How to Find an Apartment You’ll Love, Part 1

find an apartmentYour mission: Find an apartment. Sounds simple enough, right? There are lots of places for rent out there. So how do you pick the right one?

First, to find an apartment you’ll love over the long term, don’t base your decision on a single factor. You may have one good reason for moving, like wanting a place that’s bigger, cheaper, or closer to work. But don’t let that override other considerations. There are certain things you should look for when you tour any apartment. We’ll cover these factors in two separate posts.

When you find an apartment that interests you, make an appointment for a walk-through. As you go through the apartment, notice or ask about:

Size of the living space. You’ll want to find an apartment that will accommodate the number of people in your household, and sometimes the advertised size doesn’t jibe with reality. You might not be able to get a roommate if the extra bedroom is really a closed-off hallway. You may also want to measure rooms to be sure your furniture will fit.

Location. Is the apartment is near potentially noisy exterior doors, stairs, or walkways? You may want to find an apartment farther from these features, especially if you are a light sleeper or bothered by noise.

Storage. You’ll want to find an apartment that provides ample storage. Assess the closets in each bedroom. Be sure the kitchen has cupboard space for your kitchen goods and dishes. Check that the bathroom has space for linens and toiletries.

Utilities. Ask how much utilities tend to run per month, and find out which utilities are included in the rent. Minor costs like trash pickup are usually covered. You’ll have fewer bills if you find an apartment whose rent includes major bills like heat and hot water.

Amenities. Decide which amenities you value so you can find an apartment that fills the bill. For example, you might like to have both a shower and a tub. If you have a family, you might want a dishwasher and washer/dryer hookups. If the apartment comes with extras such as a workout room, spa, or a pool, check them out during your walkthrough to be sure they are as advertised.

Convenience. It’s a good idea to find an apartment that is close to the things you often do. Obviously your work commute will be a big factor. But don’t overlook other considerations such as proximity to grocery stores, school, parks, friends, or other destinations that matter to you.

Parking. In a big city, you may want to find an apartment with off-street or covered parking. If you will have to park on the street, ask if you will have to move your car for street sweeping or buy a residential parking permit.

Pet policy. If you have a pet, ask about the deposit and other requirements. The pet question is also important if you have allergies. You don’t want to find an apartment that was previously occupied by an animal you’re allergic to, especially if there is carpet.

Next time, we’ll discuss some other issues to consider as you find an apartment. Meanwhile, start your search with us at, with our listings for great Phoenix apartments, Dallas apartments, Seattle apartments, and Austin apartments.