What type of apartment is most suitable for you? How much can you afford to spend on rent?
Is the apartment close-by to work and nightlife? These questions and more are what you need to ask yourself before you embark on the important mission of finding a new place to live. The more familiar you are with what is included in apartment rental prices, what apartment terms mean and what types of apartments exist, the better a position you will be in to start apartment hunting.
To help you navigate your way through the complicated process of finding the right apartment to rent, you will find the following information very helpful. It tells you how to find the best apartment for your lifestyle and lists the different types of apartments available. By reading the following and taking time to think about each detail carefully, you will be ready to find your new rental.
How do you find the right apartment to rent?
If you are looking for an apartment to rent, finding the right one can be quite challenging. You should therefore set some ground rules to make the process easier. The more you know what you are looking for, the easier it will be to find.
First, set a budget and work out how much you can afford for rent. A good rule is do not spend more than 30 percent of your monthly income on housing. You will also need to factor in the other costs that come with apartments, such as utility bills. When looking at apartments, be sure to find out how much the monthly expenses on top of the rent will be, or what expenses and services are included in the rent. If you are looking for the cheapest possible place to rent, consider getting a roommate to share the costs.
Make sure to take time to plan what you are looking for. Think carefully about whether you want an apartment with free parking, an apartment that allows pets, an apartment that is close to work or schools and other factors that are important to you. Do you want a quiet apartment? Do you want an apartment that includes appliances like washing machines or are you happy to find an apartment with laundry facilities close by? Make a list of your must-haves and the search for an apartment will run a lot smoother. You may have to make compromises, but pretty much everyone who is looking for a property has to do that. The idea is to get as close to your perfect living situation as possible.
Renting a House vs. Renting an Apartment
Many renters are face with a choice when looking for apartments: they can choose to rent a standard apartment or a home. Unless you have a large family or you are very wealthy, apartments are generally much better to rent than houses. Why is this? First, most people want cost effective accommodation. Apartments are usually a lot less expensive to rent than houses. They are also less expensive to run. Bills will be cheaper because it does not take as much energy to heat and light an apartment as it does a full house. Amenities and maintenance are also often included with your rent in apartment buildings.
Apartments are not just better rental properties than houses because of their cost. They are also generally more secure. Many apartment buildings have concierges and other staff to keep an eye on the apartment building and any unknown faces entering. Apart from that, it is much harder to break into an apartment that is wall-to-wall with other apartments and has only one or two entrances.
Another benefit of apartments is you may be able to live in a lively downtown area for a reasonable cost. Houses in central areas will have higher rent, and if you rented a house out in the suburbs, you would have the pain of traveling to the downtown bars, restaurants and gyms you frequent.
Different Types of Apartments
When looking for an apartment to rent, you can narrow down your search by knowing which type of apartment is best suited to you. There are various types of apartments available in every town and city in the United States, although some apartments are easier found in some locations than others. Therefore, before deciding a railroad apartment, for example, is what you are looking for, make sure those types of apartments are available in the area you want to live. Types of apartments you will often find include one-bedroom apartments, one-bedroom plus den apartments, two-bedroom apartments, walk-up apartments, junior one-bedroom apartments and railroad apartments:
- Studio apartments are another option. These apartments, which have one open space without any clearly defined areas, are some of the smallest apartments you will find. Also, they usually do not have full-kitchens. Studio apartments are ideal for single people who are always out and about.
- Senior apartments, as you might expect, are for older people. They tend to be either for people older than 55 years of age or people older than 62 years of age. Senior apartments can include independent living accommodation to assisted living apartments, which come with staff to care for you should you need it. There are also continuing care retirement communities offering independent living, assisted living and nursing care all on the same site. If you are a senior, you might find specific senior apartments are much better suited to you than apartments that can be rented by anyone. For one thing, they tend to be quieter and have communities of people in your age bracket, so it is easy to make friends.
- Condos could be the best solution for you. A condo is a privately-owned residence in a building with multiple units. The main difference between condos and apartments is condos are usually bought rather than rented. However, condominiums and apartments can share many characteristics, as they are both available for rent.
Renting Terms Explained
Once you have taken time to consider which type of apartment is best for you, you can begin the actual search to find your ideal property. However, before you do so, you will need to know what different terms on apartment listings mean. Here are the three main terms you should be familiar with:
- Utilities are things like gas, electricity, and trash removal. In apartment buildings, it is usual for all amenities to be included in the rental cost. That is what is meant if you see the term “all utilities included.” However, it is bets to get clarification on included utilities before signing a lease.
- Amenities are facilities and services that are offered in apartment buildings. Amenities that can often be found in complexes include common areas, gyms, swimming pools, play areas for children and mail services.
- Features are to do with the features included in the apartment, such as stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and hardwood floors. Amenities and features may be used interchangeably between listings, so make sure you clarify any included features and amenities when apartment hunting.
By Melanie Henson –