You are ready to move to a new home. How exciting! Now what? There are a lot of things to consider before committing to your next (or first!) apartment. Here are four things to consider to help you find a home you’ll love!

  1. What is the reputation of the community?

    When looking up a new restaurant or vacation spot, we often take a look at reviews first to see if you should expect a quality experience. The same goes for your next apartment home! We are in an era of open opinions, and places like Google are a great option to seeing how customers really feel about your choice for a new home. While there are occasional unhappy customers, the trick is to look at consistency of reviews. Are there several current reviews about a pest issue? That could be a red flag! On the opposite side, are there consistent positive reviews about the customer service of both the maintenance and office staff? That’s a good indicator that you will be well taken care of!

  2. Can I afford it?

    Looking for the right price on rent is just the first step in figuring out of the apartment you are considering will fit within your budget. A rule of thumb to consider is that you should try to not spend more than 30% of your monthly income on rent. But that might not be your total monthly living expense. Ask what else is included, and what might be in addition to rent. Are there utilities included in that rental rate or are they paid separately? Is rental liability insurance included in that rate, and if not, what is the added cost? Are there monthly fees for trash, pest, or amenities? Best practice is to add all monthly charges in your calculations to determine if the total fits within your budget.

  3. Does the neighborhood fit your needs?

    When touring an apartment, we are often focused on just the community itself. But ask yourself if this neighborhood has what you need. If you are a Starbucks regular, how far away is one from your new potential home? Where is the nearest gym? If you enjoy biking, check out local trails or the availability of bike lanes. Your neighborhood plays a huge role in the satisfaction of your home. Don’t lose sight of the big picture!


  5. What are the application qualifications?

    Ask the community you are considering what the qualifications are for your rental application to be approved. These requirements/qualifications can vary per community and it can become costly both to your wallet and your credit score to apply for multiple apartment homes until you are approved. Ask questions like: What is the minimum credit score required? What type of rental history do you need to qualify? Are there restrictions on credit/criminal backgrounds? Is there anything that would I would automatically get denied for, such as a bankruptcy or eviction? How much do I need to make per month to qualify? These are reasonable questions to ask the leasing professional so that you can determine if you meet the qualifications before you submit the application and the costs associated with the process.

After considering these four categories, you will have a great idea as to which apartment should be your new home. Remember, a thorough plan to find the right fit is key. Don’t jump quickly into an application and lease. You could end up regretting such a spontaneous decision. Finding your new apartment home is an exciting adventure! Enjoy the process!

Article written by Brandii Spradling