(1) Does it become very difficult to find housing towards the end of the summer, so much so that it would be wise for me to find housing earlier than later? (I am much more on the broke end of finances, so I will need something cheaper.) Right now I'm enjoying staying with a friend rent-free, so obviously, it would be fantastic to continue that as long as I can. However, I don't want to end up in the situation that I have a really hard time finding housing.
(2) I don't own a car, nor a bicycle--I don't particularly like bicycles, since an accident I had a few years ago--but I really do enjoying walking all over the place, so I would prefer to live close enough to walk, instead of having to take a bus. If I'd like to stay within a radius of less than an hour walk, what sorts of neighborhoods and streets and such should I be shooting for when looking for housing? (I am planning on getting some maps of UW and the surrounding area, but it's always difficult to gauge how long it takes to walk just by looking at a map.)
(3) Are there any neighborhoods and streets that I should avoid, either because of bad housing or safety reasons, or any other reasons? (Safety is a concern, I'm just a petite female, I'm sure I'd hardly be able to defend myself well if the situation arose. Again, I know nothing about Seattle, so I don't even know if I should worry about this, but I've never lived in a big city before in my life. I'm kind of a small town girl. ;))
(4) I would absolutely prefer to live alone. I know that's a bit strange, but I've had enough experiences with roommates/housemates and being alone to know that I very much prefer to live alone. Not that I've had bad experiences or anything, I've lived with some wonderful people and had a great time. I'm just much more of a solitary person, and am increasingly more comfortable living alone. So that being said, does anyone have any recommendations for some good, cheap 1 person apartments? I really don't mind if it's small, I don't have a lot of stuff at all, I wouldn't even mind if it was a studio. I live a pretty minimalist lifestyle, so I don't have a lot of stuff, and I am perfectly happy in small spaces.
(5) I have no preference for apartment complexes, so I don't mind living in an apartment from an old, big house spliced up into smaller apartments. I don't know if that's an option in Seattle, but where I am now, there are lots of big, old Victorian houses that are spliced up into apartments. Some people hate them, some love them, I don't care either way.
(6) I MUST have a pet friendly place. I have two tiny dogs and wouldn't dream of giving them away.
I know that's a lot of questions, and lots of detail, but I simply cannot afford to come out to Seattle to visit and look for a place. (I don't even know how I'll pull off paying for the move right now! =O) So I am trying to gather as much information as possible.
THANK YOU very much in advance for anyone that can help, I greatly appreciate it. And I'm very excited about the possibility of coming to Seattle, I have heard lots of wonderful things about it. =D (I'm sure it's much better than my current location: the midwest. lol.)