Looking for apartments is about more than finding a great neighborhood and a sink with a garbage disposal. It’s about more than rent, more than number of bedrooms, and more than whether the lease is six or 12 months. These are all great things to know, to be sure, but there are other issues that many prospective tenants forget to include on the list of apartment hunting questions. Here are a few examples.
Sound Bleed: For Your Neighbors. For people whose job it is to make noise (e.g. musicians, actors, even small-craft hobbyists), the sound isolation of any given apartment is important, and is always high up on their list of apartment hunting tips and tricks. But it’s important to the rest of us too, whether we know it or not. Do you like to watch movies? Do you like to have friends over for game night? Do you sing in the shower? If the apartment you’re in has thin walls and poor insulation, any and all of these innocent activities can put you at odds with your next door neighbor.
Sound Bleed: From Your Neighbors. Incoming sound is a more obvious concern to apartment hunters — we don’t want to hear our neighbors every bit as much as they don’t want to hear us — but not all sounds are created equal. Thin insulation and thin walls will permit nearly all frequencies of sound to pass through. Thick walls with poor insulation will allow higher frequencies through while absorbing lower ones. And thin walls with good insulation may actually amplify certain lower frequencies.
Cell Reception. These days it’s becoming rarer and rarer for people to maintain a personal landline, relying instead on their cell phones for all their calls. No apartment hunting tips list would be complete without recommending a “signal walkthrough” of your prospective apartment. Call a friend who doesn’t mind being on the phone with you for fifteen minutes or so, then hold a conversation with them as you walk slowly from room to room, listening for signal degradation. One bedroom apartments might have better reception than two bedroom apartments (fewer walls in the way), and be sure to check the bathroom too. Because we’ve all done it.
What are some of your favorite, lesser-known apartment hunting tips? Please share them in the comments section below. Continue reading here.