Whether you are considering a house or an apartment, there are things that need to be researched in order to make your renter story a happy one. If you jump on the first place you see and move right in, you could end up with horrible neighbors, an unsafe neighborhood or a property owner who does not fix anything. In the end, these issues will decrease how happy you are with your apartment. You would not jump right in to buying a car or purchasing your own home and you should not do it when you are renting either.
Starting out on your search.
In order to make sure that you are truly getting to consider every property on the market you need to speak to the people who know all about them. Speak to private landlords, property management organizations and rental agents. By talking to everyone, you can be sure that you are paying a fair price for what you are getting. You also need to be sure that you have considered all fees that could possibly be charged to you. This should include and fees from the agent and credit checks.
What is the area like?
Take a good long walk all around the locale that you would like to live in. Traveling on foot will allow you to pay close attention to your surroundings and minimize the likelihood of you missing any issue that may be a deal breaker. Consider where you will have to travel to get groceries, go to work, see family and friends. If you have a car, be sure there is parking for it and if you do not have a car familiarize yourself with where you can get access to public transportation. Schools should be researched if you have children, and you should know where the public parks are. When you find a house or apartment that you love, do not be shy to knock on some doors. Neighbors can be an invaluable source for the low down on the building and any problems that there may be.
When you have found the one.
When you find the dwelling that you love, and are considering signing the paper, wait one more second. Take a thorough walk through the home or apartment. Making a checklist will help to make sure that you do not forget to look at everything. Your list should include:
- Appliances – Check that they are all in good working condition and not damaged
- Windows – Note any cracks, mold, mildew and check that they open.
- Toilets – Make sure they flush!
- Showers -Look for any damage and turn on the water to be sure it gets hot.
- Ceilings – Note any stains or damage and keep in mind that in some instances a stain on the ceiling can indicate that there is an active leak or previous water damage.
If you decide that this is the place for you and are prepared to move forward, read over the agreement and be sure that you can comply with what is expected from you. Also, document any damage or potential problems that could affect your security deposit. If it is documented, no one can say that you are at fault for it.
Following these helpful guidelines will insure that when you find the perfect rental unit you can rest easy. Going into your new abode with no surprises guarantees that you will be able to enjoy your home for years to come.
Lilly Sheperd, an occasional guest-blogger, writing on behalf Renters Voice, an apartment rating and review site. When not blogging or rushing with the Zerg she likes to travel and read a lot, especially about tech and science.