We can all agree that your rent and the apartment building itself are the more important things to consider when moving, right?
But what about all the other things you might not think about when making the choice to move?
No need to worry! If you’re an apartment first-timer or thinking about making the move again, here’s a list of important things to think about before committing to an apartment.
1. Commute time
While you think you may be just fine with a commute that’s an hour or more, I promise you that it will get old. If you’re working 5 days a week at a job that’s far away from your apartment and you have to brave rush hour traffic to get there, you may want to rethink your apartment choice. This applies to situations in which you have your own car or you’re someone who likes to rideshare. With gas prices on the rise, now is no time to waste your whole morning commuting.
2. Commute direction – sun in your eyes?
This may seem like something small to worry about, but as someone who commuted into the morning sun for 2 years, I can tell you for a fact that it will start hurting your head eventually. If you have the choice to move somewhere where you can commute away from the sun, I highly recommend it. If you do end up commuting into that great burning ball of gas, at least invest in a quality pair of sunglasses that will last a while and actually protect your eyeballs.
3. Distance to essential amenities
Eating out every night will not only wreak havoc on your health but your wallet as well. You’ve probably heard it before, but learning how to cook simple and quick weekday meals will save you money and help you to learn a new skill! When hunting for an apartment, take note of what types of grocery stores are near them. Do they offer the types of food you will be cooking? Are they organic? Good deals? Weekly coupon flyers? If you have a car, it’s also worth checking out the gas stations in the area to see if their gas prices are above or below others in the area.
4. Proximity to reasonably priced gyms? Parks?
If your apartment doesn’t have a complimentary fitness center, make sure to check out the prices of gyms in your area, especially if you’re a fitness fanatic and will be working out on a regular basis. Depending on the area where you’re looking to live, a membership at a newer fitness club can cost upwards of $100 a month! If you prefer other activities, such as hiking or running, instead of being inside a gym- check out all the natural areas, parks and other recreational venues located near your apartment choice. If your complex doesn’t have a gym and you aren’t ready to shell out for a gym membership yet, check out darebee.com for tons of at-home work out plans that don’t require tons of space or equipment.
5. Available activity/entertainment options
Meetup.com is a great way to meet other groups of people in your area through an endless number of events. Groups of people range from book clubs and foodies to karaoke lovers and computer coders. If you talk to a few people around the apartment complex or neighborhood when you tour, it’ll probably be pretty easy to get a feel for the vibe of the neighborhood.
6. Demographics of the area
It’s pretty easy to figure out the demographics of the area you’re interested in living in if you take the time to do some research! There are multiple tools online, as well as data from the U.S. Census Bureau that can tell you things like the age range of people who live near the apartment you are interested in. If you’re a young adult and looking into move into an area where other young people live, make sure you check this data out before making a decision!
7. Growth rate of the area
This is another stat that takes a little bit of research but will be helpful in not only figuring out how busy your neighborhood will get but also in figuring out if your rent has the potential to increase by a substantial amount. Often, if a neighborhood or city is growing at an increased pace, apartments will increase their rental rates to meet the demand of this growth. If you like your apartment and plan on living there for more than a year, you may want to take this into consideration. A way to potentially avoid these rent increases is to sign a multiple year lease, a situation in which many landlords will lock in a singular rent price for the duration of your lease.
8. Are your in-network doctors/dentists in your area?
If you’re lucky enough to work for an employer who provides you with an insurance plan through work, make sure to check out all the health specialists around where you plan to move! Most office insurance plans cover a broad range of health providers but you want to make sure the essentials are nearby and you won’t be traveling an hour to visit an emergency room. Moreover, check out the reviews of doctors, dentists, and optometrists in your area to check out if their reputation is worth your service. Often times, your insurance provider will be able to give you a list of doctors in your area that is in-network.
9. Proximity to your religious establishment
If you attend religious services on a regular basis and are thinking about switching to one closer to where you will be living, check out the institutions that will be close to where you live. If there are multiple, take time to attend a service at each to see if they will be a good fit for you once you move!
May this list help to guide you in the ever-elusive search for your dream apartment! It may seem like there are a billion things to try and keep in mind when apartment hunting, but eventually you’ll find that perfect place to call yours. And in the meantime, My First Apartment is here to help you on your search.