Finding the perfect apartment is about more than just looking through the online listings. Your next apartment will be your new home — so don’t take apartment searching lightly. With the right approach, you can find a place that gives you everything you need from a home.
Make a List
You may have an idea of what you’re looking for in your next apartment rental, but have you put it on paper? Seeing your list written down, divided into two columns of “wants” and “needs.” You may need two parking spaces, but amenities like dog parks or common spaces may be more of a luxury. The better you prioritize this list, the easier it is to narrow down your choices.
Set a Budget
Don’t make the mistake of overestimating the budget for your monthly rent. Be realistic during your search; this criterion, too, will help refine your options during the search process. Generally speaking, your monthly income should be no less than 3x your monthly rent. If your budget limits your housing choices, you may want to consider renting with a roommate.
Even if you do find an apartment that’s within your budget, moves are expensive. Many rental properties require a lump sum of money upfront that includes the first month’s rent and any costs associated with security or pet deposits. You’ll want to have a financial cushion covering these costs and leaving a margin to pay for any extra expenses.
Location, Location, Location
Once you’ve decided on which city you’d like to live in, research the different neighborhoods. Walk or drive around the apartment complex you’re thinking about looking for the nearest grocery store or access to public transportation. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals about the overall vibe and quality of life in the area.
Take a Tour
Whether you’re walking through a property in person or taking a virtual tour from afar, view the apartment complex before making any decisions. Look at the living conditions, security measures, and how well the grounds have been maintained. Don’t be afraid to speak up if there’s something that you have questions about.
Ask the Right Questions
On that note, knowing the right questions to ask can help you really get a behind-the-scenes look at where you may be living.
- What kind of parking is available?
- Are there any restrictions on amenities like the pool or exercise area?
- Will you need renter’s insurance as part of the lease agreement?
- Is there an option for short-term or long-term rent periods?
Prepare for the Application
After finding the apartment you feel is the right fit, you’ll go through an application process. This means filling out forms with important information about yourself and your finances, pets, and even references. Many apartment properties also charge an application fee to cover the administrative costs of processing the applications.
Read the Lease
An apartment rental lease is a contract, plain and simple. You’ll want to carefully read (and understand) your lease agreement before checking off any boxes or signing on any dotted lines. Not only does your lease contain information about daily living, but it will also help you understand your rights as a tenant. If you have any questions, the time to ask them and get answers is before entering into this legally binding agreement.
Talk to Property Management
Loving where you live starts with a great relationship with the property management team. Spend a few minutes getting to know the team at the properties you’re searching for and find out if they’re truly committed to supporting residents. You can learn a lot about how this interaction unfolds and how it would look like to deal with this team regularly.
Ready to dive into your apartment search? We manage a range of properties that fit any and every budget, and we’re ready to build a relationship with you. We operate our communities ourselves and occasionally sell them to interested parties who share our commitment to maintaining them at the highest level possible. Contact us today and let us show you your new home!