Although the prospect of moving to a new apartment is exciting, beginning your apartment search can also be very stressful. You know that if you love where you live, your apartment can become your sanctuary – a place to rest, rejuvenate, entertain, and enjoy the company of those you love. However, you also know that an apartment that doesn’t suit your needs can negatively affect you. Everyone’s needs and preferences are different, so you shouldn’t simply look for the perfect apartment; you should look for the perfect apartment for you. Instead of enduring an apartment that doesn’t meet your needs, take the proactive approach by considering your budget, your potential neighborhood, and your privacy at the beginning of your apartment search.
If you’re like most apartment hunters, the price of rent is the first variable that you consider when starting your apartment search. This is how it should be, since it’s often also the least flexible variable. However, as is true with any purchase, you will have to decide if you are willing to pay more for higher quality or save money by electing for fewer amenities. For this reason, it’s best to settle on a budget range rather than on an exact dollar amount that you would like to pay for rent before you begin your search. Remembering that your housing costs should not exceed 30% of your income, come up with a range that you’re comfortable with and a list of what would persuade you to select an apartment at the higher end of your range. A beautifully designed patio? A 24-hour gym in the building? Concierge service?
If you’re looking for a new apartment, you’re also looking for a new neighborhood. Unfortunately, apartment hunters don’t always thoroughly investigate everything the neighborhood has or doesn’t have to offer. For example, if you have kids, you want a neighborhood with parks, kid-friendly restaurants, and indoor entertainment geared toward children. If you work from home often, you will probably need a neighborhood that’s rich with Wi-Fi hotspots and has at least one printing or copying store. If you land your dream apartment but it’s in a neighborhood that doesn’t provide for your needs, you will still be miserable.
Apartment living can mean some intrusion into your privacy. Because they live within close proximity, your neighbors’ noise level, pets, and lifestyle may affect you. Some apartment communities have strict privacy policies that evict tenants if they don’t follow rules regarding quiet hours, pets, and soliciting door to door. Other apartment communities may be geared more toward building a community among tenants, with common gathering places, athletic courts, and entertainment rooms. An apartment communities’ physical layout can also have an effect on your privacy. For example, does a wall separate the individual unit porches, or does it appear that the porches are shared? Do tenants use common stairs and landings, or do they have private entrances? Whether you like to spend time with your neighbors or prefer to be left alone, you should investigate the culture of the community before you choose to live there.
Searching for a new apartment is both thrilling and exhausting, but you can boost the thrill and reduce the nerves if you take the time to consider how budget, neighborhood, and privacy figure in to your dream apartment. Remember that everyone’s living needs are unique, so just because your best friend loves an apartment doesn’t mean it will be your best fit.
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