If it's time to strike out on your own, that means it's probably time to start looking for an apartment. If you've never done apartment hunting before, you might not know what to expect. In addition to looking for things like the right size, price and location, there are a few other things you should consider. While you're taking tours of prospective apartments, you need to keep an eye out for potential problems, as well. Here are four things you should check out while apartment hunting.
If you depend on your cell phone, you need to make sure that your new apartment has proper cell reception. The last thing you want is to move into an apartment and find out that you can't send or receive text messages. While you're touring potential apartments, take the time to use your cell phone in each room. This will allow you to identify potential dead-space in each apartment that may interfere with your ability to use your cell phone. While this may be less of a problem in downtown apartments in the middle of a city, apartments in more remote areas can often have connectivity issues.
If you're touring empty apartments, it can be difficult to identify potential problems with the electrical system. Bring a socket tester with you and test each outlet. In addition, be sure that there is an outlet in each room. You should also ensure that the bathrooms and kitchens have GFCI outlets installed. These outlets are designed to shut off as soon as there is a short in the circuit.
You don't want to move into an apartment only to find out that there are plumbing problems that you and the rental company didn't know about. Before you sign a lease, test the plumbing for potential problems. Turn all the water on in the house and then flush the toilets. It's normal for water pressure to decrease. However, if you see water backing up into the sinks or bathtubs, there may be a problem in the sewer lines.
You want to make sure you move into a low-crime neighborhood. While you're touring apartments, look on the patios and decks of the neighboring apartments. If the patios and decks are filled with personal property, like bikes or children's toys, it's a good sign that theft rates are low in the neighborhood.
Now that it's time to go apartment shopping, you want to make sure you choose the right one. Use the tips provided above to help you identify issues that could be a problem later on.