Moving into your first apartment can be an intimidating and exciting life experience. A good first step is to gather resources and tips for your first apartment, and this will help you get a better understanding of what you should look out for. Continue reading below for our First Apartment Guide, which includes 10 things to think about before moving into your first apartment.
1 - Consider the Neighborhood at Large
You’ll be spending a lot of time around your new apartment, so it’s nice to think about what you’re getting yourself into. The safety of the neighborhood is important. Look into reports of violent crime or car break-ins. When you go visit the apartment, keep an eye on how the traffic is. It’s also good to know if there are dining and entertainment options in the area. You can learn all of this by asking around or spending time in the area.
2 - Read the Lease
A lot of people are intimidated by big legal contracts, but it’s important to know what you’re signing. If you don’t feel like you can understand the document, get someone else to help you out. See if there’s anything in there that you should worry about, and what kind of protections you have in case problems arise later. You can request changes before signing if you see something that makes you worry.
3 - Ask Lots of Questions
If you think you might be in your apartment for any serious length of time, it’s a good idea to ask questions about the property. Even though you don’t own the property, you’re still invested in it to some extent by virtue of how much time you’ll spend there, and the fact that all your possessions are there. It’s good to know how old the appliances are, what average utility costs are like, and how old the building itself is.
4 - Look into Tenants’ Rights for Your City
Different local governments have handbooks specifically designed to establish the rights of a tenant. This will let you know some things about what your landlord legally can and cannot do, and what kinds of resources are available to you.
5 - Decide What You Can’t Live Without
Depending on your budget, you may have to make some sacrifices. Decide what you absolutely have to have by ranking what’s important to you. Is it a certain style, a big space, a fancy kitchen, or something else?
6 - Consider the Other Residents
When you live in an apartment complex, you’re a lot closer to your neighbors than you would be if you lived in a house. Do the other residents seem to take good care of the property? Are they respectful in hallways, common areas, and the parking lot? When you tour the apartment complex, pay attention to how the building smells, and whether or not you can hear loud noises coming from any of the other rooms.
7 - Ask for Hand-Me-Downs
It can be challenging to furnish your first apartment if you don’t have a lot of your own furniture and decorations. Older friends and relatives are always trying to get rid of things, so don’t be too proud to accept their lightly used furniture. Between free things and resources like Craigslist, you can create a cool collection.
8 - Choose Your Roommates Carefully
You can save some money by moving in with one or more roommates, and this can add to your experience as well. If you do this, make sure you pick people you know you’re compatible with. You’ll be sharing a kitchen, maybe a bathroom, and a lot of time together. It can’t hurt to establish some ground rules before you move in.
9 - Make it Your Own
Explore creative lighting options like Christmas lights. Hang up your favorite posters, pictures, and tapestries. Set up a shelf with your favorite tchotchkes or a shrine to your favorite musician. Let your creativity flow to make a place that’s truly your own!
10 - Find a Trustworthy Landlord
Whether you’re leasing from an independent landlord or a larger management company, it’s important to know who you’re dealing with. Signing a contract with someone who isn’t honest or responsible is a recipe for disaster. See if there are reviews available for your landlord or management company, or ask around at the complex to see if other residents are happy with their experience. Try to find out if they’re responsive to problems and take good care of the property. Ask if they’re flexible and understanding. It’s always a good idea to meet with someone face to face and see what kind of an impression you get from them.
Moving into Your First Apartment in West Phoenix
The most important tip of all is to make sure you choose a reputable property management company. Doing this will make it easier for you to develop a trusting relationship with your property manager. When you look at properties from Heers Management, you’re choosing from some of the best apartments in West Phoenix. Contact us today to learn more tips for your first apartment and to schedule a visit.