How to Compare Apartments: | A Beginner’s Guide (Part III – Location, Lifestyle, and Reputation)

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So you are trying to compare apartments and figure out where to live?

Comparing apartments is simple – it comes down to comparing value, affordability, location, lifestyle, and reputation.

Be sure to read our first blog post on comparing apartment value and prices and second blog post on comparing affordability.

Now you are ready for this post which is about Location, Lifestyle, and Reputation (LLR Factors).

Compare Location

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 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?

Compare Lifestyle

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 fit 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, club-house.
  • Are there safety measures in place at the building such as good lighting, secure access, and dead bolts?

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, family or research the building on reputable review sites. Confirm with management as well.

Compare Reputation

Property Management or landlords play an important role in the comparison process. Things break, questions come up, and unfortunately 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.

If you need help determining how to choose between two apartments, use the tips in this guide.

Happy apartment searching! We wish you the best of luck.


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