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9 Things to Consider When on the Apartment Hunt

When you’re looking for an apartment, you will need to sign a lease before moving in and once you’ve signed your lease, it’s a binding agreement. Therefore, before you sign on the dotted line, you will want to be sure that you are moving into a place you can be content in for up to a year or more – depending on the terms of your lease. hare are 9 things to consider when looking for an apartment

1. Location, location, location 

When purchasing a home, one of the absolutely most important factors is location and the same is true of apartments. When it comes to apartments however, it’s not just the location of the apartment complex that is important but the actual location of the apartment within the complex. You always want to try and get a good look at the apartment you will be moving into before signing a lease. If possible, you also want to find out something about your direct neighbors. Remember, when you sign a lease that means you may be stuck with your neighbors for a year or more and neighbor disputes are rarely a good thing. 

2. Pet policies and facilities

If you have pets yourself, overly restrictive pet policies can make life difficult for you, while overly lax policies can make life difficult in regards to other people’s pets. If you have pets, you will also want to check on things like pet deposits and pet rent. 

3. Demographics

If there is a major university nearby and you have small children, that might not be a good fit for you. Conversely, if you are young and single and the apartment complex is predominantly filled with young families, that might also not be a good fit. The leasing agent should be able to give you a good idea of the type of community you will be moving into, which should help you decide if that community is right for you or not. 

4. Length of lease

Most often, you can get the best deals on rent when you sign a longer lease, but there are a number of reasons you might opt for a shorter lease. There are any number of things you just won’t know about the community you are moving into until after you move in. You may find you are miserable there for any number of reasons and want to move elsewhere. Moving in 6 months can be a pain, but sometimes the hassle of moving is better than the misery of staying. 

5. Lease terms

Before you sign anything, you want to read the lease terms carefully. In particular, you want to pay attention to what kinds of penalties you may incur for breaking the lease and even what penalties your landlord may incur for breaking it. In many cases, leases will give a weighted or unfair advantage to the property owner in case of any issues, so be absolutely sure to read any and all documentation carefully before signing. 

6. Parking

One thing you will want to find out is not only what kind of parking is available to you, but also to your guests. If your parking spot is a considerable distance from your apartment, you will also want to find out how close you will be able to get a moving van or truck to your apartment. 

7. Amenities

While you may pay more for an apartment with certain amenities, they can also save you a great deal of money in the long run. If the apartments have an onsite 24 hour gym, that may save you on a gym membership. Some apartments may offer a business center, a movie screening room or a clubhouse for entertaining. Before you get too dazzled by the amenities, however, you want to check and see what the policies are for actually using them. 

8. Utilities

You will want to find out what – if any – utilities are included in the rental price and what you will need to pay.

9. Price

It may seem strange to put price at the very end, but price tends to be subjective based on many other factors. For instance, the rent at one place may be less than another, but when you factor in pet deposits and pet rent, the higher priced apartment is actually cheaper. You may be willing to pay more for a place that has a fully equipped gym on the premises versus one that only has a few machines. All in all, price has to be weighed against all other factors, so it is essentially the last thing for you to consider before making a decision.

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