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When you're looking for a new place to live, the options can be overwhelming. There are so many choices, and it can be hard to know where to start. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is by taking apartment tours. This will give you a first hand look at some of your options and help you decide which one is right for you.
But how do you go about taking apartment tours? And what should you look for while you're there? Here's a detailed guide on how to take apartment tours like a pro.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Before you even look at your first apartment, there are some essential things to consider. Ask yourself: How much do I want to spend each month on rent? Do I prefer a hip downtown location or quiet suburban streets? Do I mind sharing a bedroom with my roommate? It's also helpful to think about your future. When are you planning on moving? Do you need enough space for your whole family, or will one bedroom be enough for now?
With this information in mind, it's time to start looking at specific locations. Here are some of the best ways to find places to tour:
Today, most apartment complexes have their own online listings, complete with floor plans, photos, and amenities. By visiting the websites of all the places in the area you're considering, you can get an idea of what your options are.
Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the local rental market, and they can help you find buildings that fit your criteria. Remember: When working with a real estate agent, don't sign any leases until you're entirely sure this is the right place for you!
Sites like Craigslist and Zillow have many of the same listings as local apartment websites, with the added bonus of letting you search for rentals across multiple cities.
After that, create a list of apartments according to your needs and wants. There are no correct figures to have on your list, but you should ideally have at least a few so that you can compare apartments and be confident in your selection.
As you have created a list of apartments you want to visit, it's time to check their geographical location. If you are looking for an apartment close to work or college, this is a vital consideration. So make sure that you check it out. You may discover your apartment's location by entering its address of it into a search engine.
Make a list of all the apartment complexes you plan to visit and double-check that someone will be on-site to show you a unit when you come and inquire about an appointment. If you're on a budget, it's ok to skip places that require a fee upfront.
Now that you've got a few places in mind, it's time to set up some tours. But how do you narrow down your choices? Here are some things to consider when taking apartment tours:
Does it look well-maintained? Is it tidy, or is there trash strewn around? How's the landscaping? An unkempt building may indicate that the landlord does not take much pride in their property.
Are there enough benches for people to sit on while waiting for an elevator? Is the lobby clean and well-kept, or is it crowded with boxes and dirty laundry?
If possible, take a peek into your potential bedroom. Ensure there's sufficient closet space for all of your stuff, and check out how much sunlight comes in through the windows. Also, take a look at the kitchen and bathroom. Do they seem clean enough? Can you imagine using them on a daily basis?
Ask your potential future roommates what they think of the place. If someone seems unhappy, that may be a sign of underlying problems with the apartment or building. Also, ask about amenities. If someone tells you that there's a pool and you can't see it, they might be trying to hide something (like the fact that it's rarely used or has been closed for repairs).
Take a look at any contracts before signing. Make sure that everything is in order and that the terms are clear. Never sign any contract without reading it.
After you've taken tours of several places, it should be easier to narrow down your options. Here are four questions to ask yourself when choosing an apartment:
As you visit different apartments, think about how they make you feel. Is the building secure and well-maintained, or does it seem like a place where problems could arise? Could you see yourself living happily here for the next few years?
If your apartment doesn't come equipped with much storage room (like many city apartments), you may find yourself living out of boxes for a while. Make sure that you like the apartment before committing to it, especially if you have a lot of stuff!
When visiting different apartments, calculate how much each one would cost per month. Remember that your rent will include utilities (like heat and electricity), so factor those into your monthly bill. Also, think about whether or not you'll have to pay a security deposit. A general rule of thumb is to pay no more than 30% of your monthly income on rent. If it costs much more, that could indicate a problem with the apartment.
Also See: How to Get Your Security Deposit Back When You Move
If there are high crime rates in the area where you might be living, it can significantly impact your quality of life. Look up crime statistics for different neighborhoods before making a final decision about where to live.
Taking a virtual tour of the apartment is the new normal. It gives you the ability to look at your potential future home without leaving the couch. Many websites offer virtual tours, some of which are free.
While taking a Virtual tour, ask yourself the following question:
Just as you did when visiting different apartments, think about how you feel when taking a virtual tour. If it doesn't feel right, keep looking. After all, it's your home!
It's easy to fake photos of an apartment - sometimes even on legitimate real estate websites. Look for signs that the photos are doctored (like identical angles and identical pictures of the floor), and don't be afraid to ask the real estate agent about them.
Don't forget to verify all of the above-mentioned factors, whether you're taking a live apartment tour or a virtual one.
See Also: How to Move into an Apartment Building with no Elevator | Moving into a High-Rise Apartment Guide
Finding a place to live can be a daunting task, but it's important to take the time to find the right apartment for you. Remember that your home is an important part of your life, so don't rush into anything! Consider all of your options and ask yourself questions about each one before deciding.
How do you tour an apartment?
Many people prefer to visit in person, but you can also take a tour with a video. Whether you're visiting in person or doing a virtual walkthrough, be sure to examine everything about the apartment, including its exterior and interior. Make sure to ask about amenities, the contract, storage space, neighborhood safety, and how much you'll be paying each month.
How do you narrow down the options?
There are several things to consider when choosing between different places. Think about which features are important to you (like the neighborhood, number of bedrooms, etc.), take tours, and then choose just one or two to focus on. You can take more tours once you've chosen your finalists.
What is a virtual apartment tour?
A virtual tour is a way to see what an apartment looks like from the comfort of your own home using videos or photos. You may not be able to take a virtual tour with every rental (but you can always ask!).
Do I need to check the neighborhood?
Yes! If there's a high crime rate or other factors that could make you unhappy with your apartment, keep looking! Think about how much you're willing to spend on rent, and then look up the crime rate (and other relevant information) for different neighborhoods in your city.
How do I know how much to spend on rent?
Your monthly rent should be no more than 30% of your income. If you're spending too much, that can make it hard for you to pay other bills and live comfortably. Don't forget to factor in utilities like electricity and heat, as well as whether or not you'll need to pay a deposit.
See Also: Do’s and Don’ts of Apartment Living | Moving to an Apartment: Pros and Cons | Best Time to Rent an Apartment | List of Top Apartment Movers in the USA | Moving Within the Same Building
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