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If you know you are going to be packing up and moving soon, yet are still unsure of what style of living space you want to move into, you may want to consider living in an apartment. Many apartments can be rented out at affordable rates, and they often come with great amenities such as good security, on site laundry services, and even recreational entertainment rooms, areas, and facilities. If you do decide to start hunting for apartments, follow this guide for tips on what to look for at each apartment you view and may potentially move into.
No matter what type of lodging you choose to move into, choosing a good location that suits your needs should always be at the top of your list of moving priorities. In addition to making sure that the apartment you may move into is reasonably close to your work, your child’s school (if applicable), friends and family, etc., you will want to take some other important factors into consideration.
- Crime Rate and Overall Safety. There are more than a few online sites that you can use to discover the crime rate in any area you are thinking about moving into. Check neighborhoodscout.com first, as it is one of the most reliable and trustworthy sites for not just local crime rates, but also school and overall community ratings. If you are able to visit the neighborhood at least once before making your final decision, you will be able to determine how comfortable you are with the area and whether you deem it safe enough for your needs.
- Parking and Public Transportation Access. This is an especially important aspect to consider if you do not own a car, yet need to travel regularly to an office or a school. Or, maybe you do have a car yet you would prefer to save money and time by taking public transportation. Do some research to find out what kinds of buses and trains are in the area. If you do have a car, be sure to ask about the parking conditions at any apartment complex you visit.
- City or Suburbs? While there are more opportunities, both work wise and socially speaking, in the big cities, suburbs offer a nice alternative living space as well. Suburban living is often more budget-friendly, safer, and more ideal for starting and raising a family.
- Nearby Amenities. An important part of your living arrangement lies in whether you have enough useful amenities nearby. You’ll want to be close to at least one hospital, as well as other public resources such as a library, park, school, mall, grocery store or supermarket, police station, post office, and fire department. Use sites like yelp.com to help you find public amenities and services close to your prospective apartment, and read real reviews from unbiased people to get a better idea of the neighborhood you are thinking about moving into.
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There are two basic types of apartments to rent out: furnished or unfurnished. Here are the pros and cons of both.
- Furnished. These apartments are best for short-term living arrangements, and for people who end up moving around relatively often. An apartment that is already furnished will make the entire moving process easier and cheaper for you. These are common in apartments that feature month-to-month leases. However, furnished apartments offer have a higher rent and security deposit than unfurnished ones. Chances are you will also probably face a higher liability should you sustain some kind of noticeable damage to the property during your stay. This means that children or larger families are not the most well-suited parties to be considering furnished apartments.
- Unfurnished. Moving into an unfurnished apartment means you will be spending more time and money on acquiring decent furniture for your new apartment. It can definitely be a hassle moving large furniture into a small apartment. However, your rent will probably be cheaper, as will your security deposit. Also, you will have a greater input on the décor and overall atmosphere of your new living space. This may be an appealing choice for creative people, or people who will be working from home.
Rules and Restrictions
Every apartment complex has certain rules and regulations that all tenants are required to abide by. Before signing any lease forms, make sure that you agree to any restrictions the apartment manager may impose.
- Guest Policy. Are tenants allowed to have guests over? Do they need to call you to gain access to the building, or do they simply have to be buzzed in? How many guests are allowed to enter, and is there a tenant/guest ratio? Are guests allowed to spend the night or use any of the on-site facilities? These are all important questions you should have answers to before moving into an apartment.
- Pet Policy. If you own a pet, you’ll want to find an apartment that tolerates this. Of course, most apartments don’t, and out of the ones that do, usually, only small animals are tolerated. Conversely, if you are allergic to any animals, you’ll want to make sure you won’t face any problems with any neighboring pets that may be kept near your living space.
Try to find out as much about the on-site services as you can. Is there a laundry facility? If you are expecting to have guests over, it might be nice to live in an apartment complex that has a pool, recreation room, or private theater room. Or, if you are a more private person, check to see if there are any sorts of “quiet hours” reinforced on the property.
Getting detailed answers to as many of these questions as you can only help you to make a more informed and wise decision when the time comes to pick a new place to live. After all, the last thing you would want is any sort of surprise after you are locked into a lease agreement.