Okay, so the "apartment" in this video was not actually an apartment, it was an ice shack - if you couldn't tell. While I would never consider moving into an ice shack (I mean, unless times were extremely desperate), I wanted to show some of the things to watch out for on an actual apartment hunt. (Warning: If any appliances look like the one in the video, that is a clear sign to GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!)
More stuff to look for...
- The Good Stuff: Utilities included with rent; working appliances; closets and plenty of storage space; good parking; washer/dryer hookups, or nearby laundromat; close commute to the practical stuff like work, school, or grocery store; pets allowed (if you have pets).
- The Bad Stuff: Damaged ceilings, tiles, fixtures or appliances; unsafe neighborhoods; old buildings that need a lot of maintenance; places with pest problems (gross!).
Want a better deal? Ask for it!
- Ask the landlord to lower the lease if you agree to a longer term. If you're in for the long-haul (over 12 months), ask if an 18- or 24-month contract is doable, and if your monthly rent can be lowered. It saves the landlord the trouble of finding a new tenant, and can benefit you, too!
- If you are a handy person, and are good at yard work, snow-shoveling, ect. ask the landlord if he can knock down the price of the rent while you take care of the property maintenance. Not a bad trade if you like doing that stuff yourself.
- Newer is not necessarily more expensive. In the long run, newer facilities can save you money because they are usually up to code, have energy-saving utilities, and are better insulated - saving you money on heating and cooling costs!
- Watch for the grand opening. It's simple: new apartments won't turn a profit until they are filled, so watch for new listings hitting the market. You may be able to get in under the listed price.