When it comes to searching for a new apartment, there are many factors you should consider before signing a lease. However, it can be hard to make sure that everything is in order during the brief tour you get at each location. Sometimes, even something little like an outlet not working can be a real pain to deal with once you move in.
To help you choose the right apartment in St. Paul, here is a helpful apartment hunting checklist. And if you’re currently in the process of looking for an apartment, check out Bigos’ apartment listings, where we include amenities that are inspired by your lifestyle.
St. Paul has a lot of great dining and entertainment areas, and if you want to be close by, there are plenty of available apartment options to get close to the action. Lowertown and Selby/Cathedral Hill are some of the trendy, vibrant parts of St. Paul and many young professionals enjoy living in these neighborhoods. However, if you’re looking for a more reserved, quiet area of the city, you can certainly find those too.
However, keep in mind that the time of day you tour your potential apartment will most likely be during a quiet time in the area. It’s a good idea to swing by the area and see how loud it is during a Saturday night, or during the early hours during the week. If there are bars and restaurants nearby, you can expect weekend evenings to be fairly busy and noisy.
Whatever you prefer, make sure that you take the time to scope out the area properly.
The common areas of an apartment complex will give you insight into how well the management keeps up the property and whether or not they take effective care of the apartment overall in terms of hygiene and cleaning. In some instances, you’ll get what you pay for. But, if you’re paying a premium rent, then it isn’t unrealistic to think that the property should be kept clean.
You want to make sure that your doors are working properly, for privacy and security reasons. Along with that, the windows should be working well too. Otherwise, you may risk having poor ventilation, which depending on which utilities you’re paying, can bring up the monthly cost of living in your apartment.
If possible, test out the toilet and sinks in the unit to ensure that they are functional. If you think something may be wrong, then it is better to have the issue addressed before you move in as opposed to after.
One of the more common issues that new apartment owners notice is that some of the electrical sockets are not working. While this may not be a deal-breaker, it’s not too much to ask for all the electrical sockets to function properly. You can bring your phone charger to test them all out while you tour the unit to make sure they all work.
You may be surprised to find some apartment units restricting cell phone service due to another building blocking the signal or some other obstruction. Make sure you test out your cell service while you’re touring, and keep in mind that if the cell service isn’t great, you’ll have to go outside in the winter to make calls.
It’s easy to forget your budget restrictions when you walk into a beautiful apartment unit, one where you can easily imagine yourself living. However, it’s important to make sure that you are realistic in whether or not you can afford the unit. Even if you can, perhaps there is a similar unit that is in a less trendy spot that is considerably cheaper. If so, you have to weigh the pros and cons carefully between living somewhere with more activities and entertainment close by versus living somewhere further away but for cheaper rent.
Make sure that you ask about the utilities and which ones you’ll be paying. Whoever you’re touring with should have a general idea of what the average unit is paying for in terms of utilities, so ask that question as well. It’s important to understand what the extra costs will be for living in that unit aside from the rent as you look at your budget.