Whether you're looking to rent a home or an apartment, you'll want to make sure it lives up to your expectations. Today, I have 11 factors for you to consider when evaluating a rental place for you and your family.
- Cell Phone Reception: As you tour a home or apartment, take out your cell phone to see if you get good reception in all of the rooms. If the reception is spotty, you may want to move on to a place with more reliable cell coverage.
- Water Pressure and Temperature: Go into each bathroom in the rental and turn on the warm water in the shower. Next, flush the toilet to see if the shower water holds its temperature. Also, take note of whether the shower loses water pressure when the toilet is flushed. The toilet flushing should not affect the water pressure or the temperature of the shower. Having adequate water pressure and a consistent water temperature adds to the comfort of a rental place.
- Amount of Lighting: Turn on the lights in the rental to see how much light they create in a room. Is natural light important to you? If so, are there large windows that will supply you with an abundance of sunlight? A large amount of light in an apartment or home can make the space more inviting.
- Parking Space: This is an important factor to look at, especially if you're looking to rent an apartment. Does the apartment building have its own parking lot? Or will you have to find a place to park on a busy street? If you're looking for a home to rent, do you want one with a garage or carport? Think about what your preferences are for parking your family's vehicles.
- Pests: One thing you definitely want to be on the lookout for is pests. Small, black droppings inside cabinets or on floors are telltale signs of mice. Tiny eggs, droppings that look like coffee grounds, or piles of sawdust in a corner can all be signs that a place has an insect problem.
- Level of Cleanliness: Naturally, you want to live in a well-cared-for rental. So be sure to take a close look at the space. Is there a thick layer of dust on the baseboards of the rooms? Is the refrigerator clean and fresh-smelling? Look in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to see if the corners have been cleaned. A landlord who pays attention to detail when doing cleaning in an apartment or home is likely to keep the property well-maintained.
- Noise Level: It's important to find out how noisy the environment is around an apartment or home. It's best to visit once in the morning and once in the evening, so you can get an accurate impression of the noise level as traffic increases and people are out and about in the neighborhood.
- Safety Precautions: Check out the safeguards present in an apartment or home by looking for smoke alarms and giving them a quick test. Most smoke alarms have a button you can push to test their operation. Also, ask whether a carbon monoxide detector is present.
- Working Outlets. Take along your cell phone to plug into a few outlets in the rental. This is an easy way to make sure they're working. Non-working outlets can be a sign of bigger electrical issues.
- Condition of the Appliances: Try the microwave and turn on the stove to see if they're working. Open the refrigerator to see if it's in good working order as well. You want to know that all of the appliances are operational before moving the first box into your new place!
- Condition of the Windows and Doors: If you like opening a window or two in the springtime to enjoy the breeze, check to see if the windows can be opened. Also, check the weatherstripping around the doors to ensure proper insulation to keep drafts out in the wintertime.
The most important thing to remember when evaluating a rental place is to take your time. If you feel like the landlord or manager is rushing you through a tour, I'd take that as a sign to move on to the next possibility. Thanks for reading. - Alan