What to Look for During a Self-Guided Apartment Tour

White and light wood L-shaped decorated kitchenA self-guided apartment tour allows you to explore a space at your leisure, taking your time to check out all the features or amenities the apartment has to offer. Learn how to make the most out of one of these self-guided tours, and ensure you cover all your bases before you sign a lease or make a deposit!

What to look for on a self-guided apartment tour

There’s really nothing that beats the in-person experience of walking through an available unit. A self-guided apartment tour is a flexible option that works with your schedule by allowing you to select a time to see the rental all on your own. But with this solo venture comes a bit more responsibility since you won’t have an agent or property manager there by your side.

Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of five things to look for during your self-guided tour, so you can feel prepared to make the right decision for you.

1.The condition of the appliances

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when you’re looking at expertly-retouched photos taken for the sole purpose of renting a unit. As you’re doing research online, it may be hard to tell how updated the oven is or how well that fridge has been cleaned.

When you take the tour for yourself, be sure to inspect each appliance’s condition, even opening the door or cabinets to see what’s inside. If anything looks like it’s coming up at the end of its lifecycle, it may be worth asking about getting a replacement before you move in.

Additionally, before you even start the tour, ensure that you’re looking at the available unit rather than a model. If the property manager only allows you to walk through the model, take all the glam features with a grain of salt — models are often decked out with better finishes, appliances, and views than available units.

2. The closet and storage space

If a place is listed as a two-bedroom apartment, you can probably expect it to have two closets — but are there any extra drawers, linen closets, or shelves in the hallway or bathroom? Depending on how much stuff you’re moving in with you, the amount of storage space might be a make-or-break factor in your decision-making process.

During your self-guided tour, be sure to check out the dimensions of each closet. Consider whether your belongings will fit comfortably or whether you’ll need an apartment with additional storage potential.

3. The safety or security measures

Regardless of if you’re living alone, with a romantic partner, or with a group of friends, you’ll want to feel safe inside your home and within your apartment complex. Online listings often leave out information regarding the security measures around the property, which means it’ll be up to you to make some mental notes on your tour.

Is the building located behind a gate, with a special code to get in? Does the door to your apartment lead directly outside, or is there an exterior front door you enter to access each unit? Does the unit you’re renting face the street or the apartment courtyard? Everyone’s requirements for what puts them at ease will vary, so just make sure you feel comfortable with the situation as you envision yourself living there.

4. The neighbors

It’s easy to look at a picture of a beautifully furnished model apartment and get your hopes up without seeing it in-person. But what a photo can’t tell you is what kind of activity that residence brings with it. When you’re taking a self-guided apartment tour, listen for any loud noises in the hallways or stairwells, as well as the noise from neighboring buildings or businesses.

It could be that everything is quiet and respectful, but if you hear excess commotion, it’s something to think about (especially if you work from home or tend to spend the majority of your time there).

5. The parking arrangement

If and where there’s parking available will have a significant impact on your quality of life. After all, ease of parking makes it easier to walk to your apartment on dark nights, stormy days, or whenever you’re toting six bags worth of groceries in one trip! So when you’re touring a new complex, pay attention to where the cars are parked in relation to each building.

Is there a covered garage where you’re protected from the elements, or is there a private lot for residents to use? Where can overnight guests park? And can you pay a little extra to opt-in for a closer space? If these questions can’t be answered through your own observations, you’re smart to ask the property manager for additional clarity.

What to ask when searching for an apartment

Knowing which questions to ask before signing a lease is vital to finding an apartment you’ll thrive in. The following are just a handful of things you can bring up, but of course, feel free to ask whatever applies to your unique situation.

  • Are the lease terms negotiable (length of commitment, adding a roommate, etc.)?
  • Is the available unit a different layout than the model apartment you toured?
  • Are furnished apartments available?
  • Who do you contact for maintenance issues or repairs?
  • What are the consequences for a missed (or late) rent payment?
  • Are pets allowed, and if so, are there guidelines as to their size/weight?
  • Are there any group activities or outings for tenants in this building?
  • Do they offer any discounts for signing a long-term contract?
  • What do tenants say they love most about living here?

Love where you live!

Finding a new apartment can be a real challenge, especially if the space you rent turns out to look nothing like the model you toured a few months back. Next time, skip the unpleasant surprises by vetting your rental options with ApartmentSearch!

ApartmentSearch can help you secure your next place with ease, so you can focus on all the fun that comes with settling in. Check out our list of city guides and apartment resources today, and start planning your move in no time!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Hottest Apartment Amenities to Look for in 2020

Apartment pool in the cityThe competition for your apartment rental dollars is HOT! To get renters’ business, property management companies try to “wow” prospective tenants. Many rental properties try doing this by designing apartment complexes with the top amenities in the industry!

Apartments with an in-unit washer and dryer? Increasingly common nowadays. Apartments with yards? You can find them with the right apartment-locating tool. Even apartments with attached garages are starting to become a thing!

However, laundry rooms and carports aren’t enough to dazzle today’s renters. If apartment complexes genuinely want to impress, they have to take things further!

Apartment Amenities By City

Houston, TX

Depending on where you live, trending amenities will vary due to variations in weather, cultural, and legal patterns. For example, if you’re looking for luxury apartments in Houston, you might come across properties that offer:

  • Beach-style pools with private cabanas
  • Poolside grilling and entertaining areas
  • Event space with a demonstration kitchen

Considering Texas’s notoriously humid summers, it’s not surprising that many renters filter their search to include only apartments with pools!

