Signs Your Apartment is Slowly Dying Inside

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5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

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Searching for an apartment can feel overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider, details to discuss, and decisions to be made. To make things a little easier for you, we broke down what we consider to be the five most important criteria when it comes to apartment searching.  Focus on these factors and your apartment search will be more fun than fearful.

Price

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchFor most people, this is going to be the most important factor to consider. To start, use the basic figure of 30% of your gross income to figure out what your price range is and determine what you can and can’t afford. When making your budget, look at the price as a whole, not just the month-by-month breakdown. Determine how long you will be living there and calculate the total cost.  Be sure to take the different utilities that you will have to pay for into consideration: water, gas, Internet, etc.  Anticipating these costs will help you properly budget for each month.  When you begin searching for an apartment, stick to that budget. Be aware of the trade-offs that come with pricing. For example, if you commit to something that is on the upper end of your budget, you leave yourself with less cash for other lifestyle items such as cable, dining out and shopping.  If you find something suitable on the lower end of your budget, you may be compromising on your wish list, but you’ll also be freeing up a little cash flow.

Location

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

Finding an apartment in your dream location is possible if you know exactly what you are looking for.  Before beginning your search, spend a little time exploring the areas you consider desirable.  Walk the streets and visit a few shops, grab a coffee or tea, take in some people watching and enjoy a night out in the neighborhoods you’re considering.  Use this time to get a feel for the personality and lifestyle of the community and its residents.  Once you’ve narrowed your options, determine the maximum distance you are willing to travel for work, groceries, the gym, socializing, etc.  Next, decide which items take priority in the event that you have to compromise for your dream apartment or neighborhood.  If you travel by car, consider which neighborhoods have abundant parking- your dream apartment may not have this amenity.  If you use public transportation, explore the neighborhoods that are convenient to bus, train, or bike share options.

Amenities

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchMany apartment communities offer a variety of amenities for residents to enjoy.  Some popular amenities include pools, fitness centers, on-site parking, furnished units, and laundry facilities.  Before you begin your search, make a list of your must-have items as well as a secondary wish list.  Falling in love with an apartment only to realize it doesn’t come with a washer and dryer could be a major bummer, so save yourself from the disappointment by sticking to the appropriate search terms. Your perceived need for certain amenities may shift as you narrow your search, so try to keep an open mind and remain a little flexible.

Layout

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchThis may not seem like an important factor for everyone, but for most the layout and design of an apartment is a crucial part of creating a happy home.  If you have a roommate, a pet, or limitations of any kind, the layout of your apartment and the greater community can be very important. You want to make sure that the design of your new apartment is conducive to your lifestyle. For example: if you enjoy cooking and entertaining, you might want to make a large kitchen and open floorplan a priority.  If you are a fan of adventure and recreation or have many hobbies, ample storage space may be high on your list. Take some time to reflect and use your current living situation as a guide: what do you love and loathe about your space now?  As you begin to tour apartments, take note of what stands out to you, both good and bad.

Neighbors

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment Search

5 Ways to Narrow Your Apartment SearchThis is another factor that may vary in importance for different people.  It can be beneficial to inquire about how many units are in your complex and how closely you will be living with other people.  Ask about shared walls and common areas and if you get the chance, chat with current residents about the building.  If you are looking for a social building, the presence of common space and the level of friendliness among residents will give you some insights into the personality of that community.

Taking these 5 ways to narrow your apartment search into account will not only eliminate some of the stress of apartment hunting, but it will also help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the line.

Ready to find your next apartment?

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Make Apartment Hunting Suck Less

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Searching for the perfect apartment can feel like a daunting task.  Nailing down your ideal neighborhood, price range, square footage, layout, utilities and amenities might sound straightforward on paper, but hitting the streets can prove to be a different experience entirely.  Fear not, friends; we’re here to help simplify the process and get you back to enjoying this exciting time in your life.  We’re going to show you how to make apartment hunting suck less.  Start your search with this guide in mind and you’ll be well on your way to a happy home.

how to make apartment hunting suck less

how to make apartment hunting suck less

Step One: Set a budget.

