Before you start driving around the city randomly in search of your first apartment, prepare yourself by reviewing these basics to apartment hunting.
Location. Location. Location. Where do you want to live? Is the apartment community conveniently located near work and play? Is the apartment near public transportation? Apartment location is key. It’s important to consider your commute to your job as well as access to dining, shopping, grocery stores, and nightlife. (Don’t forget to look at the distance from your family – you need to determine how close you want to live to them.)
Budget. What can you afford? Is the prestigious Dallas apartment location you desire fit reality? Do you have the funds for a luxury penthouse in New York City? You need to determine your desired monthly rent that fits into your budget. Don’t have a budget? Check out DaveRamsey.com for all kinds of budgeting tools.
Apartment Features. What are your deal breakers when it comes to apartment features? Is your closet overflowing from a little obsession with shoes and a walk-in closet is a must? Is an in-unit washer and dryer critical and hauling your laundry downstairs not an option ?Do you dream of being the next Food Network Star and is a deluxe kitchen complete with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances top on your list? Determine what your “have-to-haves” are before you start touring.
Amenities. What amenities must be included in the apartment community you are considering? Do you need a resort-style pool to relax from your hectic week? Is there a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center on-site to keep you in tip-top shape? Is there a resident clubhouse or barbecue areas to gather with friends? Are concierge services available to help make life easier?
Roommate. This is a tough one. There are many benefits to having a roommate, mainly sharing the monthly rent. Your budget will probably help determine if you need to live with a roommate but you will need to consider the possible inconveniences of sharing a living space.
Pet-friendly. Are you bringing along Fido? Are you planning on buying a little Fifi to keep you company? Do you need a community with pet-friendly apartments? Communities have a wide range of pet policies that you will need to ensure you review before choosing a place.
Are you ready? Then start online and begin your apartment search. Visit UDR.com for apartment communities from San Francisco to Washington DC. ApartmentRatings.com is also helpful by providing resident reviews of apartments nationwide. Schedule several tours so you can experience the customer service the staff provides and ask about specials. Happy apartment hunting!