Maybe its years of watching my mom watch HGTV or maybe it’s my own addiction to house hunting + renovation shows, but I love looking at houses. Not only that, but I love redesigning them. I don’t think I’ve ever entered a friend’s home without reorganizing the furniture – and sometimes – in my brain. I also love looking at houses + apartments on Zillow. Having my fair share of looking for places to live, I know there are certain questions to ask when apartment hunting.
Everyone has different prioritizes when choosing where to live. To some commute is important, to others safety or natural light may be the most important feature of a place. Whatever your priorities are, make sure you know them ahead of time. Nothing is worse than falling in love with a place only to realize there are no washer + dryer hookups. Just like wedding dresses – don’t try on something you can’t have.
Once you have your prioritizes lined up + a list of places to visit, it’s time to set up tours. Depending on where you live, you’ll be on a tour with either a broker or the community management. Regardless of who you receive your tour from, be prepared with some standard apartment hunting questions. These should help you not only make your decision but make it sooner – which in some markets can really matter.
Questions to Ask When Apartment Hunting
- Are any utilities are included? What is the cost of those that are not?
- What are the additional costs (trash, pest control, renters insurance, etc.)?
- Under what circumstances can management enter the apartment with + without notice?
- Are their currently any specials + how much will rent go up if you decide to renew?
- How old are the appliances + systems (i.e. will your A/C break on the reg)?
- What is the parking situation for residents + guests? Where your friends park WILL matter if you like to host.
- Which direction do the windows face, especially in the bedroom?
- Are you allowed to have a grill, lights, etc. on your balcony or patio?
- What changes can you make (i.e. paint, add a backsplash, etc.)?
- How long do most people stay in the complex? What types of people are they?
- How do you put in a maintenance request? How are emergency repairs handled?
- What cable/internet service providers are welcome on the property?
- Is there wiring for a security system?
- What updates are made between tenants (i.e. locks changed, new carpet, paint, etc.)?
- What are the terms in the lease for subletting, notice of vacation, and termination by either the tenant or the landlord?
- Do they have pet + guest policies? If so, what are they?
- Are there any short term leasing units in the building? Is that allowed?
- How easy is it to add someone (or subtract them) from the lease?
- Are there any plans to make updates to the building, units, or neighborhood?
- Are there any common spaces + what are their rules?
Before signing a lease, be sure to check the outlets, your cellphone reception, and crime reports for the area. You may want to save some of the questions for residents you encounter on your tour or after! While you should take them with a grain of salt, you should also check out the reviews. They could be eye-opening.
With the help of these apartment hunting questions, I hope you are able to find your (temporary) dream home! Tell me your apartment priorities over on Instagram! Thinking about buying a home? Make sure you know all the costs.