When it comes to your home budget, there are two major expenses to take into consideration: rent and utilities. To determine what you can realistically afford, begin by calculating your net income or take-home pay.  As a general rule, you will aim to spend no more than one third of your net income on rent.  Depending on where you plan to live, this can range from being a requirement of the landlord to feeling like a near impossible feat, but is a good place to start.  Use your current utility costs to factor in an estimate for these expenses, then consider additional monthly costs such as cable and internet.  Now is also a good time to consider the impact of varying locations, such as the cost of your commute and the expenses associated with living in different communities.

Step Two: Consider Convenience.

Determine the maximum distance you are willing to travel for work, groceries, the gym, socializing, etc.  Next, decide which items take priority in the event that you have to compromise for your dream apartment or neighborhood.  If you travel by car, consider which neighborhoods have abundant parking- your dream apartment may not have this amenity.  If you use public transportation, explore the neighborhoods that are convenient to bus, train, or bike share options.

Step Three: Get online.

In the digital age, it is no surprise that the majority of apartment searches today begin online.  Take the time to research different neighborhoods, then perhaps peruse some listings.  Websites like WC Smith’s offer neighborhood guides to help orient renters, and even show you properties within each neighborhood.  This will help you set realistic expectations about what you will be getting for your money in different markets, and may even help you add some must-haves and must-nots to your list.  Once you’ve built out your criteria, submit your request with Apartminty to begin your search.

Step Four: Follow Up.

Once you’ve submitted your request with Apartminty, you can expect to start hearing from landlords and property managers. Be prepared with a list of any unanswered questions and begin gathering any items that you anticipate may be required of you, such as references and pay stubs. Be sure to respond promptly to any calls or emails you receive from landlords; a sluggish response not only sets a bad tone but also increases your changes of missing out on prime real estate.

Step Five: Hit the pavement.

Carve out some time in your upcoming schedule to begin touring properties.  When the calls begin coming in, you’ll want to jump on the opportunity as soon as possible, so don’t over-commit yourself during your hunt.  Each property you visit has been chosen based on your specific criteria, so take the time to weigh your options and try to see multiple apartments before making your decision.

Step Six: Move In.

Settle in to your happy home and enjoy this exciting, new chapter in your life!

Ready to find your next apartment?

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Spot a Good Landlord

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Finding an honest and considerate landlord is key to being happy in your new home.  A good landlord will ensure that everything is in order, will not nickel and dime you for typical landlord responsibilities, and will be there to help when any issues arise.  Before signing that lease, make sure you know a bit about your landlord and how he/she operates…once you’ve signed on the dotted line, the chances of backing out are slim. A great property with a difficult landlord may not be worth the hassle, while a less than ideal fit may be improved by the presence of a great landlord.  Make sure to keep this in mind throughout the whole process, and remain on the lookout for any red flags.  These tips for how to spot a good landlord will help you identify the characteristics you’d be wise to seek (and avoid) in future moves.

1. Honesty and transparency

How to Spot a Good Landlord

How to Spot a Good Landlord

Having a landlord who is upfront and open with you from the outset is ideal.  While some of us are natural judges of character, others need a little help with decoding body language and social cues.  Learn to spot the signs of a liar and ask questions thoughtfully.  Asking the same question a couple of different ways can reveal inconsistencies while listening for an abundance of details can reveal a speaker who may be overcompensating.  While you hope to hear nothing but good news from a potential landlord, full disclosure of small issues are a sign of a trustworthy and transparent speaker.

2. Availability

How to Spot a Good Landlord

How to Spot a Good Landlord

Pick a landlord who is easy to contact. You aren’t going to want to play phone tag for days when you have a problem with your apartment, so test your landlord’s responsiveness early on.  Inquire about the best way to reach them, then find a few reasons to reach out, taking note of response time, friendliness and helpfulness.

