Picking More than an Apartment
As with much of the online rental process, we tend to base our search primarily on the apartment itself while the neighborhood becomes an afterthought, although it should really be the other way around.
What does an area offer in the way of amenities, such as schools, grocery stores, and parks? The rental process can be very exciting and sometimes undeniably overwhelming. However it’s important to take a step back and look at what you’re really renting. Here are some questions to ask:
What services are available to me if I move into this neighborhood?
Make sure to ask your real estate agent and landlord where the nearest hospitals, emergency centers and public transportation hubs are in proximity to the property you’re looking at renting. Also check for schools, recreational centers, public parks, hiking trails, gas stations, grocery stores, shopping or religious centers. What are the utility rates in the area?
How far is this apartment from work/school?
The odds are the commute seemed pretty reasonable when you drove down to look at the apartment last weekend, but during the work week these things have a way of changing, so ask. What are the alternate routes to any of your travel destinations?
What is the crime rate?
You can ask your agent, the landlord, the neighbors or just go down to the local precinct and request the crime statistics for the area (or look online) – but the point is to CHECK. Keep your eye open for graffiti and bars on windows as well, that’s usually an indication about the neighborhood.
What’s the character of the area?
Is it a charming, welcoming little neighborhood where strangers stop and share a smile and children help old ladies across the street – or are people more or less cold and hurried? What kind of neighborhood are you looking for?
Another great reason to use a real estate agent, even for rentals, is they have resources at their fingerprints to help you answer these sorts of questions. ‘Meet an Agent’ today!