Perfect-Apartment Checklist

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Checklist paper and pen.

Finding Your New Place

Once you commit to a place, you’ll be there for at least the length of your lease. Use this apartment guide to find a place you’ll be happy with. Print it out and take it with you!

____The perfect apartment will be in the perfect location. For you, the perfect location may be five minutes from the highway, ten minutes from work, or above your favorite downtown bar. Just be sure the location suits you.

____A layout for your lifestyle. If you work at night and sleep during the day, don’t rent an apartment that faces the morning sun. If you entertain often, don’t rent a place with limited living space. If you ride a bike, make sure you have a place to put it.

____A sense of community. That may mean a clubhouse where you can meet new people, a pool, a fitness center, or maybe a green space or community garden.

____Ample parking — preferably designated spaces.

____Closet space. Don’t just think “shoes,” think heavy winter coats, spare blankets, vacuum cleaner, Christmas decorations, and all of that stuff you can’t get rid of but don’t want on display.

____Cell phone reception. When you are considering an apartment, make a call. Walk around. See what happens.

____Wi-Fi — preferably in your apartment. If not, at least in the community center or clubhouse.

____Plenty of light. Look for an apartment with windows, a balcony or patio, and well-lit bathrooms and kitchens. Avoid the center unit and aim for a corner.

____A good-sized kitchen. Look for counter space and storage. A pantry is a definite plus.

____If you consider an upstairs unit and there’s no elevator, go to the grocery store and purchase a week’s worth of groceries. Carry them up the stairs. Think about doing that every week. Now think about doing that during the summer, in 90-degree weather. Or in the winter snow and ice. Think about moving furniture up (or down) the stairs. Be sure it’s something you can live with.

____Security. Consider a gated community, one with a doorman, or an on-site security guard.