They say that the most important thing in real estate is the location. However, that’s far from the only or even the most critical factor in most cases. What should you look for in apartments? What factors should you use to determine which apartment to rent?
Location Relative to Things that Matter
Don’t pick an apartment because it is next to your favorite restaurant. That may change. And there are more critical issues that affect your life daily. How far is the apartment from public transit, if you use that to get everywhere? How long do you spend in the car, bus, or train to get to work? If you have kids, how far is it to childcare facilities you trust or school?
How much storage does the apartment have? For example, you’ll lose valuable square footage if you have to bring in a wooden wardrobe to make up for the lack of closet space. And how much storage do you have for other items? Is there space to store other valuables in that garage, if they have one? If there is additional storage in the building or garage area, check it out. How secure does it look?
No one wants to have to wait twenty minutes for a parking spot to open up. Does the apartment building give you a private parking space or have adequate resident parking that doesn’t matter? Is there a secure place to park your car? This could take the form of a private garage or a parking lot patrolled by security. What you don’t want is to have to park on the street and wonder if your car will be broken into.
Heating and cooling affect your quality of life. Determine if there is air conditioning in the apartment in addition to heat. Do you have control over it, or do they set the thermostat for the whole building? Determine whether there are hot or cold spots. And learn if you can bring in a window AC if the existing ventilation isn’t good enough. On the flip side, you may discover that the building owner only gives you fans when the temperature spikes.
Ideally, the apartment building has a safe outdoor space for you to enjoy, and it isn’t just a pool area that’s closed in the winter. Some people want a small private yard, patio, or balcony, but this is a matter of individual preference. If these aren’t available, determine if there are safe public parks within walking distance. If you have kids, find out if they have a safe playground on the premises. Also, learn how secure it is for your kids to walk and play at the local park.
The best North Charleston apartments offer community lounges and workout rooms, as well as green spaces. And for some, amenities like a workout room eliminate the need for outdoor areas, though that can be a constraint if you like to entertain or have dogs.
If you have pets, ask about the pet policy. If you aren’t allowed to bring your pet, there’s no need to go any further. Ask about weight limits or breed restrictions. You might be allowed to keep a 20-pound dachshund but not a 40-pound collie. In other cases, you can have a collie but not an “aggressive” breed. Other landlords allow you to have pets if you put down an extra deposit.