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5 Things to Prioritize when Apartment Shopping

Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Searching for apartment rentals can be exciting. Many cities and towns offer a variety of choices, some showcasing a collection of pretty fancy features. Yet, most apartments require a commitment and an initial investment for move-in, so you'll want to take some caution when apartment shopping. Here are five things to help you prioritize your next search of apartment rentals.

Location should be one of your top priorities when searching for apartment rentals.

1. Location

One of the most important factors in your apartment rentals search is location. Not only do you need a place to live that is safe, but it should also be close enough to your work that your commute time won't cost you a fortune in gas or bring you added frustration. If you have kids, you'll also want to investigate the schools in the area to determine their suitability and make sure that there are decent amenities such as grocery stores and eateries.

2. Price

You'd obviously like an apartment rental to be as affordable as possible. Instead of searching for the cheapest apartments in the area, consider doing two things. First, create a budget and determine how much you can afford to pay in rent. Then, find a good neighborhood where the average rents fit into your budget. When you view rentals, make sure that the rent, including deposits, are reasonable for the area.

3. Lease Terms

Understanding your lease terms is a pretty important part of renting an apartment. Your terms dictate how long your lease will last, what happens at the end of the lease, deposits and how the funds are returned, as well as the various rules for the property. If there is damage or other issues with the apartment, address these items before you sign a lease.

Thoroughly read the fine print before signing your lease agreement.

4. Pet Clauses

While pets are nearly always addressed in a lease, this important issue deserves its own discussion. According to the ASPCA, close to half of all U.S. households now own a pet. As many households now view their pets as family members, understanding whether or not you can have a pet in your apartment is important. Ask about such things as pet restrictions and pet deposits.

5. Amenities

One of the appeals of living in apartment communities are some of the amenities offered, which are included with your rent. These might include such things as gated access, swimming pools, a fitness center, and a clubhouse. While some amenities might be obvious, ask what other things are included with the apartment rental. There could be a covered parking space, storage unit, on-site laundry, and even some utilities that could add to the apartment's appeal and even bring down your monthly costs.

If your area has a lot of choices in apartment rentals, you can take some time to find the right property for your needs. Renting an apartment is a big step, so be both patient and diligent in your rental search. Know what sort of apartment you'd like to rent? Go here to subscribe for new home alerts in your area.

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