When you’re looking to rent an apartment, all of the choices seem both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. After all, apartments aren’t as different as you may think, but at the same time, they’re very different. For example, location matters! An apartment in the heart of downtown versus an apartment on the outskirts of the city may offer the same thing, but they do not offer the same convenience in terms of travel. Size matters too. Apartment storage space is a HUGE thing to consider when you’re looking to rent. A smaller place simply won’t have the same amount of storage as a larger space.
When you’re looking at places, virtually touring, or looking at the apartment in person, be sure to check how safe it is. Does the door have a deadbolt? Is it double-locked? Is the front door sturdy? Does it have a door leading outside to the patio or balcony?
All of these are things to consider. If you’re living alone, a first floor apartment may seem more convenient, but it is also easier to gain access to for everyone else. So plan accordingly and make sure all of the doors and windows can be secured.
Also look for smoke detectors. Legally, every apartment needs to have one. You can ask about the last time the detector was inspected and when it was last changed too. Also, ask about the fire extinguisher’s location, last test date, and expiration.
Check The Cell Phone Reception and Wifi
This is something a lot of us forget to do, but is so important in today’s digital age. Pull out your phone and walk around with it. Check your reception and how many bars you get in each room. This will save you a lot of headache in the future.
If you’re living in an apartment complex, walk around the complex and do the same. Check near the pool, outside your building, in the parking area, and near your unit.
Wi-Fi is also something that’s very important. While some landlords include utilities such as water and heat in the rent, others might offer rental incentives such as cable and Wi-Fi, so don’t forget to ask about the Wi-Fi situation.
It’s also important to mention that, if your landlord does provide Wifi, it’s probably not the best plan. Ask about the speed and if there is an opportunity to provide your own Wifi. If you don’t get an answer, you can test it with your phone. Do a speed test, or simply try to watch a YouTube video. That should answer your question.
Check The Water Pressure and Temperature
This is something that normally flies under the radar, but is something we must deal with each and every day. There is nothing worse than wonky water temperature and water pressure that is much too hard or gentle.
You probably won’t be able to discern the correct temperature right away, but you’ll at least be able to see how cold the water gets and how fast it heats up.
As you walk through the apartment, test the kitchen and bathroom sinks for temperature and pressure. Turn on the shower too, if you can, and see what kind of pressure it gets. You’ll also see what type of shower head they’re using. You can ask if you can switch it out during the rental period too.
Check for Pests
Humans aren’t the only things that like to call apartments home. Even in the immaculate model apartment, you should always check in cabinets, showers, and around toilets for signs of pests. Pests always leave traces, even when a cleaning crew comes through.
The best way to check for these is to look inside or on top of the cabinets to see if there are any feces there. Also, checking the walls and baseboards for any large cracks or holes is also a good idea.
If you’re still not completely satisfied, ask the landlord to see copies of the most recent pest control treatments to the apartment and/or the building. Online reviews of the apartment complex, if available, will also let you know if there is a pest problem.
If you find that there is, you may want to search elsewhere.
Make Sure You’ll Have Ample Space
Apartment storage space is so often looked over because you think it will be enough, but in actuality, it’s not. Why? Because humans are notoriously bad at figuring out how big something is. Instead of relying on your eyes, take measurements. There are a ton of phone apps to help you figure out the real size of your furniture and of the apartment. The last thing you want is to find out your table doesn’t fit!
Additionally, we all have a lot of stuff that we store away based on the season. You’ll want to make sure the apartment you’re looking at has enough room for everything. That means a space for your coats, boots, shoes, bags, cleaning supplies (including brooms and vacuums), extra blankets and towels, etc.
Figure out what storage space you currently have, and what space you’ll need after you move to ensure an easy transition. If you don’t have enough room, you can always rent a storage unit too.
Visit the Apartment at Night
This isn’t only to confirm that you’ll be living in a good area, but it’s to see what the lighting situation is like. A well-lit complex, neighborhood, or area is always the safer and better option.
While you won’t be able to actually check the apartment itself out at this time of night, you will be able to make sure the neighborhood is up to your standards.
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