Questions to Keep in Mind When Apartment Hunting
The process of finding a new apartment can be a pretty stressful experience, especially as rent prices continue to rise across the United States. Affordable places are often only available for a very short period of time, and it’s important to keep an eye out for unethical or unreliable landlords offering deals that are too good to be true.
Making sure to gather all of the information you’ll need can help you make the best possible decision for the place that’s about to become your new home. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of important questions for you to keep in mind during your hunt for a new place.
1. When is rent due, and how should I pay?
Getting on the same page with your landlord about rent is potentially the very most important thing to focus on during your search– knowing all of the information upfront can save you a lot of stress down the line!
Make sure that you’re completely clear on which day the rent is due each month. You should also make sure to check your lease about late payment. Some properties offer a grace period of a few days before you incur charges, and you’ll want to be aware of your new landlord’s policy well ahead of time if you’ll need to pay late at any point.
It’s also imperative that you confirm how your new landlord expects payment to be made. Today, paper checks are largely a thing of the past– most landlords and property management companies utilize online portals for easy and fast payment.
These online portals are easy to use, but if you’re not careful, they can cost a little extra. Be sure to pay using the eCheck option if at all possible. This option draws directly from your bank account. Setting up the portal to charge your credit card typically comes with extra fees that can quickly add up month-to-month!
2. What utilities am I responsible for?
Finding the perfect, affordable new apartment and then realizing that you’re responsible for expensive utilities can throw a wrench in your financial plans. Make sure you know ahead of time whether you’ll need to pay electric, gas, water and sewer, and more. Your new landlord might even be able to give you estimates on how much these services cost per month, so you can prepare accordingly.
3. What’s parking like?
If you have a car, finding good parking is an essential part of apartment hunting. If you’re in an urban environment, street parking might be your best and only option. If that’s the case, check with your landlord about whether parking permits are required in your area, and find out how to obtain one to avoid costly parking tickets or towing.
If you’re looking at an apartment complex, there’s a good chance that the building has its own parking lot. Make sure you’re familiar with parking rules, especially if there are assigned spaces or an additional fee for extra cars or guests.
4. What should I do to ensure the return of my security deposit?
Your new apartment will be your home for a while, but typically it’s not forever. When it comes time to move out, getting your security deposit back will be a huge help in paying a deposit on your next place.
Make sure you’re fully prepared by abiding by all of the rules in your lease, like not smoking indoors, not painting the walls, or not keeping any unauthorized pets in the unit.
5. How can I make my search for a new apartment go as smoothly as possible?
At Apartment Hunters, our main goal is to help you find the perfect place for your needs that’s within your budget. If you need help searching for an apartment or rental property, give us a call today! Our team of licensed, experienced real estate agents will help you find a spot to make your relocation a breeze.