When you’re hunting for an apartment, there’s a lot to consider — location, affordability, lifestyle, value, size (i.e. whether your furniture will fit) amenities, and more. It’s understandable that many renters become focused on the big picture and lose sight of the details. However, as they say, “the devil is in the details.” You don’t want to move into an apartment only to find you’ve made a mistake, and then have to go through the process again. The best way to reduce the stress of the apartment hunt process in general, is preparation.
When you tour apartments, pay attention to the following:
What good is it to have a beautiful apartment if you can’t sleep well or enjoy a good book without being interrupted by your neighbors?
If a building has thin walls or other acoustic challenges, you’ll be able to hear neighbors clomping around upstairs, arguing with each other, watching TV and playing music. So pause for a minute during your tour and listen. Can you hear noises from next door, upstairs or in the hallway? If so, you may not be comfortable living there.
The last thing most of us want is to be doing battle with a brigade of insects. Even though the landlord is likely responsible for treating pests that might show up (there are exceptions to this so check your lease carefully), it doesn’t always work out that way.
Insect infestations, especially when they involve fleas, ants and roaches, are stubborn problems. And once these pesky creatures find homes in your belongings, they may become stowaways when you try to escape to a new home. If it looks like an apartment comes with six-legged roommates, you likely should move on and keep looking.
If you’re paying the energy bills, you want to make sure you’re renting a place that helps keep these costs low.
In this day and age, it may seem crazy to suggest testing your phone, but cell service is not universal yet. So it’s a good idea to make a call and ensure the apartment has a reliable cell signal. After all, how long could you survive without being connected? If you have a cell phone, you’ll likely want to use it.
How do you feel when you walk onto the complex? The first thing you’ll probably get is an immediate vibe on the property – good, bad, or indifferent.
While it varies based on time of day, many renters find it very helpful simply observing and getting a feel for the ambiance.
Check out the access to nearby roads, shops, restaurants and more. It’s one thing to look on a map, but it’s another to actually see the surrounding area. Perhaps that grocery store that looked really close on a map, actually requires crossing an overpass, or perhaps you didn’t realize how close the apartment is to the nearest convenience store. Is it possible for you to walk to work? You can use the tour as an opportunity to check out the access points that matter most to you.
When you come home to your apartment, you want to feel safe and secure. Part of that is, of course, is choosing to live in a generally low crime area.
It takes a little extra time to dig into the details when you’re searching for an apartment, but in the long-run, you’ll be happier. There are of course many other details to dig into, but hopefully this article provides you with a nice start.
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