Whether you’re a seasoned adult with 5+ moves behind you, or a recent graduate looking for your first job and apartment, the searching phase of the process is the most stressful – apart from packing. Looking for the right apartment is twofold. There’s the beginning process when you’re browsing on the internet, and judging through pictures and introductions. And when you find those lucky 5-10 apartments, the second phase is looking at the flat in person. Both phases are very intricate, and you have to be smart when asking questions and noting some doubts about the place.
Let’s say you’ve found some apartments you absolutely adore based on the short introduction and the photos uploaded. The next thing is not asking for an appointment right away for viewing. You’ll want to note at least 3 things about the apartment you’re not sure about. This can be its location, whether it’s silent, the amount of windows, is it pet-friendly, anything. These will be your initial notes. When you have that ready, contact the owner, and ask them for any further detail they believe is important, and ask for a floor plan. This is very important, because a detailed floor plan will come in handy even after moving in, and a lot of people don’t bother with sending them out after they managed to rent the flat.
Assuming the floor plan and further details are all great, you will go view the flat in person. By the time you go view the apartment, you should have some notes about the apartment. Some pros and cons, the floorplan, the price, and the location are a must. And it’s very important to go prepared with questions ready to be fired. When viewing the apartment, here are some pointers to look out for.
Kitchen & Bathroom
When viewing a kitchen, look through all furniture that will be left there. Look at the refrigerator, the stove, or the oven, and ask when these were bought. Is there any guarantee on them from the company? And the third and most important question to look out for even in the final contract: if any of these appliances should die, or cause a short circuit, will the owner be responsible?
The bathroom should always be checked for leaks, especially on the ceiling. Other than that, flush the toilet, and open the faucets, checking if they’re working properly. Flushing the toilet will also let you know if the water will keep flowing after, or if it functions properly.
Bedroom & Living Room
The bedroom and living room are the least problematic spaces in the apartment (usually). The amount and placement of outlets should be noted, as well as the insulation of the windows. If any furniture is left behind, check the quality of each of them. It’s also recommended to go for a viewing at a time when the sun is shining, and the traffic is most alive. This way you’ll see how bright the apartment is, and how loud the street will be inside. It could also be important to get the rooms to feel in a deeper way, as in 2020-2021, we’re all stuck inside, working remotely.
After the initial viewing, you will have a good idea about the apartment. You should always write any notes down, so you don’t forget later, as well as keeping track of those pros and cons. Always leave the apartment by setting a time frame for yourself, letting them know when you will be contacting them with your decision. And even if that decision is no, you should contact them.
The most important thing when actually viewing an apartment is to make yourself home, no matter how awkward it can get. Flush the toilet, turn the lights on, turn on the faucets, open and close the windows, just be all over it. This way they’ll know you have an idea of what you’re looking for, and you’ll have great notes to look back to.
No matter how intimidating this process can get, it’s important to stay focused, and know what the important questions are. Look at a lot of apartments quickly, and don’t give yourself a time limit of over one week for the decision. Whether it’s your first, or your tenth apartment, it’s okay not to be sure of what you’re doing. If you want your dream apartment to match your dream job, just try to stay wise, and ask for help when needed. And if all else fails, take someone with you who you trust in these situations.