As you search for or take a tour around an apartment, you may be tempted to look quickly, decide you like it, then go ahead and rent the place. However, there are some important questions you should ask first before you make your final decision.
What features do you want or need?
This is a broad question and can be broken down further:
- What floor is the apartment on? Will stairs be a problem for you?
- Is there a private entrance or will you be sharing a front door with other tenants?
- Does the bathroom have only a shower or is there also a bathtub?
- Can you control the heating and air conditioning yourself?
- What appliances does the apartment come with?
- Is the outside area well lit at night?
2. Can you afford the apartment?
In addition to the monthly rent, there may be other expenses.
- Are utilities and basic cable service included in the rent?
- Do you have to pay a security deposit prior to moving in?
3. Do you want to live in a private home divided into apartments or an apartment complex?
You may get your own private entrance with the former. On the other hand, if you live in a building in an apartment complex, you will be using a communal front door with the other tenants on your floor. In this case, you’ll probably hear noises from the shared hallway outside your apartment as other people come and go.
4. Do you have to sign a one-year lease or is it just a month-to-month oral agreement?
This is an important question to ask if you’re not sure whether you’ll be occupying the apartment for an entire year. While you can always sublet the apartment to someone else, doing so may end up being a hassle.
5. Does the landlord reside on site?
If the landlord does not live in the building, does he live nearby? How easy or difficult will it be to contact him in case you need him?
6. Where will you park your car?
7. Who will be moving your things and furniture into the apartment?
How easy or difficult will it be to move in? Will you need professional movers or just a few friends?
8. Do you like the apartment’s atmosphere and view?
9. Is there extra storage space outside the apartment?
Some apartments offer a storage locker in the basement or an outdoor shed. If you have too much stuff, you may need additional storage space.
10. Are pets allowed? Are there any restrictions?
You may not be able to afford or find an apartment that has everything you want. Decide what you can do without and which features are must-haves. Choose wisely, as this will be the place that you will soon call home.