It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for—the time to start apartment hunting and venturing into the big wide world with nothing but opportunity and wonder ahead of you. Whether it’s moving out of your parent’s home, graduating from a dorm room residency, or going solo from living with roommates, there’s plenty to be excited about when thinking about moving into your first apartment.
Although this chance to experience this new genre of freedom is exciting, if you don’t consider your choices thoughtfully, it can easily result in disaster. Sure, apartment hunting seems simple— it’s just looking through online postings, taking a couple tours, and filling out applications, right? Not exactly. There’s a lot to consider before diving into your search that you should take the time to hash out before getting your hopes up.
We’re here to guide you through your first apartment search by providing all of the sage wisdom you need to know. Read on to find out the 4 things to look for in your first apartment!
It is absolutely critical that you enjoy the area in which you live almost as much as you adore the apartment itself. Even if you happen upon the most gorgeous hardwood floor apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows within your price range, if the flat is too far out of town, too far from grocery stores, or just in the middle of nowhere, that shouldn’t be a compromise you’re willing to make. Don’t make the mistake a lot of first-time apartment hunters make and fall for a specific without taking the location into account.
When it comes to livability, you’ll want your apartment’s location to be in an area close to your place of work, grocery stores, shops, medical centers, recreational parks, and more. When it comes to safety, it’s in your best interest to avoid getting an apartment located in an area where the crime rates are high. Take a look at stats surrounding break-ins, theft of vehicles, and vandalization— these are the most telling.
Lastly, you’ll likely want to find a neighborhood that feels homey. For example, if you’re looking for a studio apartment in Los Angeles, you’ll likely want to be surrounded by other homes and renters rather than Los Angeles commercial real estate buildings. Scope out neighborhoods in person so you can get a feel for your future abode.
It’s a helpless feeling to find a great apartment within your budget only to later realize you’d be subject to spending a couple extra hundreds each month on utilities. If you’re especially tight on budget, this is a crucial factor to consider.
Be sure to factor in other monthly costs such as heat, electricity and internet service when determining how much or little you can actually afford. If utilities are not included with the lease, ask the landlord or existing renters what those expenses are and whether they differ all year round.
Obviously, you love and adore your pet, but that doesn’t mean your future landlord will feel the same. When searching for apartments it’s imperative to look out for pet policies as restrictive ones could make or break your decision.
Some landlords ban all pets while others allow cats and dogs. Some can even be picky about the size of your pet, so if you’ve got a massive Great Dane or a big, fluffy Great Pyrnees, you may discover that finding a space the two of you can cohabitate can be rather difficult.
The goal of any amenity is to provide something useful to you as a renter. Be it a communal swimming pool, a fitness center, a rooftop BBQ space, or on-site laundry, there are a number of amazing amenities that might draw you in and seal the deal.
You’re going to want to inquire about parking, too. Many apartment complexes will either include a parking spot or charge a one-time or monthly fee to you. If you’re hunting in busier urban areas, it may be worth the cost. You may end up losing your patience if you’re subject to finding regular street parking every single day.
Happy hunting! With these things on your mind, you’ll be in a great headspace to narrow down your search and find the apartment of your dreams!