My girlfriend and I have been apartment-hunting recently, and the process has been more arduous than I thought it would be.
We currently live near the Chinook Centre shopping mall in Calgary, which is a great location for multiple reasons, but we both have lengthy commutes to work. She teaches at a school on the southern edge of the city, while I drive in the opposite direction to come to Airdrie.
Though we discussed moving to Airdrie, we ultimately decided my partner’s commute to and from south Calgary – during rush hour – would be way too long, so we decided instead to look for apartments situated close to Deerfoot Trail. That way, we could both easily access Calgary’s main north-south thoroughfare.
This requirement limits us to just a handful of neighbourhoods. We’ve spent a lot of time on RentFaster this summer, looking at available apartments and researching communities like Radisson Heights, Renfrew, Bridgeland, Crescent Heights, Dover and Mayland Heights. We’ve plugged dozens of addresses into Google Maps to see how long it would take each of us to drive to work, and we’ve established a list of pros and cons for each community.
Apartment hunting proved my partner and I have fairly different priorities when it comes to our living situation; I am primarily focused on the neighbourhood and access to nearby amenities such as transit and grocery stores, while my girlfriend, on the other hand, is more interested in the apartment itself – if it has in-suite laundry, whether it’s carpeted or hardwood, how new the cupboards are, etc. This makes sense, considering she’s lived in an assortment of apartments throughout the last few years and doesn’t want to live in another crummy one.
Despite our differences, we finally settled on a place we feel suits our needs after visiting five apartments in recent weeks. It’s located near Deerfoot Trail and Memorial Drive – decreasing my commute by at least 10 minutes without adding any time to my girlfriend’s drive south.
Regarding my priorities, there’s ample access to convenience stores, restaurants, parks, recreation options and other amenities I want to live within walking distance of. As per my partner’s main concerns, the unit is fairly new, having been built in the last few years, and has all the in-apartment benefits we are hoping for.
As of writing, the landlord hasn’t yet approved our application, so perhaps this column is a bit premature. But we’re crossing our fingers we get it, because we certainly don’t want to keep up this apartment search for much longer.