5 crucial features most people forget while apartment hunting
If your lease is almost up or you’re moving to a new city, you’re probably scrambling for a new place and focusing on a few choice features. If it’s affordable and it’s close enough to your job or school, you might rush into signing a lease without considering all the possibilities. The stress of finding a living space is even more complicated if you’re searching from a different city. Google maps can only tell you so much about a neighborhood, and you want to be as informed as possible.
Once the dust settles and you’re all moved in, you don’t want to be stuck living in a place that doesn’t make sense for you. Take the time to imagine what daily life will be like there, and make sure you consider the features and amenities from a holistic perspective! Here are 5 key features that really make an apartment perfect – and which might slip your mind in the heat of the moment:
1. Convenient laundry
It may seem trivial beforehand, but a convenient laundry service can make or break your apartment. The closer to home your laundry solution is, of course, the better. If you have to leave the house to clean your clothes, then staying on top of the laundry will define your schedule. (For instance, when you leave town, you’ll need to do laundry before you leave and as soon as you get home to avoid the pile-up.) An in-home washer and dryer is the best option. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s a lot easier to keep your clothes looking nice when you can put them away right out of the dryer. You’ll also be able to multitask, so you have more free time.
2. Nearby groceries
Unless you can afford to eat out for every meal, you’re going to have to go grocery shopping to keep your kitchen stocked. But if there’s a significant drive or a very long walk between you and the nearest grocery store, take a minute to think. Do you want to make that schlep at the end of a long day, in bad weather, or when you’re in a foul mood? There’s only so much time in a day, and you can’t be wasting an hour every time you need the simplest of necessities. Maybe you can pay extra for food deliveries – but can you really afford it? How does that cost compare to the cost of simply living in a more convenient location? (And if you run out of toilet paper, can you wait for it to get delivered?)
3. Solid WiFi & cell reception
Whether it’s old cables that need replacing or because better providers won’t service the area, some apartments simply have poor data services. Ask the neighbors or the tenant that’s moving out about their connection and who they used as a provider. If you depend on the internet for work or entertainment, a quality connection can be the difference between being able to stay home in your pajamas or trudging out to a coffee shop. If the internet comes with the unit, ask if you can connect to check the speed.
4. Closet space & furnishings
If you’ve found an excellent spot to live, but it doesn’t have any closets, you’ll have to spend money on a storage solution. Or if this is your first place on your own, you’ll have to find dishes unless you want to be using disposables until your next paycheck. And while you can find plenty of cool things at a thrift store, if you’re putting down first and last month’s rent on top of a deposit, do you have any money to spare to make your apartment cozy? Consider this item your ‘little things that make a big difference’ checkbox.
5. Simple maintenance and payment
If something breaks, you don’t want to wait to get it fixed. It doesn’t matter that support is on-site if they take forever to respond. Ask the landlord about maintenance response times, but double-check with people living on the property to see if they back up the claims. Getting a leaky faucet or broken air conditioning unit repaired should be painless!
Making a payment should be just as easy. If your landlord expects a check in a dropbox nowhere near your apartment, that means making a trip once a month to pay. And if they don’t accept cash, you’ll need to write a check or visit a bank to get a cashier’s check. The more flexible your payment options are, the less of a hassle paying rent will be.
Simplify with Common
At Common, we make sure your new place has the features you need at a reasonable price. Our apartments come furnished, so moving in can be done within an hour. That includes everything you need to cook, eat, and sleep, already taken care of for you. Keyless entry means you won’t have to wait on property management to move in, and you’ll never be locked out. You’ll be able to invest in the personal touches at your own pace without sacrificing any comfort or necessary features.
Our laundry is on-site and free, and your weekly cleaning service includes restocking basic necessities like detergent, soap, and toilet paper. That means you’ll never have to make an unplanned trip to the store. You can also stay connected with our high-speed, commercial-grade WiFi, and make some new friends by organizing a movie night or potluck in one of the common areas. And of course, our maintenance team will respond within 24 hours to fix any issue that comes up, and online payment simplifies rent.
Learn more about coliving with Common here!
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