3. Flexibility

How to Spot a Good Landlord

How to Spot a Good Landlord

A flexible landlord will be more understanding and more willing to work with you in the event that any issues arise.  It goes without saying that any landlord will expect you to follow any rules outlined in your lease, but it will be beneficial to have one that is willing to be lenient about minor issues or in the event of an emergency.  While flexibility can be beneficial for landlord and tenant alike, be aware that there is a difference between being flexible and being irresponsible.  A landlord should be comfortable being held to the same standards as the tenants.  As a tenant, don’t be shy about negotiating certain terms and adding landlord responsibilities to the lease.

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4. Skillfulness

How to Spot a Good Landlord

How to Spot a Good Landlord

Whether your landlord is handy in his own right or has a trusty handyman on call, you deserve prompt and skillful solutions to household issues, as outlined in your lease.  Along with the actual repairs, make sure the landlord keeps you informed of any issues, renovations or improvements in your unit and common areas, planned or otherwise.

5. Trustworthiness 

How to Spot a Good Landlord

How to Spot a Good Landlord

When renting a home, you and your landlord should have a trusting relationship with open communication.  He/She should be given reason to trust that you will pay rent on time and respect his property, but you must be able to trust them as well.  Be sure to outline ground rules with one another, and make sure both parties are clear about their expectations.  Because they own and manage the property, most rules are set by the landlord but that does not mean you shouldn’t make your thoughts and desires known.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

12 Questions You Must Ask A Landlord Before Signing The Lease

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12 Questions You Must Ask A Landlord Before Signing The List | Apartment Hunting Questions

While viewing apartments, it can be easy to get caught up in a landlord’s sales pitch and lose track of the basics.  Trust us on this one, Maddie once signed a lease before realizing there was no dishwasher in the unit.  In trying to engage in polite conversation while checking out an apartment, it is easy to overlook obvious issues or forget to ask some important questions.  Before you dive in, here are the 12 questions you must ask a landlord before signing the lease.

Bonus! Scroll to the bottom of the post to download a checklist to print and bring with you so you don’t forget!

One of the greatest benefits of apartment living is that you don’t have to worry about things like landscaping, plumbing, etc.  However, be sure to find out up front if service is provided for smaller items like changing a lightbulb and unclogging drains.  Most property manager and landlords prefer to do this themselves to avoid any hazards and maintain consistency.

You’ll of course want to know who to call when something goes awry in your apartment, but be sure to ask what typical hours maintenance is available and what the emergency protocol is- is there someone you can reach 24 hours a day?

On that note, you’ll also want to know what qualifies as an emergency and who you should reach out to when the landlord is unreachable.  Whether it’s an emergency within your unit or on the community grounds, there should be someone you can alert at any given time.

You can’t always tell by looking at them how long appliances have been in use for.  You’ll want to ask when your oven, dishwasher, washer/dryer were installed, as well as asking about the plumbing and electric systems in the building.  This is especially important if you are paying for utilities, as older appliances can be very inefficient and costly to use.

Breaking a lease is often a difficult task to accomplish but can be necessary in certain situations.  Do your best to negotiate a clause for a select situation or two such as moving out of state for a new job, deployment or purchasing a home.

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From a good old fashioned paper check to paying online, there are tons of way to transfer your money these days.  Be sure to ask which options are acceptable and what the landlord/property manager prefers.

If you haven’t yet secured a roommate or are thinking about inviting your significant other to move in, be sure to ask what the rules are regarding adding someone to your lease.  Are there certain qualifications they have to meet? What steps must be taken?

When you’re paying a pretty penny for your living space you might think it’s fair to assume you can have visitors come and go as you please, but this can easily turn into a nightmare tale.  Don’t wait until the lease is signed to find out how long someone can stay with you, if there are restrictions on the number of guests that can stay overnight, or even the number of visitors you can have in your apartment at any given time.

