Five Things to Consider When Shopping for Apartments for Rent

Apartments for rent seem to be a dime a dozen in many population centers throughout the country. How can you possibly find the apartment that is right for you when there are so many to choose from? Here are five things to consider that should help with this process.

1. What part of town is most appealing to you?

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it is imperative to know the town or city that you are planning to live in. Be sure to research the area thoroughly and then select the part of town where you prefer to live. By doing the research on a particular place ahead of time, you familiarize yourself with the area and find the section that is just right for you. Are some areas more prone to crime than others? You would obviously want to avoid these. Are some areas more pedestrian friendly? Where is public transportation offered? Where are shopping and entertainment options? Where are parks located? Are some areas of town cheaper to live in than others? The list of things to consider can seem endless, but knowing the answers to these questions will help you distinguish where the exact part of town is that best fits your lifestyle.

2. Where can you afford to live?

Much more goes into your cost of living than just what is needed for rent every month. Along with this fixed expense, things like electricity, water, heat, internet, and cable must be factored in as well. Most apartment complexes will also charge an additional monthly fee on top of your rent if you have a dog or a cat. It is recommended that you spend no more than 20 to 25 percent of your net income on housing. If you discover beforehand that you cannot afford to live in a particular place, it makes it that much easier to cross it off of your list.

3. What types of amenities are you interested in?

Apartments for rent are all over the place when it comes to the types of amenities they offer. Some complexes have pools. Some do not. Some have exercise facilities along with basketball and tennis courts. Some do not. Some even provide car washing bays, game rooms, clubhouses, saunas, and racquetball courts. On the flip side, there are other apartments that may not even provide you with a free parking space. You have to decide what you want in terms of amenities and what you can live without.

4. What type of building do you want to call home?

Apartments for rent come in all shapes and sizes. There are massive complexes that house hundreds of tenants, small houses that are home to a single family, and pretty much everything in between. Larger complexes generally provide more amenities, but they also tend to cost more money. Smaller homes and duplexes tend to offer more private outdoor space. The question is, what do you want your living environment to be like on a day in, day out basis?

5. How long of a time commitment do you want to make?

When you begin the process of renting your new home, you will most likely have to sign a lease with the landlord. Some landlords only use one year leases while some may offer three or six month obligations. Some others may even allow you to rent on a month to month basis, simply needing you to give a 30 day notice before you plan on moving out. If you know that you want to stay in your apartment for a while, then the one year lease may be fine for you. If, on the other hand, you may need to move quickly, a month to month option is probably your best bet.

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