5 Most Important Priorities When Choosing an Apartment

What matters most for your apartment search?

Apr 13, 2014 at 3:34PM

Whether you're shopping for your first apartment on Trulia or your 15th, you'll need to prioritize what matters most for your search. From cost to conveniences, here's a list of the top 5 things to evaluate before renting your next home.

5. The Amenities
An apartment's included amenities should be low on your priority list, but they're still worth considering. Sure, a washer and dryer or parking spot is nice to have, but if they aren't available, see what your other options are. For example, if the landlord doesn't offer on-site laundry, where is the nearest laundromat?

If it's inconvenient to access alternatives, ask the property manager what he or she can offer in exchange. If you bring up the downsides, the landlord might be willing to budge in other areas such as the cost of rent.

4. The Damage
When touring a potential apartment, take note of any visible damage, and mention it to the landlord. Find out if the they are willing to fix the damaged items before the start of your lease; if not, ask for lower rent or amenities in exchange. Be sure to take pictures of any dings or nicks, and remind the landlord or property manager to detail the items in the lease.

Furthermore, inquire about what your potential landlord considers damage. What you consider decorating, your landlord could consider a hole in the wall.

3. The Price
It's important to compare prices of other local properties on Trulia. Likewise, examine the costs of your previous apartments, and see how they compare. Is the price of the apartment fair? If it is, can you comfortably afford it? You may be ready for an upgrade, but is your paycheck? Write down your monthly budget items. If you want a nicer place, consider what you'll have to cut to afford it.

2. The Neighborhood
There are several ways to scope out neighborhoods before you sign a lease. Use tools like Trulia's Neighborhood Map to evaluate the safety of a city or to check out school boundaries. Visit the area at different times of the day and night to get a feel for the usual activity and noise level. And talk to the neighbors. If you neglect proper research, you could be moving into a retirement community or a crowded college party town without even knowing it.

1. The Lease
This is arguably the most important aspect of an apartment. All other features depend on it. The list of included amenities, previous damage, lease term, and price should all be clearly stated in the contract. Read it, and make sure you fully understand what you're signing. What if you're unhappy with your neighbors? Do you know what would it cost to break the lease? Can you sublet if you decide to travel?

Now that you've established your priorities, it's time to start apartment hunting. What matters most when it comes to your own personal search? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This article originally appeared on Trulia.com.

Get your portfolio in order today!
There’s a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it’s one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information