What a great milestone! You have finally started earning some cash and are ready to set out on your own. Owning your own home may still not be a dream you can realize, but you are ready to sign a lease for your very first apartment. Make sure to do your research before settling in. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in a lease in an apartment that is not going to work out. Doing a little research and investigation before you sign on the dotted line will save you months of aggravation if your apartment is not the home of your dreams.
Where your apartment is located is the heart of the matter. First, consider your job and how far you are willing to commute. This will give you the radius for your apartment search. Within that radius, consider your need for amenities like nearby shopping and restaurants. If you are a shopaholic, plan accordingly by choosing an apartment near shops or malls. The same goes for restaurants. If you are a foodie, the last thing you want to do is travel far in search of the perfect meal.
Likewise, maybe you want to be able to enjoy a library, or a park or outdoor location. By doing a quick study of your personality, you will be able to pick a place to surround yourself with all the amenities you love. Finally, consider transportation. City dwellers will want to be on a transportation line. It is no fun walking miles in the rain or snow to catch your train! Safety is another issue. Spend some time scoping out the neighborhood at different times during the day so you know you are renting an apartment in a neighborhood that will make you feel secure.
Privacy goes hand in hand with location. You want to pick an apartment that suits your lifestyle. If you are a gregarious person, choose a place with easy access to other apartments and a place to congregate, such as a common area or pool. If you are on the quieter side, opt for an apartment that offers more seclusion where apartments are more spaced out. Also, consider the location of the building on the street. Do you want to be right on the street near traffic, or set back from the road a bit?
More precious than gold to an apartment owner who owns a car, is a parking space. Consider whether parking is included in your rent, because paying for parking on top of your lease could put you over budget. Furthermore, some apartments feature only on-street parking, which can be a real hassle in a busy neighborhood or in inclement weather. Consider how far away you can park and still get your groceries to your apartment in one trip, and then plan accordingly!
No matter where you live, you need to consider storage. Are there roomy closets for all of your belongings? Do you have a garage where you can store things you don’t need on a daily basis? Are there lockers in the apartment building itself where you can lock up some of your little used gear? Only you know how much stuff you have and how you want it laid out. One common complaint of apartments is that residents don’t have enough room to display or store their stuff, so consider carefully what your needs are.
Laundry is another key issue. No one wants to haul their clothes to a laundromat to get them clean. The expense, trouble, and questionable hygiene of laundromats often puts laundry at the top of apartment must-haves. Consider whether the apartment has an in-suite washer and dryer, or if you have to use a common laundry room. Personal preference will guide your decision, but being able to wash and dry your clothes in your private apartment is a great asset.
Consider roommates or pets
Think about who is moving in with you. If you have a roommate, you can probably afford a nicer place since you will be splitting the rent. But if that is the case, you will also need a bigger apartment. Additionally, check on the pet policies if you have a pet. You will definitely want to bring Fido along, and you need to make sure he is welcome!
Heating and cooling
Depending on your location in the country, heating in winter or cooling off in summer are nearly life and death undertakings. Consider whether heating and cooling are included in the monthly rent, and even if the apartment has an air conditioner to start with. An apartment such as Chillum Terrace Apartments offer temperature controlled apartments, and even includes all utilities. This is a real plus!
Access to landlord
Finally, make sure you are renting from a person/company that is available to you. Odds are you will have a leaky toilet or need a difficult-to-reach light bulb changed at some point, and you want to make sure you can get your problem solved with as little hassle as possible. Having easy access to the landlord will make your apartment dwelling much easier over all.