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Things to look out for when searching for or renting a new apartment

Things to look out for when searching for or renting a new apartment

Whether it is your first time or you simply want to move to a new neighborhood or change environment, renting a new apartment can be an exciting and also a daunting task.

Therefore it is important that you take your time and get the basics right to avoid regrets later after you have made final payments and gotten comfortable in your new place.

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The things you need to consider include:

Your budget

It is important you budget and plan carefully before you start searching for real estate classifieds listings in your desired area.

It is ideal that your rent is a third of your salary. That will make keeping up with your rent easier.

You also have to put other initial expenses like your application fees and security deposit. Many landlords will require that you pay a month extra but when you consider it adding an extra month’s rent to your budget will save you the stress of having to worry about your next rent and focus more on settling down and other expenses.

After settling down you will quickly realise that other expenses will come up like your electricity bills, water bills, gas bills etc. Putting these extra bills into consideration and on your budget makes your mind prepared for the future and of course will help you with the peace of mind of knowing you are prepared for them.

Someone with experience

If this is your first time searching for an apartment the you should really consider doing so with someone more experienced like your parents, a mentor or a friend who has already rented their own apartment.

Leveraging on their experience and mistakes will assist you greatly in making the right choice and putting the right things in perspective as they will be able to point out little details you might miss in maybe your lease agreement or even the apartment itself.

Even if this isn’t your first rodeo it is ideal to go with someone else who you know is also experienced at apartment hunting to get a second opinion as they can easily point out things you might have missed.

Inspection

After going through available apartments for rent on any real estate classified ads site you will have to contact the agent or landlord to book an appointment for inspection.

Under no circumstance should you make any upfront payment before visiting and inspecting the apartment and also meeting the landlord in person.

If an offer is too good to be true it usually is. Don’t fall for scammers requesting upfront payment without an inspection especially when the rent is lower than other apartment listings in that area.

While inspecting the apartment ensure you go through every single detail. Try all the doors, taps, ensure the toilet flushes, open and close the drawers, turn the lights off and on and if the apartment has extra features like air-conditioning make sure they work and are in perfect condition.

If they are not it gives you the opportunityto bring these issues to your landlord’s notice so he can have them fixed.

Extra hint: Pick two or three different apartments for inspection. This way you are not in a hurry to make a decision and you have more options to pick from.

Never allow the landlord of a building rush you into renting an apartment until you have absolutely made up your mind.

Location

Now that you have found the perfect place you have to make sure the location is also perfect.

How far is your new apartment from your place of work? How far do you have to walk or drive to get groceries? If you are the type that likes to eat out or or order, how far are the eateries and restaurants? If you work out you might want to find out how the closest gyms and also how safe it is to go jogging in the morning. If there is a health emergency how close are the hospitals and health care centers.

These details, if carefully considered, will ensure you get the best in the long term out of your apartment.

Lease agreement and other documents

Before signing on any document it is important you go through it properly. We advise you take all the time you need and read it twice at least.

If you have any questions regarding the lease make sure you ask and be clear on every point no matter how complicated it is.

If you have taken our advise and you are inspecting with someone with more experience ask them for assistance in reviewing the agreement.

You should also make sure you go along with your documents like your driver’s licence etc

Landlord

Whether or not your landlord will be sharing your building with you it is important to develop a semi-formal relationship with your landlord and use the period of inspection to get to know him better.

What does he like, how quick will he respond to a complaint or fix a problem, what responsibilities is he willing to carry in terms of maintenance and so on.

Ordinarily these things should be detailed in the lease agreement but chatting about it with your landlord will give you a sense of what to expect from him/her after you move into your apartment.

Co-tenants

If you notice other tenants in the building chatting them up and introducing yourself as a new prospective co-tenant is not a bad idea as they are in a better position to give you more details about what to expect when you move in and will save you the stress of having to find out on your own.

Like how long it takes to get things fixed, the restaurants with the cheapest or most delicious dishes, best places to hang out etc.

Pets

If you are planning on moving in with your pets or getting one in the future you need to know what rules are in place in your building.

Discuss with your landlord to know the rules surrounding pets in the building. Since most pet-friendly buildings require adding an extra pet fee to your rent or a pet deposit you need to be certain so you can add it to your budget.

Also ensure there is sufficient space for your pet and include in your designs or arrangement for where they can sleep, eat and play.

Shared walls

This is a detail that is usually overlooked and many times you would have already packed into your new apartment only to discover that your co-tenants argue really loudly or are in the habit or practice musical instruments late at night.

Even though you cannot always control what your neighbor does it is important to have knowledge of this so you don’t end up being disappointed in the long run.

Furnishings

If this is your first apartment you have to create budgets for furniture. Things like your bed, mattress, wardrobe and drawers for your clothes, a couch or set of chairs and center table for your living room and kitchen utencils like pots, pans, spoons, knives plates, blenders, stove etc are all very important in making you comfortable in your new home.

If you already have these thing ie if you are moving into a new apartment from a former one you have to evaluate the stuff you will be moving.

Many people hold on to things out emotional attachment but you have to be really honest with yourself and decide of you are not just moving junk. If there are things you can give out or donate do so as this is a good way of reducing your load and ensuring your new home has more space.

Moving your stuff

So you have paid for your new apartment and you are ready to move in and you have to get your stuff from your old apartment to the new one.

But before moving you should check the layout of your new apartment and imagine all your stuff already in it. What goes where, what will look better where and what will fit where. You can also do a rough sketch and write down where what will be. Preparing your mind will make moving in easier.

Hiring a professional moving company can be expensive but you will be paying not only for moving but also their expertise and experience. After all this is their business and they have been doing this for quite some time.

However if you will rather save up and move yourself be sure to arrange your things properly. Get cardboard boxes and label them so it will be easier to unpack when you get to your new place.

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