When you attend an apartment showing, it’s easy to dismiss the noise or the smell because of the great layout or nice bathroom. But when you stop and really think about it, could you live on along the main bus route for a year, or live with a weird odors? Here are some items to look out for at your apartment showing so you don’t end up with renter’s remorse!
If you like to sleep early or work from home, it’s worth it ask about the noise situation. Look out the window, walk around the block, or talk with the neighbors and see how they would rate the noise in the building, or if the management enforces quiet hours. Early trash collection once a week is one thing, but living above a nightclub is another story.
Décor and Layout
When you go to a showing, you want to see what the apartment is like in person and whether or not it’s something you’re able to live with. When you’re up against a good deal, it’s tempting to just sign on the dotted line, but what about that outdates ‘70s kitchen you hate, or the ugly green walls? A dark (or ugly) apartment can really influence your mood, so make sure you’re either allowed to change it or able to live with it before signing the lease.
Double check with the management about any extra parking or amenity fees before signing the lease. It might sound cool in the beginning to have a nice state-of-the-art gym at your disposal, but if the monthly fees are mandatory and you don’t end up using the services it could contribute to some bitter regret when you write that check each month.
Are you willing to use the community laundry room, or take your laundry to a laundromat? If settling for a cheaper unit with no laundry results in you never doing laundry, you may want to reconsider your list of must-haves for your new apartment.
If you own a car, you want to make sure that there’s available parking. Not all apartment buildings provide parking, especially ones in crowded cities, but look into how plentiful street parking is, or ask the neighbors. You don’t want to be circling the block each night for 30 minutes looking for a spot – it can quickly put a damper on coming home.
Similar to checking that there’s available parking, if you don’t own a car, research the public transportation situation. A 10-minute walk to the bus stop sounds fast, but try it out a few times. Does it go through a safe area? Will you be willing to do it once the weather starts getting cold? Be honest with yourself about whether or not you’ll be able to live with your daily commute.
In a day and age where landlines are becoming obsolete, good reception for your mobile phone becomes absolutely necessary. Pull out your phone at the showing and check how many bars you get in the rooms – you don’t want to be talking to your parents every day while sticking your head in the shower.
Image by Jason A. Howie via Flickr.