4 Questions to Ask When Searching for a New Apartment

Moving presents an opportunity to find a new apartment that better reflects your style of living.

However, it can also be overwhelming to find the right new home. Between researching neighborhoods and attending open houses, it’s important to keep a straight head and make sure you don’t miss these five things when looking for a new apartment:

What’s Your Neighborhood Like?

Part of what you’re paying for with an apartment is the surrounding area. From nearby schools to proximity to grocery stores and outdoor activities, how convenient is the location? It’s worth assessing the state of these options before you move in and how you’ll be able to factor them into your daily routine.

Check closing hours of nearby entertainment. If you like to go out, it might be nice to have some late night restaurants nearby. Those with young families might prefer somewhere quieter and with more child-friendly activities in the area, such as playgrounds, libraries or parks.  

Look at the atmosphere of the community that you’re about to move into. Are people friendly? Many neighbors won’t mind if you introduce yourself in a friendly manner before you move in and ask them a few questions on what the place is like. If you are looking for an apartment as opposed to a house, you’ll be in much closer contact with your neighbors. It’s worth seeing what their standards for noise, activity and visitors are like. You can also ask them how long they’ve lived in the area and what their thoughts are. If you don’t feel comfortable knocking on strangers’ doors, you can also take a walk around nearby, and speak to people in coffee shops and local businesses. Often the people who work in these places live nearby, or perhaps have worked in the area for a while, and offer friendly resources to assess your new potential home.

Does Everything Work the Way it Should?

Most people move into an apartment based on whether or not they like the way it looks. However, they often forget to check and test the utilities. Don’t be afraid to ask to go to the toilet when you’re touring the apartment. Ask the person showing you the apartment to turn on the shower briefly for you so you can test the temperature and pressure. Plumbing problems are among some of the most difficult to fix. Checking beforehand and either working with your landlord to fix it before you move in or finding another apartment entirely can help you avoid a serious headache.

Make sure that heating and air conditioning are working as promised. If you want to be extra thorough, you can also test the electrical outlets. If you bring something small like a child’s nightlight or a phone charger to the inspection, you’ll be able to test the outlets to make sure they’re functioning. It may seem like a small thing, but if half the outlets aren’t working, it will be more difficult to arrange the house.

Is Everything in Top Condition?

Fines for apartment damage can be steep. Take time to thoroughly inspect the condition of the apartment to avoid being fined for damage caused by the previous residents. Take photos of anything you think is wrong with the apartment. Use a digital camera that can be dated. Don’t be afraid to be perfectionistic – it’s better to have photos you don’t use than photos you wish you could go back in time to capture. If a place is furnished, it’s a good idea to check for scratches, dents and cracks in any of the furniture, and to capture a realistic image of the condition of each place. For the best results, make sure there is adequate lighting in your pictures. Even if your place isn’t furnished, you can still check walls, doors and the facilities for any flaws.

Can You Imagine Yourself Living There?

Last but not least, is this a place that you would be excited to call home? Use your imagination to picture what unfurnished apartments will look like after you have moved in. Don’t be fooled by the emptiness of the space—it might look big now, but how will it look when you’ve arranged everything inside it? Is it enough space for all your belongings? If you’re worried about the size of the place, bring a measuring tape and jot the dimensions down, to make sure everything fits.  

What is the lighting like? In larger cities or neighborhoods where buildings are constructed closer together, it can be difficult to get a sufficient amount of natural light.

Don’t forget to consider the commute. If you have more than one car, make sure there is enough parking for all your vehicles. Check how long it will take to drive to work. Don’t forget to factor traffic into the commute time—some GPS apps don’t always take into account traffic jams or even traffic lights. If you would prefer to take public transport, find out if there is a bus, train or subway station that is easily accessible.

Looking for an apartment can involve a lot of preparation and hard work. Finding a place is just the first step in the process. However, if you do it right, you’ll be rewarded with a place that you’ll be more than proud to call your home.

Chestnut Portland is quiet community of one, two and three bedroom townhomes in Portland and Scarborough, Maine that is perfect for anyone looking for easy access to day-to-day life, but also a little fresh air and breathing room.

Categories Moving