2 Things To Look For In A New Apartment

Posted on: 12 December 2014

When you start looking at new apartments, you might be more concerned about finding a place close to your college campus and great restaurants than you are about anything else. However, while it is always nice to have a short commute and access to decent takeout, those things might pale in comparison with other features later. Here are two things to look for in a new apartment, so that you don't regret signing that contract.

1: Suitable Environment

As you visit different apartment buildings, you probably try to gauge the atmosphere to decide if the area is right for you. However, if you only visit your potential apartment once before you move in, you might not have an accurate depiction of the environment.

Most people don't realize it until they move in, but building environments can change a lot throughout the day. For example, if you live in an apartment above a young family with a few kids, you might hear babies crying throughout the day and night. On the other hand, if you decide to move into a complex filled with other college students, there might be people partying by the pool into the wee hours of the morning.

Before you start shopping, think about what kind of environment would work well for you. If you can, visit each potential property several times during the day and night to see what the place is really like. Talk with existing tenants to ask about noise, landlord rules, and building policies. You might be able to get an unbiased opinion about the place, so that you can decide if you would be happy living there.

2: Professional Property Maintenance

If you are a handy, proactive person, you might not be that worried about how upper management responds to maintenance requests. Unfortunately, although service calls might not seem like that big of a deal now, it might matter to you later when your washing machine floods at three in the morning. In fact, one study found that the lack of quality service calls ranked fourth in a list of the top ten tenant complaints.

If you want to get great help quickly, look for an apartment complex with a rock-solid protocol as far as maintenance is concerned. Here are some things that might make things easier for you if you ever run into problems:

  • 24-Hour Service Hotline: Nothing is worse than waking up a landlady in the middle of the night. Fortunately, some apartment complexes have 24-hour service hotlines where you can report problems anytime, day or night. If you have an emergency, like a flood or heater failure, some places will even dispatch a maintenance team to help you right then.
  • Trained Maintenance Professionals: Look for an apartment complex that uses a dedicated, professionally trained maintenance staff to conduct their repairs. In addition to fixing the problem the right way the first time around, a maintenance professional also might be able to conduct the repair quicker than a novice.
  • Small Maintenance Expenses: As you discuss apartments with different landlords, make sure to ask about maintenance expenses such as smoke alarm batteries, pest control treatments, and carpet cleaning. Some places cover small maintenance expenses, while others require you to foot the bill for those types of things on your own.

Moving into a well-managed building that takes service calls seriously might keep you from dealing with broken appliances or babysitting past-due maintenance requests for weeks at a time.   

Although finding the right apartment might take a little more time and effort on your part, being in a place where you can be comfortable around the clock will be worth it in the end.