Apartment Hunting? Here’s Five Things to Keep in Mind

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Whether you’re moving to your fifth apartment or renting a space for the very first time – making such a huge decision can be stressful. Assuming you’ll be signing onto a year-long commitment, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure you’re happy with the place you choose to live. To give you a head start, we’ve created a short list of the five most important factors you should consider when you’re looking to make a move.

LOCATION

Where your apartment is physically located is paramount to your life. Check out the neighborhood near the complex – consider restaurants, public transportation options and proximity to parks or beaches. Also, calculate how long your commute will be to work and other destinations that you frequent. Your apartment’s surroundings are going to be an extension of your home, so do your research.

AMENITIES

Amenities are those extra benefits residents have access to (and are almost always included in your monthly rent price.) Make a list of what is a necessary amenity, and also consider things you could live without. Having that list will help you make decisions quickly during your apartment search. Common amenities include an onsite laundry center, a swimming pool, a clubhouse or a dedicated workspace that residents can utilize.

BUDGET

Creating a realistic budget for your rent will aid in your search for an apartment and an appropriate floorplan. If you are going to have a roommate, decide together how much you can afford, and what percentage of the rent each of you will be responsible for paying. Also note, there may be extra expenses including internet, gas, trash services and beyond. Sticking with your budget can help reduce stress down the line.

PET POLICY

Many single people and families own a dog, a cat or another kind of pet. If you’re one of those people, ask all potential properties what their policy is for having a pet in the apartment. Make sure to inquire about additional costs, pet deposits, and any amenities they may have, such as an onsite dog park.

CLEAR AND LEGIT LEASE

When you’ve found an apartment that suits you, you’ll be asked to fill out an application. When approved, you’ll sign a lease binding you to certain obligations including rent, along with the adherence to property guidelines and rules. The lease should clearly state all regulations, should accurately display what your monthly rent cost will be, and what the process is for when you move-out. Make sure to ask the leasing office staff if you have any questions about the lease before signing.

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