If you’re older than 21, chances are at some point you’ve gone apartment hunting, and found out that the place that looked so good when you were touring turned out to be a disaster. While it’s easy to dress up an empty apartment to look good, there are many often overlooked signs that could indicate to you that the place you’re looking at isn’t as good a deal as it initially seems.
Take it from someone who has looked at dozens upon dozens of living areas, you’ll want to take a little bit of extra time to make sure you’re getting a good deal and not a glossed over living hell just waiting for its next victim. All you need to do to prevent yourself from being another victim is to bring a small reliable flashlight and memorize a few basic questions.
Tip 1: Test the water pressure
This sounds obvious, but it amazes me how many people don’t turn on the sinks, flush the toilets, or turn on the shower. I don’t know about you, but I deserve a nice solid shower after a hard day of work. If you notice heavily discolored water or serious pressure issues, it’s a non-starter. Move on.
Tip 2: Look at pipes and filters
Check the pipes underneath the bathroom and kitchen sink. This is where the flashlight comes in. Do you see mold? Severe discoloration around the pipes? Look for any signs of a lack of maintenance, or shoddy “cover up” work that might indicate deeper issues.
Tip 3: Ask the important questions
The rights of renters vary greatly from state to state, but there are a series of questions that you should always ask. The very short list of questions to ask them about your apartment include:
- Have there ever been any bedbug issues or infestations?
- Was there ever any methamphetamine production in the apartment or the building?
- Are there any known mold issues?
- Are there any known radon issues?
- Is there lead paint or anything else that you should know about it?
These questions are important to make sure you’re getting the full story on the place. If you have issues later, having asked these questions can help you in court since they are often legally required to let you know of these issues.
Tip 4: Beware if the person showing the apartment shames you
There’s nothing in these tips that can be considered unreasonable so if the person showing you the place gets touchy or defensive, take that as a red flag and run. There’s always a better option somewhere!