Whether you’re apartment shopping in a different city or doing your own remote research at home, virtual tours can come in handy. These allow possible renters to scope out living spaces with more comfort and convenience than ever. But with all the perks that this virtual advantage brings, it can still present some drawbacks compared to the in-person experience.
Make sure you’re getting the full inside scoop on your next apartment, even if you can’t go inside! In this article, we’ll outline a few tips for navigating this evaluation in its entirety. Virtual tours are the future of home hunting — ensure you’ve got the process covered by asking these critical questions.
Does this place check all my boxes?
Before you schedule virtual tours with all the apartment properties in your search area, it’s necessary to create a list of what essential criteria your next apartment must meet — and filter out any properties that don’t fit the bill!
Apartmentsearch.com can help you find a place that checks all your boxes. Using our advanced filter system, you can narrow down properties based on interest points such as wheelchair access, fitness centers, pet-friendliness, and more. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of solid options, then you can reach out and schedule your virtual tours.
Is the unit we’re touring the same one that’s available?
Once you embark on your first apartment tour, double-check whether or not you’re seeing the unit that you’ll be renting! Often, apartment complexes will have a staged model to walk you through. This isn’t necessarily bad, but model apartments typically have more bells and whistles than vacant units. Additionally, they may also be more spacious! By asking this question, you’ll know what you’re looking at from the get-go.
What are the dimensions of the room(s)?
If social media has taught us anything, it’s that even the smartest phone cameras can be highly deceptive! Accordingly, ensure that you ask fundamental questions about the apartment’s layout and square footage. Pay special attention to areas where you know you require more space, such as the kitchen if you’re big on meal-prep, the closet if you’re sharing it with a fashion-forward partner, and so on!
Does the unit for rent have the same finishes and appliances as the one we’re touring?
As mentioned above, more often than not, apartment properties will take you on a virtual tour of a model rather than the available unit. Asking how the finishes and appliances shown on tour compare to those in your prospective home will help prevent you from falling for any bait-and-switch staging techniques.
For instance, if the model you’re seeing has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, ensure the unit you’re leasing includes the same things or is priced reasonably for what it does/doesn’t have.
Where is the available unit within the larger complex?
Where a unit is located within the property can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things to glean from a virtual apartment tour!
For instance, if your apartment is right behind a dumpster, you may have to deal with the scent and pests that come from being near it. If your apartment is by the pool, you might be confronted by boisterous parties and after-hour shenanigans! Get some perspective on where your potential next apartment is by asking your leasing agent to walk you to the unit while on a video call.
Even if you can’t go into the unit, you’ll get a general idea of what’s around the apartment, whether you have up- or downstairs neighbors, and even how long the walk from your car to your front door will be. This is also a good opportunity to check whether the property is well-lit and well-maintained.
Is there anything else I should know about (insert your concerns)?
At the end of the day, no one knows your apartment better than the person renting it to you — whether that’s a landlord or a property manager. If you spot anything fishy during your virtual tour, or if there’s a particular amenity/feature that you’re especially interested in, inquire further! A few good topics to consider asking for more info about:
- Is there anything else I should know about safety in the area?
- Does this property have a courtesy officer?
- Besides rent and utilities, can I expect any compulsory fees for internet, trash, or pest control?
- I read an online review about some tenants having issues with [subject], can you tell me a little more about it?
Utilize these questions to ask when touring an apartment, and you’ll find comfort in knowing you’ve performed a thorough investigation before signing the lease. Apartment hunting can be time-consuming and even emotionally draining, but it doesn’t have to be hard from a practical standpoint! Apartmentsearch.com can help you create a shortlist of apartment properties to tour and explore before you commit.