Aloha and welcome to the virtual nerve center for your Bloomington, Indiana apartment-finding scavenger hunt! Situated on the scenic, rolling hills of southern Indiana, B-Town is one of the American Heartland’s most eclectic and energetic communities. Looking to score a primo pad in Bloomington? Then stick with us, ladies and gents, because the perfect apartment for you is just a few clicks away…
Unlike much of the great state of Indiana, which is flat, rural, and just a tad sleepy, Bloomington is defined by rolling hills, an assortment of cultural offerings and a vibrant nightlife scene. There’s a high-energy atmosphere to B-Town, and the streets are dotted with galleries, museums, Broadway-style theaters, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, shops, and live music venues. The city is also home to a lively “folk punk” scene. Numerous pubs and clubs, most of which are elbow-to-elbow every night of the week, are situated near downtown, and many of them feature a wide variety of live music performances.
Bloomington also features Indy’s widest inland lake, numerous beaches, parks, trails, and golf courses, a sprawling National Forest, a pair of wineries, and a bounty of fishing, biking, spelunking, kayaking, and hiking destinations. It’s a cornucopia of fun!
Bloomington can be classified into two general areas: the 2-3 mile radius surrounding the downtown area, and the outlying rural areas. If you travel more than a handful of miles in any direction from the city’s inner core, you’ll find yourself surrounded by dairy farms.
Numerous neighborhoods in Bloomington, including the historic Near Westside area, Prospect Hill, Bryan Park, and Elm Heights are located within easy walking/biking distance of downtown. These areas offer an array of living quarters ranging from basic studios to spacious multi-BR units. If you want to live among the hustle, bustle, and charm of the city’s urban core, check out one of the coveted lofts and apartments downtown.
A few things to keep in mind when scouring the listings for the perfect apartment:
There is a definite “renting season” in Bloomington. Most leases commence in August and last for a full year, and most landlords require tenants to renew their leases for the upcoming year by March. In other words, you should begin your apartment hunt no later than March, because apartments tend to fill up quickly.
If you show up in town during a non-peak time of the renting year, be prepared to either settle for a second-best apartment or spend some time on one of those tedious waiting lists.
Renting requirements aren’t too strict in Bloomington, but you’ll still need proof of income and a positive renting/credit history to score a place of your own. Those with no renting history, no income, and no bank account will obviously need a co-signer to sign the dotted line for them.
Be sure to give your new place a solid inspection before moving in. More than 60 percent of residents are temporary rather than permanent fixtures in B-Town, and apartments turn over constantly. Take the time to make sure the previous tenants didn’t leave any unwanted surprises behind them, like stains or blemishes on the walls, ceilings, or floors, faulty appliances, or a three-piece folk punk band playing Minutemen cover songs in the bedroom.
It’s quite possible to survive in Bloomington without a vehicle of their own, but we don’t recommend it. Most city streets include bike paths and are largely walker-friendly, but keep in mind that winters in the Midwest can be brutal with temperatures from November through March frequently dropping below freezing, and you might not enjoy pedaling through the streets in six inches of snow. The city does offer a serviceable bus system, but routes run only 1-2 times an hour, making the need for your own set of wheels that much greater. Fortunately, traffic is minimal and even the gridlock is child’s play compared to big-city traffic jams.
And now it’s time for the fun part – finding you some dynamite dwellings in Southern Indiana’s most cherished city! So welcome to B-Town and happy hunting!