Ah..the dreaded apartment search. Many of us dread it (I will in fact be jumping into the shark tank again soon). Most of us loathe it. In places that are spread out, it is not as challenging. However, when you are in a densely-populated area, it could be a huge headache. Often times despite wanting to weight your options and consider the pros and cons, you sometimes have to just jump on what is available.
The trick is to try to start looking as soon as you know that you do not want to renew your lease. This helps you to not make hasty decisions. I have been in situations where I have had no choice and ended up paying dearly for it. I have come to the conclusion that is better to temporarily move in with a family member if you need to than to jump into a situation out of desperation.