Things to Consider When Choosing an Apartment
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Published by TOP4 Team
When you only have a few days to search for an apartment and you’re battling thousands of others who are looking for similar spots, it can be tempting to settle for the first community you see. This is a very bad idea.
Here’s the deal: your apartment will be your home for the next year or more and you’ll want to make sure it meets most, if not all, of your needs. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting your decision. Before you sign a lease, take the time to consider these issues:
What’s the total cost of the apartment when you add up rent, utilities and any other regular costs? (Note: Most experts recommend you spend no more than 25-30% of your income on housing.)
Does the apartment have high-speed Internet, which would make it easier to conduct research for your school assignment? Does it have tranquil common areas for study so you can get away if your roommates are entertaining? Does it have a rec room where you can let off steam, a pool or outdoor sports facilities?
Is there an adequate parking close to your unit, or will you have to walk half a mile loaded down with books or groceries? If you’re trying to get by without a car, is the apartment close to public transportation? Don’t just think about the proximity to buses headed to and from school. You’ll also need to consider whether you can easily get to the grocery store, entertainment and a possible part-time job.
Is the apartment’s environment known for 24-7 parties? Is it so quiet that it will drive you crazy? Are the residents mainly young students? Professionals? A mix of them? There’s no single right choice here; just make sure the atmosphere is a good fit for your personality and your work or study habits
5. Building Basics
Are the walls, ceilings and floors well insulated to keep out noise from the people in the apartment next door or above or below you? Do the windows and doors seal tightly to keep out the wind and weather? Are the rugs and flooring in good shape? Is the water pressure strong enough for a good shower?
Do all the doors and windows lock? Does each room have at least one operable window that you can use as an escape in case of fire? Are there smoke detectors and do they work? Is the lighting outside adequate? If you’re concerned about possible crime problems around an apartment community, contact the Police Department as soon as possible and ask whether they have records of criminal complaints and if so, how many reports have been filed against the apartment you are considering.
Do the freezer and refrigerator get cold enough to safeguard your food? Do the stove and oven work? If there’s a dishwasher, does it work? Is the water heater large enough to provide hot water for several showers each morning? Is the air-conditioning unit large enough to adequately cook your rooms?
Are there enough phone lines to handle both phone and Internet service for you and your roommates, or will you have to share lines? Are there enough outlets for all of your computer, stereo and other needs? Enough cable connections for TVs and/or cable modems?
Do the staffs seem friendly and helpful? Are there enough people to handle maintenance and repair? What do the existing tenants think of the quality and speed of service provided by this apartment?
10. Pet Policies
Does the community accept pets? Does it prohibit animals over a certain weight or breeds of dogs that historically have proven vicious?