The first time I rented an apartment, I didn’t know what to look out for. Now that I’ve moved three times since, in two years, I think I am (relatively) well-qualified to be dishing out tips that includes this handy checklist for you to cross things off when you’re apartment hunting.
This is an obvious point but it’s not just about the accessibility. It might seem like a great choice that you have the trains and/or buses pulling up right in front of your place but that creates another issue altogether – noise. In Melbourne we have trams that can get pretty annoying with the bells ringing to get people off the tram path. Some of my friends had to learn that the hard way when they’re trying to get work done or retire for the day.
I also lived near a nightclub. I wasn’t aware initially because it was hidden in an alley and I looked at the apartment in the day. The worst wasn’t the loud music, it’s the people entering and leaving the club being boisterous, breaking bottles.
It also doesn’t hurt to google your address and read up on any news or happenings in the area so that you have a better gauge of the security there.
Does it come with a parking space? Even if you don’t own a car, you can rent it out or consider when family and friends come to visit and you guys will need a car to get around.
Consider how well-equipped the building’s gym is as well as the other amenities provided such as the pool, sauna. Request to have a look and not just settle for pictures so that you can have a better gauge of how crowded they can get. I thought I could swim at my apartment’s pool but it only had two lanes and there has been more than 10 people at the pool once.
Go through your conditional report thoroughly. Live in your house for at least a week before you submit it so you have plenty of time to go through everything at home.
3. Good Relations
I’m not only talking about your neighbours. Besides the fact that you can both be considerate and friendly neighbours with each other, you can also reach out to ask them what electricity and water company they’re with so that you know the cheapest rates rather than accepting what the current house has.
However, even to get to that point, it’s best to first have a good relationship with the agent that’s in charge of the property. Introduce yourself and try to create a good impression so that the agent will remember you when you’re applying online for the place. You can follow up after the inspection with a thank you email as well if you’re not as great as physical interactions like I am. It can also help if you let your friends know that you’re looking for a place so that they can help you keep an eye out as well as act as your reference, if there’s a need for it.
4. Taking Notes
I’ve attended six viewings in a day once and barely remembered which were the ones I truly wanted at the end of the day. Recording and taking pictures helps you with that. However, some agents might not be comfortable with that so going old school might be better. Jot down the things you’re bothered by or dislike so that you can compare which are the lesser of two evils or which you can put up with more.
Also remember to be prepared! Prepare your documents even before you start applying if you can. You need your bank statements and identification documents. If you’re a student, it might also be good if you get your parents to issue a statement that they’re funding you so that the agent will feel more reassured that you wouldn’t bail or have insufficient funds.
Let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you think is essential to this list!
Featured Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/45106433752657424/
A recent graduate from the University of Melbourne, Rachel is a Singaporean girl who is always up for a meal, provided the restaurant has a Zomato rating of above 4/5 stars.