Finding a good apartment can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. You will want to find an apartment that has good reviews, in a great location, fits within your budget requirements, provides a great value, and has the amenities available that fit your lifestyle. On top of juggling all of the things you will want in an apartment there are many pitfalls you will want to avoid as well.
If your budget is strictly limited then getting the lowest rent available is a sound choice. However, if you there is a little more room in your budget then comparing one apartment to another based solely on the rental prices of each is one is a pitfall you will want to avoid. There a couple of things you will want to take into account when choosing an apartment. In addition to the rent price, you should also look at the square footage to determine how much space you get for the rent. For example a $900 apartment with 560sq feet ($1.60 / sq ft) is not as good of a value as a $1000 apartment with 750sq feet ($1.33 / sq ft). Additionally, every rental property varies on which utilities are paid, and the energy efficiency of each apartment will vary greatly as well.
Another aspect of comparing apartments during your research will be the extra costs. These costs include items such as pet deposits, pet fees, parking fees, garage fees, amenity fees, pest control fees, and many other fees and hidden costs that are not displayed front and center on a listing advertisement. Make sure you ask all the leasing agent to explain all the fees associated with renting these apartments.
Every rental lease agreement will have a section that details your responsibilities when it comes time to move out of the apartment. This typically includes the amount time you will need to provide notice in advance to vacate the apartment along with any fees you would need to pay if you were to terminate the lease before it ends. Though the amount of days required to provide notice to move out varies from city to city and state to state the average is around 60 days. Whatever the terms in your lease you should be sure that you read them in full and understand what will be required in a lease before signing it and compare these leases to decide which one suits your needs better.
Lack of Maintenance
Anytime you visit an apartment complex be sure to pay attention to how well the grounds and the facilities are maintained. An apartment complex that is neglected gives you a sense of what to expect when something breaks or something needs to be maintained.
When considering location, it is all about what you are looking for in the place you want to call home. Do you need a balcony? Want to be close to schools for your kids? Close to mass transit? Near shopping centers? Is the low area crime? These are just a few things to keep in mind when considering location.
If you are just a few years away from becoming a homeowner, do not discount lease-to-own homes either. These can be a great way to become a homeowner if you still working on your credit scores and saving money.