October 14, 2020
12 Things to Look for in Your Next Apartment
There are many good reasons to move. You might be looking for a new job in a new area. You could be interested in getting a better deal for the money. You might just be looking for a change of scenery.
In any case, you’ll be looking for an apartment that gives you the best possible experience. But with so many variables to consider, how can you tell what the “right” apartment looks like?
Features to Look for in Your Next Apartment
These are some of the most important features to consider for your next apartment:
- Location. One of the most important considerations is going to be location, because it has a major impact on your life in many different ways. For starters, your apartment should be close to the things that are important to you; for example, if you work at a physical location, you’ll want to be close to your place of employment. You may want to live close to a high-ranking school district, or you may want to live in an area that’s surrounded by restaurants, shopping, and nightlife options. On top of that, you may want to live in an area that’s easily accessible, with multiple transportation options.
- Community. Some apartments offer a richer sense of community than others. For example, you may choose to live in an apartment community, where you and all your neighbors have access to community features like social areas and shared resources. This is a great way to forge new friendships and feel like you’re genuinely a part of a community. However, some apartments are more sterile, with fewer opportunities to engage the people around you.
- Size and storage. The size of your apartment may be limiting, depending on your personal possessions and how many people are living with you. You’ll also need to think about storage. Are there plenty of built-in options in this apartment to allow convenient storage, like cabinets and drawers? Are there any outdoor storage areas you can utilize for the excess?
- Appliances. Most apartments come equipped with a handful of appliances to make your life easier, such as a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, and an oven. Are these appliances relatively new? Modern appliances are easier to use, they’re safer, they’re more reliable, and they even use less energy. They’re also cleaner and they offer a sleeker design, beautifying your space.
- Kitchen/Bathroom. Speaking of appliances, pay close attention to the kitchen and bathroom of your next apartment. These are key areas for development, and they can set the tone for the rest of your living space. Ideally, you’ll find an apartment with a fully updated kitchen and bathroom, offering modern fixtures and design elements.
- Smart features. Your home should also have at least some smart home features in place. For example, you might have a smart lock on the front door, allowing you to enter the apartment remotely and grant access to the people you choose. You could also have a smart thermostat or smart lights, which can be controlled remotely with a mobile app for your convenience.
- Heating/AC. Temperature plays a massive role in dictating your comfort level, so be sure to inspect the heating and air conditioning systems. They should be in full working capacity, and should be more than capable of helping you hit the temperature you want.
- Outdoor space and amenities. Not all apartments offer outdoor space or amenities for their guests. On one end of the spectrum, you could have access to a private backyard, a walkable community, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and other features. At the other end, you might have nothing.
- Security. How safe do you feel in this apartment? Think about the relative security and crime rate of the surrounding neighborhood, but also think about the doors, windows, and locks on the apartment. Is this an area that makes you feel safe, or do you feel vulnerable to an external threat?
- Noise. Though it may seem like a minor feature, the noise in your environment can impact you significantly. Spend some time in the apartment throughout the day and a few days throughout the week. Can you hear the rumble of traffic in the distance? Are the walls thin enough that you can hear your neighbors? Try to find an apartment that offers at least some noise protection in the form of sound-resistant walls and windows.
- Landlord availability. You should also consider the availability and amenability of your landlord or property manager. If something goes wrong, do you feel confident that you’ll be able to get in touch with someone? Is there a convenient way to issue a maintenance request? Do these people seem willing to help you resolve problems quickly?
- Reasonable rent. Finally, you’ll need to think about rent. You may be able to find the best apartment in all the areas mentioned above, but if it’s going for five times the average rent in the surrounding areas, it may not be reasonable or affordable. Depending on where you live, you should probably count on paying approximately 30 percent of your gross income on housing expenses, though you may be willing to spend a bit more if it means getting the perfect apartment.
Setting Your Personal Priorities
There are no hard rules for what makes a “good” apartment; your personal success will depend on your personal values and priorities. For example, one person might outright refuse to live in an apartment with outdated appliances or an ugly kitchen, while another is perfectly comfortable with these features if it means scoring lower rent.
Spend some time evaluating your own personal priorities before you begin touring apartments. What factors are most important to you? Which features could you compromise on, and which ones are practically immutable?
Are you interested in finding an apartment that meets all your needs for a reasonable price? Everything starts with a tour.