Apartment hunting or apartment finding can be broken down into three simple steps. Make sure you’ve gone through all to determine which option is the best.
Set your budget
For many renters the most important consideration is how much they are willing to spend on an apartment per month. You should consider your monthly income and subtract out all of your monthly expenses from this amount. Once this amount is established you will have a better understanding of the type of apartment you are affordable.
Research available properties
Once a budget has been set, you should begin researching the properties which fall within your budget range. It is likely to consider properties which are slightly above the range as well as properties which are slightly below the range. Doing this will allow you to see if there is an opportunity to either make improvements on the amount of monthly spending to allow for the renting of a more expensive property. You can also determine whether or not you feel there is the opportunity to negotiate a lower rental rate on a particular property.
Once you have narrowed down your list of possible apartment complexes to a more manageable number it is time to start visiting these properties. It is during this step that you will really get a feel for the quality of the apartment as well as the amount and quality of amenities offered by the complex. This is very important because this information can be used to decide between properties which are otherwise very similar. The comparison shopping process is also worthwhile because it gives you some bargaining power in negotiating more favorable rent rates.
Rely on your senses
Odd smells and noises you notice during a showing could end up being a major problem when you move in. Natural light, or a lack thereof, can make all the difference in the world, so try to attend a daytime open house rather than looking at the apartment after work.
Survey around on the area safety. Introduce yourself to your potential neighbours and ask them a few basic questions about what it’s like to live there. Just because you were looking for a more affordable place didn’t mean you were willing to compromise your safety.