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10 Things on the Hawkeye Checklist When Looking for Apartments


As November rolls around, it’s time to face the imminent leasing season head-on. You can’t live in that dorm room, sorority house, or cardboard box forever. And unless you want to make shacking your permanent way of life, you’re going to need to sign a lease. It’s time to find an apartment in Iowa City, and this is the checklist that will make sure it is up to Hawkeye standards. 


10.) Price is key:

Unless Daddy’s money is unlimited, you’re never gonna be able to live where you want to due to those little things called dolla bills. Remember freshman year when you looked at the glass building on the Ped Mall and were like “hell yeah I’m gonna live there?” You’re not gonna, kid. You’re gonna live in the kind of place that makes your parents slightly concerned for your health. You’re gonna live there, and you’re gonna love every second of it.


9.) Minimal puke stains:

There’s nothing worse than trying to make it to that Friday 8:30 a.m. class and gagging at the sight of that dark red stain at the top of the stair case. Lord knows what the carpets of Iowa City have been through– but as they say, out of sight, out of mind. When it comes to the history of these apartments, the less we know (or see), the better. 


8.) Check the locks:

If you can break in, so can a stalker/clown/robber. Get management to replace the lock and invest in some pepper spray or a knife under the pillow, maybe a sword if you’re feelin’ old fashioned. A step-activated laser and alarm system for the nerds? Whatever floats your boat.


7.) Distance to downtown:



Let’s be real, the distance to downtown is waaaaaay more important than the distance to class. You can wear a parka to EPB, but not to the bar. You can walk in a straight line at 5 o’clock on a Monday (hopefully). Not always the case at 2 a.m. on a Thursday. Priorities, right?


6.) Please god not too many stairs:

It’s just not cute to walk into the door every day sweating and gasping for air, and as much as we all want our butts to look like a Kardashian’s, we can think of better ways to get to that goal. Like plastic surgery. Or the gym– but who has time for that? Besides, the chances are that you’re at least a mile away from campus to afford a decent apartment in the first place, and that walk counts for something.


5.) Convenient door for OrderUp to meet you at:

Iowa likes OrderUp, it’s law, it’s life, and it must be had. Nothing is worse than explaining that yes, the address is on S. Gilbert, but no, you can’t just stop on S. Gilbert. And telling them to go to “the alley door at the end of the alley, not in the middle of the alley” doesn’t always help as much as it should. If there is an established drop off/pick up point, life will be so much easier, for people and noms alike.


4.) Tolerable food below you/nearby:


Because let’s be honest, most of us are too poor for that delivery fee anyway, and far too lazy to walk downtown. If you’re stuck with no option but Szechuan House, Szechuan House it is. Always smelling Papa John’s pizza? Guess who’s gonna be eating a lot of Papa John’s Pizza? You, betch. Corporate neighbors can be just as important, if not more, than those in the actual apartments next to yours.


3.) Avoid creepy dark alleys/sidewalks:

In a perfect world we could just exchange a friendly “hello” with the homeless people sleeping in College Green or the squads smoking in alleys, but in reality, they’re scary to walk by. No one wants to run into that guy who just peed in the alley and asks “whachladies up tootnight?” Let’s not, please and thank you. Make sure your place is in a populated, visible, lit, and not sketchy AF location, got it? Good.


2.) Make sure it’s easy enough to find that your stoned Uber won’t get lost:

“Sorry man, Siri kept telling me to turn in one hundred feet and then like…all the sudden she’s telling me to U turn. And like, bro, these one way streets are seriously fucking confusing. Do you think you can get me out of here man?” Ubers are people too, bro. Help a brotha out.


1.) Enough wall space above the TV for a stolen beer banner and behind the couch for a tapestry:



These are the only two necessities any apartment needs. Nothing says “I’m in college” like a wall decoration advertising $10 cases of Keystone accompanied by a trippy design that matches nothing else in your apartment. This is the time of your lives when the interior of your apartment is completely allowed and encouraged to reflect the interior of your confused minds: so own it.



Are you in class right now? Don’t worry, you can still leave.

Posted by The Black Sheep on Monday, October 17, 2016

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