The world has changed drastically in the last couple of decades. Advances in technology and the rise of the Internet have redefined how people communicate, access information and even work. But still, some things will never change. Take apartment hunting for example. While the Internet can be useful in looking up information on a particular area, finding the perfect domicile is still a hands-on experience. After all, a smartphone can’t protect a tenant from water damage.
So while it’s understood those looking for a new place need to physically inspect potential apartments, there are also a number of tips apartment hunters should keep in mind in order to ensure they pick just the right spot. And whether looking for new digs on the island of Manhattan or in Pottawattamie, Kansas, these tips are universal.
Everyone has heard the real-estate mantra, “Location, location, location!” and it’s a popular slogan because it is accurate. Those shopping for a new apartment in area should focus as much on said area as they do the apartment. That means walking the nearby streets and talking to local merchants in order to gauge the feel of the neighborhood as well as just what sorts of amenities are nearby.
Also, different areas are suited to different people at different stages in their lives. Adult professionals, for example, likely won’t thrive in an area populated mostly by college students. Conversely, a college student will likely want to look in a more vibrant area than one primarily composed of families and career-minded professionals.
Know the parking situation
This is crucial in the big city. If parking isn’t included in the monthly price then that usually means street parking will be the reality. And anyone who has ever dealt with regular street parking in a large metropolitan area knows the pitfalls all too well. In most parts of Manhattan finding regular street parking is nearly impossible; in Los Angles fees for parking during street sweeping have gone up exponentially. So for many in the city, a reliable parking spot is worth its weight in gold.
It may be tempting to opt for that one building that offers quick and easy move-in with no background check. The danger lies in the fact that if the manager isn’t performing a background check on you, they aren’t performing a background check on anyone. This could leave the building open to criminals. And feeling safe in one’s apartment should be of paramount concern to anyone looking for a new place.
When touring at a new apartment, potential tenants should also look at the building for any noticeable signs of disrepair. They should also inquire about whether or not there is maintenance service within 24 hours of any issue that pops up regarding the apartment. For example, if maintenance isn’t available in prompt fashion, this could render any plumbing, heating or air issues that may crop up intolerable.
Know the lease terms
Oftentimes, people will select a new apartment based on some discount offered by the management. And while there is nothing wrong with snagging a good move-in deal, tenants should also be aware of the fine print. For example, with many apartments, rent will skyrocket drastically after the first-month discount, so it’s up to the resident to know the exact price points before signing the lease form.
These are just a few tips that should provide some perspective to those looking for a new place and ultimately help them to make the right decision. And, of course, pet owners will want to be aware of any rules and regulations pertaining to their little furry friends up front.
Contributed by Darren Kolman on behalf of RentersVoice.com – a renting guide with apartment finder reviews. Darren is a real estate consultant and freelance writer. His articles mainly appear on rental blogs.