The hunt for the perfect apartment is something every renter is deeply familiar with. While each property has certain advantages and disadvantages, there are certain aspects that need to be fulfilled in order for that particular house or apartment to be deemed rent-worthy. Unfortunately, too many people gloss over the details, often committing one or more of the following mistakes:
1. Falling in love too soon
For many people, apartment hunting is quite an exciting activity. The thrill of discovering a new place can be quite intoxicating, leading to rash decisions that may very well be regretted afterwards. In order to prevent falling prey to the same behavior, gently remind yourself that patience is a virtue, and that you’re likely to find plenty of great apartments even if you pass on the first one that catches your eye.
2. Overlooking existing damage
Unless the apartment you’re looking at is brand new, chances are it will come with a certain level of baggage in one form or another. Things like flickering lights betray electrical imbalances, whereas a crack in the wall in the wall might be a sign of a shoddy renovation job. It’s up to you if you want to ignore these problems or not, but be sure to document them with photographs so you won’t be accused of causing them yourself down the line.
3. Not taking the surrounding neighborhood into account
Houses or apartment complexes don’t exist in a vacuum. They are inevitably influenced by everything around them. To that end, make sure that the neighborhood you pick is a place that you feel comfortable in, and that you’ve got everything you need close by. The Cinnamon Apartments in California’s Bay Area are a good example of how a fine location can positively influence an apartment complex and make it that much more attractive for would-be renters.
4. Foregoing renters insurance
An oft-overlooked aspect of the renting experience, renters insurance exists to cover your belongings in case of fire or other issues. While most landlords have certain insurance policies in place for these kinds of things, they do not extend to the possessions owned by the renter. Fortunately, renters insurance is cheap and covers a vast number of potential scenarios, thus keeping you and your belongings sheltered from harm.
5. Not considering roommates or neighbors carefully
One of the unavoidable facets of modern life lies in the fact that, due to space constraints, most people have to share their living quarters. Of course, such circumstances dictate that renters exercise caution in picking out a particular place. Roommates and neighbors alike will have an outsized impact on your living conditions, so it’s worth taking the time to introduce yourself and get to know them a little bit before you move right next to them.
6. Failing to read the rental agreement
Most self-respecting places nowadays require their tenants to sign rental agreements, which specifically outline their duties and responsibilities as renters. Be sure to read these contracts thoroughly and look out for any clauses that you might object to. Rental agreements can be modified in some situations, so always discuss any issues you encounter with your landlord to see if you can reach a consensus.
In conclusion, do your best to avoid all the aforementioned apartment hunting mistakes and you’ll most likely be rewarded with a place that will feel like home throughout the entire duration of your stay.
Michael Sanduso lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a freelance writer and editor, tech geek, and stay at home father.