Author: Judy

How to Begin Your Apartment Search

Apartment hunting can be an enjoyable activity or something you dread, depending on a variety of factors. If you have an abundant budget and plenty of time to make a decision, you might have a lot of fun with the process. If you need to find an apartment within a short amount of time, and you’re working with a limited budget, you’ll need to make smart choices to ensure you don’t miss out on the best opportunities for you. Before you get started, ask yourself these quick questions to make your apartment search easier and more efficient.

1. Do You Know What You’re Looking For?

While you might prefer to casually view apartments in the hope that something stands out, you’ll streamline your search by having a good idea of what you’re looking for. Keeping an open mind is ideal, but you should still have a vision for your dream home, and when deciding upon your perfect vision, it’s important to be realistic.

For example, maybe you’ve always dreamed of having an apartment on the upper level of a tall building. You love a nice view, and being high above the street below makes you feel safe. However, have you considered the hassles that can come with living on an upper floor, such as having to take the stairs during power outages? If you choose an upstairs apartment, will you be able to ensure safety in the event of a fire? Living upstairs or downstairs is a matter of preference, but considering all the possibilities in advance will help you both narrow down the number of apartments you need to see in person and help make sure you end up happy when you choose one.

2. Will You Be Safe?

Safety is probably the biggest concern when it comes to renting a place, so you’ll want to devote extra time to check on any issues that could be a problem, such as the security in the building, the locks on the door and the general vibe of the neighborhood. Generally speaking, the more affordable an apartment is, the less desirable the neighborhood. Finding happiness in an imperfect neighborhood is possible, but you’ll want to make sure your apartment and its general surroundings, such as the parking lot, halls and lobby, are adequately secured. When viewing the building, ask about the presence of a security team and cameras. Check for proper locks on your doors, including the back door that leads to the yard or balcony. Criminals have been known to climb onto balconies to break in through the sliding glass door, to ensure that there’s a good security measure there. Choosing a place with a balcony that isn’t easily accessible from a nearby staircase or wall is ideal.

3. Will Parking Be a Concern?

Imagine the following scenario. You’re viewing a city apartment that has everything you’re looking for, but when you ask about parking, the landlord explains that you’ll have to park on the street. Is signing a lease a good idea? It all comes down to your personal needs. If you own a vehicle, you’ll obviously need to park it somewhere, and while the street might be available at times, there might be other times when it’s quite busy. For example, maybe you live in a relatively quiet neighborhood, but once a month or so, there’s a large concert at the venue down the road, and the entire neighborhood ends up filled with parked cars. In such a scenario, are you prepared to park a half mile away and walk to your apartment? Are you prepared to handle the possible security risks that can come with leaving your car on the street each night?

A little neighborhood research can go a long way. Remember that most apartment viewings take place during the day when many people are away at work, so even if the street appears empty, it might be full in the evenings. It’s similar to crime. A neighborhood might look fine during the day, but at night, your car could be in danger of being broken into or stolen. Take all these potential issues into consideration when deciding whether to rent a place with street parking. Finding an apartment isn’t always easy, especially in a time crunch. However, when you go into it knowing what you want and being prepared to keep security in mind, you’ll be more likely to make a good choice.