Wondering what to look for when renting an apartment? Consider this your apartment hunting guide! Here are the top 7 things to look for in a new place.
So you’re on a hunt for a new apartment. While you’re jumping for joy, it’s going to take some time to get everything sorted out. A lot of research and visiting apartments is in order. And you have to see what will work with your budget!
When you’re caught up searching for the perfect apartment, it’s hard to know what to keep in mind. That’s why we created a list of seven things to look for and keep in mind.
Don’t worry if it takes several apartment visits to get the hang of things. You’ll get a better idea of what you want after checking out places and keeping these tips in mind!
1. Location, Location, Location
Before creating a list of apartments to get more details on, figure out your ideal location. It may not be realistic to get an apartment in the same city where you work, but you should try.
So make a list of apartments that are near your work. You may not worry about commuting, but after a while, it can get tiresome. In reality, you could be using the money you’re spending on gas to pay for an apartment that’s closer to work!
Finding an apartment near your place of employment is critical. But it would help if you also thought about other factors in regards to the location.
Here are a few things to consider:
- If you have children, decide how far you’d be willing to drive to drop them off at school.
- Find out how close an apartment complex is to grocery stores and restaurants.
- If exercise is important to you, figure out if there’s a nearby park or streets where you can run.
- Being near your friends may be top on your list, so figure out the distance between the apartment and them.
Think through some of these factors. It’ll make it easier for you to put an apartment complex in a yes, no, or maybe pile.
Do you have a specific monthly rent budget in mind? If so, look for complexes that fit within your price range.
It may be that apartments are more expensive where you work. If you fall in love with one that’s over your budget, see if a manager can score you a discount. Many times they’re willing to work with you if they have a lot of vacancies. Or, there may be a less expensive unit that doesn’t have upgrades you can afford.
But having an upgraded unit with stainless steel appliances may be vital to you. Ask yourself if you’d be willing to pay more for rent if there are extra features you’re after. These are some tough decisions you’ll have to make before signing on the dotted line.
Do your homework, and don’t settle for the first apartment you find. If your move-in date is flexible, that’s even better. You can “walk away” for now while considering all your options. If you’re sold on an apartment, it may cost less by the time you’re ready to reserve the unit and secure a move-in date.
3. Secure and Protected
If feeling safe and secure in your apartment means a lot to you, find out what type of security features they have.
Some apartments are gated, and residents use a security code to get inside. If you’d prefer this safety feature, look for gated communities in the cities you’re considering moving to.
Besides gated communities, there are other forms of security. For example, some apartment complexes have employed security. They may make their rounds each night which puts residents’ minds at ease.
You can also install a security camera after you move in. As long as it doesn’t damage any apartment property, your landlord should allow you to have one. If you’re uncertain, ask the complex ahead of time.
4. Pet Approved
Fido needs a place to live too! If you’re a proud dog or cat owner, do some research on which apartments are pet-friendly. An apartment that accepts cats doesn’t mean they accept dogs as well. Call to get the scoop before lining up an appointment to tour the facility.
Size or Breed Restrictions
If the complex allows dogs, find out if there is a breed or size restriction. For example, some complexes do not allow German Shepherds or Great Danes. If you own a larger breed or have any questions, it’s best to ask before signing anything.
Even though an apartment allows pets doesn’t mean they have reasonable pet accommodations. Check if there are areas where you can take them out to do their business and walk.
The apartment complex may be large enough for you to go on a walk. But if it isn’t, observe whether you’d be able to take your dog for a walk nearby.
As for other perks, some complexes are really going all out with pet amenities. It turns out there are indoor pet parks, spas, and more!
5. Stylish Living
Do you have specific amenities or upgrades you’re looking for? If specific upgrades are essential to you, do some research online. Many times an apartment will share recent changes and amenities they offer on their website.
Here are a few upgrades that may interest you:
- New shutters and curtains
- Newly restored flooring
- Upgrades such as granite countertops and a stainless steel refrigerator and stovetop
- Brand new shower and tub in the bathroom
- New alarm service and safety locks
If the apartment doesn’t have any upgrades listed, give them a call. That way, you’ll find out the specifics or whether there will be certain upgrades in the future.
6. Community Oriented
Being a member of the community and having places to hang out may be another critical factor. If it is, ask the complex whether they have any areas where you can socialize.
An example of a few places to socialize is in a community center, cafe, or park. Not every apartment complex has outdoor spaces like these, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Another area to get together with friends may be at a community barbecue pit. If you like cooking meals for company, find an apartment complex that has one!
There may not be many areas to socialize at the complex. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t social activities for apartment residents! Check to see if there’s a calendar of activities you can do with your neighbors in the area. It’s a smart way to socialize and get to know new people!
7. Lounging Outdoors
Sometimes it feels good to escape, even if you’re still at the complex.
Many people work at home, so it’s a good idea to look for an apartment with areas you can get away and relax. If there’s enough privacy, you may even be able to pull off having a meeting outside!
Some apartment complexes have cabanas and resort-style pools. Imagine being able to read a book by the pool on a warm, sunny day. You’d really be able to sit back and enjoy!
Living a life of luxury at a beautiful apartment certainly sounds appealing!
Finding your ideal apartment may take some work. But when everything starts coming together, you’ll be proud of yourself for making an effort.
No apartment will have everything you’re searching for. But you will find one that comes pretty close.
Keep your eyes on the prize. Only say yes to an apartment where you can envision yourself living your best life!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Azure (CA) and has five years of experience in property management and many years in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community in all that she does and thrives at making Azure the place to call home for current and future residents.