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Apartment hunting can be both exciting and stressful. While looking for the perfect place to call home, there are a few things you should consider to prevent yourself from committing to a huge mistake.

Are the balconies full of clutter?

This is something I tend to scope out whenever I’m looking for a new place. Most apartment complexes like to regulate what people can and cannot put on their balcony. If people on the bottom floor have items laying around outside their porch, it may be a red flag. These may be signs that the apartment is more relaxed in other areas as well including maintenance, parking, and noise.

Is there adequate parking?

Most, if not all, apartment complexes have enough parking for each unit plus designated guest parking spots. Are the guest parking spots full? Do they require residents to get their own parking passes and register their vehicles? If not, it may be a sign that that complex doesn’t tow. This may make it difficult for you, a resident, to find parking once you live there.

Are the carpets white?

This is personally a huge red flag I always look out for when apartment hunting. I try to look at units that have hardwood floors. This helps prevent stains from spills and messes that are impossible to clean. Also, if the apartment is covered with white carpet, it makes it less likely you will get your security deposit back when you move out. Chances are in the months you live there something will ruin that carpet.

Is the price significantly cheaper than comparable units in the area?

If there are other apartment complexes in the area that offer the same amenities but one of significantly cheaper it may be a red flag that there’s something less desirable in that specific complex.

Will they let you see the exact unit you’re moving into?

Apartments tend to have “show rooms” that are specifically set up to show prospective residents what their units look like. These tend to be in a lot better shape than the rest of the units. Ask if you can see the specific unit you will be moving into or a similar unit instead of the show room. This will give you a better idea of what the units are actually like.

Is the outside of the complex clean?

Do they power wash the siding? Are the lights working in the walkways? Are there cobwebs and dust in the corners? If so that shows the complex doesn’t really care about their appearance.

What is the apartment managers reaction when you discover a problem?

When you’re looking at a unit you should inspect every inch of the place. If you discover a problem and the apartment manager is anything but apologetic, that’s a red flag that they will also not care about problems in the future.

What are the other residents like?

I always like to scope out the place to see who my neighbors will be. You want to live somewhere that your neighbors have a similar lifestyle as you. Try to drive by the complex after 6 pm when everyone is home from work and see what the atmosphere is like.


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What does the internet say?

I always check Yelp, Apartments.com, Facebook, and Google when I’m looking for a new place to live. Do people complain about noise? Maintenance? Neighbors? You can learn a lot about a complex just by reading reviews.

What do current residents say?

Finally, if you can, try to approach someone in a common area and ask them what they think. Most of the time people are willing to give their honest opinions on what it’s like to live there. If they aren’t enthusiastic about where they live, it may be a sign you should look somewhere else.

Stephanie F
FFL Cabinet Member