The Process of Selecting an Apartment

Categories: Apartments

A few years ago my best friend Jahira was looking for a new apartment, but she was not sure how to begin the search and what questions to ask the proprietor. Jahira’s concern was she has a 12 year old son, a dog, and a cat. Since she didn’t know what the process of selecting an apartment, I provided her a few steps to follow. I also suggested to her that her best option would be an apartment style dwelling based on my experience as a renter.

I advised her that the first step is to determine the city she wants to live in. When looking for an apartments, it is essential to know if you are looking for suburban or urban community and which area of the city you want to live in. This will affect the school system her child is place in. It will also affect her daily commute to work. This will allow her to determined the prices and conditions of the apartments she is looking at ahead of time.

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Location is an important part of finding an apartment.

One city may be cheaper than the next city. Once she finds the city she wants to live in, then the second step is to find an apartment finder book that can be found in any foyer of a grocery or drug store. In this book there are apartment listings in each community area that tells what accommodations and amenities they provide such as how many bedrooms and bathrooms available, if there is an onsite laundry room, or pool, if pets are allowed, what the heating and cooling systems are alike as well as the price listings.

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It is a very helpful guide to locate which community you might wish to live in. Jahira’s concern was she wanted her son to stay in the same school district. This narrowed her searched tremendously.

She may also enlist the help of a realtor. This is free of charge, and would lessen the burden of her having to find the apartment herself as the realtor would only show her units that would fit her needs. If she wants to do it herself she can also look online for available units. I also advise driving by areas that are of interest to the renter, as sometimes there will just be for rent sign on properties and no type of formal advertising. The third step is to ear mark which apartments she wants to visit and learn more about them.

The best thing about apartment hunting is that there are many choices. Jahira’s interest lies in a two bedroom accommodations that has a playground area and pool for her son to enjoy. Another consideration that she needs to focus is the safety and security of the area in which she will reside as she was a single parent in a congregate living situation amongst a wide variety of neighbors. Another step for her is to consider the price of the accommodation, because she was on her own. She needs to budget and plan accordingly for these new expenses.

Apartments provide different accommodations in their monthly rental expenses. Some includes utilities and cables, while others include partial utility coverage and do not include cable. I explained to her that even though she was concerned with paying the expense for rent each month she will not have to worry about maintenance of home, utilities, cable and yard work. I also encouraged her to get a credit check to make sure that her finances are in order to help her budget her expenses. This will affect if she will actually qualify to get the unit.

She then needs to determine how long of a lease she wants to sign. Most apartments complexes required you to sign a twelve month lease, but some have six months lease options. Many also offer month to month leases. I told her that sometimes signing a six month lease will increase the monthly rent, so this is something she should consider, only if she doesn’t anticipate to staying that long. The month to month lease would be the best choice as it will let her out of the contract with thirty days notice. The next step is to call and make an appointment to see the apartments.

She needs to call the landlord to get a feel for what type of person they are, and what type of services they are offering for the rent. Ask for the addresses or the locations of the apartments I told her to drive by the night before to find out if she likes the area. To be safe I would also drive by in the morning. Then, once she goes to her appointment to see the apartment I told her to ask questions about the safety and security of the community, background of the apartment and the neighborhood, people living in the neighborhood and the distance of public amenities.

Then once she finds the apartment she wants, the last step is to apply, be notified of the opening dates, set the move in date, and sign the lease. I told her before signing the lease make sure she’s aware of her rights and duties as a tenant. Make sure to ask questions to find out who is responsible for fixing a light bulb and what her responsibilities are as a tenant? Make sure to read the lease carefully and ask questions if there is something she doesn’t understand. Jahira was so thankful that I was able to help her in the process of finding or looking for an apartment.

She was thankful that I was able to answer a lot of questions that she had and ease her mind because I had already moved in to my apartment. I told her that I was glad to help out a friends in need. I highly recommend apartment living due to the wide variety of choices out there, and the flexibility of mobility. It is also nice for a single mother to be near others in case of an emergency. Looking for an apartment does not have to be mind blowing, but can be very successful if you keep in mind the important details I have provided. Following the steps I have provides should make your search easier and less stressful.

Updated: Feb 17, 2021
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The Process of Selecting an Apartment. (2017, Feb 03). Retrieved from

The Process of Selecting an Apartment essay
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