The Woes of Apartment Shopping

Hello again! Long time no see. I could get into all that has happened the past few weeks of my life, because it has been a lot, but I’ll just give you a short rundown. I recently moved to Des Moines after accepting a job as a Digital Marketing Associate at Blue Compass Interactive. I am beyond thrilled to be working and living in Des Moines. The only thing about living in Des Moines, at the moment, is that I am sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor of my aunt’s basement. Which I am truly grateful for, but a girl gets tired of walking up 2 flights of stairs to brush her teeth everyday. So my brother and I have been on a massive apartment search. It sounds fun, looking at places to live all day, imagining setting up camp there, but it’s not. It’s a trap. A sad, depressing trap. For any novice apartment shoppers, I am here to warn you. For you more experience apartment dwellers, you will understand my pain.

Income Restricted Housing

If you live in a larger city such as Des Moines, there will come a time in your apartment shopping experience when you stumble upon a great complex for only $575/month rent amongst the other $700/month 1 bedroom apartments. Your eyes will widen. Your heart rate will elevate. You will believe you have found the one. And then in tiny, barely legible words, you will see the words “income restricted.” You think, “Great! I’m so poor and in debt!” But when you call, you realize you are not nearly poor enough. How can I not be poor enough!?

Help me, I'm not poor enough for income restricted housing

This is Not What The Pictures Looked Like Online

Tricky bastards. I know very little about photography, but these people have it figured out. Staging is key. You will see the beautiful couch and color coordinated wall art and think, this is perfect. Then you walk through the door and all you see is stained carpet, 15 year-old appliances, and disappointment.

online apartment pictures lie

Pet Rent

That’s right. You want your pets to live with you? Well you will have to put down a non-refundable deposit (understandable) but then your “pet” will have to pay anywhere from $20-30 a month for “rent.” I hope they accept kibble.

pet rent

Information Requirements

We will need pay stubs, credit history reports, pet registration and vaccinations, social security number, your full resume, a cheek swab and vial of your blood. Disclaimer: by signing below you have sold your soul to the Devil.

Des Moines apartment requirements

Size Matters

Never, I repeat never, believe them when they say the smallest bedroom can fit a queen mattress. What they truly mean is, it can fit a queen size mattress if you are okay with 5 inches on either side of it anywhere in the room.

apartment shopping lies

Decisions, Decisions

Deciding on the best of the worst apartments to live in is the worst part. Trying to choose what you can give up and what you can’t will test your relationships, and your sanity.
apartment shopping in Des Moines


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