Moving into a new apartment is thrilling because it feels like a fresh start in life. Even if you still have the same job, are dating the same person, and are in the same city, a new apartment changes a lot about how you go through your days. So it's vital to ensure that you make a good choice.
These are the most important factors to consider when picking your apartment complex!
1. How Old Is The Building?
The average age of an apartment building in the USA is 50 to 60 years old, which may seem older to most, but many of these apartments are updated to meet the needs of modern life. When looking around at apartments, please pay attention to how old the building is and how many updates have been made to ensure it's ready for modern life.
These older buildings may surprise you, with perks like commercial radiant heating systems in common areas and updated windows and bathrooms.
2. What Amenities Does It Have?
What perks does the building itself have? Is there a pool that you can enjoy? How about an indoor private gym? Think about which items matter most to you when apartment shopping, and find a building that has all of those perks and more.
If you notice that it's missing the things that matter most to you, take the time to seek out a building that has them. It's good to know what matters to you, whether it's safely locked apartment mailboxes or a hot tub where you can bubble your worries away: it’s okay to be picky.
3. Does The Apartment Itself Have Great Features?
Inside the apartments, are there items that you care a lot about? These could be faux wood flooring options or massive windows that allow a lot of natural light. If you take a tour through the property, your main focus should be on the central living area. This is the space where you'll spend most of your time and need to come to feel comfortable and at home.
Something that can help in these circumstances is a list of needs and wants. The difference between the two is which you can live without and wouldn't feel at home without. Be honest with yourself here since being unsure could leave you looking at properties you don't care about.
4. Does It Have Central Heating and Cooling?
Heating and cooling matter now more than ever. The weather has become unpredictable, even in areas that used to be moderate and cool year-round. When looking at properties, make it clear that you either want central heating and cooling or a good window unit and a heater. It may not matter for most of the year, but when you're overheating or freezing, you'll want these items to ensure that you're as comfortable as possible.
In areas like Washington, DC, this can be especially important since the summer highs reach the nineties, and in the winter, dip down to the 20s. Although you can buy window units and space heaters to match your needs, it's a good idea to look for something with central heating and cooling to ensure that you have an even disbursement of temperatures.
5. Is It Close To The Things That Matter To You?
How far is the apartment complex from the things that you go to the most? Do you have family nearby? How far is your job? Some don't mind a long transit, especially if they're taking a bus or train into the city because it gives them time to think and listen to music, while others prize shorter commutes.
Consider which matters the most to you and what you can do to facilitate getting those into your life.
6. How Does It Fit In Your Budget?
Of course, this is one point that’s hard to ignore. Regardless of building construction types, or locations, if you can’t afford the apartment complex: it’s not the right fit for you. Look at your finances and decide how much you’re able to afford. Most say not to spend more than a third of your income on housing, while many have dropped that number down to a quarter to make it more livable.
Play this number against any downsides, like a long transit or missing amenities, and decide if that makes the apartment complex worth it or not. You should get to live somewhere that excites you when you come home, don’t be afraid to seek that out.
Shopping Around Can Help Find Your Perfect Fit
If an apartment complex doesn't suit you, luckily, there are other options out there! There's nothing wrong with getting out and seeing as many options as possible until you land on your perfect place: after all, this apartment will be your home for at least the next year!