What’s the best part of looking for a new apartment? The search. Especially if you have your sights on a better place and location. A great home will have you imagining where you will put your furniture. You envision yourself walking in the door to your new home after a hard day at work.

On the other hand, have you ever been burned searching for a new home? The landlord told you how spacious the place was. How everything was updated not too long ago. What a disappointment when you tour an apartment with outdated appliances and a tiny living space. It turns out you and the landlord had a difference of opinion on ‘spacious home’ and ‘updated appliances’.

So, how do you avoid wasting time touring another apartment that isn’t as great as advertised? You need to know how to evaluate a good apartment before the tour. Take note of the following qualities when evaluating your next apartment complex:

The landscaping:

This can easily be done on your way home from work. Is the landscaping well kept? Are the flags and banners in good condition? Are there brightly colored flowers or simply green shrubs? In addition to creating a beautiful living space, good landlords know brightly colored flowers will catch your eye. These managers want you to come see the place. Shrubs are great because they are typically hardy plants. But, they don’t catch your eye. Flowers are beautiful, inexpensive, and easy to plant. If the owner isn’t willing to make a simple investment in the exterior of the complex will he or she make your apartment a priority?

The cars in the lot:

Many landlords put a clause in the lease that prohibits you from actively working on your car in the lot. Cars on blocks or with flat tires are also not allowed. The cars don’t have to be luxury vehicles just functioning. Having several non-functioning cars at the complex devalues it. If the landlord is allowing it, he or she does not care about the value of the community. So, why would they care about their residents?

The balconies:

Many leases have clauses regarding what residents can and can not put on their balconies. If residents, consider their balconies trash storage it’s time to walk away. If residents have items on their balcony like shopping carts, broken toys, and garbage that’s a bad sign. It’s easy for the landlord to put a stop to that. If he or she isn’t willing to do so what else will slide too?

The entrance:

A good complex will have some sort of secure entrance. It may be a gate, controlled access entry, or a door person. If you can just waltz right in that’s not a good sign. If the apartment has piqued your interest, there is one more step you can take at the front door. Look up, are there cameras? This is a good sign, not an indicator of spying. That means your safety is important to the owner. For the most part, the cameras are a crime deterrent. But, should someone try anything, it’s all on camera for the police. This means the complex values your safety and security.

When it comes to great apartment hunting tips first impressions count. Don’t waste your time on a ‘diamond in the rough’ place it is probably too good to be true.

If the apartment is great but the complex isn’t, you won’t have a great apartment for long. If the landlord isn’t willing to do up-keep on the building exterior why would they be willing to do up-keep in your apartment?

Check out apartments near you!

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