When you are looking for apartments for rent, there are a lot of things people over look. Most think only about size and price. These are, obviously, the two biggest components. You have to rent somewhere that is big enough to meet your needs and small enough to fit your budget. You think about the two months’ rent in advance and where you are going to put your furniture.
But think of other things, too. How far is your new apartment from your job? Test out the morning and evening traffic on your new route before you commit to moving in. Is this going to be an inconvenience or will it lessen your commute? Is there a bus route? Are there gas stations near by that have air pumps and reasonably priced gas? What about car garages you can trust? Your car and house are often well tied together.
Find out all you can about the neighborhood. Look at the list of crimes in the paper and see if your town is the residence of any of these offenders. Is the school good? Are there street lights on the street? How far is it from the police station? Drive around at all hours to see what you think of it.
Factor utilities into your rent, along with cable, trash removal, and washer and dryer services. These can be lots of hidden costs for people, plus hugely inconvenient. Does the landlord plow the driveway in the winter? Ask about the insulation of the house. Many rental properties are not maintained as well as they should be because it is expensive to do so. More supplies cost more. But you may be throwing away your money because your heat will have to be turned up extremely high to keep your house at reasonable temperatures.
Get a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ before you sign the lease. You do not want to be surprised or have your security deposit taken because you did not realize that you could not hang pictures on the walls. Can you have a pet? Can you have a vegetable garden out back?
Check for key appliances. A dishwasher and a fridge should be included. Good landlords will also provide you with a vacuum cleaner and perhaps a microwave and toaster. Is the stove in good condition? Is there a fire alarm? How does the shower and all of the sinks look? Do not be afraid to really inspect the place.
Take a look at the space you have. Make sure the basement has plenty of storage for you. Are there enough closets for your clothes and bath stuff? What about cabinets for your food and dishes? Electrical outlets should be plentiful.
Also focus on the landlord. Is he or she a decent person who will take care of you? Learn about their reputation. Look for what they are asking in terms of the lease. How long does it go, and could you get out of it if you had to? Do they provide you with plenty of ways to contact them?
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