As someone who moves quite a bit, I have seen it all. A lot of it, I would have liked to know before hand. Unfortunately, experience is often the best teacher. However, to help relieve some stress, I’m gonna give you a list of the top 5 things that one should consider before deciding on your next apartment.
1) Location, location, location
Location is a super important factor. Not just the city you are looking to reside in, but access to all of your favorite things. This includes grocery stores, the gym, library, and distance from public transportation. If you are someone that drives, consider the distance from the nearest major roads, or highways. That may help shorten, or in my previous situation, add extra time to your commute.
2) Pest control
When moving in, talk to your landlord, or leasing office about past pest issues, and any anticipated ones. It’s one of those things, that if you don’t ask, they probably won’t mention, so definitely take charge of that conversation. For example, spring time you may see ants, or something. Knowing that information you’ll be a little more cautious about leaving windows/doors open, or anything sweet lying around. You also want to ask about who’s responsible for any costs associated with it. Some private landlords say it’s your job to take care of it, others will work with you. Review your lease carefully, and think about it when making your decision.
Depending on the city, and location, space may not be of abundance in your new apartment. Consider things likes square footage, and closet space. Maybe you have a big couch that you don’t necessarily want to get rid of. Or maybe you want to be in the center of the city, and are willing to sacrifice a bit of space. A smaller apartment is more likely to have clutter, unless you’re really good at keeping things stored away. Minimizing isn’t a bad idea at all, but if you’re a hoarder, you may not be ready to part with certain items yet. Space is also factored into rent prices. Weigh the pros and cons, and determine what you would be willing to give up.
One thing I learned quickly by moving back up north is that damn near everywhere charges for parking. When looking at rent prices online, or in person, ask about the parking situation. Some offer garage parking for a fee, others include it in your rent. You may opt for street parking. I personally don’t like street parking. You aren’t guaranteed a spot, and your car is more likely to get broken into. Now should you have to pay $200 a month in parking to lower those chances…ehh I don’t agree, but that’s up to you if you do. Everyone’s budget is different.
What’s the area like during the day? What’s it like at night? When considering a new apartment, you should definitely drive by random hours. Just to get more of a feel of what it’s really like. Most apartment tours are given during business hours when people are at work, and kids at school. It may be louder in the evenings than you thought. Is the property well lit? Do they have cameras? Night security? All of these things may affect your decision.