As mentioned before, I was offered and accepted admission and funding to Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Cincinnati, OH. I\’ve been excited about the school ever since I first visited in 2010 because of the quality of education, program history, access to the great Greco-Roman program at University of Cincinnati (through a consortium arrangement), and library. Considering my interests focusing on the interaction of Greek and Jewish historiographies, it\’s quite the alignment.
However, the one thing I wasn\’t horribly excited about was the move. You see, I despise moving. Well, let me rephrase that. I don\’t hate moving per se: I like learning about new cities, I\’m always enjoy making new friends and connections, and I\’m excited to begin school again after my brief hiatus. What I don\’t care for are the particulars of moving: packing is just awful; finding a new place to live can be exhausting and stressful; you might have to find a new job for you, your spouse, or both; and you have to re-arrange your entire schedule. However, some of these horrors can be turned into only minor annoyances if you make a few preparations. This post will cover a few tips that I had for finding a place to live in a far-away city.
Whether just beginning grad school or just beginning our career, it\’s likely that we\’ll move around a lot in the next few years. Some of these moves might just be across town, but most of us will likely move across the state or even further at least once and probably a few times. It\’s stressful, especially if we don\’t have family or friends in the area to help us find a place to live. Because of the short time frame I had (following my daughter\’s birth and work arrangements), I only had one shot to find a place for us to live. I flew into town on Tuesday, but my flight was late and I didn\’t get to start my search until the next day, and I flew out Thursday morning. This wasn\’t a lot of time, so I knew I had to make the most of my time!
- Do your Research: There are a lot of great tools in your chest these days for finding a place to live from distance. Whether you\’re looking for an apartment or a house to rent or buy, you can try Craigslist, Trulia, or Apartment Guide. Apartment Guide was what ended up being most helpful for me. You can either enter a city or zip code, but the most helpful option is to select a college or university and focus your search around it. It will give you a list arranged however you\’d like, whether based on proximity, price, or size.
- Make Contacts: Whether you want to contact a realtor, or the apartments themselves, you should always try and get the right information. The answers might surprise you. Some questions that we needed to ask that were beyond the obvious were:
- Do you have any specials?
- Do you have availability for our move-in date?
- Are any of the utilities paid? If not, what are the averages for those which aren\’t?
- Do you have central air/heating or window units?
- What appliances are included (dishwasher, washer/dryer, connections)?
- What is the make-up of your tenants (students, seniors, families, immigrants, professionals)?
- What is the size of the deposit?
- Do you have access to high-speed internet?
- Google Maps: Most of us know about google maps and use it to help us plan our trips, but you can also use its street view option to check out the sections of the city! I\’ve found this to be very helpful in \”scouting\” ares out prior to even seeing them and used it to eliminate a few apartments from our search. When all of the stores have bars on the windows and all of the buildings are \”tagged\” with gang signs, it might not be the area you want to bring your wife and newborn.
- Raids Online: Raids Online is a pretty nifty website where you can track crime rates in specific areas (but only over the past six months) when used in conjunction with google maps, you can get a pretty good pictures of what\’s going on.