There are plenty of plenty of reasons to rent an apartment, ranging from the flexibility of many apartment lease agreements to the variety of units available for rent. However, this variety can be problematic if you end up settling for a cheap apartment that will only cost you money and cause you problems in the long run. Fortunately, there are a number of signs you can look for that suggest that an apartment is a money trap rather than a steal. Read on to find out how you can tell a good quality cheap apartment from the bad.
You might associate old windows with vintage charm, but this pleasing aesthetic feature can be quite expensive. For example, a lot of heat energy can escape through old or damaged windows, significantly increasing your energy bills. It isn’t a deal breaker, especially if the landlord has installed storm windows or another energy-efficient feature, but you should be able to open the windows at the very least.
Even if the landlord offers to let you paint the apartment once you move in, a peeling coat can signify that they aren’t taking care of the property. This can also be worrying if it is an older building due to the risk of lead paint; parents especially should always ask if the apartment has ever been checked or undergone remediation due to the presence of this hazardous substance.
Basic Maintenance Issues
It might make you feel a little nosy, but try turning on the faucets and air conditioner, peek inside cabinets, and more. Basic problems can turn into major issues in the long run, and if the landlord hasn’t taken care of them, you might end up having to deal with them yourself. At the very least, make the landlord promise in writing to fix any problems you might find before you move in.
This can be a difficult problem to uncover, as you will likely only spend 15 minutes or so looking at the apartment. For this reason, experts typically recommend asking the landlord about the people who live in the building or nearby. Then, after the appointment, you should try to stop by a few times during different hours of the day to see how the area feels and acts.
A Bad Neighborhood
Before you move into a certain area, you should be sure to do your research on the neighborhood to see if you will feel safe and content living there. Take a walk down the street to see how close the apartment is to local restaurants, bars, stores and more, and do an online search to see if you can uncover any crime statistics and other worrying signs. Some cheap apartments are inexpensive for a very good reason.
Have you ever had a bad experience with a cheap apartment that turned out to be a terrible deal? Tell us about it in the comments below!