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Key Factors To Consider When Searching For Your Next Apartment

Key Factors To Consider When Searching For Your Next Apartment

Apartment hunting isn’t a simple process. Although renting comes with fewer obligations than owning a home, where you reside will ultimately impact your quality of life. From the cost of living and property conditions to the community and accessibility to the bare necessities, there’s a lot to consider. As searching for an apartment is an involved task, the below checklist will help you narrow down your options and locate your next home. 

Affordability

The first thing to evaluate when apartment hunting is your finances. More than having a decent credit score, you must be able to cover the rent. Although most states have income guidelines to determine applicant eligibility, it’s essential to know for yourself how much you can afford. 

Most people turn to the general rule of paying 30% of their income for rent. However, this concept may only work for some. When determining what you can afford, you must consider the whole picture. While the 30% rule may say you can pay $1,500 for rent on a $60,000 salary, that may not be the case. Therefore, you must analyze other financial obligations. 

Write down your necessary expenses (outside of rent). Compare these expenses with your monthly income. Whatever you have left is what you can afford to pay for rent. Of course, you’ll want to leave a cushion for emergencies. 

Location

You should never choose an apartment based on affordability alone. The location is also crucial. You must consider factors such as the weather, cost of living, political climate, environmental safety, crime rates, school districts, neighborhoods, personal interests, employment opportunities, and convenience. 

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a lease in a location that doesn’t accommodate your needs or lifestyle. Therefore, you should research an area extensively before deciding to search for apartments. 

Health And Safety

Browsing apartments online and touring showrooms is a standard method for finding a new place. However, everything that glitters isn’t gold. While it may look fantastic on the surface, it’s what’s underneath that could put you at risk. As you find apartments you’re interested in, schedule a visit. 

Ask to tour the actual apartment before signing a lease. Inspect the structural integrity of the windows, doors, and walls. Turn on the faucets and flush toilets to check for plumbing problems. Play with the thermostat to ensure the HVAC is working correctly. Lastly, ask the property manager about the last time the unit was inspected by a professional. If there are any issues, address them before agreeing to move forward. 

Amenities

Another essential factor to consider when apartment hunting is the amenities. You receive these furnishings, additions, and services as part of your rental agreement. While everyone’s needs are different, amenities such as washers, dryers, air conditioners, wireless internet, health centers, swimming pools, community areas, business centers, pet parks, and a delivered parcel locker help simplify your life and enhance your living experience. 

Rental Agreements

You may believe you’ve found the apartment of your dreams, but there’s one final consideration before signing the dotted line – the rental agreement. Don’t be so anxious to snag the vacancy that you don’t read and fully understand your protections and obligations as a tenant. 

A lease spells out everything from the rent amount and due date to house rules and renter responsibilities. It’s a legally binding contract, which can be difficult to break without paying a hefty fine. Therefore, you should evaluate the lease, ask questions, and request changes before committing. 

Apartment searching is an exciting yet stressful process. Whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time or have experience as a tenant, choosing your next place should never come without extensive research. As you use the many resources to help you find the right apartment, remember to keep critical factors like affordability, location, health, safety, amenities, and rental agreements in mind. Doing so ensures that your next place is one you can enjoy for years to come. 

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Miller Willson

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