10 Things to Check Out While Finding an Apartment
Finding a new place to live is a big deal, and there are many things to consider. This article does not cover obvious things like cost, space etc. Everyone is different, but here are some ideas. For me, it’s how close is my place to taco bell and can I walk to the bars?
1. Washer and dryer hookups
A lot of apartments have washers and dryers provided, but even if they just have the hookups, this is huge. Paying to do your laundry at a Laundromat is a pain, and you can buy some used machines on craigslist easy enough – and you will still end up saving time and money over time most likely.
2. Amenities (pool, tennis courts, gym, pool tables etc)
Having a pool table or a movie theater in your apartment complex can be a lot of fun. Also not having to fork over $40 for a gym membership every month adds up. Make sure to look around for places that have something that is fun for you and you will end up using.
3. Pet policy
Almost all apartment complexes have some sort of policy on pets. Make sure to research this as some are very fascist and won’t let you have dogs over certain weights, more than 1 dog or cat, etc etc.
4. Reviews online
Do your homework. Nothing is worse than worrying about getting robbed all the time, or having terrible management that makes your life intolerable.
This is often forgotten about until you move in, and realize you have to walk 100 yards to get to your house every day. Also if you have no room for guests this can be pretty lame.
Keep an eye out for signs of what you are looking for as neighbors. If you are in your 20’s keep an eye on the balconies for leftover keg’s, grills, inflatable pool toys, etc. These people will most likely be your friends. The types of cars in the parking lot are indications as well as how much you are paying for rent, location to universities etc. If you are looking for a more conservative community look for signs of children, minivans etc.
As I mentioned in the header, being able to walk to bars, restaurants and shopping is huge. Research if there is a local farmers market, post office or park. These can make your weekends more fun and convenient.
8. Social events
Finding an apartment complex that throws a party every 3-6 months is huge. Keep an eye on the bulletin board to see what pops up, and if it’s an active community. This can be a great way to meet neighbors, get some free food and beer, and have a good time.
9. School districts
If you have kids, this is probably in the obvious category, but I wanted to throw it in just in case people forget.
Keep in mind how close you are to schools and rush hour traffic. Busses can be a pain in the morning, and you don’t want your work schedule to put you behind them every single day. Also if you are right next to the interstate it might take you an extra 20 minutes to get home every day. Take the time and research.