Hi everyone! Babe & I are currently on the search for a new apartment. I don’t know about you guys but I absolutely hate this process. STRESSFUL! Anyhow recently, I noticed that a lot of people I grew up with have taken the initial jump into branching out and living on their own. As someone with their share of colorful experiences with previous apartments, I’d like to you give you guys a few tips on what to be on the lookout for. Some of these tips may seem obvious to the decent person. Well, let me tell you, the last thing you want to do is assume and end up with a lease tying you down to a shitty apartment.There are landlords out there who aim to give the least while requesting the most. Don’t be one of those naive people to fall for this trap! Next time you go apartment hunting, be mindful of the below. Trust me, knowledge is power!
- Check that everything works! Run the sink water. Turn on the shower. Flush the toilet and make sure the plumbing works. You don’t want to be one of those who learn this stuff when company comes over. Talk about EMBARRASSING!
- Ensure that the apartment will receive the necessary touch ups before your move in. This includes a fresh paint, fixing those light bulbs that are out, and etc. Anything that gives the apartment a fresh slate for your new move in.
- Ask about your neighbors and make sure their life coincides with your lifestyle. I’m a firm believer that anytime the Realtor doesn’t want to divulge or “doesn’t know” about the neighbors, that is a bad sign! RUN!
- Know emergency protocol. If you get locked out at 2am, is there a emergency number to call to get in your apartment? Will your landlord be available? Preparation is key.
- Maintenance. What is the turnaround time for repairs? Are the repairs outsourced? Does the landlord have a budget set aside to ensure you’re not the one taking the hit at their expense? Don’t be that girl with no working water because the pipes froze and you have to wait a week for your landlord to get paid.
- Who maintains the property? This includes snow removal, lawn care, pulling out the garbage and etc. Some landlords believe these duties should fall on the tenant. Make sure you are both aware and on the same page.
- Discuss extra fees upfront and get it into your lease. Is it a fee for paying rent late? Does the owner charge you for replacement keys? This helps so you aren’t surprised later and can protect yourself from any other fees being magically created.
- Make sure the apartment fits all of your requirements. The last thing you want to do is sign up for an apartment knowing you wanted off street parking and settle for the struggle of finding parking daily. Trust me, you’ll regret this decision while walking home after the closet parking spot was two blocks away.
- Lastly, all I can advise is don’t settle. If anything about the apartment is nagging you during the viewing, imagine how you are going to feel dealing with it during a year lease. Make sure this is a place you can consider home to relax from the world.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you. If only I would have known these things years ago when I signed my first lease. I would have been saved a boat load of agony, countless phone calls to my mom and stress dealing with landlords. Save yourself the trouble. It’s never worth the headache.