Moving is exciting, stressful, and fun all at the same time. There has almost never been a better time to move than now, with prices being lowered in many areas due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether leasing or buying, now is as good as time as ever to start looking for a new apartment unit.
So, if you do decide to dip into the market and have a look for a new unit, what should you be looking for? In this article, we are going to discuss what to look for in a new unit and how to check the place is right for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to find your perfect apartment, anywhere.
The Perfect Location
First thing’s first, you need to find an apartment in your perfect location. When it comes to location, the choice is entirely yours. Many developers work in all regions of cities and towns to make sure there are options for every type of customer. So, whether you are looking for a downtown high-rise or a countryside estate, these development teams have something perfect for everyone.
Location is key in the planning and development of all new-build apartment buildings. Without a great location, developers would never attract a great customer like you! When you move into somewhere in a city, such as a new development like Park Fountains at Preston Hollow, you’ll find yourself near all the attractions downtown life has to offer. Wherever you move, you will likely find most of the people living there are like-minded and enjoy the same lifestyle as you.
Area Safety and Security
So, you’ve chosen your location. Great! Don’t dive in too quickly, though. You need to make sure you know the area well before making a purchase. What if you found out the development you looked at appeared nice but was surrounded by poverty and crime? You need to check the local stats for crime, safety, and emergency service response times. This way, you’ll be able to find out how safe the area is and start to build yourself a picture of how safe you will feel traveling through and living in this area.
Proper Alarm Systems
On the subject of safety at home, you want to make sure the building has proper security and alarm systems. For example, does the building have a 24-hour concierge or security service? If not, are their intruder alarms installed on all the main entrances? These things not only help you feel ten times safer in your own home, but they also help to reduce insurance premiums for home and home contents insurance.
The same goes for fire alarm systems. All new developments are required to adhere to certain fire safety standards. In older buildings, you may find corners have been cut. Either way, your landlord, developer, or building manager has a responsibility to make sure your fire systems are up to standards. This is essential to your personal safety when at home surrounded by other homes and all their combined fire hazards!
Cell and Wi-Fi Potential
We use our cell phones more than ever, so when moving into a new space, you need to know your phone is going to work there! If you go for a viewing, take out your cell and see if you have a good, strong signal. If you don’t, you might want to check with your cell provider if there are any plans for masts in that area. Otherwise, you may end up without a signal at all when you move into your new home.
The same goes with wi-fi. Believe it or not, there are plenty of areas that are still unable to get high-quality broadband connections. Check with the agent showing you the apartment whether there are decent phone lines and high internet speeds in the building. This matters whether your new apartment is in a brand new complex or part of an older building.
The Water System
It’s always worth checking out what the water system is like in a new apartment. Is there adequate pressure in the system for your showers and taps? Does your hot water come from a shared source? Do you know how much residents are paying on average per month in water bills? All these questions should be posed to the realtor or building representative when you are having a viewing of the apartment.
This may sound silly, but you need to check that your building has enough electrical power for you. By this, we mainly mean the apartments have enough outlets and switches for your electrical needs. Think about it, we all have tens and tens of electrical devices these days. From laptops to cell phone chargers, microwaves to electric razors, all of these things require sockets, cables, and more. So, without enough sockets, you could end up with a very messy set of cables and a very frustrating time whenever you try to find the right power for any given device.
The structure of the building is extremely important. Now, we aren’t suggesting that everyone becomes a structural engineer or surveyor! But, it is important to take a good look at all the surfaces and walls when you are visiting any building. If you see any sign of cracks in the walls, subsidence, or ill-fitting window frames, you need to have these problems assessed by a surveyor.
The same goes for any visible damage on exterior walls, roofing, or even stairs. Make sure there are no visible damages – look properly! If there are, seek advice from professionals before putting any pen to paper.
As we have discussed, you need to make sure the apartment itself is going to fulfill your needs when it comes to things like power and water. But, you also need to have enough other facilities. What are you used to in your current home? Do you require two bathrooms, a double oven, dishwasher, and power shower? If any of those things were missing, how would you feel?
