10 Things to Look for When Searching for An Apartment. : Dear Insurance Agent...
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10 Things to Look for When Searching for An Apartment.

by A. Montalbano on 12/27/15

Now that you landed your first job after college or a vocational training or better yet, you learned what minimalism is and you've condensed your lifestyle.  Congratulations on all three!

Your next move will probably be apartment hunting and we want to help you start a lifestyle to call your own.  We have listed 10 helpful tips on what to look for when searching for a place of your own.

1.  Proximity.  Location close to the office or market is a tremendous benefit. Spending less time in traffic and more time doing things apart from your job is the trend.  Sustainable communities are the answer to the modern lifestyle which include important amenities within walking distance. Houston is discovering.

2.  Safe Neighborhood.  Even though the apartment complex of your choice may be considered a gated community of its own, you still want to be aware of the neighborhood in general.  As a former criminal justice case manager, we know criminals have no boundaries.  So know the crime rate and always be aware of your surroundings, even in your apartment complex, get to know your neighbors.

3.  Interview the Apartment Manager.  Before you sign off on the contract and place a deposit have your list of questions(use these tips) for the manager.  If the manager blows you off with your requirements, make it your deal breaker.  There are plenty of suitable apartment homes ready to welcome you as a responsible and reliable tenant. A better place to re-start is a real estate broker.

4.  Security in the Complex.  You want a safe place to live and you deserve peace of mind when walking to and fro your car, the main office, to pickup your mail, or to enjoy any amenities within the complex.  Cameras, a gated community, security officer, heavily lighted complex, a check-in-check-out sheet for visitors, a get-to-know-your-neighbors gathering are some security features to help keep you safe.  Also make sure a list of phone numbers are accessible to you such as the security office and the local police department for non-emergencies.

5.  Parking.  If you own a car, assigned parking close to your unit is the best arrangement so make sure the complex offers this feature.  Nothing is worse than walking a load of groceries from your car to the third floor from a block away.

6.  Washer/Dryer Connection.  A standard in most apartment homes but if you come across one that doesn't offer it, keep looking.  Lugging your laundry to the laundromat is not a convenience and can become unsafe.

7.  Floors.  Most new complexes are built with three floors making the third floor the least expensive rent.  If you don't see yourself walking three flights of stairs, make sure the complex offers an elevator.  If no elevator, don't settle.  Keep searching.

8.  Pets.  If you have a pet you definitely want to search for an apartment home that allows pets.  Deposit and monthly may be more than average, but keep in mind that pets tends to cost a complex more work to "make-ready" when you decide to move elsewhere with your pet.

9.  Privacy.  Independence also means privacy and nothing is more annoying or can even become unsafe when a neighbor becomes unruly.  Discuss with the manager what to do in case of unruly neighbors, suspicious activity, or even eye soars.

10.  Most apartment home complexes require renters insurance.  You want to protect your belongings in the event a toilet from the top floor floods out your entire apartment home.  The complex is not responsible for this type of hazard and won't replace your belongings even when they offer their own renters policy.  This policy is usually in favor of the apartment complex.  Renters insurance comes with liability coverage, too.  For instance, your guest slips from the cute rug you placed in your kitchen. Medical attention is required immediately.  Who pays?  Your liability will take care of the medical attention and a possible lawsuit(up to your limit).  Renters Insurance NOW.

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