AM I FORGETTING SOMETHING?
I’m sure that thought crosses the mind of apartment hunters when they go through a few questions with the broker of the apartment they’re looking at. You obviously asked about the cost, and the move-in date… but you may not have remembered to check on everything you might need to look into in the new apartment. Whether you’re still looking at places or it’s your first day in the new apartment, here’s what you should be checking for:
AC / HEAT
What kind of heating and cooling options does the apartment have? Some units surprisingly don’t allow window air-conditioning units. Other units will provide air-conditioning for free or little cost to the buyer. It pays to find out! The same goes for the unit’s heating system. God knows you won’t want to be unprepared for a miserable winter in an improperly heated apartment. Make sure the hot water in the bath/shower is nice and warm, while you’re at it.
WINDOWS / NATURAL LIGHT
Most showings are during the day, which is nice; this allows you to see how the apartment’s natural lighting can come through. You might go crazy without it, so don’t discount it. Try and open all of the windows to see which open and which don’t. Measure any bedroom windows to see what size blinds you need. (Bring a tape measure if you can. This is big!)
INTERNET / CABLE / TV OPTIONS
Know what you can get. You might need to switch providers before moving and spend a few days without service. How does living in an internet-free home sound sound? Even if it’s temporary… it sucks. The unit may have better or less expensive options available in the area. What service providers and services are available in your area comes down to location. You might even be able to switch to something better that wasn’t available in your old place!
If you can’t get it through the door, if you can’t carry it through the hall, or if it won’t fit, it’s going to be a huge hassle to get it into your apartment. Try to determine what clearance is available in your apartment and if this going to be a problem in getting any of your inventory into the unit. Large items such as beds, sofas, pianos, safes and refrigerators can be difficult to fit through many slim halls and narrow entryways. Bring the tape measure!!
Who knows what to watch for better than another tenant of your building? Knock on the door of a neighbor if you have any questions you’re uncomfortable asking a broker or building manager. Neighbors can help you come up with other questions you might not have clued into asking yourself. Neighbors have no agenda, either; they’re much more likely to be completely honest than a broker or a building manager.
SIGNS OF BUGS
No one wants to move into an infested apartment. Take a few steps to look into whether your apartment is at risk at bed bugs to make sure you do not suffer through the trials and tribulations of living with them. BrickUnderground has a great guide on how to look into whether or not the building you’re in has a history of bedbugs. Make sure to ask the building manager and the neighbors about the building’s history, and what you can do to prevent an infestation.
It’s good to know where the things you need are. 4 places are arguably the most important; your nearest grocery store, laundromat, public transportation stop, and pharmacy. You don’t have to use the closest of all of these, but it would probably make your life easier. These 4 places cover most of the things you’ll need when you leave your apartment. If there isn’t a suitable grocery store nearby, or the nearest laundromat is a small trek away, you may need to take that into account.
LANDLORD’S ONLINE REPUTATION
The place may seem too good to be true, which could mean it actually is. One good way to check up on this is to research your landlord. There’s not really one Yelp-like monolith for landlord reviews, however; there are so many sites. One of the best for Austin is Texas Apartment Association, made by Public Advocate for the City of Austin, which lists out their 100 worst landlords in the city. You can sort the site’s data by landlord or by building. Some of what you might on here is truly shocking, like two landlords listed with over 3000 violations! You might not find your landlord on this site. That’s a good sign! Our advice is to type your landlord’s name into google and see what comes up.
If you’re in the market for a good mover for your local move, consider Box Ox Moving, a professional moving company. We’ll take care of the moving so you can road trip your way to your new home! Call 512-861-8707 or get a free moving quote online.