Moving seems to be an endless task through college and thereafter. Unless you already found your forever home, this guide will help you set your worries aside as you find the perfect place to call home.
Let’s start with the basics
Do make a list
Make a budget and a “wishlist.” Start by figuring out your budget then move on to your wishlist. When thinking about your desires concerning your home think about the location and vibe of the community. A young twenty-something who loves the night scene may want to live in a downtown apartment close to work. In another scenario, a family of four looks for a quieter neighborhood close to school. The wishlist is really about your priorities. So take the time to sit down and figure out what you really want.
Once your list is finished, check out Apartments.com. This website is a great resource for both neophyte and expert apartment hunters. The site’s filters narrow the list of apartments in the area of your interest through square footage, types, in-unit amenities, parking, and other specifications. Once you check off the location, price point, and filters on the website the results show rentals that fit all or most of your needs.
Don’t forget to research
After scrolling through prospective places it’s time to research. Make a list of the properties that vaguely catch your interest and visit each of their websites. You can tell a lot about a rental by its website. From here, view their pictures, special deals, offers, price points, and availability of each unit you are interested in. Be sure to look at the reviews of the apartments and take them in with perspective. Checking the crime in the area is another great way to narrow your list. If a rental website leaves you wanting, then it’s time to set up a tour.
Do make the call
Forest Gump was almost right when he referenced life being “like a box of chocolates” but in this instance, you have the power to know “what you’re gonna get.” By doing a virtual walkthrough, video calling the staff, or going in person you are setting yourself up for success. Whether the experience leaves you wanting to sign a lease or makes you run out the door never to return you’ll have your answers. The building’s cleanliness, noise levels, and package delivery services aren’t something you can get from researching the website but you can experience it firsthand during your tour. It also gives you the chance to ask questions to your leasing agent in person.
Do ask questions
You deserve to know exactly where your money is going and what your living situation is going to be like. Things you may want to consider asking: what is the maintenance turnover time; does rent include the utilities; do all the units have the same updates; what are all the application, move-in, and move-out hidden fees? These handful of questions have varying answers depending on the property you’re touring and it’s a great way to get to know the staff better.
Signing the lease
Don’t ignore your gut
Trust your conscience and it will be your guide. When touring, try envisioning yourself living there. Your gut is a very intuitive part of your body. You know yourself the best and you should trust your instincts whether it’s for or against the apartment in question.
Do get everything in writing
Leasing agents are helpful and rarely take advantage of situations but they are sales personnel. When talking with your agent about a unit be cautious of promises. Especially when they are verbal. Personal experiences have taught me to get everything in writing because agents can try to sweeten your apartment deal if they get you to sign the lease first. When “said deals” are negotiated make sure you get them in writing before signing anything. You may find out that the agent is reluctant to send you that email stating the perks until you sign the lease and they weren’t as forthcoming as they appeared.
Do get ready to celebrate
Wishlist and research done? Check. Tour? Check. Application and lease questions? None. At this point in your search, you have green flags signaling all engines go. It’s time to submit your application. Before signing that dotted line, however, read the lease and ask any final questions that draw concern. One can never be too careful. Once done, sit back, sip your wine, and let the Pinteresting begin. A new space means new interior inspiration! Scroll down to view a modern apartment design Pinterest board.
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