Things to Consider When Renting an Apartment
Looking for an apartment to rent can be an overwhelming and tiring process. After looking at many different options, it's easy to be wowed by a place that shows well compared to the others. Just because a place looks good, doesn't always mean it's the right choice. Before you sign your name on the dotted line and commit to an apartment, there are a number of things you should consider.
When deciding on a new place to live, you should evaluate the surrounding area as much as the actual apartment. Whether you know exactly where you want to live or not, you should spend some time investigating the neighbourhood. Visit the area and walk around (yes, walk, not drive). If possible, try and speak to people who live there. Find out the good and bad points. Also, locate any specific areas or interest like schools, parks, nightlife, shopping, etc. How you feel about where your apartment is will have a positive or negative bearing on how you feel about living in your apartment.
Before you even begin to look for an apartment, you should have decided how much you can afford for rent and also how much you are willing to spend. Set a minimum and maximum limit for your monthly rent so you look at places you can afford. There is nothing worse than finding the perfect apartment, but having it way out of your price range. Also, don't forget to find out what is included in your rent. In some buildings, all utilities are included, which will make the rent higher, but on the plus side, you only pay one monthly bill. There are all kinds of combinations of what is included in a rent payment. Be sure to understand exactly what you are paying for. Also take this into consideration when determining your monthly maximum limit as you may be able to afford a little more if you have no other utilities bills to pay.
Depending on where you rent your apartment, differing amenities will likely be included. Apartments can be found in everything from homes to high-rise buildings. It is important to decide what amenities you would like when you rent an apartment. Some will be deal breakers and others will be just added bonuses. From the outset have a clear understanding of what you require in your apartment. From laundry facilities to pets, exercise facilities, security and Internet and cable inclusion are all examples of amenities you could consider. What is important is understanding what you can and can't live with to help narrow down the number of apartments you view.
When you find your apartment, make sure to read the contract carefully before you sign it. Check things like the length of the lease and the conditions. How long you are locked into the lease, the beginning and expiration date, the rental price and what is included in the rent, notice of termination and responsibilities for repairs should be carefully noted. Make sure you obtain a copy of any rules and regulations and go through all of the paperwork carefully before signing your name.
Inspect (Don't Just View) the Apartment
When viewing potential properties, it is important to actually inspect it, not just look around and take it on face value. Remember, if it's furnished, that is not how it will look when you move in. Try to picture your belongings in the apartment. Take measurements if necessary to determine if your furniture will fit in the different rooms. Check pipes for water pressure and any leaks. Turn on lights to check the electricity and ensure heating (and air conditioning if available) work properly. Open and close windows and doors and check any locks. Finally, try and spend a bit of time in the apartment to listen for noise, whether coming from other apartments or outside.
Obviously, different people will weigh each of these considerations differently. What is most important when renting an apartment is having a clear understanding of what you want so you will not be disappointed in the long run. Remember, this is your home, you want to be happy living in it.