If you're looking for a new apartment to rent, don't spend time searching the newspaper, or online sites. Those types of searches could end up costing you time, and money. In fact, some online sites have been known to advertise property that doesn't exist, or has already been rented. Make sure you get the best apartment possible, without the stress, by going through a real estate company instead.
A real estate company will provide you with multiple apartments to look at, and will work with you to find an apartment that suits your needs best. When looking for an apartment, here are four steps you should take to help narrow the field and avoid problems later.
Ask About the Pet Policy Up Front
If you've got four-legged family members, you need to ask about the pet policy up front. Don't wait until you find the perfect apartment before asking about the pet policy. Instead, let your real estate agent know that you have pets so that can locate apartments that will allow you to keep them. This will save you time and heartache, especially if you fall in love with an apartment that has a strict "no-pet" policy. When you discuss your pets upfront, you know you'll be looking at apartments that will suit your pet needs.
Test Things Out
While you're touring apartments, don't forget to test things out. In other words, don't get so excited looking at the large bedrooms, and scenic views that you forget to flush the toilets and turn the water on. Flushing the toilets will allow you to identify potential clog issues, while turning the faucets on will allow you to check out the water pressure. It's also a good idea to ring the doorbell. If you find problems with the apartment, ask the real estate agent if the owner will take care of those issues prior to move-in.
Take a Tour of the Area
Once you've found an apartment that you're excited about, take a tour of the area. Spend some time driving through the adjoining neighborhoods to see what the place looks like. Don't limit your visits to weekdays. Get a clearer picture of the neighborhood, and the apartment complex, by visiting late in the evening and on the weekends.
Understand the Lease
If you're going to be signing a lease, make sure you understand it first. Pay particular attention to the conditions under which you can get out of the lease. If an emergency arises, you want to make sure that there are provisions available for getting out of the lease.
To learn more about your options, check out rental real estate listings.