Steve Harper

It’s easy for an apartment search to become overwhelming, even when you follow a careful search plan.


Don’t bog down your brain with zillions of requirements. Focus on a few things you feel are important to your perfect apartment space.

Here are five essentials that might be easy to overlook, but are extremely important to consider when choosing your new apartment home.

Location, location, location
The coolest apartment loses a little of its luster after a 50-minute commute to work or play. When you look at an apartment community, map out how long it will take you to get to work, your gym or your best friend’s house. You should also drive around the neighborhood to see which grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, dry cleaners and restaurants are nearby. Be sure you choose a location you can live with.

Comfort is key
A lot of people get wowed by amenities, attempting to make an awkward space work out because they love the saltwater pool or decked-out clubhouse. Remember that this particular unit is going to be your apartment home, and you need to consider your overall comfort in the space.

Walk around and ask yourself “do I feel truly comfortable here?” Do your favorite pieces of furniture fit the room layout? (Bring a measuring tape to make sure.) Is there enough natural light? Are there places to plug in your electronics, appliances and beloved KitchenAid mixer?

Don’t rush your walk-through. Spend some time and feel out whether the apartment will provide the comfort level you need.

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Can you hear me now?
Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. You love the place, you’re sure your furniture will fit perfectly, and you can walk to your favorite coffee shop. But what if you can’t use your cell phone inside the unit? Arrrrrgggh.

Going outside to find the magic spot for cell service will get old fast, so don’t forget to check your cell reception signal strength inside the apartment before you sign on the dotted line. Try calling a friend from inside the apartment, just to make sure you have a strong signal that won’t leave you hanging.

Will laundry trip you up?
Another key factor in choosing an apartment is easy laundry access. Renters may get excited by the interior of an apartment unit, forgetting to think about small, yet important, details like where the washer and dryer are located. If appliances are provided or if there are hook-ups to install your own in the unit, great! If that luxury is not the case, you’ll want to know whether you have convenient options.

If there is no laundry room in your apartment, ask the apartment manager about an on-site community laundry room. Take a quick visit, noting how far a walk or drive the service is away from the apartment.

Trust your instincts
We don't call the places we live "home" without reason. The right apartment should feel like home base, both the launchpad for going out into the world and the place where we return to recharge.

As you evaluate various apartment living possibilities, pay attention to your instincts. Let your sixth sense about a place guide you in making a final renting decision.

Not sure you trust your instincts? Remember that you can always compare specific aspects of home living you have appreciated in the past with those you observe in a new place.

Need more tips on making that final decision?

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Pablo Calvog




About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.