Forewarning: A lot of my suggestions are financial. I can’t help it, I’m all about saving for my future. Planning for every potential expense when it comes to any major purchase or subscription is crucial for your financial success.
- Does the apartment come furnished?
If you are looking for a full apartment or just a room, there is a huge difference between paying rent for an unfurnished room and a place that is already furnished. If the apartment is not furnished, then you have to factor in the cost of a bed, a table and chairs for meals, and any other basic furniture for your living space.
- How much is rent?
Obviously, you are going to want to know how much you’ll be dishing out each month. Research apartment costs in your area to determine what is a good price.
- Are utilities included or is it a separate cost?
In case you didn’t know utilities includes your water and electricity bills. It’s very important to calculate whether or not utilities is included in your rent or if it’s a separate cost. If it is a separate cost ask what the average monthly payment is.
- Do you have to pay for parking?
Some complexes offer free parking and some offer a parking pass and or a remote key for the gate for a certain amount per month. In some cases, they will give you a garage fee for an extra fee up front that will be refunded at the end of the lease.
- Are appliances included?
I toured an apartment that doesn’t come with a refrigerator. For you new apartment shoppers, doesn’t that sound bizarre?? I didn’t want to think about having to buy a huge refrigerator to have to lug in and lug out whenever I moved anywhere. Fortunately, they did offer a refrigerator rental service. I don’t recall the prices. You can also invest in a miniature refrigerator.
- Is wifi and cable included?
Um..what’s the wifi password? How many times have you asked that question? When wifi and cable are included in your rent…thank the heavens! To be honest, I don’t watch much tv, but when I do, I binge watch Netflix movies or shows. I don’t miss tv that much until I watch a show that I used to watch religiously when I was home. If cable is not included then you have to do your research to find the best option for you and calculate that into your total monthly cost. In my opinion schools, hotels, and apartment complexes are not the greatest places to use wifi. Hundreds of people on the same system will only make it slow and your devices will not function to the best of their ability. I highly suggest investing in your own wifi.
- Ask for a tour
I wouldn’t say don’t trust pictures…but don’t trust pictures. You don’t want to be attracted to the pictures and get all signed up on the lease just to find out the space isn’t as big as you had imagined. It’s always good to take a look so you can search for potential problems and briefly plan out how you would want to set up your belongings. Especially if you’re going to have a roommate or multiple roommates, I would advise getting a feel for the space to see if you would be fine sharing.
- How much is the initial installment?
Every complex has a different system for the miscellaneous fees that they charge. Application fees, processing fees, and initial installments are a few examples to keep in mind.
- Are there quiet hours?
People like to party. Whether you are party veteran or you tend to stay away from them it’s good to know the rules about sound regulation. Are you obligated to call the office or the police when there is a noise disturbance? Are there resident advisors or security that will be surveying the place in the evenings to keep control of these types of activities? It’s also good to meet your neighbors just so you can be prepared for those moments and even to make some new friends.
- Are pets allowed?
I wish I could take my puppy everywhere with me. Unfortunately, I will have to leave her yet again because my apartment does not allow pets!! If you know you can’t separate from your little partner in crime then keep searching for apartments that will allow you to have pets. The ones that do usually have a weight or size limit for the pet and there may be extra monthly charges: its almost like paying rent for your pet.
- Is smoking allowed?
Just like the volume control, it’s important to know whether smoking is allowed or not. If you smoke, you don’t want to break any rules and risk being charged a fee for smoking. If you don’t smoke and it bothers you to smell the cigarettes, you want to make sure you’re can get a nonsmoking room away from other smokers if that is a possibility.
Those are the questions I would ask at every apartment complex I visit. If these were helpful or if you have any suggestions for other questions to ask, let me know in the comments!
P.S. The found the featured photo above on A Beautiful Mess’ Instagram (My favorite blog) and they were featuring this lovely lady Susie F. W. She goes by rose_tinted_glasses on Instagram.
~ The Unfolding Crystal ~