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By Pam Leibfried
You’ve graduated from college. You got your first job. Now it’s time to get an apartment. What are some of the factors you should consider when apartment hunting?
Is the apartment close to where you work? Near where your friends and family live? Close to public transportation? A location that is close to the places you go most frequently will save you time and money.
The safety of an apartment involves more than the obvious issue of whether the neighborhood is a safe one. You also need to consider the seemingly small safety features that can be big issues when they are missing.
If you have to pay all of the utilities for your apartment yourself, the costs can add up quickly. If you’re comparing two apartments, with one including utilities and one requiring you to pay your own utility bills, be sure that you consider the additional expenses for utilities when you calculate the cost of the apartment without utilities. Utilities being included won’t make up a massive difference in rent, but if the apartment with utilities included is only $50 or $100 more each month, you may actually save money by renting the pricier, utilities-inclusive apartment.
If you’re like me and you can sleep through pretty much anything, you might not care how loud your neighbors are, but if you are a light sleeper, you may want to find a building with quiet hours or explicit noise policies. That type of building might be a bad option for someone with atypical sleep/wake patterns. If you want to get up and blast music for your aerobics workout at 5:00 a.m. or if you’re a night owl who likes to do laundry at midnight, living in a building with strict quiet hours is probably not the best fit for you.
If there are features or amenities that you know you can’t live without, don’t waste time looking at apartments that don’t have them. Want on-premise fitness equipment? Can’t live without air conditioning? Hate going to laundromats and want on-site washers/dryers? Need an elevator building because a parent or friend has a physical limitation and can’t do stairs? Keep these needs in mind as you look at apartments.