Apartment hunting is fun and exciting, but it’s also serious business. Choosing a new home is a very big step! While it’s easy to be led by your heart, it’s also crucial to embark on this endeavor as prepared as possible to eliminate any unwanted surprises.
Here are some things to look for and inquire about before signing on the dotted line:
What’s Included In My Rent?
It’s important to find out what your lease covers and what it doesn’t. Here are some items to mention while on the tour:
✔ Does the apartment complex provide any utilities (water, electric, gas)? What about cable and Internet?
✔ Is trash pick-up and recycling an inclusive service or is there an additional fee?
✔ Is there a fee for parking? What is the number of spaces allotted to each tenant? If inclement weather is a factor in your region, you might want to ask if there are any covered parking spaces available.
✔ Are there laundry hook-ups in the units? Do any units come with a washer/dryer? If not, is there a laundry facility on the premises?
✔ Does the lease address a pet policy? What is the fee? What types of pets are allowed? Is there a designated green space for pets?
✔ What type of amenities does the complex offer? Is there a gym, pool, community area, etc.?
✔ Don’t limit your focus to the apartment complex itself. Inquire about the neighborhood it’s located in. Where’s the nearest grocery store or pharmacy? What restaurants are nearby? What is the current crime rate?
Also, don’t hesitate to ask if there are any specials or discounts being offered. It is not uncommon for apartment complexes to throw in one rent-free month with each twelve-month lease. It also doesn’t hurt to see if any fees can be waived or reduced.
What is the Maintenance Policy?
It’s best to know how to handle maintenance issues before they happen. A dripping ceiling can cause panic, especially if it happens at 2 a.m. and you don’t know who to call. Avoid this situation by asking the following questions:
✔ Is there an on-site maintenance crew?
✔ What is the protocol for repairs? Should non-emergency requests be verbally communicated or written?
✔ How long does it normally take for non-emergency requests to be fulfilled?
✔ Is there a 24-hour emergency contact number available?
✔ Verify whether or not they require renters insurance to cover possible property damage, in case of an incident like a flood or fire.
✔ It’s also a good idea to inquire about winter-weather maintenance. Can you expect the parking lot and walkways to be routinely salted and plowed?
How Much Space Do I Have?
It’s easy to be dazzled by a cool apartment, but be realistic about the amount of living space you require. Keep these things in mind as you tour each place:
✔ Will your furniture fit here?
✔ Are the closets big enough to accommodate your storage needs? Or, is there at least enough space to add a dresser or wardrobe?
✔ Does the kitchen have ample counter space? Will the cabinets and drawers be able to store all of your dishes, cooking and baking equipment, drinking glasses, etc.?
✔ Is there any outdoor space available, such as a balcony or patio?
✔ Are you allowed to hang up shelves for more storage? (And while you’re asking about shelves, go ahead and ask if you can hang pictures, paint and make other decorating choices)
Be sure to bring along a tape measure, so you can determine whether your bed, couch and other pieces of furniture will fit nicely in the apartment. It’s also a good idea to take pictures and notes while you’re there so that you can refer back to them as you make your decision.
What do I Find on Close Inspection?
How an apartment looks can give insight about what it will be like to live there. Play detective and take notice of the following:
✔ Do the appliances look fairly new? Are they clean and in good working order?
✔ Do the sinks, toilet(s), and shower look reasonably updated and clean? Are they functioning properly? Test them.
✔ Have locks been installed on all doors and windows? Are they sufficiently effective?
✔ Does the carpet in the apartment and outside hallways look to be new or recently cleaned? Or does it look dingy and stained? Ask if carpet cleaning is provided, prior to move-in.
✔ If there is a balcony attached to the unit, is it secure?
✔ How does the building itself appear? Is there crumbling plaster and peeling paint or does it seem to be well-cared for?
✔ Does the landscape appear to be well-maintained? Are there flowers and neatly-trimmed shrubs? Has the grass been recently mowed?
✔ Is the parking lot in need of repair? Are there a lot of potholes or is the pavement even and smooth?
✔ How often is maintenance and groundskeeping done?
With these questions, you’re all set to go out and find a new home!
That new home might be at Stoneledge Terrace Apartments. Would you like to set up an appointment to view one of our spectacular units?Tweet