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Tips for Finding Your Dream Apartment

Whether you're new to the city or relocating to another neighborhood, it takes a great deal of time and effort to find the perfect apartment. If you take into account these 10 handy tips, your dream apartment may be closer than you think.

TIP #1: Create a Realistic Budget

Decide what you can afford in rent, including monthly utilities. And, don't look at any apartments out of your price range.

TIP #2: Shop and Compare

This apartment will be your home, perhaps for years, so ensure peace of mind by comparing prices, options and locations before taking the plunge.

TIP #3: Ask About Vacancy Rates

If an apartment building has a large number of vacant units, chances are the building is not being managed well.

TIP #4: Deal with A Reputable Company

Dealing with a larger apartment management company has its advantages. They have websites that showcase their apartments. They offer convenience, comfort, safety, value and variety. And, they have solid reputations for being committed to serving their tenants needs.

TIP #5: Make a Wish List

Do you want a balcony? Do you want to live near bike paths? Figure it out and create your wish list.

TIP #6: Use the Internet

The Internet is one of the best resources for zeroing in on your dream apartment. It can give you a clear idea of what's available before you actually go out looking for it.

TIP #7: Find Your Ideal Neighborhood

Drive or walk around different parts of the city where you might like to live. Consider commute times, your lifestyle needs and local conveniences.

TIP #8: Do a Thorough Inspection and Take Notes

Keep a record of each apartment you visit. Note what features are extra or missing. Take measurements of the rooms and doorways to ensure furniture fits on moving day. Turn on light switches, look inside closets, check water pressure, visit the laundry room, walk the grounds and ask neighbors what it's like to live there.

TIP #9: Ask Lots of Questions

Who controls the heat? Are appliances included? Is smoking ok? Are pets allowed? When is the apartment available? Will they paint before you move in?

TIP #10: Understand Your Lease

Your lease should clarify the rent, terms and duration of your agreement. Read it carefully and negotiate terms before signing. If you give a deposit, get a receipt.

However you decide to undertake your hunt, remember these ten handy tips to finding your dream apartment. It could be just around the corner. Happy hunting!