Apartment Search Tips
Moving can be a very stressful time. In fact, it's listed as one of the top seven stressors in a lifetime. The goal is to minimize that stress as much as possible. One key is to get organized -- figure out what you need, when you need it, and how to get it -- as quickly and conveniently as possible
We have given you options on what services you might need, and how you might get them, under the topics listed below. The list is far from complete, but it should be enough to get you headed in the right direction.
Most apartments are basically alike -- a living room, a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom. The differences may not be obvious, so look for them. Following is a list of suggestions on what to look for in your next apartment. They may mean the difference between an okay apartment, and a great apartment.
The most obvious difference is in the ownership. If possible, research your potential landlord. Check with the Better Business Bureau, ask current residents, inquire via the Internet. Good property management is almost as important as the apartment itself. A good, responsible landlord is gold if and when maintenance problems arise.
A good, solid apartment depends a lot on the builder. Signs of a good builder are evident, if you know where to look for them. For instance, look inside the kitchen cabinets. The standard cabinet has a single shelf dividing the cabinet into two halves. A good cabinet has two shelves, offering a third more storage space.
Also, look for overhead lights in the bedrooms -- a sure sign of a quality builder. What two-shelf cabinets and overhead lights mean is that the builder didn't cut corners. If he put money in those features, he probably invested in good soundproofing, high-efficiency insulation, and other cost-saving features you may not see.
If you are working within a budget, pay close attention to the mechanical systems. Their age and where they are located can dramatically affect your utility costs. A furnace in an interior closet is much more efficient than a furnace off the patio.
VALUE TIP: Jot down a potential apartment’s address. Then call the gas and electric companies and ask for the high and low bills for that address during the past 12 months. This information can help you greatly when trying to predict and control your monthly utility costs.
Take a moment to look at the overall storage space -- is it ample for your needs? The presence of a linen closet is usually a good indication of ample storage. Is there additional storage off the patio, in the basement?
Count the electrical outlets in every room. Are they sufficient to meet your needs? If you have a computer, make sure there are three-prong outlets capable of handling the necessary surge protector.
Is the electric box made up of circuit breakers or fuses? If fuses, who is responsible for changing them? How many amps does it carry? 60 amps is low; 200 amps is more than enough for the average household.
Finally, check out the parking arrangements. Is parking close, plentiful, secure, and well lit? Can guests park nearby? How many cars are allowed per apartment?
Apartment Search has been helping people move in St. Louis for 20 years. It's not easy, but with the right tools, you can make it as quick and painless as possible. In fact, it can be downright fun! So get moving, and start having some fun.
The above information is merely advice, based on our 20 years of experience in the St. Louis apartment industry. As our property information sheets say, the information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed. We hope you find it useful.