With the school year coming to a close soon, a lot of students are preparing for new living arrangements. For those of you who are planning on moving into a new apartment, here are some tips to consider when hunting for your new place.
1. Don’t trust the pictures
Landlords will do everything they can to make an apartment look amazing in pictures. You should never make a decision to rent an apartment without first making an appointment to inspect the place.
2. Examine every inch of the apartment
When it comes to examining a place that you plan on living for a year or more of your life, you can never be too thorough. Inspect every inch of the apartment including walls, ceilings, and window sills. Failing to properly inspect an apartment can lead to a major headache later on down the road.
3. Look up reviews online before making your decision
I once rented an apartment from a management company only to later find out that someone had made an entire website about why no one should rent from that company. The site was complete with multiple photos and court documents from previous tenants who had trouble with the apartment complex. I found out the hard way that I should have avoided renting there, but with a simple Google search I could have avoided my problems.
4. Don’t get rushed into making a decision
Sometimes a landlord will tell you that he/she already has a few people who are interested in the apartment you’re looking at, so you should hurry up and sign a lease before it is too late. While this can sometimes be a true statement, it is often just a tactic to get you to rush into signing the lease. If you feel pressured then you should take that as a sign and keep looking.
5. Ask about maintenance
If something goes wrong you will need to know who is responsible for fixing the problem and how long that will take. You should find out if your landlord employs full-time maintenance people and if there is an on-call number you can dial in case of an evening or weekend maintenance emergency.
6. Check out the neighborhood
If you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood that your potential new apartment is located in, it’s a good idea to take a walk around and observe the area. If there seems to be a lot of bars on the windows or vacant buildings, that’s probably a good sign that you should keep looking.
7. Stop by at night to see what the place is like in the evenings
Some neighborhoods tend to change drastically from day time to evening, especially if you live in a college town. Certain apartment complexes are known for their partying while others tend to be more quiet and calm. Depending on what your interests are, you will want to make sure to pick the right atmosphere to suit your personality.
8. Talk to the neighbors to see if they like living there
The best way to judge if a place is nice to live is to ask someone who already lives there. Most people will be happy to answer any questions you may have about what it’s like to live in the apartment building you are thinking of moving into.