Like the old saying in real estate, the three most important things are “location, location and location”. It is equally true with rental real estate issues too. Some specific examples will come up through out this article.
You will need to know what type of apartment you want to select. If you make the wrong choice, well…moving a second time is even less fun than moving the first time. Your most common choices are efficiency type, single bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and you might find some four-bedroom units. You might also look into a townhouse, or a garden style, apartment.
Efficiency apartments are good for a single person who has very little or no company, is well organized and has very little furniture (and the right kind of furniture). If you expect to have any company at all, space to entertain may very well be a concern. You will also have to constantly keep things picked up. There is no place to hide clutter or partially completed projects.
The number of bedrooms you decide on depends on a couple of considerations. One major consideration is how many people you will have living with you. You also need to consider the type of entertaining you expect to do. Do you engage in projects, hobbies or crafts where you might want to leave an incomplete project out, but behind closed doors? Extra bedrooms make up for the normal lack of storage space in typical apartment units.
Townhouse apartments often include basements and the advantages they bring along. They tend to better meet the lifestyle of multiple residents in the same unit.
Hi-rise apartments generally offer more status, but have obvious negatives; like bringing home the groceries and maybe parking.
With respect to any multi-level apartment building, which floor is the best? Some prefer the ground floor, because of fewer steps. Some people like the middle floors to save on heat and maybe even air conditioning costs. Some like the top floor so they don’t have to listen to the noise of people above them.
While we are speaking of things like which floor to select and coupling that with location, what direction the apartment faces may make a big difference. If you have large areas of glass and they face the west, you lose out on the morning sun and you may cook in the afternoon heat.
Most likely the next thing to learn about to help you with your apartment selection is how much is the monthly rental rate? Is it in your budget? How long is the rental agreement or lease? What penalty do you suffer if you break the lease early? How much is the security deposit? How long does it take to get your security deposit back once you move out?
Along with the cost of rent, what about the utilities? Does the rent include gas, electric, water, cable TV? If the rent does cover the cost of electricity that can be a major plus. This is particularly so if the apartment you select has electric heat.
Here is another little, yet important, question to get an answer for. When making your apartment selection, does the unit include cable TV? Does it have a central or community satellite system? Does it have any type of outside antenna, if you don’t want cable? Many apartment complexes have removed all outside antennas since almost everyone seems to want cable.
Speaking of antennas, are you allowed to have any outside or in the attic? What are you allowed to have outside, or in the common areas? Is there a place provided for you to have a grill?
If you are a pet owner, you have another set of questions to satisfy in your apartment selection. Are pets allowed? Are there any restrictions? Is there an additional security deposit?
Most apartment complexes have washers and dryers available. Make sure they do if you need them and make sure they are easily accessible. You might try to get a handle on when they are the most and least busy. Does it fit your schedule? birger dehne
You might be the type of person who is interested in a swimming pool. If you are, your apartment selection process needs to keep that in mind. While you are at it; do they have a whirl pool, sauna or workout room?
Maybe the handicapped accessibility is important to you, or people who might very well be visiting you. If you are older. and plan to stay there for any length of time you might want to think this one over a couple of times – looking toward the future.
Now back to location. Is public transportation available? How far away is it? Is there a protective structure for you while waiting? How close is the nearest convenience store? How about the closest supermarket? Is there a “big box” store close enough to meet your needs? Where is the post office? How about a pharmacy?