Graduating from college, leaving home for the first time or moving out of the dorm? This is what to look for and what to avoid when searching for a new bachelor pad for the first time. Some of this advice is common sense and some of it has been figurred out the hard way.
Appliances: Take a look at the age and condition of the appliances like the oven, dishwasher or refrigerator. The condition of the appliances can tell a lot about how the apartment complex is run. If the appliances are fairly new, that’s a good sign. If they are pushing 2 decades, on the other hand, then that may indicate just the lack of enthusiasm that the management company has for their apartments.
Parking: How much guest parking is there? This is very important if you entertain a lot, have friends visiting your place or even have a significant other spending the night. Some apartment complexes don’t have any guest parking. You don’t want your significant other having to park on the street or in a pay lot.
Current residents: Ask who lives around you (older working professional, students, etc...). You might find a great apartment, but if it’s around older people who don’t like noise then you will want to reconsider choosing to live there.
How much are the utilities? This is extremely important to know for budgeting purposes. Ask what average electrical bill and utility bills are. Also, keep in mind you’ll be paying for cable or satellite and internet services. Your bills for your apartment can easily go over $200 a month.
Walking distance to restaurants, convenience shops, and bars: Being able to live close to anyone of these is a huge bonus. Especially if it’s a bar, walk there and crawl home.
Amenities: Some apartment complexes offer gyms, dry cleaning services, free morning coffee. Don’t be suckered into renting a place that has a crappy gym because you want to save 30 bucks a month.
Pool and hot tub/spa: Renting a place that has a pool is essential. Pools are social places and a great way to meet your neighbors and have BBQ’s/Parties at. Always remember NO GLASS by the pool. Have a party by the pool during the day, and bring the party back to your place for cocktail hour. Also keep in mind what the pool hours are, you don’t want to be at place that shuts the pool down at 8pm every night.
Remember Rome wasn't built in a day, so take your time and spend your money wisely when looking for a new place. It’s an expensive endeavor trying to break a lease early due to a roommate or other issues you have with apartment management.