You won’t buy a car without a driving test right? What about buying dogs without playing with them first to see if they fit in with your family? If you are not going to make this decision without asking questions, then it makes sense not to enter the apartment without asking a few important questions first.
I tend to be a very indecisive person, so the more I can narrow down what I want and don’t want in a living arrangement, it helps tremendously in the decision. Here are some good questions and thoughts that you need to figure out while looking for a place to live.
The Price Range
Set Your Price Range This can sometimes be painful or annoying to do, but figuring out your budget is essential for finding a place to live. The last thing you want to do is move into a place where you find yourself struggling to pay rent each month. This is not only stressful, but can do some serious damage to your credit rating if you mess up. Try and think of everything you need to pay for in a month, including utilities, groceries, gas, credit card bills, loans, car insurance, phone bill, and a little savings for things that could go wrong.
Location, Location, Location You may have your heart set on that big skyscraper in the middle of town square where all the happenings are, but try to consider both the pros and the cons of living there. Is living where the action is a requirement you cannot waiver on? Do you want to have a nearby park to walk Fido? What is the commute to work, school, or frequently visited places like? Do you like noise and commotion or a more leisurely atmosphere? Think about different scenarios and such before moving into a space that is incompatible with your living wants and needs.
Size This one is a big one for me. I like my space and would like a proper place to put all of my belongings. Try to figure out the approximate space you will need to keep your sanity.
It can add up over the month to an outrageous number you never imagined! Consider the utilities that are offered in the price of the rent. You may have to sacrifice your top location for a better deal that would fit your budget, but to me, it is well worth it. It’s always a bonus when rent includes at least one or two utility bills.
If you’re like me, you have quite a bit of belongings that you aren’t necessarily keen on getting rid of. Places that offer ample storage are a big deciding factor for me. Figure out how much space your belongings will take up, and keep in mind that you will need to store household items out of sight also.
The Lease Make sure to carefully read over what the lease entails. If you don’t understand something in it, ask! There are no stupid questions. You definitely don’t want to get yourself into that you weren’t planning on.
If you have a pet that requires space to run around, you may want a community that offers lawns or a park. If you have a cute, rambunctious baby-child, a playground may be a nice amenity. Think about the noise you are willing to tolerate, try and get a feel for the residents who live there, look at parking arrangements, and ask about the extra services they provide.
This list, of course, may not contain the only questions you need to ask yourself before moving into a new place. Post things that you have learned to look for in an apartment complex before you make the decision to live there or not.