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Finding the perfect apartment, Loft or rental home in Kansas City does not have to be impossible.

Locating the “perfect Kansas City apartment, loft or rental home” can be almost as difficult as confirming the existence of Atlantis, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. The key is within you, and it shouldn’t require an underwater expedition to find it. The best place to start before you set out to find ideal living accommodations is with a list of all your needs and wants. Be realistic here. We all want that luxurious four-bedroom penthouse complete with a hot tub and sauna, but can we all afford it? Yeah, right!

So, while it’s likely you might have to compromise on some of your wants, you shouldn’t do so with your needs or your “perfect new place” will be anything but. Start out by grabbing a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Create two columns – one for wants and one for needs. Begin categorizing the traits you’re looking for in the “perfect new place.”

For example, size, location, amenities such as swimming pools, workout rooms and so on, and even proximity to other destinations and definitely cost. Weigh each trait very carefully. Let’s say “downtown Kansas City location,” pops up on your list. If you work in downtown and can’t afford the high prices for gas or maybe don’t even have a car, the downtown location might just be a “need.” If this appears simply because you’d like to live close to your favorite bakery or café, put that in the “want” column even if it kills you.

Here are some of the main points to consider for either the want or need categories:

  • Price – Set a realistic budget before you get started. Be smart and don’t try to overextend yourself. Housing expenses should not be more than a third of your income, so keep this in mind. While it’s likely a dream apartment, loft or home in Kansas City will come in way above realistic in price, the "perfect place" shouldn’t. If you reframe the search in your mind as one for the ideal place for you at this particular point in time, the “perfect place” and the more realistic one will likely meet somewhere in the middle.
  • Size – Consider how many people and how much stuff you will need space for. The perfect place is not uncomfortable, no matter who’s doing the searching, so look accordingly. If you have four people to house, a one bedroom won’t do, but maybe a two or three will fit the bill.
  • Interior features – The interior features of an apartment can really make it stand out. For example, an eat-in kitchen might be a priority or maybe a separate master bedroom suite. Perhaps it’s a large living room that will make you happy. Pick a few things that are important to you and stick to your guns during your housing search here in Kansas City.
  • Extras – Swimming pools, workout rooms, spas and so on. These can be absolute musts or just perks, you have to decide.
  • Location – If you absolutely have to live in a certain area, location is a must. If it’s just a matter of preference, you might find if you broaden your search, your ideal apartment home is just a stone’s throw from your preferred location, making a short commute more than worthwhile.

Now, take a good look at your list of requires. As you discriminate among your choices, you might find you need to compromise on some of your wants. This should not be the case with the “needs” unless it’s absolutely necessary for you to remain within budget.

Once you’ve decided what is a must and what is not, you can begin an actual search without having to waste time looking at places that simply will not do. Reject those places that don’t match up to your needs and try to find those that have a few of your wants. If you can strike a nice balance between the two, you should be in good shape. While it’s possible you may never have a three-bedroom with a den in Atlantis, if you use some common sense and really determine what’s necessary and what’s not, you will find a great apartment, loft or home here in Kansas City.

by Tiffany Lewis, Kansas City Premier Apartments, Inc.

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