With one quick visit, it can be hard to tell how a new place will work out. However, there are some creative solutions that can give you a better idea of what you’re looking for. Try out these tips while you’re hunting for a new rental property.
1. Go to the Bathroom
When you do your apartment visit, take some time to be a little nosy and explore the bathroom by yourself. For one thing, this gives you a moment away from the pressure of the realtor, manager, or landlord. Alone, you can get a real feel for the place, and gather yourself. For another, the bathroom is one place where the real workings of a home are exposed.
Take time to check the function of the toilet, the sounds of the pipes, and even the water pressure. That’s right, go ahead and turn on the shower and see how it feels. There’s nothing worse than locking yourself into a lease for a year of terrible showers.
Also look under the sink for signs of mold. Check the floor in the bathroom for creaking sounds that could be signs of water damage. If you have concerns, speak up!
2. Do the Drive
There are a few things that you’ll want to check out simply by putting some miles on your car. When you visit the apartment for an internal inspection, go during the day. You’ll want to check out the natural light. But then drive by at night too, to get a true feel for the neighborhood. This is when you’ll really be able to see what the parking situation will be like, how noisy the area is, and how safe it feels.
Additionally, check the actual distance to your most frequent destinations. Clock yourself going from the place to work, to the grocery store, the hospital, your closest friend’s house, and school. Keep this commute in mind when you’re deciding how desirable a property is.
3. Talk to Your Neighbors
Sometimes, you won’t get the true story until you chat with the people who really live there. In fact, if you can talk with the most recent tenants, that’s even better! Ask them about the area, the schools, the crime rates. See what kind of condition they keep their yard and house in – this can give you an idea of how much your neighbors care about their property. Ask what traffic is like, and maybe even, what your landlord is like. Ask what kind of turnover there is in the apartment that you’re looking at, and what you can expect from the utilities.
4. Bring a Friend
It’s easy to be enchanted by unimportant details, like a kitchen island, or lush carpet. While these can be good indicators, they can also detract from the important features that you want or need in your new home. Bring someone who can do a reality check and keep you sane. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and discuss pros and cons with someone who has seen what you have.