Apartment hunting can be extremely stressful, and when you find an apartment that you actually like, it’s tempting to jump on it while you can. But the decision to rent an apartment is a major one, and you shouldn’t sign an apartment lease agreement until you check on these factors:
Will it be Easy to Park?
If you drive a car, make sure you’ll be able to park fairly easily when you need to, especially if you work regular hours during the week. Weeknight parking can be terrible in some neighborhoods, and if you view an apartment on the weekend, you may not even know its a problem.
Is it a Good Location?
Even if the rent is cheap and the apartment itself is great, make sure you’re not racking up extra costs elsewhere. If you’re further away from your job or from local grocery stores, you may spend more in gas anyway. Time is an important factor too if you’re using public transit. Will you sit on the subway for an hour? Is it worth it? And also, do you feel safe in the neighborhood, and would you be able to walk around it alone?
What are the Neighbors Like?
Neighbors can make or break a living experience in more ways than one. You can have a newly remodeled, functional and dirt cheap apartment in a great location, but if there’s a perpetually noisy daycare on the floor above you, it will quickly lose it’s appeal. Don’t just look when you visit an apartment. Listen. Are there any less-than-neighborly sounds with the potential to become major frustrations? If so, think twice about signing that apartment lease agreement.
Your landlord can also be a major factor, especially if they live in the complex. Make sure they communicate well and seem fairly trustworthy.
How’s the Building?
How sure are you that everything works? Did you check the windows? Did you ask about that discolored spot on the ceiling? Good landlords will fix issues as they arise, but you should make sure they’re planning on it before you sign the apartment lease agreement. Otherwise they may blame you for the damages.
Once you’re sure you have all your bases covered, go ahead and sign your apartment lease agreement! See this reference for more.