Are you on the hunt for the perfect new apartment? Statistics show that 43 million households rent, and 37% of people who rent live in apartments, so you’re in good company.
Whether it’s your first place or you’re on the move to a better apartment, knowing the ins and outs of apartment hunting makes the process easier. An apartment hunting checklist can help guide your search.
Keep reading to learn the best apartment hunting tips.
Know Your Budget
You need to set a rent limit that fits your budget to ensure you can stay current on your payments. The general recommendation is 30% of your monthly gross income at the most for all housing costs. That amount should include your utilities and any other housing expenses.
Once you know what you’re comfortable spending, only consider apartments in that range. Don’t be lured into apartments that go over budget.
Create an Apartment Hunting Checklist
When looking at apartments for rent, having a checklist helps you ensure you get what you need. It’s also a good way to compare multiple apartments.
Prioritize the amenities and features you want in your checklist. You might need two bedrooms to accommodate your family members or roommates. In-unit laundry, two bathrooms, and a location near work might be top priorities.
Other things, such as a deck, community pool, and stainless steel appliances, might be nice to have, but they’re not necessities.
Search Multiple Sources
Landlords post their properties in a variety of places, so broadening your search can help you find more potential apartments.
Online realty websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Hotpads, and Trulia are popular options. Craigslist is also a common option as are other local advertisement sites.
Social media can reveal apartment options as many property management companies post on those platforms. Many cities also have local rental Facebook groups where property owners can post their vacancies.
If you have a specific neighborhood where you want to live, driving around the area can help you find rentals. Look for apartment complexes and rental properties with for rent signs in front.
Inspect Properties Thoroughly
When you find an apartment you like, it’s easy to overlook the details. Don’t let your excitement blind you to potential issues.
Look closely at details and test out amenities, including:
- Water pressure
- Amount of storage space
- Noise from adjoining apartments
- The functionality of windows and locks
- Number of outlets
- Brightness of lights
- Age and functionality of appliances
Think about your prioritized amenities and features when inspecting the apartment. The goal is to make sure everything works properly and fits your needs.
Having a standard set of questions to ask landlords helps you equally compare apartments.
Ask about the following things:
- Parking availability
- Garage rentals
- Who pays utilities
- Extra fees or charges
- Changes allowed to the apartment
- Pet policies
You can also ask if the pricing and terms are negotiable. Some landlords will negotiate on price. You might agree to a longer lease term in exchange for lower rent.
Make Apartment Hunting Easier
Apartment hunting doesn’t have to be difficult when you know how to do it effectively. Narrowing your search and looking at properties with a critical eye helps you find a good match.
Head to our archives for more helpful articles.