Know your must-haves before you begin your search
Sometimes, the want list overwhelms the budget. But what’s on your must-have list? Many apartment complexes are realizing that a white box isn’t quite cutting it and are offering decorative paint, elegant lighting, and details such as wood flooring and granite countertops. But do you really need a soaking tub and a rooftop pool?
High Ceilings, hardwood floors, ornamental accents. Do you spend most of your time in your apartment? If so, these amenities may top your list of must-haves. Add in decorative paint, luxury items, and thoughtful details such as recessed lighting and granite countertops and you may find you never want to leave.
Courtyard, clubhouse, picnic area. If you crave community, these could be on your must-have list. These amenities not only create a sense of cohesiveness among residents, it allows you to make friends for that wine-tasting party you’re considering.
Parking, parking, parking. If you own a car and plan to drive, ample parking will be a must-have in your next apartment. Assigned spaces make coming home from work easier. Covered parking is great to have, especially during winter.
Security systems and gated access. Those who live alone or in a large city may consider this a must-have. Personal security systems for each unit are great but gated access is probably sufficient.
Pool, tennis courts, exercise room. It isn’t always easy to find time for fitness. It would be easier if your apartment complex had these amenities. And the pool is the perfect summer hangout spot.
Dishwasher, washer, dryer. Make life easier and find an apartment with these amenities. Hand-washing dishes and heading to the Laundromat can get tedious, so think twice if your apartment community doesn’t include these appliances.
Pet- and kid-friendly. A pet-friendly apartment complex is a must-have for pet owners, and a nearby dog park will seal the deal. If you have kids, look for a kid-friendly complex with safety features (such as a gated community), away from a main road, and with easy access to the school bus stop. Be sure to rent an apartment with a good-sized playground -- or at least a park nearby -- and be sure to ask how many children live in the complex.