Whether you are a second-year college student looking to get out of your dorm or someone who is venturing out to get a place of your own, apartment hunting is no easy task. There are many factors that go into searching for an apartment but sometimes it can be hard to tell what exactly is the right place for you, especially if this is your first time getting a place of your own.
Determining an apartment community’s reputation does require some work but worry not! If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be more excited than ever to tackle this new chapter in your life.
Do your research
Though this step might seem obvious, it is very important! Before going to any apartment community/complex, do thorough research on not only the property but the area surrounding it.
Read reviews from either current or past tenants to get a good idea of what their experiences were like while living there. While of course everyone will have their own unique experience, you should be able to get a clear idea of how you will like the place based on the reviews. It’s also worth it to ask acquaintances, friends, or family if they are familiar with this particular place and what their opinion is about it, as sometimes the input of those closest to you can truly help influence your decision-making process!
Poor maintenance of the place / property
Next, when touring the apartment community/complex, make sure to watch out for red flags, such as:
According to Forbes, “keep an eye out for signs of neglect, including rattling old windows, peeling paint and broken appliances.”
Other bad signals or red flags to pay attention to are musty smells, visible mold, water damage, pests/remnants of pests, and stale smoke smell. These are all problems that you do not want to deal with in your first apartment and if you are noticing these issues in a showing, the chances are that your landlord does not want to deal with them either.
If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do not get me wrong, I’m not here to discourage you in your hunt as there are plenty of places that are affordable and great places to live, but you have to stay cautious of the price and the location of your potential new home. The price could be low for a number of reasons both good and bad, so be upfront with the landlord and question them on the price.
We have all heard horror stories about a crazy, down-your-throat kind of landlord. When you embark on your apartment search journey, be aware of the attitudes and quirks of your potential landlord.
Lowered rent and no credit checks may seem great in concept; however, Forbes notes to “beware of landlords who seem way too eager to dispense with formalities, as this could be a sign they’re trying to offload the unit as quickly as possible.”
When looking at an apartment community and units within that community, you want to make sure it is safe and in good condition. Forbes lists a couple safety hazards to look for, stating “exterior doors should have proper working locks. The apartment should have a smoke detector in the kitchen and preferably one in each bedroom, as well. If the unit has gas-powered appliances, look for a carbon monoxide detector.”
Another element to keep in mind is fire exists, as CBS reporter Ilyce Glink notes, “Beware of the words ‘basement’ or ‘attic’” stating, “advertisements that use these words are often for apartments that typically lack adequate exits.”