Things You Need to Check When Being Shown an Apartment or Town Home

While walking or driving down a street you see a move-in special! You can't wait to see how much you are going to save and whether the living space will accommodate you and/or your family.

Sometimes we are in such a rush to find a place to stay that we overlook the little things when being shown our new home.

Whether you are moving into an apartment, townhouse (also known as a duplex), or home, consider the following things before you sign that leasing contract and hand over your security deposit.

One. Underneath cabinets.

Look for pipes with signs of rust and leaks. Check inside of cabinets for molds and mildews. If you don't know what signs of water damage and molds look like, search the Internet for photographs.

Two. Floor along baseboards and crevices.

Those unidentifiable black crumbs just might be dead bugs on the floor. Those dirt specks on the window seal or bubble patches in the paint might be signs of termites. Look closely for evidence of a previous insect and rodent problem. If the issue still exists, you might even notice an odor.

Three. Toilet.

Badly worn sink fixtures, low water pressure and other issues when using the sink, shower and toilet aren't always obvious; therefore, they might be problematic in the future. However, it doesn't hurt to turn on a faucet, flush a toilet or run the bath and shower to see if all are operable.

Four. Sinks.

When filling the sink with water, does the water stay filled up when the stopper is in use? You can check on this while looking elsewhere in the apartment then come back to see if there is any change. Is the water hot and stays that way? Run it for awhile to see. Check the cold water as well. Does it work? Is there a slow leak under the sink? Listen and look for problems in any room that has water fixtures.

Five. Showers and Tubs.

Test the shower and tub. Sometimes rust particles will come from old fixtures and pipes. The last thing you want to discover upon move in is that you can't take a bath. Shower heads sometimes get clogged and will need to be replaced. You don't want to have to spend unnecessary money once you move in trying to get these things fixed.

Six. Odors.

Landlords will use all sorts of cleaning agents and air fresheners to mask the smell of mold and mildew inside an apartment, odors from a nearby garbage can, dead rodents behind a wall, fumes from a car garage across the street, or a neighbor who has an interesting taste in food or isn't that fond of keeping his or her house clean.

Open up cabinets and sniff. Crack open a window and smell the air. Don't take this sort of thing lightly if you are a person who has environmental allergies.

Seven. Unsightly damages, stains and missing items.

You might notice something is broken, missing, has a weird stain or a hole. Think about this for a moment, if maintenance didn't take care of this before the apartment was shown, there is a good possibility that they won't once the lease contract is signed. Don't sign anything until your needs are met!!

Now that you have seven tips to keep in mind when looking at a place, do understand that not everything will be to your liking especially when numerous people have lived in a place prior to your arrival. However, this doesn't excuse the fact that your basic requests should be granted. If a property manager can't handle them, avoid doing business with them.

By N. McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media