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SMART CITY BLOG

5 Tips for Finding the Right Apartment

You’re doing it! You’re finding your very own apartment! Or you and your bestie/bf/gf/Internet stranger are finding an apartment together. It’s an exciting time because you’re pinning all the things while simultaneously pulling your hair out at all the restrictions and concerns that go into finding a suitable apartment.

What should you even be thinking about? The location? The price? Is there’s a gas or an electric stove? Here are just a few tips to assist you in finding your dream rental.

Make A List. Check It Twice.

What are your requirements for an apartment? Does it need to be dog-friendly? Make sure there isn’t a crazy fee for having a dog or restrictions for dog sizes. Are you living alone and care about safety? Ask to only see apartments that aren’t on the first floor and stick to your guns about it. Do you love enjoying the sunny weather that Texas has to offer? Make a balcony a requirement (it’s not hard to do in the big cities).

Don’t Kid Yourself About the Cost

You know how much you make a month. Pick an absolute maximum and stick with it. If you can only afford $990 a month for rent, than don’t get an apartment that costs $1000 a month. You don’t know where you would be able to get that extra $10 from and your future landlord would appreciate it if you paid your rent on time. In fact, they might even appreciate that honesty and give you a deal. And remember, the longer a lease you sign, the less per month your rent is going to cost.

Renter’s Insurance

Did you know that both Dallas and Austin require proof of renter’s insurance before you even move in? The apartment’s insurance only covers their property, which means should you start a fire or The Great Flood returns, you’re pretty screwed. Make sure you get your stuff covered so you can find a not-shady great apartment.

Good to know: most (car) insurance companies offer renter’s insurance so you can do a bundle cover, just like with Internet and cable.

Know What’s Included — and Excluded

There’s water and utilities and Internet and cable and washers and dryers and trash receptors. Guess what? This all costs money. There are very few complexes and landlords who are going to include all of these, let alone just one. Check to see if there’s space for a washer and dryer or if there’s a landromat on the complex. Do they take quarters or have a pre-paid card? Most places will have the water and trash depository cost on one bill that must be paid at the same time as your rent. However, most places also require you to manage and pay for your utilities separately. If you find a place that includes Internet, take it. Take it now.

The Devil is in the Details

Trust us. We know from experience that it’s the little things that can make or break an apartment. So when you’re going through an apartment walk-through, literally check the little things. How deep are the cabinets: will they be able to hold the width of your large plates, or are they too narrow? Check that water pressure. You don’t want to have a crazy water bill because it takes you a half hour to get the shampoo alone out of your hair. Listen for how thin your walls are. Because if you can hear the person in the next room than you will definitely be able to hear your downstairs neighbor’s 1am argument.

Have any questions? Let us know!