Choosing a new apartment can be an exhausting process with many variables to consider. It's hard to tell if you'd be truly happy living in a particular location without actually living there. Besides, if you’ve been apartment hunting for more than a day or two, every place may start to look alike to you.
When you’re committing to living somewhere for a year or more, a little information goes a long way. Take a few minutes to make a list of the things that really matter to you. What makes you really feel at home in a living space? Here are some questions to ask before you sign a lease.
Rental cost, convenience to work, school and local attractions and important lease terms will be spelled out everywhere you go. The more personal questions you will want to ask can be found by examining where you already live or recalling places where you have been happiest in the past. Daily habits of exercising, cooking, shopping, and driving, preferences in home decor, details about the apartments’ interiors, and information about surrounding neighborhoods may all come into play when making an informed decision.
To help keep track of the different places you visit, keep a notebook with entries for each one. Comparing the answers to the questions on your list for each potential apartment will help you decide which place will make the best home – whether it was the very first place you saw last week or the one you just left moments ago.
If home decorating is a big part of your lifestyle, there are some rules you might want to ask about. What kind of painting, if any, is allowed? Are there restrictions on wall-hangings? What changes must be made if you move out?
If you’re considering changing jobs, going back to school or moving in with a significant other in the near future, you might want to think ahead. Find out what your leasing options are (full-year leases, month-to-month leases) and how much notice is required to leave the apartment. This information might factor into your decision.
Standard amenities are great — the more of them you can have, the better — but making a list of your own priorities and asking questions up front is the best way to find a good fit in your new home.
Here are important questions you may want to ask before renting a new apartment.
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While you’ll want the community management or landlord to answer most of these questions, you may get additional perspective from your future neighbors or other people who have lived in the apartment community, as well.
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