10 Apartment Shopping Mistakes

You are ready to look for an apartment and you have some idea what you want, but you are not clear about some other things.  Before you go out in search of that dream suite, you might want to have a better picture as to what your needs might be.  When you do this, you save yourself and the apartment staff some time.  In discovering more about your apartment needs, think about these mistakes that many apartment shoppers turned renters have done. 

One. They have underestimated square footage, closet space, cabinet space and more.
Once the furniture and many other items were moved in, they realized that the place was just too small to hold all their stuff.  Of course, disappointed, they walk into the leasing office wanting to make some changes.  Sometimes arrangements can be made, but other times they can't be because the apartment communities large suites are already filled. 

Two. They are unobservant of community, neighbors and pets.
During the tour, an apartment shopper might be so impressed with the look and feel of the community that he or she overlooks a particular ethnicity that lives there that they don't particularly like, numerous renters with pets, or areas of the property that aren't so nice.  Once moved in, he or she begins to feel like the apartment community is not what they had in mind.

Three. They overlook needed repairs and falsely assume management will get to them after starting the application process.

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, never sign a contract until needed repairs are fixed.

Four. They fail to open up cabinets, check along baseboards and other places for signs of insect or rodent problem.

This point has been made much on this blog.  It is unfortunate when a resident finds that they will be having a few roommates simply because management fails to keep on top of pest control.

Five. They fail to flush toilet.

Most shoppers don't bother to touch anything, but it would make sense to press a lever, turn a knob or do something in the suite to test that it works.

Six. They don't turn on faucets.
The water may or may not be on in the suite.  Sometimes it isn't because the next renter will have to have it turned on.  However, you can at least turn the knobs to see if they will fall into your hands.

Seven. They don't check light switches and electrical outlets.

Notice the lighting, will it be feasible?  Will you need to buy lamps for every room and corner?  (Keep in mind, some places will not have electricity turned on until a new renter moves in.)

Eight. They don't test appliances and windows.

These items may be workable.  But there are those suites where the windows are painted shut or glued.  Appliances may not operate because they are not turned on yet, but be sure.  Perform a test on a later date before you move your items into the suite.

Nine. They don't look for signs of molds and mildew.

If you see any black, green, gray or strange colors growing off of any piping, wall, baseboard, or elsewhere, that just might be a sign of a bigger problem.  Also, use your nose when walking the

Ten. They ignore bad smells.

Sniff for a gas leak, a rotten smell, a musty odor, or other odd smells in community hallways and in the suite.  Follow your nose.  Tough odors don't go away on their own, sometimes they have to be cut out.  Insulation behind a wall that had a leak, must be removed and a wall might need to be replaced.  Carpeting that once was walked on by a pet will need to be removed.  There are plenty of things that you will need to keep your nose wide open about especially under cabinets and in closets.  Just imagine, if the odor doesn't go away, it just might start to sit on the clothes hanging in your closet or the furniture in your place.
In closing, consider looking at other things while touring the rental property such as: the proximity of shrubs and trees near windows and doorways and check amenities like the community pool, playground, workout facility, and play area. If nearby parking is important to you, think about the walking distance to and from your future residence. Another thing that might make or break your moving into a certain community is the length of travel time from job to home and whether the traffic is slow moving.
All of these signs will keep you from having to go to management one day with this statement, "I don't like the apartment, I thought it was..."
Nicholl 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