The apartment hunting process can be tricky. If you feel a little overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. There are so many options available when it comes to choosing your next home, it can be pretty overwhelming, especially in a sprawling city like Chicago. The whole process can be made a little easier when you know the most important factors to take into consideration when making this tough decision. To help, we’ve narrowed down the most crucial things you need to consider before signing a lease. Don’t pick up a pen before considering these major factors.
Location, Location, Location
The neighborhood you choose to live in is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Your location affects your daily commute, your dining options, your social life, and more. Depending on your location, the experience of living in a city can vary vastly from person to person. Before committing to an apartment, spend some time thinking about your ideal location, then only look at apartments that are available in your chosen neighborhoods. Ask yourself: Does proximity to public transportation matter? Are you partial to living close to lots of nightlife options? These are critical questions to consider before committing to your new home.
Rental Costs & Fees
It may seem obvious that you’ll need to find an apartment with rent that fits your budget, but your anticipated monthly expenses aren’t always so obvious. You’ll likely be dealing with more than just the cost of rent. Many property management companies and landlords charge additional fees, such as an application fee or a pet rental fee. You also may be required to pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit, renters insurance, plus any other additional fees the building’s owner deems necessary. Do your research and consider the total cost of moving before signing a lease on your new apartment.
There are so many cool features and amenities available in apartment buildings no matter what city you’re looking to live in. When searching for your next apartment, pick out a few apartment features that are most important to you. Maybe you’ve dreamed of living somewhere with a pool or a rooftop lounge area. Whatever it is you want most, pick those specifics and stick with them. It’s important that you’re happy in your new home, and you deserve to be a little picky.
To avoid any surprises, make sure that you know the details of your apartment building’s pet policy before signing a lease. Some apartments may require a separate pet rent, which can be a monthly payment or a one time deposit. Apartments can also have varying rules when it comes to what pets they allow. Dogs may be allowed, but only under a certain weight. Similarly, certain dog breeds may be banned from your prospective apartment building. Don’t make the mistake of signing a lease only to discover a conflict with the pet policy.