Before you sign your lease on your new apartment, check the place out. The brochure will not tell you what kind of neighbors you will have or whether or not the office/maintenance staff are competent or easy to get along with. The brochure may say “quiet” but is it really?
You will absolutely want to talk to the management about the terms of the lease and walk an apartment to get an idea of the floor plan. Things like how quiet or noisy the apartment complex is may not be apparent when you meet with the management of the apartment complex. These types of things you may need to discover on your own.
Don’t just blindly believe all that is given in the brochure because the old saying goes that one should never judge a book by its cover and even if the rent is affordable, your convenience is more important as no one would prefer an apartment complex that is located in the hustle bustle area of the big city as that would rob you of the mental peace and quiet that you yearn for after a hard day’s work at office. Therefore, even though you may not get a Parc Central Residences like location, as long as you have nice neighbors and a nice room for an apartment, its well worth it.
It is easy to discover whether or not you will have neighbors who are night-owls by driving through the apartment complex at night. Drive through the parking lot on a few different nights. I suggest one weekday and one weekend night. If there are a lot of people outside late at night or if you hear a lot of music, or see many light on, it is likely that the neighbors have an active night life. This may or may not be what you are looking for. It is good information to have. If you work at night, neighbors who are up at night and sleep during the day might be a good thing. If you have to get to work early in the morning, this may not be a good thing.
The manager will probably tell you whether or not are a lot of children living in the apartment complex, if you ask. They will probably not tell you the ages of the children. They will probably not tell you whether or not the children living there are well supervised or allowed to run free and do as they please. This is something you will need to find out for yourself. Again, drive through. Look for children playing and check to see if there are adults near by where they are playing. Make several trips. Look to see if the children are getting along or if they seem to be fighting. Look at where they are playing, are they in the parking lot or are they playing in safe areas. Several trips are important because children fighting with each other on one trip does not mean that that is what they normally do.
There are some other things that you should look for also. Notice whether or not there is missing siding on any of the buildings. Notice the roof, does it seem to be in good repair or are there shingles missing? Do the railings appear to be secure or do they look like they are falling down. Many times flowers and a fresh coat of paint are used to disguise issues like loose railings. Notice whether or not pets are roaming free or are leashed. Are the other people living in the apartment complex carrying bags to clean up after their dogs? Are the dogs doing their business and the owner walks away?
When you are looking into an apartment, notice the way the other residents interact with each other. Do they seem to talk to their neighbors or keep to themselves? Depending on whether you like to befriend your neighbors or be left alone, this can be important.
Ask to see the lease. Do not let them pressure you into signing a lease before you are ready. Read the lease carefully. Make sure that you can live with the terms of the lease. Apartment managers and leasing agents want to fill apartments as soon as possible. They will try to get you to sign the lease on the spot. Take your time and look into the apartment complex and the culture that exists there before you sign the lease. Don’t lock yourself into renting an apartment and then regret it later because it is not a good fit.