First Apartment Fears: What to Check before You Buy



When you get ready to buy your first apartment, there are several things you need to check before proceeding with your purchase. Buying can be exciting, and it’s easy to get caught up in finding the dream place you want, but as you go to make the final decision, make sure you look through a few important inspections. The main things to keep in mind are the area, the building, and the apartment itself.

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Check the Area

Start by thoroughly researching the area, both in terms of price points, services, and crime statistics. Think about the types of facilities you use, whether public transport, schools, gyms or parks, and see if the apartment is close enough to the amenities that are most important to you. Check out the apartment at various times of the day to see what kind of traffic or other issues might be present.

Building Security

Building security is another important item to be aware of. Find out if there are cameras and how easy it is for strangers to get into the complex or building. If possible, ask the landlord or other residents how common criminal activity is in the complex. If you have a car, consider the parking situation and find out if vehicle break-ins are common. Check the locks on the individual units and look at the access from the balcony or porch.

Maintenance

Investigate how the apartment, both the building and the individual unit, is taken care of. For the main building, take a look at stairs, walkways, and grounds. You don’t want to see broken or unsafe areas. Make sure the fire safety in and around the apartment is adequate, as fires spread quickly in tight and enclosed spaces like these. Look for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire escapes, and carbon monoxide detectors. Inside the apartment, check out the flooring, walls, windows, and heating and cooling systems. If the HVAC is not working properly, check the unit thoroughly and replace it if needed.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms can easily be problem areas if everything isn’t working as it should. Turn on the water in the sink and the shower and make sure the water runs both hot and cold. See that there are no leaks coming from either the shower or the sink. For the latter, a good way to check is to look in the cabinet below for water stains. Flush the toilet and make sure that it also works properly. For the kitchen, take a look at any appliances and make sure there are no leaks.

Buying your first apartment can be stressful, but with proper preparation you can end up moving into your dream unit.

 

About the author: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. If you need assistance inspecting an apartment, consult with professionals like Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter.