Looking for an apartment can be daunting. The challenge is to avoid losing your mind while searching as well as make sure you made the right choice – one that you will not regret making in the near-future.
Mistakes to Avoid
Below is a list of some of the most common mistakes you want to ensure you avoid entirely.
Even if you win the lottery, there will still be costs and expenses. Moving on its own will bring you additional expenses. Also, just like with your previous household, the new one will come with a range of new issues to work on. Each apartment has its strengths and weaknesses.
In the digital age, apartment hunting begins online. This makes you susceptible to Photoshop’s charms as the image you see might not at all be realistic. Something that looks beautiful can end up being just the opposite so ensure you visit the location in person.
Before starting your search, you need to define your parameters. Although size, décor and cost of rent are important, they are not as important as living in a quality building and safe neighborhood. Not to mention factoring in important details such as your commute.
Just like in relationships, try to resist the temptation of being swept off your feet by appearances. Fancy fixtures are purely an aesthetic quality and one that will vanish with time due to wear and tear. Try not to get carried away by superficial factors but keep in mind what is important.
This rule does not apply to only rentals but any document that you are required to sign. You must know what you will be responsible for as well as what you are entitled to before putting your signature on any piece of paper.
The lease will usually involve the renter giving the landlord a safety deposit that will cover any potential damages if they arise. So if you don’t want to be charged for something that someone else did, make sure any pre-existing damage has been documented.
Now that we’ve gone through the most common mistakes, here are a few more things you should avoid. Think of them as side-effects of modern day / digital lifestyles.
- Search through questionable listing websites.
The dot com era has provided us with abundant resources but unfortunately, it also increased the number of scams and frequency of fraudulent behavior. Many advertisers will not provide you with all the details you need so you can make a uniformed decision so make sure you only search via licensed sites.
- Go beyond your price range
A general rule is that your rent should account for up to 30 percent of your net income. Unexpected expenses will always come up, and knowing you can cover them will help you sleep peacefully.
- Not ask questions and assume
You need to know what to ask your landlord. For example, he or she might charge you an extra for pets. Make sure to ask which costs are included in the rent to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Once you have ticked all the boxes, it’s time to act fast so you make sure you do not lose the deal but also make sure you got the best deal.
- When you find a great apartment that fulfills your criteria, jump on it
If you are hesitant, someone else might take it while you take your time. Don’t sleep on it if, and only if, you have found the right fit.
- Avoid popular moving season
Make sure you know how seasonality affects rental prices – why would you pay a higher price if you do not have to?
- Choose your amenities wisely
An in-unit laundry is very different to onsite laundry and it makes a substantial difference cost-wise. Same goes for whether your apartment has antiquated or updated amenities. Although lower-tier units can result in significantly lower rent, your bills will be higher than in upgraded apartments as they have more energy-efficient appliances. You might also want to check out different energy providers in the region as for example, Duquesne light costs can vary depending on energy usage habits. You could take off several 100 bucks of your electricity bill on an annual basis.
Conclusion On its own, moving is among the most stressful situations we get to experience throughout our lifetime. Don’t make it even worse by being reckless. Take your time, remember to breathe and make sure you follow the tips described above and it’s only a matter of time before you end up moving to your beautiful new apartment.