12 Apartment "To Do" Things When You're Shopping/Moving

So you are ready to begin looking for a new place to stay?  Consider the following before you make your announcement to everyone.

1.  Know what kind of apartment you need based on your needs and your budget.  How much are you willing to spend each month?
2.  Know what area you would like to live in.  Did you determine this location because it is near the job, relatives, has a good school district, nearby shopping, etc.  Have you considered your partner's needs?
3.  When do you plan to move.
4.  Check your lease.  Did you give your landlord proper notice?
5.  What maintenance issues need to be reported to your landlord about your unit and surroundings?  Be sure to call in a work order request and make necessary improvements, if need be, yourself.
6.  Will your move affect your job?  Take off some personal days for shopping and moving.
7.  When do you plan to tell children, relatives, friends, etc.?
8.  Make a list of items you plan to give away, throw away and sell.
9.  Put money aside for boxes, tape, bins, and other moving supplies including a truck, gas and if relocating out of state, plane fare, hotel costs, food etc.
10.  Update your mailing address with all businesses directly as well as through USPS.
11. Set aside cleaning supplies and time to prepare your unit for final inspection.  Take video and/or still pictures.
12.  Meet with landlord to give keys, update your mailing info., ask questions, and find out necessary information related to your security deposit.

Feel free to print out and follow this list.  If you do, you will have less headache and heartache.  This list should answer the who, what, when, where, and how questions that you might be asked from your partner to the landlords.  You don't want any unecessary problems during your apartment shopping and moving experience.  Remember when you are apartment shopping, you will see issues with various apartment buildings and units, be sure that all flaws that you see will be addressed before you sign anything.  Otherwise, you just might be stuck with problems during the duration of your lease.  Things to check for during apartment shopping are as follows.

1. Building structure: windows, screens, doors, gutters, roofs, fences, etc.  Window screens are known for having holes.  Be sure that the screens will be replaced before you commit to moving in.  Check door locks, don't assume that management sees what you see.  Be sure that everything works!

2.  Apartment:  Walls, ceilings, appliances and other things in the apartment can be easily overlooked for markings, holes and more.  Check to see that appliances work and fit your standard of living before you say, "I'll take it!"

3.  Check mail boxes, amenities like the laundry room and pool areas.  Do they fit your needs, clean and secure?

4.  If the deal is too good to be true, then it usually is.  Good deals are used as a distraction from any number of issues.  Sniff around the unit.  Do you smell mold, mildew, leaking gas, stale, or disturbing odors?  Feces left behind by a nest of insects, mice or lizards will leave an odor in or behind the walls of the unit. Check for dead insects.  The more insects you see that look the same, most likely that is the insect that will be your frequent visitor later.  If you can lift back the corner of a carpet, check behind doors, kitchen shelves--top and below, or move something out the way (like the stove), you just might see left over evidence of an insect problem.

5.  Check for holes around the fixtures below the kitchen faucet, bathroom and laundry areas and around windows.  These are problem areas when it comes to insects and rodents stopping by for a visit.  Be sure they are properly sealed--once again before you move in!

6.  When walking the property, take a good look at where people park and how secure is the lot.  View faces and observe the surrounding areas.  Is the location a place that you wouldn't mind bringing a loved one to for a visit?

Feel free to check elsewhere on this blog for more tips.

Nicholl McGuire is a former leasing consultant and property manager.  She also is a writer, do check out her books on her personal blog here.

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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