Apartment Hunting Tips?
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13-03-2014, 09:52 PM
Apartment Hunting Tips?
Y'alls seem pretty smart. I'd like some advice if you don't mind. Big Grin

So here's the dealio.Recently my best buddy and I have been talking about sharing a 2 bedroom apartment, preferably with laundry on site and paid utilities/internet. She lives in another town that's 3 hours away (and she doesn't have a car) so I'm taking it upon myself to tour the apartment complexes we find online. She says she'd be able to come down at the end of May/beginning of June (if something doesn't pop up) but I figured the sooner I hop on this the better it'd be. Other than looking for mold or dead animals in rooms, I have no idea what to keep an eye out for. So basically what I'm asking is:

*What should I keep in mind as I'm looking at apartments?
*Is there anything you screwed up on while getting for your first place that you'd advise me not to do?
*How soon is too soon to try to get an apartment?
*Any other tips?
*Is it tasteless to, when I move in, get a beta fish and name it after the last one I had that I accidentally killed 2 days after I got him? Monty just seems like such a good fishy name. I'm sorry, Monty, I thought you'd like a view of the field. I didn't think of the 20 degree weather on the other side of the window Weeping.

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13-03-2014, 09:58 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
Keep in mind things like are you on the street side...therefore traffic noises and lights that could bother you. My daughter and SIL lived in an apartment building that had about four fire stations/ambulance places nearby so their life, while there, had a constant background of sirens as in drown out the TV sirens.

How close is parking...important in crap weather or when you have to lug a bunch of groceries or other items in.

Find out if there is 24 hour maintenance and weekend maintenance...just in case.

I am sure others will have some ideas.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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13-03-2014, 10:04 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
The fish won't care what you name him.

Are you prepared to drive your room mate EVERYWHERE or to loan out your car? Because at first it seems ok, but it gets old super fast. So I would put roommate transportation and secure jobs on top of the list.

There are some apps that will tell you where sex offenders live. Think about rush hour and making a right turn out of the drive if you can.

Look at the common areas, they should be in great shape and clean. Most places have an online tool to find police service calls to that area.

Know the penalty for breaking a lease early.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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13-03-2014, 10:05 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
Make a list of things you can't live without in an apartment, and use that list to narrow down your location. Things like parking, laundry, pet option, location, building access, price range etc.

Once you know what you want, it will be really easy to see you have a short list of options.

One thing I was unhappy about not checking... The atmosphere. If you find one you really like, ask the manager if you can come by one night, and just hang out in your car in the parking lot for a little while. (You want to let them know you are doing this in case someone complains of loitering). This can tip you off to any weird or noisy neighbors.

Good luck!!!

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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13-03-2014, 10:11 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
Listen to your spidey sense. If your stomach feels uncomfortable being there, then it isn't the place for you. Drive by at midnight, thru the parking area. Would you feel comfortable there at that hour? Many places are different depending on the time of day.

Safety first.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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13-03-2014, 10:14 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
(13-03-2014 10:04 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  Think about rush hour and making a right turn out of the drive if you can.

This is more important than you would think if it's on a busy street.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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13-03-2014, 10:40 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
Wow, these are all very good ideas! I kind of can't believe I didn't think of some of these. And now that you bring up carpooling, B&A, that makes me want to check out if there's close public transportation so if she needs to get from point A to point B, she'd have a better chance doing so when I can't drive her. Thanks you guys! Big Grin

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13-03-2014, 10:49 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
I meant to expand on the common areas idea, if those area look a mess, then you can bet they will probably not respond to your calls for service in a good way. It doesn't take much to keep halls, stairwells, parking lots clean, nice and well lit.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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13-03-2014, 11:45 PM
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
My list is this:

-Location (I have a set radius in which I look, outside that there are no places to live, at all... maybe only a few block if it's REALLY cheap)
-Price/expenses (budget is budget, nothing exist outside your budget)
-Noises (you won't mind them at first, but you'll move out because of them)
-Price (really, it's important)
-General conditions of the building/apartment (roaches, electrical installations, PLUMBING, walls, paint, etc.)
-Windows/balcony (it will make your life better more than you can imagine)
-Security service (it's inversely proportional to location, the better the location the less important this item is)
-Size (at least three or four square meters of free space in the centre of the main room will make your life)
-Price (you won't get more money out of thin air, you can't stop eating either)
-Blinds (optional, but the greatest friends in a hangover, also good place for housing bats)
-Neighbours (old people are grumpy, young people are noisy, everyone is annoying)
-Price (don't fool yourself, don't take it if you can't pay it)
-Building bylaws (?) (noise level toleration and shit like that, important for planning parties and avoiding fines)
-Spaces arrangement (if the kitchen is in the bedroom, you'll have a bad time, and yes, some places have the kitchen in the bedroom. Think about the normal motions of a regular day, you'll notice when something is out of place)
-General aura (that weird feeling that comes from nowhere and tells you that everything will be awesome... you can get rid of the roaches nest anyway. Or that one that warns you that things are too good to be true, there's something smelly about that place. Don't ignore it)

And finally but not least: Price, price, price, price... PRICE!!!

There, some things can be overlooked, some don't. But in general that's what I consider. Last time I had to sacrifice noise for price, I hate the cars every single day, but then I just drown myself in the river of alcohol and mountains of food I can buy with all the money I save with the cheap ass rent Tongue

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14-03-2014, 08:27 AM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2014 09:24 AM by Full Circle.)
RE: Apartment Hunting Tips?
Location: Go to walkscore.com to get an idea how close things are to your prospective apartment.
Go to Police websites to get crime reports of the area.

Lease: Read the fine print. You want to know the following:
Is your deposit refundable if you leave before the term of the lease.
Are you allowed pets (if you are others are too Consider )
B&A mentioned maintenance, is there emergency service?
Make sure you understand what notices must be in writing.

Landlord: Interview other tenants if possible, it can be as simple as asking how do you like it here and have you had any issues with the management.
Is there a manager on site? If there is, interview them as much as they are interviewing you, they can be your best friend or worst enemy. If no manager this is a red flag.

Good luck.

* Almost forgot, when accepting the key have the manager walk the place with you and take lots of photographs, especially anything that is chipped, badly painted, stained, any holes in the wall, discolorations of cabinets...anything at all that a landlord could blame you for and deduct from your escrow deposit. I'd take as far as printing the images and having them initialed.

**I am a landlord, I know of what I speaketh of Angel

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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