This is not a tough place to move into. The locals are friendly and as long as you can hand over the proper security deposit and have at least a semi-decent credit report, no problem. If your credit has issues, don't feel bad. This is Southern Illinois and much of the area has been struggling. Add in a few glowing references including one from your previous landlord and proof of current income and the problem is solved. A pet reference is helpful if the dog weighs more than 25 pounds; many places have weight limits on pets so consider putting Fluffy on a diet if necessary.
What it Will Cost You
One of the best parts about living in Granite City is that your are within spitting distance of St. Louis and all the fun of an urban center but you are still in a quiet, small city. The other great thing is that rental prices here are much lower. You can expect to pay around $500 a month for a nice place in most locations and that is for 2-3 bedrooms. You can find some all bills paid places for around $800 a month. The paid bills usually include electricity, water and Internet/cable.
Living in this small city is fun and exciting. There are plenty of people around so making friends isn't an issue for most people. The most popular ways to meet people in this city are, wait for it, bars and churches! Obviously, if you want to meet people in church then visit the denomination of your choice and go for it. The bar scene is likewise fairly simple but you need to go to the right bar to meet the right people.
Bars in Granite City are a big draw because there are big screen televisions for sports, good food and it's a laid back atmosphere. The right people, of course, are the people that share your interests. This make take a little bit of bar hopping to find but it's a fun game. Start with Bindy's or Ken's Lounge.
Or you can try the Garden Gate Tearoom. Seriously, this little cafe like place is absolutely adorable. Actually, the best word to describe it would be 'lovely.' All kidding aside, no matter who you are you are going to want to stop in for their signature Monte Cristo sandwich with raspberry dipping sauce. At less than $9 it's a steal!