Depending on where you want to live, you may find your apartment search as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, or as hard as finding a needle in a haystack (hey, this is the South, we get to use these sayings). Overall, getting an apartment, especially a medium-sized 2 bedroom apartment in Germantown, won't be too difficult, but you will need to put some thought into your strategy.
Germantown is a pretty nice place with people moving in frequently, so getting an all-bills-paid 3 bedroom house won't exactly be easy. Neither will getting into the best high-rise apartment complex in town. What you can find is a nice 3 bedroom apartment with all utilities paid, or a great 1 bedroom apartment in a small apartment building.
Take your time
Yes, there are parts of the city where you have to jump at the first nice place you can find, but most of the city isn't like this. You don't want to devote a full week or two to investigating one apartment, but you can look around and do some comparison shopping. Snap up a place quickly and thoughtlessly, and you could end up with neighbors who think 3 a.m. is a great time to start a square dancing competition.
Prove Your Worth
You want the best deal possible, so look and act your best. Dress nicely: this is a nice town, and wearing old, dirty clothes will make most landlords give you directions to the local trailer park.
Be friendly and be ready to share some information. If you smile, and show the landlord a list of references, your credit report, pay stubs, and a letter from your last landlord, you'll look like a safe bet. The less the landlord thinks he has to worry, the better. Once you've successfully given a good impression, you can start working the price down.
The average monthly rent around here is roughly the national average, depending on the neighborhood. Be very careful about where you look if you're a broke former student who has just started working--certain neighborhoods can get pricey fast. Here's a cheat sheet, with relative average rent prices, to the different 'hoods:
Houston Levee Rd: While not the most expensive place in town, it's definitely near the top. Throw in a low vacancy rate, and you had better know the right people if you want to get a good price here.
Dogwood Rd: No apartments here, but there are some homes and townhouses for rent, and it's pretty affordable as well. Dogwood Road is a good place if you have a limited budget.$$
Poplar Ave: One of the easiest places to find a house or apartment to rent. With prices a bit above the national average, it's expensive for Tennessee but right in the middle of the community.
One of the least expensive places to live, getting in here is difficult, as the houses are snapped up almost as soon as they hit the market. Better get your game on if you want to live here.
Poplar Estates: But if you like quiet, or you're young and anti-social (Hey, Netflix streaming is a godsend. We're not judging.), it could be for you.
Mcvay Rd.: For the younger crowd, Mcvay Road is really popular with college students who commute into Memphis. If you want to avoid students as neighbors, steer clear.
City Center: Do you have money to burn? If you answered yes, you can live here. If you said no, go elsewhere: this is for the 1%.
Hacks Cross Rd: Another good place to look for an apartment because of its high vacancy rate and the eye-catchingly low rental prices.
If you like the outdoors, farms, and more family-friendly activities, you will like Germantown. There are quite a few groups and organizations that teach dancing, evening classes, art, sports, and more. There are also horse shows for animal lovers where you can ride, feed, pet, and watch horses, and community art is very important and encouraged by the town. For your retail fix, there are quite a few shops and stores -- no super trendy stores, but you can get all the essentials easily enough.
What is missing is the nightclubs, fancy restaurants, and other things that are considered essential for a good social life in a city. But Memphis is just 20 or so miles down the road, so if you need to visit a city to feel alive, that's an easy option.
If you want a nice place to live in Tennessee, you can't go wrong with Germantown. It's lacking in nightlife and city slickness, but not much else.