How to Make the Most of an Apartment Tour

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How to Make the Most of an Apartment Tour

Staff Writer · Jan 10, 2011

When you’re looking for a new place to live, you’ll find yourself going on one apartment tour after the next. Apartment tours often times aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and it’s easy to leave feeling like you didn’t get a good enough feel for the place. To make the most our of an apartment tour, you need to arrive prepared with questions and knowledge of what to be looking for as you view the unit. Here’s how to make the most of the experience.

Do Your Research First

Before you go on an apartment tour, do some research online to find out more about the place. In the case of an apartment complex, visiting the complex or management company’s website should give you a good idea of what amenities are included and the different square footage sizes available. For individually owned units, emailing the landlord first to find out more about the apartment and its features will help give you an idea of what to expect. For both kinds of apartments, there are several apartment rating websites out there where you can read the anonymous reviews from tenants. Often times this is the best way to find the unfavorable details you wouldn’t hear from management.

Take Your Time and Inspect Details

When you actually set foot in the apartment unit you’re touring, take your time to look around. It isn’t enough to poke your head into each room for a quick look. Open cabinets. Check to make sure doors close properly. Turn on the water in the shower to check the water pressure. Look to see that there aren’t any water spots or cracks in the walls or ceiling. Even if the unit you’re viewing isn’t the one you’ll be residing in, it’ll give you a good idea as to the condition of your future unit. When looking at apartments, it’s easy to be sold after seeing the big windows or decorative crown molding. Failing to take the time to inspect the “day to day” functional aspects of the unit could lead to hassles and dissatisfaction months down the road.

Come Prepared With Questions

Touring apartments is equal parts looking at a unit and asking questions. Doing your research beforehand should help you know what questions to ask. Find out if the unit will be cleaned and freshly painted before you move in. Know about which utilities are included and which are not. Find out about the maintenance request process. These are only some of the questions you should be thinking about as you tour.

Talk to a Current Resident

After your tour with the landlord or leasing agent is over, hang around and see if you can’t briefly chat with a current resident coming from his or her car or heading to the laundry room. Find out if they like living in the apartment building. Ask any questions you feel wouldn’t have been answered honestly by the landlord. Most people are happy to offer an honest opinion.

Touring apartments becomes easier the more you do it. Before long you’ll know exactly what to look for and the right questions to ask.

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Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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