House hunting is never fun and it can quickly become frustrating when you’ve seen 10 different properties and none of them quite suit you. This often leads people to make quick decisions and then regret it afterwards because they don’t really like the property. For renters, this is a big problem because properties get snapped up so quickly and people are afraid of missing out, so they end up living somewhere that they don’t like or a place that doesn’t have all of the things that they need.
Knowing what key things to look for will speed up the house hunting process and help you avoid any big mistakes. But this can be hard, especially when it comes to finding an apartment. Some of the key things are the same whether you’re looking at an apartment or a house, but there are also a lot of specific things to watch out for with apartments.
Whether you are looking to rent an apartment or buy your own, here are a few important tips to help you with your property search.
Read The Agreement In Full
Before we get into any of the specific things you should look for, we should discuss the lease. Reading a property lease or rental agreement isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time, but if you don’t read it in full, you might get some nasty surprises in the future. Some landlords will tie you into a long rental agreement so you can’t move out without paying a fee. There may be some hidden charges in there as well and once you have signed the agreement, there isn’t much you can do.
In competitive areas where there are not many properties available for rent, landlords may try to slip these things into the agreement, knowing that people are unlikely to read it because they want to secure the property as quickly as possible. So, if you don’t want to get caught out, read the agreement in full.
Check Out The Landlord
When you rent a property, the landlord will ask you to provide references and proof of earnings etc so they can make sure that you are not going to miss your rent or damage the property. But you should check out the landlord as well to make sure that they are going to be reliable. This can be tricky because they’re not legally obliged to give you references or anything, but you should always ask questions about who deals with repairs and how long it normally takes for them to get back to you. Try calling them a few times as well to see how easy it is to reach them. If you are concerned, search for the landlord and letting agent online to see if anything negative pops up.
Consider Public Transport Links
If apartments are in built up areas in city centres, it’s important that you check the public transport links for two reasons; firstly, driving in these busy areas isn’t always the best option, so it’s best if you are in an apartment that is near to train stations and bus stops. You will find that hdb (housing development board) properties tend to be well situated next to public transport links. The other reason that it’s important to check is that you need to consider disruption. If an apartment is very close to businesses such as pubs or clubs, main roads, or a busy train route, it’s likely that you may get disturbed by traffic, train or other noise.
Check The Storage
Storage is often a problem for people living in apartments. In a house, you probably have an attic or a spare room where you can store things and there is plenty of space for cupboards etc. But in an apartment, you are a lot more limited and you need to think more carefully about where all of your stuff is going to go when you are viewing properties. Most people don’t realize how much stuff they have until they start packing it all up and putting it in the moving van, so make sure you check inside all of the closets. Apartments that are well thought out and have lots of clever storage solutions will be much more comfortable to live in, so prioritize this over other luxury features.
Look For Parking
When you buy a house, you will usually have a driveway or on-street parking but when you are looking at apartments, the parking options vary a lot and there are many parking issues that landlords have to deal with. Sometimes, you’ll have a private car park in the building, which is great. But some apartment blocks won’t provide parking and parking on the street can be tricky. A lot of people get caught out because they view the apartment at a quiet time and it looks like there is loads of parking but once they move in, they realize that they have to park two blocks away. If you find somewhere you like, it’s best to drive by at different times of the day and at weekends to get an idea of what parking will actually be like.
Added security is one of the big benefits of living in an apartment, especially if you are on a higher floor. If somebody wants to gain access to your apartment, they need to get onto the grounds and then into the main building before getting past your front door. In some parts of the world, apartment blocks have big gates around the outside and security guards keeping watch at all times, so they’re incredibly secure. However, some apartment blocks are not like that at all and it’s easy for anybody to come and go. The thing is, in an apartment block with lots of people, nobody will bat an eye. If a stranger was lurking outside a house, the neighbours would notice, but in an apartment it’s easy for people to assume they live there, which means that they can actually be more vulnerable to burglars. That’s why it’s important to ask about the security measures that are in place before buying or renting an apartment.
Apartment hunting is very different from house hunting, so make sure that you remember these key tips when you start looking at properties.0