Finding apartments is serious business, as it needs extensive planning as well as a list of everything: you will need a car, a map and an itinerary (with the list of apartments to see, people to contact), and of course, the very list of what you want in an apartment. All these can sound overwhelming at first, but here are tips to let you know what priorities you should set in hunting for the right apartment.
Budget is King.
Keep in mind the range of your budget: you might swoon at the sight of a lovely balcony, a front yard or an age-old brick fireplace, but remember that these always come with a price. Consider your salary, the cost of daily commutes, and the standard of living the neighborhood has. If the nearest grocery store is ten miles away from your isolated but Victorian apartment, it would be wise to think again.
Do your Research.
Find their local newspaper or gazette for community-related news. If there are reports of burglary in every corner of the community, you might as well want to rethink the purpose of making a visit, unless you’re willing to install an entire surveillance system on your house, which would cost much.
The Internet also provides a lot of news tidbits: try researching for records of ownership, census, standard of living, etc. As a renter, you have the right to know everything about your location. You may not know that your very apartment is in the middle of a fault line, or that it sits right next to forest fires every summer.
Bring your Friends.
Bringing a couple of friends will help a lot: they would always see something you probably won’t consider at first glance. It’s important to note the things you (and your friends) see on the road, as some apartments only install signs on the road, or conduct spontaneous tours. They can always be on the lookout, talking to locals, looking for referrals, or just ask questions you might not think of asking.
Looks can be Deceiving.
Some buffalo apartments are striking at first glance, but you might have to shell out additional bucks to fix the plumbing. You and your friends should check out things that should be considered: cabinet and closet space, parking (if any), and the technical stuff, from electrical wiring to heat. Try searching for the nook and crannies for telltale signs of mice droppings, bugs and cockroaches. Note the presence of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Watch out for leaks, cracks in the wall, and yes, even smells. If you can, bring a friend who’s expertise is in the construction industry, may he be an architect, engineer, real estate agent and the like. Your friend/s will have that eye for building certifications down to the minute details most renters and apartment owners don’t really talk much about.
Always ask Questions.
Don’t EVER hesitate to ask especially the basic questions, even it would make you sound like a rookie in apartment hunting. Know the landlord’s rules on pets, smoking, visitors, insurance, and everything about the lease.If you can’t speak legalese, find someone, preferably a friend, who can interpret this to you.
This rule goes out not only to all the buffalo apartments’ owners but as well as locals in the neighborhood. Try to know the landlord through other people: a trustworthy landlord is hard to find, but even if your apartment isn’t in tip-top shape, a good landlord is worth keeping.
If all is well with your apartment, it’s a good idea to throw a small housewarming party for your friends and family! Thank them for helping you out in finding you an apartment that would hopefully teach you to wise up and make smart decisions for a life of financial freedom and, of course, independence!