Whether you’re moving to a new city or relocating a few miles away, you want to make sure you choose a locale that’s well suited to your lifestyle. With this in mind, here are five location items to think about before committing to a lease.
If you have a car, it needs a home too. The last thing you likely want to be doing at the end of a long day is driving around looking for a parking spot. If you are renting, ideally the parking will be available on-site at your apartment community. If it is, find out how much it costs, and if there are other nearby parking lots available.
If your building doesn’t offer onsite parking, and you live in Philadelphia, residents in eligible areas, can purchase parking permits to park in eligible residential parking permit blocks for an annual fee. Check the program’s official website for more information and details on this program, or search for an apartment with parking.
2. The Commute to Work
A lengthy, frustrating commute can add a lot of stress to your work week. So you need to research what would be involved in getting to work each day. Consider traffic patterns both ways, as they might be different.
If you’ll be on the road during rush hour, find out how long the trip will take during that period. You can obtain estimates for this information by using one of your favorite navigation apps, such as Google Maps or Waze. Because the travelers use these programs day after day, the companies that provide them have a treasure trove of data on how long it takes to get from A to B at different times of the day. Check the apps for estimates of drive times at different hours of the day or night.
Look into how close you would be to the nearest train or bus station, how often the trains and buses run, how long it takes to get from your local station to where you work, and what’s involved (i.e. if you can go direct or it requires multiple stops). Train travel just became a bit easier this month with SEPTA’s roll out of “SEPTA Key”. A fare payment system that is reloadable with a contactless chip card. You can now reload/purchase fares at designated locations.
If you’re a little closer to work and would like to incorporate some exercise into your commute, see if there are any walking or cycling trails that could provide a safe route to work.
Consider doing a trial run(s) of the commute before signing the lease. Of course, this is only a test run and traffic patterns could be particularly worse or better on the given day you choose, but at the very least, it should give you more data to make an informed decision.
3. Grocery Stores and Other Shopping
If you have a last-minute need for milk or eggs, you probably don’t want to make a lengthy expedition of going out to buy them. So make sure supermarkets, convenience stores, and other stores you use regularly are nearby.
4. Your Lifestyle Needs
Everyone has different lifestyle requirements. You may want a park or green area close to you so you can escape to nature, run or go cycling. Or perhaps you’d like to exercise regularly at a gym. Maybe you enjoy dining out, relaxing in coffee shops, or a night at the movies. Make sure you can easily do what’s important to you in a potential location.
You probably want to live in a safe environment. This means, among other items, considering the neighborhood and area, but also asking rental managers a series of safety questions before signing a lease. Well maintained neighborhoods are generally safer than those that are poorly kept.
The right location is crucial to your happiness in your new apartment. So ensure it provides access to convenient parking, grocery shopping and other public places that are an essential part of your lifestyle, a reasonable commute, and more.