How to Find the Perfect Apartment


how to find the perfect apartment 11 questions to ask when apartment huntingFinding the right apartment can be overwhelming; especially if it’s your first time.

You want a place that compliments your style and personality, as well as your budget. You may have browsed the internet, asked around, and visited one place after the other without luck. But don’t give up!

We came up with 11 important questions to ask yourself when looking for an apartment. So take a look at our list of questions and continue reading to find out just how these questions can help you find that perfect apartment to call home.

11 Questions to Ask Yourself When Apartment Hunting

#1 What is the neighborhood like?

Listen and read all the reviews and the opinions on the apartment you have in mind but never let them sway your decision. Find the time and pass through the neighborhood. Make sure to drive or walk through the area on different days of the week and at a different hour of the day. You may want to talk to people in the community and use their impartial information to build a credible opinion. Make sure to consider the impression the neighborhood makes on you. Lastly, consider the street noise levels and ensure they are within your limits. Proximity to nightclubs and amount of traffic may be useful indicators of noises to expect.

#2 What can you afford?

Apartments homes have different price ranges depending on factors like location, size number of bedrooms, and amenities offered. Know your budget and stick to it. Hunt for a building complex that has affordable rent within your budget. Consider all the direct and the indirect costs you will have to incur and make an informed decision that meets your budget.  Don’t forget to ask the right questions before signing on the dotted line.

piggy bank

#3 What is the cost to sign the lease?

Finding an apartment through internet services like Craigslist or word of mouth may not come at a cost. Finding an apartment through realtors will cost you. Many brokers charge a standard fee that is equivalent to a one month’s rent. If you are using their services, make sure you understand the cost implications before you commit. Ask if there are other expenses such as a security deposit and key deposit. Though such charges may be refundable, consider them and evaluate them beforehand.

#4. What did you find out during your inspection of the apartment?
When making an inspection of your potential future apartment, make sure to notice issues like smells and actual measurements of the rooms. Rooms may appear bigger or smaller than they are depending on the furniture and other items found in the space. It is advisable to take your measurements; as this is the only way to be sure that your bed will fit or your couch, etc.

man holding magnifying glass looking at a room in an apartment

#5 How is the landlord or property manager?

Many people ignore this when looking for an apartment. Some are lucky to find an agreeable landlord or property manager, but some are unlucky to settle for a grumpy landlord. Take out the guesswork and assess the character and personality of the would-be landlord before you sign the rental agreement. During the period of your residency, there will inevitably be some issues to arise and having an understanding and cooperative property manager will be a bonus.

#6 What are the terms of the lease?

Different apartment home communities have different rules and regulation for their residents. Read and understand the fine print before signing. Issues to look out for include the length of the lease, payment deadlines, late remittance fines, and pet’s policy. If for instance you love pets and the apartment rules are against keeping pets, you may have to reconsider. People who are allergic to pets may want an apartment that has rules restricting owning and keeping pets.

person signing rental agreement

#7 How will you be commuting?

You will be going to work, school, etc. Do you plan on commuting by public transport, walking or driving? Consider the convenience, accessibility, and availability of your preferred means of transportation. If you don’t have a car, the apartment should be within an area that is served by an important bus service. The apartment’s proximity to your workplace or school and other amenities is also an important factor to consider.

#8 What utilities are available?

Services such as a reliable water supply, water heating service, electricity, garbage collection, and removal are critical. Know what is available, and the payment plans. You may need to set up an account and pay directly to the utility companies. In other apartments, the meters may be shared, and a flat rate may apply. On garbage collection and disposal, some apartments may offer a trash valet service. There may be an extra charge to pick up the trash daily from your door, or your rent may cater the service. Other buildings may have a central bin where you have to drop your garbage.

kitchen apartment with utilities 
#9 How safe and secure is the building/area?

You can’t compromise on matters regarding personal safety and security. Your property should also be safe at all times. The apartment should have some form of burglary deterrents such as appropriate lighting in parking areas and well-lit hallways and entries, etc. Going through police records detailing distress calls from the area may also be a good idea to help you assess the security. Such records can be accessed from police websites or by visiting the local area police department.

10. Does the apartment come with a parking space?
Confirm the availability of parking spaces before moving in. The parking area must also be secure.

back of a blue car parked outside

11.  What other amenities are available?
Amenities are an important consideration and can be a big bonus. Having a fitness center or a swimming pool within the complex won’t hurt. Just make sure that the amenities aren’t an excuse to inflate rent.

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Asking yourself these questions will get you the closest thing to a perfect apartment home. A good deal is an apartment that meets the requirements which are important to you. It’s alright to compromise on the things that aren’t of primary importance to you. But at all costs, don’t be pressured to make a decision or to make a commitment before you are satisfied. Only sign the rental agreement when you are ready.

If you found this article helpful, check out The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist and Choosing The Right Moving Company