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Apartment Hunting Checklist

  • By
  • Asif Ghafoor
  • February 28, 2015

Getting the right apartment can be difficult in a big city. You often need to select a new apartment in just a few days and may not have the leisure to thoughtfully consider all the alternatives. The best apartments will also go quite rapidly, which means you will want to make a decision fairly quickly. Looking for an apartment is even more confusing when you don’t have a way to prioritize your wants and needs and keep track of which features and benefits each apartment offers. In the whirlwind of touring apartments in different parts of the city, you can easily lose track of what to look for. The next time you go apartment hunting, use this handy apartment hunting checklist to guide you through.

    1. Colours. Make a note of wall colours, carpeting and flooring, and window treatments. Will they coordinate with your furnishings? Can you work around them or will they create too much disharmony in your home decor?
    2. Walkability. Is it close to transit or within walking distance of shops, parks, restaurants, or your work?
    3. Outdoor space. Is there a balcony or roof included with the apartment? If not, is there a roof you have access to? How about parks, gardens, or other green space? Outdoor space can be important, particularly if you are a nature-lover or if you’re from a smaller city and used to having a yard.
    4. Laundry facilities. Is there space for a clothes washer? Do you need to line dry clothes or can you install a dryer? How close are laundry facilities, if you choose to use a laundromat? Are there nearby full service laundry service companies that will pick up your clothes and wash, dry, and press them for you?
    5. Appliances. Is the refrigerator included with the rental of the apartment or do you need to provide your own? Will it be hard to bring a large appliance up the stairs or elevator or through the door? Some apartments have small or tight doorways that make moving large furniture or appliances difficult.
    6. Cleanliness. Will the apartment be clean and tidy for move in? Are there stains on walls or flooring? Are the windows attractive?

Another view of Hong Kong Victoria Harbour

    1. View. Do the windows have an attractive view of the city? Sometimes it’s worth it to go for an apartment with less attractive views if you will not have the windows open much, and other times it’s important to find an apartment that gives you the view you want to see every day. Think about how important this feature is to you.
    2. Security. How safe will it be entering/exiting your building day and night? Is there onsite security? Is it located in a safe building?
    3. Financial. How much is the rent? Are utilities included in the rent or do you need to pay them on top of that? Are there other financial considerations to take into mind, such as travel related costs like how much it will be to take a taxi  to work? Compare travel costs with your top 5 apartment choices and it will give you a better picture of the real cost of living in this new apartment.
    4. Date available: When can you move in? You’ll need to time your move out of your old apartment and your move in correctly so you don’t have double rent payments.

curiosity

  • Pets. Do they allow pets? If you may consider getting a pet in the future, you may want to check into this. If you don’t like pets at all, you may be more comfortable in a building that doesn’t allow pets.
  • Storage. How many closets are there in the apartment? Is there sufficient storage for your belongings?
  • Lease terms. How long is the lease? If you end up needing to move before the lease is up, what is the penalty?
  • Parking. Is there parking available? Even if you use public transportation, you might want to look into this in case you have visiting friends.
  • Atmosphere. What is the apartment like overall? How about the entrance area? Are hallways neat, tidy, and well-kept?

 

By asking yourself these questions and using this apartment hunting list, you’ll be able to keep track of the little details and find an apartment that you’ll enjoy coming home to every day.