Where we choose to call home is about as personal as it gets. Home is where we start and end each day, where we plan out our life goals, where we rest up, and where we entertain our friends and family. Home is where we express ourselves. So with all that at play, it’s no wonder apartment hunting can feel like a daunting task.
Here are 5 tips to consider when finding your ideal apartment home:
- Make a wish list! Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted in an apartment and don’t be shy. Dreams are free, after all. It’s not dreaming that can get expensive, especially if you settle for an apartment that doesn’t really speak to your needs. Once you’ve made your list, then go through the list and put asterisks next to the deal-breakers. If you must have a built-in microwave, great. Or if an on-site fitness center is your thing, make sure you get it. That way, in the heat of the excitement (and stress) of apartment hunting, you can keep yourself grounded, focused, and on track with your ideal vision.
- Determine your budget. Don’t be afraid to talk about money – with yourself, or with your partner or roommate, whichever is applicable. If you’re relocating from another part of the city or from another state, do some research on the area, review your rent-to-income ratio and see what you can reasonably afford. Financial professionals advise that rent or mortgages should not exceed 30% of your take-home pay. In larger, densely populated cities, that might be more of a challenge, but just know what you can afford and be honest with yourself. It’s great to live in the apartment of your dreams, but not if it means Netflix is your only affordable luxury and you can’t afford to leave your couch. Also, take into account that if you were previously paying $50 per month for your gym, and the new apartment community has a stellar fitness center, that amenity might just offset higher rent costs. Or, perhaps your commute is shorter, saving on gas, tolls, and car repairs.
- Decide what neighborhoods you prefer, and start there. This is especially important in larger cities where it can take hours to get from one neighborhood to the next, just to view one apartment. Try to narrow down your search to the neighborhoods you like best, that best fit your personality, the things you like to do on the weekends, how you shop, how you dine. Again, where we live is personal. Make sure the neighborhood has the basics to meet your needs. If you’re a gourmet chef and there isn’t a grocery store with fresh herbs for 30 miles, well, that might get annoying after the initial “honeymoon” period is over at your brand new apartment home. If you love to hang out at parks on the weekends with the kids and the nearest park is two bus rides away, that’s not going to work in the long run. Neighborhoods are our community, so make sure you are ready to embrace yours.
- Measure your furniture. Nothing says a doomed apartment relationship like having to give up your favorite furniture piece because it simply won’t fit. Measure your furniture and carry a tape measure with you. Sometimes when the excitement is high, it’s easy to eyeball a wall and think your heirloom dining table will fit just fine. Carry the measurement tape. Carry your wish list!
- Visualize yourself living there. There you are getting up for work. That’s you lounging around on the weekends, throwing a dinner party, hanging out at the pool, or doing laundry. How’s it feel to live there? Does it feel like home? Is this place as close to your wish list as it can get? Does it fit into your budget? Do the neighbors look happy? If you have pets, are they a pet-friendly community? (Never try sneaking in a pet- it never works, and the stress isn’t worth your peace of mind.) Is it within a reasonable commute to work? Are they close to public transportation? Does it have all the interior and community amenities you want? If all these factors align, this might be your home sweet apartment home! If there are too many deal-breakers, keep looking. Your ideal apartment home is out there.
Whether you’re relocating from across the country, across town, or this is your first-ever apartment, we’re pleased to help you find the apartment home that best fits your needs.
Weidner Apartment Homes offers convenient and attractive homes for rent in both the US and Canada. Come home to a Weidner community in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington, or across Canada in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We offer a variety of apartment and townhome styles to suit any taste. Whether you are looking for a traditional apartment or a luxury suite, smoke-free or pet-friendly, we would love to welcome you home.
What matters to you, matters to us!
-The Weidner Team