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When you’re apartment searching, there’s a lot of things to consider before signing the lease. To help, we put together some important questions to ask yourself as you’re searching; luckily, a lot of apartments that can be found online will include this info in their listing. However, it’s also important to ask some of these questions when given a tour, just to make sure the information is up-to-date.

Essentials

  • What is the square footage of the apartment?
  • Do they prohibit smoking?
  • Do they participate in crime-free housing?
  • When are quiet hours?
  • Are there any utilities included in the rent?
  • Do they offer 24-hour maintenance?

Location

  • What is the commute from home to work?
  • Is it close to public transportation?
  • Is it close to a grocery store or other retail areas?
  • How is the walkability of the area?

Appliances

  • Does it have air conditioning, a dishwasher, and/or in-unit washer/dryer?
  • When were the appliances last updated?

Pet-friendly

  • Is it a pet-friendly apartment?
  • Are there any restrictions like type or number of pets?
  • Is there a fee or deposit you have to pay?

Parking

  • Is there off-street parking available; either a parking lot, detached garage, or underground garage?
  • Is there an extra fee for parking?
  • What is the visitor parking policy?

Kid-friendly

  • Is there a playground or green area for kids to play?
  • Is there a park nearby?
  • What school district is it located in?
  • Is it located on a school bus route?

Amenities

  • What extra amenities are available to residents?

While some of these may not apply to you now, it’s still important to think of the future—maybe you don’t have a pet now, but you plan to get one in a year. Don’t sign with an apartment that doesn’t allow pets if there’s a chance you’ll want a dog in next few years. Additionally, decide what’s a necessity or what’s something you can compromise on, and you’ll be sure to find the right apartment for your needs and budget.