The JJs List Blog

Apartment Hunting As a Person with a Disability

Posted by on January 12, 2018 - 0 Comments

A Guest Blog by Dave Thompson

For all of my life, I had lived in Indiana.

Dave showing off his new apartment.

That is, until recently. During the span of the last several weeks, I have been in the process of moving from my longtime home in Griffith, Indiana to Evanston, Illinois.

The motivation for moving was shaped by my mom’s death on July 3rd, 2015. Before she died, I decided I wanted to live closer to my older brother Ed who lives in Glenview, Illinois.

Once I committed to moving to Evanston, the real work began. Researching apartments proved to be easier said than done. Starting the process included looking at multiple websites to get ideas of where I might live and prices of apartments. Next I walked around Evanston and photographed contact numbers on ‘for rent’ signs on an iPhone in an effort to facilitate the search.

With Ed’s help, I figured out how much floor space I wanted and how much money I could spend on rent payments. Then I had to start looking at available apartments at different locations in Evanston. We eventually enlisted the help of John Ruckdaeschel from Apartment People, who showed us different apartments.

As someone who recently went through the process of apartment hunting for the first time, I would advise bringing a family member or an advocate when you tour apartments. Some of the ways my brother helped included sharing opinions about the different apartments, providing transportation on the weekends, asking questions that I might not have thought of, and documenting things about the apartment on the lease paperwork.

Another thing to consider if you are looking for an apartment for the first time is utilizing a realty company that specializes in apartments. Some of the advantages I found in using a service included being able to see multiple apartments on the same day, professional advice, and flexibility in allowing Ed and myself time to weigh the pros and cons of each apartment.
You might have to overlook messy apartments, especially if you are touring one which still has a tenant residing there whose lease might be expiring in a couple months. For good measure, figure at least 15-30 minutes per apartment tour (if not more). Factor in time to examine the apartment, as well as discussion of potential issues involving the apartment.

I eventually found a place that fit my needs and my wallet. With the apartment secured, I started moving some of my stuff to my new apartment. I had planned to be completely moved in by the New Year. However, things don’t always work quickly when you are trying to move personal belongings that are scattered across two states.
Yes, it was a lot of work trying to find a new place to live. No, I don’t have all of my possessions at my apartment yet. I admit, living in Evanston still feels like a big adjustment considering I lived all of my life in Indiana until now.

About the author:
David Thompson is an alumnus of Purdue University Calumet (now Purdue University Northwest). He majored in computer information systems and also minored in radio/TV production, journalism, and public relations. He first started attending No Boundaries in Summer 2017.

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