Finding an apartment takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. A little planning and forethought in finding your apartment will go a long way. Don’t rush when you’re searching for an apartment – the decision you make can affect your quality of life for months and, more likely, years…! So use to pick an apartment wisely and enjoy the fruits of your labor for a long time.

Finding an Apartment That Fits You

Finding an Apartment

Before you go browsing, your first step in finding that apartment is to narrow your hunt. Finding an apartment becomes a lot easier when you focus the search by size, lease length, location, features, and rent. It doesn’t make sense to spend time looking at listings and visiting apartments, only to find that your furniture doesn’t fit or that you can’t live without a tub.

Finding an Apartment by Size

Finding an apartment isn’t easy for packrats who have trouble judging volume. If you’re not sure how much stuff you have, and you’re afraid of a space crunch, take an approximate measure of the filled areas in your closets and storage spaces. You can even measure in feet instead of inches – just round up and get a rough idea of how much storage you’ll need in your new apartment.

It’s also a good idea to measure your biggest pieces of furniture – bureaus, wardrobes, beds, sofas, desks – to help you in finding an apartment that fits your needs. You might find it helpful to have these measurements with you when you visit apartments. Some landlords will be able to give you the dimensions of rooms before you visit. This information will come in handy when decorating your apartment, too.

Lastly, it’s critical to know how many bedrooms and living areas you’ll need. If you need a study for your home business, a bedroom for a roommate, or an extra living area for your book club meetings, you’ll want to be searching for the right kind of space. When finding an apartment, too, you should know that single-occupant apartments are generally the priciest. Privacy comes at a premium, partly because a single occupant has to carry the overhead for all the facilities (plumbing, electrical, appliances) that would be shared by multiple occupants.

Finding an Apartment by Lease Length

The lease length is another critical limitation when finding an apartment. How long do you intend to stay? A lease is binding on both you and the landlord, and it usually sets the rent at a fixed rate, too.

Unfortunately, a lot of listings don’t specify the length of the lease, so keep that in mind. Don’t waste time on visiting an apartment that you may find to be on a limiting lease. Call first, and ask about the lease before you schedule a visit.

Finding an Apartment by Location

Location is just as important when finding an apartment as it is with any other kind of real estate situation. You want to be close to your frequent destinations – work, friends, errands, recreation. When you’re talking about quality of life, you’ll often find that an unremarkable place close to work is a much better situation than a gorgeous apartment far from friends and office. Don’t be wowed by superficial elements when you sign that lease. Know the area, know your frequent routes, and be logical. If safety is a concern when finding your apartment, make sure to visit the apartment on a Friday or Saturday evening to see what the nightlife is like.

Finding an Apartment by Features

Everyone has lifestyle needs that can’t be negotiated. Maybe you have a huge collection of ventriloquist dolls that must be kept in climate-controlled environments. Maybe you have four miniature poodles. Maybe you want a spot in some smoke-free apartments or you’re interested in renting loft apartments. Whatever it is, it affects you when you’re finding an apartment.

Beyond your feature needs, you probably have a list of feature wants – desired features that can affect your decision. When finding an apartment, keep your favorite features in mind and don’t forget to ask about them if they’re not immediately obvious. Common features include pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, storage spaces, and cable TV.

Finding an Apartment by Rent

Of course, when finding an apartment, the bottom line is always important. A good place will always cost you some money, but with a little preparation and planning, finding a good, economical apartment should be more of a pleasure than a burden. You may also find the ApartmentSearch moving checklist helpful. And of course, don’t forget to claim your $200 reward for finding an apartment on!

Good luck!