5 External Elements To Help You Choose The Right Apartment

Posted on: 19 April 2021

When you tour apartments to rent, you likely pay a lot of attention to the condition of the unit, its size, or its layout. But what about what you can learn outside the four walls of the unit? Here are a few key outside elements that may help you decide if a place is right for you. 

1. The Parking Lot.

What can the parking lot tell you? First, look for signs of nonfunctional or damaged vehicles. If the landlord allows the parking area to become cluttered with unwanted vehicles, they may allow tenants to cause other nuisance issues or overlook maintenance. Also, consider how neighbors and visitors drive in the lot. Are they careful and do they follow the rules?

2. Maintenance and Service Persons.

What repair or maintenance activity is going on in the area? Landscapers, repair technicians, and other property vendors are a good sign in that they show the landlord or owners put effort into caring for the units. You might also chat with any service providers to ask their thoughts on the owner or management they work with. 

3. Potential Neighbors.

Consider knocking on a few doors or approaching other tenants on the property to ask them about their experience as a renter. This type of informal poll helps you get a more rounded and practical view of the property. And if you do rent the apartment, you will already know at least a few of your neighbors.

4. Broken and Damaged Materials.

Take a walk or drive around the property. Are there broken and missing parts? Is the asphalt cracked and pitted or repaired neatly? Are damaged areas blocked off, with no sign that they're being fixed? Do safety features on stairs or around the pool work? If public areas are kept up well, private apartments probably are as well. 

5. The Nightlife.

If possible, visit your potential new home at night or on the weekend (or both). Drive or walk around and get a cup of coffee in the neighborhood. Does the neighborhood reflect your style and personality? Do you feel safe? Does music, partying, or noise break the quiet? Do loud cars speed up and down the street? Many renters may not be home much during the day, but you will be there at night. 

Where to Start

Start by scheduling a tour of a potential apartment in your target area. Then, take a moment to look at these five important elements outside the unit. Armed with more knowledge, you can undoubtedly choose a new home that will match your needs and be a place you'll enjoy coming home to.