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Apartment hunting does not require superior sleuth-like skills. All you have to do is network among friend and family members, as well as browse through both print and digital classified ads. However, vetting the candidates on your apartment list is quite another thing. Many renters do not have a clue when it comes to choosing the right criteria that forms the basis of an apartment rental decision.
Let’s take the guesswork out of apartment hunting and make the process more like the process that unfolds when you make a large scale purchase, such as buying a car or even a home.
After you write down the list of the criteria you want to use for choosing the best apartment, you then have to prioritize the list from most important to least important criterion. Leading the list of apartment criteria should be price. It does not matter that you found an apartment in a safe neighborhood that offers every amenity that you want in a living space, if you cannot afford to make the monthly rental payments.
Finding the price range for an apartment starts by devising a monthly personal budget. With your income set on the left side of the ledger, you fill in the expense blanks until you have at least a balanced budget. It is a good idea to work backwards on the expense side of the ledger by filling in the blanks for items like car payment and insurance bills first, which leaves you with what you can afford for an apartment.
Before you visit an apartment on your short list, go online and perform research about the surrounding neighborhood. ParisRental represents a helpful resource for obtaining city and neighborhood information. If you are moving within the same area and you know what you need to know about the new neighborhood, you should still take a stroll around the neighborhood before you sign of the dotted lease line. Things to consider for city and neighborhood information include crime rate, housing values, and unemployment rate. In addition to crime and resident demographic data, you should also check to see if the neighborhood has any rules or laws that are unique to the neighborhood.
Everyone has a different set of criteria for establishing home décor preferences. Just remember that every apartment unit will have subtle differences in the home décor themes. You can find a number of excellent tips and tricks at House Tipster. You need to find out if an apartment under consideration offers home décor items that are mandatory for daily use, while at the same time enhance the aesthetic appeal of the unit. Popular home décor themes for apartments include modern, tropical, Japanese, and Victorian styles.
Another home décor element to consider is lighting. Both natural and artificial light sources go a long way in determining the theme of an apartment’s home décor. Optimizing apartment light sources involves placing lamps in strategic places, as well as opening the blinds to invite the sun in for a lengthy stay. Larger rooms in an apartment should have more powerful light sources to bring much needed illumination into the rooms.
You can review apartment photos until your eyes turn stinging red and not have clue about the condition of a unit under consideration. As with personal photos, landlords make sure to upload the most favorable looking photos to show renters. In other words, do not trust the photographic appearance of any apartment you have on your short list. Making a visit is the only way to confirm the infrastructure is in mint condition. Pay special attention to the condition of the walls and blinds. You also need to go over each unit under consideration with the same eye used by accomplished detectives. Health and safety issues like bugs, rust, leaky faucets, and dirty air filters are red flags. Other health and safety issues to run quickly away from include broken windows and obvious electrical problems.
Your landlord might be the difference between you renting a gem and you renting a dump. Landlords are responsible for most apartment repairs. Therefore, your next landlord must have a record of fixing maintenance issues successfully and in a timely manner. How do you discover the maintenance record of a prospective landlord? No, you do not try to read him or her like a poker player that has gone all in. Instead, you utilize the Internet to read tenant reviews. Type in the name of the apartment complex or the address of the rental home. Then, read the reviews and make sure to write down the positive and negative comments about the landlord.
A standard apartment lease will include a considerable amount of fine print that even the most meticulous renter can miss. Before you commit to a yearlong lease, take the lease to a licensed real estate lawyer or to a licensed real estate agent to determine what is in the fine print. You want to know how much advance notice the landlord must give you before entering the unit, as well as the late fee policy on the monthly rent. Are you allowed to sublet the apartment? Who is responsible for recurring maintenance needs, such as cutting the grass and shoveling snow?
The amenities that come with an apartment can be the deal closer or deal breaker in your apartment decision. If you are considering an apartment located within a large complex of similar units, determine whether the complex has amenities like a pool or a fitness center. Does the unit have a dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer? What kind of stores and restaurants operate near the apartment? Is the unit furnished and does the building have some type of security feature?
One more thing: try to discover what kind of neighbors you have living close to the unit. You can talk with a few neighbors to get a feel for their personalities. The last thing you want is to live next to a neighbor that blasts music at three in the morning or constantly fights with a spouse or a child. Barking dogs are also a sign for you to look for an apartment elsewhere.