So, a new apartment is what you need. Searching for a new apartment can be an exciting experience. You get to visit beautiful buildings, see fantastic pools and soak in stunning landscapes. When you enter an apartment clubhouse, you find friendly smiles, often some fresh-baked treats to munch on, and an escorted tour of all the apartment has to offer. It is easy to get swept up in imagining your new life at this great place, entertaining your friend in that big living area, parties at the pool, enjoying a drink on the balcony…
But hold on there partner, before you jump on the renting express, remember that you still have some work to do. You need to keep in mind the reasons you are looking for a new space and evaluate the space to make sure it will fit your lifestyle. Think about how you will be spending your time in this new apartment and give each apartment a good evaluation. Just ask the five W's (and one H) - who, what, where, when, why and how.
Who: Who will be living around you?
Moving into a new apartment means living in close proximity to a number of strangers. Having something in common with your neighbors will greatly increase the way you enjoy your new apartment. Are you living with students, working adults, families? You want to make sure the community fits your personality and needs. Also, pay close attention to who represents the apartment staff? Are they easy to talk to, easy to reach? Who will be handling repairs and maintenance? It is important to know who to contact if a problem comes up.
What: What is you budget? What is included with the rent?
What significant items are not included? Some typical items that will vary are pet charges, utilities, exercise areas, parking, storage areas and washer/dryer – make sure to inquire about the items you are interested in during your tour.
Where: Where is the apartment located?
Where is the place that you will be traveling most often (e.g. work or school) and how close is it to the apartment? Are you able to walk, bike, take the bus or do you need to drive? Is the commuting time what you are looking for? Pay attention to local places that you will visit frequently. Where are the grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, and post office? You will be making regular trips to these locations so you want to make sure it is convenient to get there. Where is your child’s school? School districts play a huge role in deciding locations for families.
When: When is apartment ready for you to move in?
Will this work with your schedule? When will you need to either renew or move out? Pay close attention to how much notice you will need to give if you plan to leave. It is not unusual for apartments to require 30 or 60 days notice if you do not plan to renew your lease. Are short-term leases available? When is rent due and more important when is it considered late (and what late fees are assessed)? You want to know exactly what you are agreeing to lease, for how long and how much you will end up paying.
Why: Why should I move into this apartment?
"Why should I move here" is a great question to ask during your tour (and one likely to catch your apartment representative by surprise). You can get a good read on the apartment and its staff from the response to this question. Another great question to ask yourself is, “why do I think this apartment community is better than or perhaps not as great as another apartment in the area?” You can then check this list against what is most important to your lifestyle and needs.
How: How is the apartment laid out?
While walking the living space you want to be asking yourself a few questions. How much closet space is in the apartment? Will your current furniture fit the space? How will you get your stuff into the apartment? If you are not on the ground floor is there an elevator or will you be navigating steps?
Finding the Daytona or Melbourne apartment perfect for you is as easy as asking these questions. You may want to make up a predefined list of what is most important before you visit the apartment. Also, taking notes will allow you to easily compare the different apartments you visit around town when you are done. Enjoy your apartment search and have fun!
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