5 Tips For Finding a Better Apartment

Written by on November 5, 2012 in Lifestyle - 1 Comment | Print this page

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Choosing the right apartment for you is extremely important. This is where you’ll be living; where you’ll be spending your time, where you’ll be sleeping etc. And if you end up in an apartment that you don’t love, it can get pretty frustrating. So what do you do if you find yourself in an apartment that you hate? Well, you move! Yes, finding a new apartment and moving can be an odious, time consuming process. But it’s not nearly as awful as living in an apartment that you hate!

So if you find yourself in an apartment that you dislike, start looking! But where to start?

Here are 5 tips for finding a better apartment:

1. Evaluate your budget.

The first thing you need to do when looking for a better apartment is to evaluate your budget. Do you dislike your apartment because what you want is out of your price range? That is something to take a minute to consider and be honest with yourself. If so, you have one of two choices: raise your budget or lower your expectations. Either way, before you start looking, you will want to know exactly what your budget is, and how high you are willing to go (& what sacrifices you are willing to make) if you find a place that you truly love but that is over the budget you have set.

2. Determine your needs.

Once you know what your realistic budget moving forward is going to be, it’s time to take a look at the things that you want in your next apartment. How many bedrooms do you need? Do you need them to allow pets? Do you want a place with a pool? Where on your priority list is that? Make a list of your must haves, your wants, and your deal breakers. List these items in order of priority, so you know you’ll be getting exactly what you want. Know what you can’t go without, and what you absolutely won’t stand for in a new apartment.

Take some time to think about why you don’t like your current apartment. What specifically about it don’t you like? Is it the size, the location, the style, etc? Make sure to take those things into consideration when making your new list. You don’t want to go through all of this work to find a better place only to exchange your current apartment with a new place with the same exact components that you dislike now.

Take a look at your list and evaluate it with your budget. Make sure that what you want and what you can afford match up. You want to make sure that you have realistic expectations set up before you start your search.

3. Ask around.

When you know you want to start looking for a better apartment, immediately start asking around. Talk to your friends, family members, current neighbors, etc. Many of the best places can be found by talking to someone you know. They might know someone, who knows someone with the perfect place for you. This can help you find a great place you wouldn’t have found otherwise. And it can also help you to get an honest opinion of the apartment from someone other than the landlord.

4. Know the neighborhood.

One very important aspect of finding an apartment that is great for you is getting to know the neighborhood. Start by deciding what type of things you want to find in your next neighborhood. Do you want parks close by for you to walk your dog? Or do you want it to be near a lot of restaurants and bars?

When looking at potential apartments, make sure you learn as much as you can about the neighborhood that you will be in. Make sure that it is the type of area that you will want to live in, and that will fit your lifestyle. If you have children, be sure to ask about the nearest schools.

It’s also a good idea to talk to the neighbors. Not only can they give you the lowdown on the area, but it will also provide you with an opportunity to get to know them. That can help you decide if these are the type of people that you would like to live so close to.

5. Grill the landlord.

Lastly, make sure that you ask your potential landlord a lot of questions. This is your time to grill them! Bring a list of questions with you and make sure to get answers to them. This isn’t just asking about how many bedrooms it is and how much the rent is. You want to dive much deeper here. Asking questions about the typical electricity bills, how old the apartment is, if there are any current issues with the apartment (does everything work properly, etc), are all very good ideas. Try to learn as much about your potential future living residence as possible.

And just like with talking to the neighbors, this question and answer session will help you get to know the landlord more. It is a good idea for you to get a gauge on the type of landlord they will be.

This is a guest post.  Nicole is a writer for Star Reviews, where they search & compare, and you save. View their apartment rental reviews.

Image courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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