Minneapolis, MN

If Texas is too hot for you, you may opt for a colder city like Minneapolis. Luxury apartment in the Midwest often include amenities like:

  • A movie theatre
  • Zen gardens
  • Electric firepits

With luxury amenities like these, it’s hard to let polar vortex-induced winter blues slow you down. And if they do, you can always invite some friends over for roasted marshmallows over the heat of your apartment’s electric firepit.

St. Louis, MO

If Minneapolis winters frighten you and Houston summers make your palms sweat, consider splitting the difference and moving to St. Louis, MO. In St. Louis, luxury communities like Mansions on the Plaza include a variety of amenities that you might also find in Texas and Minnesota, like a:

  • Resident library and fire pit
  • Game room featuring billiards and a 24/7 coffee bar
  • World-class fitness facilities

Kansas City, MO

Do you prefer the Royals over the Cardinals? In that case, find a new place in Kansas City, MO. You’re likely to find KC apartments with amenities that keep up with the hottest trends. For example, some luxury properties in Kansas City, MO, feature amenities like:

  • A rooftop terrace
  • Outdoor grilling stations
  • Bike storage

As we’ve seen, you can find hot apartment amenities pretty much anywhere life takes you. Renter favorites across the U.S. seem to include:

  • Resort-style pools
  • Spaces for hosting and gathering with friends such as cabanas, decks, and multi-use rooms
  • Study lounges with 24/7 printer access
  • State-of-the-art fitness centers

Finding an apartment with the right amenities is vital to smoothing out life’s otherwise bumpy transitions! Plus, these community amenities are only one of the many perks of moving from a house to an apartment!

Apartment Amenities for You!

Pet spas? Demonstration kitchens? The future of apartment amenities is fascinating, competitive, and, let’s face it, a little out of this world!

Do you know which features your next apartment community must have? Or maybe you need some inspiration? Whatever the reason, visit ApartmentSearch. There, you can filter apartments by amenities, rent prices, and neighborhoods to help you find the right mix of luxe and low-cost for you!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

8 Amenities Every Decent Apartment Should Have: How Many Are in Your Place?

Whether you are looking for a studio or a three-bedroom apartment, finding the right amenities may make the difference between loving or hating your new pad.

Apartment amenities come in various forms, ranging from an in-unit washer and dryer or state-of-the-art alarm system to biannual pest control or a private parking spot. If you’re lucky, you may find an apartment with all of the above! More likely, however, you’ll have to prioritize depending on what’s important to you.

So what amenities should you put on the top of your list? Here are a few that will make a big difference and are worth having before you sign your next lease.

1. Dishwasher

Once you’ve had a dishwasher, it’s hard to go back to washing dishes by hand. But you already knew that, right?

“A dishwasher has to be arguably the most underrated invention of all time,” says Rostislav Shetman, founder of 9Kilo Moving.

“Washing dishes by hand after a long day at work is the last thing anybody wants to do. Having a dishwasher not only enables you to keep your utensils, and by extension the rest of your kitchen, clean, but since a dishwasher does not need as much water as washing dishes by hand, it also helps you lower your water bill,” says Shetman.

2. Alarm system

Having an alarm system can give you greater peace of mind, but professional installations of new systems can cost hundreds of dollars. To save money, look for an apartment that comes with an alarm system already built in. And don’t forget to ask the landlord who pays for the monthly monitoring. Some landlords offer the system but ask tenants to pay the monthly fees.

And there are other safety amenities to check for.

“Check the dwelling for deadbolts and window locks,” says Karen Condor, a home insurance and real estate specialist. “Also check for safety devices such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Whatever is lacking, request they be installed. This will not only make your apartment much safer, but it will also give you cheaper renters insurance rates.”

3. Pest control

Between wasp nests on your balcony and roaches invading your kitchen, pest control can be a time-consuming, unpleasant, and expensive chore. Some commercial pest control products can also be difficult, or even dangerous, to use. Save yourself the hassle, and look for apartments offering regular professional pest control.

4. Air conditioning—or ceiling fans

If you live in an area where summer temperatures become unbearable, having air conditioning is a no-brainer. Many newer apartments come with central AC, but if not, make sure window units can be installed.

Just keep in mind that AC eats up a lot of electricity, and can raise your monthly bill. To save on these costs, check if the apartment has ceiling fans. In the summer, a ceiling fan set to rotate counterclockwise at a higher speed will circulate air throughout the room, allowing you to feel cooler without running AC.

In the winter, set the ceiling fan to run clockwise at a low speed to force warm air trapped at the ceiling back into the room. You will still have to use the heater on the coldest days, but a simple flip of a switch can reduce some of your heating needs.

5. Washer and dryer

No matter how great an apartment is, lugging your laundry to the laundromat and back each week gets old awfully fast. Ideally, an in-unit washer and dryer combo is the best.

“After you’re out of college, you want your days of lugging your clothes to the laundromat to be over,” says Condor. “As well as saving you time, this will also save you money.”

If you can’t find an apartment with the appliances in the unit, at least try to find a place that has washers and dryers in the building.

6. Private parking

While the apartment complex probably has a parking lot, it could get full on weekends, when tenants are likely to have guests. To make sure you always have a spot, look for a complex that offers reserved parking spaces.

“There is nothing worse than making a large grocery run and having to park a mile away from your place,” says Condor. “Ask about the amount of dedicated space, as well as the amount of overflow parking available.”

7. An outdoor courtyard area

Sometimes you need some fresh air! Look for a complex that offers a courtyard area or, better yet, a swimming pool, so you can spend time outside without having to leave your apartment complex and driving to the nearest park or community pool.

8. On-site maintenance

A busted pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a leaking water heater can cause serious damage to your apartment (and your stuff). Having an on-site emergency maintenance crew can lessen the damage and get your life back to normal quickly.

Source: realtor.com