Whether this is your first time looking for an apartment or you’re a seasoned pro, you may have a checklist of what is important to you when searching for apartments. Is it close to an area bar or brewery (which is always awesome)? How about making sure that utilities are included with the rent? Or maybe you just want to find that perfect place that is close to your work and where your friends live.
A recent thread on Reddit, courtesy of their LPT (LifeProTips) Sub-Reddit compiled what key questions to ask and things to look for. What made it great was the brutally honest, yet useful modern amenities that seemed to be both consensus and, “wow, I never thought of that!”
To sum it up, here is a Top 10:
1) Cell Reception
When you’re in the area or taking a tour, how many “bars” do you have on your phone? Try making a phone call while you’re there. You never really know how important having great cell service is until you don’t have it. While an apartment may be in a great area, it may also be in a cell phone “dead zone”. If your dream apartment only has this as a negative, don’t worry! Cell carriers like Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and AT&T all offer cell phone signal boosters. These are usually a one time investment of $200-$300. And yes, THEY WORK WONDERS!
2) Water Pressure, Temperature…
You may not think to do this at first, but check all the faucets. How is the water pressure – is it to your liking? Same with the temperature. Too hot, not hot enough? If you notice anything to your dissatisfaction bring it up with apartment staff prior to your move in. They’ll be happy to answer and remedy the potential issue.
3) Power Outlets
Are there enough outlets? Do they all work? One Reddit user suggested the diligence of bringing a handy socket tester to make sure you won’t be running into any issues with your apartment’s electrical. How are the locations of the power outlets? These are definitely all things to consider.
4) The Neighbors
Now would be a great time to get a feel for the neighborhood and building. If you see someone in the halls, don’t be shy to ask them how they like the apartment. If you’re new to the area, maybe ask them what cool restaurants and attractions are. Also, you may want to consider knocking on the doors of potential neighbors to introduce yourself. This could be a great way to to see if you’re going to have problems with crazy neighbors, or even better, a new best friend!
5) Drive Through During Rush Hour, Nighttime, etc..
When living in the city, driving to your apartment at 2pm in the afternoon vs. 7-9am or 5-6pm can be 2 very different journeys. Consider this, and even driving by at night to make sure the area is safe.
6) Make Sure You’re Favorite Internet Service Provider (ISP) Available
We can’t stress this enough. Definitely make sure your favorite ISP is available in the area you’re moving to. Particularly if you’re transferring your services, it could save you a lot of phone call work – and potentially money. If your ISP isn’t available, make sure you’re OK with what is currently being offered.
7) Check The Windows
How thick and secure are the windows? Thicker windows are more energy efficient, and will help keep your place warm or cool. It could also help discourage any potential break ins by window. With windows – the thicker, the better.
8) Check The Water Drainage
Ever lived somewhere where it took FOREVER for the sink to drain? This slight inconvenience may not be a maintenance priority, so check out the sinks, bathtubs, and toilets before deciding to move in. Fill all the sinks up, drain them, and repeat. If you notice an issue, don’t be afraid to bring it up to staff to fix before your move in. Same with the toilet. How does it flush?
In the neighborhood, or in your unit, do the porches have stuff on them? Stuff potentially of value? Several reddit users suggested that this may be a sign that the area is “good” and a low level of theft.
10) Average Leasing Time
Ask how long the average tenant lives in the building. If the number is dramatically low, that could be a red flag.