It's about that time of the year again, the semester is finally over, the birds are chirping, a little skin is showing, and you probably need a new place to live. Now it's not hard to find low-cost apartments in Montreal, the only problem is they're, well, cheap. One's home is their castle, and it's important to find something that meets all of your needs while also being as convenient and as conducive to your everyday life. You want something that makes coming home everyday the best part of your day, not the worst, but finding that perfect Montreal pad is not always a pleasant process.
To make your search (and life) a little bit easier, here are 10 things you need to consider when looking for your new apartment in Montreal.
Photo Cred - Fred Plante
Ideally, you would eliminate travel time completely, so that rolling out of bed last minute after your alarm failed to go off would have no consequences, but that would mean living at school which is definitely not ideal. Plus, you want to be in a safe and central area that's full of fun stuff to do at every corner. Sure, the suburbs are nice, but getting home after all-nighters at the library (or bar) shouldn't have to be a pilgrimage.
"Mo' money, mo' problems" so they say, but no money means no apartment. Maybe you're not the kind to count every penny, but you should be at least vaguely aware of what kind of budget you're working with so you know how much room you have to play. Sometimes it's more cost effective to have everything included in your rent so that you don't have nasty surprises at the end of the month.
Having a nice space is one thing, but an empty room doesn't really inspire much creativity. You obviously need a decent mattress, but if you are the type of person who, you know, likes to be comfortable and have your friends over from time to time, you need some furniture. While you can score some decent pieces off the kindness of strangers, just make sure that you have some sturdy furniture that will survive the being moved, and beware of bedbugs!
Probably the biggest expense in any student's life, or at least the hardest to control, is food, and that's because food is delicious. Montreal is full of great restaurants, but eating out at fancy restaurants all the time is probably not an option. While you might be huge on cooking, having a sweet kitchen will definitely encourage you spend less on take out. At the very least, living somewhere where there are affordable options available will go along way.
As mentioned, availability of nearby affordable restaurants is important, but easy access to everyday conveniences in general straight-up makes everything better. Proximity to bus/metro, groceries stores, class, bars, shopping malls, gyms and all the other good stuff should be a major consideration when apartment hunting in Montreal.
You might think that your apartment just needs to have rooms, doors, and windows, after you've unpacked your boxes and realized that it doesn't all fit, or your setup just doesn't work for you, you will wish you had spend a bit more time looking at size and layout before moving in. Visualizing yourself living in that space before you move in is always a good sign.
7. Wear & Tear
This should be a no-brainer, but it's crucial to check the state of your potential "new" apartment. Look for any cracks in the walls and ceilings, check how the plumbing runs, if appliances function properly, there really is no limit to how much scrutiny you exercise when looking at apartments. Landlords need to be aware of any damage before you move in so you're not held liable, and consider the fact that you'll have to live with any wear and tear that could potentially get worse.
Montreal leases are pretty straight-forward for the most part, it's how they are applied that can get kind of fuzzy at times. The essential things to note are that leases automatically renew three months before term unless you express otherwise, and are generally only offered on a yearly bases, which can be very inconvenient depending on your situation, so bare that in mind. For more info on your rights as a tenant read this.
Montrealers are a pretty chill bunch for the most part, but I think it's safe to say that shitty neighbours are the worst. It's never a bad idea to see what kind you would potentially have before moving in. If you're a party animal that stays out all night or like to entertain often, having the kind of neighbours that you would actually invite to join you is pretty key.
Not all apartments are created equal, and that means that not all apartments offer the same things. Some provide the bare minimun, ie. a roof over your head. Others have utilities built into the rent, will throw in appliances, and some even feature state-of-the-art amenities like a swimming pool or a gym. It's worth considering what is included and what's not and properly weighing your options.
Apartment hunting can be a lengthy process, all things considered. Montreal is full of amazing apartments, but rarely do you find one that offers everything you need all in one place. Maybe this article should be titled 11 Things Montreal Students Need To Consider because EVO deserves to be mentioned.
Evo is Montreal's premier student residence that truly understands what the good life means. Unbeatable locations in the heart of downtown, all-inclusive and flexible leases, fully-furnished rooms, countless amenities like 24h gym, fitness/yoga studio, library/business center, indoor heated pool, stylish lounges - Essentially all the things we just told you to look for in your new apartment made easy and affordable.
Evo also knows that a happy student needs more than just a cool place to live which is why Evo goes above and beyond to provide quality events and parties in association with various Montreal student associations, universities and local businesses. Don't forget to enter into Evo's Beat The Heat contest to win free passes to Osheaga and Piknic Electronik this summer - you heard that right.