Biggest Mistakes To Avoid When Apartment Hunting

Biggest Mistakes To Avoid When Apartment Hunting

Apartment hunting can be a risky gamble. Renting your very first apartment can be really exciting and challenging at the same time. It feels great to finally get out of your parent’s house and live independently like an adult. You can have your own rules and no more curfew! You’ll love an apartment so much that you’d rush to sign the lease, get the house keys, move in, and start living your dream life. However, this may soon turn into your biggest nightmare if you ignore some of the basic things you need to check out before making the deal. Competition amongst the property market also plays a part. Taunted by the slogan “If you don’t act now, you’ll never find another place this good at this price,” usually makes someone end up making the wrong decision

These mistakes will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Rest assured, because we have listed some of the biggest mistakes a renter could do when moving into a new apartment. Whether this is your first move or not, avoiding these mistakes will ensure a comfortable move. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when apartment hunting:

1. Falling in love way too soon

Pictures can often be deceptive. One of the biggest mistakes people usually make when hunting for an apartment is, they fall in love with a new apartment just by looking at the pictures. Keep in mind that the images are made to look attractive. Sometimes they only show you two or three sides of the property. An apartment that looks homey and beautiful in photos may not look exactly the same in reality. Pictures of apartments online are also often misleading. They can leave you disappointed when you finally get to view it. So, make sure to not get your hopes too high and visit the apartment first before deciding whether you love it or not.

Falling in love too soon
That perfect apartment might not look like it in real life, so don't keep your hopes up too high

2. Only ‘skimming’ through the lease

A lease is a legal contract in which you’re bound by what it says. Therefore, it is an essential document that you will get when you rent an apartment. You can’t merely rely on verbal talks nor skimming through the lease agreement. Always read the lease agreement thoroughly before signing it. Make sure that you read every word of it. Sure you may be tempted to go ahead and sign your name on it, but it could lead to so much trouble as you move forward.

Only skimming through the lease
Don't just skim, read thoroughly

Consider every detail and check for what things you should do and shouldn’t do as a renter. Check for the amenities that are provided for you too and make sure they all are available. Sign the contract if everything checks out or else move on. Get a copy of the lease for you to keep or to read more thoroughly at home. You don’t know when it would come in handy. If it’s possible, then have your friends or family who are more experienced read it over and give their opinions about it. Take notes of the penalties for late payment, the amount of deposit, housing rules, pet rules, and so on.

3. Not checking the neighborhood

Knock on the doors of your future neighbors and ask about their opinion towards the community. Visit the area at different times of the day and check if it’s a safe place to live. That quiet street could look quite different after dark. You live as much in the area as in the property, so researching the area will help you make the right decision. Before the landlord agrees to rent to you, they probably run a background check to see your credit score. You should also practice the same background check before signing the contract. Google your landlord’s name on the Internet to dig up some useful information such as reviews of the property, the crime rate in the neighborhood, and check their credit.

Not checking out the neighborhood
Make sure to check out the neighborhood, whether it'd be visiting the area beforehand or simply searching it up on Google

4. Didn’t take pictures immediately after moving in

One of the biggest mistakes a renter can make is to not properly document the state of the apartment before they move in. Having a good record of the state of the residence will be extremely useful at the end of your lease. You can always use your smartphone to capture the images and make the list of the pre-existing damages and send it to your landlord. If you want to secure your deposit, specify any minor damages to your landlord with pictures proven before you move into the apartment. If that giant coffee stain was there when you moved in, you could still end up paying the repair bill if you don’t have evidence to prove it. If your landlord agrees for the repairs, get him or her sign and date the agreement before you sign the leasing.

  Not taking pictures immediately after moving in
Document the state of the apartment before you move in

5. Forgetting to check the details

We know that it’s exciting to find your dream apartment, we’ve all been there. But sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the details. Crucial factors like a long commute or the absence of ATMs can frustrate you daily. Estimate the time to reach the grocery store, school, daycare, etc. It’s best to do a test run of your morning commute before you sign a lease. It’s also a good idea to check the routes at different times of the day because of changing traffic patterns. If you have a vehicle, be sure to check out the parking garage.

Forgetting to check the details
Estimate the time to reach the grocery store, school, daycare, etc. It's best to do a test run of your morning commute before you sign a lease.

6. Missing the mark with your roommate

Having a roommate is a great option to share an apartment since you can split your rent. However, choosing the wrong roommate can turn your dream home into a nightmare. One of the biggest mistakes most people make when they move in with roommates is that they don’t discuss their expectations in the first place. Talk about everything you expect from your new home, from how clean and organized you like things to be to whether overnight guests are allowed, etc.  If it’s necessary, make a roommate contract and discuss it with your roommates. Having these things considered in the beginning makes it possible to avoid conflict after you move in together.

Missing the mark with your roommate
Have an open discussion with your roommate regarding rules, boundaries, etc.

Now that you know some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when apartment hunting, for first-time renters especially, go on down to Flokq.com and find yourself your perfect apartment!

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