What apartment features should I look for when I’m shopping around for a new apartment? What’s most important?
Too often people focus on the basic features such as in-unit washer/dryers, number of bathrooms, number of bedrooms.
Don’t get us wrong. These are hugely important factors to consider first. And you should absolutely ask and ensure these basic features you want are present to make sure an apartment meets your needs.
But this is just the start.
There are several other important apartment features that you should consider when looking for an apartment as outlined below, including, safety measures, sound control, window thickness, fire safety, appearance of the grounds.
No apartment community can guarantee residents’ safety against crime. Having said that, apartment communities may be able to implement certain general safety features to possibly deter crime. Ask these apartment safety questions before renting, including are there dead bolt locks? Is there good lighting? Are the locks changed between tenants?
How big (square footage) is the apartment? Once you know the size and square footage, how does price per square foot compare to other apartments in the area?
3) Sound Control
Does the apartment building have sound control measures in place such as concrete ceilings and floors? Double pane thick windows?
Does the building appear neat and well maintained? Are the landscapes manicured? Is there quality landscaping?
5) Maintenance Responsiveness
How responsive is the maintenance department in the building? Are issues taken care of properly? Poor maintenance responsiveness is one of the top reason renters decide to leave an apartment.
6) In-Unit Amenities
What other amenities does the apartment come with inside? Is there a balcony, walk-in closet, and dishwasher? Big closets? Perhaps you really want a gas stove for cooking? What additional features are available? Does it meet your lifestyle needs?
7) Community Wide Amenities
Is there a pool, gym, or clubhouse in the complex? Are amenities included in rent?
Does the apartment landscaping look inviting and maintained? Good greenery and landscaping is important for overall visual appeal, but also can prevent flooding, cool the area naturally, reduce the amount of noise and more.
9) Windows and Natural Light
Does the apartment have enough windows and natural light? Are the windows big enough to allow enough natural light? Check out the apartment during day and night to decide.
10) Fire Safety
Does the apartment have features like concrete ceilings and floors for fire safety? If not, what other fire safety features are there?
11) Management Reputation
How reputable is the management? Check their online reviews and with other tenants if possible, to ensure you sign with a reputable company.
12) Lease Terms
What are the lease terms? How much notice do you need to give? Check everything to make sure you are happy with it before signing.
13) HVAC System
Does the apartment come with central heating and cooling? Central air can offer a more consistent temperature, better visual appeal, and more light.
How many parking spaces does apartment complex have per apartment unit? For example, in the suburbs an optimum parking ratio is usually to have about 1 parking spot to every 1.25 to 1.5 apartments. In a more urban setting, there is usually less parking.
Does the location work for you? Is it near restaurants, shopping, places of worship, transit?
How expensive is the apartment? Have you done enough research on comparable apartments in the area? Make sure you look around at multiple apartments so you are aware of pricing in the area. Calculate cost per square foot to get a sense of apartment value.
Space is one thing, but analyze how the floor plan is laid out. Is the kitchen large enough? Are the bedrooms near the bathrooms? Is the closet near the bedroom? Think about your daily routine and if the lay out is adequate to meet your needs.
18) Ceiling Height
On the context of layout, ceiling height in an apartment can make a big difference in the feel of the apartment. Ask what typical ceiling height is for the apartment you are moving into.
19) Entrance Type
Entrance type is another often undervalued feature. Will the apartment have a private entrance where you can walk directly from the exterior into your apartment, semi-private entrance (where you share with perhaps 3 other units), or common hallway building.
People have different preferences for this.
What will be the “view” of your apartment. Will it overlook a parking lot or a river. Some people don’t care about this, but if you do, check out the view ahead of time. Usually there is a premium in price for better views.