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The questions you need to ask when touring apartments

The questions you need to ask when touring apartments

You have done the research, narrowed down the research, booked your tours, and you’re ready to find your apartment. Now touring an apartment is more than just seeing if the website matches what is actually there. You’ll even be able to get an offer for the apartments you tour prior to leaving. I know how stressful looking for an apartment can be and have lived/experienced how the lease agents use this to their advantage. After my own tours and helping friends, I learned a few really important questions that you should be asking to make sure you are making the best decision when choosing an apartment. 

  • What is guest parking like? 
    • Is there a limit to the number of guest cars? 
      • This is important when you are trying to have friends over so none of their cars get towed as well as if they have a designated parking lot. Last thing you want si your friend, sibling, or significant other to wake up and find that their car has been towed. 
  • What are the amenities rules? 
    • Make sure to ask about guests too. 
      • This is more in reference to using the pool, the gym, the savanna, and any of the perks that they may offer. 
  • How does snow removal work? 
    • What happens if I leave my car and am out of state and we get a snowstorm? 
      • If you do not get snow then do not worry. If you do I know some complex’s give time limits, and if your car is still there you may get fined, a violation sticker, or even towed. 
  • What are the pet policy guidelines?
    • Breed restrictions? 
    • What if I get a pet while I am living here? 
      • Now, this may not apply to you but if you do think it applies to you it is important to ask these so that way you know what you can and what you cannot do. As well as if it may cost you extra money (yes some places charge pet rent).
  • What are the decorating restrictions?
    • Can I paint? 
    • Am I allowed to drill/hang something on the wall like a shelf? 
      • Some places do not allow you to paint and you have to be creative in how you decorate. Other places do allow you to paint, however, you have to paint it back to white after you are all done. 
  • How does maintenance/service work? 
    • Do I know when maintenance/service will be entering my apartment? 
    • Is there a warning? 
      • Some places give no warning besides a knock so if you have a pet they could just be in shock by someone randomly walking in. Also if they just leave a piece of paper under the door and you are away you may never know someone is in your apartment until you get home. 
  • How do I pay my rent? 
    • Do I send a check-in? 
    • Is there a website I am able to pay my rent?
      • Some places only accept checks and you have to hand them in yourself. That is fine but reverb you have to watch that check to make sure it clears. Other places allow online digital payments which is great as you can pay immediately. 
  • What is the storage situation like? 
    • Can you rent additional storage? 
      • Some places have garages or even storage units you can rent, other places have them for free, and some places have none available. 
  • What is laundry like and how does it work? 
    • If it is in the unit you are good. 
    • If it’s communal; how does payment work? 
      • Communal is the one you really have to worry about; as you have to figure out if they have a special card you have to get, or if it accepts quarters. And if it has a card where/how do you reload it? 
  • How do package/deliveries work? 
    • Is there a secure location all my packages get delivered to? 
    • Is there a specific time when I can retrieve those packages? 
    • Are there guidelines when ordering Grubhub/uber eats? 
      • Some places have super strict policies and others have a very relaxed approach; you have to look and determine what one is best for you. As someone who has had multiple packages stolen the relaxed approach is not my thing. 
  • Can you walk/view the actual apartment?
    • Some places have show apartments and show you that. 
      • Show apartments are great but they are usually decorated by experts, cleaned by professionals, and always look photo-ready. Your apartment will not look like that. Always ask to see the real apartment. 
  • When is your apartment available? 
    • You may be touring it while it is in the “turnover phase” this phase is after the last tenant moves out, and before you move in, they bring in painters, cleaners, and maintenance to get it as good as new to move in. However, because other people are involved you may not be able to move in tomorrow. 
  • What is the lock-out Policy? 
    • Just left my keys inside 
    • And if I lost my keys and have no idea where they are. 
      • Some places say if you lock yourself out your fucked or have to call a locksmith others to have someone that lives there that can help you out. Some even say that if you lost your key you have to pay to have a new lock installed and new keys cut. 
  • How is security and safety in the area/Building? 
    • Security cameras? 
    • What security measures exist? 
      • Not every place has security some just go off of locks on the doors and hope people do not break those locks. Other places have a security team or even a security system where they make sure you are safe even in the late hours of the night. 
  • Renters Insurance? 
    • Is it included? 
    • Are there requirements? 
      • First, always get renters insurance. Second, some places say use this one and it can be looped in with your rent. Other places say you have to get it on your own however it has to meet the following requirements. Make sure you meet those; most renters insurance si $10 – $15 bucks a month and you may be able to get it cheaper if you group it with your car insurance. 

Now I know I may not have every question that you may be thinking of so make sure you write those down and even let me know them in the comments! I always think these questions are so important to ask because so often when you are looking for an apartment you are just focusing on the aesthetics and if you can afford it. These questions help make sure you are choosing a place that not only fits your budget, and your needs. But also be sure that even on your worse days you choosing a place you feel comfortable and safe. Now I hope you find a place that fits all your needs and so much more, and if you need any more help just ask your unofficial Big Sis. -KMH


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