Five Steps for Finding a Great Apartment

When you’re looking for apartments for rent, it can be difficult and time-consuming. The average person in the United States will move about 12 times in the course of the life, and sometimes it can feel like we are spending all our time either looking at apartments for rent, moving into them, or moving out of them. Is there anything you can do to make it easier and faster when you go looking at apartment units for rent?

Set Your Budget Ahead of Time

Your budget should be firm. You need to be absolutely sure of where the line is. This doesn’t mean you only have one number; you could have a bottom number as an ideal and the top number for “only if perfect.” Then you know how you can bargain. Start out by looking at apartments that are close to your bottom number to get an idea of what’s out there. If nothing seems to fit, you can start slowly moving up the ladder. Save that top number four apartments that tick all the boxes.

How do you figure what you can spend? As a good rule of thumb, most people can’t afford to spend more than 30% of their income on rent. This should be your top number. You need to take into account your personal values and preferred spending habits as you make this determination. For example, if you stay at home a lot or entertain, you may want to be spending all the way up to 30% on your apartment. If you prefer to be out a lot and spend your money on other things, you might want to budget closer to 20%.

Look at More Than One at a Time

one of the mistakes that some people make is looking at apartments for rent one at a time during a lunch break or other short period of time. The problem with this is that you can’t quickly get a broader idea of what’s available and will find it harder to compare apartments in your mind. Go look at apartments for rent when you can devote enough time to see at least three or four in one session.

Check The Location

Before you go looking for apartments, make a list of the things that are most important to you. This list should include not only amenities in the apartments themselves, but also surrounding the apartment. How close do you want to be to a grocery store? How close do you want to be to a library? How important is it that you be close to public transportation options? Will you need parking, and how many spaces? Do you want to be able to walk to local shops and restaurants or do you prefer to be far from the madding crowds? Make a list of what you want and rank it by order of priority so you can make decisions more easily once you start looking at apartments for rent.

Make a List For the Apartment

You also need a list of what you expect in the apartment itself. If you’re looking at furnished apartments, what do you want in your furniture? If you’re looking at luxury apartments, what amenities are most important to you? Do you need a washer and dryer hookup? Do you cook a lot or not so much? This question will affect how big the kitchen should be and what kind of appliances you expect to find in it.

How many bedrooms do you need, and for what? If you need bedrooms for children, do you want them to be in a particular side? Do you need some office space, and is there room with suitable hookups for computer, fax machine, or whatever else you need? How about mobile connectivity within the apartment itself? Almost 70% of current apartment dwellers are dissatisfied with the reception they’re getting on their mobile phones.

There are other questions you can ask, but this should give you an idea of how to plan to go apartment hunting. Once you’ve made these lists, save it for future moves and adjust it if your priorities change. It’ll be easier than ever to find just the right living space.

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