When viewing a new property – or potential property – it is always best to go in knowing exactly what you want in these areas. Make a list of what we like to call “non-negotiables.” These things on your list should be the facilities any given apartment absolutely must-have if you are even going to consider moving in. Anything missing from that list means you go look somewhere else!
Wherever your apartment may be, you need to make sure you are aware of the parking possibilities. Most of us these days use a vehicle to get to work, take the kids to school, or pick up the groceries. So, assuming you do own a car, you need to check the parking that comes with your apartment.
In many new developments, there are underground car parks built into the blocks. The issue, however, can be that they are quite expensive. Sometimes, developers charge a huge amount for extra parking spaces to be added to your lease or purchase, so you need to check this before you move in. If you are downtown, this is more likely to be an issue than if you are looking for an apartment in the suburbs.
If possible, scope out the area you are looking to live in and try and speak to some locals. Approach with respect and caution, of course, and explain that you are looking to move into the area. Ask questions that interest you about your potential new living area. Do people enjoy living there? Are they happy? Do they have any complaints about the landlords, neighbors, or anything else? Ask the neighbors how their commute is, too.
All of these things compound to help you paint a more full picture of what living in this area will really be like on a day-to-day basis. Plus, getting a good vibe from your potential neighbors is super important. If you can’t imagine yourself living in an area with these people, you may wish to reconsider!
Check for Pests
The last thing anyone wants in their new home is pests. There are, of course, pests naturally occurring all over the country and all over the world. These can include mites, cockroaches, mice, or rats. Unfortunately, sometimes these little creatures can make their way into our homes. Having pests in the home can be uncomfortable, stressful, and unhygienic – not things you want in a new home.
The other issue, of course, is that when you have pests you usually need to spend plenty of money to have them removed. Pest control is a job not many people want to do, therefore it costs a fair amount to hire a pest control team. Make sure you check thoroughly for signs of any of the above pests when you view an apartment. Don’t worry about doing so, you are well within your rights to look under sofas and cabinets to double-check the cleanliness of the home.
Many new developments these days come with wonderful amenities. These can range from gyms and pools to bars, saunas, and even cinemas. Does this matter to you? Do you care if the building has lots of amenities? Do you want the extra service charge? As you can probably predict, having more facilities is likely to mean a higher monthly or yearly service charge paid to the building management for maintenance and cleaning.
Many people prefer living in a more simple building that is near local facilities and amenities, giving them the option of whether they go use them or not, without any upfront cost. In this case, it may be more beneficial to look at an older downtown building instead of a new set of luxury apartments. This is really your choice, of course, as we can’t tell you which facilities you will or will not make use of or find value in. Again, it is worth going in with an idea of what you do and does not want, so you are not swayed by something you don’t really want.
Furnished or Unfurnished?
There are two key types of leases when it comes to renting an apartment and these are furnished and unfurnished. Often, there will not be a choice in each individual apartment advert. So, as with many of our previous points, you need to know what you want in advance.
The benefit of furnished apartments is that you will have a much lower moving cost. You won’t need to splash out on a new sofa, dining table, or set of chairs when you move in. However, you will be effectively leasing the furniture. This means that you have to be very careful with it throughout your lease, as any damage is done will likely mean paying more money to your landlord.
When it comes to the unfurnished, the main benefit is having the flexibility to do whatever you want with space when you move in. You can buy whatever style of furniture you wish and place it wherever you want. This is great but can be expensive.
Affordability of Rent
Once all the above is considered, you need to figure out if you can get all of the above in a place you can afford. This is where compromise often comes into the equation. For example, you may have to end up sacrificing your dream location in exchange for somewhere slightly further outside of the city to get better facilities or an extra bedroom.
Or, you may decide to forego the extra bathroom to allow yourself an amazing downtown location with a car parking spot. Only you will be able to decide what you can afford and what your top qualities are within that budget, but as with everything else, we recommend writing down your desires and a list of pros and cons when comparing apartments.
Following these steps should help you find an amazing apartment, in your chosen location, for your chosen budget. These are the key things you should be looking for when you move; missing any of them could result in landlord disputes or disappointment during your tenancy. We wish you the very best of luck when searching for a new property and hope this article has helped you.
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