If you’re planning to shift into a new apartment, you sure must be very excited about it. You have probably gone house hunting and found a few apartments that you like. But how do you zero in on the best?
Surely you can’t select an apartment just because the living room is the right size or because the bedroom balcony offers a great view. There are more important things that you need to consider.
You might easily overlook a number of things that will become a nuisance to you once you shift. It’s advisable to identify potential problems early on so that you know what exactly you’re in for before you sign the lease.
Here’s what you need to do.
Research the Area Thoroughly
The first thing you need to do is research the area you’re considering shifting into. What seems like a nice, quiet neighborhood right now may not remain that way all through the day or year. Traffic patterns change on weekends and during the summer months.
Furthermore, if there’s an airport or a park that hosts carnivals and fests throughout the year, you may have to put up with a lot of noise. Visit the neighborhood when you think activities may be at their peak and make a decision.
Find out where the nearest fire and police stations are. Locate the nearest convenience store, grocery store, and gas station to all the apartments that you’re considering and make your choice keeping your priorities in mind. If you’re planning to start a family and stay in the new neighborhood for quite some time, you may want to select an area that has good schools.
Drive through the area and keep an eye out for unkempt roads or sidewalks. Public transportation should be readily available. Public parks should be well-maintained too. If you have a pet dog, you may want to find out if the parks are dog-friendly.
Be sure to take your pooch along whenever you check out the apartment and the neighborhood. Your dog may not take well to the new place even if you treat it to its favorite food or dog accessories and toys. By getting it acquainted to the new place well before you shift, things will be easier for both of you.
Don’t forget to get in touch with a local community officer to ask him about crime rates in the area. You may want to strike up a conversation with potential neighbors or other people living in the locality and ask them about these things.
Check the Apartment for Problem Signs
Before signing a new lease, it is recommended you check your apartment carefully so that you’re not taken by surprise when you move in. This will also ensure that any repairs that are needed are carried out by the landlord. If you don’t bring problems to the notice of the owner before you move in, chances are you may have to live with them or end up paying for the repairs from your own pocket.
Start with the walls and ceiling. If you see water seepage, mold, or mildew on the walls or ceiling, or if you find the walls damp to the touch, you need to get the problem sorted out as soon as possible. If the problem seems to have gotten out of hand already, avoid renting the apartment.
Mold may not be visible to the naked eye at times. If you find the paint chipping or the wallpaper peeling in places, check behind those areas for mold growth. Check under the sink and basin, and in-between tile cracks and grout for the presence of mold. Inspect cabinets for signs of mold or rot.
You’ll want to make sure that no taps or pipes are leaking. Hot and cold water faucets should turn on and off properly, toilets should flush properly, and there should be no water drainage problems.
Gaps and grooves in window frames and seals are also favored places by mold. Don’t forget to check these places. All window panes should be crack-free and in place. Windows should operate as intended and should lock on the inside.
Check the floors too; carpets or tiles should be clean and in good condition. You don’t want to move into an apartment that can cause allergies. Wood panels installed on the floor or walls should be rot-free.
All electrical outlets, including the fuse box should be undamaged. All lights and appliances should be working and in good condition. The HVAC unit may need new filters and the vents may need a thorough cleaning too.
The apartment should also be fitted with smoke alarms and detectors that are in working condition.
Make Inquiries Regarding Building Maintenance
Ask around to know what steps are taken to maintain the building. You can also speak to the landlord directly regarding this.
The entrances, exits, hallways, stairways, elevators, parking areas, laundry rooms, etc. need to be well-lit at all times, especially at night. Elevators need to be in working condition. Check what procedure is followed when the elevator goes out of order.
Look for security cameras and check out the fire escape. Consider the general look and feel of the building and trust your instincts.
Though the prospect of moving into a new apartment is thrilling, don’t be carried away with what you see when you go apartment-hunting.
Consider all the pros and cons of shifting into a particular apartment carefully. You can’t jeopardize your safety and health for any reason. Follow the tips mentioned here and you’re sure to take the right decision.