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Apartment 101: A Guide To Apartment Shopping

Oct 20, 2007
"When looking for the perfect apartment, there are several things you will want to keep in mind. The main factors to consider when apartment hunting include:

* The cost of the apartment
* Your freedom to decorate the apartment
* The terms of the apartment lease
* The neighborhood in which the apartment is located
* The available amenities
* Transportation and parking options
* Appliance options
* Pet rules

Some of these factors may be more important to you than others. Nonetheless, you should take each of these into consideration before committing yourself to a new apartment.

The Cost of the Apartment

Of course, the rent is the most important factor you must take into consideration when shopping for an apartment. The best deals are those that include utilities as well. That way, you will only have to make one payment each month and all of your housing costs are cared for. Other factors to consider include the amount of the deposit and how much of it is refundable.

Decorating the Apartment

If you want to personalize the apartment and make it "home," you will want to rent from a landlord that will allow you to do a bit of decorating. This may including painting the walls, hanging shelving, and making other minor changes to the appearance of the apartment. Be sure to discuss this ahead of time with the landlord if it is important to you.

The Terms of the Lease

Even if you get a great rental rate on the apartment, you don't want to sign a lease that is going to commit you for several years. After all, if you were looking to live in one place for several years, you would like be more interested in purchasing your own real estate rather than renting an apartment. Similarly, take the time to read all of the fine print so you don't get yourself stuck in a bind.

Considering the Neighborhood

Location is always an important consideration in the world of real estate - even if you are not looking to actually buy the property. After all, you are going to spend a great deal of time in your apartment. Therefore, you want to be certain to choose one located in a neighborhood where you feel safe and where you can enjoy yourself.

Living the Good Life with Amenities

Amenities may not be a great concern to you. But, many apartments do offer amenities that can be quite attractive. Some of these include fitness centers, pools, and more. If you are not interested in these amenities, don't pay extra for an apartment that has them.

Getting Around

While the apartment is not likely to have its own built in transportation system, you should keep an eye out for one that is nearby to various transportation options if you do not have your own car. If you do have a car, find out about parking options available to apartment tenants.

Updating Your Appliances

In addition to considering the appliances that come with the apartment rental, you should also consider your options. For example, if the kitchen does not come with a dishwasher but you would like to have one, you want to make sure you can hook one up in the apartment.

Keeping Pets in the Apartment

Even if you are not a pet-owner, you might want to look into whether or not pets are allowed. If you are not a pet lover or if you suffer from dander-related allergies, you might want to stay clear of those apartment buildings that allow pets.

By carefully considering each of these factors, you should be able to successfully find an apartment to suit your needs while remaining within your budget."
About the Author
Kinan Beck is the Broker and co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin Texas. Visit Kinan's Austin apartment Guide, visit his Austin Apartment company's website, & his Austin Texas apartment website. He has seen considerable success in real estate, and looks forward to many more years in the business.
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