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When you first start an apartment search, the number of options can seem overwhelming. There are some key elements you can look at to help you narrow the field down to the few best candidates, however.

Here are some factors to consider when narrowing down an apartment search and comparing the candidates at the top of your list.

Price
It may seem like a no-brainer, but remember to compare the total price over the course of the lease, not just the monthly rent. Also factor in whether a particular apartment comes with certain utilities paid, such as gas or water/sewer.

Amenities you’ll use
Any apartment community will offer two types of amenities: those inside the apartment itself (porches, fireplaces, marble countertops) and those for the whole community (pool, business center, social room).

If there’s a particular amenity that interests you, see if you can get more details from the apartment management — how much does the valet dry cleaning cost? When is the pool open? How often can you use the concierge service? What are the limitations on the use of amenities?

Layout
Two apartments may have the same amount of square footage, but be laid out in different ways. Choose an apartment that has a layout that fits the way you live. For example, if you like to cook, you will want to pick a unit with a kitchen that is comfortably large enough to spend time in.

If you have a roommate, you might want to factor your different living styles into the layout. If you’re a light sleeper and your roommate stays up late, for example, you probably want plenty of space between the bedrooms.

Location, location, location
One apartment may be closer to work, ensuring you a shorter commute. Another may be within walking distance of a grocery store. Still another may be close to school, public transportation or a dog run. Try putting the apartment’s address into Google Maps and measuring the time to travel to important destinations.

With these criteria, you should be able to whittle your list down to just a few choices—enough that visiting them all in person will be manageable.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / nenetus

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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.

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