Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Find an Apartment: Ask Good Questions

Locating the right apartment can feel exhausting, and if you don’t ask the right questions, it can also be costly. When hunting for apartments, forgetting to ask important questions about your future home will leave you in a less than ideal living situation down the road. Here are the top questions to help you get the most for your money when trying to find apartments.

What are the apartment lease terms?

Before you fall in love with a space, make sure you know the important terms of the apartment lease such as the monthly rent payment and the lease start and end dates. Pay close attention to the date rent is due — and the additional fees for late payments.

Once you sign the lease you are legally obligated, so make sure you understand all of the conditions and terms. Make sure you ask the following questions:

• Am I allowed to modify my apartment?
• Are there any roommate restrictions?
• Are pets allowed?
• Is there a penalty for breaking my lease?
• Am I required to purchase renters insurance?
• Is there a cost associated with parking?

How much are the apartment’s move-in fees?

Every apartment community handles fees differently, so make sure you know what moving in to your new apartment will cost you. Most landlords require an application fee or processing fee and likely a security deposit to obtain an apartment. Once approved, they will sometimes also require first and last month's rent.

Make sure you know what you will need to pay on the day you sign your lease.

What’s included in my rent and what’s not?

Obviously, the cost of the space is a deciding factor when choosing your new apartment, but it’s also important to know what your rent payment covers. Some apartment communities include trash and utilities, while others do not.
Make sure you know all monthly costs associated with renting so that you do not end up surprised.

Other questions to ask your potential landlord.

Knowing the answers to these additional questions will make it easier for you to get a clearer picture of your potential apartment community:

• Is there 24-hour emergency apartment maintenance?
• Is there security on-site?
• Do I have access to a gym?
• Are there communal space hours?

Hire a professional apartment finder.

Apartment searches are time-sensitive and can be overwhelming, but you do not have to do it alone. Working with a licensed apartment locator can help you avoid making a bad move. They are knowledgeable and armed with the right questions to help guide your search, while also helping save you time and money in the process.