5 Things to Look for on Your Next Apartment Hunt

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Are you looking for a new apartment? There are several things you should be aware of before signing on the dotted line. Here are five things to pay attention to when searching for a new apartment.

1. Location

  • Tip: Look around the neighborhood to see if basic services and stores are available.

The apartment you’re eyeing might be nice, but are there services nearby? For example, if you don’t plan to drive to school or work, you’ll want to look for a place that’s close to public transportation. Although you can purchase groceries online, you’ll also want to make sure there are grocery stores nearby in the event you need to pick up last-minute basics such as milk and bread. When you go to see an apartment, take a walk around the neighborhood to see which stores are in the surrounding area.

2. Price

  • Tip: Don’t spend more than 30% of your gross income on housing.

An important part of apartment hunting is making sure you can afford to live in your new neighborhood. Ideally, you should spend a maximum of 30% of your gross income on housing. Don’t try to move to a certain place just because that’s where all your friends or co-workers live. Choose a location that will allow you to pay your rent on time as well as your monthly bills.

Don’t forget necessities like food and clothing. It doesn’t make sense to move to a trendy neighborhood if you can barely feed and clothe yourself. If you want to find out what you’ll be paying in certain areas, conduct a search on websites such as Sperling’s Best Places or Rent Café.

3. Water quality

  • Tip: Don’t forget to check the water.

Test the water pressure to see what it’s like at different temperatures. Also, take time to see how long the water takes to get warm. If you happen to be in a rush to get to work, waiting 10 minutes for the water to heat up will likely become a big pain. Furthermore, pay attention to the color of the water. If it’s brown or some other unusual color, you might want to pass.

4. Safety

  • Tip: Research crime statistics.

Don’t assume a neighborhood is safe just because it looks nice. Visit the neighborhood after dark and on the weekends to see what goes on during off-peak hours. Also, make time to research crime statistics for the location. Furthermore, contact the local police precinct and ask if officers frequently respond to calls related to criminal activity in the area you’re thinking of residing.

5. Pet policy

  • Tip: Familiarize yourself with the pet policy before making a commitment.

If you’re a pet owner, don’t get so mesmerized by the apartment that you forget to ask about the pet policy. Ask if pets are allowed and if there are any restrictions when it comes to size and breed. If pets aren’t allowed, don’t try to sneak your animal into your new abode. Failure to tell your landlord about a furry tenant could cause you a world of trouble down the road. Ignoring a no-pet policy is considered a breach of contract, which could cause your landlord to evict you. So, save yourself the headache and make sure you’re clear on the rules when it comes to pets.

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