Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Apartment

a living room with a fireplace

Where you live is a huge part of your life. You want to have a space that feels like your own haven. However, finding that perfect spot or picking out the best location can sometimes be incredibly difficult and time-consuming. While your apartment search is a little different than shopping around for real estate as a homeowner, you’re still putting a lot of your heart and soul into the process.

You don’t want to settle for anything short of your dream apartment. This isn’t just the place you’ll lay your head down every night, but it’s also where you’ll relax on the couch after a long day with your significant other. It’s where you and your friends will have girl’s night or invite the boys over to play video games. It’s where you’ll work and play, laugh and cry. You need a space that fits your personality and all of your needs. This goes far beyond just a few walls and floorboards. Here are some easy tips to follow to guarantee you get your dream apartment.

Decide what kind of living situation you’re looking for.

Before you even start searching, it helps to have a good idea of what you’re truly looking for. Know the layout you want and how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need. Also, figure out if you’re looking for a home rental or an apartment rental. You may also search for condos or townhomes. Decide if you want to rent from a complex or an individual property manager. With so many options out there, you need to do your research and have an idea of what you’re looking for before you start your search or contact a realtor.

Know how long you want to stay.

When you sign on with an apartment, you usually have a set amount of time on your lease. Knowing how long you want to stay in the next step in your equation. Maybe you work a job that doesn’t allow you to be a long-term renter. In these cases, you can look into short-term contracts and homestays to enjoy great accommodations with added flexibility. Renters can advertise their house for rent for you to enjoy for a few weeks or months at a time. This is a great option for professionals who are constantly traveling to enjoy furnished, welcoming apartments and homes with no strings attached. Check out these locations across the country to see if one may be right for you.

Set a budget for yourself.

Housing costs are typically the largest expense you have on a monthly basis. The common recommendation is to not spend over 30% of your income on where you live. Keep this in mind as you are shopping around. You need to set a reasonable budget that won’t stress you out on a monthly basis. If you are struggling to make the rent, that can affect so many other areas of your life as well. Do yourself a favor upfront and only look at places that you can comfortably afford. This way you won’t fall in love with a location that isn’t manageable for you.

Identify the amenities you can’t live without.

With thousands of apartments out there, each complex is trying to stand out and get you to rent with them. This means you have some say in what you are looking for. Take advantage of amenities that will make your life more comfortable, and identify the things you can’t live without. Do you need hardwood floors? What about an in-unit washer and dryer? Does the complex need to have a pool? Is there going to be space for your pet-safe house plants? These are the questions you need to be asking. After all, if you’re a pet owner you can’t just have any common houseplant, as these could be toxic to your dog or cat. If houseplants are crucial to your and your pet’s health, make sure that your rental has the square feet to accommodate them.

Beyond these standard amenities, see how well the complex takes care of its building. How is the air quality? Is the plumbing in the bathroom updated? A great addition to look for in Michigan are Holland windows. These are quality replacement windows that professional installers put in to make your windows as low maintenance as possible. Make sure direct sunlight isn’t harming your home while enjoying indirect light that feels welcoming. These little details make a big difference in your apartment search.

Find a neighborhood you love.

Where your apartment is located is incredibly important to your living situation. Check the pros of the area you’re around. Is it safe? Are the schools good? Do you have easy access to shopping centers and other necessities? Knowing the area will help you decide exactly what you’re looking for.

Do you plan to live with roommates?

Not everyone can afford to live alone. Some people may need a roommate or roommates to help make ends meet. Knowing this upfront will help you make smarter decisions together on where you want to live. Talk about what you’re looking for and how to compromise. This will help you make the best decisions for everyone.

Isla Leighton is the Founder & Editor behind Rock Salt Plum, a digital community curated to deliver an accessible yet sophisticated lifestyle standard. The inspiration behind the brand’s creative drive and style influence is mirrored in Isla’s day-to-day experiences and passion for beautiful design, personal growth, and elegant lifestyle content.

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