You ever felt you need to make a decision but it seems to be impossible? Or just too much work? Whether it’s picking food from the store, where to go in the evening or something more important. So, how to do that the fastest, so that you would actually have time to do or use these things? Well, here’s how I picked my perfect apartment.
As I was quite busy at that time, I knew I had to find a system how to limit the time I spend on this search and find the best solution. Plus, moving and finding a new home is always such an emotional process that you simply have to limit it.
They say that 15 minutes of planning saves you about 2 hours. This meant, I split the process into these parts:
- finding out the full choice of apartments that could work for me;
- making a choice among those, picking the top 10;
- getting to top 5;
- making my final choice;
Reasonable enough, huh? Seems so to me.
1. Let’s get started
I spent an hour or so on scanning through the whole selections according to my conditions. I picked all apartments with at least 2 rooms, in the centre of Tallinn.
I also put a minimum price as it gave a good estimation on the condition of the apartment. And due to my limits in my my well.. financial aspects, I also set a maximum price.
2. Picking the top 10
I got down to about 20 good choices. I decided to e-mail all of them, asking for some more details, such as if there’s parking by the building, do they pay income tax from the rent (which they should do and I wanted them to) and if they had the appliances I needed.
I got back from about fifteen, which was more than enough. This meant I had to make second round of choices to have around 5 best ones I could and physically see.
3. Getting to top 5
I added some extra attributes – whether it has a sauna, jacuzzi, how far was it from the places I needed to go the most and most of all, how much did I have to pay for utilities in that apartment throughout the year.
In the end I had exactly 5 which I decided to have a look at. After doing so, I was really confused because from one angle, the ones I really loved, seemed to want too much rent and the cheaper ones had either less of the things I liked or were too far from the places I needed to go the most.
4. How to pick ‘the one’?
Now the question came – how was I going to pick the best apartment from 5 suitable ones?
As an economist (and a thinker on efficiency!) , I decided to come up with a formula on Excel which would give ratings to all of them. Sounds almost crazy, doesn’t it? But hey – it gave me the possibility to rank the apartments and make the best decision with the least time!
I used three main factors – price, distance from my most visited place and extra things included in the apartment (balcony, sauna, jacuzzi etc) on all the apartments and gave them all grades.
- The price grade I got by comparing all the offers to the highest total price (rent + average utilities) – I divided every price by the price of the most expensive apartment.
- I gave a 1 (is present) and 0 (is not) scores to the most important extra factors and points from 1 to 5 by the size (1- the smallest one, 5 – the largest) of the apartment to all of them.
- I checked on Google Maps, how far are the apartments from the main place I went to the most – my university! And then did the same I did with the price – I divided every distance by the one most far away.
- I put weights on all their scores – 75% of the final grade would be up to the price, 20% for extras and 5% for distance.
That gave me a precise score for all the five apartments, so I could actually see on a 5-point scale how big the differences were. It revealed I had basically two apartments at the same level and the other ones were lagging behind…
Meaning… I could pick the winner! And that I did by my inner feeling.. Knowing at the same time that it was the best decision. And didn’t take me much time. Efficiency, I’d say!Jarmo Siim