Finding a Good Apartment
Although renting an apartment or a condo or duplex is not the same life-changing commitment that buying a house is, a person should still take great care when finding an apartment in which to live, and if not taken seriously, the hunt for an apartment can end with disappointment and subpar living conditions in a variety of ways. Apartments for rent may vary on location, amenities, rent, landlord rules, condition, and more, so an apartment for rent may either be a luxury or daily discomfort based on what the tenant is looking for. A luxury apartment will certainly cost more every month than a more economic apartment, but may have more amenities included like a 24-hour fitness center or a swimming pool. Finding pet friendly apartments may matter a great deal to those who love their dogs or cats, and nearby walking trails may appeal to apartment renters who have dogs or simply want to jog and get some fresh air. What should one do when searching for apartments for rent?
Renting by the Numbers
Different people find apartments for rent for different reasons. For example, a survey showed that 25% of all rental residents are living in their current location by choice, and in fact would rather live there than own a house (for any number of reasons from cost to maintenance to wanting to move often). Similarly, over 50% of renters in a survey said that they rent for a living because of the lower stress and budget reasons, showing that home ownership clearly isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of rental placed out there for Americans, too; 42.58 million rental housing units exist today, including a wide variety of locations, amenities, luxury, number of rooms, and more. Those amenities can be a major deciding factor; in a 2015 survey, 98% of rental respondents said that good mobile connectivity is important to them, and 53% of people looking for apartments for rent test the connectivity there. A different survey, by Apartment Guide, showed that 60% of property managers rank pools and fitness centers together one of the three most desired amenities by renters. With all these factors to juggle, how can someone find the right apartment for them?
Finding an Apartment for Rent
Any prospective renter will have many factors to weigh in, many of which overlap with what regular house buyers are looking for (minus the potential for remodeling). A property renter cannot simply tear out the kitchen cabinets and sinks and replace them with new ones, nor can they just tear up the carpets and get new ones of a preferred color, but then again, property managers have every reason to make their apartment attractive, convenient, and comfortable both inside and out. Any manager with a reasonable budget will try landscaping, such as attractive shrubs, trees, or even flowerbeds in the front yard, and keep all trash and other debris or grime clear. A filthy exterior may turn many prospective tenants away before they even see the inside, and no manager wants that.
Any prospective renter can borrow some techniques from what a house buyer would do on the real estate market. The renter should factor in their amount of furniture, number of people in their household (it could be a whole family), as well as intended lifestyle. More factors like pets can make some apartments desirable while others would be impossible to move into, and the local amenities could be a deal maker or breaker. A swimming pool or even a hot tub can boost a place’s appeal, along with a gymnasium with exercise equipment, not to mention good WiFi. The entire community may be a factor, too; parents will want good schools within driving distance for their kids, and adults will need jobs and shopping centers, and anything else of interest like car repair shops or restaurants.
Maintenance is something a renter will look for, too. The apartment’s room should be in good condition and not have any problems like stains or tears in the carpet, damage to the walls or doors, water damage in drywall, malfunctioning electric devices, or leaking plumbing. Mold, mice, cockroaches, and other pests should certainly not be present, and their absence may turn away renters no matter what other amenities are available.