Prior to starting on your hunt for the perfect apartment, some things you would have prepared are your budget, a list of questions for the real estate agent or seller and a checklist of amenities you may want nearby your potential apartment.
Sounds tricky? Don’t worry, there’s definitely a home out there that’s right for you. The first of your considerations is likely to be the location of the apartment, and what possible choices you have in that area that is within budget. You probably also want to think about the apartment type, and if you are going solo or wanting to have some roommates. Many decisions need to be made in your search, and we’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help you find the perfect home.
1. Have A Budget
The first step to take in your apartment hunting process is to make a budget of how much you can and are willing to spend on your new apartment. The budget should include things such as rental, utility bills, groceries bills, and any one-off costs needed for moving from your current place to your new home. Don’t forget that while paying for these, you also need to account for other existing costs such as gas money, parking fees, your mobile plans, internet plans, credit card bills as well as any familial monetary obligations. A general rule of thumb is to keep your rental at no more than 30% of your income each month. This will allow you to have some savings and plan for other expenses you have.
Consider using a rent affordability calculator if you face problems coming up with a budget. The rent calculator takes into account your income and the type of apartment you are eyeing, to tell you how much you can comfortably afford.
2. Move In The Off-Season
Summer is often the peak season for moving due to the favorable weather. Though more units are up for rental or sale in the summer months, it also means that the heightened demand is accompanied by heightened prices. If you are on a budget, consider moving during the off-season in winter instead.
3. Inspect The Apartment Thoroughly
When you do visit the apartment for viewing, be sure to check the place thoroughly. It is important to think from the point of view of an owner on what issues you may want to hide from view and check for these. Common issues may be hiding animal droppings inside cabinets or shelves or the water pressure and flow in sinks and showers. Also, consider bringing along a phone charger so you can test if the power points are working.
4. Keep A Tape Measure Handy
If you are moving, you may be buying new furniture to fill up your new apartment. Be sure to bring along a tape measure to measure the dimensions of the entrances, hallways, and of course the apartment itself. You wouldn’t want to get all that fancy new furniture just for it not to fit through the door!
5. Ask About The Pet Policy
If you are a pet owner or thinking of getting a pet in the near future, remember to ask the owner or real estate manager if pets are allowed. Pet policies may differ from one apartment complex to the next, and most places will charge a fee. Some apartment complexes may also ban large breeds of dogs.
7. Take Your Time
Don’t feel pressured to rush through the apartment viewing, and take the time you need to slowly peruse the unit and the apartment complex. When the owner or real estate manager conducts viewings, they may want to rush you through it with the aim of closing the deal or be distracted by other potential visitors. Don’t be pressured to rush through it as it is their job to ensure you get a proper viewing. Form a connection with them by introducing yourself and asking questions about the unit so they can better remember you amongst the sea of potential renters or buyers. Check out some good recommendations for reputable uptown locators who can help you with this process too.
8. Find Yourself A Roommate Or Two
If this hasn’t crossed your mind thus far, do consider the possibility of finding yourself a roommate or two. This will help you get more bang for your buck, as expenses are shared by more people! It could also be more fun if you live with friends who have similar personalities and living habits as yourself. Beautiful friendships can be formed with roommates, and it doesn’t hurt that living with roommates means being able to save money for other expenses as well.
9. Check If The Apartment Receives Good Reception And Connectivity
With the world becoming increasingly connected and digitalized, it is all the more important that your apartment has both cell reception and good broadband connectivity. Be sure to check if your unit has cell service and broadband connectivity, or if there are any dead zones within the unit, as it is not uncommon for homes to have dead spots where connectivity is an issue.
10. Be Systematic And Have A Checklist
Feeling overwhelmed by everything? You are not alone. Apartment hunting can get overwhelming, especially for first-timers. This results in people forgetting to check thoroughly or not having a priority list of things they must have or things they can compromise on. Make yourself a checklist and systematically work your way through the needs and wants in an apartment. When visiting the apartment, bring your list along and check it off. This will help in your eventual decision to go for that unit or not.
11. Try Negotiating To Get A Better Deal
If you never ask, you will never know. If the price is just slightly out of your budget, try negotiating for a lower rent. An opportune time to negotiate for lower prices will be when the unit seems less than perfect, with several issues that need fixing. It is also worth a shot to negotiate if the unit is not on a desirable floor (for example, level 13 which some may view to be unlucky), or if there are amenities that you desire but are not included. Depending on the seller or real estate manager, you might be able to get a lower rent just by asking.
12. Snap Up A Good Deal Quickly When You See It
Remember how in point two, we mentioned moving in the off-season versus the peak season? If you must move in the peak season during the summer months, make sure you snap up a good deal quickly once you see it, as the odds are that multiple people are also eyeing the unit. It is essential that you quickly follow up with your real estate manager or the seller after the viewing, as apartments sell like hotcakes in these months. Be sure to express your interest quickly so you can get that apartment of choice!
While it may take some time and effort during the apartment hunting process, the whole process will definitely pay off once you do find the perfect apartment. Having read through our tips, you can go forth with confidence in your hunt.