Apartment Rentals

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How to find the rental apartment that is right for you

Many people's apartment search takes longer than needed due to poor planning. You can save yourself a significant amount of time (and therefore money) by taking a structured approach to finding a new apartment.

Location, Location, Location

A common mistake among renters is they make their apartment decision on price alone, failing to account for the level of happiness their new apartment location will bring them. For example, if you move an extra half hour away from your office, that means you will commute an extra 5 hours per week, or 20 hours per month. Are you willing to trade 20 hours of free time for an extra 100 square feet?
Similarly, you could move to the heart of downtown to be closer to your office. But how much will the cost of essential services, such as food and parking, increase as a result of the move? Is the luxury of walking to work worth doubling your cost of living?

Amenities
Don't allow for apartment amenities to cloud your decision making. While some add-ons such as on-site laundry can be a huge time saver, most are nothing more than sales tools. Recently, workout and exercise rooms have been commonly offered amenities. Unfortunately, rental apartment workout rooms are usually outfitted with low-quality, personal grade equipment, rather than the industrial-grade equipment found at gyms. While this wouldn't be a problem if the equipment was only used occasionally, the reality of apartment life is hundreds of people will use the equipment, likely rendering it inoperable. Similarity with pools, while it may seem like a great idea to be able to take a dip after work, don't forget to consider the interval at which the building manager may or may not get the pool cleaned.

Price

As previously mentioned, don't choose your apartment on price alone! The listed price on an apartment can differ significantly from the actual cost of living of there. Make sure to think about utilities (are they included?), distance to public transportation / parking, as well as building condition. Although you may pay a lower rent in older buildings, you may have to pay higher utilities due to poor insulation. Similarly, moving to a brand new building may result you having to pay for services you would normally expected to be included, such as parking for your own car.