Apartment Hunting? The Five Most Important Things To Look For
Whether this is the first time or the tenth time you have gone on the hunt for a new apartment, everyone can use a reminder of some important things to look for before signing on the dotted line. Obviously when you hit the road to try and find a new space, you’ll want to consider the location, neighborhood, nearby attractions, and even the amenities, but it’s also important to consider some of the “not so obvious” features as well. Whether you have already begun your search or not, don’t take another step until you know what you need to look for when you are out apartment hunting:
The Fine Print
This consideration may be jumping the gun a bit, but you want to be sure to mind your p’s and q’s when it comes to signing an agreement. Even when you are just “shopping”, ask questions and find out what the length of the lease is, the penalty for breaking the lease, and what utilities are/are not included in the monthly rent.
Certification with a QA Program
Even when you are renting, you have a right to expect a certain standard of quality for where you are spending your money (and staying the night). Make sure any apartment you consider renting is approved by a certified rental building program. This type of program ensures you are selecting a well-run and well-managed building. It also regulates the building codes and performance standards of the building itself.
The last thing you want to do is sign a lease only to find out you aren’t the only one inhabiting your new apartment. Make sure you look for signs of infestation in the cabinets, closets, and any lower level rooms if there are any.
If you decide to take the plunge and commit to a building, be sure to look for and document (take pictures) of any damage that was caused before you moved in. Doing so can save you a lot of hassle (and your deposit) when you go to move out.
Necessary Space and Features
You have probably already taken the time to consider how many bedrooms, what square footage, and what amenities you need and would like. However, you may not have considered some of the other key features that will quickly become important when you have moved in. You don’t necessarily need to ask these questions before you tour a place, but you certainly need to find the answers before you commit to a legal agreement. Look for a functioning air conditioner and heating unit, effectively functioning sink and shower in the bathroom (no one wants to jump into a trickle every morning), and even a working stove. It is important to even test these features when you visit a place to make sure everything will actually work for you before you move in.