When it comes to selecting a place to live, there are several options. You can buy or rent, and you can look into an apartment, condo, townhouse, duplex, or single-family home. One of the most popular options for undecided people about long-term residency in an area or those who do not have time to upkeep property on their own is apartment living.
What To Look For When Searching For An Apartment
When searching for an apartment, it is crucial to make a list of requirements that will meet your needs. Some buildings are basic 3 or 6 units that are stand-alone. Other buildings are high rises or complexes run by a management company rather than just one landlord. Smaller buildings may offer free parking, but they won’t have a gym, pool, or door attendant. Compile your must-have list and begin searching for a space that meets your needs.
Individually owned smaller buildings will typically be run by a single landlord and not a property management company. Ads may be placed in local social media rental groups, or a sign may be placed in a window for contact information. Larger complexes that have property management companies rent their apartments differently. Renters will need to call the rental department to inquire about available units and set up a time to view them much like one would if they were house hunting with a realtor.
It is essential to look at the safety of the building and the rental agreement before renting. Inquire about parking, laundry, utilities, late fees, and deposits. You must also fully understand the move out process and fees associated with that when the end of your lease comes.
Look For These Features When Viewing Properties:
- Curb appeal and how the grounds are maintained
- Parking spots and if the cars in the lot are well kept or if there are broken down vehicles
- The inside foyer and mailbox area should be clean and bright.
- The hallways should be clean and well lit.
- Fire exits should be well marked.
- Inquire about laundry and storage on site
- Inspect hallways and elevators to assess how moving day will be and if your belongings will quickly move into the unit
- If you see a resident feel free to ask them how they like living in the building
- Stick to your must-have list. If you require two bedrooms, do not settle for one.
Pros and Cons of Apartment Living
Apartment living comes with a lot of pros, but it also has a few cons. Some people spend their entire lifetime living in apartments because it always meets their needs. As life changes, living requirements can also change sometimes. Things that were at one time a positive may become negative. Always be willing to reassess your living situation if you find yourself uncomfortable and need something different.
Pros Of Apartment Living
- There is no need to worry about maintenance. The landlord or property management company will perform the necessary repairs.
- There is no need to tie yourself down with a mortgage. Rental agreements get renewed yearly.
- If your job changes or you need to relocate, you don’t have to worry about selling. You can wait out your lease or break it for a fee.
- You get to meet new neighbors regularly.
Cons Of Apartment Living
- You pay a monthly rental fee, but you never own your property, so you don’t have equity.
- You could end up in a noisy building with inconsiderate neighbors.
- Your landlord could raise your rent every year if you decide to renew your lease.
- Moving yearly to avoid rental increases can become costly.
- The landlord could opt not to renew your lease, and you are then going to have to find a new place to live.
- Some apartments don’t allow pets.
- Your unit is as it is. Because you do not own it, you cannot customize it to your taste.
Tips For Apartment Living
When looking for an apartment to live in, you should inquire about utilities. Not all buildings include utilities. If it is an older building there is a good chance that the utilities will be significantly higher than newer buildings. By inquiring about insulation and weatherization of the building you could be saving a good amount on your Toledo Edison bill. You should also find an apartment near your work as possible to cut back on commuting expenses such as gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
When you decide to move out, consider all the property types. Understand the pros and cons of owning vs. renting and then considering the pros and cons of living in an apartment building or a different dwelling structure. A well-thought-out plan will better prepare you for any home.