Selecting Your Apartment

You have recently made one of the most important decisions of your lifetime….getting married. Now you must decide what and where your first home together will be. The majority of us today choose to make an apartment community our first residence after marriage. The following are a few tips which should prove helpful in selecting an apartment.
LOCATION– In most cases you will want to find an apartment which is located conveniently to one or both of your jobs. It is important to weigh the benefits of cheaper rent with commuting time. One suggestion is to “test drive” a potential commute during the week rather than on a weekend.
COMMUNITY– There are benefits in both the large apartment community and the smaller one. A larger development will typically offer more amenities such as pools, spas, weight rooms, tennis courts, etc. A higher rental rate may need to be enlarged for the staff for leasing, maintenance, etc. The advantages to a smaller complex may include a homey environment, personal service by the resident manager and potentially lower rent.
SERVICE– Regardless of rental rates, service is extremely important. The least expensive apartment is no bargain if your needs are not met. Questions to ask an on-site manager include: What staff members live on-site? How fast are maintenance requests handled? How long have you been on the property? Is there a professional management company involved? If any of the questions are not answered to your satisfaction, then this may not be the apartment for you.
RENT– Most communities qualify their prospective residents initially through an income-to- rent ratio. The standard ratio used today is the rent should not exceed one fourth to one third of your combined in- come. In other words, if your combined income is $2,400 per month you could typically afford a $600 to $800 per month apartment. This is, of course, only a guideline and you need to lake other fixed expenses into consideration when figuring your budget.
Good rent-paying residents are a valued commodity to apartment owners today and you deserve a clean, quiet, well-maintained home in which to live. It is important for you to select your first home recognizing not only the rental rate and amenities but the level of service and care you will receive by the resident manager and staff.