What should you check when shopping for an apartment?


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When you’re looking for a new place to live, there are many factors people consider. Price is one. Commuting distance to work or school is another. However, these things are true for nearly every apartment building in a given area. What should you on your checklist as you inspect individual apartments? 

Security 

When you’re touring apartments, check various security features. A keypad at the gate is nice, but that may not be enough. After all, other residents may give those codes out to their friends and the pizza delivery person. And not all buildings have private security guards. A few property managers go through “security theater,” having a patrol car drive through the lot once a day to make it seem safe. This is why you have to take responsibility for your security. Do the doors and windows lock? Do they have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers? Do your research. How often are the cops called to that apartment building? And what is the crime rate in the neighborhood? 

Amenities 

They may have internet, but it may not be the 5G service you want. How good is the existing internet connection? And how good is the cell phone service? Then there are other amenities you’ll want to check. Before you fall in love with the gazebo in the garden or the workout room, verify that the plumbing works properly, and you can turn on the air conditioner any time you like. Check to see if lights are functional and if you can access circuit breakers if something trips. Are there enough electrical outlets for your needs? 

Once you’ve verified that the basics are in order, then you can pay attention to value-added amenities. 

Quality 

How quickly does someone come out to repair a dead air conditioner or stove that won’t work? Is there a bug problem? Find out how well maintained the property is before you buy and how fast your service calls are resolved. Red flags during your tour include broken windows, electrical problems, and water damage because good landlords avoid letting such things go unaddressed. If you can’t get a quick response from the leasing office when arranging tours or asking questions, that’s a warning sign that they may not take good care of you once you sign the lease. 

The Overall Price 

Don’t make a snap decision based on the initial price. Consider the entire value proposition. For example, people are often willing to pay more to live in a safer neighborhood. If you live within walking distance of grocery stores, school, and public transportation stops, you might be able to reduce how often you use your car. That saves you money on gas, maintenance, and even your insurance. Remember to factor in costs that might be included in one lease but not another. For example, a slightly higher rent for an apartment that has all-bills included may be worth it. If you don’t have to pay a dog walker due to the on-site dog park or can drop the gym membership because of their workout room, the higher price tag may be worth it. 


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