The average American moves about 12 times in a lifetime, while Europeans move around four times.
Regardless of your locale, moving can be an exhilarating but stressful process. Whether it’s for a new college, a new job, or another opportunity, you need to find the right apartment for your needs.
Keep reading for four common mistakes in apartment hunting you’ll want to avoid.
1. Not Reading the Fine Print
A major mistake many renters make is thinking that every lease agreement is the same. Before you sign on the dotted line, though, make sure you’ve read every part of the rental agreement.
For example, is living with roommates or subletting allowed? What happens if you miss a rent payment or there’s existing damage inside the apartment? Are there extra fees for pets, parking, laundry, or community facilities?
Talk to your landlord and make sure you understand everything before you sign.
2. Not Considering the Commute
A great apartment at a great price — what more could you want?
Not so fast. Before you get excited about a killer deal, consider why the apartment is so cheap. Could it be that it’s many, many miles from downtown, schools, shopping, or highways?
For example, if you’re looking for off campus housing, how far will you drive to school every day? If you’re starting a new job across town, how long will you spend behind the wheel each morning and evening?
It’s not worth saving a few bucks on rent if you’re going to blow through your gas budget every week. You also need to think about what your time is worth. Is a cheap apartment really worth sitting in traffic for an hour or more every day?
3. Following Your Heart (Instead of Your Budget)
Love at first sight can happen with homes just as easily as it does with humans. However, this is one of the biggest (and costliest) mistakes in apartment hunting.
Know your budget before you start searching for a new apartment. Make it easier on yourself by not even visiting any units that are beyond your budget. This will help you avoid the temptation to sign on a place you can’t actually afford.
4. Ignoring the Neighborhood
No matter how rushed you feel to secure an apartment, keep your eyes open. Even an amazing apartment can be the wrong choice if it’s in the wrong neighborhood.
As you drive over to view the unit, pay close attention to the surrounding homes and streets. Does the neighborhood seem quiet, safe, and well-maintained? Or are there signs of crime and vandalism?
If you’re not familiar with the area, do some research online about the crime rates, school district, and other relevant details. You should also visit at different times of the day and night to get a feel for how safe the area is.
Avoid These Mistakes in Apartment Hunting
It’s always an exciting but stressful time to go hunting for a new apartment. Before you start considering options for apartments or comparing apartment fees, refer back to this article.
That way, you’ll ensure you don’t make any mistakes in apartment hunting!
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