10 Important Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Apartment Hunting in DC

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apartment hunting in DC

Raise your hand if you love apartment hunting!

Anyone? We didn’t think so.

Apartment hunting in DC is often more exhausting than exciting. When you’re a couple, it can complicate matters even more! You’re not just looking for a home that you and your French bulldog love. It has to be a place your significant other loves, too.

That’s why we put together this handy list of questions for couples to ask before they begin the apartment hunt together. Read it yourself, then find out where your partner stands so you’ll be in agreement.


1. What’s your feeling on pets?

apartment hunting in DC

Dog person? Cat person? It matters if you have a pet, or you’re planning to get one in the near future. After all, finding a nice dog-friendly apartment in DC isn’t an easy feat. If you’re planning on moving to Tenley View with a pet, you can rest assured—our apartments are pet-friendly (and so is the neighborhood)!

2. What’s your idea of clean?

apartment hunting in DC


To some people, “just a few socks on the floor” equates clean. For others, “spotless baseboards” is the gold standard. You should have a pretty good idea of where you are on the “neat” scale individually. What will you be like together? Is it worth looking into a maid service? Get this question resolved now and avoid frustrating fights later.

3. How important is proximity to nature?

apartment hunting in DC

Even if you’re not a huge “nature person,” would you prefer to be blocks away from a park? If you are a huge nature person, you might want to know how big that park is. Discuss whether you want to live close to a park like Fort Reno, where you can watch the sun rise from the highest point in DC.

4. Want to be close to all the action, or away from the city hustle?

apartment hunting in DC

This tends to go hand-in-hand with #3. Generally, the farther you move from DC’s city center, the fewer stores you can reach within walking distance. However, there are exceptions. The landscape of DC may be changing rapidly, but there are still many pockets in the city where you can enjoy a calm environment that’s still close to everything. Tenleytown is a prime example of that!

5. Is neighborhood walkability important? What about public transportation?

apartment hunting in DC

Do you want to be able to walk to meet friends for coffee or walk to the grocery store? This is an important factor in your future apartment hunt, and could drastically affect your budget. If you’re surrounded by stores and Zagat-rated restaurants, your apartment budget will be higher–but it could be well worth the savings in transportation costs. If you’ll be commuting on public transportation or biking to work most of the time, look for easy access to public transportation and good bike lanes.

6. Do you need space to study or work?

apartment hunting in DC

Grad students from American University and full-time freelancers—we hear you! It’s tough not to have a good study environment. Decide whether you or your partner needs a quiet study environment. If you’re OK with a louder coffeehouse environment, most neighborhood coffee shops will suit your needs. But if it’s quiet you seek, consider investing in a two-bedroom apartment for a dedicated office.

7. Social life–go out or stay in?

apartment hunting in DC

By now, you should have a pretty good idea how your significant other likes to unwind. This factor will determine both the location and the size of your apartment. If you like both like to go out and meet friends for drinks or brunch, it’s best to focus on landing an apartment in a great up-and-coming DC neighborhood. If you both enjoy hosting friends at home, a studio just won’t work. Want both? It’s not impossible, but it does make for a tougher hunt!

8. Night owl or early bird? Could that status change?

apartment hunting in DC

Many night owls have been forced to adjust their schedule for an early bird job. And if you’re in school, you know that sometimes, you have to take a class at a late hour!

A one- or two-bedroom will give night owls space to keep the lights on while you read or watch TV (without disturbing their early bird partner). Early birds, you know that it’s no fun to tiptoe around in the dark. Get a one-bedroom apartment and your partner will thank you for shutting the bedroom door while you brew coffee and shower.

Side note: if you and your partner are both early birds, think about whether you might need another bathroom to avoid fighting over the shower at 7 am.

9. Top Chef or Takeout Queen?

apartment hunting in DC

If neither of you cooks very often, the kitchen isn’t that big of a deal. Just check on the best delivery in the area. But if you’re a top chef, you’re going to need more counter space than the average cook. In addition, you’ll probably seek out state-of-the-art appliances and storage options. You can get both at Tenley View, and they’re energy efficient to boot!

10. Who’s dining table/couch/bed will you keep?

apartment hunting in DC

Your stuff + another person’s stuff = too much stuff for a studio, and maybe even a one-bedroom. If you and your partner would end up using a storage unit for your duplicate items, it’s probably worth getting a two-bedroom. You could always use the extra furniture to make a nice guest room!

So there you have it. These 10 questions will save your sanity before a DC apartment hunt. It may be a lot of work now, but trust us, it’s well worth it to find the perfect apartment for you and your partner!

Interested in learning more about Tenley View apartments? Want to visualize your life in Tenleytown, DC? Request a tour today!

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