Next, you want to set up appointments to see the top 3 apartments in the area you have selected. All should be within your price range. When you visit each apartment, make sure to answer the following questions either by asking the landlord or observing for yourself when applicable:
-What is the monthly rent?
-What are the typical heating/electricity bills?
-How much is the security deposit?
-What is the policy for late rent?
-Is there parking included?
-Is the apartment in good shape?
-How far does the landlord live? Does he handle repairs or contract it out? Is there a maintenance crew on site?
-Ask current tenants how the landlord has treated them if they home during the tour.
-What type of cable/internet can be hooked up to the apartment?
-Can you put holes in the wall of the apartment for shelves or put up posters?
-What types of businesses are nearby?
-How far to public transportation or major roads/highways?
-Why are the previous tenants are leaving and how long did they rent there? The longer the better, although apartments turn over often.
-What are the neighbors like? Are they of similar age to you?
Once you have completed the tours of each the apartments, compare your notes for all of them. Often, one apartment will stand out as the best one for you. Remember that you can often negotiate on the rent amount, especially during difficult economic times. This is especially important if price is the only hang up for an apartment that you really like.
Finally, you decide on the apartment that is the best value for the best price, make sure to get everything that you negotiated with the staff in writing. This includes the security deposit, rent payment schedule and late policy, parking, and any other items discussed.
And now go enjoy your new apartment! Thanks for reading another blog post from your credit union!