Unfortunately, apartment hunting is quite different from the hunting for dietary resources that our hunter-gatherer ancestors depended upon for their livelihoods. For example, while a tree that is full of ripe fruits or a plump wildebeest could have been depended upon by our ancestors for providing what their initial appearance promised, that is not the case when it comes to modern apartments, unfortunately.
An apartment can seem fabulous when you see pictures of it or when you hurriedly breeze through it with the real estate agent. Yet, the same apartment can fail to deliver on this initial impression of fabulousness in less than a week after you move in. But the good news is that you can find an apartment that continues to appeal to you in the long term. Here is how you do it.
• Go and see the apartment literally, as opposed to virtually. While pictures and virtual tours are excellent methods through which you can learn more about an apartment, you need to see the place in person to figure out if you want to live there. Keep in mind that anyone can do wonders with Photoshop and nifty camera angles. So, you need to actually see where you will be living before you write that check.
• Take your time during the property inspection. Remind yourself that there are plenty of apartments and it is rare to find the right apartment as soon as you start looking. So, it is all right to take some time to find the right apartment. Make sure to sort out your schedule before you visit an apartment because you need to have sufficient time to take a leisured stroll through the apartment. It is best to see an apartment in the morning and after sunset. Remember to drive around the neighborhood, so you can figure out if you will enjoy living there.
• Make a list of questions that you need to ask about the apartment and keep that list handy. Ask all the questions that you need to ask and do your own research when necessary. You should be satisfied with the answers to your questions before you make a decision on the apartment. Here is a list of questions to help you get started on your list.
1. Does the location of the apartment work?
2. Is the apartment priced within your price range?
3. Will the apartment have enough space once you move your furniture into it?
4. Can your pet live there?
5. What are the amenities?
6. What are the amenities that you need, such as a washer and dryer?
7. Does the apartment have the amenities that you need?
8. Does the apartment have an on-site laundry?
9. Is the apartment located in a safe neighborhood?
10. Does the apartment have hard water?
11. Does the apartment get enough natural light?
12. Is the apartment too noisy?
13. Are there location-based issues, such as a street light that shines into the apartment at night?
Remember that finding an apartment that appeals to you in the long term is a process! You can avoid being unpleasantly surprised by your future apartment by doing the right things and asking the right questions before choosing it. And if you think about the impact that your apartment will have on your overall well-being, this is sure to be well worth the effort.