I need some input from people who are current or recent renters to remind me of what to look for and avoid in a place. I went wandering around work looking at possible apartment complexes.
DrWende confirms that the adjective "luxury" has no meaning out here due to indiscriminate overuse, Aces warned me that a western facing apartment will be hell in the summer, and The Romance Heroine reminded me that single men and families with kids make lots of noise. Anything else?
My criteria are few:
1) Cheap. Because I still own a house in Ohio.
2) Small space. It's me and a cat. We don't technically need more than a studio, but I might fall for a 1 bedroom with a balcony/patio. Cain would like it.
3) Within walking distance of work. I have an older car that I need to get a couple of more years out of, and I am not the world's best driver anyway, especially in heavy traffic. Plus, why did I move here if not to enjoy the outdoors? I am not someone who hates cars or doesn't like to drive (I think they are a necessity in most of the country, and people who are rabidly anti-car seem to have a streak of martyrdom that annoys me) but work is across from a Target, a Costco, a grocery, a poorly reviewed strip club and a Starbucks, 2 blocks from the library, and half a mile from other amenities like a post office, other food, a movie theater, etc. I'd have to buy another babushka cart! It's more convenient than a lot of Cleveland!
4) A decent amount of light. It makes me cheerful.
5) Thick walls. I listen to a lot of music, I wear shoes in the house, and I try to be considerate, but I don't want to feel guilty.
6) A professional management company. No more landlords who buy small properties and have weirdness.
7) Anonymity. Sorry coworker, I don't want to live across the street from you in Tempe in your neighbor's cottage and be forced into commuting with you. I am not a Tempe person anyway.