There are many ways to find your first apartment, but you should know that it’s not as easy as it seems. It takes time and effort to find the right place where you can live comfortably, so make sure that you have all your bases covered before you sign the lease.
Here are some tips to make apartment hunting a bit easier and less overwhelming.
What is the Average Rent?
When beginning your search, it’s important to have an idea of what other renters are paying in the area. Not only is it important to understand the typical rent payment but it’s important to know what is included in this price and the size of the apartment, as well.
For example, say a fellow renter is paying $1,000 per month for their one-bedroom apartment with all utilities included. This will allow you to better understand that the studio apartment you have been looking at that is in a similar location but does not include all utilities has some room to negotiate.
Begin Your Search Online
After determining what is an average price in the location you are seeking, you can now begin your search online. Beginning your apartment hunt online allows you to see what is widely available in the area. You can see what type of features are generally included, what condition apartments are in, and perks of living in certain areas or apartment buildings.
Is the Neighborhood You’re Considering a Good One?
This can be a key piece of information when choosing a location and what it’s also important to always view the apartment in person. Unfortunately, online listings can easily hide things they don’t want you to see that may be downsides such as a bad neighborhood.
Always do your research on the area you plan to move to and never skip out on the opportunity to view the apartment in person before agreeing to a lease.
Be Open Minded
Apartment hunting is certainly daunting as the options are typically pretty plentiful. However, if you find yourself in an area that does not have many choices, it’s important to be open minded. Always try to see the positive aspects of an apartment. As long as the negative aspects are still manageable and safe, it’s worth giving it a shot.
Check Out the Amenities
When deciding between different apartments, seeing what different amenities are available can make a big difference. For instance, you may find one of the apartments you are viewing provides you with a private washer and dryer in your unit and also private parking. On the contrary, the second apartment you are viewing is a few dollars less each month but you’ll also have to use on-street paid parking and utilize a shared laundry room.
Examples like these will require you to evaluate what is more important to you, having a few extra features or potentially saving money each month.
How to Choose
During the process of apartment hunting you may find yourself asking “Should I rent or buy a house instead?” While purchasing a home could very well be a good option for you, it’s important to evaluate why you started your apartment hunt in the first place. Is it because you are not ready for the responsibilities of homeownership or perhaps you like the ability to move around from place to place without needing to stay in one location for an extended period of time that would be beneficial to you if you owned a home.