Top 6 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Your Next Apartment

Whether you’re hoping to make the transition into your first apartment or you’re moving for the third or fourth time, the apartment search process can be quite aggravating at times. It can be hard to pinpoint the right apartment for you, especially if you have a wealth of options at your fingertips. Below are some important factors to consider that will make the hunt for your new home more seamless and help you to find the apartment that’s the perfect fit!

1. Location, Location, Location

It’s very important that you’re able to envision yourself in your new space, but it’s also crucial that you feel at home in the apartment community’s neighborhood as well! When you visit the building, take note of what’s going on in the area – do you mind the steady stream of foot traffic along the sidewalk? Would you prefer to live on a quieter street, or do you enjoy the vibrant nightlife? Are there enough restaurants, coffee shops, or bars within walking distance? Do you feel safe in this neighborhood? Try visiting the area at different times of the day to get a bigger picture of how the environment may change — your street may seem idyllic during the week, but it could get rowdy on Friday nights.

Considering the general vibe of the area around the community is crucial, as well its access to major roadways or highways. Make sure to think about how long your daily commute from this building will be, too. If you hate sitting in traffic, you may want to reconsider the community you’ve been eyeing that’s quite a distance from your workplace. If you’re not traveling around via a car, you’ll also want to check which public transit options you’ll have available in the neighborhood.

2. Pet Policies & Regulations

Pet Friendly

Do you have a furry family member (or plan on getting one)? You’ll want to look into the apartment community’s policy on whether or not they allow pets. Many communities allow both cats and dogs, or they have restrictions on which animal they allow in the building.  If you’re a pup parent, be sure to ask management if they have any breed restrictions or weight limits. Some communities are very pet-friendly, allowing more than one animal per apartment, with no breed or weight restrictions. Apartments that allow pets typically have a pet deposit, as well as a monthly pet rent.

3. The Availability & Responsiveness of Management

The level of management availability and responsiveness is incredibly important to your overall satisfaction as a future resident. As you do your apartment hunting, pay attention to how quickly the communities’ management and leasing teams respond to your inquiries, emails, and calls. Do you hear back from them within a day, or does it take several days for them to get back to you, if at all? If the latter is the case, you may want to avoid those communities, as you can expect that same level of responsiveness from them when you are their tenant. In those communities, if you submit a question about your leasing terms or ask them for help with an apartment problem, you can probably expect them to take a long time to respond to you or address the issue.

The same goes for management availability – if you’re calling apartment communities and consistently reaching their voicemail, this may signal that the leasing or management team is hardly ever in the office to answer the phone (or help residents with anything they may need). Apartment communities with 5-star management teams  are true gems and are worth seeking out!

4. Community Events

The engagement of apartment community residents is also very important for your satisfaction! When management teams take the time to decorate the building or plan for and host fun events, it shows that they care about their residents and are investing in the community as a whole. Community events are a fantastic opportunity for you to get to know your neighbors, and they also add value to your apartment living experience. From book clubs to fancy dinners, door decorating contests to pup-friendly parties, movie screenings to prize giveaways, these events can help your community to feel less like a formal renting experience and more like a warm and welcoming home environment.

5. Security & Safety Features

Location is an important factor in overall safety, but you should also consider the different security features within and around the apartment building. Take a look around the individual apartment — does it have key fob access, a physical key and lock, or a deadbolt? Is your apartment on the first floor, making it more prone to burglary? How close is your apartment to a stairwell, in the case of a fire?

Think about the entrance to the building — how are visitors admitted into the building? Is there a light and security camera near the door? If packages are delivered, are they left in a designated safe area (such as a package-receiving locker), or are they just dropped in the foyer?

6. Online Ratings & Reviews

Before signing a lease, make sure to do an online search for the apartment community, and take a look at the ratings left by previous and current residents. These reviews can give you a firsthand look at what it’s actually like to live there. If there’s a lot of talk of mismanagement or problems that you may not have perceived in your own communication with the leasing team, it may be best to steer clear. It would be also wise to avoid communities whose residents have mentioned many “hidden fees” or “items not in the fine print” in their reviews, as you may encounter those same issues if you decide to live there. Avoid the headache and look for communities whose management teams are focused on resident satisfaction.

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