Looking for a place to live is a great experience that anyone should have. It usually begins when you’re looking for an apartment, so it’s a good time to start improving your skills when looking for a place to live. It usually begins after the first few years of college, when you find a place off-campus to bunk with friends, so the bar is low because the average college student doesn’t have that high of expectations.
Cheap rent is often the only criteria, but as you get older, your responsibilities grow, and you need more of a professional lifestyle, you start to realize that your list of criteria has to expand as well. Only looking for cheap rent won’t cut it and you’ll be experiencing some unfortunate downsides to living in a place that only claims to fame are being affordable.
If you’re in the market for a new place to live or maybe it’s your first-time apartment hunting, here are some very helpful tips that will allow you to find the perfect place to live without having to compromise on anything.
Location, location, location. When you’re looking for anywhere to live, the location should be one of your top priorities. The apartments of Park Fountains at Preston Hollow highlight why a location means anything, regardless of location. A booming city like Dallas means high demand for nice places, so you need to look for places that are in good spots. This applies to any city, as location can mean the difference between a good experience and a bad experience. Find a place that is close to your work, your school, close to public transport (bus line, subway), and one that is close to things like food and entertainment. A great apartment can be hampered when it is so far away from anything.
In addition to finding a location that is close to things to do, you want to pick a good neighborhood as well. A great apartment can become bad fast if you live in a crime-riddled area, and this is a trap that people fall into. Some apartments may look very nice, have incredible charm, and a reasonable rent cost, but they may be in low-quality areas, which makes them dangerous. You want to find somewhere that is safe to walk around at night, safe to go out and do things, and doesn’t feel scary. Your safety should be a top priority as well.
Continuing on the subject of crime, if you are looking for a unit that is high-quality, you’ll want to make sure that it has some kind of security to keep you and other tenants protected. This could mean key cards for renters, a security guard at the front desk, or some form of extra security measure. It’s important to come home and feel safe where you live and it’s equally important to know that not just anyone will be able to come into your building which gives you plenty of peace of mind.
While it’s not the only thing you should consider, it is something to keep in mind when looking for that perfect apartment. The right place shouldn’t crush your budget, but knowing when and where to spend a little more or a little less on an apartment is a crucial skill to have. Some things will warrant a higher cost of rent, things like building amenities/in-unit amenities (more on this shortly), quality of tenants, location, quality of the building, security, size, etc. These are all very reasonable reasons for why it will cost more, but do your best to negotiate price if possible and know when not to spend too much. Keep in mind you shouldn’t be spending more than about 30-35% of your monthly income on rent.
Your experience living somewhere can be seriously damaged if your landlord is a terrible person to deal with. This applies to small units in a house or a unit in a big property-managed building, no matter where it is, you want the people running the show to be friendly. You can usually look up reviews of landlords to check what their rating is and see if they are trustworthy and have a good reputation. Some things to look for are quick responsiveness on questions or issues, quick to fix problems like maintenance (assuming the building doesn’t have dedicated maintenance), and are agreeable or flexible with things like payments. A good or bad landlord can make or break the enjoyment of your living space.
Some bigger buildings have the benefit of having more amenities. They may have a gym, a spa, saunas, or pools, which are all great things to have and help make your life easier for not having to buy a membership. Obviously, these amenities will cost more when it comes to your rent, but they could be worth it. Similarly, look for in-unit laundry as well, which is a big bonus that can save you time and money having to go to and from the building’s laundry room, or off-site laundry. Amenities can help make your apartment feel much more livable, so keep an eye out for the extras.
Check the Condition of the Unit
Lastly, you want to always inspect a unit before making a decision on signing a lease. It’s a good idea to go in person if you can, considering some of the limitations in place, as this gives you a chance to check out the floor, the doors, the counters, windows, the bathroom, the ceiling, and anywhere else that you could potentially see damages. You should also keep an eye on water pressure and anything else that could be a problem. Always thoroughly inspect a place before moving in.
Finding the perfect apartment to live in is easy when you know how to search for the right things. Keep these top considerations in mind when on the hunt for the apartment of your dreams.