Looking for an apartment is hard work and time consuming, but this list will make your next apartment hunt super easy! It will also help ensure that you’re satisfied with your apartment months after you move in, all because you asked the right questions.
10 Things to Ask when Apartment Hunting
#1 What’s the neighborhood like? Noisy or quiet? Older people or young families with kids? Is there graffiti? Are the cars run-down? Is there litter? You want to live in a welcoming, clean, safe neighborhood, so see if you could picture yourself there. Plus, it never hurts to come back and see what the place looks like at night.
#2 Does the complex spray for pests? Most complexes do, which is VERY helpful, but don’t solely rely on their pest spray to keep the bugs at bay. A tidy apartment, trash taken out regularly, and store-bought preventative bug hotels under the sinks and fridge go a long way in keeping your apartment bug-free. However, don’t rule out a complex just because they don’t spray; you just might have to do double duty on store-bought bug traps.
#3 Are pets allowed? Are there weight or breed restrictions? Your pet(s) are part of your family, so you need to make sure they’re welcome too! Also, ask about the pet deposit; you don’t want to be surprised when you have to write a $400 check on move-in day.
#4 Are you required to pay any other monthly fees? Whether it be your monthly water share or trash pickup fees, you don’t want to get hooked by the awesome rent price without first factoring in the other fees. These charges in affect raise your rent, so take that into consideration when comparing complexes’ pricing.
#5 What amenities are there? A lot of complexes are adding workout centers, office areas for fax and computer use, pools, tennis courts, etc., to lure people into their community. If you’re someone who would take advantage of these extras, it might be worth paying a bit more each month. If you’d never use them, then you might save money by going with a complex that doesn’t have any extras.
#6 How many walls/floors/ceiling will you be sharing with a neighbor? This you can just find out from looking. If the unit is on the middle floor, you’re going to have noise coming from above and below you, with a shared wall to your left or right too. You need to decide what floor you prefer ahead of time because many leasing agents can be flexible with keeping an eye out for upcoming vacancies on your floor preference.
#7 Can you paint the walls? Most places that allow you to paint require that you return the walls to the original color upon move-out. This isn’t important to some people, but other folks can’t stand white walls. If painting is something you’re interested in, ask! The worst they can say is no.
#8 Do you have to pay the rent by check? Some places take checks and money orders, others have a website where you can pay online. Just make sure you sign a lease with a place that’s payment plan and style works for you.
#9 Is there assigned parking? This can be a problem. Just because you have assigned parking doesn’t mean your spot will be anywhere close to your actual unit. Nobody wants to have to walk from the other side of the property to get to and from their car everyday.
#10 What lease length options are there? 1 month, 6 months, 12 months; its not worth getting all excited over an apartment that doesn’t even offer the leasing option you need. If you need to be in a month to month apartment and they only offer long-term leases, you’re just wasting your time going on a tour.
There are many other questions to ask when apartment scouting, but as you tour the property, drive around, and talk with an agent they should be answered for you. You want to be happy with your apartment choice, so no question is too obvious or silly to ask. REMEMBER the leasing agent’s job is to make their complex seem flawless. That’s why you also need to take notice of things yourself!