Personal Finance

It’s Moving Season: Important Apartment Hunting Tips

apartment hunting tips

For all of my adult life, I have been a renter. For many reasons, the expense and dedication needed to buy and maintain a house never really appealed to me much. Moving season, which tends to occur from May to August in most of the United States, seemed like a good time to share some tips on how to find the right apartment in the right location for the right price. Here are some of the apartment-hunting tips I found to be the most effective.

Finding The Right Neighborhood

One of the best benefits of renting one of these apartments for rent in NYC, or a property wherever it is you are looking to live, is being able to move to another neighborhood with little hassle whenever you want. Finding the right neighborhood to rent in is very important to your personal enjoyment, as it is difficult to feel at peace in any apartment if you don’t like the neighborhood it is in. Here are some things you should look for.

Transportation needs – If you are a driver, is there ample parking and can you get into and out of the neighborhood easily during peak driving hours? If you do not drive, does the neighborhood have public transportation, bike lanes, and plenty of sidewalks for foot traffic?

Practical needs – Do you need to live close to work or school? Are there grocery stores and gas stations easily accessible in the vicinity? Will you be bringing pets with you that need outside access or to be walked regularly? The ability to do these routine tasks in the neighborhood will greatly impact your happiness living there.

Personal preferences – Are you a social butterfly that enjoys having a lot of things to do? Then, the right neighborhood for you would have plenty of nightlife options, entertainment venues, and restaurants to explore. If you prefer a quieter existence, you might want to consider looking at apartments on the outskirts of town or in a suburban area.

Getting the right size – How many bedrooms do you need? Would you prefer 1, 1 and ½, or two bathrooms? Do you need an outdoor patio or balcony? Do you need a large kitchen or living room? The answers to these questions should be top priorities when looking for an apartment.

Getting the right price – How much can you afford to spend each month on rent? A renter is considered cost-burdened if they are spending more than 40% of their monthly income on their rent. Most experts recommend budgeting around 25% of your household’s monthly income for rent to remain financially stable.

Getting the right amenities – There might be some apartment amenities that you just cannot live without. In my case, I would be very reluctant to rent an apartment that did not have central air, a dishwasher, and a washer/dryer hookup in the unit. Figure out which amenities you must have before you start looking to narrow down your search.

Other Useful Apartment Hunting Tips

  • Check to see if there are any other costs associated with the apartment, like parking fees and pet fees, which will need to be included in your budget.
  • Verify if any utilities are included in the rent and which ones you will need to access on your own.
  • Long-term leases are typically cheaper than short-term leases, but a short-term lease may be preferable if you do not know the area well, as the lease can be renewed if you like it or allowed to expire if you don’t.

Do you have any apartment-hunting tips that you would like to share? Tell us in the comments below.

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