are great wants and something you can ask a landlord to consider adding after you’ve signed a lease if they’re not there from the start.

However, access to technology – like internet and cable – is a need.

Outdoor space

Often a popular “want” on the wish list, finding an apartment with either a balcony, shared green space, garden area or rooftop access adds space and luxury to your home, but how often will you really use it?


Of course, you’ll need a refrigerator, stove and oven. But other appliances might be more of a want.

If there’s not a washer/dryer in your unit, or hookups to add you own, is there a laundry room in the building? It’s a little less convenient, but not necessarily a deal breaker. Same can be said for central air. A window unit will work just fine.


Looking at these as bonus items for your wish list can help you cross them off if your perfect place is lacking in amenities like a fitness center, pool, concierge or even a shuttle to public transportation.

Now onto the needs

Needs vary from person to person, but there are standard items most people require in their home.


Sure, you may want to live in a specific area of town because you like the vibe and what’s close by. However, you need to live in a certain neighborhood in order to get to work easily or be in the right school district.


You’ve got to put that car somewhere. While you need a spot, try being flexible on whether it’s a covered spot, one in a garage or out in the open.


There’s no way you’re getting rid of Fido. So, if you have a pet, you’ll need to find pet-friendly apartments to bring your animals with you.

We all make compromises when on the hunt for our next home, but knowing what you really need in your new place versus what you’d like to have can make the search easier and less stressful.