You want to feel safe in your home.  Find out how residents, guests and deliveries alike access the building (is there a front door key, concierge, etc).  If there is a doorman or concierge, what hours are they present?

It can be so complicated to try and calculate the actual cost of living in any given apartment building that many people have resorted to keeping a spreadsheet just to keep track of it all!  Be sure to ask which utilities and amenities are included and which require an extra fee.  Think: parking, pets, amenity spaces, utilities, laundry, etc.)

While it is often the case that you do not receive your keys until moving day, it never hurts to ask if you can access the unit sooner.  Being able to take measurements, pre-clean the space before moving your stuff in, and even begin moving boxes a day or two before your move date all go a long way towards making moving day a little less hectic.  The worst they can say is no, but it’s worth trying to negotiate, and may even be worth paying a day or two of prorated rent.

Obviously if you already have a pet, this is top of mind as you navigate your apartment search, but if you are even slightly entertaining the idea of adding a furry family member in the near future, find out exactly what is allowed, whether there are any breed, weight or number restrictions and what additional costs are required.

I WANT THE CHECKLIST!

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

The Emotional Journey of Apartment Hunting

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Searching for your next home is a big deal.  No matter the reason for your move, there is a lot of emotional, physical and mental energy that goes into the decision making process.  With the current state of the apartment listing world, it’s hard not to get caught up in the emotional journey of apartment hunting.

First, you start out pretty confident about your apartment search:

“No I don’t need any help thank you very much, I’m a master of the inter-webs.  I’ve got this.”

Then you start to get super excited dreaming of your new place:

“There are SO MANY listings to choose from! I love apartment hunting!”

Before long, you start feeling a bit overwhelmed:

“Oh wow, ok, 1,347 matches…where to start…”

After a little scrolling you’re totally confused:

“Hold up, this one is a full 35 miles from where I want to be…”

Then you start feeling completely frustrated:

“Woah woah woah, this place is like my entire paycheck…I literally just said my max is $1800…”

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Suddenly, waves of excitement begin to wash over you:

“Ooooh this could be the one! I think I’m in love!”

Only to quickly be replaced with grave disappointment:

“…aaaand it got rented last Tuesday…would have been nice to know, guys.”

Next thing you know you’re in full on panic mode:

“Ok, my fate has been sealed.  I’ll be living under the bridge if anyone needs me…”

Then suddenly, a glimmer of hope:

the emotional journey of apartment hunting

the emotional journey of apartment hunting

“Wow, someone is actually listening! Maybe they really can help. Please be able to help…”

You start to regain some confidence in your search:

“Ok, these are actually really good matches for me…”

Finally, full blown excitement is restored when you find your perfect apartment:

“Ahhh, apartment sweet apartment.”

The struggle is real out there.  Skip the emotional roller coaster and begin your apartment search with us.

You’ll end up with the best possible match and we’ll all be doing a happy dance in no time.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

10 Horrors of Apartment Hunting

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: apartment hunting sucks (unless you’ve enlisted our help, of course).  Here’s just a few of the horrors of apartment hunting you might encounter on the way to finding your perfect place.

1. Deception

Many a heads have been scratched trying to figure out how the apartment in the photo is the same one your standing in.

2. Poor Timing

It’s a tale as old as time: you think you’ve found the perfect place then poof, the listing disappears before you’re very eyes.

3. Creepy Crawly Critters

Don’t wait until it’s too late for this one: when you’re touring, open cabinets, examine corners and peek under appliances; now is not the time to play it cool.

4. Ill-Defined Spaces

Even those with true vision and talent for decor just can’t get past a kitchen/bathroom combo.

5. Delusional Landlords

“I’ll accept nothing less than $2,900 for this spacious and luxurious 225ft² studio, sink included.”

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6. Biohazards

Someone actually lives here? Ugh. Gross. No.

7. Unexpected Roommates

Who invited these guys? Do they even pay rent?

