So you are trying to compare apartments so you can figure out where to live.
Comparing apartments comes down to setting apartment value, affordability, location, lifestyle, and reputation side-by-side and then making a decision.
This is the third in a three-part series of posts that helps you step through each of these comparisons. The first companies apartment value and prices, the second affordability, and this one looks at location (L), lifestyle (L), and reputation (R). In other words, LLR factors.
You should compare location and distance to the places you most frequently visit: work, school, public transportation, grocery stores, shopping, entertainment, and more.
In addition to just distance, think about traffic patterns and your ease of commute. For example, is there a lot of traffic going to or from your potential new home? Is it an easy commute? Is it walkable?
Also, do you feel comfortable and safe?
Lifestyle is about how the apartment building or community makes you feel. This is often based more on your intuition and less on math, but the same comparison concepts apply.
- What building(s) do you feel best fits your lifestyle? (i.e. if you’re looking for a duplex, four-unit plex, or a community)
- What building(s) have a sense of community?
- What building(s) have better amenities for you? Amenities are things like a swimming pool, gym, clubhouse.
- Are there safety measures in place at the building such as good lighting, secure access, and deadbolts on doors?
To best answer these questions, it’s important to visit a community in person whenever possible. If you’re moving from out of town and won’t have a chance to visit beforehand, you can ask friends or family or research the building on reputable review sites. Confirm with management as well.
Property Management or landlords play an important role in the comparison process. Things break, questions come up, and emergencies do happen. You might be moving to a duplex where the landlord lives upstairs, a four-unit complex with an out-of-town owner, or a large building with a national property management firm. Find out the process for submitting maintenance requests and make sure the building and community have a good reputation. It’s a good idea to check the reputation of the building on ApartmentRatings.com.
Once you decide where to live, be sure to check out the article on the questions to ask before signing a lease. A lease is an enforceable legal contract.
If you need help deciding how to choose between two apartments, use the tips in this guide.
Happy apartment searching! We wish you the best of luck.