How to pick an apartment (with the help of a damn cool Google Spreadsheet "wiki")

I’m in apartment-hunting mode, and have amassed a set of criteria for my search that I thought you might benefit from… and be able to easily add to!

With the new release of Google Docs and Spreadsheets (horrid name, super product), I can now do all sorts of cool stuff!  For instance, I’ve embedded the spreadsheet below for you to read… but I’ve also included links at the bottom for you to:

  • EDIT ONLINE:  Load up the spreadsheet online in edit mode!  Your changes will be reflected within five minutes on the document AND this page, so please be both thoughtful and nice (I can revert as necessary, of course).
  • EDIT OFFLINE:  Download the CSV and load it up in Excel or Excel imitator :-P.
  • VIEW: …as PDF, HTML, TXT, and in other formats as well.
  • SUBSCRIBE:… view Atom or RSS

Pretty neat, eh?  And now, on with the show!

  • EDIT:  View and edit online (general Google Account required; add lines as needed by right-clicking cells and selecting INSERT… or you can highlight several rows and select INSERT [n] ROWS ABOVE/BELOW)
    Aw, bummer!  As described in the comments below, I hadn’t realized that the usernames (and, thus, gmail e-mail addresses) of collaborators would be listed in this doc, so I’m un-sharing the doc until and unless this no longer happens.  Thanks, Rockya, for the discovery.
  • DOWNLOAD / VIEW:  CSV, XLS (Excel format—new link for this entry), PDF, TXT, HTML, ODS
  • SUBSCRIBE (1st page): Atom, RSS

I welcome your comments below…
– On the actual criteria I’ve listed (or has been added)
– On this use of Google Docs and Spreadsheets
– On anything else related to this entry 😀



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13 responses to “How to pick an apartment (with the help of a damn cool Google Spreadsheet "wiki")”

  1. Adam Avatar

    Hey JohnMu,

    It’s a 200 editor limit on Docs, but Spreadsheets can have an unlimited number of editors.

    Rockya… if you’ve seen some of my previous BLADAM lists, you’ll know this is just par for the course for me :-P.  By the way, I even made a Google MyMap to show my desired living area + notes 😀

    And yep, apartmentratings is the one I was thinking of.  As is human nature, most of the posts there are complaints, but… wow, when you see some complexes (including one I was looking at) have >90% nasty comments, that’s surely a notable warning sign!

  2. Adam Avatar

    P.S. – Rockya…

    1) Every time I see your username, I think of “rock ya!” instead of “Rocky A” :-P.

    2) Thank you for the edits! (there is a “Revisions” tab, but you’re right, a diff like there is in Writely would be helpful)

  3. greggles Avatar

    I use spreadsheets and sharing pretty regularly and like them.  The thing I don’t like is the integration with offline editing tools.  When the Sun/Google collaboration on was announced I assumed that it meant that Google Docs/Spreadsheets would get closely integrated with OO.o.  I’d really like to see the facility to link my OO.o file open/save dialog to my google docs/spreadsheets.  It just makes sense and would take these from “also ran” status to “this will get me laid” status.

  4. Smark Avatar

    I agree on the bad name, I use Trix to call the spreadsheet, it’s the code name under which it was developed and it’s certainly better.

  5. Adam Avatar


    Your point (which I hadn’t thought of before!) highlights that I’m probably stretching the intended use of this thing.  In the Google documentation, the (relatively) mass editing option is described in the context of a mailing list… where pretty much would have everyone’s e-mail address anyway.  And indeed, I haven’t seen anyone else invite basically the public to edit a sheet.  Perhaps I hit upon a rather unintended or even unexpected use case :o.  I’ve already invited my Google colleagues who work on Spreadsheets to take a look at this thread so that they can see this stuff for themselves :-D.

    JohnMu, you have hit upon some very great points.  I actually intentionally made this sheet rather un-comphrensive, because I was eager to see others adding to it (I figured it I made it the size of a novel off the bat, people’d be intimidated).  I had actually thought about gleaning already-existing lists from around the web, but indeed decided against it.

    With that said, to hit upon your specific questions…

    – I mentioned a shower because water pressure can be an issue in large apartment complexes or very old apartments.  I happen to really really love strong showers, so this is important to me.  I do think, though, that all apartments in the Bay Area probably do at least *have* a shower :-D.

    – Regarding credit card payments… well, many of us (including yours truly) use a “rewards”-type credit card.  For every $60,000 dollars I spend on the card, I get a free round-trip flight anywhere in Europe, with only a 14-day advance restriction and no blackout dates.  With rent easily in itself costing $18,000 or more a year, that’s a hefty chunk towards the rewards… and with a 25-30 day interest-free payment cycle, that’s also more time I can earn interest on my money :-D.

    – Smoking and non-smoking… well, that’s a very good point!  None of my friends smoke (that I know of), and I wasn’t even thinking that there could be apartments that aren’t non-smoking, but you’re right, that’s a critical criteria to keep in mind!

    – Lastly, pets… ah, yes, we can take dogs (though no longer snakes [sigh]) to work, but apartments can be very fussy/restrictive about this, and I don’t really have the time to dedicate to a pet right now :(.  But again, that’s a very important criteria to add; I hope you added it to the sheet :-D.

  6. Adam Avatar

    Rocky, very sorry that I hadn’t realized the privacy implications of this funky use type ahead of time.  If it’s any consolation, it appears that the only e-mail address or username which shows up in View Source is mine (and even that’s a bummer, frankly).

    Drop me a note privately if you’d like me to (just slightly) revert or replace the worksheet to eliminate your name (and then add a small warning note so that future editors will understand the situation).

  7. Adam Avatar

    Yep, unshared.  Again, sorry ‘bout that, and thanks, Rockya and Softplus for highlighting what was going on.

    Just to reiterate, though—while I have recommended to my colleagues that they offer an option for the administrator to obfuscate or unlist names in this context—in a workgroup / close-knit/trusted mailing list or hobbyist group or church group or whatever, it’s pretty clear to me how such listings would be desired, not problematic.

    I’ve used these sheets a *TON* at work, and the (attributed) collaboration has been invaluable.

  8. Adam Avatar

    JohnMu and Rockya, yep, good points.

    Rockya, yes, I’m using the Citibank PremierPass Elite card and—while I haven’t actually redeemed any rewards yet—I have accumulated nearly 60,000 points in less than six months (enough for a roundtrip flight to Europe with no blackout dates), so I’m pretty pleased so far 😀

  9. nomi Avatar

    i did not know about this

  10. James Avatar

    I am not aware of this funda.

  11. Chaitanya Avatar

    Hey Adam,
    Me too, i do use standard chartered card,
    i had been rewarded more than 40,000 points in 6 months.
    Well i’d enjoyed a lot.

  12. Jeff Avatar

    Thanks for providing this!

  13. SEO Florida Avatar

    It’s really a good product by Google labs which support most of DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT and many more file formats to share and collaborate online.

What do you think?