8. Thin Walls

Who needs to catch up on their soaps when the situation in 8b is far more intriguing.

9. Unwanted Amenities

The plunge pool that nobody ever wanted…

10. Questionable Neighborhoods

Battling in the streets at all hours, those neighbors just have no respect.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

5 Important Apartment Trends to Expect in 2019

It’s a deceptively obvious statement, but the internet and its shared technology has made apartment life more attractive and more cost effective than ever before. “Thanks to smart tech, renters live a far more efficient, safe and comfortable life than those who rented just 5 years ago,” RentPath Director of Research Angie Amon says.

And life should only become more streamlined for the renter in 2019 thanks to apartment complexes rising to meet their needs. The trend for safer, more luxurious units with an emphasis on keeping up with the personal use of technology will only surge.

Here’s what renters can expect more of in the New Year.

1. Apartments will get sleeker and more luxurious

Yoga studios, bicycle valets, rooftop pools, car-charging stations and in-building retailers and services are going to become standard perks.

Renters will want to be sure that they’re getting the most out of their rental dollar. Apartment complexes will look more and more like high-end, metropolitan condominiums.

2. The emphasis on security will only rise

While some apartment complexes will have the facilities to employ doormen and front desk security, expect to see renters investing in relatively inexpensive technology like the August smart lock, the Blink camera and the SimpliSafe wireless home security system.

Renters are going to take advantage of every security system that technology affords them – visiting their nearby Amazon Locker will be as common as their morning visit to Starbucks.

3. You won’t necessarily need to be tied down to a vehicle

“Between working from home and the low cost and ease of summoning a ride through Uber and Lyft, there’s really no need for someone who lives in a strategically-located apartment to own a car anymore,” Amon adds.

Expect renters to gravitate to walkable communities where high-end retailers, restaurants, coffee shops and parks are all within several blocks from mixed-use rentals.

4. You can still save money – even with all the perks

The cost of living won’t decrease in 2019, so in order to live in a high-end apartment complex with extras like all-inclusive gyms and rooftop lounges, small sacrifices will have to be made. Drying clothes on folding racks, biking to work instead of driving and maybe even giving up the expensive lattes from your local coffee shop and making your own at home, instead.

You’ll also need to understand exactly what your rent and upfront fees go towards so there are no surprises. Do you have access to the pool as part of your fees, or is that extra? Is the on-site dry cleaner included? Know what you’re paying for so you can budget appropriately.

5. Renters will require more high-tech amenities

While strong WiFi and cell phone reception were once afterthoughts when finding a new apartment (“I’ll deal with it after I move in!”), these essentials along with smart devices and connectivity are going to be high on the list of “must haves.”

Smart locks, remote access control and built-in charging stations with USB outlets will be on the top of every renter’s checklist. These amenities will be as much about personal security as they’ll be about convenience.

Needs of the modern renter

Apartments are only going to get smarter. Technology is moving faster than ever and apartment complexes are doing everything they can to keep up with the modern renter. Connectivity, going green, mixed-use development growth and security are all on the top of everyone’s priorities. And if you think 2019 is going to see a boom in personal tech within apartment life, wait until you see what’s in store for 2020.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

Apartment Hunting Doesn’t Have to Suck

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Our most recent client Casie is busy celebrating the discovery of her dreamy new apartment in Washington, DC.  Before the celebrating began, we asked her to tell us a little bit about her experience:

“I found Apartminty when I was on Twitter, as most twenty year olds are (my age), and I was tweeting about how I was going to end up living in a box underneath the Key Bridge because apartment hunting sucks in Washington. But Apartminty reached out to me and my experience with them has been so effortless. We found a place in less than a month and we’re signing our lease today, so…apartment hunting doesn’t have to suck!”

We’re so happy for you and your roommate, Casie, and we can’t wait for the housewarming party!

Ready to find your next apartment?

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Source: blog.apartminty.com